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Parking won't be free at metered spaces this holiday season

| Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, 9:02 p.m.

Brentwood shoppers and “hide and riders” will be disappointed this holiday season when it comes to meter parking in the borough.

Borough council last week approved a “buy local” holiday resolution that excludes covering parking meters in December. Council and Mayor Kenneth Lockhart said those who took advantage of the perk in years past would park all day long, thus clogging up the spots for others.

Covering the meters was intended to promote patronage at Brentwood businesses, which it didn't do, Lockhart said.

“It's not helping them out,” Lockhart said.

Council Notes

The following items were voted on at the Nov. 27 Brentwood Borough Council business meeting.

• Borough council approved, in a 4-2 vote, the 2013 fee resolution. Councilmen Pasquale “Pat” Carnevale and Martin Vickless were in the dissent.

Carnevale said he wanted the 2013 fees to include free admission to the swimming pool for children up to 18 years old.

“We're giving something back to the people,” Carnevale said.

The resolution passed without that inclusion.

Changes to the fees include the addition of police and public works employees' hourly rates and billing of solicitor fees for reviewing planning applications, said George Zboyovsky, borough manager.

Increases include the license fees for gaming machines in restaurants and bars, as well as solicitation permits.

Police rates will be $90 per hour for an officer, $100 for a sergeant and $110 for Chief Robert Butelli, Zboyovsky said. Public works fees will be $45 per hour per laborer and an additional $50 for equipment.

In addition, solicitor Thomas Ayoob will charge his hourly rate of $140 to review planning applications, which increased in 2012, Zboyovsky said.

Gaming machines fees will increase from $500 per machine per year to $600 in 2013; solicitation permits will go from $10 per day to $25 per day per person, with a seven-day limit per year, Zboyovsky said.

• Borough council unanimously approved new rules to crack down on people who own rundown properties.

The two ordinances — one for rental properties and landlord registration and another that addresses blight reduction — are meant to hold landlords more accountable and improve aesthetics of all properties when needed. The ordinances are the latest effort in the commitment to follow through on issues brought up in the borough's 2010 and 2012 strategic plans, George Zboyovsky, borough manager, said last month.

The tenant/landlord ordinance would require the latter to have each property inspected every five years to ensure maintenance of the borough code, Zboyovsky said. This requirement is on top of the $10 per-unit yearly registration fee.

Likewise, the ordinance requires landlords to provide in-town contact information for the person who is responsible for maintaining the properties, Zboyovsky said.

The proposed blight reduction ordinance would give officials more power to address overgrown yards, junky porches and other such items, Zboyovsky said. Instead of pursuing property owners by liening a property, borough officials will be able to go after personal assets, according to the ordinance.

Most rundown properties in Brentwood are owned by repeat offenders, Zboyovsky said.

• Borough council unanimously approved the reappointment of Jayson Livingston to the zoning hearing board.

• Borough council unanimously approved the reappointment of Frank Kenny to the Brentwood planning commission.

• Borough council unanimously approved the termination of the animal control contract with Triangle Pet Services. The company had its license to handle dogs revoked earlier this year.

• Borough council unanimously denied taking responsibility and payment of the street lights on Pearl and Victoria drives from privately owned Forward Management.

The lights were shut off as a result of nonpayment, Zboyovsky said. Assuming control would cost the borough $1,500 per year for eight lights.

Solicitor Thomas Ayoob said assuming the responsibility is not an obligation, would likely result in the borough not recouping costs and is a potential liability.

• Borough council approved, in a 4-3 vote with Lockhart as the tie-breaker, to have Zboyovsky collect quotes for an inspection of the seats in Brentwood Park's stadium.

Updating the track and field is part of phase two of the $8 million Brentwood Park renovation, which is scheduled to begin in 2013. Carnevale and Vickless have said consistently in the last few months that they would like the stadium and press box to be included in the first two phases of the renovation.

Council members Charlie Johnson, David Wenzel and Clyde Zimmerman were in the dissent. Lockhart was the tiebreaker because Councilman Rich Schubert was absent.

Lockhart said he voted for the inspection for safety.

Laura Van Wert is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5814 or at lvanwert@tribweb.com.

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