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Progress shown on falling bricks issue

Published April 10. 2012 05:01PM

A Summit Hill family may soon have a resolution to a problem with the house next to theirs.

Marlene Mattrazzo, who lives at 32 W. White St., has been dealing with bricks falling from the house next door, ever since the first bricks collapsed last Labor Day.

During the monthly meeting of Summit Hill Borough Council on Monday evening, Mattrazzo asked if there was any progress on resolving the problem, which is a safety hazard for her family, as well as children playing along the sidewalks of that area.

Council solicitor Michael Greek said that he has asked the court to fashion a remedy, which requires a hearing to be held to determine costs and a final resolution to the problem.

He also asked that a hold be put on an insurance check to the owner, Michael Perno of Quakertown, so it can't be cashed.

"We're at a point where there's a remedy in place," Greek told Mattrazzo.

He noted that a third party has also expressed interest in the property so council is working with them to finalize plans.

"You're in a better position than you were," Greek added.

Michael Kokinda, council president, assured Mattrazzo that council is continuing to work toward resolving this problem in a timely manner and an end is finally in sight.

After Mattrazzo asked if a time frame has been set, Greek responded that things with the courts can't be rushed.

During the incident last year, a large, upper section of the bricks from the exterior side wall of the three-story house at 38 W. White St., came crashing down between the house and the Mattrazzo residence as a result of years of deterioration. At the time, the home was rented by Ken Cathcart, his girlfriend Brandi Johnson, and their two children, Jacob Cathcart, 4, and Alanna Lennox, 11.

Members of the Summit Hill Fire Department tried to help Mattrazzo by constructing a temporary wooden barrier, which was installed between the two properties. The building was immediately condemned and has remained vacant ever since.

But bricks are still falling from the structure, Mattrazzo said last night.

She noted that a few weeks ago, the temporary barrier fell and was laying in her yard. She called the fire department and on Holy Thursday, they removed it for her.

In other matters, a borough resident wants to know what the law or ordinance is on target shooting in residential areas because he has heard groups of individuals shooting at all hours along East Mountain Top Road.

Joseph Kosalko, the borough's workforce leader and a resident of East Mountain Top Road, asked Greek about the law because he has been unsuccessful at finding a resolution to his problem.

He said that there are two groups shooting firearms in the area in question and he is concerned about it.

"You're dealing with two factors, a projectile factor and a noise factor," Kosalko said. "I can't find the answer but I didn't move up there to listen to a war going on. You have houses right there."

He said he called Summit Hill police two weekends ago about one of the groups, which had about 20 individuals on one property. The group told the responding officer that it was their grandmother's land and that it was in Mahoning Township.

But, Kosalko said that the land in question is not in Mahoning Township.

The officer didn't know the specifics of the borough's law on this matter, if it has one, and could not take further action on the situation.

Councilman Jesse Walck asked who owns the land, and no one had an answer.

He stressed that council needs to find out if the land is in Summit Hill or Mahoning Township's jurisdiction before anything is done.

Kosalko also asked about a noise ordinance for the borough.

Larry Marek, zoning officer, said that he didn't believe Summit Hill had a noise ordinance in place, but that it was common courtesy for quiet time around 10 p.m.

Marek added that he was also under the assumption that individuals were not allowed to discharge a firearm or any weapons in any residential areas.

Greek commented that the borough will check on the issue and if it is found that the area is zoned residential and not set up for a specific use then it is prohibited and something may be able to be done.

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