John "Herm" Suplizio

SUPLIZIO

DuBOIS — Landlords are concerned about a plan to add garbage collection fees to water bills.

They filled the DuBois City Council chamber at the city building Tuesday to listen to the first reading of Council Bill 1940.

It took Solicitor Toni Cherry about 45 minutes to read every page and provision of the proposed ordinance.

The city has an exclusive contract with Advanced Disposal for refuse collection and residents and businesses are required to use and pay for Advanced’s services.

However, city Manager John “Herm” Suplizio estimated that more than 500 residences are not paying for sanitation, which is creating a secondary effect: “There’s garbage all over the place,” Suplizio said. “We have a mess to clean up.”

Part of the enforcement initiative involves adding the refuse collection costs to water bills. That creates a number of issues for landlords, and they expressed their sentiments Tuesday. Several asked why Advanced Disposal can’t collect its own bills, instead of making them responsible.

The proposal passed its first reading, which triggers the requirement that a public hearing be held. That hearing will take place at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 25, prior to the council’s regular meeting.

Suplizio suggested that the landlords submit questions in writing before the hearing. He offered to meet with a group of them to review general as well as specific concerns.

Several years ago, the city made landlords — rather than tenants — responsible for water and sewage bills to solve the problem of renters leaving unpaid bills that resulted in shutoffs and additional costs to restore service when the next tenant moved in.

Tap feesThe council also passed the first reading of Council Bill 1941, which will complete the recommended increase in sewer tap fees, raising the rate from $2,700 to $3,397.

TurnbacksFour resolutions were passed accepting road turnbacks from PennDOT for 1 mile of Maple Avenue, 150 feet of Tozier Avenue and 128 feet of Dixon Avenue.

CDBG hearingPrior to the regular meeting, the council held a hearing on the 2019 Community Development Block Grant program.

Redevelopment Authority Director Joe Mitchell said the city’s allocation is $298,504, of which $244,773 will be available to fund activities that benefit low- and moderate-income residents.

The city will dedicate the money to the first phase of a two-phase recreational improvement project that will create a public park and walkway on the embankment at the north end of Liberty Boulevard/Route 219 and DuBois Avenue.

Planning

recommendationsThe council approved one recommendation from the city Planning Commission and tabled another one until a public hearing is held.

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The plan by DuSan Ambulance to build a small addition (300 square feet) to its building on Beaver Drive was approved and has been completed.

The second recommendation involves plans by Robert Burns to construct a three-unit condominium on a parcel between Rumbarger and Patterson avenues.

Off-street parking will be provided. There is adequate access for emergency vehicles.

Since the plan involves a conditional use, a hearing will be held at 6;50 p.m. Monday, Nov. 25.

Excused

Councilmen Ed Walsh and Jim Aughenbaugh were excused from Tuesday’s meeting, which was held one day later than usual due to the Veterans Day holiday.

Work sessionThe council will hold a work session at 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21.

Holiday schedule

The city building and garage will be closed on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 28 and 29, and Monday, Dec. 2, in observance of Thanksgiving and deer season.

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