East Penn Press

Friday, February 15, 2019

MACUNGIE BOROUGH COUNCIL

Wednesday, February 6, 2019 by MELISSA BALTAZAR Special to The Press in Local News

Resolution passed

Vice President of the Council Rosanne Schleicher commended public works for doing a great job in cleaning up after the recent snow storm at the Feb. 4 Macungie Borough Council meeting. “The streets were noticeably clean hours after the storm,” she said. President Chris Becker agreed that a gesture of gratitude for the public works department is in order.

Schleicher also addressed resident complaints regarding the Macungie Institute sign post located outside of the Macungie Institute center. Residents who also sit on the town beautification committee, among others, had filed a complaint regarding the frequency at which the signs are being updated and the relevance of information posted for residents. The complaint was addressed by Schleicher and Borough Manager Chris Boehm. Signage has been updated to reflect upcoming community events and will be changed more frequently.

Becker presented a resolution to request the immediate resignation of council member Marvin Moyer. Becker said in the three years of Moyer’s service on council, there have been a total of 78 meetings – 14 of which Moyer attended. Becker went on to read the resolution outlining the specific responsibilities of borough council members for which all members were elected to execute. The resolution is based on Moyer’s “lack of responsibility, lack of communication, failure to attend meetings and partake in any or all council matters.” The resignation would be effective immediately. The resolution passed 4-3.

Becker commented this is an election year and noted three council member seats will be expiring Dec. 31. He asked any residents interested in the positions to register at the courthouse in Allentown by the February registration date. He briefly discussed the process for candidates to get on the 2019 ballot.

In other business, the farmers market rent has been raised from $500 to $800 per year.

Council approved payment of $80,053.54 for the borough’s invoices. Some discussion ensued regarding high maintenance and repair costs. The 2019 budget line for the maintenance and repair line item is already at 83 percent. Other line items are already at 100 percent. Becker voiced concerns that in the high spending areas there will be no money left for the remainder of the year or those areas will run over budget.

Mayor Ronald Conrad reported on a student featured on the Macungie’s Police Department Facebook page for building a model of the police department for a school project. The task was to build a place of importance in the community. The mayor was pleased with the model and encouraged anyone interested to view visit the Facebook page.

The mayor also reported a chimney fire on Main Street last week. It was handled efficiently and quickly by the fire department. Chief Michael Natysyn is working on a chemical response and emergency management plan.

Boehm reported on a 10-year street paving financing plan and cracked ceiling repairs. A contractor was hired in mid-April to perform repairs at Hillcrest Drive, Hickory Street and Glenwood Drive. There are issues with paving previously done that are currently affecting some residents. A contractor was hired for the repair job, but cannot get to it because of the snow. Affected residents have been notified.

Becker recommends paving at West Chestnut Street be done this year as planned. Residents have made long-term commitments to re-do sidewalks so the borough will honor its commitment to re-pave using an outsourced vendor. Discussion surrounding sewer line repairs took place concluding that major repairs are needed in specific areas and will be addressed before re-paving some streets. The street paving project is behind schedule and council expressed urgency to schedule and repair the streets which is the justification for using an outsourced contractor.

Boehm announced that some smaller streets may qualify for a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation dirt and gravel program that can provide funding for repairing the streets. Council will look into the qualifications needed to obtain funding through this program.

Contractor bidding for the West Chestnut Street paving project will begin Feb. 28 with documents available on PennBid. Construction is scheduled to begin June 10 with completion scheduled for June 28.

Boehm proposed a budget transfer of $200,000 from the waste water fund into the sewer fund capital budget and $100,000 out of the general fund. Council approved the transfers.

The contract with accounting and auditing firm, France, Anderson & Basile & Co is set to expire. They have submitted a proposal to continue the contract. Council accepted the proposal to continue services with the accounting firm through 2021.

Members of council met with residents regarding the Race Street stormwater improvement effort. The residents whose property will be affected accepted the proposed work. Solicitor Patrick Armstrong will handle negotiations for the project.

The request for proposal for soliciting a residential rental inspection vendor was reviewed. A proposal to advertise an RFP for engineering services every five years was also discussed and accepted.