Honors were given out at the Tarentum Borough Council meeting last night.
Tim Cornuet, Tarentum's Emergency Management Coordinator, was present to give awards for heroism to Ryan Hanford and Robert Lang, who had risked their lives to rescue residents of Rachel Carson Hall in a fire on April 30, 2006. Without the protective gear used by firefighters these police officers made repeated trips into thick smoke on the sixth, seventh and eighth floors of the building to rescue residents.
They were given framed certificates that commended their actions, and lapel pins that they are to wear on their uniforms. There was applause through the room when the awards were given.
The Council honored Mayor James E. Wolfe by passing a resolution to name the new skatepark after him. The vote was taken in a spirit of love and humor. Councilman Joe Davidek said, "I'm glad we named the park after him because he was dead set against it."
From comments in the meeting it appears that the mayor is at least suspending judgment on whether the skateboard park will turn out to be the grave disaster he had opposed so strongly.
Councilwoman Sopcak informed the Council that some local skaters had told her they were disappointed that they were not included in the process of naming the skatepark.
There was applause through the room when the Council voted to give Mayor Wolfe's name to the skatepark.
In other business that evening the Council appointed Eric Carter, the Mayor's grandson and an active member of the Recreation Board, to fill the vacant Second Ward seat. The vote was a 3-3 tie, which the Mayor broke by casting the deciding vote. After the election Mr. Carter was duly sworn in.
Fred Killingsworth gave a presentation to the Council from TekCollect, a collection service that was proposing to work with the borough's tax office.
The Council passed a motion to make Borough employees and elected officials respnsible for any charges incurred by the borough for missed conferences, meetings, etc.
The Council approved a pole attachment agreement with Nick Chevrolet for a data line to connect buildings on opposite ends of West Seventh Ave.
The Council voted to send a letter to Allegheny County 911 to ask for acceptance into the County 911 Center. Tarentum's dispatch is losing the participation of the other nearby municipalities, so Tarentum's dispatch center will close. Residents should observe no change in how their calls for emergency assistance are handled, whether they call 911 or the old number for Tarentum Dispatch.
A motion to permit Police Chief Vakulick to be absent from Council meetings failed after extensive debate.
The Council appointed Tom Benecki as its agent between Tarentum Borough and the Department of Community & Economic Development. The Council also passed a resolution regarding Slums and Blight.
The Council approved Ordinance 06-07 concerning standards for conversion of single family to two family dwellings.
The traffic island at W. Sixth and Grantham Street will be removed at no cost to the borough.
The Council approved the Gatto Block Party on July 14-15, 2007.
There were citizen comments at the conclusion of the meeting. One citizen was concerned about the removal of a number of trees in Tarentum, particularly along 6th Avenue. Borough manager William Rossey explained that a thin and easily-removed piece of concrete was poured over the holes for safety while the Borough researches what type of tree would be best for those locations.
The Holiday Parade is going to include the Shriners with their little cars.