Gallitzin Borough targets dilapidated houses

GALLITZIN — In an ongoing effort to improve safety and the appearance of Gallitzin, Borough Council members on Wednesday revealed a list of 10 dilapidated homes now under scrutiny.

One of those is to be demolished, and council members moved forward with addressing two more buildings along Mitchell Street.

“I mean it’s shot; it needs

to go,” Councilman Phillip Mazzarese said while talking about one of the homes. “Let’s try to clean this town up.”

Discussion of dilapidated homes began when Borough Solicitor David Consiglio updated council members on a property at 905 N. Main St.

The owners of the home, which has fallen into disrepair, were ordered by Cambria County Court to demolish the building, Consiglio said.

When a problem property is identified, an often-lengthy process begins to try to encourage repairs, Consiglio said.

It begins with borough officials trying to urge repairs, then progresses to citations, appearances before a magisterial district judge and eventually county court proceedings — only if homeowners are not cooperative.

“It takes a while to do these things, but we got done what needs to get done,” Consiglio said.

In the Main Street case, the homeowner was given a deadline by which the home must be demolished.

Borough Secretary Irene Szynal said she has a document that shows that date at Oct. 25, which was set by county court.

“So we’ll see some action on that before the snow falls,” Consiglio said.

In addition to that home, a list of nine other problem buildings was presented at the meeting.

The list, prepared by the Cambria County Building Code Enforcement Agency, reads: “The following is an update on open property maintenance complaints our agency has open for your municipality.”

On the list were:

–905 N. Main St.

–576 Pershing St.

–110 Forest St.

–201 Sanker St.

–159 Webster St.

–409 Church St.

–321 Craig St.

–704 St. Thomas St.

–909 Mitchell St.

–917 Mitchell St.

The Mitchell Street addresses were of particular interest to Mazzarese, who urged Consiglio to pursue further action to urge a remedy.

The Cambria County Building Code Enforcement Agency list explains that the owner of the 909 Mitchell St. address has made “no progress” toward a remedy.

The owner of the

917 address has made “some progress,” it reads.

Mazzarese pushed the issue, but Consiglio warned against moving forward with legal action against a property owner who is making progress.

Mirror Staff Writer Sean Sauro is at 946-7535.