South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

 
 

By Margaret Smyka
Contributing Writer 

No tax increase needed for 2010 in Mount Oliver

 

November 24, 2009



No tax increase for 2010 is the good news for Mount Oliver residents in the proposed $1.84 million budget adopted at the Nov. 16 council meeting.

The budget can be viewed in the borough offices.

Adoption of a final budget is scheduled for the Dec. 21 council meeting.

Absent from the meeting were council members John W. Smith, Sr ., Billie Michener, and Sara Kudasick; Mayor Jeff Repasky; code enforcement officer Tom Plietz; and ordinance officer Steve Wilharm.

Mrs. Michener, Ms. Kudasick, and Mr. Plietz were attending a concurrent Hilltop Alliance Action Forum at the St. John Vianney Center.

The meeting began with resident Justin Eberhart updating council on his efforts to restart the former Mount Oliver Athletic Association by Jan. 1, 2010.

Its new name is the Hilltop Athletic Association (HAA), he said, and is for youngsters in Mount Oliver and the other hilltop neighborhoods. There is a 13-member board.

In July, Mr. Eberhart told council he wanted to oversee the association for the next 20 to 30 years.

His stated plan at that time was to offer baseball, softball, and basketball the first year, with football delayed until 2011.

But at the Nov. 16 meeting, he said "the children want football," and asked if he could offer the sport next year.

His plan, if council supports it, is to practice at McKinley Park and move to Transverse Park on game day. With no lights at the park, the teams would be out by 6 p.m.

Mr. Eberhart would arrange for clean-up crews following games.

Council President James Cassidy called football "the downfall of what happened last time." Neighbors complained about non-borough youngsters walking with cleats on their cars, running in yards, and being generally disruptive.

A public meeting on the issue will be held on Feb. 15, 2010.

Councilman Dennis Obeldobel said if the public is okay with football, he has no problem.

Mr. Cassidy said if approved, and later complaints arise, it would cease.

Mr. Eberhart said the "number one thing in his arsenal" for managing the youngsters is telling them that if police are called to one of their events, "somebody's going."

"You have my word on it," he said.

Next, as he has for months, a Stamm Avenue resident complained about a nuisance 8-unit apartment complex on his street.

"Something's got to be done," he said.

Tenants throw garbage from windows, set discarded furniture outside an overflowing dumpster, and more. The police have been called there numerous times for various complaints.

Lately, he said, lamps and glasses have been thrown from windows and into his alleyway.

Mr. Cassidy said, he would ask the police to keep an eye on the situation.

According to the borough ordinance, five calls about a multi-unit building in 90 days can result in a citation. The calls must be for police service or violation of another ordinance.

At the conclusion of last month's meeting Mrs. Michener said, she is opposed to two ranking police officers riding in one car because the manpower is best utilized on the street.

Mr. Obeldobel disagreed, saying the shift has worked well for years.

At the Nov. 16 council meeting, he said "there are times they have to be together, like going downtown for a hearing."

He said the policy does not distinguish between riding to court or some other reason.

A letter was handed to the police chief within the past few weeks about disallowing two ranking officers in one car. Council will meet with the mayor about a possible revision.

During his report, engineer Justin Wagner reported that the digging of sewer lines in Transverse Park has been completed.

In other engineering news, it was reported that the contractor for demolition of the abandoned house at 511 Brownsville Rd. has been dragging his feet.

Preliminary work on the new deck hockey rink in Transverse Park will begin this year, with most occurring in 2010.

Mr. Obeldobel asked Mr. Wagner what can be done about a vehicle parked on Margaret Street that is leaking oil, creating dangerous slicks when it rains and causing other hazardous conditions. Mr. Wagner said code enforcement would be the best course of action to be taken.

In the public safety report, Councilman Patrick Malloy said 686 calls were answered last month, and police vehicles logged 7,165 miles.

All the equipment and surveillance cameras are up and running.

There were two drug arrests, and two DUI arrests. The canines were used 68 times. Officers conducted 34 park-and-walks in the borough.

In the public works report, Mr. Obeldobel said two of the four vehicles are currently out of circulation — the one-ton truck was recalled, while another truck is being repaired. The latter was to be ready the next day.

Twice-a-year inspectionsare being considered instead of the standard annual inspections to catch problems early.

The large trees on borough property on Margaret Street are in need of removal. Mr. Cassidy said he would contact the borough engineer about possible grants for ecological work.

In the solicitor's report, council adopted a resolution establishing the registration of vacant or abandoned properties. That way, the borough will know what is vacant, and for how long. The fee will be based on the length of vacancy.

The next council meeting will be Dec. 21.

 

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