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Rains still causing problems in Mt. Pleasant

| Friday, July 7, 2006

Flooding continues to plague Mt. Pleasant.

The volunteer fire department responded to 19 calls in a little over an hour during a storm Sunday, Mayor Gerald Lucia said.

Several residents attended this week's council meeting to request help.

Church Street resident Bob Sofranko said Sunday's rain flooded his basement for the third time. He said pipes burst and the road flooded.

He asked what action council had taken toward requiring residents to disconnect their downspouts from the sanitary sewer system.

"We are in the process of doing downspout removal from new and newly sold houses," council President Michael Tabita said.

Councilman Larry Tate added that more than 70 spouts were disconnected from the sanitary system last year.

A project to alleviate flooding in the borough has been placed on hold, however.

Tate reported that the borough did not receive a PennVEST grant to help with a $3 million storm sewer project. The borough spent $250,000 on system design prior to the application. PennVEST denied the borough's application in the second round.

Tate said he will set up a meeting with Widmer Engineering and the affected homeowners to discuss the water problem.

An issue not on the meeting agenda also caused conflict Wednesday.

Mark , a resident of East Huntington Township, owns several rental properties in the borough and represented a group of landlords objecting to a proposed ordinance regulating rental properties. Solicitor John Toohey mistakenly advertised that the ordinance would be on the agenda. He was not present.

"This is an ordinance against landlords," said. "It adds fees, inspections and monitoring of homes, modeled on Jeannette. It's disturbing that you are not sitting down with landlords."

said he has spent thousands improving properties in the borough and added, "I'm looking at building a 20- to 30-apartment building on a burned-out location on Main Street. I'm thinking about tearing the building down and not building. It would reduce my taxes."

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