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Youth, civic groups clean up Monessen streets

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 12:26 a.m.

Street-related issues were the topic of discussion during Monessen City Council's work session Monday evening.

Members of the Monessen High School National Honor Society and Youth Council recently cleaned up trash along State Street.

Members of the Leo and Lions clubs and St. Spyridon Church parishioners cleaned up Grand Boulevard.

“The young people who are picking up this garbage are teaching us adults a lesson about how to care for our environment,” Councilman William Manus said.

Manus said that on Friday and Saturday, volunteers with a Southern Baptist group from Atlanta will paint curbs in the city.

Meanwhile, Manus said the city continues to pursue ways to replace street lights that have been lost over the years.

Mayor Mary Jo Smith said that over the past 15 years, motorists have struck poles downtown, knocking out street lights.

She claimed previous administrations have failed to pursue claims against drivers' insurance companies to replace the lights.

She said the city recently received a $124,000 bid for the work, which is not included in the current budget. She said city leaders are attempting to determine if any of the work can be done by the street department.

In other news:

• Council acknowledged that the retirement of Mark Gibson as police chief will be accepted by council during the Wednesday business meeting and that John Mandarino will be sworn in as chief.

• The city received a letter from the Charleroi officials seeking a contribution to the a holiday fireworks display July 3. Smith said Monessen did not budget for the request.

• Council received a letter from the Eastgate Exxon asking the city to purchase gasoline from the station. The last request was made in 2008.

City Clerk Rosalie Nicksich will investigate whether the company has a corporate card, permitting the city to buy tax-exempt fuel.

• The city received a letter from George Shusta requesting his term on the Monessen Zoning Board be extended for three years. Smith said council must first learn when his term expires and advertise the post before acting on his request.

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or

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