Mount Carmel Township to advertise quality of life ordinance
ATLAS - Mount Carmel Township is set to become the latest municipality to pass a "quality of life" ordinance to help combat blight and other violations.
At their meeting Wednesday, township supervisors voted unanimously to advertise the ordinance, which is similar to ones passed in Shamokin, Coal Township, Mount Carmel and Kulpmont.
The ordinance's purpose is to eliminate problems such as lack of maintenance of properties, littering, improperly storing trash and junk vehicles and other problems that contribute to the deterioration of property values and general disorder in the community.
"These problems degrade the physical appearance of the township, which reduces business and tax revenue and inhibits economic development," the ordinance reads. "Recognizing these are community problems, the purpose of this ordinance is to promote the health, safety and general welfare of the township by helping to create a clean environment for its citizens."
The ordinance gives the code enforcement officer, police officers and any other public employee designated by the supervisors the power to issue violation tickets. Fines will be $25 for the first violation, $50 for the second, $100 for the third and $150 for each violation thereafter within a 12-month period.
If the fine is not paid within 10 days, the ticket will turn into a citation and be sent to the magisterial district judge, who could set a fine of $500 to $1,000 if the violator is found guilty.
In addition, if the township or a third party solves the problem causing the violation, the judge can award restitution or put a municipal lien against the property.
"This is something that we have been working on for some time and I think it will be very good in our fight to clean up the township," board chairman Charles Gasperetti said. He and supervisors Joseph Zanella and Reynold Scicchitano voted yes for the advertisement.
In other business:
- The board voted to sell a 2000 Ford Explorer police vehicle for scrap at a price of $450. The vehicle was put out for bids, but none were received. The board also approved advertising for bids on a 51-feet by 135-feet lot at Center and Maple streets in Natalie. A reserve price must be met.
- Recommendations were approved from the township's planning commission to allow a transfer of 5.3 acres of land from the Reading Anthracite Coal Company to the Mount Carmel Cemetery Company, and for a new road alignment from Brinkash and Associates for a SEEDCO access road with an entrance point between Excelsior and the intersection at the former Boylan's service station.
- A motion was approved to accept an order from the Department of Community and Ecomonic Development to add a $4 fee to all building permits, which will be used for educational programs within DCED.
- The township will also look into getting a credit card for the municipal building to help register workers for training classes and approved the annexation of Rosenthal Street to Marion Heights Borough.
All motions were approved by a 3-0 vote.