TROY - Bulk water sales in Troy have picked up, the borough manager told council at its meeting this week.

Just last month, borough manager Dan Close had notified council of a decline in bulk water sales to the natural gas industry.

The slowdown in the sales was making it necessary for council to reinstitute a surcharge on water bills. In February, council agreed to notify ratepayers in the March bill of the return of the surcharge. "If we had to increase it, people would be prepared for it," Close said in explaining why the borough had been seeking to send out the notification.

At this week's meeting, however, Close noted that things have changed since the last meeting, and bulk water sales have picked up.

"I did not send those letters because not too long after that meeting bulk sales kicked back in and we've been moving 100,000 gallons a day ever since," Close said. He thought the revenue from this level of bulk water sales would be sufficient to cover the surcharge "rather than put that back on the ratepayer."

According to council member Krystle Bristol, the surcharge was originally instated to help offset the cost of a PennVEST project done several years ago that the borough still owes approximately $1 million on. Since the surcharge was eliminated, profits from bulk water sales have been paying the hefty loan payment, she said.

In addition, Tom Close, the borough's emergency management coordinator, expressed support for the formation of a committee "to move ahead with emergency management and some of the things, the new things that are being required by the state and the federal government." He was in favor of a more pro-active approach.

He recommended that the borough appoint someone involved with council to be on the committee, which will also have representation from the township and Sylvania.

Council member Jen Malehorn volunteered to serve on the committee.

During his report, Mayor Mike Powers said "things are going very well" with the police department.

"You will see a new face on our force," he said, referring to Frank Monroe, who was hired last month as a part-time officer.

Powers said the officer was sworn in and is on the schedule.

The mayor noted that Monroe brings many years of experience to the police department.

"I think it's just another indication how council and the borough and the police department are cohesively working together to provide safety and law enforcement for our borough," Powers commented.

He encouraged people to say hello to the new officer and make him feel welcome in the borough.

Powers said things are "exceedingly well," and the borough is being well covered.

Close also provided an update on the borough's effort to develop goals for 2014.

Back in January, the borough manager told council that each council committee would hold meetings within a specified timeline to "brainstorm and develop goals within that committee's jurisdiction."

Close said two of the committees have met. He said the meetings aren't taking much more than a half-hour and the remaining committees will have to meet in the near future.

Eric Hrin can be reached at (570) 297-5251; email: