PUNXSUTAWNEY — The Punxsutawney borough council heard a variety of requests from the community at its meeting this week.

The council heard from employees of American Cell, who sought approval of adding phone poles to the area to upgrade to 4G service. They will replace one existing pole, and add four new ones.

Council member Toby Santik had questions for the company representatives about what would happen with the poles when they needed to be upgraded, or new technology like 5G is released.

“We don’t want anymore junk hanging in the air. I don’t anyway, I don’t know about anyone else,” Santik said.

A member of the Verizon Wireless real estate department explained the antennas could be upgraded to accommodate 5G, and the 4G technology will still be used.

An engineer with Verizon also addressed the council to assure them of the safety of the technology. He explained that Verizon is regulated by the FCC, and has to follow its regulations.

The council decided to move forward with drafting an ordinance for the placement of the poles.

A Chamber of Commerce representative spoke with the council about the possible removal of the parking meters on Mahoning Street. The chamber held a forum where the businesses all discussed the pros and cons of having the parking meters removed and came to the decision to keep them. But upon surveying the businesses specifically located on Mahoning Street, the majority wished for the meters to be removed.

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Mayor Richard Alexander was on the council previously when the parking meters had been removed, so they asked for his feedback. He explained that in the past, the employees of the businesses were the worst violators. He said he didn’t want to discourage council from trying it again, but explained what had happened previously.

The Chamber also suggested getting bags to place over the meters during free parking times, so it was clear to the community when those times were. A community member in attendance also suggested printing stickers for the parking meters with the hours of enforcement. This was received well by council. They will be looking into bags and stickers both for the future.

Jason Martino asked council to consider creating a dog park. He explained that his family and their friends routinely get together to drive to DuBois to go to the dog park. He suggested the open lot behind Neko’s Restaurant as a possible location.

The council was open to this suggestion, as part of this land is owned by the borough. Council asked Martino what kind of space the DuBois dog park used, and what would be needed. Council President Chenoga plans to make a trip to DuBois to look at the dog park.

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