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City approves survey for possible consolidation of fire companies; accepts EM coordinator’s resignation



MARK GILGER/STAFF PHOTO Members of Shamokin Fire Police were sworn into office for four-year terms Monday night by Shamokin Mayor John Brown, center. Fire police members include, from left, Ethel Dinklocker, Joseph Ross, president Sharon Stone, second lieutenant and vice president Judy Wariki, first lieutenant and treasurer Joseph Sanzotto, captain Dennis “Moose” Miller, secretary Kathy Witcoskie, Rich Fowler, Dwayne Whitmer and Wayne Stone.

MARK GILGER/STAFF PHOTO Members of Shamokin Fire Police were sworn into office for four-year terms Monday night by Shamokin Mayor John Brown, center. Fire police members include, from left, Ethel Dinklocker, Joseph Ross, president Sharon Stone, second lieutenant and vice president Judy Wariki, first lieutenant and treasurer Joseph Sanzotto, captain Dennis “Moose” Miller, secretary Kathy Witcoskie, Rich Fowler, Dwayne Whitmer and Wayne Stone.

SHAMOKIN — Shamokin City Council granted authorization Monday night to city administrator Robert Slaby to draft a letter of intent to the state Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) to conduct a survey to possibly consolidate fire companies.

The survey, which was recommended by Shamokin Fire Chief Jason Zimmerman at last week’s workshop, was approved by Mayor John Brown and council members Charlie Verano, Barbara Moyer, Dan McGaw and Scott Roughton, who was appointed to council last month.

Brown said the survey will not cost the city any money.

Zimmerman and council members previously said the Shamokin Fire Bureau, which consists of five fire companies and Shamokin Emergency Squad, has been losing a lot of members over the years and needs to find ways to attract new firefighters.

Brown said last week the city could implement Act 172, which allows a governing body to establish a volunteer service credit program that sets requirements for the certification for service in a volunteer fire company or nonprofit emergency medical services agency.

In other business, council accepted the resignation of emergency management coordinator Brian Pufnak for personal reasons. Pufnak was appointed to the position in October.

Roughton then made a motion to appoint Jeff Hager, of Shamokin, as emergency management coordinator, which was seconded by McGaw and unanimously approved.

Council awarded a $10,400 contract for the demolition of 929-931 Oneida St. to Affordable Construction and Demolition, of Coal Township, which was the lowest qualified bidder.

Other bids were submitted by Northeast Industrial Services Corp. ($14,400), Brennan Excavating and Demolition LLC, ($19,000), Blue Ridge Excavating N’ Hauling LLC ($13,950) and Schlegel Excavating Inc. ($15,424).

Council agreed to purchase two mobile computers for the code enforcement office. The computers, which will cost approximately $8,000, will be paid with community development block grant (CDBG) money .

God’s Chuckwagon, a mobile soup kitchen, was granted permission to use Claude Kehler Community Park for a fund raiser from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 9.

Council agreed to increase the city’s allocation from $2,300 to $3,500 for the Concert Series in the Park held from May to September.

Community development director Lynn Dixson was authorized to attend the annual CDBG conference on March 26 and 27 with all expenses paid through the CDBG program.

Verano, director of streets and public improvements, reported the city has used 199  tons of salt so far this winter, but has enough remaining for the remainder of the season.

Council agreed to place a city police cruiser out of service and advertise to sell it.

Tim Vincent recommended council consider selling the police car through the internet instead of the newspaper to attract more interest.

Council also passed a motion to advertise for police applicants for testing with times and requirements to be set by the civil service board.

At the beginning of the meeting, a moment of silence was held for Jeff Thew, a firefighter and active member of West End Fire Company who passed away Jan. 24.