By Rick Hiduk
(Also published in the Rocket-Courier)
At the first meeting of the Meshoppen Borough Council on Jan. 7, Meshoppen resident Cindy Cona was appointed by the board to fill out the term of Herb Bevan, whose resignation was accepted in December. Bevan served on the borough council for at least three years.
Cona (below) has been the key coordinator of the borough’s annual Community Day celebration during the past few summers and spearheaded the purchase of new playground equipment installed last year.
“I decided to join the council in hopes of making a difference in improving the way of life in our town,” Cona said afterward. “I look forward to working with the other council members.”
The council term expires at the end of 2019, meaning that Cona will need to get on the ballot this spring to retain the seat.
An update on the buyouts of flood prone houses was provided. Closings have been conducted for five properties so far, though no one is sure when demolition on Church Street will begin. At least five more houses are expected to be purchased through a Community Development Block Grant secured by the Wyoming County Housing and Redevelopment Authority (H&RA).
H&RA grants administrator Lisa Hahn met with borough council members and contractors at the site of a former pizza shop on Bridge Street on Dec. 24 to discuss the demolition of that building, the funds for which are not related to the flood buy-outs.
Under correspondence, council members discussed a letter from the USDA, which has been tasked to address the opioid crisis in rural areas. Rural Opioids Technical Assistance Grants are available for communities under a number of categories, including funding for first responders and law enforcement. Borough council president John Bunnell noted afterwards that further discussion toward developing and submitting a plan would likely involve the police department.