By Margaret Smyka
Contributing Writer 

Borough council hears concerns about delinquents and Section 8


August 24, 2010

Sewage delinquents, youth task forces, and burned-out lights on Brownsville Rd. were among the topics at the August 16 Mount Oliver council meeting. Councilwoman Sara Kudasick and Mayor Jeff Repasky were absent.

The meeting began with a Frederick St. resident telling council she wants the borough to pay $1,300 for the repair of a back portion of her roof, or the same amount her insurance company paid her.

Last August, she appeared before council complaining about a very large tree on borough property hanging over her property. She said the tree had scraped her roof, bringing down siding and damaging the gutter.

She also said the torn roof was responsible for water leakage inside the house.

At the time, Council President James Cassidy said the tree would be trimmed, and her claim for financial assistance for the damage would be turned over to the borough's insurance company. While the borough eventually cut the tree down, no borough or insurance official ever contacted her about an insurance claim.

On Monday, Councilman Dennis Obeldobel said he thought the ruling by the insurance company was if the resident had notified the borough earlier of the large branches, they could have been cut down. Since she had not and the damage occurred over a long period, the claim was denied.

Solicitor James Perich will look into the matter again, said Mr. Cassidy.

Next, a Stamm Ave. resident complained about a neighbor whose gutter is hanging down. Code enforcement officer Tom Plietz said he sent the owner a letter.

When the resident asked if the spread of Section 8 housing can be slowed down, Mr. Cassidy said it cannot by law. Councilman Patrick Malloy added that of the borough's 36 nuisance properties, only five are Section 8 properties.

Mr. Cassidy noted, at the resident's request last summer, the borough asked for a meeting with HUD officials about Section 8. HUD has not yet responded to the request.

He also said all residents should call police with problems when they occur, to create a paper trail.

A Locust St. resident complained about young teenagers on the street past curfew. He explained when he calls the police the teens scatter, and then return after the officer leaves. He sees them at night but not during the day.

According to the resident, the man with whom the teens live calls them "his boys." The teens are all about the same age, and the resident never sees a woman at the house. The resident questioned if he is running a foster home.

Police Chief Frank Mosesso said he talked to the man, who said he would try to keep the youths under control.

Councilwoman Billie Michener said the block clubs in Mount Oliver are trying to form a youth task force to reach out to youngsters and help give them direction.

Youth task force members could distribute flyers to youngsters asking them what they would like from the borough.

An audience member commented that if youngsters know a group has their eyes on them, and expects them to act "civilized," it will make a difference.

While there are problems in the borough, said Mrs. Michener, "there is a positive group of people out there trying to make things better."

In the engineer's report, Ruthann Omer introduced engineer Kurt Todd, who she said would be helping her in the borough. Engineer Justin Wagner was promoted, she said.

The deck hockey site in Transverse Park is almost completed, with a punch list to be presented next month.

Regarding sewage delinquents, solicitor James Perich said he met with Jordan Tax Services, and delinquencies would be less than the estimated $200,000.

Ms. Omer said $96,000 is a more realistic number. But the problem with collection, she said, is according to the contract, when a resident pays a portion of their bill, the water company keeps what is owed it and the borough gets what is left.

Mrs. Michener said she wants a monthly list of delinquents from Jordan Tax Services.

Commenting on the deck hockey, an attendee said it did not seem appropriate for the community. "Was there a survey," he asked.

Mr. Cassidy said there was already a deck hockey court at the site. Project funding is from the South Hills Area Council of Governments (SHACOG).

Ms. Omer said the borough's strategic plans over the years include this kind of recreational activity. But it is a good idea to involve youngsters in recreational plans.

In other news, ALCOSAN will hold an open house on September 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine. It is located at 3300 Preble Ave. on the North Side. Visit for more information.

In the public safety report, Mr. Malloy said police vehicles logged 8,072 miles last month. The maintenance cost on the vehicles was $543.90.

There were nine drug arrests and two warrants issued.

All the equipment and surveillance cameras are up and running.

In the public works report, street commissioner Ron Smith said there is still no contract from Duquesne Light to replace the burned-out lights on Brownsville Rd.

Mr. Obeldobel said he would call the company.

"It's dangerous not to have lights," said an attendee.

Council next voted 6-0 to spend $430 to repair the parklet next to the municipal building. Mr. Plietz said that maybe in a year it can be rebuilt through the Economic Development Corp.

In the finance report, Mrs. Michener said all bills need reviewed to make sure none were previously paid. Mr. Cassidy said a system of checks and balances needs to be set up.

The next council meeting will be on Sept. 20.


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