Reynoldsville Council meets, gets an update on pool repairs

L-R: William Cebulskie and Darren Scolese

Reynoldsville Borough Council met in regular session on December 15. The first order of business was to award the Citizen of the Month for December to out-going council member Darren Scolese. Scolese has been the borough fire chief for 15 years. He will be replaced on council by John Chesnalavich, Jr in January.

During the public comment section of the meeting, Mayor-elect Mark August asked why there was no money for part time police officers in the 2022 budget. Council President William Cebulskie said there was “not enough money for it.” When August asked if it would be restored next year, Cebulskie responded, “we’ll have to see.”

LeeAnn Toombs asked about the status of the borough’s appeal of the Pennsylvania State Labor Relations Board ruling in favor of Police Officer Tammy Murray. She said she thought a published report said it was dropped but she had heard it was on going.

Council Solicitor Joe Ryan responded that the council did vote to withdraw the appeal (see the Oct. 11 report here), but the legal matters between the union council and the labor council have not been finalized. Because of legalities, Ryan declined to comment on the issues involved, but he did say he hoped the final resolution would be completed before the council’s January meeting.

Officer Murray has been back on the job since November 15.

Budget

The 2022 budget and all related ordinances received final approval at the December 15 meeting. The budget totals $865, 625. The 2021 budget totaled $833, 175.

The budget includes a one mil real estate tax increase which is expected to raise $30,000 in additional income for the borough.

Pool update

At the previous meeting, the council was informed that the Reynoldsville Pool had been denied a grant request by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. This would be the third time the DCED has denied the grant application.

A meeting was held on December 13 to decide how to proceed. Pool spokesman Jack Matusky told council that at that meeting it was decided to divide the repairs into two phases. Phase one would be for the deck and piping. Phase two would be for the interior of the pool.

With pool fundraisers and a state grant, pool officials have been able to raise $335,000 to fund the Phase 1 project, which will be completed this spring. Matusky said he hoped Phase 2, which has an estimated cost of $300,000, could be started in the fall, but that’s dependent on additional fundraising and possible grants since the pool’s current resources will be used for Phase 1. He said it could be postponed for a year or two until the money is acquired.

“You know, there’s about eight maybe ten people for the past ten years that have worked pretty hard to keep that pool in operation…they’re pretty dedicated people,” he said.

Council will vote on the Phase 1 contract at a future meeting.

Other information

Council heard from a resident who asked that parking be restricted in an area of 13th Street. That issue will be taken up at the January 3 meeting.

A representative from the Reynoldsville Community Association (RCA) asked for council representation on the RCA board so the two organizations can work together on grant opportunities.

The council also received a letter from the Veterans Memorial Park Committee asking that the council purchase a bench at the park to honor borough residents who have served in the armed forces. The cost would be $1,000. That item will be placed on the January 3 agenda as well.

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