The Lebanon City Council met on Monday, September 26, to review a light September agenda containing two communications and the final reading of one ordinance.
With an approximate attendance of roughly 15 people, the Lebanon City Council looked over a small monthly agenda which contained a department update from the Fire Department, a communication from the Director of Administration-Assistant to the Mayor, Melissa Quinones, regarding the City’s pension contribution for 2023, and a final reading for Bill No. 4.
Fire Chief Duane Trautman gave his department update during the pre-City Council meeting on Thursday, September 22. At the beginning of his update, Trautman said that Fire Prevention Week, October 9th-October 15th, is quickly approaching.
Mayor Sherry Capello said this year’s theme is “Fire won’t wait. Plan your Escape!”
Trautman told the Council that the fire department would like to offer more learning opportunities for children to interact with rather than just flyers. For example, he said that during the Lebanon Car Show, the fire department brought some burned appliances, which allowed children and parents to see the actual effect of a home fire.
Trautman said the Fire Department is still collecting bids for the fire engines that the department is replacing. He said the bids are due by November 9 and that one manufacturer attended the pre-bid meeting.
Trautman said that both of the City’s ladder trucks are currently out of commission. He said truck 18 has a cracked radiator and is due for immediate replacement, and truck 20 is being returned to the City though it is not in a suitable condition for use.
Trautman said the Fire Department is currently renting a ladder truck from Catasauqua Borough in the interim as the City looks to replace its truck. The City now has an agreement with the Catasauqua Fire Department to rent the truck for $200 per day.
Mellissa Quinones notified Mayor Capello of the 2023 minimum municipal pension plan contributions.
Mayor Capello told the Council that the City is putting $930,351 into the police pension plan, $258,304 into the fire pension plan, and $0 into the non-uniformed pension plan. She said these sums reflect the minimum necessary contributions to fund these plans adequately.
Bill No. 4, which Council Chairperson Joseph Morales proposed, was introduced on final reading and passed unanimously. As a result of Bill No. 4’s passage, the attendees of council meetings in the future will be required to put their name and address on a sign-in sheet before entering the council chamber.
In other business:
Mayor Capello informed the Council of the final audit reports for the 2021 budget year. She said that ultimately the City raised 119% of what it expected to gain as revenue, spent 91% of what it believed it would need to spend, and came away with a surplus of $165,868.
Mayor Capello also gave the Council a current budget update for 2022. She said that the City is 67% through its current budget year, has raised 84% of its expected revenue, and has spent 49% of what it expects to spend.
City resident Norman Tobias raised several issues before the Council. Primarily, he asked if the City would paint yellow strips alongside the curb by fire hydrants to discourage people from parking in front of them.
Lynn Nassinger of 1131 Hauck St. and Joy Deck of 984 Reber St. spoke before the Council concerning one of their neighbors feeding/housing feral cats in the area. Both people said the cats had caused disturbances to them in the area.
Additionally, they said they were worried that if something ever happened to the person feeding them, these cats would be left wild in the area without proper care.
Mayor Capello said that the City has recently negotiated and developed an agreement with Paws of PA. This group will specifically work to help humanly neuter stray/feral cats in the City, to prevent them from breeding into the future. She said she will consider having the group begin the project in this area.
The next Pre-City Council meeting will be on October 20 at 4:45 PM, and the City Council meeting will be on October 24 at 6:30 in the Frank Dixon Council Chamber at 735 Cumberland St. All are welcome to attend.