West Newton cracks down on eyesores
By Joe Napsha
Published: Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
West Newton officials on Monday defended their efforts to clean up the community's eyesore properties that have overgrown grass, debris scattered through yards and are in poor condition, saying the borough is following the proper legal procedures to address the problems.
“We see junk and garbage in people's yards. People are breaking into empty houses. They are dumping grounds for garbage ... and a haven for rats and snakes,” said Arlene Tomich of North Fifth Street.
A North Fifth Street neighbor, Dolores Lovett, said the borough needs to do a better job to force owners to clean up the properties where building materials and other debris are scattered. Those properties devalue the neighborhood, Lovett said.
Council President George Molovich said that police Chief Gary Indof had cited the owners of 13 properties last month for various ordinance violations, 12 of which were for failure to cut vegetation. The vegetation was cut on four of those properties, while there still is time for the other property owners to respond to the citation.
The police chief cited 16 properties in July for ordinance violations, Molovich said.
Indof also reported that he received a warrant for the arrest of the occupant who had lived at 224 S. Eighth St. Indof stated that he believes she had moved to Monessen.
“These matters take time,” Indof said, noting that the borough's ordinance gives property owners 10 days to resolve a problem before the citation. If the problem is not corrected, a citation can be filed with District Judge Charles Christner in West Newton.
Councilman Adam Paterline said he has made it his “mission” to work on these problems and much has been done.
“There is a lot of room for improvement. It is not easy,” Paterline said.
The borough already is maintaining more than 30 properties, which involves mowing the lawns. A $6,000 lien has been placed against one property, Humenik said.
Solicitor Charles Wade said the problem is rooted in the downturn in the economy. When the borough and the region's economy was in better shape, people had the money to take care of their properties, Wade said.
Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-5252 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- North Versailles, Murrysville families still waiting for report on 2011 chopper crash that killed couple
- Blaze damages Derry Twp. garage, apartment
- Graziani hired away from Latrobe as Penn Township’s manager
- Murrysville woman sues Giant Eagle over burns
- ‘We Are FR’ fund going strong
- Bridge work a priority for PennDOT in Westmoreland
- Police say Latrobe woman bought gun for boyfriend, who shot neighbor
- Scottdale to reconsider use of complaint forms
- Jailed Hribal ‘fine,’ but family ‘terrible’ as answers in stabbing sought
- Judge explains why suspect in East Liberty killings was freed
- St. Vincent student killed in ‘unfortunate accident’ in Erie