Austin sign

Austin borough council voted unanimously to move forward to adopt an ordinance that allows ATVs, UTVs and snowmobiles to operate on borough streets between 10:10 p.m. and 7 a.m. except for Fridays and Saturdays when hours of operation will be midnight to 7 a.m.

Vehicles are limited to 15 mph within the borough and must have headlights and tail lights on. All state laws must be followed. All units must be registered with DCNR and properly insured. Private property and state roadways are excluded including Routes 607 and 872.

The ordinance may be adopted at the Nov. 9 meeting, which begins at 6 p.m..

Earlier this summer, members of the Potter County ATV UTV Club attended a borough meeting to answer questions and offer assistance. A copy of the proposed ordinance is available at the Austin borough office at 21 Turner Street between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to noon on Friday.

Upon a question by the council, the borough’s solicitor said the ordinance does not include golf carts, which are not licensed vehicles and are not permitted on sidewalks, streets and highways.

Elliott Street bridge

Robert Guyer, engineer from NTM Engineering, said he discovered minor advancement in the size and number of corrosion holes throughout three of the Elliott Street bridge beams during an inspection last month. The current 15 ton posting remains valid and no other restrictions are required.

In October 2020, NTM Engineering recommended repairing or replacing the deteriorated beams within six months. Since no work has been done, the bridge is inspected every six months; if the deterioration worsens, additional restrictions or closure may be necessary.

Scott Hostetlar noted if a grant doesn’t come through this year, council will need to look at putting plates on each side to get by until future funding can be obtained.

The next inspection is scheduled for March 2022. Guyer said that, based on the current condition and the rate of deterioration due to salt exposure in winter, it is possible the bridge will be closed.

Council voted to move forward and send shut off notices to several residents for non-payment of sewer and water services. COVID restrictions prevented the borough from shutting off services last year until now, but council will now take action to collect funds in arrears or shut off those services.

The council could not provide how much money is currently owed the borough. Once services are shut off, property owners continue to be charged a $47 standby fee. Residents may make payments in-person at the borough office, dropped off in locked box, mailed or made online via credit card.

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