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Laceyville Council Filling Vacancies



By David Keeler

At a brief meeting Tuesday night that lasted approximately a half-hour, the Laceyville Borough Council filled one of its two vacant seats and expects to fill the other at its September meeting.

Council voted unanimously to appoint Matt Harper to fill the seat formerly held by Jay Eberlin. Harper will be officially sworn in at next month’s meeting. Harper will be on the ballot in the November election

Council also agreed to name Keith Pennay to fill the seat formerly held by Philip Wurzler, however, a formal vote on his appointment won’t take place until the September meeting. Pennay will also be on the ballot in November for confirmation by the voters. Both Harper and Pennay were at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Filling the two empty seats brings council back to a full complement of seven members. Last month council couldn’t hold an official meeting because not enough members were present, and the vacant seats played a major role in the meeting not taking place.

In other business, Mayor Ken Patton told council that Jenningsville resident Pat Butkiewicz has been hired as a part-time police officer. He will serve a 90-day probation period, Patton said. Officer Joe DeMuro explained to council that his catering business is taking time he thought he could devote to the borough, and although he expects to continue working for the borough, it will be on a limited basis.  Patton said that Butkiewicz will also patrol in Wyalusing under a contract for Laceyville to provide police patrols in Wyalusing.

On another police matter, council agreed not to take any formal action regarding accepting former police officer Sgt. Lloyd Overfield’s resignation. “If he’s not working, he’s not getting paid, and we should just leave it as is for a while,” Patton said.

Regarding the borough’s water problems, Council President Donald VanDeMark said efforts to revitalize an unused well seemed to be going satisfactorily. “They drilled it another 100 feet deeper,” VanDeMark said. Patton said the well is producing 129 gallons per minute, which would meet the borough’s needs.

The next step will be extensive testing of the water, a process which Patton said would take about two months and cost $14,000.

Council also reviewed recommendations from Borough Solicitor Chad Salsman regarding action the borough should take regarding an agreement with Larsen Engineering concerning solving the borough’s water problems. Council took no action on this, however, preferring to table further discussion until next month’s meeting so Water Company Superintendent Tim Shotwell, who was absent, could take part in the discussion.

Other business included:

 — Discussing the numerous potholes in the borough that need to be filled, especially on Franklin Street.

—Agreeing to contact Dave Brown regarding mowing borough parks. Walter Sutton whose bid was accepted for mowing the parks, has had to stop due to health problems.

— Discussing a problem near Whipples where grass and brush are making it difficult to walk on the sidewalk. Council’s hoping the situation can be remedied before Saturday’s Community Day celebration.


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