UNOFFICAL UNTIL APRIL 9, 2015
Jermyn Borough Council met on Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. On roll call the following members were present: J.Wilson, J.McDermott, W.Estile, J.Allan and J.Smith. Mayor Smallacombe and Attorney Nichols were present. K.Hosie and B.Parks were absent.
Councilman J. Smith served as Chair in the absence of K.Hosie and B.Parks.
MINUTES – A motion was made by J.McDermott, seconded by W.Estile to accept the minutes of February 12, 2015. All members were in favor.
FINANCIAL REPORT: W.Estile gave the financial report:
Beginning Balance – $ 156,934.25
Deposits – $ 32,152.35
Expenses – $ 49,370.19
Ending Balance – $ 139,716.41
A motion was made by J.Allan, seconded by J.Wilson to accept the Financial Report as presented. All members were in favor.
MAYOR- Mayor Smallacombe said the older cruiser has 101,000 miles on it and we need to start looking for funds to purchase a new one. He said the police have been doing their job, giving warnings for un-shoveled sidewalks, investigating blighted properties, and serving warrants. Mr. Smallacombe said the Crime watch is having their Pasta dinner on March 22 and the proceeds will go to purchase needed items for the Police Department and they are planning their Night Out for August 15. The Historical Society is looking into fund raisers and The Events dinner was a success and they are planning their Concert in the Park for July 20. Mr. Smallacombe said there are several people interested in serving on the Recreation Commission. Mr. Smallacome mentioned an article in the paper concerning the flood project. Attorney Nichols said a letter was sent to Harrisburg in October, with no response. The Borough Engineer, recently called him and is going to contact the attorney handling the matter. The Mayor said there are 7 bridges, two are in an alley and will not be replaced, one belongs to the state and three are county bridges. Concerning the dredging of Rushbrook Creek, it was dredged right after the flood. Mr. Smallacombe said nothing can be done with the bridges until the Flood project comes through. Michelle Burns, representing Lackawanna County said their hands are tied by the State.
Mr. Smith said the project is actively being worked on and it takes a long time when dealing with all the government agencies.
Attorney Nichols said he needs an executive session for personnel.
FIRE CHIEF- Chief Rood said he had an electrician look at the siren and he did work on it and it seems to be ok, not sure. He made council aware of a problem in the area of St. Michael’s, there was a call and emergency vehicles could not get down the street, because of the way vehicles were parked, B.Chase could not get his pick-up truck through, it is a bad situation. Mr. Smith asked that Chief Arthur have patrols there on Sunday, it is a matter of public safety. If we have to issue tickets, we have to. Chief Rood said tickets were issued. Mr. Smith said we have to be able to get a fire truck through there.
Chief Rood say the fire department has got a lot of the trophies out of the DPW garage, we still need to get airpacks and coats. J.Allan said they will take the tables and papers perhaps the Historical Society would want to look at the old gear/ J.Wilson said the garage at one time was the Borough Hall and Fire Company and there is one table Mr. Avery would like left in the building, he said former councils’ used that table.
Chief Rood and Dan Markey asked that Attorney Nichols look at some insurance paperwork that would allow the fire companies to charge up to $500.00 for a fire call, at no cost to the home owner, as their policy will cover it. If the property is un- insured there would not be a charge. Attorney Nichols will review it. Mr. Smith asked the secretary to call Chief Rood on April 1 to get an update on the siren for the work session.
Wilson, 156 S. Washington Avenue stated that there are five council seats open this year, can this be changed? Attorney Nichols said we would have to petition the court, to see if they would allow it. Mr. Smith said losing five people at one time could present a chaotic situation to say the least.
Michele Burns, Lackawanna County, informed council of upcoming events, Bike Safety, April 25 at PNC Field, the Armed Forces, drawing and essay contests, County Clinics and Events, for more information please see the county website.
Floyd Celli, 642 Washington, Mr. Celli thanked K. Hosie and J.Wilson for coming to look at his water problems. J.Wilson said she plans to bring it up at the work session, but was waiting to hear from Mr. Celli about a meeting with state reps. She said Mr. Celli had asked if council would meet with the state reps concerning his water problem. J.Wilson said there is a safety problem there, W.Estile was there the other day. She said there has to be something for that water to run off into, it is a state road, it is not the Jermyn Borough’s problem but perhaps the state could alleviate the problem. J. Smith said so we know exactly what the discussion with Mr. Celli was, who is contacting who? Mr. Celli said he has done his homework and concerning what Joann said it is Jermyn’s’ problem. He contacted Mr. Kavulich and a gentleman from Penn Dot and it was recommended a meeting during regular business hours. Mr. Celli said he hopes for a resolution as he can’t be chipping four or five inches of ice off his sidewalk all the time, he asked if Council is willing to have a meeting? It was decided that J.McDermott, J.Smith, B.Parks and Attorney Nichols would meet April first at 10:00, with an alternate date of April 8th, with the state reps office and Penn Dot.
FINANCE- A motion was made by J.McDermott, seconded by J.Wilson to pay invoices in the amount of $ 2,306.22. All members were in favor.
PUBLIC WORKS – J. Wilson said that K.Hosie and herself went to Mr.Whitiaks home on Garfield and there is a problem there, it is a skating rink, she said she knows there was a pipe installed, but we have never accepted the road. The Mayor said the water does flow you can hear it. Fire Chief Rood said we do own the road, Attorney Nichols will look into it. Mr. Smith asked that W.Estile, B.Parks and T.Grizzanti go to Mr. Whitiaks property to look at the problem. Mr. Smith asked for a report at the work session.
Mr. Smith asked Chief Arthur if they looked at the property across from the Sterling Drug Store? Chief Arthur said no at the 700 block of Washington, the police have no authority over the issues with the home on Washington. Chief Rood recommended the property maintenance codes, Attorney Nichols will look into it.
PUBLIC SAFETY –Chief Arthur asked if the 700 block of Jefferson could be looked at, the pot holes are terrible. Also the older cruiser has over 100,000 miles on it and they are police miles. The department is starting to have issues with the cruisers being out of service, we need to look into a new vehicle soon. If we don’t take action now we could be looking at purchasing two new vehicles. Mr. Smith said W.Estile contacted him about the issue and understands the need for a new cruiser. Council will have to look at the budget and we will have to do, what we have to do. Chief Arthur said they have received complaints about un-shoveled sidewalks and most people have complied. There is one on Hudson where the owner is out of state and he said his brother-in-law will do it. He said he is still working on the surplus program and requesting items.
RECREATION – J.Allan said basketball season is over. The Lakeland Youth group had an excellent turnout and will be coming back next year. He said he will be looking into the RE-Invest county grant again for a new lawn tractor and sports equipment.
RECREATION COMMISSION – A motion was made by J.Allan, seconded by W.Estile to appoint the following to the Jermyn Recreation Commission ; Dan Markey, Kevin Napoli, Joe Conyingham, A.J.Fuga, Matt Perry and Heather Carpenter. All members were in favor.
Mr. Allan said a new light is needed outside the side door and he will get prices for the work session.
JUNIOR COUNCILMAN – B.Swatt said he will be sprucing up the Borough’s Facebook page. He also said that he is on the Student Ambassador Program, learning about local government and because of being a Junior Councilman it has really helped him and he thanked Council.
POLICE EASTER EGG HUNT – A motion was made by W.Estile, seconded by J.McDermott to give permission to the Jermyn Police Department to have an Easter Egg Hunt on April 4 at the recreation field. All members were in favor.
LIONS CLUB EASTER EGG HUNT – A motion was made by J.McDermott, seconded by J.Wilson to give the Lions Club permission to have their Easter Egg Hunt on March 28. All members were in favor.
LIONS CLUB DUCK RACE – A motion was made by J.Allan, seconded by W.Estile to allow the Lions Club to have a duck race on May 25. All members were in favor.
CONCERT IN THE PARK – A motion was made by J.Wilson, seconded by J.McDermott to give permission for the Annual Events Committee Annual Concert in the Park on July 19. All members were in favor.
RE-APPOINT William Arthur – A motion was made by W.Estile, seconded by J.Wilson to re-appoint William Arthur as Police Chief until the next meeting or if Chief Zellers returns. All members were in favor.
Council went into executive session, council re-convened from executive session.
A motion was made to adjourn by J.Mcdermott, seconded by W.Estile. All members were in favor.
UNOFFICAL UNTIL MARCH 12, 2015
Jermyn Borough Council met on Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. On roll call the following members were present: J. Wilson, J.McDermott, W.Estile and K.Hosie. J.Allan, J.Smith and B.Parks were absent. Attorney Nicholls and Mayor Smallacombe were absent.
MINUTES – A motion was made by J.McDermott, seconded by W.Estile to accept the minutes of January 8, 2015. All members were in favor.
FINANCIAL REPORT – W.Estile gave the financial report:
Beginning Balance – $92,641.84
Expenses – $ 61,339.98
Deposits – $ 156,934.25 ( $100,000.00 Tax Anticipation Loan)
Ending Balance – $ 156,934.25
A motion was made to accept the financial report as presented by J.Wilson, seconded by J.McDermott. All members were in favor.
MAYOR – The Mayor gave his report: He said the police gave multiple warnings and tickets for un-shoveled sidewalks and alternate parking, warnings for blighted property, obtained a vehicle lift, pallet jack, fireproof file cabinets computers and 22 tables through the surplus program, he thanked Councilman Estile, the police department and anyone else who helped with obtaining the items. He said this is the best group of police officers, the borough has ever had.
The Events Committee will be having their dinner on February 21 and will be honoring three people. The Crime watch will be having a pasta dinner on March 22 at St. Michaels. The Historical Society has obtained new stuff from Mr. Pete Whitney who used to own a barbershop in town. He asked if the Historical Society can use council chambers on the first Sunday in March, because they are having a speaker. Council said yes.
SOLICITOR- Attorney Nicholls said he needs an executive session for personnel.
Whitiak, 512 Garfield Avenue, addressed council to say that he is against the hiring of full time people who do not reside in Jermyn. Council President Hosie said that council tries to hire within the Borough. Mr. Whitiak said if they lived in town they would be more loyal. Mr. Whitiak said the minutes are cherry picked as it was not stated in the January minutes that he left the meeting in protest, because of the five minute rule for public input. He said a police officer came to his business establishment with the Hum –Vee, but it has no plates? Is it insured? Mr. Estile said the Hum-Vee is still a government vehicle and there are no plates on government vehicles and it is insured. Mr. Whitiak said at the last meeting the Mayor said Mayfield has 1/8 of the calls Jermyn gets, does that mean Jermyn has 800% more crime? Mr. Smallacombe said we have the Casey ramp and Rushbrook Street, leading to more traffic and we assist Mayfield, Scott and Archbald. Mr. Whitiak approached council showing them pictures on his phone about the water issue in front of his house. Mr. Estile said we have obtained a tar buggy and in the spring we can address the problem. Mr. Whitiak stated that he still has a water problem after 14 years, it took Mr. Celli 14 months to get his problem solved but council passed the 5 minute rule in six weeks. It was explained that the Boroughs Rules of Order have been in place for years to be used when needed, this Council did not pass the Rules of Order. Mr. Whitiak felt the 5 minute rule is directed at Mr. Celli and himself. He asked why Council would enforce it. Mrs. Hosie said residents that were at a council meeting complained about the length of Public Input. Mrs. Wilson told Mr. Whitiak it was not his talking, he should keep the topic relevant and not get personal. Mr. Whitiak again expressed his displeasure with the 5 minute rule.
Floyd Celli, 642 Washington Avenue addressed Council concerning the surface water coming from his sidewalks. Attorney Nicholls said surface water is not the Borough’s responsibility. Mr. Celli asked if the slop could be cleaned off Washington Avenue. Mr. Cellie said he got his permit, being pro-active, what has the borough done for him? Mr. Estile said didn’t the Borough just do work on your alley? Mr. Celli said it is not his alley. Mr. Estile said no one else complained.
R.Chase, 257 Hudson Street, reported that the Artisan Fire Company will be serving potato pancakes on February 18th. The Artisan will also be hosting a Hunter Safety Education Class on March 22.
FINANCE- A motion was made to pay invoices in the amount of $3,903.62 by J.McDermott, seconded by J.Wilson. All members were in favor.
ZONING OFFICER- Mr. Chase informed council that a storage facility was being built at the site of the former Chinese Restaurant and he had to shut the construction down, the owner obtained a zoning permit, but he has to obtain a building permit. Mr. Chase said he received a letter from a resident complaining about a neighbor running a business on Hudson Street. He said he investigated the matter and the neighbor is not running a business and sent a certified letter to the complaining person, explaining.
HERITAGE BIKE TOUR –A motion was made by J.Wilson, seconded by W.Estile to allow the Hertitage Bike Tour come through Jermyn and giving the secretary permission to write a letter, allowing it. All members were in favor.
ARTISAN FIRE COMPANY REQUEST – A motion was made by W.Estile, seconded by J.Wilson to allow the Artisan Fire Company to use the plug on the street light for their sign promoting their fish dinner and other functions. All members were in favor.
HISTORICAL SOCIETY – Attorney Nicholls said he has reviewed the correspondence from the Historical Society and has a few corrections:
1. Must be specific what area of the building they will be using.
2. Cannot have a forever clause.
He will incorporate the changes into a document. Mrs. Wilson said that # 8 on the document will be discussed at the next work session. Fire Chief Rood again reminded council about the fire siren in the borough garage.
RE-APPOINT WILLIAM ARTHUR – A motion was made by J.McDermott, seconded by W.Estile to appoint William Arthur as Acting Chief until the next meeting or if Chief Zellers returns. All members were in favor.
Council went into executive session for personnel. Council reconvened from executive session.
A motion was made to adjourn by J.McDermott, seconded by J.Wilson to adjourn. All members were in favor.
UNOFFICIAL UNTIL FEBRUARY 12, 2015
Jermyn Borough Council met on Thursday, January 8, 2015 at 7:00p.m. On roll call the following members were present: J.Wilson, J.McDermott, W.Estile, J.Allan ,J.Smith and K.Hosie. Mayor Smallacombe was in attendance. Attorney Nichols and Councilman Parks were absent.
MINUTES – A motion was made by J.Allan, seconded by W.Estile to accept the minutes of December 11, 2014. All members were in favor.
FINANCIAL REPORT -W.Estile gave the financial report:
Beginning Balance – $110,750.09
Deposits – $37,688.52
Expenses – $55,797.58
Ending balance – $92,641.84
A motion was made by J.Smith, seconded by J.McDermott to accept the financial report as presented. All members were in favor.
MAYOR- Mayor Smallcombe reported that Chief Arthur has gotten over $200,000.00 in surplus equipment for the Borough, the most recent item a Hum-Vee. If you look at the police report, although Jermyn is a small town, Mayfield had about an eighth of the calls that Jermyn answered in 2014. Our Police Department is doing a great job. Mayor Smallacombe thanked all who made the Christmas Show and Christmas Parade a success, Police, Fire Police, the Girls Scouts all who decorated and participated.
The Events Committee had a house lighting contest, out of 900 homes, 265 were decorated. The annual Events Committee dinner will be on February 21 at St. Michaels and awards will be given for service to the Community. Mrs. Wilson reported that the recipients this year are: Volunteer of the Year – John Coleman, Life time Achievement Award – Patricia McMyne and Community Service Award – Katie Hosie. Mrs. Wilson also said Mrs. Hosie is receiving the award not because she serves on Council, but rather for her community service and service to her church. There is a criteria the Events Committee has to follow and there are 25 names submitted for each category and the members vote.
The Mayor said there is a scoreboard missing from the building, things like this should not happen. We have to make a repair and the parts are no longer available and that is why the scoreboard was in storage.
FIRE CHIEF- Fire Chief Rood thanked Channel 16 for the donation of smoke detectors and they will be available in the borough office. He said W.Estile and himself will be going to a seminar at Maywood for drones. The siren at the Artisian is weak, maybe they can lengthen the blow on it. The current siren is from WW11 and perhaps it could be replaced, the firemen have pagers and he will get more information.
Mrs. Hosie said you can hardly hear the siren. Mr. Rood said there used to be four sirens and you could hear one or the other.
PUBLIC INPUT –A. Whitiak, 512 Garfield, 669 Washington addressed council about the budget. He asked what did the borough obtain from the surplus program. Chief Arthur said 100 sleeping bags, tools, wrenches, a Hum-Vee valued at $50,000.00, a compressor, a diesel generator.
Floyd Celli, 642 Washington Avenue said that Attorney Nichols was to look into the problem at the front of his property. Mrs. Hosie said Attorney Nichols isn’t present and she did not know what to tell Mr. Celli.
Chief Arthur thanked Walter Estile for going on the trips for the surplus property, the DPW for unloading all the items. He said in case of a disaster we have sleeping bags, canteens and hope to get cots in the future. He thanked Office McMorrow also. The Chief said the federal surplus brought a lot of money into the borough and that he had to sign for everything and he is accountable. Mrs. Hosie asked that a list of all the items should be in the borough office and thanked Chief Arthur for his hard work. Chief Arthur said there is a $400.00 fee each year to be part of the program, the hum-vee only has 9300 miles on it and will be available to all emergency responders. Mr. Estile said that Chief Arthur’s brother volunteered his time to go to the base, for 10 hours.
Tony Roma, 106 Raymond drive addressed Council about the vacant lot on Riverview Lane, Mr. Roma asked if there is sewer hook up ? The Mayor said yes there is a grinder pump and the lot is clean, everything is removed. Mr. Chase said it is a non-conforming lot and it is more lenient with regulations for setbacks. It was asked if a neighbor spoke to Mr. Roma when he was looking at the property. Mr. Roma said yes, he was very nice, but gave him many reasons not to purchase the lot. Mr. Rood said something needs to be done about the neighbor through our solicitor. He also said the items Chief Arthur has obtained through the Federal surplus program is very valuable if there is a disaster.
FINANCE- A motion was made by J.McDermott, seconded by J.Wilson to pay invoices in the amount of $1,806.55. All members were in favor.
PUBLIC WORKS –W.Estile said Rock Bottom has finished the job at Mr. Celli’s property, there are big ruts in the alley, the project was done two weeks ago without anyone notifying the borough. Mrs. Hosie asked if Mr. Parks looked at the job? Mr. Rood said the borough should have an independent inspector review all projects. Mrs. Wilson said it is common sense for the contractor to contact the borough office and thinks an independent inspector is a good idea.
PUBLIC SAFETY – Mr. Smith said that the Mayor basically has said a lot that I have to comment on. Chief Arthur did a great job the thing I like is that Chief Arthur is pro-active and sometimes we are more reactive than pro-active. So should the borough find themselves in a position where there is some tragedy, I think we are well prepared for it. Thanks to the Chief, Walter, the police department, everyone, I can’t say much more. Just look at the brochure Chief Arthur passes out, it says a lot.
RECREATION- J.Allan reported that Lakeland Basketball has started and the Thursday night league is playing again. The clock is fixed, new parts were made. The Mayor said some residents have shown interest in joining the recreation committee, K.Napoli, D.Marke to help J.Allan out.
ZONING OFFICER- B.Chase said he received a letter from a resident on Hudson Street with concerns about her neighbor perhaps running a business. Mr. Chase stopped by the residence in question and said they are not running a business, all four vehicles are licensed and belong to the homeowner, and there is not a violation. He will send the resident with the concerns a letter, explaining.
JUNIOR COUNCILMAN – B.Swatt asked that Council review the information he gave them concerning the BlackBoard Connection, the cost and how it is set up and asked them to review it. J.Wilson congratulated B.Swatt on finishing second place in the FBLA regionals.
New Business – ORDINANCE FOR LEVYING AND COLLECTION OF TAXES FOR 2015
A motion was made by J.Wilson, seconded by J.Allan to adopt the Ordinance for the Levying and Collection for 2015. All members were in favor.
RESOLUTION FOR TAX ANTICIPATION –A motion was made by J.McDermott, seconded by W.Estile to adopt a resolution authorizing the incurring of a tax anticipation note in the face of $100,000.00 . All members were in favor.
RE-APPOINT WILLIAM ARTHUR- A motion was made by W.Estile, seconded by J.Smith to re-appoint William Arthur as Acting Chief until the next council meeting or if Chief Zellers returns. All members were in favor.
Council was notified of a LCAB dinner on January 15, please let the secretary know.
A motion was made to adjourn by W.Estile, seconded by J.Allan. All members were in favor.
The 2015 Jermyn Borough budget is now available under the information tab.
Jermyn Borough Council met on Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. On roll call the following members were present: J.Wilson, J.McDermott, W.Estile, J.Allan, J.Smith and K. Hosie. B.Parks was absent. Attorney Nicholls and Mayor Smallacombe were in attendance.
MINUTES – A motion was made by J.Allan seconded by J.McDermott to accept the minutes of November 13, 2014. All members were in favor.
FINANCIAL REPORT- W.Estile gave the financial report:
Beginning Balance – $131,971.21
Deposits – $39,550.46
Expenses – $60,770.76
Ending Balance – $ 110,750.91
A motion was made by J.Smith, seconded by J.Allan to accept the financial report as presented. All members were in favor.
At this time President Hosie announced that Brian Swatt our Junior Councilman was appointed ambassador for Lakeland High School.
MAYOR- The Mayor reported our annual Christmas Parade will be at 6:00 on Saturday with refreshments in the gym afterwards. The Christmas Show will be on Sunday at 3:00, decorating will be done tonight and tomorrow, if anyone can help. The tickets are out for the annual dinner at St. Michaels Center on February 21, we also have raffle tickets to sell. The crime watch is selling candy bars, they are $1.00 apiece. The Police Department is collecting donations for the animal shelter, dry dog and cat food and cleaning supplies. The Mayor thanked the Police, Fire Police and Fire Department for the great job with the transformer problem on Washington Avenue. The Historical Society will have their Christmas meeting at Mr. Avery’s on the first Sunday in January. He said the Historical Society received a check from the County to pay for the cost of the band.
FIRE CHIEF- R.Rood reported there was a problem at the scene of the transformer on Washington Avenue, he said the line that was down was a 12,000 volt line and the area was roped off and a resident walked under the tape . Mr. Rood said he tried to stop him but was ignored. He wants the public to know that when an area is roped off too please stand back.
PUBLIC INPUT – A. Whitiak, 512 Garfield, thanked the first responders on the night of the transformer fire and he got a phone call from the Fire Chief which was appreciated. He said that he feels the 5 minutes rule is wrong. He read a quote “We are not to judge all Muslims by actions of a few lunatics, we are encouraged to judge all gun owners by the actions of a few lunatics. It seems we are constantly hearing how social security will run out of money, but we never hear about welfare or food stamps running out of money. “In God WE Trust, when even one American who has done nothing wrong is forced to shut his mind and close his mouth, All Americans are in peril. – Harry Truman
Mr. Smith said as far as the 5 minute rule it has not been passed. K. Hosie said it is in the handbook and it will be enforced in January. Mr. Whitiak said he has looked at the budget and asked if the borough has a business plan? Mrs. Hosie said that’s what the budget is and the department heads are to spend the money wisely. She also explained we will be taking out a $100,000.00 tax anticipation loan and it will be paid back when the taxes come in. Mr. Whitiak said you are throwing good money after bad.
Floyd Celli, 642 Washington Avenue, Mr. Celli said the balance always goes down? Mrs. Hosie said we have more expenses in the winter. Mr. Celli said $110,000.00 isn’t much of a cushion, what can the borough do to raise money? The Mayor said we are one of the few towns with a cushion, we don’t have big business in Jermyn, our only hope might be if a business may come in and develop the land behind Rapid Pallet. Mr. Celli said Mr. Parks came and looked at the front of his building. There is a problem what can be done? He said he fell on ice in his garage and hurt his thumb. He asked if Attorney Nicholls would look into the liability for storm water runoff. Mrs. Hosie said the Mayor spoke to Corey at Rock Bottom and he promised him the work would be done by today. Mrs. Hosie apologized for the delay.
Mr. Smith suggested we give Rock Bottom a deadline.
A motion was made by J.Wilson, seconded by W.Estile to notify Rock Bottom that they have thirty days to do the job and to get three quotes from other contractors. Mr. Rood said he does not want his project done in the winter.
FINANCE- A motion was made by J.McDermott, seconded by J.Smith to approve the invoices in the amount of $7,046.17. All members were in favor.
PUBLIC SAFETY – Mr. Smith said he has spoken to Chief Arthur and he has gone to a government surplus depot and has got equipment for disasters at no cost to the borough. He commended Chief Arthur for doing the research and being pro-active.
Mr. Estile said that Chief Arthur went to the depot today and got 42 sleeping bags, which cost $238.00, a diesel generator worth $24,000.00, a new base radio, and a case of combat boots. These items were obtained at no cost to the borough. Mr. Estile asked if room number 3 can be used to store everything. Chief Arthur is responsible for all the materials and would like to put a lock on the door.
A motion was made by W.Estile, seconded by J.McDermott to allow Chief Arthur use room 3 to store emergency equipment and to have a lock put on the door. All members were in favor.
ZONING OFFICER- Mr. Chase reported said he has found two sheds and two garages without permits and will be working on a complaint.
JUNIOR COUNCILMAN- B.Swatt reported he has been doing research on the blackboard connection as a better form of communication and asked the issue to be put on the agenda for the work session.
2015 BUDGET – A motion was made by W.Estile seconded by J.Allan to adopt the 2015 budget at $675,943.00. All members were in favor.
THIRD PARTY INSPECTOR – A motion was made by J.Wilson seconded by J.Allan to hire BIU and NEIC Inspection Agencies with a verbal change stating that commercial will be negotiated between the third party agency and the owner. All members were in favor.
2015 AUDIT – A motion was made by W.Estile, seconded by J.McDermott to retain Brian Kelly, CPA to do the 2015 audit at a cost of $3,875.00. All members were in favor.
CDBG RESOLUTION – A motion was made to pass a resolution with Lackawanna County CDBG for the paving of Henry Drive at a cost of $100,991.00 by J.Wilson, seconded by J.Smith. All members were in favor.
HISTORICAL SOCIETY – A motion was made by J.McDermott, seconded by J.Smith to extend the deadline for the submission of obligations, regarding the Historical Society having their museum in the DPW garage until April 1 ,2014. All members were in favor.
2015 Budget Ordinance – A motion was made by W.Estile, seconded by J.Allan giving Attorney Nicholls permission to prepare and advertise the ordinance for the 2015 budget. All members were in favor.
Council went into Executive Session for personnel, council reconvened from executive session.
Mrs. Hosie asked for a motion to hire Mark Kilmer as a part time DPW employee. Mr. Smith asked to see his resignation letter, it was stated that he resigned for a better position. A motion was made by J.Wilson, there was not a second to the motion. Motion failed.
TAX ANTICIPATION LOAN – Attorney Nicholls explained that we received one proposal from Peoples Security Bank at 1.59 %, for $100,000.00. The purpose is to get through until tax money starts coming in. A motion was made to accept the proposal from Peoples’ Security Bank for $100,00.00 at 1.59% by J.Allan, seconded by J.Smith. All members were in favor.
A motion was made to give Attorney Nicholls permission to draft the resolution for the TAX Anticipation loan and to advertise by J.Smith, seconded by W.Estile. All members were in favor.
Acting Chief Arthur – A motion was made by J. Smith, seconded by W. Estile to re-appoint William Arthur as Acting Chief until the next council meeting or Chief Zellers returns. All members were in favor.
Mr. Smith suggested it may be time to look at the budget in a different way, he said that over time as we experience different things we learn a lot more about the running of the borough. Walter succeeded in drafting the budget along with James Allan. I think it is time we look at a different way of looking at the budget. My suggestion is what we have been doing, making an analogy, all the tax money goes into a big pot. All that money goes wherever it has to go, Police, DPW, Fire, all different departments. Mr. Smith said the way that the money is going, it is becoming tighter and tighter. We have to be a little more closely guarded in how we watch the money. Whoever is the finance chair next year, I think what we might want to do ,and this is only a suggestion, we might take a look where we fund each budget. Lets say the Police Department has a budget of $100,000.00, each line item underneath it creates that budget of $100,000.00. They would have their own checkbook and that police department would run exclusively by the money that was allotted to the police department. What I see right now, we have the big pot and the money just goes anywhere. So as we get tighter we should be more on target. The DPW has $200,000.00, all line items underneath equal $200,000.00, they should have their own checkbook and that money they spend should go against the $200,000.00 rather than the general pot. I think we should take a look at that. K.Hosie asked if Debbie would still write out the checks. Mr. Smith said yes. The Mayor said bigger towns and the county does it that way. J.Wilson asked why would you have separate checking accounts? Mrs. Hosie said you would not. Mrs. Wilson said perhaps Kelly and John could set up paper accounts. Mr. Smith said the records are very important, accountability is the name of the game but I think what has occurred after doing it for two years, everything that is passed down, this is the way. When you look back at it, sitting in the background and not forefront, I realize that different departments can go way over budget. What happens is that surplus that used to be up there ,they take money out of the surplus and put in the big pot. So now your surplus goes down and the departments are getting more than council realizes. This is my observation and it has been going on forever, people can’t say it is this council or Walter or Joe in charge. Mr. Smith said we better start planning now that the money is not going to be there, we have to stop the bleeding now. I think if we do our budgets in a different way we just might be able to save the day. So whoever is in charge of finance next year might want to take a look at it.
Mayor Smallacombe said there is a contest going on for the best decorated home in Jermyn. There will be four prizes, the donations where from the Windsor, Perk-Up Restaurant, Debbie’s Floral Boutique, Longworths, Art Wilson and the Mayor. The prizes will be awarded after December 28.
Mr. Smith asked why can’t we put LED lights in our wreaths? Mr. Chase said it is an initial expensive cost. Mr. Smith said in the long run, look at the lights that are out right now. Mrs. Stackel said it is a disgrace, Mr. Smith agreed with her. Mr. Estile said Mr. Petch, the electrician is looking into it. Mr. Allan said depending on the size of the bulbs it could be very costly, and Simpson got new decorations and they were $500.00 a piece, he said the current wreaths were purchased by a drive. Mrs. Stackel said the DPW should be checking the bulbs before putting them up.
A motion was made to adjourn by J.Allan, seconded by W.Estile, All members were in favor.