Saxton Borough Council Monday evening agreed to accept, with regret, the resignation of borough tax collector Barb Meck. Meck has served as tax collector for the past 10 years.
Borough mayor Alan Smith stated that Meck has done a great job as tax collector and will be hard to replace. Borough manager Jamie Foster said Meck’s replacement must be a borough resident and a registered voter.
Any individual appointed to fill the position, according to Foster, will serve until the next general election and would have to seek the position through election.
Foster told council some inquiries have already been made with individuals who were interested in the past. Foster is awaiting word from one individual to determine if they are willing to accept the position.
Council vice president John Hoffner reported the borough’s water system main computer suffered a major meltdown last month causing the loss of a lot of collected data. Borough water employees had to spend major over time hours in reporting water readings every 15 minutes on a 24-hour, seven day a week basis until a new computer system arrived and was installed.
Laptop computers were temporarily installed and collected data and got the water plant back online. Hoffner said Foster said the plant never lost power or was water coming into the plant ever jeopardized just the reading process.
Council discussed the adoption of an ordinance regarding the use of fireworks. It was agreed there needs to be an ordinance regulating the time fireworks can be set off in the borough specifically that they must end by 11 p.m.
Council approved a copy of a resolution prepared by Smith who prepared it from a similar ordinance regulating dogs and cats in the borough. The ordinance will be advertised for public review and adoption at council’s August 12 session.
Council also discussed provisions of its landlord/tenant ordinance. Foster said she learned the borough is not required to send out warning notices before it proceeds with legal action against landlords who refuse to turn the names of their tenants to the borough for tax purposes.
This has been an ongoing problem in the borough for many years with the same landlords failing to comply. Council, a few years ago, adopted an ordinance that if the landlords failed to comply they would be subjected to a $500 penalty through a district magistrate’s office.
Council authorized Foster to contact borough solicitor Brad Allison to send one last warning letter to all borough landlords asking them to comply with the borough’s ordinance or else legal action against them will be initiated. Council agreed the time has come to stop begging for the information and to obtain it by whatever legal means possible.
Hoffner said council must also decide what it wishes to do with the area of the borough building formerly occupied by the Broad Top Area Senior Citizens Center. Last June a portion of a drop ceiling collapsed and the seniors and council were at odds over whose responsibility it was to repair the damage and the seniors moved out the building to another location.
Councilman Dennis Clawson suggested the damaged ceiling be repaired. Hoffner agreed but said council also needs to come up with a long-term plan for using the building once repairs are made.
In the interim, councilman Phil Johnson agreed to contact an individual who reviewed the situation last year and offered an estimate to repair the damage.
Councilman and street committee chairman Larry Miller reported that Broad Top Township officials will be coming to the borough around the first week of August to complete a paving project on Eighth Street at the community traffic light. Clawson said there are portions of Church Street that are in poor condition and need some type of attention.
Miller said he would check with borough maintenance supervisor Brian Wills to determine if there is any water lines under the areas of Church Street Clawson referenced. Miller said he could also make inquiries with Broad Top Township supervisor chairman Donnie Hedge to determine if the township could do additional work while their equipment was in town if the borough was willing to pay the cost.
Council also approved a request from Dan Brode to burn material at a residence at 1005 Sixth Street that Brode and others will be renovating. A stipulation of the approval is that Brode inform Saxton Fire Chief Mark Taylor of his intentions and when the burning activity will take place.
Also attending the meeting was councilman Adam Runk; police chief Steve Kagarise and police officer Dave Buseck.
A 20-minute executive session was held during the meeting for personnel reasons.