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June 11, 2012

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

The minutes of the May 14, 2012 council meeting were presented. Mr. Cheberenchick motioned to approve the minutes; Mr. Warhold seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Ms. Kovach temporarily turned the meeting over to Mayor Baumgarten, who introduced Brianna Gardner, the DARE essay winner from St. Anne School, and Nathan Bank, the DARE essay winner from Myrtle Avenue Elementary School. Mayor Baumgarten discussed the importance of the Drug & Alcohol Resistance Education program and presented each student with a DARE certificate of recognition. The students read their essays to the audience, and council congratulated the students.

Mayor Baumgarten introduced Tim Dugan of Cub Scout Troop 65. Mr. Dugan would like to install a K-9 monument at the municipal center by the police department’s parking lot as his Eagle Scout project. Drawings of the monument were presented to council. Ms. Kovach asked Mr. Dugan to keep them apprised of the project. Mayor Baumgarten introduced Police Officer Jeffrey Recker, who works with his K-9 Nitro, and was in attendance.

Mayor Baumgarten addressed the audience regarding the Port Authority’s proposed trolley stop closings at Smith Street and Martin Villa. The mayor contacted Steve Bland, Executive Director of Port Authority, who responded that the stops will close on June 25th because they see little traffic and eliminating several stops could make overall travel times for trolleys more efficient by ten minutes. Mr. Bland reportedly stated that Port Authority will monitor the areas and work with Castle Shannon at a future date to review usage. Mayor Baumgarten and council plan to write letters to Allegheny County Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald regarding the borough’s opposition to the stop closures and send copies to our legislative representatives, i.e. Allegheny County Councilman John Palmiere, Senator Wayne Fontana, Congressman Tim Murphy, and State Representative Martin Schmotzer. Ms. Kovach opened the public comment section of the meeting.

Many residents attended the council meeting and listed concerns about the trolley stop closures. The main concerns were pedestrian safety issues in crossing Route 88 and Connor Road to get to the other stops, loss of property values due to the inconvenient distance to stops, hardship for senior citizens and handicapped residents to trek the extra distance, the unsafe terrain to walk to the stops, lack of available parking at transit stops, and speeding traffic with aggressive drivers by the St. Anne stop.

The following residents discussed these concerns:

Michael Stout, 4223 Willow Avenue
Catherine Yakemovic, 4230 Willow Avenue
Chuck Stewart, 1049 Hastie Road
Lorraine Wuolo, 995 Redwood Drive
Tom Yakemovic, 4230 Willow Avenue
Jennifer Evans, 4215 Willow Avenue
Rosann Stewart, 1049 Hastie Road
William Suvak, 1029 Connor Road
Joseph Furey, 4002 Willow Avenue
Stephanie Stout, 4223 Willow Avenue
George MacDonald, 1035 Hastie Road

Mr. Stout proposed getting a list of the registered voters to obtain hundreds of signatures on petitions to vehemently oppose the closures and suggested scheduling a meeting with Mr. Fitzgerald. Ms. Kovach stated that everyone on council agrees with the residents’ concerns and urged residents to write letters to Mr. Fitzgerald and Representative Palmiere. Mayor Baumgarten stated he would join the residents to meet with Mr. Fitzgerald if a conference could be arranged.

Many delays along the trolley line are caused by construction breakdowns, traffic lights on Castle Shannon Boulevard for vehicles, and PAT safety stops for timing between trolleys. Ms. Wuolo clocked the stop at Smith Street and said the removal of that stop would only save 62 seconds. Ms. Evans suggested that Port Authority have both trolleys for local stops in addition to express routes. A discussion continued on Port Authority’s attempts to close stops in the past, and Mr. Warhold discussed the stop closures at Poplar Avenue and Park Avenue which negatively impacted the borough’s commercial downtown district. Ms. Kovach stated that council will send letters to our state and local representatives expressing the concerns of our residents to keep the T stops open. Ms. Kovach added that Port Authority’s efficiency times should not be achieved at the expense of our resident’s safety.

Michael Stout, 4223 Willow Avenue - discussed Act 13 which usurps borough zoning rights and prohibits local municipalities from passing zoning ordinances aimed at banning natural gas drilling. Mr. Stout discussed possible environmental contamination problems associated with the fracking process and asked council to join a multi-municipal lawsuit against Act 13.

Dan Collins, 1413 Highland Villa – thanked council and Chief Truver for attending the opening CSYA softball/baseball night on April 20th and presented council with framed photos for the municipal center. CSYA’s picnic is scheduled for July 1st from noon to 4:00 p.m. at Hamilton Park, and Mr. Collins thanked council for use of the park. As an update, CSYA voted to revamp Riehl Field in August of this year.

Ms. Kovach closed the public comment section.

Bid Openings:
Ms. O’Malley motioned to accept the 2012 Summer Road Materials bid through SHACOG; Mr. Warhold seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Public Hearings:
Nothing to report.

Civil Service Commission:
Nothing to report.

Real Estate Tax Collectors Report:
Ms. Torris reported collections of $1,593,160.21 for the month of May. Balance to be collected is $362,639.98.

Council Committee Reports

Building and Grounds:
Nothing to report.

Mr. Cheberenchick motioned to approve the May treasurer’s report; Mr. Swisher seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Ms. O’Malley reported that on June 28th from 4:00-9:00 p.m. twenty-percent of the food sales at Getaway Café will be donated to the library.

In addition, July 24th will be library night at the Pirates game. Order deadline for $9.00 tickets will be June 15th. First 3,000 tickets sold will receive a Neal Walker bookmark.

Planning and Codes:
Mr. Warhold reported that the borough hosted a very successful Community Day. Many people signed up to purchase the pictorial history book to be released in October of 2012.

Mr. Warhold and Debbie Gallo will be meeting with Michael D’Rinaldi from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources at 10:00 a.m. to work with arborists to enhance the ambiance of the downtown business district.

Mr. Warhold is partnering with Emmanuel Lutheran Church to provide a program to lend medical equipment (wheelchairs, walkers, canes, etc) to residents.

Public Safety:
Ms. Brannon motioned to authorize the sale of a 2007 Crown Victoria surplus police car with a minimum bid of $2,500 to another government entity with standard equipment; Mr. Cheberenchick seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Public Works:
Mr. Cheberenchick motioned to authorize the sale of a 2007 Ford F450 dump truck with a minimum bid of $15,000; Ms. O’Malley seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Editorial Board:
Nothing to report.

New checkered ambulances have been received and are on the road.

Municipal Associations:

Allegheny County Boroughs Association:
Nothing to report.

Allegheny League of Municipalities:
Nothing to report.

South Hills Area Council of Governments:
The monthly meeting will be held June 21st in Mt. Oliver.

Police Pension:
Ms. O’Malley motioned to accept the agreement between the Borough of Castle Shannon, Lieutenant Cheberenchick and the Castle Shannon Police Association regarding Lt. Cheberenchick’s retirement; Mr. Warhold seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Non-Uniformed Pension:
Nothing to report.

Junior Council Person:
Ms. Kunig reported a Castle Shannon resident, Cory Demino, was valedictorian for the 2012 graduating class.

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

Engineer's Report:
Nothing to report.

Manager's Report:
Nothing to report.

Mayor Baumgarten announced that a WTAE Channel 4 news reporter attended and recorded sections of this meeting, and hopefully the news coverage will assist our cause in keeping the LRT stops open.

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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