Homer City mulls tobacco-free zones

Homer City Council will consider an ordinance that will establish tobacco-free zones within the borough.

At Tuesday’s meeting, council voted to advertise the ordinance which would ban the use of all tobacco products at the borough’s parks as well as the municipal building on Wiley Street. The ban would cover both the interior and the grounds of the borough building.

The ordinance was written after councilwoman Jennifer Jaworski suggested banning smoking at borough parks during April’s council meeting.

Borough manager Rob Nymick said the ordinance was written to include all tobacco products to give the borough “something to fall back on” in certain incidents.

There was a brief discussion about whether the ordinance should extend to borough-owned vehicles, but that idea did not gain enough support.

Council voted 4-0 to advertise the ordinance, which should be up for formal adoption at the June meeting. Matt Black and Bea Harris were absent from the meeting.

A vacant council seat was filled Tuesday when Chris Worcester was appointed to replace longtime councilman Dave Myers, who resigned in April due to relocation.

Worcester, of Harrison Street, is employed by the Community Guidance Center in Indiana as a support coordinator for individuals with developmental disabilities.

“I have been a resident of Homer City Borough for approximately 46 years,” she wrote in a letter to council. “I also have family and numerous friends who reside in the borough, so my interest in this community’s well-being is on multiple levels.”

Worcester received an endorsement from council President Richard Morris, who said she is “very responsible.”

Joe Iezzi, who was just appointed to council in April, made the motion to select Worcester for the vacant seat. The motion passed 4-0.

The borough had also received letters of interest from Betsy Brown and John Darnley.

Council granted preliminary approval for a site plan for a proposed restaurant.

Chris Cusimano and Jerry Miller presented their idea for the business, Cuzi’s Culinary Cravings and Catering, at April’s council meeting. The business would consist of a restaurant, Fox’s Pizza and a banquet hall.

The business would be located at the corner of Main and Elm streets, currently the site of an abandoned gas station. Cusimano said demolition of the gas station building could begin by the end of the week.

The building to be demolished shares a wall with an adjacent borough-owned maintenance garage, which caused concerns among borough officials and the business partners.

“We don’t want any surprises,” Cusimano said. “We don’t know what we’re up against here with this thing. We’re going to do it as safely as possible, but things happen.”

Nymick said the demolition could do damage to the borough’s side of the wall, but the garage roof should be fine.

Cusimano said the architectural design plan should take about a month and may be ready for council’s approval at its next meeting.

In other matters, council approved a total bid of $22,932 from Derry Construction for the borough’s summer paving project. Nymick said the bid, which came out to $81.90 per ton of asphalt, was below the budgeted amount of $90 per ton.

The paving project will consist of West Church Street from Railroad Street to Filbert Street and Railroad Street from Elm Street to West Church Street.

Council also:

  • Heard from Nymick that the borough’s spring cleanup will be held 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 26 and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 27. The cost to residents is $25 for a truckload and $10 for a carload.
  • Granted the fire department approval to shut down a portion of Church Street for the Indiana County Fireman’s Convention to be hosted by Homer City June 15-18.
  • Heard from Mayor Kenneth “Cal” Cecconi that because of wet conditions in April, “burn week” will be extended until May 27.
  • Reimbursed tax collector Thomas Citeroni $237.75 for postage involved with tax collection.

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