New employees hired
CANTON - Following an executive session, borough council approved some hires at its regular meeting this week.
Part-time police officer Josh Heckman was hired as a full-time police officer.
In recent months, he had been the target of some criticism from residents on Lycoming Street.
The residents had met with council in private earlier this year about their concerns regarding the activity of some rambunctious teenagers on Lycoming Street, and they were alarmed because they claimed that Heckman mentioned the meeting to the people who had been causing problems on the street.
When asked for comment, Robertson noted that Heckman apologized, and his actions were an honest mistake, and "he didn't divulge any top secrets."
"I accepted his word that he didn't do it maliciously," Robertson said.
At a previous council meeting, Heckman had told the residents, "I apologize. I just asked them why they weren't at that meeting, that's all. I figured since the meeting was all about them, they'd be here to defend any actions that they might have had, that's all."
In addition, council hired Russell Stratford, III as a part-time police officer.
For the street department, council hired two part-time employees, David Groover, as the primary employee, and Zachariah Young, as the alternate employee.
In other business prior to the executive session, council named the firm of Larson, Kellett and Associates of Montoursville as the borough auditor.
Previously, the borough's auditor was LaBarr & LaBarr of Sayre.
Borough administrator Amy Seeley explained that she was notified that LaBarr & LaBarr would no longer be performing municipal audits.
She said Larson, Kellett and Associates is a reputable firm and in close proximity to the borough - an hour away.
"It's not too far for me to take paperwork to them," she commented.
"And the number of CPA's that do municipal audits are limited in this area," she said.
In addition, Seeley said that other municipalities in the county are using the firm, "which could come in handy if I needed them up here for something."
"They might need to come up to one of the other municipalities that is using them so we could share the expense of travel time."
Seeley also said the firm can complete the audit in a timely fashion. Borough solicitor Matthew Brann also commended the firm.
Council also took action concerning the work on the West Union Street Bridge, which is a FEMA project.
At a previous meeting, council accepted a bid from Vermilya Construction of $23,200 for the work. But Seeley said the company withdrew the bid because it didn't include state-approved materials, as the bid documents required. Council accepted the company's withdrawal of the bid.
The project was re-bid, and council accepted the low bid of DYCON Construction Northeast for $17,550.
Seeley said there was some concern about the amount of the low bid. However, the owners gave their assurance that they can do the work with PennDOT-certified materials for the price they submitted, she explained. She said the company's references also provided "rave reviews."
Brann asked how soon the project could be started.
"They realized that the borough wanted it done by end-of-year, so I suspect you'll see them in there in the next week or two," Seeley said.
In the re-bidding of the project, the other bids were Vermilya Construction for $48,000 and Susquehanna Supply Co. for $61,300.
Council did not take action on the Bradford County Humane Society Animal Sheltering Contract for 2013.
Seeley noted that the borough has not signed it the last three or four years.
Noting the borough's frustrations with the contract, she said that the police department instead "works hand in hand with the dog warden, and that seems to work."
Seeley noted that recreational burning is allowed through Nov. 30.
Council also approved a resolution for destruction of old records.
In addition, council took action regarding the fire station doors. The borough is sharing the costs of the doors with the fire department on a 50/50 basis, and council agreed to also pay for a door opener, bringing the borough's total share of the cost to $3,300.
Eric Hrin can be reached at (570) 297-5251; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.