Next month’s meeting has been rescheduled to allow for 30 days’ notice for citizens to review the proposed budget before it is adopted. The next council meeting will be held at 7 p. m. Monday, Dec. 18. The proposed budget is posted on the doors of the borough building for public inspection.
In other business, Thomas read aloud a letter from Dorrance Township supervisors seeking a meeting with local municipal officials and emergency personnel to discuss a shortage of volunteer firefighters and emergency service workers throughout the region. Tucker noted a meeting had already been held, and he had attended along with about 30 to 40 people from neighboring townships. But no solutions came out of the meeting.
“We don’t know how to fix that problem, and we don’t want to find out what the government will do if we can’t handle our [fire and EMS] calls,” he said.
Councilman Mark Gandzyk agreed, noting his research indicates it would cost each resident about $500 per year in tax increases to switch from volunteers to a professional fire department.
Gandzyk, who said at over age 40 he is one of the borough’s junior firefighters, said the problem is not only volunteers but also finances. Fewer than 50 percent of borough households contribute any money when the fire department sends out its annual appeal for donations, he said.
“That’s a slap in the face to the people getting up at 3 a. m. to answer calls,” Tucker said.
Gandzyk also noted the township has 679 residents, and the fire department has fewer than 10 people running it.
“We need to come together and support the fire department more than we are, or we’ll all pay,” Tucker said.
Discussed delinquent garbage
collection accounts. Thomas said she had sent out a letter to all residents who hadn’t paid their bills. Councilwoman Carolyn Lauer said Thomas should have sent out the letters earlier because of the holiday season. Thomas countered that she must wait until the penalty phase ends. Councilwoman Regina Plodwick proposed changing the timing of billing to require that all bills be paid by the end of July, which would bump the penalty phase earlier.
Council left the billing schedule as is. Gandzyk said, “I’m not worried about ruining someone’s holiday by reminding them to pay their bills.”
Lauer said it’s not fair to those who do pay their bills to leave some accounts delinquent because costs could go up for everyone.
“That’s the fun of running a municipality,” Gandzyk said. “Some people aren’t going to pay” no matter when they’re billed.
Discussed recycling. By December, the borough’s recycling center will stop its usual Saturday hours, Gandzyk said. Until then, leaves will still be accepted.
For next year, council will need to discuss how to operate recycling, Gandzyk said, proposing that perhaps the borough could buy a small wood chipper or leaf shredder and turn yard waste into mulch that residents could take home to use.
Heard a planning commission
report noting that two planning commission members will need to be appointed in 2018.
Voted to switch from Peters Bottled Gas to Modern Gas Sales for the borough’s propane.
Voted to buy two fire
extinguishers and refill the township’s remaining extinguishers at a maximum cost of $500.