MOUNT CARMEL - Members of Mount Carmel Borough Council have changed course and won't require three stipulations before guaranteeing a $1.25 million loan for the Mount Carmel Municipal Authority (MCMA).

The authority has, meanwhile, acted on two of the three requirements anyway.

Council, which dropped the stipulation requirement at a special meeting Monday night, is expected to approve its guarantee of the loan at its next meeting, Thursday, Aug. 15, said council President Tony Matulewicz.

The loan is needed to fund repair of a water tank at the MCMA sewer plant near Den-Mar Gardens.

At a July 31 authority meeting, members voted to abolish the pension plan for non-uniformed employees it had in conjunction with the borough, said Matulewicz, for whom the meeting was his first as a newly appointed authority member.

Last year, the borough took the same action with its pension plan at the urging of its new actuary, who said the co-mingled borough/authority pension plans were not a good idea due to costs.

The authority and borough benefits are temporarily frozen.

The pension change was the first stipulation.

The second was for the authority to start following all the terms of a 1995 lease agreement between both parties. The lease calls for the authority to insure every building and return any monies in excess of $50,000 to the borough at the end of each year, two practices that have not been followed previously.

Members did not vote on the third stipulation, which is to terminate Brinjac Engineering, of Harrisburg, from all resident project services relating to tank repair and to agree never to hire the firm in any capacity once all current projects are completed. The authority board did, however, vote to advertise for a new engineer.

Loan details

Matulewicz said solicitor Guy Schlesinger excused himself from the MCMA meeting due to a conflict of interest. The loan in question, which will be paid back over a 20-year period at a 2.29 fixed interest rate, is from UNB Bank, Mount Carmel, and Schlesinger is on the bank's board of directors.

Schlesinger said as long as there are forced stipulations involving the loan, he would not be able to be present for the discussions, Matulewicz said.

The bank will keep the loan open until Aug. 30, and the authority will be able to move forward with the loan without further action once borough council gives its approval.

The loan will cover expenses for a tank that was damaged during the Flood of 2011. It can treat approximately three million gallons of wastewater. Two other tanks at the plants are still operational.

The authority expects to be reimbursed for the repairs by both Pennsylvania Emergency Agency (PEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).