WILKES-BARRE - With a thin agenda to work with at its meeting Thursday night, complaints from city residents about a broken sewer line, speeding cars and rental inspections took up most of city council’s time.
Council approved the installation of an exterior sign for the Froyo Mania frozen yogurt shop at 10 E. Northampton and authorized Mayor Tom Leighton to enter an agreement to accept a $50,000 grant from the state for the purchase of two police cruisers.
The money was awarded through the Commonwealth Financing Authority which administers the local share of gambling revenues from the Mohegan Sun Casino at Pocono Downs to municipalities in Luzerne County.
The cruisers cost a total of $71,717 and the remainder of the funds will come from the federal Justice Assistance Grant program.
Residents Robert Tosh and Dan Bisset said they have had to deal with sewer line that’s blocked up and caused problems for seven homes on North Washington Street across from the Hollenback Golf Club.
“The line’s probably collapsed in my opinion, ” Tosh said.
They asked that the city fix the problem once and for all instead of short-term clean outs of the line.
The mayor said the city is aware of it and is working on it.
The lack of posted speed limit in the 200 block of Poplar Street across town concerned resident James Gallagher. While watching his daughter ride her bicycle cars sped up through his neighborhood. He said he was told that without a sign, the limit on the street is 35 mph. He presented a petition to council to have it lowered to 15 mph.
Frank Sorick questioned council about the lack of rental inspections at the Sherman Hills apartment complex. A city ordinance requires a rental property to be inspected each time there is a new rental agreement entered into with a tenant.
An inspection completed Thursday found two violations that Drew McLaughlin, municipal affairs manager for the city, described as minor. Prior to that the complex was inspected in 2010, he said.
The mayor said the city’s inspectors are very busy and the department is understaffed.
But council chairman Bill Barrett responded that Sherman Hills is a problem property and should be inspected more often. The complex, privately owned by Park Management Inc. of Brooklyn, N.Y., has been the scene of numerous shootings and violent crimes.
“It gives us an opportunity to keep a finger on what’s going on there,” Barrett said.