An Annual Fee For Landlords Considered

Posted: January 22, 1987

For the first time in recent memory, landlords in Clifton Heights may have to pay annual rental-permit fees. At Monday night's meeting, Borough Council members voted 8-0 to consider a proposal to collect fees of $17 for each apartment and $6 for each room.

"It's not only a good way to check on the actual number of rental units in the borough, but it also allows us to see if the units are in livable condition," said Clifton Heights engineer F.C. Walton.

A similar ordinance has been on the books in Clifton Heights since 1973, although officials say it has rarely been enforced, Claire McCann, borough clerk, said Tuesday. In fact, it is so seldom used that no one even knew what the current fees are, she said.

If Clifton Heights goes ahead with its new permit fees, the borough's code- enforcement officer will inspect every piece of rental property in the area once a year before licensing it.

The proposal will be advertised to give landlords and others a chance to respond. The issue will be taken up again at next month's regularly scheduled meeting.

In other business, the council voted 8-0 to award a contract for rock salt to the Cargill Salt Co. even though its bid of $31.95 a ton was higher than one of its competitors.

The Diamond Crystal Salt Co. submitted the low bid of $31.44 a ton but lost out on the contract because it failed to submit a bond. According to Walton, that would have guaranteed that its price per ton of rock salt would not change over the winter.

In another matter, council members said furniture trucks heading to the Drexel Hill Furniture Co. have been causing damage to borough roads. Council member John Goff said a center islet at the junction of Bridge Street and Baltimore Pike has had to be replaced at least six times after being crushed by delivery trucks making tight turns. Council members decided to pay to fix it once again, this time with a tougher, cast-concrete top, but said they want to put the company on notice that the next time damage happens, it may get the tab.

Council members voted 8-0 to send the company a warning letter, but said that if they cannot legally make the company responsible for future damage, they may close off the street to trucks.

Neil McGarry, manager of the furniture store, said yesterday that "it's the first we have heard of the problem, but whatever we can do to cooperate, we'd be happy to do. We've been there since 1972, and we've always been good neighbors."

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