Due to some minor wording issues, Saxton Borough Council Monday evening agreed to advertise revisions to its per capita tax ordinance. It also agreed to advertise adoption of an ordinance setting the tax rate for 2020.
Borough manager Jamie Foster explained that the action is relatively minor and must be done. The ordinances will be considered for adoption at council’s March 9 session.
Council president and water committee chairman Lester Meck informed council the borough has been experiencing several water “woes” at its water treatment plant due to some mechanical issues on equipment needed to operate the system. He said it was necessary to replace a system compressor and to purchase another aerator.
He said there are also issues with a contractor the borough has a contract with to provide services to ensure the plant is running properly.
Meck also reported the borough received two side-by-side utility terrain vehicles (UTV) obtained for use by borough water/maintenance employees to read borough water meters. Miller suggested that one of the two vehicles that is currently inoperable, be made operable if the cost to do so is not excessive.
Councilman and building committee chairman John Hoffner stated that the roof on the borough building has been temporarily been propped up and seems to be “holding its own.” Meck said the borough received correspondence from its insurance company that it would not be covering the damage inflicted on the roof.
Foster stated she is still working on the borough possibly obtaining a loan from the First National Bank of Saxton to finance the replacement of a new roof on the building. Councilman Larry Miller said for the amount of money the borough will be spending on replacing the roof, all council members should be involved in any and all decisions made.
Hoffner said council must be careful as to whom a contract to do the project is awarded to and set stipulations on what type of contractor is chosen.
It was agreed that if a contractor is chosen, that they must have commercial building experience and not just residential home construction experience. Meck said he is sure the borough’s engineer will be involved in this phase of the project.
Borough solicitor Brad Allison pointed out that if the borough is planning on borrowing a substantial amount of funds to replace the roof, there are some stipulations that also must be met and it would likely only be permitted to borrow funds in the amount the borough is worth.
Miller reported that Penn Forestry Management official Luke Parr would be attending council’s March 9 session to participate in the next bid opening for the clear cutting of timber on 150 acres of land around the borough’s Putt’s Hollow Reservoir. Bids are being accepted for the project until March 3.
Miller also questioned the age and condition of a John Deere lawn mower used by borough maintenance personnel. Miller feels a new law mower and backpack leaf blower should be purchased for the coming grass-cutting season.
Council discussed the disposition of a large Christmas located in the community parkway. Meck said the tree currently has multiple tops and is getting unshapely.
The tree has been decorated the past five years by the Changes in the Parkway (CHIP) committee that has also discussed the matter and agrees with council the tree should be removed and replaced. Miller agreed to make inquiries into possibly having the current tree removed and a new one purchased all from one company.
Council also agreed to refer a state Department of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR) community grant to the CHIP committee to apply for grants to possibly complete the second phase of its community parkway project. The group will also possibly apply for funds to develop some type of park at a property the borough obtained from the Martin family in 2019.
Council agreed to table a request to renew its membership with the Broad Top Chamber of Commerce. The group has scheduled a reorganizational meeting for Monday, March 16 at 7 p.m. at Bubba’s Pizza Restaurant.
Councilman Tom Skipper reported that a gun safe for use by borough police has been purchased and will be installed in the borough building once the borough’s proposed roof replacement project is completed. The borough received a USDA grant to purchase the gun safe.
Council held a 20-minute executive session during the meeting to discuss personnel and possible litigation matters.
Also attending the meeting was council members Dennis Clawson, Adam Runk and Phil Johnson.
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