2009-02-12 / Local & State

Trash Dominates Boro Council Meeting

Grants Third Street variance request
By Jean Snyder STAFF WRITER

McConnellsburg Borough Council members talked trash on Wednesday evening as they approved two bulky item cleanup days for 2009 and pondered a possible tire disposal day on a date to be determined after more information is collected.

Trash and how to get rid of it dominated council's agenda at its regular monthly meeting, and members unanimously agreed to join with Todd and Ayr townships to sponsor bulky item days on April 24, 2009, and September 19, 2009. The bulky item collection costs the borough approximately $2,000-$3,000 for each collection day.

Council also discussed possibly joining with other townships to sponsor a tire disposal day. In previous years, tire disposal days were financed largely through a state grant, according to borough secretary Jack Fields, those funds will not be available this year. Council discussed how it might join with other townships to share the cost to sponsor the disposal date in 2009. Council said the program is necessary to avoid tires being illegally dumped and/or creating breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Fields said the borough paid approximately $175 last year for the tire disposal but that figure was in addition to the grant that was received.

According to Fields, it would cost about $80 per ton to dispose of the tires at a recycling facility. Council discussed charging residents $2 per tire to offset the cost of approximately $2.30-$2.70 per tire for collection, hauling and payment to the recycling center. Council voted unanimously to contact Ayr Township to gauge its interest in partnering on the program. No date or location was discussed pending further discussion. Only car and light truck tires would be accepted.

Old business

Council met again with North Third Street property owner Steven Johnson regarding a variance request. Johnson, who purchased the Naomi Reeder residence, asked council last month to approve a setback variance on the property, saying he planned to build a model home on the property's adjacent vacant lot. On Wednesday evening, he presented a formal plan and asked for a variance of 11 feet on the back of the property. The borough's zoning ordinance calls for a 40-foot setback on the back of the property, and Johnson told council that the variance would allow him to keep the front setback of the proposed model home consistent with the adjoining property. He plans to build a 900-square-foot model home on the lot and explained that it will be an engineered energy efficient home that will come in panels and will serve to illustrate the type of home he will then be building for potential customers in the area.

Johnson also asked for permission to plant trees and shrubs in the unimproved alley on the property. Council granted the variance on a Jim Smith/Travis Bard motion and also gave Johnson permission to plant trees and shrubs on the alley with the understanding that the borough will still have access to the alley if necessary.

Also during old business, council discussed its second round of curb-cuts in the borough as well as possible future sidewalk work using Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. Council received $88,535 in block grant funds for the curb-cut project and about one-half has been used. The second round will begin in the spring, according to Frazier.

New business

Frazier also reported that she has received enough income questionnaire returns to determine that certain areas of the borough meet the low- to middle income (LMI) requirement to apply for CDBG funds for sidewalks and curbing.

Frazier said she received 115 responses from a mailing to 143 families. The questionnaires returned represents 243 people and 126 of those meet the LMI requirement. Frazier said the return will help to put the borough on a three-year plan for the sidewalk and curbing work. Frazier issued a public thank-you to those who returned questionnaires.

Also during new business, council, at the suggestion of its engineer, agreed to make a list of needed infrastructure projects in the event that stimulus project funds should become available in Pennsylvania. Council agreed its priorities would be the replacement of three borough bridges, sidewalks and curbing, and storm drains.

Council approved an amendment to its intergovernmental agreement with the Parks & Recreation Commission to add a 10th entity to the commission. In the new agreement, Taylor Township joined Ayr, Todd, Taylor, Licking Creek, Thompson, Dublin, the borough of Mc- Connellsburg and Central Fulton, Southern Fulton and Forbes Road school districts. The participating municipalities agree to pay at least 25 cents per capita to help provide recreation opportunities for their citizens while the school districts agree to share their facilities for recreational purposes.

Council also voted during its meeting to put spouting on its maintenance building at a cost of $300.

Council reviewed the borough tax delinquency and exoneration lists. Members approved the exoneration list and voted to forward the delinquency list for collection. Regular business

During regular business, council approved payment of January bills in the amount of $86,957, which included $51,026 to the police pension fund. Receipts for the same period were $127,340 (including transfer from a money market account and a certificate of deposit). Checks were written for $71,153, leaving a February 1 balance of $94,369.

Council members present were Rick Buterbaugh, Travis Bard, Pat Frazier, Lee Rager, Jim Smith, Mack Shaffer and Mayor Jim Stenger.

Council meets the first Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the Fulton House. The next regular meeting is scheduled for March 4, 2009.

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