Borough Council Welcomes New Restaurant
McConnellsburg Borough Council members welcomed the opening of a new restaurant, reviewed requests for grant support letters and conducted other routine business at their regular meeting last Wednesday evening.
The council members met with Jim Bailey, a Mercersburg businessman who currently owns the Star Theater and Jimmie's Towne Square Pizza in Mercersburg. Bailey said that due to parking problems in the square in Mercersburg, he has decided to move his pizza/sub business to Mc- Connellsburg. The business will be located in the former Rainbow's End restaurant and will also offer Mexican food, according to Bailey.
He said he plans to open by April 1 of this year and he will also offer home delivery. The hours will be 11-9, Monday- Thursday; 11-10 on Fridays and Saturdays; and 11:30-8:30 on Sundays.
During other business, Councilwoman Pat Frazier reported that the borough's request for Community Development Block Grant funding in the amount of $215,000 in 2009 was turned down by the county commissioners and the Planning Commission. The borough had submitted the request in order to build new, safer sidewalks in the borough of McConnellsburg. Frazier had spearheaded a borough resident survey in order to see if to receive the grant and found that the borough did qualify. She expressed her disappointment and frustration with the denial of funds, but she was encouraged by council members to continue to apply for grant funds to complete the project. Frazier said that the letter informing her of the denial gave no reasons for it.
Council also reviewed a letter from the county commissioners asking for letters of support for three projects they have submitted to U.S. Congressman Bill Shuster asking for federal appropriations for the project. The three projects for which they are seeking support include: 1) Energy efficiency and accessibility: funds for a geothermal system at the county courthouse as well as renovation of doors and windows and replacement of sidewalks; 2) Funding for Mc- Connellsburg Municipal Sewerage Authority's replacement of the Mt. View sewer line, which is broken. The line runs from Reservoir Lane down through the fairgrounds; and 3) Funding for broadband Internet lines at the county complex.
Although council voted unanimously to provide letters of support for the first two requests, council members also unanimously voted "no" to the broadband Internet request, saying they did not have enough information as why that would be needed. No project amounts were included with the request for letters of support.
Also during other business, when asked, council members said they have made no decisions yet on how to enforce parking meter and borough ordinance violations. Although the state police have taken over traffic and criminal enforcements in the borough, they are not permitted by law to enforce meters and ordinances. According to council members, they have had a number of offers to do the job, but have not yet taken any action. Borough secretary Jack Fields reported that money collected from meters in November (while there was borough police coverage) totaled $335 while money collected in January (after the police contract ended) totaled $304. Council members praised citizens for continuing to stay within the law by paying the parking meters.
During old business, council members adopted two resolutions ratifying a decision they made in January to request match funding to develop a joint model subdivision and land development ordinance and to update their zoning ordinance.
Under the terms of the resolution, council members will ask the county Planning Commission to submit applications for matching state grants for the projects, and the borough will provide $2,000 for the joint subdivision and land ordinance and $5,000 for the zoning ordinance update.
The council will join Brush Creek, Licking Creek, Taylor and Union townships in the subdivision and land ordinance development, while the zoning ordinance will be limited to only the borough.
Also during old business, the council convened a public hearing on an ordinance to update the police pension fund so that it reflects the arbitration award for the two officers whose contract expired December 31, 2008. There was no public comment for or against the ordinance and it was approved by the council.
During new business, council members agreed to participate with Todd and Ayr townships in the tire recycling program to be held on May 9, 2009. Car and light truck tires from Ayr and the borough may be taken to the Ayr Township building, while tires from Todd will be collected at the Todd Township building and then they will be taken to the Ayr Township building for recycling.
Jack Fields announced that proceeds from the former borough police officers' life insurance policies included $4,818.30 for Chief Long and $3,606.24 for Sgt. Thomas. According to Fields, the funds were deposited in the police pension fund as agreed to in the binding arbitration award.
Fields also reported that Outdoor Contractors will be retained for street cleaning during the last week of April.
Also, during new business, council received a letter from Ayr Township approving the borough's request to extend the sidewalk on the east of South Second Street to the Giant foodstore.
Council also authorized its solicitor, Carlton Walker Esq., to contact a firearms dealer to determine a monetary estimate for the weapons used by the borough police department so they may be sold. The weapons include; two side arms (.357 magnums), one 12-gauge shotgun and an AR15 semiautomatic rifle. Walker was also asked to inquire as to whether or not the AR15 could, in fact, be sold. Council also agreed to offer to sell the handguns to the former police officers if they wish to buy them.
Councilwoman Frazier also expressed concern over the fact that the Fulton County Library will be charged $15,000 by the Water Authority to be connected to the new line once construction is completed. Frazier said the authority would not waive the fee for the library. It was pointed out that although council does appoint members to the authority, council has no input into fees and rates or the governing of the authority.
During regular business, council approved payment of February bills in the amount of $10,768.07. Receipts for the same period were $19,695.35 and the March 1 balance was $34,443.85.
The next council meeting is scheduled for April 1, 2009.