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Bellwood Council co-signs Excelsior loan

The Bellwood Borough Council members held their monthly meeting last evening at the municipal building to address issues within the borough.
Council adopted ordinance number 456 authorizing the indebtedness and the issuance of the note for the fire company loan.
The Excelsior Number One Volunteer Fire Company approached the Bellwood Borough and requested the borough’s assistance in backing the fire company on a $150,000 loan, at two percent interest, to help refinance the fire company’s payoff.
The borough decided it would be a CO-borrower, and the local government (the borough), will pledge its own revenues in the event that the fire company defaults. The fire company is going to have a primary obligation to pay off the loan.
The Bellwood Borough had to enact an ordinance on this because they’re subject to the provisions of something called ‘The Local Government Unit Dead Act.’
Solicitor Lee Oswalt explained, “What that means is that the Legislature doesn’t want municipalities borrowing more money than they’re capable of repaying, so they have this complicated formula to determine how much a borough can borrow.”
“And so, there’s certain requirements of that Act that have to be met before a municipality borrows any money that they complied with,” said Oswalt.
As of now, the borough is basically at its end with the process, besides having to send in the paperwork. The state agencies are going to loan the money at two percent to the borough and the fire company.
During the public comment session held at the beginning of Monday evening’s council meeting, the ‘Burning Ordinance number 384, enacted in 1990, was addressed by a concerned borough citizen, Diane Valade.
Valade questioned council members on how the public is educated about ordinances put in place, such as the Burning Ordinance.
Solicitor Oswalt answered, “There’s advertisement in the paper in accordance of the provisions of the borough code, which requires publication at least one week before and not more than 30 days before, either having the text of the entire ordinance itself or a summary of the ordinance with notation in the advertisement.”
He continued, “If you’re only publishing a summary, a full text of the ordinance is available with the borough secretary for review by the public.”
Valade’s concern was the constant illegal burning taking place around East 5th Street. She said that she lives on a street where there are incredible and numerous violators of the ordinance.
“I’ve shut my windows and my doors, and shut my ears and eyes to it, and I’m basically fed up with doing that,” said Valade.
Valade stated she has called police and only get into spats with officers about fighting with the people who are burning. She said that the police question her constant calling and practically ignore her efforts to try and stop the violators of the Burning Ordinance.
“First of all I resent that, because I’m not the one violating the law or the one violating the ordinance,” said Valade. She said that she would like very much to calm the waters up around East 5th Street because it’s a rough neighborhood to live it.
Valade explained, “I’m tired of this because it is my right to live and have police protection and live within the borough in peace. I shouldn’t have to be violated like this just about every other day. I don’t have the time to police in front of my windows.”
Valade said that her problem is that she sends her children to the backyard to play and they come in choking and can’t breathe because of the substances that are being burnt in that neighborhood.
Council President, Wayne Snare, stated, “The Mayor will be looking into that and I think once she (Valade) talks to the Mayor she’ll realize it really involves more the police department.”
“To the police officers’ defense, they have told me a different story,” said Snare.
Valade responded, “I really just want peace up there. I shouldn’t have to engage in a verbal spat with a police officer to carry out this ordinance – it’s their job. I’m abiding by the law and I’m calling as they asked me to, and then I’m getting verbal abuse for it when I shouldn’t have to.”
On the lighter side of council issues, council members ratified the decision of council to Bellwood-Antis Park and Recreation Authority to administer the funds for the playground equipment grant from DCNR.
There will also be a leaf pick up in the borough. Borough employees will pick up leaves at the curbside on Fridays from October 25 through November 22. Council asks residents to please gather your leaves in ‘Recyclable Paper Bags only.’
Trick or Treat will be scheduled for Thursday, October 31 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.
The Halloween Parade will form at Houser’s Grocery on North 4th Street on Tuesday, October 29 at 6 p.m. and get underway at 6:30 p.m.