RENOVO — Police protection and continued efforts to clean up uninhabitable structures dominated most of Renovo Borough Council’s meeting in October. Mayor Gene Bruno handled most of the discussion on the topics.
Early in the summer, Code Enforcement Officer Roger Hoy and Bruno learned that a house at 145 Myrtle St. had a broken sewer line. Raw sewage had been pouring into the basement for at least a few months, according to Bruno. In addition, we can see a wall leaning towards the alley.
The house was deemed uninhabitable and the tenants had to move out.
Bruno said in his report that he and ordinance officer Dave Walker boarded the building. The two must have moved up recently as people tried to move in, he continued.
Renovo resident Maureen Ruhl attended the October meeting and asked to speak about her concerns about the lack of police coverage in the borough.
Ruhl offered harsh words in his take on the situation, noting that the advice in his eyes was “lose the trust of its citizens” as they try to “defund the police.”
Ruhl offered two problems in particular.
The first referred to the borough seeking a city-wide security surveillance system, which Bruno presented at a summer meeting. The Council continues to seek funds for the potential project.
Ruhl also said she called 911 to report a trash bag that had been dumped on her property that contained drug paraphernalia. Ruhl said that at last week’s meeting, only Pennsylvania State Police helped her resolve the issue. No policeman from Renovo answered her, she said.
After Ruhl read her complaints, Bruno responded, trying to answer each one.
Bruno said the words “defund the police” were never spoken by anyone on the board.
Bruno further explained that the two part-time officers have full-time police jobs in other cities and work in Renovo part-time.
He said he would like to have up to four policemen, but from now on they have to work with what they have.
On a related note, Bruno would state later in the reunion during his report that he is going to a police academy just weeks before graduating a class in November.
Bruno was in contact with an instructor, trying to interest newly credited officers in coming to Renovo to find employment.
The mayor said the borough currently saved taxpayers $10,000 from a year ago and provided no lesser coverage.
The Council further noted that, while the state police handled Ruhl’s call, it was done when the Renovo police officers were off duty. If the police were handling the first call, Renovo officers would also not be investigating the incident.
Board member Kristy Serafini-Brooks assured Ruhl that the board is “still trying to hire officers.”
Bruno summarized the Board’s position by adding, “I am very pleased with the direction the department is taking.”