CANTON — Canton Borough Council heard from several concerned residents at the April meeting on Monday evening. The meeting is the first to take place in-person as well as Zoom since last year.
Resident Arla Moyer had a couple points to address to council. The first was calling out “drug houses” throughout the borough, stating they were not welcomed and they will be forced to leave.
The second point she addressed was the speed on South West Ave. She mentioned there are no sidewalks for people to walk on, on South West Ave. and that based on the high rate of speed some vehicles travel, someone would die instantly.
“We don’t mind the traffic,” said Moyer, “We mind the speed.”
Third, she addressed Councilman George Jennings personally and told Jennings that she did not like how Jennings treated Councilman Dave Groover. She said Groover did not “kiss bottom nor was he a puppet, so no wonder they did not get along.” Moyer stated that she thought Groover was a good guy and very helpful. “He has done a lot and I don’t think he deserved it,” she said, referencing his removal as council president at the February meeting.
Finally, she spoke about the plow truck drivers for Canton Borough, stating that they have “managed to get stuck four times on Carlton Street” and they “need to learn better on how to plow.”
Later in the meeting, street supervisor David Wilson mentioned that he would like council to approve pursuing a dirt, gravel and low volume road maintenance grant for Carlton Street. Wilson stated that due to the street partially being in Canton Township, they will have to partner with the township as well to hopefully remove excess water that drains down the hill and makes the street icy in the winter.
The next person to speak was Darren Roy, a business owner and property owner in the borough.
Roy questioned how ordinances were handled, specifically, snow removal, and how the fee schedule was handled.
His concern was how the fees were put in place, how they are enforced, and the paperwork schedule was determined because of numerous fines he has received from the codes officer.
After Roy finished, businessman, landlord and property owner Alex Schrader spoke about his same issues with the code enforcement and fee schedule.
Schrader had snow on one of his properties and was fined $150 by code compliance officer John Raub, who was not present at the meeting. Schrader mentioned that he is not a habitual offender to the ordinance and that “I don’t feel like it’s a good policy” to have someone be fined $150 without warning.
Schrader mentioned that he had asked other local boroughs if they had the same policy, to which he was answered no.
Schrader asked council to look over the policy and change it.
“People did not respond to the warnings,” said Councilman Christopher Schrader, “A fine was put into place to get their attention.”
“And it works,” said Administrator Seeley.
“I still feel it is an unjust method,” said Schrader.
Schrader suggested fining only habitual offenders, but Administrator Seeley said that it could be considered discrimination to only fine those who continually break the ordinance.
Roy, on the other hand, wanted to discuss the issues with informing a property owner when they have broken an ordinance so that it can be addressed immediately. His issue was that, due to the mail, he was not able to get information on a public hearing about his problem until the day of the meeting, only six hours before it was supposed to begin. He asked council and Administrator Seeley if they would consider not only sending by mail, but also email for those who have email.
Both residents were invited to the next codes meeting to address these issues. Raub will be looking into other municipality’s fee schedules to get a better idea on how to handle this issue, according to president Shultz.
Lauren Schoonover Preston represented the Shade Tree Commission in a presentation for Tree City USA, a program the council has worked with for the past 21 years. Tree City USA is greening communities across the country. This program is a great opportunity to celebrate the importance of an urban tree canopy and improve care of these vital city trees.
The Shade Tree Commission announced Morse Arboretum cleanup on May 9, from 9-11 a.m. An Arbor Day celebration will take place on May 21 for the fourth grade at Canton Elementary.
During this report, council made a motion to approve the Canton Borough Sidewalk/Curb Revolving Loan Program.
The loan amount will be $5,200 cap, plus interest of 1.5%. Property owners who have a corner on their property will be eligible to receive an additional loan up to $10,000 total. Owners who have a tree to remove will be able to receive $1,000 additional.
Any costs past the amount is up to the owner to cover. A pre-qualification application must be filled out and submitted to Administrator Seeley for review, in which a contract will be drafted up if accepted. Appropriate permits must be obtained before the project.
Administrator Seeley noted that the American Rescue Plan Act awarded Canton Borough $183,993.
Spring cleanup is scheduled for the week of May 24.
“Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful/Pick Up Pennsylvania” event will be held at the park pavilion by the pool on May 1, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Councilman George Jennings spoke on behalf of Brandon Perry, who resigned from his position. Council voted to advertise for his position as well as a part-time position. This advertisement can be found in the classified section of this newspaper.
Administrator Amy Seeley will be looking at backhoe funding and will bring amounts to the next council meeting.
Scott May reported that there was an 8 p.m. board of directors meeting at the social hall this week. He also announced the date of the annual carnival, which is set for June 22-26.
The Library is planning it’s summer reading program: “Tails and Tales,” which is seven weeks of program in the pavilion of the park. Special presenters include a dinosaur program, a unicorn science program, dog grooming and Tanglewood Nature Center. There are grab bags available each week for preschoolers with a craft that goes with the theme that week.
The Rialto Theatre is still doing curbside pickup on April 16 and 30th, from 5-7 p.m. outside the Theatre. Cost is $10/bag of popcorn and $1 for theater candy. Exact change is needed.
The chamber of commerce announced no Wine & Cheese Festival this year. Instead, there will be a new event planned for June 26, along with the annual block dance. New information will be provided at a later time. The classic car show will be Friday, Aug. 6.
Upcoming events for the school include: Senior High chorus concert April 19, May Day program May 3 and the drama club performance on May 7.
Councilman Schrader addressed to council that he had complaints from resident Brian Koval, who was absent from the meeting, but spoke on his behalf. Council addressed the complaints in an executive session which took place after the public meeting. They also discussed issues with Zito Media in the executive session.
The next Canton Borough Council meeting will be Monday, May 10, at 7 p.m. with location to be determined.