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February 13, 2012

The following elected officials were present: M. Cheberenchick, N. Kovach, V. Smith, M. Warhold, R. Zezulewicz, D. Baumgarten, S. Torris. Council Members R. Carlucci and J. O’Malley were absent. The following appointed officials were present: D. Biondo, Solicitor; T. Hartswick, Borough Manager; P. Vietmeier, Codes Official; K. Truver, Police Chief.

The minutes of the January 23, 2012 Council Meeting were presented. Mr. Smith motioned to approve the minutes; Mr. Cheberenchick seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

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

Castle Shannon Volunteer Fire Department Chief William Reffner – addressed borough council regarding the state of the fire department. The fire department has experienced reduced revenue streams stemming from the casino openings. In addition, independent donations have been reduced due to the declining economy and increased funding raising drives other entities. A strategic planning committee has been formed to address the limited revenue streams and declining membership. Chief Reffner addressed the costs of new equipment, purchasing an aerial, and gearing up and training new members.

Chief Reffner discussed the fact that Castle Shannon is unique because of the great working relationship between the policemen, fireman and public works employees. The fire department, police department, MRTSA representatives plan to hold quarterly meetings to present a forum for discussions on shared mutual cooperation and community safety.

Chief Reffner discussed the benefits of belonging to the South Hills Area Council of Governments Fire Chiefs Advisory Committee. Recently, a technical rescue team has been formed and trained for specialty rescues such as a recent ditch collapse that trapped a resident or for high angle rescues on towers. Carpenters Connection (who builds displays for Mine Safety Appliance equipment) has donated thousands of dollars of equipment to the technical rescue team and our fire department. The borough’s contribution to SHACOG for the Fire Chiefs Advisory Committee dues has paid for various training sessions for the firemen. The committee is currently working on standardizing the gear for all participating municipalities. Through SHACOG’s joint purchasing alliance, the fire department has been able to benefit from bulk purchasing. SHACOG has become an instrumental tool for local fire departments.

Chief Reffner stated that the fire department is looking forward to working with council on Community Day, Memorial Day and Light-up Night. Mr. Zezulewicz stated that council appreciates everything the fire department does for our borough, and Chief Reffner’s leadership is invaluable to our community. Mr. Zezulewicz asked Chief Reffner to prepare a list of maintenance items that possibly public works could accomplish this summer to assist the fire department.

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

Bid Openings:
Nothing to report.

Public Hearings:
Nothing to report.

Civil Service Commission:
Nothing to report.

Real Estate Tax Collectors Report:
Ms. Torris reported January collections of $24,186.16, leaving a balance due of $89,541.10. Ms. Torris advised council that 2012 real estate tax bills may not be available until April due to certification of the assessment figures.

Council Committee Reports

Building and Grounds:
Nothing to report.

Mr. Smith motioned to ratify the January treasurer’s report; Mr. Cheberenchick seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Nothing to report.

Planning and Codes:
Mr. Warhold announced that Bottom Dollar held their grand opening on February 9th. Bottom Dollar is looking forward to being very active in our community. Ms. Kovach added that Bottom Dollar donated $500 each to St. Anne Elementary School, Myrtle Avenue Elementary School, Keystone Oaks High School and the Castle Shannon Volunteer Fire Department.

Sam Sciullo and Paul Dudjak have been co-authoring the Castle Shannon historical photo book. Draft deadline is March 20th.

Public Safety:
Chief Truver discussed the benefits of a membership agreement with the Twin Rivers Council of Governments Regional Training Complex. Mr. Cheberenchick motioned to authorize the appropriate officials to execute the agreement pending approval from the insurance carrier; Mr. Smith seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Chief Truver requested council approve two pawnbroker licenses. Mr. Cheberenchick motioned to approve the pawnbroker license for The Gold Gallery; Mr. Smith seconded; all in favor; motion carried. Mr. Smith motioned to approve the pawnbroker license for Solitaire Jewelers; Mr. Warhold seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Public Works:
Mr. Zezulewicz commended the public works department for a great job on winter road maintenance during the snowfall on February 11th. Mr. Cheberenchick concurred.

Editorial Board:
Mr. Zezulewicz advised that the deadline date of April 1st is fast approaching.

The agenda contained the December 2011 meeting minutes.

Municipal Associations:

Allegheny County Boroughs Association:
Nothing to report.

Allegheny League of Municipalities:
Nothing to report.

South Hills Area Council of Governments:
Mr. Hartswick reported that a sewage billing informational meeting will be held January 27th in Whitehall.

Police Pension:
The agenda contained the annual investment report.

Non-Uniformed Pension:
The agenda contained the annual investment report.

Earned Income Tax Collector's Report:
Nothing to report.

Engineer's Report:
Nothing to report.

Manager's Report:
Mr. Hartswick presented Resolution 570 regarding the Emergency Operations Plan. Mr. Smith motioned to adopt Resolution 570 at its first reading; Ms. Kovach seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Mr. Hartswick presented Resolution 571 authorizing the pursuit of a tax increment financing plan. Ms. Kovach motion to adopt Resolution 571 at its first reading; Mr. Warhold seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Mayor Baumgarten commended the public works department for the good condition of the borough streets, and he has received many good comments regarding same.

Mayor Baumgarten discussed his concerns regarding Act 32 disbursements to the borough from earned income taxes paid by employers.

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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