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Sligo Mayor Volunteers to Serve as Code Enforcement Officer Amid Budget Concerns

Tuesday, April 16, 2019 @ 12:04 AM

Posted by Ron Wilshire

sligo mayor new memberSLIGO, Pa. (EYT) – With Sligo Borough’s elimination of contracted police coverage for 10 hours per week by the New Bethlehem Police Department for budget reasons, Sligo Borough Council continues to look at methods of code enforcement.

(PHOTO: Sligo Mayor Jeremy Shumaker swore in Kerry Graham as a new member of Sligo Borough Council.)

Pennsylvania State Police have increased its activity in Sligo Borough but are not permitted to enforce local ordinances, only state laws.

“I’ll tell you what, I’d even do it for free just because I’m tired of dealing with it,” said Sligo Mayor Jeremy Shumaker at Council’s April meeting. 

“I’m serious because it’s only going to take a few phone calls or going to talk with people.  If it’s not corrected, then it’s out of my hands, and it goes to the magistrate for prosecution.”

Council reviewed another alternative at its February meeting.

State Constable Kyle Klein outlined the types of activity he could provide. When asked about the cost of such service, Klein said it would be at a rate at a minimum rate of $15.00 an hour. Klein was elected constable for Sligo Borough and took the required training to become a state constable and is one of three constables in Clarion County.

Borough Secretary Janie Croyle reported she talked with Tom Watcher at Knox Law (backup solicitor) regarding constables encode enforcement officers. Watcher indicated some borough ordinances maybe needed some amendments to specify who Council appoints as enforcement officers.

“According to Knox Law, anybody can be appointed a code enforcement officer,” said Croyle. “I mentioned to him that we were thinking about a constable, and he said you could do that, but why would you want to pay someone $15.00 an hour when you could pay them $10.00 an hour if you’re not going to be needing it all of the time?”

After additional discussion, the Council approved an ordinance that would allow the appointment of a code enforcement officer for all ordinances. Mayor Shumaker was expected to be appointed in May until the end of the year after the ordinance is approved.

One council member noted the borough may be just kicking the problem down the road.

“In all seriousness, I would do it until the end of the year to see what all it entails and what it is like,” said Shumaker. “It’s not in our budget to pay someone.”

New member appointed

Kerry Graham was selected to fill the unexpired term of George Weaver on Sligo Borough Council at Council’s April meeting.  Graham will serve until the end of December and anticipates a write-in campaign to be placed on the ballot for a full term.

Former council member Don Lawrence also volunteered for the post but was earlier selected for the Sligo Borough Authority.

Shumaker swore in Graham to office.

Grant rejected two times

Council voted by resolution to resubmit for the third time a multi-modal transportation fund grant for the replacement of the Sligo footbridge to Sligo Elementary and the COG Pool. The total cost was $143,000.00 and Sligo requested $100,100.00, with the local share at $42,900.

“I didn’t expect to get selected on the first round, but to see it also rejected for the second phase is painful,” said Councilmember Wayne Meier. “This is something we need for safety.”

A letter to both State Representative Donna Oberlander and State Senator Scot Hutchinson was authorized to remind them “we still live down here.” The Borough also agreed to make an appointment to visit with Oberlander.

In other business:

  • A letter was sent to Comcast expressing the Council’s disappointment with a new franchise agreement that did not include free Internet. Sligo Rec Center is a designated emergency operation center and emergency shelter. A Comcast representative called Croyle and said, unfortunately, it doesn’t matter about the status of the Rec Center. If council would not sign the agreement, the agreement would continue to operate under the existing franchise agreement. However, Comcast still plans to take the Internet service to the borough back at some point. Council can wait until at least July, putting it off as long as it can.
  • “The Rec Center has been busy in terms of basketball and those sorts of things,” said Chuck Marsh. The COG Pool is advertising for lifeguards; we have enough, but you always need a couple of extras for fill-ins, and if you have a big event you need more. The Presbyterian Church has scheduled an Easter Egg Hunt, and that’s the Saturday before Easter at 11:00 a.m.
  • “We’re also going to be putting some new electrical lines and water lines at the COG Pool Park.  The Presbyterian Church is also funding some of the installations.  We are also going to straighten one of the pavilions. Anyone is welcome to help us out.”
    • PennDOT will hold a community outreach presentation on May 8 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the Clarion County Maintenance offices. They will discuss improvements being designed for the current transportation improvement plan, projects under construction in 2019 and maintenance activities accomplished in 2018.
    • Shale will be applied by Eric Cicciarelli on Front Street Extension to take care of the mud problem and prepare the lower end of the road for proposed pavement.
    • The Sligo Borough Authority did not meet due to a lack of quorum.

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