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NEWLY ELECTED OFFICIALS SWORN IN

The Reorganization Meeting of Etna Borough Council was held Tuesday, January 2nd.  Newly re-elected council members, Pete Ramage, Ed Burke, David Becki, Rudy Milcic, and Bill O’Dell were sworn in by newly elected Magistrate Daniel Konieczka as was re-elected Mayor Tom Rengers and newly elected Tax Collector, Karen Tomaszewski.  Mrs. Tomaszewski resigned her council position, which she held for fourteen years, effective December 31, 2017.  Karen will continue her work on the numerous volunteer groups that serve our community.  

Sophia Kachur was also appointed and sworn in as the newest Junior Council Member for Etna Borough.  Sophia is a senior at Shaler Area High School.  She serves as the Senior Class Representative for the School Board, is President of SPACE – the Student Political Action Committee for Education, is a member of the National Art Honors Society and Stage Crew for the high school theater productions and has been involved in a great deal of volunteer work.  We are excited to have Sophia join the Council and look forward to her perspective on our community and our activities moving forward.  

Long time Tax Collector, Germaine – Gerry – Pfeifer, retired after fourteen years of dedicated service to Etna Borough.  Gerry was presented with a Resolution of Recognition for her loyalty and commitment to her position and for her friendly and professional manner with our property owners.  Gerry will be much missed by the Administrative Staff of the Borough; she was always willing to lend a hand in the office, no matter the task. We wish Gerry much happiness in her retirement and welcome Karen Tomaszewski to the position.   

In November, Council adopted Ordinance 1372 in compliance with Act 172 of 2016, which authorized municipalities to grant local tax credits to volunteers of fire companies and non-profit emergency medical service agencies.  Volunteer Fire & Emergency Medical Service agencies struggle to hold on to their volunteers, who give so much time in responding to emergencies, keeping training current for responding to emergencies and volunteering numerous hours to fund raise to meet their financial obligations.   This is why House Bill 1683 was adopted by our state legislators and signed into law by Governor Wolf.  Etna adopted our ordinance in acknowledgement of the value we place on our volunteer fire men and women and the volunteers in the nonprofit Shaler Area Emergency Medical Services.  It also shows our desire to encourage residents to volunteer for our Fire Department.  The job they do is outstanding and invaluable, and all done for free.  Each active volunteer member is eligible to receive an income tax credit of UP TO $300.00 of the earned income tax levied (1% of earnings, .5% is Etna Borough share).  There are strict criteria for a volunteer to be eligible for this tax credit, including, but not limited to training and certification requirements, volunteer hours provided and the volunteer must be a member in good standing with their organization.  The Fire Chief is required to certify the eligible members.

An exciting initiative taking place in 2018 is the planning of the Etna EcoDistrict.  An EcoDistrict is a neighborhood where dedicated residents work together to form a plan to improve the quality of life in that community.  Improvements can be made in water and air quality, health and education, and other environmental and social initiatives.  The projects are planned with sustainable development in mind and are achieved by community members working together at the neighborhood level.  The new EcoDistrict group will be planning and implementing projects both small and large, so maximum community involvement is essential.  If there is a specific area that interests you, or if you simply desire to make Etna a better place to live and work, then join the conversation!  Join us on Wednesday, March 7th at Fugh Hall on Crescent Avenue (next to ballfields) to have a part in shaping your community. (Flyer enclosed)

Sesquicentennial Celebration!

A great and enthusiastic group of volunteers have begun the planning of our upcoming 150th anniversary celebration!  Fund raising has begun, with the auctioning off of some of the remaining blank bricks on the Bell Monument at the Municipal Building!   A second brick sale is now open for the sidewalk area in front of the monument.  Cost for a sidewalk area brick is $55.00.  See the form on the home page for details on purchasing one of those bricks.  Forms and payment are due in by March 30, 2018. Make sure you mark your calendar for September 13th through 16th for the celebration!  There is still time to join the team!  If you would like to join the Committee and help plan this monumental event, please email (meramage@etnaborough.org) or call the office and ask for Melinda, 412-781-0569.

Public Safety Department News

Police Department News

For the 6th consecutive year, the American Automotive Association (AAA) has awarded the Etna Police Department with a Platinum Award for their superior efforts and leadership in improving community safety. Awards are presented at the Commendation, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum levels.

We ask that you keep an eye on any elderly neighbors you may have during these cold winter months!   Check in on them periodically, to make sure they are doing well.  If you are concerned about a neighbor, you can always call the police station and request a Wellness Check.

The Etna/Shaler Bike rodeo will be held on May 19 from 10 a.m. to 2.p.m. at Kiwanis Park in Shaler Township. Children are encouraged to bring their bicycles as there will be an obstacle course, bicycle inspections and free helmets.  Experts will be on hand to fit the helmets properly.

As we begin to experience colder weather, this is a reminder to anyone who owns real estate within the Borough of Etna, whether occupied or vacant, that you are responsible for ensuring that your walkways and sidewalks remain clear of snow and ice.   According to Borough Ordinance 1266, snow and ice MUST be removed within 24 hours after snow has ceased to fall or ice has ceased to form.  Property owners who do not comply could receive citations with fines of up to $600 per violation in addition to court costs.  Also, it is a violation of Pennsylvania State law to throw the removed snow and ice into the roadways.

Property owners are responsible for ensuring that rubbish and garbage are disposed of properly.  According to Borough Ordinance
1265, appropriate trash containers must be used and maintained at all times and no trash container shall be placed at the collection point any earlier than 6:00 p.m. on the day before the designated collection day and all containers must be removed from that point by midnight on the designated day of trash collection.

Again, please remember to safeguard belongings by keeping all doors and windows to your vehicles and home locked and by securing or concealing valuables.  Remember too, Etna has a Soliciting Ordinance which requires a permit in residential areas, so be wary of solicitations at your home and ask to see an Etna Borough Permit.

If you are concerned about a family member or friend and possible addiction issues, please check our website, www.etnaborough.org – under Police Services for a link to a wealth of information provided by Allegheny County Health Department.  This is a HUGE issue in our society and there are many tools that can assist and guide you in dealing with this problem.

Emergency Management Agency News

In the October, Public Safety newsletter, we informed you that you could sign-up to receive text messaging for any alerts and/or reverse 911 calls that the Borough makes.  Many of you took advantage of that; we discovered, though, that many residents either do not have a home computer or are overwhelmed with the process of registering their cell phone numbers through our website for the Swiftreach program.  With that in mind, our partner, Shaler North Hills Library, will gladly assist any resident who wishes to register their cell phone through our alert texting system.  Just stop in the library to ask for some assistance.   Sue Brown from the Administrative Staff of our office can also assist you.

Borough News

CODE ENFORCEMENT/BUILDING AND ZONING PERMIT REQUIREMENTS


An Application for Commercial Registration and Zoning Compliance must be completed by any new business before opening to insure it is in compliance with Etna zoning ordinances.

Owners of rental properties must keep an updated Property Registration Form on file at the Borough Office at all times.   If a tenant moves out and a new tenant moves in, you need to complete an updated Registration Form.  There is no fee for that form.

Get a new TV for Christmas?  We request that you contact Waste Management’s At Your Door Service to schedule a FREE pickup of your old TV at 1-800-449-7587 or www.WMAtYourDoor.com or Email: AtYourDoor@WM.com.  If you put it out for regular pickup, they will not take the television.

We continue building on the new sense of pride in Etna that started in the central business district last summer where the property owners were notified, in a friendly manner, of maintenance code violations which needed addressed.  This process will continue moving forward, with formal notifications to those who have not complied with the gentle reminder.   

As we previously stated, we are going to continue this initiative with a new focus for the summer of 2018.  While traveling around the borough it became apparent that there are many garages in need of repair.  The garage owners will receive a friendly letter, in early spring, outlining the maintenance code violations which need attention.  This letter is a prelude to a formal violation letter which will be issued to those who do not take it upon themselves to abate their violations.  Your cooperation in improving the aesthetics and safety of the borough is greatly appreciated.

Public Works News

The leaf collection program has been a huge success and we thank everyone for their cooperation with this service.  This past fall we collected 28 loads of leaves from our streets. This equates to approximately 145 cubic yards of leaf debris that will be kept out of our combined sewer system.  These leaves are taken to the North Hills Council of Governments compost site through a multi-municipal program we participate in. Every spring we utilize compost from that site for our gardens!

The Public Works crew makes every attempt to keep the roads clear during snow events.  To assist them with this task, there are a few things you can do to make this process more efficient. Please park as close to the curb as possible, and observe any no parking areas marked in yellow. The trucks, when equipped with plows, are difficult to safely navigate the many narrow, hilly streets within our community so if you could keep your side mirrors turned in, that would be a big help to them.  Also, when shoveling your sidewalk, it is best to shovel the snow away from the street.  It is not necessary to shovel the entire width of your sidewalk; a 24” cleared path is all that is required.  Remember, the snow must be cleared from your sidewalk within 24 hours of the end of the event.  Thank you in advance for your patience as they make every attempt to clear all roads as quickly as possible.

Harrisburg News

State Senator Randy Vulakovich is sponsoring his annual Spring Senior and Disability Resource Expo, on Friday, April 13, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Springdale Veteran’s Association located at 1151 Pittsburgh Street, Springdale, PA  15144.  The Expo will feature a variety of informational booths geared toward senior citizens, individuals of all ages with a disability or multiple disabilities, and their caregivers.  Exhibitors will range from state and federal agencies to non-profit organizations as well as local disability advocacy groups that provide services affecting the health, safety, and welfare of senior citizens and individuals with a disability. The event is free and open to the public.  Light refreshments and door prizes will be offered.  For more information on this or other upcoming events, please call 412-487-6600 or visit www.SenatorVulakovich.com.

Senator Vulakovich is hosting a Seniors for Safe Driving refresher course for drivers 55 years of age and older, on Thursday, March 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Shaler Township Municipal Building, 300 Wetzel Road. The benefits of taking the course are becoming a safer driver and receiving a minimum of 5% discount on your auto insurance.  No exam will be given and the course is classroom instruction only.  The fee for the class is $16 payable to Seniors for Safe Driving.  Call 1-800-559-4880 to register for a class or register online at www.sfsd-pa.com.  Please note that this course is a refresher course. For information on first-time courses sponsored by Senator Vulakovich please contact Amber Lepic at 412-487-6600.

State Representative Dom Costa hosts his annual Job Fair on Friday, March 16, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., at the Ross Township Municipal Building in the gymnasium. Come meet with employers hiring in and around the Pittsburgh area. Those attending are encouraged to bring several copies of their resume.

The 2017 Property Tax Rent Rebate is now available. Home owners or renters may be eligible for a rebate! Call the Representative’s office for the income guidelines. The program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people who are 100% disabled, ages 18 and older.

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will continue to be open until April 6, depending on the availability of Federal funds. LIHEAP, which is a grant that does not have to be repaid, helps low-income families pay their heating bills. The 2017-2018 income guidelines are $18,090 for a single household and for each additional person, add $6,270. If you have received assistance in the past, you should have received your application for this year. If you think you may qualify but are not sure, contact Representative Costa’s office for assistance.

For more information on the items listed above or for assistance with any state related issue please call Representative Costa’s office at 412-361-2040, and remember to check out his website www.pahouse.com/dcosta for all legislative updates and upcoming events.

Shaler North Hills Library

BEAT THE WINTER BLUES……. come play Mini-Golf at the Shaler North Hills Library on Mt. Royal Blvd!    For the past five years, the Friends of the Shaler North Hills Library have sponsored this event.   This year’s event is President’s Weekend, February, 17th, 18th and Monday the 19th, (No School).  Look for the special “Etna 150th Anniversary” hole!  For specific details call the library at 412-486-0211.

Have you been to the Library lately? It is so much more than what comes to mind when you hear the word library!  It is a learning center, a community center and an art gallery!  Stop in to see all the fabulous things they do there!  Coming up in February – classes for Computers!  Sessions include “What the heck IS a computer? Laptop? Tablet?”, “Email Makes Me Crazy!”, “Getting in, attaching files and more”, and finally, “Searching the Internet & Social media!”  Classes start February 9!  You MUST REGISTER either online or with the Reference Staff at 412-486-0211.

Reminders From Your Borough Office

Property Owners, ordinance 1091 requires occupancy registration on an annual basis as well as when tenants move in and out of properties. If the property is vacant, we need to know that as well. Accurate occupant information is vital in utility billing and can help you when your properties are vacant as charges are obviously different for vacant properties, but only if timely notification is received by the Borough.

Sidewalks must be cleared of snow and ice within 24 hours of a snowfall or ice storms per borough ordinance.

Garbage cans must not be placed out prior to 6:00 p.m. or dusk the night before trash pickup and must be taken back in by midnight the following day.

Pets must be kept on a leash when being walked and cleaned up after..

Dumping yard waste (fall leaves, etc.) into any of the streams or storm runs located within the community is illegal. Litter tossed on to the local roads can end up in our combined sewer system and cause serious problems to downstream neighbors. Anyone caught draining oil and other liquids from their vehicle into a storm drain will be prosecuted to the fullest extent that the law allows.

Waste Management Holiday Pickups

Scheduled trash pickup dates for 2018 observed Holidays:
Memorial Day Week –Saturday, June 2nd
Independence Day Week –Saturday, July 7th
Labor Day Week –Saturday, September 8th
Thanksgiving Week- Saturday, November 24th
Christmas Week –Saturday, December 29th
New Year’s 2019 Week –Saturday, January 5

Etna Borough Council Meetings, third Tuesday of each month, 7:30 p.m. If you need transportation, please call the Etna Borough Office one week prior to the meeting.

Etna Economic Development Corporation Meetings, second Tuesday each month, 7:00 p.m., Municipal Building.

Etna Planning Commission Meetings, every fourth Thursday, 7:00 p.m., Municipal Building, call in advance for meeting confirmation.

Pride Of Etna Committee Meetings, second Thursday each month, Municipal Building.

EMMANUEL LUTHERAN CHURCH - Zumba Exercise Classes, Tuesday and Thursdays, $3.00, 5:45 – 6:45 p.m.

Calvert Memorial Food Pantry

The Bread of Life Pantry hours for Calvert Memorial United Presbyterian Church are as follows:

First Wednesday of the month, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Second Wednesday of the month, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Third Wednesday of the month, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

If there are any questions regarding this information, you can contact the Food Bank at 412-
781-3056.

 
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