AG files paperwork to dissolve defunct South Side fire co.

The solicitor for the South Williamsport Borough Council announced Tuesday that the state attorney general’s office soon will file paperwork in Lycoming County court to seek the dissolution of Independent Fire Co.

After over a year of meetings and hearings to merge the three fire companies that existed in the borough, the council officially approved the creation of the merger in March of 2016. But only two were on board.

Independent Fire Co. decided not to join First Ward and Citizens fire companies in creating the South Williamsport Fire Department.

The borough stated at the time that an improper amount of manpower and equipment were being sent from the three autonomous companies, creating the need for a move to make response to calls more efficiently tasked.

“What typically happens when the Court of Common Pleas decides to dissolve a company is that the assets are given to the borough,” Joseph F. Orso III, solicitor for the borough, said.

More information will become available when the attorney general’s document becomes available.

In other business, the council decided Tuesday to send an ordinance that would no longer allow recreational vehicles and storage and utility trailers to park on Matthews Boulevard back to the safety committee.

Because the borough always has had limited parking, officials have allowed those types of vehicles to park there for years, Police Chief Robert Hetner said. But complaints about limited visibility, narrow passing and restricted lanes from residents frequenting the recycling center on West Front Street and many of the nearby businesses not being able to get trucks in and out of their properties, created enough reason for a change.

Some of the vehicles also have been left there for weeks and even months, Hetner said.

The safety committee had been discussing the issue for a while and decided it was time to move, but a group of small business owners who park there voiced their issues.

“If this is going to decide where I can and can’t park my truck it could really affect my business,” Harvey Leon said.

Leon runs two local business, one that includes parking his truck on Matthews Boulevard. He said he’s been doing it for years.

“I’ve been parking there for 20 some years and never had a problem with anyone,” Leon said. “We actually appreciate being able to park down there. We’re small business owners in town who pay taxes.”

Leon recommended the council look into a permit parking system that included rules and names of the owners.

After a unanimous vote, the council decided to bring it back to the safety commission where the councilmembers and those involved can decided on what to do together.

Hetner urged others who park there to write-up comments and suggestions before the safety committee meeting at 5 p.m. on Oct. 2 and turn them into the borough beforehand.

Borough manager Michael Miller also announced that 30 new trees will be replaced in the borough as a part of the Shade Tree Commission.

Work on the tennis court also began Tuesday. After pre-construction, the project is expected to last 45 days.

Voting to approve all actions were Cory Lehman, Robert Cronin, Fred March, Joseph LaRue Jr., John Decker, Carl Nolan, J. Bernard Schelb, Henry Frey Jr. and David Geise.

The council will next meet at 7 p.m. Oct. 9.

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