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Memo From
The Mayor






Community Service

Allegheny County

January 10, 2005

The following elected officials were present: R. Carlucci; N. Kovach; J. O'Malley; R. Zezulewicz; D. Baumgarten; S. Torris. Council Members M. Cheberenchick, P. Coffey and M. Warhold were absent. The following appointed officials were present: T. Hartswick, Manager; D. Biondo, Solicitor; H. Lane, Police Chief.

The minutes of the December 13, 2004 and January 3, 2005 council meetings were presented. Ms. O'Malley motioned to approve the December 13, 2004 minutes; Mr. Carlucci seconded; all in favor; motion carried. Ms. Kovach motioned to approve the January 3, 2005 minutes; Ms. O'Malley seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Mr. Zezulewicz temporarily turned the meeting over to Mayor Baumgarten.

Mayor Baumgarten discussed the Keystone Oaks community service program and junior council person program. Mayor Baumgarten introduced Jennifer DeFrancesco who was appointed Junior Council Person and received the oath of office.

Mr. Zezulewicz opened the public comments section of the meeting.

Mr. Jacob Gross, 871 Middle Road - questioned what the borough was going to do to stop storm water from entering the sanitary sewer system. Mr. Gross believes the manhole installed in his front yard a few years ago is the cause of the problem that floods his basement. Mr. Zezulewicz replied stating he believes that Baldwin Township is contributing to the flooding problem, and Baldwin Township denies this opinion. The borough has televised and cleaned the pipes. Mr. Biondo stated the borough can initiate testing to determine if the water comes from Baldwin Township; however each community has a time frame according to the consent order to comply with removing storm water and upgrading the sanitary sewer system, and that would be a complicating factor in any legal action. Mr. Gross requested the borough install a backflow device on his property and stated that taxes and sewage payments should fund the cost since it is a public system. Mr. Zezulewicz answered that council has obtained costs to determine financial ability for the borough to install the devices; however council has not approved this action. Mr. Zezulewicz declared that he would schedule and attend a Baldwin Township public meeting with Mr. Gross to discuss his flooding issue. Mayor Baumgarten stated that every community in the ALCOSAN system is under the federal mandate to eliminate storm water from the sanitary sewer system, and often it is the homeowners' defective lateral lines that contribute the storm water. Mr. Gross asked if he could get assistance from the borough if his basement floods again. Mr. Zezulewicz stated a homeowner would have to file a claim against the borough's insurance.

Mr. Al Killmeyer, 873 Middle Road - stated that when Castle Shannon installed the overflow pipe forty years ago, the borough recognized a problem existed with an eight inch line that was inadequate to handle all the tie ins. In the past, the Health Inspector was contacted when the sewer discharged onto his back hill from an overflow pipe, however the health department had no resolution at that time. A new manhole was installed several years ago to fix the situation. Mr. Killmeyer stated that being homeless after thirty years from a landslide is distressing, and the borough is responsible for the sewer lines that should be updated and corrected.

Mrs. Killmeyer discussed the storm from Hurricane Ivan that destroyed three homes from a landslide on Middle Road. Mrs. Killmeyer expressed her dissatisfaction with communication from the borough administrative offices and asked for a borough contact to answer her questions. Mr. Zezulewicz suggested Mrs. Killmeyer attend the council meetings for questions and answers. Ms. Killmeyer provided three telephone numbers to contact her.

Mrs. Killmeyer questioned why the gas company disconnected two lines out of the three condemned homes. Mr. Ross stated the gas company had a work order due to the condemnations and the power company also disconnected the residences. Mr. Ross added the borough did not notify utilities.

Mrs. Killmeyer asked for an update on financial assistance to storm damaged properties. Mr. Zezulewicz answered the borough had hoped for assistance from the government, either state or federal; however any available funds are to be utilized for public property only, and the borough experienced no public property damage. Mr. Hartswick mailed information to the Middle Road residents regarding his contacts with various legislative representatives and provided a copy of the geotechnical engineers report. Mrs. Killmeyer suggested that if funds are available to the borough, the funds should be used to repair and update the sewer system.

Mrs. Killmeyer questioned a time frame for the demolition of her home. Mr. Ross discussed a catastrophic collapse which requires immediate removal at the homeowner's expense; however the collapse on these homes will be a slow process. Mrs. Killmeyer referenced the fact that demolition will be the ultimate resolution pending stabilization of the hillside and further stated she is aware that the demolition is the responsibility of the homeowner. Mr. Ross will notify the residents when the houses need to be demolished.

Mr. Gross noted the Baker Engineering report stated the engineers were instructed not to talk to the property owners. Mr. Hartswick explained the borough wanted a factual neutral report with no information or input from residents or borough officials.

Mr. George Orr, 791 Killarney Drive - stated his damage estimate from FEMA is $16,200 in his game room and his home continually receives storm water damage from the homes at 800 and 802 Kerry Hill. A new sewer line was installed. Mr. Ross stated the county plumbing department approved that plan. Mr. Orr discussed his lack of communication from borough administration. Mr. Orr stated Mr. Coffey discussed forcing the neighbor to install a gravel pit. Mr. Zezulewicz stated the borough has no authority to force the neighbor to install a pit. Mr. Orr believes he should sue the borough since the borough should have insured his property would not have any damages caused from the neighbor's construction before issuing a building permit. Mr. Biondo stated that is not the law that you have a right to sue the borough due to an inspection by a borough official on another's property. Mr. Ross discussed the borough ordinance which states one cannot discharge storm water onto another's property, and the neighbor is complying with this ordinance. The water discharge is a distance from Mr. Orr's property and gravity causes the flow onto Mr. Orr's property. Mr. Biondo suggested that Mr. Orr can file a claim against a person or persons for damages on his property, and also suggested Mr. Orr contact an engineer to get an opinion as to whether or not the neighbor directed the flow of the water onto his property that caused the damage.

Mr. Orr asked council to consider the damage to his property from additional building when council votes on the May Street Extension rezoning issue to build townhouses.

Mr. Lido Dreucci, 3372 Sycamore Drive - asked when the deadline is for Castle Shannon and Baldwin Township's compliance with the administrative consent order. Mr. Hartswick stated the initial assessment phase is 2010, and percentages of each project must be completed by specific dates. Mr. Zezulewicz described the federal government's mandate for borough's to eliminate storm water from the sanitary sewer system. Mr. Hartswick stated the borough has thirty nine miles of sanitary sewer piping that must be brought into compliance. A short discussion continued on the financial costs to the borough and the government agencies that monitor the time lines. Mayor Baumgarten commented that the storm and sanitary sewer systems were installed to handle a certain amount of flow, including new developments. The infiltration of an unknown quantity of storm water into the sanitary system was unpredicted and causes the overflow problems.

Mr. Zezulewicz officially closed the public portion of the meeting.

Mr. Mike Greiner, Greicon Construction, 145 Noble Avenue, Crafton - was present to discuss a proposed townhouse development on May Street Extension, pending council's vote on rezoning from R1 to R3. The plans include an initial twenty units with a possible additional five units due to the topography of the area. Mr. Ross stated with the current zoning, fourteen single family homes could be built. Mr. Greiner discussed a subdivision in Crafton where the developer's agreement contained a deed restriction to control the maximum number and type of buildings. Mr. Greiner stated the number of townhouses (20 or 25) could be negotiable and perhaps a single family home could be built on the lower level instead of the additional five units. Mr. Ross advised a variance would be required. Access to the lower five units would be from Broadway. Mr. Zezulewicz discussed the residents' concerns of privacy and traffic congestion. Mr. Griener stated the buildings are constructed on an angle for privacy and the closest building to a current residence would be fifty feet. Mr. Zezulewicz suggested and Mr. Griener agreed to complete an evaluation on the twenty units with one single family home.

Mr. Ross reported that Greicon Development's references were checked in Crafton, Penn Hills and Collier Township. The company was found to be honest, prompt, and cooperative, complied with codes and rules and completed work as stated. Mr. Zezulewicz questioned the difference between Greicon developing the property and building. Mr. Greiner stated that Greicon prepares the property for building and the homes are constructed by Ryan, Londonberry, Heartland Homes, Paragon or another reputable construction company. Mr. Greiner stated the project would not be built in phases, but constructed at one time. Townhouse would be two or three bedroom with an average price of $150,000. Mr. Carlucci voiced concerns about sewer capacity. Shannon Heights and Vernridge projects did not cause sewer problems. Mr. Ross stated that borough engineers and the Department of Environmental Protection must approve the sewer planning module. Mr. Zezulewicz questioned where the sewer lines would connect at May or Broadway and where the flow runs. Mr. Ross will investigate. Ms. Kovach questioned the protection of green space. Mr. Griener replied that green space would be given consideration and the project would have additional landscaping. Ms. DeFrancesco asked the rate of the buildings on the green scale (environmentally friendly scale). Mr. Griener replied they are not on the green scale.

Mr. Zezulewicz stated the vote on the rezoning issue will be scheduled within one month.

Bid Openings: Nothing to report.

Public Hearings: Nothing to report.

Civil Service Commission: Nothing to report.

Real Estate Tax Collectors Report: Ms. Torris reported December collections of $22,060.24. County change orders included a decrease of $5,107.28 leaving a revised balance of $135,594.44 to be collected. The delinquent list will be prepared for exoneration at the next meeting.

Council Committee Reports: Building and Grounds: Mr. Kovach noted that the land is sliding at Riehl Park. Mr. Hartswick discussed Gabriel baskets to stabilize the hillside.

Mr. Kovach questioned the leakage in the Municipal Center. Public works has checked the area and the original roof contractor was contacted. The roof is under warranty.

Finance: Ms. Kovach motioned to ratify the Treasurer's Report; Mr. Carlucci seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Library: Ms. O'Malley announced a vacancy on the Trustee Board. Applications have been received.

Planning and Codes: Nothing to report.

Public Safety: Chief Lane discussed the borough's transfer of dispatching services from South Hills Regional Dispatch Center to the county's 911 center. Services have not changed and the change was smooth. No complaints have been received from residents. Full cooperation was received from the county. Officers have adjusted to system. Response time is the same. Mt. Lebanon will become a ring down center. Dormont Borough will be joining the county 911 in June. Chief reported that the organizational work prior to the change was instrumental in the smooth transition. Mr. Zezulewicz stated the change was the right decision, and the borough's biggest critics that verbally attacked the borough's decision are now following suit. Chief Lane stated that the county's operating system was thoroughly investigated and researched to protect our residents and public safety employees.

Public Works: Nothing to report.

Editorial Board: Mr. Zezulewicz requested council begin articles for the Spring Newsletter.

MRTSA: Mayor Baumgarten stated that MRTSA will be joining the county's 911 dispatching system on January 15th. Chief Lane explained that MRTSA will be dispatched on time with no delays. County 911 will be talking on their radio channels.

Municipal Associations:
Allegheny County Boroughs Association: Nothing to report.
Allegheny League of Municipalities: Nothing to report.
South Hills Area Council of Governments: Council appointed Ms. O'Malley as primary delegate to the SHACOG Board of Directors and Ms. Kovach was appointed alternate.

Police Pension Review Committee: Mr. Hartswick reported a meeting on January 11th with PNC Investments and January 17th with Trollinger.

Earned Income Tax Collector's Report: December distribution analysis: EIT - $37,970.54; OPT - $45.00.

Engineer's Report: Nothing to report.

Manager's Report: Mr. Hartswick presented a proposal from PNC to secure short-term financing to satisfy the arbitration award for Oakdale Construction of $55,500 for 3.32 percent with repayment of eight quarterly payments of $7,199.11. Mr. Carlucci motioned to approve proposal; Ms. O'Malley seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Mr. Biondo suggested council motion to execute the settlement agreement between Oakdale Construction and Castle Shannon Borough on the Contract No. 01-ST1, Sanitary and Storm Sewer Improvements-Phase III. Ms. O'Malley made the motion; Mr. Carlucci seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Ms. O'Malley motioned to ratify the borough manager's approval of Change Order No. 1 with A. Folino Construction Inc. for the 2004 Liquid Fuels Road Program; Mr. Carlucci seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Ms. Kovach motioned to sponsor three teams for the Castle Shannon Youth Association totaling $625.00; Ms. O'Malley seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Mayor's Report: Mayor Baumgarten commended Chief Lane for an outstanding job in organizing and preparing for the change to the county's 911 dispatch service to enable a smooth transition.

Planning Commission Report: Nothing to report.

Solicitor's Report: Nothing to report.

Keystone Oaks: Nothing to report.

Zoning Hearing Board: Nothing to report.

Other Business: Ms. O'Malley questioned when the Caribbean restaurant would be opening (formerly Peppercorn's). Mr. Ross stated in a few weeks.

Mr. Carlucci questioned the Civil Service Commission status. Chief Lane stated twenty candidates are available, however the Civil Service Commission has not corresponded with the borough.

Mr. Zezulewicz questioned a broken sewer line on Glenn Shannon in Baldwin Township. Mr. DeLallo is meeting with Dale of Baldwin Township.

Mr. Zezulewicz questioned a possible mine fire at Sleepy Hollow and Columbia. Mr. Ross discussed smoke coming from a test well. Bureau of Mines, DEP and EPA and Columbia Gas were contacted. Higher than normal levels of CO2 and methane were found. Castle Shannon Fire Department used a CO2 tester from Hazmat to test local residences. Residences tested safe. Air samples have been taken from the mine for testing. Additional testing will determine if it is a mine fire.

Mr. Zezulewicz questioned if the health care contributions by the administration employees are on a pre-tax basis. Ms. Miller confirmed this.

Mr. Zezulewicz noted that Ice Castle has received a conditional occupancy.



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