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Coplay remembers police secretary

Council President Louis Bodish opened the Dec. 3 Coplay Borough Council meeting with a moment of silence to remember the contributions of Gloria Reinert, police secretary, who died recently.

In a discussion on the borough budget, Janet Eisenhauer, finance chair, reported there was no change in the borough’s budget after its final review. The $2 million-plus budget will require a 0.7-mill tax increase. The increase will bring property taxes up to 6.19 mills.

Donna Dougherty, from the Sanctuary at Haafsville, addressed council with a request to assist the no-kill shelter by eliminating the borough’s cap on costs.

Presently, the borough has an agreement with the sanctuary for stray dogs with a top payment cap of $650. Most of the time, the police know the dog owners so a pickup trip to the borough is not needed, which limits the cost.

As Police Chief Vincent Genovese pointed out, the group helps with feral cats and dogs and rounding up stray animals is a valuable service it performs for the borough. In 2019, the borough exceeded its cap by $380. Dougherty asked that the cap be lifted in 2020.

Councilman Charles Sodl confirmed much of the value to the borough that Genovese outlined. Eisenhauer indicated the funds requested would not impact the budget. Dougherty agreed with council that any unusual circumstances would be handled separately.

The no-kill shelter is privately funded. It receives funds from agreements with municipalities, grants and private fundraising.

Worried that Santa might miss your house? Sodl wants to see every house in the borough with visible house numbers.

“My guess is that 75 percent of the houses have numbers visible from the street. Every house should make the numbers a priority,” he said.

Genovese agrees and hopes to see numbers on houses as part of Christmas decorations.

Santa is not the only person interested in where you live - so are emergency responders. Getting to a house quickly in an emergency is key for emergency responders.

Eisenhauer also reported library usage was up to 716 walk-ins and nearly 3,000 website hits. This year’s library budget is $93,000. The library is supported by a special tax rate and internal fundraising.

Utilities reports from inspections by Coplay Whitehall Sewer Authority indicated there are multiple problems with lateral connections to sewer mains. The lateral connection is the line from the house to the sewer main. It is the responsibility of the customer to keep laterals leak free.

PPL Electric Utilities is replacing streetlights in the borough. The replacement is done at no cost because the new LED lights reduce consumption. The new lights are noticeably brighter.

Bodish announced the borough tree lighting is 6:30 p.m. Dec. 5. The borough office will be closed Dec. 24 and 25 for the Christmas holiday.