Hop Bottom deals with problem residents

BY PAT FARNELLI

Hop Bottom Borough council discussed at its June 7 meeting several residents who have not worked or played well with others.

One household frequently featured on the agenda as the “Durbin/Miles property” has a new attention-getting scheme.

According to the mayor, at least one young adult has taken up a new sport of pelting passersby with golf balls, which have been lobbed at cars, pedestrians, and the center of town.

Mayor Paul Henry said he had picked up at least 30 golf balls on Main Street, on Route 11, in the “island,” and along Martens Creek. “A week ago Friday, I got a call that they were sitting on the porch throwing golf balls in the rain,” he said.

The same fellow has recently had police respond to the home for shooting what was probably an air rifle, and the gun was confiscated.

Hop Bottom’s firearms ordinance does cover air rifle and pellet guns, council members noted.

A vehicle which is allegedly driven recklessly through the borough streets, tearing up blacktop and burning rubber, has been still lately, because it ran out of gas.

“He pushed it to the gas pump, but it wasn’t open, so then he pushed it back home,” a council member said. Although some cleaning up had occurred on the property, a large pile up trash is now being accumulated there for a birthday bonfire.

Recently, there was some kind of explosion, “the loudest explosion to date, of all their explosions,” filling the center of town with smoke, so that the blinking light was rendered invisible for a few minutes, council members said.

The court hearing for another resident whose property is allegedly surrounded with trash and infested with large rats has been continued to July 22.

The property was supposed to be surveyed because of a boundary dispute, but has not, a neighbor said.

“Same rats, same garbage,” the neighbor reported.

Hop Bottom does have a garbage/rodent ordinance as well.

Marion O’Malley is the attorney of record for the borough in the legal action against resident Hal Akoa.

Hop Bottom’s borough park is in need of mulch, and although the council preferred shredded, recycled rubber, the cost was too high for this summer’s budget. They will look for a source of wood mulch for this year, and secretary treasurer Deb Norton will order mulch from
the least expensive retailer.

Fencing will be replaced on one side of the park, and a gate will be installed. The basketball court needs work as well.

A letter will be sent to discontinue trash removal services for the borough, as there is little refuse generated, and not enough to warrant paying $100 a month. Board president John Koshinski said he would take care of collecting and disposing of the borough trash himself.

Martens Creek is due for a cleanup and stream bank restoration, and this should begin shortly. Some large trucks need to be removed from the immediate area in order for the stream cleanup to proceed.

The council members are hoping that a gas company planning to install a water line will provoke the property owners to remove the junk vehicles so that their work can commence.

Mason Webster was hired to clean out catch basins and drains. Rocky Estabrook will do heavy equipment work when he is in town.

The police report included one suspended license citation, one disorderly conduct citation, two arrest warrants received, a stolen Smith Bower revolver, a missing person, and a theft.

The council is considering leasing the borough property for gas well purposes, as landmen are beginning to come around.

Hop Bottom Borough Council meets on the first Tuesday of the month at the borough building on Forest Street at 7 p.m.