KULPMONT - After months of debate, including one on Tuesday that at times was louder than the thunderstorm outside, borough citizens will finally have their say about the plan to build a new borough hall and garage.

The final act of business at the borough council meeting was a motion made by Philip Schiccitano to hold a special meeting with citizens to discuss the plans and financial particulars of the building project. The meeting will take place at a neutral site, rather than the cramped quarters of council's meeting chambers. Schiccitano's motion was approved by a unanimous vote.

There were approximately 30 citizens inside the meeting room and more standing in the hall at Tuesday's meeting. Many of them attended a special citizen's meeting the day before, organized by the two main opponents to the plan, Robert Chesney and Walter Lutz.

A signature sheet of those in attendance Monday showed 85 names, and there were more who didn't sign.

"We need to get some alternatives than just building a $1.4 million complex. Here's one idea: Why can't we tear this building down and build here?" resident Joe Meyer said.

"Because we don't have the access to a gas line or the ability to drill for a geothermal heating system here," president Bruno Varano said. "We would be back to oil and then a $35,000 heating bill rather than a $3,000 heating bill with the new building."

Citizen after citizen came up to the microphone, taking up the first hour of the meeting with their complaints. Chesney said the debate was good to hear.

"This is what we have been asking for, please give us that meeting to discuss all the alternatives," Chesney said.

Even former Mayor Robert Slaby, making his first appearance at a meeting since leaving office, spoke on the matter.

"It seems to me there is more opposition to this than there was to the crematorium," Slaby said. "Bruno, you and I have been here for many years; give the people what they want."

The Rev. Raymond Orloski also spoke.

"Why are you unwilling to meet with the general public over this?" Orloski said. "Twenty-seven percent of Kulpmont's population are senior citizens who can't afford any more taxes. Come down off your lofty status and meet with the general populus."

After the vote was taken to hold the special meeting, Chesney jokingly blew Varano a kiss. Councilmember Stephen Motyka said he would attempt to get a digital copy of the plans and acquire a projector to show everyone in attendance the plans.

Varano said there are several buildings in the borough that have halls big enough to accomodate the meeting, but was worried about recording the session.