By Libby Rosequist
North East Borough Council members, during a Monday, Jan. 4, meeting, announced they are working on a plan to re-evaluate and implement new parking ordinances now that parking meters have been removed.
The minutes from Dec. 7 and 21 meetings were approved.
Due to timing, the expense approval report was not available at the time of the meeting and will be addressed at a later meeting under accounts payable.
During public comments, a North East resident mentioned the possibility of creating odd/even parking for Main Street for anyone who has to park overnight.
“I own two Airbnbs located on Main Street and the people utilizing them have received tickets for parking their cars overnight,” Richard Stetson said. “I have addressed this with Pat and the police station and I was told if they parked on Route 89 rather than Main Street they wouldn’t receive a ticket, but that doesn’t make sense to me as that road is narrower. My suggestion is to implement odd/even parking like in Erie. I am bringing business into this town during a pandemic and would like to srr sort of change that will accommodate these renters and will not affect snow plowing during the winter months.”
Borough Manager Pat Gehrlein did address this issue with North East Borough Police Chief Mike Sliker and the police department.
“The most recent conversation with Sliker was to look at the current surrounding areas that are providing an odd/even parking solution such as Richard has mentioned, like the City of Erie, but also more so Wesleyville,” Gehrlein said. “Very simply, they allow for the roads to be cleared, vehicles to be moved and the shifting of traffic to the opposite side which would provide us a better avenue for individuals to park overnight and the opportunity to move them in the morning of the odd/even days. This will also be beneficial to the businesses and residents as well.
“We are working to make sure there is congruency between our signs and what our ordinances say, and Sliker and I are creating a proposal for Council’s review in February.”
A resolution to waive real estate tax penalties due to COVID-19 was approved unanimously.
“We understand the financial strain of COVID-19 and with many individuals being out of work, the question is how do we provide them with some direct relief. I think the waiver of the penalties to be in congruency with the City of Erie is the best option,” Gehrlein said. “It does not waive the taxes but the penalties for them.”
The wastewater removal and replacement clarifier contract was awarded to Konzel Construction for the amount of $213,500 and approved unanimously.
After executive session, Borough Council approved set pay for a probationary officer at $19.05 an hour, effective Jan. 25.
There will not be a second monthly meeting for January.