Honey Brook Borough Council reviewed residents’ complaints regarding code enforcement, with some receiving three or four violation letters.
Honey Brook Borough has had a “number of complaints about the work we have done,” said Dan Malloy from Yerkes Associates, a civil engineering firm primarily in Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties. “There is a letter from Borough Clerk Marcia Finnegan. We want to do what the Borough wants by complying with your wishes.”
President of Council Ron Rosciolo said during a Feb. 17 Council meeting that “there have been concerns. There is the protocol of the chain of command. There have been instances of (Zoning Officer Brian) Willicombe using paid time for his own activities or discussing things of no or little concern.”
“We are also concerned about costs,” said Council Member Ted Ford. “Your employee seems to be going through the Borough singling out items of concern and therefore being overzealous in enforcement. All of the funds in the budget are being spent. We got complaints it was overdone. We want to keep it simple.”
“It is unrealistic,” said Council Member Charles Zirkel. “Something that was not a violation before suddenly becomes a violation. People should not be hit for everything that is not essential like paint and flooring.”
“This is the 4th time we have had a meeting on this concern,” said Rosciolo. “There is a communication problem.”
“I wanted to be here to get a hold of this,” said Malloy.
Council Member Jeanne Jenzano said “picking of miscellaneous issues like a railing and peeling paint are not required. We had a couple here complaining that comments were made about closet doors that did not close.”
“Now it has changed to the opposite. People have come here and said they would not move into the borough if there were all these rules. Before we had Yerkes we had a firm that did nothing,” said Ford. “We are trying to pull the reigns back but nothing is happening. Willicombe made a list of concerns associated with the health, safety and welfare during a drive around the borough. Why should a person receive 3 or 4 letters of violation.”
“A letter is needed for each violation,” said Willicombe. “Each letter has to be certified and sent individually.”
“After the initial inspection when there was a second inspection to determine the first violation was corrected, more violations had been added. I asked a resident to come to this meeting with his complaints but he was afraid of repercussions. We don’t want that in the borough,” said Rosciolo
Council member Marc Richard said, “How would the codes inspector know if a handrail was the wrong size unless he came on the property illegally?”
Malloy said, “I understand. I will put together some notes. We will get this resolved. I will be back in touch with council.”
Rosciolo said “a committee to study the entire process of codes enforcement has been formed.” Members are Borough resident Kevin Gore who will serve as chairman, Marc Richard, Chris Beiler and Rosciolo.
In spite of setbacks and concerns from constrictions arising from tight codes enforcement, Honey Brook Borough is striving to improve things.
Joel Antowiak from Orangeburg, N.Y., said he is interested in moving his business Antowiak and Mahoney Enterprises Inc. to the Borough. His business calibrates instruments for its own use and for customers that is used to measure minor traces in of radiation in medicine. Sometimes he will sell used instruments on eBay.
“The building formerly housing the Restoration Station next to Turkey Hill Market would be ideal if Council would approve it,” he said. “Before I purchase it I want to be certain there is no opposition from Council. There would be some changes in the interior of the building and the doors. No special protection would be needed in the walls.” Antowiak will collect samples and test them at the manufacturer’s request.
He has a permit from the state to test medications of extremely low levels of radioactivity. “All materials that are tested at the facility have very short period of radioactivity. Any waste is handled by a certified waste hauler. The laboratory in New York state has been in operation for 10 years.”
Antowiak said he would have himself and a part time employee.
“A few patrons would come during the week. No radioactive material would enter the waste water system.” “The state will inspect the business.”
If there is no opposition with the state or here he will purchase the property as soon as he can.
Willicombe said he “had been playing tag with the realtor. That type of business is not permitted at the location as it is zoned mixed use commercial.”
He showed the zoning manual to Borough Attorney Gary Mosteller.
Considering the problem Rosciolo took notice. “No problem. I think it allows research and testing.”
Mosteller said “you have to have all of the emergency procedures in place. Members of the fire company and police departments should be informed of any emergency procedures. A copy of the license must be provided to the borough office. We ask you to maintain the business according to conditions.”
“We want to bring businesses to Honey Brook Borough,” said Rosciolo.
Council granted unanimous approval to Antowiak’s request.