At the October meeting of the Nesquehoning Borough Council, members agreed that stronger measures need to be taken against property owners not keeping up their properties.

Measures include increased fees and fines for owners with high grass, and fines and legal action against owners whose homes have fallen into serious disrepair and pose health and safety hazards.

During the hearing of visitors, Bill Kiefer requested that his property, which is currently` listed as a two-unit home, be changed to a single family dwelling to assist with a lease-purchase agreement. Currently there are two water and sewer bills sent to the property and by deeming the property a single family home, the family will only be paying for one bill. Council agreed to grant his request.

Resident Tom Merman again expressed his frustration regarding the enforcement of ordinances in the borough.

Councilwoman Mary Fox agreed with Merman.

"If we make ordinances, then we need to enforce them," said Fox.

Council approved the pay rate for part-time police officers to be set at $15 per hour. It begins with a 50-cent increase at six months and again at one year, and increases to $17 per hour after three years of employment.

Borough road supervisor Lou Paul noted that 88 tons of millings from the Mermon Avenue paving job were recycled and rolled out on to Cemetery Road at no cost to the borough other than labor.

The state Department of Environmental Protection finally responded to the borough regarding an oil spill that exists in New Columbus. Because the spill does not affect the water supply, it is not one of the department's highest priorities; however, should the spill worsen, the borough is to notify the department about having the issue moved up on the list.

Council voted to create two bus parking spaces in front of the Nesquehoning School Apartments for loading and unloading of passengers between the hours of 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The borough is currently looking for part-time sanitation pickers. Anyone interested in the position should contact the borough office.

The recreation center's Halloween party will be held Saturday, Oct. 29 at 5 p.m. and is open to the children of Nesquehoning aged 10 years or younger. Registration is required.

Trick or Treat is Monday, Oct. 31 from 6-8 p.m. Police, ambulance and fire department crews will be on patrol, along with several crossing guards, to protect the children.

The next Crime Watch meeting will be on Nov. 9 at 7 p.m.

On Saturday, Nov. 19 a free Chinese Auction will be held at council chambers for Nesquehoning children to win bikes that have accumulated at the police station. All bikes will be auctioned as is and parents must be present to sign a release form.

The next council meeting will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 16 due to the Thanksgiving holiday.