New council president says his aim is to improve borough on the inside and outside SUSSEX - Over the past year, Sussex Borough Councilman Bruce LaBar has worked with his wife Dorothy, a Master Gardener, on helping to develop a shade tree commission for the town. As the newly-named Sussex Borough Council President, LaBar is now setting his sights below ground; namely, to help address the inflow and infiltration (I&I) problems that have been dogging the town’s municipal sewer system for years. LaBar, along with Mayor Christian Parrott and fellow council members, has made repairs to the town’s aging sewer system his top priority for 2009. Penalty payments to the Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority (SCMUA) when heavy rainfalls place the borough above its monthly allotments “are just prohibitive,” said LaBar. Sussex Borough officials expect to find out in February whether the town is entitled to use a $400,000 grant that was originally slated to upgrade water lines on Hamburg Avenue to help fix the town’s aging sewer system, said LaBar. One of the top priorities is to replace a number of porous manholes suspected of contributing to the town’s excessive wastewater discharges to SCMUA during heavy rainfalls. Pending state approvals for redirecting the funding, Sussex Borough expects to begin replacing the affected manholes this spring, said Parrott. LaBar, who became a councilman in January 2008, was voted as the borough’s new Council President at the council’s Jan. 6 reorganization meeting. Availability Although he hasn’t served on the council as long as other members such as Jonathan Rose, Parrott wanted a Council President who would be locally available to step in for him as needed, he said. “A lot of the other council people have jobs that take them an hour away from town,” said Parrott. “Bruce is retired and is available to address issues in the borough on a more regular basis.” LaBar, who was raised in Vernon and has lived in Sussex Borough since 1995, spent 38 years in the banking industry. He and Dorothy, a Sussex Borough native, have three grown children and 10 grandchildren. LaBar replaces Charles Fronheiser Jr. as Borough Council president. Fronheiser lost his council seat after Rose and former Sussex Borough Mayor Katherine Little were elected in November.