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Ford City approves uniform enforcement

| Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, 11:15 a.m.

FORD CITY — Enforcement of the borough's ordinances just got more standardized.

Council on Monday adopted a new ordinance that adds a uniform enforcement section to all of the other ordinances in the borough — those which provide for the regulation of buildings, housing, property maintenance, health, public safety, solicitation, curfew and water, air or noise pollution.

It's as easy as writing a parking ticket, borough officials said.

Under the newly adopted ordinance, the first step in handling a violation of any ordinance is for police to give a $25 ticket initially to the violator by personally handing it to them or by attaching the notice to the violator's motor vehicle or to the violator's residence.

The violator has 72 hours to pay the penalty.

“It ends there if paid,” said the borough's solicitor Frank Wolfe. “If they don't pay the fine in 72 hours it proceeds like a parking ticket.”

What that means is that if the ticket is not paid, the ordinance is enforced by an action by the district judge in the same manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under Pennsylvania rules of criminal procedure.

If convicted, the violator faces fines up to $1,000 and imprisonment.

“The advantage is we can do it (get the $25 fine) ourselves instead of going through the magistrate,” said council President Lou Vergari.

Mayor Marc Mantini said the new ordinance will streamline enforcement of the borough's code. He gave as an example: absentee landlords and property owners who do not keep grass cut.

“We can put a lien on the property,” said Mantini.

In other borough business, council approved advertising for part-time police officers.

“It's not how many do we need, it's how many can we have to commit (to a 32-hour week),” said councilwoman Kim Bish.

Mantini advised council that the borough loses officers to adjacent municipalities which pay them at a higher rate.

Mitch Fryer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303 or mfryer@tribweb.com.

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