SUMMERVILLE — Having taken his oath of office during a mass ceremony at the Jefferson County Courthouse on Tuesday, Jan. 2, newly-elected Mayor Bob Rupp stepped into his duties at the re-organizational meeting for Summerville Borough Council that evening.

Presiding at the brief session, Rupp called for nominations for president and vice-president of the council. Bill Gatehouse and Cathy Rowles were unanimously re-elected, respectively, by their peers to fill those roles.

With that meeting adjourned, Gatehouse called the regular session to order

The first decision of the new year related to a matter regarding Act 42 of 2017 which allowed municipalities to choose whether or not to allow certain casinos within their boundaries.

Gatehouse explained that the letters and information regarding the choice were not received until after the December, 2017 meeting and council could not comply with the Dec. 31 deadline for an answer.

With the unanimous consent of council members Terry Mauk, Barry Light, Chris Campbell, Rowles and Frank Kosarich, Resolution 01-2018 was passed to go on record as opposing any casino being opened in the borough of Summerville.

Gatehouse intended to write to the appropriate parties regarding the late notification and the decision of council to document their decision.

A traffic concern with sight-distance at one end of the Summerville Veterans Memorial Bridge has been addressed to Jim Schepis, who is the municipal services specialist for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) in District 10.

It has been suggested that a parabolic mirror be installed to aid motorists in safely negotiating the area. There are already two such mirrors in use in the borough.

An on-site inspection by PennDOT personnel would be the next step and an answer on that proposal is awaited.

Mayor Rupp requested more time to study a proposed ordinance related to clean-up of properties on which structures damaged by fire have not been secured or removed.

The subject was discussed due to several situations in years past where structures which are not inhabitable have been left standing with no improvement over a period of months or even years.

Gatehouse will be representing the borough at upcoming meetings of the Greater Jefferson Area Council of Governments of which the municipality is a member.

Summerville Council will meet the first Tuesday of the month unless that is a holiday. February 6 will be the next regularly scheduled session.

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