Catasauqua Press

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PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL CMILOn Howertown Road, a Hartzell’s Plumbing box truck is parked in front of a residence. PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL CMILOn Howertown Road, a Hartzell’s Plumbing box truck is parked in front of a residence.

Council will remove parking provision

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

Code stipulates vehicle owners can defer road-worthy rule if on vacation

At Catasauqua Borough Council’s regular meeting March 5, Debbie Smale took her turn at the podium to discuss an ongoing problem with a Hartzell’s Plumbing box truck that is parked outside her house.

Smale had a few pertinent questions.

The truck has been parked outside her house since late summer, she said. The police served a complaint on the owner of Hartzell’s, she continued, adding the owner assumed the complaint was lodged by Smale. Smale said she did not make the complaint.

She alleged Hartzell’s owner has parked his box truck in front of her house since the complaint.

Smale asked why the truck was not towed since it now has a flat tire. She said she has received word the owner requested a vacation permit.

Under existing borough code, vehicle owners can request a deferment from a requirement to have a vehicle road-worthy in 72 hours if they are on vacation. Smale was miffed the police department allowed a second vacation request.

“You said that you would not allow another vacation request,” she said to Police Chief Douglas Kish.

Kish contended the department issued the vacation exception when he was not in the office.

The owner of the truck has four citations: Nov. 17, 2017, and Jan. 31, Feb. 14 and Feb. 15 of this year. He has not answered any of the citations but was issued the vacation deferment anyway.

Councilman Brian McKittrick indicated to Smale that he is working to modify the vacation provision and, later in the meeting, proposed the entire concept be stricken from the ordinance.

“It would be like any other ticket. The owner could come down to the police station and explain what happened. The chief could then void the ticket. In this case, we question if the owner is actually on vacation. There is nothing that requires him to prove it,” McKittrick said.

No one on council had a major objection to removing the vacation provision. McKittrick will have the revisions available at the next workshop meeting. The approval timeline requires at least a month from its introduction in late March. The earliest Smale can have the vacation provision wiped is May.

Smale contends she will keep appearing in front of council until the problem gets resolved.