Carnegie hears about raccoons, rats, skunks

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Carnegie council members were confronted Monday night with concerns about vacant properties, animal control and zoning enforcement.

“We’ve been here before,” said Teresa Bofo, a Morrow Avenue resident who said she has been unhappy since she bought her home in 2006 that a neighbor leaves food outside daily for wildlife.

“There are at least 20 raccoons, and we have hordes of rats over the hill,” she said before asking the enforcement officer to do something about it.

Zoning officer Terry Roma said Allegheny County has a case against the neighbor who has until the end of August to clean up the property.

And council agreed to issue a citation, providing the Bofos are willing to offer testimony.

Diane Voltz addressed council about a condemned home on Dawson Street that is occupied by skunks and raccoons.

“My child has Down syndrome,” Ms. Voltz said. “She thinks all animals are OK. If one bites her, what do I do?”

She said she considered using traps until she learned there was a $65 charge to dispose of a skunk. Mayor Jack Kobistek noted that complaints are increasing about skunks.

Mike Lisk, who has lived in the borough for three years, complained about vacant rental properties and a lack of enforcement.

“At times, lawns are overgrown, littered with garbage or infested with rodents,” he said, adding that one property has been neglected for a year. He said he filed complaints with Mr. Roma in October. A hearing is scheduled for Aug. 27, he said.

After the meeting, Mr. Lisk said, “It's a violation to have an overgrown property, however we are surrounded by many overgrown properties and there always seems to be an obstruction to getting the situation resolved. Complaints to code enforcement yield no action.”

Carnegie manager Steve Beuter said in a statement, “Every complaint received is given due process through notifications and, when applicable, citations to the magistrate. Each case holds many variables, so at times there may be a period between actions taken, whether it be the violation being corrected or action from the magistrate.”

Amy Philips-Haller, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com.


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