Baldwin Borough's public works department gets rare hire

| Thursday, July 11, 2013, 12:30 a.m.

Baldwin Borough officials are planning to hire a laborer for the department of public works for the first time in more than 10 years, after the department dwindled to nearly half of its peak size.

An advertisement for the open position has been placed, borough Manager John Barrett said. Council members approved the advertisement in a unanimous vote at their June voting meeting.

Members have discussed hiring additional public-works help over the last several months. A similar motion by Councilman John “Butch” Ferris earlier this year failed to get a second.

Borough leaders are hiring a laborer to meet a need, Barrett said. The person hired will work in a variety of areas including roads, sewers and parks and on the snow-removal team in the winter, he said.

Baldwin's public works department consists of a superintendent and nine laborers, including a foreman, Barrett said. The department once had 20 or more employees, he said.

Borough leaders voted 4-1 to terminate a public-works foreman in November. Ferris dissented and left the meeting.

The superintendent has taken over the duties of the terminated foreman, Barrett said, and the new hire will provide additional help.

Public-works employees are the only borough staffers who must meet a residency requirement, Barrett said, so the laborer must live in the borough. Also, the new worker must have a commercial driver's license.

Pool update

A patch repair has slowed a leak in the deep end of the Baldwin Borough municipal pool enough that officials say the recreational haven will be able to remain open for the rest of the summer.

“We'll be able to limp by,” Barrett said.

The main leak, causing the pool to lose about 1.5 inches of water a day, was coming from the seams of the pool in the deep end, Barrett said, although there are multiple leaks.

A patch repair to the seams, costing $575, should allow the pool to remain open for the season without major leakage, Barrett said.

The borough pool last was resealed in 2003. However, it's supposed to be done every five to seven years, Barrett said.

A resealing project for the pool, estimated to cost about $5,300, will be budgeted for this offseason, he said.

Borough officials last month expressed frustration when they learned the pool was leaking again, because the borough spent about $38,000 in 2009 to repair a leak in the deep end and to replace two pumps.

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or

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