The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


June 13, 2014

South Fork springs cleanup for heritage fest; Residents urged to tidy properties

SOUTH FORK — With the annual South Fork Heritage Days festival fast approaching, there’s added incentive for borough officials to spruce up the main drag and crack down on slovenly property owners in the area.

Blighted structures and other maintenance issues like high grass and weeds are a “growing problem,” council President Richard Vivian said.

Three residents were present at the council’s Thursday meeting to voice complaints about a derelict Main Street property – specifically, they reported an infestation of rats.

One woman said people just aren’t taking pride in their community anymore – a sharp contrast, given that the festival meant to celebrate the town is just a week away.

“She’s right,” said Vivian. “Some people really don’t care. Just drive around and you can tell who cares and who don’t.”

The Cambria Somerset Council of Governments is the organization that the borough turns to when dealing with building code enforcement. Council is trying to schedule a meeting with the COG’s Nick Bailey for next week. There’s a list of properties they’ll be looking at.

Council is also looking to sweep the main artery into town, Lake Street, from end to end.

Residents along Main Street also are being urged to sweep debris from their sidewalks into the street. Borough workers will begin sweeping the road from each end of the borough on Monday in preparation for the festival’s cruise-in car show on Saturday. Mayor Jeremy Schrader said residents must move cars parked along Main Street by 8 a.m. or get cited. The car show begins at noon.

Vivian also wants to remind residents that “South Fork does have a pooper scooper law.” According to the street commissioner, pervasive pet filth keeps him from being able to trim borough-owned grass lawns.

Vivian said if residents are out walking their pets without a means of cleaning up after them, they will be cited.

The South Fork Heritage Days festival kicks off at 6 p.m. June 19 with a banquet at First United Methodist Church, musical and filmic entertainment and a wine tasting on Friday, the car show on Saturday and much more.

Justin Dennis is a multimedia reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at @JustinDennis.

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