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The City of Duquesne has completed most of the hurdles to emerge from state-mandated fiscal oversight.
At a meeting July 17, former City Manager Kelly Robertson — who has now taken a job with another agency — and Act 47 oversight coordinator George Dougherty read the exit plan for the public.
City Councilman Derek Artim said the public forum was brief and few people spoke. A final decision on whether the city can exit state oversight will come in less than 90 days.
In other business, city council accepted the resignation of police officer Hunter Scherf. Mayor R. Scott Adams thanked Scherf for his time with the department.
During a public comment session, resident James Bricker asked council whether the Two Rivers Amateur Radio Club, a non-profit organization, could use a city-owned radio structure near the reservoir for ham radio activities.
The ham frequencies are not in the public-safety band and would not interfere with city police or fire traffic, Bricker said. Bricker added the club would be responsible for any upkeep.
Council and city Solicitor Myron Sainovich said they would look into the matter. One concern expressed is that the property straddles the municipal line with West Mifflin.
In other business, council reported that the public works department was again fully staffed, but they were still hoping to hire one more seasonal worker for summer projects. The city is also looking into the cost of replacing or erecting street signs. Many of the signs are gone, and officials would like to fix the problem.
Leaders discussed the parking situation on Orchard Court, where on-street parking has made conditions tight for emergency vehicles like ambulances and fire trucks.
The city is also going to look into placing a “slow down” sign near Precious Angels daycare.
According to Councilwoman Elaine Washington, the city’s public works crew received compliments for clearing overgrowth and debris from Center Street. “Too many times the calls are negative, it’s good to get a nice call,” said Mayor Adams.
In his Water Department report, Councilman Aaron Adams noted that there were three water main breaks in the city, but they were “taken care of quickly,” and that routine water quality control testing was “caught up.”
Council ratified a motion to help residents who need help with changing names on water bills. It will now be easier for residents to change names on accounts, in case of death of a spouse or similar situations. “As long as they are paid up,” Sainovich said.
“If they are up to par with payments and not delinquent, we can immediately help the family,” added Mayor Adams.
With a recent resignation in the staff, the city treasurer’s office will now operate from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m., with a one hour break at 12 noon for lunch. There is a drop box at City Hall for tax payments. During that last hour, staff members will catch up on the day’s work. Reduced hours will remain until the department is fully staffed, city officials said.
There was talk of citing property owners who don’t take care of their properties or cut grass. Sainovich noted that once the code enforcement officer is hired, property owners can be fined.
Originally published August 02, 2023.