CLARKS SUMMIT — Prior to the start of a work session Jan. 25, members of the borough ouncil reconvened the Jan. 4 regular meeting to rectify an issue of sewage entering the Malone residence on Sleepy Hollow Road due to a blockage in the sewer line.
Members of the council approved a motion that, upon the Malones’ installation of a backflow preventer device by a licensed contractor, they will be directly reimbursed $634.60 for damaged property. Roto-Rooter will also be directly compensated for work done at the Malone residence in the amount of $3,314.96 for cleanup at their home.
The Malones will also be reimbursed for the instillation of the backflow preventer, at a cost up to $1,000.
“In their specific case, when we went in and viewed the lines with a camera, we were able to verify their damages were caused by roots in the sewer main,” Clarks Summit Borough Manager Virginia Kehoe said.
After instillation, the borough is not taking any ownership of the backflow preventer on the Malones’ property.
“This is a way to prevent future damages,” Councilman Vince Cruciani said.
Kehoe announced representatives from Highland Associated volunteered to donate architectural and engineering time to draft plans for a new borough building on Sheridan Avenue, where a baseball field is currently located, if members of the council are interested.
“We’d like to find out what it would cost to remodel the current building and the cost of a new building,” Clarks Summit Borough President Gerrie Carey said.
Council Vice President Dave Jenkins questioned the location of the possible move.
“My only feeling is I don’t know if a borough building is a suited entity for a residential neighborhood,” he said. “I don’t know if the residents would be receptive to it.”
Mayor Herman Johnson would like to check the feasibility of staying in the current building long term before the borough makes a decision.
“My only concern is if this building is structurally fit to remodel,” Johnson said. “We need to have someone come in and really look at the building. Also, the police department can’t keep living in the cellar.”
Carey, along with Councilmen Patrick Williams and Frank Besten, were named to a committee to oversee plans regarding the borough building.
Cruciani believes it would be more prudent to renovate the current building, rather than build a new one.
“I think the borough building is functional and it’s downtown,” he said. “I think looking for a new borough building is the exact move that infuriates people about finding new ways to spend taxpayer dollars. We can make small repairs to this building. Grants are going to be very difficult to find on the scale necessary to build a new borough building. I don’t think now is the time to make that investment for financial reasons.”
Ryan Mitvalsky, president of the Abington Little League, addressed the council to ask permission for the league to rent or lease the Sheridan Avenue baseball complex for the 2017 year.
Members of the council are expected to vote on a new lease during the borough’s Feb. 1 regular meeting.
According to Kehoe, the borough’s contract with the Department of Public Works expires at the end of this year. Councilman Bob Bennett, Cruciani and Carey were named to a committee to begin negotiations.
Members of the council discussed switching the borough’s street lights to LEDs, a move that would save $83 each month, per Kehoe. A presentation on LED lights will be scheduled for the borough’s April 26 work session meeting.
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.