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Illegal dumping, vandalism creating problems in borough

  • 20090910-153751-pic-299803445.jpg
    A beautiful view of Mauch Chunk Lake from East White Street in Summit Hill is marred by the mountain of illegal dumping which has occurred. Summit Hill Borough Council said it is considering installing cameras as an effort to stop the dumping.
Published October 05. 2009 02:55PM

In an effort to deter illegal dumping and increasing vandalism, Summit Hill Borough Council is considering installing surveillance cameras at various locations in the community.

One location might be at the end of East White Street, where illegal dumping has been occurring for years, but has only been getting worse.

"There's more garbage dumped there than on a dump," commented council member Ken Boyd.

He said at one point the borough workforce removed a mountain of trash about 15-feet deep, across both sides of the two-lane road and its shoulders.

He said all types of items have been dumped here including swimming pools, tires, and broken windows.

What's especially irritating is that the location is within eyesight of a cluster of cemeteries.

It was noted that "no dumping" signs had been installed, but were stolen.

Currently there are old tires, bags of trash, and other debris strewn on the site.

Council members suggested that area residents keep an eye on the location and report illegal dumping to the police. The police also were advised to patrol the area.

Council President Joe Weber said he doesn't understand why this dumping has to occur, because of the superb trash collection program in the borough. Of the garbage collectors, he said, "If you put out a couch, they take it. Unless you're loading up, they'll take it. Unless it's hazardous, they'll take it away."

Kira Michalik, borough secretary, said residents are permitted to put out one bulk item per week for trash collection.

In addition, the borough has semiannual cleanup weeks.

The council agreed to advertise for bids for a new four-year garbage contract and keep the provisions as they exist with recycling, cleanup weeks, and a maximum five-bag pick-up. There might be some options for bidders, but basic collection would be unchanged.

Attorney Joseph Matika said he will make an effort to have the advertising done as quickly as possible for the bids so they can be opened on Oct. 13.

The contract for garbage collection, currently held by Tamaqua Transfer, expires in April. The council wants the bids received in time for 2010 budget discussions.

If cameras are installed at the end of East White Street, they might also be added behind the Summit Hill Borough Garage.

Chief of Police Joe Fittos said there has been some vandalism at the borough garage with some equipment. He suggested that "no trespassing" signs be placed so that police could prevent people from entering the borough property in the vicinity of the equipment.

In the past, vandalism has also been reported inside the Ginder Field, next to the borough garage.

If "no trespassing" signs are put up, one also will be placed on the bleachers inside Ginder Field.

Councilman Harry Miller asked if the bleachers can be used. It was noted some individuals have been seen sitting on the bleachers.

Weber said the borough was informed the bleachers don't meet safety criteria so they are off-limits to the public. He said they can't be torn down because salt storage occurs beneath them. The salt is used for winter road maintenance. If the bleachers were taken down, a salt shed would have to be built.

The council president said anyone caught vandalizing borough equipment will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

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