Traffic issues dominate the Schuylkill Haven meeting

Public comment took up most of the Schuylkill Haven Borough Council meeting on Aug. 17 as residents voiced their concerns about traffic flow and parking on Becker Street.

The concern was an echo of a July 20 meeting, when resident Daniel Long, who lives near the corner of Becker and Haven streets, asked if Becker Street could be made one-way because of how narrow it is and has blind spots. intersection with Margarita Street. Long said he often worried about playing kids who get hit and thought about making Margaret one-sided.

At the last meeting, resident Frank Nocker reiterated and explained these concerns, saying he was tired of police telling area residents they would be fined if they parked near or even in their own driveways.

“We’ve been told that if Becker Street is two-way, our property should be open to public traffic,” Nocker said, agreeing with Long that the road should be one-way.

“We think the solution would be for the council to call an executive session to discuss this matter because we would like to use our property without fear of tickets,” Knocker said, saying the problem could be fixed the same night as the leaders of the district will wish.

Justice Mark Semanczyk responded that the problem involved many moving parts and that it would not be possible to fix it immediately.

Semanchyk noted that it is necessary to carry out measurements of the roadway and other details that need to be finalized.

“Perhaps, we will have to make changes to the regulations,” Semanchik continued. It’s not something the council can do tonight.”

Semanchik took responsibility for the fact that the issue was not on the agenda of the meeting.

“It’s my fault,” the lawyer admitted. “We didn’t get there tonight. I undertake that I will have an opportunity to share my findings (before the next board meeting).”

Dissatisfied with Semanczyk’s response, some of Noecker’s neighbors echoed his complaints. Resident Brian Redding asked what he should do when his family and friends park in front of his garage.

Semanczyk remained firm and continued his promise to push for an intensive investigation into the matter before the council’s next meeting on September 7.

In other business, the board approved the sale of a 21-year-old backhoe for a profit of $21,000.

Councilman Curt Montz echoed concerns he expressed at the June meeting that the district needs to seriously consider revenue. Montz was confused by the school tax increase and said the district may have to respond by reassessing the city budget.

At that meeting, Montz added that recent spending by the federal government should cause local municipalities to take a closer look at how it will affect them. “We have to look at our overall costs of doing business,” saying now is a good time to start budget season.

Council President Jerry Bowman said he saw EV charging stations at interstate stops on a recent trip home from the Midwest. That led him to wonder whether the district should consider such stations as electric vehicles become more popular, linking his point to recent federal government spending on infrastructure.

Councilwoman Diane Roeder noted that Montz mentioned something similar at the last meeting. Montz responded that it’s a good idea, but with it comes other things the district needs to consider. Among them is the question of whether the city will be able to handle the electricity from multiple cars that disconnect from the electric system if electric cars become widespread. Montz tied the idea to his other concerns about the district’s revenue, saying it’s another thing the city needs to consider in the future.

It was mentioned that district auditors recently suggested that officials continue to talk about fraud prevention, citing one recent example where the district recently purchased cybersecurity insurance.

A resident mentioned concerns about water levels in Tumbling Run during the current drought. Mayor Michael Devlin responded that the Tumbling Run is only 5 feet high, which is good considering the lack of rain.

Area resident and former councilman Donald “Doc” Dress showed off the historic-looking bridge light he bought along with several others for the corners of the new bridge to be erected on Columbia Street. He donates lights to the area to make the bridge look like it did in the early 1900s.

Bowman asked if the district had considered building new tennis courts. Roeder agreed and said pickleball courts could also be considered.

The St. Charles Street Compost Site will host a fall cleanup and recycling event September 6-9 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and September 10 from 8 a.m. to noon. Electronics are not accepted for cleaning, but appliances and bulky items such as mattresses will be accepted for a nominal fee.

Back to top button