Kittanning Urges Maintenance on Properties

Kittanning Borough Solicitor Ty Heller (center) said the new ordinance will push harder against property owners that ignore property maintenance violations.

Kittanning Borough is tightening up its stance toward the maintenance of properties by its owners.

Solicitor Ty Heller said the Borough has received ongoing complaints about various properties in disrepair. Codes Officer Rick McMillen said the current ordinances are not stringent enough to force property owners to act.

Heller said there would be ample notice of a violation before action would be taken.

“It sets for the need for an initial notice of the initial violation. Then it provides a time period in which the initial notice of violation is to be corrected. If it (isn’t corrected), it provides for much more stringent penalties. The idea being: we are going to give you a chance to do this – we will give you lots of notice. In fact, we are giving you notice twice. But if you don’t do that, we are going to hit you with something that actually hurts.”

The ordinance calls for a timeframe of no less than 21 calendar days between the first notice and the second notice.

If the property owner does not remedy the situation after the first notice, a fine of $50 is assessed.

According to section 6 of the proposed ordinance, after the second notice of violation, property owners would be subject to a fine of $500 plus the costs of prosecution.

Heller said the emphasis on building maintenance came as a result of the recent revitalization of Market Street.

“Millions of dollars have been spent downtown. Let’s build from that momentum and fix the properties that need to be fixed.”

Heller said the new ordinance is not specifically for the Business District, but is borough-wide.

To assist Business District property owners with performing specific maintenance, such as painting their building, installing new awnings, and other enhancements, the Borough has applied for a grant known as the “Façade Program” that could reimburse the property owner up to $5,000 for approved projects in which they spend $10,000 or more. Details of applying for funds will be available if the grant is approved. Approval is expected by late Spring.

16 comments on “Kittanning Urges Maintenance on Properties
  1. mark says:

    Butts on the street is an issue and has always been. Don`t you know smokers are second class citizens? But some of these homes/yards look worse than Lucchetti`s auto wrecking yard.
    Ans like said, the renters couldn`t care less.

  2. jerry6 says:

    I just went to my front yard and laying on the road were two empty cigarette packs and one of those little cardboard packs that a pie comes in. I picked them up and put them in my garbage can. I care what my property looks like.

  3. jerry6 says:

    North end guy, I do pick up garbage. One day walking down Water street, my hands were full of garbage by the time I got to Market street and the garbage can. I used to walk down my road where I live with a bag and it was full by the time I got home and put it out for my garbage man. I even drive down the road and brought home a 24 case of empty beef bottles for my garbage. I wad told by a person in town that ther is a man and woman who live in Applewald that they come over town all the time and clean garbage up. I saw a man also with a picker up cleaning the streets. So, yes I do clean up after other people who weren’t trained to clean up after themselves. Do you?

  4. north end guy says:

    Jerry 6, I have to agree with you, but on the other hand, God made all of us caretakers of the Earth. As a concerned citizen and you walk around town a lot, when was the last time you carried a little bag and picked up butt or two or piece of trash? P.S. I’m not a smoker but I’m sure I did the same when I did smoke. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a bimonthly Block Police Call to cut down on this problem.

  5. jerry6 says:

    Watching, I am not Jerry Shuster and am not on council.

  6. jerry6 says:

    Watchingfromadistance, I am not on council and I am not Jerry Shuster.

  7. Watchingfromadistance says:

    Jerry6, Aren’t you’re on council? Do something about, don’t just post complaints!

  8. Nivasi says:

    This has been an issue for a long time. Property owners could care less how their properties look; as long as they get that state Section 8 payment along with the tenants’ check. The Property owners are supposed to have their places inspected before and after someone moves out. I am sure the owners abide by those rules -insert sarcasm- How about owners take pride in their properties and care about the community THEY chose to have properties in? Grants can be applied for on their own, but I don’t see the burrough giving anything away.

  9. sabrinafair says:

    They can start by tearing down the eyesore across the street from me… that would be great.

  10. mark says:

    jerry, they have NO pride and fining them is like fining drunk drivers. Has had NO effect on them and is a cash cow for the courts. Every night in the LT there are another half dozen arrests. Maybe Katie has something up her sleeve. Empty the boro garbage truck in their unkept yard and see if they come out of the house!

  11. jerry6 says:

    I walk around Kittanning all the time. The worst offender of all are all the dirty cigarete butts all over the place. You see smokers throwing them out of their cars and throwing them on the sidewalk. Who do they think is going to clean up after them. There is a double house on McKean street across from the nursing home. You see paper all the time on this property with a yard the size of a postage stamp. You can get a bag of garbage just walking on North Water street. You see the same offenders never mowing there grass. They don’t seem to enforce the codes.

  12. jorn jensen says:

    Great idea, Worthingtonman – tax money going back to taxpayers. Awesome!
    What the borough of Kittanning needs to do is to repair the alley behind North Water Street. The holes are so deep that soon, the roadway will be smooth when the water-filled holes are frozen over. There, it’s fixed! Next?

  13. Watchingfromadistance says:

    Kittanning Borough should look at their junk vehicle enforcement. The first one they can ticket is themselves for the dump truck sitting next to the borough building with bad tags, and out of date inspection.

  14. wonderwhy says:

    It doesn’t take a lot of money to keep your property clean of junk, debris, garbage. You can tell who owns their home and who has Section 8. They don’t work for what they have or work period. The houses and rentals are trashed. They bring down the value of the homes by them. Not like they are too busy at work to clean up their property. They have time to junk it up. We need to start enforcing laws, codes around here. Chief Hulings always said if you take care of the little things the big things will get taken care of also. It seems like people are trying to get things going in The area. Now the councils have to step up and get these things taken care of by enforcing the codes. Good first step !

  15. mark says:

    Yes Worthingtonman, I read this the same way. Another article, maybe KP maybe LT, told of the grant $ to help business owners fix things up. Now, if $ is available from grants, it`s going SOMEWHERE sooner or later so why not our business people. BUT, I`ve seen some of the trashed properties in Kittg and all they need is labor to improve the messes. Some are content to live like pigs and NO amount of grant $ will solve that. I say take what grant $ you can even though it comes from taxpayers because it`s going to go somewhere and not come back to taxpayer`s wallets.

  16. worthingtonman says:

    So let me get this straight. Kittanning used grant money to revitalize a dead downtown that is never coming back and now want to force property owners to spend money maybe they don’t have to fix theirs? How about this. Why doesn’t kittanning get some more grant money and the. Give it to the people to fix their properties? I am sure Graff insurance has plent of money to fix their building and you are trying to get them money.

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