At a meeting of Summit Hill Borough Council last week, a disturbing report was given.

Tammy Hall, who rented the Summit Hill Community Center, complained to borough council that there were some problems regarding maintenance and cleanliness.

She told the council that when she initially entered the building, she saw there was food on the floor apparently from previous usage, the sink had grease in it, there was mold in the buffet, and the refrigerator temperature was too warm.

Chief of Police Joseph Fittos backed-up Hall's complaints. "It was dirty," Fittos said of the center, adding there even was dirt in the toilets.

The Community Center was built when the borough hall and fire station were constructed. It has only been used for about two years.

The borough council agreed to look into paying someone to do cleaning of the Community Center. Borough Council President Michael Kokinda said, "If we have someone interested in cleaning it, contact the borough secretary."

While the council is absolutely correct that someone is needed to clean the Community Center, its actions don't go far enough.

Should it be the job of the borough work force to clean it as also had been suggested? After all, the work force consists of just two people who have all types of other maintenance projects: Plowing snow, fixing potholes, other building maintenance.

Also, do the rates charged for usage of the building cover the salaries of the borough workers for doing the clean-up?

There was a suggestion that police officers should make a walk-through of the building every time it is utilized. The borough has 24-hour police protection.

Would the police officers be capable of such inspections? After all, they are trained in police work, not kitchen inspections.

What Summit Hill Council must do is re-evaluate the fees they charge for using the Community Center. It's commendable that the council wants to have the rates affordable to its residents, but these rates also should cover cleaning costs, utilities, and even depreciation of the items that have been installed.

Without keeping an adequate fund for the Community Center, its future is jeopardized.

And yes, there must be cleaning personnel hired. Otherwise, the Center will fall into disrepair.

Finally, there have to be inspections made after usage. When clean-up is shabby, security deposits must be withheld.

The council has to take a strong stand on utilizing the Community Center. It made a big investment in having the building constructed.

It owes it to the borough residents to properly maintain it.

By RON GOWER

rgower@tnonline.com [1]