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'Informational meeting' leaves some Derry Borough council members boiling mad

Tuesday, June 11, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

What Derry Borough Council president Kristine Melville called an “informational meeting,” with the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County regarding Derry's water and sewer service options has several members of borough council boiling mad.

Council member Allen Skopp, who serves as chairman of the Municipal Authority of the Borough of Derry, said he received a letter from the county municipal authority stating Melville asked the utility to consider acquisition of MABD and seeking information on MABD's personnel, finances and treatment plant and collection system.

“Nobody here on council knows about this,” Skopp said. “We had a council meeting on (May) 13th, we had a meeting last Monday, nobody talked about this issue. And all of a sudden, here it is, I'm getting an email and a letter from the Westmoreland water authority telling me we're looking to sell and they need all this information to sell the water authority.”

“Nobody said we were looking to sell,” Melville said. “This was a meeting between Westmoreland water, myself and (council vice president) Joe Morton to get some information from them.”

Council member Chad Fabian said he was aware of the meeting and council member Jim Ritenour said he was informed of the meeting “right before they went,” to the meeting.

“I'll be honest with you, I'm very upset because this is why I fought so hard and came to meetings over the last council members, because things were going on behind people's backs,” council member Nelie Smith said. “We have said we're going to try and have open meetings, agree together and work together. This is not any example of that at all.” 

After hearing again from borough resident Melody Rogowski regarding continued billing issues with Waste Management, borough council agreed to schedule a public meeting with Waste Management representatives at 6 p.m. on July 1, prior to the council's work session.

Rogowski said she has heard from some borough residents who have been double-billed by Waste Management for both Derry Borough and Derry Township service at the same address and said the company uses threats of collections agencies to intimidate customers.

Council voted unanimously to pay off the loan for Derry Community Pool, which has a balance of roughly $8,000 according to borough secretary Lori Latta.

Greg Reinbold is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-459-6100, ext. 2913.

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