W. Ha­zle­ton coun­cil fo­cuses on pro­posed garage

The Hazleton Standard-Speaker - - LOCAL - BY SAM GALSKI StAFF WritEr

Coun­cil mem­bers in West Ha­zle­ton re­tained their pres­i­dent and vice pres­i­dent when they re­or­ga­nized last week.

With its of­fi­cers in place for 2019, the gov­ern­ing body will fo­cus on pro­vid­ing a new garage for its streets depart­ment, which bor­ough of­fi­cials hope to build near a salt shed that was built last year on North Street, coun­cil Pres­i­dent Lou Pa­celli said.

“That is go­ing to be our num­ber-one pri­or­ity this year,” Pa­celli said of the garage. “We have the salt shed on North Street so the street depart­ment would be in the same lot. We’d have ev­ery­thing in one area.”

Pa­celli said the bor­ough will work to se­cure grants or fi­nanc­ing for the garage project, which would elim­i­nate trips that streets depart­ment work­ers must make from their cur­rent base of op­er­a­tions at the an­nex build­ing on Broad Street to load trucks at the new salt shed.

“We’ve been work­ing on (fund­ing),” Pa­celli said. “Hope­fully, we’ll get some­thing.”

Re­or­ga­ni­za­tion

Coun­cil re­or­ga­nized on Tues­day with no ma­jor shake­ups.

Pa­celli will con­tinue serv­ing as pres­i­dent while Henry Kreisl II was re­tained as vice pres­i­dent.

Coun­cil’s com­mit­tee as­sign­ments in­clude Jim Sch­weitzer over­see­ing build­ings and grounds, Kreisl for the fire com­mit­tee, Bernard Dutz for zon­ing, Ger­ald Grink for streets and Wil­liam Sharkey Jr. for fi­nance, ac­cord­ing to Pa­celli.

Fa­mil­iar faces will con­tinue serv­ing on var­i­ous boards, au­thor­i­ties and com­mis­sions, as coun­cil reap­pointed Ray­mond Orth to the plan­ning com­mis­sion, John Milot to Greater Ha­zle­ton Joint Sewer Au­thor­ity and Made­line Brad­ford as an al­ter­nate mem­ber of the zon­ing hear­ing board.

A dif­fer­ent firm will pro­vide en­gi­neer­ing ser­vices in 2019, as coun­cil ac­cepted the res­ig­na­tion of RJD En­gi­neer­ing and ap­pointed the Al­fred Be­nesch firm. Coun­cil also ac­cepted the res­ig­na­tion of sewage en­force­ment of­fi­cer Wil­liam Brior. Of­fi­cials have yet to ap­point a re­place­ment, Pa­celli said.

Coun­cil also hired Robert Klep­pinger as a part-time po­lice of­fi­cer for $16.80 per hour and pro­moted part-time streets depart­ment worker Eric Shu­len­ski to a full-time po­si­tion in that depart­ment at $13.67 per hour.

‘That is go­ing to be our num­ber-one pri­or­ity this year. We have the salt shed on North Street so the street depart­ment would be in the same lot. We’d have ev­ery­thing in one area.’ Lou Pa­celli West Ha­zle­ton coun­cil pres­i­dent

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