Security cameras coming to Charleroi
Police will soon be keeping watch over the Charleroi business district from above.
Charleroi councilman Paul Pivovarnik announced at Thursday's meeting that one camera is already operating from the borough building and four more stationary cameras will be installed to monitor Fallowfield and McKean avenues between Fourth and Seventh streets.
Pivovarnik declined to disclose the future locations, but called them “strategic.”
“We will work with business owners to go into partnership on some of them,” Pivovarnik said. “We've gotten some grants and funding … there's no tax money involved in this. We want to get them installed by spring once we solidify the funds from the grants.”
The cameras will be purchased from and installed by Crystalline Technologies LLC in Monessen.
Charleroi is following a similar strategy already executed by Monessen police Chief John Mandarino.
A handful of Monessen businesses have joined the security network at their own expense.
Pivovarnik said Charleroi Regional police have already made one drug arrest because of camera surveillance from the borough building. That camera is able to pan, tilt and zoom.
Police recently spotted a man allegedly rolling a marijuana cigarette and smoking it in the parking lot outside the Subway restaurant, Pivovarnik said. A police officer simply walked across the street and made the arrest, he said.
“We think the cameras will make for a safer downtown area,” Pivovarnik said. “We're trying to attract new businesses to come in, so this will enhance the safety of the downtown business district. ... In a few years, we'd like to proceed up to the residential area and have multiple coverage of the town.”
Pivovarnik also said the Charleroi Regional police board has reached a four-year contract with the police union, Teamsters Local 205, beginning in January.
The deal includes a pay increase, added vacation days and full health insurance coverage for eight full-time officers of the regional force, he said. The board had to switch health insurance companies to keep the approximately $38,000 annual cost from skyrocketing.
With solicitor Mike Lucas to be sworn in next month as a Washington County Common Pleas judge, council unanimously appointed Alan Benyak as the new borough solicitor. Benyak, 49, of Carroll Township, runs a private practice in Charleroi.
Council also approved a resolution installing a $50 fee for businesses who wish to place advertisements and other items outside on borough sidewalks.
Businesses who want to place limited items on a sidewalk can pay the fee to obtain an annual permit, council president Mark Alterici said.
Council recently passed an ordinance banning certain items from being placed along sidewalks, including what borough manager Donn Henderson termed as “junk” — such as used appliances and tires. Only five businesses have approached the borough about paying the exemption fee, Henderson said.
In addition, council reappointed Tom Santoro to the Charleroi Borough Water Authority Board and tentatively approved council's reorganization meeting to be held 6 p.m. Jan. 6 at the Charleroi American Legion while moving its regular meeting to Jan. 16.
Council honored former Charleroi fire Chief Robert Whiten Sr. for 50 years of service as a volunteer firefighter. Whiten, 77, is still an active member and goes on fire calls. His son, Robert Jr., is the borough's current fire chief.
Also honored were Lucas, outgoing Mayor Nancy Ellis and outgoing councilmen Alterici and Walt Stelma. Sylvia Whiten, who is retiring after five years as a part-time borough clerk, also received a citation.
State Sen. Tim Solobay, along with Washington County Commissioners Larry Maggi and Harlan Shober, presented citations to a handful of honorees.
Ellis was honored for her prolific fundraising for several charities and projects and was lauded for her role in forming the Charleroi Regional police department in 2012. She thanked everyone, saying, “I hope I'm leaving Charleroi better off than when I came in four years ago.”
In the meeting's final moments, Alterici gave an emotional good-bye after 20 years on council. He will now serve on the Washington County Tourism board.
“Being here helped me through a divorce, it helped me when both of my parents passed away, it helped me find a beautiful wife and kids,” he said. “This borough has always been in my heart and always will be. You can't do this job for any kind of personal gain. We're here because we care about the community and that's what you have to do.”
Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-684-2635.
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.
- Donora man apprehended after North Belle Vernon pharmacy robbery
- East Bethlehem woman charged in home invasion in which her husband was killed
- ‘Runner’ sets pace in new TV venture for Donora native Moses
- Home health care worker assaulted in Monongahela
- Fayette man allegedly exposed self to Charleroi children
- Charleroi man charged in 3 cases
- Donora schedules town hall meet to tackle trash trouble
- Emery gets administrative judge job
- Parks on Fallowfield agenda
- Readers wrestle with memories of ‘Rosie,’ music-comedy team
- Cal U’s 22 Pushups effort draws attention to suicide by veterans