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This article was funded by LebTown donors as part of our Civic Impact Reporting Project.

Jonestown Borough Council appointed David Charest as councilman at its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 7.

Charest replaces councilman Don Raiger, who resigned in December. Raiger’s unexpired term ends in December of this year.

Tracey Charest, councilwoman and wife of David, abstained from the vote.

Councilman Jeffery Schott was the only council member opposed, stating that he was worried about a married couple having so much sway over borough affairs. He also noted that this sway would be even greater if the council opts to reduce total amount of council members, as is under consideration.

Councilman Justin Shuey volunteered to head the new council member reduction committee, which is meant to explore the possibility of reducing the council size from seven. Jonestown Mayor Joseph Quairoli also joined this committee.

The council also unanimously appointed Schott as the new council president pro tempore.

Schott, David and Tracey Charest, and Rick Kline have terms expiring this year. All three plan to run for additional four-year terms.

Also Tuesday, council discussed beautification plans for borough-owned 49 W. Market St. The board unanimously agreed to begin phase one of the project to plant trees along the edge of the property.

Tentative plans for the beautification project at 49 W. Market St. Locations highlighted in yellow are where trees are planned to be planted in phase one. At locations in purple, new trees are being considered in later phases of the beautification project.

Costs for landscaping and tree planting for phase one are not to exceed $11,500.

The board unanimously agreed to apply for a realty tax exemption with the Lebanon County Assessment office for 49 W. Market St.

In other news, the council:

  • Heard from Cleona Police Chief Jeffrey Farneski concerning the department’s patrols of Jonestown (which does not have its own police department). Cleona officers issued 141 citations in 2021, and 220 citations in 2022, Farneski said.
  • Unanimously agreed to approve the purchase of eight iPads, seven Microsoft 365 basic licenses, and battery backup not to exceed $8,000 for council members’ use.
  • Unanimously agreed to apply for liquid fuels funding totaling $1,629.
  • Discussed the May 27 block party, and agreed to submit a permit application to PennDOT for road closure from 1 to 9 p.m.
  • Unanimously agreed to submit a 2023-24 salt contract requesting 50 tons of salt to de-ice roads.
  • Unanimously agreed to submit a 904 recycling performance grant application to the Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority for the borough’s recycling efforts over the course of 2022.
  • Agreed to purchase a plaque (not to exceed $200) welcoming Russ Diamond to Jonestown Borough. Schott was opposed, as he viewed it as an unnecessary expense.
  • Unanimously approved minutes for the Jan. 3 meeting and auditor committee meeting.

Jonestown Borough Council meets at 6:30 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month at 295 South Mill St. The next meeting will be held March 7.

These meetings are open to the public and do not require prior registration.

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Emily Bixler

Emily Bixler was born and raised in Lebanon and now reports on local government. In her free time, she enjoys playing piano and going for hikes.


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