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Coaldale passes ordinances on smoking, auto repair in streets

Published July 12. 2018 12:55PM

If you enjoy smoking a cigarette in one of Coaldale’s public parks, or doing major auto repairs on the street in front of a home in the borough, you may want to watch out for borough police in the future.

Coaldale Borough Council passed three new ordinances Tuesday dealing with very different topics.

The first will prohibit smoking in and around all public facilities. That includes “all parks and recreational facilities.”

The ordinance specifies that it includes both the parks themselves and the sidewalks surrounding them.

It also applies to the Coaldale High School complex and the borough municipal building/police station.

“The Borough of Coaldale believes that the prohibition of tobacco use at the Borough’s Parks and Recreation facilities will serve to protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of our municipality,” the ordinance reads.

The second ordinance prohibits any motor vehicle repairs on the streets of the borough. It does allow resident to do maintenance on their car, which the ordinance defines as washing, waxing and the replacement of tires, wiper blades, spark plugs and other minor fluids, as long as they do not create a hazard or nuisance for neighbors.

Councilwoman Claire Remington explained that the borough has seen residents performing repairs that go far beyond regular maintenance, while their cars are sitting on a public roadway.

“At one point you were allowed to just be changing a tire in Coaldale on the streets. As you can see, now people are putting transmissions in. They’re not going to be allowed to do that anymore, because you have to think about oil, all that stuff, that screws up our blacktop,” Remington said.

Remington said in the past, the police haven’t had an ordinance that allows them to cite residents who conduct repairs, and have those citations upheld before the local magisterial district justice.

Council passed a third ordinance, which was not available following the meeting, allowing a collections agency to impose fees for property owners who do not pay their sewage transmission fee. The fee is $75 per year. Council agreed that they will only refer delinquent bills to the agency, Portnoff Law Associates, if the person’s bill is unpaid for more than two years, which equals $180 with late fees.

Portnoff is allowed to charge their own fees for collecting the debt. The borough has already used the agency to recover unpaid bills for trash collection.

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