Shamokin votes to bring back part-time officer
SHAMOKIN - City council voted Monday to fill two part-time positions at the police department and eliminate a full-time secretarial position at City Hall.
Members also voted to indefinitely freeze all non-union employee wages, a move suggested by the Early Intervention Program of Department of Community and Economic Development.
Special officer Norm Lukoskie will resume his work immediately as a meter clerk at an $8 hourly wage for 28 hours weekly, which adds up to $9,408 over the remaining 42 weekly pay periods.
Lukoskie was one of two special officers who had been furloughed in January. Police Chief Ed Griffiths said he had been working about 6 hours weekly before furlough.
Controller Gary Haddock pointed out that funding for the meter clerk position is not in the budget. He asked council where it would come from.
Mayor William D. Milbrand responded that parking meter revenue dropped "drastically" since the furloughs.
"I would be willing to say that is where the money will come from," Milbrand said of collections.
By a vote of city council, meter money will now be collected twice monthly, first and third Mondays, up from once monthly.
An estimated $100,000 was collected from Shamokin's parking meters in 2013. Six-hundred of those meters were purchased and installed in 2012 on a five-year, $100,901 loan at 3.591 percent interest.
Ticketing had also dropped after the furloughs. According to the police chief's monthly reports, there were 237 parking tickets issued in February 2013 compared to just 17 last month.
Police secretary, assistant
Nytasha Shinskie was hired as police secretary at an $8.50 hourly rate for 28 hours weekly. She replaces Jill Bright, a full-time employee before resigning. Shinskie had worked at the station about 10 hours a week since January; she won't be receiving back pay for those hours, Griffiths said.
The position of administrative assistant held by Michelle Quinn was eliminated. The position's funding was slashed in the 2014 budget, reduced from $26,627 for salary and benefits to $3,526.
It's believed the duties will be rolled into the city clerk position, for which 10 people have submitted applications. More applications are sought, however, and the deadline to apply for the job was extended Monday to March 17.
Motions to eliminate the secretarial position, increase the frequency of parking meter collections and extend the application deadline for the city clerk position were all made following a 10-minute executive session.
In other business
- Acknowledged a free training session sponsored by Northumberland County on the state's Right to Know law to be held from 10 a.m. to noon March 25 at the county administration center in Sunbury.
- Voted to close Pine and Mulberry streets immediately surrounding West End Fire Co. from June 4 to 8 to set up and take down stands and equipment for the company's annual block party to be held June 6 and 7.
- Will allow Restoration Ministries to use Claude Kehler Community Park from 8 a.m. to noon April 13 for a Sunday service.
- Will rent a portion of the Third Street parking lot for Bill Lehman to erect a flower tent from mid-March through mid-June at a fee of $300.
- Approved a special event permit for the annual Anthracite Heritage Festival of the Arts to be held May 23 and 24. Proceeds from the train ride, estimated at $4,000, will again be donated to Shamokin's 150th Anniversary Committee.
- Supported a first annual benefit ride on April 26 at the AOAA with all proceeds to be split three ways between Shamokin and Zerbe and Coal townships.
- Purchased a new 16-foot diving board from Lincoln Aquatics at a cost of $3,614.50 to be paid from the city's recreation account. A refurbishment of the existing damaged diving board, which is 14 years old, was considered but was not believed to be cost effective.