Minutes of the
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March 24, 2014

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

The minutes of the March 10, 2014 council meeting were presented. Mr. Cheberenchick motioned to approve the minutes; Ms. Brannon seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

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

Fire Chief William Reffner – discussed the excellent cooperation between the three emergency services, i.e. fire department, police department and paramedics, who work together for the community. Chief Reffner expressed concerns from two recent incidents:

     1) A recent apartment fire on Hoodridge Drive necessitated the evacuation of thirty residents on a wintery, rainy day. Residents were temporarily sheltered in police cars, ambulances and fire trucks until the building was safe.

     2) The second incident involved an apartment resident who was a hoarder, which limits access for emergency personnel and presents a fire hazard for other tenants. Ms. Brannon added that hoarding is a diagnosable mental illness; and older adults in danger can be reported to the Department of Aging.

Chief Reffner referred to the fire department’s 2014 budget, which was cut by $40,000 due to bingo patrons visiting the casino thereby reducing the fire department’s bingo and carnival revenues. Only 45% of residents support the fire department through the purchase of tickets for the car raffle, which is only $1 a week.

The cost savings realized through the SHACOG joint purchasing program with its twenty-eight fire department membership has greatly benefitted the department.

Manpower for the department is still the biggest issue, along with maintaining certified training. The fire department has applied for a $234,000 FEMA grant to assist with equipment purchases. The self-contained breathing apparatus costs $3,000 each, and the NFPA mandated suit (boots, coat, helmet, etc.) is $2,000 each. The fire department plans to replace twenty-year old equipment with new standard uniforms.

Council thanked Chief Reffner and the Castle Shannon Volunteer Fire Department for their partnership and support of community events such as Memorial Day, Community Day, and Light-up Night and for their continued service to the community of Castle Shannon.

Chris Durkin, 3163 Maplene Avenue – urged council to contact Mt. Lebanon Commissioner Kristin Linfante regarding nuisance deer control. Mr. Durkin added that sterilization methods will not immediately eliminate the over-population problems of vehicle accidents, landscape damage, deer feces accumulation, etc. and only lethal means will achieve effective and immediate control. Upon the advice of experts, and due to the close proximity of housing in the borough, Ms. Kovach stated that borough council will not authorize a deer hunt. Mr. Hartswick will send Mr. Durkin a copy of an article from the Mt. Lebanon Magazine regarding an upcoming public hearing on deer control.

The public comment section was closed.

Bid Openings:
Mr. Hartswick presented the Municipal Building Roof Asbestos Abatement bid opening. Mr. Swisher motioned to award the bid to AGX, Inc. for $1,350.00; Mr. Smith seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Public Hearings:
Nothing to report.

Civil Service Commission:
Nothing to report.

Real Estate Tax Collectors Report:
Nothing to report.

Council Committee Reports

Public Relations/Communications:
Ms. Brannon asked Chief Reffner to discuss the May Calendar Gun Raffle. Chief Reffner stated that tickets are $25 for the month of May based on the Pennsylvania daily lottery numbers. Winners will receive either a gun or cash prize. Tickets are available at the fire department, Trolley Barn or through all volunteer firemen.

Ms. Brannon announced that the Keystone Oaks High School musical “Curtains” is playing this Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $7 at the door.

Public Works/Building and Grounds:
Mr. Cheberenchick presented the public works report. The guide rail was replaced on Middleboro Road from a vehicle accident. Mr. DeLallo is getting estimates for ballfield resurfacing at the Municipal Center to correct drainage issues. Public Works continues patching potholes in the borough, and numerous dye tests are being conducted for real estate sales. The estimated cost for Public Works to install a kitchenette in Room C is $7,000.

Public Safety/Fire:
Chief Truver thanked Chief Reffner for putting the Swiftreach 911 logo on the fire department website.

The police department conducted a roving DUI checkpoint on Saturday. Three officers made four DUI arrests. In addition to the DUI Grant and Buckle-Up Seatbelt Safety Grant, the police department is the recipient of an aggressive driving grant for $2,500 to reduce aggressive driving crashes.

Sergeant Watkins graduates from the FBI National Academy on Friday. He will be recognized at the April 14th council meeting for completing the ten week program.

Mr. Swisher reviewed and approved the March 14th check registry.

Community Activities/Planning & Codes:
Mr. Warhold will be chairing a Castle Shannon Revitalization Corporation public hearing on March 25th at 6:00 p.m. to receive consideration for a DCED feasibility grant.

Public Works will be meeting with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy to prepare dig sites for the TreeVitalize planting at Hamilton Park on April 12th from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Breakfast and lunch will be served. Mr. Hagy submitted an e-mail announcement requesting participation by high school students. Volunteers can register with borough administration.

Mr. Cheberenchick motioned to authorize the appropriate officials to enter into an agreement with Port Authority for visual improvements to the wall on Willow Avenue; Ms. Brannon seconded; all in favor; motion carried. Plans for the wall include trellises with vines, juniper trees, ground cover and pictorial panels representing Castle Shannon.

On April 2nd at 2:00 p.m., Mr. Warhold, Mayor Baumgarten, Dan Swisher and Tom Hartswick will attend a ceremony recognizing Castle Shannon as an Allegheny County Banner Community.

Mr. Vietmeier reported that Governor Corbett signed the Carbon Monoxide Alarm Standards Act 121 of December 18, 2013 that requires rental buildings to have the devices installed.

Mr. Swisher reported the next board meeting will be April 10th. The board plans to interview a new candidate at that time.

Editorial Board:
Nothing to report.

Nothing to report.

Municipal Associations:

Allegheny County Boroughs Association:
Ms. Kovach attended the March 13th board meeting, and reported it was a good forum to communicate municipal concerns.

Allegheny League of Municipalities:
Nothing to report.

South Hills Area Council of Governments:
Nothing to report.

Police Pension:
The agenda contained the 2013 Act 205 Actuarial Valuation Reports.

Non-Uniformed Pension:
Nothing to report.

Junior Council Person:
Nothing to report.

Earned Income Tax Collector's Report:
Nothing to report

Engineer's Report:
Nothing to report.

Manager's Report:
Mr. Warhold motioned to authorize the council president and borough manager to review ballfield resurfacing quotes and make a determination on whether to proceed with this project; Mr. Swisher seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Mayor's Report:
Pending legislation will allow the National Rifle Association the right to sue boroughs who have passed lost/stolen gun ordinances. The ordinance requires gun owners to report lost/stolen firearms to the police department. If the law is passed, the borough will have to repeal the ordinance. Mayor Baumgarten stressed that Pennsylvania has a serious illegal gun problem.

Planning Commission:
The agenda contained the meeting minutes of November 18, 2013.

Solicitor's Report:
Mr. Biondo thanked Lt. Lane and Chief Truver for their assistance with a Kane Hospital incident where a Castle Shannon resident had left the hospital.

Keystone Oaks:
Nothing to report.

Zoning Hearing Board:
Nothing to report.

Ms. Brannon reported that on April 5th from 10:00 a.m. to noon, in the Keystone Oaks Middle School gym, students are holding fund raiser for the Humane Society. Also on April 5th, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., students of the Keystone Oaks High School will sponsor a Hip Hop dance to support Miles Against Melanoma. Tickets are $10.00 per person.


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