South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Tom Smith
South Pittsburgh Reporter Editor 

Mt. Oliver Borough moves to change rental inspection schedule

 

Mt. Oliver mayor JoAnna Taylor presents Officer Ryan Lawrence with a commendation for the work he and Officer Patrick Lucas did to arrest and charge more than two dozen drug dealers in the borough. Officer Lucas was unable to attend the ceremony at the February meeting of the Mt. Oliver Borough Council.

The February public meeting of the Mt. Oliver Borough Council discussions on the number of reserved handicapped parking spaces in the borough and amending the Rental License Program.

In attendance at the meeting were council members Lisa Pietrusza, Aaron Graham, Amber McGough, Tina Reft, Brandon Taylor, and Nick Viglione. Paul Doyle was absent. Also at the meeting were Mayor JoAnna Taylor and Borough Manager Rick Hopkinson.

In an action that was tabled from the January meeting, council discussed approval of a handicapped parking space on Fremont Street.

Mr. Viglione said the borough is getting too many residential handicapped parking spaces. He noted there was already a designated space close to the proposed handicapped space on Fremont.

"We're going to have two too close together," he said. Adding they will have to "look at some kind of law to handle" the requests in the future.

Mr. Hopkinson said the borough solicitor is looking into limiting the number of residential handicapped parking spaces according to density, but that the program couldn't be eliminated entirely. He expected to have more information for council in the next month or two.

Council further discussed the best way to install the necessary signage for the requested handicapped parking space. Concerns were expressed about limiting ADA access to an already narrow sidewalk. It was decided to post a sign with directional arrows and line painting extending into the street.

The installation of the reserved handicapped parking space on Fremont passed 6-0.

In discussion concerning the Rental License Program, Mr. Hopkinson recommended changing the program to require annual registration, but that inspections would only be required every three years. At January's meeting, he had explained the inspections are much more extensive now, requiring more time to complete.

The change would require a change in the fee schedule. He estimated the annual registration fee would be $45 to $50 and the inspection fee $100.

The Mt. Oliver Hometown Heroes Program, to place photos of borough veterans on banners in the borough, was also on the agenda. Mr. Hopkinson said the program was on hold and recently the banners were redesigned using the borough's branding. People who had submitted photos would have to resubmit those photos according to updated specifications.

Mr. Graham asked if the banners would be permanent. Mr. Hopkinson said they could place them in several different ways: Around holidays such as Memorial Day and Fourth of July, rotating them with their other general and holiday banners; Place them in select areas, such as the 500 block of Brownsville Road where there currently aren't banners; Or, possibly around major gateways.

"It's up to you, if you want to do that," he said.

Mr. Graham said the permanent placement has been done in a lot of other communities and he would rather see something that more "shines a light" on the people being honored on the banners.

Mx. Pietrusza questioned how the borough would make sure minorities would be represented on the banners.

"I think that's really important given the diversity, the huge diversity in racial, ethnic and gender and sexual orientation in this borough and make sure we capture that," Mx. Pietrusza.

Mr. Hopkinson replied that to get notice out, they could put it in the borough newsletter that goes to every house in Mt. Oliver, on social media and in The South Pittsburgh Reporter. He also suggested councilmembers could reach out in their neighborhoods.

State Rep. Jessica Benham, who was also in attendance, suggested reaching out through Black churches and all churches in the area to help spread the word about the program.

Solicitor Emily Mueller asked about the program guidelines.

Mr. Hopkinson replied they only have the design and haven't established guidelines yet. He will gather proposed criteria and present it at the next council meeting.

 

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