Borough council approves quality of life ordinance, new police contract
It was a night of significant actions by the Reynoldsville Borough Council on July 17. Those actions covered alley expansion, blighted properties, the proposed police station and a new police contract.
Daniel Kolody, a real estate broker, asked council to expand Gordon Alley from Eleventh Street to Beck Alley. There are potential buyers for property in that area and the alley would provide better access.
Council President TJ Sliwinski said that the borough needed to obtain the right of way to do that. Code Enforcement Officer Larry Kirkwood was directed to determine if the borough already had the right of way or needed to obtain it. Once that is completed, council voted in favor of completing the alley as soon as possible.
Blighted properties ordinance
In an effort to bring the problem of blighted properties under control, council adopted the first reading of a Quality of Life Ordinance drawn up by Solicitor Joe Ryan which combines previous ordinances and gives the borough a way to take care of problems faster than the current method.
The first paragraph of the ordinance reads:
Lack of maintenance of properties, improper storage of trash and rubbish, storage of in-operable/non-registered vehicles, and accumulation of snow and ice are costly problems that contribute to the deterioration of property values and the general disorder in a community.
The ordinance covers such topics as garbage, hazardous waste, litter, junked vehicles, high grass/weeds, and more. Under the new ordinance, the code enforcement officer will have the power to issue violation tickets and levy fines without having to go through the magistrate.
The ordinance will be available at the borough office for ten days before final action on July 31. (Note: to view the ordinance, click here : Quality of Life Ordinance.)
In a related issue, Council President Sliwinski asked Code Enforcement Officer Kirkwood to consider extending his hours for code enforcement work and bring back his thoughts at meeting on July 31.
On the same subject, resident John Burkett spoke during the public comment section of the meeting and asked council to condemn a trailer located on South Third Street across from his property. Water has been shut off to that trailer and Burkett believes it is beyond repair and that it is only a nuisance.
“I want something done about it,” he said.
Code Enforcement Officer Kirkwood was directed to contact a representative from PennSafe Building Inspection Services to inspect the trailer and determine its condition.
A storage container on the property has to be removed by Friday July 26 or citations will be issued.
Police station and contract
After months of discussion and debate, some progress was made concerning a new police station. Police Committee member Sue Ellen Wells recommended the council pursue obtaining the old Community First Bank office building on Main Street. Community first was purchased by Farmers National bank and the office building was put up for sale.
“It is the perfect place to look in to,” Wells said.
Council president Sliwinski asked the committee to obtain a total project cost and what options the borough could pursue to use the building.
Currently the police station is on the second floor of the municipal building.
On another police matter, council held a brief executive session to discuss a tentative agreement with the union representing the police department. After the meeting resumed, council voted in favor of approving the new five-year deal and commended the police committee for its work.
Sidewalks, paving and other items
After some discussion, the borough road crew was directed to begin preliminary work on the sidewalk in front of the pocket park and sign on Main Street. Code Enforcement Officer Kirkwood also said the other borough sidewalk located near the sign to the industrial park is also in need of repairs.
The council had looked into obtaining a grant to repair other sidewalks in the borough but was unable to come up with the matching funds.
Borough crew foreman Rick Troutman said the borough streets that are to be paved this summer have been prepared. The paving is schedule for the second week of August weather permitting.
This meeting was adjourned until the July 31st meeting at 7 p.m.