East Greenville Borough Council on Tuesday voted to shift $3,000 from the borough's fire department to the Upper Perkiomen Valley Ambulance Association, which is facing financial problems this year.
The ambulance corps "are going to be reaching out to the community to look for some financial support," Mayor Ryan Sloyer said. He declined to provide additional details about the nature of the financial issues, saying the ambulance association will be releasing more information soon. However, after the meeting Sloyer said, "The service is continuing as it currently is, they're just looking at the future."
Sloyer said he discussed the ambulance corps' needs with East Greenville Fire Company officials, who said the reallocation of money would not hurt them this year.
"I just want to stress that this is for 2014 only. It is not moving forward, it is just for this year," Sloyer said, also stressing that the fire company was consulted and approved of the reallocation for this year.
Council President Timothy Huff thanked the fire company for its flexibility and willingness to help the ambulance corps. A motion to increase the ambulance corps contribution from $3,000 to $6,000 and decrease the fire company contribution from $15,000 to $12,000 for 2014 passed unanimously.
Council also took action to start improvements on some of the borough's worst roads. Borough Manager Jim Fry said work has begun on Second Street and will continue through the week. The estimated cost of fixing the road is $5,500 and Fry believes the repairs will last for at least a year, based on the severity of next winter. According to Fry, the base of the road will not allow for a longer-term fix. However, borough engineer Cowan Associates is currently conducting a borough-wide roads assessment, which will inform future repair priorities.
Council also approved several motions to fund work on three other problematic roads, based on estimates from Yarnall Paving. Targeted roads include Third Street under the railroad bridge, at a cost not to exceed $7,000; State Street between Fourth Street and Forge Road, at a cost not to exceed $13,000; and the intersection of Fourth and State streets, at a cost not to exceed $3,000. A quote to fix Washington Street at a cost of about $12,000 was also discussed, but Fry asked supervisors to hold off on approving that expenditure until Cowan is able to assess the roadway during its roads assessment.
"Along with the Second Street repairs, this will take care of some of the worst roads in the borough," Huff said.
The borough will have to seek additional quotes for the State Street between Fourth and Forge repairs. Fry will also seek an estimate for repairing Morris Road.
Also at the meeting, Mayor Ryan Sloyer asked council to invite a representative from Home City Ice to a future meeting to discuss tractor trailer routes in town. According to Sloyer, residents of the area have witnessed ice trucks using Washington Street, which is a violation of the company's agreement with the borough.
"Their trucks are supposed to be utilizing Penn Street to Route 663, in and out [of the plant]. Our roads are not built for truck traffic and we're going to be getting into the busy season," Mayor Ryan Sloyer said. "And it's not just Home City Ice. There are other tractor trailers that are using [Washington Street] as through-fare," possibly to avoid being ticketed on Main Street.
Sloyer said he alerted Upper Perkiomen police to the issue and asked them to monitor the roadways.
In other business, council unanimously approved the updated handicapped parking ordinance for the borough that aims to create clearer guidelines for obtaining a designated handicap parking space in front of a residence.
Council also approved switching to the HMO Platinum health plan for borough employees. Council member Tracey Hunsinger noted that while the new health plan premiums are about 7 percent higher than the current plan, the borough had budgeted for a 20 percent increase in premiums. She also said that for East Greenville employees, the health plan will actually reduce costs by about $300 per month compared to the current plan. Five employees will be covered under the plan.