The Reynoldsville Borough Council met for the last time in 2019 on December 18. The council tackled a busty agenda to finish the year.
One item that had to be acted upon at this meeting was the 2020 budget. That budget, along with related ordinances and resolutions, had been advertised for the required 30 days and was given final approval by all members present. The package includes a 1 mill real estate tax increase as well as increases to the Occupational and Per Capita taxes. (For a more complete look at the budget, click here.)
Council member Darren Scolese, who is also the Reynoldsville Fire Chief, waited until the end of the meeting to voice his displeasure over the 2019 budget. He said his organization has only received one allotment so far this year. Borough secretary Jacqueline Dixon said she expected one if not two more allotments by the end of the year if the money is available.
In a related matter, council also approved a tax anticipation note of up to $100,000 to keep the borough paying its bills until taxes start to be received in March.
Mayor Peach Caltagarone and council member John Burkett said progress was being made on the new police station on the first floor of the municipal building and into the old ambulance garage.
Mayor Caltagarone said he has received a list of items from the building trades instructor at Jeff Tech, whose students will be helping with the remodeling.
Police Chief Troy Bell brought up the need for audio and video recording equipment in the new station. Corporal Ted Race of the Pennsylvania State Police based in DuBois, who was visiting the council meeting, said he agreed, and he encouraged council to make it a part of the project.
Councilman Burkett said there are some things that the Jeff Tech students won’t be able to do, and that the borough will have to go outside for some items. Still, he feels that work on the station will “start moving along pretty quickly.”
Reynoldsville Pool Manager Jill Heffner attended the meeting and informed council that the pool plans to reapply for a grant it was denied this past year. She said the hope is to file in mid-February, and she need a resolution from the borough council in support of the project.
Council approved a motion to draw up the resolution and act upon it at its January meeting.
The pool had applied for a $170,000 dollar grant from the state but was denied. A fundraising campaign has raised $5000 so far, but Hefner is hoping to raise $30,000 to put toward the pool’s portion of the grant.
While on the subject, Council member Burkett said he and Council member Robin McMillan recently met with the State Representative Cris Dush at his Brookville office to discuss funding sources. He said it was a very positive meeting.
Burkett and McMillan encouraged Hefner to reach out to Representative Dush and State Senator Joe Scarnati for support.
As far as grant writing is concerned, Burkett, McMillan and Council member Darren Scolese met on December 12 with James Venture, Jr., of the borough’s engineering firm PVE Sheffler, to discuss the process and how the firm could help.
“We got a lot of information to use to benefit the borough,” Burkett said.
Council heard a complaint from Christy McGranor, the borough tax collector, about a couch out on the street across from her residence on Tenth Street. It’s been there for three weeks, she said.
Under the new Quality of Life Ordinance, a ticket and fine will be issued to the homeowner. If after 72 hours the couch is not removed, the borough will haul it away and bill the homeowner.
To close out 2019, the council voted to approve Christmas bonuses for employees. Full time employees will receive $100; part time employees will receive $50; and crossing guards will get $25 dollars.
The next meeting will be the reorganization meeting on January 6 at 6 p.m. at the borough office. The regular meeting will be held January 15.