East Penn Press

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

MACUNGIE BOROUGH COUNCIL

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

Council reviews finances and reports

Macungie Borough Council’s Nov. 4 meeting covered various topics including previous meeting minute approvals, reports and requests.

Council discussed public comment regarding engineering fees for Streetscape Phases I, II and IV. An audience member agreed with these concerns and further questioned the borough about fees pertaining to the installation of an island and crosswalks and lane painting.

Council President Chris Becker clarified the current program of discussion only installed an island and no crosswalks.

Becker explained he preferred to publicly announce a price for those projects when the borough confirmed the numbers he estimated.

Following that, Vice-President Roseann Schleicher briefly thanked those who attended the borough’s soup night.

“I’d like to thank everyone that donated soup and time,” Conrad said. “A good time was had.”

The meeting continued by the carrying of a motion to approve the Oct. 21 meeting and Oct. 28 budget meeting minutes. The council then approved the Oct. 31 treasurer’s report and invoice payment.

Next for discussion was the borough’s financial standing. According to council, budgeting is going well this year, stating an estimated 85 percent of the budget should be utilized by now, while currently expenditures only sit at 72 percent. Council also discussed other budgeting plans to aid borough payments.

John Yerman explained the borough lacks adequate funding to immediately pay off pensions in 10 years “at the current rate,” and suggested they set money aside for future residents “...so [future residents] don’t have to [pay] a huge sum of money at once.”

Following that, Becker wished to acknowledge the hard work of Macungie Fire Department Station No. 15. Recently, two members of station No. 15 responded to the Pocono Manor fire who worked relentlessly to contain the fire.

“[I] would like to personally thank them,” Becker said. “I commend [all 17 members] for what they’ve done.”

Regarding borough finances, Borough Manager Chris Boehm requested the purchase of a storage container for holiday decorations.

An audience member questioned why Boehm determined a storage container would best suit the borough’s needs compared to renting one.

“...A rental would be a long-term rental,” Boehm said. “...and I’m not sure that would be in the borough’s best interest.”

Council member Greg Hutchison also remarked that renting a container is less cost effective to the borough than purchasing one.

The borough continued to approve various payment requests before finishing the meeting with Todd Rutledge’s SALDO waiver request for Ridings at Brookside Condo Association’s auxiliary parking lot expansion.

Rutledge explained he chose to seek the waiver per the borough’s request and wished to follow requirements. Additionally, he informed the borough his intended plans should not take effect for an excessive amount of time.

“We’re not creating a whole new neighborhood here,” he said. “This is at most a three-day project.”

The council carried a motion on Rutledge’s proposal specifically to the planning commission’s conditions regarding it.

The council then excused the audience and moved into an executive session concerning personnel issues including borough manager applicants.