Council meeting

A socially distanced and masked Coudersport Borough Council meets for its May meeting. From left, are Marty Fry, Todd Husson, Mayor Andy Dubots, Wayne Hathaway, George Hults and Brian Ruane.

COUDERSPORT — The Coudersport Borough Council will send a letter to the Coudersport Volunteer Fire Department requesting a full and complete financial audit

“I believe … this body has requested from the fire department in the past, numerous times, to provide us with an audit, which they’ve never done,” council member Marty Fry said during the May 20 council meeting. Fry said he thought the borough should have that, since the borough gives the fire department money to assist with its expenditures.

“We’re not trying to micromanage, we just would like to have them fulfill what we’ve asked,” Fry said.

Fry said in the past, the council has asked the department to do this but the document that was given to the borough wasn’t clear and didn’t show the entire expense assets. His concern was typically the council will ask for this in December and there isn’t enough time. If the borough starts the process now, it will provide all parties with enough time to complete the audit and share it with the council.

Dan Glassmire, the borough’s solicitor, said Fry’s request had a lot of merit and said if they started the process now, they would be in a stronger position to ask for an audit. Glassmire suggested sending a letter now and giving the department 90 days to comply.

“If they don’t do it, then you can actually start shopping to get fire protection services from one of the other regional fire departments,” Glassmire said. Fry and Glassmire both agreed that this was not to minimize the great job that the Coudersport Fire Department does, but rather it’s a direct way of trying to get the information that the borough is entitled to. Glassmire said he has no reason to suspect that there are any issues with the fire department.

Fry made a motion to send a letter to the department with the request of the audit and it was seconded by vice president George Hults. The motion passed 5-0, Gary Walaski was absent from the meeting.

Glassmore reported the borough received a letter from Zito Media, stating the current franchise expires on April 22, 2023, and it is “invoking the various formal procedures to address the renewal of the franchise.” Glassmire said there are a lot of different ways to approach this.

“If I had to make a guess, the people that reside in the borough and have Zito Media as a provider could have some issues and this is kind of our chance as a borough to weigh in on it,” Glassmire said. Historically, the borough has gotten between $12,000-15,000 for the franchise, Bev Morris, borough manager, said.

Glassmire said he wasn’t sure how much competition there was or if any competitor in the cable business would have any interest, but said competition is typically good and didn’t think the council should “sleep on this.”