STORY PREVIEW: Council addresses requests at Monday meeting

Photo by Brian Stockman — Mayor Guillermo Udarbe presents a Certificate of Appreciation to Jason Phipps for his many years of service as an elementary teacher at Francis S. Grandinetti Elementary School.
Staff Writer

The Ridgway Borough Council had a large agenda and many items to vote on at Monday's meeting. This article will focus on visitor comments and Council discussions, with a more detailed story to follow.
Tom Fitch, president of the Elk County Chamber of Commerce, first addressed the assembled council and Mayor Guillermo Udarbe. Fitch brought up that snow removal is not at the desired level on Main and other streets where local businesses operate. The piles of snow where PennDOT plows, create walking and parking hazards. Borough Manager Paul McCurdy stressed that it has always been the responsibility of property owners to remove snow from sidewalks located on their property's frontage.
The question became then where are they to move the snow? After some Council discussion and input from residents in attendance, Council voted to remove the snow before this weekend's Small Business Saturday event and the general "Light Up" ceremony on Nov. 23.
Fitch also brought up the Mountain Man Festival being held Jan. 18-20, and inquired if council would authorize ATV travel on city streets to the festival on Saturday, Jan. 19 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. After a robust conversation, the council tentatively passed approval on this request conditional upon Police Chief Ralph Tettis's approval.
In addition, the Chamber of Commerce also requested that South Broad and Court Street be closed on Nov. 24 from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. to accomodate the Yuletides Memory Holiday Weekend in conjunction with Small Business Saturday. The Council approved this request as well.
Karen Cappiello of the Ridgway Animal Haven requested Council consider adding funding for a Catch, Neuter and Release program such as Johnsonburg funds, to help control the feral animals that inhabit both communities. The Council agreed it sounded like a reasonable request and forwarded it to the budget committee.
Mayor Udarbe presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Jason Phipps of the Ridgway Elementary School for his many years of service. He also awarded Aiello's Cafe with Business of the Year, while giving a history or the restaurant to thanking Rosa Aiello personally for all the great banquets he has attended over the past year, calling her the "Heart" of the Cafe.