Susquehanna adopts drug-free workplace policy

BY STACI WILSON

Susquehanna Borough Council adopted a substance-free workplace policy and hired an independent contractor to provide drug-testing for employees at the Wednesday, March 20 meeting.
Council opted to hire Cathy Albert of Independent Drug & Alcohol Testing to provide the service to the borough.
And although Susquehanna has money set aside in its budget for the testing, the actual cost of the service was not known.
Council President Roberta Reddon said she had worked to find the right person to do the testing but was not certain of the fee process.
She did say the Albert holds three specialized certificates and would come on site do the required drug testing.
Councilwoman Sue Crawford said she understood the borough needed a testing provider on board in order to move forward with the substance-free workplace policy but was concerned the testing could cost more than what the borough had allotted in its budget.
“I hate not knowing how much it will cost,” Crawford said.
Councilwoman Debra Zayas suggested approving the hiring of Independent Drug & Alcohol Testing up to a certain amount.
With that noted, council approved the measure and can now implement its drug-testing policy.
Councilman Roy Williams said the Department of Public Works employees had cleaned out the municipal garage and noted various tools and equipment that either needed to be replaced or purchased.
Williams said the estimated cost of the purchases would total $1500-$1600 and that money was available in a line of the highway aid budget repair budget that could be transferred to minor equipment purchases.
Mayor Bill Perry said council had been talking about purchasing its own chainsaw for several years.
Williams said a chainsaw was on the list of tools and equipment to be purchased for the borough.
Council approved the transfer of the funds for the tools and equipment needed by the DPW.
Williams also noted that the borough trucks were ready to be re-lettered.
He also said the DPW employees plan to work on removing stumps bordering the walking trails in Ira Reynolds Park and do some general clean-up at the park.
At the February borough meeting, John Sholtiss of Parks and Recreation expressed concern that the stumps could be a nesting ground for snakes and rodents.
Williams said that DPW is in the process of establishing a timeline for projects. But, he cautioned, because this is the first year the DPW has been in existence in its present guise, the timeline would be “tentative. But we’ll work it out,” he said.
It was also reported that several separate street and sidewalk projects could be under construction at the same time during the coming months that may cause some traffic delays.
“But it will be worth it in the end,” Perry said.
The mayor also offered his thanks to the DPW employees. During the clean-out of the garage, the workers came across a brand new breathalyzer unit and estimated the cost of the device at about $600. He reported that is now in use by the police department.
Perry also reported that Chief Robert Sweet recently attended a Tazer training and is now a certified instructor who can provide in-house training to other officers.
The police department is down about two officers. Perry said one officer decreased his hours to one day per week in order to take a position closer to his home.
Another officer resigned from the force, Perry said.
The remaining force, Perry said, has stepped up to take on more hours to provide police coverage in the borough.
Council voted to advertise the police positions.
Council also gave their approval to the Susquehanna Community Development Association for the annual Hometown Days, slated for Aug. 8-10; with a parade held Friday evening and fireworks scheduled for Saturday night.
A lease for the concession stand at the baseball park is now in place between the borough and the Little League. Reddon said a certificate of insurance was still needed.
Nancy Hurley told council that youth from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints expressed a willingness to work on projects in the borough during the summer.