Prevailing wage mandate adds $3,200 to project
Bally Borough’s municipal building needs a facelift. On Tuesday night the Bally Borough Council voted to approve a bid of $32,395 by John Membrino of Hereford Township to redo the façade of the municipal building on Chestnut Street. The borough building will be spruced up with new stone work and siding to match the two sides of the building. The old faux New Jersey brick face on the main section of the building has begun to show its age and will be replaced so that the entire front of the structure is a seamless whole. Membrino, the lowest bidder on the project, is expected to begin construction within two months. Because the project is over $25,000, it is necessary for the borough to pay the prevailing wage. Paying the prevailing wage added $3200 to the cost of construction. Prevailing wage is the common price charged for union labor in a region.
Next month the borough council intends to pass a resolution, not an ordinance, that would enable the Eastern Berks County Fire Department that services Bally to seek restitution for their expenses from insurance companies when the fire department is called to a motor vehicle accident or a house fire. The fire department will not pursue its request for reimbursement against a private individual. It has promised the borough council to pursue reimbursement for its expenses only from insurance companies and it will not litigate through the courts. The borough will adopt a resolution as opposed to an ordinance because it is cheaper. An ordinance must be written by the borough solicitor and then advertised. On the other hand, a resolution can be adopted with less expense to the municipality.
The borough council discussed the purchase of land next to the reservoir on North Church Street so that it can erect a water tower. The parcel that might be available is a good choice for a water tower. The owner who purchased the property at an auction is not certain how much land he owns and asked the borough to pay for a survey of the property prior to sale. Council Vice President Tom Leister questioned whether it was a good idea to do a survey prior to an agreement of sale. Councilman Ronald Gilbert said, “If we have to do it. We have to do it.” Leister noted, “There is no way around it.” The borough council voted to have a survey performed for less than $1500.
Residents of Bally will soon get new water meters. Bally Borough Manager, Leo “Boots” Mutter, announced. The new super efficient meters can detect if wiring is defective or if there is a leak in the system. Mutter told the borough council there has been some difficulty getting residents to make appointments to have the new meters installed.
Bally Borough Solicitor, Matthew Doll, urged the borough council to adopt the new federal flood plain map by March 2012. While there is very little land in the flood plain in Bally if the borough does not adopt the federal flood plain map in a timely manner, the flood plain insurance rate will reflect the borough’s inaction in a negative way. In other words, rates for flood insurance could increase.