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Kline Twp. supers update handicapparking ordinance to match state law

Standard-Speaker - 2/15/2020

Feb. 15--KELAYRES -- Kline Twp. has new laws on people moving in and out of the township, and on disability parking spaces.

The supervisors voted unanimously Monday night to approve an amendment of a five-year-old ordinance regarding the parking spaces.

Supervisor Dale Wesner said the township had to update its law to follow a new state law which allows the sign to be designated for one person.

"The laws have changed in Pennsylvania," Wesner said. "There is a general (sign), or you can do it exclusive just for that person. It's up to the municipality how to define that -- by the person, by a vehicle or by the house. If someone comes in to the secretary now and asks for a disability parking space, they could choose it for them or for anybody. They would pay the fees, and there is an annual renewal fee on that. The new law also allows for a veteran disabled in service and honorably discharged to get a spot, and the fees are waived because they served their country."

There were signs up by parking spaces that were no longer being used, so the township took down those signs, Wesner said.

"A couple years ago, people were coming in and saying 'I have one in front of my house and the person has been dead for a couple of years,'" Wesner said. "It wasn't actively maintained. There was a whole bunch out there. The streets department did go out, canvassed the ones that had to be removed, and removed them. We purchased some new ones and put them out."

The other new law regards people moving in and out of the township. The main idea behind this ordinance -- which Wesner noted many other municipalities have -- is to account for people for taxing purposes.

"We want to regulate how, when and where they are moving from and to make sure we can keep track of them," Wesner said. "When they are moving, they are tying up streets with the actual loading and unloading of furniture and appliances. That's something that the secretary has been asking for from questions we have been asked by the public."

Mark Semanchik, the township solicitor, said both of the ordinances were advertised.

A related ordinance the township is looking at, Wesner said, is registering people who are renting as residents.

If there is a problem at the property, there has to be someone designated to be contacted in an emergency, Wesner noted.

"One of the problems we always have is that we have a lot of properties that are rentals," Wesner said. "It seems we have a lot more rentals than in previous years. The person who owns and manages the property is not in the area. The police, fire and code enforcement don't know who to contact, and it ties up a lot of time. Our police chief spends a lot of time on research, calling family members to get different numbers, I know Mr. Vigna (the township's zoning and code enforcement officer) has gone through this. The water company goes through this, too."

When the rental units are registered with the township, a contact person and information would be collected. Wesner said.

"If you live more than 20 miles away, that you have somebody that can be contacted relatively close in case of emergency," Wesner said.

Wesner said he obtained a sample ordinance online, and is adapting it to the township. If the supervisors agree on the ordinance, it will go to Semanchik for legal review, as the other two did.

"It would require if you are a landlord, you would register the property and tell who is living in the property," Wesner said. "What is the occupancy of the unit? Are 30 people living in a unit meant for three, or whatever it may be."

The township secretary, Carla Alucci, Police Chief John Petrilla and Fire Chief Bob Leshko, who were in attendance, all agreed the proposed law is a good idea.

Road work coming up

The project to pave portions of 13 township roads this summer is still in the works, and Wesner said he plans to file for another grant to do more roads.

"The bid package is ready," he said. "We are waiting on the final, federal environmental review. We have submitted the right-of-way information. We can't get that until environmental review is complete. I'm planning to write a fifth grant for the roads on both sides of the Heights, Haddock and the Silver Brook Road."

Work is also being done this year on the Lofty Road, Wesner said.

"They (PennDOT) have started to extend stormwater runoffs, started prepping shoulders for paving," he said. "In May and June, the Lofty Road will be done from (Route) 309 to at least to I-81, maybe to Delano."

Contact the writer: jdino@standardspeaker.com; 570-501-3585

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