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Salisbury trash, recycling fee increased for 2021

In its last meeting of 2020, the Salisbury Township Board of Commissioners approved an increase in the trash and recycling fee.

Commissioners met Dec. 22, instead of the usual second Thursday, Dec. 24, because of Christmas Eve, to take care of several year-end agenda items.

The meeting was held in the so-called “hybrid-virtual manner,” whereby commissioners and township officials convened in the municipal building meeting room and the public and media participated by preregistering on the Zoom online meeting platform from their electronic devices or computers.

The Dec. 22 and Dec. 10 meetings were held in this format because of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and the Commonwealth Department of Health directives ordering indoor gatherings limited to 10 or fewer persons because of the coronavirus pandemic surge.

Nine participants were listed as registered via Zoom for the Dec. 22 meeting.

By unanimous a 5-0 vote, on a motion made by board Vice President Rodney Conn and seconded by Commissioner Heather Lipkin, a resolution to increase the refuse and recycling rates effective Jan. 1, 2021 was approved at $93 per unit per quarter or $372 annually. The rates for refuse and recycling collection services reflect the new contract with Republic Services.

The 2020 township trash collection rate was $68 per quarter per unit or $272 annually.

The increase includes a new service for 2021 of front-door pickup of electronic equipment to be recycled.

Trash pickup will be Monday through Friday. Saturday pickup has been eliminated. Trash pickup is twice per week and recycling pickup is once per week.

Household electronics and hazardous waste to be picked up at the residence front door is to be arranged by a phone call to Republic Services.

The approximate $5-million trash contract with Republic Services is for three years: 2021, 2022 and 2023, with a possible renewal in 2024 and 2025.

In other business Dec. 22, commissioners voted 5-0, on a motion by Commissioner James Seagreaves and seconded by Conn, to approve an ordinance to amend the nonuniformed defined benefit pension plan to set the employee contribution rate for 2021 at 2 percent of earnings.

That’s an increase from 1.5 percent for 2020 and 1 percent for 2019.

The plan is administered by the Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System.

The township and the Salisbury Township Public Works Employees Association, the collective bargaining representatives of township nonmanagerial public works employees, entered into a collective bargaining agreement, effective Jan. 1, 2019, through Dec. 31, 2022.

Commissioners voted 5-0, on a motion by Conn, seconded by Lipkin, to approve a resolution in recognition of years of service and to accept the retirement of Letitia Forthman, a township administration office utility billing clerk for 20 years.

“She couldn’t attend [the Dec. 22 meeting]. Her last day was Monday,” Salisbury Township Manager Cathy Bonaskiewich said, adding, “We’ll miss her. She was a good employee.”

Commissioners voted 5-0, on a motion by Seagreaves, seconded by Conn, to ratify a Declaration of Snow Emergency for Winter Storm Gail. The emergency was declared 8 p.m. Dec. 16 in the township.

“It’s just a precautionary measure in case there were any residual effects,” Bonaskiewich said of the motion.

“The roads were done really well,” board of commissioners President Debra Brinton said of township Public Works Department snow removal.

“They did a great job in our neck of the woods,” Conn said.

“I live up the hill. And I was out of the house at 10 a.m. They did an amazing job,” Lipkin said.

During the commissioners’ comments portion of the meeting, Commissioner Alok Patnaik said Christmas decorations were vandalized at a township residence.

Salisbury Township Chief of Police Kevin Soberick said, “A lot of people were reporting they saw this and that on social media, but no one was calling the police.

“Social media isn’t the place they should go. If they have information about the crime, they should call us,” Soberick said.

There was no workshop after the meeting.

The Salisbury Township Board of Commissioners’ next scheduled meeting is 7 p.m. Jan. 14, 2021.