East Penn Press

Monday, May 25, 2020


Wednesday, January 10, 2018 by TARA CARMAN Special to The Press in Local News

Oaths of office issued to council

Magisterial District Judge Donna Butler administered the oath of office to Lee Ann Gilbert, Roy Anders, Brent A. Labenberg and Shana Baumgartner at the Emmaus Borough Council meeting Jan. 2.

Gilbert was elected the first female mayor of Emmaus, Anders and Labenberg will start new full terms and Baumgartner is starting her first term as a council member.

Council voted to reinstate Labenberg as council president and Chris DeFrain as vice president.

In other business, council approved the bid results for the library addition project to the lowest bidders. CMG of Easton Inc. was awarded the general contractor bid at $1,019,250, JBM Mechanical Inc., of Nazareth, was awarded the mechanical contract with a bid of $63,000, Spotts Brothers Inc., of Schuylkill Haven, was awarded the electrical contract with a bid of $75,250 and John G. Membrino, of Hereford, was awarded the plumbing contract at $21,985.

The grand total of the bid costs is $1,179,485 which is $179,485 over the projected budget. The library has $500,000 saved for the project and received a grant from the state for a matching $500,000. The library has until March 1 to start the project otherwise the state retracts the grant.

Anders expressed some disagreements with certain items the library was requesting. One item was their request for motorized window shades.

“When there’s a tough budget for them, I just don’t understand the need for that,” Anders said.

Anders said the window shades and electricity used will come to roughly $11,000 to $12,000.

Borough Manager Shane Pepe said he agreed with Anders and said he spoke with the library board during the initial bid meeting with the contractor, but they had a different opinion as to why they wanted to have them.

Pepe said at the end of the day the library board is responsible for this, and $21,000 in other alterations they had originally wanted have already been removed.

Anders said he understood and he just wanted to put it on record he felt it is an unnecessary item when he knows their budget is tight.

The bid for the winning plumbing contractor by John G. Membrino also raised some questions, as the next lowest bid above them had an almost $11,000 difference. Pepe said he questioned it the first time he saw it as well, but the architect said it was accurate.

“The owner was quite disappointed in himself that the bid wasn’t higher, because he did hit everything according to him,” Pepe said.

Councilman Jeff Shubzda said he could find very little information on the company and therefore would be voting against hiring the company as the plumbing contractor.

Council unanimously voted to appoint the following officials to their designated positions for this year: Ambulance Corp. Chief – Jeffery Hoffman; Animal Control Officer – Allen Lewis; Borough Manager and Secretary – Shane Pepe; Borough Solicitor – Dimmich, Dinkelacker & Anewalt, P.C.; Director of Finance and Treasurer – Christine Snyder; Certified Public Accountant – France, Anderson, Basile and Company; Civil Service Commission Solicitor –Davison and McCarthy; Code Enforcement Officer, Public Works and Public Works Inspector – James Farnsworth; Earned Income and Local Service Tax Office – H.A. Berkheimer; Emergency Management Coordinator – James Krippe; Engineer: General, Water and Sewer – Hanover Engineering; Fire Chief and Director of Emergency Services – John Price; Fire Inspector – Daniel Sell; Health Officer – Garry Ritter; Pension Consultant – police and non-uniform – Mockenhaupt Benefits Group; Per Capital Tax Office – H.A. Berkheimer; Police Chief – Charles Palmer; Public Works Director – John Dychala; Sewer Enforcement Officers –Jacob Schray, Gregory Gray and Christopher Taylor; Special Labor Council – Campbell, Durrant, Beatty, Palombo & Miller, P.C.; Lead Snow Enforcement Officer – Paula Weiant; Zoning Hearing Board Solicitor – Ronald Corkery, Esq.

Council approved the following people to be reappointed to various committees: Don Nickerson to the zoning hearing board with a term expiring Jan. 1, 2021; Todd Laudenschlager to the building board of appeals with a term expiring Jan. 1, 2023; Darryl Wentz to the civil service commission with a term expiring Jan. 1, 2024; John Stover Jr. to the vacancy board with term expiring Jan. 1, 2019; Craig Neely to the Emmaus General Authority with a term expiring Jan. 1, 2023; Everett Bailey to the shade tree commission with a term expiring Jan. 1, 2023.

Nancy O’Keefe and Jean Nagle were both reappointed to the Emmaus Public Library Board with terms expiring Jan. 1, 2021.