Susquehanna Boro looks to shrink council

Susquehanna Borough Council is looking to reduce the number of council seats from seven to five.
Talk of reducing the number of seats was first brought before council about one year ago, with council members voting against proceeding with the move at that time.
But at the Aug. 9 meeting, members expressed a different opinion and opted to move forward with gathering the signatures required.
The effort to reduce the number of seats would actually come from the town’s voting public and require five percent or more of registered borough voters to petition the Court of Common Pleas for the change.
Council President Joe Varsik said there were about 770 registered voters in the borough and so only about 40 signatures (from registered voters) in support of reducing the number of seats would be required.
Varsik reminded his fellow members that he would not be returning to council next year; and Councilman Roy Williams announced his intent to stay on as a member for one more year.
Williams also mentioned the difficulty in getting a candidate for the upcoming election in November. “We have to have active people who know the issues,” Williams said. “We’ve been fortunate and this has been a great council.”
Mayor Nancy Hurley expressed her support of reducing the number of seats on council.
Members of council will be circulating petitions for the proposed reduction of seats.
Council approved Out on a Limb to remove a tree on Washington Avenue at a cost of $1,400. Williams said funds were allocated for the tree’s removal last year.
CB Excavating and Logging will be doing the work for the Front Street drainage project, at a cost of $4,250. The project will be funded through a grant.
New Enterprise Stone & Lime, of Clifford Twp., was awarded the bid for the Erie Avenue paving project at a cost of $57,237.50. The project entails about 1,300 feet of milling and paving.
Williams said the bid came in lower than the project estimate of $68,000. Funding for the work had been set aside from impact fees received by the borough. The project will be done this fall.
A borough police vehicle needed repairs to its back passenger window after a person in police custody kicked out the window.
Council is looking at adding security bars in both police vehicles.
Councilman Dana Rockwell advocated that a policy for the use of the borough’s camera system be put in place. “It’s an expensive system with no real use without a policy in place,” he said.
Williams agreed, and also noted the borough needed a policy if officers were going to be carrying and/or administering naloxone – a drug used to treat overdose symptoms.
A lighted community board is scheduled to be installed Aug. 17.
Boy Scout Troop 81 member Robert Burns approached council for project ideas as he works toward achieving the rank of Eagle Scout.
In discussion with council, Burns said he was interested in helping with the Ira Reynolds Riverfront Park project underway in the borough. Burns said he knew Reynolds and would be “honored to be a part of (work on the park).
Several project ideas were discussed and Burns will be put in contact with the project coordinator.
Susquehanna Borough Council meets on the second Wednesday of every month at 6 p.m. in the borough buiding.

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