AUSTIN — A meeting was held Monday, Jan. 4 where the Austin Borough Council handled routine items but took few actions.

No action was taken on numerous quotes obtained for the purchase of a new truck. The council members will be in touch with a local mechanic to obtain pricing to repair the current vehicle which has been out of service for several months.

No action was taken to waive sewer and water standby fees on three structures located in the borough. The council noted, as per ordinance, the standby fees will continue to be charged until the structures are torn down and cleaned up.

One property owner has obtained the necessary demolition permit while the other two have not. The council will contact each property owner to discuss.

Discussion was held regarding the on-going puddling of water near the Elliott Street bridge. Council will meet with the adjoining land owner to work out a solution to the problem which was created when the individual built up his property to divert the water.

Vice President Scott Hostetlar reported he will follow up with Will Hunt of the Potter County Planning Commission regarding possible funding for the Elliott Street bridge repairs. No action has been taken on this matter.

Austin Fire Department reported 13 fire calls and 33 ambulance calls for the month of December. It was also noted that the underground storage tanks have all passed inspection. According to a spokesperson for the fire department, the fire station remains closed due to the on-going pandemic.

The council appointed Roger Bickleman as the sewage enforcement officer for 2021. The council received a letter from its solicitor, Tom Tompkins, who stated he was not interested in renewing his contract for 2021. The council is looking into the proper way to appoint or advertise for a new solicitor.

The council will continue to meet at 6 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month unless otherwise noted. Jesse Valenti will remain president and Scott Hostetlar will remain as vice president for 2021.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the council will meet virtually in February. The council will re-evaluate the situation for future meetings.

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