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Manor officials already considering salt purchase for next winter

| Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, 8:12 p.m.

With less than a month left in this winter, Manor officials already are considering how much road salt they should buy for the next snowy season.

Borough manager Joe Lapia is recommending that council commit to buying 400 tons through a state-negotiated contract. Under the terms, Manor would be required to take at least 60 percent of that amount — 240 tons — but wouldn't be permitted to buy more than 520 tons.

Public-works employees have used about 270 tons this year, with another 250 in storage, as of last week, Lapia said.

“Typically, I think we use 400 to 500 tons, unless it's a really bad winter,” he said.

Manor is spending $52.92 per ton on salt this year. The price for next year has not been set yet, Lapia said.

Council President Chuck Konkus asked Lapia to present council with the worst-case scenario for salt usage at its March 6 public meeting.

“I wouldn't want us to undersell ourselves,” Konkus said. “I always want us to be prepared.”

New tables

The community room in the borough building soon will have new tables.

Council agreed to buy 30 30-inch-by-96-inch collapsible tables from Hampton Office Products for $2,660. Two-wheeled travel carts will cost another $510.

Officials said the old tables were starting to wear down, sometimes snagging visitors' sleeves. They will be posted for sale on the Municibid online auction site.

“That's a much-needed improvement,” Konkus said.

Council is paying for the tables from the community-room fund, which had about $15,000 in it, as of the end of January, Lapia said.

Credit card

Access to a Sam's Club credit card through the borough will make food and drink purchases easier for the Manor Recreation Board, Councilman Bruce Hartman said.

Hartman requested the card last week because of the difficulty he said rec board members have had in trying to get an invoice from Sam's Club for items for holiday parties and other events. Council authorized the opening of an account that would limit the users to Hartman and Lapia.

New state regulations that took effect last year require borough council to maintain the rec board's funds, but, Hartman said, it was a burden for borough volunteers to front hundreds of dollars in some cases until they could be reimbursed. Council also doesn't reimburse rec board members for any taxes on purchases.

“They're punishing everybody, when they should be punishing the people who abused the system,” Hartman said of the changes to the Pennsylvania Borough Code.

Another mower?

Lapia said the purchase of another lawn mower would enable the public-works department to finish cutting all of the grass on borough properties and at parks in one day instead of two.

He presented council last week with a $14,773 quote for a John Deere 997 and a $12,018 quote for a Ferris zero-turn mower, but council didn't commit to a purchase. Both prices are from state purchasing contracts.

With a third full-time public-works employee on staff this year and summer part-time help in the budget, Lapia said, employees could finish the task sooner than in past years.

A new mower is not included in the 2013 budget.

Sidewalk work

Council is considering installing a new sidewalk along Route 993 between First and Poplar streets.

Konkus said the borough removed the sidewalk a few years ago as part of a road project by the state Department of Transportation but hasn't replaced it. He said he sees mothers using strollers in that section of town, and he is worried about the safety of missing part of the sidewalk.

“If we're going to be spending money on lawn mowers — not that I'm saying we don't need it — we've got to do something with that sidewalk,” Konkus said.

Officials are determining how much it would cost to put a new sidewalk in.

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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