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: J. DeFrancesco, Jr. Council Person.
The minutes of the January 10, 2005 council meetings were presented. Ms. O'Malley motioned to approve the January 10, 2005 minutes; Mr. Cheberenchick seconded; all in favor; motion carried.
Mr. Zezulewicz opened the public comments section of the meeting.
Joan Cleary, County Council Representative - Ms. Cleary stated that Allegheny County Council passed the legislation to have the Allegheny County row offices reformed.
Ms. Cleary informed council of a study being done for County Government that states in the home rule charter that after five years you are required to have a county study commission done. County Council appoints five people and the Chief Executive appoints four and they have a year to study County Government and make any recommendations.
Ms. Cleary approached council asking if anyone had any questions. Mr. Baumgarten questioned Ms. Cleary regarding Act 72 and an article in the paper on Act 72. Ms. Cleary informed council that if the school district wants any state money from the imminent slots, they have to lower their property taxes and put in a payroll deduction 0.1%. Mr. Baumgarten stated that residents who read the article were not sure if they had already applied for the Homestead exclusion that needs to be done first, in the event the school district opts to participate in Act 72. Mr. Baumgarten declared one way to find out this information is to contact the Allegheny County Assessment Office. Mr. Baumgarten stated that once you have applied for the Homestead exclusion through the County, you do not need to reapply.
Mr. Carlucci questioned Ms. Cleary whether or not if Mr. Onorato would like the borough and school districts to implement Act 72. Ms. Cleary stated that he would like them to participate.
Ms. Kovach stated that a letter was mailed to all residents regarding the property tax relief that notified you of your Act 72 approval based on your qualification for the homestead exclusion.
Ms. Cleary will find out additional information about Act 72 and inform Borough Council at a future meeting.
Mr. Zezulewicz asked Ms. Cleary if there was anything special in the way of aid the county was doing in assisting residents of landslides that the borough was not aware of. Ms Cleary stated that the only assistance offered is FEMA and PEMA and a form to complete for a lower property tax assessment. Mr. Zezulewicz stated that has already been completed.
Mr. Zezulewicz thanked Ms. Cleary for attending the Borough Council meeting.
Mr. Zezulewicz officially closed the public portion of the meeting.
Bid Openings: Nothing to report.
Public Hearings: Mr. Zezulewicz recognized Matthew Greiner, Greicon Construction & Development, developer of the May Street Ext. project. Mr. Greiner gave an overview of the project which entails the re-zoning from an R-1 single family residential to R-3, high density residential for the parcel at the end of East May St. Mr. Greiner stated at this location there would be twenty town houses with the storm water being managed on site with a detention pond. The townhouses would be approximately twenty four feet wide, three bedrooms, and two car garage with a starting price range around $139,000.00 to $150,000.00.
Mr. Greiner stated that the developer is planning to leave as many trees as possible to create privacy between the new development and the residents of East May Street.
Mr. Zezulewicz questioned Mr. Greiner about the possibility of a single family home being built down by Broadway Ave. that was addressed at the last council meeting. Mr. Greiner stated that in the future if this was to be done a variance would be needed if they intended to build.
Mr. Zezulewicz believes that the development would not interfere with the flow of traffic
Mr. Zezulewicz requested that council would like a letter in writing before the February 14, 2005 council meeting stating that not more than twenty town houses would be built on the parcel of land and nothing but a single family home if in the future they so decide to build.
Mr. Carlucci questioned Mr. Greiner on how many single family houses could be built on the parcel of land. Mr. Greiner stated that there would be enough square footage to fit fourteen. Mr. Greiner stated that townhouses are more marketable.
Mr. Greiner explained the detention ponds for the storm water will benefit the surrounding residents down stream.
Mr. Baumgarten questioned Mr. Greiner if they have looked into the existing sanitary sewer system. Mr. Greiner stated that they have not, but will televise it and get in contact with ALCOSAN before beginning the project.
Mr. Zezulewicz stated that it is imperative that the flow of water from the sanitary sewer extends toward Route 88.
After much discussion, council agreed that they would be comfortable with the building of twenty town houses.
Mr. Zezulewicz acknowledged that although the council meeting was legally advertised, council would not vote on the May Street Ext project until the residents affected were formally notified by mail. Mr. Zezulewicz stated the voting for the project would take place at the February 14, 2005 borough council meeting.
Mr. Zezulewicz officially closed the advertised public hearing on the project development.
Civil Service Commission: Nothing to report.
Real Estate Tax Collectors Report: Ms. Torris requested to be exonerated for all the delinquent real estate taxes for the year 2004 in the amount of $87, 715.79. Ms. Kovach made a motion to exonerate the delinquent real estate taxes for the year 2004; Mr. Carlucci seconded; all in favor; motion carried.
Ms. Torris requested a salary adjustment for tax collector position increasing the account line listing per property from $1.25 to $1.75 effective for the year 2006. Mr. Carlucci made a motion for the increase; Ms. O'Malley seconded; all in favor; motion carried.
Council Committee Reports:
Building and Grounds: Ms. Kovach questioned the status of the landslide at Riehl Park. Mr. Hartswick stated that the ground is now stable and when funds become available it will be looked into.
Mr. Zezulewicz questioned where the landslide had occurred. Mr. Ross explained that it is the driveway near Lozier heading up towards Riehl Park up above the road.
Finance: Nothing to report.
Library: Nothing to report.
Planning and Codes: Mr. Ross presented a request for a fee waiver for a zoning review with regards to Emmanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, a non-profit group. Mr. Cheberenchick made a motion to waive the zoning fee; Ms. Kovach seconded; all in favor; motion carried.
Public Safety: Chief Lane commended the county dispatch for their outstanding service with no problems.
Chief Lane stated that there were twenty one applicants with high credentials who submitted an application for a police officer position that will be forwarded to Civil Service for an interview process.
Public Works: Council commended Public Works for a job well done taking care of the streets.
Editorial Board: Mr. Zezulewicz requested council begin submitting articles for the Spring Newsletter.
MRTSA: Mayor Baumgarten stated that the County will begin dispatching MRTSA beginning on Feb. 1st. Chief Lane stated there is not a delay in dispatching response time with the County.
Allegheny County Boroughs Association: Nothing to report.
Allegheny League of Municipalities: Nothing to report.
South Hills Area Council of Governments: Castle Shannon Borough will host the March Meeting for SHACOG.
Police Pension Review Committee: Mr. Hartswick stated that the year end 2003 the police pension plan made 18.22% and year end 2004 made 8.45% for the year. The next MMO will see some positive direction based on the prior two years of increases.
Earned Income Tax Collector's Report: Nothing to report.
Engineer's Report: Televising of the sanitary sewer and smoke testing will be addressed as part of the Phase I Project.
Mr. Zezulewicz expressed his interest in looking at a diagram regarding possible homes on McRoberts whose sanitary sewer line may be tied into Martha Street.
Manager's Report: Mr. Hartswick presented a request from K.O. Boys Baseball Club for support by placing a $50.00 ad. Ms. Kovach made a motion to approve the ad; Ms. O'Malley seconded; all in favor; motion carried. Mr. Hartswick also presented a request for a waiver of the park fee for a CSYA picnic. Mr. Carlucci made a motion to waive the fee; Ms. O'Malley seconded; all in favor; motion carried.
Mayor's Report: Mr. Baumgarten commented, based on recent legislature, the assignment of liened taxes as well as being able to combine Sheriff Sale properties. Mr. Baumgarten would like council to take another look at how to collect back taxes based on the books of liened properties.
After a brief discussion, council agreed that a list be compiled of property whose liened taxes are $200.00 and $100.00 so it can be exonerated.
Mr. Baumgarten stated that for recognition of Mr. Kirk's service over the past thirty seven years, council would consider a purchase of a watch as a remembrance instead of a plaque.
Ms. Kovach suggested that "Frames for the Memories" have a water color picture of the Linden Grove which council may want to think about for Mr. Kirk.
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 Mr. Ross if there were any problems with people not shoveling their sidewalks with the recent snow fall. Mr. Ross stated that it is mainly the commercial businesses who are not abiding by the ordinance. Ms. O'Malley made note that many residents on Poplar St. were not maintaining their sidewalks.
Ms. DeFrancesco commented on the icy condition of the student school parking lot at Keystone Oaks High School. Mr. Zezulewicz suggested that she bring it up at a student council meeting.
Ms. Kovach suggested that a date be set aside in February for council to meet regarding the organizing of events for the Memorial Day Parade.