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Wilmerding still accepting applications for mayor

Patrick Cloonan | Daily News
Wilmerding Mayor James Wright makes a point during his last borough council meeting before his resignation takes effect on Aug. 1. Wright is moving with his wife Ethel to Conneaut, Ohio, to help care for her relatives who have health issues.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014, 12:56 a.m.

Wilmerding's next mayor may be chosen after a July 22 meeting.

Council president Stephen Shurgot said that meeting will follow a 6:30 p.m. planning session for a celebration of Wilmerding's 125th anniversary.

Borough manager Joseph Hartzell said on Tuesday he received two letters for James Wright's job.

Tuesday's council meeting was Wright's last as mayor before he resigns effective Aug. 1 to move to Conneaut, Ohio, with his wife, to help care for her relatives.

“It has been nice working with you,” Wright said. “I hope you get someone as good or better than I was.”

Others interested in the job can apply through July 15.

The search will go faster than assessments have been for Wabtec, whose Wilmerding property was valued at $4 million by Allegheny County in 2012, then $10 million in 2013. Solicitor Greg Evashavik said the parties involved still are waiting for a court date to consider Wabtec's appeal.

“We're afraid to do any major expenditures in case we have to pay back (Wabtec),” Shurgot said.

Council heard neighbors raise concerns about abandoned properties along Welsh and Marguerite avenues.

Council will hold a hearing on Aug. 5 at 6 p.m. regarding condemnation of a property at 223 Maple Ave., but Evashavik said the borough cannot do the same for 349-353 Welsh, one of the properties addressed by neighbors, because its owner has filed for bankruptcy.

Council approved spending $20,000 from the borough sewer fund for televising sewers, in accord with an Environmental Protection Agency consent decree.

It ratified the hiring of Dominic Caldwell, 15, to fill a summer job vacancy.

It gave permission to Agape Fellowship to close off Caldwell Avenue between Herman Avenue and Clara Street on Aug. 2 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. for a block party.

Shurgot said what may be a final bid to establish a crime watch will be conducted at a meeting on July 16 at 6 p.m.

Councilman Bill Pricener said hot patching of streets begins next week, weather permitting, with material meted out in 1-ton implements.

Councilwoman Sandy Smith said a disc jockey was hired for the borough's National Night Out event on Aug. 5 at 7:30 p.m. in Wilmerding Park.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writerfor Trib Total Media.

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