ALBURTIS BOROUGH COUNCIL Boy Scouts with Troop 86 have questions for council
Alburtis Borough Council had special guests at their meeting Aug. 29 eight Boy Scouts from Alburtis Troup 86 and their Scoutmaster Steve Mehl.
Twice a year, the Scouts visit government functions to earn their First Class Communications Merit Badge. As the meeting opened, the boys saluted the flag during the Pledge of Allegiance and requested anyone not in uniform to put their right hand over their heart during the pledge. President Steve Hill welcomed the boys and invited them to ask questions of council.
Council was asked how old an American citizen has to be to own a firearm. Solicitor David Knerr responded by saying it varies, depending upon where you live.
The Scouts wanted to know what Alburtis does with the tax money and asked why there are taxes.
Mayor Robert Mader told the Scouts the biggest expense for Alburtis is the police department. Money is also used to pay wages, water and sewer, street repairs, maintain ball fields and for other expenses in the borough.
"Everything costs money," Knerr said, even salt for snow removal.
"We sell public services," President Steve Hill said. "The borough gets money in different ways. Property taxes, earned income taxes, (half goes to the school district), real estate transfer tax, water and sewer and trash collection are our main sources of revenue."
The Scouts wondered if the borough could stop tractor-trailer trucks from coming through Alburtis. Mader said the borough erected a large sign to direct the trucks the right way to turn and stop them from turning the wrong way. Mader said both he and the police chief have visited the warehouses and talked with the men about the problem so they can direct their drivers; however, the borough cannot stop trucks from driving through Alburtis. "They pay taxes and we have to let them go through," Mader said.
Scouts seemed to be interested in the mayor's job by asking the qualifications. They were told the minimum age is 18 and the person must be a resident of Alburtis for one year and registered to vote.
In other business, council received four bids for the sale of the borough's 1997 International truck, including Devino Trucks and Parts, Newark, N.J., bid $2,688; Creative Landscapes Inc., Bethlehem, bid $17,500; Mike Veneziano, Bellefonte, bid $7,102 and K.C. Stoves and Fire Places, Alburtis, bid $18,978.90. Bidding was set to start at $20,000. Because their bid was close to $20,000, council awarded the sale of the truck to K.C. Stoves and Fire Places.
Dave Tettemer, of Keystone Consulting Engineers, discussed with council the possibility of reducing the cost of roadwork to be done at Third Street following a lengthy discussion of requirements and their options. Council requested the engineer prepare plans and bids for the borough to do the milling and paving themselves to cut back on the cost of this project.
Work to be done at Chestnut and Walnut streets near the school was discussed. To cut costs, council decided the borough maintenance crew will do as much of the work as they can and hire contractors to do the curbs, handicapped ramps and other work to begin in spring of 2013. In the meantime, council continues to plan these projects.
Council authorized Executive Secretary Sharon Trexler to sign the Church Street contract and passed a motion to authorize Donny Derr to go ahead with the work on Church Street.
Council authorized the maintenance department to replace one or more of the four fire hydrants that need to be replaced.
Councilperson Kyle Bower has prepared the hockey rink for painting and it is temporarily closed awaiting delivery of the paint. Bower suggested the rink be named Walbert's Park because they were the previous owners of that property and they donated it to the borough. Council approved naming the rink Walbert's Park. As soon as the paint arrives, the rink will be painted and Bower said he would like to have a grand opening when it is finished.
Mader reported he attended a safety meeting and the police department would like an SUV so he is looking into it because it has been a few years since a vehicle has been purchased. The firefighters would like to have the old police car to use for running errands and other needs.
The firefighters have started publishing a newsletter of their calls, events and future activities and fundraisers. The firefighters' upcoming fundraisers are the community yard sale and soup sale Sept. 15, open house Oct. 6 and comedy night Nov. 10.