Tyrone property hit with additional code violations

A building located at 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue has been subject to new fines even while old violations are being appealed by the property owner.
Tyrone Borough Code Enforcement Officer Thomas Lang brought the matter before council earlier this week. The property owned by Mr. and Mrs. William Loner have been subject to citations totaling more than $11,000 regarding code violations that have existed since at least 2002. The owners appealed that set of fines after Blair County Court of Common Pleas had imposed sentence regarding maintenance violations at the address.
“The way the process works, the building is subject to either having repairs made or for the structure to be demolished,” said Lang. “There are boards falling, roofing missing, parts of a porch roof have fallen, parts of a flue-like structure has stones missing.”
Last fall, Lang had requested Tyrone Borough Police Chief Joseph Beachem to hang caution tape around the structure to try and prevent people from walking near it. The tape has long since been removed and pedestrians have continued to walk near the structure.
The original decision compelling the owners to make repairs or demolish the building was imposed by former Judge Daniel J. Milliron on Dec. 1 according to Lang.
However, since the structure remains in disrepair, the borough is allowed to fine the property owners every day if chooses to do so as permitted by the property maintenance code. Lang explained an additional set of violations were noted on Jan. 1, 2004 and the owners were fined another $6,000 after a hearing at the district justice’s office on Monday.
“A permit was obtained for the intention of repairs to made at the property, but nothing’s been done as of yet,” Lang told The Daily Herald. The code enforcement report presented to council indicates a contractor for the Loners, Eric Dasher did obtain a building permit on Jan. 8 for the purpose of repairing the roof at the property.
According to Lang, a date still has not been scheduled by the Superior Court of Pennsylvania to hear the appeal on the original fines.
Lang also reported problems regarding Washington Avenue to borough council. There have been numerous complaints regarding the large stones used to bed the railroad tracks along the street. The stones are being run over by vehicles along the edge of the railroad tracks and are being scattered along the road from 11th to 14th Streets. Lang noted the SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority have recently replaced the crossing at 14th Street and also along the tracks along Washington Avenue. When the work was done, it was necessary to add additional stones in and around the new tracks.
Lang indicated the borough has contacted SEDA-COG and made them aware of the problem. The authority has agreed the problem exists and they plan to install a curb with blacktop in the area to contain the stones along the tracks and to prevent vehicles from distributing them onto Washington Avenue. The work will be done when the weather permits it.
Lang also reported to council the latest information on the new state building code. He plans to distribute an information packet to council members soon and the borough will need to decide if it wants to opt in or out of the code within the next two months at the latest. If the borough opts in, they will then have to pass an ordinance regarding the code after a public inspection and comment period ends in early April. The new code was posted by the state on the Internet and through a news letter about a month ago after several years of revisions.
In routine business, Lang reported 161 contacts were made in person and by phone in the month of January. There were 10 permits issued last month with a job cost of $111,749.80 which resulted in permit fee revenue of $755 for the borough.
The annual health inspections for eating and drinking establishments were also conducted last month as required by state law.