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Connellsville's vacant property ordinance may be introduced to council in July

| Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 6:15 p.m.

Connellsville is expected to vote on an ordinance dealing with the registration and maintenance of vacant or abandoned structures in July after a vote was tabled in May.

“We're just making sure the ordinance could be as tight as possible,” said City Councilman Aaron Zolbrod.

The Vacant or Abandoned Structure Registration and Maintenance Code was developed by the city's health board to require owners of vacant or abandoned structures to register and maintain their properties.

During the May meeting, City Councilman Tom Karpiak had issues with the proposed ordinance that included leaving utilities on in a vacant structure, infringing on private property and having vacant building used for storage, like a warehouse, comply to the law.

“Not much changed with the exception of using a vacant building as storage or as a warehouse would not exempt an owner from having to comply, unless it was grandfathered in per zoning,” Zolbrod said.

The revised ordinance will be introduced in July and will go up for a vote in August.

Council will meet at 5 p.m. Thursday to exercise the option with Advanced Disposal to extend the contract for garbage pickup for another year.

Also on Thursday's agenda, council plans action on these requests:

• To close the alley between St. John the Evangelist Church and the train station on Aug. 2 and 3 for the Catholic Community of Connellsville Festival.

• To close Crawford Avenue between Arch and Pittsburgh streets from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 6 for the Fayette County Cultural Trust's annual Mum Festival.

• To close Banning Avenue from the alley adjacent to 1336 Banning Ave. to the intersection with N. 11th Street on July 20 for the West Side Hill Italian Bash.

All three resolutions require approval by Connellsville police Chief James Capitos and PennDOT.

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

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