Thursday, January 11, 2018

Ashland Borough Council Meeting - January 2018

Many items were covered during the meeting ranging from borough business to concerned citizens and questions about charges on water bills.

Meeting Date:  01/10/2018
All Council Members in Attendance including Mayor, Borough Manager, Police Chief, Fire Chief, Code Enforcement, and Solicitor.

During the first Public Comment, concerned citizens had a questions regarding parking on 4th Street between Centre Street and Chesnut Street, and also it's connection with a project by a property owner next to the street.

Prior to the project, No parking restrictions were lifted on 4th Street but due to the project, residents who live in the area had the question of whether they were still allowed to park there.

The question was referred to Police Chief Mark O'Hearn who stated that they were allowed to park as long it did not impact traffic.

The council also questioned the work being done and whether it was following was originally outlined in the permit.  Council said they will look into the matter and have answers at the next Council Meeting.

Another resident reported that "kids" are going in and out of the home on 13th and Arch Street where a fire took place last month.  They asked when will the house be secured.  Council stated it will be taken care of.

During the Business portion, Council unanimously passed Resolution 2018-1 - Schuylkill County Emergency Operations Basic Plan & Resolution 2018 1-2: Interfund Balances.

Prior to the meeting, borough council had opened the sale for bidders for their 1959/93 American Lafrance 85' ladder truck, that had been used by the Washington Fire Company and the borough for 58 years.  The truck had gone by the nickname "Brutus".

Borough Manager Ray Jones opened the one and only bid for the truck, which was from the Schuylkill Fire Historical Society, 105 South Jardin Street, Shenandoah for $1,234.56.

All council members unanimously approved the bid and the sale.

Council Member Pat Cooney reported that the Babe Ruth Baseball League for 13-15 year olds will be ran again this year and that he will have signup dates at a future date.

Council Member Kimberly McIntyre reported that a Bliight Meeting will be held next Tuesday @ 6:30pm

Council Member Patti Wesner asked that a resolution be made for the next council meeting to recognize the two individuals that saved the family from the 13th and Arch Street Fire last month.  The council will notify the two individuals by next meeting.

The new borough solicitor Ashley Securda introduced herself and thanked the council for the opportunity to work with them.

Fire Chief Phillip Groody spoke about the "Sound the Alarm" event this weekend.  The event is being organized in conjunction with the American Red Cross.  Borough residents can contact the borough office and volunteers will visit your home on Saturday and install smoke detectors where needed.

Groody also stressed the importance of Auxiliary Heating safety during the winter.  He stated the use of any auxiliary heating device should be used to the manufacturer's recommendations.  Specifically space heaters should be on a circuit by themselves, as well as Propane and Kerosene heaters should always be used with caution.

During the final public comment portion, a question was brought up in regards to the $12 fee that borough residents pay on their water bill for garbage.  The question if residents use an alternate way to remove their garbage, can the fee be waived?

Council pointed out that since the fee has been added, this was only the second time it was questioned.  Council also pointed out that the charge was a good thing and allowed residents a "hopper" twice a year to throw out larger items.  The hopper is in replace of a "Spring Cleanup" that the borough organized in the past.  Council cited that the cleanup allowed residents who lived outside the borough to bring in garbage.

Council reported that the extra charge is keeping the town cleaner.

Schuylkill Fire Society member Joseph "Blackie" Kufrovich thanked the council for accepting the bid and reassured they will take care of the truck and still include the truck for borough events and parades.

The Ashland Community Watch reported that a meeting will be held February 13th at the Good Shepherd Church.

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