KULPMONT - Kulpmont Borough Council awarded a contract for its annual street paving work, with the two bids for the work coming $10,000 apart.

The contract was awarded to Meckley Limestone Inc., Herndon, at a cost of $50,165.40. The only other bid came from Reading Materials, Inc. at $62,733. It was awarded by a unanimous vote of council members Stephen Motyka, Nicholas Bozza, Bruno Varano, Clarence Deitrick, Philip Scicchitano and Stephanie Niglio. Councilmember Joseph Winhofer was absent from the meeting.

Also at the meeting, council president Varano praised code enforcement officer Russ Moroz for his work in the borough.

"Looking at the report, you will see that Russ wrote out 174 citations in June alone, 23 of them for the Valeiko property," Varano said, referring to the former Eagle Sign Company building at 13th and Oak streets, which partially collapsed Feb. 21. The property is owned by Thomas Valeiko, of Commack, N.Y.

"We haven't had any response from Mr. Valeiko on when he intends to clean up the site," Moroz said. "He had a crew in to remove all the metal from the building and that is it."

He reported that Valeiko is scheduled for a summary trial for 20 of the citations at Magisterial District Judge Hugh Jones's office in Mount Carmel Tuesday, July 22.

In other business

- A resident asked, while a severe thunderstorm was going on outside, if there is any kind of warning system for residents if they need to evacuate or take cover. Kulpmont Fire Chief Jeff Gilotti said the first warning will be given to news outlets, then a warning signal from the emergency siren at the West End Fire Company will sound.

- Unanimous votes approved the hiring of a part-time street department worker for the remainder of the summer, for 20 hours a week for $8 an hour; to purchase street sweeper signs for all the north and south streets in the borough, at a cost not to exceed $1,900, and to conduct the annual traffic light inspection, with an estimate cost of $1,020.

- Building committee chairman Stephen Motyka reported architects will be meeting to work on the structural documents and plans to submit to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for approval. If all goes well, the project will be put out for bid in the middle of September and possibly be awarded in October. If so, footers could be in the ground by winter.

- The borough will have a food surplus distribution from 8 a.m. to noon Thursday, July 24, at the borough garage.