Tamaqua councilman plans to step down
Tamaqua Councilman Dan Evans will be stepping down at the end of the year.
Citing his recent appointment to the CRIZ authority and his personal business interest in New Jersey, Evans said he will step down as of Dec. 31.
Evans has served on council for seven years and cited work to the Owl Creek Dam, the bridge projects, the Wabash tunnel, the upgrades to the parking meters and the streetlight purchase and LED replacement project as some of the highlights of his tenure.
Council President David Mace accepted Evans’ resignation with regret and said that his contribution has been invaluable.
“It’s unfortunate, but we do understand,” he added.
Council approved the reappointment of Phil Houm to the Tamaqua Area Water Authority.
Borough manager Kevin Steigerwalt said that only one bid has been received for the heating oil. Council rejected the bid and voted to re-advertise it.
Director of Community Development Ann Marie Calabrese advised council that the CRIZ baseline figure for the year has gone down about $15,000.
She said that there were three new businesses that registered, but two businesses dropped out, which accounted for the loss.
Council approved the removal of the “school zone” signs from the area around St. Jerome’s. They also approved the removal of the no parking areas associated with the church and briefly discussed the placement of parking meters in the area.
Tom Hartz questioned council as to whether the illegal parking on West Cottage Avenue has been looked into. Mayor Nathan Gerace responded to the question and said the business owner in the area has been notified and that citations will be issued. Hartz said he called the nonemergency number and reported illegal parking and waited 47 minutes for someone to show up to ticket the cars. “If we have to go up there with the firetruck we can’t wait 47 minutes for someone to come,” he said.
Hartz also asked why the siren is still being blown, citing the expense of maintaining and operating the system.
“Everyone who is going to a fire has a pager and knows where to go. That system is antiquated and always broke,” he said.
Councilman Mary Linkevich advised council that the spotted lanternfly is invading the area and handed out fliers to help educate the public on how to help eradicate the species, including removal of the “tree of heaven,” which is a tree that the insects are attracted to.
Council also discussed implementing an electronics recycling program that would charge a nominal fee per item and limit residents to three items per month.