Last night the Tarentum Borough Council held a two hour meeting. The fact that committees had not met during the summer may have contributed to the need for more discussion of the few items of business coming to the meeting. A major part of the meeting was spent dealing with citizen concerns.
There were concerns about the closure of Wood Street between First Avenue and the river. The concerns had to do with prolonged lack of access to the river for kayakers, lack of handicapped access to a residence, and lack of emergency access. It was reported that the public road was blocked in order for the developer of apartments to do demolition and construction. Council members questioned whether it was necessary for the street still to be closed. A local kayaker explained that for many years Wood Street had been a place kayakers had used for access to the river. The state boat launch was not an option because it required purchase of an annual permit even for a kayak. The borough is not considering any petition to transfer the section of street to the adjoining landowners.
Other residents had concerns about the conversion of a single family home on East Ninth Avenue to a two family home. According to Solicitor Strellec, this is a permitted use in that zone if certain criteria are met, and there is no need for a special action by Council to allow it. The change for that one home is expected to increase congestion on the street where there is already a inadequate parking space for the current residents. There was much discussion of the need to revise the whole zoning ordinance to ensure that it allows and encourages the kind of development the borough wants to see.
Council President Carl Magnetta reported that funding had been obtained to accomplish the dredging of Bull Creek.
There was a letter from a Springdale resident commending the Borough for the Summer Concert Series. It was reported that this was the first year in a long time that the concession stand had shown income at the end of the summer. The sale of food was intended to raise funds for recreation in the Borough.
There was some discussion of a letter from the Highlands School District asking whether the number of crossing guards could be cut. There was very strong feeling about the safety of children particularly around the Ross Street crossing. The Council voted to send a letter saying that Tarentum did not want to cut any crossing guards.
In other actions:
- Council accepted the resignation of Councilman Bill Rossey effective September 24 in order for him to begin his position as Borough Manager.
- Council approved an agreement with the Allegheny County Housing Authority for a $50,000 grant for imrpovements to be made in the Dreshar Stadium area in exchange for permitting some well drilling.
- Council appointed Jeff Adams as Chief Water Plant Coordinator
- Council approved a policy for the use of Taser guns by the police department.
- Council appointed three alternate members to the Zoning Hearing Board.