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October 14, 2013

The following elected officials were present: K. Brannon; M. Cheberenchick; J. O’Malley; D. Swisher; M. Warhold; D. Baumgarten. Council President N. Kovach and Tax Collector S. Torris were absent. The following appointed officials were present: T. Hartswick, Borough Manager; D. Biondo, Solicitor; P. Vietmeier, Codes Official. Police Chief K. Truver was absent. Council Member V. Smith participated via a teleconferencing device.

The meeting was temporarily turned over to Mayor Baumgarten to give the oath of office to Brittany Fabbio as Junior Council Person for Castle Shannon Borough. Council congratulated Ms. Fabbio on her appointment.

Mr. Warhold introduced State Representative Erin Molchany. Ms. Molchany stated that it has been an honor to represent Castle Shannon; and she introduced State Representative Dan Miller, who will be running as the borough’s state representative in 2014 due to re-districting. Ms. Molchany is a very strong advocate for a new transportation bill and serves on the Education Committee, the Human Services Committee, and the Consumer Affairs Committee. Mr. Miller served on Mt. Lebanon’s Commission for four years and is a firefighter for Mt. Lebanon. Mr. Miller stated he is looking forward to working with Ms. Molchany during the re-districting transition, and his office is ready to serve the residents of Castle Shannon.

Mr. Warhold thanked State Representative Miller for accepting our invitation to speak at the Veteran’s Day Ceremony on November 11th. Mr. Warhold also thanked State Representative Molchany for assisting residents with the nuances of the Affordable Care Act. Breakfast sessions are being held at local libraries to provide residents with information on the Affordable Care Act, eligibility, shopping the Marketplace, and signing up for a health care plan. Information on the breakfast sessions and Affordable Care Act can be found on her website at www.pahouse.com/Molchany.

The minutes of the September 23, 2013 council meeting were presented. Ms. O’Malley motioned to approve the minutes; Mr. Cheberenchick seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Mr. Warhold opened the public comment section of the council meeting.

Chris Durkin, 3163 Maplene Avenue – discussed problems associated with the unchecked whitetail deer population in Castle Shannon, i.e. increased vehicle accidents, trampling and mauling of garden plantings, Lyme disease cases, and deer defecation in lawns and walkways which pose a health hazard. Mr. Durkin listed statics for Mt. Lebanon’s deer population and outlined projections that by the end of 2017, Castle Shannon will have 165 deer. Mr. Durkin proposed solutions by
1) joining neighborhood communities to hire sharpshooters;
2) investigating whether insured, volunteer organizations might provide a service of qualified marksmen;
3) petitioning Allegheny County and the Pennsylvania Game Commission for assistance;
4) engaging state resources on extending the bow season or having open season in areas blighted by deer;
5) opening the parks and field to bow hunting;
6) soliciting private property owners for participation in a program to reduce the deer population.
In addition, Mr. Durkin submitted letters from three citizens concerned about the whitetail deer population.

Matt Cowan, 3174 Wabash – agrees with Mr. Durkin about the unchecked deer population problem and would like council to find a resolution for population control.

Mr. Warhold stated that the borough has investigated the possibility of deer control through the South Hills Area Council of Governments and questioned the liability to the borough of permitting any type of hunting or culling program. Ms. O’Malley will again discuss the possibility of regionalization for deer control at the next SHACOG meeting. Mr. Hartswick will contact our insurance carrier for their advice. Mr. Hartswick added that several years ago a representative from the Pennsylvania Game Commission had advised that, because of the compact nature of the borough, a controlled hunt would not be feasible. Although several people are concerned about the deer population, many residents enjoy seeing the wildlife in the area.

The public comment section was closed.

Bid Openings:
Mr. Dan Gorski, Director of Municipal Service for Republic Services (a.k.a. Allied Waste) attended the bid opening. Mr. Warhold discussed the five year solid waste, recycling and leaf collection joint bid through the South Hills Area Council of Governments. Lowest responsibility bidder was Allied Waste. Ms. O’Malley motion to award the bid to Allied Waste; Mr. Swisher seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Public Hearings:
Nothing to report.

Civil Service Commission:
Nothing to report.

Real Estate Tax Collectors Report:
The agenda contained the September collection report.

Council Committee Reports

Public Relations/Communications:
Ms. Brannon discussed the APPRISE Program which is Pennsylvania’s State Health Insurance Assistance Program. APPRISE provides free counseling to help individuals understand their health care options. Open enrollment events are scheduled throughout October and November, and residents should schedule an appointment by calling 412-661-1438. The closest enrollment events for Castle Shannon residents would be 1) St. Thomas Moore Church in Bethel Park on October 29th from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and 2) South Park Township Community Building on November 21st from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

APPRISE will be contacting the local senior citizens group to host a presentation regarding Medicare at the Castle Shannon Library.

Public Works/Building and Grounds:
Mr. Swisher reported that installation has been completed for the playground equipment at Riehl Park. Several residents have e-mailed compliments, and the neighborhood children are enjoying the new equipment.

Due to the continued falling leaves, public works is checking and clearing catch basins on a daily basis.

A push camera has been purchased for sewer televising, and each public works employee has been trained in its use.

The municipal center ball field will continue to be dragged until the end of October for the Castle Shannon Youth Association.

Public Safety/Fire:
Ms. O’Malley announced that Police Sergeant Gary Watkins will be attending the FBA National Academy in Quantico, Virginia from January 12 to March 21, 2014. Being selected for this training is an honor since only one percent of law enforcement officers are selected. This is the second time a Castle Shannon police officer has been selected for this specialized training.

Mr. Smith motioned to ratify the September Treasurer’s Report; Ms. Brannon seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Mr. Warhold noted that the real estate assessment appeals have resulted in a $30 million assessment reduction for the borough. Mayor Baumgarten added that a portion of the fund balance will be utilized to balance the budget.

Community Activities/Planning & Codes:
Mr. Warhold reported that the Veteran’s Day program is being organized. Speakers scheduled are a retired lieutenant colonel and State Representative Dan Miller. The ceremony will take place on November 11th at 11:00 a.m. behind the Ice Castle. All Shannon Hero banner participants have been invited to attend.

The Fall Festival held in Castle Shannon on September 28th was a great event. The Castle Shannon Revitalization Corporation hopes to host this event again next year. In addition, the CSRC’s Annual Golf Outing fundraiser was also very successful, and helped to raise funds for future events.

A zoning hearing board meeting is scheduled for October 15th on the Ellison Townhouse Project due to the set back and slope of the land.

Mr. Vietmeier will be attending hearings at District Magistrate David Barton’s office on Wednesday and Friday for code violation citations. In addition, Mr. Vietmeier will be attending a class through the Local Government Academy to discover options to prevent properties from becoming blighted. Due to the borough’s pro-active approach with code enforcement to prevent properties from becoming blighted, Mr. Vietmeier was asked to be guest speaker at the December session.

Ms. O’Malley announced that Halloween Parade will be October 27th at 2:00 p.m.

Editorial Board:
Articles have been submitted for the winter newsletter.

Nothing to report. .

Municipal Associations:

Allegheny County Boroughs Association:
Nothing to report.

Allegheny League of Municipalities:
Nothing to report.

South Hills Area Council of Governments:
The monthly board meeting will be hosted by Dormont Borough. Contracts for two demolitions will be submitted for approval.

Police Pension:
Nothing to report.

Non-Uniformed Pension:
Nothing to report.

Engineer's Report:
Nothing to report.

Junior Council Person:
Ms. Fabbio reported that this is Spirit Week and Homecoming for Keystone Oaks. Ms. Brannon added that a big bonfire is planned behind Aiken School on Thursday night for Spirit Week. The K.O. football team won their first game. Earned Income Tax:
Nothing to report.

Manager's Report:
Nothing to report.

Mayor's Report:
Mayor Baumgarten will be attending the library’s Halloween Parade and will be participating in the Homecoming Parade.

Mayor Baumgarten commented that although Mr. Durkin raised valid points for a deer culling program, many residents like seeing the deer.

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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