SHAMOKIN - City council made official Monday a requirement that all city employees pay $25 weekly toward their health care plans.

Existing union contracts already require police officers pay $25 weekly and street department employees pay $20 weekly. The motion approved on a 5-0 vote of council won't impact the union employees.

The motion will, however, require that all non-union employees who have health care through the city pay $25 weekly. According to Mayor William D. Milbrand, it will affect five city employees: Steve Bartos, city clerk; Rick Bozza, code officer; Lynn Dixson, community development director; Michelle Quinn, human relations specialist, and Brenda Scandle, treasurer.

City council moved during budget sessions in December to add $6,500 in health insurance co-pay revenue, accounting for the five affected employees. An official motion was never passed, but the co-pay had already been deducted from employee paychecks this month, several employees have said.

Prior to Jan. 1, the co-pay hadn't been paid by any non-union employees.

Engine repairs

City council voted to approve repairs for a damaged fire engine.

Councilman R. Craig Rhoades, public safety director, said the door to a compartment on the Liberty Hose Company engine was left open when its crew drove out of the Rescue Fire Company to respond to an emergency Jan. 1.

The compartment door struck the garage door track, Rhoades said.

Damage was estimated at $4,223.04, and the repairs will be made by Sunbury Frame and Alignment. The city will pay a $1,000 deductible, he said.

Liberty Hose has been operating out of the Rescue since Sept. 1 on what had been described at the time as a "trial" jointure. Declining membership and meager finances at Liberty Hose were cited as reasons behind the relationship.

Other business

Council also voted during its monthly meeting to:

- Hire Klacik and Associates for the annual audit at a cost not to exceed $17,500.

- Approve Vision Benefits of America at a cost of $9,300.

- Appoint Malcolm C. Farrow IV to the Shamokin Housing Authority Board. Councilman Dave Kinder abstained from the 4-0-1 vote since his wife works for the authority.

- Authorized the payment of $2,251 to Landscape Services for the balance owed on a community garden project. The funds come from the recreation account.

- Approve a list of properties scheduled for a Jan. 30 repository sale by Northumberland County Tax Claim Bureau.

A four-year term was approved for new solicitor Frank Konopka, expiring in December 2017. Council can remove Konopka from the position at any time. His retainer is $6,500 annually with $3,000 in overhead and $1,800 for secretarial services. He is also bonded at $10,000. Council is able to hire special council for any matter at its discretion.

According to the treasurer's report, the city's general fund totaled $34,194.26 as of Jan. 1. The total balance of all accounts is $38,514.78.

Council approved the payment of 13 bills totaling $83,279.45, of which $80,473.25 came from the general fund. Several of the bills had already been paid.

Beginning next month, Milbrand said no bills unless those "absolutely necessary" will be paid prior to approval by a vote of city council.

Controller Gary Haddock said he plans to provide a report to council on all outstanding 2013 bills.

The code officer responded to 17 calls in December, issued seven citations, handled three walk-in complaints, responded to two police incidents and four fire bureau incidents, issued eight written warnings and performed 13 health inspections, according to a monthly report. The office collected $1,984 in permit fees and tickets.

A 23-minute closed door executive session was held for personnel matters. The meeting subsequently was adjourned without any further action by council.