Below is a summary of the March 2016 Monongahela City Council Meeting reprinted with permission from author Chad Desantis. You can view the original on The Mon City Scoop – News Blog on Facebook.
COUNCIL MEETING RECAP
-Chad M DeSantis
On Wednesday 3/9/16, Monongahela city councilman Tom Caudill presided over a brief and to the point meeting, as Mayor Kepics was not present.
Resident Carol Frye spoke on behalf of the Monongahela Historical Society, reminding us that Monongahela’s 250th anniversary is coming up soon, and asked for council’s blessing and support to lead the city’s celebration of it’s Sestercentennial, while working with all of the community organizations. Caudill immediately made a motion to allow it, seconded by Veliky, passing unanimously.
I discussed a quick recap of the Monongahela Area Neighborhood Watch meeting, informing council that the mission of the Monongahela Area Neighborhood Watch is to work in proactive partnerships with the citizens, the local police, and governing jurisdictions to address the issues of crime, fear of crime, and neighborhood disorder to achieve the goal of unity and maintaining the safety of our neighborhood while retaining the quality of life for all residents. Chief Tempest confirmed that curfew for minors in the city is 10 PM, and I brought up a program sponsored by West Penn Power to upgrade the city’s street lights to LED bulbs, making them brighter and saving the city 40-60% on it’s electric bill at no cost to taxpayers. New Eagle recently enrolled in this program, and Tempest added that Monessen has enrolled as well. I also thanked and commended Officer Bill Fusco for his utilization of The Original New Eagle and Mon City Scoop page to help a lost dog find it’s way home a few weeks ago. I encouraged the Monongahela Police to create their own social media presence, offering to create a page and help them start to operate it as a volunteer, mentioning that Carroll Twp Police Chief Paul Brand was very receptive to the same offer. Councilman Caudill thanked me and gave me an attaboy. I also thanked the city’s code enforcement for their help with the fire damaged property at 1135 Lawton St, as code enforcement officer Les Pemberton informed us that an offer was on the table for the properties at 1135 and 1137, awaiting approval.
Tim Hruby expressed concern about an aggressive dog that has been coming onto his property, endangering his family, pets, and has chased the mailman, as well as barking excessively. Chief Tempest advised him to call 911 and report the incidents so that they are documented. If the situation is not rectified after 2 documented incidents, animal control will be notified.
Main Street Manager Terry Necciai commended the city’s teamwork, as 45 people were in attendance at the last Historical Society meeting, where he discussed the main street program. He informed us that the Calliopica calendar contained 70 city events for the month of February, which is many more than expected. The calendar and newsletter always contains some great articles, events and information. It was ironic that this month’s featured article discussed the history of plate glass, containing a photo of a plate glass storefront that is planned to be, well, history. The calendar and newsletter is available for sale at Sparkles by Shell, Rabe’s Trading Post, and the Monongahela Area Historical Society, or you can email Terry at firstname.lastname@example.org
City Clerk Carole Foglia quickly read off the police report, with a total of 290 calls, 100 traffic stops, 6 DUI arrests, one drug overdose and zero arrests for possession with the intent to distribute.
Code enforcement issued a letter to the owners of a home damaged by fire at 633 Park Ave, stating that it must be removed within 30 days to avoid fines.
Resolution 1 of 2016, the matching of state funds to the Mid Mon Valley Transit Authority was approved unanimously and City Treasurer Greg Garry was appointed as the city’s delegate to the county’s tax committee.
Councilman Veliky added that the city is looking into the chicken ordinance. They have researched several other municipalities’ ordinances and have drafted one of their own, although 2 people must be appointed to the planning commission before moving forward with the ordinance. He informed the residents that he will be riding around the city with code enforcement to look at properties, targeting violations such as appliances sitting outside and junk vehicles. Violators will be given 30 days to clean up their properties before fines are issued.
Ken Kulak simple mentioned that the Street Department is gearing up for spring and due to a break on winter, there was no shortage of salt.
Daryl Miller reported progress in parks and properties, asking that the residents please call if they find any issues that need to be addressed. Caudill added that there is a commemoration planned in April for the achievements of the Monongahela Aquatorium.
Police Chief Brian Tempest gave council the contact information for the LED street light upgrade program that I had mentioned earlier, and informed us that a grant was approved for the Monongahela Police to set up a seat belt check. Kulak brought up that it is difficult to cross the street in the area of fifth and main due to the speed of passing motorists, discussing the options of enforcement and a crosswalk, otherwise asking that the residents please slow down.
In his fiscally conservative style, Council President Thomas Caudill nearly closed the meeting without voting to pay the city’s bills, although City Clerk Carole Foglia caught him and the motion passed with a good laugh from all before the meeting’s closed.