Northampton Press

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Sewer agreement, public works contract reached

Thursday, November 15, 2012 by AL RECKER Special to The Press in Local News

As lawyers finish the paperwork, the new multiyear sewage user fee agreement between the Borough of Northampton and Allen Township is finally coming to fruition after more than a year.

The township is now up to date in the payment of sewage user fees, borough council was informed at its recent meeting in council chambers.

"We received two checks from Allen Township for third quarter user fees. The total amount was $52,979.30," borough Manager Gene Zarayko advised borough lawmakers.

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In other business, the Borough of Northampton and its public works department employees have reached a tentative new agreement, effective Jan. 1, 2013.

The new contract follows the expiration of the present multiyear agreement. The contract, ratified by the borough, covers public works personnel, from laborers to heavy equipment operators.

Zarayko declined to disclose details of the proposed contract so that council could be briefed on the details and then vote on the possible acceptance of the new agreement.

It is expected the new contract will extend beyond one year and address wages and benefits such as health insurance. No cutbacks are expected in regard to public works employees.

The tentative agreement came after a series of bargaining talks by representatives of both sides, consisting of Zarayko, council President John Pristash and a council committee.

There was never a threat of a work stoppage or strike by the workers. The talks have been described as amicable and productive.

Reaching an agreement with the public works department personnel was said to be advantageous since the new figures can be inserted into the borough's 2013 budget.

Borough police officers are currently not engaged in contract talks. The present agreement for police personnel was approved the previous year. To the borough's relief, no bargaining sessions took place.

Borough property owners, however, could see a one-mill hike in real estate taxes in 2013, according to Zarayko, who mentioned earlier not increasing the tax may be in the books.

In another matter, Councilman Keith Piescienski in his report on public works and sewer matters said borough consultant Victor Rodite has been successful in obtaining a grant to install emergency generators at two pump stations. However, the borough as of its recent meeting has not yet received a contract from the state.

"Therefore, that project is on hold until all of the paperwork has been completed," Piescienski said.