Coaldale Code Enforcement Officer comes under fire
CHRIS PARKER/TIMES NEWS Kevin Barlett, of 134 Greenwood St., accuses code officer Jamie Nicholas of unfair practices at a public meeting Tuesday. Nicholas denied the accusations.
Coaldale Code Enforcement Officer Jamie Nicholas came under fire Tuesday by three Greenwood Street residents who claimed they were unfairly cited. Nicholas said the accusations were untrue.
Kevin Barlett, of 134 Greenwood St., said Nicholas cut trees down that had been keeping a non-operational vehicle of Barlett's from public view. Once the trees were down, Barlett said, Nicholas cited him for violating the section of borough code that requires such vehicles to be kept from public view.
Barlett also said Nicholas lied to him about sewer connection laws.
Tom Sullivan, of 111 Greenwood St., said he was unfairly cited for having an out-of-commission truck on his property.
Rebecca Frank, of 129 Greenwood St., said Nicholas trespassed onto her property to cite her for having an unregistered vehicle. She said the vehicle was parked up against the house so that no one would be able to see that is was not registered without coming on to the property.
Council listened to the complaints, but did not take any immediate action.
Also on Tuesday, Ron and Ruthanne Kehl, of 134 W. Ridge St., again asked council for an update on tracking down and citing the owner of the adjoining house at 132 W. Ridge. The house has been vacant for years and infested with mold, which has been encroaching on the Kehl's home.
Council has determined that the owner, Lisa O'Brien, is now living in neighboring Lansford. Solicitor Michael Greek said a complaint has been filed. However, he said, O'Brien refuses certified letters addressed to her, and will not open the door when a constable has knocked to serve her with papers.
The Kehls thanked Councilman Joe Hnat for spraying bleach on the mold, which they said has helped. Hnat said his action was approved by council.
In other matters Tuesday, council agreed to sell a vacant property at 119-121 Greenwood St. to the highest bidder, Maureen Dooley of Coaldale, who bid $2,500 for the land.
The 42-foot by 78-foot lot is zoned low-density residential. The borough recently demolished two vacant houses on the property.
Also, council President Susan Solt read aloud a letter from Panther Valley School District Superintendent Rosemary Porembo, explaining that the school board has no intention of eliminating the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program for the 2012-2013 school year.
Solt had written the school board, imploring it to keep the program, after a council discussion last month.
The school board has yet to approve a new contract for JROTC senior instructor Kenneth Markovich. Rumors have spread that the board wants to jettison the program. The board says that's not true.
Also, council listened as four East Phillips Street residents asked council to have a school bus stop moved from their area. The children are unruly and destroy property, they said, and the parents aren't much better.
Solt said she would contact the school board about moving the stop.