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February 9, 2015

The following elected officials were present: K. Brannon; N. Kovach; J. O’Malley; M. Randazzo; D. Swisher; D. Baumgarten. Council Members M. Cheberenchick, M. Warhold and Tax Collector S. Torris were absent. The following appointed officials were present: T. Hartswick, Borough Manager; K. Truver, Police Chief; D. Biondo, Solicitor; P. Vietmeier, Codes Official; Junior Council Member, B. Fabbio.

The minutes of the January 12, 2015 Council Meeting were presented. Ms. O’Malley motioned to approve the minutes; Mr. Swisher seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Ms. Kovach turned the meeting over the Mayor Baumgarten to officially swear in Michael Kalas as a police officer for Castle Shannon Borough. Council welcomed and congratulated Officer Kalas.

Ms. Kovach introduced Frank Cortazzo, a councilman from Port Vue Borough and the Allegheny County Representative for the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs Board of Directors. Mr. Cortazzo commented that Castle Shannon has one of the finest police departments in Pennsylvania, and added that it is a great honor for him to attend this meeting to recognize our junior council person. Mr. Cortazzo presented Junior Council Member Brittany Fabbio with a plaque for her participation in the junior council member program and for being an exceptional youth leader.

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

John Gallagher – addressed council regarding an incident at 120 Castle Road on February 1st where his mother fell and broke her hip this winter when going outside to get her newspaper. Mrs. Gallagher was outside calling for help for close to one hour before she was able to crawl back onto her porch. Fortunately, a public works employee, Ray Eichel, came along in his truck while plowing and salting the road. Mr. Eichel heard the resident calling for help and stopped to assist her by contacting the police department and paramedics. Mrs. Gallagher had surgery and is recuperating well. Mr. Gallagher credits Mr. Eichel with saving his mother’s life and asked council to recognize Mr. Eichel for this lifesaving incident.

Bryan Gigliotti, 3545 Poplar Avenue – was concerned about recently installed no parking signs on the opposite side of the street. He continued stating that the limited parking affects his handicapped father’s accessibility to his home when acting as caregiver to Mr. Gigliotti’s children. Mr. Gigliotti is also concerned about speeding vehicles since the street is more open, and added that many vehicles parked on the street are not from Poplar Avenue and utilize the parking spaces for long periods of time.

Mayor Baumgarten stated that over the years many of the no parking signs were removed on borough streets. When the police department is notified that an accessibility problem exists because of vehicles parking on both sides of the street, the borough ordinance is reviewed and the no parking signs reposted. Parking on both sides of the street creates a public safety issue for accessibility for public works street maintenance and emergency response vehicles, i.e. ambulances, police vehicles and fire trucks. Mayor Baumgarten noted that the rest of Poplar Avenue is posted as no parking on one side, and the properties have existing driveways. Residents were advised to call the police department to report vehicles that are parked overnight or for long periods of time. Chief Truver has discussed the parking with Mr. Gigliotti and plans to meet in person to further discuss the issue.

Daniel Hart, 3542 Poplar Avenue – stated the no parking signs on Poplar Avenue are an inconvenience to residents and enables vehicles to travel at a higher rate of speed on the street, which is unsafe for local children walking to school. Chief Truver indicated that the police officers are monitoring the area for speed control.

Chief William Reffner, Castle Shannon Volunteer Fire Department – extended his wishes to borough council for a happy new year and discussed the possible future of regional mergers of local fire departments for equipment sharing. Chief Reffner stated that through their fundraising efforts, the CSVFD has been able to sustain their services to residents without the implementation of a tax for fire services and thanked council for their financial assistance. A treasurer’s report was presented that itemized the purchases made with the borough’s annual donation. The two major items that continue to affect the budget are the loss of bingo revenues caused by the casino openings and a reduced revenue stream from carnival activities.

Four firemen attended the Fire Department Instructors Conference in Indianapolis in 2014. Chief Reffner invited a fully geared fireman to the meeting and discussed the equipment and costs needed to safely outfit each member of the fire department pursuant to regulations by the National Fire Protection Association. The cost for each fireman’s coat, pants, boots and helmet is $3,000. The fire department has applied for a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant to upgrade all Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) equipment.

Chief Reffner discussed the department’s Insurance Services Office (ISO) report rating which is currently at number four. This number dictates the premiums for insurance. In conclusion, the fire department is doing well and thanks the businesses and residents of Castle Shannon and Baldwin Township for their support of the Castle Shannon Volunteer Fire Department.

Mayor Baumgarten wished Chief Reffner a belated happy birthday and added that the fire department performs many public services in addition to fire calls. The department assists residents by pumping out flooded basements, checking out carbon monoxide alarms, participating in many community events, and acting as emergency responders to assist the Castle Shannon Police Department and Medical Rescue Team South with accident scenes. Council and Mayor Baumgarten thanked Chief Reffner and all volunteers of the department for their continued service to the community of Castle Shannon. Bid Openings:
Ms. Randazzo motioned to award a bid for a public works steel storage building for Hamilton Park to Rocket Steel Buildings for $15,000.00. Rocket Steel Buildings is a Co-Stars member. Mr. Swisher seconded the motion; all in favor; motion carried.

Public Hearings:
Mr. Biondo stated that the applicant, Club Cycle, has requested a conditional use hearing to open a fitness establishment as defined by the borough’s zoning ordinance. A fitness establishment is permitted as a conditional use in the C1 district should council so choose to grant the request.

Bill Bara and Stacie Adams, owners of Club Cycle currently located in Dormont have been in operation for fourteen months. Mr. Bara described the 45 to 60 minute spin class workout which incorporates music, video and computer software to track a patron’s progress, compete with other riders, and schedule bike time online. The business would like to relocate to a space in 300 Mt. Lebanon Boulevard which has more space and better parking. The business has recognized in Pittsburgh Magazine, and Mr. Bara listed their website as clubcycleonline.com. Classes run from 5:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. to 8:20 p.m. three-hundred and sixty-five days a week. Ms. Kovach noted that the noise level is an issue. Mr. Bara explained that they are addressing the issue with sound-proofing insulation in the ceiling, rubber flooring and insulated draperies, and could install an air-wall if necessary. Mr. Bara is working with John Gallagher, manager of Lebanon Shops on the noise issue which has improved by 85% since the business opening, and noise complaints have dropped considerably. Ms. Adams added that owner of Yogen Fruz reported no noise infiltration; however Hallmark’s concerns are still being addressed by adjusting noise levels.

Ms. Kovach opened the public hearing for the conditional use. Ms. Brannon questioned the age limitations for patrons. Mr. Bara answered there is no minimum age as long as the cycler’s legs are long enough for the equipment and the oldest member is 77 years old. Ms. Claire Rosen lives in Mt. Lebanon, currently attends Club Cycle and spoke in favor of the conditional use.

Civil Service Commission:
Chief Truver recommended council approve the hiring of entry level Police Officer Michael Kalas, who would start his police duties on January 19th and be sworn in at the January 26th Council Meeting. Ms. Randazzo motioned to approve Chief Truver’s recommendation; Ms. Brannon seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Ms. Kovach closed the public hearing. Ms. Randazzo motioned to waive the continuance and grant the conditional use for Club Cycle; Ms. Brannon seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Civil Service Commission:
Nothing to report.

Real Estate Tax Collectors Report:
Nothing to report.

Council Committee Reports

Public Relations/Communications:
Ms. Brannon reported 615 likes on Facebook and thanked Christina Morrow for helping with the Facebook posts.

Public Works/Building and Grounds:
Nothing to report.

Public Safety/Fire:
Nothing to report.

Mr. Swisher reviewed the check registers for January and motioned to approve the Treasurer’s Report; Ms. O’Malley seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Community Activities/Planning & Codes:
A community day meeting was held. Donations and advertisements are being received.

The engineer met with revitalization representatives to review the possibility of a walking trail in the downtown district, and the CSRC has applied for grant funding for sidewalk and lighting upgrades.

Mr. Vietmeier reported that the property at 1426 Trance Drive has been demolished and backfilled. The property at 840 Bockstoce is now in rubble from the demolition.

Local business updates are that Bob’s Diner hopes to open March 1st and the School of Rock hosted their open house.

Mr. Swisher discussed the library’s fundraisers: Eclectica donated a percentage of their sales to the library. The Rotary Club will be presenting a check to the library from the annual poinsettia sale. The Getaway Cafe is having a library fundraiser on March 27th. This is “Love Your Library” month and the library is selling paper hearts for $1.00.

A woman from Beechview Library has offered to put our library’s collection of the South Hills News Record on microfiche. Paul Dudjak has agreed.

Heather Myrah has applied for Pitt’s MLIS Partners Program to supply an intern for adult services and youth services. The students receive college credits and work ten hours a week for three terms.

Upcoming programs include author visits, organizing workshops, AARP programs, composting workshops, and computer classes.

Editorial Board:
Article deadline is April 3rd for the spring newsletter.

Mayor Baumgarten encouraged council to review the 2014 Annual Report. When MRTSA was established the budget was $100,000 with nine employees. The organization has really grown throughout the years and currently employs close to fifty employees with a budget of $4.5 million. Mayor Baumgarten declared that Castle Shannon has the best police department, the best fire department and the best medical rescue team.

Municipal Associations:

Allegheny County Boroughs Association:
Nothing to report.

Allegheny League of Municipalities:
Nothing to report.

South Hills Area Council of Governments:
Nothing to report.

Police Pension:
The agenda contained the 2014 Investment Report.

Non-Uniformed Pension:
The agenda contained the 2014 Investment Report.

Junior Council Person:
Ms. Fabbio thanks everyone on council for nominating her for special recognition by the Pennsylvania State Borough’s Association.

Earned Income Tax Collectors Report:
Nothing to report.

Engineer's Report:
Nothing to report.

Manager's Report:
Mr. Hartswick stated concerns were voiced as to whether borough contributions to the Castle Shannon Revitalization Corporation were an allowable expense. Therefore Mr. Hartswick researched the issue. The Borough Code Act 43 of 2012, Article 12 entitled Corporate Power, Section 49 states “To undertake community development programs, including but not limited to urban renewal, public housing, model cities programs and neighborhood development projects.” Mr. Hartswick and Mr. Biondo discussed the definitions and requested a consensus from council. Ms. Randazzo motioned to designate contributions made to the Castle Shannon Revitalization Corporation as an allowable expenditure under The Borough Code Act 43; Ms. Brannon seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

The 3 Rivers Wet Weather Program has requested designation of a local official. Ms. Randazzo volunteered for the appointment.

Mayor's Report:
Mayor Baumgarten noted that commodations were received for Officer Fleckenstein and Officer Kress from the Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Berosh for their assistance with a domestic violence case.

Planning Commission:
Ms. O’Malley motioned to accept the minutes of the October 20, 2014 Planning Commission Meeting; Mr. Swisher seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Solicitor's Report:
Nothing to report.

Keystone Oaks:
Nothing to report.

Zoning Hearing Board:
Nothing to report.

Nothing to Report.


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