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Everson Council works on garbage contract

| Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Members of Everson Borough Council are working on a new garbage contract.

At a June 17 meeting, Council President Mike Banaszak said the current contract with Veolia expires at the end of this year.

“Our goal is to have a new contract drawn up and bid packets ready so that we can take action on advertising at our July meeting,” he said.

From there, members of council hope to open bids at their September meeting and if everything is in order after the bids are reviewed by their solicitor, they will award the contract in October.

“The new contract would start in January of next year,” Banaszak said, adding that it would be a five-year pact.

In other business, the borough has had a hard time getting participation in recent years in the summer lunch program at Centennial Park that is provided by the Southmoreland School District.

The food services entity of the district has threatened to discontinue the lunch program in the past, but last year the borough paid to help offset the cost so the program could still be provided, even if it helped just one child.

The first day of the summer lunch program in Centennial Park this year has been promising, with 24 children participating.

Banaszak said the increase in participation may have to do with different activities that Mayor Ruth Shannon and Councilman George Sherbondy have incorporated after lunch on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Street department worker Russ Koontz updated council on work he will be doing in the upcoming weeks.

Pothole patching will be on his agenda and he will continue to collect any kind of yard waste such as shrubbery trimmings, limbs or anything except grass clippings.

While Koontz used to pick up grass clippings, he can no longer do it because they don't burn. But if residents bag their grass clippings and set them out with their weekly garbage, Veolia will take them.

Council members also agreed to purchase a new multi-purpose tractor for borough maintenance at a cost of $16,409.07 that will be taken from the borough's savings account. It will replace a front loader, which is no longer repairable, as well as a regular mower that's beginning to break down more often.

Finally, resident Harry Ohler told members of council that rats coming out of a sewer line near his property are overrunning his property and causing major damage. He added this might stem from a hole in the line that was made more than a year ago when Verizon was installing a pole.

Ohler told residents he has trapped or killed nearly 50 rats and it doesn't seem to be making a dent, and he asked council for help in taking care of the matter.

While Ohler said he had a plumber fix the hole in the line from Verizon, members of council passed a motion agreeing to hire a plumber to camera the lines in the general vicinity of Ohler's house to check for any other leaks or holes.

Ohler agreed to cap two old open drains as well as the first steps to try and correct the problem.

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.