Curwensville Boro extends workweek for code officer|
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
By Dianne Byers Staff Writer
CURWENSVILLE - Because summer is project season, Curwensville Borough Council added more time to the workweek for the borough's code enforcement officer.
With a 5-1 vote, council, last night, granted an additional eight hours per week for Ron Kuhn, code enforcement officer, increasing the amount of hours he works each week from 16 to 24.
Following discussion, where Don O'Dell, council member, reported he is weary of council taking action then revising or rescinding its decisions the following month. He said if council finds it did not make the correct choice the first time, then changes should be made the following year when council prepares the draft budget.
"I am tired of changing things month to month. I think we need to stick with what we've set and reconsider (if we need to make changes) next year."
Mary Ellen Read, council member, said she did not believe council should be imposing a set number of hours for Kuhn to do his job, adding the hours he works would balance out as the year went on, noting as there are not as many projects for him to oversee during the winter months.
"We are making a farce of this. I think we should just allow him to do his job in whatever amount of hours it takes. Some weeks it may take more than 16 hours per week," she said.
There was discussion on where funds would come from to pay for the additional hours. Don Hoover, council president, said funds were built into the police department's yearly spending plan to hire a third part-time office beginning in January. Since that was not done the extra money remains unused.
"Since we didn't use it, what's wrong with giving him another eight hours per week?" he said.
During Kuhn's report, he noted he is working on finding owners of abandoned properties in the borough and is having a problem with residents mowing their grass into the streets.
Kuhn said the borough's nuisance ordinance prohibits placing grass clippings into highways within the borough. Violators can be fined $50 to $300, imprisoned for up to 90 days or both fined and imprisoned.
Kuhn also provided council members with two sample ordinances used in other municipalities that require landlords to leave emergency contact telephone numbers and other information with the borough in the event of problems with the rental unit. Council may further discuss the ordinances at its August meeting.
In other business, council:
• accepted a resignation from R. Stuart "Butch" Auber, as a part-time police officer for the borough. Auber has accepted another job, according to council.
• heard Holly Komonczi, mayor, during her report, commend the borough's police officers for their recent arrest of an armed burglar who allegedly held up a convenience store in the borough. Komonczi said the officers used a new investigative tool in their search. "They are keeping the public safe and they are doing their job," she told council.
• appointed Joe Wills and Martha Tozer to the borough's planning commission and rescinded action taken at the June meeting to reduce the size of the commission from five members to three.
• authorized seeking telephone quotes to remove four aging trees and a number of dead limbs at Irvin Park. Council would like the limbs removed prior to the Curwensville Days' car show on July 21.
• approved a request from the street department to purchase 620-feet of pipe at $4,220 and four catch basins at $4,940 to draw surface water runoff from George Street Extension. Mike Komonczi, council member, said the section of the road is treacherous for drivers during cold weather months when water ponds and freezes on the surface.
• heard O'Dell state he would contact Walsh Equipment, Clearfield, about a request from the street department to purchase replacement parts at a cost of $1,232.64 for the borough's one-year-old Tiger mower. O'Dell said he believed the mower's parts should last longer than one season.
• held a 27-minute executive session for personnel matters but made no decisions after returning to session.
• after discussion about whether it could be advertised for sale or repaired as new information presented last night showed it may not be as expensive to fix as previously stated, members approved following through with the original plan to sell the Ford Explorer used by the police department for scrap. Hoover said, given the vehicle's condition, he would feel more comfortable if it would not be driven again.
Council's police committee will meet tonight at 6 p.m. and may further explore the issue of whether to purchase a new or used vehicle for the department.
• approved purchasing a paper-shredding machine for the police department from Way Office Plus, DuBois at a cost of $260.
• approved additional hours for the borough's police officers not to exceed a total of 20 hours during the week of Curwensville Days, Sunday through July 21.
• heard Read state the borough's development committee will soon be sending out a questionnaire to local businesses asking for input on issues.
Council's next meeting is Aug. 13 at 7 p.m. at the Curwensville Borough municipal building.