South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Margaret L. Smykla
Contributing Writer 

Change in garbage pick up day for Mt. Oliver highlights meeting


March 27, 2018

A new garbage pick-up day is the primary news Mt. Oliver Council wanted to convey at its March 19 meeting.

Starting March 20, the garbage was picked up on Tuesdays instead of Mondays. Residents received flyers and other mailings about the change. Signs will be erected on the streets.

Trash may only be placed out on the curb for pick-up after 6 p.m. the day before the scheduled collection.

To an attendee’s question of what happens if residents erroneously continue to put their garbage out for pick up on Mondays instead of Tuesdays, borough manager Rick Hopkinson said if it occurs after the second week, citations will be issued.

For violations by tenants, the property owner will be fined.

Council members have said Tuesdays are supposed to be better service days, according to hauler Republic Services.

In the public safety report for February that began the meeting, Mayor Frank Bernardini reported there were 482 total calls and 45 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 26 times, including for drug and building searches, arrests, warrant service, tracking, apprehension, and targeted patrols. Five warrants were served.

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

 In parking, Parking Enforcement wrote 107 borough tickets, while the Police Department wrote 43 borough tags. There were 63 state citations issued for parking violations.

A new patrol vehicle was acquired, replacing the 2013 Ford Police Interceptor.

All firearms qualifications and training were completed, and all officers passed their certification.

Mr. Bernardini concluded his report by saying any resident with a complaint should come to council meetings and raise the issue. Complaints may also be submitted anonymously on silent complaint forms available in the borough offices.

Simply going around the borough mouthing complaints will do nothing to affect positive change, he said.

To a question about an ordinance for nuisance properties, Councilman Nick Viglione said council is looking at sample ordinances in other boroughs before crafting their own ordinance. But it will likely assign responsibility to landlords regarding their tenants.

In the report from code enforcement officer Tom McAllister for Feb. 1—28, Councilman David Beltz reported there were 43 violations, including for early trash, graffiti, debris, storage of trash and failure to remove snow. The violations resulted in 33 notices, five citations, and five legal filings.

A dangerous structure case was heard at Judge Richard King’s office and continued to April 12. The owner is required to submit plans, permit applications, and start work by the court date.

Thirty-eight rental applications/notices were mailed. Year to date, $5,373 was collected in municipal claims from denials.

Two occupancy inspections, and one building permit, were issued.

To a question about smoke alarms, Mr. McAllister said the borough received free smoke alarms from the American Red Cross. He is volunteering his time to install them for residents in need of the device.

Any resident in need of a smoke alarm should contact Mr. McAllister at the borough building. The alarms have 10-year batteries for longevity.

Mr. Bernardini said Mr. McAllister is doing “everything possible” to help the borough.

Next, in public safety, council voted unanimously to hire Ryan Lawrence as a part-time patrolman.

In the public works report, Councilman Justin Viale read a letter from a resident thanking Public Works personnel for clearing overnight snowfalls from streets by early morning, and for keeping the streets largely snow-free for motorists all day long.

In the public works report for February, there was a coordinated temporary repair of the borough building roof. Routine maintenance in the building included emptying trash, cleaning/sweeping, and re-stocking supplies.

Personnel also installed a new pole for the stop sign at Giffin and Hays; installed a new stop sign at Hervey and Margaret, and at Quincy and Transverse. A new pole and stop sign were also installed at Walter and Ormsby.

Trash cans were emptied three times per week in the business district. Workers also patched pot holes on Anthony, Arlington, Giffin, Hays, Horn, Louisa, Margaret, Middle, Ormsby, Ottillia, Otto, Penn, Quincy, St. Joseph, Stamm, and Walter. They performed two dye tests, and cleaned the inlets around the borough.

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 to attend.

In resolutions and ordinances, council unanimously voted to sell 225 Brownsville Rd, the former Kullman’s Bakery, to Economic Development South (EDS) for $84,000 for the purpose of redevelopment.

The Borough purchased the Kullman’s Bakery property in 2016 for $79,900.

Council also voted to adopt an ordinance which extends to Koehler St. the “no parking” on one side of Walnut St. from Brownsville Rd. to Moye Place, effective immediately. A blind hill is the issue.

Signs will be erected, and violators will be ticketed.

In questions and answers, a resident said she saw a motorist drive past a stopped school bus with flashing lights. She was especially troubled by it because the police officer in the car behind her did nothing about it.

Police Chief Matt Juzwick said if the officer had witnessed the incident he would have pulled the motorist over.

To an attendee’s comment that trash thrown about makes the borough look bad, he was encouraged to attend the Property Stabilization Committee meetings.

Mr. Hopkinson said a youngster will begin working part-time for the borough in April, and clearing litter will be an assigned task.

Mr. Beltz said people go past his house and toss trash. Litter also blows into his yard when it is windy.

Mr. Bernardini said he picks up litter in his travels throughout the borough.

“It is the clientele we have in the borough now. There’s no respect,” he said.

Councilwoman Barbara Keener reminded everyone that Earth Day on April 22 provides an opportunity for cleaning up around the neighborhood.

The next council meeting will be on April 16.


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