Clarks Summit Council discusses parking meters, drones

By Meredith Colohan - For Abington Journal | November 3rd, 2015 12:22 pm

CLARKS SUMMIT – Upcoming changes to parking meters in the borough may include three main factors: long term meters will be eliminated so that all meters will cost the same; the cost will increase to $0.50 an hour; and fines may increase to $15 if the fine is not paid within 72 hours.

Council discussed these items at the work session Oct. 27 after multiple discussions with residents and since council voted to order new meters.

Borough Manager Virginia Kehoe said she needs to draft an ordinance before council may vote on the changes, and that the only determining factor now is whether council wants the new meters to accept quarters only; or quarters, dimes, and nickels.

“Not giving the option of dimes and nickels may encourage people to break the law,” Kehoe said.

Mayor Patty Lawler told council she was advised the meters should accept only quarters because the smaller coins cause more maintenance issues. The general consensus of council is to only accept quarters.

Council also discussed a draft of the borough’s drone ordinance. According to council member Vincent Cruciani, one reason the ordinance was created is to protect residents’ private property if a drone operator were to fly his or her drone over private property.

If passed, Clarks Summit Borough would be the first in Lackawanna County to have such an ordinance. Since the law is new, the majority of the discussion regarded whether certain parts of the law are enforceable.

Borough Solicitor Atty. Dan Mulhern said, “It would be difficult to enforce criminal trespass [for the drone operator],” referring to a section that explains a resident may file a criminal complaint against a drone operator flying a drone over the resident’s property without written permission.

Kehoe said the intent is not to, “go around and try to charge these drone operators with trespass. We are just leaving a tool there for the property owners who are trespassed on to sue.”

“And to file a private criminal complaint,” Cruciani added. “It’s the same concept as someone walking through your yard.”

Solicitor Mulhern said he is, “not comfortable passing it the way it is.”

Cruciani and Solicitor Mulhern agreed to discuss the matter further with the hope that the ordinance may be completed within two to three months, according to Cruciani.

In other news, Abington Regional Wastewater Authority (ARWA) Board Member Wayne Miller attended the meeting to give council an update on the treatment facility.

Miller told council the project is “moving ahead…due to the fact that everything that has been done so far has been done with the cooperation of all the three communities involved.”

There is no completion date, but the project is approximately 75 percent completed, and that the project is “well on task,” to meet the budget, and, according to Miller, is currently under budget.

By Meredith Colohan

For Abington Journal

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