Bellwood Borough Council hears concerns from several area residents

The Bellwood Borough Council met on Monday night in front of a full house.
Residents were on hand to discuss several issues with council regarding alleys, recreational fires and noise ordinances, among other things.
John Hoffman once again addressed council regarding a fence located along Station Street and Willard Edmiston spoke requested the reopening of Clark Street Alley.
Brenda Earnest spoke on behalf of several residents and provided a petition signed by 150 individuals requesting that council reexamine the burning ordinance.
Earnest said she enjoys having recreational fires in her back yard. The families likes to cook marshmallows and hotdogs and she said the kids also like to sit around the fire when there is nothing to do. However, recently Earnest was informed by a borough police officer that burning is not permitted unless it is for cooking.
“He said once we take the hotdog off the fire, we have to put it out,” said Earnest.
She went on to explain that she agrees there should be a burning ordinance for burning trash and even leaves, but that having a recreational fire should not be illegal.
Council members recalled this issue coming up previously and they had determined that it is okay to have a recreational fire, as long as it is contained, such as in a fire pit.
“According to the ordinance, we can’t even use a charcoal grill,” said council member Fred Sweigert, “We need to update our ordinance.”
Earnest thanked council for their time and council agreed to look into revising the ordinance.
Another concern brought to council’s attention was that of fireworks.
Peggy Noel inquired as to whether or not the borough has a noise ordinance. She was concerned about individuals setting off fireworks.
“I’m all for fireworks on the Fourth and New Year’s,” Noel said, “but at 2 a.m., putting off half sticks is unnecessary.”
Council members agreed, pointing out these fireworks are illegal. Their advice to residents is to contact the police, but it is hard to catch people in the act.
In other borough business, under highway, the street program is complete. During July, borough employees worked on painting curbs, cleaning ditches and routine grass mowing. They also worked with Antis Township, helping to clean up the compost site.
Two water leaks were repaired, on Railroad Street and West 12th Street, Reightown.
All trailers in Miller’s Mobile Home Park are tapped into the sewer line at this time. Landscaping and road repairs to be finished during August and September bring plans to take over the line.
Council also voted to enter into an agreement with Belljay Development Company to perform certain improvements to property on Main Street, providing all materials are supplied and an agreement is signed that is acceptable to council.
Under park and recreations, council member Sue Johnson said things are going well. She was excited about the activities at the pool this summer and said she has received a lot of positive comments about the Hollidaysburg YMCA, which manages the pool.
A contract was agreed upon for full and part-time police officers. The four-year agreement will provide a three percent increase in pay during the first three years 2006-08 and a four percent increase in the fourth year, 2009.
The 2005-06 winter traffic agreement was accepted with a 10 percent increase from last year. Council also agreed to play “Watch – Children at Play” signs on Fifth Street, near the playground, after receiving a letter signed by several children in the area.