— Business owners in Honesdale will have additional time in considering a proposed ordinance which would require them to have a device installed at their businesses.
Honesdale Borough Council President F. J. Monaghan, Jr. announced Wednesday that additional public input is sought on the proposed ordinance being considered by council regarding the rapid entry systems, such as Knox-Boxes, to assist the Honesdale Fire Department.
Because of that, the proposed ordinance will not be advertised prior to nor will it be voted on at the April 8 council meeting.
The general public is invited to review the updated proposed ordinance which will be placed on the Borough's website, www.honesdaleborough.com next week under the Public Information tab.
Comments can be emailed via the website or general email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or dropped off at Borough Hall, 958 Main Street, Honesdale.
The ordinance is a proposal to assist in emergency rapid entry for the fire department responding to fire alarms and to minimize damage to the buildings.
A meeting with the Greater Honesdale Partnership and initial feedback has resulted in this invitation for the public to provide additional comments on the draft ordinance.
The issue arose during the most recent monthly meeting of the borough council, though it has been an agenda item for well over a year.
During the meeting, a long discussion was held and some questioned the part of the ordinance which requires building owners to install the devices.
A Knox-Box is a device which holds a key to the building. If a fire alarm sounds, a code can be sent electronically from the 911 center to open the box. Firefighters can then open the door instead of having to break it down.
Mayor Ed Langendoerfer has questioned the part requiring owners to install the devices, saying the council would be forcing them to have additional costs.
Councilman Jim Brennan also questioned the ordinance, saying he is against requiring the boxes.
Brennan is a former business owner in Honesdale and he said it should be a person's option whether or not to participate in the program.
Page 2 of 2 - During the meeting, the council did vote to proceed with advertising the ordinance. That vote was 6-1 with Brennan dissenting.
Also at that meeting, Langendoerfer questioned how many business owners had been contacted regarding the ordinance.
One business owner, Mike Jones of Northeast Firearms, was at the meeting and he spoke against the ordinance.
"Anyone can break into a box," Jones said at the meeting.
It appears that some members of council have met with the GHP, which represents some downtown businesses, and that's why the ordinance will not be considered at the next meeting.