The new United States Congressional Redistricting Map issued in February by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will have a big -- and possibly very confusing -- impact on the North Boroughs.


Avalon Mayor Tom Lloyd swore in the borough’s newest full-time police officer shortly after the hiring of Christopher Rossetti was approved by council at February's regular meeting.Rossetti has worked as a part time officer for both Avalon and Ohio Township for the last four years.

Photo by Connie Rankin for The Citizen


Bellevue received a late Christmas present when it was announced Thursday that the borough had been awarded a state transportation grant of $315,000 that will completely pay for the West Riverview retaining wall project.

State Rep. Adam Ravenstahl, who had worked with borough officials to secure the grant, informed Bellevue shortly after the announcement was made by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).


Bellevue Council is being asked to approve a zoning permit that would allow the opening of a pet funeral home and crematory on Ohio River Boulevard.

The property at 4325 Ohio River Blvd., currently a used car sales lot, lies within the joint zoning code’s highway commercial district. In this zone, a crematory is an accepted conditional use, meaning that its use as such must be approved by the borough council, which also may impose additional conditions, according to Bellevue solicitor Matt Racunas.


At Monday night's meeting, the Avonworth School Board approved motions that will will allow Avonworth High School students, beginning in the 2018-19 school year, the opportunity to take a wide variety of “College in High School” classes.

The school board approved removing the following courses from the Avonworth course book and replacing the traditional classes with courses from several local institutions of higher learning.


Some Emsworth Borough employees will be seeing a wage increase in 2018.

At the Jan. 10 meeting, Emsworth Borough Council voted unanimously to increase wages 3 percent, retroactive to Jan. 2. Secretary Cathy Jones, treasurer Rebecca McNeil, sewage fee administrator Kathy Taschner and Department of Public Works employees will receive the raise. Employees on snow removal were not included.

According to vice president Brian Fashian, it has been three years since DPW employees received a raise.


State Rep. Adam Ravenstahl hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee roundtable discussion Tuesday at the Bellevue Borough Building on small-business development and jobs, part of the House Democrats’ “Plan4PA.”

Ravenstahl was joined by Democratic Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, legislators from across the state and local stakeholders.


On January 5, Bellevue Police were dispatched to Carson Street (off Spring Avenue) concerning a home invasion / burglary in progress. The homeowner, checking inside the residence encountered four individuals.

Learning the several individuals were inside the residence without permission, additional back-up was requested. Personnel from the Avalon Police, Allegheny County Sheriff, and Ross Township K-9 responded.


A proposal by new Bellevue Council president Tom Fodi to re-open the borough’s 2018 budget and decrease the property tax millage rate received a lukewarm response from many of his colleagues on council during Tuesday’s pre-council meeting.

Fodi noted that the borough has had a year-end surplus of around $250,000 each year for the past few years. He suggested eliminating that by decreasing the property tax millage rate by a half mill, from 4,89 to 4.39.


It took some time and a little conflict, but Bellevue Council was able to fill a vacancy on the borough’s zoning hearing board at Tuesday evening’s pre-council meeting.

There were five candidates for the position. The first two nominated -- by council members Linda Woshner and Val Pennington -- were rejected in 5-4 votes that reflect the current political divide on council: Opposed were Tom Fodi, Grant Saylor, Glenn Pritchard, Anya Pikul and Jodi Hause. Voting in favor were Woshner, Pennington, Tom Hrynda and Anthony DiTullio.


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.