By Libby Rosequist
During the Monday, Oct. 4, Borough Council meeting, Mayor Steve Gregory presented a plaque in memorial of borough employees, Mike Skrekla, Mike McCumber and Randy Culver. The plaque will be mounted at Freeport Beach.
“We wish to acknowledge these employees who have gone above and beyond serving the needs of the North East community with honor and dignity unparalleled and unfortunately, left this world too soon,” Gregory said.
The minutes from Sept. 7, and accounts payable were approved unanimously.
During public comments North East residents Jon Triana and Joseph Schneider commented on Wine Fest and commended borough employees for the work put into setting up and tearing down.
“I think Wine Fest this year was phenomenal,” Schneider said. “I saw the streets crew staying on top of the garbage and cleaning up. We had out of town guests with us and they could not believe all the work they were putting into the event to keep it clean and presentable throughout the weekend. I am proud to say I live here, and I want to thank everyone that helped make such a great impression on the visitors.”
Under new business, Ordinance 915, amend non-uniform pension plan administered by PMRS pursuant to article four was approved unanimously.
“This is the reinstatement of our pension plan,” Borough Manager Patrick Gehrlein said. “This is part of the Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System agreement that’s been in place since 1962, and we had to confirm that the plan we have in place is correct.
“We have reviewed the plan in place against the plan we had before and it matches exactly to what is contractually obligated, and we are confident it is updated and employees will see no changes.”
As part of the finance committee, Councilman Bill Beardsley discussed funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, ARPA, which is funding based upon population and need.
Beardsley informed Council the committee has agreed to give $60,000 toward the North East Fire Department’s new training facility to be installed at Gravel Pit Park.
“As for the rest of the money, we as a Council will discuss that later and I will entertain a motion to approve the money in support of the training facility.”
The total cost of the facility including fencing and other expenses is $242,972.
The motion was approved unanimously.
Gehrlein explained the amount North East Borough received and what the funds can go towards.
“North East Borough received approximately $422,000 in two phases,” Gehrlein explained. “The first phase came in the amount of $211,000 to be applied toward COVID-19 preventative measures, health care accessory benefits as well as replenishing any lost revenues and community projects that will benefit a large amount of people affected by the pandemic.”
The North East Fire Department’s training facility is expected to be installed on Sunday, Oct. 10.
Trick-or-treat hours on Sunday, Oct. 31, from 6 to 8 p.m. were approved unanimously.
The next meeting will be virtual on Tuesday, Oct. 12, at 6 p.m.
The meeting can be accessed online at https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/662722509; or dial in at 1-866-899-4679 and enter access code 662-722-509.
Councilwoman Heather Barnett was not in attendance for the meeting.