SYKESVILLE — The Sykesville Borough Council was approached by two people hoping to start a Hometown Heroes banner program for the borough.

LuAnn Murray of Brookville and Jefferson County Commissioner and Sykesville resident Jeff Pisarcik approached the council with their plan. Murray was the director of the recently established Brookville banner program.

The pair asked for the borough’s support in starting the program in the Sykesville community, and have already received support from the Sykesville American Legions, State Sen. Cris Dush, Rep. Brian Smith, Director of Veteran’s Affairs David Reitz, and the Sykesville Fire Department.

Pisarcik also told the council he sent Solicitor Nicholas Gianvito an agreement with Penelec to use the poles. Murray had a packet of information for the council that would be sent to interested individuals for purchase of a banner.

She told the council there are currently more than 100 individuals on a waiting list in Brookville and the program has been successful there so far. Pisarcik will design Sykesville’s banners and the families that order them can also order extras for personal use.

Pisarcik said he would like to have the banners by Memorial Day, and said everyone will qualify within 10 miles of Sykesville.

The council approved a resolution for the third party installment of the banner memorials for the borough. The agreement is between the borough, First Energy (Penelec), and the installers.

Borough building improvements

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The council discussed using some of the COVID-19 relief money to refurbish the borough office with new flooring, new chairs, and repairing of the basement and roof. During this discussion, Councilman Ron Morris asked if a decision had been made about selling the bank building or remodeling it as the new borough building.

Council President Michele Ymarick said there was not a decision yet, but Councilman Don Zimmerman said a meeting had been held about getting grants for the building. The council decided to get estimates for a new room on the borough building and investigate the mold issues in the basement.

Budget discussions

The council also discussed some issues that had come up with the planning of the 2022 budget. Kermit Tuning of Tuning Accounting had been working with the Finance Committee, and found issues with payroll, insurance, and garbage.

Tuning told council the 50 cent raise for all full-time employees has since been factored into the budget, as well as the new insurance rates and payroll taxes. He also said the garbage bill increased by $3,000 a quarter this year.

This has been addressed with Waste Management, he said, and they will give the borough about $5,000 credit on the first two quarters and an additional $1,350 credit on the fourth quarter invoice. The budget works out to have about a $33,000 deficit, which the borough should have adequate funds to cover.

The council planned to discuss this and the applications they received for the borough laborer position in an executive session. No action was taken following the executive session.

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