Vancosky replied, “So now you won’t let me speak,” and departed.
Later, Councilor and Authority member Mike Johnson reported that agreement has been reached for a third party collection agency to initiate proceedings on noncompliant residents. “We are engaging a law firm, Portnoff Law Associates, to handle the collection activity for the authority. There will be no cost to the authority. The costs will be passed on to any residents as it is now with any lien that is filed. That will got into effect almost immediately.
“They will allow for payment plans in hardship cases; the final remedy is foreclosure,” Johnson explained. “I’m told that out of 60,000 accounts, less than one-percent of them actually ends up being listed for Sheriff Sale and less than that actually goes to a Sheriff Sale. When they get involved, people realize it’s time to pay or lose the house.”
The authority, he noted, believes that collecting any delinquent fees could result in lowering the current $78 per month fees next year.
Johnson added his request for council to reconsider the eviction notice to the authority, stating that relocation and rental expenses will naturally add more costs for residents.
Kochan and Vice President Joseph Tucker asked how much longer the authority will be needed. “It will depend upon at what point Mountaintop Sewer Authority will take us over,” Johnson reported, noting that the Nuangola Authority is following MAJSA’s lead, “We adopted their method of assessing…”
“As far as changing the fees,” Councilman Mark Gandzyk contributed, “I seem to recall that that was up to council. I think the sewer authority proposes it, but it’s approved through council. I’m basing that on when I was on council long ago when this was just starting.” Johnson said he will need to
consult with Nuangola Sewer Authority Solicitor Bob Gonos. “Is he going to charge us under $10,000 to do that,” Gandzyk asked sarcastically. “I don’t believe so,” Johnson answered. “Well he charged us something like $5,000 for a phone call. I’m starting to think that the rest of this money will be just going into his pocket.”
Council did fill the 2 vacancies on the Authority, appointing Councilor Michelle Zawoiski who volunteered, and pleading with retired Authority member Sally DiRico to return. After demurring several times, DiRico agreed–providing council allows the Authority to retain the office space in the borough building.
A lengthy discussion ensued regarding replacing a boro truck. In April, Kochan reported on a new dump truck package he had speced out with a state contracted vendor. Council members balked at the price tag approaching $70,000, agreeing instead to seek used truck options.
Kochan returned in May with another new truck package, quoted out around $55,000.
In the long discussion that followed, Kochan defended his selections on the vehicle stating that the basic chassis is one price and adding the dump box, plow and spreader equipment is all under state pricing.
Gandzyk asked to see the specs several times, with Kochan pushing for a vote on the proposal to ensure the delivery before the Fall. In frustration, Gandzyk blurted, “I’m not voting for anything I haven’t seen the specs for.” Kochan shot back, fine then keep the current truck. Gandzyk asked how it got in such terrible shape. Eventually it was decided to create a truck committee look into all options. Gandzyk volunteered to serve on the committee.