Council Minutes – November 13 2014


Jermyn Borough Council met on Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. The following members were present: J.Wilson, W.Estile, J.Allan,and K.Hosie. J.McDermott, J.Smith, R.Parks and Attorney Nicholls were absent. Mayor Smallacombe was in attendance.

The October minutes will be voted on at the December 11, 2014 meeting.

FINANCIAL REPORT – W.Estile gave the financial report:

Beginning Balance – $167,472.54
Deposits                 – $42,657.11
Expenses               – $78,158.45
Ending Balance     – $ 131,971.20

A motion was made by J.Wilson seconded by J.Allan to accept the financial report as presented. All members were in favor.

MAYOR – Mayor Smallacombe reported that the police have written 7,000 incidents so far this year. The Fire Police are doing an excellent job, they are at marathons, events at the building and accidents, their work is appreciated. The police have been doing truck enforcement on Rushbrook Street, house watches and stop signs in East Jermyn. The Mayor said he has not received any complaints about the police department.

At this time Chief Arthur addressed council, he thanked the Fire Police for all of their assistance, thanked DPW for putting in the crosswalks, they recently had a bike accident and it was clearly defined because of the crosswalk. He thanked the DPW for repairing a storm drain at Jefferson and Rushbrook Street. He thanked the Crime Watch for purchasing a new PBT and trauma kits for each officer. He said that he and Officer McMorrow went to Mechanicsburg to look at the Federal Surplus warehouse. Chief Arthur said there is a yearly administrative fee, but there is no charge for any items. He said he would like to get items for a disaster shelter, cots, generators and sleeping bags.

The Mayor said he attended the Crime Watch meeting, they have plans for next year and appointed officers and are planning on having speakers at their meetings. The Veterans Day Celebration was a big success, Jermyn has one of the biggest in the County and thanked all who came out. The Historical Society open house was good and Mr. Avery puts a lot of work into it. The Events Committee will have their annual dinner on February 21 to honor citizens. The Mayor said we will be having a house decorating contest, asking for donations for prizes, the Windsor Inn and Art Wilson said they would give gift certificates. The winner will be announced at the Christmas Show on December 14.

PAVING LOAN – A motion was made by J.Wilson, seconded by W.Estile to have the secretary contact lending institutions to obtain the annual cost of a paving loan for $200,000.00, $250,000.00 and $300,000.00. All members were in favor.

FIRE CHIEF – Chief Rood said the two companies are working together well and they had a class for fire police to hook up to the hydrants and may definitely be an asset.

PUBLIC INPUT – Floyd Celli, 642 Washington Avenue addressed council saying that Rock Bottom will be dropping off equipment at his business and R.Roods’ residence. He asked council if an arcade is going into the tattoo place. Council had no knowledge of the issue. Mr. Celli said the building where the tattoo place was has no parking? And if it’s vacant for a year, can another business go in at that location? The Mayor said it is grandfathered in unless there is a permit issued by Zoning, it is a commercial zone. Mr. Celli said parking is difficult on Washington and the tenant’s park for extended periods of time. The Mayor said we can’t do anything about it, parking has always been a problem. Mr. Celli addressed the water issue at the front of his building coming over the sidewalks. Penn Dot said they are only responsible from curb face to curb face and it is the Borough’s problem. The Mayor said the borough is responsible for cleaning the drains and he went out during the last bad rain storm and not one drop of water came off the sidewalks. Mr. Celli said he has wasted another four months, the erosion comes from water and in the winter it will be ice and a liability. Mr. Celli said the borough is responsible.

Mr. A.Whitak, 669 Washington Avenue, Mr. Whitiak said he understands what Mr. Celli is going through, he has had a water problem for 13 years it is a skating rink and council never went after the guy. K.Hosie asked Mr. Whitiak to remember that none of us were on council at the time. Mr.Whitiak said Mr. Celli is trying to improve a rat infested property, to make it a nice building. Mayor Smallacombe said that we appreciate that. J.Wilson asked that we move on, property owners got new sidewalks and the green way does take some of the water. Mr. Whitiak said in July the borough had $198,490.56, today we have $131,971.00, he said we are going broke, losing $20,000.00 a month. K. Hosie said we are now looking into borrowing funds to pave streets, it is a long process as the borough has to get state approval. She explained the borough is going to obtain a Tax Anticipation loan for the first time to keep the borough going and will be paid off in April when taxes come in. Mr. Whitiak inquired about the 2015 budget, Mrs. Hosie said the final budget will be adopted at the December meeting and Mr. Whitiak can get a copy of the proposed budget at the borough office.

Michelle Burns Lackawanna County addressed council about some events going on, Festival Of Trees, December 12 to December 31, no tax increase for the county and asked residents to check the county web site for other happenings.

INVOICES – A motion was made by J.Wilson seconded by J.Allan to pay invoices in the amount of $5,642.59. All members were in favor.

RECREATION – Mr. Allan reported that practice will start in December and the league will start in January.

Mrs. Wilson said 12 trees were planted on Delaware Street and thanked The Events Committee, Council, Police, Fire Police and the Fire Companies for their assistance at the Veterans Day Celebration.

JUNIOR COUNCILMAN -B.Swatt asked if anything needs to be done in town as he is going for Eagle Scout? Mr. Estile said there are weeds here at the building and at the park. Mrs. Wilson said there will be work around the trees, planting grass, you would have to organize it.

A motion was made by W.Estile seconded by J.Allan to select two third party Inspection Agencies to provide a choice to the owner /developer said two third party agencies being NEIC and BIU conditioned on: The fees for any building in excess of 20,000 sq. ft. net floor area shall be negotiated between the third party agency and the Borough of Jermyn’s designated appointee. Further Ray Rood, Bob Chase and/or Dennis Kutch be allowed to negotiate these and any other terms. They deem fit into each of the each of the two third party agency proposals. All members were in favor.

PART TIME DPW EMPLOYEES – A motion was made by J.Wilson, seconded by W.Estile to hire Karl Desanto as a part-time DPW employee at $10.00 an hour. On roll call the motion passed 3 to 1 with K.Hosie abstaining because of ongoing friendship with the DESanto family.

A motion was made by W.Estile, seconded by J.Allan to hire Stephen White as a part time DPW employee at $10.00 an hour. All members were in favor.

A motion was made by J.Wilson, seconded by W.Estile to hire Robert Chase as a part time DPW employee at $10.00 an hour. On roll call the motion passed 3 to 1 with K. Hosie abstaining because a family member works for Robert Chaase.

A.J.Fuga Fire Calls – A motion was made by J.Allan, seconded by W.Estile to allow and compensate A.J.Fuga to assist with a confirmed fire in Jermyn or Mayfield, normal working hours only. All members were in favor.

TAX ANTICIPATION LOAN   – A motion was made by J.Wilson, seconded by J.Allan to authorize the Borough Manager, Deborah Morcom to send as many letters as necessary to local banks to request proposals for a 2015 Tax Anticipation Loan in the amount of $100,000.00 which would mature on December 31, 2015. All members were in favor.

STC Request – A motion was made by W.Estile, seconded by J.Wilson to allow the STC to use the borough parking lot on December 1. All members were in favor.

Re-Appoint William Arthur – A motion was made by W.Estile, seconded by J.Allan to re-appoint William Arthur as Police Chief until the next meeting or Chief Zellers returns. All members were in favor.

Mr. Allan said there are 172 players on the basketball league and the first game is January 3rd.

Mayor Smallacombe asked if he could look into getting a grant for a mural for the Borough hallway, Council so agreed.

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

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