South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Margaret L. Smykla
Contributing Writer 

Public safety highlights boro meeting


The May 21 meeting of Mt. Oliver Council began with the public safety report for April.

Mayor Frank Bernardini reported there were 714 total calls for service, and 33 drug-related arrests, the latter for the seizure of marijuana, crack cocaine, heroin, and drug paraphernalia. There were two DUI arrests.

Burglaries occurred on Hays, Walter, and (attempted) Arlington avenues; Fredrick and Ottillia streets; and Brownsville Rd.

The K-9 units were used 27 times, including for drug searches, arrests, warrant service, apprehension, demonstrations, park-and-walks, traffic stops, and targeted patrols. Seven warrants were served.

The police responded to three commercial alarms and 11 residential alarms.

Fifty vehicles were posted for expired registration and inspection.

“A law’s a law,” Mr. Bernardini said.

“If they’re upset with it, so be it,” he said.

Parking Enforcement wrote 118 borough tickets, while the Police Department wrote 73 borough tags. There were 71 state citations issued for parking violations.

The total miles on all vehicles was 4,167 miles. Vehicle maintenance and repair totaled $120.84.

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

Mr. Bernardini said the borough will not be used a “dumping ground,” as for garbage, old bicycles, and more.

To a question about spotting expired registration stickers, police Chief Matt Juzwick said it is more difficult to do so since PennDOT eliminated the stickers after 2016.

In the fire report, the Mt. Oliver Volunteer Fire Company responded to 64 incidents in January, 46 in February, 58 in March, and 54 in April.

In the treasurer report, $589,665.17 has been collected in property tax. The total due is $872,012.94.

In the report from code enforcement officer Tom McAllister for April, Councilman David Beltz reported there were 99 violations, including for early trash, pet waste, debris, accumulation of garbage, and failure to renew rental license. The violations resulted in 25 notices, 72 citations, and two legal actions.

Thirty-three rental applications/notices were mailed for April. Year to date, $29,838 was collected in municipal claims from denials.

Mr. Beltz reminded everyone that garbage is now being picked up on Tuesdays instead of Mondays. Trash may only be placed out on the curb for pick-up after 6 p.m. the day before the scheduled collection.

The first week friendly notices were sent reminding residents about the 6 p.m. timeframe. Next week, citations would be issued, he said.

The good news was that on that Monday morning only three properties had trash out.

“It’s a great improvement,” Mr. Beltz said.

He also reported Mr. McAllister issued 122 citations for high grass the prior week.

“If you are a property owner you have certain responsibilities,” Mr. Beltz said of keeping the grass cut and other tasks.

An attendee who lives on the corner of Hays Ave. said he received a citation for garbage and debris, and agreed the site looked bad. He said he needs the borough’s help as litter is thrown on the property from McDonald’s customers and others.

“You have a difficult property,” Mr. Beltz said of its location.

To a question about break-ins, Chief Juzwick reminded everyone to lock their car doors. He said all of the recent break-ins involved unlocked vehicles.

In other news, Community Day will be held from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 23, at Transverse Park. There will be a car cruise, children’s activities, yard games, food, and more. Volunteers are sought. Contact the borough offices if interested.

There will be a grand opening in June for the new The Bakery Society of Pittsburgh’s bakery incubator. It will occupy 225 Brownsville Rd, or the former Kullman’s Bakery site. The new building is currently under construction.

The Borough purchased the Kullman’s Bakery property in 2016, and then sold it to Economic Development South (EDS) for the purpose of redevelopment.

The plan is for retail on the first floor, and bakery equipment on the top floor. Classes will also be held in the building.

In unfinished business, Mr. Bernardini asked about the status of the nuisance property ordinance, which council is working on.

Councilman Nick Viglione said he expects a draft by mid-June.

“We want to make sure we get it right,” he said.

At prior meetings council members said they are looking at sample ordinances in other boroughs before crafting their own ordinance. It will likely assign responsibility to landlords regarding their tenants.

In the public works report for April, routine facility maintenance was conducted, like emptying trash, cleaning/sweeping, and re-stocking supplies. Trash cans were emptied three times per week in the business district.

Gravel piles on Penn, Hays, and Transverse were removed. Televisions were picked up on Locust and Stamm. Tires were also picked up around the borough.

A “Handicap Parking” sign was removed on Fremont, while a stop sign at Fulton and Rustic was replaced.

In Ormsby Park, graffiti was removed from playground equipment.

Public Works personnel also patched pot holes on Arlington, Fulton, Giffin, Goldbach, Hays, Louisa, Middle, Onyx, Ormsby, Ottillia, Penn, Quincy, Rustic, St. Joseph, Stamm, Verena, and Walter.

In the question-and-answer session, a resident asked about meter enforcement. Chief Juzwick said the police do not enforce meters, but that it is done by parking enforcement officers.

The next council meeting will be on June 18.


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