News Column

Rush Twp. supervisors approve refinancing loan

February 26, 2014

By Tom Ragan, Standard-Speaker, Hazleton, Pa.



Feb. 26--Rush Township supervisors are hoping to save a lot of money by refinancing a loan from 2004.

According to Supervisor Robert Leibensperger, the supervisors, the U.S. Department of Agriculture loan originally was $730,000 at 4.7 percent interest for 40 years, and the township still owed $660,000 over the next 31 years.

They voted 3-0 at Thursday's meeting to approve the refinancing with Riverview Bank, Orwigsburg, for 15 years at an interest rate of 2.4 percent for a $660,000 loan.

The supervisors said the refinancing will save the township $442,073 in interest payments over the 15 years.

Investigation

In other business, the supervisors determined no disciplinary action is necessary against township police Sgt. Duane Frederick related to an incident Dec. 10 in which several dogs and a cat were removed from the home of Elizabeth Shickora in Quakake.

Shickora was cited for 18 counts of cruelty to animals. She complained to the supervisors last month about how she was treated by Frederick.

The supervisors said they investigated and concluded that the officer handled the situation in the best possible way.

A summary trial on the citations is scheduled for 11 a.m.March 5 before Magisterial District Judge Stephen Bayer in Tamaqua.

Recycling

The supervisors approved a resolution to enact regulations governing the collection of recyclables.

Cascade Cart Solutions began delivering recycling containers on Monday and Leibensperger said all residents should have the containers by the end of the week.

"We hope to see a significant decrease in municipal waste in three years by recycling which will hopefully reduce collection fees," he said.

Recycling starts Monday. Items will be collected the same day as garbage.

Acquisitions

In other business, the supervisors authorized solicitor Chris Reidlinger to complete the paperwork for the acquisition of a piece of land owned by Judith K. Johns and David Johns III for $6,000.

The township sewage pumping station has been on the property since 1999, according to Leibensperger, and the township decided to formally prepare a deed showing the acquisition of that property -- paperwork that should have been completed in 1999.

In a separate motion, the supervisors authorized Reidlinger to draft deeds of dedication and resolutions for adopting roads in the Miller and Ryan Estates development.

Leibensperger noted that in the 1950s and 1960s Schuylkill County had approved all land development plans.

"We're getting deeds that verify the township is the owner of the roads in that land development," he said.

Notifications

The supervisors approved a one-year contract for a Code Red notification system with a company in San Mateo, Calif., for $4,200.

The system will enable the township to leave a phone message about an emergency or a township project with residents, and will replace a more costly system of making copies of announcements and distributing them.

"It was costing a couple hundred dollars each time plus there was always a chance someone could be missed," Leibensperger said. "This way, they get a prerecorded message telling them about it."

The contract is renewable annually.

Ordinance

The supervisors authorized township engineer William McMullen and Reidlinger to draw up a property maintenance ordinance. It will apply mainly to run-down properties or those in disrepair, according to Leibensperger, who said such properties become a public safety issue.

Pumps

The supervisors approved the purchase of 12 Extreme Core sewage pumps for $20,431.08 for Lake Hauto.

"It was time. We needed them," Leibensperger said. "Extreme pumps last 20 to 25 years."

Donation

The supervisors voted 2-1 to donate $600 to the Tamaqua Public Library, with Supervisor Jeaninne Motroni voting no.

"I voted against it because the township doesn't have enough money for employee raises or a full-time police officer they just laid off but they have enough money to buy a parcel of land for $51,000 and for other things," Motroni said.

tragan@standardspeaker.com

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