Middletown Borough Council Minutes
September 17, 2013
September 17, 2013 Middletown, PA 17057 The September 17, 2013 meeting of the Middletown Borough Council was called to order at 7 p.m. by Council President Christopher R. McNamara. Following the Pledge of Allegiance, the following Council members answered roll call: Barbara Arnold, Donald Brooks, John Brubaker, Robert Louer, and Christopher R. McNamara. Councilors Judy Putric, David Rhen, Scott Sites and Sue Sullivan were absent. Also present were Mayor Robert G. Reid, Borough Manager Tim Konek, Police Chief Steven R. Wheeler, and Borough Secretary Chris Courogen. Councilor Brooks made a motion to amend the agenda by moving the public comment to after the scheduled presentation by David Unkovic. The motion was seconded by Councilor Louer and approved by a unanimous 5-0 vote. Mayor Reid and Chief Wheeler presented Officer Pete Fure with a commendation and a citation for valor honoring Officer Fure for his heroic actions under fire as a member of the Dauphin County Crisis Response Team during a December 2012 incident in Harrisburg. Mayor Reid and Chief Wheeler also presented Officer Gary Rux with a certificate honoring Officer Rux for his efforts in organizing Middletown’s Night Out event. Council President McNamara then introduced David Unkovic, the former receiver for the City of Harrisburg, who presented a “second opinion” review of the Borough’s proposed Early Intervention Plan. Unkovic explained Middletown is not the only municipality in the state with financial challenges and presented an overview of municipal finances. After confirming the Borough’s General Fund has a structural deficit, Unkovic said the Borough’s options for addressing the situation were to cut expenses, raise taxes, or to take money from other funds to plug the hole. Taking money from other funds is what was common for many years in Harrisburg and contributed to the City becoming financially distressed. Unkovic also gave an overview of Act 47 before moving on to his comments specific to Middletown’s EIP, of which he said “Overall, it is a good plan.” Unkovic attributed the Borough’s situation to a failure to adjust its ways of doing business in the wake of the Met-Ed settlement, which ended the Borough’s ability to purchase wholesale electric for $0.01 per kilowatt hour. When the Borough had to pay market rates, and then raised retail electric prices significantly, it caused businesses and residents to look to move elsewhere or to find alternative sources of power and it discouraged new businesses from locating in Middletown.