CLEARFIELD – At Thursday night’s Clearfield Borough Council meeting, Fire Chief Todd Kling reported the fire department will hold its annual church service Sunday to honor fallen firefighters lost in the past year.
Mayor James Schell added that the service is open to the public. He said the annual event rotates between churches in the community. This year the service will be at the Trinity United Methodist Church, S. Second St., Clearfield at 10 a.m. Schell said there were nine firefighters lost in 2013.
Schell also recognized the passing of Ted Graham, who served as volunteer fire police officer for both Clearfield Borough and Lawrence Township fire companies. Schell said Graham retired from the fire police at age 91. He noted that Graham had become a volunteer for the fire companies late in life, and encourages others that it is never too late to become a volunteer.
Police Chief Vince McGinnis reported receiving a notice from the state Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures Division, that free training is being offered to certify for inspection of parking meters, as the division will no longer be servicing them. Council approved to send Officer John Brown and Street Department worker Michael Mayersky to participate in the training. When asked why the borough’s meter attendant was not attending the training, McGinnis said the attendant’s trade union does not allow it. McGinnis said Terry Malloy asked to participate in the training also.
Solicitor F. Cortez “Chip” Bell presented documents for PennVEST funding for Clearfield Municipal Authority. Bell pointed out that CMA is not able to apply for the funding. Both Clearfield Borough and Lawrence Township must share the responsibility in applying for the authority funding, he said. Council approved the ordinance to apply for a loan of $9,035,000. Bell noted this is the borough’s share of the funding, or 56.02 percent of $16,128,455 needed for CMA’s mandated wastewater treatment plant. The required roll call vote for the ordinance was unanimous.
Schell reported that Quehanna Boot Camp will be doing work with the borough in March and May. He said the boot camp provides the manpower and the borough provides the materials, which is a great help and cost savings to the borough, and provides service project opportunities for boot camp residents. Stott said one project the boot camp will be helping with is painting the borough offices.
Council received one bid for gas/diesel provider. The bid was from J. J. Powell with a variable rate for 87 octane gas for $2.7186/gallon, and diesel for $3.1957/gallon and for a fixed rate of $3.3186/gallon and $3.7957/gallon, respectively. Council approved to accept the variable rate bid. Members questioned that only one bid was received. Stott said the bid was advertised, plus bid packets were sent to local suppliers. She said the borough stipulates that bids be from suppliers within the borough, and that there are three businesses that qualify. She said packets were sent to all three.
Schell noted that, while Powell was the borough’s supplier for 2013, he was disappointed that they would not send a fuel truck when requested for last year’s Third Street fire. Schell noted that Satterlee & Sons Inc. did provide a fuel truck.
After some discussion, council approved to extend three paid floating holidays for patrol officer Shawn Fye. McGinnis said Fye had not had the opportunity to use his paid holidays before the Jan. 31 deadline and asked to use them to attend fire training in February that will go toward his required training for the police force.
Councilman Tim Winters was concerned that approving the request would set a precedent for carry-over of paid time. Councilman James Kling said for all the time he has been on council, they are always having carry-over issues. He said, “We make rules, but we don’t follow them.”
Winters asked if Fye would be able to use his paid time before the Jan. 31 cut-off. McGinnis said the scheduling was already done through the end of the month, and it would cause a coverage problem. Stott noted that Fye is a new officer and is not aware of problems that the borough has had in the past with carrying over time.
Councilman Brian Lytle suggested that the employees be given a friendly reminder that paid time off is not to be carried over past the Jan. 31 deadline.
Stott reported that part of the water and ice problem on Woodland Road has been resolved. She said the Street Commissioner Steve Biancuzzo used a hydro-excavator and found an old terracotta pipe that was contributing to the water running on the road. Stott said a PennDOT crew assisted with the excavation. Winters said the road still needs significant drainage and reconstruction work. Council approved to have the solicitor, engineer and manager put together a letter to PennDOT regarding the condition of Woodland Road and ask that they investigate and remediate the road condition.
Council also approved:
- The purchase of a street sweeper at a cost, less trade in of the current street sweeper, of $121,981, with a $21,981 down-payment.
- To finance the balance of $100,000 through CNB for five years at 3.29 percent interest. Councilman David Gallagher asked that in the future the borough solicit bids for loans or negotiate for the best rates. He said they should be sure the taxpayers’ interests are being served. Bell noted that the borough had gone through the bid process in the past for loans, but had problems with previously bid loans that had hidden fees after the bid was awarded. Stott said she did negotiate with CNB for the rate they gave on this loan.
- A lot consolidation for Roy John Wilson of 504 Cumberland St. Code Enforcement Officer Larry Mack reported that the Planning Commission reviewed the lot consolidation, which brings the part added into the flood plain management area. He said the property owner will be notified that any new construction is prohibited in the flood plain area.
- To remove Paul Butler from probation status and officially hired him to the borough police department as a part-time patrol officer.
- To purchase a 2014 F-350 Ford pick-up from Dotts Motors for $27,619, plus the purchase and installation of snowplow and spreader for the truck from Tri-County Performance for $5,203 and $5,659, respectively.
- To appoint Larry Franz to the Clearfield Municipal Authority
- To re-advertise for openings on all borough boards and committees.
- To send Dave Fye to police officer’s training at IUP for two days at a cost of $59 plus expenses.
- To appoint Stott as the delegate and Barb Shaffner as alternate delegate to the Clearfield County Tax Collection Committee.