Whitehall Council Argues Over Street Islands
A heated debate on Wednesday night regarding Whitehill Circle. Also, several other discussions over environmental issues.
As the Whitehall police headquarters gears up to go green with a new, environmentally friendly roof, residents of Whitehill Circle plead for the Whitehall Borough Council to return to green by restoring an island in the middle of their cul-de-sac.
A Circular Discussion
Whitehill Circle residents Regina and Anthony Frankenfield and Lucy Buzzeo made impassioned speeches to the Whitehall Council on Wednesday to restore the Whitehill island and to put back up a red dogwood tree that was the showpiece of their neighborhood.
Councilman Philip Lahr was the first to apologize to the residents; though, Lahr believed that the residents were duly notified about the change in the way that their cul-de-sac would look.
The residents, however, claimed that they were given only one day's notice.
"We were able to rescue the dogwood tree and got it to a neighbor who volunteered to take it," Anthony Frankenfield said.
In her speech, Regina Frankenfield referenced Joni Mitchell's song "Big Yellow Taxi," citing the lyrics, "They paved paradise/And put up a parking lot."
Councilman Glenn Nagy reminded Lahr and the rest of his fellow council members that they had agreed on a policy to remove all of Whitehall Borough's street islands since they were inconvenient to garbage trucks and snow removal vehicles.
Mayor James F. Nowalk disagreed with that decision, though, vehemently
opposing the removal of the islands and getting into a heated discussion with Councilman Harold Berkoben about the matter on Wednesday night.
Councilwoman Kathleen N. DePuy motioned to find a way to restore the Whitehill Circle island and/or to resize it to accommodate large work vehicles.
Borough solicitor Irving Firman raised legal issues, though, and Nagy held fast to his stance, saying, "If you bring back this one, what's to stop bringing back the others? We made a policy to remove them because Public Works found them to be inconvenient."
Ultimately, DePuy's motion was struck down by a 4-2 vote with only she and Lahr voting in favor of restoring the Whitehill island. (Councilwoman Linda J. Book was absent.)
The council did approve a "Green Roof" project for its police headquarters on Wednesday.
The environmentally friendly initiative will install rows of sedum, or fleshy-leaved plants, on the roof of the police station. The rows will be installed after the roof is reinforced through means made possible by money from a grant for the project.
Apparently, there is too much green on Orchard Hill Drive.
Resident Ron Shell has asked the Whitehall Council to instruct borough workers to cut the grass of a property there that has been foreclosed on. The council members agreed to take a look at the property.
One of Shell's neighbors had been cutting the property's front yard because it was an eyesore, but council members urged Shell to tell his neighbor to stop so as not to disrupt legal proceedings regarding the property.
Commercial District Approved; New Name for Junkyard Spot
The Whitehall Council officially approved the rezoning of multiple properties found near the Weyman Road-Provost Road intersection. Notably, an old junkyard property there now falls under the same commercial districting regulations as its neighbors.
Businessman Tom Kesten is renovating that junkyard space for use as a high-end storage facility. He plans to name it Storage-Tek, pending legal rights to that moniker.
In Memory Of ...
The council adjourned its meeting by honoring Mt. Lebanon attorney Keith Mulvihill, 55, who died recently from cancer.
The council also dedicated the evening to the fallen soldiers of D-Day.
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