KULPMONT — On Tuesday evening, the Kulpmont-Marion Heights Joint Municipal Authority Board discussed and approved two motions, one of which will change the venue of the organization’s monthly meeting, and the other, the face of its leadership. The changes come following months of contentious debate and disagreement over authority budgetary spending and management of the facility’s day-to-day operations.

Voting to approve the new authority meeting venue and leadership were board members Robert Fanella, Walter Lutz, Tony Greco and Joseph Miriello Jr., with Bruno Varano, Stephanie Niglio and Bernie Novakoski being opposed.

Change of venue

A motion to move the monthly board meetings from its present location at the Jan Sobieski Club, 35 S. 10th St., back to Kulpmont Borough Hall at 9 N. Eighth St. was approved.

“Several of us objected strenuously to the meetings previously being moved to the Jan Sobieski Club. In my opinion, that location is the most unprofessional venue possible for a public meeting,” Lutz stated.

New leadership

Moving forward, Fanella will now serve as president of the board, with Lutz as vice-president and Niglio secretary/treasurer.

With regard to the board reorganization and its new leadership, Lutz said it basically had to do with the goal of improving day-to-day operations at the facility.

“As far as the new leadership is concerned, our focus was to reorganize based upon finances and management of day-to-day operations,” Lutz said.

Fanella also offered his comments on the changes.

“The borough building location is much better than a bar room for our meetings. It offers better seating for the public, among many other things. Several of us felt that the authority wasn’t being run as effectively as it could be. I accept the challenge ahead and am committed to doing the best I can with it,” he stated.

Fanella indicated that he hopes to lead an effort to change at least one of the current board policies, which he views as extremely unfair.

“Right now if a house sits empty for a year, the property owner is charged a substantial sewer line hookup fee of $1,200 which is something I would definitely look into changing,” he remarked.

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