Pa. borough officials withhold $2K donation until VFD members go to safety meetings
No one from the department has attended a safety committee meeting in more than a year, according to Delmont Mayor Alyce Urban
By Patrick Varine
DELMONT, Pa. — Delmont officials will withhold an annual contribution to the borough's volunteer fire department until firefighters begin attending borough safety committee meetings.
Council voted to hold a $2,000 donation to the department at its meeting Tuesday.
"We still have an issue with them even coming to our safety committee meetings," Councilman Dave Weber said.
Mayor Alyce Urban said no one from the fire department had attended a safety committee meeting in more than a year.
"I support them, but they have to be part of what the borough is doing," Weber said.
Councilman Jeff Cunningham agreed.
"We need them to be involved," he said.
Fire Chief Don Cline could not be immediately reached for comment.
Council voted unanimously to pursue more than $4 million in grant funding for several stormwater and sewage projects.
Two applications would be to DCED's PA Small Water and Sewer program, to pursue grants that could help fund about $400,000 in work along Tollgate Lane as well as boroughwide sewage repairs. Brett said the grants would require a roughly $60,000 match from the borough.
Another would be to DCED's H2O grant program, established in 2008 to help fund sewer and water projects statewide. Brett advised looking into an H2O grant to help offset the potential $3 million cost of an equalization tank to keep a combination of sewage and stormwater from overwhelming the borough's system.
Before that project could even start, the borough must resolve a legal battle to invoke eminent domain and secure a permanent easement on private property in neighboring Salem. Members of the Rock Springs Trust, which owns the property, are challenging the proposed takeover.
Delmont police Chief T.J. Klobucar said the third annual Monticello Lights fundraiser was successful from a public-safety perspective and wants to work with organizers as it continues to grow.
"They did a Friday night walk-through that was a lot of kids and a lot of vehicles," Klobucar said. "It could present some safety issues, so we advised them to come to the borough maybe in October and request permission to shut Monticello down during the hour or so that they have that walk-through."
"It's becoming more of an annual event now," council President Andy Shissler said.
Delmont council passed a $1.89 million budget for 2023 that does not call for a tax increase. Property taxes will remain at 18 mills.
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