Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on January 12, 1995 · Page 69
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January 12, 1995

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania · Page 69

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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Thursday, January 12, 1995
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. J ' '''1 PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE; B THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 1905 t- w Mr VV t .tk-m. t MUNICIPAL ROUNDUP PENH HILLS FCC complaint to be filed vs. cable-TV firm "TCI has a monopoly, and feels it has the complete authority to make decisions without consulting the different municipalities. " Penn Hills Councilman Robert McGrath and continues it in January, when the supervisors usually renew the same employees. About 120 youths nightly participate in the sports program. . In 1994, the Hempfield zoning and ordinance Office issued 661 building permits. Estimated building costs for the 147 single-family dwelling permits were $16 million. Jerry Answine, head of the de- E ailment, said the average home uilt in Hempfield last year cost $107,000. This amount is up $3,000 per home from 1993's new residential construction. A total of 611 complaints were investigated for junked cars, improper building and violations for solid waste. Monroeville A dispute over the accurate measurement of gross floor space of the Boston Chicken building in Monroeville prompted council to table a decision on the site plan for the' restaurant. . Commonwealth Court ruled that the restaurant did not have enough Darkine SDaces because Monroe By Kelly Wilding Penn Hills officials plan to file a complaint against TCI of Pennsylvania Inc. with the Federal Communications Commission, and may even join the City of Pittsburgh which intends to file its own complaint against the cable-TV firm. Last week William Moutz of Penn Hills told Penn Hills council that he was disgusted with the way TCI was operating in his area. Several times, he said, he asked TCI to block such channels as MTV from his receiver, but was unsuccessful until he took his complaint to U.S. Rep. Rick Santorum, who is now a U.S. senator. Now, MTV is blocked from Moutz's television. Moutz accused TCI of running a monopoly in the municipality, and asked council to seek better quality programming or a different cable company for the community. Moutz's complaints sparked a discussion on council that escalated into a decision to file a complaint with the FCC. As of Jan. 1, Penn Hills residents have been receiving four new channels through TCI. But Councilman Robert McGrath said he didn't know what the channels are, and that council had no opportunity to approve them. McGrath said. :;. , McGrath said he would be speaking this week to Pittsburgh Councilman Dan Cohen about the, city's similar predicament with TCI. - ? Both municipalities are locked into franchise agreements with TCI. Penn Hills is in a 15-year contract that expires in February 2001.,!'.. Pittsburgh residents have been charged an additional $1.09 by TCI for its four new channels, and City Council has given preliminary approval to a proposal to file a complaint with the FCC. McGrath believes that because both municipalities are in the same boat, Penn Hills might be able to file a joint complaint with Pittsburgh. Penn Hills Councilwoman Phyllis Kernick agreed that an investigation into TCI was in order. She said she had been requesting a revenue report from TCI for months, and that she had received no information so far. Penn Hills council unanimously agreed to press the case, and the complaint will be discussed at greater length during Wednesday's workshop. McGrath expects to nave a report back from Cohen at that time. Kelly Wilding is a free-lance writer. ? McGrath said residents were paying an additional $1.23 per month for the extra channels. He agreed with Moutz that an investigation into TCI may be in order. "TCI has a monopoly, and feels it has the' complete authority to make decisions without consulting the different municipalities,", PLUM Council delays vote on zoning for development plan problems in Edgemead before vot ing on me request. - . r 1 , the same problems as we have in Edgemead." Council members tabled True-line's rezoning proposal and called for a public hearing to resolve Means is a free-lance Tim writer. 1W 1 IB Tiff ItflJ 1 1AAF 2 m.Ww 1773 they want Trueline to meet with Edgemead residents to resolve existing problems before they will consider another housing plan in the area with the potential for similar problems. "At least for my one vote, I'd like to see you get together with the folks from Edgemead to agree to a buffer zone," said councilman Robert Demichiei. Borough engineer Robert Mital referred to the new proposal as creating a peninsula of manufacturing zoning in a sea of residential housing. Mital pointed out that borough officials spent considerable time and money drafting a comprehensive plan to determine which areas in the borough would be suitable for industrial use. Councilman Don Knopfel also raised concerns about the amount of manufacturing space in the borough. "Either you want a bedroom community or a stable tax base. You're selling your tax base down the river," he said. "We're going to have . By Tim Means Wary of problems created by conflicting zoning uses, council delayed action on a request from Trueline Corp. Inc. to rezone 115 acres along Saltsburg Road from manufacturing to residential. Developer Matt Dickun, representing Trueline, presented the proposal for a 125 home plan to council. Dicken noted that residents of the Edgemead and Willow Village housing plan had expressed concerns over increases in traffic and the creation of buffer zones to separate residential and industrial areas. Dickun promised that there would be no access to the proposed property that would add through-traffic to those housing plans. For about six months, residents of Edgemead have criticized the development of their housing plan in a manufacturing district. They say Trueline never told them their homes were being built in an area zoned for manufacturing. Sensitive to these concerns, several council members made it clear mm Churchill Councilman Frank Ellison will represent the borough on the 13-community joint effort to challenge Time Warner Cable's contract proposal. Council adopted a motion to pay the cost of participation, estimated at 75 cents per borough subscriber, for a total of $975. The amount was set aside in this year's budget. Councilman John Raucci objected to the motion. Council authorized a $400,000 tax-anticipation note from PNC Bank at a 4.85 percent interest rate. East Pittsburgh Council agreed Monday to become more aggressive in pursuing delinquent sewage accounts. The borough's collection agency, National Recovery Corp., reported that 40 accounts owe $150 or more, 72 accounts owe below $150. Letters will be sent to account owners; if no response is received, efforts to shut off water service will be initiated. The borough will issue a $125,000 tax anticipation note from Mellon Bank at a 4.9 percent interest rate. Payment will be due in June when council expects to have received payments from real-estate' taxes. Councilman Pat Geric again asked council to give any 1994 budget surplus to the borough fire department. State-appointed consultant Jake Skezas said there was no surplus, and that the borough ended the year "about even." The fire department is designated $6,000 in this year's Jbudget, and council agreed to distribute partial payment in the near future. The borough will not participate in a joint borough effort to challenge Time Warner Cable's plans to install computerized black boxes on most customers' television sets for $2.99 a month per set. Thirteen communities that have contracts with Time Warner agreed last month to mount a legal challenge of the black boxes. The group agreed that each municipality should pay 75 cents for each subscriber, out each municipality has to approve the agreement. Council said Monday it supported the efforts, but that it didn't have the $7,700 to pay its share of legal costs. Hempfield Township auditors have reduced what they consider a "cushy" vacation plan for three supervisors whcr are full-time township employees. . The auditors, who meet annually to review salaries and fringe benefits, said last week that four weeks of vacation for those with more than two years of service was too much. They changed the vacation schedule to provide four weeks only to employees with more than 15 years of service. The township will provide two weeks of vacation for employees with one to four years of service and three weeks for four to 15 years of service. The change will result in reduced vacation for only one employee, supervisor Jed Yurt, who will have three instead of four weeks of vacation. Yurt is the township's full-time secretary-treasurer. Supervisors Sam Testa, superintendent of roads, and Bob Wile, roadmaster, will continue to receive four weeks of vacation. Auditor Thomas Beaufort, who voted against the vacation schedule last year, called it "pretty cushy." All three auditors approved the changes. Supervisors also cut the salary for roadmaster from $39,000 to $36,000 to differentiate it from superintendent of roads, who makes $40,000. The superintendent oversees the road department and roadmaster supervises work crews. IS. i if f 1b Puce Cfamttce 0t AtCTVUte SPORTSWEAR -7 . o DRESSES o ACCESSORIES Save m OAKMONT 33-60 Off ALL WINTER COATS & JACKETS ville did not include freezer space in its calculation of the building's size. Attorney Bruce Dice, representing neighboring A&L Motors, argued that Boston Chicken needed 28 parking spaces. Attorneys representing Boston Chicken contend they need only 26. Council has ordered the planning department to measure the building to determine exactly how many spaces the restaurant requires. There are 27 spaces at the restaurant Oakmont Council approved a tax-anticipation note in the amount of $225,000 at Monday' night's meeting. The money will be obtained from Integra , Bank at an interest rate of 5.25 percent. Council is considering an ordinance establishing requirements' for certifying storm and sanitary sewers in the borough. The new ordinance will bring the borough into compliance with Allegheny County requirements, and will affect housing built before 1955. The ordinance will not affect homeowners until the property is sold. The county building code, estab-' lished in 1955, requires that houses have separate storm and sanitary sewer systems. The borough said it would have been a financial burden to require all homes to have such systems by a certain date. Under the ordinance, the separate systems will be tied into the "sale of the property. Before a property can be sold, the separate systems will have to be in place and certification must be provided to the borough before the owner can get closing documentation. Council expects to pass the ordinance at its February meeting. Plum Council- was presented with a step, toward participatory government Monday night when Bill Mathews, owner of Franco's Pizza on Unity Center Road, offered to sponsor a question-and-answer forum to be broadcast on cable television after Plum council meetings. Mathews' proposal would encourage viewers to call in with questions that council members would answer. Mathews said an ad for Franco's Pizza would appear before and after the segment. Council President Albert Flick-inger asked Mathews to submit his idea in writing, and suggested that he investigate the legality of advertising in conjunction with the broadcast of government meetings. Wilkins The township will hire a part-time employee for the Public works Department after department Superintendent Paul Vargo said extra Officials increase cost to solicit, amusement tax mam DM JrJ FOB US mm. Tri-County Plaza, Belle Vemon Donaldson's Crossroads, McMurray Miracle Mile, Monroeville Virginia Manor, Mt. Lebanon msmm to obtain a permit under the "on foot" schedule. For those who don't own property in the borough, fees for soliciting on foot range from $9 per day to $210 per year. In a vehicle, the range is from $12 a day to $300. per year. The same guidelines apply for helpers. Springer said the ordinance was old, and that the increase brings it up to a reasonable fee standard. Restrictions on soliciting in the borough remain. No soliciting is-permitted on Sundays or holidays. Soliciting hours are 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays. Teresita Kolenchak is a freelance writer. By Teresita Kolenchak It's going to cost more to provide amusement and peddle your wares in Oakmont. Council raised the fees on mechanical amusement devices and solicitation permits Monday night. Under the amended amusement-tax ordinance, the cost for a mechanical amusement device doubled to $300 per year for each machine. The amended ordinance also covers jukeboxes, which will have a permit fee of $100 per year for each machine. Police Chief Robert Springer said including jukeboxes and increasing fees for amusement devices brings Oakmont up to the standards of surrounding communities. Poker machines represent the largest number of mechanical amusement devices in the borough, Springer said. Permit fees for soliciting in the borough doubled for property owners and tripled for nonproperty owners under the amended ordinance. For property owners, fees for soliciting on foot range from $4 a day to $100 per year. If a vehicle is used, the fees range from $6 per day to $140 per year. A helper accompanying the vehicle would be required CHALFflST BORO, CHURCHILL BORO, FOREST HILLS EORO, WILKINS TWP, Effective January 1 , 1 995, Pennsylvania Municipal Service company (PA. M.S.) was appointed the Earned Income Tax Collector for Chalfant, Churchill, Forest Hills Bor oughs, Wilkins Township, and the Woodland Hills School -District. PA. M.S. will have a special collection for Earned Income Tax 4th quarter 1 994 tax payments. . . DATES: February 1 4th and 1 5th " TIME: 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM PLACE: Woodland Hills Administration Building, Greensburg Pike. PA. M.S. will also extend the hours at the local office for the 4th quarter collection. DATES: February 1 3th, 1 4th and 1 5th TIME: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM ADDRESS: 2000 Noble Street . V Swissvale, PA 1 52 1 8 ; c: Phone: (412) 351-0746 All taxpayers within the Woodland Hills School District are now required to file a tax return. .. .4 Saturday in the Post-Gazette Mary McGrory Saturday Diary Homes Real Estate Transfers ake one New Year's you and your employees The township will continue taking testimony on J.J. Gumberg Co.'s request to rezone 62 acres of property for a shopping center at 7 p.m. Jan. 24 at Hempfield High School auditorium. The hearing will be the fifth day of testimony on Gumberg's proposal to rezone property from residential to intensive business use to build a 350,000-square-foot shopping center along Mount Pleasant Road off of Route 30. The township previously rejected a request to build a larger shopping center at the same location. Hempfield's winter recreation program has been delayed after supervisors failed to approve hiring staff to Supervise hundreds who participate in basketball, wrestling and gymnastics. Only three of five supervisors attended Monday's meeting, and Supervisor Jed Yurt's motion to hire 13 part-timers for the winter program and 65 part-timers for the rest of the year died for lack of a second. Supervisor Bob Wile and Supervisor Joe Svetkovich were ill and did not attend. Supervisor Bill Anderson said he did not second the hiring motion because three supervisors should not make the decision to hire that many people. The supervisors are expected to discuss the Wrings at a special meeting scheduled for 8 p.m. Monday. The program is delayed until staff can be hired, said superintendent of sports Larry Leggett. Leggett said the township routinely starts the program in the fall help would be needed this winter. Vargo said the department was short-handed because one employee was on extended leave and one who retired last summer was not replaced. Vargo said the money that is not being paid to the employee who is on extended leave could be used for the new hire. Bids were opened on Monday for the Brown Avenue sanitary sewer project and tabled for further review. The project, one of six in the township that has been mandated by the county health department, involves the replacement of septic systems with public sewer lines. The apparent low bidder for the project, with a bid of $165,339, was John Gulisek Construction of Mount Pleasant. That company is now completing the Gardenia Drive sewer project, which township engineer Bill McKeever said has gone well. More than 15 properties will be affected by the Brown Avenue project, which McKeever said should be under way in March, weather permitting. The township will issue a tax-anticipation note for $375,000 from Irwin Bank and Trust Co. The loan is supposed to be repaid within the calendar year. It has an interest rate of 4.84 percent.' Keep your employees healthy this year. The Center for Occupational Health announces the opening of a new location to more conveniently serve the health needs of business and industry in Monroeville, Murrysville and Plum. Now your employees can receive a complete package of health services close to where they work. And these services are provided by the area's most effective occupational medicine team under the direction of board-certified occupational medicine physicians. The Center for Occupational Health-East offers such services as a full range of physicals, all OSHA-mandated testing, on-site physician and nurse programs, x-rays, and hear-ing and vision screenings. To Icaro more, call 733-0990 or 1-800-633-1197. lOj And resolve to have healthier employees. to