Tyrone resident battling boro for handicapped parking slot

In 1993, Tyrone’s Dale R. Shomo was struck by a drunk driver. His left leg was crushed.
As the years rolled on, his problems in his legs worsened. In 2000, it was amputated.
Last month, Shomo asked Tyrone Borough Council to establish a handicapped parking space outside his Columbia Avenue residence. His request was denied because off-street parking was available.
Shomo and two representatives of Open Doors for Handicap, an Altoona organization dedicated to he rights of physically and mentally disabled citizens, approached council last night for an explanation why.
According to Mardel cooper, who spoke on behalf of Shomo, the borough didn’t fully investigate the situation before making the ruling.
“They didn’t look at everything they needed to,” said Cooper. “(Police Chief) Joe Beachem went up to look at things, but Mr. Shomo wasn’t even there. I think it’s awful this man was denied this.”
According to Beachem, when he went to inspect the property, he talked to Shomo’s wife, who said her husband parked around back. Beachem said this is why he reported that off-street parking was available.
Cooper said she talked to the owner of the property who explained the lot in question was assigned to another resident of the building, not Shomo.
“If there have been changes there, we will definitely look at that,” said Beachem. “When I was there, I was told that he parked out back. If things have changed since then, we can take a look and see if we need to do anything.”
Mayor Patricia Stoner explained to Cooper and Shomo the proper steps that need to be taken to re-apply for the license. Council member Jim Beckwith told Shomo to include a copy of the landlord’s letter showing the parking space is to be utilized by another tenant.
In other business, council:
• heard from William Fink, who recently attended a Tyrone Rotary meeting. He said Rotary is willing to foot the bill for a borough police officer to attend an “R.U.O.K.” program, which provides for the welfare of elderly individuals in the community. Fink said Rotary is willing to pay the $300 fee for attendance at the conference and has made note to the borough and its police force of this decision, but said the organization is still waiting for a response. Beachem acknowledged receiving the Rotary’s request, but said he hasn’t received information from the Blair County District Attorney’s Office, the entity holding the forum.