Susquehanna focusing on codes

BY STACI WILSON

Letters to rental property owners have taken longer than anticipated to get out, Councilman Roy Williams said at the Wednesday, Feb. 12, Susquehanna Borough meeting.

Williams, who also handles codes enforcement for the borough, said they have been sorting through last year’s information on inspections and refunds, along with the documentation on properties that had paid for inspections that had not been conducted.

Susquehanna has a renters’ ordinance which provides for property inspections.

With little on the monthly agenda, Williams took the opportunity to address some of the ongoing codes matters in Susquehanna.

He said the borough does not allow for unregistered cars to be parked on a property. Major vehicle repairs, he said, are required by borough ordinance to be done in an enclosed area – such as a garage.

Williams also said that owners of rental properties must have off-street parking made available to tenants.

“There are remedies to situations,” Williams said, adding those with questions should speak with him or call the borough office for information.

“It sounds harsh, but these are the ordinances we have and we must enforce them,” Williams said. “But we will work to find solutions.”

He also reminded borough residents that sidewalks are required to be cleared 24 hours after a storm ceases or citations could be issued.

With local natural gas distribution progressing in the county, Susquehanna’s council members said they would like to set up a meeting with Leatherstocking Gas Company in order to determine the company’s timeline for when they would bring service into the Susquehanna area.

“I would like to see natural gas provided as an option to our residents,” Council President Roberta Reddon said.

Councilman John Hendrickson said the Department of Public Works crew had cleared the major streets in the borough leading to the hospital within 30 minutes during one recent, heavy snowstorm.

It was reported that the crew was working hard to keep up with the storms while trying to keep their hours in check.

Hendrickson also reported on the Alert Susquehanna Borough emergency message system.

He said local officials in the borough could create emergency notification messages which would go out by email or text message to residents that sign up to receive the alerts.

“It’s a quick way to let the community know what’s going on,” Hendrickson said.

The borough would incur no cost for the system, which is available in eight Pennsylvania counties.

Council voted to move forward with establishing the Alert Susquehanna Borough and appointed Hendrickson and Police Chief Bob Sweet to oversee the notification system.

Sweet was also re-appointed to serve on the Susquehanna County Communications Advisory Committee, with Hendrickson as the borough’s alternate delegate.

Before the bridge project is completed this summer, the construction contractor has agreed to help the borough with a project in the Drinker Creek area – located near the construction zone.

Reddon said volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints may also help with the clean-up and improvements of the creek area.

Along with the expected completion of the construction, Williams said efforts are being made by the owners to coordinate the paving of the parking lot at the Dollar General with the end of the road work.

Mayor Nancy Hurley reported that the borough police responded to 44 incidents in January.

She also said that allowing the police to write reports online has already saved the borough $350.

Police are also reminding drivers that vehicles are not permitted to turn left when coming off Erie Ave. This is expected to change when the construction project ends, but until then, the no left turn rule remains in effect.

Residents are also requesting an “electronics pick-up day.” Council will consider the clean-up day request but no date for it was set.

Susquehanna Borough Council meets the second Wednesday of each month, at 7 p.m., in the borough building.