First Posted: 4/4/2015
CLARKS SUMMIT – Mayor Patty Lawler proclaimed April 20 as Summit University Day in the Borough of Clarks Summit at the regular council meeting April 1. Currently Baptist Bible College, the school received university status in early 2015 and will officially change its name to Summit University April 20.
“Congratulations, we’re thrilled to have you,” council president Gerrie Carey told Summit University’s Vice President of Communications Mel Walker and Director of Alumni John Jackson.
In other news, council was divided on the vote to contribute a 3 percent increase to the Abington Area Joint Recreation Board (AAJRB) for which council did not budget.
Attorney Greg Pascale and Bill Risse of the Abington Area Joint Recreation Board (AAJRB) addressed Clarks Summit council at the borough’s work session March 31 to ask council to support an increased contribution to the AAJRB.
The borough did not budget an extra 3 percent contribution to the AAJRB, approximately an extra $480, according to Borough Manager Virginia Kehoe.
Pascale said at the March 31 meeting AAJRB doesn’t need the $480 to make the park operate on a daily basis, but the increase was requested to help cover the cost of yearly audits and increasing costs for liability insurance.
“It’s the consensus of council to move forward,” Carey said to council on April 1. She was absent from the work session discussion.
Council member Vincent Cruciani said it was not the unanimous consensus of council, and asked why members of the finance committee, Carey and Vice President Dominic Scott did not vote on the 3 percent increase when it was originally requested in the fall and council was creating the 2015 budget.
“I don’t want to be the only municipality that doesn’t go along with this,” Scott said.
Cruciani said the borough allocated the same amount given to AAJRB the previous year and that the park’s operating costs went up, “because they’ve chosen to make their costs go up.”
“This economy does not warrant continually growing a park like that,” Cruciani said. “There’s no way we can ask the police and DPW (Department of Public Works) to take cuts and taxpayers to take a reduction in services.”
“We do a lot for them (AAJRB) in kind,” said Lawler.
“It’s $480. We do have the funding for it,” said Carey.
“It’s not in the budget. We might have the operating cash flow, but we don’t have the money,” Cruciani said.
Carey said contributing to the increase was “out of respect for the park that everyone in our borough gets to use.”
“How about out of respect for the police officers everyone in our borough gets to use? And the DPW?” Cruciani asked.
Scott motioned to pay the additional 3 percent increase and council member Jim Klein seconded. Carey, Scott and council members Pat Williams and Klein voted yes. Council members David Jenkins, Herman Johnson and Cruciani voted no.
Council also voted to refinance a paving loan which has a balance of $368,000. Council voted unanimously to refinance the interest rate from 3.25 to 1.99 percent over 60 months.