Resident questions Mount Carmel Twp. supervisors
ATLAS - Should a township have to follow its own rules, when it comes to the ordinances it passes?
That was the question that resident Rich Mychak asked the Mount Carmel Township Board of Supervisors at their meeting Wednesday, a continuation of a discussion held at last month's meeting.
Mychak spoke about the high grass and weeds at properties the township recently acquired in the 100 block of West Girard Street. Some of the properties were burned in a fire, and the Northumberland County Housing Authority is looking to put up subsidized elderly housing in the area, but some of the properties have high grass and weeds.
Directing his question to solicitor Vincent Rovito, Mychak asked, "Don't you feel that the township should set a precedent for its residents, that if they have high grass, weeds or dilapidated buildings on township property, it should be taken care of?"
Rovito answered that the resident was talking about two different issues - the moral responsibility the township has, and the legal responsibility.
"As far as the legality is concerned, we have immunity. We can't be arrested for not following our ordinances," Rovito said. "Morally, I agree with you."
Mychak then directed the same question to the board of supervisors, mentioning a property across the street from where his mother lives.
"That is already in the works," code enforcement officer Don Geary said. "We have grant money that has been approved and the Northumberland County Housing Authority has the deeds. They have three years to do something with the property, and they have a plan in motion."
Mychak also questioned the supervisors about an antique buyer going through the burned out homes now owned by the township to pick out furniture and other items.
Supervisor Joseph Zanella reported it was suggested to do that in order to recoup some of the costs of demolition and said that the township has already received a check for $725 and is in line for another $300. They plan to do the same for the copper and metal in the homes.
To help with the process, the board approved a motion to exonerate a tax lien on 125 W. Girard St. Northumberland County has already done so, but the supervisors are waiting for the Mount Carmel Area School District's decision before deeding the property over to the county housing authority.
Zanella surprised the other two supervisors, Charles Gasperetti and Reynold Scicchitano, early in the meeting, by offering his resignation as the board's secretary/treasurer, saying it was a position he didn't want anymore.
A 10-minute executive session was held and the topic was brought up again, but no motion was made to accept the resignation.
Supervisors announced later in the meeting that they would be reinstating the monthly workshop meetings, to be held the second Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m. in the township building.
In other business:
- The board approved two ordinances, one for imposing sewer rentals or charges for the use of the sewer system in the township, the other to create a code enforcement officer. Gasperetti said nothing is changing in either ordinance, but they are being revised to make them up to date.
Permission was given to the Mount Carmel Volunteer Emergency Services Association and the Mount Carmel Fireworks Committee to use Mid-Valley Mountain on Ed Helfrick's property to set off fireworks. The fireworks committee will have its display at 10 p.m. July 5, while the MCVESA display will be on July 26.
- Supervisors will pay Atlas Fire Company $4,250, the remaining balance on a lot purchased for the township's new police station. Zanella reported that it will be several months before the station will be in operation as they get the former modular classroom ready.
- A moment of silence was observed at the start of the meeting for former Mount Carmel Township supervisor Robert Fanella Sr., who passed away Monday.
In announcements made at the meeting, the board congratulated the Mount Carmel Area Odyssey of the Mind team for their accomplishments at the World Finals in Iowa, reminded residents that blue garbage bags are for sale at the township building at a cost of $13 for five bags and that pick up for those bags will be on Wednesday morning, so residents should have the bags out by 8 a.m.
Township offices will be closed on Friday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day.