Big Run council looks at Veterans’ Field, late taxes in the borough

BIG RUN — A newly-elected member of Big Run Borough Council walked through Veterans’ Park recently, and he didn’t like what he observed.

“I walked through the park, and it’s in bad shape,” said Stan Derise, chairman of the council’s Park Committee.

He said there was only one swing left on the sets, and the rest of the chains are wrapped around the cross bar at the top.

“It’s not viable to put swings out there anymore,” Derise said, adding that there’s an old park bench that should be removed.

He said council should purchase yellow corrugated PVC pipe to be placed over the top of the outfield fence on the ballfield. Council agreed for Derise to purchase the pipe for the fence.

Derise made a motion to hire Wood’s Landscaping to mow the ballfield at Veterans’ Park for $100 on an as-needed basis, an increase of $10 from last year’s rate.

He said the contractor will need to begin mowing early this year since the field should’ve been mowed last season one last time.

In other business:
• Tax Collector Laura Lantz said she sent letters to six businesses in the borough that have not paid their local services tax.

She said all six have until March 2 to pay their 2011 taxes.

• Providing several sample ordinances from other boroughs, council member John Niver said he wants council to consider passing a mandatory garbage collection ordinance to help eliminate burning barrels in the borough.

Council President Nick Lantz said he didn’t believe that mandatory garbage collection would eliminate residents from burning garbage in a barrel, and that 262 households in the borough have garbage pickup.

“I’ve seen people put bags of garbage out for pick-up and then go and burn more garbage in a burn barrel that same day,” he said.

Council agreed to continue discussions at next month’s meeting.

• Derise, who is also the chief of the Big Run Area Volunteer Fire Company, said it will no longer use Veterans’ Park for emergency medical helicopter landings in the borough, but that Doug Brocious will permit use of his property for a landing zone. That will be easier since the ballfield requires a key to open the gate for fire truck access.

• Council member Larry Lambert said the drains are fixed in the War Memorial kitchen, and that electrician Wayne McKee will install a receptacle for the garbage disposal to be installed in the kitchen sink.
Niver said the light at the top of the War Memorial in the rear needs to be replaced.

Derise said the fire department can bring a ladder over to investigate if it’s the bulb or the fixture that needs to be replaced.

• Niver said the roof on the refreshment stand at Veterans’ Park is in need of replacement. But council member John Smeal said the roof replacement was shot down last year.

Derise said if a roof is needed it should be a steel roof.

• Lantz said Niver should research costs for surveillance cameras at Veterans’ Park in order to stop the vandalism.

Also Monday, council:
• Approved donating $200 toward mowing the Veterans’ Park ballfield for the over-40 league to use the ball diamond Monday through Thursday from the end of June until September.

• Approved the use of the War Memorial by the Big Run Betas April 28 for their annual banquet and variety show.

• Approved the use of Veterans’ Park ballfield by Youth Baseball for practice. The borough donated $600 for the league to maintain Centennial Field where the teams play its games.

• Approved a motion to remove the basketball hoops and the chin-up bars in the War Memorial gym, since they are no longer used.

• Approved March 18 for the Peepers Banquet at the War Memorial.

• Approved April 14 for the Rob Charles wedding at the War Memorial.

• Approved April 24 primary election agreement for use of War Memorial.

• Approved June 16 for Danielle Chenoga to rent the War Memorial.

• Approved Michelle Smeal to research history of Big Run during the borough’s regular business hours.

The next council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, March 19, at the War Memorial.