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Borough Council hears code enforcement and police department reports; questions rise about YMCA building

As normal procedure at Tyrone Borough Council meetings, the borough’s code enforcement officer and chief of police presented their respective reports for the previous month.
Code Enforcement and Zoning Officer Jim Metzgar informed council in his report that there were 27 permits issued in August, resulting in job costs of $74,260. The borough received $1,219 in permit fee revenue.
Also in Metzgar’s report was the long-standing issue of the former YMCA building located at 1062 Logan Avenue. The present owner of the building, Glenn Ray of G&R Excavating and Demolition, has held the keys to it since August of last year. Ray has publicly stated in the past that he wants to restore the structure.
Originally, Ray had 180 days to get the building into compliance with borough code; particularly the exterior facade cornice detail to open the sidewalk and allow pedestrians a safe path of travel. The fire escapes and roof were also immediate issues that needed addressed.
Metzgar said that Robert Seymour of Seymour Construction, Inc. visited his office on July 29, 2008 to update the borough on the progress and plan of action for the YMCA. Seymour is submitting a bid proposal to G&R Excavating for the facade cornice detail repair and replacement, roof, and fire escapes.
“Mr. Ray has been working diligently with numerous contractors and engineers to bring this structure into compliance and allow occupancy,” stated Metzgar. “He just can’t give us a date when he will be able to start.”
He added, “The cornice detail, roof, and fire escapes could cost a substantial amount of money.”
In an email dated September 5, 2008, Ray informed Metzgar that a structural report on the building is in his hands, along with an estimation on what the costs will be to have the roof and cornice repaired. He said that he is currently looking into attaining grants; contacting 80th District State Representative Jerry Stern’s office for an application for a Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) grant.
Ray said that the grant process was new to him and that he was unaware of the length of the process, so he was unable to give a time frame as to when the repairs will begin. He plans on contacting the borough once more information becomes available.
Council on the other hand, wants something done with the YMCA building. Metzgar told council that the grant process is lengthy, but he was still willing to work with Ray to see the project through.
Vice-president of council, Bill Latchford, stated that a time frame “needs to be set,” adding, “either fix it by then, or tear it down.” The rest of council agreed with his statement.
Council asked Metzgar to draft a letter to Ray giving him 30 days to do something with the building, although Metzgar said that “demanding something from Glenn is not going to work.”
A meeting is planned to be scheduled with borough officials and G&R Excavating to review the structural engineer’s report and all options regarding the former YMCA building.
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Tyrone Borough Police Chief Joe Beachem presented council an update on the department’s K-9 Unit training, that aims to crack down even more on the already “drastically decreased” drug problem in the community.
He said that Officer Matthew Lutz and dog, Vilo, have been training for some time and are ahead of schedule. Vilo has proven skillful in the areas of narcotics detection and patrol techniques. The trainer, Jim Walstrom, is pleased with Vilo’s progress, according to Beachem.
“Vilo and Officer Lutz have also recently begun working on tracking skills,” said Beachem. “When finished with training, Vilo will be certified in narcotics detection, patrol, and tracking.”
He added, “Hopefully the dog will deter out-of-town drug dealers even more in coming to our town. It’s already well-known to stay out of Tyrone.”
Vilo’s initial training is tentatively scheduled to end in November. Beachem plans on introducing the dog to the community in various forms.
Beachem also recommended to council that the borough should conduct Trick or Treat night on Thursday, October 30, which coincides with Bellwood Borough and the rest of Blair County.
Tyrone Police made 26 arrests in the month of August, resulting in 26 citations. Total fines issued tallied $225. There were 55 parking tickets issued, totaling $320 in parking fines.
The department responded to 645 calls last month.

Other Tyrone Borough Council agenda items approved
• The 2007 Borough of Tyrone Audit Report, done by Young, Oaks, Brown and Company.
• The bid award for a polyethylene tank for the sewer department to Process/Kana Inc. for $28,280. It was the only bid.
• An equipment disposal list for borough equipment that is no longer functional.
• The reprogramming of the 2007 CDBG funds. The borough will reallocate the Demolition/Clearance for the FY 2007 CDBG to decrease the funds by $30,539 to a $0 balance; and the amount budgeted for Recreation Facilities in the FY 2007 will increase from $0 to $30,539.
• The application for payment for the sludge and lime conveyor electrical construction project at the cost of $10,630.50 to D&M Electrical and Automation, Inc.