Who are the most influential figures in Nuangola for 2013? Council President John Kochan and Sewer Authority President Ray Shirk, without a doubt, for little has occurred in the embattled lake side community other that the still unfinished installation of the sewer system and its fallout.
Is the community divided? Election results from November showed that long-term councilor Regina Plodwick still held enough voter confidence to win and two year and a four year seat.
Also securing two seats was realtor Mike Johnson who wasn’t even on council at the start of the year.
In fact, Nuangola began 2013 without enough members attending meetings to satisfy a quorum. This logistical maneuvering ended with the courts being petitioned to appoint a new council member after the resignation of Elaine Donahue.
The February 28 closed door hearing resulted in Johnson’s appointment, a surprise to Solicitor Jack Dean who delivered three letters of interest received by the borough: Doug Fawbush, a former member of council, Joan Shirk a former candidate and wife of Ray Shirk, and Mark Gandzyck, a former council member. Dean received a Court Order notifying him that Michael Johnson was appointed to the seat.
Likewise, the elevation of Shirk to the presidency of the sewer authority came under surprising conditions. Long term president Dave Pekar was re-appointed as president at council’s final meeting of 2012, however Plodwick pointed out that the seat was not vacant until January. To the surprise of many, at the January meeting, council appointed Shirk, filling Pekar’s vacant seat with former member Gerard Maskinas.
Even the presence of a seasoned construction hand like Maskinas could not move the project through a very ‘rocky’ construction season. Reports at both council and sewer authority meetings contained news of season delays and equipment failure as a direct effect of the total rock configuration of the borough’s topography.
Low bidder Wexcon unsuccessfully pinned its hopes to meet a September 15th deadline on modern equipment for drilling lateral lines.
While the construction project swirled residents and officials started to question the logic. In April Kochan told his residents that the process was flawed, “It doesn’t make sense, digging three separate times.” The complaint related to Wexcon’s three tiered approach, one team was installing mains along roads; one team installed grinder pumps on properties and much later a third team was ripping up the yards again to install laterals to yoke the parts together.
Responding to the objection’s Shirk ordered that contractor to stop installing grinder pumps and double up on the lateral team. That meant that many properties suffered disturbed and dusty yards, driveways and porches for months.
In fact delays in the projected resulted in many residents defying the borough’s own septic tank pumping
See Nuangola page 4