MOUNT CARMEL - Members of Mount Carmel Borough Council have given their consent to the Mount Carmel Municipal Authority to move forward with a $1.25 million loan to fund repair of a water tank at the MCMA sewer plant near Den-Mar Gardens.

Council voted unanimously Thursday night after a 60-minute executive session to approve the loan, which is slated for a 20-year period at a 2.40 fixed interest rate from UNB Bank, Mount Carmel. Councilman Robert Shirmer, Leroy "Chico" Moser, Tony Matulewicz, Joe Lapotsky and Clem Plisiewicz voted in favor, while Councilmembers Robert Barrett and Gary Hixson Jr. were absent for the meeting.

While the council members are not happy about giving their consent on such short notice, President Matulewicz said Monday they didn't have a choice.

"The authority waited too long to tell us, and now we have to do it. The construction is going on right now," he said. "In the future, we'll fix it, but for now we have to give the approval."

Council members originally consented to the loan on three stipulations: the authority would follow all the guidelines of a 1995 lease agreement between both parties, would abolish the pension plan for non-uniformed employees it had in conjunction with the borough and would 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.

However, when authority solicitor Guy Schlesinger excused himself from the MCMA meeting due to a conflict of interest since the loan in question is from the bank in which Schlesinger is on the bank's board of directors, the council members retracted their stipulations.

Nevertheless, the authority has passed two of the three stipulations, and will likely be looking into advertising for a new engineer soon.

The borough assumes all liability if something happens, Matulewicz said.

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).