PGJTA selects Hanson
Published: January 24, 2013
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PINE GROVE - A Pine Grove borough member will again head the Pine Grove Joint Treatment Authority (PGJTA). Will Hanson was re-elected as chairman during the board's January 7 meeting.
The board also re-elected Sean Ryan as the authority's vice chairman and Harold "Bill" Zimmerman as secretary-treasurer.
The board re-appointed Rettew Engineering and Solicitor Richard Wiest to serve for another year.
Business Manager Diane Tobin noted Pine Grove Township has not appointed anyone to the seat vacated by Ken Miller who chose not to be re-appointed when his term expired at the beginning of the year.
Hanson made appointments to Standing Committees. Included were Hanson and Ryan to Budget and Finance; Hanson and Zimmerman to Compensation and Operations; and John Stahl and Ryan to Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement.
Appointed to Ad Hoc Committees were Stahl and Ryan to Inflow and Infiltration; Stahl and Hanson to Septage Receiving; Hanson and Zimmerman to Employee Manual; and Hanson and Stahl to Landfill.
Although the setting of employee wages was also on the agenda, it was agreed the Compensation and Operations committee would discuss it first. That decision was changed when Stahl, who had been a member of that committee in 2012, noted that he had provided the committee's recommendation. The board then agreed they would meet in executive session at the end of the meeting to discuss salary increases.
The authority will continue to meet on the third Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. in the PGJTA administrative building located at 115 Mifflin Street, Pine Grove.
The board's regular January meeting followed reorganization with an announcement from Tobin that Stephan Flaherty of RBC Capital Markets was still monitoring the market to determine when would be the best time to carry through with the authority's refinancing plan.
Because of the retirement of one of the sewage treatment plant operators, the board had discussed whether an operator or a maintenance person should be hired and it was agreed last month that it should be an entry level person.
Stahl noted he had talked with the employees and he suggested that the plan should be to eventually have two licensed operators and three maintenance persons. Currently, three licensed operators are employed.
Stahl explained that a lead operator was needed who could split the duties. Stahl also recommended that the board be involved with the selection of the new person since it was the board who would be aware of the long range plans. The board, however, agreed to table hiring anyone for the time being.
The board also tabled correcting what Stahl considered to be some short comings in the budget adopted last month. Although Hanson suggested the budget proposed by Business Manager, Diane Tobin, would do that, Stahl noted he would need to look at it before he would consider adopting it.
A review of the Employee Manual had been completed by Stahl and Miller, and presented to the board last month for review during the coming month. Stahl went over the four sections where changes were recommended, one by one, making the motion after each one for acceptance. Two sections, one involving contributions to a retirement plan and the other concerning authorized leave for deaths in a family, each died for the lack of a second However, the two others involving uniform purchases and payment for schooling were unanimously approved.
Stahl recommended that any change to Health Insurance not be looked at this year.
Heath Machamer of OTM Engineering presented a sewage connection plan for a property located on the north side of the Oak Grove Road in Pine Grove Township. Although the unique situation was discussed last month, no decision, other than to have the committee discuss it, was made.
This month, it was agreed upon the urging of engineer Ron Madison that the property owner must meet the requirements of the Act 537 Plan with the plan drawn up in accordance with the established rules and regulations.
Madison reported he had attended a pre-construction meeting for PennDOT's Route 645 bridge replacement. According to Madison, the bridge will be closed for 11 months and is to be completed by November 8, 2013.
Madison also noted that even with the loan refinancing and the anticipated savings of several hundred thousand dollars, a substantial rate increase would be required in the next five years. He suggested small increases be approved each year rather than all at one time. At the same time, monthly bills should be considered rather than quarterly ones.
In other business,
- The business manager's monthly report showed accounts overdue 90 days for both active and inactive accounts totaled $88,152.52. Delinquent accounts overdue 30 days totaled $13,021.28.
- The board agreed to discontinue the agreement it had with Tri-Valley Pharmacy for the collection of quarterly bills.
- The board agreed to allow a parsonage and church to combine and use one EDU. According to Hanson, if another EDU is needed in the future, a new connection fee would have to be paid.