[This is part 3 and final part of the December 2017 Milford Borough Council meeting report. The 2nd part appeared in the prior edition.]
MILFORD BOROUGH - During the December meeting of Milford Borough Council, Robert Merihue, manager of Tom Quick Inn, questioned why Mayor Sean Strub was playing music outside under a tent behind the Hotel Fauchere at 8:30 p.m. and if the law applied to him. He also asked if anyone called the LCB on him as was done to the Jorgensen’s.
[Editor's Note: The PA Liquor Control Board (LCB) indicated since this story was first published, that the LCB does not enforce noise violations. Rather, this would have been the PA State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement.]
Andrew Jorgensen, owner of Jorgensen’s, recounted that the Milford Police Chief came to him four months after a noise ordinance complaint from back in May of 2017. About three weeks ago the [agency enforcing liquor laws] did a private inspection on a Sunday night. The event which sparked the complaint was a cancer fund raiser.
Jorgensen said he went to the complainant and apologized and asked what he could do and was told that if the music was lowered before 9 p.m. there would be no problem. Jorgensen pleaded that those who have any issues should come and talk to them in a neighborly way. Acting Council President Meagan Kameen stated that some people don’t feel comfortable dealing with others that they do not know and would rather report to enforcement officials.
Mayor Strub responded that part of the problem lies with confusing and ambiguous ordinances relating to noise in the borough. He suggested using a decibel meter application which can be downloaded on a handheld device that can give an objective measure of the noise, making enforcement possible. The Mayor stated that the [agency enforcing liquor laws] can waive its outside music restrictions on licensed establishments in boroughs where there is an effective noise ordinance and this is what will be looked into going forward.
Jorgensen pressed council about a building in the historic commercial district which has vinyl windows. He stated that their Inn was looking to replace the windows in their building with vinyl and were denied. The price difference between vinyl ($60,000) and wood ($280,000) made the project cost prohibitive. Solicitor Waldron replied that a complaint was filed about a week ago and the Architectural Review Board will recommend to the borough for enforcement. It is a problem that has been around as long as the ARB, with buyers of properties that come under the ARB guidelines not being informed of the legalities associated with owning and maintaining structures falling under the borough’s ordinance.
Winter Lights Festival
The annual Winter Lights Festival which kicks off the opening of the public ice skating at the rink at Ann Street Park was approved and will take place on the weekend of January 19 (rehearsal 6-8:30 p.m.), 20, 21 (Saturday and Sunday hours from 10:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m.)
ARB Sign Approval
A sign for Calling All Angels Thrift Shop and Outreach located at 214 E. Harford Street received a certificate of appropriateness with the recommendation of approval from the Architectural Review Board.
Council Seat Vacant
Aaron May, who was appointed to fill the term of Councilman Patrick Beck, subsequently was elected to a fpur year term beginning on January 1, 2018, submitted his resignation letter from his appointed position which was accepted by council. Interested borough residents may submit letters to the Borough Secretary.
Councilwoman Adrienne Harrington has been working on an updated borough employee handbook for some time and it was approved for adoption.
2018 Reorganizational Meeting
January 2, 2018, at 7 p.m. the first Tuesday of the month, the Borough will hold its reorganizational meeting required under law every two years. The President and Vice President offices will be filled as well as the various committee positions and other appointments.
Parks and Recreation
Councilwoman Annette Haar recognized those who have helped her and the Commission during the year: Mark Bertran who helped with the lighting project at Ann Street Park; Katrina Stilts contributed money for the shingles on the gazebo in Ann Street Park; Cody Mitschele, Stan Rango and Aaron May for landscaping; Rob Ciervo for his time, talent and treasure for the year. Each was presented certificates of appreciation by Ms. Haar.
The budget for the New Year is available from the Borough Secretary and will be posted to the borough’s web site. The budged will be voted on at the January 19 workshop meeting at 11 a.m. Comments can be sent to the secretary to be read at the workshop meeting.
Streets and Lights
Chairman Rob Ciervo stated that leaves will be picked up through the week of Dec. 19. A repair will be made on Brook Hill Road where the road is washed out which will require an expenditure of $2,000 which was approved. President Kameen also requested that $3,500 be approved to be distributed to borough employees as a year-end bonus.
Mayor Strub proposed an expenditure of no more than $500 for a temporary speed hump that is a portable device. Council decided to look at this again in the spring.
Beth Kelly wrote to council about residents, especially those on West Catharine Street, who, spurred by the overnight parking ban in the winter months, are creating parking places in front of homes adjacent to the existing street side parking slots.
The designated parking spaces are legal spaces and the public has the right to park there even if there is a car parked off street. The only legal parking per lot is the allowed driveway, 32 feet wide and straight in to the property. Because there are enforcement issues in the borough, these unapproved parking areas keep popping up. The Borough street right of way is 80 feet and many of these unapproved parking areas are actually widening the street to the limit of the right of way; in fact, the residents are actually widening the street.
Also, one of the borough employees brought attention to those parking in the alleys that they leave a respectable distance between their vehicles and the alleyways to allow for the plow trucks to traverse the alleys without damaging vehicles.
More public comments
The Milford Borough Council meets on the first Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at Borough Hall, 109 West Catharine Street, Milford. Please visit the borough’s website at www.milfordboro.org for detailed information.