RIVERSIDE — Borough council members heard complaints about a traffic signal, drainage and grass clippings causing a safety hazard on streets.
Ken Kremser, who owns The English Garden with his wife, asked council members Monday night if the traffic light at Route 54 could be changed so drivers can't turn right as often. He said it is difficult to pull from their parking lot into traffic and it would be helpful if the light could be programmed with that change from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Council Vice President Peter Fleming said he thought the way the light worked was "rather confusing."
Police Chief Kerry Parkes said a sign could be posted for "no turn on red" for certain times of the day, which would have to be approved by PennDOT.
Todd Oberdorf discussed drainage problems along Avenue G and provided photos to council members. He said he understood the road will be paved and drainage issues should be taken care of before that. Stones washing down cause hazards to bicyclists and motorcyclists, he said.
He said Ninth Street, between Avenues H and G, hasn't been touched in the 36 years he has lived there except for some patching.
He also provided photos of grass blown onto streets that cause hazards to drivers. "It's getting worse," he said. Fleming said clippings can build up along the edges of streets and block water along streets.
Council member Beth Rake suggested the borough send fliers to residents about this since some people may not realize the hazard they are causing.
Oberdorf said he brought up the subject two years ago to the council and it could be covered by an ordinance. Solicitor Joseph Michetti said the issue is enforceability and street department superintendent Dan Gable said the brush hog the borough uses blows grass onto streets.
Councilman John Domanski suggested they check other municipal ordinances.
Parkes said a quality of life ticketing system, similar to what Danville borough uses, could be implemented. He showed courtesy notices that are left on doors and if people don't comply, citations are eventually written. Michetti asked him to provide information on the types of incidents he would want to be ticketed.
The council also voted to move a surplus of $500,000 from its general fund to Service 1st Federal Credit Union's money market account.
Borough secretary Debbie Bausch said a new platinum money market will allow the borough to withdraw up to six times in one month from the account. Fleming said he agreed with the transfer as long as the money was readily accessible. Council member Barb Kriner said the money could be used if there is an issue in the borough.
The council approved a raise for zoning officer Brian Anderson — the first in nine years — effective in 2020. His salary comes from fees he collects for permits and he has no employee benefits. His monthly salary will increase from $450 to $540 for sewer and zoning administration. His zoning salary will go from $25 to $45 and from $50 to $70 for those found in violation of the zoning ordinance. Commercial property fees will increase from $35 to $50 per hour. He said there were only eight hours charged for commercial properties in 2018.