Police Weapons, Ammo Sale OK'd
McConnellsburg Borough Council members finalized arrangements to sell firearms carried by former borough police officers. The weapons have been held for safekeeping by the Fulton County sheriff since the department was disbanded at the end of 2008. The sheriff asked that council make proper disposal of the weapons by June 14 and council members agreed to a plan to do so at their regular meeting last Wednesday evening.
The members voted unanimously to advertise the weapons for sealed bids to be opened at council's next regular monthly meeting on June 3.
Council also voted to display the guns and ammunition for sale at Keystone Country Store in Fort Loudon, Pa. Successful bidders will be required to obtain all background checks and clearances required by the store.
The following firearms will be offered for sale by sealed bids as advertised: an Ithaca 12-gauge shotgun, model 37; a Colt AR 15; two Colt Python .357 magnums, one with satin finish and one with satin finish and extra grip. In addition, a sizeable supply of ammunition will also be offered for bid and includes: buckshot slugs (5 per box), Remington 223 cartridges and .357 125 grain bullets.
During other business, council signed an updated Intergovernmental Mutual Aid agreement among municipalities in Cumberland, Franklin and Fulton counties. The borough had previously agreed to the mutual aid premises and Wednesday night signed an updated version.
On recommendation of the Street Committee, council agreed to remove two parking meters on North Third Street in order to better facilitate vehicle traffic. A meter on both the east and west side of the street near the intersection with Lincoln Way will be removed and yellow lines painted. The vote passed with one council member voting "no" on the suggestion.
Council also voted yes on the Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance Act (LERTA) for the borough. Approving the LERTA status allows discounted tax rates on commercial improvements in the borough. In order for LERTA to become effective, all three taxing authorities, including the municipality, the county and the school district, must approve it. According to borough secretary Jack Fields, the county has approved the LERTA program. Carlton Walker, borough solicitor, was instructed to draft an ordinance approving the tax assistance.
Council also held a lengthy discussion on borough properties that may be in violation of the junk and/or weed ordinances. Following the discussion, the members asked their solicitor to send out letters to property owners on East Maple Street, North Second Street and on Lincoln Way West advising them to bring their properties into compliance with the borough's ordinances.
Fields informed council members that the state auditor general recently completed an audit of the borough's police pension fund and found no discrepancies. The fund is audited every three years.
Council members also discussed the new Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act. The new act goes into effect July 1, 2009, and requires contractors who perform $5,000 or more a year in jobs to register with the state attorney general's Bureau of Consumer Protection, keep minimum insurance coverage, and use contracts that contain the start date and completion date of a project, a description of work being performed, and the clients' legal rights. Contractors will then be given a license number. According to lawmakers, the legislation was passed as a way to help state residents avoid problems with shady home-improvement contractors as well as to impose criminal penalties on pros who commit fraud.
During new business, council agreed to have PennDOT engineers look at proposed street paving projects, including several alley improvements.
Council agreed to purchase a 10-x-10-foot log-style storage building to store the borough's snowblower and other equipment currently stored in the Fulton House. The storage shed will be located in the parking lot at the rear of the Fulton House. The cost was estimated at $2,400.
Council approved in advance a parade permit for the Memorial Day parade.
During regular business, council approved payment of bills in the amount of $19,388.68. Receipts for the same period were $28,654.67. Checks were written for $26,901.77, leaving a May 1 balance of $35,792.05. Council members also noted that parking meter revenues for April 2009 totaled $423, while revenues in April 2008 were $351 during a time when the borough had parking meter enforcement. Council members have expressed their gratitude to all those who continue to pay the parking meters downtown.
Council members present were Rick Buterbaugh, Mack Shaffer, Mike Chilcote, Lee Rager, Pat Frazier, Travis Bard and Mayor Jim Stenger. Also present were Fields and borough solicitor, attorney Carlton Walker.
McConnellsburg Borough Council meets the first Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the Fulton House. The next regular meeting will be held on June 3, 2009.