DECEMBER 3, 2018 REGULAR BOROUGH COUNCIL MEETING
- PRESIDENT TARQUINIO CALLED THE MEETING TO ORDER AT 7:00 PM. PRESENT: TARQUINIO, COUNCIL MEMBERS ROB CIERVO, ANNETTE HAAR, ADRIANE WENDELL, LUCAS TURANO, KATRINA FOSTER, VP MEAGEN KAMEEN, TREASURER GREG MYER, SOLICITOR JIM SCANLON, SECRETARY PAMELA AHLSTRAND AND MAYOR SEAN STRUB. MEETING WAS OPENED WITH THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE.
- Adoption of Agenda: BY MOTION OF WENDELL/CIERVO, COUNCIL ADOPTED THE AGENDA AS PRESENTED.
- Adoption of Minutes: BY MOTION OF HAAR/TURANO, COUNCIL ADOPTED THE MINUTES OF THE NOV. 3, 2018 REGULAR MEETING AS SUBMITTED; BY MOTION OF WENDELL/CIERVO, COUNCIL ADOPTED THE MINUTES OF THE NOVEMBER 13, 2018 WORKSHOP MEETING AS SUBMITTED (KAMEEN, HAAR, FOSTER ABSTAINING, as they were not present).
- Public Hearings:
- 2019 Budget/Tax Ordinance – Tarquinio turned hearing over to VP Kameen (Finance) and Greg Myer (Treasurer). Kameen stated that the budget had been available to the public for review, as required. No increase in taxes, stayed mostly the same as last year. General Fund: Income decreased slightly due to a slight decrease in assessment (Income went from $909,447 to $904,128 projected for 2019); made up the difference by adjusting expenses; was a decrease in one line item (Police Chief’s Salary) because Borough went from FT Chief to PT Chief; able to give FT employees a 3% raise. With regard to other funds, slight moving of allocation- had to increase street light fund; accomplished by moving funds from Street Improvement, as well as the Debt fund (one truck came off- financing complete); costs for relocating the Borough office/police department- there is $2500 in the budget for next year, balance will come from Capital Reserve (which has balance of $200K, according to Greg Myer). Secty Ahlstrand noted that budget hearing was properly advertised, as required, in the Pike County Dispatch at least 10 days prior to the hearing.
No comment/questions from the public. BY MOTION OF TURANO/CIERVO, THE HEARING WAS CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC. BY MOTION OF KAMEEN/WENDELL, BOROUGH COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY VOTED TO APPROVE THE 2019 BUDGET AS PRESENTED, AS WELL AS THE 2019 REAL ESTATE TAX ORDINANCE, AS PRESENTED AND ADVERTISED.
Blue Ridge Franchise Contract – Ahlstrand stated that hearing was properly advertised in the Pocono Record on November 19, 2018. Tarquinio asked Turano to open the hearing, as he handled the negotiations. Turano said that the Borough has been operating on the last 10 year contract, which expired a year ago; hasn’t changed. Renegotiated some of the terms this year. Historically, 111, 109, and 107 W Catharine have received free services; new contract will provide those free services to the Pike County Library, the Columns, the Community House, and Safe Haven. Question from Wendell about nodes, # of users; Turano said BR no longer goes by that. Question from Borecky (public) about rates. Turano explained stated that cable industry is changing, struggling. Mayor noted that the existing contract is really 40+ years old, has just been renewing every 10 years without changes. Turano noted that increasing from 2% franchise fee to 3% will cost residents about $.52/month ( most municipalities are at 5%, which would be about $1/mth cost).
BY MOTION OF HAAR/CIERVO, THE PUBLIC HEARING WAS CLOSED. BY MOTION OF TURANO/FOSTER, THE COUNCIL VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO ACCEPT THE BLUE RIDGE FRANCHISE CONTRACT AS PRESENTED.
AT THIS TIME, TARQUINIO ADVISED THERE ARE NEW RESIDENT BROCHURES AVAILABLE FOR RESIDENTS TO PICK UP.
- Public Comment:
– Kevin Mann, Captain, MFD, gave his monthly report (attached). Noted up 65 calls; 429 fire calls, 79 in the Boro. Attended a “hoarding” class. Ambulance is in York, Pa., waiting for the rear door (damaged in accident). Yesterday, tanker truck went out of service.
– George Borecky – Commented about American flag at the baseball field (E Catharine) not properly illuminated; also asked about the banners still up on the fence. Haar said there is supposed to be a solar light on the flag, will check into it. Chief McCormack said he called the President of the Little league about the banners- he will take them down this week.
- Special Event/Banners:
– Hands of Hope – James Pearce was there on behalf of applicant. Non-profit, all volunteers working with the homeless in Pike County. Application for Dec. 21st – National Homeless Vigil; propose to gather at Courthouse steps, share stories, etc., then walk across Broad, up to corner, cross to Presbyterian Church. Will provide COI prior to event. APPROVED BY MOTION OF TURANO/HAAR
– Tri-State Parkinson’s Project- “Fox Trot” 5K – Marcia Guberman there on behalf of applicant. Run is Saturday of Father’s Day weekend. Raised $157K last 4 years. Set up time changed to 8 am. Starts in Ann St Park. APPROVED BY MOTION OF TURANO/CIERVO.
– Pike County Geocachers – Secretary Ahlstrand said received call/email from Kevin Devizia, teacher at DVHS. Group wants to use gazebo in Ann St park to play some holiday music and do a photo. Friday December 14th. Will be finished by 8 pm. APPROVED BY MOTION OF HAAR/TURANO.
- COMMITTEE REPORTS:
- Zoning/Law – Wendell gave her report: waiting for County planning to review changes to Ordinance, and then General Code will generate final copy; County received variance for sally port, next step is ARB. No other report
- Finance/Budget – Kameen – already covered in budget hearing
- Parks – Haar had no report
- Borough Property – Turano gave update on move to 500 Broad: Chief McCormack has done a lot himself- painting, framing, etc. Professional deep clean scheduled; got bids on painting; speaking with someone about tech changes; potential move date is around Feb. 4th. Need to wait for Blue Ridge. Thanked John Troyan, Chief McCormack, for work they are doing. Tarquinio noted that there will be an open house for the residents to see the building- 200 years of history.
- Streets & Lights – Ciervo gave his report: Cost to convert lampposts to LED- $68/light. About 300 lights in Borough, no minimum order for bulbs, etc. Some discussion. Kameen asked what current cost is to change now- Ciervo said sometimes need to have electrician come out; LED bulbs use less electric, last longer, no ballasts; Discussion about order of changing, how many. Tarquinio said start with oldest; Kameen said go block to block. Ciervo said maybe groups of 20; Borecky asked if they wanted volunteers- Ciervo said electrician has to do, liability.
Ciervo said leaves will be picked up until Dec. 14th with machine at curb; after that in paper bags or barrels. Question about Broad and Harford- Ciervo said have to go to alley. Question about whether the street department could do one sweep of Broad & Harford early morning; would have to coordinate with all business. Question from Jon Kameen about property owners who don’t shovel or have their sidewalks shoveled. Tarquinio said need to file complaint with Zoning Officer, he will send violation notice.
- Technology – Wendell is researching computers for Borough Office, new desktop for Secretary. Has a price now of $1500 with software, still shopping. Kameen said it’s in next year’s budget, wait until January.
- Insurance – Turano said renewed, increase was much less than anticipated.
- Mayor’s Report – Reiterated that Chief has spent a lot of time working at new building and getting donations, etc. Spent $192 at Home Depot/Lowes; $362 at Luhr’s. Labor all donated by police department.
No date from speed sign this month- trying to fix a glitch.
New police car in process, with computer
Waiting on replacement title to transfer old car (Ahlstrand noted received today)
Three new police officers: Mike Repecki, Jeremiah Johnson, Mario D’Ambrosio. Repecki has started training; waiting on paperwork for the other two. *
Should have final version of SOP at next regular Council meeting
Milford PD will take part in Tri-State Christmas parade- from Montague-Pt Jervis- Matamoras
Community events- hosted Boy Scout troop in office, and Cheerleader travel team
Updating taser cartridges, active shooter drill, dui checkpoint training
Citations: 25 traffic citations, 48 stops, 1780 miles
*NOTE – with regard to new police officers, already voted on Mike Repecki. Turano (on Public Safety Committee) said they were interviewed by Sal Pinzone (Asst Chief) and Chief McCormack, reviewed by PSC. BY MOTION OF TURANO/WENDELL, COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE HIRING OF TWO PART TIME POLICE OFFICERS JOHNSON AND D’AMBROSIO AT THE STARTING RATE OF $16.50/HR.
- Treasurer’s Report: Greg Myer provided his report: Collected more in RTT and taxes than budgeted for. Should be able to cover shortfall for pension, and pay down payment for new police car from General Fund. State Police fines remitted twice a year- receiving $338 (notice received today). Tarquinio confirmed that Myer is taking over payroll effective January 1. BY MOTION OF KAMEEN/TURANO, COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED TREASURER’S REPORT AS SUBMITTED.
- New Business:
- ARB CERTIFICATES OF APPROPRIATENESS:
– 316 West Harford St – Windows
– 320 Broad St. – Signage on Window (Painted, not vinyl)
BY MOTION OF TURANO/HAAR, COUNCIL APPROVED AS RECOMMENDED.
- Pike County Road Task Force- BY MOTION OF KAMEEN/CIERVO, Paul Curran was appointed by Council
- Creation of Communications Committee – Katrina Foster proposed- Beneficial to community to develop a way to engage residents, get them to sign up for email, can send ordinances, budget, etc. to residents before approval. Wendell will be on committee as well.
- East Catharine St- Wall going down hill- Tarquinio said need to get bid. Sand and Gravel? Ciervo said we need to go to our engineer and have them put together bid information. May want to provide information from MH&E. Ahlstrand will contact Kiley & Associates.
- Old Business:
- Electronic Recycling – Katrina Foster s/w Penny Luhrs, Milford Twp. She will bring up at their meeting tonight, proposing joint venture; fundraiser for Boro & Township. Tarquinio explained small fee to be charged, go to charity such as Food Pantry.
- Meeting with Recycling Consultant – Mayor gave update; group met with consultant (Ciervo, Joe Dooley) Will provide draft agreement, hourly rate, info on grants, etc. Will address next month.
- River Access Project – Tarquinio gave update- meeting held – concerns are ecology, preservation of neighborhood, parking. Next step – create a vision, apply for grants. Question from Borecky (public) about handicap accessibility. Kameen commented that E Catharine and Brookhill Rd are both infrastructure issues, why create another one? Tarquinio said need to rely on engineering as to whether it is feasible. Mayor Strub said Pike County Conservation District offered to provide technical assistance; Question from Jon Kameen about maintenance of projects done by MEC; Kiger (public, MEC) said significant funds spent this year on repairing sidewalks. Working with Borough on joint responsibility with regard to maintenance. Comment from Rick ? (public) about steepness of hill where river project proposed. Tarquinio commented they are exploring options based on feasibility (pavilion, path, steps)
- Central Sewer Update – Tarquinio gave update- Council had lengthy discussion at workshop, only 4 Council members. Consensus was that long term, will need to be done. But short-term will be “painful” process. Question from Kameen about grants to fund study. Tarquinio said the other municipalities don’t want to wait for grant funds. Cost would be $37K for each (Westfall, Milford Twp., Milford Boro). Some discussion about whether to go ahead with 537 study now, or apply for grant and wait until funds received. Study needed to determine cost, feasibility, etc. of central sewer project. Study takes 4-6 months, grant funds would not be received (if approved) for 6 months. Discussion about sharing of cost: Inter-municipal agreement proposes 3-way split; Kameen/Ciervo said shouldn’t be shared equally, Borough has smaller tax base; Mayor suggested that County share in cost. Next meeting scheduled for December 5. Haar said need to know residents’ feeling on project overall. Tarquinio explained that without study can’t move forward with project. Question about Water Authority contributing. MOTION BY WENDELL/TURANO TO PURSUE 537 STUDY, AND LOOK FOR ALTERNATIVE FUNDING SOURCES. FOSTER, HAAR, KAMEEN, CIERVO OPPOSED TO AUTHORIZING FULL COST OF STUDY AT THIS POINT. Decided to discuss further at the workshop, pursue funds from County, Water Authority.
- ALS Update – Tarquinio said meeting Dec 6th with Commonwealth Ambulance; may be placing ambulance in Shohola.
Ahlstrand noted that she emailed all correspondence to Council members for review. Need to act on Water Authority appointments- Scott Sheldon’s term is expiring, Ed Brylanski resigned. BY MOTION OF HAAR/CIERVO, COUNCIL APPROVED RE-APPOINTMENT OF SCOTT SHELDON. Will need to nominate another member.
Ahlstrand will provide list of other terms expiring.
PCDC Luncheon/Christmas Craft store
Pike County Scenic Rural Character Program Grants – Applications available.
COUNCIL ADJOURNED TO EXECUTIVE SESSION AT 8:37 PM
RESUMED AT 9:09. BY MOTION OF CIERVO/TURANO, MEETING ADJOURNED.