KULPMONT — After losing seven to eight weeks due to the government shutdown, demolition and cleanup of the former J.H. & C.K. Eagle Silk Mill has resumed, and removal of a brick smokestack is set to begin upon arrival of equipment.

Ann DiDonato, EPA on-scene coordinator, updated borough council members at the start of a special meeting Monday. Despite the looming threat of another government shutdown on Friday if lawmakers and President Donald Trump can’t reach a budget deal, DiDonato assured council work will continue at the site.

Removal of the brick smokestack will take about 2 1/2 weeks. The bricks will be stacked in a back part of the facility until a shipping location is determined.

A metal smokestack has already been dismantled at the old mill.

Two additional employees were added to the original three-man crew to assist with interior work. DiDonato said the upper boiler room is “just about cleaned up” and work will begin soon on the collapsed roof.

Crews are working on ways to access boiler rooms to remove asbestos-contaminated materials.

DiDonato said she will remain in charge of the project but has an on-scene coordinator backup, Christopher Guzzetti, should she have to visit another site.

Only four members of council were present Monday; George Malakoski, Robert Slaby and Mike Sinopoli were absent.

Audit complete

During his report, council President Walter Lutz said the 2017 audit of the borough has been completed and is available for review at borough hall. The borough is required to have audits performed as part of a prior U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant.

Treasurer Paul Niglio said the audit showed there is no existing inventory of borough property. An inventory and cost evaluation of all assets must be conducted, he said.

Mayor Nick Bozza announced the next Kulpmont Crime Watch meeting will be held at 7:15 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at Holy Angels activity center. The group will host a first-aid class beginning at 5 p.m. Monday, March 18 during which Stop the Bleed, hands-only CPR and recognizing basic medical emergencies will be taught. Contact Bozza or any member of the crime watch committee if interested in attending.

Bozza requested council approve a buzzer for residents to use to access the police station during hours in which borough hall is closed. The buzzer will be for the police station only, at the bottom entrance of the building, and will notify police when a visitor is at the station.

Council approved the purchase of a buzzer and will consider additional security cameras as well, including for the Terry Miriello Field, where a newly installed ice rink was vandalized.

Approval was given to purchase four sets of cutting edges and two Elgin brooms at a cost of $1,092.

Council also unanimously approved a contract to the lowest bidder for servicing and cleaning heating units in the municipal building and the fire department truck room at a cost not to exceed $7,000.

There will be no regular meeting tonight. The next borough council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 13.

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