HARVEYS LAKE — Resident Larry Radel, a former borough council president, says he has concerns about the use of the borough’s $78,000 Local Share Account grant as well as other actions taken by the new council, now led by Michell’e Boice.
Radel takes issue with using grant money to repair the current police station rather then move it. He also questions what he calls an omission on the LSA grant application for water system/well pump costs and the replacement of the borough’s engineering firm. He also criticized new garbage service fees.
Radel questioned whether making repairs and renovations to the police station at its present location is a viable project, saying the current location has “structural deficiencies” and he believes that the building is “sinking.”
In February 2011, the borough applied for the LSA grant funded through gaming money generated by the state’s casinos including Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The grant was originally intended to be used to move the police station from its present location to the recreation center located next to the borough’s garage.
There was strong opposition from the community to moving the station from its current location at the main entrance to the borough.
Radel has also questioned Boice about what he has described as “omitting information from the LSA Grant Analysis Location application.” Radel said the water system/well pump costs of $20,000 were not included in the original application.
In addition, Radel said he was not happy with the newly elected council’s decision to switch the borough’s engineering company from the Pasonick to Borton-Lawson.
But, speaking about the police station project, Boice said supporting documents sent to the state as part of the application for the grant, stated the borough needed to move the police so that the borough offices could be moved into the police building in order to provide a “safer, cleaner, and better environment for the borough employees and the general public.”
This application was filed under the previous council majority, which included Radel.
“(The previous majority) stated that the sewer pump building was not healthy,” she said. “It was only after they got opposition to moving the police station that they created or inflated problems with the current police building so they could move forward with their plans …. The building was fine when they were going to move the borough offices there,” Boice said.
In the matter of the water system/well pump, Boice said the cost was not $20,000, and that the water filtration problem was solved by installing a new filter for “an insignificant amount of money.”
On the borough engineering firm switch, Boice said “a motion was made, voted on, and the new council majority decided to utilize the services of a reputable company who they feel comfortable with.”
Boice also responded to Radel’s statement about what he has described as “unfair borough garbage service fees being implemented.”
Boice said that at the May 22, 2013, meeting, council voted to hire Credit Tech to collect delinquent garbage fees that were a year or more overdue and after previous notices had been sent. She said the additional fees are the those collected by Credit Tech for its services.
The borough received notification that it had been awarded the LSA grant on March 23, 2012. The grant will be used to make renovations to the police station. The work should begin in the spring of 2014 and is expected to be completed by fall.
The original grant was scheduled to expire in June 2014, but the borough has received a one-year extension at no additional cost.