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Municipal News

By J.R. Brower

Highlights of the Peters Township Council January 5 meeting are as follows:

- Council concurred that delinquent trash collection bills owed to the township have become a major problem. Waste Management-contracted service fees in delinquency now total over $59,000.

- Township Manager Michael Silvestri said that the township has placed liens on 61 properties for nonpayment of garbage fees, and 24 of those property owners owe over $1,000 each.

- The current fee for garbage collection in Peters is $51 a month per household.

- Assistant Township Manager said that they are investigating possible sheriff's sales against the scofflaws, whereby court orders will be obtained for seizure and sale of properties in question to settle the liens.

- Some council members express concerns that sheriff's sales are too costly and often unsuccessful.

In other business at their January 5 meeting, Peters Township Council:

- Considered and then tabled discussion of Township Solicitor John Smith's contract renewal. Council member Gary Stiegel questioned the invoices of billed services from Smith which totaled $85,000 for the year 2014. The previous township solicitor (William Johnson) had billed the township only $45,000 for services rendered in 2013. Smith charges the township $120 per hour and was appointed in October 2013 following the resignation of long-time solicitor Johnson.

- Approved David Ball as council chairman and Robert Lewis as vice chairman as part of council's annual reorganization.

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