Category: Kittanning Borough

Kittanning Council Restricts Boat Docking Overnight


Kittanning Borough Council passed two ordinances last night at their regular council meeting, including restricting overnight boat dockage in Kittanning that prevents other boaters from coming into town.

By Jonathan Weaver


Those boaters who dock their crafts in Kittanning Riverfront Park overnight soon will be fined for breaking an amended ordinance.


Borough Council last night amended Ordinance #477 – which already restricted times and manner of recreational boats at the John P. Murtha Amphitheater – even more to increase traffic flow, said Borough Council President Randy Cloak.


“The concern has been that people come in from distances away or even locally and will place their boats at the dock and stay there a significant amount of time, thereby prohibiting other boats from coming in,” Cloak said. “I think this ordinance will actually help the two local boat marinas by forcing them to go there and patronize their businesses.


“It was never intended to be a permanent dock space or overnight dock space, but mainly access to the park.”


First Ward Councilman David Croyle noted the news during the Labor Day Weekend that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is set to negotiate this month with the non-profit Allegheny River Development Corporation to reopen Locks #6-9 (including the one in Kittanning) on weekends and holidays as soon as this May, and hopes the amendment doesn’t discourage boaters.


“I understand the purpose, I understand the reasoning – I’m not necessarily opposed to that – but I do have some concerns now that the nonprofit (Allegheny River Development Corporation) has persuaded the (U.S.) Army Corp of Engineers to open the locks again,” Croyle said. “It’s going to increase boat traffic – which will be a wonderful thing to downtown Kittanning. I don’t want to slow down anyone who would want to come.”


Council President Pro Tempe Kim Fox said the issue was first reported to her by another boater.


First Ward Councilwoman Betsy Wilt motioned to enact the amendment and it was seconded by Second Ward Councilwoman Joie Pryde before it was passed, 7-1. Croyle opposed the ordinance.


The amendment changes the original ordinance limiting times of recreational boat dockage passed in 2007.


Planning and Development Community Division Director Jennifer Bellas announced that Kittanning Borough will receive more in Community Development Block Grants this year – which she recommended to possibly put back into repaving borough streets.


Council members will have slightly-less than $67,400 to allocate toward a project – possibly Phase II of the borough revitalization project or toward more paving of municipal streets.


“The second option would be paving McKean and Jefferson (Streets) one block out from Market (Street) once crews are done with the revitalization project,” Bellas said. “Those are streets we didn’t include, because we were afraid they would impact construction.


“Obviously, with $67,000, it will be a multi-year project, but it will give us time to finish Phase II and III and build up the pot of funds to do so.”


If either of the two options is selected, random income surveys would still have to be issued to residents in the municipality since.


“I think either project is beneficial – personally, I like the paving idea,” Cloak said. “A number of years in block grant dollars have been allocated toward the revitalization idea, and while I think that’s a worthwhile project, the paving on those streets leading up to Market Street shows a need.”


Fox agreed. A public hearing will be scheduled before the end of the year when the application is due to the Department of Community and Economic Development.


Any paving  would be performed at the earliest 2016.


Following an executive session to discuss personnel and legal matters, council members tried to alleviate some personnel hirings and resignations.


Last month, Borough Council hired part-time street workers Benjamin McCanna, Duke Zellefrow and Tyler Cremeans.


A motion was made to re-hire McCanna and Zellefrow, effective today, but after further discussion, the move will be made into effect as soon as Monday, September 8 after review by Solicitor Tyler Heller – who was not at the rescheduled meeting Tuesday.


Officer Eric Smith – who resigned August 9 – also was unanimously approved to be reimbursed his pension fund contributions of more than $1,870.


Smith began June 20, 2013. Mayor Atwood asked that council continue to seek part-time officers to minimize overtime costs and act as a “floater” in case of emergency call-offs or vacation, which they agreed with.

For Sale: Kittanning Hose Company #4 Fire Engine

The Kittanning Hose Company #4 American LaFrance fire engine will be sold after firefighters purchased a new engine with federal grant funds in February 2013.

By Jonathan Weaver

With the successful purchase of a 2013 Rosenbauer fire engine last year, Kittanning Hose Company #4 will be starting bid procedures to sell its old apparatus.

In 1984, the American LaFrance was purchased new from the since-closed Elmira, New York plant by Kittanning Borough for $187,000. At their meeting earlier this month, Kittanning Borough Council unanimously agreed to allow the fire department to bid out the apparatus and give the money toward Hose Company #4.

Hose Company #4 Fire Chief Earl “Buzz” Kline was fire chief in 1984 and inspected the truck before it was driven back to Kittanning.

“It’s been a good truck,” Chief Kline said. “I know a lot of guys that are going to be sad to see this go when it does go.

“It’s been a work horse and proved its efficiency many, many times.”

For providing emergency assistance from the streets of Kittanning Borough to those nearly 30 miles away in Indiana County, the American LaFrance has less than $14,000 miles on it and – although firefighters have had to replace tires, batteries and water hoses – the original engine, transmission and brakes.

The apparatus is currently equipped for back-up usage, but is not deemed safe by updated regulations. Because of that, it cannot be sold to another fire department.

“Whenever we filled the narrative out for the grant process (for the new 2013 Rosenbauer), we put in there that it didn’t meet (National Fire Prevention Association specifications) and it didn’t meet State inspection (specifications), for the simple fact that the back of the cab is open. That’s a safety factor and that’s the only reason,” Chief Kline said. “If a broker would buy this and close it in, they could sell it to another fire department or whoever he wants to.

“Since we deemed it unsafe for our use, we can’t sell it to another department. We can sell it to an individual or broker of fire apparatus.”

Firefighters transferred the deck gun and bell from the American LaFrance to the Rosenbauer, but the Rosenbauer contains many new safety features and fire protection advances: including all ladders and hoses kept in internal compartments out of weather conditions, up to 80 pounds of oil dry to clean up oil spills and can transport an extra firefighter in the enclosed cab.

The Rosenbauer engine – which is expected to service the region for 30 years – also contains Kittanning Borough’s only air foam system, Chief Kline said.

“We put a compressed air foam system on it – which if, we’re using this at a structure fire, the 500 gallons of water and the 30 gallon of foam we carry gives us 2,500 gallons of firefighting capability,” Kline said. “It takes that 500 gallons of water and multiplies it, so instead of lifting that heavy hose, you’re lifting a real light hose that’s actually just bubbles.”

An air foam system – the only one available between the three town fire companies – is to further eliminate the chance of a fire rekindling and does not fatigue volunteers on-site.

However, if Hose Company #4 firefighters deploy the foam system, other companies must shut off the water attack. It has only been used in drill scenarios since the engine was acquired.

“When you open the nozzle, you get quite a surge of air – and if you’re not ready for it, it’ll knock you on your behind,” Chief Kline said.

With the exception of water cans, all equipment on the truck was bought through Hose Company #4.

Other features on the new truck include up to 14 breathing apparatus packs, two gas and two electrical fans, and a chainsaw and saw to cut through a roof. When materials on the American LaFrance are finally taken off, the Rosebauer will be equipped with 3,000 feet of hose – enough to stretch more than half-a-mile

Prior to the American LaFrance, #4 firefighters utilized a 1959 Mack engine – which is now utilized on a Butler County campground

American LaFrance ceased operations at its South Carolina headquarters in January.

After the engine is sold, Hose Company #4 firefighters will be left with a 1980 Mack air truck – the only air truck in the Borough – which is still in-the-running for a Department of Homeland Security federal grant that would cover nearly $174,000 in breathing apparatus.