As 2019 unfolds, I just wanted to look back at a few of the major events that have been addressed over the course of the last year and a half.

First and foremost is the aggressive push to remedy the dangers existing at “The Mill.” Through hours of persistent and unending requests, meetings, phone calls and e-mails to state and federal officials, we, in Kulpmont, can finally see progress unfolding at that site, which for decades has been pushed aside and ignored. This $2.5 million dollar endeavor is being conducted by the EPA without tapping any local taxpayer funding.

The establishment of our own police force that now consists of four full-time officers, was the result of more than a year of work investigating alternatives, weighing pros and cons and coming to a decision that enhances the safety and protection of our borough’s citizens. With the department ‘s formation, a negotiated contract was accepted to solidify the trust in the police force working with council. This is the first official work contract for our police in almost 20 years because the need to address this concern was never seen as a priority in the past.

Many unsatisfactory details were identified and corrected with frugal financial concern leading the improvements. The “Wilson” site, which resembled war-torn Europe, was rectified. In the future, that area will be developed into a paved and sheltered recycling center, making it extremely easy for citizens to dispose of any products that are deemed recyclable. This work will be vastly covered again by grant money, not solely tax-funded dollars.

Inefficiencies in the “new” Borough Building have been identified and corrected by insisting that the contractor re-do or adjust their previously accepted work, which was obviously not correct upon completion. Other issues must also be addressed which, unfortunately, were neglected and left out. These needed items will have to be remodified to meet code and take care of the original proposed work that was deficient.

The implementation of Quick Books to aide in tracking all income and expenditures has been beneficial and successful in making our fiscal needs more worker friendly and time efficient.

Extending an open atmosphere at public meetings for citizens to express their concerns is encouraged and welcomed.

The attack on blight will shortly be visible with a super bulls-eye being focused on the 900 block of Chestnut Street. This project, once again, will be heavily financed through grant money with minimal tax dollars only used in matching situations.

Progress over the last year and a half is moving forward at an economical and effective pace. Council is working with upper level governmental officials. Local and county departments are contacted regularly for advice and monetary assistance. We are addressing many areas of need and many more must be identified and researched. We must continue to find solutions for our streets, blight and recreational projects, along with facing unforeseen problems, such as unpredictable sink holes that occasionally appear. Code and ordinance enforcement cannot, and will not, be swept under the carpet or be favored in a different light. Our local laws were established to protect our properties, our neighbor’s properties and our borough’s total quality of life.

We want all of our citizens working together to keep Kulpmont the best location to raise a family and enjoy living. We will continue to serve. We will continue to improve our community with the citizens’ needs and financial scrutiny acting as our anchors. Please, let’s all work together for this common goal.

Bob Chesney

Kulpmont councilman

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