Another plea to rethink project
Dear Editor: On Tuesday evening, Kulpmont Borough Council will convene for its monthly meeting.
As in the past, an agenda will be available to give those in attendance a slight idea of what will transpire during the public gathering. if history holds true, the agenda will only list categories to be addressed. Very little information will be revealed on this program, and all monetary expenditures from the past will quickly be motioned to pay without any transparency to those present.
The meeting will continue through the mundane agenda until the topic of the new municipal building emerges. Council will then be engaged in oral ping-pong trying to defend the continuance of Kulpmont's Taj Mahal.
Citizens, if any are present, will again plead to stop all proceedings on the new building until all avenues, as in alternative sites, are better explored. This has been a request for more than a year by various citizens asking to stop until the present building and other prime locations are investigated to the fullest. To date, council has not granted that request, but has continued to go forward with the building project.
Once again, on Tuesday, I went to borough hall and asked to review any pertinent materials or information on this undertaking. As it has been over and over again, nothing is available for citizens to review or research.
Every discussion about the $1,4 million loan to fund a new building or the projected $750,000 to $800,00 to re-do the present building are mere numbers suggested by council with no written documentation to validate their dollar amounts.
Council has continually slid past presenting tactile estimates, plans, blueprints, evaluations and visible quotes on both the present and proposed new facility and instead they state oral guesstimates when pressed for answers.
There was action at the last meeting to hire a certified engineer to walk through the present structure to evaluate its integrity. I was informed an engineer may be present today to give his findings. I hope this is accurate.
Council has tried to run a new building past the taxpayers without first hearing from the public directly with a democratic ballot vote on this serious tax-altering decision that seven people thought they should make. Our taxes have gone up. I suppose they may increase again, as they will in the school district and county and on the state level.
In a borough where there are 1,600 taxpayers, 2 borough workers, 1½ office workers, a full-time code officer and a police chief, there is no need for the proposed 4,000-square-foot building, a $100,000 garage and a $3,062 per month mortgage for 40 years.
At past meetings, citizens have asked to stop this project and rethink the needs of our borough. Rethink the need for an expenditure that will tie us to a 40-year bill to house 5½ people and a monthly meeting that average seven council members and three to five citizens.
I may not be there today due to a personal obligation that will place me out of town. I can only hope council acts with the citizens in mind and with the glitter of a new building blinding their common sense.