Police Chief Concerned About Meter Maintenance

If you see a meter that needs repair, phone in the meter number to the police station at 724-543-1538.

Police Chief Bruce Mathews approached Kittanning Borough Council last night with concerns that there is no one currently performing maintenance on parking meters in the downtown business district.

“With the retirement of Dave Cox, a Borough employee, his previous duties included meter certification, repair and upkeep (Of meters), and mechanic duties.  To my understanding, that hasn’t been resolved yet. I am bringing it to your attention and asking for direction where we can keep these (meters) in operation and our costs to a minimum.”

According to Mathews, the mechanisms in the meters need regularly oiled to keep them from sticking. This further becomes a problem during the winter season when meters are subject to colder temperatures requiring more maintenance.

Kittanning Borough Police Chief Bruce Mathews voiced his concern about the lack of a plan to have parking meters repaired in the downtown area.

Mathews said learning to repair meters is not a major learning curve, but that certifying meters are accurate requires a person with certification from the Department of Agriculture.

Councilman Joe Kiehlmeier asked if the police department could handle repairs since the Parking Meter Attendant is regularly observing the operation of the meters daily.

“The timing and repair (of the meter) go hand in hand,” Mathews explained. “If it doesn’t get certified, it has to be pulled out to fix. It is not a good use of resources when you have to go from a police officer’s hand to someone who can repair it. Traditionally it has been done by the Street Department.”

In response to a question by Councilman David Croyle, Mathews said there are almost 250 meters that are currently in inventory that could be swapped out if a meter in service now needs repair. Croyle asked Mathews how many meters are in need of repair each month.

“It varies,” Mathews responded. “In the winter time, most of the jams are dealing with water freezing and thawing. Then those are pulled and sent down (for repair to maintenance building). But now we have nobody to pull them to check to see if it a malfunction or is this a temporary jam due to something weather-related.”

Mathews said that the current inventory of already repaired meters would probably carry the Borough through until early summer before repair and recycling of broken meters would have to occur.

“Mr. Cox was hands-on with them, so they were being oiled as a problem was being reported with one. Because they are mechanical, that does happen quite frequently. It would be pulled and brought in and one in reserve would be put in its place. That new one would be lubed, set in place, so they have been very reliable because they have been properly maintained. I don’t want to get behind (in maintenance).

“The parking enforcement is bitter-sweet. It is a necessary evil, as many people have called it. But to keep this feasible, it is really something that we need to address and be prepared for.”

Councilwoman Betsy Wilt asked who would be swapping out the meters at this point, to which Croyle responded that it would be the responsibility of the Street Department.

“Swapping it out is just taking it off (the post) and putting another one on. That’s not a major issue,” he said.

Croyle recommended that Council discuss it privately with other personnel matters and make a recommendation for a solution at next month’s meeting.

In other news, Council approved applying for 2018 funding that could potentially repair three streets in town: Colwell Street from Orr Avenue to North Grant Avenue, Rayburn Street from Grant Avenue to Orr Avenue, and Lemon Way from Orr Avenue to North Grant Avenue. The funding would come from the 2018 allocation of money from the Community Development Block Grant program.

20 comments on “Police Chief Concerned About Meter Maintenance
  1. goaskalice says:

    Mad: In my personal life I ascribe to your “turn the other cheek” philosophy, but in matters of public welfare and safety I am not as forgiving. Kittanning council has shown no evidence that they learned anything about management and governance from the Orchard Avenue incident. They have never contacted the residents of that street directly to explain their failure to repair the road nor have they produced a plan beyond the vague statement that a new grant application would have to be submitted. Now, council is preparing to submit a new application for funding, but is Orchard Avenue even mentioned—NO. It appears that the only lesson that has been learned from this debacle is that if you don’t advocate for yourself, no one will do it for you. I still maintain that the best course of action for Orchard Avenue residents is to present their concerns to the Community Block Grant funding authority and let them decide if Kittanning Borough is capable of fulfilling their obligations in a timely manner.

  2. blutoblutarsky says:

    Officers getting DUI’s, newly elected officials out in West Franklin getting charged for threatening people with a gun…. what a crazy time we live in.

  3. concernedformykids says:

    @ktown, Tell me more. I missed that one. Are you saying the newly hired officer for Kittanning recently received a DUI?

  4. opie2 says:

    Rainbow, there had been one. I have not seen him in a while either.

  5. Rainbow Rider says:

    Does anybody know if Kittanning currently even has a meter reader? I haven’t seen one in a few months.

  6. mad-2010 says:

    Lil Marko, Take another look at the bottom of that barrel. Can you read your name on that bottom? What a HoneyCreeper! Keep-On Bloviating!!

  7. mad-2010 says:

    Goask, “Why then would council even entertain the notion that they should be afforded another opportunity to mismanage grant funding and create a liability for borough constituents?” Why not be more positive and view the mismanaged grant as a lesson learned, look at what Ford City did when they messed up a grand, they made good on their mistake and moved forward in the right direction. I think that the proper avenue for the Orchard Ave. residents and taxpayers would be to take their concern to the council not the Grant funding authority. Kittanning borough has yet to be thrown off the CBG program and being that it is a Government based program as long as they meet the guidelines the CBG must give them consideration. Oh, and Yes, I agree that Dave has done the right thing for his constituents and will continue to do so….

  8. ktown_kid says:

    Lets worry about the real problems in this town!! The drugs and the addicts breaking into people houses and vehicles. How about the recent hired officer who got smacked with a dui? How many times was he drunk on the job? The list goes on and on Bruce!

  9. mark says:

    StillMad: as I am. LOL. Now someone has brought perversion onto the KP. The bottom of the barrel has finally been used by the “Rainbow’. NOW i get the significance of the posting name “Rainbow” Took me long enough! Duh!

  10. mad-2010 says:

    The comment section was originally hijacked by one person to espouse his political agenda, the rest came about in the natural discourse of the comment section.
    @ Rainbow, Captain Marvel obviously thinks he’s an irritant, more Bloviating, never fear!

  11. opie2 says:

    Those creepy clowns would be all over them meters. They would lube them all up.

  12. Rainbow Rider says:

    There’s probably a creepy clown that could maintain the parking meters.

  13. mark says:

    Go ahead GoAsk. Your posts are very informative to me anyhow. Interesting. Allow me to irritate the “Rainbow”. Don`t waste YOUR time with him/her.

  14. Rainbow Rider says:

    Believe me Alice. There’s only one.

  15. Rainbow Rider says:

    Profound wisdom? In this case it’s completely obvious!
    You must not know anything about Kittanning.

  16. goaskalice says:

    To Rainbow Rider: When Mr. Croyle created this grassroots public forum I applauded his efforts to provide a voice to his readers on local topics of concern. Over time, however, the comments section has been hijacked to become a personal blog for some people to bully and name call. When reading the paper, I frequently vacillate between being frustrated at Mr. Croyle’s refusal to censor these comments and commending his obvious commitment to free speech and press. As for knowing who I am, it is possible since we apparently live in the same geographical area, but impossible to confirm since we both use pseudonyms in our writing. I, however, know many people who would be capable of composing an articulate post that sticks to the topic, so if you only know one, the odds are against us.

  17. mark says:

    RR: and? Go on. We`re all awaiting your profound wisdom…

  18. Rainbow Rider says:

    There’s only one person that I know of who speaks like that ↓↓↓↓↓↓

  19. goaskalice says:

    Upon further consideration of my earlier posting, I realize that I was remiss in not acknowledging Mr. Croyle’s involvement in this process. As a member of council, he met with Orchard Avenue residents, advocated for their concerns, and was instrumental in procuring the funds necessary to provide the drainage and repairs necessary to make the roadway safe and passable. As a media owner and reporter, despite the objections of some of his fellow council members, he was ethical enough to report the return of the grant money and the reason that Orchard Avenue was overlooked or forgotten. Edmund Burke once noted that “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” While I cannot speak for any other members of council, or their involvement in this case, I at least wanted to acknowledge that Mr. Croyle tried to do right by his constituents.

  20. goaskalice says:

    I find it ludicrous to suppose that Kittanning Borough would have the manpower or managerial expertise to fulfill the requirements of grant funding for any type of road repair or reconstruction. By their own admission, they were unable—despite being granted an extension—to complete any work on Orchard Avenue and returned the substantial amount of grant money that was awarded for that purpose. Why then would council even entertain the notion that they should be afforded another opportunity to mismanage grant funding and create a liability for borough constituents? Furthermore, if funding is made available, shouldn’t the residents of Orchard Avenue be a priority given the treacherous condition of their pitifully maintained dirt roadway? I would invite borough residents to examine the condition of that particular road for themselves but it is currently an ice-covered slalom and will soon become an impassable mud bog. No emergency or transportation vehicle will even attempt to traverse the length of the road for fear of being trapped in the muck and mire. Perhaps council doesn’t feel that the Orchard Avenue residents are of sufficient economic or social status to warrant their concern but I would urge those families to contact the Community Block Grant funding authority and express their opinions on the ability of the borough to execute a realistic process. This might also be just the type of thing that needs to be brought to local, state and media attention. Updated infrastructure is desperately needed in our communities but money should not be given to entities that have demonstrated an inability to perform.

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