2009-06-11 / Front Page

McConnellsburg Borough Gun Bids Net $2,711

Included sale of 4 guns and ammo formerly used by police dept.
By Jean E. Snyder STAFF WRITER

In spite of the poor economy or, perhaps, because of it, Mc- Connellsburg Borough Council members opened offers for firearms from 17 different bidders during their regular meeting last Wednesday evening.

When the last bid was finally opened and the high bids were accepted, council netted $2,711.37 for the four guns and ammunition once used by the now-disbanded borough police department. The guns sold by sealed bids included a 12-gauge Ithaca shotgun with 187 rounds of ammunition; a Colt AR15 with 235 rounds of ammunition; and two Colt .357 magnum Pythons, also with ammunition.

The high bidder for the shotgun was Maynard Bard of Mc- Connellsburg with a bid of $450.37, while the high bidder for the AR 15 was James Watkin of Orbisonia with a high bid of $1,103. Both Colt handguns were sold to Glenn Mellinger of Ephrata for the high bids of $604 for the former police chief's gun and a bid of $554 for the former sergeant's gun.

Council voted unanimously to accept the high bids, with Councilman Travis Bard abstaining from the vote on the shotgun. Because all sales are pending receipt of payment and background clearances, council also voted to award the bid(s) to the second highest bidder if the clearances are not obtained or if the guns are not claimed within a short but reasonable period of time.

Bids for the shotgun ranged from a low bid of $50 to the high bid of $450.37, while bids on the AR15 assault rifle ranged from $300 to the high bid of $1,103. Both Colt .357 magnum handgun bids ranged from $201.50 to the high bids of $604 and $554.

Other business

During other business, council voted to advertise for bids to patch and smooth out various streets and alleyways in the borough as opposed to actual paving. Street and alleyway portions designated for work include: South Monroe Avenue (adjacent to Horton's Carpet store), Pine Street to the rear of the Tower Bank, west Spruce Street from First Street east for a small distance and a small portion of Cherry Street.

Council members also asked their solicitor to proceed with legal notice to a property owner on East Maple Street regarding a need for cleanup.

Council adopted Resolution #4 of 2009 acknowledging the local Chamber of Commerce as the county's tourist promotion agency. The resolution was considered and approved at the request of the chamber for the purpose applying for and receiving grant funds. The resolution was adopted on a Lee Rager/Mike Chilcote motion.

In a related matter, council appointed Councilwoman Pat Frazier as the borough's representative to the Chamber of Commerce & Tourism and borough secretary Jack Fields will serve as her alternate.

Council also held a brief discussion on Act 32 that will make sweeping changes to the way earned income tax is collected in Pennsylvania. Currently wage taxes (for municipalities and schools) are collected by 560 different entities in Pennsylvania and Act 32 calls for that number to be decreased to 69 by September 2012. By that date, every county in Pennsylvania except for Allegheny and Philadelphia must have chosen a single wage tax collector for their county. In Fulton County, both Berkheimer and JP Harris collect wage taxes in and around the borough, while one of the southern Fulton County townships also has two separate collectors. According to Fields, the Chambersburg Wage Tax Board has proposed the formation of a Franklin/Fulton Wage Tax Committee. The wage tax committees are required by law in each county and representatives from the municipalities and school districts must be appointed to those committees by September 15, 2009. Ultimately the Tax Collection Committee will oversee tax collection within the county. No action was taken on a possible delegate following the discussion.

During new business, Councilwoman Frazier, who serves on the Bedford-Huntingdon-Fulton Center for Community Action Board, asked council members if they would be interested in hearing about a CCA program that rehabilitates owner-occupied housing units for those owners who qualify. Council agreed to have Frazier ask a representative outline the program at a future meeting.

Council also briefly discussed the sidewalk disrepair on the northwest side of North Second Street in the 100 block but took no action.

Regular business

During regular business, council approved payment of May bills in the amount of $46,129.75. Receipts for the same period were $71,665.17. Checks were written for $13,700.03, leaving a June 1 balance of $93,757.19.

Council members present included Rick Buterbaugh, Mack Shaffer, Travis Bard, Mike Chilcote, Lee Rager and Pat Frazier. Also present were borough solicitor Carlton Walker, borough secretary Fields and several citizens who had submitted bids on the weapons.

McConnellsburg Borough Council meets the first Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the Fulton House. The next meeting is scheduled for July 1, 2009.

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