Mount Carmel approves fed money for blight fight
MOUNT CARMEL - Borough council approved nearly $200,000 in federal money to be used for street and blight projects Thursday night at the regular meeting.
Teri Provost and William Seigel, of SEDA-Council of Government (SEDA-COG), were on hand to explain to council members that they need to approve $95,013 in new allocations for 2013 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and transfer $96,949 in 2011 and 2012 allocations to the same projects.
Council members approved the 2013 application and assigned $54,540 to the Orange Alley street project and $23,373 to slum and blight projects. There is also $17,100 for administration fees.
They also approved two CDBG modifications by taking $96,949 from the Second Street project and putting $73,631 into the Orange Alley project and $23,317 into the slum and blight project.
It has not yet been determined when the projects will start, Provost said.
Council members also directed manager Edward T. Cuff to sell the West End Fire Company pumper truck through a broker with the proceeds to be directed into the capital account.
President Tony Matulewicz said a broker will be able to garner interest across state lines at fire conventions and other events.
West End, formerly located on North Vine Street, is essentially out of service. In addition to selling the truck, which has not been used in years, volunteers have been responding to calls along with American Hose and Chemical Fire Company members; the liquor license for social quarters is in safekeeping in accordance with the state Liquor Control Board, and some West End members have already transferred membership to American Hose.
The process to consolidate the two entities, which began about three years ago, has been a complicated one, but work continues to bring them together.
The jointure is not considered a merger because the companies are not dissolving to form a new entity; rather, members of one entity are being absorbed by another.
West End was established in 1915, American Hose in 1898. They are two of four fire companies in the Volunteer Fire Department of Mount Carmel, and the borough also has a rescue squad.
Each fire company has one pumper truck. Anthracite Steam Fire Company also has a ladder truck.
The borough allocates approximately $7,000 to the fire companies each year for equipment and building maintenance.
Mayor J. Kevin Jones reminded residents that it is their responsibility to pull weeds on their section of pavements, and to control weeds and bushes behind their buildings.
"We will cite people for this, so when you see it, don't be surprised," he said.
In other business:
- Reinsel Kuntz Lesher, of Lancaster, was hired to perform the Lower Anthracite Transportation System audit for the fiscal year between July 2012 and July 2013.
- The borough directed treasurer Megan Janolek to transfer $214,440 for the police pension fund plan and $45,411 for the non-uniformed pension plan to an escrow fund and pay the 2014 Minimum Municipal Obligation (MMO) contributions Jan. 2.
- Trick or treat night will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 31.