Petersburg’s Borough Assembly has a packed agenda ahead of its July 17th meeting. It’ll start after the assembly, sitting as the Board of Adjustment, looks over an appeal of a decision made by the local Planning Commission on June 13th. Petersburg Medical Center is protesting the Commission’s rejection of its application for a preliminary plat and clearing the rights-of-way for its new hospital project. After the Board of Adjustment session, which starts at 6 p.m., the assembly will begin its regular meeting.

The meeting is set to begin with an update from Assembly Member Dave Kensinger on the Borough’s housing needs assessment. Kensinger chairs the Borough’s Housing Task Force, which launched a survey in May to better understand the community’s housing needs. And those results are due back in September.

Then, Assembly Member Jeff Meucci will recognize members of Petersburg’s volunteer fire department for their response to the blaze at St. Catherine’s Catholic Church.

Then, the assembly will take a look at its sole item of unfinished business. They’ll vote on an ordinance to rezone portions of Thirteenth Street and the Airport Addition for Public Use. That’s to prepare for construction on the new medical center — but it’s a separate issue from PMC’s appeal of the Planning Commission’s decision against making way for the project. The Assembly approved this ordinance in both its first and second readings by votes of 5-to-1. Each time, Assembly Member Donna Marsh was the lone “no” vote, citing her concerns about the financial solubility of the project from the get go.  

In new business, the assembly will look at a resolution to use over a third of its remaining Property Development Funds to connect three Borough-owned lots to public utilities. Those parcels are on Lake Street, Aaslaug Street, and Sandy Beach Road, and this move would prepare them for sale. 

The assembly is also set to look over proposals for waste management services. The Borough’s current contract with Republic Service is going to expire at the end of August. Republic Service is proposing a two-year renewal — but with some extra costs, including an almost 6% price increase year-over-year.

Public Works Director Chris Cotta suggests the assembly go forward with the current agreement — in hopes that by the end of the contract, the Borough will have figured out a less expensive solution for waste disposal. 

In its last meeting, the assembly approved a new collective bargaining agreement with PMEA – the union representing Petersburg’s municipal employees. One of the biggest changes to the new contract is a longevity pay schedule. The new system is intended to keep wages competitive with the job market, as well as to retain employees and important institutional knowledge. The Borough is asking the assembly to apply the same pay schedule to its 14 Department Heads, costing almost $140,000.

Petersburg’s Borough Assembly will meet at 6 p.m. on July 17th in the Assembly Chambers for the Board of Adjustment session, and will continue on with the regular meeting after they reach a decision on the hospital’s appeal. KFSK will broadcast both of those meetings live and post the recordings in our Borough Assembly Archive. Anyone from the community can join the meeting in person, by phone, or on Zoom. There’s more information on KFSK’s community calendar.