East Penn Press

Sunday, January 26, 2020

ALBURTIS BOROUGH COUNCIL Required sidewalks, curbs will happen after Centennial celebration

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 by LORETTA FENSTERMACHER Special to The Press in Local News

Alburtis Borough Council discussed curbs and sidewalks on Church Street at length with Bill Erdman of Keystone Engineering at their meeting Sept. 12. This will affect property owned by the county, at the ball field, Camp Fire Girls (owned by the Dad and Daughter Association), and residents of Church Street.

Council discussed repairing what is there, putting in curbs only or requiring curbs and sidewalks on one or both sides of the street.

It was decided county owned property will be treated as a homeowner and council wants everyone to know this is going to happen sometime after the Centennial in 2013.

Borough Code states if the borough says you have to put sidewalk in, the homeowner must pay to have it done. If the homeowner does not comply, the borough will put it in and charge the homeowner, according to Solicitor David Knerr.

Two water valves needed to be replaced in the borough and bids were requested. Three bids received were reviewed by Erdman who recommended it be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder, Sikora Bros. of Shickshinny for $14,600. Paving for this job will be done by maintenance at a cost of $2,680.

Borough sewer pipe linings must be replaced and brought up to date and five bids were received. As recommended by Erdman, council awarded bid C $245,487 to JMF Underground, Inc, in Mechanicsburg, the lowest responsible bidder.

A new police car is needed in the borough and Chief Robert Palmer, after checking prices and asking other police chiefs, would like another SUV with four-wheel drive, as they are invaluable said Palmer. New Holland Ford has a Ford Expedition for $38,000 and a Ford Explorer for $35,000. The prices include everything but the shields. Palmer said other police chiefs recommended the Expedition as it was well worth the extra money.

The older unmarked Crown Victoria would have to be sold. Alburtis Volunteer Fire Company Assistant Fire Chief Ryan Trexler immediately requested the fire department be considered first before the old police car goes out on bids. They could use it for running errands and more.

"You can make special exceptions for the fire company and it would not have to go out on bid," Knerr said.

The fire department responded to 103 calls this year according to Trexler. Alburtis Fire Company now has 51 volunteer members and a Rapid Intervention Team who stands and watches at fires, ready to rescue firefighters if they are down, disoriented or injured. There are only five RIT teams in Berks County.

When called, Alburtis goes as far as Salisbury and district townships. Alburtis firefighters and fire police continue training once a week.

Open house is 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 6 at the fire company. A car will be cut apart, a fire will be extinguished and more.

Comedy night is Nov. 10 at Alburtis Community Center.

In other business, Mary Himmelberger, coordinator of the Borough Business Revitalization Program, reviewed with council the services they have received and costs paid by the borough since its inception in 2005. To join BBRP it cost $.50 per capita for five years.

For half of 2010, the borough paid $5,000 to remain in BBRP and it cost $10,000 for 2011 and 2012. It will cost $10,300 for 2013 if the borough chooses to remain in the program. Himmelberger helped plan projects and secure grants for the borough through the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce and State Main Street Revitalization and other grants for improvement projects throughout the borough totaling $46,873.

Currently Himmelberger meets with local volunteers monthly to help plan the borough holiday event Dec. 2 and Centennial event May 5, 2013.

"Mary has done a tremendous job and I hope we can continue this program," Council President Steve Hill said, adding his hopes it can fit into the budget. He said he appreciates the hours of work Himmelberger puts into the program.

Macungie Borough requested and Alburtis Borough Council approved Alburtis Volunteer Fire Police assisting Macungie at their Halloween parade Oct. 27.