South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Margaret L. Smykla
Contributing Writer 

Trash collection day changing in Mt. Oliver Boro

 

February 27, 2018



Free smoke alarms, a new garbage pick-up day, and a new auditor were among the topics at the Feb. 19 meeting of Mt. Oliver Council.

In the police report for January, there were 519 total calls and 35 drug-related arrests, the latter for the seizure of marijuana, crack cocaine, heroin, and drug paraphernalia. There were two DUI arrests.

The K-9 units were used 14 times, including for park-and-walks, drug searches, drug arrests, warrant service, and targeted patrols. 

There were 10 accident reports, 10 domestics, five criminal mischief, three fights, and one burglary, the latter of a television from a home on Church Ave. 

The police responded to five commercial alarms and two residential alarms. 

New computers were installed in the police station, and are up and running properly.

In the engineer’s report, council approved the final payment to Robinson Pipe Cleaning Co. for $2,986.21 for the 2017 closed-circuit TV project, which had a borough share of $17,875.50. The work began the week of Sept. 3; the punch list of outstanding and complete items has been addressed by the contractor and reviewed by Gateway Engineers. 

In the fire report for January, the Mt. Oliver Volunteer Fire Company had 15 incidents, including 11 incidents for medical assist, assist EMS crew. 

In borough financial news, 82 percent of the property tax has been collected. 

Next, council voted unanimously to accept the resignation of Larry Hailsham as auditor. Later in the meeting, council voted to appoint Dan Warren to fill the elected auditor vacancy. 

In the code enforcement report for Jan. 1 to Jan. 31, Councilman David Beltz reported there were 29 violations, including for early trash, graffiti, snow and ice, dangerous structure, electrical hazard, debris, and storage of trash. 

Fines collected for early trash, and snow and ice, totaled $475. 

Two cases were heard at Judge Richard King’s office: one for a dangerous structure, which was continued; and the other for a prohibited occupancy, which was abated. 

An “imminent danger” case was heard in the Court of Common Pleas after an owner filed a petition for an injunction to allow tenants back in the building. The judgment was granted in favor of the borough. 

In other code enforcement news, code enforcement officer Tom McAllister reported the borough received 48 smoke alarms from the American Red Cross which must be utilized by the end of March. So far, two have been installed by Mr. McAllister, who volunteered his time. 

Any resident in need of a smoke alarm should contact Mr. McAllister at the borough building, and he will install. 

The alarms have 10-year batteries for longevity. 

Next, in public safety, Councilman Nick Viglione said Giffin Ave. residents praised the work of Mr. McAllister. 

“Congratulations. We got a lot of compliments,” he told him. 

On another topic, Mr. Viglione said youngsters interested in shoveling neighbors’ sidewalks for pay should travel in small groups for safety, and inform customers of the cost ahead of time. 

He said one child recently told the property owner after shoveling that the cost was a dollar, to which he was given seven cents. Another child had noodles thrown on her by the property owner, after which she shoveled the snow back onto the sidewalk.

Residents and businesses must shovel their sidewalks within 24 hours or risk receiving a citation. Citations may also be issued for shoveling snow onto streets. 

On yet another topic, he said the borough is working on an ordinance which would allow the borough to lien homes if landlords or property owners do not pay their outstanding borough fees.

In public works, Councilman Justin Viale reported that last month personnel emptied trash cans; picked up tires and trash; patched pot holes; removed a down tree; performed dye tests; cleaned inlets around the borough; responded to sewer back-ups; continued supervisory activities related to utility projects; and more.

Mr. Viale also presented details of the Mt. Oliver Homefront Initiative in which qualifying residents receive free services for grass cutting and snow removal. The program is being held in conjunction with the borough and Economic Development South.

To qualify, residents must be a homeowner living within the borough, and be of age 60 or older or have a disability.

Qualifying residents should call the borough offices about the program.

In economic development, Councilwoman Tina Reft said the new Property Stabilization Committee meets the third Wednesdays at 6 p.m. at the former pet shop, 212 Brownsville Rd. There is free food, and everyone is invited.

In unfinished business, trash pickup will be moved to Tuesdays starting March 20. Residents will receive a flyer the week before, and a call the day before. Signs will be changed on the streets.

Mr. Viale said Tuesdays are supposed to be better service days.

The borough is in the last year of its contract with Republic Services, with a new contract to be considered.

In questions and answers, a resident said garbage was not picked up on the scheduled day on certain streets.

“Hopefully, by tomorrow,” borough manager Rick Hopkinson said. Republic officials told him they had equipment issues that day.

The resident said while she pays her garbage bill, a neighboring residence puts their garbage out elsewhere. Mr. Hopkinson said he signed them up for an account.

She also commented that while she shovels her sidewalk, others do not, thereby creating icy and hazardous conditions. Mr. McAllister has issued citations for this.

The resident concluded with the report that driving down Anthony St., a house packed with furniture and garbage on the front porch and the side of the house is visible.

To a question of whether televisions in yards are still being picked up by the borough, Mr. Hopkinson said yes, and that the owner will be sent a $25 invoice for the service.

The next council meeting will be on March 19.

 

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