Latrobe is seeking a new city secretary and director of finance and administration.

Council on Monday approved appointing Karen Meholic to fill the interim position until a candidate is hired.

The city is currently accepting applicants for the position — which was previously filled by Roxanne Shadron.

When asked about Shadron’s departure, City Manager Michael Gray said, “No comment on that.”

“We just have a (vacancy) in that position,” he said.

Gray said Meholic previously served as assistant city secretary up until Monday when council appointed her to the interim position.

“We wanted to make it official by resolution, so that way if (Meholic) has to sign any documents, she’s authorized to do so, including any type of resolutions and ordinances that we pass,” Gray said, adding that Meholic will not receive additional compensation in the interim role.

So far, the city has two applicants, according to Gray.

“We plan on filling the position as soon as we can,” he said. “We just want to be able to have the time to interview all potential candidates for the position and make our selection process.”

He anticipates the position will be filled by June.

“We’re looking forward to hopefully many more and keeping it competitive,” he said.

Council in July 2019 appointed Shadron, a former finance director of Ligonier Township, as the city’s secretary and director of finance and administration, with an annual salary of $52,000 and benefits consistent with the union contract.

Shadron is currently running as a write-in candidate for Ligonier Township supervisor during the May 18 primary election.

In other business, council approved awarding a roughly $127,000 contract to low-bidder Prospect-based Bronder Technical Services for the city’s Automated Red Light Enforcement (ARLE) project aimed to install solar-powered flashing school zone signs near Latrobe Elementary School.

The project is being funded by a $122,000 state grant, with no local match, and at no cost to the school district.

“We anticipate once the project starts, it should fall pretty much at that $122,000,” said Gray, otherwise the city would have to cover the extra $5,000. He said the bid came in higher than anticipated since the “cost of materials is still unknown.”

The flashing lights will provide added safety at the downtown school, which opened in December 2018. Current signs note a 15 mph school zone speed limit when students are coming to school in the morning and leaving in the afternoon.

Council previously approved school zone signs for Lincoln Avenue, Cedar and Ligonier streets, and PennDOT recently approved final plans.

Gray expects the project to begin this summer “as long as we can get materials in.”

“My hope is to get it done before the school season starts,” he said.

Council also awarded a contract to low-bidder Unity Lawn Care for the 2021-2023 mowing season.

Also on Monday, council approved amending an ordinance to update the minimum qualifications for the city’s fire chief.

Under the updated ordinance, fire chief candidates must complete: National Incident Management System (NIMS) training, a fire ground operations class, a hazard awareness class, basic and advanced vehicle rescue classes, and truck and aerial truck company operation classes. Candidates must also complete a fire and arson investigation course, as well as be in good standing with the Latrobe Volunteer Fire Department and in compliance with its bylaws.

Code and zoning enforcement officer Ann Powell reminded city residents that grass must be kept below eight inches and swimming pools must be maintained and in good repair.

Council on Monday also approved:

  • Handicap parking requests at 331 Weldon St. and 121 Ave. A;
  • Reappointing James Berkey to the zoning hearing board with a term expiring on Jan. 31, 2026;
  • Reappointing Ed Kubistek to the planning commission with a term expiring on Jan. 31, 2025;
  • Reappointing Kathleen R. Kelly to the planning commission with a term expiring on Jan. 31, 2024;
  • Reappointing William E. Glasser to the civil service commission with a term expiring on Jan. 31, 2026;
  • Reappointing Bruce D. Jones to the Latrobe-GLSD Parks and Recreation Commission with a term expiring on Jan. 31, 2023.

Mayor Rosie Wolford thanked these residents for agreeing to reappointment and encouraged more to get involved.

“These commissions are very, very important,” she said.

Gray also said the city is planning for a firework celebration on the Fourth of July but said more details will be available at the May 24 meeting. Wolford said there will not be a parade.

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