LEBANON, Pa.— The Lebanon City Council met on Monday, July 25, 2022, to review several uncharacteristically full monthly agenda items.
The City Council voted Monday to pass a resolution to support a joint plan between the Union Steam Fire Engine and Hose Company and Rescue Hose Company No. 4 to purchase two new pieces of fire apparatus.
With the resolution’s passage, the City has committed to contributing 50% of the cost of purchasing a new fire engine and ladder truck, totaling $990,000.
Fire Commissioner Duane Trautman spoke before the Council in the pre-council meeting to explain the reasoning behind both purchases. In the meeting, Trautman said that the fire department is in the process of establishing a model to sustain itself for the next 30 years and is purchasing new equipment to do so.
He said that of the fire apparatuses that the City currently owns, the two oldest are from 1999 and 2004. He said that while the new purchases will not immediately replace those vehicles, the intention is to retire them shortly.
The City’s financial contribution to the fire companies comes from remaining American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding.
Trautman said the fire department is also planning to purchase another new apparatus as it continues to develop its 30-year plan.
Additionally, the City Council passed a resolution to approve the FY2022 Annual Action Plan for the Community Development Block Grant Program. During the Pre-council meeting, Janelle Mendoff, the Community and Economic Development Director/aid to the Mayor, presented the City’s proposal in the form of a public hearing.
In her report, Mendoff said that the City is planning to allocate approximately $680,000 from this program to several economic and infrastructural programs, explicitly focusing on economically depreciated areas.
Mendoff said that because of covid-19, the City is carrying over roughly $480,000 from last year; however, she did not directly specify how that money is being spent other than saying that excess funds typically go to road construction projects.
In other business, the city council re-appointed Ed Lynch Jr. and Beckie Dreibelbis to the Zoning Hearing Board at the recommendation of Mayor Sherry Capello. Because the Zoning Hearing Board operates similarly to a judicial office, the Mayor cannot utilize a strong Mayor to make the appointments without council approval.
Additionally, the City Council passed an ordinance to sell a property owned by the City. Mayor Capello said that the City has tried to sell this property on two separate occasions unsuccessfully and is now trying to do so for the third time. She said that the City gained ownership of the property during the development of the bridge project and had used it to house a family that was re-housed as a result of the same project.
The Council also passed a resolution to update/modernize the language of the Bureau of Fire: Career and Volunteer Divisions to become compatible with other municipalities in the state.
Mayor Capello said that the budget year for the City of Lebanon is 50% complete, with the City collecting 60% of its expected revenue and spending 38% of its expected expenditures.
The next Pre-City Council meeting will be on August 18 at 4:45 PM, and the City Council meeting will be on August 22 at 6:30 in the Frank Dixon Council Chamber at 735 Cumberland St. All are welcome to attend.