First Posted: 12/7/2008
West Pittston Borough will lose an estimated $35,000 a year as state changes to contractor registration takes effect, council noted Tuesday. The borough was forced to make the changes as part of a state response to Building Trades requests, and the same move is being made across the state. The Building Trades Association said that their members had to pay local fees in all of the municipalities they operated in, and it was an effective duplication of fees, and something of a cash cow for municipalities, borough manager Savino Bonita noted. West Pittston charged $150, he said. The borough will still incur expenses in investigating contractors to see that they are insured and qualified to work safely in the borough, but will no longer get the costs incurred by zoning and code officers who do those inspections offset by the fees. The new fee, paid to the state, will be $50 every two years, he said. In other business, council agreed to take out a $215,000 tax anticipation note with Fidelity Bank for 2009. The rate will be 2.59 per cent, but is contingent on the bank carrying out all required DCED filings, and if it fails to do so, the borough will accept the offer of the next lowest bidder, which was Pennstar Bank, with a rate of 2.99 per cent for the same amount. In other business, Councilman Kevin Lescavage noted that yard waste collection will end December 12, as will the collection of leaves from borough streets. Lescavage urged residents to move vehicles so that street cleaning could be carried out, but also noted problems with the leaf collecting vehicle meant a lot of the work was being done by a borough backhoe. He expected the work would be completed on some of the streets that were harder to clean before the December 12 deadline. Council approved contracts for work on Morris Park, at $61,222, and the Municipal Building, at $42,166, pending the review of the county office of Community Development in both instances. Community Development funds will meet the costs of both projects, and Liquid Fuels money will be used to meet the costs of two Chevy 4500 dump trucks the borough agreed to buy during the meeting. Council also noted that effective 2009, meetings will begin an hour earlier than the current 7.30 p.m. start time. That means the December 30 meeting to give a final reading and approval of the 2009 budget, which also needs to resolve a current $204,000 deficit between income and expenses, will be the last meeting to be held at 7.30 p.m.