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GIRARD Mayor to weigh ambulance proposal

By Tim Yovich

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Council was asked to reconsider snowfall depth before ticketing parked cars.
GIRARD -- Mayor James J. Melfi was to receive a proposal today to establish a private ambulance service in the city.
Melfi terminated the city-operated ambulance service last month to save money.
The mayor said he was meeting with Rural-Metro Ambulance after being confronted at Monday's city council meeting by Phil Cretella Jr., president of the International Association of Firefighters Local 1220.
The union represents city firefighters who had operated the emergency service.
Melfi said he wasn't prepared to sign any agreement without it first going through city council.
Despite Cretella's urging, Melfi said he wouldn't take the contract issue before voters because that's why officials are elected.
Melfi did note that he wouldn't get involved in a long-term contract for a private service because he hasn't had any experience with any of them.
Melfi has said he will back a levy to fund the city-operated ambulance.
Ticketing cars in snow
In other business at council's meeting Monday, Councilman Larry Williams, D-2nd, said he wants to see the administration enforce the ticketing of cars parked on the streets during snowfalls.
Williams said people are parking on both sides of the street, ignoring no-parking signs.
Melfi said current legislation calls for ticketing after a 2-inch snowfall. He wants lawmakers to increase the amount of snow because a ticket is too "severe" for the 2 inches.
Councilman Thomas Seidler II, D-3rd, suggested the limit be increased to 3 or 4 inches with the administration or police having discretion when cars should be ticketed.
Two street department workers asked the limit remain at 2 inches because of a safety issue driving snowplows and snow accumulation.
Telephone pole removal
In another matter, Melfi informed council that SBC is proposing to charge the city $231,244 to remove 18 telephone poles along State Street and put the lines underground.
The poles were put up between Smithsonian Avenue and Prospect Street, though underground utilities are supposed to be part of the State Street (U.S. Route 422) widening project.
SBC's proposal would give the city one year to pay the cost with no interest. The offer was turned over to the utilities committee.
On another matter, Melfi said he would survey surrounding communities to determine their water and sewer rates.
Melfi said he would get the information after being urged by Councilman Joseph Christopher, D-at large.
Council President Renny Paolone said it might be worth the city's increasing rates to qualify for state funds for water and sewer projects. Melfi explained that the city can't receive state Issue II funds for water and sewer projects because its rates are too low.