South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

 
 

By Margaret Smyka
Contributing Writer 

Mt. Oliver to begin taking tax scofflaws to court, publishing names

 

December 22, 2008



Starting in January, residents will be billed directly on either a monthly or quarterly basis for garbage pick-up by Waste Management.

That change in the collection of garbage fees was one of the resolutions adopted at the Dec. 15 Mount Oliver Council meeting.

Other business that evening included adoption of a 2009 budget with no tax increase and no service cuts.

It was also announced that delinquent real estate tax scofflaws for 2004, 2005, and 2006 would be taken to the magistrate starting next month.

Regarding the garbage fees, the cost per household will be $10.40 per month. In the past, the fees were part of the property taxes and the borough paid them.  The change is being made to save money for the borough, said council President James Cassidy.

The billing cycle has not yet been set.

The meeting began with a Margaret St. resident complaining about the unsightly frontage of the home of Councilman Dennis Obeldobel which disrupts the sidewalk.

Mr. Obeldobel said 26 years ago someone backed into his driveway, almost hitting his children.   He erected posts to keep it from reoccurring.

This past summer, he began putting in posts to protect the trees, but had not yet finished.   The building inspector told him to block off the area until it was completed, which he did.

Mr. Obeldobel said he would clear the space if the inspector deemed it a hazard.

"This looks terrible," said Councilwoman Billie Michener after viewing photographs the resident presented.   She said she would call the building inspector about it.

In his report, Mayor Jeff Repasky reminded women that, during the holiday season, not to carry big purses, and to lock all packages in the trunk.

"Just a warning," he said, noting surrounding municipalities have reported thefts under such circumstances.

In the engineer's report, council agreed to pay Soli Construction $49,593 and $40,867 for sanitary sewer work mandated by a federal consent decree.

The cost will be paid from a low-interest loan and a grant from PennVest, the Pa. Infrastructure Investment Authority.

Council also okayed payment of $253,519 to Mongiovi & Sons for completed storm sewer work at Transverse Field that is part of the consent decree.

Other bills approved by council were for $15,021, $9,130, and $4,332 to the Delta Development Group for the economic development program through the business corridor.  It is all being funded by grant money.

Assistant borough engineer Justin Wagner said the contractor has until Jan. 15 for the demolition of 242 Anthony St. and 183 Penn Ave ., which have been vacant for years.

In 2008, the borough spent more than $700,000 for improvements, mostly from grant money with help from local representatives.

In the public safety report, Councilman Patrick Malloy said 742 calls were answered last month.

There were two drug arrests, and the canine units were used 50 times. The canine officer did 21 park-and-walks, and also assisted Port Authority Transit police. All department equipment has been inventoried and accounted for.

The bike unit is out of service until the nice weather.

In the fire report, Mr. Malloy said there were seven incidents last month, including building fires, a chemical spill, and more.

Under the public works report, a letter was read from a Hays Ave. resident thanking the street crew for keeping the street clear of snow.

Council next voted to reactivate the position of street commissioner for 2009.  Ron Smith, who is street foreman, will assume the position of street commissioner which he held previously.

In the computer/risk management report, Mr. Obeldobel said the borough is trying to obtain grant money to secure the information on the police computers.  He called it an "urgent problem."

He also wanted to remind residents that subscribing to the ambulance service costs $25 per year, and covers those in one's home with special needs.

The subscription is effective Jan. 1, so residents should sign up now, he said.

In the economic development report,  Mrs. Michener said the borough pays Triangle Pet $6,000 annually to pick up animals.  The contract expires Dec. 31.

She recommended a three-month contract, with reevaluation after the three months.  The borough will pay a retainer of $275 per month plus an extra charge per call.   Council approved the contact.

She also announced that beginning in January, she would be taking residents with delinquent real estate taxes for 2004, 2005, and 2006 to the magistrate, and publishing their names in the South Pittsburgh Reporter.

In the Hilltop Economic Development Corp. report, Tom Plietz said a public meeting to develop a plan for what the business corridor should look like will be held at 7 p.m. on Jan. 29 in the Elder-ado senior center on Brownsville Rd.  Everyone is welcome.

It will immediately follow the monthly economic development meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the center.

During the solicitor's report, council adopted a final budget for 2009 of $1,846,920 that retains the current tax rate.

Council also adopted a resolution to borrow $100,000 in tax-anticipation loans at a rate of 3.25 percent from Northwest Savings Bank.

The final action of the evening was a vote to advertise an ordinance that amends the borough code to allow gravel for new driveways.

The meeting concluded with Mayor Repasky reminding everyone that Carrick Community Boxing, a non-profit organization run by volunteers, is in need of donations.

Its gym is open to children and adults without charging fees. Donations are used for rent, training equipment, and the facility upkeep.

Donations can be sent to: Carrick Community Boxing Academy, 3769 Iben Way, Pittsburgh, PA 15227.

The next council meeting will be on Jan. 19.

 

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