It’s going to take more than one borough manager and one code enforcement officer to
make keep Bridgeville beautiful.
Residents can help by contacting the borough about abandoned cars, discarded tires, or other forms of trash piling up in a neighborhood, said Bridgeville borough manager Lori Collins at Monday’s council meeting.
“We can’t see everything,” she said. “It helps me very much if you call and say, ‘Lori, there are tires sitting there.'”
From there, the borough sends a letter to the property owner, followed by a final notice. If that doesn’t spark action, the issue goes to the district magistrate’s office, a move that tends to get results.
The system isn’t perfect, though.
Sometimes property owners will do the bare minimum to make their property legally compliant.
“I can’t cite them, but to anybody else, it does not look acceptable,” Collins said.
Bridgeville resident Gary Palmer told borough council that some spots in his Fryer’s Hill neighborhood have become eyesores.
“If you look up on the hill, there’s nothing but garbage,” he said. “There’s yellow tape around another building. It’s looked like a murder scene for years.
“If I was in Upper St. Clair or Peters Township, I would get $80,000 more for my house,” Palmer told council. “I know that’s never going to happen here, but we have to put together some type of plan and you have to get active.”
Collins acknowledged that for that past six months, as Bridgeville recovered from the June flood, the community has had virtually no code enforcement.
But even when a property is on the borough’s radar, taking enforcement action isn’t always easy, she said.
“We have houses that have been issues… but are in bankruptcy and we can’t touch them,” she said. “Or they have been condemned and we are waiting to get the money to take them down.”
Allegheny County last year stopped providing financial assistance to demolish condemned homes. Now, it’s up to the township or borough to foot the bill.
Police chief Chad King said that last year, his department had 43 cars around town declared as “abandoned” and an officer tracks whether they the owners bring them into compliance or removes them from the properties.”
“We do work with the residents on that,” King said. “We don’t take a hard line, and say, ‘You have 48 hours. We understand that people do work on their cars.”