After learning Monday night that the city will carry forward a 2022 budget surplus of about $1 million into this year, Lebanon City Council disposed of an agenda dominated by personnel appointments and the final approval of several bills preliminarily passed last month.

Budget and finances

Mayor Sherry Capello announced a preliminary 2022 surplus of $1,085,601, which she expects to change as leftover 2022 bills are paid and other year-end adjustments are made.

At Capello’s request, council passed a resolution amending the 2023 budget approved last month. The numerical codes used for insurance and benefits in the budget ordinance passed by council differed from the codes used for the same items in the proposed budget that had been made available for public review.

The amounts of the reclassified line items will remain the same, she said.

Appointments to vacant positions

Capello said she has recommended to Lebanon County and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency that council president Joe Morales be appointed as the city’s emergency management coordinator. The position had been vacant for several years.

The emergency management coordinator oversees planning and training for public emergencies and acts as coordinator with the county’s emergency operations center during active emergencies and disasters.

Morales, who will serve as an unpaid volunteer, recently retired after five years in the same position with Lebanon County. During that time, he achieved the highest level of state certification for the job.

Capello said she considered appointing the city’s fire or police chief to the position, but was concerned that they would be running their own departments during an active emergency, making it hard to coordinate other responders.

Capello also told council that she has appointed Cheryl Feeman to the city’s board of health. Feeman will fill the unexpired term of Sandra Meluskey, which runs until January 2026.

Meluskey, who served on the board for 14 years, and Feeman are retired nurses.

Old business

Council gave final approval to three bills passed on first reading at its December meeting:

  • Approved an ordinance setting fees for organizations that want to use City Hall facilities, such as the multipurpose meeting room.
  • Approved an ordinance setting $25 monthly rental fees for city-owned parking lots at 10th and Water streets, once a drop-off point for the old Northwest Elementary School, and at C&L and Gannon streets.
  • Approved an ordinance that will make technical changes to an inter-municipal storm water pollution reduction agreement so it complies with Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Services requirements. Cooperating municipalities are the city, Cleona Borough and North Cornwall, North Lebanon, and South Lebanon townships.

Next City Council meetings

City Council’s next pre-council planning meeting will be on Thursday, Feb. 23, at 4:45 p.m. The next regular monthly council meeting will be on Monday, Feb. 27, 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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Chris Coyle

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,...

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