The following elected officials were present: R. Carlucci; M. Cheberenchick; Paul Coffey; N. Kovach; J. O'Malley; M. Warhold; R. Zezulewicz; D. Baumgarten; S. Torris was absent. The following appointed officials were present: T. Hartswick, Manager; D. Biondo, Solicitor; Chief Lane, Police Chief; D. Ross, Building Official, following a Planning Commission Meeting; L. Pusateri., Junior Council Person was absent.
The minutes of the January 9, 2006 council meeting were presented. Ms. O'Malley motioned to approve the minutes; Mr. Cheberenchick seconded; all in favor; motion carried.
Mr. Zezulewicz officially opened the public comment section of the meeting.
Ms. Chelsa Wagner, 1646 Broadway Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15216 - Introduced herself as a Democratic candidate running for State Representative for the 22nd District. Ms. Wagner stated the needs of Castle Shannon are important to her and would like our Community to show her support in upcoming elections.
Mr. Zezulewicz officially closed the public comment section of the meeting.
Bid Openings: Nothing to report.
Council again discussed the possibility of implementing the Emergency & Municipal Services Tax (EMST) formerly known as the Occupational Privilege Tax (OPT).
Mr. Hartswick indicated that Mr. Biondo had prepared a draft ordinance that will amend borough ordinance 549 (The OPT tax ordinance) and initiate the EMST. He indicated that the 2006 General fund budget had projected a $52.00 increase of the EMST with a projected exemption level of $3,600.00.
Council members entered into discussion regarding anticipated revenue levels, exemption amounts and the EMST effect on various sectors of the borough economy.
Mr. Zezulewicz indicated that he was supportive of reviewing an EMST Ordinance that would establish the EMST tax amount of $52.00 with a $3,600.00 exemption level as indicated.
Council again discussed EMST implicating procedures and directed the manager to coordinate advertising procedures with the solicitor to initiate a public hearing on the EMST adoption for February 27, 2006.
Mr. Coffey made a motion to set the threshold limit to $3,600.00 and direct advertisement of the EMST ordinance; Ms. O'Malley seconded; all in favor; motion carried.
Civil Service Commission: Nothing to report.
Real Estate Tax Collectors Report: Nothing to report.
Council Committee Reports:
Building and Grounds: - Nothing to report.
Finance: Nothing to report.
Ms. O'Malley questioned whether the Library parking lot will be scheduled for repaving. Mr. Hartswick stated that this will be discussed at a meeting with Mr. Stanton on February 6, 2006.
Planning and Codes:
Mr. Ross stated that First Commonwealth Bank site plans were approved for new construction at 301 Mt. Lebanon Blvd. Ms. Kovach questioned if there has been any news concerning the May Street extension townhouses. Mr. Ross stated that the builders are getting signatures from their mortgage company and will be ready to proceed in the spring. Ms. Kovach also noted the Saucy Noodle has now replaced Instant Replay Video, and Mr. Ross added that the restaurant will be opening soon.
Chief Lane stated that a new camera system has been installed in the Police Dept. and asked council if it were permissible to donate the monitor and tape recorder to Baldwin Township for their cell block. Chief Lane declared that the camera system was acquired through grant money. Council agreed to offer the monitor and recorder to Baldwin Township.
Mr. Carlucci questioned a school emergency plan for the borough's elementary schools. Chief Lane stated the Myrtle Avenue Elementary School plan has been completed and is on a disk which will be distributed to the Fire Chief and Police Department. There has been no response from St. Anne's School. Mr. Carlucci suggested that Chief Lane contact Father Robert Cedolia. Council has agreed to pay half the cost for the emergency plan disk.
Mr. Zezulewicz remarked to Chief Lane that he noticed from the staff meeting minutes that the police department have not been receiving telephone complaints regarding the "no parking signs" placed on the residential streets. Chief Lane replied that Public Works used a compass to determine which side of the street to place the signs in accordance with the borough ordinance. Chief Lane also affirmed that the Clara Street parking issue has been resolved for two weeks.
Mr. Zezulewicz also noted the memo from Chief Lane regarding County 911 dispatch. When a resident or business has an alarm system it is first routed through the South Hills Dispatch and then forwarded to 911 County Dispatch, and it is up to dispatch to place the call to the Police Department which may take as long as three minutes. When a resident dials directly to 911 County Dispatch, the police and fire departments are immediately notified. Chief Lane clarified that the emergency call time concerns can be greatly improved if South Hills Regional Dispatch notifies the Police Department and Fire Department at the same time. Chief Lane added that the communication problem has been resolved.
Chief Lane noted that new overhead lights will be ready within the next few months to install at the intersection of Willow Avenue and Baldwin Street. An additional overhead light will be added when the intersection is redesigned according to the traffic pattern. Ms. Kovach questioned if overhead lights could replace the existing lights on Mt. Lebanon Boulevard where Mr. Magic and the trolley crossing meet. Ms Kovach noted that there are numerous distractions in that area, and an overhead traffic light would be more noticeable to drivers.
Chief Lane also recommended that the trolley gate be taken off of the Linden Grove crossing and placed at the Rockwood Avenue trolley crossing by St. Anne's School where the traffic volume is more substantial and more accidents have occurred... Mr. Zezulewicz questioned if an additional gate could just be added instead of removing a gate. Chief Lane explained it is a money issue with Port Authority but will further investigate. Ms. O'Malley thanked Chief Lane for keeping council informed through a memo addressing Willow Avenue and Baldwin Street material. Dave Calabria has offered to be a consultant regarding the intersection update.
Mr. Hartswick stated that vandalism has once again occurred at the gazebo located at the Municipal Center, and roof slats will have to be replaced. Chief Lane stated that the new camera system will be able to include the surveillance of the Municipal Center grounds. Quotes for surveillance cameras at Hamilton and Riehl Parks are also being obtained.
Mr. Coffey questioned if Chief Lane had spoken to a state representative regarding the traffic lights at Castle Shannon Boulevard and Shady Run. Chief Lane acknowledged speaking to the state, and believes that the traffic coming out of Shady Run should have a head start in getting across the intersection to help alleviate some traffic congestion.
Mr.Coffey confirmed that a meeting is scheduled with Tarbert and Associates on January 30, 2006.
Mr. Coffey stated the O'Farrell property for sale across from the Public Works garage is now half of the original asking price. Council suggested further exploring the possibilities of purchasing the property.
Ms. Kovach questioned if the sewer camera was broken. Mr. Hartswick clarified that it is up and running again.
Mr. Zezulewicz questioned if Public Works was purchasing a lathe. Mr. Coffey stated that they are in the process and this would be used for cutting rotors for the public works and police vehicles.
Editorial Board: Nothing to report.
Mayor Baumgarten noted the regularly scheduled meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 25, 2006.
Mr. Hartswick stated that a managers meeting was held on Thursday Jan 19th with Mr. Franck, Mr. McKown and the auditors to discuss questions on how the finance of the organizations are presented. Further discussion will be held on Friday, Jan 27th at the Greentree Municipal Center.
Allegheny County Boroughs Association: Reservations for the Seven Springs conference have been made.
Allegheny League of Municipalities: Nothing to report.
South Hills Area Council of Governments: Ms. O'Malley stated that Senator Pippy presented a check to SHACOG for $50,000.00 for police car equipment.
Ms. O'Malley acknowledged there was a Fire Chiefs Advisory Committee meeting and enforcements of the NIMS project was voted on.
Mr. Zezulewicz questioned if a surcharge for rock salt delivery was proposed. Mr. Hartswick & Mr. Biondo concurred that the contract is in place and does not include a surcharge.
Police Pension: A year to date report has not been received.
Earned Income Tax Collector's Report: Nothing to report.
Engineer's Report: Nothing to report.
Mr. Hartswick and Mr. Firek met with residents of Groveton to discuss certain improvements they would like council to consider. Mr. Hartswick stated a follow up meeting was held; and a utility pole, no parking signs and a handi-cap child sign were granted. Residents of Groveton wanted to know who is responsible for maintaining Groveton. Lennon, Smith, Souleret Engineering did a right-of-way drawing. Under the suggestion of Mr. Biondo, Mr. Hartswick would like council to clarify the borough's maintenance responsibilities from the intersection of Grove to Groveton based on the liquid fuels report of 438 ft.
Ms. O'Malley asked if Groveton could be added on to our list of liquid fuels. Mr. Hartswick replied it could not because it is not on a cul-de-sac.
Mr. Biondo suggested that Mr. Zezulewicz take a look at the road in question to visualize what the residents want done.
Mr. Coffey made a motion to reappoint Hosack, Specht, Muetzel & Wood as the borough's auditors for a three-year term; Ms. Kovach seconded; all in favor; motion carried.
Mayor Baumgarten stated there are no questions that have been raised regarding improprieties of MRTSA finances, and it was a matter of how it was interpreted.
Mayor Baumgarten questioned Chief Lane if anything more has been proposed regarding a turning arrow signal at the bottom of Grove Road. Chief Lane stated that he requested the state put in the turning arrows before the Route 88 project begins.
Mayor Baumgarten announced the Allegheny County Mayors Association quarterly meeting will be held on February 16th at Calabria's Restaurant. A speaker will be present to talk about sanitary sewer lines as they pertain to residential homes. Mayor Baumgarten extended the invitation to Borough Council and the Manager. Reservations need to be made by February 13th.
Planning Commission Report: Nothing to report.
Solicitor's Report: Nothing to report.
Keystone Oaks: Nothing to report.
Zoning Hearing Board: Nothing to report.
Other: Nothing to report.