Coun­cil will is­sue info on im­mi­nent in­spec­tions

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Mar­cella Peyre-Ferry For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

OX­FORD >> Dur­ing its Nov. 21 meet­ing, bor­ough coun­cil de­cided it will is­sue a news re­lease ad­vis­ing res­i­dents that an in­spec­tor will be ac­tively look­ing for prop­erty main­te­nance code vi­o­la­tions and may come into yards to do so.

Or­di­nances against un­reg­is­tered ve­hi­cles, ve­hi­cles parked on grass and ac­cu­mu­la­tions of trash on porches and yards have been in ef­fect for many years, but en­force­ment has been spo­radic and only in re­sponse to com­plaints.

With the sup­port of bor­ough coun­cil, bor­ough Man­ager Brian Hoover has di­rected codes en­force­ment of­fi­cials to be­gin go­ing through the bor­ough to find vi­o­la­tions and give no­tice that they must be cor­rected or fines will be im­posed.

“It’s new, and we have to work on get­ting it bet­ter. It’s qual­ity of life is­sues. It’s some­thing that has been left go and now it’s go­ing to be cleaned up,” Hoover said. He es­ti­mates that there are at least 500 aban­doned ve­hi­cles in the bor­ough plus many other is­sues. “We’re do­ing the right thing for the right rea­sons. There’s go­ing to be push­back be­cause no­body wants a vi­o­la­tion.”

Hoover ex­plained that the or­di­nances give bor­ough of­fi­cials the right to come onto prop­er­ties to look for vi­o­la­tions, but they do not have author­ity to en­ter build­ings, open ve­hi­cles or lift ve­hi­cle cov­ers.

Res­i­dents un­aware of the new pol­icy have been shocked to see an in­spec­tor in their yard or a vi­o­la­tion warn­ing on their door. They have par­tic­u­larly com­plained that the per­son check­ing for vi­o­la­tions does not have ID show­ing that he is work­ing for the bor­ough. The re­sponse has been so neg­a­tive that there have even been threats posted on Face­book.

Un­til proper ID is made, the en­force­ment vis­its will be sus­pended but will re­turn. In ad­di­tion to main­te­nance code vi-

ola­tions, the con­tracted em­ployee will also be in the bor­ough on week­ends check­ing off con­trac­tors work­ing with­out per­mits.

In ad­di­tion to dis­cussing code in­spec­tions at the re­cent meet­ing, a ma­jor item on the agenda was the vote to ad­ver­tise the 2017 gen­eral fund, liq­uid fu­els and wa­ter fund bud­gets. The gen­eral fund bud­get to­tals over $3.4 mil­lion, with a sur­plus of $77,614 be­tween rev­enues and ex­penses. The liq­uid fu­els

fund comes in at roughly $124,000 in rev­enues and $92,500.

Hoover projects that there will be about $2 mil­lion in the bor­ough’s cap­i­tal fund, which can be used to run a new wa­ter sup­ply line from the bor­ough’s new­est well to the wa­ter treat­ment plant.

There is no planned in­crease to the wa­ter rates this year, nor is there an in­crease in the bor­ough tax rate, which will re­main at 12.25 mills.

In other busi­ness, it was an­nounced that the bor­ough will re­ceive a $578,000 Com­mu­nity Re­vi­tal­iza­tion Pro­gram

grant from the county. The money is the first large grant to­ward fund­ing a pub­lic trans­porta­tion hub and park­ing garage project that is ex­pected to to­tal $5.75 mil­lion.

Mayor Ge­off Henry re­ceived pub­lic thanks from the Ox­ford Area Re­cre­ation Author­ity for his ser­vice as chair­man on that board. In Oc­to­ber, Henry re­signed from the re­cre­ation author­ity and the bor­ough plan­ning com­mis­sion ef­fec­tive Dec. 1. Dur­ing the meet­ing, Mary Lou Baily was ap­pointed to re­place Henry on the plan­ning com­mis­sion.

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