To the editor: We would like to update the Kulpmont citizens on some of council’s activities since July.
• A new police contract was negotiated and approved by the police and council. The previous contract was 20-plus years old. The borough now has four full-time officers doing an excellent job.
• Piece-by-piece, many of the mill problems are being solved. The project will cost more than $2.5 million, but with no cost to borough citizens.
• Council was able to obtain a recycling grant for approximately $143,000.
• Two large subsidences in the borough have been repaired.
• An additional $12,000 has been secured above the $50,000 already secured for remediating blight.
• Several properties with long-standing issues have been materially improved through rigorous code enforcement. By strictly following the legal procedures, all code violations sent to the magistrate have received decisions favorable to the borough. A recent one had fines totaling $3,900.
• More than 20 abandoned/problematic vehicles were removed from the borough. Some of these vehicles have been sitting for years.
• The statue of a firefighter was placed in front of borough hall and donations have been collected to place statues of a police officer and a coal miner. A memorial tombstone will be placed in a special area at the Wilson School site. The mill star has been secured and, after communication with the mill owner, plans are to renovate the star.
• The general fund will show a surplus above $20,000 for 2018. This is in contrast to the original projected deficit of approximately $125,000. The initial 2019 budget projects a deficit of $220,000. The revised 2019 budget will show a deficit of $40,000 that will be covered from the excess receipts from 2018 and strict financial management. The biggest increase and biggest overall amount in the budget is for police protection — money very well spent with no tax increase.
• This year, Wilson recycling center site work will be completed, some properties on the 900 block of Chestnut will be demolished, the mill work will be completed, an ice skating rink will be constructed at the football field, the 25-year-old agreement with the fire department will be updated, finalized and approved, substantial improvements will be completed at the football field and continued full support for aggressive enforcement of all laws and ordinances will be the top priority.
And, the heat is still working in the borough office.
Our sincerest thanks to the borough residents for allowing us to serve.
Kulpmont Borough Council