South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Margaret L. Smykla
Contributing Writer 

Mount Oliver Borough shows progress in 2014


Two new members of borough commissions were sworn in by Mayor James Cassidy at the Jan. 19 meeting of Mt. Oliver Council.

Justin Viale was appointed to the Planning Commission, and Councilwoman Amber McGough was appointed to the Civil Service Commission. Both are unpaid positions.

The vote was 6-0 in both cases, with Councilwoman Billie Michener absent.

In the mayor’s report which began the meeting, Mr. Cassidy said there were 433 police calls in December, which reflects call volume always being down in winter.

There were also: 39 domestic calls, seven criminal mischief, four fights, five burglaries, three DUIs, two gun arrests, and three arrest warrants served.

Of the 13 drug-related arrests, about half resulted from traffic stops, which is why there are often multiple police cars at stops.

He also reported three police officers completed their one-year probationary periods, as of Jan. 21: Adam J. Candioto, Patrick J. Lucas, and Thomas R. Snyder.

The vote was 6-0 to promote to regular, full-time members of the department.

Mr. Cassidy said the borough is in need of another firearms instructor in addition to police Chief Matthew Juzwick. He said the chief recommended Officer Snyder be sent for firearms training in May to the state police barracks in Meadville, which council then approved.

Next, President Darnell Sains thanked council, staff, solicitor, mayor, and police chief for persevering in 2014 despite all the changes over the past year.

In the engineer’s report, discussion arose over a $51,680 payment to Continental Construction for the demolition of 191, 193, 195, 197, and 199 Ormsby Ave. The work is completed.

The homes were destroyed in a fire this past summer.

The vote to approve the payment was 3-3, with Mrs. McGough, Nick Viglione, and Frank Bernardini dissenting.

Delays in the project were cited, as was the contractor’s failure to clean up the site satisfactorily, thereby necessitating the borough’s public works crew clean up the site.

Mr. Cassidy broke the tie with a yes vote. He said for nonpayment the borough would have to prove the contractor damaged the borough, for which the borough would likely lose in court.

Most of the cost will be funded from the insured properties.

A related $3,320 payment to Continental Construction for the same project also passed with the mayor breaking the same 3-3 tie. The payment was for providing the maintenance bond and plumbing inspections for lateral disconnections.

In the code enforcement report from Dec. 12 to Jan. 15, Mr. Bernardini reported there were 25 rental inspections; one demolition permit; four complaints; four citations; three occupancy permits; and three legal actions filed.

For 2014, there were 318 rental inspections; 628 units; 306 violations; 195 complaints; 74 occupancy permits; 51 business licenses; eight zoning permits; three demolition permits; and 79 legal actions.

In the parks and recreation report, Mr. Viglione said two deck hockey leagues, with pick-up teams, will be starting. He would also like to get a baseball league started.

In the public safety report, Chief Juzwick said he and Mr. Sains would be attending the February meeting of Brentwood council to present a $1,000 check for a vest for their police department canine.

The money was raised through a “Holiday Vendors” fundraiser held in the Mr. Oliver fire hall. As the Mt. Oliver dog already has a vest, the department donated the vest to Brentwood for its dog.

In the public works/health report, Councilman Dave Lowe reported 88 water shutoffs would begin on Jan. 26 for those with delinquent sewage accounts.

If nonpayment is due to illness, or if you have boiler heat, contact Jordan Tax Services.

He also reported the Keystone Collections Group, which now does the garbage billing and handling of delinquents, will be sending out garbage bills on Jan. 23.

The three-month garbage fee is $33.87. The bill is due within 30 days of receipt. Residents who pay for the full year in one payment will save $7.

For problems with billing, Mr. Lowe said to call Keystone. For problems with garbage pickup, call Republic Services.

In other public works news, council voted to buy a new public works truck, with plow, for $36,174 with 72-month financing. Mr. Lowe said the current truck will eventually be sold for $1,200.

Mr. Bernardini voted against the new purchase saying a new plow is not needed as the old plow can be adapted to any truck.

Mr. Sains next read a list of 2014 borough accomplishments as compiled by project manager Ricky Hopkinson.

In administration/finance, they include: replaced computers for administrative office; new phone system building-wide; saved $6,000/year on the phone bill; and collected $85,000 in delinquent taxes.

In economic development, the accomplishments include: started Business Owners Association; awarded $10,000 from the PNC Foundation for Ormsby Park Phase II; awarded $63,000 from the state Dept. of Community and Economic Development (DCED) for an early intervention program; and more.

In parks and recreation for 2014, the borough was awarded a grant from Grow Pittsburgh for a community garden; and the roof was replaced on the Transverse field house.

Accomplishments in the police department in 2014 include the return of the bike patrol; replacing a patrol car; purchasing three tasers, three radios, and two laptops; and appointing a new chief.

Next, Mrs. Keener said the county changed its regulations on open burning.

Fires must be at least 15 feet from the nearest neighbor’s dwelling or inhabited area, including property line, roadway, sidewalk, and public access area.

For more on all the open burning regulations, visit:

Mr. Sains concluded the meeting with news that the borough will be hosting its second SHACOG meeting on June 18. More details will follow at a later date.

The next council meeting will be on Feb. 16.


Reader Comments(0)


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2021