To the editor: As the mill project slowly comes to an end, we, as citizens and council, feel that the “monster in the room,” will soon be put to rest. The weakened and dangerous “leaning towers” (smoke stacks) are down. Dangerous and contaminated substances found throughout the mill have all been labeled and have now been removed. Areas of asbestos, mercury and barrels of toxic waste, through the assistance of the EPA, have been safely collected and properly disposed. The total structure, which is massive, will be completely secured with all entrances to the building sealed, which will eliminate any illegal entry.
The mill project, with all of it’s dangers, was in need to be addressed. Attacking and working to rectify the potential hazard was ignored for decades. But with help of state and federal agencies, we all can now see that persistence and creating a positive working relationship can conquer any obstacle that arises.
Rumors have now been circulating that another investor was inquiring about taking over the mill. We, as well as all of the citizens, can only hope that this new ownership will be more beneficial to our borough.
While in the world of beneficial, our newly formed police force is up and running. After losing one officer to neighboring Mount Carmel, we are actively looking to fill his slot in order to retain a “force of four,” which will provide us with the needed coverage of hours and guarantee visible police presence. Peace and safety are the two elements, we, as borough officials, must strive to provide to our community. But please keep in mind that those two goals do not come in a discount package.
More than 50% of our working budget must be funneled into our police package. As our 2019 budget was implemented, this financial mountain had to be recognized and scaled one step at a time. Training, equipment, office space, certifications — and now a new police car — all chew into tax dollars. However, safety cannot be micro-managed or put on the shelf, as it has been in years gone by.
We will continue to work side by side and constantly improve our working relationship with our men in blue. That is why our officers are now working under a new and revised contract, which they have not had for 20 years. Their contract, like the mill, was never seen as a priority item, unlike other superfluous expenditures.
We will continue to work diligently for all of our citizens and maintain transparency fueled by frugal spending.
In closing, allow me to state that blight will always be a target that will be hunted and controlled. All of our codes and ordinances will be utilized and enforced, not against people, but against the properties that do not honor the rights of their neighbors.
Please look at the facts and dismiss rumors. Look at and appreciate what has been accomplished and turn a deaf ear to nameless and faceless complaints. Do not allow anonymous and immature bickering try to tarnish the success that is growing within our community.
Progress is, at times, a slow-moving wheel. Let’s all work to keep it turning with positive thoughts and cooperation supplying the momentum.