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Council president resigns, moves to Penn Township

| Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

After 13 years on council, Chuck Konkus resigned last week because he moved to Penn Township.

Konkus, who had been serving as council president, was a borough resident for 19 years.

“Manor Borough is a special community, and always will have a special place in my heart,” he said.

Konkus also stepped down as Manor's representative on the Western Westmoreland Municipal Authority board, but the Penn Township commissioners picked him earlier this month to fill a vacancy on the municipal authority board in that community.

Council will accept letters from residents interested in the council seat or the WWMA appointment at 44 Main St., Manor, PA 15665 until 4 p.m. on April 10. The council term expires at the end of the year; the WWMA term expires at the end of 2017.

Appointments might be on the April 17 meeting agenda.

Cell tower

A Chicago site-acquisition firm contacted council about placing a cell tower in the borough, but officials aren't certain if the proposed location in Lower Manor Park is appropriate.

Council voted 4-1, with Councilwoman Christine Marchand dissenting, to notify NTP Wireless that it may continue to review the potential leasing of a 100-foot-by-100-feet section of the park near the skate park.

Councilman Bruce Hartman, who takes walks in the park, said he worries about the possibility of children climbing on the tower.

“What I'm seeing here, they're going to have to adjust,” he said.

Councilwoman Dawn Lynn said it's important for the park to remain children-friendly.

“I'm all for revenue, but not in an active park that's as small as ours,” she said.

Borough Manager Joe Lapia said a phone company might be willing to help pay for cameras in the park or offer discounted wireless Internet for borough buildings.

Earlier this month, an NTP employee told Greater Latrobe School Board members that Verizon is considering placing a cell tower near a new high school baseball field. The district would receive $1,500 a month under the proposal.

Dog policy

A Gregory Drive resident asked council to change its recently passed policy that permits dogs in the borough's parks if they're licensed and on a leash.

Judy Yurek, who said her son was bitten in a park playground last year, called dogs and children “a bad combination” because a dog's actions are unpredictable.

“He didn't do anything to upset the dog, and the dog bit him,” Yurek said.

Marchand, who voted in favor of the policy, told Yurek she had been bitten twice by relatives' dogs during her childhood. She emphasized that owners would be required to keep their dogs on a leash.

But Council President Brian Woy, who opposed the policy, said park visitors can call police if a dog owner isn't complying with the rules.

“That's something that we can revisit in the future,” he said.

Officer promoted

Manor has three full-time police officers for the first time since 2010.

Council voted 5-0 to promote part-timer Robert Broome to full-time status. Broome has worked for Manor for four years, Chief George Valmassoni said.

Broome will be paid about $17 an hour. The borough's civil service commission also reviewed two other candidates for the opening.

Loans paid off

Manor will save about $8,000 in interest payments by paying off three loans early, Lapia said.

Council followed Lapia's recommendation last week to spend $102,852 to pay off loans for a dump truck, police car and back hoe.

PTARC opening

Council has to find a new representative for the Penn-Trafford Area Recreation Commission because its new appointee Liz Aquino resigned.

Council named Aquino in January to replace Lapia for a term that runs through the end of 2015.

Hartman said it's a difficult seat to fill because of the afternoon time commitment for the monthly meetings.

“I'm pulling my hair out trying to find volunteers for this,” he said.

Council must appoint a borough official or a borough recreation board member to fill the vacancy.

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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