The Petersburg Borough Assembly Monday approved a one time, additional benefit of one week of paid time off for Borough employees. The intention is to replenish the leave time that employees have used to isolate or care for family members during the COVID-19 pandemic. All current full and part time Borough workers will be able to use the new time off for vacation as well as illness or family obligations.

The cost of the PTO is $110,000, which will come out of one of the two American Rescue Plan Special Revenue Funds that the Borough received from the federal government. Congress approved that emergency funding in 2021 to help local governments respond to the public health and negative economic impacts of the pandemic.

Borough employees can expect the added benefit sometime during the week of August 8th.

The Assembly also approved the first reading of an ordinance that would increase purchasing authorization limits for borough officers and the borough manager.

If it’s approved, administrative officers will be able to spend up to $10,000 – double the current limit of $5,000 – without an approval from higher up. The last time spending limits were increased was in 2004. Public Works director Chris Cotta said  that adjusting spending limits would help catch up  to what the purchasing power used to be back when the limits were put in place.

The ordinance would also raise the purchasing authorization limit for the borough manager from $30,000 to $75,000. Cotta said this would make it easier for the borough to replace its vehicles.

The annual budget,approved by the assembly, determines how the local government spends its money. In addition, local law requires these additional approvals for larger purchases within the confines of that budget.

The proposal would also raise the threshold beyond which competitive bidding is required.

The assembly passed those changes in their first reading by a 5-0 vote. They’ll go through  two more readings by the assembly before becoming law.