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Hometown Heroes Committee makes official proposal

Bradford City Mayor Tom Riel announces September as Ovarian Cancer Month during Tuesday’s city council meeting. The designation was first made in 2018, thanks to the efforts of Bradford resident Susan Evans, left, an ovarian cancer survivor who is an advocate for awareness of the disease.

Bradford’s Hometown Heroes Committee proposed guidelines for its hero banner project to Bradford City Council at Tuesday’s regular council meeting.

The three-page proposal — provided by Amy Peterson, president of the Lt. John C. Roche VFW Post 212 Auxiliary, and Kate Kloss, a trustee with the auxiliary — outlined several details about how the project could be executed.

Three separate groups that recently formed with the goal of developing a Hometown Hero banner project met on Aug. 26 to develop a consolidated plan. The committee comprises those three groups and any other citizen who wants to participate.

The group proposes a double-sided banner that illustrates one or more heroes and is two feet by four feet in size. The committee is volunteering to handle winter storage and maintenance, and members are hopeful the city will be willing to handle installation and dismantling each year.

Heroes could include anyone with honorable military service or first responder service, living or deceased, who is a Bradford native or considers the Bradford area their hometown. Banners honorees are to be chosen through an application process. To date, 51 applications have been submitted.

The proposed cost is $200 per banner, to be paid by sponsors. However, the committee will not be soliciting local businesses or corporations for sponsorships, Peterson said.

“We feel that businesses are hounded enough around Bradford,” she explained.

Their goal is to have the first banners up by spring 2020.

“This is progress,” said Mayor Tom Riel. “This is a good start.”

Riel explained council could not take action on the proposal on Tuesday, but added that they will follow up. He noted there some legal issues they need to consider.

Bob Witchen, commander of Bradford American Legion Post 108, suggested a couple people from each of the three initial entities serve on the committee.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, attendees heard a presentation about Ovarian Cancer Month.

As a statement read by Riel stated, in 2018, the city resolved to designate September as Ovarian Cancer Month in perpetuity.

“Ovarian cancer claims 14,000 lives annually out of the 22,000 women diagnosed with this deadly, silent killer disease among cancers,” Riel’s statement read. “It is a cancer, like all cancers, that transcends all borders of human life. Ovarian cancer is one that lacks definitive symptoms and continues to strive for detection and advanced treatment.”

The declaration was first made at the request of Bradford resident Susan Evans, an ovarian cancer survivor, who has become an advocate for ovarian cancer awareness. She was in attendance at the meeting.

Among the city business addressed by council was a request for a certificate of appropriateness to demolish 10-12 Chestnut St., which was damaged by fire in February.

The request was denied at the recommendation of the city’s Historical Architectural Review Board based on the engineer’s report that stated the building can be restored. HARB made the recommendation at a meeting on Monday.

Riel voted in favor of the denial, but only after noting that he wants council to reconsider local law regarding HARB procedures.

Riel explained the law states that council must vote on such a matter at the next meeting after HARB comes to a conclusion; however, because of that ordinance, council had only one day to consider the matter. Riel proposes an amendment that would give council at least 14 days to review HARB proposals before voting on them.

Under correspondence, Councilman Brad Mangel read a letter regarding council’s need to certify the 2020 minimum municipal obligation for the City of Bradford pensions. The MMO totals for 2020 for all three plans — two uniformed and one non-uniformed — is $1,818,120.

Council passed on the second of two readings an ordinance amendment which states that parking will be prohibited on Chestnut Street on the west side of the street between Elm Street and Congress Place from 11 p.m. to 11 a.m. every day. Parking will always be prohibited on Chestnut between Congress Place to the other end.

This will provide five extra parking spots on the west side of Chestnut Street that can be used between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m.

Council appointed Alex Coppella and Evan Piganelli as part-time firefighters, effective today.

Also, council authorized the execution of a downtown revolving loan agreement of $50,000 with Christen Davis, doing business as Moments to Remember at 62 Main St. The funding will be used to purchase inventory, equipment and materials needed to operate the business.

The next council meeting will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 24.