Before COVID-19 resulted in Uniontown city officials closing City Hall to the public last week, city council approved two measures recommended by the city’s treasurer that it had previously declined to adopt.
Council in a 5-0 vote on March 10 approved joining the Pennsylvania Municipal League (PML), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that represents 116 municipalities throughout the state.
Harry Krot, PML director of member services, ran through several of the league’s offerings to municipalities, including legislative advocacy and grant guidance.
Krot noted that the city could join PML at no cost for 2020 with no obligation to stay in the league next year. Krot said the estimated dues for the city to enroll after discounts would be $1,659 for 2021, $2,489 for 2022 and 2023, and $2,987 for 2024, comprising a total of $7,135 for that span with estimated dues then totaling the full amount of $3,319 for 2025. The annual cost of $3,319 for 2020 would be waived.
According to its website, PML’s municipal services include state and federal legislative advocacy, education and training certification programs, membership research and inquiries, consulting-based programs and group insurance trusts.
Uniontown hasn’t been a PML member since 2008, Krot said. Council in February voted 3-1 against league membership, citing affordability concerns with only Mayor Bill Gerke voting in favor.
City Treasurer Antoinette Hodge had urged council to enroll in the league in February, saying that it would benefit the city.
Council also unanimously authorized purchasing a fireproof safe for Hodge’s office at a cost of $1,484, another request that Hodge made in February that council declined last month. Council member Joe Czuchan said at this month’s meeting that he spoke to Hodge and her staff about issues with the city’s old safe, which had already been serviced recently at a cost of roughly $85 and still was difficult to open and close, he said.
Hodge also touted the importance of residents paying their per capita tax, a flat-rate local tax payable by all adult residents living in the city. Hodge said the city might be sending announcements about per capita tax payment.
In other business, council reappointed Richard Lee to a five-year term on the Uniontown Zoning Hearing Board for a five-year term expiring June 1, 2024 and appointed John Cellurale to serve a five-year term on the Uniontown Downtown Business District Authority to fill the expired term of Erica Miller.