Lebanon City Council held its monthly meeting via Zoom last evening and passed resolutions to fund street repaving projects, get ready for the city’s move to Downtown Lebanon, and fill a vacancy on the Zoning Hearing Board.

Lebanon Mayor Sherry Capello also informed council that the city’s finances are in good shape and in line with the 2021 budget.

City to seek paving funds from County; Lehman St., others on tap for repaving this year

Council unanimously passed a resolution authorizing the city to apply to Lebanon County for $25,477 of state liquid fuel tax money, which will supplement the city’s street repaving budget. Mayor Capello explained that this is an annual request to the county, and the amount is based on the city’s 2010 census population of 25,477.

The mayor said that this money will not be used to finish the years-long Walnut Street repaving project, which is state funded.

According to the mayor, depending on bid amounts, city streets scheduled for repaving this year include Lehman Street, from Freeman Street east to 7th; part of the main road entering Coleman Park; and Church Street between 7th & 8th.

Mayor Capello was not sure whether bids would be high or low, since the demand for road repairs might be higher than last year, when the COVID pandemic reduced demand and led to low bids.

The city gets its money for street maintenance from federal Community Development Block Grants and from liquid fuel tax funds received through the county and directly from the state.

Property to be sold, old records to be destroyed, before offices move downtown

Council also passed two resolutions to streamline the anticipated relocation of city offices from the Municipal Building on South 8th Street to the old HACC building downtown.

One authorized the destruction of old and unneeded records, including criminal case records over 20 years old, and old traffic citations, police dispatch logs, permits, leases, insurance claims, and building rental records. Council approved a similar resolution last month for other city records.

State law requires that municipal records be kept for specified periods, after which they can be discarded.

The other resolution authorized the sale of various items old and unused personal property, the total value of which is less $1,000, according to Mayor Capello.

This is also a requirement of state law. “A lot of these things are items that normally we would probably dispose of because they really have no value, like plastic file bins and maybe a broken adding machine,” Capello said. According to the mayor, items that can’t be sold can then be discarded.

Alternate Zoning Hearing Board position filled

Mayor Capello announced that she has appointed Brian Martin to an alternate position on the city’s Zoning Hearing Board, effective as of Mar. 16. Alternates are used when regular members aren’t available for zoning hearings.

Martin will finish the term recently vacated by Craig Gates, which expires on Apr. 13, 2021. Martin would have to be re-appointed for a full three year term after then. Capello said she was appointing Martin on an interim basis for such a short time to give him a chance to get acclimated to the position.

As required by state zoning law, Council unanimously passed a resolution approving Martin’s appointment.

Other business before City Council

  • The mayor reported that, with 16% of the year gone, revenue received between Jan.1 and Feb. 28 was only at 12% of the 2021 budget projection. The lag was due, she said, to real estate tax bills not going out until Feb. 28, and is expected to be made up. Year-to-date expenses were at 10.5%, lower than projected.
  • Police Chief Todd Breiner announced that the city’s annual drug take back will be held on Saturday, April 24 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Expired, non-liquid, prescription drugs can be dropped off at the police station in the Municipal Building at 400 S. 8th Street. Needles and other types of “sharps” will not be accepted. The event is part of the National Drug Take Back Day, and will feature curbside drop offs.
  • Chief Breiner noted that his department accepts expired drugs every day in a drop box inside the police department’s 8th Street entrance. “Don’t flush them down the toilet or sink, don’t throw them in the garbage, bring them to us.”

City Council’s next “pre-council” meeting will be on Thursday, Apr. 22 at 4:45 p.m. The next regular monthly council meeting will be on Monday, April 26 at 6:30 p.m. Both meetings are open to the public.

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Chris Coyle writes primarily on government, the courts, and business. He retired as an attorney at the end of 2018, after concentrating for nearly four decades on civil and criminal litigation and trials. A career highlight was successfully defending a retired Pennsylvania state trooper who was accused,...