High grass will now cost Nesquehoning property owners big bucks.

During the regular meeting of the Nesquehoning Borough Council held last night, council unanimously voted to increase fees to property owners who fail to maintain their properties.

Currently, the borough charges $150 and up depending on the amount of time it takes for borough employees to cut the grass. Under the new resolution, property owners will be charged on a graduated fee scale, increasing by $100 every time the borough has to cut their grass. A first offense will be for the actual amount billable by the borough. A second offense will be the billable amount plus an additional $100. A third offense will be the billable amount plus $200, and will carry over year to year. Citations are also being issued.

The borough also voted to approve the resignation of code enforcement officer, Linda Narciso as of June 1.

Council also voted to advertise a vehicle ordinance which prohibits vehicles with missing or expired registration or inspection stickers from parking within the borough and also prohibits parking in a manner that obstructs sidewalks or crosswalks and in a manner that obstructs or blocks vehicular or pedestrian traffic on the sidewalk or curb.

The borough will also advertise a break retarder ordinance and will purchase signs to place in various areas in the borough. The ordinance is intended to help reduce the noise created by trucks using the retarders or "jake brakes" within the borough.

Solicitor Robert Yurchak outlined some changes to the borough code that was signed by Gov. Tom Corbett regarding participation in council meetings via phone. Under the code, as long as a physical quorum is met, a council member could participate in a meeting by phone if they were unable to attend due to an illness or disability or if they needed to care for an ill immediate family member or a newborn, or if they needed to travel due to an emergency, family or business travel.

Also as part of the code, individuals interested in running for an elected position or who are appointed to a position must sign an affidavit of residency stating that they have lived in the borough beginning at least one year prior to the election or appointment. Additionally, a district justice cannot hold any elected or appointed office in the borough. The code goes into effect on July 16.

In other matters, sewer chemical bids were awarded as follows: floating degreaser at $13.25/gal., gas chlorine at $110/cyl. and weed killer at $17.45/gal. to Main Pool & Chemical Co., Inc. Sodium hypochlorite at $3.78/gal., hydrated lime at $0.1358/lb. and sodium carbonate at $0.2626/lb. to Northeast Chemical & Supply. Regular degreaser at $7.95/gal. awarded to Independent Chemical and Anti-foam at $6.75/gal. to Neo Solutions Inc.

Bids for chlorine tablets were tabled pending clarification with regard to type. It was also noted that Unit #1 sand blasting and painting is going very well and should be completed by the end of summer.

Radio equipment for the ambulance is in and equipment for the fire department and police are back-ordered. Nesquehoning Hose Co. will hold a traffic stop on June 30 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the traffic light and at Route 93. The next Crime Watch meeting will be held on July 2 at 7 p.m. at the Borough Hall.

Garbage collection for next week will be on Thursday, July 5 due to the holiday. Garbage is to be put out on July 4.

There will be extra police coverage on July 4 to ensure the safety of residents. Residents are also reminded that fireworks purchased legally at stores are permitted. Aerial displays and M80s are illegal.

The Greater Hazleton YMCA & YWCA Anthracite Triathlon will be on July 15. Cyclists will ride through town at approximately 7:45 a.m. Emergency officials will provide them with safe escort through the borough.