Youngsville Borough Council begins new year on solid financial footing

By JACOB PERRYMAN

jperryman@timesobserver.com

Youngsville Borough finished 2013 on a positive note.

During Monday’s meeting of the Youngsville Borough Council, Borough Manager Lisa Hagberg announced the borough finished the year with more than $1 million in its accounts.

“Which is significantly higher than it has been,” Council member Eric Mineweaser noted.

Council also approved some unbudgeted work on the floors at the municipal building.

Hagberg apprised council that the floors were in need of maintenance, and may not have been installed properly. The seams of the floor are becoming worn and accumulating debris, causing them to rise.

According to Hagberg, the floor should have been stripped and polished before tiles were laid. She said that work may not have been.

Hagberg informed council the maintenance work would cost $1,426.95, which would include stripping, cleaning and sealing the floor, and applying five coats of wax. If maintenance is not done on the floor, she said, tiles could begin to be forced up, precipitating a much costlier eventual repair.

It was noted the building itself will be only four years old this year, and has only been occupied for approximately three years.

Mineweaser and Council member Steve Morris questioned the need for work on the building after such a short time, but both supported having it completed.

“It has to be done,” Morris noted.

Council voted unanimously to approve the expenditure.

Council also directed Hagberg to settle with streetscape contractor M&B Services following a brief executive session.

Council welcomed some new faces at the meeting, its first of the year.

District Justice Cynthia Lindemuth was on hand to swear in the winners of last year’s municipal election.

James Farr took his oath for another term as mayor, as did returning council member Mineweaser. Meanwhile, John Pollow and Colette Nelson were sworn in for their first terms. Returning council member Pam Olewine was not sworn in as she was absent from the meeting.

The newly official council then took up voting on a council vice president as its first order of business. Initial voting resulted in a tie between Morris and Mineweaser. After consulting with Solicitor Tim Bevevino as to whether a recasting of ballots was allowed rather than a tie-breaking vote by the mayor, Farr ordered a new vote between only Mineweaser and Morris. Mineweaser won the second vote.

Following the vote, council made a number of appointments.

Swanson, Bevevino and Gilford was approved as solicitor; Hill Engineering as engineer; Todd Fantaskey as sewage enforcement officer; Buffamonte, Whipple and Buttafaro as auditor; Scott Rose as emergency management coordinator; Jolean Ishman in her capacity as borough secretary as open records officer; and Hagberg in her capacity as borough manager as chief administrative officer of the municipal pension plans.

The auditor appointment is a change to a new firm. The previous firm, Kersey and Associates, has largely stopped doing municipal audits, forcing municipalities to find a new auditor. Hagberg noted the new firm was from Jamestown, N.Y., and had been found after issuance of a request for proposals for the position.

There was discussion on both the engineering and pension administrator appointments.

Mineweaser questioned whether the engineer appointment could be revisited if problems arise in the future.

“I know that there have been concerns in the past,” he noted.

Hagberg replied that council could revisit the issue at a later time if needed.

She also noted the wording of the pension plans administrator appointment had been changed from previous appointments. Hagberg said, in the past, the borough manager had been appointed by name, but that under the motion passed at the meeting, the appointment would be to the borough manager’s position, regardless of who held the title.

Council also renewed a designation of Northwest Savings Bank as non-uniform pension administrator.

On the recommendation of the committee, council approved Kerstin Wyman to serve on the borough’s Parks and Recreation Committee.