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Smithton bans skateboards

| Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 7:26 p.m.

Hoping to help ensure the safety of pedestrians as they stroll through the borough, Smithton council on Monday adopted an ordinance that prohibits the use of many wheeled devices on borough streets and sidewalks.

Ordinance number 214 reads in part, “The use of skateboards, in-line skates, roller skates, go carts, gas powered scooters and similar devices on all public streets and sidewalks in the Borough of Smithton is prohibited, excluding any handicapped devices.”

Penalties include a $50 fine for the first offense and $100 fine for each subsequent offense.

The ordinance was modelled after a nearly identical law in West Newton, according to Smithton's secretary MeLinda Radziwon.

Councilman Fred Foster had previously voiced concern that the ordinance would prevent youngsters from roller skating in their front yards.

Mayor Christine Tutena said at Monday's meeting, “To address your concerns, I don't think anyone will arrest your grandson.”

She and Councilman Kevin Regotti noted that the police officers will be using discretion and will not be targeting little ones, especially if they are supervised.

In other business, the council seat left vacant by last month's resignation of Nancy Barthels Poland was filled by former councilman Larry Heltebran, who was the only Smithton resident to submit a letter of interest. His appointment was approved by a 4-1 vote with Councilman Dan Barthels dissenting and councilmen Regotti, Foster, Bruce Celapino and Carl Cathers voting in favor. Councilman Robert Prah Jr. was absent.

Heltebran's term will end on Dec. 31 because the “next election” is in November. So he will have to run then if he wants to remain on council.

In the streets report, streets supervisor Bud Seglowich reminded residents to please keep their grass clippings out of the street, as storm drains can quickly become clogged with grass.

It was also noted that the firemen will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the borough's fire company with a parade and street fair on July 13.

William S. Zirkle is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at bzirkle@tribweb.com or 724-872-6800.

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