Verona Council Notebook: June Workshop Meeting
Sewer repairs, the Riverview Superintendent transition and computer updates were among the items discussed during a meeting on Tuesday, June 26.
Ambulance Co. Tells Verona It Shouldn’t Get Axed
After hearing a presentation from Guardian Angel Ambulance staff, Verona Council is in the process of deciding whether or not it will retain the company’s service.
Staff from Guardian Angel Ambulance spoke to council at a meeting Tuesday, addressing criticism about the company’s response time that led council to consider switching companies. Council brought in staff from Lower Valley Ambulance last month, and President Dom Conte said he expects a decision will come within a two- to three-week period.
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Sewer Repair Order Causes Stink
During Tuesday’s meeting, a resident sought repayment for tree removal she said resulted from a borough letter ordering her to repair her collapsed sewer line.
Rosa Lee Santoriello, of Fairview Dr., said plumbers told her a tree would have to be removed in order to repair the sewer. But when they dug into the road afterward, they discovered that her line was actually in tact.
Multiple council members denied responsibility in the matter, saying that the plumbers made errors both in determining that the line had collapsed and in deciding to dig near the tree, rather than closer to the home. The denial set off a sometimes heated argument between Santoriello and council over who should pay the $3,100 it cost to remove the tree.
“We had to incur the cost of getting this tree removed,” Santoriello said of her and her neighbors, adding that council should share the burden “since it came out of our pockets, and it was unnecessary to begin with.”
Councilman Pat McCarthy and President Dom Conte said that the borough did it’s part—inspecting the lines it owned and determining that a sinkhole in the road wasn’t caused by their lines. Even though a borough employee sent Santoriello a letter stating that she would have to repair the line or face fines or a lien, Conte said the matter is out of his hands.
“I can’t see how the borough is responsible here,” Conte said.
Councilman Tony Futules, who lent his time and his tri-axle truck during the dig, agreed that the plumbers should be held accountable but sympathized with Santoriello’s request.
“It’s really not her fault,” Futules said.
Council members met to discuss the issue in a closed session after the meeting and said they would have Solicitor Craig Alexander get back to Santoriello.
Riverview Seeking Public Input for Superintendent Transition
The Riverview School District is looking for public input as it prepares for Peggy DiNinno to replace outgoing Superintendent Chuck Erdeljac on July 1, council member Sandra Drabicki-Bell told meeting attendees.
A survey gauging residents’ perceptions of the district’s strengths, weaknesses and untapped opportunities can be found on Riverview’s website. Completed surveys can be returned to the superintendent’s office.
Thousands Approved for Computer Upgrades
Council unanimously approved spending $5,000 on computer upgrades and training, including a new version of the accounting software Quickbooks.
Part-time Officer Hired
Council voted unanimously to hire a part-time police officer at the rate of $11.50 per hour. According to President Dom Conte, that brings the number of part-time officers to nine.