During Tuesday night's meeting of the Waymart Borough Council, Matthew Witt, a member of Boy Scout Troop 111, presented his ideas to replace the welcome signs coming into town on Route 6 as his Eagle Scout project.
-During Tuesday night's meeting of the Waymart Borough Council, Matthew Witt, a member of Boy Scout Troop 111, presented his ideas to replace the welcome signs coming into town on Route 6 as his Eagle Scout project.
Witt provided council with a description and sketch of what the signs would look like, pending approval. He said he would be up for other suggestions if council didn't like his.
The current idea for the signs consists of "identical signs with a decorative cinder block base that is filled with soil and mulch." Two pieces of wood will hold up the signs and there will be a roof over the signs to "add some extra design and protection."
Witt added that if council wished, there will be a solar panel and a set of LED lights "to allow the signs to be visible at night." This design for a single sign is around $1,100, an approximate $2,200 total for both signs.
He also said he will do fundraising to help defray some of the costs and that he will ask members of the community to "volunteer materials, time and money." He said that he is looking forward to working with council and completing the project.
The signs would be the same size as the current ones. The sign on Farview Mountain is 75 feet and the other is 50 feet. Witt is checking with PennDOT to see if he needs permission. Council member Jane Varcoe said there shouldn't be a problem because the signs are in the "right of way" on the road, but solicitor Chris Farrell said they should get permission "to be on the safe side."
Council member AJ Gaudenzi advised that Witt be "very specific" when describing his project to PennDOT when it comes to dimensions, pricing, font, how it will be laid out, etc.
"This will be ongoing dialogue," Gaudenzi said. "We will all work together."
Council President Charles Norella suggested that Witt set up a table to show off his ideas at upcoming events in town.
• Council member Jane Varcoe received the Council Member of the Year award for 2013 from the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs (PSAB). The annual conference was held in Hershey.
At the beginning of the council meeting, Norella congratulated her for the award.
The 102nd conference brought over 600 borough officials, spouses, speakers and exhibitors from every corner of the Commonwealth. It provided the opportunity to "attend educational sessions, network with fellow officials and speak with different groups about their community."
In order to promote interest in good borough government and to recognize faithful and effective service by elected or appointed borough officials, PSAB has granted borough service awards for each borough official who is a member in good standing of PSAB.
These members must serve a "minimum of 10 years" at one or more boroughs. Officials are also recognized for completing an achievement program and distinguished service to the community and PSAB.
PSAB is a statewide, non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to serving 958 borough governments. Since 1911 PSAB has represented the interests of boroughs and helped to shape the laws that laid their foundation.
The association improves and assists local governments through legislative advocacy, research, education and other services. With more than 2.6 million Pennsylvanians residing in borough communities, PSAB members strive to deliver quality leadership and service to citizens across the Commonwealth.
Varcoe also received her President's Award for 40 years on council at the conference.
• Council received a letter from the Waymart Ambulance Corp. that stated council can "drop the workers compensation" that they carried for volunteers, because the ambulance's company is now covering it.
The letter stated that Waymart Ambulance has grown since its existence 40 years ago and now relies on a paid staff in order to answer calls. Due to a paid staff they had to seek workers compensation for the paid employees, but they still had an issue with the volunteers.
Anita Thompson, director of operations on behalf of Waymart Ambulance, spoke to the company again and they changed their mind on covering the volunteers. She said Waymart Ambulance is now a "98 percent paid staff" and not volunteer.
Norella said that council will get reimbursed, which will count as credit for next year.
• The letter from Waymart Ambulance also requested additional lighting on their roadway, Railroad Lane, saying that they are concerned with the safety of their employees at nighttime as well as those who enjoy the street for a walk or jog.
"With what the ambulance is saving us we owe it to them," said Norella.
Gaudenzi said the poles on that road are through South Canaan telephone companies and that they would have to be lowered if council chooses to use the current poles. He added that if council doesn't want that, they can get new poles.
"It comes down to the discussion between the South Canaan company and PP&L," he said. "We have no bearing on it."
He added there's no underground electricity on Railroad Lane like with Rockwell Lane.
"We are waiting for the authorization," he said.
"I think you can get a grant to do the whole street," said Varcoe. "That's something we can look into for the future."
Council voted to put two lights on Railroad Lane if everything goes well between the South Canaan company and PP&L.
• Council submitted their own letters to DEP regarding their opposition to the proposed sewage ordinance. The letters went to Thomas Starosta, bureau of point and non-point source management and to Christopher Abruzzo, acting director.
• The swing set is up in Wayside Park, but it needs swings. Varcoe gave a donation for one of the swings and three more are needed. There will be three belt swings and a baby bucket seat.
"The belt swings are $66.95 a piece and the baby swing is $109.95," said council member Lil Rollison.
Council voted to give park and rec $400 to take care of the rest of the swings. Rollison said the swings will be up before the Patriotism Parade on June 15.
• Inmates from F.C.I. Canaan have been approved to help the borough. They will do anything that council asks.
"Each job has to be on a packet that can be signed off on," said Rollison. "We have to provide them with what they need for what jobs we give them."
She said the inmates will be supervised by their own people.
Council member Karl Williams is going to look into prices for a hand mower that will be used in the park.
Rollison said that they weren't sure when the inmates from F.C.I. Canaan would be able to start so some inmates from S.C.I. Waymart will work to get the mulch under the swing set before the swings are put in. They will start June 3 and may be there until June 5.
"We can always make more suggestions about things that they can do," she said. "They'll do everything on our list plus anything we add later."
Some of the jobs will include mowing in the summer and shoveling in the winter.
•The flood ordinance was passed. Norella commended the board for a job well done with it.
• Council approved putting a motion light at the back door of the building.
• Council approved paying for Mayor Jack Millard to attend the mayor's convention in Pittsburgh. He has been nominated for mayor of the year.
• The 2012 Community Development Blog Grant (CDBG) money was used to put a ramp up for the police department. This allows police to bring people in without having to walk through the main part of the building where a meeting may be taking place. It was $12,000. Varcoe said they plan to use the 2013 CDBG money for the park.
• There will be a concert in the park on June 2 at 3 p.m. by Canaan Christian students.
• Clean-up day will be Saturday, May 18 from 8 a.m. to noon. The cost is $10 a truckload.