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M AI NLI NE newspapers

Portage Borough discusses sewer ordinance enforcement issues Vol. 114 No. 2

USPS 439-000

By Ron Portash

of Mainline Newspapers

The Portage Borough council meeting on Jan. 2 began with an inquiry as to why the Cambria County Recorder of Deeds does not enforce the borough’s sewer ordinance concerning deed transfers. The borough ordinance requires a pressure test of the sewer lateral on any property sold or transferred. When recorded at the Recorder of Deeds office in the courthouse, the deed should be accompanied by a certificate of testing. According to borough manager Bob Koban, a number of deeds have been recorded but no pressure tests had been done on the properties. The discussion focused on 828

Portage, Pa.

North Railroad Ave., the former Starlight Hotel. The property was purchased through a tax sale. No pressure test was performed on the sewer line as required by the ordinance. There is no running water to the property currently, but the sewer line is open because the sewer lateral that serves the former hotel building also is connected to a residential building beside the hotel building. Until the sewer lateral is separated, no action can be taken to cap the sewer line. The council discussed its options with enforcement. According to borough solicitor Michael Emerick, when the borough set up the sewer authority, the council granted the sewer authority the power to enforce sewer ordinances. The council

Thursday, January 11, 2018

instructed Emerick to contact sewer authority solicitor Dennis McGlynn about the enforcement issue with which it is concerned. Mayor James Kissell stated he was concerned about the authority “setting a precedent on selective prosecution.” The borough engineer, Gary Wisor of Stiffler, McGraw and Associates, indicated the grant application submitted under the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s multimodal program for sidewalk improvements on Main Street from Johnson Avenue to Mountain Avenue on the odd side of the street was not approved. The borough will resubmit the application again when the funding period opens. SEE ORDINANCE, PAGE 3A

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Honoring law enforcement

Forest Hills Elementary School held a Law Enforcement Appreciation Day to honor the officers, troopers, and deputies who live or work in the school district. Nearly 50 members of law enforcement attended the ceremony on Jan. 9, including South Fork police officer Rusty Wills, who is pictured with students Colin Wills (left) and MacKenzie Johns. See story on page 4A. Photo by Ron Portash.

Portage denies lien relief By Ron Portash

of Mainline Newspapers

Summerhill Borough officials

The Summerhill Borough council held its reorganization meeting on Jan. 2. The officials include (front row, from left) vice president Becky Templeton, electric secretary and tax collector Karmen Baumgardner, secretary/treasurer Laura L. Penatzer, councilwoman Joni Trovato, councilwoman Terri Washko; (back row, left) electrician Robert McCormick, street commissioner Thomas Susko, councilman Brad Bodenschatz, councilman Russell Jones, president Daryl Bodenschatz, and mayor Eric Miller. Submitted photo.

The Portage Borough council discussed the matter of the lien on Paul Kulick’s property on Johnson Avenue at the Jan. 2 meeting. The residential structure on the property was destroyed by fire on Dec. 9, 2017, and it was after this that Kulick discovered the property had unpaid municipal liens from the sewer authority and the borough for assessments of projects com-

pleted in the 1970s. At the December 2017 borough and sewer authority meetings, Kulick asked for partial relief from the liens placed on the property when his father owned it. Kulick inherited the property in 2008 when his father passed away. The property was transferred into Kulick’s name without a title search. During the December meeting, the sewer authority approved a partial relief for

SEE LIEN, PAGE 4A

Adams Township board reorganizes Dennis Richards named chairman

After the swearing in of the supervisors and the secretaries by Magisterial District Judge Rick Varner, the Adams Township Board of Supervisors began its 2018 reorganization meeting on Jan. 2. Supervisor Dennis Richards was appointed as chairman of the board. Supervisor J. Brian Schrader will be the board’s vice chairman. Diana Baxter was reappointed as the secretary/treasurer for the board. Jennifer Zakraysek was named as assistant secretary/treasurer at 80 percent of the current secretary rate. William

Barbin was also retained as the township’s solicitor. The employment of Schrader, Dennis Gdula, and Dan Senft as working supervisors on the road department was affirmed, and Richards was retained as a per diem road department employee on an as-needed basis. Gdula was also appointed as roadmaster. Also reappointed as a Level 1 equipment/road department employee was Sam Birch. Justin McKnight and Travis Ladika were reappointed as Level 2 and Level 3 employees of the road department, respectively. Supervisor Mark Bucci was appointed as police commissioner, and Kirk Moss will remain as police chief. The township police force will consist of full-time officers John Heming, Lee Hill and Jared Shope, and part-time officers Rick Keller, John McKnight,

Scott Croylem and Dwight Keim. Rob Ellenberger was appointed as the full-time school resource officer for the Forest Hills School District and Adams Township. Fred Brown will stay on as the surveyor for the township and The EADS Group will remain as the township engineer. US Cleaning Service was also retained as the janitor for the municipal building and the district court building for 2018. Gdula was named a representative on the Cambria County Sewage Agency and Dirt and Gravel Low Volume Road Program boards, with Senft an alternate the sewage board and Schrader an alternate for the dirt and gravel program board. Bucci was named the representative for the Cambria County Building Codes Agency (meetings held the third Wednesday of every month SEE ADAMS, PAGE 4A

Proud day

Summerhill Township police chief Paul Bonfanti is as proud of his granddaughter Ashley as she is of him at the Law Enforcement Appreciation Day held on Jan. 9 at Forest Hills Elementary School. Photo by Ron Portash.

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