A Red Hill official didn’t mince words at a June 13 meeting, telling the public the borough won’t put up with property owners not taking care of their responsibilities – namely repairing or replacing the crumbling sidewalk in front of their homes.
Borough Engineer Ryan Kern said extension letters had been sent out to residents in the 200 and 300 blocks of Main Street regarding the repairs.
The letters provided residents who have not yet started work on their pavements with an extension when it was found that previous notices for repair led to some confusion and many questions from the affected property owners.
The letters contain more explicit instructions on what repairs are needed, including diagrams identifying the specific blocks of sidewalk needing repair.
No specific deadline was set for the work to be finished.
Kern also discussed the possibility of the borough obtaining a concrete contractor or contractors whose names could be provided to property owners who did not know where to obtain these services.
Council president Tom Paul noted, “There may be a lot of people out there who don’t know contractors.”
Kern stated that the contractors need to be insured. A list would be created of these contractors that could be supplied to the residents that include the names of contractors who meet the borough’s requirements.
Council moved to take bids from area contractors to hire a borough contractor. They said that individual will be called on if property owners don’t complete the required concrete repairs on time.
“This company will be doing the work if you choose not to,” stated Kern, “and we’ll put a lien on your property.”
The borough will also have provisions for do-it-yourselfers. The “jack-of-all-trades” who wants to do the work will need to show proof of his or her homeowners’ insurance plus name the borough as an other insured, just as contractors must on their insurance.
The do-it-yourselfers will be able to obtain requirements from the borough.
Robert Wood, a Main Street resident, asked about the lower income Main Street blocks that may be eligible for grants for sidewalk repair if funds are available. Paul responded that these blocks are limited to those designated with 1000 numbers.
Main Street resident Larry Morton, who had his sidewalk repaired as soon as he received a notice, voiced his dissatisfaction with the extensions that were available to others who did not do the repairs as he and other residents had.
Councilwoman Doris Decker also stated in her code enforcement committee report that the engineers would be doing sidewalk inspections, not Matt Walter, the code enforcement officer.
In general services news, committee chair Chuck McCleary asked the council to consider providing uniforms for the borough maintenance crew.
“Their presentation should be a little better than it is,” he said. McCleary had received a $1,300 quote for uniforms for annual service from a uniform company.
Not all the council agreed. Mayor Dave Schiffgens later argued that a clothing allowance should then also be provided to Borough Manager Darlene Stoudt.
A motion was made by McCleary to provide uniforms. A vote was taken of council members, with Paul Snyder, Woody Woodward, Faith Diascro and McCleary voting yes, and Mark Rober and Decker voting no. The motion carried.
Tom Paul asked McCleary to look for other quotes, staying within the $108 a month proposed budget.