Springdale moves to enforce codes, update tree ordinance

| Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 1:51 a.m.

Springdale is looking to beef up the borough's code enforcement.

Councilman Frank Forbes on Tuesday night was named to head the newly created Code Enforcement Oversight Committee.

Forbes will act as a liaison between code enforcement officer Ed Crates and council.

Crates will spend Fridays in the borough answering complaints and serving citations to alleged violators.

Residents, such as those who made code enforcement complaints to council on Tuesday, are urged to call the borough office at 724-274-6800 to report potential violations that Crates would research.

Council also will look at updating the borough's tree ordinance, which dates to 1906.

The ordinance needs updating so the Springdale Team of Active Residents, or STAR, can order 20 new trees for Pittsburgh Street through Allegheny County's Tree Revitalization Division.

Five trees planted in 1982 are dead and seven others are missing.

Council President David Finley said council will update the tree ordinance on Aug. 20.

As a result, Forbes said it would be a good time to update the ordinance regarding trees and shrubbery inhibiting pedestrians on sidewalks.

In another code enforcement matter, council awarded a $34,000 contract to Ron Gillette Inc. of Harrison to demolish three buildings.

Officials hope to demolish the old Steve's Store location on Colfax Street and abandoned residences at 213 James St. and 701 Lincoln Ave. sometime in August.

A $20,000 grant from the federal Community Development Block Grant program will help pay for the demolitions.

Dock surveillance sought

Springdale Council will be looking into securing the borough's riverfront wharf.

Council members said that putting video cameras at the dock area at the end of Colfax Street could result in less vandalism and other problems that have been the subject of complaints.

Signalgraph Security Inc. sent a proposal to council, but it was not discussed because council has questions.

The borough needs to look at the size of an area that video cameras would need to cover. Borough officials want to know whether STAR would assist their efforts in getting funding. They'll also ask officials at the nearby PPG plant whether the borough could mount a surveillance camera there.

Among the complaints council has heard was one in June, when a woman said children as young as about 10 were swimming in the river. When the resident told the children to get out of the river, the children's parents complained.

Managers' OK needed

Council stalled in its efforts to name an interim public works foreman and an interim water plant manager. Council deadlocked 3-3. Council did not name whom they intended to place in the positions.

Voting in favor of making the appointments were Mike Ziencik, John Molnar and Gene Polsinelli. Voting against were James Zurisko, Frank Forbes and council President Dave Finley. Absent was Councilman Jason Fry.

Mayor Eileen Miller did not break the stalemate, citing her unfamiliarity with a contract between the borough and its workers.

Miller has 10 days to break the tie.

Finley will take over borough manager duties while council continues to search for a replacement for Ron Borczyk, who took a similar position in Bellevue.

George Guido is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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