South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Margaret L. Smykla
Contributing Writer 

Boro to seek relief from some EPA stormwater reporting requirements

 


The June 19 meeting of Mt. Oliver council began with a presentation on Live Well Allegheny by Hannah Hardy of the county Health Department.

She explained the wellness campaign, for which more than 40 municipalities have expressed support through the passage of resolutions, incorporates physical health, nutrition, fitness, education, weight loss, health literacy and more.

Later in the meeting, the board voted to adopt a resolution indicating the borough’s intent to work with the county to accomplish the goals of the Live Well campaign.

The specific actions include: sharing information on wellness campaign events to encourage residents’ participation; encouraging multi-modal transportation by providing facilities or policies that encourage walking and bike riding; and promoting and supporting farmers’ markets.

The next presentation was by Jennifer Slagle, project manager, Gateway Engineers.

As an urbanized area with a separate storm sewer system, the borough is required by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to have a permit to discharge storm water. With that MS4 permit comes numerous requirements, for which the borough is audited periodically to ensure that it is compliant.

While some of the requirements are good practices, most create a huge administrative burden with all of the meetings, documentation, record keeping, public outreach, outfall screening, etc.

Gateway is applying to the state Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) for a waiver from the permit itself. If awarded, the borough will still continue to map its system and prohibit illicit discharges in the system, but all of the other requirements go away, saving the borough a lot of time and money.

“We would stay in compliance but not break the bank,” Ms. Slagle said.

In public comment, resident Frank Bernardini asked if an overdose occurs at a home, what options are available to the police to search the premises?

Police Chief Matt Juzwick said if someone calls 911 for an overdose in a home and drugs are found in the home, the police cannot charge anyone with a crime as, otherwise, people are afraid to call 911. State legislators are responsible for the change in law.

But police will confiscate the drugs.

If children are present, the adults can be charged with endangering the welfare of children.

Mr. Bernardini asked when Columbia Gas will be repaving Arlington Ave. He said there has been a steel plate for more than two weeks on the sidewalk at 1714 Arlington, which could be dangerous.

Borough manager Rick Hopkinson said Columbia Gas will be repaving Arlington from Brownsville to Amanda the week of June 26.

The company will also be fixing the plates on the sidewalk on Arlington from Locust to Frederick. However, they will not be repaving this portion yet because there is still more work to do.

In the police report for May, there were 702 total calls, included were 50 drug-related arrests for the seizure of marijuana, crack cocaine, heroin, and drug paraphernalia.

There were also 11 domestic calls, three accident reports, three criminal mischief reports, and three burglaries on Giffin and Amanda avenues and Anthony St.

The police served seven arrest warrants, and arrested three people for illegally possessing a firearm during traffic stops.

There will be beat officers during the summer months.

The K-9 units were used 12 times, including for park-and-walks, drug search, a building search, a demonstration, and targeted patrols.

All computers are up and running. All surveillance cameras are operating properly.

In the code enforcement report from inspector Chuck Knaus for May, there were 54 borough citations issued, eight legal filings, 30 rental licenses issued (44 units), one condemnation, 115 violation/notices sent, 18 complaints received, three building permits issued, five occupancy permits issued, and one nuisance property.

In the public safety report, council President Amber McGough said she has received complaints about youngsters in Ormsby Park after 9 p.m. Chief Juzwick said he will send officers to the park.

The chief also reported the police force’s new canine is named Enzo, a 13-month-old German shepherd from Hungary. Council voted to approve the appointment of Officer Thomas Snyder to the position of canine handler.

The borough will be hiring part-time officers. “It’s tough to keep part-timers. They find jobs making more money,” Chief Juzwick said.

In public works, Councilman Justin Viale reported in May department employees: removed trees at Transverse Park, conducted routine vehicle maintenance, performed dye tests, mulched the community garden and turned on the water there, utilized the services of four part-time workers; and more.

In the economic development report, Councilwoman Tina Reft reported caterer Vic Fortunato opened that week on Brownsville Rd. Trzade Salon also opened on Brownsville Road.

Upcoming events: TC Candy grand opening gala, July 16; vacant commercial property tour, July 20; Fall Fest, Oct. 7; and Up on the Hilltop, Dec. 2.

The borough’s 125th Anniversary celebration will be held from 2-8 p.m. on Aug. 5 at Transverse Park.

For more information on any of the events, email Mr. Hopkinson at: r.hopkinson106@outlook.com.

In resolutions and ordinances, council adopted an ordinance setting the hours in which peddling may occur: No peddling before 10 a.m. or after 7 p.m. All vendors and peddlers must obtain and display a permit on official borough stationery.

Council also adopted a resolution updating the borough’s 2017 fee schedule. A new peddler fee is $25 per month, and a vendor fee is $50 per month. A vehicular vendor must pay $75 per month.

The next council meeting will be on July 17.

 

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