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Church wants to retain parking spaces for elderly congregation

Published February 02. 2010 05:00PM

Three members of St. Paul's Lutheran Church, White Street, Weissport, asked members of Weissport Council to reconsider taking their no parking signs away which were given to them by a past mayor.

"We only use three or four spaces," said Willard Doll. "We have an older congregation who are mostly in their mid-70s and it is much easier for them to park in the front of the church than in the back."

Another church member, Ken Heffley, agreed with Doll's comments, plus added that someone from the community is parking a pickup truck loaded with scrap metal right in front of the church on Sunday morning, plus a work truck parks there.

Mayor Jonathan Troutman said that the problem with the signs they are using is that they say "no parking" which means that by police order no one should be parking there.

Troutman said that in his area of town, the funeral home puts out temporary signs and that they are respected by residents, but that it would be hard to enforce no parking signs issued as a temporary police order because when they say no parking, it means no parking across the board.

Two weeks ago, Arland Moyer, a councilmember, had noted that someone from the church had called him to complain that he had misparked.

Moyer said that the street is public and there was no other place to park near his home when he came home Saturday night with his company truck.

Moyer's wife, Lynette, said that their truck hasn't been working for at least five years so it is not their truck filled with scrap parked at the church and she is not sure who owns the one they are talking about.

Council President Tim Rehrig turned the issue over to Mayor Troutman to resolve.

"I am not here to disrespect the church," said Troutman. Troutman said that he will see how other communities handle such situations and will try to work with the church to come up with a solution.

Doll said that the biggest issue with parking comes twice a year when the church holds its annual barbecue and yard sale.

Attorney Michael Ozalas, solicitor, said that he will be attending solid waste hearings for Weissport residents who have not paid their garbage bills. The hearings will be held at 2 p.m. Feb. 22.

Council member Sue Pywar asked council to approve paying a bill for the playground expenses of $18,024 to George Eil Associates from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources grant fund. The request was approved.

The final phases of construction of the playground are on hold until spring.

Council member Moyer brought to council's attention that Weissport should be using grant funds to replace stop signs and street signs. He noted that Weissport does not fall under the three foot street sign law because of low traffic volume. He said that the 24-inch signs are sufficient. Moyer said that he is trying to get prices for new stop signs, street signs and approved posts.

Secretary Dana Brubaker said that if the costs fall between $5,000 and $10,000, he will need three written quotes before council approval.

Steven Mansueto, police chief, noted that the one police car has a sluggish brake pedal.

Council approved taking the car for repair.

Council President Tim Rehrig advised Mansueto to alternate use of the police cars so they both get used every other week. Mansueto also asked council if he could have a local man remove the lights from the third police car for $100.

Council approved the action.

Rehrig noted that council is planning to sell the blue dump truck and the yellow dump truck.

Att. Ozalas is preparing a legal notice to accept bids.

At the conclusion of the Jan. 19 council meeting, council had gone into executive session. Afterward, it was announced that Steven Mansueto was appointed police chief.

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