No deal for Shamokin, chamber
SHAMOKIN - The local chamber of commerce turned down a promotional contract with City Hall.
Sandy Winhofer, director of Brush Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce, said Wednesday that another contract "took precedence" over a city proposal, declining to say more on that contract ahead of a full chamber board meeting Tuesday.
"It's something we can't pass up," she said by phone. "We've talked to the city and hope we can do something in the future."
Steve Bartos, city clerk, was given permission by the mayor and council during Wednesday night's monthly work session to gauge the interest of Susquehanna Valley Visitors Bureau for a similar proposal.
The city had proposed to pay the chamber $8,000 for 300 hours of work focused on, among other tasks, creating a promotional campaign for the city through traditional and digital media and to promote and organize events at Claude Kehler Community Park.
Bartos has pointed to the development of the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area in Coal Township and the potential tourism opportunities it creates, along with the significant investment of grant money to upgrade Kehler park as reasons to seek outside help to promote Shamokin.
The Coal Mountain Jeep Jamboree has offered to host its registration event in the city, and there are indications Yamaha could host a similar event, Bartos previously said.
These events could be developed into community events with vendors and promoted to attract visitors.
The Jeep Jamboree brought 211 participants in 109 vehicles to the area in August.
Brenda Scandle, city treasurer, is up for re-election in 2013.
During Wednesday's meeting, she requested an annual 2-percent raise if re-elected to a four-year term.
Scandle said by law she is only allowed to request a raise prior to an election.
The matter will be put on the voting agenda for city council's monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Jan. 14 at City Hall.
She expressed concern that no female employee in the tax office or City Hall, of which there are five total, were granted raises for 2013.
Mayor George Rozinskie was irritated by the comments, saying the raises were a result of existing union contracts.
Scandle pointed to salary increases for Bartos and Rick Bozza, code officer, both of whom are not under contract.
Rozinskie said Bozza earned a salary increase, to which Scandle agreed. Bartos' salary increase was not discussed by either the mayor or treasurer.
The discussion had the makings of becoming quite heated before the topic was mutually dismissed, which came at meeting's end.
Prior to that, Scandle and city officials reached agreement that a City Hall employee will work in the tax office during the daily lunch hour, as needed, when Scandle or her deputy is off work or not in the office.
Bartos asked that at least one day's notice be given by Scandle for such occurrences, if possible.
Beginning today, the tax office will be open one-half hour earlier, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will remain open through the lunch hour.
Ed Griffiths, police chief, provided mayor and council with the specifications of a 2013 Ford Police Interceptor, an all-wheel drive utility vehicle he'd like purchased for the police department.
The vehicle is fully outfitted, with the exception of police radios. Griffiths said officers would use their portable radios until an outstanding issue concerning Northumberland County Communications is sorted out.
The cost of the vehicle is $38,36,387.
Money for a lease payment for a new police vehicle was included in the 2013 budget.
Bill Milbrand, councilman, suggested an aging police cruiser have its emergency lights and decals removed and that it be used for parking meter enforcement.
A check totaling approximately $7,000 will be made out to Shamokin Fire Bureau for reimbursement of costs incurred during September 2011 flooding. It's expected each fire company will receive $1,000 and the rest remain with the bureau.
City council will vote this month on painting the crosswalks at Orange and Sunbury streets, at the Harold E. Thomas Highrise, to provide more visibility. It comes in response to a petition signed by residents of that area concerning pedestrian safety at the intersection.
On questioning by Milbrand, Bartos said cost estimates are being sought for the replacement of a pump for the Lawton W. Schroyer Memorial Swimming Pool.