East Penn Press

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

ALBURTIS BOROUGH COUNCIL

Wednesday, November 6, 2019 by MAKENZIE CHRISTMAN Special to The Press in Local News

Borough discusses trash contract

The Nov. 27 Alburtis Borough Council meeting began with a change in Halloween plans from the Mayor’s report.

Mayor Kathleem Palmer decided to move trick-or-treat from Halloween night to Nov. 1 out of concern for public safety due to weather conditions.

Following that, public comments began with a discussion by Sam Augustine about trash service providers.

Augustine attended the meeting to represent J.P. Mascaro & Sons. In defense of the current bid, the company provided the borough with a contract renewal and explained “the waste industry is unlike many other industries” and involves other variable expenses including trucking, labor, hauling and disposal of waste and recycling.

Ultimately, Augustine said J.P. Mascaro & Son’s bid accurately reflects the condition of the trash industry with said variable expenses and “more demand, less supply and less space in the landfills.”

Although the trash hauling company seeks an additional $100,000 from the borough to renew their current contract, Augustine insisted this additional cost is beneficial to the borough.

“...You’d be sacrificing $100,000 in the first year, but you’re protecting yourself in the long run,” he said. “This is a serious bid you should consider in the long term.”

This sparked debate among the borough council members with other considerable costs in part of renewing their current contract.

Council member Stephen Kaufman questioned the cost of regular trash and recyclables while borough President Ron DeIaco and Solicitor Dave Knerr continued to question the bid.

“I’m having difficulty understanding how we have a sixth-year bid for considerably less than [a five-year bid],” DeIaco said.

Knerr believes council did not receive many bids this year due to their current contract with J.P. Mascaro & Sons under assumptions Alburtis would immediately continue business with the company. Knerr thinks the borough will receive more bids next year.

“I would want to see another bid.” Knerr said.

Augustine felt as though J.P. Mascaro & Sons would serve the borough best considering their longstanding business together.

“...We’ve served you for 10 years,” he said. “I do know whereas the garbage industry from 2010 to now has been stable; going forward I can’t say that.”

DeIaco put the discussion on hold until the borough’s next budget meeting.

Afterward, Muneel Khoyratty from Boy Scout Troop 80 attended the borough meeting to seek permission to begin his Eagle Scout project.

“Many people don’t know how to retire their flags.” Khoyratty said.

He wishes to build a box for borough residents to put their flags in for the Troop to properly dispose of flags.

“There is a need here for that,” DeIaco said. “I appreciate [Khoyratty’s consideration].”

Ensuing the agenda, council discussed a drainage issue on the property of 202 Lockridge Lane. Allegedly, the borough promised the homeowner 10 years ago to repair the damaged pipe responsible for the issue; however, the claimed promise was never fulfilled.

“Unfortunately, it’s part of the homeowner’s responsibility,” Vice-President Steven Hill said. “Unless the borough wants to take on the cost of fixing it there really is no option. We in no way said we would take care of the problem.”

DeIaco questioned if rainwater runoff from multiple houses into the property would push the responsibility onto them if it went through the borough’s system. Council members responded clarifying the borough’s responsibility only falls on runoff in the streets; however, the house in question is private property.

Council decided Borough Manager Sharon Trexler should write a letter explaining the issue is not the borough’s responsibility, but the homeowner’s.

Next, council evaluated several options of bucket trucks for purchase.

Council member Vanessa Taggart questioned where the vehicle would be stored.

After careful evaluation, council determined the prices fit their budget and carried a motion to allow the borough engineer to purchase the truck.

The meeting concluded with a carried motion to pay standard pipe services as recommended by Entech Engineering, followed by a conversation about the borough’s shredding event and bird sanctuary.

Tentatively, the borough expects to have a shredding event 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 14. The first hour is reserved to shred unnecessary borough documents and opens to the public afterward.

Wrapping up the meeting, council discussed PA State Foresters’ suggestions on forest management in their bird sanctuary.