Kutztown Borough Council approves release of $250k for new fire truck

The Kutztown Borough Council approved the release of $250,000 from the Fire Protection Tax Fund, for the down payment on the purchase of a new 2017 E-One Ladder Truck.

According to council member Derek Mace, the fund is designated for use by the fire company and that the fund had well in excess of $250,000 prior to the approval of the motion.

The new 2017 ladder will replace a ladder that was bought used in 1998. According to Mace, the truck has just over 2,000 miles on it.

“The fire company is getting a great deal,” said Mace.

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Mace invited Kutztown Fire Co. Chief Eric Diehl to address the council and explain the truck to those in attendance.

“This is the first time in the history of the fire company that we’re buying a brand new ladder truck,” said Diehl. “Prior to this, we bought used. To do this, we’ve asked for the release of the tax funds from the borough and we went to Maxatawny Township to get a $150,000 release out of that account to put a $400,00 down payment on a truck that is costing $874,000 and change.”

The truck is a demo truck that was built in January.

“It [the truck] just fell into our laps,” said Diehl. “A brand new ladder truck, built to spec would be over $1 million, so this is really beneficial to us getting the price of this truck where it’s at.”

The fire company will be having a forum open to the public to comment on May 3.

Mace made a motion for the council to sign an agreement following the open forum that expresses the council’s support to the fire company after years of faithful service. Council unanimously agreed.

In other news, council approved the Kutztown Park Tobacco-Free Zone Policy. According to Council President Kevin Snyder, this policy will affect the Scooter Building, the Band Shell, the play area and the roller rink area.

Also under community development and public safety, Scott Piscitelli released the police report for March 2017. Fines collected in February by District Justice Greth equaled $5,978.05. Also in February, the clerk of common pleas collected $251.30. In March 2017, the secretary’s office collected $4,750.

On the consent agenda, council approved all motions unanimously. Included in that was a request from the Environmental Advisory Commission to use the North Park pavilion for Trail Day on June 10, and to waive any associated fees, was approved.

Also, Relay for Life will be permitted to hang sponsor signs and bows around town from May 11 through June 10.

Piscitelli made several motions for council to approve standard operating procedures. Council approved Standard Operating Procedure 2017-01, which establishes policy guidelines for the Kutztown Borough Police Department for use of the Commonwealth Law Enforcement (CLEAN) and the National Crime Information Center (NCIC,) and which regulates access to these systems and the security of information received as a result of their use.

Council also approved Standard Operating Procedure 2017-02; this establishes guidelines and procedures to be followed by the Kutztown Borough Police Department when using any audio and visual recording systems. Lastly, Standard Operating Procedure 2017-03 was approved; this procedure establishes policy for evaluating the performance of Kutztown Borough Police Department personnel.

Under public works, council approved the motion that would enter the borough into a five-year lease agreement with Radius Corporation for their lease of the borough’s land on the northeast corner of Railroad and Peach streets, subject to the approval of the lease agreement language by the Borough Solicitor.

Kutztown Community Partnership has been approved to use S. Whiteoak St., back to Sander Alley, and N. Whiteoak St., back to Sacony Alley, for a Vendor Village during the Kutztown Kruizz, awaiting approval from Chief Summers.

Great Valley Consultants will preform a traffic study for flashing school zone signs, at the Borough’s expense, the Kutztown Area School District will pay for the flashing signs. John Schmoyer has been authorized to revise the park concession stands lease agreement for 2017.

Council member Peggy Devlin made several motions under personnel. Walter J. Skavinsky was promoted as a Patrol Corporal. The pool manager salaries for 2017 were approved for Lisa Reilly and Steve Hudak, in the amounts of $9,527.02 and $8,527.02 respectively.

In addition, council accepted the resignation of Deborah Smith-Craine who will retire on May 30, and the resignation of Lenore McGonigle from the Zoning Hearing Board.

Twenty seasonal 2017 employees were approved for conditional hire, they are subject to meeting all pre-employment requirements.

The 2017 Kutztown Dolphins Swim Team coaches were approved for hire, with Steve Fowler as head coach, with a salary of $1,500, Gwendolyn Dietrich as head assistant coach, with a salary of $1,000 and James Goodreau as assistant coach, with a salary of $500.

Council member Edwin Seyler made several motions under water and wastewater; council approved the equipment and labor quotes for trickling filter arm replacements.

In other news, there is a member vacancy and an alternate vacancy on the Code Appeals Board; a member vacancy on the Planning Commission; an alternate vacancy on the Zoning Hearing Board; a member vacancy and three alternate vacancies on the Housing License Appeals Board; and a member vacancy on the Telecommunications Advisory Commission.