Emmaus urges public to stop misusing the borough compost machine
The Oct. 5 Emmaus Borough Council meeting was highlighted by a presentation from Roy Anders, chair of the public works committee. He had a work bucket in his hand and stood in front of a table. He then dumped a pile of debris found in the borough’s compost machine onto the table.
Anders said these types of materials have, again, destroyed the borough’s machine. Residents left numerous indestructible items to be picked up for compost including bricks, metal shards, various sized piping and other non-compostable items. These types of materials cannot go into compost and responsibility is on the residents to obey the rules. Taxpayer dollars are spent on repairs and replacements.
The compost machine was recently repaired at a cost of $45,000 and the new repairs total $15,000. Anders pleaded with whoever is leaving these materials to stop. When workers are loading the machine with their scoopers, they can’t go through it with a fine-tooth comb.
The compost machine has been broken twice this year and the combined cost of fixing this is the same cost of an employee’s yearly salary.
Before this presentation, the council meeting began with a public hearing. The hearing was conducted for the adoption of Ordinance No. 1203 for the Borough of Emmaus Subdivision and Land Development. The ordinance amends Chapter 22, amending submission deadlines, the number of printed submissions and administrative details for final approval of submitted plans.
All in all, this will give the land developers extra time to review plans. The ordinance states sketch plans should be submitted not less than 15 days for review. The solicitor followed by stating this will help to make this process much more efficient. There were no members of the public in attendance to state any opposition. The ordinance was passed by the council.
Following the hearing, a thank-you letter from the Allentown Fire Department was read aloud by Council President Brent Ladenberg. The Emmaus Fire Department assisted with an out of control fire on Harrison Street in Allentown. The relief provided by Emmaus was noted as the ultimate factor in stopping this fire. The Allentown Fire Department had depleted their resources and needed them desperately.
“Please extend my sincere thanks to Lt. [Donald] Riley III, Lt. [Tom] Carl and FF [Christopher] Lubenetski for their hard work and professionalism. They are a credit to your organization and you are fortunate to have them in your ranks,” Christian Williams, battalion chief of Allentown Fire Department wrote.
Mayor Lee Ann Gilbert announced October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. She said this annual campaign is aimed to increase awareness of this disease, specifically, for the advancements in early detection and treatment.
For the health, sanitation and codes committee, Resolution 2020–34 was passed. This approval gives the land developers permission to submit proposals for the Iron Works Apartment Sewage Facilities Planning Module.
In budget and finance, Chris DeFrain talked about the 2021 Minimum Municipal Obligation for the Police and Employee Pension Plans. The total cost for the police plan is $608,119. The total for the employee plan is $559,274.
DeFrain also read Resolution 2020–35, which is the bill list for October. The total price came to $428,063.
Moving past finances, Junior Councilman Jonas Hausmann reported East Penn School District is scheduled to transition to a hybrid schedule. However, Hausman said students are still awaiting this action to take place.
Borough Manager Shane Pepe made a few announcements; the first was a repeat of the borough’s submittal for the multimodal grant, a $2 million project to overhaul reconstruction of South Second Street in Emmaus.
Additionally, Pepe said the borough applied for the county COVID-19 assistance grant of $185,000. The only snag is the language associated with the terms of the application. There is ambiguous language regarding how the grant money can be allotted. Pepe is awaiting more clarity on the next steps.
Lastly, Pepe wanted to bring awareness to the parks and recreation committee’s park study. Pepe said these studies have been largely unattended and that all of the input received was from council members.
There has been a positive response in the online survey, but he encouraged the public to attend a park study in person. Dates are posted online and will be advertised more often. Pepe is hoping members of the public get interested.
“People from these neighborhoods must speak up in these studies.” Pepe said. “This will shape the future of recreation in the borough. If any residents are interested in the parks, the pools, community events, please choose to participate. You will have your voice heard and it will impact your community directly.”
The yearly budget will be submitted at the next regular council meeting 7 p.m. Oct. 19 at borough hall, 28 S. Fourth St., Emmaus.