East Penn Press

Sunday, May 28, 2017

ALBURTIS BOROUGH COUNCIL

Thursday, May 18, 2017 by KEVIN JONES Special to The Press in Local News

Walnut Street grant,

The May 10 meeting of the Alburtis Borough Council primarily focused on the Walnut street renovation project and the grant associated with it in addition to some topics pertaining to the fire department.

The borough had some good news when it found out it would be able to use its own workers for the Walnut Street Grant project. There was also a discussion about moving utility poles currently in the way of sidewalks which would be renovated. The cost of moving a utility pole is unknown.

There was discussion about pouring the concrete around the utility poles and the borough said they wanted to investigate other options.

Council talked about relocating a fence near the community pool. The borough agreed unanimously to move forward with the lowest quote.

Council also talked about the Fire Department Act 172. The act in question allows volunteer firefighters to receive tax credits from their municipality. The tax credits are only available for active members, which are defined as members involved in 30 percent of calls or more. Council said they are definitely interested, but have not decided any specific details about it yet.

Another fire department related topic discussed was a burn ordinance. There was a burn ordinance drafted in 1993, but it did not pass and has recently been redrafted. The fire department asked for this ordinance to be re-introduced so they have authority to take action if they see unsafe burning. The ordinance would not allow anything to be done without a complaint, which would be followed by an investigation.

Eric Derr spoke on behalf of the Borough Business Revitalization organization during the borough council meeting. Derr talked about how he has seen a lot of growth in addition to more people coming into Alburtis to appreciate what the town has to offer.

There was also discussion about adding additional businesses. Derr stressed he would not want to replace businesses or cause competition between businesses in the borough.

Ordinance 538 was discussed, which involves the borough’s rental agreements. There were a few changes made to the ordinance based on discussions at the last meeting. The first of these changes was to set the rates based on annual fees. In addition, the exception from inspection changed from three years after the building was built to when the second tenant moves in to the building. The ordinance was passed.

The small sewer system grant was also discussed. The borough received $300,000 although $490,000 was originally requested. There was a discussion about using part of the $600,000 the borough had in the budget for sewer repair.

Alburtis Zoning Officer Dave Kutzor discussed issues he found at the Hills at Lockridge West. There were issues because people put in patios or fences without permits.

An executive session was held involving personnel matters.

Alburtis Borough Council will have its next meeting May 31. Meetings are held 7 p.m. on the second and last Wednesday of the month at Alburtis Borough Hall.