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Contractor hired in Coaldale to make street improvements

Published June 13. 2013 05:04PM

The four members of Coaldale council who met Tuesday agreed to hire the lowest bidder for street improvements.

Thomas Keerans, John Sherbin, David Yelito and President Susan Solt all voted to hire Alicia Paving Inc., Lehighton, to improve Ridge Street at a cost of $6,844 and Upper Miner Street, from Route 209 to Snedden Avenue at a cost of $11,378.

Alicia was the lower of two bidders.

Council members Joseph Hnat, Steve Tentylo and Michael Doerr were absent.

Also on Tuesday, council hired Michael O'Hara as the borough's new code enforcement officer, pending a background check. He replaces Jamie Nicholas, who resigned in April.

In other matters, council discussed amending the borough's burning ordinance after hearing from resident Kathy Ruff. She said neighbors on three sides of her home burn in open containers, and the smoke, chemical smells and irritants are so pervasive she must keep her windows closed. Ruff said she is also concerned that open burning in town creates fire hazards.

Ruff had asked that council bar outdoor burning altogether, and offered to start a petition to that end.

However, solicitor Michael Greek said, such a ban would be difficult to enforce, pointing out that people use charcoal grills and small smokers. He said the borough's current ordinance requires setbacks for open burning.

Solt agreed that open burning was becoming a problem, saying the borough was becoming "like a campground" now that so many people are building fire pits. She said one man who had been burning garbage and creating noxious odors was stopped from doing that by police Chief Timothy Delaney.

Greek advised Ruff to contact the state Department of Environmental Protection to report people who burn materials other than wood or charcoal. Ruff said it was difficult to pinpoint individual offenders.

Yelito said he would "do drive-bys" in Ruff's area to see if he could find out who is burning materials such as plastic or Styrofoam.

Also, council agreed to get rid of two high mileage police cars, and buy a new police car. Keerans said the borough could make a down payment this year, estimated to be about $3,500, and begin payments next year. The car would be purchased from Kovatch Corp. under the state piggyback program.

In other matters Tuesday, resident Paula Blasko asked if the borough would resume holding Memorial Day parades. Council moved to support her plans. The parade would be held on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.

Blasko also asked council's help in getting the owner of a messy property at 3 W. Ruddle St. to clean it up.

Council also agreed to publish notice of a proposed quality of life ordinance that would empower police and other borough authorities to issue tickets for code violations, such as failing to keep grass cut, leaving trash cans out, or putting broken appliances on one's front porch.

Council expects to adopt the ordinance when it meets in July.

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