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Duquesne has improved its fire preparedness rating by five points, according to a national agency.
At last week's Duquesne City Council meeting, fire Chief Frank Cobb said the Insurance Service Office, Inc., has moved the community from a 9 to a 4, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the best and 10 the worst.
The city had last been rated in 1989, Cobb said. The rating reflects the overall effectiveness of the department, he said.
Cobb said 24 calls for service were answered by the department for April. The chief also thanked Mayor Nickole Nesby and city council for funding repairs to the department's ladder truck.
In other business:
Nesby reported that the city has received two grants from Allegheny County – one for $23,000 to be used for demolition projects and one for $150,000 to repair water lines.
A motion was passed by council to authorize the Steel Rivers Council of Governments to award a demolition contract to Lutterman Excavating for $23,000.
Police Chief Tom Dunlevy reported a total of 569 calls for service for the month of April, resulting in 36 arrests. Calls included nine abandoned motor vehicles, eight crashes, 21 alarms, three burglaries, 17 disturbances, 28 domestics, 20 juveniles, 12 warrants, 13 shots fired resulting in one person shot, and 133 traffic stops resulting in 97 traffic citations.
At the recommendation of Dunlevy, council passed a motion to hire four new officers pending evaluations.
Solicitor John Rushford reported that city ordinances will soon be available online for the public and local officials to view.
During the public comments section of the meeting, Duquesne resident Jeanette Curley asked council what can be done regarding the blighted properties neighboring her home, as they are unsafe and a fire hazard.
Nesby said council is indeed looking to rectify the issue and asked that Curley fill out a form with the Public Works Department identifying the property.
Nesby added that local youth, in partnership with several organizations, are being hired for a summer work program that will focus on cleanup of blighted properties.
Cami DiBattista is a freelance writer who covers news from Duquesne and White Oak for Tube City Almanac, along with other topics.
Originally published May 13, 2018.