Big Run not pursuing mandatory garbage pickup

BIG RUN — The members of Big Run Borough Council agreed at Monday's meeting not to pursue mandatory garbage pickup for borough residents.

"We have an ordinance in place; it's not necessary to pass another one for mandatory pickup," said John Niver, Big Run Council member.

Nick Lantz, council president, said most people in Big Run have garbage pickup.

Niver said it was not his intention to have burn barrels banned in the borough through an ordinance for mandatory garbage pickup.

"My hope was, if people are hauling their garbage to the curb because they are paying for it, they'd be less likely to burn so much, especially illegal items," Niver said, adding that nothing was ever said about banning burn barrels in Big Run.

Niver said it's up to the members of council if they want to pursue mandatory garbage pickup.

Lantz said he was against having an ordinance that mandates curbside garbage pickup.

Stan Derise, council member, said he agreed that it wasn't worth pursuing, and questioned how council would enforce such an ordinance.

"If burning does get totally out of hand and there are issues, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) will be called," Lantz said. "If people burn items in their burn barrels that create a foul odor and smoke, EPA will be called. I called them before, and I'll call them again."

Council agreed to not pursue mandatory garbage pick up.

In other business:
• Niver asked council if it would be interested in passing an ordinance regarding jake (engine) brakes on large trucks, due to the amount of noise they make when in use.

John Smeal, council member, said the only issue regarding engine brakes is that they are a safety device on those trucks.

"Now you're going to get into DOT (Department of Transportation)
regulations, because DOT requires those jake brakes to be operational," Smeal said, adding that drivers utilize the brakes whenever they have to back off of the throttle.

Derise said he has seen the signs posted in various communities that he travels to while driving a coal truck, not just Punxsutawney.

"If we post a sign prohibiting its use in the borough, that would be great, (but) how do you enforce it?" Derise said.

Niver said enforcement would be up to the state police.

Derise said he's all for restricting the use of engine brakes in the borough.

"It's a safety issue either way. If the truck drivers were following the speed limit, they wouldn't need to use them," he said.

Council members agreed to have Niver look into the possibility of an anti-engine brake sign or ordinance for the April 16 council meeting.

• Smeal asked for the water to be turned on at Veterans' Park in time for the BETA’s Easter egg hunt to be held April 1 at the park.

Derise said he would get in touch with the water company in order to have it running in time for the Easter egg hunt.

• Smeal said he didn't believe that the new railing for the back steps to the War Memorial building was high enough, and he thinks it needs to be higher.

“I thought the railing was going to be six foot high and have fencing, so kids won't be swinging on it,” Smeal said.

The other members of council did not believe fencing was necessary.
Niver said with council's permission, he would paint the rest of the railings at the War Memorial bright blue for better visibility.

• Smeal said he would talk to Marlin Rearick, borough maintenance man, about hydraulic fluid that was leaking out of the rear of the borough's dump truck.

Smeal said Rearick would remove the spreader from the back of the truck as soon as it appears there wouldn't be any more snow to plow.

• Smeal said council needs to replace the emergency lights and exit signs in the War Memorial for the safety of the public.

"I've obtained prices for the lights and signs over a year ago," Smeal said.

Lantz said for Smeal to obtain three quotes on prices for the lights and to check with electrician Wayne McKee about installing the new lights and for prices.

• Derise said he has three different people stopping by to look at the roof that is in need of replacement on the pavilion at Veterans' Park.
He said the old, galvanized roofing must be removed from the building before new roofing could be applied.

Derise said he removed two truckloads of junk and an old bench from the park recently.

He said there's an old tree with a large crack in it that needs to be removed from the park.

Derise said he needs a new contract signed so Wood's Landscaping can begin to mow the ball field at the park.

At the Feb. 20 meeting, council approved a new contract with Woods to mow the grass at the park for $100 on an as-needed basis, an increase of $10 from last year's rate.

Derise said Linda Miller from the Big Run Methodist Church said it wants to form a committee to become involved with community service and to help take care of the park.

• Larry Lambert, council member, said the food grinder was installed in the War Memorial kitchen.

Lambert said that Smeal was going to remove the basketball hoops in the War Memorial within the next few weeks.

Also Monday council:

• Approved a motion to purchase three cigarette butt receivers, to be placed outside of the War Memorial whenever there's a public event held at the facility.

• Approved a motion to purchase 250 feet of corrugated yellow pipe to place on the fence at the ball field at a cost of $118 at H&H Supply.
• Approved a motion to permit Niver to spend money to hire help for removing the grates on the storm drains so they be cleaned out.

• Approved a motion to spend $500 to purchase 25 new reflective stop signs through the Council of Governments (COG), which is purchasing 1,000 stop signs in bulk.

All stop signs must be reflective to abide by the new regulations that will be going into effect in the future.

Niver said the borough has been paying $55 per sign, and the COG is selling them for $23.99 per sign.

• Approved a motion for Niver to replace a storm drain on Route 119 with a new box drain at a cost not to exceed $3,000.

Lantz said the work can be done due to the savings of $1,250 in wages and $1,000 in materials for winter maintenance.

• Approved a motion to lower the rental fee for the War Memorial for the Siple Foundation to the lower non-profit fee of $100.

• Approved a motion to rescind Ordinance No. 144 to deactivate the borough police department.

• Approved a motion to have Lantz or Lambert check the War Memorial before and after activities to see if it's secure so the building cleaner will not have to do it, which will save the borough $1,800 per year.

The next Big Run Council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. April 16 at the War Memorial.