Lansford Borough Council on Wednesday expected to award the job of demolishing vacant houses and removing the debris at 112 and 614 E. Patterson Street to a responsible company that offered the lowest bid.
But they were dismayed to find that no company was interested in the work; no bids were received.
So, council will try again, this time also publishing its bid request in an out-of-the-area newspaper. It expects to award the job - provided there are any takers - when it meets at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 13.
The houses have been in extremely poor condition for some time.
Councilwoman Mary Kruczek suggested expanding the search area to Hazleton or Pottsville. Solicitor Robert T. Yurchak said council could also send the bid request directly to contractors, a suggestion that Gaughan rejected.
In other matters, tenants of rental housing once again face eviction if they repeatedly behave badly.
Council voted 4-2, with Councilwoman Mary Kruzcek and Councilman Adam Webber opposing, to reinstate a portion of a borough ordinance that calls for evicting tenants of rental housing after they rack up three citations for disorderly conduct.
"The three-strike rule is back in place again," said council president Bob Gaughan.
The part of the ordinance that called for that penalty had been suspended by Kruczek, who is vice-president of council and the chairwoman of the Planning and Zoning Committee.
Council took the action after a report by Code Enforcement/Zoning Officer Katheryn Labosky, who listed a number of warnings issued for tenants cited for disruptive conduct - three on Aug. 19; seven on Aug. 20 and one on Aug. 24 - but "with no action taken as per Councilwoman Kruczek's directive."
Councilman Tommy Vadyak moved to have the portion of the ordinance reinstated, saying that suspending all or part of a borough ordinance should be considered by full council, not just one person.
Kruczek said a memo about the suspension was sent to Labosky because there were "some issues with the enforcement. I believe this should have been more of a personnel issue." She said the issue was brought up in an executive session, "it was discussed with all of council, and it was suggested by our solicitor to handle it in this manner."
She said a copy of her memo to the code enforcement officer was given to the police department.
After the public meeting, Yurchak said he did not advise Kruczek to suspend the portion of the ordinance. "I basically just said it can be suspended, but I didn't know any action was being taken," he said.
In other matters Wednesday, council:
*Agreed to repair a downspout just outside the police station door, and place an awning above the door. Also, both doors, which are in poor condition, will be replaced.
*Unanimously agreed to send a letter of commendation to Marco's Pizza on Ridge Street for its efforts to improve the appearance of the business.
*Acknowledged a letter of thanks from Coaldale Borough Council president Sue Solt for Lansford's help in paving Coaldale's streets through the Shared Services program.
*Agreed to take care of Lansford's half of the skate park/volleyball court area which it shares with Coaldale.
*Discussed a borough ordinance that prohibits having objects on sidewalks in light of the appearance of a bench outside of a Ridge Street business.