McAdoo garage roof project hits weak wall
McADOO — A wall in the borough garage must be fixed before a new roof goes on the structure or there will be too much weight on the bad wall.
Borough council members discussed the situation April 10 with Joe Madochick, borough streets foreman.
When the council drafted its 2018 budget, tax millage was added to fund the construction of a new, A-frame roof on the garage.
In preparation for the new roof, Madochick and his workers were cleaning up and repairing the garage’s walls when they discovered the south wall was weak.
“We came across deteriorating mortar throughout the whole block wall,” Madochick said. “The block is in great shape. It’s the mortar joints. There definitely is an issue with the wall, especially with the new A-frame roof and the extra weight that’s going to be put on the building.”
Three contractors looked at the wall and gave Madochick some ideas about how to fix it. The council will have to decide what course of action to take while looking at price quotes that are being developed.
Councilwoman Mary Labert questioned where in the budget the money would come from to fix the wall.
Councilwoman Marion DeBalko said the council doesn’t have any choice but to fix the wall.
“It’s something we have to look into,” DeBalko said. “If we repair that wall, we have that heavy roof. We can’t let the wall go.”
Councilman Pete Minneci added, “This is an emergency, because something is going to happen.”
Councilman John Shigo said a flat roof would be cheaper and has other advantages.
“Materials are different than they were years ago,” Shigo said. “Flat roofs are lighter, which might be a benefit to that wall. If we get an A-frame roof, we have to take that old roof off and dispose of it. If we put a flat roof on, contractors would have to put in their bid to remove it and haul it away. It doesn’t hurt to get a price.”
But DeBalko, Minneci and Councilman Ed Bielen rejected that idea.
“That wouldn’t be my vote,” DeBalko said. “We see what happened with two flat roofs. We agreed (the A-frame) is a better roof.”
Bielen added, “With a flat roof, heavy snows will lay up there.”
Labert pointed out that council voted for the A-frame roof.
Minneci said he agrees with Bielen. “With the A-frame, everything (snow) is going to come right off. I’m not going with the change. We’re set on the A-frame.”
Council President John DeBalko said the council will wait to make a decision until May, when prices on the various alternatives will be known.
The borough’s two code enforcement officers will be briefed on how best to use the laws on the books.
The briefing will come just in time for proposed changes to the code enforcement ordinances to give more power to code officers Denise Kapish and Stacia Riccio.
They will hear a presentation from borough solicitor Joe Baranko and attorney John Solt, who works with Baranko in the Slusser Law Firm, about how best to implement the laws.
The council voted 7-0 to expend funds for the presentation, which will take about two hours and lead to the development of a booklet for the code officers.
Kapish said the borough’s permit fee doesn’t call for a penalty.
“If you don’t get a permit, there’s no provision for what happens next,” Kapish told the council. “Stacia will attest to this, we’ve had some people who have repeatedly refused to get permits after being told. There’s not an awful lot we can do to hold them accountable for not doing that.”
Baranko said he will check the ordinance to see if it can be changed by resolution.
Shigo questioned if the $10 landlord registration fee is “every year.”
Kapish explained there is an initial annual charge. “You need a registration every year, and if the landlord changes tenants, there is another fee,” Kapish said. “There is an initial charge, an annual charge, and if the landlord changes tenants.”
Mayor Dane Watro asked if the council had revisited his idea for a code enforcement team and to pay for it from unused police training funds that are rolled over every year if not used.
“We need to talk to Joe (Baranko) about it, to see whether or not we could use those funds for other things,” John DeBalko said.
Hazleton Area School District wants the borough to return a piece of land to the district so it can expand the driveway to the McAdooKelayres Elementary/Middle School.
Andre Marchese, a HASD representative, told the council the driveway presents a safety hazard.
“A lot of accidents have been occurring,” Marchese said. “The main thing that is happening is when the school buses come around and make the wide turn, the parents are coming out from picking up their children, so the buses have to stop, and it is stopping traffic” on Kelayres Road.
In 2001, the district gave the 40-foot-by-440-foot parcel right next to the driveway to the borough for a girls’ softball field.
“At that time, the school district did not need that extra land and tendered it to the borough,” Baranko said. “If there is a free-standing deed, all you need to do is deed it over to the school district versus a full-blown subdivision.”
He also said the deed could have a reverter clause that would automatically send the land back to the district if it is not used for recreation.
“The stipulation was that we use it for recreation, but we couldn’t get it together,” Labert said. “I can’t see having softball batting (the ball) out into the road.”
The council authorized Baranko to check Schuylkill County records.
Aside from widening the driveway, a sidewalk is planned for the land to support events at the school.
Marion DeBalko said the borough should stipulate the land is used that way.