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Ligonier's Diamond losing some luster

| Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, 12:02 a.m.

Ligonier Borough Council members will research how to prevent damage to the Diamond from errant motorists.

The issue was brought up at Thursday's meeting, when Councilman Jim McDonnell said it's “high time the borough take some proactive steps.”

Vehicles often run over the curb around the Diamond, damaging the concrete curbs and brick work and putting deep ruts in the grassy areas on the four quadrants, especially near Town Hall and Heritage United Methodist Church, McDonnell said.

One rut, he said, is at least 8 feet into the Diamond from the street. He suggested placing boulders strategically in the grassy areas to discourage motorists from jumping the curb.

“I brought this up before, and it sort of got pooh-poohed before, but I'm going to bring it up again, and I'm going to keep bringing it up,” McDonnell said. “If you look at State College, they have tastefully placed boulders — or large rocks — in strategical locations. It's very tasteful. I don't see why we can't do that on those areas of the Diamond. It's long overdue that we do something serious and take proactive steps. There's people getting upset about it, and that's back on us.”

The state Department of Transportation approved placing boulders on the Diamond years ago, Councilman Paul Fry said.

President Buddy Helterbran said some years ago, he looked into redesigning the Diamond into an egg shape to avoid further damage, but it was “not inexpensive.”

He said he has researched positioning cameras around the Diamond that could record traffic. Motorists might then be identified and fined.

“That price, I thought, was fairly reasonable,” Helterbran said. “At that point, the Town Hall fund was very low, so it didn't go anywhere.”

Although no action was taken, McDonnell asked council members to think about it.

Council members encouraged Mayor Ormond “Butch” Bellas to begin issuing citations to property and business owners who aren't clearing their sidewalks of snow.

A borough ordinance requires business owners to clear their walks within 12 hours of the last snowfall. Homeowners have 24 hours.

Council received a complaint from a retiree who walks often, according to Fry. Bellas said he had received a complaint as well.

Council reappointed Joe Willard, Terry Murphy and Jim McDonnell to the planning commission; George Welty as council solicitor; John Berger as police chief; Paul Fry as fire chief; Chick Cicconi as land use administrator; and Paul Fry as secretary-treasurer and public works director.

Jewels Phraner is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-1218 or jphraner@tribweb.com.

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