Reynoldsville Council holds first meeting of the new year
Reynoldsville Borough Council had its first meeting of the new year on January 2, and if this meeting is any indication, it promises to be another tumultuous year for the council.
During the public comment, Larry Baun and Mike Beck, members of the Reynoldsville Water and Sewer Authority Board, asked if the rumors were true that the council thought they were not doing a good job on the water authority board.
Baun and Beck also asked if the problem stemmed from a recent action by the authority to have Borough Secretary Jaqueline Dixon return to the borough building on Main Street. Dixon had moved to the water authority office when the borough building was deemed unsafe this past summer. The problem with the building has since been repaired and Dixon will be returning to that location.
Council President William Cebulskie, who also serves on the Water and Sewer Authority, said the council did not have a problem with Baun and Beck. He did argue that keeping Dixon at that office saved money for the authority, but Baun and Beck disagreed.
Council member Kyle Gordon said, “I can say without a shadow of a doubt that as a council, we’ve never had any complaints or have discussed anything concerning the water authority outside of Jackie moving back there while repairs were being made.”
Three attempts were made to use Covid relief funds to provide hazard pay to borough employees. Councilmember Ralph August made the motion to provide $2,000 to the three full time employees. That motion failed. Another attempt was made to reduce the amount to $1500 for the three full time and pro-rating an amount for part time employees who meet a certain criteria, which would include Councilmember and Code Enforcement Officer Nichole Walk.
A third attempt was made to approve a motion that had failed at the previous meeting, setting the rate at $1000 for the three full time employees and a pro-rated $800 for Walk. That motion also failed since Walk is a council member and must abstain from voting.
As the council moved on, Walk walked out of the meeting, handing what appeared to be a hand-written resignation to Cebulskie. At the time, it wasn’t clear if she was resigning from code enforcement, council, or both.
Reynlow Community News reached out to Walk via text after the meeting and asked for clarification. She responded that it was originally for council, but she has changed her mind and will keep her position on council. She said she respects the council’s action not to provide hazard pay.
The council voted to stop meeting twice a month in the coming year. The council will meet on the third Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m. at the Fire Hall.
The borough will open bids for work on the maintenance building at its next meeting. Community volunteers are being sought to help with the grant request for the pool. Councilmember Gordon made the council aware of a request from the pool for money to help with bathroom repairs. He said the cost would be close to $6,000.
Some discussion was held about the condemnation of the Shuttleworth building on Main Street. Council member August said a window fell out of the building recently. The building suffered a roof collapse back in September of 2020, but it was repaired. Cebulskie said he would talk with a representative of PennSafe about how to proceed.
During a discussion on the borough park, Mayor Mark August said he feels the fire department will not agree to leasing the park. It is believed that due to complications related to state grants, the borough is unable to just turn the park over to the fire department.