Instant ticketing for housing code violations, a new siren system for police cars and upgrades to eight playgrounds will be coming to the City of Lackawanna, likely this summer, Mayor Geoffrey M. Szymanski said in his State of the City address.
“We’re going to start turning some of these playgrounds around,” Szymanski said Friday in Council Chambers of City Hall in his second address since being elected mayor in 2011.
The mayor also said the city’s law department was working on a new ordinance that would allow the city to seize properties where multiple drug raids have occurred.
Szymanski cited one house where police have been called 170 times over six years. Investigators conducted six raids in two years at the same house, resulting in seven felony convictions.
“If the landlords don’t want to be responsible for their property, we must get tougher with the landlords, and we will,” said Szymanski.
Instant ticketing will allow code enforcement officers to issue on-the-spot fines for code violations. The new process should cut down on the amount of time it takes for homeowners to fix problems on their properties, said Szymanski.
The change is aimed at fighting city blight, he added.
Last year, Szymanski warned of out-of-control overtime costs in the city fire department in his State of the City address, but the mayor said those costs are now under control, in part because of a federal grant that allowed the city to hire four new firefighters.
City police will begin experimenting with a new siren system, called the “Rumbler,” which uses low-frequency sound waves that can penetrate solid materials so that other drivers and pedestrians can feel the presence of an oncoming police officer, Szymanski said.
The mayor also proposed establishing a steering committee to examine renovations to City Hall or a move.
A recent energy audit revealed that the building was not energy efficient, said Szymanski.