Clarion residents raise concerns

By Samantha Beal



Clarion Borough residents addressed council June 4 with thoughts and concerns on trees, potholes, handrails and street lights.

Elisabeth Fulmer thanked borough maintenance workers for working on potholes around town.

Fulmer also told council the Clarion Free Library's recent storm water project wasn't completed because handrails haven't been installed on the slope.

"That's very hazardous," said Fulmer, referencing the sidewalk between the library and post office. "Anybody who's been down (it) in the winter knows how hazardous that is."

Fulmer said rails help people in wheelchairs as well as people who can walk.

"That's something that must be addressed," she concluded.

Fulmer was also concerned about a growing lack of trees on Fifth Avenue, which she's brought to council's attention the last few months.

"It's pretty sad," announced Fulmer.

She asked if the issue could be addressed with CDBG funding. Council president Carol Lapinto explained CDBG funding wouldn't apply in this situation and the borough was still working on trees for Main Street.

Councilwoman Brenda Dede told Fulmer property owners along Fifth Avenue whose property has been affected by construction were contacted. The properties must be fixed the way the owners want after construction is concluded.

"They have refused trees," reported Dede. "Only one person requested a tree be put back."

"Are these the homeowners or residents?" asked Fulmer.

"The people who own the property," clarified Dede.

"And are those residents?" asked Fulmer.

"The people who own the property," emphasized Dede.

"But are they residents?" pressed Fulmer. "Do they live there?"

"It doesn't matter," said Dede. "It's the people who own the property (who decide)."

"Well, it matters to the people who live there," said Fulmer. "We need to do something because (it's) detrimental to the appearance of the main entrance to Clarion."

"And again," added Fulmer. "Trees. Fresh air. You know, carbon dioxide and oxygen, all that stuff."

Lapinto explained the borough has been advised by forestry representatives trees can't just be planted. Specific trees need specific lighting. The focus at the moment is on planting Main Street.

"Yeah, but that doesn't do anything for the other streets," Fulmer concluded. "Just saying."

Resident Brett Whitling appealed to council to install a streetlight on South Sixth Avenue. Whitling noted there are lights at the intersection of South and Sixth and where Elss Street tees into Sixth. He's concerned with the lack of lighting between the streets.

"I have to use my phone just to see the sidewalk in front of me (at night)," said Whitling. "We have kids. There's other kids on that street."

Lapinto informed Whitling the issue would be referred to the public works department.