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Weissport forms maintenance committee to handle high grass

Published August 21. 2013 05:04PM

Weissport Council is backtracking on having Benesch Engineers of Pottsville take care of borough property maintenance issues.

Council was advised by its solicitor Mike Greek to form a maintenance committee and only forward the more complicated cases to Benesch to save on fees.

Gene Kershner, council president, asked Vice President Sue Pywar and council member Arlie Moyer to serve on the committee with him. Two other council members, Tim Rehrig and Paulette Watson, were absent from Monday's meeting.

Greek said there are several options to handle complaints. He said when a bank or an estate owns property needing maintenance, it should be handled differently then when it is owner occupied.

"When it's owned by an estate or bank, you can cut the grass and place a municipal lien on the property," he said. "You know that they will want to sell the property, so you'll get your money back."

Council voted in 2011 to hire Benesch Engineers for engineering projects and then voted to also use the firm for compliance issues, such as high grass and code violations.

"We're paying high fees and nothing is getting done," said Pywar. "The grass is still high."

Council also voted to do nothing concerning paving White Street.

Council had discussed having the street resurfaced and then looked into oil and chip and then decided that the oil and chip, while a lower cost option, would be only a "bandaid" approach.

"We'll wait until the bridge project is completed and then look at our options," said Pywar.

"Basically we would have been painting the street black," said Kershner.

Council had tabled signing the contract to place a seal coat on White Street at a cost of $13,179 at the last meeting.

Council discussed the issue of handicapped parking signs again. The solicitor said he will have an ordinance to control handicapped parking signs ready by the next meeting.

Pywar said that a woman has applied for a handicapped parking sign and she has been waiting a long time.

"We need to get on it," said Pywar.

Greek said that there are several ways to handle handicapped parking issues.

"You can assign a spot for them by permit only," said Greek. "The person then would pay a yearly fee."

Greek suggested looking at how many handicapped spaces are available and individual requests.

"With every one of the handicapped signs in Weissport, the person has moved on or passed away," said Arlie Moyer, council member, adding that there are presently six handicapped signs posted in Weissport.

"Take them down and we'll draft an ordinance," said Greek.

Mayor Jonathan Troutman continued his request as to who is authorized to call for help with problems with grinder pumps.

Greek said that the borough has a sewer authority and they are in charge. He said that Troutman is not authorized to call Bellview Pumps, Walnutport.

Council also listened to comments from LeRoy Stevens of White Street, Weissport. Stevens said that he is the maintenance worker for the apartment buildings on White Street that were the topic of discussion at the last council meeting. Stevens said that the neighbors living in the area who made comments last week are nothing more than gossips who have nothing else to do but listen in on conversations and then broadcast the conversations to others.

"I'm done with them," he said. "I believe it is legal to sit on your porch and have a beer. I also want you to know that all of the cars at my house are legal."

Stevens said that he has six children and eight grandchildren so there are a lot of people coming in and out of his house simply because he has a lot of family members.

"Your issue is with 218 and not 220," he said.

"I know that we have garbage issues," he said. "But we have nine apartments and that means a lot of people."

Stevens said that garbage begins piling up fast and then after the garbage goes he normally cleans up at least three bags of loose garbage.

"I'm not a big beer drinker," he said. "I have maybe a six-pack a month. I, nor my family, drive drunk. I learned that lesson the hard way and I know better."

Stevens said that he hopes to move to get away from the drama.

"I want to rent a home with the option to buy," he said. "I want to move back to Brodheadsville where I came from."

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