Resident to challenge building loan
KULPMONT - A resident of the borough informed council Tuesday night that he intends to challenge the loan application for the borough's new municipal complex.
Walter Lutz, a resident of Oak Street, informed the board of his intentions during the public comment portion of borough council's meeting.
"I took a visit to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and read everything in the file, which is about a foot thick," Lutz said. "I had issues with several things in the file, so it is my intention to contact the Inspector General's office to issue a challenge to review a number of issues in the file."
Lutz said Wednesday he is waiting for a response from the department on how to file the protest and under what parameters he can do so.
"I am just looking for everyone to just calm down and look at everything with great detail and an open mind," Lutz said Wednesday.
One item that Lutz didn't like in the file, he said, was a letter sent by Kulpmont Borough Council president Bruno Varano to the federal agency.
"The letter states that the population of Kulpmont is greatly in favor of the project with only two residents in opposition," Lutz said. "I think if you look at (Robert) Chesney's petitions, there are a few more that are against the plan that just two."
Chesney spoke at Tuesday's night meeting, complaining that council is ignoring the 300 signatures he got on a petition against the building project, which will put a new borough hall and garage on a lot in the 800 block of Fir Street, and another 134 that signed during an exit poll he took at a polling place during the primary election in May.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which has awarded the borough a $1.47 million loan for the engineering and construction of the complex, may not be the only organization that hears from Lutz.
"I'm going to make a visit to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to look over the plans," Lutz said. "During a heavy rain, that site turns into a duckpond, but they were going to blacktop the area, but I want to see what will happen with the drainage and where the rainwater will go."
In other business
- The board voted 4-2 to sell the lot at 916 Chestnut St., the former David Dubbs property, to Eastern Enterprises Inc., for $2,560. Members Stephanie Niglio, Nicholas Bozza, Philip Scicchitano and Bruno Varano voted yes, and members Stephen Motyka and Joe Winhofer voted no.
"I just want to remind everyone that $9,000 of taxpayer money was used to clean that building up and $100,000 in fines were wiped clean on this property," Winhofer said before the vote.
The money from the sale will be returned to Northumberland County, who loaned Kulpmont the money to clean up the fire debris from the lot.
- Borough council also approved the advertisement for bids for streets to be paved in the near future. Service/facilities chair Nicholas Bozza reported that the borough has between $50,000 and $55,000 in its budget for street paving this year, but will decide what two or three streets will be done this year with that money.
- It was announced that the borough food surplus distribution will be held from 8 a.m. to noon Thursday, June 26. Other notable events in the borough this month will be the Kulpmont Community Yard Sale Saturday, June 21 and the Great Kulpmont Cruise Sunday, June 22.