New secretary for Susquehanna

BY HELEN B. FOSTER, Correspondent

Samantha Lawson was sworn in as the borough secretary by Mayor Michael Matis at the council’s  Oct. 19 meeting.

Lawson had been hired as a temporary secretary to cover the Oct. 5 committee meeting prior to her being hired in the part-time position at a special meeting on Oct. 14.

Bill Hilddebrant of Barber and Barber, the actuary for the borough’s pension plan, attended the meeting to explain the plans standing and any future changes that could be foreseen.

Hildebrant said the plan did not do well the last several years. The cost will come down in 2011, he said, and over a 10-year period the plan will be even, making it necessary for the borough to contribute money at that time. Act 44 has caused problems for pension plans allowing less money to be put in the plan,  he said. “This does not help the plan but helps municipal budgets,” he added. He indicated that if the economy goes back to normal, the plan, as it stands, should fund the borough’s pension plan for the present time. There are two retirees benefiting from the borough’s pension plan.

Councilman Bill Perry asked Hildebrant if the borough joins with other municipalities in a Regional Municipal Police Department would the pension plan roll over.

Hildebrandt said, “Yes.”

Council decided to table any action on a regional police department. President David Scales suggested an advisory board be appointed.

Perry commented this could take 2-3 years as there are questions that need addressing.

Margaret Biegert, administrator for the borough’s Main Street and Elm Street programs, also requested time on the agenda.

Biegert informed council the Washington Street sidewalks will be completed before the Elm Street sidewalk project moves on to Grand Street. According to Biegert the new phase will be advertising for an engineer to begin on Grand Street.

Council was also informed there are funds to buy and demolish another house to continue removing blight in the borough. The Main Street/Elm Street program has already demolished homes on Erie Avenue, Grand , Washington and West Main Streets.

Parking on the end of Grand Street where there is a Market, Funeral Home and parking needed for two churches was a discussion between Scales and Biegert. That problem will be addressed at a later date.

It was decided that the placement of new house numbesr is overdue and according to Scales the police will be working on this. The borough has an excess of leaf bags and they will be available at the borough office when the secretary is working.

Barnes-Kasson Hospital was thanked for the use of their equipment to clean the borough building’s floors. According to Scales, the Tri-Boro Sewer Authority has installed a gas fired heating system which is reported to be handling their heating needs. Scales will be asking a member of council to investigate a similar system for the borough garage.

Councilman John Hendrickson reported to council on a borough truck that is no longer being used. It will be decided if the truck is needed and the cost of making it road worthy before a decision is made on keeping the truck.

Mayor Matis reported there are two new officers and are looking forward to working more closely with Oakland and Lanesboro. He also reported there are nine street lights that need attention.

A letter from the Susquehanna Community Development Association Hometown Days Committee has set the date for the Christmas Tree Lighting for Friday, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m. in the Shop’s Plaza. Refreshments will be served at the American Legion with entertainment by the Susquehanna  Elementary School Chorus. The FREE breakfast with Santa will be Saturday, December 11 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at St. John’s Parish Center.

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