MOUNT CARMEL - Borough council members did not appoint solicitor William Cole as their arbitrator Thursday night in the ongoing police contract negotiations because he feels a deal will be finalized and signed by this time next week.

Cole met with the police's negotiation team this week and said one sentence needs to be added to the contract in order for the police officers to be satisfied.

"I want to thank Mr. Cole for having the magic touch," Councilman Joseph Lapotsky said.

Police have been working under an expired three-year contract that ended Dec. 31. Pension and health care costs have been the major points holding up the negotiations over the last 10 months.

When asked for a timeline, Cole said it would take "a couple days."

If the solicitor would have been appointed as the borough's arbitrator, he and the police's arbitrator would have met and the state would have provide them with a list of five independent arbitrators' names, at which point they would have narrowed it down to one. The three arbitrators would then discuss the contracts and make a recommendation to both negotiation teams.

The borough's negotiating team consists of Councilmen Clem Plisiewicz, Robert Shirmer and Lapotsky; the police's team consists of Cpl. David Donkochik and Patrolmen William Adamski and Justin Stelma.

The borough also approved CZOP Specer Inc., Erie, as the borough engineer to provide services to the Mount Carmel Municipal Authority for sewer purposes only.

Engineer John Buccanelli, who resigned from the authority because the borough hired his firm, said plans are in place to map out the entire pipework of the borough by taking aerial photographs.

He will also submit quarterly reports to Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in order for the authority to be reimbursed for taking out a $1.25 million loan in August to fund repair of a water tank at the MCMA sewer plant near Den-Mar Gardens.

The old engineer Brinjac Engineering, of Harrisburg, apparently never submitted those reports, Buccanelli said.

In other authority business, the council members appointed the following to the authority board: Councilman Clem Plisiewicz Jr., whose term expires January 2019; Ray Rothermel, whose term expires January 2015; and Glenn Wetzel, whose term expires January 2019.

Although two notices were placed in The News-Item for the open positions, no other individuals submitted their names for consideration, council members said.

In other business, the board members approved a letter of intent for regional police consideration with Mayor Philip "Bing" Cimino as contact person.