Pig owner objects to ordinance
COAL TOWNSHIP - Sally Allen told township commissioners in no uncertain terms Thursday night that she is not giving up her pig without a fight.
Allen was among the residents who came to Thursday night's meeting to complain about an ordinance passed last month that prohibits people from keeping farm or wild animals within township limits.
"It's a shame. I've had my pig for eight years," she said. "She's not an animal, she's
Allen said when the issue was first brought up last May, she was there to protest it and no action was taken, but upon arriving home following a three-week vacation to visit family in California, she found a letter stating she had 90 days to get rid of her animal.
"It doesn't seem fair to me," she said.
Township solicitor Vincent Rovito informed Allen that after receiving complaints from residents living near chicken owners who do not clean up their properties, the commissioners had to act.
"We advertised the ordinance twice in the paper and voted on it at the March meeting," he said. "It's unfortunate we had to do it, but the complaints outweighed the support."
When told she had two options, either get rid of the pig or take the citation to court, Allen said she will see the commissioners in court.
Another resident, Dan Karpinsky, who owns chickens, asked if there would be any leniency for those without neighbors.
"We have to enforce the law uniformly," said commissioner Chairman Craig Fetterman.
"I'm disabled and trying to make a better living for myself by selling the eggs, and that's being taken away from me," Karpinsky said. "A dog or cat lives on a farm, so they could be considered a farm animal, but you are not making people get rid of them."
Owners have until approximately June 7 to get rid of the animals.
"Looks like we might have a chicken roast for Memorial Day," Karpinsky said, "or sell some chicken noodle soup."
In other business, the board announced that yard waste pickup by township employees is temporarily suspended to allow them to catch up with the number of pickups needed. Waste can still be dropped off at the township's recycling center.
The board unanimously approved the low interest loan guarantee for the Shamokin-Coal Township Joint Sewer Authority project, and to approve a resolution to allow Northwestern Human Services to go through with a 2002 bond refinancing. A public meeting on the issue was held at the start of the meeting, pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
Another public hearing was held on the township's 2012 Community Development Block Grant program. The township, which expects to receive $127,727, plans to use the funds as follows:
- $83,809 for street improvements - $53,809 earmarked for Feeney and Hakes streets in Springfield and $30,000 for Jackson Street from Park Avenue to Clinton Avenue.
- $35,918 to demolish vacant and dilapidated buildings.
- $8,000 set aside for administration for the ongoing management and oversight of the program, public information and planning.
Commissioners accepted the resignation of Dr. Edward Twiggar from the police civil service commission, approved a request for the sale of a vacant lot on North Hess Street for $500 to Elsie and David Grosz, adopted internal policies for Coal Township and the fire department, and promoted Roger Dobson from a part-time to full-time laborer at a rate of $13.55 an hour for a 90-day probationary period. After completion of the probation period, Dobson's hourly rate will increase by $1 for the remainder of the year.