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Church volunteers to help in Charleroi

| Friday, June 14, 2013, 12:11 a.m.

Charleroi residents should notice a large presence of volunteers throughout town next week when the borough welcomes 75 students as part of a church volunteer project.

Council announced Thursday at its monthly meeting that the borough will host the student volunteers from Charleroi Baptist Church Thursday through June 22. The volunteers will be helping with various projects throughout town, including painting curbs. The students also will participate in a walk-through cleanup on Thursday along alleys and sidewalks.

Borough Manager Donn Henderson explained that about 6 to 8 of the volunteers will offer assistance to residents in the “Zero Tolerance Zone” of town who aren't able to complete some exterior painting and yard projects.

The Streets Department will be available to supervise the volunteers. The borough will provide lunch for the students.

Council announced other improvements recently made in the borough, including the replacement of nearly all of the town's lights, including crosswalk lights, with energy-efficient LED bulbs – with the help of grant money. The energy savings provided by the new bulbs is substantial, according to officials.

Council announced the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) paving project in town is scheduled to be completed Friday. Council addressed some complaints from residents concerning the project.

The resurfacing does not reach the curbed edges of the road, as Council explained. The decision to not pave to the curb was made by PennDOT – not Council – to prevent the necessity of creating new handicapped ramps, according to borough officials.

Plans to improve Crest Avenue Park were discussed. Council approved the purchase of mulch and basketball hoops, as well as the addition of surveillance cameras to deter vandalism. The cameras will be leased, installed and operated for $220 per month.

New policies and ordinances were addressed at the meeting, including an employee driving record review policy that will be enacted by next year. The policy, which is being required by the borough's insurance carrier, will affect borough employees if any driving infractions occur from the policy start date onward.

The policy will not be retroactive, according to officials, but could be detrimental to employees in the event of a driving infraction that prevents the employee's ability to use borough vehicles.

Council will be advertising a new sidewalk display ordinance, which will limit “junk” on sidewalks, according to Borough Manager Donn Henderson. It will place limits on the size and placement of sign displays, among other items.

Although not a fan of excessive restrictions, Henderson explained that “having some reasonable restrictions is not unreasonable.”

In other business, Charleroi Fire Department will be hosting a hoagie sale on June 28 and a Coach purse ticket sale July 1-25.

Miranda Startare is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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