AUSTIN — Joe Pennypacker, who was appointed to fill a vacancy position on the council here, announced at the Monday council meeting that he is not seeking a new term in this year’s election.
Pennypacker said he is unable to commit the time necessary for this position and will focus on his professional career. Pennypacker noted it has been an absolute pleasure working with the council members and it has reaffirmed his appreciation for the council’s time and commitment to the community. Pennypacker plans to remain active in the community groups.
The borough council approved the tentative budget for 2020, noting there are some final preparations to be completed before approval in December. There will be no tax increase. A copy of the proposed budget is available for review in the borough office.
The council commended the borough maintenance personnel for their fast actions and commitment to keeping the community safe during the flooding on Halloween night. The council also acknowledged the Austin Fire Department and several community members who assisted with clean up.
The council received a PA One Call to replace the pipe on Route 872, south of town. That project should be completed within the next week. Discussion was held regarding clean up on Barnett Lane and council will contact the property owner regarding a ditch that was filled in prior to the flooding event.
A personnel meeting was held with the ordinance enforcement officer. Upon hiring of the OEO, one of the duties was to establish procedures for enforcement. Council members, along with Nate Burgett, have been re-evaluating the program. Two sample ordinances — a fire ordinance and a ticketing ordinance — were presented to the council for review before a vote.
The fire ordinance would allow the council to hold a percentage of the insurance monies when a home burns. Owners would be notified and would have a certain amount of time to clean the property. The ticketing ordinance sets up guidelines and fines for first and second offenses before it goes to the District Magistrates office.
One application was received for the part-time office manager’s position. The council will interview this individual and vote to fill the position in December.
A proposal from Keystone Engineering to install and program new software at the Foster Street Spring House was approved, at a cost of $8,850. This software, which is required by PA DEP, will upgrade the water plant and monitoring.
A letter was received from the district attorney requesting a meeting with the council to discuss the Austin Dam Show. The council agreed to contact the DA.
For safety concerns, the council directed maintenance to cut off an additional 20 feet of the steps to the paper mill tower, citing new graffiti on the building.
Jesse Valenti, council president, wants to meet with representatives of the Austin Volunteer Fire Company to discuss the proposed Fire Protection Agreement. Last month, AVFD presented a three year contract with no increase for approval; the contract was tabled.