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East McKeesport council looks to expand code enforcement to full time

Michael DiVittorio
| Friday, July 11, 2014, 12:26 a.m.

East McKeesport officials are looking to expand the borough's code enforcement to a full-time department.

Councilwoman Donna Ferrainolo announced at a council meeting on Thursday that she was compiling a report that shows the need for expansion, and it could happen as early as September.

“Things are moving,” Ferrainolo said. “We looked ahead and I think we have a lot happening.”

Police officer Jamie Dinkfelt has been on the force for the past 10 years, and currently does double duty as the borough's code enforcement officer.

Ferrainolo said Dinkfelt works roughly seven hours a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays as code enforcement officer. The borough uses a third party service provider for building inspection on Mondays and Fridays.

Work keeps piling up despite efforts to address all resident concerns and complaints.

“It's a concerted effort right now,” Ferrainolo said. “We've got vacant properties around town that aren't being attended to. We have the general property maintenance of an old town. The buildings are older. People need building permits for any work that they do. There is more need for the property maintenance side of it.

“We have instituted a landlord/tenant program where the landlords have to register their leases, and it requires a permit to lease so that we can pay attention to the renters in town. Who's moving in and who's moving out. It's all the things an older town needs, and there's more to it. Next month I'll get the whole package.”

All motions made at Thursday's meeting passed unanimously by a vote of 6-0. Councilwoman Lynn Brown was absent.

Motions approved are:

• The purchase of a microwave for the borough building for an approximate cost of $200.

• The donation of $50 to the St. Robert's Summer Festival.

• To send borough administrator/secretary Connie Rosenbayger to a fall conference at Seven Springs at a cost of $815.

• To advertise an ordinance regarding parking restrictions and to provide a list of streets with locations of parking restrictions and placement of no parking signs.

• To send vice president Peter McGinty to the Local Government Academy's Annual Recognition Luncheon at a cost of $20.

Council heard the concerns of residents Mary Jean Stawins and Jean Magee.

Stawins, a councilwoman from 1978-96, lauded council for its efforts in governing the municipality. She presented officials with a petition signed by residents along Leslie Street and Broadway Avenue requesting “caution” or “children at play” signs to make motorists slow down, noting many children play on the streets.

Magee said she wanted to notify council of a skunk problem developing along Punta Gorda Avenue.

“Even with the air conditioners on, it is devastating,” Magee said. “The smell's atrocious ... We're getting quite horrific odors at 10 and 11 o'clock at night.”

Rosenbayger said the borough had Critter Control come out last year in response to skunk complaints, and did not trap as many animals as expected. She said it was not the company's fault. There weren't as many rodents out as originally thought at the time.

Council president Kathleen Lipesky said the borough will look into the animal issue.

Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or mdivittorio@tribweb.com.

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