Pennington Council addresses public works and snow-shoveling law matters


By John Tredrea
   Pennington Borough Council voted unanimously Monday night to approve Public Works Supervisor Jeff Wittkop’s request for payment for 29 hours in compensatory time wages.
   Mr. Wittkop told council members he worked 69 hours of overtime between June and November of last year. He recouped 40 of those hours by taking time off from work as compensatory time, but said he was unable to take any more time off because of pressures created by lost work hours of employees under his supervision. Those employee hours were lost due to illness and vacation. "I appreciate that you have taken some of this time off, as we have requested you to do in the past," Mayor Jim Loper told Mr. Wittkop.
   David Garber, council member in charge of public works and public buildings, said he and other officials, including Borough Engineer Don Fetzer, recently toured a tract of land purchased by the borough several years ago with the intention of building a new Public Works building there.
   The current Public Works facility, between Broemel Place and West Delaware Avenue, is antiquated and dilapidated, officials and residents alike have been saying for decades. The land for the new public works building is in Hopewell Township just north of the borough line. Mr. Garber said work on the project of actually erecting the new building, which has been on hold for several years, is under way again.
   Mr. Garber said the borough is continuing to assess what repairs and upgrades are needed at the senior center on Reading Street. He said the borough will ask the county to pay more rent for using the center for a lunchtime program for seniors. He said the county has indicated it will respond favorably to the request.
   About 25 summonses for failure to shovel snow were issued by the Pennington Police Department last month, Councilwoman Nancy Ross said. Ms. Ross is council’s public safety director and liaison to the police. She said the police showed leniency in issuing the summonses, "waiting two or three days after the stop of snowfall to issue them."
   A borough ordinance, adopted about 15 years ago, requires property owners to clear their sidewalks of snow within 24 hours of the time snow has stopped falling.