Wednesday, February 20, 2019


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Red Hill Council Explores Options for Overdue Sidewalk Maintenance
Written by Candace Perry, Correspondent

            Sidewalk maintenance is one of the grim realities of property ownership in the boroughs. Red Hill is seeking remedies in the cases of owners who balk at repairs, sometimes over the course of several years.

            Borough solicitor Marjorie Brown provided the Red Hill Borough Council with options for fixing sidewalks, when the owners can't or won't, at their Wednesday, June 13 meeting.

            One option is for the borough to do the work and then recover the costs with a ten percent surcharge and attorney's fees.  Unfortunately there are now several delinquent properties in the borough, which would mean more municipal funds would have to be expended.

            The borough could refuse to do the work, then sue the owner, or file a municipal claim against the property.  "It basically becomes a municipal lien," Brown said.

            The lien would have to be satisfied when the owner sold or refinanced the property. To aid property owners in paying for repairs, the borough could provide structured payment plans.

            Solicitor Brown also conducted public hearings for ordinances on amended occupancy permits and parking regulations and the fine structure for parking citations. Both ordinances were approved by the council.

            Council president Doris Decker noted, "Our objective is not to fine people; our objective is to get them to stop parking on the sidewalk."

            The council also discussed the proposed ordinance on dumpsters used for property clean-outs and remodeling. They voted to approve advertisement pending review of the ordinance by the borough Planning Commission.

            Mayor Dave Schiffgens reported that he had observed a sick, and probably rabid, raccoon stumbling around the intersection of 3rd Street and Wellington Way on the morning of June 4. The mayor immediately called the state police as children would be setting off for school. He and former mayor Vic Attardo kept watch until the state police arrived and permission was given to put down the animal.

            Mayor Schiffgens said that the raccoon had been following him, making it appear friendly, but parents should be warned to tell their children not to approach these animals.





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