Curwensville Boro tables approval of budget|
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
By Dianne Byers Staff Writer
CURWENSVILLE - Although it was on last night's agenda, Curwensville Borough Council tabled approval of the 2013 proposed budget until it receives additional information on costs for a project to stabilize a bank on Schofield Street.
Wilson Fisher of Hess and Fisher Engineers Inc., the borough's engineer, told council test holes would be bored today on the bank to help determine why the hillside is deteriorating and allowing the guide rails to slide down.
Fisher said he wants the information to help him determine a plan of action and estimate a price for the project.
Information on the agenda noted, next year, the general fund expects income of $1,570388 and expenses of $1,103,646 and the state fund, revenue of $110,117 and operating costs of $100,000 although those figures may change with the addition of the Schofield Street project.
Autumn Norris, borough secretary/treasurer, said council would approve the spending plan at the December meeting and schedule a meeting later that month to adopt it.
Mary Ellen Read and Rick Whitey Swatsworth both spoke of the work the borough's revitalization committee is doing in an effort to improve the borough. The committee, made up of volunteers including Read and Holly Komonczi, mayor, business owners and other interested persons, is working on three main areas including Irvin Park, Curwensville's downtown and the Susquehanna River and the river's trail.
Swatsworth and Read said they were offended by council member Mark Curulla's comments last month that council should not pay the committee's bills to advertise their meetings.
Curulla said he commended the committee for its work and vision but legally the borough cannot pay its bills. He said there are only three volunteer committees that fall under the auspices of the borough including civil service boards, municipal authorities and zoning hearing boards.
Swatsworth said he was upset Curulla would not approve the borough paying the $4.94 cost per newspaper advertisement to promote the committee's meetings.
He also distributed copies of maps of the park and a card available to the public to allow them to share their thoughts on improving Irvin Park to each council member. Cards are available at The Strawberry Tree and Goodman's Foodliner, Holly Komonczi said following the meeting.
Swatsworth and Read said the information would be used to develop a master site plan - a tool used to guide future development and improvement at the park.
In other business, council:
• accepted the resignation of Ron Kuhn as code enforcement officer effective Dec. 31. In his letter of withdrawal from the position, Kuhn noted the hours the job demands are vast and he can no longer schedule the time the position requires. Council accepted Kuhn's resignation with regret and approved advertising the position.
• hired Patty Quick as assistant secretary. Curulla voted no. He said he believed she was a good secretary but he was opposed to her original hiring that he said was not done at a public meeting.
• appointed Lex Curry Jr. to the position on the Curwensville Municipal Authority left vacant by the resignation of Kuhn.
• held a moment of silence in remembrance and honor of military veterans prior to the start of the meeting.
• reminded residents not to rake their leaves into the streets where they create a traffic hazard and clog the storm water system. Holly Komonczi said she would instruct the borough's police department to watch for incidents of illegal dumping of leaves and other tree debris and appropriate action could be taken.
• approved a sub-division plan submitted by Lawrence Opalisky to divide a lot on Bloomington Avenue into two lots.
• approved Quick and Norris attending a Web design seminar conducted by the Clearfield County Career and Technology Center at a cost of $198. The training would allow them to develop and maintain the borough's website.
• authorized a $1,000 donation to the Clearfield County Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. A report from the SPCA noted in 2011, 117 animals from the borough were housed at its shelter at a cost of approximately $100 per animal.
• reviewed a notice from the state's Public Utilities Commission noting the borough would receive an increase in Act 13 of 2012 that provides fees to municipalities impacted by natural gas extraction. The borough will now receive $19,042.47.
• opted to get information to set up a network system for the municipal building that could connect the borough office, the mayor, the code enforcement officer and the police department.
• authorized reimbursing Read $200 for attending the Pennsylvania Wilds Fall Workshop Nov. 8-9 at St. Marys.
• rejected quotes for a project to add additional lighting at the exterior of the municipal building and approved getting additional information on the best options for the December meeting.
• heard Fisher report although he had hoped to be ready to advertise a project to connect homes at the Arnoldtown section of the borough where a number of residents have malfunctioning on-lot septic systems he has not received all the required information from the state Department of Environmental Protection.
• held a 15-minute executive session for personnel matters.