Bridgeville passes list of fee increases, along with rental unit license ordinance

By Mike McClure

The Bridgeville Commission voted to approve increases to the town's water and sewer rates; variance, zoning and conditional use hearing fees; and building permit fees during Monday night's meeting. When the issues of rental unit registration and licensing and registration and licensing for businesses came up, there was some opposition to the proposals.

The Commission voted, 5-0 in favor of ordinances to increase the water and sewer rates; increase charges and fees for variance, zoning, and conditional use hearings; and increase building permit fees.

Three landlords spoke in opposition to the proposal to create a new chapter in the town's code requiring the registration and licensing of all residential rental units within the town.

"I'm opposed to a landlord license. I feel it's a violation of my tenants' rights," said Bill Handley. "I feel we're strapped quite enough as it is. We pay our taxes here."

Two other landlords spoke against the proposal which includes a $25 per bedroom charge and home inspections by town officials. Commissioner Mike Collison said the town's goal of ensuring proper living quarters requires inspections. He pointed to a number of rental units in town with electrical problems, no running water, and buildings that are not up to code.

"We're trying to protect all the residents in Bridgeville," said Collison. Once the public hearing was closed, the Commission approved the proposal, 5-0.

Two of the five Commission members voiced some concerns over the proposal to create a new chapter in the town's code requiring registration and licensing of businesses in town.

Commission President Bill Jefferson said that under the proposed change too many small businesses, including Apple-Scrapple vendors, would need a license.

"We have done without a business license fro the time Bridgeville started until now. It's just not something we need," Jefferson said. "The intent of the ordinance is to protect the businesses," said Town Manager Bonnie Walls.

Commissioner Jay Mervine also voiced opposition to the requirement because it is written too board. With Commissioners Lawrence Tassone, Pat Correll, and Collison in favor of business licenses, the Commission agreed to table a vote until the town's attorney could address the wording of the ordinance.

Walls announced that the movie "Mayor Cupcake", which was partially shot in Bridgeville, will be screened in Beverly Hills on July 24. A screening for singers in the movie will take place Aug. 5 in New York City. Walls was told that a special downstate premier will take place in the near future. A sequel to the movie is already being written.

Robert Longo of Denton, Md. was introduced as the town's new police chief. Longo, who received a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice management from Lasalle University (La.), worked as police supervisor at a joint base police department in N.J.

Walls also announced that the Fourth Annual Bridgeville Charity golf tournament will take place on Friday, Oct. 8. A $140 early bird fee will be charged for golfers. The cost will go up to $150 after Aug. 31.

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