East Penn Press

Sunday, July 12, 2020


Thursday, June 25, 2020 by MAKENZIE CHRISTMAN Special to The Press in Local News

Police officers to receive protective equipment

Alburtis Mayor Kathleen Palmer requested six helmets and shields for the police officers at the June 10 Alburtis Borough Council meeting.

Palmer said the equipment will cost approximately $1,740.

Council carried a motion to make the purchase.

Council also approved the May 27 borough meeting minutes.

Following talk of finances, council member John Aleszczyk brought up concerns about the costs and timing of the project on Front Street.

Council member Hector Vasquez agreed.

“They need to speed it up,” Vasquez said.

Council then carried a motion to pay the bills.

Council member Stephen Kaufman then delivered the treasurer’s report. He explained the borough is “ … doing alright … still on track.”

Council carried a motion to accept his report.

Second vice-president Kathleen Raines directed the discussion back to Aleszczyk and Vasquez’s prior concerns while analyzing the engineer’s report.

“I think all the projects need to be done,” Raines said.

Council President Ron DeIaco explained one of the bigger projects must be completed as it fixes a piping issue that originated nearly 50 years ago.

Council carried a motion to approve the engineer’s report.

Chad Atkins and Steve Reichenbach attended the meeting to seek council’s approval to start a town watch.

“ … From my understanding it’s supported by the council and Mayor Palmer,” Atkins said. They are putting plans in place to hold the first meeting.

Palmer said she would attend the meeting, as well as the police chief. Palmer plans to report back to council about the meeting.

Atkins explained he and Reichenbach sought approval to “open a line of communication” with council about the town watch.

Borough Manager Sharon Trexler informed council she was unable to find an app to support the current phone system to prevent residents from using her personal phone to contact the borough.

Vasquez supported the proposed idea of upgrading the current phone system.

“Yes, I see it as an extra expense, but it’s not an expense that [Trexler] and [other office workers] should have to front,” Vasquez said. “We don’t know what’s going to happen … if there’s going to be a second wave [of COVID-19] so, I’m OK with going ahead and making these changes.”

Aleszczyk showed concerns about incurring more financial expenses.

Kaufman agreed with Aleszczyk and suggested pushing back the decision to upgrade the phone system by six months.

“I don’t think we’re pushing it too far if we’re waiting an additional six months,” Kaufman said. “I think we should definitely get the new system in place … just take it month by month and see where things are going.”

Trexler also proposed the idea of upgrading the maintenance workers’ cellphones.

“Not top of the line phones, just something they can slip in their pocket,” Trexler said.

Council vice-president Steve Hill inquired as to whether or not council plans to open up recreational areas to the public.

Aleszczyk suggested opening them up due to the 25 people limit.

“Let people practice,” Aleszczyk said. “No games until they allow games.”

Ultimately, council wholly supported this idea.

“I think we said last meeting that we’re OK with opening everything up as long as they adhere to safety precautions,” Vasquez said. “The last thing we would want to do is open everything up and then have to close it all down.”

Council agreed to open up recreational areas but hold off on opening the portable restrooms.

Since council agreed to open the hockey court, Raines suggested replacing the Walbert Hockey Court signs due to their deteriorated state. She proposed the sign read “Walbert Memorial Park” instead.

Council President Ron DeIaco asked Raines to get a quote on purchasing vinyl signs.

Council then carried a motion to purchase mulch for the playground.

Next, Trexler informed council the old police car is ready for sale. Council carried a motion to sell the car.

Trexler also updated council regarding the Interim Act 537 Plan, the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act.

Leisel Gross from the Lehigh County Authority recommended council carry the resolution.

“If you’re all on board it will be on the agenda to adopt the resolution in August,” Trexler said.

Next, council member Vanessa Taggart wanted to ask council to ensure Police Chief Robert Palmer increases the police presence on the Fourth of July.

Mayor Palmer confirmed “every officer is going to be out that night” and citing.

Council agreed to send out a text two weeks before July 4 to potentially deter residents from buying fireworks.

Lastly, maintenance supervisor Donnie Derr asked council if a quote for new roofing on borough hall could be sent to the insurance company.