The following elected officials were present: M. Heckmann; N. Kovach; T. Kirsch; W. Oates; M. Randazzo; D. Baumgarten. Council Members D. Swisher, M. Warhold and Tax Collector E. O’Malley were absent. The following appointed officials were present: T. Hartswick, Borough Manager; D. Biondo, Solicitor; K. Truver, Police Chief; P. Vietmeier, Codes Official; N. Mastandrea, Junior Council Member.
Mr. Heckmann noted that council met in executive session at 6:00 p.m. this evening to discuss personnel matters.
The minutes of the January 8, 2018 Council Meeting were presented. Ms. Randazzo motioned to approve the minutes; Mr. Oates seconded; all in favor; motion carried.
Mr. Heckmann advised that the agenda would be changed to include public comments on agenda items before the meeting and public comments on residential concerns at the end of the meeting. Ms. Randazzo motioned to amend the approved minutes of January 8th to include this statement; Mr. Oates seconded; all in favor; motion carried.
Mr. Heckmann officially opened the public comment section of the meeting.
Lindsay Angelo, Project Coordinator for CONNECT – addressed council regarding the Congress of Neighboring Communities (CONNECT), a membership organization encompassing the City of Pittsburgh and forty municipalities surrounding the city to discuss common policy and cross border issues. April 19th is the Ninth Annual Legislative Session at the Circuit Center in Pittsburgh, and Ms. Angelo invited council to attend. Mayor Baumgarten and Borough Manager Thomas Hartswick have been active with this organization since its inception. Current projects include transportation regarding transit oriented developments, infrastructure coordination, organization of a PA One Call website, and opioid epidemic concerns.
Mayor Baumgarten noted that CONNECT originally had established an emergency services group to assist struggling ambulance companies. Ms. Angelo responded that initially a consolidation of emergency medical services was not well received by the municipalities, however the funding crisis for EMS is getting worse. This continues to be an issue for concern and discussion.
Ms. Angelo is a graduate of GSPIA and has been with CONNECT for two years. She studied international development and traveled overseas to do development work. When Ms. Angelo moved to Pittsburgh, she fell in love with the city and now works with local government. Mr. Heckmann thanked Ms. Angelo for attending the meeting and providing the borough with important resources.
Mr. Heckmann reiterated that the public comment section is open for agenda items only.
Russ McKibben, 1456 Highland Villa Road – questioned how a resident can comment on agenda items before the agenda items are discussed. Mr. Heckmann noted that this procedure is compliant with the solicitor’s recommendation, and this allows for public comment before action is taken by borough council on agenda items.
Mr. McKibben also commented on Ms. Angelo’s presentation and agreed with Mayor Baumgarten that until emergency services are mandated by a municipality, no positive changes will happen.
The public comment section was closed.
Mr. Hartswick presented the SHACOG bid tabulation report for CD 43 opened on January 19, 2018. The bids were very competitive; however a UCC Board of Appeals hearing is scheduled for Wednesday on one of the properties. Ms. Kovach asked for a listing of the properties for demolition. The properties designed are 3246 May Street, 3473 McRoberts Road, and 3141 McRoberts Road. Mr. Kirsch motioned to table the bids pending the results of the UCC Board of Appeals hearing on January 24th, Ms. Randazzo seconded; all in favor; motion carried.
Civil Service Commission:
Real Estate Tax Collectors Report:
Ms. Kovach motioned to accept the resignation of Larry Swimkowsky from the Civil Service Commission; Mr. Oates seconded; all in favor; motion carried.
Ms. Kovach motioned to appoint Paul Coffey for the unexpired term of Mr. Swimkowsky; Mr. Kirsch seconded; all in favor; motion carried.
Ms. Kovach motioned to exonerate Shirley Torris from the 2017 delinquent taxes and turn the accounts over to the liened tax collector, Jordan Tax Service; Mr. Kirsch seconded; all in favor; motion carried.
Mayor Baumgarten suggested that the delinquent tax list should be published.
Council Committee Reports:
Mr. Heckmann stated that bids are being obtained for a website redesign, and a Future’s Forum will be scheduled in late March on digital government.
Building & Grounds/Public Works -
Mr. Oates reported that the public works trucks are active. A van was purchased recently for the sewer camera and is being outfitted accordingly.
Community Activities/Planning & Codes:
Mr. Heckmann reported that activities are being planned for the 2018 Community Day. Bands, fireworks, an onsite electrician and the county showmobile have been confirmed. The committee is seeking a chairman for the event.
Nick’s Pizza is being remodeled, and a new cabinet business will be opening at 4166 Library Road.
Street addresses have been designated for all borough parks and sent to Allegheny County.
Ms. Randazzo, Mr. Oates and Mr. Heckmann will attend the February 1st board meeting.
The board voted in favor of a $25 donation for the fire department’s winter fundraiser.
Marilyn Jenkins of the Allegheny County Library Association advised the board about Carnegie Library’s recent lighting upgrade. Public Works recently installed LED lighting at our library which has made the area much brighter.
Many ACLA meetings are scheduled, and our community library is very active with a wide variety of programs. The borough is very proud of our library.
Allegheny County Boroughs Association:
A general membership meeting is scheduled for February 3rd.
Allegheny League of Municipalities:
The spring conference is April 5th – 8th.
SHACOG – Mr. Oates attended the January board of directors meeting. The next round of CDBG grants was discussed. Truck bids and ancillary equipment bids were received and are highly competitive.
Junior Council Person:
Mr. Mastandrea reported that mid-term tests were completed. Spring sports are beginning for baseball and soccer. Mayor Baumgarten noted that the girls’ basketball team is 7-0.
Mr. Hartswick reported that Allegheny County will reconstruct the Rockwood Avenue Bridge spanning Saw Mill Run and will be acquiring additional right-of-way footage for construction. The county will convey the footage to the borough at no cost to the borough. Mr. Kirsch motioned to approve a resolution to authorize the council president to sign the transfer of ownership of the applicable right-of-way; Mr. Oates seconded; all in favor; motion carried.
Mr. Oates motioned to approve the minutes of the December 18, 2017 meeting and accept the recommendations; Mr. Kirsch seconded; all in favor; motion carried.
Mr. Biondo presented an employment agreement extension for the borough manager. Ms. Kovach motioned to authorize the appropriate officials to execute the agreement; Ms. Randazzo seconded; all in favor; motion carried.
Being none, the public comment section was closed.
Russ McKibben, 1456 Highland Villa Road – congratulated council on their reorganization and is confident that council will do their best for the borough. In addition, Mr. McKibben gave kudos to the road department for doing a fantastic job during the recent snowstorm.
Mr. McKibben diligently visits the Castle Court project on Hamilton Road and reported that the construction equipment stabilized on site has not moved since December 23rd and asked the status of the project. Mr. Hartswick has been in contact with Jeff Saras, Project Manager, who stated the ground is not firm enough to allow movement of the equipment without getting bogged down in the mud. Mr. McKibben disagrees with that explanation and believes progress should be made.
Mr. McKibben noted that the bid opening results were not posted on the website and requested that the bill list also be made public before approval.
Carl Lukitsch, 3147 McRoberts Road – presented photographs of recent construction and debris at 3141 McRoberts Road. Mr. Biondo explained the process where the property was condemned; the owner appealed the condemnation decision; the UCC Board of Appeals met and granted a 60 day extension for renovations. Mr. Biondo added that the borough cannot take action while the appeal is pending. The UCC Board will convene again on Wednesday, January 24th. Mr. Heckmann encouraged Mr. Lukitsch to attend the UCC Board of Appeals hearing on this property to voice his concerns. Council agrees that the property is in despicable condition.
Nothing to report.