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Coaldale to regulate open burning in borough

Published November 14. 2012 05:02PM

Coaldale council is poised to regulate open burning in the borough.

Solicitor Michael Greek on Tuesday said he has given council members copies of neighboring Tamaqua's burning ordinance.

The next step is to have Fire Chief Richard Marek study the ordinance, and then council expects to adopt Greek's version, which would be tailored to Coaldale.

The ordinance would ban the burning of furniture and trash, among other restrictions.

The ordinance would also require any burning to be conducted a set number of feet from buildings.

Greek said an outright ban on burning wouldn't be as effective as regulating what can be burned, and how.

Residents have complained to council about not being able to keep their windows open in mild weather due to acrid smoke from open burning.

Resident Patricia Valedon asked council at the beginning of the public meeting Tuesday to completely ban open burning, saying that regulations would be difficult to enforce.

In other matters Tuesday:

• Council heard from Ruthanne Kehl of 134 W. Ridge St. Kehl asked whether Lisa O'Brien, who owns the adjoining attached home at 132 W. Ridge St., has been served with papers requiring her to clean up the mold-infested house.

O'Brien, who now lives in neighboring Lansford, was evicted from the home in 2010 because of an unchecked water leak. Greek told Kehl that the sheriff's department must serve the papers on O'Brien, but has yet to do so.

O'Brien apparently does not answer the door or respond to certified mail notices.

Ultimately, she could be notified via a publication in a local newspaper, he said.

"We'll keep trying," Greek said.

• Councilman Joseph Hnat was concerned about a defective street light along the "pool road," which connects Coaldale to Lansford.

He said the police department was supposed to notify the borough in the event of an outage, but that whomever was working the third shift failed to do so.

Some residents pointed out that state police were covering the borough that night, not the borough police.

Council in February laid off its full-time police officers, relying on state police and part-time officers to keep the borough safe.

• Hnat asked that borough code enforcement officer Jamie Nichols take some action concerning a dilapidated former market on East Phillips Street. Councilman David Yelito said he would call the owner to see if the situation could be resolved.

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