Residents want blight tidied up

By on June 29, 2011

By: ALICE HUMMER Review Correspondent, Staff Writer

Stevens resident Steve Brubaker asked East Cocalico Township Supervisors at their June 15 meeting why the owner of a home at 17-19 S. Line Road can’t be forced to clean up his property.

Accompanied by Bobbi Weaver, Kyle Weaver and Ryan Weaver, Brubaker and his neighbors stated that they’ve been working with the township’s zoning office for four years to get the property — which has "old cars sitting in the backyard that are junkers with the potential of attracting rodents — tidied up.

"Some of these photos," which Brubaker presented to supervisors, "show items in the yard which can’t be seen from the road."

"In defense of the township," Luongo added, "we’ve been out and had seven vehicles removed (since the summer of 2009). We’ve had the family clean up. After Good’s Disposal cleaned up the property, it began to get junky all over again."

Supervisor Noelle Fortna asked at what point can the township start the process where the board demands it be cleaned by a certain date or they come in and do it at the cost of the property owner.

"We’re at that point," Luongo said. "We try to work with these people and not incur legal fees. There is a process."

"Isn’t four years enough?" Brubaker asked

Mackley said that he understands Brubaker’s concerns.

"It’s been four years. When they clean up their property, then the clock starts ticking again," he said.

After discussion, Luongo assured everyone he’d be out to Stevens the next day.

"You should be applauded for coming in," Fortna told Brubaker and his neighbors. "We should see something happening."

Township manager Mark Hiester said the worst cases of property neglect will be issued citations to get the owners in front of the district justice.

However, a citation will not be issued after all Luongo said Tuesday afternoon. He said the residents have since moved out.

"We’re in the process of working with the mortgage company to improve the appearance of the property right now," he said.

Luongo said that when the residents left, there were two cars left behind. As of Tuesday, one still remained.

? In other news, McDonald’s has abandoned plans to develop a site in front of Comfort Inn along North Reading Road. The site requires construction of an access road and reconfiguring traffic patterns, among other issues. Other restaurants have indicated possible interest in the site.

? Amric Construction of Narvon was awarded the job of constructing a new roof on the township building at a cost of $14,450. The project is under $25,000 and therefore not subject to prevailing wages.

? WJ Crossroad was granted a 90-day extension starting July 1.

"They’ve been working on a sewage module," Hiester reported.

? Morphy’s Auction House was granted a reduction in their financial security. About fourth-fifths of site improvements are completed.

? Supervisors approved a recreation fee of $825 for Stony Run Fields.

? A proclamation of support for the Pennsylvania Hero Walk was passed by supervisors.

? East Cocalico received a $110,691 recycling program performance grant from the state Department of Environmental Resources.

? Supervisor Alan Fry said the swim team requested use of the township’s pool shed for their small refrigerator this year since their shed has no electricity. Supervisors agreed to the request with the understanding that the swim team will pay for the installation of electricity in their shed next year.

Staff writer Karen Shuey contributed to this article.

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