JERMYN -- A community in Lackawanna County trying to rid itself of a host of problems, from blight to juvenile mischief, is now throwing the book at those issues.
Jermyn Borough Council took several steps at a special meeting Wednesday night.
People in Jermyn say some blighted properties along Washington Avenue have been eye sores for ages.
“The blighted properties are a big problem in Jermyn,” said Ryan Seidof. “I mean you have the wild animals, everything else starting to take up residence in some of them.”
Many of those residents packed into a special meeting called by borough council specifically to address those neglected homes and other problems plaguing the community.
“I own a couple properties in town and they're doing a lot for us. They've done a lot over the last six months,” said Louis DeMarco. “I think they have a lot of work to continue to do, but they're doing everything they can to make this town a better and safer place for all the residents and tax payers.”
One big issue is juvenile mischief and vandalism, something residents say that flares up every summer.
"I see children out, 16, 17 year olds, out 10, 11, 12 at night, don't care during the summer,” said Seidof.
Now council is planning to adopt a new property maintenance code that gives it more teeth in battling blight, by applying fines anywhere from $100 to $1,000 on property owners.
“Number one to cite the homeowner or the property owner and then take legal action,” said council president Frank Kulick. “Also gives us the authority to file a municipal lien against them. So we can force the issue, sell the property, knock it down, we can do a lot of different things based on the code.”
As for juveniles, council is coming down hard, setting a 10 p.m. curfew for anyone under the age of 18.
Parents of those caught outside after would be fined.
“It should be probably a nominal fee, nothing too huge, but something that's going to send a statement to the parents saying this will not be tolerated in the borough of Jermyn,” said council member Dan Markey.
“I agree with it entirely, I have three children of my own and I agree entirely on that because it really needs to be done,” said Seidof.
Those ordinances still need to be drafted and then advertised to the public.
Council thinks it could vote on those new ordinances by August, possibly sooner.