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Monessen getting tough on property owners

| Thursday, July 21, 2005

MONESSEN - Real estate owners who don't comply with city ordinances could face liens against their properties.

Councilwoman Mary Jo Smith, chairwoman of the public safety department, said council is going to get tough with property owners.

She explained that owners who receive citations for violating ordinances related to high grass, building safety and other issues will have 10 days to comply. After that, if they ignore the citation, city street crews will, to ensure public safety, take care of the problems. However, liens equal to the price of services rendered will be placed against the properties.

Smith said the city has ordered employees, at taxpayer expense, to rectify problems on private property. Through liens, the city will be able to recover its expenses, she said. The money would be available should the properties ever be sold.

In other matters, council introduced an ordinance that will give city Clerk Rosalie Nicksich more authority.

Council wants to expand her duties to include those of a city administrator. If the ordinance is approved next month, Nicksich will be in charge of the daily operations of city hall.

Council eliminated the city administrator position last August. Nicksich, a city clerk since 1988, will take over some of those responsibilities. Petaccia said her salary will stay the same.

In other business council approved and discussed the following:

n A request by George Stratigos to change two-hour parking meters on Donner Avenue between Sixth and Seventh streets to one-hour meters and that one meter be only for 15-minute parking.

n Councilman Dale Simpson announced the opening of a position on the Mon Valley Refuse Authority. Those interested can call city hall at (724) 684-9712.

n Simpson thanked the Hilltop Fire Department for cleaning the fire station. He also thanked state Rep. R. Ted Harhai (D-Monessen), and the Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corp. for obtaining donated materials for the Euclid Drive runoff project.

n Awarded a $4,460 contract for the Ninth Street Park fence project to Allegheny Fence Construction Co.

n Introduced an ordinance for the temporary installation of stop signs on Jackson Drive for traffic going east and west at the intersection of Overhill Drive.

n Thanked the Greater Monessen Chamber of Commerce which is starting a "Pride in Monessen" campaign by refurbishing trash receptacles along Donner Avenue, among other projects.

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