Bethlehem Press

Friday, July 28, 2017

Fountain Hill-Council responds to overgrowth

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 by Nate Jastrzemski njastrzemski@tnonline.com in Local News

Residents of Norway Place came to council seeking advice June 5 and council acted decisively.

Colleen Breslin, of the 600 block, said she and others have mounted numerous complaints against an immediate neighbor who has long refused to properly care for his yard. She says more than a years’ growth has swollen unkempt vegitation over and through fences, breaking them, and an army of ticks, mice and possums infests the property, making it impossible to enjoy their own.

“I feel like a hostage,” she said.

Borough Code Enforcement Officer Albert Rohrbach said at the time he’d delivered six citations to a local magistrate and visited the property twice. The owner allegedly refused to answer the door. Neighbors say they believe the property is often nearing foreclosure only to be paid up at the last moment.

Council members made suggestions on the spot and asked advice from their solicitor.

Executive Administrator Tony Branco said the owner had been given 72 hours to clean up the property, and as of June 8 the owner was still being cited every day.

Branco said at the end of 72 hours, public works employees would attend to the grass and shrubs.

Council later agreed to hire two seasonal cashiers for the pool, and Carolee Gifford thanked residents for coming out in the rain for her borough clean-up day over the weekend. It was the second time she’d organized the event, and she said they had 100 percent more volunteers.

Council President Larry Rapp joked, “That’s two!”

Gifford confirmed it was actually six, but she’s already planning another clean-up at 9 a.m. July 1 at borough hall. “There will be doughnuts,” she said.

The next meeting is scheduled for June 21 at 7 p.m. at borough hall.