City Officials have conducted five Neighborhood Action Team (NAT) sweeps so far this year. The NAT has been to the following neighborhoods: Vine Street, Lagrange Street, Webster Street, Washington Terrace, Nafus Street, Winter Street, Curtis & Wilford Streets, Green and Thistle Streets and more.
The sweeps have identified 170 total property violations, for issues such as accumulation of garbage, high grass and weeds, stairs and porches, roofs, broken windows, damaged,missing or clogged gutters, junk vehicles, and exterior walls, among others.
The Police Department has tagged 21 abandoned vehicles. An abandoned vehicle is one that does not have a current inspection. Vehicle owners are given 7 days to obtain an inspection before further enforcement action occurs. The PD has also issued 7 parking violations.
The Fire Bureau has inspected and repaired hydrants in the areas and the Facilities Management team addressed neighborhood issues.
The Redevelopment Authority has provided 18 applications to individual property owners for the City’s Home Rehabilitation program.
Property owners receiving notices are required to contact Code Enforcement within 1 business day of a notice to develop a plan of action. They are given up to 24 hours to correct violations such as high grass and up to 30 days (or more) to address more substantial issues. No actual fines or citations are issued during NAT sweeps. The purpose of the sweeps are to improve the neighborhoods and quality of life of our residents, and to remind homeowners of their obligation to maintain their properties in a safe and code compliant manner. The City utilizes the International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC) as published by the International Code Council for these standards. The International Code Council is dedicated to developing model codes and standards used in the design, build and compliance process to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures. Most U.S. communities and many global markets choose the International Codes. More information about the IPMC may be found at https://codes.iccsafe.org/public/collections/I-Codes.
Homeowners that have code-deficient properties are encouraged to contact the Commission on Economic Opportunity at 570-826-0510 or the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Pittston at 570-654-4601. Income eligible residents may qualify for programs to help make required repairs to their home. Rules and regulations apply and funds are limited.
The NAT has several more sweeps scheduled. The City has been providing 24-72 hours notices of the neighborhoods to be visited this year. However, there may be additional unannounced sweeps, so the City reminds residents to upkeep their properties. Once again, if someone is having trouble maintaining their property, they should contact CEO, the Redevelopment Authority or another social service agency to inquire about assistance.