At the Reynoldsville Borough Council meeting held on January 20, Reynlow Community News learned that the all of the members of the Reynoldsville Water and Sewer Authority Board had resigned. One week later, on January 27, the newly formed Water and Sewer Authority Board of Directors met for the first time.
Barry Fillman, William Cebulskie, and Henry Deible met for the first time as a board at the authority business offices. Fillman, who is the director at Jeff Tech, had been appointed by the council late last year. Cebulskie, who is council president, and Deible were appointed by council last week.
The first order of business was to reorganize. With Solicitor Jeff Gordon conducting that part of the meeting, Fillman was named chairman. Deible was named secretary-treasurer. A motion was approved to defer appointing a vice-chairman until council seats two more members to the five member board.
During his preliminary report to the board, Systems Manager Robert Crosby announced that he planned to retire within the next six months. Crosby has been with the authority for 41 years.
Chairman Fillman said the search for a replacement has to begin now so there is “as much overlap” as possible with the new hire and Crosby.
Toward the end of the meeting, after getting his laptop delivered so he could review his notes, Crosby continued his report to the board including a statement that the next water line replacement project will take place along Bradford Street where there have been leaks in the past. That project is expected to begin in the spring. The authority replaced a broken line on Fifth Street by Mike’s BILO last November.
The board approved a motion to accept the resignation and separation agreement with former employee Melissa Burkett. It then tabled a motion to hire Karen Gerew as full-time office manager until the particulars of the agreement are worked out.
To provide help in the office, the board approved hiring Jeff Tech student Ashley Maze as a part-time office assistant. Maze with work at the office through a Co-Op agreement with Jeff Tech.
During the discussion, Solicitor Gordon revealed the there would be a ratification vote sometime in the future for employees to join a labor union. It is believed five employees would participate in that vote.
The motion to approve an updated Employee Policy, Procedures and Practices Handbook was deferred until that document is finalized.
The board members discussed a number of different topics, ranging from over-due bills to the business software. Crosby revealed at the meeting that 60% of water customers in the authority’s service area were renters. One discussion focused on sending those types of bills to the landlord instead of the renters. This topic, along with many others, were tabled for a February work session.