RIMERSBURG – Longtime Rimersburg Borough Council president Roger Crick, recently elected to a new four-year term, declined the presidency for the new term at the council’s reorganization meeting Monday night.
Crick said it was time for a change, and that while he would remain on the council for another four years to help with a transition, it was time for new people to step up into the leadership role.
“There’s a lot of other good people here,” Crick said.
The council then proceeded to elect K. Scott Myers as president and the Rev. Mark Deeter as vice president.
The group also opted to keep its meeting schedule the same in the new year, with regular meetings scheduled for the first and third Mondays at 7 p.m.
Members also reappointed Gary Fowler to a five-year term on the Rimersburg Borough Municipal Authority, and Joel Solida to a three-year term on the Zoning Hearing Board. The council also reappointed the Hager Law Office as borough solicitors, and Don Hosey as the borough’s emergency operations coordinator.
In the brief meeting that followed reorganization, members discussed an ongoing issue related to fire hydrant fees imposed last year on Madison and Brady townships.
It was noted last month that both townships have refused to pay the maintenance fees that were designed to repair or replace hydrants.
On Monday, Crick reiterated that he understood the townships’ arguments about the fees, noting that the hydrants served only a small portion of township residents. He suggested that instead of assessing the townships a fee for each hydrant, the authority could instead consider a customer-based fee.
“It keeps the townships out of it,” Crick said, noting that a fee of $15 to $17 per year per customer would raise the same amount of revenue as the fees Rimersburg attempted to collect directly from the townships.
Crick said no decisions have been made, and that he would not want to rush into anything before everything is taken into consideration. He noted, however, that something needs to be done to fund hydrant improvements.
“We’re not doing everything we should be doing,” he said, explaining that in some cases, repairs or replacements of hydrants won’t matter as the water lines supplying them are inadequate. He said many borough residents, especially, have uncorking hydrants nearby, but that the authority is working to install new water lines along some of the back streets.
“Once you have them in, you have to take care of them,” Crick said of the hydrants, noting that they need to be tested regularly.
Crick noted that if the borough goes with a customer fee, rather than a township fee, there would be no incentive for anyone to want hydrants removed. Under the township fee, the hydrants could have been removed if the fee was not paid.
“There’s nothing that’s going to be perfectly fair,” Crick agreed, but said he thought the customer fee would work better for all.
He said the matter would be discussed at the authority’s meeting tonight (Wednesday).
“We’ll keep working on it,” he told the council.