Macungie Will Bill Landlords for Utilities

Due to the July 4 holiday, Council's next meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. July 5.

Macungie Borough Council addressed several items of interest at its June 20 meeting.

Both Village Walk and Brookfield Drive will be patched and sealed at a total cost of $23,500.

Public Works Director Tracey Smith told Council at an earlier meeting that the two roads have 46 areas between them that need attention or further deterioration will occur. 

He assured the council his crew could complete the work before October and have it ready for paving next year.

In other business, utility bills from the borough will be sent to all property owners, including those who have tenants.

According to Manager Chris Boehm, the borough is having problems with tenants paying their bills and the landlords not taking any responsibility.  She will finalize the policy and bring it back to the council for their approval.  Notices will then be sent to those affected telling them of the change and when it will take effect.

Also, Boehm received information concerning an organizational assessment.  This is a review to determine if there is a more efficient way to run the borough office, she said.  In this review, the following items would be addressed:

  • Staff assignments
  • Job performances
  • Job descriptions
  • Current strengths and weaknesses of the office
  • Find ways to operate more efficiently

Boehm received information that Williams Township recently contracted to have their office reviewed.  “They did the same thing we want to have done,” she said.  “Council will look at their proposal at the next meeting to see if it is something we want to do.”  Because it is not a budgeted item, the cost of $5,000 will come from the carry-over fund.

Additionally, Macungie Fire Company Chief Mike Natysyn again asked Macungie Borough Council to consider billing when they are called out to the scene of a vehicular accident.

Boehm said the borough already sends bills to a fire victim’s insurance company, and then passes the money to the fire department when received.

She also said the borough currently has an ordinance in place to bill for hazardous materials spills, though in her time as borough manager, she has had to bill only once for a hazmat spill cleanup, she said.

According to Natysyn’s proposal, the fire department would only bill for accidents in which equipment would be needed to extricate a victim from a vehicle.  “We would probably charge an hourly rate,” he said. “At this time there have been no discussions as to what that rate would be.”

Of the approximate 170 calls the fire department receives each year, about 80 percent are for vehicular accidents. Fifteen percent of those are serious and require equipment, he said.

Macungie Borough Council budgeted $49,200 for the fire department for 2011.  An additional $12,500 is expected from the Fireman’s Relief Fund, and the remainder that is needed comes through fundraising.

Natysyn said the fire department budgeted $90,000 for 2011 which is below average.

"I would prefer to have $100,000 in the budget to spend,” he said.

Because Council's next regular meeting would fall on July 4, the meeting will be held instead at 7:30 p.m. July 5.


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