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Orwigsburg officials getting ready for move to new offices

After decades of operating in the old Orwigsburg Public School building on North Warren Street, Orwigsburg’s borough offices are being readied for a big move.

Borough Manager Randy Miller expects to move to the new location at 333 S. Liberty St., a former Santander Bank location, the week of Jan. 23. The offices will be closed for a few days during the move.

Miller, along with Borough Secretary Sherry Edwards and Utility Clerk Kathi Mengle, will be relocating to their new digs. The police department, district justice offices and meeting rooms will remain in the current location.

The police plan to expand their space in the old borough hall, installing a holding cell and new evidence room.

Borough manager’s report

Borough manager Randy Miller informed council that paving work on Margaret Avenue is complete. Next up is sewer line replacement on Marshal, Warren and other streets in the vicinity. Borough workers continue to search for inflow and infiltration issues throughout the community.

Fire report

Fire chief Scott Rarick submitted the monthly fire report, citing 25 total calls for December. Year-end total was 217 calls for the all-volunteer fire company. The fire company assisted on calls in East Brunswick, West Brunswick, North Manheim and West Penn townships along with Orwigsburg, Hamburg, Schuylkill Haven and Port Clinton. The incident in West Penn Township resulted in the death of two firefighters from the New Tripoli Fire Department in Lehigh County.

The volunteers put in 1,603 hours responding to calls this past year, along with 1,695 training hours.

Police report

Police chief Vince McDonald, who was not in attendance, submitted his yearly report. There were 2,219 reported incidents in the borough, mostly minor including traffic violations and vehicle accidents.

Rental inspections underway

Shannon Darker, ARRO Engineering, updated council regarding ongoing rental inspections. There are 380 rental units. To date 329 have received Certificates of Occupancy, 46 are owner-occupied, under construction or being sold. Four of the rental units have received Notices of Violations, three have failed inspections, and one is to be scheduled. Fines have been levied on violators.

Development progress

After almost 15 years in the making, progress is being made on the Blue Mountain Village Development on East Market Street. Work is underway to secure highway occupancy and conservation permits.

The Ridge Road Park project has received a contract from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for $114,000. The required borough match is $40,000.

The borough is still awaiting word on the status of a Multi-Modal Grant for sidewalk repairs and improvements within the town square area. The request for a $1.1 million grant was submitted in July.

Borough engineers continue inspections on properties built prior to 1950 as required by the Lead and Copper Service Line Replacement Initiative. The deadline for the inspections as per the nationwide requirement is August 2024. To date, 265 meters have been changed

Resolutions passed

Council approved a new wage schedule for 2023, which includes the rate of $16.90 per hour for snowplow drivers and $12.50 per hour for part-time seasonal hires.

Kevin Richards of Alfred Benesch Engineers was reappointed as the borough planning engineer and consultant.
Council voted to reappoint SEK CPAs & Advisors as the borough auditor and to authorize them to prepare the 2022 audit.

The next council meeting is Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. in the borough hall.

Source: Berkshire mont

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