CLYMER — The borough council awarded pay raises to two workers, learned of rapid progress on development of a memorial park, heard an invitation to a Christian music concert, and fielded a resident’s complaints of blight and crime at the monthly business meeting Tuesday evening.
At the recommendation of the police committee, Officer Charles Waller was granted a $1 hourly pay raise to $16.75 after serving three months on the department.
The municipal committee recommended an increase of $1.50 an hour to $21 for public works director John Gromley, who had recently achieved new certifications in water and sewage plant operation, according to Borough Manager Sonya Schrenkel.
Pastor Al Nolan, of Kenwood Church of the Nazarene, and Fr. Jim Morley, of Church of the Resurrection, told council of a picnic and concert scheduled for 5:30 p.m. June 19 at Sherman Street Park. Nolan said singer Greg Hager, a country-western-gospel performer, would play from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Schrenkel said the first electric bills have come in for the new memorial park being laid out along the banks of Two Lick Creek. Walkways have been paved, a centerpiece of flagpoles have been erected and electric service to the park has been switched on, she said.
Winters Construction Co., of White Township, is the general contractor. Street light poles have yet to be delivered but the bases have been constructed and readied for connection, Schrenkel said.
Council accepted a list of grievances from Wilber Hosler, of First Street, who claimed that a dilapidated house in his neighborhood is a habitat for rats and snakes. He said that the house ought to be razed if it is sold.
Although he said he doesn’t object to housing for low-income people, Hosler said Clymer “has enough,” and alluded to criminal activity at the Clymer Park apartment complex, “a real nest,” along Hillside Drive just past First Street in Cherryhill Township.
His expressed discontent extending to the changing atmosphere of the town.
“In the last five to six years the quality of properties has really declined,” Hosler told council. “It’s easy to say this is the way it is, it’s status quo.
“I think you as a council need to get out and move around and look around … and get out there and find out what’s really going on.
“I expect to see some action,” Hosler said.
But town officials have a finger on the pulse of Clymer’s needs, borough leaders told Hosler.
“We appreciate you voicing concerns … and we have been working on these,” Council President Louis Tate said. “We have had two houses in town condemned and torn down. Now, the borough has to absorb that cost and leave the properties.”
More blighted properties are on the radar and have been targeted with letters to owners, insisting on compliance, he said.
“It is a work in progress. Unfortunately it’s not the case that everyone takes care of their properties and has a little bit of pride,” Tate said.
“There’s been a lot of changes in the police department and we have been making a lot of drug arrests,” Police Chief Louis Sacco told Hosler. “We just turned in to the district attorney’s office almost $40,000 of drug money. We are out there and doing it but unfortunately, it’s here.”
Schrenkel said the town’s code enforcement officer David Kirk has been investigating the property that Hosler mentioned.
Schrenkel told council Tuesday that consulting engineer John Emerson has scheduled a meeting with Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to obtain state assistance, especially financially, for the replacement of a collapsing drain pipe under Route 403 at Gerry Street.
Emerson has written contract specs for the work as an emergency project, Schrenkel said. The cost of the project wasn’t announced.