Praise for public works department
Also during the meeting, Pepe praised the borough’s public works department and public works director John Dychala.
The borough manager said when a water main break occurred on Dalton Street, the borough received an estimate from a contractor that making emergency repairs would cost more than $15,000. He said the public works department did the repair for $1,500, saving Emmaus almost $14,000.
“In past years we would have just contracted this out, but these guys took a leadership role,” said the manager. “They are to be commended for that. It says a lot about the character of the men in the department.”
Pepe said the department also recently repaired a police car with a blown head gasket by taking the engine apart and replacing the gasket, saving another $5,000.
“In the past 30 days that department has saved our taxpayers about $20,000.”
Council raises food inspection fees
Council voted unanimously to raise the borough’s annual health inspection fee of food-related businesses from $75 to $85, beginning Jan. 1. Council member Jeffrey Shubzda said other local municipalities charge between $220 and $450 for health inspection fees.
Also beginning Jan. 1, the borough will collect a $100 fee for site plan review of any new food-related businesses coming to Emmaus. Those reviews are done by Gary Ritter, the borough’s health inspector.
Currently, no fee is charged. Council also unanimously approved that new fee.
In an unrelated food issue, council adopted a policy to regulate requests for plots in the borough’s community garden. Plots costs $15 each for residents, with a two-plot maximum, and $25 for non-residents. Only organic gardening is permitted. Current gardeners who want to reserve a plot for next summer must do so before March 31.
Also during the meeting, it was announced that:
* Water in the fountain in Triangle Park will be colored pink for the month of October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, until the fountain is turned off and drained at the end of the month,
*The annual Emmaus Halloween parade will begin at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 19, with a rain date of 6:30 p.m. Oct. 20. More than 225 people already have registered for a fund-raising 5K race that will be held before the parade.
* Trick-or-Treat night will be 6-8 p.m. Oct. 31 in Emmaus. Residents wishing to participate should turn on their porch lights to welcome the costumed children.
* The mayor issued a proclamation for fire prevention week this week, which warns people are at the greatest risk from fire in their own homes and cooking is the leading cause of home fires. “Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in home fires in half,” said the mayor.
He encouraged residents to take steps to protect their homes and families.