High Grass, Shaky Buildings, Other Eyesores Irking Whitehall
The borough council also discussed on Wednesday night upcoming library renovations as well as Community Day success.
High Grass, Shaky Buildings, Other Eyesores
At a Whitehall Borough Council meeting on Wednesday night, Councilman Philip Lahr talked about foreclosures in Whitehall and the eyesores that they can become.
"Some of these properties have been vacant for four years," Lahr said. "The grass is high, and I know of one property where a structure is starting to collapse."
Borough solicitor Irving Firman told Lahr that Whitehall administration is trying to take legal action on some of those foreclosed properties and issue municipal liens and tax collecting.
"In some cases," Firman said, "there are absentee landlords or there is some difficulty tracking down the particular bank or LLC (limited liability company) that owns the properties."
Councilman Harold Berkoben added, "When the banks own the property, you have to deal with the legal departments of Wells Fargo, Bank of America, etc.," implying that dealing with banks' legal departments can often be a labyrinthine task.
Lahr will prepare a list of foreclosed properties for his fellow council members to review at a future borough meeting.
Also on the topic of eyesores, Whitehall resident Mike Romano, who lives in the Steeplechase townhouses community, used public comments time on Wednesday to voice his displeasure over the presence of an abandoned construction trailer at Steeplechase.
The trailer is surrounded by tall grass, Romano said, and the property surrounding it is not maintained. Romano is also hoping to have a broken soda pop machine hauled away from Steeplechase.
"When one of my neighbors doesn't mow their grass," Romano said, "the borough takes action. Shouldn't (larger property owners) be held accountable, too?"
Borough Manager James E. Leventry agreed to look into addressing Romano's concerns.
Library Renovations/Hours of Operation Adjustments
Read about those renovations here.
The library will maintain delivery service for all requested material during the renovations, and all evening and borough community room programs will go on as scheduled.
All morning and afternoon in-house programs, however, are canceled, and the library has adjusted its hours of operations during a two-week period as follows:
|Monday-Sunday, Sept. 10-16|
|Monday-Thursday, Sept. 10-13||3-9 p.m.|
|Friday, Sept. 14||CLOSED|
|Saturday, Sept. 15*||9 a.m.-5 p.m.*|
|Sunday, Sept. 16*||Noon-4 p.m.*|
|Monday-Sunday, Sept. 17-23|
|Monday-Thursday, Sept. 17-20||3-9 p.m.|
|Friday, Sept. 21||3-5 p.m.|
|Saturday, Sept. 22*||9 a.m.-5 p.m.*|
|Sunday, Sept. 23*||Noon-4 p.m.*
* = normal library hours
For additional information, call the library office at 412-882-6622 or email the library here.
Community Day Praise
Borough Mayor James F. Nowalk praised Recreation Director Kelly Joyce and her staff and volunteers for the success of Whitehall Community Day 2012. The event drew a positive reaction as to the quality of its entertainers and other attractions.
There was one complaint, though: Many vendors sold out of their food earlier than expected.
Several awards were handed out to distinguished borough residents on Community Day, including Citizen of the Year Jason Coll; Community Service Award winners Leo G. Daly, Andrew Sakmar and John B. Schmotzer; and Good Neighbor Award winners Michael Abbiatici, Ed Dean, Emilio Del Bianco, James Hawkings and James Lydon.
Councilwoman Linda J. Book was out of town and missed Wednesday's meeting.
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