HARRISBURG –Rep. Dave Zimmerman (R-Lancaster) today announced that his legislation to enable boroughs to quickly make the types of emergency purchases necessary to quickly repair items such as a damaged water main, sewer lines or sinkholes, has been signed into law.
“Under current law, a borough must undergo a competitive bidding process for all public works projects over $10,000,” Zimmerman said. “Now, a borough will be allowed to make the necessary purchases to respond to emergency infrastructure situations.”
Zimmerman’s new law addresses sunshine concerns by requiring the borough council to adopt a resolution stating the extent of the emergency that needs to be attended to and the actions taken at the next public meeting.
Lancaster County Commissioner Josh Parson’s said recent events demonstrate the need for this new law and a reduction of bureaucratic interference in local matters.
“We have seen incidents such as broken water mains and sinkholes here, and in nearby Lebanon County, displace residents and disrupt commerce for too long while the approvals to begin work to fix the problems cause needless delay,” Parsons said. “Local governments, which are closer to and more familiar with such issues, need to be able to respond to their constituents in a timely manner. This new law will help greatly with that need.”
Other municipal codes already contain related provisions to the one in Zimmerman’s new law.
“It is also important to note that boroughs have similar abilities in instances when the governor of the Commonwealth declares a statewide emergency, so we are not undermining any procedures, only expanding a commonsense provision,” Zimmerman said.
Representative Dave Zimmerman
99th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Charles Lardner