KULPMONT — Borough Council addressed a number of hot-button public concerns during its monthly meeting Tuesday night at borough council hall.
A group of local residents showed up for the meeting to openly voice their concerns about dangerous and loud fireworks activity by several individuals over the Fouth of July weekend an increase in illegal drug activity in the community, and the deplorable and unsafe condition of several dilapidated and filthy properties, which are attracting a growing number of rodents.
The issue of loud and potentially dangerous fireworks activity was reported by several local residents. According to Mayor Nick Bozza, a large number of complaints were received of hot remnants of fireworks landing in backyards and on neighboring rooftops, while others were being set off in the middle of city streets near traffic. Councilman Robert Fanella stated that the new state law now permits the firing of class C heavier shells by local residents, with the only stipulation being that they must be kept a distance of 150 feet away from any residential structure, which Bozza said is clearly not being adhered to.
As for the drug problem, council president Walter Lutz stated that any suspicions or observations of illegal drug activity should be reported immediately by residents to the police.
Local resident Marysue Mirarck, of 1115 Poplar St., expressed her growing frustration with having to live next door to a dilapidated property at 1113 Poplar St, which she stated is currently boarded up. Code enforcement officer Russ Moroz said that the property in question has remained unoccupied for the past several years. He added that while the owner continues to receive and pay the citations issued for code violations, no apparent attempts to cleanup the property have been made as of yet.
Mirarck also told council members that her daughter’s dog was recently bitten by a large rat which came directly out of a property located near her daughter’s residence at 925 Scott St. The bite required special treatment by a veterinarian and Mirarck said that the bill should be paid by the owner of the property where the rat came from. It was disclosed that the same individual is the owner of both dilapidated properties in the borough.
A debate on how to best bait and trap a number of large rodents observed in the 1200 to 1400 blocks of Scott Street, was also discussed. Council stated that they plan on working together with the Kulpmont-Marion Heights Joint Municipal Authority and have already drafted an official letter concerning the need to address the growing problem.
Solicitor Edward Greco stated that a check was received from Northumberland County to the borough in the amount of $1,500 stemming from a 1970’s legal case settlement. He also added that a gas line now requires repair work directly behind Rhoades Florist in the 1400 block of Chestnut Street.
In other business, council voted unanimously to approve a raise of $2 per hour for code enforcement officer Moroz; approval was granted to consent to allow the county to sell a repository property located at 705 Walnut St.
It was announced that the Holy Angels Church picnic will be held during the first weekend in August and the previously rained out car cruise has been rescheduled for 2 p.m. this Saturday, July 14.