Akron resident brings complaints to council

By on March 28, 2012

By: MILAN VRACARICH JR. Review Correspondent, Staff Writer

A resident approached Akron Borough Council recently with a number of concerns, including a claim that her property was damaged due to her neighbor’s negligence and complaint about the borough manager.

Carolyn Williams stated that rainwater from improperly maintained gutters and a clogged drainage hole has caused significant damage to her front porch. She said she was forced to repair the porch at her own expense (approximately $12,000) but states that her problems will continue unless the borough intervenes.

"I want the borough to do some type of action to a) get my neighbor to fix his gutters; (and) b) get the borough to fix the hole that goes into the street," said Williams. "I’ve only repaired the symptoms to my property — I haven’t repaired the cause.

"My gutters aren’t causing the damage to my property. I can’t repair the neighbor’s gutters and I can’t repair the street. Those two (things) are the actual cause."

Williams said she attempted to research the issue with the help of the borough and borough manager Dan Guers since last summer. She claims Guers was not helpful and hung up the phone during her calls a number of times. Williams also claims the borough manager told her that he "get(s) calls from women like you every day."

Williams arrived at the meeting fully prepared to state her case about the borough manager’s behavior and the situation at her home. Accompanied by her husband, Williams toted a large folder of official complaints, borough and building codes, and a tri-fold poster covered in various pictures of the situation.

Borough Solicitor Susan Friedman will be conducting an investigation regarding the claims toward Guers.

"Borough council contacted me (about the situation) and I will be doing a prompt investigation of the matter and report back to the council," said Friedman, when contacted recently.

At the meeting President Thomas Murray apologized on behalf of the borough. Williams will receive a written response as well as follow-up calls as the Council looks into the situation. Murray made the decision to not allow Guers to respond to the claims.

"First of all, on behalf of the borough and all of the people who are constituents, I want to apologize that you feel you’ve been mistreated," said Murray. "That is not how we are supposed to respond to our constituents in this borough. We will take your complaints and we will research and look into these (to) see what can be done and we will get back to you."

Murray was contacted last week to further explain his apology and the decision to not have Guers respond to the allegation.

He said he apologized to Williams because he feels no one should walk away feeling mistreated by the borough. Also, he said it was his decision as council president to not allow Guers to respond but did not elaborate as to the reason why.

In other news:

The major 2012 road project for Akron has been postponed until 2013. It will be done in addition to the other street projects planned for next year and not delay the borough’s five-year plan. Letters were sent out to borough residents informing them of the change.

The council approved spending up to $2,000 on a new storage facility for Akron’s record keeping. Costs will be kept in-house with borough workers doing all of the construction. A sketch plan was proposed at February’s council meeting and approved at the committee meeting later that month.

It was determined a few months ago that Akron needed to do something in order to maintain a backlog of its records. The current storage area is not large enough nor is the atmosphere able to be properly maintained.

The plan involves constructing an 18 x 20 room in the basement of the Akron Borough building. The cost includes the walls, shelving, heating/air-conditioner unit and a dehumidifier. The walls will be lined with shelves for storage and a table in the center of the room will have shelves below it too.

Butch Long, on behalf of the Akron Grace E.C. Church, asked for the Council’s permission to use Loyd H. Roland Memorial Park on the morning of May 19 for the church’s annual 5k fun run/walk. The race is the same as last year and the church is anticipating just over 100 entrants for the 2012 race.

However, there is a possibility the number of entrants could increase greatly. The timer from the 2011 race is back but this time sent out a different mass e-mail that reached over 2,000 people. If the number should increase beyond a few hundred, Long will alert the borough so proper action can be taken in terms of closing streets. Fire police will again direct traffic around street corners for the short time runners are on public roads.

The new generator for Nissley pump station is finally nearing its installation. Guers signed paperwork in February for the generator’s reimbursable cost of over $60,000. Akron was also approved for mitigation by FEMA for a watertight door system, carbon fiber reinforcement of the inside walls and a brand new exhaust system.

The present fuel tank is currently being cleaned so it can be reused with the new system. The generator will be scheduled for installation once this project is completed.

A meeting will be held March 28 at 7 p.m.to discuss the annual Lancaster Barnstormers game. Flyers were sent out to approximately 20 different groups in the area about the event. A representative from the team will be at the Akron borough building and all groups interested in participating are encouraged to attend. More AKRON, page A15

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