January 30, 2023

After learning on Monday night that the city will carry a 2022 budget surplus of about $1 million into this year, the Lebanese city council has scrapped an agenda dominated by staff appointments and the final approval of several bills that would were provisionally approved last month.

household and finances

Mayor Sherry Capello announced an interim surplus of $1,085,601 for 2022, which is expected to change as remaining 2022 bills are paid and other year-end adjustments are made.

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

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

Appointment to vacant positions

Capello said she recommended that Lebanon County and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency appoint Council President Joe Morales as the city’s emergency management coordinator. The position was vacant for several years.

The emergency management coordinator oversees planning and training for public emergencies and acts as a coordinator with the county’s emergency response 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 this time he attained the highest state recognition for the profession.

Capello said she is considering appointing the city’s fire or police chief to the position, but is concerned that during an active emergency they would run their own departments, making it difficult to coordinate other responders.

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

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

old business

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

  • Approved an ordinance setting fees for organizations wishing to use City Hall facilities such as the multi-purpose meeting room.
  • Approved an ordinance establishing $25 monthly rental fees for city parking lots at 10th Street and Water Street, which were once a drop-off point for the old Northwest Elementary School, and at C&L and Gannon Streets.
  • Approved an ordinance making technical changes to an inter-municipal stormwater pollution reduction agreement to meet the requirements of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Services. Cooperating communities are the City, Cleona Borough and the townships of North Cornwall, North Lebanon and South Lebanon.

The next council meetings

The next preliminary planning meeting of the city council will be held on Thursday, February 23 at 4:45 p.m. The next regular monthly council meeting will be on Monday, February 27 at 6:30 p.m

Both sessions are open to the public and will be held in the City Hall Multipurpose Room, 735 Cumberland St., 1st Floor, Lebanon.

Meetings are also streamed live on YouTube here.

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