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South Connellsville considers hiring code enforcement officer

| Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, 7:27 a.m.

Wishing to get a tighter grasp on controlling some property maintenance issues in the borough, South Connellsville Council talked at length about hiring of a code enforcement officer.

“We need to hire someone,” Councilman Guy Napolillo said. “I don't understand what we are waiting for. We need to get someone in here. It's been 14 months and counting and nothing is getting better. I would really like to get this done.”

Council Vice President Clyde Martz voiced concern over trying to enforce what he felt were vague codes, that were not outlined or specific.

“We have issues that need addressed but we don't want to nitpick,” Martz said. “If we are going to hire a code enforcement officer then we need to give him something to follow.”

Solicitor Mark Rowan suggested council members consider adopting the International Property Maintenance Code, which they can then modify to their specific needs.

“If there are provisions that you do not want to have, then you don't adopt them,” Rowan said, adding that he felt most towns adopted and enforced these codes as a way to keep their areas nice.

“Ninety-nine percent of the issues get resolved,” he said. “What the boroughs and municipalities want is resolution. They don't want to look for fines. They want their buildings to be nice.”

Council agreed to look into the matter further at a workshop meeting.

“We have to do something,” Napolillo said. “It's gone on way too long.”

Martz also discussed the borough workers compensation insurance. He said the company recommended council look into light duty being performed by those making a claim.

“Our insurance has doubled,” Martz said. “They recommend light duty and it's something we should look into.”

Martz reported that a camera was installed in the Ford the police department uses and is “working fine.”

Council passed a motion to purchase and install a camera in a second police vehicle.

“We have it in the budget,” Martz said.

Council will study benefits and salaries for police department employees.

Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.

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