W. Hazleton council focuses on proposed garage
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.”
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