The Ellwood City Borough filed 16 property citations on Friday, Sept. 26 with District Judge Jerry G. Cartwright.
This is part of an ongoing campaign by the borough to enforce property codes on rental and business properties. According to Borough Manager Robert Villella, the concerned properties have had prolonged code violations, and the owners have repeatedly neglected to correct the infractions.
Villella said that it was more appropriate for the borough to act by filing citations through the magistrate rather than placing a lien on the property.
The 16 citations were for five properties, with one of the properties, 335 Pittsburgh Circle, receiving 10. All of the owners, save one, reside outside of Ellwood City. Two of the citations were for failure to remove business signs 30 days after ceasing operations.
Other citations ranged from unsafe structures, roof falling into neighbors’ yards, debris in yard and harboring skunks. Although the property on 335 Pittsburgh Circle received 10 citations, there were only five infractions, as the property is joint-owned by Robert and Donna Yoho of Cranberry Township, who were each issued received five citations.
According to Villella, the borough has made several opportunities to speak with the owners to get them to repair property, which has not happened. In some cases, borough employees have had to work on property, such as cutting grass or removing a dead rat from the back porch.
“Borough employees shouldn’t have to be cleaning messes and cutting grass,” Villella said.
Villella said many of the citations originate with complaints from community members. Properties in disrepair can adversely effect neighborhoods by depreciating property values and creating eyesores.
“We don’t want properties to create situations where neighbors’ enjoyment is obstructed,” Villella said.
Apparently, the recent actions won’t be isolated as the Borough continues to enforce code. “We will be issuing citations more often,” Villella said.
- James Ritorto, Beaver Falls, 510 Lawrence Ave. (Oliver’s Pub and Eatery) – failure to remove business sign 30 days after closing
- Ralph DiBello, Ellwood City, 735 Lawrence Ave. (DiBello’s service station) – failure to remove business sign 30 days after closing
- George Kubini, of Pittsburgh- 532 Glen Ave., structure in danger of imminent collapse
- Jeffrey and Lisa Suisi, Edinburg, 139 Hazen Ave., grass too high (citation to each owner)
- Michael Wyant, New Castle, 229 Wampum Ave., unsafe structure
- Robert and Donna Yoho, Cranberry, 335 Pittsburgh Circle, windows not weather tight, roof falling into neighbor’s yard, crumbling siding, harboring skunks, debris on property (five citations to each owner)