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Council calls for better tracking of official minutes

| Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012, 8:58 p.m.

Manor Council members say they want the borough's boards to provide better access to documentation of their meeting.

The matter came up after a resident recently sought to review planning commission records, which were locked in the office of zoning officer Ed Howley, Councilwoman Dawn Lynn said.

Council voted last week to send letters to the boards to request that “minutes” are available to borough staff by the end of January.

“If somebody asks for them, I don't know where they're at or where they're accessible,” Lapia said.

Officials said the situation could become an open-records problem.

Under state law, government records are presumed to be public documents available for review unless they meet criteria that exempts them from disclosure. Accounts of official meetings — which often are referred to as the “minutes” of a meeting — are not exempt.

“I'm not saying anyone's being purposely negligent, but we just need to be better at housekeeping,” council President Chuck Konkus said.

Sewage-rate increase

Starting in January, quarterly sewage bills will increase by nearly $16 for most Manor residents, primarily because of a $5-per-month rate hike by the Western Westmoreland Municipal Authority.

Another 81 cents is being tacked on to account for a decline in water consumption among sewage customers.

The base rate for most residents will be $88.99 per quarter for the first 3,000 gallons of water used.

Homeowners served by the Penn Township Sewage Authority pump station — including those in the Crimson Pointe plan and homes on Rowe Road — will see a slightly smaller increase. Their rates for the first 3,000 gallons of water will rise by almost $17 to $134.37.

Officials for Manor and WWMA also have said residents can expect another round of rate increases over the course of the next year to pay for loans to complete separate but related sewage-infrastructure projects. Those increases won't be finalized until Manor and WWMA close on financing for the work.

Rec board openings

Council is seeking to fill two of the five seats on the recreation board after Beth Spena resigned and Judy Nedley decided not to request reappointment.

Interested candidates may submit a letter to council at 44 Main St., Manor, PA, 15665.

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400 ext. 8671 or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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