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Charleroi council tackles to-do list

| Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, 12:34 a.m.

Mayor John Mollenauer said Charleroi borough leaders have a list and they're checking it off.

“Keep this list handy so that if someone asks what we are doing, you can show it to them,” Mollenauer told council Thursday.

Mollenauer was referring to the Charleroi Borough Projects 2014 list.

It represents plans the mayor and council hope to tackle for the coming year. Some things, such as an update of the borough code and creation of a newsletter and map, have been completed or are nearing completion.

A riverfront economic study, a regional comprehensive plan, a boat launch, recreation and demolition plans also are listed.

Council discussed various projects that are under way.

Councilman Randy DiPiazza said the borough is considering changes to Third Street between Fallowfield and McKean avenues. The stretch could be made a one-way street with traffic directed down the hill, or parking could be limited to one side of the street, he said. Officials will discuss the matter with Chester Engineers.

Borough Manager Donn Henderson said officials looked at widening the street, but said utility-pole relocation would have been costly.

DiPiazza said the borough will consider alternative parking on Third Street between Crest and Lincoln avenues.

Councilman Larry Celaschi said officials will meet with Save A Lot owner Vince Vaccaro on Wednesday to discuss the future of the grocery store.

Vaccaro announced this week he will retire next month and close the store. Celaschi said the borough “will take the lead” in trying to recruit a grocer.

Meanwhile, Celaschi said he and other borough leaders met with filmmaker Greg Cooper to discuss a possible promotional video.

“We all feel the cost will be affordable,” Celaschi said. “There's nothing like this in any other town.”

When the Revive 2016 group meets Feb. 27, it will discuss 10 areas identified by the group for marketing in Charleroi. The main areas are: the First Street corridor, the former football stadium property and Trustees Park.

Celaschi said a study will be conducted to identify possible environmental issues at a parking lot in Trustees Park. He said the lot, once a dek hockey rink, is sinking.

Charleroi is one of several Valley municipalities that have joined the Towns Program – established to promote recreation and tourism related to the Monongahela River.

Support given

Council approved a letter of support for the Monongahela River Valley Action Plan.

The plan targets improvement of river access and riverfront amenities, development of a canoe-kayak rental business, development of a regional signage program, development of a regional brand and marketing plan, and creation of a human capital and higher education partnership.

The letter will be used to seek legislative support for grant money to cover the study.

Council approved an ordinance regulating “marketplace” displays.

The ordinance regulates the size and location of sidewalk displays.

A merchant must remove outdoor displays from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. and when his or her business is closed. The lone exceptions are self-standing floral arrangements, plant displays and items manufactured for permanent outdoor display.

Snow problems

The borough is dealing with snow-related concerns.

Street Foreman Tom Santoro said the borough has already used more salt than it does in an average winter. Santoro said the borough is awaiting a salt order, adding deliveries are slow to arrive.

“We're watching our salt,” Santoro said. “We have to have enough to do the streets and hills. We're not going to get to all of the alleys. I'll keep them as clean as I can.”

Henderson said garbage collection will occur eventually in areas trash haulers have not been able to access.

Henderson said that with temperatures expected to reach the 50s by early next week, snow issues will be resolved.

“It does not make sense to remove snow, cleaning lots which Mother Nature will take care of in a couple of days,” Henderson said.

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

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