Following a lengthy discussion over the borough’s two deteriorating police vehicles, Laceyville council voted on Aug. 1 to apply $13,708 toward the purchase of a replacement cruiser.
Money for the purchase will come from the borough’s share of the Act 13 impact fee charged to natural gas industries who drill wells in the state.
The discussion was kicked off when Laceyville Mayor Phil Brewer spoke to Police Chief Kevin Costello about why so few citations are being issued in the borough, and what could be done to rectify the situation.
In the police report, Costello informed the borough that 11 non-documented verbal traffic warnings were issued while on foot patrol; 17 documented verbal traffic warnings were issued; and five written police warning notices. Three calls of service occurred in July: one noise complaint; one theft; and one harassment.
Responding to the mayor’s question, Costello explained that the condition of the two police cars has been hindering him in writing citations. Although the chief declined to elaborate further on the problem, Brewer agreed with the explanation, referring to the borough’s back up police car as “a piece of junk.”
Later, following the meeting, Brewer confirmed that the main police vehicle also has some major problems - particularly a bad head gasket. This and other problems with the car have restricted Costello in his duties while on the patrol.
During the meeting, Costello assured council that if a situation arises in which he has to pursue another vehicle, he will be able to do so.
Council decided to speak to Bob Otto, a car dealer in Braintrim Township, to pursue the possibility of purchasing a replacement police car. The consensus was that any potential vehicle be carefully examined before the purchase is made.
On a motion made by council member Kristy Johnson and seconded by Don VanDeMark, council voted to use its Impact Fee money to help purchase a replacement police cruiser. About half of the $13,708 was from last year’s Act 13 money, and was being held in the borough’s Water Fund. The other came from this year’s Impact Fee money.
Following the vote, Brewer also pointed out that the borough recently receive $419 from District Justice Carl Smith’s office, which is its share of the fines from citations issues by Costello. Brewer said that this is the most money the borough has received from Smith’s office in a while, and - despite the concerns he raised earlier - commended the chief for his efforts throughout the borough.
Borough secretary Courtney Salsman reported that signs announcing travel restrictions on truck have been placed throughout Laceyville. Council voted last month to put the restriction in place, because the amount of traffic - including water trucks, trucks with trailers, and dump trucks - is becoming disruptive.
Salsman also said that she spoke to Braintrim Township Supervisor Frank Holdren, who recommended that some of the signs be placed closer to Route 6, informing truck drivers earlier about the restriction.
On a recommendation by Treasurer Ken Johnson, council voted to approve Collin Bose as a student volunteer for the borough. Bose is a 16-year-old student at Tunkhannock Area High School, who is volunteering at Laceyville as a community service. Bose is scheduled to begin working at the borough office this week, providing assistance to Johnson and Salsman. Bose will be required to sign an agreement with the borough, indicating he will not divulge any information he sees while in the performance of his duties.
In other business:
*Salsman reported that she has been in contact with Kevin Baker of Erie Insurance, concerning repairs to the monument at the corner of Main and Franklin Street, which was knocked over by a vehicle in June. The borough has not yet received any money to pay the cost to repair the statue.
*Kristy Johnson reported she has spoken to representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture concerning the construction of a new reservoir for the borough’s water system. The process is going very slowly, Johnson said, but she will provide any new information when it is available.
*Council also decided to see if someone could be found to trim trees along Main Street, and to advertise for snow removal bids for 2018.