DURYEA — Entering his third year on the borough council, Ed Ameika was appointed president during the council’s reorganization meeting Monday.
Ameika previously served as vice president to then-president Jim Balchune. Long-tenured council member Lois Hanczyc was elected as the council vice president.
This will be Ameika’s first stint as the council president. Admitting the presidency wasn’t something he thought about, he is looking forward to the opportunity.
“We’re at a point where there are a lot of positive things to look forward to,” he said.
Ameika touched on the dike construction project, which begins this month, along with improving the Duryea business district as reasons for residents to be positive. He said when those projects continue to grow, it will be nice to be part of them.
“It will feel good to be in front,” he said. “We’re all going in the same direction now. It’s not a one-man show.”
Also at the reorganization meeting, Carolyn Santee retained her position of borough manager and treasurer. Jeff Hughes was appointed borough fire chief and Joe Bender was appointed assistant fire chief.
The legal services of Saporito, Falcone and Watt were retained as borough solicitor.
Robert Webb was appointed to the Duryea Borough Sewer Authority with a term expiring Dec. 31, 2020. Jeff Pisanchyn of Pisanchyn Inspection Agency was appointed as the borough’s building inspector.
Duryea Branch of People Security Bank was named the depository for the borough.
Prior to the reorganization meeting, Magisterial District Judge Alexandra Kokura-Kravitz made the first of her six council stops of the evening to swear in council members Hanczyc, Alfred Akulonis and newly-appointed member John Rowlands. Akulonis and Hanczyc were each successful in re-election bids this past year.
Constable Louis Radle and Bob Ryzner Sr. were also sworn in by Kokura-Kravitz.
During the regular meeting, the council approved the borough’s snowplowing bid to Bryan Durkin, of Duryea, and Cremard Paving and Excavating, of Duryea. Durkin’s bid came in at $55 per hour while Cremard’s bid came in at $50 per hour. Under the condition that Durkin accepts the $50 counteroffer and insurances are reviewed by the solicitor, both will be awarded the bid. The plowing jobs will come in to play during emergencies or when the street department is not available for snow removal.
The council accepted the resignation of Tim Welling from the Civil Service Commission. In June 2015, the council approved rules and regulations of the commission. At that meeting, Welling was given a four-year term. Hanczyc is currently serving a two-year term while Webb was approved to a six-year term. The council will advertise to fill the position.
In other business:
• The council adopted Resolution 2016-1 to set the contribution rate of 0 percent for the Police Pension Fund.
• As proposed in December, the council accepted Ordinance 2016-1 to set the taxation rate to 1.6 mills for 2016. In 2015, the taxation rate was set at 1.1 mills.
The next meeting of the Duryea Borough Council will be Feb. 9 at the borough building. All meetings will be held the second Tuesday of each month with the exception of November. Work sessions begin at 6:30 p.m. with the regular meeting following.
Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick