AUSTIN — Borough council here agreed to purchase materials to repair Railroad and South Ruth streets for dust control services provided by Suit-Kote. The approximate cost will be $3,700.

Maintenance personnel Norm Stuckey said the borough will cut out the potholes and refill the holes prior to rolling and then filling with gravel. Council member Andy Dynda voiced his concern the road should be graded first. Borough resident Deb Walden, who lives along Railroad Street, said the borough has always worked with neighboring Portage Township, however the township indicated it had not been contacted for the services of Suit-Kote.

Council said the borough will contact Suit-Kote to get on the schedule. President Jesse Valenti and Dynda were opposed.

After a lengthy discussion, council asked maintenance employees to present a project plan for future work to council members for review prior to the meeting.

Council appointed Valenti and Vice President Scott Hostetlar as the contacts for personnel issues. The public should report personnel concerns by filing a report and not If any council or community member has a personnel concern, they are to follow procedures for reporting their concerns and not approach the employees. Council will review and handle all concerns. Council members Craig Hooftallen and Andy Dynda opposed.

Dynda again requested detailed maintenance reports, a repeat of a request he made in April. Dynda asked where the data on daily checks and monthly reports for the sewer and water are kept; Valenti noted they are on file at the facilities as there could be a DEP inspection at any time.

Council reported $26,201 in water and sewer payments is more than 90 days past due. Secretary Rhonda Crosby noted the borough is continuing to work with its customers, some of whom are under the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program, a temporary emergency program to help low-income families pay overdue water bills.

Council members continue to collect information for the Community Development Block Grant surveys for future funding. Council members may be going door to door or calling Austin residents to participate. Amanda Crumrine reported 75% of the surveys are complete; she hopes to have them all by mid-May. The CDBG program opens in June for funding.

No action was taken on a request from Abbottstown Borough regarding decriminalization of cannabis asking Austin to adopt a resolution.

Kathy Brooks of the Austin Volunteer Fire Department reported there were seven fire calls in April with three in the borough. There were 24 emergency medical service calls, seven in the borough. Brooks reported the Annual 300 Club will be an in-person event this year and AVFD is looking for attendance to be up since the last two years were virtual.

The Austin Ambulance has been awarded a COVID-19 Recovery Grant of $37,237 to purchase a new ambulance.

Joe Pennypacker, president of the Austin Community Pride Committee, reported the VFW Parade will take place on Saturday, May 21, traveling from the Emporium Specialties Parking Lot on Foster Street, down Main Street and down Costello Avenue to the school. Pennypacker said the fireworks display is Saturday, July 2 at the Austin School.

The next meeting of the Austin borough council is 6 p.m. on June 7. Agenda items must be submitted prior to the meeting. The agenda is posted 24 hours prior to meeting.

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