December 6, 2012
WEST PITTSTON – Council correspondence Tuesday night included a letter from the Federal Emergency Management Agency informing West Pittston it is on probation with the National Flood Insurance Program.
Borough Manager Savino Bonita summarized FEMA's main reason for the probation: West Pittston did not meet 100 percent compliance due to a claim of incomplete citation enforcement.
FEMA does not believe West Pittston enforced citations on homeowners to the maximum extent for flood discrepancies. According to Bonita, letters were sent to about 100 homeowners to correct any issues; however, only about 40 homeowners have responded.
Council President Barry Hosier informed residents at the meeting that West Pittston has done everything to date that they've [FEMA] asked for.
He pointed out that West Pittston has hired personnel and jumped through hoops for FEMA.
Probation for West Pittston residents means a $50 increase in flood insurance costs when policies are renewed. Probation can last a year until the probation is lifted or suspension occurs.
In other matters, a tentative budget for 2013 was prepared and placed on file with the borough secretary for public inspection. The budget will be considered for final adoption on Dec. 27.
Part of the tentative budget is a 30 percent property tax increase in West Pittston to cover a $105,000 gap between the projected 2013 revenue and expenditures.
Attorney Mark W. Bufalino said at the meeting budgets are a full-year process and the council has kept this possibility in mind throughout the year, such as when it chose to cut insurance premiums.