South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Margaret L. Smykla
Contributing Writer 

Boro council reminds residents of bulk storage and dumpster fees, new street opening permits


Last updated 1/30/2019 at 9:31pm

A proposal to turn the former Mt. Oliver School building into a health and care giving facility operated by the human service agency Auberle will go before the borough Zoning Hearing Board at 7 p.m. on Feb. 12 in the fire hall, 120 Brownsville Rd.

The public is invited. Comments may be sent by those unable to attend the meeting.

The proposal was scheduled to go before the Zoning Hearing Board on Dec. 18. However, Auberle withdrew the proposal and a new application was submitted a few days later.

“We need everybody we can get to come,” Councilman Nick Viglione, who is opposed to the project, said at the Jan. 21 meeting of Mt. Oliver council.

Under Auberle’s substance use disorder program proposed for placement in the borough, families impacted by a caregiver’s addiction will move into one of the facility’s apartments for four to six months with treatment focused on everyone challenged by that addiction.

While the addicted caregiver will receive treatment by Auberle and UPMC addiction specialists, the children will have access to tutoring, mental health services, recreation activities, enrichment programs, and other services.

The faith-based organization has operated programs for 60 years dealing with substance abuse, job training, counseling, and more.

Borough manager Rick Hopkinson has stated the property meets the zoning ordinance requirements.

The council meeting began with the public safety report for December as presented by Mayor Bernardini.

He reported there were 755 total calls for service, and 29 drug arrests, the latter for the seizure of marijuana, crack cocaine, heroin, and drug paraphernalia.

There was one burglary on Freemont St., with money and clothes taken, and which is on ongoing investigation. There was one DUI arrest in December.

The K-9 units were used 47 times, including for a drug search, arrests, park-and-walks, and targeted patrols. Eight warrants were served by the police department.

The police responded to six commercial alarms and 18 residential alarms.

Parking Enforcement wrote 72 borough tickets, while the Police Department wrote 40 borough tags. There were 60 state citations issued for parking violations.

The total collected for payment of fines for tickets issued in December was $1,150.

All equipment is operating properly. The total miles on all vehicles for November was 3,925 miles. Vehicle maintenance and repair totalled zero dollars.

Next, in the year-end fire report, there were 657 incidents for 2018, of which 480 were for EMS and 177 were fire related. Volunteer man-hours for the year totalled 4,800.

The fire department will be receiving complimentary smoke-detector and carbon-dioxide alarms through the Red Cross for distribution to residents in need of such devices in their homes.

Mr. Bernardini asked if another meeting had been scheduled with the fire department, to which he was told no. He said a lot was presented at the last meeting for consideration, such as an increase in the borough’s contribution.

The borough pays for the department’s state workers’ compensation, building utilities, some debt and equipment, and insurance.

Mr. Viglione said council has to meet and review the expenditures.

“There’s only so much money to go around,” he said.

In the administration and finance report, Councilwoman Tina Reft said Planning Commission meetings will be held this year on the fourth Mondays at 6 p.m. in the borough building.

She also reported that residents should have received their ambulance subscription and refuse bills already. The ambulance service fee is $35 per year.

In the code enforcement report for December, Councilman Aaron Graham reported there were 37 violations, and 38 of 733 open cases year to date.

There were two hearings in front of District Magistrate Richard King.

Forty-one rental licenses were issued for 59 units, and 15 rental applications/notices were mailed out for licenses expiring Jan. 31.

Eight occupancy permits and one building permit were issued.

In demolitions, 253 Ormsby was taken down, while 118 Penn is scheduled for demolition later this month.

Mr. Graham said the committee is working on an updated rental ordinance.

Ms. Reft reminded everyone that, in August, council amended the borough code to establish regulations and require permits for the placement and use of bulk storage containers and dumpsters.

Previously, a permit was not required. Mr. Hopkinson said the reason for the regulation is time, as some residents have kept dumpsters on their property for months.

Residents must now first get a permit before ordering the dumpster. The permit fee is $50.

A bulk storage container may be issued for a period not to exceed 14 consecutive days. Up to two extensions of 10 days each may be granted.

In public safety, Councilman Justin Viale reported the police dept. is looking to hire a full-time and a part-time police officer. Council also voted to suspend an officer for three days without pay.

Mr. Viale also reported that anyone can drop off glass for recycling for free at Michael Brothers Hauling & Recycling, 901 Horning Rd., Baldwin Borough. The hours are Wednesdays, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays, 7 to 11 a.m.

Next, in the public works report for December, Councilman Dave Lowe reported 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, and TVs, tires, and debris were picked up throughout the borough.

In Transverse and Ormsby parks, workers emptied trash cans/spot swept three times per week.

In sanitary/storm sewer maintenance, inlets were cleaned throughout the borough. Thirteen dye tests were performed.

All 400 tons of salt that was ordered for this year has been delivered. A worker salted streets and sidewalks on Dec. 6 for five hours.

In economic development, Ms. Reft reported a new business, Fat Daddy Pittsburgh Barbeque, opened at 129 Brownsville Rd., across from the post office. It is take-out only.

Mr. Bernardini reported the renovated Hofbrau will open on March 1. Renovations include a security system.

“It’s a landmark in the borough for over 100 years,” he said.

In resolutions and ordinances, council adopted four resolutions. The first resolution was to appoint Heather Mitchell to fill a vacancy on the Mt. Oliver Civil Service Commission for a four-year term from Jan. 1, 2019 to Jan. 1, 2023. The vote was 7-0.

Next, council voted 6-1, with Mr. Viale abstaining, on Planning Commission appointments. Deana Wuenschel was appointed to a four-year term, Mr. Viale to a three-year term, and Donald Brown to a two-year term. All appointments commenced on Jan. 1, 2019.

Council voted unanimously on Zoning Hearing Board appointments: Paul Doyle to a term expiring Jan. 1, 2022, and alternates Donna Smith, Sharon Stadler, and Francis Heckmann.

Council also voted 7-0 to adopt a resolution establishing a street opening permit procedure. Applicants must submit a completed application to the borough along with three copies of the plans showing the work to be performed. The borough manager will review the application for completeness.

Upon completion of the project, the public works supervisor will inspect the restoration. Within one year to 18 months the engineer will inspect all restorations and provide a certificate of final inspection. Prior to two years from final restoration, the repairs will be re-inspected to determine if any settlement or cracking has occurred.

In the question-and-answer period that concludes council meetings, an attendee asked about a house on Ormsby Ave. with broken windows. Mr. Hopkinson, who also serves as code enforcement officer, said he has taken the owner to court for other issues, and he would check the windows.

The attendee also commented the borough crew is very good with snow removal.

To a question about ice and snow removal on sidewalks, Mr. Hopkinson said he would send notices to those whose sidewalks are not cleared.

If residents do not shovel their sidewalks within 24 hours, citations may be issued.

“Ricky does a great job,” the attendee said of Mr. Hopkinson.

The next council meeting will be on February 18.


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