Council will examine Chamber request

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Punxsutawney Borough Council approved a request at Monday’s meeting to return the Punxsutawney Area Chamber of Commerce’s call to not allow storefronts in town to be rented for living space.

The members of the Planning Commission acted upon a request at a recent meeting from the Chamber that storefronts in town should not be rented for living space, said Susan Glessner, council president.

“A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon the fact that first-floor apartments are permitted in the storefronts in the commercial center in Punxsy,” Marlene Lellock, Chamber executive director said at the Planning Commission meeting.

Lellock said that it must have been an oversight, wasn’t in the original ordinance and was something can came about when the ordinances were changed a few years ago.

Solicitor Jay Lundy said the Chamber and PRIDE’s request to eliminate the first-floor apartments is not as easy as first thought.

“The town center district is much larger than we first thought,” Lundy said, adding that the Chamber would have to present a clarification and many more details regarding the boundaries.

Lundy said the Chamber and PRIDE thought there were boundaries in the business district.

“The town center reaches into numerous residential neighborhoods from the downtown district on Mahoning Street,” he said.

Glessner said Lundy will need to take these developments back to the Planning Commission for its input before council can vote on it.

Also at this week’s meeting, council:

• Approved a request to extend the hours for Mistletoe Madness to be held prior to the annual Home for the Holidays parade, which is at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26 downtown.

Roger Steele, a member of council, PRIDE and the Chamber board, said it is looking for South Findley to be closed for set-up at 9 a.m. that Saturday, with Mistletoe Madness to run from 10 a.m. right up until the time of the parade at 6 p.m.

• Approved the bylaws of the Punxsutawney Fire Department.

• Authorized Borough Manager Ben White to approve fire department fund-raisers.

• Approved the removal of Dylan Aul, Tony Ross and Joseph Gianvito from the active list of the Lindsey Fire Company.

Gianvito had 32 years of active service with the fire company.

• Approved the addition of Keith Allen Jache to the active roll list of the Elk Run Volunteer Fire Company.

In other business:

• The Punxsutawney Memorial Library Board sent a thank-you to council for new signage that was installed throughout the Civic Center, giving directions to the library’s location.

• White said that there’s still some work to be completed at the Pine, North Findley and Torrence Street intersections. PennDOT still plans to remove a left-hand turning lane northbound on North Findley Street, he said.

White said as of now, the plans are to eradicate that lane and make it a single lane.

Steele said it will cause a back-up and should remain the same to allow vehicles to pass others attempting a left turn onto Pine Street.

Council took no further action on the matter.

• Police Chief Tom Fedigan said dispatcher Jan Scott completed her probation period Oct. 25.

Steele said Scott is a professional asset to Fedigan’s staff.

Council member Larry Chenoga said in the future, he would like to see all department heads a month in advance of the end of an employee’s probationary period, which would give council the chance to review the employee’s performance.