South New Castle residents question talk of merger

This sign on the Bryson Mill Road hill lets drivers know they have left Shenango Township and entered South New Castle Borough. The two municipalities are exploring the possibility of merging.

South New Castle Borough residents soon will have an easier way to get information about their community.

The borough is in the process of creating its own website, treasurer Al Burick III announced at Thursday’s council meeting, and it is expected to be up and running by early next month.

The site will be hosted on a server used by the Shenango Area Fire District.

“It’s not quite ready yet,” Burick said, “but hopefully, by our next meeting, we’ll be live with a website that will have all the ordinances, all the resolutions, forms for people to fill out. This will make things a lot easier.”

Also Thursday:

•Solicitor Lou Perrotta told council that RAR Engineering had checked out a dilapidated 1911 Prospect St. home, paving the way for the borough to take remedial action. An inspection was required before the borough could take any enforcement measures outlined in its damaged building ordinance. The property owner will be notified and the property posted, and if the owner does not take steps to remedy the situation within a prescribed amount of time, the borough may then do so, up to and including condemnation. Council voted to initiate enforcement proceedings.

•Council agreed to look into actions it can take against residents who are long-delinquent on their sewer and garbage collection bills. Some have been turned over to a district judge, councilwoman Shirley Nocera said, but remain unsettled. “The borough can’t keep paying for all these people year after year, and it’s the same ones,” she said. “They just don’t pay. It’s time that we start doing something. It’s not fair that everybody else pays, then our tax money has to pay for these ones.” The borough will investigate if and when it can commence water shutoffs, and Perrotta suggested that it also consider placing liens on the properties of noncompliant residents to ensure eventual payment.

•Council voted to advertise for bids for garbage collection. The borough’s current contract with Waste Management is up for renewal, and that company is one of four that have expressed interest in bidding for the borough’s business. The others, Burick said, are Republic Services, Aiken Refuse and Tri-County Industries. He added that the borough also needs to review its list of homes served, as some vacant properties are having garbage placed in front of them, and there are duplexes that are being charged at single-family rates. 

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Dan Irwin is currently a reporter and page designer. He was most recently the editor. He started with The News in 1978 and spent 10 years as a sports writer. He's a '78 Slippery Rock University graduate with a B.A. in English.

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