Tony’s Barber Shop in Palmyra to turn wall into mural

Council proposed the idea more than eight years ago

Joe Ventura, a barber at Tony’s Barber Shop in Palmyra, spoke at the Palmyra council meeting last week to express his concerns over one of the walls of the shop being turned into a mural.

Ventura says the borough approached Tony’s Barber Shop more than eight years ago and asked them not to paint the wall as they wanted to turn it into a town mural.

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“I just wanted to come in front of everybody to see how things are going with it and if it all possible it will be done because we wanted to paint our building eight years ago and we were told not to paint it,” Ventura said. “They wanted to make a mural for the town to just do something to positively bring people in.”

Ventura added while he would love to see the mural happen, he would also like to improve the building.

“If it’s not going to happen, then this spring we’re going to paint the building and be done with the whole mural. If the mural is going to happen, we’re willing to wait until May 1 to make a decision on that and start the process. For the spring and summer, we want to have it looking as good as we can,” Ventura said.

Mayor Michelle Arnold assured Ventura the mural is definitely going to happen.

“I guarantee that the project is moving forward. Right now, we’re in a little bit of a flux as far as changing over to new council members,” Arnold said. “It’s definitely on our radar and something that we are moving forward with.”

Arnold added she will meet with Ventura before the next council meeting on Feb. 20 to discuss ideas.

In other news:

• The borough will continue to spray pesticides to control mosquitos this year despite arguments from Councilwomen Mindie Weiner and Bernadette Russell.

Weiner raised the concern of pesticides being sprayed while she was “outside in the garden” and how harmful they can be. Russell was also opposed to pesticides.

“Not only does it affect the mosquitos, it affects other, good insects that are there … the bees are dying off,” Russell said. “There has got to be some other way. There are other products out there that do not do the same damage as the pesticides that are being released.”

Borough Administrator John Gural clarified pesticides will only be sprayed in swamp-like areas such as the Palmyra Cove Nature Park — not as residents’ homes. Gural also raised the concern over viruses such as West Nile and Zika if the mosquitos are not controlled.

Both Russell and Weiner ultimately voted in favor of the pesticides with the understanding that more research will be done into finding a safer alternative.

• Arnold recognized Timothy F. McBride for his achievement in obtaining Eagle Scout rank.

“Tim has demonstrated tremendous growth while participating fully in the program, volunteering his time, earning his abilities and talents but also demonstrating exemplary leadership,” Arnold said. “Tim is an avid participant in his troop and thoroughly enjoys camping, hiking and volunteering.”

The Scouts will hold a ceremony of recognition for McBride on Feb. 25, and Arnold will be in attendance.

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