Big Run fire chief asks residents to look out for suspicious behavior

BIG RUN — Following a string of suspicious and undetermined fires that have occurred in the Big Run area over the last several months, Big Run Area Fire Department Chief Todd Peace is asking residents to be on the lookout for any suspicious behavior.

Big Run Council President Nick Lantz said due to the suspicious fires, Peace is asking area residents to report any peculiar
activities that may be occurring —especially around some of the borough’s blighted properties.

The most recent fire was the Big Run Carpet fire last Sunday morning.
The Punxsutawney-based Pennsylvania State Police fire marshal recently said that he’s investigating the Big Run Carpet Fire as an arson.
No cause was determined in the Little Canada Fire that occurred earlier this year in Big Run.

In other business, council:
• Approved placing a sign that reads “Do Not Block” by the entrance to Mitchell Avenue.

Pam Rearick said there are vehicles that block the road all the time, and she was hoping that a sign could prevent that.

Lantz said he believes all the alleyways in the borough should be ordained, and that he will ask Solicitor Jay Lundy if Mitchell Avenue — which supposedly is not an ordained street — would be eligible for an adjacent street sign, and if it can be enforced by the code enforcement officer and state police.

Lantz said there are other streets in Big Run that are not listed on the state’s Liquid Fuels funding list that would become eligible if it was ordained by council.

• Approved William Parkhurst of Mahaffey as the new borough maintenance man. He succeeds Marlin Rearick.

Lantz thanked Rearick for his help in the interim after Harold Bruner became ill.

• Approved Ordinance No. 215 to abolish the elected auditors to be replaced by a CPA.

Lantz said the current elected auditors will serve out their terms or may resign ahead of time if they so desire.

• Approved a motion by John Niver, seconded by Rick Rinehart, to hire Mike Stello of Punxsutawney as the CPA to audit the borough’s books. Stello will perform his auditor duties to coincide with the days that Carmeta States, borough secretary, is in the office.

• Approved a motion to reimburse Harold Bruner, code enforcement officer, for his gas and mileage.

• Approved a motion to hire Doug Brocius to mow grass in the same areas as last year for $150.

• Approved H&S Paving for the one and only bid of $1,650 to pave the War Memorial parking lot.

• Approved a motion to purchase the least expensive street sign possible for Smyers Street at the intersection with Route 119.

• Approved a motion to grant several vacation days for States.

• Approved a motion for the Youth Baseball League to hold its picnic July 16 at Veterans’ Park.

• Approved a motion hold a graduation party Aug. 6 at the War Memorial.

• Approved a motion to hire Wood’s Landscaping to mow the ball field at Veterans’ Park for $90 per cut on an as-needed basis, replacing W.W. Lawn Service, whose contract will expire at the end of the m
onth. That company mows the field at a rate of $140 each time.

The next council meeting is at 7 p.m. Monday, July 18, at the War Memorial.