South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Margaret L. Smykla
Contributing Writer 

Updates provided at boro council


Last updated 1/30/2020 at 9:47pm

The Jan. 20 meeting of Mt. Oliver Council began with the public safety report for December.

Absent were council members Tina Reft and Paul Doyle.

Mayor Frank Bernardini reported there were 525 total police calls for service, and 19 drug arrests, the latter for the seizure of marijuana, crack cocaine, heroin, and drug paraphernalia.

One burglary took place on Quincy Ave. A suspect was arrested. There was a robbery on Rustic Ave. in which money was taken. There were two DUI arrests.

The K-9 unit was used 26 times for an arrest, park-and-walks, and targeted patrols. Seven warrants were served by the police department.

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

Regarding abandoned vehicles for the month: two were posted, and 11 warnings were issued. One vehicle posted in November was towed in December. Eight vehicles posted in December were fixed or moved.

Parking Enforcement wrote 41 borough tickets, while the police department wrote 14 borough tags. There were 34 state citations issued for parking violations.

The total collected for payment of fines for tickets issued in December was $535. The total paid in magistrate ordered fines was $175.

A Jacob St. residence is being investigated as a nuisance property.

All police equipment is operating properly.

The total miles on all vehicles for December was 2,131 miles. Vehicle maintenance and repair totaled $1,847.61.

In the end of year report of the Mt. Oliver Fire Department, Chief Fran Kestner reported that members of the Mt. Oliver Hook & Ladder Co. participated in various training classes in areas like structural fire rescue and rapid intervention, and hazmat.

The fire department currently has 26 certified Fire Fighter I members, and 9 certified Fire Fighter II members.

Two members became State Evaluators, and one member received State EMS Instructor certification.

Last year, there were 680 total incidents, of which 484 were for EMS and 196 were fire related.

The average time en route for a fire was 2 minutes 53 seconds, with an average arrival time of 8 minutes 11 seconds.

The average time en route for an EMS call was 2 minutes 12 seconds, with an average arrival time of 5 minutes 27 seconds.

The department provide mutual aid 90 times.

Among its public education activities, fire department members assisted Columbia Gas in installing smoke detectors in homes. Members provided education for the family while in the home.

The department received the complimentary smoke detectors through the Red Cross for distribution to residents in need of such safety devices.

Chief Kestner said the department has 60 current members, with 35 active. The non-active members help out with the annual Lenten fish fry and other fundraisers.

He also reported Mt. Oliver, Brentwood, and the three Baldwin companies are doing a lot more cross-training.

Next, in the code enforcement report for December, borough Manager Rick Hopkinson reported there were 44 violations. There are 38 open cases year-to-date.

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

Thirty-two rental licenses were issued for 60 units, and 31 rental applications were mailed out for licenses expiring Jan. 31 (51 units).

One occupancy permit, two building permits, and one zoning permit were issued.

Code enforcement is working with the solicitor and borough council to update and strengthen the Vacant Property Registration Ordinance for commercial and residential properties.

In the public works report, department foreman John Michener reported routine facility maintenance was conducted, including emptying trash, cleaning/sweeping, and re-stocking supplies. TVs, tires, and debris were picked up throughout the borough.

An illegal No Parking sign at the bottom of Margaret St. was removed. A stop sign was repaired at Fulton and Giffin.

Pot holes were patched around the borough. A curb was repaired at 114 Sherman.

In Transverse and Ormsby parks, workers emptied trash cans/spot swept three times per week. Leaves were vacuumed around the borough.

In sanitary/storm sewer maintenance, inlets were cleaned. One dye test was performed.

As of Dec. 31, all Public Works vehicles are in service.

There was 26 hours of overtime in Dec. for salting streets and sidewalks.

To a question from council President Amber McGough of how many workers are out for snow removal, Mr. Michener said there is a total of three, including himself. They do the streets, parks, and borough property.

Mr. Hopkinson said the overtime is budgeted.

In resolutions and ordinances, council voted 5-0 for four appointments.

They are: Colleen Pack as an alternate member of the Civil Service Commission until Jan 1, 2026; Casey Flores and Donna Smith to the Zoning Hearing Board until, respectively, Jan. 1, 2023 and Jan. 1, 2022; Aaron Graham to the Planning Commission until Jan. 1, 2024; and John Prokop to the Disruptive Property Appeals Board until Jan. 1, 2023.

Council also voted 5-0 authorizing the sale of a 2013 Ford Interceptor.

In questions-and-answers, a resident complained about a Chevy Camaro parked on Anthony St., and which is covered with a tarp. It has expired stickers and a flat tire.

Police Chief Matt Juzwick said he would have officers check it out.

To a question of who to contact about a flashing street light on Church Ave., Mr. Michener said it was turned in that day.

Next, a resident said a cable came down and wrapped around her and her husband's cars. It also then wrapped around a car across the street. She brought the cable over to her yard so it would not block the street.

She called 911, and an officer said he would call the cable company, but the company did not come by.

She called the cable company – Comcast -- and told them the cord was on her sidewalk. She said if someone got hurt, she would sue them.

The resident asked the procedure with a fallen cable.

Councilman Nick Viglione said to call the fire department, or 911. Mr. Michener said to call him during working hours.

He also said if the cable company did not come the next day, she should call him and he would come.

The final resident to speak was a Margaret St. resident. Last month, he told council he is continually being harassed by his neighbor who has cameras focused on the resident's house, and who is always calling the police on him.

He was here tonight about a borough citation he received which he said it states is for making threats, disorderly conduct, and making a lewd act.

He said he has not done any of those, and is confused as to why he received the citation.

Chief Juzwick said his court case is scheduled for early February, at which time he can speak to the judge.

The chief said he thinks the charge is disorderly conduct. He also said he would meet with the resident the next day to discuss the matter.

The solicitor also suggested he get an attorney to explain the charges.

The next council meeting will be on February 17.


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