Westover makes use of summer weather

WESTOVER — The city of Westover is taking advantage of summer weather to make needed improvements around the municipality and its park.

At the most recent Westover city council meeting, Mayor David Johnson reported welcome repairs to the city and Westover City Park were commencing with the good weather.

New councilmember-at-large Steve Andryzcik was sworn in to office, and councilmember-at-large Al Yocum was not in attendance.

Johnson said the dryer weather allowed workers to start needed repairs around the city.

“I know the weather has been hot, but it’s been a blessing for us because the rain has quit,” he said. “We are not cutting as much grass, so we actually can say we are getting caught up with some things.

“We’ve got some tree-cutting to do, some potholes and speed bumps, repainting] some lines where the lines have faded out, so the guys will be doing this in the next couple weeks.”

Johnson said he wanted to put a bid out for renovations to the Westover City Park tennis court.

“I talked to a couple people about a year ago,” he said. “They want to use half of the tennis court for pickle ball courts. They can put two pickle ball courts on one side, and then have the tennis court on the other side.

Johnson said they were also looking to get water hooked up by the bocce ball courts, so they could put a bathroom there.

“That won’t be a very expensive project,” he said. “We can do it in two phases and keep it under the number we have to use to put it out for bid. Hopefully we can do that.”

Johnson said he needed names of two to three streets from everyone on council for the paving list this year. He said if they had 10-12 streets to look at, they could see which ones to check with MUB about repairs.

Councilmembers and community members in attendance gave ideas for more improvements.

Councilmember-at-large Edie Viola said someone had called her about dead trees in the Westover park.

Johnson said those were part of the tree-cutting to be done, and the city may hire a professional tree cutter to work on the trees for which Westover is responsible.

Resident Sam Parratta said there are pine trees on Fairmor Drive and an old ash tree across from Gibson’s that are hanging low and tearing up his RV.

Johnson said he would look into it, and they could work on those trees.

Resident Gary Marlin said he was glad the mayor was addressing the tennis court, but wondered how the community could find out about activities and games scheduled at the park.

“I’m delighted to hear the tennis courts are on track to be resurfaced,” he said. “Pickle ball is becoming very popular.”

Johnson said he would give him the number of those in the bocce ball league, and said coming to council meetings and looking at the website were good ways to find out information.

In other business:

Westover Police Chief Richard Panico said the department answered 480 calls in the last two weeks. He said city court had brought in $4,350, and $2,908 from collection of state tax returns from overdue fines.

Panico said there were 11 vehicle accidents, three stolen vehicles — of which two had been recovered — six shoplifting arrests, two evictions, one case of suspected arson of a truck and one overdose resulting in death.

Panico said the tent city down by the river had removed itself because the occupants had gotten a barge, by which they had proceeded down the river until they grounded it near Point Marion, Pa. He said there is still a lot of garbage and needles to clean up, but not a lot of activity.

City code enforcement official Jason Stinespring said 29 permits were issued, mostly relating to fences, roofs and other summer repairs. He said he was working on the list of abandoned buildings. One was torn down, and two more were sold to individuals to repair.

City clerk Sandra Weis said began July 1, so all Westover businesses had to be relicensed.

Weis said the city sent out inquiries to auditing firms because they had to have 2016, 2017 and 2018 audited. Council will vote on which firm to use.

Second Ward city councilmember Ralph Mullins said there are two places on Westover bridge that concern him and asked Johnson to speak to the state DOH about repairs.

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