SHAMOKIN — Two veteran city police officers who recently retired were presented certificates of appreciation by Shamokin City Council Monday night for their dedicated years of service.
Mayor John Brown and Administrator Robert Slaby presented the certificates to Cpl. Jarrod Scandle and Patrolman Nathan Rhodes after council approved their retirements and allowed the officers to purchase four years of military service.
Council members Barbara Moyer, Charlie Verano and Scott Roughton also offered their congratulations to the officers. Councilman Dan McGaw, who underwent surgery Monday morning, was unable to attend the meeting.
The retirements of Rhodes and Scandle became effective March 31 and April 4, respectively.
Rhodes and Scandle, who are both U.S. Marine Corps veterans, served as Shamokin police officers since Jan. 16, 2006, and Sept. 10, 2007, respectively.
The departures of Rhodes and Scandle will leave the city with eight full-time officers, including Chief of Police Darwin Tobias III.
Brown, a former city police chief who oversees the police department, said Rhodes and Scandle have agreed to work part-time for the police department to fill shifts when necessary.
Both officers have accepted jobs as weapons and tactics training instructors at Fort Indiantown Gap.
In other police-related business, council unanimously extended the police department’s collective bargaining agreement by one year from January 2020 to December 2020 with the conditions of the contract remaining the same.
Former mayor William Milbrand asked council members why they haven’t changed tax collectors for local service taxes and business privilege taxes.
Milbrand said the city should hire Keystone to collect the taxes. He said Keystone’s website is more user-friendly than that of current tax collector, Berkheimer Associates.
Milbrand said he suggested changing tax collectors in 2017 when he was still mayor.
Slaby said he plans to meet with treasurer Brenda Scandle and Moyer, who serves as accounts and finance director, to discuss the possibility of changing tax collectors.
He said the recent move by the tax office back into City Hall and the current tax season delayed action being taken on hiring a different tax collector.
Joseph Leschinskie inquired about a proposal by Parea BioSciences, which plans to operate a medical marijuana facility near the county jail in Coal Township, to lease the former tax office as its corporate office.
Slaby said no official paperwork has been signed by Parea BioSciences regarding the lease agreement.
Annamae Kanuchok, treasurer of the Shamokin-Coal Township Library Board, invited council members and all citizens to attend an open house at the library on East Independence Street from 3 to 5 p.m. today.
Melissa Farrow, of Shamokin, who serves as a stigma reduction and education specialist for United in Recovery Coalition, outlined her group’s ongoing efforts to combat substance abuse disorders.
Farrow said her position is funded by a grant through the United Way of Columbia-Montour Counties. She works with recovery coalitions in Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties.
She said her duties include reaching out to different groups including medical professionals, first responders, school districts, civic groups and anyone else who requests training in stigma reduction as it relates to substance abuse disorders.
Council approved a $19,812 contract with Affordable Construction and Demolition to demolish 509-511 N. Anthracite St.
Council approved the first reading of an ordinance that allows motorists to plug meters with dimes, nickels and quarters instead of having to use just quarters.
Slaby said the city received a check for $1,000 from Girls Problem Inc., a film crew from New York City that recently filmed parts of a movie in Shamokin.
He said the city also received checks totaling $2,500 and $1,000 from Shamokin Youth Basketball League and Lower Anthracite Model Railroad Club, respectively, for use of the American Legion building.
Administrative accountant Doreen Annis announced the city will hold an Easter egg hunt at noon Saturday at Claude Kehler Community Park. She praised Shamokin Moose Family Center 1149 for donating $400 toward the egg hunt.
Denise Brown, one of the egg hunt organizers, said groups or individuals making food, Easter basket, bicycle, entertainment and other donations include Rescue Fire Company, Women of the Moose 1356, Dave and Wanda Chapman, Boppin with the Big Guys and Garfield’s.
Mayor Brown announced that Rosalind Kane will hold her seventh annual community cleanup program at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 20.
Council granted permission to God’s Chuckwagon to use Claude Kehler Community Park for a festival on Saturday, Oct. 12, beginning at 10 a.m.
Council also granted authorization for the second annual Downtown Doowop and Classic Car Show to be held from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, on Independence Street, with a rain date of Aug. 25.
Council approved a fundraising event for the Doowop group from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, July 28, at the park, with a rain date of Aug. 4.
West End Fire Co. was granted permission to hold its annual block party on May 31 and June 1.
Council directed Slaby to write a letter of support for Shamokin Area Businesses for Economic Revitalization (SABER).