ShareThis Page

Scottdale Borough attempting to deter use of tobacco

| Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

The Scottdale Borough Council adopted a resolution recently that will attempt to deter tobacco use outside of borough facilities, but is not a ban on tobacco use.

Council unanimously approved a resolution at its June 10 meeting that creates tobacco-free zones on borough facilities by posting signs that read “Young Lungs at Play.”

The resolution came from the program Young Lungs at Play from Penn State Extension out of Westmoreland County and was created to help communities create tobacco free parks, playgrounds and recreational areas for children.

Borough Solicitor Gerald Yanity drafted the resolution and went beyond the playground to incorporate all borough-owned facilities because of events or festivals that could occur outside of parks that could attract children.

“Council is free to trim it back,” Yanity said, but nobody on council suggested any change to the resolution.

Even though signs will eventually appear through the borough to discourage smoking, Yanity said the passed resolution is not a smoking ban as only the commonwealth can establish a ban on tobacco use, which includes the ban of smokeless tobacco as well.

“The borough cannot penalize the use of tobacco,” Yanity said, adding that law enforcement and the public can only inform people that it's a tobacco-free zone and ask them to cease using the tobacco, but they cannot fine or arrest them. “They (the signs) are very effective.”

One resident questioned the language in the resolution where it stated, “Council hereby adopts as the policy of the Borough of Scottdale that all individuals using tobacco in designated tobacco-free zones shall be ejected immediately from such facility.”

Yanity restated that neither a resident nor law enforcement can eject someone from a borough-owned facility if they're found using tobacco products or refuse to stop using tobacco products on a borough-owned facility, but the language was not removed from the resolution.

Borough-owned facilities include seven parks and recreational areas as well as the borough building, the recycling shed, the salt shed and the two fire stations.

Council members absent from the meeting included Joan Brown, June Ostrosky and Troy Soberdash.

Prior to that meeting, the borough held a public hearing concerning the borough receiving Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) money for 2013.

Andrew French, the executive director for the Fayette County Redevelopment Authority, informed the council they're eligible to receive approximately $71,718 in CDBG money after $11,000 is taken out for administrative costs with the redevelopment authority.

The borough entered with a cooperation agreement with the Fayette County Redevelopment Authority to assist them with distribution with CDBG funds as the borough falls under a different eligibility bracket than other municipalities in Westmoreland County because of their size and the percentage of low to moderate income residents.

No members of the public were present to offer suggestions to the council or French about projects they would like the see done, but Scottdale Borough Manager Angelo Pallone suggested two properties that some of the money should be used for demolition are 115 Pittsburgh St. and 300 Walnut Ave.

“I think we have to do something this year,” said Pallone, who added that he has been receiving multiple phone calls about both properties.

While the borough can only use 30 percent of the CDBG funds for demolition projects, French said funds can be modified if the bids they receive exceed the money designated for demolition.

French added the borough also will have to check with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission to see if the demolition of either structure would have a negative effect on the area's historic significance.

French said the best-case scenario to get through the steps to demolish the buildings will be between 60 and 90 days with the worst-case scenario between six and nine months.

Council President Andy Pinskey suggested some of the money being used for a crosswalk across Broadway Street between the apartment building that's being constructed and the businesses located across the street.

A second CDBG hearing will take place at council's next regular meeting in July.

Mark Hofmann is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-626-3539 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.