2012-05-10 / Front Page

Boro Council Conducts Short, Routine Meeting

Enforcement of land use permits discussed
By Jean Snyder

McConnellsburg Borough Council discussed how best to inform borough property owners of the need for land use permits, revisited the “haircut” given to the tree to the southeast of the Fulton House and heard an update from Councilwoman Pat Frazier on the PA Association of Boroughs’ annual convention held this month.

Council discussed the fact that there are still construction, renovation and demolition projects in the borough that have not been permitted. Borough secretary Jack Fields told council he has advertised this fact several times in the local newspaper. Council discussed various ways of advertising it further, including putting signs at the entrances to the borough, and more frequent advertising.

Council members felt that the cost of the signs and poles would be prohibitive and it was decided to run the advertisement in the newspaper two times per year.

In a related matter, council agreed to hold a workshop to discuss the new subdivision/land use ordinances prepared for them last year by the county’s planning office. The new ordinances have not been adopted and council will meet Wednesday evening, June 13, at 7:00 p.m. to discuss them.

Council reviewed a letter from local citizen Monica Schall regarding how the tree on the Fulton House property had been pruned earlier this spring. The tree is a European hornbeam, and a letter to the editor in “The Fulton County News” recently criticized how severely the tree had been pruned. Fields indicated then that he had pruned it with the help of the Probation Office’s community service workers.

Schall said that although she did not believe the tree could be cut level with the ground for safety reasons, she also said that to allow it to remain as it is “could serve as an example to everyone who thinks this is a good way to prune trees.” She went on to say that while the pruning was intended to cut back the tree, the way in which it was done will only make its further growth worse. “The tree’s appearance is ruined forever,” she went on to say and suggested cutting it to about 2-4 feet. Council rejected that idea, however, and said the tree would be removed when the sidewalks are redone. Council said the tree was never the right kind of tree to be planted there, and Fields said that he had pruned it because the people who planted it had indicated they would take care of it and they had not.

Councilwoman Pat Frazier updated the council on the annual Borough’s Association convention, which she attended from April 29-May 2 at Seven Springs. She said there were legislative updates, possible changes in the prevailing wage law, a session on how to deal with stray animals in the borough and lengthy discussion on Marcellus shale.

During other business, council authorized Fields to pay $537.37 from liquid fuel funds to Ayr Township for a supply of road salt.

Council approved a request from Todd Alexander to close a portion of East Market Street near his office in the square for his annual picnic on June 22.

The council also approved a project agreement for county CDBG funds to continue curb cuts for handicapped accessibility in the borough. The cuts will be done on Lincoln Way this year.

Regular business

During regular business, council approved the payment of April bills in the amount of $6,586.16. Receipts for the same period were $11,849.89. Checks were written for $11,362, leaving a May 1 balance of $22,323.47.

Council members present included: Travis Bard, David Washabaugh, Mack Shaffer, Jim Smith, Pat Booth, Rick Buterbaugh, Pat Frazier and Mayor Mike Chilcote.

Borough council meets the first Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the Fulton House in McConnellsburg. The next regular meeting is scheduled for June 6, 2012.

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