GREENVILLE, PA. Borough council designates new members to fill vacancies
Residents at the meeting objected to raising fees for coin-operated games.
By LAURI GALENTINE
GREENVILLE, Pa. -- After the resignation last month of three council members, the remaining four members filled one vacant seat last week and two more this week.
Joanne Gibson Price was appointed to fill one of the seats during council's regular monthly agenda meeting Thursday. Dr. Henry Mueller and Preston Snyder were both appointed Tuesday evening during council's regular business meeting.
All three are longtime residents of Greenville and have been active in the community for many years. They replace Ian Scott Forbes, Richard S. Houpt and Bryan D. Langietti, whose resignations were all accepted at the December council meeting.
Forbes has since died.
Council presented several proposed changes to current ordinances, to be acted on next month. One, which would change fees for pinball games and other coin-operated amusements, didn't sit well with residents in attendance.
The current ordinance, according to council president Pete Longiotti, established a licensing fee of $50 each for any and all coin-operated amusement devices placed in businesses within the borough limits. Such devices were identified as pinball machines, pool tables, or any other game or riding device that takes a coin or a token.
A proposed amendment would raise that fee to $200 per machine.
Longiotti said the raise was listed as an obligation in the state's financial recovery plan for the borough.
Longiotti also said the writers of that document, employees of the state, set the proposed amount.
One man shouted, "You just want to prevent anyone from opening a club for kids."
Another man said all the local businesses would remove these devices before they would pay $200 apiece to license them.
Newly appointed council member Mueller also questioned the proposal. "You're asking an awful lot out of somebody who owns a pinball machine," he said.
Eric Bielata, recreation director for the Greenville Area Leisure Services Association, said it would cost GALSA $1,400 a year to license its machines. He said the nonprofit organization couldn't afford to do that.
In light of all the objections, council chose to table that ordinance until it could speak with employees of the state department of economic and community development. One of the stipulations to receiving state money for financial recovery is that council follow the plan.