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Belle Vernon council deals with cat calls, potholes, landslides

| Tuesday, March 12, 2013, 2:21 a.m.

With spring approaching, Belle Vernon Council is dealing with problems involving potholes, landslides and cats.

Council blitzed through an array of issues at a Monday meeting, including complaints from residents about potholes along Blind Lane and stray cats near Third and Wood streets.

“We've got cats — lots of cats — coming down the top of the hill,” Mayor Gerald Jackson said.

Council President Joe Minniti said after the meeting that the borough will contact its Uniontown-based animal control officer.

“It's not a big problem, but it's getting there,” Minniti said. “They'll come down and bring cages. Usually, they're here within a couple days.”

The second problem is recurring potholes, especially near the Belle Vernon Apartments high rise.

Minniti said an underground spring is causing the road breaks and that the borough obtained grant money to install catch basins to divert the water.

The borough will seek bids for the work, and the borough engineer will handle project design, he added.

“I know that we patched Blind Lane in pieces, and our crews are trying to keep ahead of things,” Jackson said. “The potholes keep getting bigger, and we're going to need to look at doing something.”

Jackson said he's trying to determine whether the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is planning a project later this year to alleviate landslides on state Route 906 – which could potentially delay major roadwork for Main Street.

Main Street, the primary road through the borough, is part of Route 906 and leads to state Route 201 in Washington Township.

Jackson said he has spoken to engineers surveying hillsides between Belle Vernon and Naomi, a section of Washington Township.

“They're going to put out for bids to fix between Belle Vernon and Naomi … but I don't know where PennDOT is with that project, and nobody will give me (details on) what they're planning,” Jackson said.

“We're wondering if they're going to blacktop this end of 906. I don't see them blacktopping and then going in there with a major project.”

Jackson said PennDOT is waiting until the weather breaks to patch the potholes on Main Street.

Minniti said a fallen tree damaged two vacant houses on Wood Street over the weekend. One of the houses — located at 201 Wood St. — is on the borough's demolition list.

Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at or 724-684-2635.