Council Minutes – July 10 2014


Jermyn Borough Council met on Thursday, July 10, 2014. On roll call the following members were present: J.Wilson, J.McDermott, W.Estile, J.Smith and K.Hosie. J.Allan and B.Parks were absent. Attorney Nicholls and Mayor Smallacombe were in attendance.

MINUTES  –  A motion was made by W.Estile, seconded by J.Smith to accept the minutes of June 12,2014. All members were in favor.

FINANICAL REPORT   -W.Estile gave the financial report:
Beginning Balance –  $194,808.64
Deposits                    – $49,834.20
Expenses                   -$ 46,152.28
Ending Balance         – $ 198,490.56

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 Smallacombe reported the police have had 4,605 incidents this year. The department was awarded a seat belt grant for $1,500.00, which added sixty hours of additional police protection. The department is trying to keep atv’s off the streets and are patrolling the field. The Events Committee will meet this Sunday at 6:00 p.m. and the Historical Society at 7:30. The annual Concert in the Park will be on July 20, the Scranton police dogs will be there at 5:30 to perform tasks. Lackawanna County will be hosting a Family Fun Day at Aylesworth on July 12th and Art in the Park on July 22 also at Aylesworth. Chief Arthur asked if the beach at Aylesworth was open? Mr. Smallacombe said he did not know, he read they were having trouble staffing lifeguards. At this time Mr. Smallacombe read a letter of recommendation for Chief Arthur from a Mr. James Vitaletti thanking the Chief for all he has done for his aunt. Mr. Smallacombe informed Council he will no longer be performing weddings. He said he will be meeting with Pocono Pothole Patcher Saturday morning at 7:30, to look over the roads and for suggestions. The National Night Out will be on August 12th, the committee has worked hard and asked all to come out and support.

PUBLIC INPUT – A. Whitiak, 512 Garfield Avenue informed council of Rolling Thunder coming through town on July 20th. W. Estile asked what time they will be passing through Jermyn. Mr. Whitiak said they usually contact the Chief, but it is usually around 12:15. Mr. Whitiak said he read the minutes and saw the problems Mr. Celli is having with Bureau Veritas. He said in December there were several complaints about the company and they have been fired from Jessup, Olyphant and Throop. Mrs. Hosie said Attorney Nicholls is looking into it. Mr. Whitiak said the company has cost himself and Mr. Celli money, you need to keep the businesses’ in town and not chasing them out. Mr. Whitiak said the roads are horrible and he believed it was discussed to borrow funds. K. Hosie said to satisfy the present loan we have $12,000.00 in the general fund from the sale of the old recycling truck, $22,541.00 from the recycling fund and $ 6,000.00 from liquid fuels, a total of $40,541.00 which is the ending balance for the current paving loan. Mr. Whitiak said the $9,000.00 in the budget for ammo is still bothering him. Mr. Whiitak said back to the paving loan, how long is the process? Attorney Nicholls said the process has to be approved by the Commonwealth, it could be early fall, as we have to have engineering estimates, advertising  and  the bidding . Mr. Whitiak asked Mr. Smallacombe about the pothole company. Mr. Smallacombe said they clean the holes and fill with 1-B gravel or asphalt, that seals it. It is not a permanent fix. Mr. Whitiak said the alley behind his business is bad. K.Hosie said perhaps by the spring we will be ready to pave.

Floyd Celli, 642 Washington Avenue, thanked the borough secretary for calling him the next day after the last meeting. He said at the last meeting someone was supposed to come and look at the alley behind his property? Mr. Estile said the meeting was cancelled, we were going to have a finance meeting in the morning and than go look at your property, because of a death we cancelled the finance meeting and the other meeting got cancelled also. Mr. Celli asked what does that have to do with coming over to look at the alley? Mr. Estile said we didn’t look at it, it was cancelled, it is very hard to get people together to go look at it. I am not even on the roads, you should be addressing  maybe Joe should be taking this over. I can’t get in touch with Bob and I am in the middle of trying to do something.

Mr Celli said he is just trying to get help, my tools will be frozen to the garage floor again, it will be another month again. K.Hosie asked the secretary to get hold of B.Parks tomorrow. Mayor Smallacombe said he will go down to look at it. Mr. Celli said it’s an easy fix there’s a hump of dirt there, just pick it up.

Mr. Celli asked Attorney Nicholls about the Bureau Veritas contract if it can be terminated or are we stuck until December. Mr. Nicholls said from what he found out from Debbie they are not here and that is a violation. I can put them on notice that we are cancelling, but there is an arbitration clause and could cost the borough a lot of money. Mr. Nicholls asked Mr. Cellie who is giving him the requirements?  Mr. Celli said Ty Dodge , the inspector. He said he has been waiting three months for a building permit, T. Dodge said he needs stamped drawings, a big expense. Mr. Celli said it is getting old  and I can’t do anything for another month. Mr. Nicholls asked Debbie to call him with T. Dodge’s  and B. Chase’s phone numbers. Mr. Nicholls obtained Mr. Celli’s phone number to keep him informed.

FINANCE –  A motion was made by J. McDermott, seconded by J.Wilson to pay invoices in the amount of $2919.06. All members were in favor.

PUBLIC WORKS –  K.Hosie read a letter of resignation form DPW employee Mark Kilmer. A motion was made by W.Estile, seconded by J.Wilson to accept the letter of resignation with regret. All members were in favor. K.Hosie said his last physical day is Thursday, a personal day on Friday and a weeks’ vacation.


ALTERNATE PARKING ORDINANCE – A motion was made to adopt the Alternate Parking Ordinance by W.Estile, seconded by J.McDermott (copy on file in borough office). All members were in favor.

HERITAGE VALLEY -Attorney Nicholls addressed the letter from the Lackawanna Heritage requesting a maintenance fee be placed in the 2015 budget for $2,898.00. The contract we signed with them  requires them to maintain the easement. Mr. Nicholls said the letter says 0.69 miles of trail and he thought it was 50’ x 120’. Mr. Nicholls said he would write to them concerning the discrepancy. A motion was made by J.Wilson authorizing Attorney Nicholls to send Lackawanna Heritage Valley a letter inquiring into the discrepancy, seconded by J. Smith. All members were in favor.


PAVING PROPOSAL  -K. Hosie explained again where the Borough can get the funds to pay off the existing paving loan.  She explained we have to do some paving and we can get a new contract without having to pay on an existing loan. She explained our liquid fuels allocation this year was $49,941.00, next year $54,759.00 and the year after $62,066. Mrs. Katie asked for a motion to satisfy the loan. Mr. Smith asked what are the other options? Mrs. Hosie said there are no other options, our roads are going to keep on deteriorating. Mr. Smith said if you take the money you are proposing, $12,000 from recycling truck, $22,541.00 from recycling fund, the only concern I have cash wise is your leaving the Borough pretty bare bones. Now it seems that the roads are without a doubt number one priority. We can only take out enough money, if we don’t cover that loan, we already have. That would be less money we could take out. The option I see that would be a possibility would be, next year, when everything goes through, we have the Liquid Fuels money come in, we can pay off the loan without taking everything the borough has. Mrs. Hosie said if we do that the roads won’t get done until the following year. The question I have can we not move on that faster and than wait for the loan pay off and get all the work bidded and everything else? Attorney Nicholls said do not pay it off yet until we get ready to file with the state, get everything in place, the bids ready to go out , once you accept the bids than pay it off. That could be three or four months away, than apply to the state and a zero balance on the loan.

Mayor Smallacombe suggested an engineering study of the roads, including posting roads for heavy truck traffic and the bonding of roads.

J.Smith said we need to set up a meeting with Dennis Kutch, so everyone is on the same page, explaining what we want to do with the roads. A lot of  the time the roads have been disturbed by contractors, utility companies and I think the fine is only $25.00 or something, I’m not exactly sure. Mr. Smith said he thinks we have to look at the  fines and we have to have Dennis there when the actual work is done, to make sure that the work is done correctly and the road is satisfactory, before anything else can go on.

Mr. Smith said he thinks it is a wise move to have Council meet with Dennis and explain all the things we have explained tonight. Mr. Smith asked the secretary if we have been denied grants that we have applied for yet. Mrs. Morcom said we applied for paving  Henry Drive and the 700 block of Madison Avenue and  have  not heard anything yet , it will probably take months . She said she will call Lackawanna County Community Development to try to get a timeline.

K.Hosie said the secretary was instructed to apply for a grant to have the 400 block of Jefferson and the borough parking lot paved. She suggested we just apply for the parking lot and include the 400 block of Jefferson in the paving project, as a grant is not a guarantee.  The secretary said the estimate for the parking lot is close to $100,000.00 . Mr. Smith said as far as he is concerned the parking lot can stay the way it is.  The secretary explained that if we apply for the Monroe Gaming Grant for the 400 block of Jefferson Avenue and the parking lot, these grants will not be awarded until February. B.Smallacombe will speak to Dennis Kutch on his own and the secretary will contact D.Kutch and ask him to be at the work session.

HUMANE SOCIETY –  A motion was made by J. Wilson, seconded by W.Estile to give the Humane Society a $100.00 donation . All members were in favor. K.Hosie said that the police department will be holding a fund drive for the Humane Society asking for supplies, dog and cat food, which can be dropped off at the borough building.

LETTER FROM GENE DOUD  – A letter was read from a Mr. Gene Doud asking if the borough would be interested  in the vacant property located at 701- 703 Washington Avenue. J.Wilson said the Shade Tree offered him $10,000.00  and he turned it down, he wanted $40,000.00. Mr. Smith said the borough is not in the property business.

A motion was made by J.Wilson, seconded by J.Smith to have a letter written to Mr. Doud informing him that the borough is  not interested in the property. All members were in favor.

RE-APPOINT WILLIAM  ARTHUR –  A motion was made by J. Smith, seconded by W.Estile to re-appoint William Arthur as Acting Chief until the next meeting or if Chief Zellers comes back. All members were in favor.

Council went into executive session, council  reconvened from executive session.

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

4 Replies to “Council Minutes – July 10 2014”

  1. fzfzfz

    according to joe smith, the number one priority is fixing the roads.
    r u kidding me? and this guy is part of the safety team in Jermyn?
    no wonder the rushbrook creek project is not completed after 11 years. hate to tell you joe smith, the number 1 priority in Jermyn is the rushhbrook creek flood project. when the ambulance does not have to take an alternate route just to get to Lincoln, Roosevelt and Garfield avenues, when the school children and adults don’t have to walk in traffic then you can fix the roads joe.

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