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Leechburg council acts on safety concerns

Brian C. Rittmeyer
| Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011

Residents will now need a permit from the borough before putting a roll-off container on a borough street.

Council unanimously approved an ordinance requiring the permits at its meeting on Monday.

It also approved ordinance regulating curb cuts.

Council had the ordinance regulating roll-off containers drafted out of concern that they can be a traffic hazard and, depending on where they are placed, an obstacle to larger emergency vehicles.

Once a request has been made, the borough will inspect the proposed location within five days. If no hazard is found, a permit will be issued. If found to be unsafe, a more suitable location will have to be found.

Permits will be valid for 30 days and can be renewed for an additional 30 days.

Violators could face a fine of up to $1,000, plus the cost of prosecution.

The curb-cut ordinance requires those seeking to gain access to a borough street in any zoning district by cutting a curb to follow regulations established by PennDOT in a publication known as "70M."

Applications for a permit will be available from the borough office. Applications must contain exact detail and complete design information of the curb cut or entrance way.

The borough's engineer will review applications, which will be approved or denied based on the engineer's review and consideration of the design, safety of vehicular traffic, and pedestrians.

If approved, permits will be valid for one year, after which an extension may be sought.

Violators could face a fine of up to $300 and 90 days in jail.

Mayor Tony Roppolo has five days in which to approve or veto the ordinances. He was absent Monday night.

In other business

• Council is considering raising the fines for various parking infractions as the borough prepares to buy new parking tickets.

Councilman Shawn Lerch said the $25 fine for improperly parking in a handicapped space is too low.

But Councilman Keith Knepshield said the $4 fine for not moving a car to accommodate street sweeping should not be raised. "You're bound to forget once or twice a year," he said.

Council President Tony Defilippi said the fine for an expired meter should be higher, but Knepshield said the borough has a bad reputation for parking fines as it is.

Council's police committee will review the schedule of fines.

• Council approved spending $60.88 to join with the Leechburg Area School District in buying state income tax records for 2009.

The school board had approved buying the data from the state to find district residents who did not pay earned income taxes that year.

The information will be used by Central Tax, which collects earned income taxes in Armstrong County.

• Council has chosen to draft an unenforceable resolution to prohibit smoking and the use of any other tobacco products in the borough's parks and playgrounds.

Council had agreed to designate the areas after a presentation on the "Young Lungs at Play" program, which would provide signs to the borough declaring the areas tobacco-free.

The resolution differs from an ordinance, which would be enforceable by police.

Solicitor Jim Favero suggested it would be better to adopt a resolution and put up the signs to find out whether that cuts down on tobacco use rather than enacting an ordinance.

Councilman Jim Spiering said adults are likely to see the signs and police them themselves.

Council could vote on the resolution in November.

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