SHIPPENVILLE - At a time when going digital is all the rage, the Shippenville Borough Council is content to pump the proverbial brakes when it comes to joining the online revolution.
At the Shippenville Borough Council's monthly meeting held Aug. 12, borough resident Adam Clark offered to create a website for the town and digitize all of the borough's ordinances and information but Shippenville Borough Council President Linda Duffy and Borough Secretary Jacqui Blose detailed why creating a digital footprint for the borough isn't the best idea.
"If Shippenville Borough's ordinances (were in succession) and were in a codified print book (digitally conversion) would be simple but the borough's records aren't that way," Blose said. "They are in pieces and parts. It's not the mechanics of the thing; the problem is the legality of what actually exists.
"One part is how the ordinance exists or don't exist or have been repealed and the other issue is document and electronic retainage problems under the Sunshine Act with access. If I have a personal website, there's no duty there to record certain things or certain changes but a municipality is bound by different standards and different retainage things.
"It just doesn't present the problem of putting information out there, it presents the problem of how to retain and store that information and the cost associated with that. I've seen municipalities get sued over metadata through the right to know' standards."
Blose recommended the council consult its legal counsel about the legal responsibilities of creating a website before moving forward.
"Nothing is as simple as we would like it to be," Duffy added. "It doesn't matter what we try to do. And it's in every walk of life today."
The issue which spurred the discussion about creating a website came from a question borough resident Lauren George had about the ordinances the town had regarding the keeping of backyard poultry.
There were no ordinances on the books regarding backyard poultry and Duffy didn't see the need for moving forward with creating a new ordinance at this time.
"To fix a problem that normally goes away on its own can cost us several thousand dollars," Duffy said. "It's not something you can lightly take on. It's something you have to go through attorneys and the courthouse. With all the things we have to go through, it can cost over a thousand dollars. By the time you get it all done, it's usually resolved itself so we have taken a kind of a backhanded look at things like that."
Later in the meeting, a problem concerning a trailer camper parked along North Third Street was discussed.
According to complaints from residents in the area, the camper was being used as a dwelling by a known resident and it has been reported to the borough he was relieving himself along the street in full view of residents on Second Street.
Council voted to have council member Michael Petronzio to approach the camper occupant and inquire about the occupant's intentions.
Also broached at the meeting was a concern regarding borough residents reserving pavilions at the community park for non-borough residents.
Non-borough residents are required to rent the pavilions while there is no charge for borough residents to reserve the pavilions.
Duffy was concerned that non-borough residents were finding a loophole around paying to reserve a pavilion.
Board member Rose Shreckengost brought up an issue regarding the process of reserving a pavilion. Council decided to laminate an information flyer with reservation information and place it at the pavilion.
Council also decided to update the signage on the borough office windows. There was also a discussion inserting the information regarding pavilion reservations in next year's tax notices.
Council member Gary Dittman brought up an issue regarding a structure located on North Street whether or not it is a taxable structure. Council decided to have an assessment done on the structure in question.
The next Shippenville Borough Council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 9.