The following elected officials were present: M. Heckmann; N. Kovach; T. Kirsch; W. Oates; M. Randazzo; D. Swisher; D. Baumgarten. Council Member 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.
The minutes of the December 11, 2017 Council Meeting and January 2, 2018 Reorganization Meeting were presented. Ms. Randazzo motioned to approve the minutes; Mr. Swisher 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 issues at the end of the meeting. In addition, a physical suggestion box and online suggestion box will be available for residents.
Mr. Heckmann officially opened the public comment section of the meeting.
Carl Lukitsch, 3147 McRoberts Road – described unsafe conditions at 3141 McRoberts Road which was damaged by house fire several years ago. Mr. Lukitsch presented photographs and stated the home is a danger and attractive nuisance. He would like the property demolished. Mr. Vietmeier advised that the UCC Board of Appeals granted the owner additional time to make repairs, and the property is being visually inspected. The extension of time will expire January 10th. Mr. Hartswick stated that SHACOG will be opening bids for demolition of this property (and two others) on January 19th for a CDBG grant. Mr. Heckmann and Ms. Kovach stated that council understands Mr. Lukitsch’s frustration. Council is moving through the legal channels and hopes to have a resolution soon.
The public comment section was closed.
Mr. Heckmann announced that Mr. Oates is appointed as alternate to the library board.
Mr. Hartswick presented Resolution #652 appointing Donald Baumgarten as representative and Mark Heckmann as alternate to the SHACOG Franchising Authority Board. Mr. Kirsch motioned to adopt Resolution #652; Mr. Oates seconded; all in favor; motion carried.
Mr. Heckmann noted a personnel committee will be formed in the near future according to Ms. Kovach’s recommendation. The committee would meet to conduct reviews of staff members and would be the front line for grievances.
Civil Service Commission:
Real Estate Tax Collectors Report:
Ms. Kovach motioned to accept the resignation of Eileen O’Malley from the Civil Service Commission; Mr. Swisher seconded; all in favor; motion carried.
The agenda contained the December collection report.
Council Committee Reports:
Mr. Heckmann noted this committee will be primarily dedicated to the website redesign. Meetings with prospective vendors are being scheduled.
Building & Grounds/Public Works -
Mr. Oates reported that the public works department was very active with recent winter storms. The salt supply is sufficient, and the equipment is operational.
Officer Justin Majors has selected his K-9 partner, a fourteen month old German Shepard starting next Monday.
Mr. Hartswick presented Resolution #653 to increase sewage rates from $5.80 to $6.60 per thousand gallons. Mr. Swisher motioned to adopt Resolution #653, Ms. Randazzo seconded; all in favor; motion carried.
Mr. Swisher approved the check registers for December 15th, December 21st, December 29th and January 4th.
Community Activities/Planning & Codes:
Mr. Kirsch accompanied Mr. Vietmeier during a portion of his schedule last week, and noted that Mr. Vietmeier has many items on his agenda.
Mr. Vietmeier is sending notices to residents to clear snow from their sidewalks. These notices also advise residents that a ticketing system will be starting in 2018.
Ms. Kovach described the tentative plans for this summer’s Party on Park events: June 15th will be a bank robbery re-enactment. An Americana themed corn roast will be held July 20th. A Bark on Park event will be August 17th.
Ed Larson has agreed to act as chairman for the 2018 Community Day event at Hamilton Park. Mr. Hartswick added that the showmobile was requested, and the fireworks contract signed. Donation letters were mailed to sponsors, and an electrician will be available. Any council members wishing to serve on the committee are encouraged to contact borough administration.
Ms. Randazzo noted that Heather Myrah, Library Director, is attending the borough’s staff meetings and her report is included in the minutes.
Due to the frigid weather, the library board meeting was postponed until January 10th. A lengthy agenda is planned.
Ms. Randazzo invited Mr. Heckmann and Mr. Oates to attend the February 1st board meeting to meet with current board members.
Allegheny County Boroughs Association:
Ms. Kovach will attend the General Membership Meeting on February 3rd.
Allegheny League of Municipalities:
The spring conference is April 5th – 8th. Ms. Kovach noted that the legislative panel discussion is very informative.
Junior Council Person:
Mr. Mastandrea reported Myrtle Avenue Elementary will host the musical Beauty & the Beast Jr. on January 25th and 26th.
At the November 13, 2017 council meeting, Jason Stanton presented council with the 2017 Act 57 analysis regarding tapping fees for the sanitary sewer system. An increase in the tapping fees was recommended. Mr. Swisher motioned to increase the tapping fee to $2,000 per unit for projects that have not yet broken ground; Mr. Oates seconded; all in favor; motion carried.
Mr. Hartswick discussed House Bill #1394 to allow borough’s (who are not home rule) to assess stormwater fees without forming an authority. Borough engineers are completing a storm water fee study to determine a proposed fee structure.
Mr. Heckmann asked Mr. Biondo to prepare a tree buffer zone development policy for new construction projects to provide for more aggressive requirements for plantings, re-plantings, tree species, and other ways to protect from clear cutting.
Mr. Hartswick discussed the CONNECT organization, whose mission is to bring together the City of Pittsburgh and surrounding municipalities to identify common public policy challenges and advocates for collective change on behalf of Allegheny County's urban core. Mr. Hartswick suggested that a representative from this program address council at a future meeting. Mr. Heckmann thanked Mr. Hartswick for his leadership on the executive committee.
Mayor Baumgarten proclaimed January 21-27, 2018 as the Borough of Castle Shannon School Choice Week.
Being none, the public comment section was closed.
Nothing to report.