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Borough plans to crack down on snow removal

| Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, 9:05 p.m.

Ligonier Borough Council members last week encouraged Mayor Ormond “Butch” Bellas to issue citations to property and business owners for failing to remove snow from sidewalks.

Secretary/Treasurer Paul Fry told officials a resident complained about difficulty navigating snow-covered walkways. Bellas said he has received one complaint, as well.

A borough ordinance requires business owners to clear their walks within 12 hours of the last snowfall. Homeowners have 24 hours.

Council members also discussed how to prevent the Diamond from further damage caused by motorists' vehicles jumping the curb around the circular park.

“It's high time the borough take some proactive steps,” Councilman Jim McDonnell said.

The concrete curbs lining the roadway and brickwork are chipped and cracked. Truck tires have put deep ruts in the grass areas on the four quadrants — especially near Town Hall and Heritage United Methodist Church, McDonnell said.

McDonnell said one rut is at least 8 feet into the Diamond from the street.

He suggested strategically placing boulders in the grass area.

“I brought this up before, and it sort of got pooh-poohed, but I'm going to bring it up again, and I'm going to keep bringing it up,” McDonnell said. “If you look at State College, they have tastefully placed boulders — or large rocks — in strategical locations. It's very tasteful. I don't see why we can't do that on those areas of the Diamond. It's long overdue that we do something serious and take proactive steps. There's people getting upset about it, and that's back on us.”

PennDOT approved placing boulders on the Diamond years ago, Fry said.

President Buddy Helterbran said some years ago he looked into configuring the Diamond into an egg shape to avoid damage, but that option was “not inexpensive.”

He also brought up research he had done previously on placing cameras around the Diamond that could record motorists so the borough could send tickets to those who cause damage.

“That price, I thought, was fairly reasonable,” Helterbran said. “At that point, the Town Hall fund was very low, so it didn't go anywhere.”

Although no action was taken on the matter, McDonnell asked council members to think about it.

In other news, council re-appointed Joe Willard, Terry Murphy and Jim McDonnell to the planning commission; George Welty as solicitor; John Berger as police chief; Paul Church as fire chief; Chick Cicconi as land use administrator; and Paul Fry as secretary/treasurer and public works director.

Jewels Phraner is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-1218 or