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George Addresses Concerns Over Bagged Parking Meters In W-B

March 13, 2019 GMT

WILKES-BARRE — Mayor Tony George addressed several concerns from council members Tuesday, including parking meters being bagged two days before the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday.

Councilman Tony Brooks told George he received a complaint from a constituent about meters along South Main Street being bagged this past Friday, and a call from another constituent who got a parking ticket for parking at a bagged meter on Saturday.

Brooks said City Administrator Rick Gazenski told him there were concerns about overtime if the meters were bagged Sunday.

“I just want to make sure, is that the right way to go about it? If we’re losing quarters on those two blocks for Friday and Saturday, does that equal what the overtime would be for Sunday? Could those bags be put on Sunday morning?” Brooks asked.

George said the meters should not have been bagged on Friday.

“We did lose the revenue. … The police are on 24 hours a day. They could have bagged them Sunday morning or late Saturday,” George said. “I’m going to find out why.”

Noting that council would be asked at Thursday’s meeting to authorize the city to sweep state-owned roads in Wilkes-Barre in exchange for payment from the state Department of Transportation, Brooks said one of those roads — South River Street — was never swept last year despite the city being paid to do so.

George said the street sweeper broke down last year, but he expects all streets to be swept this year.

Councilwoman Beth Gilbert told the mayor someone with a garage near Dana Street and Almond Lane is running a “super-loud generator” overnight, “so loud that it shakes the neighbor’s home.”

Gilbert said the neighbor called police twice, and each time officers showed up, the generator was turned off. “But the guy keeps doing it, to my knowledge. So … what would be the next step for something like that?” she asked.

The mayor instructed a police officer to make a note for the roster that a citation for a noise violation should be issued on the next visit by police if the situation repeats.

In January, George reached a compromise with Council Chairman Mike Belusko, who had asked the mayor to attend council meetings this year. George agreed to attend work sessions so he could answer council members’ questions and address their concerns.

In other business, council heard requests to authorize the following at Thursday’s meeting:

• Buying rock salt for the 2019-2020 winter season pursuant to terms of a previously bid state contract.

• Vacating an unused portion of Corbett Lane to the Cross Valley Federal Credit Union so a new branch can be built near the intersection of Pine, Sherman and Spring streets.

• Giving the city director of operations signatory authority for maintenance improvements on a Wilkes University Pedestrian Improvement Project reimbursement agreement. The project is a continuation of the streetscape improvements in the blocks surrounding campus.

The next phase includes improvements to South Franklin Street from Ross Street to West South Street (a pedestrian crosswalk with crossing signals will be installed in front of the Arnaud C. Marts Center); West South Street from South Franklin to South Main Street; and South Main Street from Northampton Street to South Street.

The improvements will begin this summer and will include new sidewalks, lights and landscaping. The funding comes from the Transportation Alternatives Program administered by PennDOT. Wilkes addresses costs related to engineering, design and labor.

Contact the writer:

smocarsky@citizensvoice.com 570-821-2110, @MocarskyCV