Reynoldsville council holds regular meeting masked and distanced

Reynoldsville council members at the April 15 meeting.

Wearing masks and practicing social distancing, Reynoldsville Borough Council held its monthly meeting on April 15 handling what business it could considering the circumstances.

Council member John Burkett requested the council adopt a motion to ask the Reynoldsville Pool for year-end financial statements for the last five years. This recommendation came from Bill Setree, Director of Community Development for Jefferson County.

Burkett said the information would determine what would not be covered under the grant application the pool has filed with the state, so the grant committee can look for additional monies to cover those costs.

That motion was approved.

Councilman Darren Scolese said the borough road crew was in need of material for road repair. Four quotes were obtained. The council voted to award the contract to Beechwoods Equipment Leasing of DuBois. Just what roads will be worked on will be discussed at the next meeting.

Once these actions were taken, the council went into an executive session to discuss a legal matter and said no action would be taken after that session.

The council did provide some updates on a couple of items just before going into the executive session. 

Councilman Burkett said he has obtained a waver from the state to start work on the police station remodeling project. However, since school has been closed for the year, the borough will not be able to use students from Jeff Tech.

Solicitor Joe Ryan said he has been investigating a zoning ordinance for the borough, especially the downtown area from Third to Fifth Streets. Right now, he said, it appears as though the cost will be very reasonable. The downtown has not been eligible for some state grants because it is not zoned.

Council member Mike Popson said he has been approached by people who are concerned about the late fee for borough taxes and if the deadline was going to be extended. In the discussion that followed, it was mentioned that the state legislature may be pursuing that issue, but more research was needed to see what could be done.

Prior to the meeting, Police Chief Troy Bell brought the council up to date on department’s efforts to investigate complaints that some businesses were violating rules set down by the state because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said in that some cases warnings were issued and the business owners have complied. In several other cases, the businesses or industries had wavers from the state because they were considered essential.

He mentioned one example where a landscaping and lawn care business obtained a waver because that type of business is considered essential, especially for the elderly and the disabled who may not be able to care for their lawns.

“We don’t want yards with three feet of weeds,” Bell said.

Bell also said that those businesses that have “skill game” machines have shut down those machines to comply with social distancing rules.

Since many of the business that are able to stay open are closing by 8 p.m. each evening, Chief Bell said his department is now doing door checks to make sure they’re secure.

Council president Bill Cebulskie asked Bell how the well the department was equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE). He said the supply is adequate, but it would soon need to be resupplied with N95 masks.

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