Scott official complains Glendale gets more than its share
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Scott is divided into nine wards, but one of them is getting more attention and tax dollars than the rest, says Commissioner Bill Wells.
Mr. Wells, who represents the Second Ward, said at a meeting last week that Ward 1, which covers the Glendale area of the township, gets more money pumped into it than the other eight wards.
He read from a statement he prepared after taking a tour of Glendale and by culling through meeting minutes for the past several years.
Looking directly at First Ward Commissioner Eileen Meyers, Mr. Wells said he visited Glendale's main street, Carothers Avenue, and found at least 10 houses that needed to be painted, 14 cans or bags of garbage left outside and at least 50 homes that had been divided into apartments, of which 75 percent he estimated to be substandard.
Rather than continuing to pour money into this area, Mr. Wells suggested the township and citizens demand that repairs and changes be made.
"The entire township and most of [the first] ward should not pay to fix this area when the owners or absentee landlords do next to nothing," he said.
"The taxpayers should not be expected to repair this area when the landlords who are benefiting from these houses do nothing to improve their homes."
He pointed out that Scott recently spent more than $500,000 on a retaining wall project that affected just five homes in Glendale and that matching grants for demolitions in that ward often result in vacant lots that require township maintenance.
In addition, Scott is spending $1.2 million on a revitalization project for Carothers Avenue, he said.
When Mrs. Meyers pointed out that Glendale is Scott's oldest section and that Carothers is a busy road, Mr. Wells replied, "I'm saying most of these houses are in deplorable condition and shouldn't be rented out anyway.
"This is tax dollars. I will not authorize one more red cent to be spent on Carothers Avenue," Mr. Wells said. "We need to spend some money in the others wards also. I don't like using all of our grant money in one area."
Bob Fischer, Scott's code enforcement officer, said he tries to keep up with complaints and code violations in Glendale, but added, "I can only do so much."
While he has had some positive resolutions, such as a recent $9,000 judgment against an out-of-town property owner, Mr. Fischer noted that some landlords don't call him back.
Mr. Wells, whose ward includes busy Swallow Hill Road that needs significant repairs, further objected to the way in which officials select streets to be repaired. Though the board used to ask each commissioner to submit a street from his or her ward, that process appears to have been somewhat abandoned in recent years.
For example, township minutes for 2010 indicate that Scott's $350,000 road budget was eroded by more than $100,000 in unexpected projects, as well as the use of more than $100,000 for a new public works building roof, Mr. Wells said.
First Published June 21, 2012 5:01 am