Oxford running two plows short

By MARCELLA PEYRE-FERRY

For 21st Century Media

OXFORD - There is snow everywhere, and Oxford is running out of places to put it. During the Feb. 17 borough council meeting, Council heard complaints about reduced visibility at intersections because of piles of snow, trouble getting from parked cars to businesses, and narrow paths that disabled individuals can not fit through with scooters, so they are riding in the streets.

“You’re absolutely right, its very high,” Borough Manager Betsy Brantner said. “I just don’t know where there is left to put the snow.”

Brantner also noted that two of the Borough’s snow plows are no longer running leaving just one to do the job.

An e-mail had gone out to property owners in the business district telling them that they had the option of pushing the snow from their sidewalks over the curb onto the edge of the street where the borough trucks would come along and pick it up, but additional storms factored in to the problem to limit success. “Once it was frozen solid it’s almost impossible to remove it,” Council President Ron Hershey said.

To keep up with the continuing storms, Council approved a purchase order for $5,253 for 100 tons of road salt from Ocean Port LLC. “We don’t know when were going to get it. We’re doing OK,” Brantner said.

Council had a brief discussion of the police and safety committee’s idea to possibly get a dog for the police department. Hershey is hesitant to use time considering the idea when he feels it is impractical. “For a police department our size we’re getting in way over our head,” he said.

Council member Paul Matthews was one of the supporters of the idea believing that having a canine unit in the borough would help address drug issues. “Find the drugs, find the weapons, it revitalizes communities,” he said.

Toward the end of the meeting, councilman Randy Grace objected to the system currently being used for creating the meeting minutes. At this time, a cassette recorder is used to tape the meeting, and then the minutes are written from that record. After the written minutes are approved at the next month’s meeting, the tapes are then destroyed.

Grace objected to the recent spending of $40 for tapes when a digital recorder is an alternative, plus he objects to the idea of not retaining those tapes as a historical record even if they are not the official minutes. “From an historical standpoint, it’s important that we have this to go back to,” he said. “What would be the harm?”

Both Brantner and Hershey objected to the idea of keeping the tapes on the grounds that both the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs and the Oxford borough solicitor have strongly recommended that the tapes be destroyed. “The tapes can be pulled for discovery and it can affect a court case,” Brantner said.

A motion was approved for Grace to look into the cost of going to digital recorder, and a second motion was approved to get an opinion in writing from the solicitor.