Meshoppen Borough Discusses Fate of Flooded Post Office
By D.C. Koviack
For the second month in a row, the Meshoppen Borough Council met at the Mehoopany Township Building because the Meshoppen Borough building was flooded and has been unusable. “We should be back in there next month,” notes Borough Secretary Phyllis Adams. “They say it’ll be ready in another week or so.”
On Monday, Borough Council approved the bills against the borough and the water authority for payment. The minutes from the last meeting were also approved, as was the treasurer’s report.
Adams noted the helpfulness of the local bank in replacing borough files lost in the flood. Former councilperson Mike Tuttle has officially resigned from council. Mike Loyd has been tapped to replace Tuttle, but Monday Loyd told council he recently got a new job with PennDOT and will be working every Monday evening. “It’s not fair to you if I’m never here,” Loyd said. “I would like to be on council but—“ Despite this, Loyd was sworn in Monday by Mayor Bruce Marshall, who noted that if Loyd is kept apprised of what is happening on council, he can always submit proxy votes. “And if someone comes to us expressing an interest in being on council, then Mike [Loyd] could be excused from serving,” added Council President John Bunnell.
Council decided on Monday to set the annual Halloween Parade for Friday the 28th. It will begin at 7 p.m. and run until 9 p.m. Trick or Treat in the borough will take place just before the parade, from 4 to 7 p.m.
Various issues concerning erosion from the recent flooding were then discussed, including repairs to creek banks. The feeling on Monday was that DEP should come out to assess the situation and issue permits for the needed repairs. FEMA should also come to the borough and check the damage being claimed by the borough so the cost of the repairs will be covered. It is expected that FEMA claims will be processed later this month for municipalities and public entities. Additionally, the sewer line in the Meshoppen Creek, which broke during the flooding, has been temporarily fixed but needs a permanent repair. This should be taken care of within a few days.
Some grinder pumps in the new sewer system had to be repaired because they were damaged by river mud. “There were probably 40-50 under water,” noted Councilperson Mike Voorhees. Close to 40 structures in the borough were damaged to some degree in the flood. The park in the borough was severely compromised by the flooding; it is in the process of being repaired. On balance, the Meshoppen Borough park did not fare as badly as other municipal parks, such as the one in Forkston.
Rumors about the closing of the Meshoppen Post Office continue to run rampant throughout the borough. The feeling appeared to be Monday night that the post office would likely not re-open because it was so severely damaged in the flood. It was also mentioned that the U.S. Postal Service might install a trailer as a temporary post office in the borough until a final decision is made.
Borough residents were advised to bring flood rubbish to the borough parking lot where it will be hauled away by the borough.
The police report was submitted with another satisfactory month. New equipment for the borough offices will be ordered for next week. Specific needs were identified Monday night so that the proper equipment can be ordered. No bids were received in response to the ad seeking a winter road maintenance contract. The matter was tabled until the November meeting. The 2012 Liquid Fuels money has been received in the amount of $10,465.
Martin Cannella has completed the cleanup and restoration of the property he owns in the borough that was burned last October. The borough will return Cannella’s $18,000 that was held in escrow until the repairs were effected.
The borough received a call from PennDOT that the Mowry Road Bridge needs to be inspected immediately. Penn-DOT engineers will do this, because the county engineers who normally perform this service are reportedly unable to make the inspection soon enough.