Follert joins Montrose Council

Montrose Borough Council appointed Thomas Follert to fill a vacant Ward 1 seat at the Monday, Feb. 5 meeting.
Follert takes the seat vacated by Thomas LaMont following his election as the borough’s mayor.
Borough council is looking at enhancing benefits offered to members of the police force.
Chief Dale Smith said the move could help attract some officers to join the local force.
Currently, several members of the force are working nearly 40 hours a week, but Smith warned he felt they would indefinitely continue to work the added hours without additional benefits, such as sick time.
Councilman Craig Reimel said he didn’t foresee an increase in hours for some officers as having a detrimental impact to the borough budget, as they are already working those hours.
Council will continue to review potential changes with President Sean Granahan saying the changes can be made retroactive to Jan. 1.
Smith said bringing benefits in line with some other departments in the area could help attract new officers, and help keep officers on the force longer. “It’s hard to keep people without full-time benefits,” the chief told council.
Council formed a committee to look at the International Property Maintenance Code before moving ahead with adopting portions of that code for the borough.
Former borough solicitor Marion O’Malley was in the audience at the meeting after having been sworn in as the county’s district attorney earlier that morning.
Council had accepted her resignation in January pending her appointment to the position.
The borough is accepting applications for a new solicitor.
O’Malley extended her thanks to the council and offered to bring her successor up to speed on any pending borough matters.
Residents Julanne Skinner and Barbara Clifford spoke about noise and disturbances coming from natural gas drilling sites near the borough.
Skinner suggested council “flex their muscle” to do something about the noise.
Councilwoman Judy Kelly said she heard a “faint hum” but received no complaints about the noise from any other residents.
Potential drilling under the borough was also questioned.
Granahan said some individual landowners had received natural gas leases, and discussion continued about possible lateral lines coming into the town.
Montrose Borough Council meets on the first Monday of the month at the borough building on Cherry Street at 7 p.m.

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