The Borough of Moscow held two council meetings during January, one on January 8 and the other on January 22.

At the January 8 meeting, Mark Gallagher, representing the Moscow Volunteer Fire Department, gave a report on the activities in 2018. There were 1,061 EMS calls and 193 fire related/EMS service calls. The fire department will be ordering a new truck to replace the rescue vehicle and the fire engine.

Mr. Gallagher said it is getting more difficult to rely on volunteers so Mutual Aid is used more often. Mark said the fire department has a good working relationship with the neighboring towns and he thanked Council for its support.

Correspondence received prior to the meeting included a thank you note that was received from Joan Powell and Barb Belasky for the Christmas gift from the borough and notice of a meeting of the Lackawanna County Association of Boroughs about the new recycling regulations that was scheduled for January 17.

Council also received a letter dated December 17 from Attorney Joseph McDonald expressing his interest in being the Alternate Zoning Hearing Board Solicitor for Moscow Borough with a rate change from $175 to $200 per hour. Bill Heim made a motion to retain Attorney Joseph McDonald as the Alternate Zoning Hearing Board Solicitor at a rate of $200 per hour and the motion carried unanimously.

At the January 8 meeting, police chief Ivy Brenzel gave the police report of the month of December. She said that there were 114 calls to 911 and 112 cleared calls. She also gave the yearly report for 2018 showing that there were 1,571 calls to 911 and 1,557 cleared calls in 2018.

Chief Brenzel reported that one of the police vehicles was involved in a minor incident when it hit a raccoon, causing damage to the radiator and front of the vehicle. It was of service while repairs were being made. In the meantime, a rental vehicle was being used. As of the January 22 meeting, the police vehicle was reported to be repaired and back in service. Chief Brenzel also told Council that the borough was notified that it placed second in its category nationwide for National Night Out.

In her report at the January 8 meeting, Mayor Warner reported that Russian Christmas was very nice. Music and art works were provided by the North Pocono High School. She thanked the Junior Council members for showing up to help. The mayor also said that she is very proud that the borough placed second for National Night Out in its category nationwide. Moscow Borough was the only municipality from Pennsylvania to place in that category.

In zoning and planning news, a Right-to-Know request was received regarding building permits and upgrades at St Catherine of Siena church, a Certified Record of Proceedings pertaining to the Sam’s Land LLC appeal was provided to Council, and there was a discussion about the land and pending approval for the proposed construction of a new Dollar General. At the January 22 meeting, it was determined that the two parcels of land must be consolidated and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation approval must be received before it can be approved by Council.

In other news, it was stated at the January 8 meeting that council will look into renting a street sweeper locally and paying someone to operate it. The sinkhole at the corner of Church St. and Maple St. has been determined to be a safety issue and requires repair. At the January 22 meeting, the issue of the safety of railroad cars parked on the underpass was mentioned, and Gerard Hetman, a Lackawanna County employee who was present at the meeting said he will look into ownership and inspection of the underpass.

At the January 8 meeting, council members were provided with a list of positions on committees. They were as follows:

Civil Service Commission: Kevin Strausser - six year term; John Franklin - six year term Moscow Sewer Authority Sewer: Stanley Zagorski - four year term Planning Commission: Joseph Fesolovich - four year term; Barry Gabello - four year term Recreation Commission: Elwood Perry - four year term Shade Tree Commission:Rose Standiford - four year term; Kim Mecca - four year term.