Budget/Legislative Meeting – January 21, 2016

UNOFFICAL UNTIL FEBRUARY 11, 2016

Jermyn Borough Council met on Thursday, January 21, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. for a budget/legislative meeting.On roll call the following members were present: J.Mark, K.Napoli, D.Markey, J.wilson, J.Smith and F.Kulick. B.Parks , B.Smallcombe and Attorney Nichols were absent.

President Kulick stated the main purpose of the meeting was to amend the budget. Mr. Kulick directed council to a letter of his objectives:

Move items into proper category.
Reduce some budget items based on history/economy.
Move most misc items to proper charge center.
Better manage overtime.
Manage budget on a monthly budget.
Utilize available funds.
Start planning now for next year budget.
Department/committee chairs must oversee expenses.

Mr. Kulick suggested that the Zoning officers 2016 budget figure be raised to 1,750.00 from 1000.00, and the free monthly tank of gas be eliminated.

Mr. Smith said he had no idea that the zoning officer got a free tank of gas monthly and agrees we have to get rid of misc items. Mr. Kulick explained that the zoning officer gets paid the cost of the permit and will get $750.00 more, removing the monthly tank of gas. Mr. Kulick pointed out that he lowered the Attorneys and engineers 2016 budget amount, and the overtime for the Chief has to be managed. D.Markey said the Chief was short staffed. Mr. Kulick said we have to look into having three or four-part time officers who can fill shifts and perhaps we can pay them more and they will not work other departments who have a higher hourly wage. Mr. Kulick said he has a personal concern about the Chief working the overtime shift in Olyphant and coming to Jermyn for the day shift. Mr. Markey said he does not know about making the Chief salaried, with the FOB decision. Mr. Mark said years ago it was up to the officer giving up the shift to find a replacement? Mrs. Wilson said we need a public safety meeting to discuss issues. Mr. Smith noted that the Chief’s wages were $7,000.00 over the budget? Mr. Napoli said we could use the amount of Chef’s overtime and give it to part timers. Mr. Markey suggested comp days? Mr. Smith said it is illegal.

Mr. Markey said he doesn’t understand why it costs more to heat the DPW garage than the borough building? The secretary said it may need to be insulated. Mr. Kulick asked why does it have to be heated, he said we will have to look at the garage. Mr. Markey said that T.Fuga said he can use his personal phone and could the borough give him a monthly stipend of $15.00.Mr. Mark said we purchased new radios, why can’t they use them? Mr. Markey said he will look into it. It was noted that the William Walker donation was not paid in 2014 and 2015. Mr. Smith said we made an obligation and we should live up to it. It was agreed to send William Walker $3,000.00 for 2014,2015 and 2016. Mr. Kulick said that 25% of the LST tax is supposed to go to the fire companies but since we give a donation, it is ok.

The issue of the water for the hydrants came up and it would be cost savings to have meters on them.

D.Markey said the budget for the lights in the field was $1500.00 and we spent $2210.00. Mr. Napoli said that PPL has led lighting and they have grants for conversion. Mr. Hollow is the new treasurer for Jermyn Youth and Sports and would like copies of the May and June electric bills and they will make a contribution.

Mr. Markey asked if the churches make a payment in lieu of taxes? The secretary said no, just the Housing Authority. Mr. Markey asked how many years were left on the Bridge Street loan, Mr. Smith said two.

Mr. Kulick said that people want change, and he doesn’t think we are in such bad shape. He proposed that this year we do not raise mileage and use this year’s liquid fuels money, $40,000.00 toward street lights, $10,000.00 toward dpw wages, year end balance in liquid fuels of $30,690.00. Use $21,227 of capital impr fund to pay bridge loan payment ,will leave balance of $20,914.00 in cap imp fund . Following the above plan leaves 2016 expenses at $528,204.00 with projected revenue of $529,424.00 ,with a beginning balance of $55,284 in general fund and $24,116.00 in recycling fund, we will have a necessary cushion for any unexpected expenses and also enough cushion to not need tax anticipation loan although the loan is already in the process. Mr. Mark said we can always pay it right back and if not the interest is $1,000.00. Mr. Smith said there are concerns about funds during the first three months of 2016.

It was said that we need to have streets paved and now is the time to do it. Mr. Smith said we cannot do the whole town; it would cost over a million dollars.

Mr. Lou Demarco asked if the submitted pave cut ordinance was ever looked over? Mr. Smith said that Lou assisted with talking to the water company and it can save a lot of money. He also said that there was not a plan for maintaining the roads and now with T.Fuga on dpw ,we are moving in that direction.

Mr. Mark said we are not mandated to recycle 40 percent of the budget goes for recycling, perhaps we can pay dpw out of recycling.

Mr. Kulick said the main street lights are an eyesore, we have to find a way to fix and maintain them. Mrs. Wilson said she presented a letter concerning the lights, we can change to led and the dpw said they can do it and J.Allan said he would help them. Mrs. Wilson said a van like Archbald’s would be the best solution, tools can be kept in the van and the dpw can use the van sometimes instead of the big trucks.

Mr. Smith said the reason the budget never works in Jermyn is because everyone wants something and it is not in the budget. It doesn’t work because input is not put in the budget. Mr. Smith mentioned that our share of the Rushbrook Street project is $80,000.00 for relocating the utilities. Mr. Kulick said he had no knowledge of this cost and all council people should have a copy of the Creek Project agreement. It was mentioned that a creek and bridge committee should be appointed. Mr. Mark said that the borough will be responsible for cutting the vegetation in the creek when the project is completed.

Mr. DeMarco said if you have any questions about the creek to contact Larry West, he has a lot of information. Mrs. Wilson said if you are going to set up a creek committee to put K.Hosie on it she has all the figures. Mr. Napoli suggested to have Larry West speak to council. Mr. Markey suggested setting up a savings account for the creek expenses, we have to budget for 2016. Mr. Kulick said he thinks there should be a town hall meeting with all parties involved, DEP, county, etc..

Mrs. Wilson said a reasonable price for the cost of the main street lights would be approximately $3,100.00 and a van $5,000.00. Mr. Kulick suggested setting the cost at $10,000.00, perhaps we can use the money from recycling.

AMENDED BUDGET – A motion was made by K.Napoli, seconded by D.Markey to pass the amended budget with no tax increase ( copy on file in borough office for review). All members were in favor.

2016 MILLAGE – A motion was made by D.Markey seconded by K.Napoli to have no tax increase in 2016 and keep millage at 30. All members were in favor.

GARBAGE FEE 2016 – A motion was made by D.Markey, seconded by J.Wilson to lower the garbage fee for 2016 to $165.00. All members were in favor.

RESCIND THE MOTION FOR 5 MIL INCREASE – A motion was made to rescind the motion to add 5 mils to the tax base for illumination by J.Wilson, seconded by D.Markey. All members were in favor.

RECREATION COMMITTEE REQUEST – A motion was made by K.Napoli seconded by J.Smith, to allow the recreation committee to use the first room on the left in the borough buildings, second floor ,with keys given to the secretary and dpw. All members were in favor.

Mr. Napoli said M.Parry is looking into having the gym painted and repairing gym floor, he will get prices.

Mr. Markey asked that explanations be put on the invoice list of what was purchased.

Mr. Mark suggested that the committees meet and get the needs from the departments.

Mr. DeMarco said the borough needs to generate revenues and they need to update the paving ordinance. Geo Science can be retained ,and be on site to check all pave cuts. Mrs. Wilson said the ordinance was given to KBA to look at and to Attorney Nichols. Mr. Mark said we always notify utilities when we are paving.

Mr. Smith asked D.Markey to follow up on a creek committee.

A motion to adjourn was made by D.Markey, seconded by J.Wilson. All members were in favor.

Comments are closed.