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January 14, 2008

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

The minutes of the January 7, 2008 council meeting were presented. Ms. O'Malley motioned to approve the minutes; Ms. Kovach seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Mr. Zezulewicz turned the meeting over to Mayor Baumgarten, who read letters of commendation to Officer William Kress and Sergeant Joseph Caruso for their outstanding response and investigation of an incident with suspicious circumstances that resulted in the saving of a life. Mayor Baumgarten added that it is great to live in Castle Shannon, and he is very proud of our fine police department.

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

Fire Chief Bill Reffner - thanked council for their help with the 2007 Light-Up Night and thanked Jean O'Malley for serving on the committee. Four hundred people attended the rainy event, and the program was a success.

The fire department is in good health financially due to the parking lot revenue. Bingo attendance is down since the casinos have opened. The budget will exceed $400,000 of which $70,000 is designated for pumper purchases and the aerial fund.

The SHACOG mutual aid agreement with twenty two communities has been beneficial. Several meetings have been held with the county regarding 911 center dispatching. Progress is being made, and communication gaps are being resolved.

Six new members joined the fire department this year. A main focal point is building membership in the volunteer fire department.

Chief Reffner wished everyone a happy new year and offered the assistance of the fire department to council and the community. Mr. Zezulewicz offered the borough's assistance to the fire department for Light-Up Night. Chief Reffner added that the assistance of the public works department was instrumental in preparing for the event. Council thanked Chief Reffner for his dedication and service to the community.

Joan Cleary, Allegheny County Council Member - discussed the implementation of the drink tax approved by Allegheny County Council to balance the $30 million deficit. Ms. Cleary added that Allegheny County provides $25 million to Port Authority for their budget. Accordingly to Mr. Onorato, the drink tax income will not be given to Port Authority until some concessions and budget cuts are made from PAT. Mayor Baumgarten stated that restaurant and bar owners and servers have voiced their concerns about a loss of revenue since customers will consume less alcohol. Ms. Cleary noted that the general public is not voicing complaints about the tax.

Ms. Kovach noted a newspaper ad that stated Allegheny County may be selling parks to finance the budget. Ms. Clearly said that the county sold an empty lot; however no park facilities will be sold.

Mr. Zezulewicz thanked Ms. Cleary for attending our meeting.

Mr. Zezulewicz closed the public comment section of the meeting.

Bid Openings:
Nothing to report.

Public Hearings:
Mr. Hartswick presented Ordinance 859 amending the borough's police pension plan providing for an increase in the service increment benefit and an amendment to provisions related to cost of living adjustments. Mr. Cheberenchick motioned to adopt Ordinance 859 at its first reading; Ms. O'Malley seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Civil Service Commission:
Nothing to report.

Real Estate Tax Collectors Report:
Ms. Torris presented the December report with collections of $19,023.62 and a balance of $155,560.41. A payment was received today reducing the balance significantly.

Ms. Torris requested to be exonerated for the delinquent real estate taxes for the year 2007 in the amount of $68,282.63. Mr. Carlucci made a motion to exonerate the tax collector of the delinquent real estate taxes for the year 2007; Ms. Kovach seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Council Committee Reports:

Building and Grounds:
Mr. Warhold discussed the feasibility of installing lights at Hamilton Park through the Bright Lights Program. Costs will be finalized and a summary will be presented to council.

The Community Day Committee will be meeting this Wednesday evening. Kenny Blake and Johnny Angel and the Halos will be performing. Many members of the community have volunteered to assist in the event.

Mr. Zezulewicz noted that CSYA is working on the announcer's stand at the Municipal Center ball field.

Ms. Kovach noted that the floor tiles need replaced on the lower level of the Municipal Center building. Public Works will replace the flooring.

Mr. Cheberenchick motioned to ratify the December treasurer's report; Mr. Carlucci seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Ms. O'Malley reported January 31st is the application deadline for a library board vacancy. Three applications have been received.

Planning and Codes:
Ms. Kovach stated that the new candy store is doing well, and a hair salon has opened on Willow Avenue. The Saucy Noodle has changed their menu.

Public Safety:
Chief Lane reported that the borough is fortunate to have many police officers who have received awards from Amen Corner for their performance and service to the community.

Chief Lane discussed the key holder form available on the website to provide police personnel with telephone contact numbers in the event a resident is unable to open the door. Forms will be presented to senior citizens at the next Castle Shannon Community Library Senior Citizens' meeting.

Chief Lane discussed the many occasions where mutual aide given to the police department by the fire department for emergency incidents.

Chief Lane discussed House Bill 1471 which is pending before the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. The bill allows for child day care for up to twelve children in any residence in any residential zone. Chief Lane is against the bill which takes the control of child care facilities away from municipalities and code officials. Mr. Ross added that all code official organizations are opposing the bill due to parking and traffic concerns.

Chief Lane stated that the borough's move to the county's dispatch services has been very positive, and Bob Full is a pleasure to work with.

The agenda contained the December Fines and Fees Report.

Editorial Board:
Nothing to report.

Nothing to report.

Municipal Associations:

Allegheny County Boroughs Association:
Nothing to report.

Allegheny League of Municipalities:
Nothing to report.

South Hills Area Council of Governments:
Ms. O'Malley noted a SHACOG meeting is scheduled for January 17th.

Police Pension:
Mr. Hartswick presented Resolution 532 reducing the police pension contribution rate to 3.5% for 2007. Ms. Kovach motioned to adopt Resolution 532; Ms. O'Malley seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Mr. Hartswick advised council that the Act 205 valuation report will be filed.

Earned Income Tax Collector's Report:
December Distribution Analysis: EIT - $23,031.38; EMS - $2,978.71.

Engineer's Report:
Nothing to report.

Manager's Report:
Mr. Hartswick stated that the 2008 road improvement program will have presented to the borough engineers for pricing.

Ms. Kovach motioned to place a $50.00 advertisement with the Keystone Oaks Cheerleading Parent Organization; Mr. Warhold seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Mayor Baumgarten stated that Penndot has not included the Grove Road Bridge on the Route 88 Project. Mr. Onorato, Governor Rendell, and the former Speaker of the House all supported the bridge renovation which is necessary for the borough's economic development.

Planning Commission Report:
Nothing to report.

Solicitor's Report:
Nothing to report.

Keystone Oaks:
Nothing to report.

Zoning Hearing Board:
Nothing to report.

Mr. Cheberenchick requested that Mr. Hartswick write a letter to the borough's representatives stating that the borough does not support House Bill 1471.

Ms. Kovach asked for an update on the Baldwin Street/Willow Avenue intersection. Chief Lane stated that the materials have been received, the uprights need to be drilled into the street, and signs installed.

Ms. O'Malley noted that it was nice of Whitehall to make our borough aware of House Bill 1474.


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