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Council approves closure of of alley next to Fallon Hotel

Snow fencing is temporarily placed around The Fallon Hotel along East Water Street in Lock Haven. City council approved the closure of Fallon Alley next to the building so safety fencing may be placed around the building until repairs can be made to the property. CHASE BOTTORF/THE EXPRESS

LOCK HAVEN — Lock Haven City Council approved the temporary closure of Fallon Alley from East Water Street to Perrys Alley to enable fencing be placed around The Fallon Hotel.

The request came from the Code Enforcement Board of Appeals and Review (CEBAR) following its first hearing in 40 years regarding the historic building last week.

On Sept. 23, the city’s Code Enforcement Officer Cyndi Walker sent two letters to the owner of the property, C&Q Investment Properties LLC — represented by Carey Chisolm — which deemed the structure unsafe and ordered it be vacated.

According to Walker’s report, made after an inspection conducted July 15, the building had “falling ceilings, visible mold, wet areas, exposed electrical devices, buckling floors, broken and inoperable windows, potential structural issues, corroded inoperable plumbing, unsafe dryer venting and a deteriorating chimney” that caused the unsafe conditions.

Chisolm was told he had until Sept. 27 to fix the list of issues which also included repairs to the roof and brickwork outside the structure.

During the hearing before CEBAR, Chisolm requested a 30-day extension to obtain the proper documentation needed to receive a permit to begin work on the structure.

Chisolm attended a previous council meeting to ask what he could do to ensure he received a permit. Chisolm told council he previously applied for a permit that was denied.

At the time, City Manager Gregory Wilson told Chisolm it is a state requirement that engineer approved drawings of the building be submitted with the permit application, which Chisolm had not done yet.

At the hearing held on Oct. 13, Chisolm told CEBAR his company hired a professional engineer from State College, Nick Boyle, who would be “preparing (an) appropriate and complete permit application that will address all of the issues outline,” according to court documents.

Court documents further state Boyle previously prepared documents needed for a permit submitted regarding repairs needed to the building’s chimney. That permit had been approved but, without the engineer approved drawings of the building, could not be acted on.

Chisolm also provided a complete mold assessment to the city’s code office which addressed mold concerns outlined in Walker’s September report.

CEBAR approved Chisolm’s 30-day request, under the condition a safety fence be placed around the property.

On Monday night Wilson told council CEBAR gave the order for public safety.

“The concern is debris falling from the roof or brick work,” he said.

Council’s approval of the alley closure can last up to 90 days and be renewed. However, Wilson said he hopes that won’t be necessary.

“Hopefully you don’t need to. He’s anxious to get the roof done,” Wilson said.

All members of council were present for Monday night’s meeting held at city hall.

In other business council:

— Announced the leaf pick-up schedule for 2021. City Public Works Director Tony Stopper said the schedule will begin Nov. 8 and run through Nov. 18. The pick up this season will be done from midnight until 8 a.m. using the sweeper route schedule. Residents are asked to sweep their leaves onto the streets the day before their street is scheduled to be swept. The day is listed on signs on each street which indicates that parking is prohibited from 12:30 a.m. until 6:30 a.m. For those who cannot sweep their leaves in the gutter or between the curb and sidewalk, pick up of bagged leaves by city crews will take place Nov. 89, 15 and 16 before 8 a.m. Bags should be placed at the curbside the night prior and not weigh more than 50 pounds.

— Considered authorizing to apply for the 2021 CDBG allocation.

— Consideration authorizing the 100 percent grant-supported change order for the LHV airport taxiway.

— Awarded the bid for test boring and soil sampling for the Keller Dam improvement project to Pennsylvania Drilling Company of Imperial, Pa. for $37,180 for test boring; and CMT Laboratoris in State College at $14,730 for soil testing.

— Requested an investigation into the removal of the 4-way red flashing light at the intersection of First and West Main streets.

— Received notification of a wage increase for the salary of Lock Haven Police Officers Association. Beginning in 2022, officers will receive a 2.9 percent pay increase which reflects the cost of living rates.

— Held an executive session regarding personnel matters following the meeting.

Council’s next meeting will be on Monday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. in city hall and live streamed on the city’s Facebook and YouTube channels.

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