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Plum Public Works Director to Retire, Four Laborers Hired

Four new public works employees will begin in January, while two will retire next year.

The Plum Public Works Department will say good-bye to two familiar faces and welcome four new ones next year.

On Monday, borough council approved the early retirements of public works Director William Berchick and public works employee Dom Franco.

They also hired four new laborers—Shaun Williams, Edward Brodak, Justin Lauffer and Richard Ruskiewicz. Borough Manager Mike Thomas said they would be paid about $15.50 per hour for the first year.

Berchick has been director of the department for about 23 years. His retirement will be effective May 10, 2013. Franco, who has been with the department for about 10 years, will retire in January.

As part of their early retirement agreements, the borough will pay healthcare for Berchick and Franco until they are 65. Franco also will receive a $5,000 cash buyout.

Once the changes are in place, the department will have 20 employees.

Councilman Keith Nowalk said the department had 24 employees when Thomas started years ago.

"He's been running on a major shortage for a while," he said.

Berchick will not be replaced, Thomas said, and with the restructuring of the department, the borough will save about $95,000 annually.

Nowalk commended everyone involved in the hiring process.

"This wasn't done spur of the moment," he said. "We've been working on this all year.

"It's a great savings to the borough in the long run."

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