HOMER CITY BOROUGH: Resident takes issue with properties
September 04, 2013 10:50 AM

HOMER CITY — A Homer City resident’s concerns were heard Tuesday at the Homer City Borough Council meeting, where property appearance and ordinance issues were addressed.

Carol Kercel, of Beech Street, addressed her concerns regarding properties on South Main Street and Kunkle Avenue, which are both owned by the same person.

Her concerns included safety and appearance issues that she says affect her directly as a property owner next to one of these addresses.

Kercel, who rents the property, is concerned for the safety of her tenants, particularly two children that live in the rental.

“One (of the properties) is occupied and the other is the sore spot for me,” she said to the council. “In my opinion it should be demolished.”

Borough solicitor Michael Supinka advised the council that ordinances need to be considered before taking action.

“We need to look at the ordinances and determine if there are violations,” he said.

Council President Richard Morris reported that these properties have been discussed as an issue by council in the past, and that they are “aware of the issues.”

“Trying to correct these properties is not an easy task for the borough,” Morris said. “It’s not something we can do overnight.”

Kercel fears that the value of her property is going down, and that future tenants will not want to rent next to the property in its current condition.

The council received a formal letter from Denise Jennings-Doyle regarding her interest in grant-writing for the borough. Previously, the Gazette had reported that council members had met with Jennings-Doyle.

Jennings-Doyle informed the council that her compensation for completion of a grant application is $250, while if the grant is successful, an additional $250 payment is required.

“Denise is very passionate about what she does and she’ll be a great asset to the borough helping us get grants,” said Matt Black, council member. “She’ll do everything she can to help us out.”

Regarding grants, council reviewed the possibility of grants such as Playful City USA, which, according to its website, is “a national recognition program honoring cities and towns investing in children through play. Recognized Cities and Towns make a commitment to play by developing tailored local action plans that increase access to play in their community.”

In addition, there is the possibility of a rural community grant for parks from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Police Chief Louis Sacco reported that the Homer City Police Department has received a $1,500 grant through PA Buckle Up to conduct teen education of National Seat Belt Enforcement Mobilization. This effort is a part of the Click It or Ticket program through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The local effort, Sacco said, will focus on youth drivers.

In other news:

• Mayor Ken Cecconi said that “eight or nine” applications for police department vacancies have been received. Five of those applications have been chosen and those applicants will be interviewed.

“We’ve got at least three really good ones,” Cecconi said.

• According to borough manager Rob Nymick, salt is ordered and winter equipment is being checked.

• The Homer City Farmers Market will run from 2 to 6 p.m. every Friday through October at Floodway Park. New vendors are welcome; call Karen at (724) 479-8005 for more information.

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