Landlord discusses tenant issues with Mon City Council

August 10, 2017

Landlord Robert Cain addressed Monongahela City Council Wednesday regarding concerns about his rental property at 145 Chess St.

Cain said he wanted to talk with council because he has received complaints from residents and there is a petition circulating about the property. He added complaints run from dogs chasing people, dozens of people living in the residence and a business being run out of the residence.

“I have been a landlord for more than 20 years and own 30 buildings here in town. I bought my first house at the age of 18. The building was condemned and I rehabbed it,” Cain said.

He told council he is not a bad landlord who rents to anyone. “I do extensive background checks on my renters,” he said.

Monongahela police Chief Brian Tempest said he has not received any calls from neighbors about the property, except once in June for loud music playing.

“All of the complaints and 911 calls have come from within the residence, usually fighting. We have gotten several calls from within the residence, and we have gone and arrested people,” he said.

“Unfortunately, the law is on the tenants’ side when it comes to evictions. I can’t throw someone out for no reason. I now have a reason and have started the eviction process,” said Cain.

Resident Mike Petrosky expressed concerns about vehicles speeding on Fifth Avenue.

“Can the city install a stop sign or rumble strips? This has been a problem for years. There are many young kids on that street, and I fear something is going to happen. Years ago, my daughter was hit by a car. Thank God she was OK,” he said. Mayor Bob Kepics said the city has been doing a study about changing the road from a two-way to a one-way street. “We are looking at what direction would be the best. If we have it one way toward Fourth Street, all of the traffic will be going out right by a bad bend,” said Kepics.

Tempest said a stop sign cannot be installed just for the slowing of traffic. Solicitor Brad Bassi said to install rumble strips, a study must be conducted.

Kepics thanked the police department, fire department and emergency services for their work during the recent flooding. The Monongahela Mariners boat club recovered part of the boat dock and is holding it until it can be reinstalled. Kepics said the new kayak launch was partially lost and, with summer coming to an end, probably will not be reconstructed until next year.

Councilman Daryl Miller is working toward having a meeting with council and residents concerning parks and recreation in the city. No date has been set for the meeting. Several months ago, council directed the solicitor to look into the formation of a parks and recreation board.

“We wanted to know what we needed to do, the pros, cons, bylaws,” said Kepics. Bassi said he would have the information within a week’s time.

The playground equipment from the former Monongahela Elementary Center has been inspected and will be installed at the Mounds park.

Council approved a motion to close Railroad Street between Second and Third streets on Aug. 20 for a car show sponsored by Monongahela Fire Department.

Councilman Alan Veliky said for the second year in a row, the city has applied for a grant for the replacement of the traffic light at Main Street and Ninth Street.

“We applied last year and got turned down. We have a good chance of receiving it this time,” said Veliky.

Without the grant, the cost of the replacement is estimated to be $250,000.

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