South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Margaret L. Smykla
Contributing Writer 

Councilman's resignation accepted, officers recognized at boro council


Last updated 1/26/2016 at 1:16pm

A councilman’s resignation, and recognition for two borough police officers, kicked off the first regular Mount Oliver council meeting of 2016.

It began with council voting to accept the resignation letter of Frank Bernardini. Mr. Bernardini had served two years on council, having taken his seat in January 2014.

Council has 30 days to fill the vacancy. The new council member will serve until the next municipal election in 2017.

The position is advertised in the Jan. 26 edition of The South Pittsburgh Reporter.

Next, Mayor James Cassidy honored Corporal Jacob Alex and Officer Patrick Lucas with certificates for their work in the Mount Oliver Police Department’s drug task force.

Among the drug task force’s outstanding accomplishments in 2015 are: 555 arrests; $28,775 currency seized; 18 illegal firearms seized; 229 marijuana/synthetic arrests; 237 crack rocks seized; 17 strips of LSD seized; 18 bags of cocaine seized; 112 cell phones seized; and more.

There were 34 felony arrests for the delivery of a controlled substance; 65 felony arrests for possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance; and 21 felony arrests for violation of the Uniform Firearms Act (VUFA).

In his December police report, the mayor said there were 562 total calls; 47 narcotics arrests; two DUI arrests; 20 calls for domestic violence; 12 criminal mischief; and one burglary.

The K-9 units were also used 11 times.

He said the drug arrests occurred throughout the borough, with many at traffic stops.

All police equipment is up and running.

In other police news, three new part-time officers will be hired to replace three officers who are leaving.  A police clerk/secretary will also be hired to free up officers to spend more time on the streets.

Mr. Cassidy read a list comparing 2013 crimes and arrests to those in 2015: burglaries were down 15 percent, robberies down 21 percent, and assaults down 25 percent in 2015 as compared to 2013.

Also in 2015, firearms arrests were up 600 percent, felony narcotics arrests up 482 percent, narcotics arrests up 164 percent, and total arrests up 66 percent as compared to 2013.

“The officers are doing a fantastic job,” the mayor said.

In the engineer’s report read by council President Amber McGough, Gateway Engineers is working with the borough manager to finalize the road list, budget, and project scope for the 2016 pavement maintenance program.

Sanitary manhole inspections for 2015 have been completed.  Gateway will be developing the list of manholes to inspect this year.

The borough received the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for the handicapped ramps on Brownsville Rd.

All work was completed by Dec. 31 by R&B Contracting and Excavation for $61,830.

In the code enforcement report from inspector Chuck Knaus for the past month, Councilman David Beltz reported there were seven violations/notices sent out; three citations; 16 rental inspections; and 12 complaints.

Council next voted 6-0 to pay Schaaf Excavating $18,902 for asbestos remediation at 151-155 Brownsville Rd.

In the public works report, Councilman Dave Lowe said he received two phone calls about whether garbage pickup would be postponed until Tuesday in light of Monday being Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

He said there are only six holidays which impact borough business: Memorial Day, July Fourth, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s.

When one of those holidays falls on Monday, garbage pickup by Republic Services will be on Tuesday.

In related news, he said the annual garbage hauling fee per household is $144, or $36 per quarter.  The cost includes a disposal fee.

If paid by Feb. 1, there will be a five percent discount, lowering the cost to $136.80.

This is the third year of a five-year contract between the borough and Republic Services.

Last year, Republic Services charged the borough $11 per month per household. For 2016, the cost is $11.28 per month. In 2017, the cost will be $11.60 per month and, in 2018, $11.95 per month.

In the health/sanitation report, Mr. Lowe said 99 water shutoffs are scheduled this month for delinquent sewage accounts. The delinquent accounts each owe $150 or more.

To avoid water shutoffs, the borough will work with delinquent sewage account holders to reconcile their accounts, or sign on for a payment plan.

Delinquents should contact Jordan Tax Service at 412-835-5243 to make payment arrangements.

In the solicitor’s report, council voted 6-0 to sell vacant lots at 130 and 132 Frederick Saint to Janet Wolfe for $800 each.

The next council meeting will be on Feb. 15.


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