CURWENSVILLE – Curwensville Borough Council has been considering a plan to keep track of renters in the borough and at Monday night’s council meeting some landlords spoke about their thoughts on such an ordinance.
John Johnston asked about the rental agreement plan and council member Tom Carfley explained that the idea is currently on the back burner. He said they sent information to their solicitor who sent a response and they need to review his suggestions.
The intention, Carfley said, is to charge landlords in the borough a $100 year fee and when people move into or out of a rental property, the council is to be notified and who is moving in or out.
Council would like to be able to keep track of what kind of people are living in the borough, such as those with criminal pasts, drug users or sex offenders.
Johnston explained that, by law, the landlords aren’t allowed to give out that information. Even if they get a call from another landlord, all they can say is whether they would rent to that individual again. They couldn’t supply that information to the council.
He said the best tenants are those who are working, pay their rent, help keep the property maintained and are good neighbors. But it is difficult to get those kinds of tenants because of population and employment.
“You’re asking us to do something we can’t do,” he said.
If the area had better job prospects, Johnston said, it would help with the renter situation. He added, “If you can get employment you’ll see a different Curwensville.”
Danny Russell, another local landlord, said he understands what the borough is up against and he is not against having some sort of rental agreement plan in place. He added he has seen such things work in Florida.
Russell and Johnston suggested the council meet with landlords to discuss possibilities.
Council also heard from a resident who is concerned about a private drain that runs from Center Street to Glenn Street. It is used to drain excessive water from a residence and years ago the terracotta pipe was installed across properties to drain the water.
The resident said there is apparently damage to the pipe and water is leaking into the yards, even on dry days. She has tried working with her neighbor to get the issue fixed and asked council if they could see what they can do on their end. Council agreed to talk with the neighbor.
Council has also been discussing hiring an officer to work in the school and working with the school district on how that would work.
After the council meeting adjourned, a member of the press asked council about Police Chief Mark Kelly visiting other municipalities. Council was asked if Kelly had been given permission to talk to the municipalities regarding coverage, etc.
Council President Sara Curulla at first said she thought the decision had been made at the May meeting, but then suggested that Mayor John Adams had given Kelly permission.
Adams said he had not, and there was brief discussion before someone suggested the police committee may have discussed it with Kelly, but it wasn’t approved at a regular meeting.