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Meshoppen Council Hears Insurance Presentation

The monthly Meshoppen Borough Council meeting began 15 minutes late Monday night because some members were late due to snow. However, a quorum was finally achieved, so official business could be transacted and the meeting began with a presentation by Jeff Kyle from DGK Insurance. Kyle told council that the borough's insurance premium went down a little bit since the previous year.

"The worker's comp went down," he explained, adding that the worker's comp rate depends on the payroll of an insured entity. It also depends on the claim rate. Meshoppen Borough has had few, if any, claims. Some wrinkles were ironed out with regard to new street names within the borough, and Kyle reviewed the entire insurance package.

There was a discussion regarding debris burning up grinder pumps and the fact that the borough is insured for mechanical failure or equipment breakdown. The grinder pumps are not covered if they break down because of inappropriate materials being flushed down the toilet, items like rugs and gravel.

The borough reminded Kyle that the police equipment portion of the policy would have to be updated because the police chief will shortly have a new cruiser, with new equipment. Kyle agreed, but did not say if this would cause an increase in cost. Kyle also stressed the importance of all subcontractors for the borough naming the borough as an additional insured on any liability policy.

"It's not enough to just require proof of insurance," Kyle explained. "They have to name the borough as an additional insured and you have to check to be sure they do."

Minutes from the February meeting were approved as presented. Treasurers' reports for both the borough and the water company were also accepted as presented. The water company's water has been tested by Farnham & Associates out of Scranton. The tests were done to have a baseline for water quality, given all the gas drilling in the area.

An update on the burned-out former Marty's Market building owned by Martin Cannella, Jr. was heard. Apparently some work is beginning. Cannella has said he intends to remove the debris left from the October 2010 fire and rebuild but a delay in the receipt of insurance checks has meant a delay in that starting. Councilperson Bruce Priestner, who assigns building permits in the borough, says he has not been approached by Cannella yet.

Past due sewer bills were again reviewed. The borough has not heard back from its attorney regarding customers who have not paid despite being taken to the Magistrate. "We need to know what we can do legally," Council President John Bunnell said. The borough's attorney currently is Jonathan Foster. The borough has another batch of delinquent clients to send to the magistrate and needs direction on what to do when they do not comply with magisterial orders.

The borough's former pizza shop building has been inspected upstairs. There were some minor problems, the downstairs of the building was inaccessible because of recent snowfalls. Part of the roof appears to be failing and may damage the back of the building if it is not fixed. Another inspection will be scheduled for later this month.

Under Parks and Memorials it was mentioned that the borough needs a new flag. Priestner said he will take care of getting a new one.

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