Big Run residents: We want police speed patrols

BIG RUN — Last Monday, Big Run Borough Council members said residents are again wanting them to hire a part-time police officer to patrol borough streets.

Council president Nick Lantz said one of the reasons residents have approached him is the constant speeding along Route 119 and on borough streets.

Mayor Joe Buterbaugh said there has been discussion with municipalities such as Falls Creek and Sykesville about sharing a part-time officer with Big Run.

"I think it would make a big difference if the borough hired a part-time officer to patrol several days per week during staggered times," Lantz said, adding that if the borough couldn't afford its own officer, it could share one with another municipality.

Buterbaugh said he would contact officials from other boroughs on their thoughts on sharing an officer.

At one time, Big Run did have a part-time officer, but the costs became too high due to wages, insurance and the upkeep of a borough-owned police vehicle.

In other business:
• Council member John Smeal asked if council was still interested on purchasing security cameras to be strategically placed throughout Veterans' Park to guard against vandalism.

Smeal said the estimates for a basic motion detector camera are between $100 to $150, which could be powered by rechargeable batteries or solar power, which would be an additional $80.

Lantz said council would continue to discuss the issue.

• Smeal said the new doors for the borough's dump truck have arrived at a cost of $200 each.

At the May 16 meeting, council authorized up to $500 for the purchase and installation of new doors on the truck by Big Run Auto Body.

The installation of doors and painting was likely to cost more than the $100 that was left from the purchase, Smeal said, adding that the California-style mirrors currently on the old doors must be removed and then installed on the new ones.

Council member Denise Elliott said perhaps painting is not necessary, but John Niver said if the borough is putting that much money into the truck, it should be fixed right, and the doors should be painted.

Council approved a motion to authorize an additional $300 to complete the truck repairs.

• Smeal said a council member had observed people using Veterans' Park after dark, which is not permitted.

Lantz said that no one is permitted to utilize the park from dusk to dawn.

Elliott said she would paint the new boards on the repaired picnic table so they aren't ruined by the weather.

Smeal reminded those who use the park that parking is not permitted in front of the gate, so as to not block emergency vehicles if access to the field is required.

• Niver said there are numerous people violating the law by blowing grass clippings onto Route 119.

It only takes five minutes to sweep it up, Niver said.

Lantz said anyone who observes someone blowing grass into the street and not cleaning it up should call Punxsutawney-based Pennsylvania State Police at 938-0510. The offending party will be cited.

• Niver said there's a storm drain located next to Best Mortorcycle that has plugged up again and will require cleaning.

Lantz said Niver should contact Punxsutawney's Public Works for a quote using its sewer vactor truck to perform the task.

It has been four years since it was last cleaned, and the charge then was $125 per hour, Niver said.

• Lantz said the sidewalk replacement safety project will be completed this week, with the contractor Link Enterprises performing reclamation and clean-up of the areas where the new sidewalks were constructed.

The next Big Run Council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 19 at the War Memorial.