Officials gather for borough meeting
A large number of elected borough officials filled Bath Borough Hall council chambers May 29, including Bath Borough Mayor Fiorella Reginelli-Mirabito and council members, for a meeting of the Mid Eastern Counties Association of Boroughs (MECAB). The latest in state programs and legislation was the topic.
E.J. Knittel, a representative for Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs (PSAB), highlighted several concerns and programs affecting boroughs statewide. A few details of the state’s pending budget, which could impact boroughs, is under review by ranking state legislature members and the governor.
Knittel stressed boroughs should pay close attention to state grants that may be available for programs and projects they are considering. The grants are numerous and available via the application route, he said.
The monthly PSAB magazine, which many boroughs receive, contains information on grants. A quicker source, he said, is the website.
“The website has the latest grant information that the boroughs can use,” Knittel said. “Often, the grant information changes daily.”
This gives boroughs a heads-up on what is available from the various state departments and agencies.
Knittel urged officials who are considering projects, which would include state grants, to submit applications promptly. Once the grant is approved, the funding could take a year or more.
Northampton Mayor Thomas Reenock affirmed this delay is the case in the borough.
“We received grant approval for a pavilion at our swimming pool. The money from the state will not come until next year,” Reenock said.
Reenock added the borough will have to wait until the funds are received to have the pavilion erected.
Knittel also raised the issue of elected council members who fail to show up for meetings, some for months and years. Although they are absent, the council member receives his or her pay, as is the case for such a person in the region. Knittel expressed confidence the state legislature will deal with this problem in short order.
Reginelli-Mirabito said Bath Borough, a small community of 2,600, is pleased with its Pennsylvania State Police coverage. The borough ended its contract with Colonial Regional Police Department in 2018.
Knittel brought up updates on pending state House and Senate bills, of which boroughs have an interest — stormwater runoff, liability and other matters.