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Sutersville council remains shorthanded

| Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, 9:01 p.m.

Sutersville has a new council member, but is still looking for someone to serve on council and represent Sutersville on the Sutersville-Sewickley Municipal Sewage Authority.

Michael Way was sworn into office by Mayor Alaina Breakiron at council's Feb. 11 meeting.

Way filled a vacancy for a four-year term that remained open following the November 2013 election, said Valerie Converso, borough secretary. Converso said she would consult with Wayne McGrew, borough solicitor, to determine whether Way's appointment would expire in 2015, the next year for municipal elections.

Westmoreland County voter registration records do not list Way as being registered to vote. Way could not be reached for comment after the meeting.

The Pennsylvania borough code states that only registered voters of the borough are eligible to hold elected borough offices.

Council still has another vacancy to fill and one of Sutersville's seats on the municipal sewage authority remains vacant.

In other matters, council said it would wait until it receives a letter from the state before acting to install a safety shutoff switch for the boiler that heats the municipal building.

Converso said a recent safety inspection found the boiler did not meet state building code requirements because it lacked the safety shutoff switch.

With all of the snowstorms, Sutersville joined a list of municipalities that were running low on road salt.

The borough had ordered another truckload of road salt from American Rock Salt Co. at its contracted price of about $55 a ton, but Sutersville does not know when it will receive that supply of salt, Converso said last Friday.

The borough uses three truckloads of road salt during a typical winter and council has to consider ordering road salt for the winter of 2014-2015, Converso said. The borough contracts for road salt through the state and must purchase the amount of road salt it orders, she said.

“One year we over-ordered and there was no snow. We had salt coming out of our ears,” Converso said.

Council also learned that it would cost about $50,000 to acquire a generator to heat the municipal building or cool it off if the building must be used as an emergency shelter in the event of a power outage in town, said Ed Marvich, council president.

The cost of buying the generator would deplete the borough's building fund, so council said it would seek a grant to cover the costs.

Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at or 724-836-5252.