By Margaret Smyka
Contributing Writer 

Borough council puts conditions on public hearings


January 25, 2011

Residents who want to address Mount Oliver Borough Council at its monthly meetings are now required to submit detailed questions in writing at the borough building.

The deadline for submitting questions is 3 p.m. on the second Monday of the month. Council can then research the question and provide a response at the regular meeting on the third Monday of each month. The new procedure was one of the items discussed at the Jan. 17 meeting of Mount Oliver council.

Mayor Jeff Repasky, and council members John Smith and Billie Michener were absent.

Other news emerging from the meeting is a Feb. 23 informational sewer meeting with the Borough Engineer and council in the municipal building. It begins at 6 p.m., and is open to the public.

The evening began with the public comment session, during which a Church Ave. resident asked about the cracks in the curbs and sidewalks near roughly eight homes on Church Ave. He has raised the issue multiple times before council.

According to Solicitor James Perich the borough is still investigating records for liability, but the sidewalk repairs were completed ten years ago, making investigation difficult.

Another resident also asked about tax and fee delinquents in the borough.

Council President James Cassidy said Mount Oliver is owed $86,000 from delinquent sewage accounts. Later in the evening, he said council would be voting on a resolution to allow Jordan Tax Services to pursue delinquents.

"We have the right to go out and shut the water off," Mr. Cassidy said regarding delinquents. Waste Management will be pursuing garbage account delinquents.

Councilman Dennis Obeldobel, who is involved in a long-running feud with his Margaret St. neighbor, Wayne Lieb, addressed council in response to comments made about him at last month's meeting by Mr. Lieb.

He also wanted to correct a statement in last month's South Pittsburgh Reporter which reported the courts ordered him to remove poles, posts, and chains on his sidewalk.

Mr. Obeldobel said District Judge Richard King ruled he was "in compliance" based on borough code, and so all of the items remain.

Last month, Mr. Lieb asked if the yellow lines painted in front of their houses this summer, at Mr. Obeldobel's request, be reviewed by council.

On Monday, Mr. Obeldobel responded the lines are legal, and they allow him access to his driveway, which he did not have ifthe Liebs' vehicles were parked in front.

The councilman also added his neighbor's son works on his vehicles on the street, and has vehicles which are not inspected. Mr. Obeldobel said he has called the police many times.

"We've endured a lot from this neighbor," he said.

Mr. Obeldobel also said his fence is in compliance with borough code, and is designed to keep deer and other animals from entering his yard.

The next residents speaking during the public hearing portion of the meeting asked for help, as they did at prior meetings, regarding their home on Williams St. The street has deteriorated such that it is pushing the curb into the corner of their house. The problem has been on-going for three years.

Mr. Cassidy said borough officials, engineer, solicitor, and insurance representatives will get together at the site.

In the engineer's report, Kurt Todd of Gateway Engineers, said the sewage budget at the end of 2010 was about $40,000 in the black. He also said he would look into grant funding to help with an energy study of the municipal building.

In the public safety report, Patrick Malloy said in 2010, the code enforcement officer inspected 750 units, and issued 30 building permits and 12 zoning permits. Of the 624 citations issued, 50 were state citations, 257 were borough citations, and 317 were borough citations with 72-hour warnings.

Code enforcement officer Tom Plietz wanted residents to be aware they have 24 hours to clear snow and ice from the sidewalks in front of their home or risk being cited.

In the fire report, Mr. Malloy said in 2010, there were 26 answered calls; 25 service calls; and 16 false alarms.

In the police report for December, 915 calls were answered, and maintenance costs on the vehicles totaled $203. Those vehicles logged 6,574 miles. Six police investigations have been suspended.

Borough officers conducted 108 park-and-walks in the borough.

Mr. Malloy noted last year, there were 86 drug arrests in the borough, and more than 12,000 calls were answered.

In recreation news, the borough will be participating in the national KaBOOM! program to install new playground equipment at Ormsby Park. Under the program, municipalities partner with corporations and playground equipment manufacturers, with the company supplying equipment at cost, and a corporate sponsor paying up to $65,000 for the equipment and its installation.

The cost to the borough is $8,500. Half the amount has already been raised by the Hilltop Economic Development Corporation. Other organizations have pledged funds, and grants will be pursued.

On a spring day this year when the equipment will be installed, the borough will need 90 volunteers at the site to assist with equipment, clean up, provide lunch, remove trash, and more. To volunteer, contact the borough offices.

In the computer risk management report, new council member George Farneth said the committee is trying to bring the borough office into right-to-know compliance. They are also considering recording meetings and looking at the Borough Building itself on code-related issues.

He hopes to have a pro bono report next month on the code-related issues from a contractor.

The committee is also looking into changing policies in order to safeguard police investigations.

"The safety of our officers is of outmost concern," he said.

In the public works report, Mr. Obeldobel said when the weather breaks and paint can be used, curbs on Church Ave. that need repaired will be marked, curbs can then be cut and repairs completed.

The councilman said he will get together with street commissioner Ron Smith regarding the required equipment.

In the solicitor's report, council voted to authorize Jordan Tax Services to charge fees for all collections, including delinquencies, for sewage.

The street department union, which has two members, submitted a proposal which will be up for adoption at next month's council meeting.

The Mount Oliver Ambulance Service voted to contribute up to $4,000 for an emergency generator in the municipal building.

Council also voted to secure a tax anticipation loan for 2.4 percent for $110,000 through Northwest Savings Bank on Brownsville Rd. Last year's rate was 2.5 percent.

Under new business, in the absence of John Smith, Mr. Malloy volunteered to send out letters about park permits.

The next council meeting will be on Feb. 21.


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