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February 28, 2011

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

The minutes of the February 14, 2011 council meeting were presented. Mr. Orr motioned to approve the minutes; Mr. Warhold seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

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

Cheryl Conn, 3406 McRoberts Road - stated that the borough’s real estate tax millage increased for 2011, and that Castle Shannon has a higher millage rate than other surrounding communities. Ms. Conn questioned the reason for the increase. Mr. Zezulewicz replied that the borough has not raised taxes since 2006. Several issues resulted in the tax increase.

Real estate assessments have been frozen in Allegheny County. The borough is landlocked with no room for real estate growth. The borough has limited commercial businesses. Health care costs have increased 130% in the last ten years. Garbage collection costs have increased 50%. The overall borough’s assessed valuation has decreased due to the St. Vincent De’Paul’s building being declared tax exempt property. The February 2010 winter storm cost the borough an un-budgeted $40,000. While the police department and public works departments are the biggest costs, borough council will not cut these important services. The borough participates in joint purchasing contracts with the South Hills Area Council of Governments to save money on large purchases. The tax increase will average each household approximately $9.00 a month. In summary, the borough’s revenue resources are stagnant while costs continue to escalate; however council is as frugal as possible for the fiscal health of the community. 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:
Nothing to report.

Council Committee Reports

Building and Grounds:
Mr. Orr presented the landscaping cost analysis for public works to undertake the borough’s grass cutting program, and described his dissatisfaction with the former landscaper. Mr. Warhold suggested eliminating one of the seasonal college workers to realize a cost savings on seasonal wages. The plan includes purchasing equipment and hiring a seasonal employee for landscaping duties. Ms. O’Malley motioned to move forward with the borough’s landscaping strategy including the personnel hiring and equipment purchase; Ms. Kovach seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Nothing to report.

Ms. O’Malley announced the book sale starts March 16th with an opening night charge of $5.00. Books can be purchased individually or for $6.00 a bag.

Ms. Kovach questioned the status of the security camera purchase. Mr. Zezulewicz answered that the borough is awaiting confirmation of DCED grant approval for the purchase.

Planning and Codes:
Mr. Warhold asked council to enact a resolution urging the Pennsylvania General Assembly and the Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to enact a statewide property tax reassessment moratorium. Mr. Orr motioned to adopt Resolution 559; Ms. O’Malley seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Mr. Warhold discussed the Local Government Academy Intern Program. Fourteen communities were chosen to participate by hiring a graduate for the summer. The borough’s summer program generated more interest from the students than any other project. Formal interviews will be conducted next week. The borough’s cost share for the intern’s wages is $4,800. The intern will be working with Jordan Tax on maximizing earned income revenue from local businesses.

Public Safety:
Nothing to report.

Public Works:
Mr. Hartswick presented the borough’s 2011 road improvement options with a projected budget of $192,104. Mr. Orr noted that Shady Run needs paved and Mr. Cheberenchick agreed. Mayor Baumgarten suggested floating a bond issue to initiate a comprehensive road improvement program. Mr. Hartswick and Ms. Kovach will meet with Mr. DeLallo to discuss the street conditions.

Ms. Kovach noted a section on Willow Avenue that needs cold patched, and she would like to initiate a crack sealing action plan with Mr. DeLallo.

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:
Castle Shannon will host the March 17th meeting.

Police Pension:
Nothing to report.

Junior Council Person:
: Ms. Yanda stated that in addition to the standardized PSSA tests, Keystone Oaks requires passing grades for Algebra I, Algebra II, Chemistry, Biology and Literature to graduate.

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

Engineer's Report:
Nothing to report.

Manager's Report:
Mr. Hartswick advised council that a public hearing will be scheduled for a liquor license transfer for Tom’s Dinner Shannon Inc. to OPA! on Grove Road at the next council meeting.

Mayor Baumgarten congratulated Ms. Yanda on her front page article in the KO Connections newsletter.

Mayor Baumgarten discussed an incident where the paramedics and police answered an emergency call, and an individual pulled a knife on the paramedics. Sgt. Joe Caruso was able to control the situation with a tasar.

Mayor Baumarten discussed the fact that when a person is comparing tax millages, they must take into consideration the other sources of revenue that each community receives, such as income from large businesses, shopping centers, and higher earned income taxes.

Planning Commission Report:
The agenda contained the minutes of the February 21, 2011 meeting.

Solicitor's Report:
Nothing to report.

Keystone Oaks:
Nothing to report.

Zoning Hearing Board:
Nothing to report.

Nothing to report.


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