In a longer-than-usual meeting, Reynoldsville Borough Council discussed the proposed police station, dilapidated buildings, sidewalks, streets, and more at its April 17 meeting. In fact, the meeting never really ended. It was recessed and will be continued April 25.
Initially, Councilman Rob Crosby chaired the meeting in the absence of Board President TJ Sliwinski, who was detained elsewhere. Sliwinski arrive about twenty minutes into the meeting and took over.
The council heard from resident Jim Venture asked that careful consideration be given to the proposed police station. He acknowledged the need was there, but he was concerned about the kind of debt the borough was able to take on. He suggested some alternatives, including relocating to another building such as the old veterinary hospital building or the former Community First Bank office building.
“I don’t want to see us get so far in debt that we have to trim the police force,” he said. “I hope we can keep what we have.”
Councilman Billy Cebulskie, who chairs a special committee on the station, took the opportunity to discuss the options currently under consideration. Those options include remodeling the first floor of the borough building. Councilwoman Robin McMillan said the committee is also looking at remodeling the old police garage in the back of the borough building as a substation or auxiliary station until a permanent solution is found.
After the discussion, council adopted a motion to have the borough engineers, PVE Sheffler of Sewickley, do a feasibility study to see what the options and costs would be. The study would also include the estimated cost of repairs to the borough maintenance building.
Brad Lashinsky, program director for the entrepreneurship and innovation hub at Penn State DuBois, made presentation to council about the grant the Reynoldsville Recreation Committee (RRC) is trying to obtain for the municipal pool with his assistance.
The Greenways, Trails, and Recreation Grant is through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and would be for $200,000, the appraised value of the pool. The total cost of the project is $204, 500 with the RRC coming up with the $4500.
The project would be almost a complete makeover, including a new pool liner, electrical rewiring, and the rehabilitation of the restrooms and showers.
“The pool sees 12,000 to 14,000 individuals a year,” Lashinsky said. “It is utilized [by individuals] from other communities–Brockway, Brookville, Punxsutawney, and even DuBois. It’s a true community asset.”
Since the borough owns the property, the grant request needs to come from the borough. Council unanimously approved a resolution to work with Lashinsky and apply for the grant on behalf of the RRC.
Donna Cooper of the Jefferson County Solid Waste Authority addressed the council members to bring them up to date on the recycling efforts in the borough.
Cooper told council that the authority collected 28 tons of recycled materials at the Reynoldsville site last year. Winslow Township and Sykesville residents also use the site.
Cooper mentioned the authority did get a grant in 2018 that will allow the location of another container for plastics in Reynoldsville.
“We truly appreciate the contributions that you have given to us over the years,” she said. “It helps keep the whole program operating.”
Reynoldsville has budgeted $2,000 for the program this year.
In dealing with blighted properties, Borough Secretary Jacqueline Dixon suggested the council send a representative to the judicial sale next week and bid on two properties. Both properties have water and sewer taps available, adding to the value.
If successful in getting the lots for a low cost, the borough could then resell them and recoup costs and possibly make a profit. Borough Solicitor Joe Ryan will attend the sale.
Ordinance repeal, code clean up, and code enforcement
To repeal an ordinance, you must adopt an ordinance, which is what borough council did.
The ordinance in question was adopted in 2008 and restricted where convicted sex offenders could live in Reynoldsville. Solicitor Joe Ryan said the ordinance violates constitutional law and is unenforceable.
Sex offenders must comply with Megan’s Law, but the borough does not have the authority to determine where they can live. If it tried to, it could face litigation.
The ordinance to repeal the 2008 ordinance was approved and will be advertised for thirty days before final adoption in May.
The council also approved a motion to spend between $4,000 and $5,000 to update the borough’s code book. This process hasn’t been completed in over nine years. The update will assist Code Enforcement Officer Larry Kirkwood with his duties.
While on the subject of code enforcement, Dixon read three letters to council about possible code violations on properties located on Jackson, South Third, and Brown Streets. Council directed Kirkwood to investigate and report back.
Council also wants Kirkwood to begin enforcing the sidewalk maintenance ordinance. Property owners are responsible for the sidewalks in front of their residences. The enforcement will begin on Main Street between Seventh and Tenth Streets and then move to other parts of the borough.
What to do about new Christmas lights is still being investigated. Dixon said 26 new lights are needed.
Work on Grant Street will be getting started soon once the materials have been delivered.
Council recessed the meeting to reconvene on April 25 at 6 p.m. to review and approve a street paving list.