Port Vue looks to curb metal scrapping
Port Vue council is trying to put a stop to people collecting metal from residents' trash without permission.
Commonly called scrapping, council explained the situation at its meeting on Wednesday.
“After we reviewed our contract with our (garbage) hauler, and some other things, we decided we will not permit any kind of scrapping,” Councilman Frank Cortazzo said. “However, to help our residents out, we put a bin down by the borough garage. It's for scrap-like metals. … Police are going to stop people from going through our garbage in the middle of the night.”
Cortazzo said property owners can permit people to take their scrap materials, but unauthorized collectors will be charged with theft.
Borough officials last month discussed crafting an ordinance requiring a permit to collect metal.
“The ordinance was never finalized before. It was just in the planning stages,” Mayor Brien Hranics said.
Cortazzo explained that based on a borough ordinance and a contract with trash collector Nickolich Sanitation, items residents place on the curb for garbage collection become the property of Nickolich.
“Our ordinance (and) contract with Nickolich says that when people put stuff on the curb, it becomes the property of the hauler,” Cortazzo said. “In no way does it just become public property. We felt if we put an ordinance together that allowed you to come and take (scrap), we would be violating our contract with Nickolich. … So if Nickolich doesn't take it, it's the property owner's responsibility to take care of it.”
Scrapping caught the attention of borough officials earlier this year.
Two longtime public works employees accused of scrapping on the job were fired at a special meeting on July 8.
Timothy Wilson, 59, and Robert A. Pastore, 54, are charged with felony counts of theft by unlawful taking, theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received and conspiracy.
They worked for Port Vue's public works department for at least 15 years. The investigation that led to the charges began in February when residents complained about Wilson and Pastore rummaging through curbside garbage on collection days. They're accused of taking materials from a borough recycling bin, too.
A preliminary hearing for the two is scheduled for Oct. 14 at 1 p.m. before Glassport Magisterial District Judge Armand A. Martin.
Council voted 5-0 on Wednesday to hire Tom Thompson and Russell Wooster III as part-time public works employees. Wooster's father, Councilman Russell Wooster Jr., abstained, and Councilman Doug Junecko was absent.
Wooster Jr. said his son and Thompson already were working for the borough as summer helpers and were not hired to replace Wilson or Pastore.
He said the borough does not plan to hire additional public works employees until the legal process ends for the two former workers.
Council unanimously reappointed Valerie Carpenter to the planning commission for a four-year term to expire in May 2018.
Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Former McKeesport resident donates to heritage center children’s raffle
- After 27 years, Clairton emerges from state ‘financially distressed’ status
- Versailles plans smaller budget with no millage increase
- Elizabeth mayor hails police department’s role in ‘major’ heroin bust in Clairton
- Fire breaks out for 3rd time in abandoned McKeesport house