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M AI NLI NE newspapers

Neighbors upset with township’s lack of action on complaints

Vol. 113 No. 32

USPS 439-000

By Ron Portash

of Mainline Newspapers

Several residents of the Mangus Court section of Portage Township attended the meeting of the township supervisors on Aug. 2 to address the supervisors about the inaction on prior complaints. The neighborhood residents have frequently complained to the supervisors about a house on First Street. According to Mary Kay and Larry Summerville, who acted as spokespersons for the neighbors, the township code enforcement officer has been to the property repeatedly and nothing has changed. The Summervilles stated that the resident of First Street has three vehicles — one in the driveway and two along the street that are not inspected or registered —

Portage, Pa.

that are in violation of the township’s motor vehicle nuisance ordinance that permits only one non-inspected and/or non-registered vehicle on a property. The Summervilles said that the two vehicles on the street constitute a nuisance as being a safety issue restricting traffic on the street. In addition, the residents neighboring that home presented photographs of numerous trash bags around the exterior of the house. Chairman Bill Cooper stated that he and code enforcement officer Dave Nolan were at the property several times. Nolan had issued citations for the property’s condition, all of which were paid at the magisterial district judge’s office. According to Cooper, residents SEE COMPLAINTS, PAGE 6A

Thursday, August 10, 2017

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New borough building

Ehrenfeld Borough dedicated its new municipal building on Aug. 3. Taking part in the ribbon cutting are lifelong resident Guy Galosi (left), councilman Anthony Plummer, mayor Ray Plummer, county commissioner B.J. Smith, councilman Elio Lucci, councilman Ken Fetsko Jr., and borough secretary Judy Resick. Photo by Ron Portash.

Front curb seating

Sam Oklamchak (left), Madison Heidler, and Kayley Sossong have a great spot to watch the Cambria County and Vicinity Firemen’s Convention parade on Aug. 5. Photo by Ron Portash.

Summerhill Twp. roads dominate meeting

By Ron Portash

of Mainline Newspapers

The Summerhill Township meeting on Monday, Aug. 2, began with the opening of bids to pave a portion of Pump Station Road and a small section of Lecks Road. The request for bid proposals was published in two parts, Pump Station and Lecks as separate operations. Three companies bid on Pump Station Road, while only one of those companies put in a bid for the Lecks Road paving. At $56,640, New Enterprise

Stone and Lime Co. was the lowest bid for the approximate 3,000 feet of paving work for Pump Station Road beginning at the Portage Township line. Other bids received were from Quaker Sales at $58,764 and HRI, Inc. at $57,348. New Enterprise submitted the only bid for the Lecks Road paving work. The bid came in at $13,229.70. Both of New Enterprise’s bids were accepted pending review by the township solicitor and engineer. Chairman Ray Haberkorn stated that the township had to decide on either $40,000 to tar and chip Pump Station Road, which would last a couple of years at best, or spend $56,000 to pave the road, which should last at least a decade. SEE ROADS, PAGE 11A

Second Chance 5K

Ashley Penatzer (left), Derek Partsch, Carli Zanghi, and Cara Ferrante run the Second Chance 5K to benefit organ donation awareness on Aug. 5. Photo by Ron Portash.

Ruling places former church properties back in taxation

By Ron Portash

of Mainline Newspapers

At the Aug. 7 meeting of the Portage Borough council, the tax assessment appeal of former church properties was at the top of the agenda. The Cambria County Board of Assessment Appeals issued a ruling on Aug. 1 that the Sacred Heart Church, school, garage, vacant lot, and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary parking lot should be placed back on the tax rolls for the 2018 year. The ruling is a result of a July 20 hearing in front of the board of assessment appeals during

which the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown did not contest Portage Borough’s contention that the properties are not currently being used for religious purposes. The five properties were formerly tax exempt under the tax code because of the religious purposes of the properties. The diocese has 30 days to file an appeal to the Court of Common Pleas. In addition, the diocese has the right to appeal the market value of the buildings on which the taxable amount is based. It is unlikely the diocese will do so since the buildings are up for sale,

according to Portage Borough solicitor Michael Emerick. During the July hearing, Altoona-Johnstown diocese chief financial officer, Matthew Stever testified that there is a purchase agreement on the Sacred Heart Church building. The Polish National Catholic Church, Holy Cross Parish in Johnstown is looking to purchase the church building. According to the diocese, the process to release a property from the Catholic church is long, with multiple layers to negotiate. In other matters, the borough SEE TAXATION, PAGE 3A

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