Borough lowers retirement age

JOHNSONBURG – Borough employees in Johnsonburg can now retire at the age of 58 after council members unanimously approved the plan during their regular meeting.According to council member Ronald King, the additional cost per year of $2,300 is to be absorbed out of the employee's retirement plan.The retirement plan is to become effective Jan. 1, 2015.In other business, council voted in favor of putting secured properties throughout the community up for sale to adjacent landowners first."They will receive a letter stating that if they decide to purchase they are responsible for all of the costs involved," King said. "This includes the deed, surveys; whatever plus a dollar."The FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency] Ordinance 2011-03 was also approved.Solicitor Elizabeth Feronti said the ordinance is required by the federal government and the Department of Community and Economic Development [DCED] prompted its drafting."It's for flood management, if you want to put new properties within the flood management areas as set by the flood management map there are certain procedures that have to be involved including an application fee," Feronti said.According to Feronti, the application fee will be at the borough's discretion."Then there will have to be followup by a code enforcement officer," Feronti said. "The code enforcement officer is to go out and inspect regularly and follow the guidelines set forth in this 30-page ordinance."Council appointed E&M Engineers as the code enforcement officer during November's meeting.Fertonti noted that the ordinance applies not only to new construction, but for repairs on old construction."I have a 35-page document that I had to go by to do the ordinance," Feronti said. "I wasn't allowed to take anything out except for the optional parts. I left it as least restrictive as I could because then the borough could always change that later if they wanted to. I didn't want to put all of the restrictions in because there are a lot of odd restrictions in there and I had to get approval of it before I could bring it to you guys. It will have to be forwarded to the state and they forward it to the federal government, because if the borough did not do that and does not enact this ordinance you will lose funding from the federal government for flood projects."King said workers have been making headway on the construction of the handicap restroom in the Community Center. King said it is being installed in the old restroom area by the swimming pool."They have got the walls up and they are ready to start putting it back together," King said.Council member Harriet Stahli recognized Robert Dunworth, Carmen Cannella and Elmer Ferragine for their service."Again thank you so much for your service," Stahli said. "On behalf of the council and the ciitzens of Johnsonburg, we thank you."Police chief Bryan Parana expressed his appreciation as well."I would like to thank Elmer, Bob and Carmen for being on the council," Parana said. "This will be your last meeting and it was pleasure working for you. I really appreciate it."