By Rebecca Zemencik, Managing Editor • firstname.lastname@example.org
TREMONT – Tremont Borough resident Charles Huntzinger fired a slew of questions to the Tremont Borough Council members and its solicitor Melissa Kelso, during the May meeting of the borough council. Huntzinger was requesting answers by the next meeting scheduled for June 14.
Huntzinger wasn’t able to attend the June 14 meeting, but supplied Councilman Dan Noll Sr. with a list of questions he asked to have read during the meeting.
Noll began reading Huntzinger’s paper with the following statement: “There was a statement made at the May council meeting by President James Scheibley that the expense created to investigate Chief Conway was not relevant. Was that statement made on behalf of a ll council members and the Mayor, or was he speakign only for himself? Either case, when does it become relevant? $10,000, $20,000? Or is there no limit?
Solicitor Kelso said she had not put together a written response to any of Huntzinger’s previous questions because Council had not instructed her to do so.
“It’s common sense and a no brainer that when accusations are made an investigation must be done,” said Scheibley.”
“Personnel issues must be investigated and the solicitor gives advice,” said Kelso. “As an employer, the borough must investigate completely.”
Noll read the next question from Huntzinger’s paper: At the May council meeting I made a request to have the borough’s engineering firm examine the wooden wall along Good Spring Creek to determine if the wall was an affective means of flood abatement. What were the results of this study? If it is not effective and cannot be made effective, then remove it!
According to Scheibley, nothing has been done concerning the wooden wall. He said anyone living there knows the wall being there is better then nothing.
“If it’s stopping 1″ of water then it’s doing something,” said Scheibley. “It may not be pretty, but it’s not an easy project to fix and I believe we should keep what we have in place.”
Councilman Noll made a motion second by Councilwoman Paulette Yuschock to have the borough’s engineering firm come in and determine if the wall is effective and if it’s not either make it effective or remove it. The motion failed on a 3-2 vote with Councilmen Rogie Adams, Phil Kintzel and Scheibley voting no.
Former councilman Bob Donmoyer said before the wall was constructed there was constant flooding on Spring Street. He said the wall is doing the job it’s supposed to do, but did agree the wall is not beautiful.
The next statement read by Noll was as follows: 39 South Crescent Street Property questions?
• Did the borough own this property when it authorized and paid for roof repairs? If not, what was their legal standing to do this?
According to Scheibley, the borough didn’t own the property before the roof was repaired. “We were trying to salvage the property,” said Scheibley. “We knew we were taking a gamble, but we were hoping to save the property and get it back on the tax map.
Yuschock asked if it was legal to put a roof on a property that the borough didn’t own.
Solicitor Kelso said yes.
• At what meeting did the authorization to make roof repairs on this property occur?
The authorization took place at a meeting January 13, 2015. According to Scheibley, the motion was made by Kintzel and Bob Donmoyer and it passed on a 4-1 vote with Councilwoman Yuschock voting no.
• Who were the other bidders for the roof repair and what was the amount stated in each of their bids for the roof repair?
Scheibely said the bids were all verbal and were gotten from Lucas, Wolf and Bressler.
• When did borough council authorize the code enforcement officer to sell the property after it was acquired by the borough at the judicial sale? Was the sale of this property done in accordance with the Borough Code (RE: Chapter 12 – Corporate Powers of the Borough, section 1201.1)? When affecting the sale, was any consideration given by the borough as to what the fair market value is relative to what they received for the property?
According to Solicitor Kelso, these types of sales can be complicated, but she claims, from what she has seen, everything was handled properly and legally. Scheibely said he would think the county would have put a stop to the sale if things weren’t done properly.
“We were looking to get the property back on the tax maps,” said Scheibley. “We are not in the real estate market. We didn’t lose any money on this property that we are aware of.”
Kelso said she believes everything was done properly and if a citizens believes that it wasn’t she recommend that citizen hire an attorney.
“People need to look at these things practically,” said Kelso. “Most time’s borough’s don’t see money from these types of sales and if the borough didn’t lose any money then that’s a great thing.”
The next workshop meeting of the borough will be held Tuesday, July 5, at 6:30 p.m. in the council meeting room of the Clay Street School Building.
The next regular borough council meeting will be held Tuesday, July 12, at 6:30 p.m. in the council meeting room of the Clay Street School Building.
All workshop meetings and regular council meetings are open to the public.