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Delmont Council fires, hires part-time officers

| Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Delmont Council last week fired a part-time police officer.

Council voted unanimously to fire officer Steven Sandor. Officials would not comment on Sandor's termination except to sayhe was facing pending discipline “of varying matters.”

Council also accepted the resignation of part-time police officer Bryan DeFelice.

“He was working part time for several locations, and it was too much to handle,” Mayor Gill Sanchez said.

Council hired two additional part-time officers, John Mitaly and Robert R. Patton, Jr.

Sewer-line repair

Public works employees repaired a problem with several sewer lines earlier this month. The lines began to disintegrate, with three-quarter-inch holes appearing.

The lines were installed in the mid-1980s, Bortz said. He said he expects more problems during the next several years, given that a similar problem occurred four or five years ago.

“It was another unexpected thing,” Bortz said. “Though, really, it's not that unexpected. We just hoped it would never happen again.”

Bortz recommended council begin setting aside money in the annual budget to replace a section of sewer line each year.

“The new pipes won't go in our lifetime,” he said, as opposed to the old ones.

Insurance costs skyrocket

The cost of health insurance for borough employees is expected to jump by almost 50 percent this fall.

Finance committee member and councilwoman Becky Matesevec said the borough's monthly insurance premium is slated to increase from $2,404 to $3,534 this fall, if the borough agrees to renew the plan early.

Delmont expected to save about $30,000 over two years when officials agreed to switch from Highmark to UPMC in 2012. The borough offers an insurance policy that has no deductible. An employee with a family pays $129.95 each month towards the premium.

The borough's agreement with UPMC expires in February, and, Matesevec said, she doesn't know how high the rates will spike then.

“It's complicated and ridiculous,” Matesevec said.

Council President Jim Bortz called the increases “significant.” Both officials said they expect the change to affect the borough's budget process. Bortz said the borough might need to change what plan it offers its employees and plans to meet with the police union to discuss options.

Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627.

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