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South Connellsville working on 'quality' ordinance

| Monday, July 14, 2014, 11:00 p.m.

South Connellsville Borough may soon enact a “quality of life ordinance” which would provide fines for those who do not take care of their properties.

Councilwoman Karen Holbrook said the ordinance had been discussed and the only problem for council members was the cost of the fines for violations.

“We will give it to the solicitor for review and then we can move to vote on it,” she said. “I'm for raising the fines. Right now the fines are $25 for the first offense, $50 for the second offense and $100 for the third.”

Councilman Clyde Martz said he thought the borough already had an ordinance setting minimum fines at $50 and maximum fines at $300, plus costs.

However, no one was sure of the location of the ordinances.

Martz said he remembered a firm had solicited borough business to put all of the ordinances in book form. However, that was handled by the previous solicitor. No one on council knew the status of that book.

Martz said he thought he had a copy of the ordinance.

Holbrook said she thought the ordinance could be available for the August meeting.

The wording of the ordinance assigns enforcement powers to the borough code enforcement officer or police officer.

Violations include:

1. Accumulation of rubbish or garbage.

2. Lack of animal maintenance and waste/feces clean up.

3. Improper disposal of rubbish or garbage, illegal dumping.

4. Accumulation of scrap metal, building materials, tires, recycling on a property.

5. All premises shall be maintained free from weeds or plant growth in excess of six inches. Cultivated gardens are an exception.

6. Scattering of rubbish or debris.

7. No storage or parking of any unregistered, uninspected, inoperative, unlicensed or nuisance motor vehicles on any premises within the borough limits.

8. Outside placement of indoor appliances or furniture.

9. Lack of removal of snow and ice from sidewalks.

10. Swimming pools shall be maintained in good repair at all times.

Council members also heard from Dom Polito, officer in charge of the police department. He said he is working on transferring the remaining equipment from the borough's old police vehicles to new ones. However, several items were needed to complete the transfer and place the new vehicles in service.

At the urging of Mayor Peter Casini, council approved the purchase of a cage for the emergency lights, plus the purchase of necessary lights to complete a 360-degree visibility of the emergency lights. In addition, Polito was authorized to purchase a gun rack for the new Ford Explorer. Total costs of the purchases was not to exceed $1,500.

Polito said the old cars could be offered for sale to neighboring municipalities looking for a backup vehicle or they should be placed on the municipal sales Internet site.

Councilman Jim Swink made a motion the borough offer a used tire collection, based on success of the borough's electronics recycling pickup. Swink said residents would pay ahead and arrange for borough crews to make the pickups. He added there would be no drop-off.

Holbrook felt it was a good idea.

In other business, council was informed:

• Connellsville would provide street-sweeper services at no cost for the year for a given number of uses because of the problems Connellsville had faced with equipment breakdowns in 2013.

• The borough received allocations of $24,000 for storm damage from 2013 and more than $60,000 for work that must still be done.

• PennDOT requested the borough renew its winter maintenance agreement.

PennDOT will pay the borough $5,900 for its services.

• Instructed borough clerk Darla Hann not to accept a listing in a directory published by the International League of Cities. The cost of the listing would have been $500.

• Went into an executive session lasting about 30 minutes for a litigation matter.

Karl Polacek is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at or 724-626-3538.

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