During the monthly Borough of Bath Council meeting on Monday, October 5, several residents asked for an update on the borough’s rental inspection ordinance. After going through committee and one round of council review, President Mark Saginario said work on the ordinance has been paused until 2021 due to COVID-19.
The borough, he said, has stopped all capital expenditures and nonessential legal costs to help preserve funds. The move is one the borough made early in the pandemic in preparation for a lower-than-average tax collection year. In fact, during the meeting, Manager Brad Flynn confirmed that the current tax collection total is about $90,000 lower than what it was at this time last year.
Saginario said the ordinance is about three-fourths of the way done and will be ready for discussion early next year.
Residents brought to council complaints of overgrown grass, rodents, garbage, illegal parking, and more.
“It is getting to the point where I am fed up and want to move,” said one resident.
However, council stressed that residents do not need to wait for the rental inspection ordinance to voice their concerns. Issues like tall grass, illegal parking, and property neglect fall under the borough’s Quality of Life ordinance, which is enforced by a code officer.
Flynn encouraged residents to speak up and contact the borough’s code enforcer.
For code enforcement to work, “we need the support of the public,” he said. Residents need to be witnesses and need to give permission for code officers to enter their property.
“[Allow] us to see and hear what [you are] seeing and hearing,” he added. “We want folks to see something, say something.”
The code enforcement officer patrols the borough randomly on weekdays and weekends. To make a report when he is not in the area, residents are encouraged to call or text 484-225-0728. Residents can even send pictures to this number. In addition, residents can email email@example.com.
Mayor Fiorella Mirabito stressed that residents who do receive tickets should not take matters into their own hands. Her warning follows a similar one made by Flynn last month after a resident physically assaulted the code enforcement officer.
“Please do not come to borough hall and scream, carry on, and curse at our employees,” she said. “I will not have these employees who go above and beyond be screamed at by people who are simply ignorant.”
She said residents who would like to perform work on their property should check borough code to see what is and is not allowed.
“What I say is for the safety of everyone involved,” she said.