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Verona Council Notebook: Accounting Help, Icy Sidewalks & More

Here's a look at some items discussed at last week's Verona Council meeting.

Verona Council discussed several items at the Jan. 8 council meeting. Here's a roundup:

Accounting Help

Verona officials are looking into hiring someone to help with managing the finances in the borough office.

Councilwoman Rhoda Gemellas-Worf said she invited Jerry Kenna of Oakmont to speak with council during the Jan. 29 workshop meeting about offering additional accounting and financial services to the borough.

"We need to run Verona as a business," Gemellas-Worf said.

Some officials and residents have expressed concern about the lack of financial detail outlined in the borough's annual budget and monthly statements. Council hired Sarp and Co. last year to upgrade the borough's computer system, but Gemellas-Worf and Councilwoman Sandy Drabicki-Bell said they're still not satisfied with the outcome.

The debate has been going on since last year, but Mayor Dave Ricupero urged officials to "start fresh."

"The bills have been paid, but it's unorganized," he said. "It needs to be fixed, so let's fix it. We can all argue, but we won't get anywhere."

Snow on Sidewalks

When the snow and ice fall, residents and business owners who haven't been clearing their sidewalks most likely will receive fines.

Ricupero said the police department has been cracking down on enforcing the borough's ordinance that states sidewalks must be clear within eight hours after a snow event. Instead of sending warning notices, Ricupero said the department will go automatically send citations beginning this month.

He said 28 residents received warning notifications and 26 of them were cited last month.

Resident Bob Brayer said he noticed some businesses in the borough had not cleared their sidewalks after the snow storms last month.

Kier Ewing, a business owner and resident, said the chamber of commerce supports the increased enforcement.

Videotape Meetings

Gemellas-Worf said she'd like to begin videotaping meetings and posting the video on the borough website.

"Some people can't come...it would be wonderful if we're able to [tape meetings]," she said.

Paving Project

Borough Engineer Larry Seiler asked officials to begin thinking about the 2013 paving program. He advised council to select the roads and put the project out for bid early in an effort to save time and money.

"It's not too early to talk about it," he said.

Recycling Grant

Drabicki-Bell announced that the borough had received a $1,700 Recycling Performance Grant from the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Penn Street Sidewalk

Penn Street resident Mariann Brayer asked that council take action on installing a sidewalk on the 500 block. The sidewalk was located in front of a home that was destroyed in a fire in April 2011. It has since been demolished.

Hoffman Kennels

Council voted to reappoint Hoffman Kennels for its animal control services.

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