CLEARFIELD – Clearfield Borough Council heard from Deb Gray, president of the Clearfield Volunteer Fire Department, regarding parking at the fire hall.
Gray said the issue had been brought before council months ago and action was promised, but nothing has been done yet.
Gray said time is critical in emergencies and being wasted when volunteer firefighters are forced to drive around looking for parking when they report for fire calls. She pointed out that parked vehicles often block the doors so emergency vehicles can’t get out to respond to calls.
Gray noted the fire company has permission to use CNB’s parking lot after hours, which is a help.
Borough Operations Manager Leslie Stott said St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church committed to notify parishioners that they aren’t permitted to park at the fire hall. However, Stott noted, as the fire company property adjoins the church, part of the paved area in front of the fire hall is church property. She asked council if a survey should be done to verify property lines.
Councilman James Kling said when the fire hall was built there was an agreement with the church to provide a right-of-way for the fire company. He said originally everything was marked and signs were posted, but over the years paving has covered parking lot markings, and signs have been removed. He suggested previous agreements need to be re-affirmed, as so many of those involved with the original agreements are no longer around.
Councilman Tim Winters said council needs to make it a priority to determine property lines and right-of-ways, and to have the meters removed on Cherry Street between Front and Second streets and signs posted for fire company parking only.
Council instructed Stott to immediately order signs for posting when meters are removed, and asked Solicitor F. Cortez “Chip” Bell to research original agreements and property lines. It was also suggested the fire company post no parking signs on fire hall doors, and paint parking delineations on the paved lot.
Fire Chief Todd Kling reported the rescue boat is out of service, awaiting a new motor. Kling said it’s important to have the boat available. It was noted it’s used throughout the Tri-county area and the motor had expired during rescue operations with the Ridgway flooding.
Stott said the new motor will cost $6,500. Council agreed to pay half of the cost.
Todd Kling also addressed three safety issues in the borough. First, he stressed the importance of posting street addresses on buildings.
Councilman James Kling noted the borough has an ordinance requiring house numbers be posted, which outlines minimum requirements, such as the house numbers be at least three inches high, and be clearly visible from the street. He asked about notices that Code Enforcement Officer Larry Mack was to send to residents about house numbers. Stott confirmed notices had been sent, but she didn’t know what had been done to follow up. Mack wasn’t at the meeting.
The second issue Todd Kling addressed was outdoor burning. He noted the fire company has been called for outdoor fires that aren’t permitted in the borough.
James Kling explained the borough follows the International Fire Code regarding outdoor fires. He said recreational fires are allowed only for cooking, and require a permit. Fires for any other purpose are banned and can be cited, Kling said, adding the borough needs to be more active on enforcement and issuing citations.
The third issue Todd Kling addressed was parking in front of fire hydrants. He thanked the police department for monitoring these parking violations, but asked the community to show more consideration to safety, stressing the importance of access to hydrants in fire emergencies.