Resident Raises Property Issue in Clearfield Borough

CLEARFIELD – Clearfield Borough resident Rodney Bowers once again attended the borough council meeting to have the matter of a property currently in violation of borough code addressed. The property is located on West Second Avenue.

Bowers has been regularly attending meetings for the past five months to encourage council to have the property addressed.

At Thursday night’s meeting, he reminded council that, by the borough’s own law, the matter should have been addressed years ago, but it hasn’t been. According to Bowers, the issue has been ongoing for 23 years.

According to a previous article, the problems include debris, a partially collapsed structure and several vehicles that do not run and do not have current inspection stickers.

He noted that Code Enforcement Officer Larry Mack gave the property owner 90 days’ notice, which has expired. He asked, “What are we waiting for?”

Bowers then directed a question directly at council President Wade Cowder, asking him if he would direct Mack to cite the property owner on Friday. Cowder said he couldn’t answer that without council’s advice. Borough Solicitor F. Cortez “Chip” Bell was absent from the meeting.

Bowers asked why Cowder or the council as a whole couldn’t direct Mack to do something that is spelled out in the borough’s law.

At that point, Borough Manager Leslie Stott reminded Bowers that he had been at the same hearing as council members and the property owner with District Magistrate Michael Morris.

At that time, the property owner was given until Dec. 1 to clean up the property. Bowers replied that he had understood that was only for grass and weeds and not for the entire property.

When asked, Mack said that some progress has been made on the property. He agreed that he does need to contact Morris’ office and clarify what the magistrate’s orders were and what he would like Mack to do next, whether to cite the property owner, or turn the files over to the magistrate’s office.

“I will have answers for you tomorrow,” Mack said to Bowers.

The property owner has a permit for demolition, which is good for only 120 days and expires at the end of January. Mack noted that he has been trying to work with the property owner as the man is a business owner and Mack said he understands the difficulties in running a business. However, he said that this is something that needs to be taken care of.

Council also heard from Joan McMillen, who said she wanted to thank council and the fire department in their efforts during the multi-vehicle accident on Interstate 80 Saturday.

She also thanked the street crew for their hard work in trying to get leaves picked up, noting that they were running to get leaves picked up ahead of the snow storm. “Sometimes we forget how hard the borough crew works,” she said.

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