Tunkhannock Borough Council heard an update on Thursday about rates for hooking up to natural gas potentially decreasing in the borough.
UGI Business Development Director Don Brominski was present at last week’s borough council meeting to discuss UGI’s ongoing rate case with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
Previously, Brominski encouraged customers looking to utilize Tunkhannock Borough’s new natural gas lines to wait on buying out their plan, as rates could decrease depending on the case’s outcome.
Brominski said those involved in the case have come to a settlement, therefore, he expects the PUC to approve the following rates within the next few weeks: Residential customers, $29 monthly fixed charge (formerly $44.90); commercial customers, $20.03 monthly fixed charge plus $1.87 per Mcf for all usage (formerly $23.01/$2.71); and up front residential payoff, $2,158.09 (formerly $3,177.24).
Up front commercial payoff rates still vary depending on the customer.
Brominski still encouraged customers to wait to buy out until Oct. 29 when these rates are expected to go into effect.
Tunkhannock Borough has also finished planning for its 2020 budget.
“It is a balanced budget as of now with no tax increase,” president Bob Robinson announced.
The projected 2020 budget totals $1,114,244, according to borough manager Dawn Welch.
Council members did not go into further detail about next year’s budget yet, which they plan to pass in November.
After adopting a noise ordinance last month, council sent a petition to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.
Under the ordinance, the Tunkhannock Borough Police would take over the responsibility of the PLCB if noise complaints get reported in the borough.
While this addresses bars and events that may involve alcohol, Chief Keith Carpenter noted on Thursday that it also addresses any noise in general throughout the borough.
Council participated in a hearing with the PLCB regarding its noise exemption application with a public comment opportunity on Tuesday morning.
The PLCB will notify the borough of its decision within the next few weeks.
Also on Thursday, council members voted to spend $1,396 to have Northeast Data install two additional security cameras between the police station and the DPW garage.
Council member Scott Douthett was absent.
Tunkhannock Borough Council learned it has received $5,618.17 from Wyoming County in liquid fuels funds, an increase from its usual amount of $3,121.
Council agreed to pay its minimum municipal obligation for police, which includes $113,576 for the uniform pension plan and $15,280 for the non-uniform pension plan.
Also regarding police, council adopted an update to its regulations for patrolmen testing. The civil service regulations now state that officers “may be” required to undergo a polygraph test and fill out a personal data questionnaire.
Mayor Stacy Huber said grants through the Community Oriented Policing Services that could help the borough hire another officer remain on hold with the U.S. Department of Justice.
Once approved by the Department of Justice, he said the borough police committee and department are prepared to take action.
On Friday, Oct. 11, streets will close for the Tunkhannock Area High School’s homecoming parade from 6 to 6:30 p.m., and trick-or-treating for children on Halloween remains at 5 to 7 p.m. this year, Huber said.
Council member Marshall Davis said representatives of the Tunkhannock Borough Police Officers Association and members of the borough administration have been invited to the next police committee meeting to discuss potential changes to the collective bargaining agreement.
At the request of Chief Carpenter, council hired Mary Lu Shaffer to serve as a crossing guard for the Tunkhannock Area School District to begin this week.
Council also appointed Kenni Parr and Jennie Pitkus as Tunkhannock Borough Shade Tree Commission members for five-year terms.
Under transportation and streets, Robinson said the DPW may look into purchasing a new streetsweeper, and council passed a motion to act if an opportunity comes up to buy one.
Repainting of street lines was completed in the center of town on Aug. 29, and Robinson noted that the borough saved around $4,000 by not using thermoplastic paint.
The exhaust system on the borough’s garbage truck may also need repair in the future, he said, which could cost around $10,000.
Robinson reminded borough residents that the Wyoming County Recycling Center has an electronics recycling event planned for Saturday, Sept. 14 from 9 a.m. to noon.
Tunkhannock Borough Council is scheduled to meet again on Thursday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m.