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Youngwood OKs lease with library

| Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Youngwood council approved a lease agreement with the Greensburg Hempfield Area Library for the Youngwood branch in the new borough building.

The lease settled details between the library and council over maintenance and occupancy issues in the new building.

The library will be responsible for the interior, while the borough is responsible for the structure of the building.

The lease stipulates that the library maintain evening hours two nights a week.

“They had no problem with that,” solicitor Gerald W. Yanity said. “The lines of communication were poor. Now they're wide open.”

Previously, the borough and library disagreed about which organization was responsible for funding the new library building. They agreed to split the cost at $21,000 each.

Councilwoman Paula Mazurek said she wanted to approve the lease pending receiving the check for $21,000 from the library. Hers was the lone dissenting vote on the lease agreement. Other council members were satisfied with a letter of commitment from the library for the money.

The lease is for one year. Yanity said he is counting on there being modifications to the lease once the library moves in.

“They're (the library) going to come back to us, and there will be issues that arise we haven't even tried to address,” he said. “The next lease will be the one to nail down everything.”

At Tuesday's meeting, council President Lloyd Crago raised the issue of occupancy permits for businesses in the borough. In the past, the borough opted out of the ability to inspect businesses and issue occupancy permits.

Crago, who is also the fire chief, said he wanted to know what businesses are in the borough and to issue a permit affirming that the business has been inspected by the state.

Yanity said he is uncomfortable with issuing permits that the borough can't enforce or revoke.

“My concern would be, OK, a responsible business owner moves in, they get permit, the place gets run down and dangerous,” he said. “Wouldn't the public come back to us and say, ‘Why didn't you pull their occupancy permit? They're licensed by the borough.' ”

Yanity suggested instead having a voluntary registry.

“I have a philosophical problem with issuing permits we cannot enforce,” he said.

Secretary Diane Derco pointed out that the borough had a voluntary registry for landlords and tenants that no one used because the borough could not enforce it.

Council agreed to give the idea of a registry or occupancy permits thought.

Kate Wilcox is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6155 or kwilcox@tribweb.com.

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