Despite protests from one borough resident, Summit Hill Borough Council last night adopted a long-debated "Quality of Life" ordinance.
The proposed ordinance had been discussed for months and tabled on numerous occasions.
The council passed the measure, which supposedly expedites action against those who don't maintain their properties, by a 4-0 vote.
Council members voting for it were Bill Chapman, Michael Alabovitz, Billy O'Gurek, and Jesse Walck.
Absent were Council President Michael Kokinda, John O'Gurek, and Greg Kosciolek.
Questioning the necessity of the ordinance was borough resident John Kosalko, who asked, "Why do we need this ordinance? Right now we have ordinances for everything in the Quality of Life but they're not enforced."
"That's why we need it," Walck said. "It takes a long time to enforce the (existing) ordinances."
He added that this makes it easier and faster to enforce regulations against property owners who let their structures and properties get out of hand.
"We're trying to cut down costs," Walck added.
Kosalko, referring to such ordinances existing in cities, asked, "Do we compare our little town to a city like Hazleton or a town like Hooterville?"
Walck responded that he has lived in other parts of the country where similar ordinances exist, "and it works."
Kosalko then used a hypothetical situation of buying four new tires for a vehicle and placing the old ones in his yard until the semi-annual town clean-up occurs.
Alabovitz agreed that citations could be issued for tires in a yard, but stated that tires breed mosquitoes and there have been positive tests for West Nile Virus in Carbon County.
According to Kosalko, the ordinance says sidewalks must be cleared of snow and ice within 24 hours after a storm. "I want to see it done in Ludlow Park," he said. "That's a walkway."
Kosalko said the ordinance also targets vehicles which are unlicensed and not inspected. He used an example of a car enthusiast rebuilding an antique vehicle, noting it wouldn't be inspected or have registration.
Chapman said such a citation would be handled by a magistrate.