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Munhall officials address parking issues

| Thursday, July 17, 2014, 1:51 a.m.

Munhall officials are changing parking regulations.

Council unanimously voted at a meeting on Wednesday to remove all reserved parking signs, except for handicapped spaces, in the lot next to the borough building.

Those include signs for the borough manager, assistant manager, code enforcement officer, tax collector, police and one-hour parking designations.

Councilman Joe Ballas said signs were installed by the public works department last fall in response to complaints of park-and-riders using the lot, which has less than 30 spaces, and leaving no room for those needing to park to conduct borough business.

Council decided to remove the signs after hearing complaints from planning commission chairman Jim Barca.

Barca said that while he attended last month's council meeting he received a $15 parking ticket for being parked in a space reserved for police. He said it was the closest space available, and he does not walk very well.

Barca questioned how many officers were on duty, and claimed they do not need the extra spaces. There is a small parking lot, commonly referred to as the police driveway, at the entrance to the police station.

Councilman Bernie Shields said he parked in the code enforcement officer's space on Wednesday and was concerned he might receive a ticket.

“Does anybody come here and look at the signs?” Shields said. “They just pull in.”

Police Chief Pat Campbell said he did not request the signs, noting they were installed when he was on medical leave last year.

Campbell said more people than Barca have received parking tickets since the signs were installed.

Council president Dan Lloyd said council will look into alternative ways to prevent park-and-riders from abusing the lot once the signs are removed.

“This is not public parking,” Lloyd said. “This is for borough business.”

In other parking matters, council is reviewing a parking issue with resident Carol Ostrowski, who said she was told by police she could no longer park in front of her house.

Ostrowski said she has parked in front of her home for 35 years and never received a ticket, even though she parks within the 30-foot buffer zone of a stop sign, which violates a state law.

Campbell said Ostrowski has not received a parking ticket, but his department cannot change a state law.

Council appointed Harold Woodburn as first alternate and Raymond Kondas as second alternate to the Munhall Civil Service Commission for six-year terms.

Andrew Fedoris was appointed to fill a vacant seat that expires at the end of the year on the Munhall Municipal Sanitary Sewer Authority.

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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