Avalon’s recently elected council members were sworn in to office Tuesday evening by new Mayor Tom Lloyd, at far right, who took his oath of office earlier. Pictured from left are William Pascale, Shaun McWilliams, J.P. McFeely, Ruth Lloyd, Lee Nelson and John Crawford. Lloyd also administered the oath of office to new tax collector Dennis Narcisi.


Bellevue’s new officials are: seated, from left, new council member Val Pennington, new council president Tom Fodi, new council member Anya Pikul; Standing, from left, new council members Anthony DiTullio and Jodi Hause, Mayor Emily Marburger, new council member Glenn Pritchard, and new vice president Grant Saylor.


Emsworth Council members Jolene Bennett, Dan Lenz and Kevin Yurkovich take the oath of office from District Judge Tara Smith as Mayor Sue Ann Lillie, at far left, and tax collector Laura West, at far right, look on. Both were sworn in separately, as was new council member Carolyn Galante, who was appointed to fill a two-year seat on council.


Emsworth Council held a ceremonial ribbon cutting on Thursday, Dec. 21, in anticipation of the Center Avenue Bridge opening on Friday, Dec. 22, well ahead of the construction deadline of April 2018.

The bridge is owned by Port Authority of Allegheny County. It was closed in February 2017 to make major repairs to improve the safety of the bridge and to enable the removal of weight restrictions.


Significant changes in composition, experience and leadership in the governments of two local boroughs are sure to bring a new day in this new year, although for better or worse remains to be seen.

Reorganization meetings were held in four North Boroughs municipalities Tuesday night.


On Dec. 13, a student at the Pennsylvania Gunsmith School on Ohio River Boulevard was struck by a vehicle. The student had a sprained ankle and some bruising. Police say that no charges were filed against the driver.

Mark Nicholas, of Pittsburgh, was arrested for public drunkenness on Elizabeth Avenue on Dec. 16.

Following an incident at an Ohio River Boulevard fast food restaurant, Geoffrey Burkhardt, of Bellevue, was charged with criminal mischief on Dec. 16.


The 2018 Ben Avon budget as presented in November was brought before council on Tuesday, Dec. 12, with a few revisions.

According to council member R.J. White, a minor adjustment was made to increase some of the insurance figures, with an off-setting decrease in the road paving budget. As a result, the budget still stands at $1,233,900.

Council voted unanimously to pass the revised budget. Earl Bohn, Ken Opipery and Brad Cole were absent.


Bellevue will not seek new proposals for the Lincoln Avenue streetscape design, and instead voted Tuesday to approve payment to the current firm, CEC, to submit a preliminary design at a cost of $28,375.

The much debated contract was approved without discussion at council’s meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 19. With council member Linda Woshner absent, the 5-3 vote featured negative votes from Henry Lenard, Lynn Tennant Heffley and Tom Hrynda.


The real estate millage rate for Kilbuck Township residents will decrease in 2018.

At the Dec. 19 meeting of Kilbuck Township supervisors, both the 2018 budget and millage rate were unanimously passed.

The real estate millage rate decreases to 4.9 mills, down from 5.22 mills. The 2018 budget for the township lists projected revenue at $567,850 and expenses at $538,865.


The owner of rental property in Avalon complained to the borough council at their Dec. 14 meeting that inspection fees were getting way too high.

The owner told council that in addition to the annual registration fees, landlords have to pay for inpections of their units every other year. The rate per unit was $25 when the practice began in 2002, he said, and increased to $35 in 2013. This year, he said, he will pay $75 per unit inspection.


Bellevue Mayor Paul Cusick said that one of his final acts in office will be to veto the 2018 salary ordinance adopted by Bellevue Council Tuesday evening. The move comes after council refused to provide administrative employees with salary increases comparable to what union employees receive under their contracts.


Emsworth residents will not face a local tax increase in the new year.

At the Dec. 13 council meeting, a motion to adopt the 2018 millage at 3.955 was unanimously passed. Thus, the 2018 millage rate will remain the same as 2017.

Members Jolene Bennet, Paul Getz and Brian Fashian were absent from the meeting.


They were nights to remember, and say thanks, as outgoing officials in the four local boroughs received recognition at their final meetings.

Some were defeated in the primary or general elections of 2017, while some chose not to seek re-election.

In Bellevue Tuesday evening, council president Lynn Tennant Heffley read proclamations honoring outgoing council members Kathy Coder, Henry Lenard and Vencent Menosky, as well as outgoing mayor Paul Cusick, before Cusick read a proclamation recognizing Heffley’s own service on council.


Bellevue Council member Tom Hrynda, who chaired the committee that planned the celebration of Bellevue’s 150th anniversary in 2017, reported at Tuesday’s council meeting that the events had raised enough money to cover all costs, including repayment of the money advanced by the borough initially.

Hrynda thanked council member Henry Lenard for making the motion to advance the funds to kick off the celebration, but had harsh word for council member Tom Fodi, who opposed the expenditure. “I guess you were a little premature at trying to shut us down at every step,” Hrynda told Fodi.


Mayor Paul Cusick warned Bellevue Council Tuesday evening that he will veto any 2018 budget that allows less of a salary increase for administrative employees than for union workers.

Contract employees – including public works laborers, fire department workers and police officers – are paid under terms negotiated as part of their individual union contracts. Council annually sets the salaries for non-contract employees, which include administrative, library and code enforcement staff.


Following an executive session at the end of the regular Bellevue Council meeting on Tuesday, officials reconvened to accept the resignation of a police officer.

Council accepted the resignation of officer Gary Neugebauer, who has been with the department for about 20 years.

No further information was available on the reasons for the resignation.


Despite some strong – but insufficient – opposition, Bellevue Council has decided to move forward with the next phase of its Lincoln Avenue streetscape project using the same design firm, although no one is quite sure exactly what that will cost.


A resident of Broadbent Road in Ohio Township reported criminal mischief on Nov. 15.

A business on Ben Avon Heights Road in Ohio Township reported a drug violation on Nov. 16. Police say charges are pending.

A business located on Mt. Nebo Road in Ohio Township reported a drug violation on Nov. 16. Police say charges are pending.

On Nov. 16, a Church Avenue in Emsworth resident reported a disturbance.

A Freedom Lane in Ohio Township reported disorderly conduct on Nov. 17.


Avalon Council approved several resolutions related to grants -- both accepted and projected -- to fund various work in the borough.

Council ratified the acceptance of a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) bid specification for the demolition of 423 Florence Ave., from Ken Reilly Contracting in the amount of $20,500. The grant covers $18,500 of the cost, with the borough paying the extra $2,000.


Leaf pick-up has been extended through Friday, Dec. 8, in Bellevue on the regular street sweeping schedule.

Parking restrictions will end on Nov.30, so residents are asked to try to consolidate piles of leaves left on the street to maximize parking opportunities.

The borough recommends bagging leaves for Friday pick-ups.


The regular monthly meeting of Avalon Council in December will be held on Thursday, Dec. 14, at 7 p.m.

The change will accommodate a project being conducted by the Salvation Army at the borough building on the regular meeting date of Dec. 19.


Bellevue Police officers were dispatched to North Balph Avenue at Teece on Nov. 3 for a male breaking into a vehicle.

A West Riverview Avenue resident reported a motorcycle was stolen from in front of the residence on Nov. 6.

On Nov. 6, a Grant Avenue resident reported a delivered package had been stolen from the front porch.

On Nov. 6, a Teece Avenue resident report a theft from an apartment.

A South Fremont Avenue reported a vehicle stolen on Nov. 7.

A juvenile, later identified, committed a retail theft from a Lincoln Avenue business on Nov. 7.


Calling it the "largest budget in Ben Avon history," council member Richard J. White presented a proposed 2018 budget of $1,233,900 to council at Tuesday's meeting.

The budget lists total tax revenue of $963,200, the majority coming from $521,000 in current real estate tax collections, along with $380,200 in current earned income tax. The estimate for major sources of non-tax revenue is $270,700.


The Nov. 13 meeting marked the end of an Avonworth school board member’s 17 years of service.

Eric Templin first joined the district’s school board in March, 2000. On Monday night, he was honored and thanked by his peers. He’ll also be missed for his traditional, “I’ll second,” as he was the board member most likely to second a motion.