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December 11, 2017

The following elected officials were present: M. Heckmann; N. Kovach; T. Kirsch; W. Oates; M. Randazzo; D. Swisher; M. Warhold; D. Baumgarten. Tax Collector S. Torris was 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 November 27, 2017 Council Meeting were presented. Ms. Randazzo motioned to approve the minutes with corrections; Mr. Swisher seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

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

Russell McKibben, 1456 Highland Villa Road – thanked council for putting the budget on display at the library for residential review. Mr. McKibben questioned several areas of the budget including a transfer from the reserve fund to the operating fund, the percentage of wages charged to the sewer fund for public works, the computer software costs, and wage differences. Mr. Heckmann asked Mr. McKibben for his proposed recommendations to improve the budget process. Mr. McKibben stated the revenues and expenditures should be available for discussion at a public meeting before being placed on public display for 10 days. In addition, Mr. McKibben asked for the bill lists to be available to the public.

Nick Fortunato, 3530 Poplar Avenue – reviewed the budget and noted the cost budgeted for police vehicle fuel was higher than the three year average, noted the differences in the police department wage lines, and questioned the vacation buy back option.

The public comment section was closed.

Bid Openings:
Mr. Kirsch motioned to accept the bid from Soli Construction for lining of a sewer pipe on Sleepy Hollow Road for $19,060.98; Mr. Heckmann seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Public Hearings:
Mr. Hartswick presented Ordinance #910 requiring the registration, maintenance and security of abandoned, vacant or foreclosed property. Ms. Kovach opened the public hearing. No comments were received; therefore the public hearing was closed. Mr. Heckmann motioned to adopt Ordinance #910 at its first reading; Mr. Warhold seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Civil Service Commission:
A board vacancy will exist when Ms. Eileen O’Malley takes office as tax collector.

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

Council Committee Reports:

Public Relations/Communications:
Nothing to report.

Public Works -
The Public Works Department is prepared for upcoming anticipated winter storms.

Building & Grounds:
Mr. Kirsch discussed the need for maintenance/renovations in the municipal gym.

Public Safety/Fire:
Officer Justin Majors has selected his K-9 partner, a fourteen month old German Shepard starting next Monday.

Mr. Hartswick presented Ordinance #909, fixing the tax rate for the year 2018. The real estate tax millage will remain stable at 8.385 mills. Ms. Kovach opened the public hearing on Ordinance #909. Mr. McKibben requested that council consider creating a garbage fee for multi-unit apartment owners for the next budget. Ms. Kovach closed the public hearing.

Mr. Swisher motioned to approve Tax Levy Ordinance #909; Mr. Heckmann seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Mr. Heckmann motioned to approve the final adoption of all 2018 Capital and Operational Budgets; Mr. Swisher seconded; all in favor; motion carried. Ms. Kovach thanked Mr. Swisher and Mr. Heckmann for their many hours of work in assisting with the 2018 budget.

Mr. Swisher approved the check registers for December 1st and December 11th.

Community Activities/Planning & Codes:
Mr. Warhold announced that a UCC board hearing is scheduled for December 13th for an appeal from a decision on the borough’s property maintenance code. Mr. Warhold motioned to authorize the UCC Board members to act as the board of appeals for the property maintenance code; Ms. Randazzo seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

On Saturday, December 16th local businesses on Willow Avenue and Castle Shannon Boulevard will be participating in a “Cookie Walk”. Acoustic music will be provided.

A “Shop Shannon” campaign will be launched next year to coordinate a partnership with local businesses.

The library board met on November 30th to discuss housekeeping issues and budgeting.

Editorial Board:
Nothing to report.

Mr. Swisher noted that the 2018 budget was passed, and a new board member will be appointed from Mt. Lebanon.

Municipal Associations:

Allegheny County Boroughs Association:
Ms. Kovach and Mr. Warhold attended the general membership meeting. Support for House Bill #1676 to allow local police departments’ use of radar was discussed. Mayor Baumgarten noted his reservations that this bill may never be passed.

Allegheny League of Municipalities:
Nothing to report.

Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs:
Nothing to report.

South Hills Area Council of Governments:
Engineering plans are needed for demolition projects for a January bid opening.

Police Pension/Non-Uniformed Pension:
Nothing to report.

Junior Council Person:
Mr. Mastandrea stated that December 12th was the final day to retake the winter state testing. In addition, the boys’ basketball team won a tip-off tournament.

Engineer's Report:
Nothing to report.

Manager's Report:
Mr. Hartswick presented the Keystone Mountains Lakes Regional Council of Carpenters collective bargaining agreement for the borough’s public works department. Ms. Randazzo motioned to authorize the appropriate officials to execute the contract; Mr. Oates seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Mayor's Report:
Mayor Baumgarten commended the police department for the vast number of DUI arrests this year. The number of DUI arrests is steadily decreasing each year due to the police department’s diligence.

Mayor Baumgarten and Mr. Warhold discussed State Representative Dan Miller’s Substance Abuse Forum hosted on November 30th with sessions on crime and recovery, access to treatment, kids in the crosshairs, and hope for families. The drug problem is not just limited to the addicts, but extends to the families of the users.

Planning Commission:
Nothing to report.

Solicitor's Report:
Nothing to report.

Keystone Oaks:
Nothing to report.

Zoning Hearing Board:
Nothing to report.

Mr. Warhold noted that he received a contribution request from the Castle Shannon Volunteer Fire Department that again states “most community members do not realize that we receive no financial support from borough or township taxes.” Mr. Warhold noted that the borough does contribute funding, police services and public work’s hours to the fire department.

Mr. Heckmann thanked everyone for their assistance with the budget process and pledged that the communications committee will strive to improve the process moving forward to promote residential participation.

Ms. Randazzo stated that she was very excited about the K-9 officer. This will be a great tool to help fight the drug problem that the Mayor referenced.


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