WNEP-TV -- February 4, 2016
West Pittston To Start Construction of Disaster Recovery Project
WEST PITTSTON -- Almost five years after historic September 2011 flooding temporarily washed out part of Luzerne County, one community there is on the rebound.
Later this month, crews will start part of a disaster recovery project on Luzerne Avenue to make improvements. A sketch shows roads and sidewalks will be replaced, and new streetlights and vegetation will be added from Susquehanna Avenue to Spring Street. But perhaps most importantly, "this is going to replace all the sewers and in this area and certainly alleviate the local flooding,” said Brian Thornton, W. Pittston Council President.
When the project is finished, officials hope businesses will come back.
“Beautification as well as the new infrastructure will be an attraction for the businesses,” said Tom Reilly, an engineer with the borough.
Construction is expected to start later this month.
West Pittston residents got the first look at the plans to redo some borough streets damaged in the 2011 flood during the February 2 Council meeting.
Streetscaping plans for Routes 11 and 92 in the vicinity of the Fort Jenkins and Water Street Bridges and Luzerne Avenue were explained by Tom Reilly, borough engineer. Reilly showed sketches of the areas involved as well as photos of the new street lights. The project is being funded through Federal disaster aid grants awarded in 2013.
The most dramatic changes will be at the Fort Jenkins Bridge intersection (sketch above)
where the road will be narrowed by grassy lawns and trees. Luzerne Avenue will have sewer and drainage improvements as well as curbs, newly planted tree lawns and trees. Other streets flooded in 2011 will be paved. Blackman, Excelsior and Race Streets and part of Susquehanna and Montgomery Avenues have already been paved.
Work will begin as soon as the weather permits.
The borough has advertised and adopted a new ordinance dealing with the prohibitions and consequences for homeowners leaving pets outside for 30 minutes or more when the temperature is below 26F or above 92 F. The ordinance will be enforced by the Luzerne County Society for the Prevention for Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) at no additional cost to West Pittston. It would go into effect on March 1, 2017.
The ordinance makes it: “unlawful for any person to leave any dog outside and unattended during any period in which a severe weather warning has been issued for Luzene County by the National Weather Service. It is unlawful for any person to leave any dog outside or unattended for a continuous period of time greater than thirty (30) minutes if the temperature during such period remains either entirely:
i. below twenty-six (26) degrees Fahrenheit; or ii. Above ninety-two (92) degrees Fahrenheit. "
"Outside" means the dog is subject to the weather and elements, which expressly includes, but is not be limited to, a dog in a securely fenced-in yard, a dog in a kennel, or a dog tethered. The dog is considered "outside" regardless of access to an outdoor doghouse or similar structure. "Unattended’ means any dog left outside either when the owner is inside the house or building, or the owner has left the house or building.
Anyone found guilty of violating the ordinance by a District Magistrate can be fined up to $500 in addition to court costs and enforcement and shelter costs in the event a dog must be confiscated. Each day of a violation will be a separate offense, which will also be subject to prosecution. The maximum allowable fine where separate offenses are alleged and prosecuted at the same time is $2,500.
24-hour Limit for Trash Cans
At its regular monthly meeting on November 8, Borough Council adopted a new ordinance regulating the length of time garage cans and other trash bins can be left at the curb. Residents have a 24-hour window to put containers out for collection and retrieve them. In any case, the containers must be off the curb within 12 hours of collection.
Following is an abbreviated version of the ordinance. A complete copy of the ordinance is available in the Borough Office:
Containers or receptacles used for trash, refuse, rubbish or recyclables disposal shall be placed for collection on the resident’s property or the tree lawn, if any, adjacent to the resident’s property and not more than ten (10) feet from the side of the streets or alley from which collection is made. Containers shall be removed within twelve (12) hours after collection is made. No refuse, garbage, rubbish, recyclables and/or ashes may be placed for collection for longer than twenty-four (24) hours prior to the scheduled collection date.
West Pittston Borough or its agent or subcontractor for trash or recycling collection may discontinue or refuse collection services to any person, whether as principal, agent, or employee violating or assisting in violation of any provisions of this ordinance. Any person, whether as principal, agent or employee violating or assisting in violation of any provision of this ordinance shall, upon conviction thereof before a District Magistrate pay a fine of not less than twenty-five ($25) dollars and not more than three hundred ($300) dollars.