Montoursville settles longstanding debt

Montoursville Borough Council approved payment of $307,500 to the Lycoming County Water and Sewer Authority to settle a longtime debt.

The debt stems from the sewer capacity refund agreement with the authority.

Under the payment agreement, passed last week by the authority, the borough is forgiven $307,500, the remaining half of the debt.

Voting in favor of the agreement were Robert Brobson, Kim DiRocco, Ronald Shearer, and Eugene Boyles.

Mark Tillson voted against.

Dennis Holt was absent.

The borough debt can be traced to 2003 when Montoursville sold sewage capacity to the authority.

Several years later the authority requested the money be paid back after it was determined the application of those funds should have been applied to the sewer debt.

“Money should have been paid toward the debt,” Boyles conceded.

Boyles also noted that the borough was selling capacity it never really had.

Brobson said the payment, which must be made by Oct. 31, will come out of the borough’s capital improvement fund.

“We are able to take the burden off the sewer users,” said DiRocco.

Borough resident Rosemary Holmes told council prior to the vote that she didn’t feel the money should be paid just yet.

“We can’t afford it” she said. “It’s the wrong thing to do for our community.”

In other matters, Mayor John Dorin questioned council on next years budget.

He told Brobson that the borough is not properly managing it’s finances.

He noted that the water sales revenues long used to help balance the budget are not bringing in the amount of money they once did.

“We’re losing money on water sales,” he said.

Dorin also questioned why he was not allowed to see the budget.

“It’s a working document,” Brobson responded.

The mayor said the general fund budget needs to stand by itself and not depend on revenues from water sales.

“I think youll see it stands by itself,” Brobson said.

Boyles noted that water sales revenues have dipped in recent years from as high as $3 million several years ago to $200,000 this year.

The good news, he noted, is that this years budget is reflecting revenues at more than $555,000 over expenditures.

Council passed an ordinance to prevent unwanted and nuisance noise in the borough.

Under the peace and good order ordinance, police are given greater discretion in deciding when violations exist.

“This puts something on paper we didn’t have before,” said Police Chief Jeff Guyrina.

Voting in favor of the ordinance were Brobson, DiRocco, Shearer, and Boyles.

Voting against was Tillson.