Nuangola Ends 2013 With Balanced Budget, Sewer Debt

As Nuangola hosted its final meeting of the year on December 23rd, Councilor Mike Johnson, poised to start his first elected term, presented a balanced borough budget of $199,875.

Although a copy was not available, Finance Chairman Johnson reported that the present version has only minor changes from that first viewed in November.

Regarding revisions, he reported, “I am just going to read the items we’ve changed since the first reading…We have increased the income side –the Realty Tax to a total of $15,000. We have reduced the Community Development Grant to $0 because we don’t know if we are going to get it.”

The board increased the contribution to the fire department, the zoning officer’s wage to $2,400, the sewage enforcement officer’s wage was slashed from $10,000 to $5,000, he said, “because most of the work that he has been doing [relating to the sewer project] was done in 2013.”

Minority councilor, returning for a third four year term, Regina Plodwick challenged the propriety of the budget advertising, however Solicitor John G. Dean assured that the regulations had been met.

Financial analysis on the controversial lake-side community’s sewer plan was presented by outgoing councilman Ted Vancosky who will continue to serve as the Sewer Authority’s Treasurer. Vancosky contributed a ‘to date’ advisory to council on the costs of the sewer project. He cautioned his colleagues that Council might be called to secure funding in the future, due to the delay in installation of functional systems at this point.

He said that fiscal projections on repaying the massive $9 million loan/ grant from USDA were predicated on having a fully functional and paying system in place by the expiration of contractor Wexcon’s contract in the Fall of 2013.

Having a segment of homes not even hooked up yet, Vancosky said, “the Phase 2 people won’t get a bill from the Mountaintop Area Joint Sanitary Authority until March. So we won’t have the income we expected by then.”

Vancosky said the payments to the MAJSA, which totals $69 per month -with $16 for usage and $53 to pay back the USDA loans -was based on income from borough-wide user fees before the end of 2013. He indicated that he feels that the MAJSA treated the borough very well on the pricing.

Vancosky also noted the quality of the construction conducted along state roads as opposed to the condition of borough roads, “When you drive on Nuangola Road, you can’t even tell a sewer system was installed,” compared to the state of the local roads.

In conclusion, he expressed his appreciation for the education he received working with council and the opportunity to contribute to his community.

Picking up on the theme of the road conditions, Roadmaster Joseph Tucker reported that a segment of Willow Grove Avenue required immediate repairs recently, “A crater opened up. This is a section where bi-directional drilling blew out the road. This a temporary fix, but this is right where the sewer authority was working.”

Tucker asked Sewer Authority President Ray Shirk who was present at the meeting to inform the contractor, Wexcon, that reimbursement to the borough will be expected.

This was not the only location in the borough where repairs are needed, it was advised. Recycling Committee

See Nuangola page 4