Lock Haven has no pension fund woes

LOCK HAVEN — City council heard good news Monday evening about the city’s pension funds.

The state will provide $294,524 for 2017, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Auditor General. This amount means the city will have to contribute only $7,000 to meet its minimum obligation to the funds for the year.

The pension funds are in good shape, City Manager Richard W. Marcinkevage said, and the money is there to cover expenditures if all city employees retire on the dates anticipated.

City Planner Leonora M. Hannagan and Marcinkevage himself plan to retire soon, probably by the end of the year.

Mayor William E. Baney III had his own news to share after the meeting. He is set to retire Nov. 4 from his main job with the Clinton County Department of Emergency Services, and will continue as mayor of Lock Haven.

Also Monday, council learned that the state Department of Environmental Protection will drill monitoring wells to watch the “plume” of underground water from the site of the former Lock Haven Laundry on Bellefonte Avenue. A laundry had operated there from 1927 until 1995, and in earlier years, the laundry dumped PCE (the dry-cleaning solvent tetrachloroethene) on site.

With the chemical underneath the ground, there was no immediate public health danger. However, there was so much PCE that the former laundry was declared a Superfund site for cleanup, and when the building was razed for a new CVS Pharmacy, about 75 tons of contaminated soil were removed.

Now DEP plans to install eight monitoring wells from the railroad tracks at Bellefonte Avenue to West Water Street, council heard. The wells will be in the right-of-way between the curb and the sidewalk, Marcinkevage said.

Eight or so members of Phi Mu Delta Fraternity at Lock Haven University attended the council meeting, and Corey Woomer spoke for them. They asked for use of the levee for the 12th annual Turkey Trot 5K, to be held Nov. 18. The run takes participants from the university stadium down to the levee Riverwalk and on to Veterans Bridge at Jay Street, then back again.

This is Phi Mu Delta’s first year as the Turkey Trot’s sponsor, and funds raised will benefit St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

Councilman Ted Forbes suggested the fraternity consider starting the run at the levee and avoiding the Susquehanna Avenue-Water Street-North Fairview Street intersection.

City council voted to add attorney fees to any liens or claims it files for delinquent water or sewer bills or other legal documents, at the suggestion of city solicitor Justin Houser. The city has not included legal fees in liens or claims before, Marcinkevage said.

Jared Gist has been hired as an operator for the levee, streets and parks, the city manager reported.