Police officer pitches idea of K-9 unit for Abington Area

By Ben Freda - For Abington Journal
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CLARKS SUMMIT — At the Nov. 6 borough council meeting, Angelo Rudolfi, a full-time police officer with the Waverly Police Department and part-time officer with the Clarks Summit Police Department, mentioned the South Abington Police Department always had a K-9 unit and pitched the idea of another such unit for the Abingtons.

“We have a big elderly population where there’s incidents of missing persons, children and the drug epidemic,” he said. “I think it will be a great asset for the Abingtons, not just our police department but all the Abington police departments.”

Rudolfi said canines break barriers between police officers and children in schools.

“Children love animals,” he said. “And I think that would be a good ice-breaker for us to be able to get in the community with the schools and be proactive with it instead of reactive.”

Rudolfi extended a request for donation of a K-9 unit. He mentioned Schultzville Animal Hospital is willing to donate the vet care of the dogs, the Veterinary Regional Emergency Center is offering emergency care and State Pet Supply will donate dog food.

Mayor Herman Johnson replied, “I think it’s a great idea what you’re doing, and it’s really going to help out the citizens of Abingtons. That’s what I like about it.”

Rudolfi told the council members there is no rush on the decision and distributed flyers that the council members agreed to post a copy on their Facebook page.

During public comment …

• Claude Welcome, who resides on Vosburg Lane, said that behind his property, which is Jefferson Street, there’s a swale from the runoff that goes through a drain. He mentioned that when he first lived there in the 1980s and 1990s, someone would come with a backhoe and fix it every other year. He said PPL recently put towers behind the swale.

“They (PPL) dredged out part of the swale that’s behind PennDOT and stopped,” he said. “They (PPL) said they have no other legal binding to do anything more.”

Welcome said the remaining water runs over into his and his neighbors’ yards and that one person’s stonewall was knocked over from the water. He said the basement at his house is underwater.

“It doesn’t have to be a major storm,” he said. “It can rain for two hours moderately (and) it overflows,” he said.

Welcome’s neighbor Michael Belko, who worked with PennDOT, said, “We’re asking (for) two hours with a backhoe.”

Councilwoman Virginia Kehoe said she will talk with engineer Bob Naegele about the issue.

“I know it’s been more than 20 years since it was dredged,” she said. “This became a problem that I became aware of when PPL did all the water there. I was working with PPL and got them in to do some changes and haven’t heard from them since.”

Welcome said his neighbor contacted PPL which sent him a letter indicating it is not liable to fix the swale.

Kehoe replied, “As a point of reference, when PennDOT was putting in the most recent car wash, we wanted to bring them before the planning commission just to make sure that stormwater was addressed to meet our ordinances, and the official response from the state was they’re not obligated to meet our stormwater ordinances,” she said. “The state has their own standards, and they supercede us; therefore, there was no obligation.”

Welcome’s neighbor Maureen Jones showed the council members a video of the water runoff.

“I do feel like you do have to see the video to appreciate (it) because it’s not just a flow of water; it’s like a water flood in my driveway,” she said.

Kehoe mentioned she will have a conversation with Naegele and Solicitor Kevin Hayes to start resolving this issue.

• Tom Sheerin, a resident of Carol Drive, mentioned concerns of ongoing traffic caused by the closure of Carol Drive and said he went door-to-door talking to residents of Carol Drive and its neighboring roads.

“I heard some of the distinct concerns people had,” he said.

Sheerin mentioned elderly citizens are concerned about access of emergency vehicles and said he received a letter from Clarks Summit Borough saying that is an issue. He also mentioned a woman from PPL who went door-to-door saying PPL wanted to buy this property and the borough refused. He said his daughter and other students have to cross Grove Street to Vosburg Road to be picked up by the Abington Heights school bus.

Kehoe said PPL has no issue with using the property. Sheerin replied the school district told him that, since it’s a closed road, it’s not an access point for the school bus.

Then it shouldn’t have been to begin with because it’s not a proper road,” Kehoe replied. “Nothing has really changed in it other than the fact that PPL put gates up.”

Council member Vince Cruciani made a motion to send a letter to Abington Heights School District recommending the bus stop on the south side of Grove Street to remain a bus stop. The council approved the motion.

In other business …

• The council voted approve a bid from MHW Construction for $16,250 for sanitary sewer repairs.

• The council received a recycling grant application approved for $9,749.

https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/web1_K9-unit.jpg

By Ben Freda

For Abington Journal

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-991-6405 or by email at news@theabingtonjournal.com.

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-991-6405 or by email at news@theabingtonjournal.com.