Today’s news and information gleanings from here and there.
- A dozen or so citizens were in attendance at last night’s council meeting. All the councillors, the mayor, the borough’s solicitor, the finance manager, the public works director, the contracted consultant and the codes manager. The borough’s manager was absent.
- Also in attendance were persons presenting financial Audit reports on the borough and the soon to be disbanded (formally) Municipal Authority.
- Representatives from Rettew Associates and AIM Advisors returned with another powerpoint presentation about the “Final Feasibility Study for a Columbia Borough Food Waste to Energy Program” (as stated on the agenda below). Though it was stressed that this is not, and will not be, a borough operated project. The feasibility study is to provide predicted evidence that the anerobic digester concept is a viable one for a private enterprise to operate.
- Interestingly, while Steve Kaufhold was hired as the Codes Manager; his name is not listed at the Borough Website (listed as Zoning/Planning/Codes is Jeff Helm).
Council meeting Agenda – page one
- The councillors authorized the announcement of an on-call part-time administrative person to fill in for absences due to vacations, etc. The announcement will be advertised with an hourly rate of “$17 – $18.”
- Introduced, glossed over and rejected by council members was agenda item II, 12, c | “Agreement of sale – 137 Front Street (Fire Company Building). Citizens learned there was an offer to buy tendered, but the councillors rejected it – there was no discussion. Citizens did not learn the amount of the offer nor the name of the person or entity making the offer.
- Streetscape | Agenda item II, 11, a | “Consider development of an RFP to solicit bids from professional design firms for the planning of a downtown streetscape planning project.” The councillors approved another solicitation for a streetscape proposal.
- Someone offered that a previous streetscape plan had been developed years ago (in February, 2012, Columbia news, views & reviews noted “The issue of the changing Columbia streetscape on the first several blocks of Locust Street is one of those issues. At the January Council ‘meeting of the whole – part one’ – the discussion of downtown lighting, tree planting and brick sidewalks was on the agenda, for instance. There was lively discussion about the decision to use bricks in the revamped sidewalks. Some people felt that bricks can become problematic as they shift or become dislodged. There was much discussion about how the decision to use brick rather than patterned concrete or plain cement sidewalks. When one councilor asked about the decision process, there was oral recollection, but no documentation was cited nor available for reference.”
- Councillor Cleon Berntheizel injected this streetscape would be “more in depth.”
- Several citizens questioned when the street cleaner would be operating. It appears one street cleaning vehicle is inoperative (“The engine blew up,” according to the public works director.) and a newly purchased one is not yet in use. Apparently the manufacturer of the street cleaner will not allow its use until it considers operators to be trained in its operation.
- Tell your boss you’re taking off work early tomorrow to attend the “Joint Feasibility Meeting “A Joint Feasibility Study group, consisting of representatives from Columbia Borough and Columbia Borough School District, will meet in the Council meeting room, 308 Locust Street, on June 14th at 5:00 p.m. to consider whether there is sufficient interest to pursue a study concerning the possible consolidation of School District, Borough administration offices and the Borough Police Department at the School District Administration Office, 200 N 5th St, Columbia.“