Lebanon mayor Sherry Capello told City Council Monday night that a year-end audit revealed a $165,868 budget surplus for 2021.

Revenues for last year came in at 119% of budget projections, and expenses at just 91%.

As of Aug. 31, with the 2022 fiscal year 67% complete, year-to-date revenues and expenditures were at 84% and 49%, respectively, of budget projections, according to the mayor.

In another financial matter, the mayor reported on the city’s required minimum pension fund contributions in 2023. Next year the city expects to pay $930,351 toward police pensions and $258,304 toward firefighter pensions.

Contributions in 2022 were $932,601 and $270,440, respectively.

Council unanimously passed, on final reading, an amendment to the ordinance governing public participation at council meetings. Speakers will now have to sign a sign-in sheet before addressing council. Otherwise, the ordinance remains unchanged.

Council gets fire department update

At Thursday’s pre-council planning meeting, Lebanon Fire Chief Duane Trautman told council that Oct. 9 through 15 is Fire Prevention Week. This year’s theme will be “Fire Can’t Wait, Plan Your Escape.”

Trautman said that cooking and electrical fires are the top two causes of fires in the city. With heating season approaching, he emphasized the importance of plugging high-current appliances such as space heaters directly into wall outlets or appropriate extension cords, rather than into portable outlet strips.

Trautman updated council on the state of the city’s fire fighting equipment. Bids on a new fire engine are expected by Nov. 9. The city has committed to paying half the cost.

The chief also reported that the both of the city’s ladder trucks, Rescue Hose and Hook & Ladder, are temporarily out of service due to mechanical problems. Capello said this is believed to be the first time the city has been without any ladder truck, and that city hopes to have repairs completed within a few weeks.

While repairs are underway, the city has rented a ladder truck from the Catasaqua fire department at a cost of $200 per day. It has been on duty in the city since Friday, Sept. 23.

Residents address council

Weidman Street resident Norman Tobias told council that he was concerned about motorists parking in front of fire hydrants, especially where yellow painted curbs have faded. Police Chief Todd Breiner assured Tobias that police would respond promptly when called.

Lynn Nafzinger, a Hauck Street resident, and Joy Deck, from Reber Street, told council that neighbors on Reber Street and Colebrook Road are feeding and housing a large number of feral cats, resulting in waste and odor problems. Capello said she would refer the matter to the local chapter of PAWS, which the city has recently retained to replace the Lebanon Humane Society.

PAWS, Capello said, operates a catch, neuter, and release program that stops feral cats from reproducing.

Next City Council meetings

City Council’s next pre-council planning meeting will be on Thursday, Oct. 20, at 4:45 p.m. The next regular monthly council meeting will be on Monday, Oct. 24, at 6:30 p.m.

Both meetings are open to the public and will be held in the City Hall multi-purpose room, 735 Cumberland St., first floor, Lebanon.

Meetings are also streamed live on YouTube here.


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