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New members are sworn in

By Staff | Jul 17, 2013

Middlebourne Mayor Charles Delauder swears in new members of the town’s council. From left, Susan Pelikan, Rodney Miller, Dave Myers, and Vera Henthorn. Seated in the background is City Attorney Gary Rymer.

Middlebourne’s new mayor, Charles Delauder, swore in the new members of the town’s council at their meeting July 8. Incumbents Vera Henthorn, Dave Myers, Rodney Miller, and new member Susan Pelikan took the oath of office. Incumbent Councilman Doug Doak was not in attendance.

Council unanimously approved a budget revision request from Treasurer Tena Lemasters in the amount of $17,484 for the 2013-14 budget. The expenditures increased for the attorney, city hall, and street light line items. It will come from the unassigned balance.

Being new to council, Pelikan asked for an explanation of the changes. The town has been running a surplus for the about the last 15 years. Delauder credited “the frugality of the previous administration, including Dave Smith.”

They have been putting that excess it into a street fund for paving, so as to avoid a street paving assessment. Given the budget revision, Delauder said it is unlikely there will be any paving this summer.

When asked how the 2012-13 year ended, Lemasters replied, “Everything came out just right.”

In another matter, Delauder called Mon Power, a First Energy company, to discuss a utility pole that was lost last June in the derecho, at the corner of Park Avenue and Main Street. The pole had a street light on it and even though it has not been there for a year now, the power company has continued to pay for the light. So Mon Power will refund the town $209.76.

That deduction in the city’s regular bill made another decision, to add a street light, easy. They will request that Mon Power put a light on the pole along state Route 18 near the center of the cemetery.

While that may not be in the city limits, Attorney Gary Rymer said he believes the town annexed the entire highway right of way in that area.

“If the power company will do it for us, I don’t think anyone will gripe about it,” said Rymer.

Delauder proposed the location, saying he thought the town would be more welcoming if the first street light wasn’t so far into town. He added, “We have a lot of folks who walk to Witschey’s.”

They also talked about maybe putting a crosswalk in at Witschey’s. Council unanimously approved for Delauder to seek bids from sanitation companies to sweep Middlebourne’s streets four times per year.

“Right now we probably have as much grass growing on the streets as we do on the sidewalks,” said Delauder.

“The streets definitely need cleaned,” agreed Henthorn.

“It’s definitely a good idea,” added Farhatt.

They also discussed how the old cinders damage the streets, and gravel that washes onto the streets then goes into the sewers, causing damage.

Overall, Delauder said things seem to be running fairly smoothly in the town, adding, “If it weren’t for the TV cable in Middlebourne, there probably wouldn’t be any complaints in Middlebourne.”

The mayor had talked to a repairman who said he could only work on the system when paid. “So in other words the cable will stay the way it is-lousy,” lamented Henthorn.

Delauder said the town does not have a big enough customer base to interest any of the big cable companies. And in a “Catch 22” situation, the customer base keeps decreasing because of bad service.

At a cost of about $30 per month, council said the cable company keeps taking channels off of the service and what they get aren’t worth watching.

At the end of the meeting, Delauder asked the councilmembers to come to next month’s meeting with some goals as to where they want the city to progress.

He also said the town has a new email address where he can be reached for questions and suggestions: townofmiddlebourne@frontier.com.