Rift developing between Kulpmont fire chief, fire police
KULPMONT - A developing rift between Kulpmont's fire chief and fire police volunteers threatens to knock the traffic control squad out of commission due to several volunteers leaving over mistreatment.
Fire police captain Paul Zupicick addressed Kulpmont Borough Council during their meeting Tuesday night, asking council who is in charge of the fire police.
"We've had a battle and never came to a consensus over who is in charge. We always figured it was the mayor and the police department, but we are being told its the fire chiefs," council president Bruno Varano said.
When Zupicick asked solicitor William Cole who is in charge, Cole said the law states the mayor is the civilian head of all police.
"Past practice up to a year ago was that non-emergency items went through the mayor's office, but now its going through the fire chiefs," the fire police captain said.
Having this conflict between the two sides is creating a problem, Zupicick said, and could cost the borough its fire police force.
"You are in danger of losing your volunteers, cause everyone is pretty much fed up with the nonsense," he said. "You're supposed to be adults, you're supposed to get along. That's not happening."
Zupicick said there is no chain of command, because "the top link won't follow it," referring to Kulpmont Fire Chief Ray Siko.
"We get a directive from the fire chief, who never talks to me. If I'm the captain of the fire police and the fire chief don't want to talk to the captain, where are we going here?"
When asked who is in charge of the fire police during a fire, Mayor Myron Turlis said the fire chiefs have control.
Siko was not in attendance at the meeting because of another commitment, but said the matter will be addressed in the near future.
Varano said the board would discuss the matter in executive session, but hopes all parties will sit down and work out a common protocol.
Stephen Motyka, chairman of borough council's committee on the new building reported that the review of plans for a new borough building by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is currently in limbo due to the partial government shutdown.
In other business, service and facilities chairman Nicholas Bozza said Meckley's Construction will be doing milling and paving on borough streets beginning Monday. He said there will be no parking on the affected streets between 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Friday, Oct. 18.
The streets to be milled and paved are Pine Street from Eighth to Ninth, 10th Street from Spruce to Pine, Maple Street from Seventh to Eighth, and Fur from 11th to 12th.
Permission was given to the Kulpmont Knights of Columbus to use the Veterans Memorial Field for parking Saturday in conjunction with their second annual Wine Fest, which will be held at Holy Angels Picnic Grounds.
Council instructed code enforcement officer Russ Moroz to send out the letters for renewal of the borough's landlord registration. All fees must be paid by Dec. 31.
Upcoming events include surplus food distribution at the borough garage from 8 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Oct. 24. The Kulpmont Lions Halloween Parade will be held Thursday, Oct. 24. The parade forms at Holy Angels at 6 p.m. and the parade starts at 7 p.m.
Trick-or-treat night in the borough will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26. Residents wishing to hand out treats are asked to turn on their porchlights.