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January 14, 2013

The following elected officials were present: K. Brannon; M. Cheberenchick; N. Kovach; J. O’Malley; D. Swisher; M. Warhold; D. Baumgarten; Shirley Torris. Council Member V. Smith was absent. The following appointed officials were present: T. Hartswick, Borough Manager; Police Chief K. Truver; P. Vietmeier, Codes Official; D. Biondo, Solicitor; M. Kunig, Jr. Council Person.

The minutes of the December 10, 2012 council meeting were presented. Ms. Brannon motioned to approve the minutes; Mr. Swisher seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Ms. Kovach opened the public comment section of the meeting.

Fire Chief William Reffner – wished everyone a happy new year and pledged that the fire department stands ready to assist council, the codes department, the police department, Medical Rescue Team South Authority, the public works department and any other emergency responders. Chief Reffner thanked council for recognizing the valuable contributions that the fire department makes to the community and stated the fire department appreciates the borough’s financial contributions. In March a new Arial truck will be delivered and outfitted and ready to serve our community.

Although casino openings have had a very negative affect on fund raising for bingo games and the annual carnival (a 50% loss of revenue), the parking facility revenue has been able to offset the income loss. Chief Reffner added the sports bash is a vital fundraiser for the organization and hopes this event continues to be supported. Other problems facing the fire department are decreased fire hall rentals and lack of new memberships. On February 27th all boroughs in the SHACOG communities have invited elected officials and borough representatives to attend a meeting to discuss problems facing the local fire departments.

Borough Council thanked Chief Reffner and the Castle Shannon Volunteer Fire Department for their continued service to the community of Castle Shannon

Ms. Kovach closed the public comment section.

Bid Openings:
Nothing to report.

Public Hearings:
Mr. Biondo stated that two ordinances have been prepared for council’s deliberation. Pennsylvania state law requires that council pass a tax equalization ordinance the first year following a re-assessment. Since many commercial real estate assessment appeals are outstanding, the outcome of these hearings will affect the total real estate tax collections; therefore the second ordinance permits boroughs to increase real estate taxes by five percent according to the anti-windfall provision.

Mr. Hartswick presented Tax Levy Ordinance #888, a tax equalization ordinance reducing the borough’s millage from 9.4 to 7.064 mills. Mr. Warhold motioned to adopt Ordinance #888; Ms. O’Malley seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Mr. Hartswick presented Tax Levy Ordinance #889 with a five percent increase to 7.328 mills. Ms. O’Malley motioned to adopt Ordinance #889; Mr. Warhold seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Civil Service Commission:
Nothing to report.

Real Estate Tax Collectors Report:
Ms. Torris reported December collections of $14,119.55. Balance to be collected is $106,993.73 which is higher than 2011 collections for this period.

Mr. Swisher noted properties on the Jordan Tax Service delinquent report that have been on the books from 1967 to 2011. Mayor Baumgarten replied that many properties on this report are unbuildable parcels. The borough could sheriff sale the properties and end up owning the properties. Mr. Warhold suggested that a meeting be scheduled with Mike McCabe to address council on delinquent properties and their collection status.

Council Committee Reports

Public Relations/Communications:
Ms. Brannon reported that the borough has 149 “Likes” on Facebook, and Castle Shannon Youth Association sign-ups are scheduled for Saturday, January 26th from 10:00 a.m. to noon; Thursday, February 7th from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.; and Saturday, February 9th from 10:00 a.m. to noon.

A concert and benefit dinner is scheduled for Carol Reffner on Saturday, March 9th at the Castle Shannon Fire Hall.

Public Works/Building and Grounds:
Nothing to report.

Public Safety/Fire:
Ms. O’Malley congratulated Chief Truver for receiving the AAA Community Traffic Platinum Safety Award.

Chief Truver has been working closely with the borough’s elementary schools to review lock-down plans and emergency evacuation plans following the Newtown tragedy.

Sergeant David Lane will attend a workshop with the Charwest COG police chiefs and school officials to discuss ways to swiftly and effectively address critical incidents in schools.

Ms. O’Malley motioned to ratify the December treasurer’s report; Mr. Warhold seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Community Activities/Planning & Codes:
Mr. Warhold welcomed back Mr. Vietmeier, who is recovering from a recent surgery.

Many code violation cases are pending before District Justice David Barton.

A zoning hearing board meeting is scheduled for January 16th. Six variances are being requested by Anthony Cerminara.

Numerous letters are being sent certified mail for various code violations. Thirty-eight notices were sent forty-eight hours after the recent snowfall advising residents to clear their sidewalks.

The first meeting of the 2013 Community Day committee went well. Volunteers are needed to assist with the event.

The Castle Shannon Revitalization Corporation reorganization meeting will be held on January 30th. Debbie Gallo, president of the shade tree commission, will attend this meeting in addition to attending a council meeting to provide an update on the TreeVitalization program through DCNR and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.

Nothing to report.

Editorial Board:
Council should start preparing articles for the spring newsletter. Article deadline will be early April.

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:
March 21st meeting will be held at the municipal center.

Mr. Hartswick stated the Arch Street demolition contract is being closed. Two demolition application requests for 2013 are pending.

Police Pension:
Nothing to report.

Non-Uniformed Pension:
Nothing to report.

Junior Council Person:
Ms. Kunig reported Nicholas Zanetta took first place at the county wrestling competition.

Keystone Oaks initiated a new program called Peer Jury which provides students charged with a school infraction the opportunity of presenting their case before a jury of students instead of the district magistrate.

Earned Income Tax Collector's Report:
Nothing to report

Engineer's Report:
Nothing to report.

Manager's Report:
Mr. Hartswick and Mayor Baumgarten attended a meeting of the Allegheny County Council Economic Development Committee on tax increment financing for Shannon Station.

Mayor's Report:
Nothing to report.

Planning Commission:
Nothing to report.

Solicitor's Report:
Nothing to report.

Keystone Oaks:
Nothing to report.

Zoning Hearing Board:
Nothing to report.

Nothing to report.


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