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CASTLE SHANNON BOROUGH
MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING
February 13, 2017

The following elected officials were present: N. Kovach; T. Kirsch; W. Oates; M. Randazzo; D. Swisher; D. Baumgarten. Council Members M. Heckmann and M. Warhold and Tax Collector S. Torris were absent. The following appointed officials were present: T. Hartswick, Borough Manager; K. Truver, Police Chief; D. Biondo, Solicitor; P. Vietmeier, Codes Official; N. Mastandrea, Junior Council Member.


The minutes of the January 23, 2017 Council Meeting were presented. Ms. Randazzo motioned to approve the minutes; Mr. Swisher seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Public Comments:

Dan Zilch, 3510 McRoberts Road – was concerned about excess traffic from the new apartment developments on Hamilton Road - Castle Court Apartments in our borough and Whitehall’s former St. Francis Academy. Mr. Zilch had additional concerns that the apartments would be low income housing developments. Mr. Kovach stated that Castle Court will be high end apartments, and Trans Associates completed the required traffic study. In addition, Ms. Kovach noted that historically many housing developments in the borough have had no negative impact on traffic since drivers do not exit all at the same time. Mr. Zilch commended the borough for implementing the right turn only onto Grove Road from McRoberts which has cut down on traffic accidents. Mr. Zilch also commended the police department for monitoring the intersection. Chief William Reffner, Castle Shannon Volunteer Fire Department – thanked council for their support and apologized for the miscommunication that the borough does not support the fire department with tax funds. Although the borough does not have a dedicated fire tax, funding is provided for training, workers compensation coverage, and SHACOG dues.

Casinos have decreased the fire department’s revenue steam; however the parking lot fees and fundraisers provide an annual budget of $550,000, with $85,000 dedicated yearly to the purchase of a new truck. Trucks and pumpers have a useful lifespan of 20-25 years, and the cost of the last truck was $1.2 million. Chief Reffner stated that the fire department is on solid ground with additional fundraising and prudent money management.

Chief Reffner presented council with the Insurance Services Office (ISO) report that sets the standards for fire departments. The CSVFD’s class rating has improved from four to three, and we are in the top 4,000 fire departments countrywide. Most fire departments in our area are rated class five.

Chief Reffner presented Ms. Kovach with the National Association of Fire Prevention report. The CSVFD received at $13,000 grant and will be applying for a FEMA grant this year.

A statewide and local problem for fire departments is the lack of volunteers. The department recently accepted its first female firefighter, and she has completed the fire academy held jointly with the municipalities of Mt. Lebanon, Castle Shannon and Dormont. CSVFD membership is critical. In conclusion, all emergency services (Castle Shannon Police Department, Castle Shannon Volunteer Fire Department and Medical Rescue Team South) work cooperatively as a team for the safety of Castle Shannon.

Joann Strain, 1056 Hastie Road – questioned the status of the big water leak on Hastie Road and complimented the public works department for keeping it well salted this winter. Mr. Vietmeier stated that a spring is located on the property and correspondence was mailed to the resident to have the drainage diverted from the roadway into the storm sewer.

Nancy Dempsey, 4214 Willow Avenue – stated that the timing of the traffic light at Route 88 and Rockwood (plus the delay caused by the trolley stop) is instigating traffic backups onto Willow Avenue. Many drivers are using Spring Street’s one lane tunnel as a cut through. Chief Truver stated that Penndot synchronized traffic light timing from Union Township to the city by design; however he will ask Penndot to review this timing.

Ms. Kovach closed the public comment section.

Bid Openings:
Nothing to report.

Public Hearings:
Nothing to report.

Civil Service Commission:
The annual meeting will be held March 18th.

Real Estate Tax Collectors Report:
Nothing to report.

Council Committee Reports:

Public Relations/Communications:
Nothing to report.

Public Works:
Nothing to report.

Building and Grounds:
Ms. Randazzo reported on a meeting with Kathy Frankel of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Mr. Kirsch, Mr. Hartswick, and Mr. Stanton also attended the meeting which centered on grant funding availability. Three possible projects were identified: the repaving of Terrace Drive going into Hamilton Park, the addition of a splash pad in Hamilton Park, and ADA accessibility for the municipal center scorer’s booth. A good discussion was held, and the participants were optimistic; however only three to five projects will be funded statewide. The $500,000 project would require a 50% match by the borough, and Mr. Hartswick would like to obtain donations for the matching funds. Ms. Randazzo offered to obtain letters of support for the application. Council agreed to move forward with the grant application. Public Safety/Fire:
Ms. Randazzo motioned to appoint Crystal Nicholls as school crossing guard for the Rockwood at Vermont position; Mr. Oates seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Finance:
Mr. Swisher approved the check registers for January 20th and February 10th. Mr. Oates motioned to ratify the January treasurer’s report; Mr. Kirsch seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Community Activities/Planning & Codes:
Mr. Vietmeier reported that a structural engineering report was received for 3141 McRoberts Road, and the proposed buyer plans to renovate the property.

In addition, the condemned house at 4125 Steiger Street has been refurbished by the new owners. Ms. Kovach noted that the exterior renovations of the condemned home at 3140 McRoberts looks really nice.

Ms. Kovach and Mayor Baumgarten attended an economic development roundtable meeting hosted by State Representative Dan Miller at the Dormont library. Representatives from Mt. Lebanon, Castle Shannon, Brookline and Dormont attended. Ms. Kovach proposed that next year’s meeting be held at the Castle Shannon library.

Library:
Ms. Randazzo stated that Heather Myrah is doing a great job in scheduling a variety of educational and recreational programs.

Paula Reed Ward, author of Death by Cyanide: The Murder of Dr. Autumn Klein, enjoyed her last appearance and will be revisiting the library again in April.

A financial seminar is scheduled with topics of saving for retirement, long-term care insurance and financial protection.

New computers will be ordered this year through the EIN network.

A recent minor roof leak was identified and fixed under warranty.

March 16th is the Friends of the Library used book sale.

Editorial Board:
Newsletters will be mailed the first part of May.

MRTSA:
Mr. Swisher stated MRTSA is one of the best run organizations he has participated in.

Municipal Associations:

Allegheny County Boroughs Association:
Ms. Kovach attended the open membership meeting of February 4th.

Allegheny League of Municipalities:
Nothing to report.

Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs:
Nothing to report.

South Hills Area Council of Governments:
Mr. Kirsch motioned to adopt Resolution #636 to participate in the 2018 joint bid for solid waste collection with SHACOG; Ms. Swisher seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Police Pension/Non-Uniformed Pension:
The agenda contained the 2016 Statement of Account.

Junior Council Person:
Mr. Mastandrea reported that Keystone Oaks High School celebrated National School Counseling Week recognizing counselors Nicole Varrenti and Jennifer Tom and mental health therapist Sarah Hazlett.

In sports, the Lady Eagles basketball team is undefeated in their section.

Engineer's Report:
Nothing to report.

Manager's Report:
Mr. Hartswick and Mr. Vietmeier met with Port Authority representatives concerning installation of bar crossings and roadway markings at Cooke Lane/Mt. Lebanon Blvd. and Rockwood Avenue. Port Authority asked if the municipality would adopt future repairs to the markings. Mr. Oates authorized the manager to decline the request of PAT to accept the maintenance responsibilities; Mr. Swisher seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Mr. Hartswick commended Ms. Miller on a successful 2015 Liquid Fuels audit. No findings or comments were reported at the exit conference.

Ms. Randazzo motioned to adopt Resolution #637 increasing sewage rates effective January 1, 2017 to $5.80 per thousand gallons; Mr. Oates seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Mr. Hartswick met with Keystone Oaks School District science teachers in the ecology department to move forward in assisting with MS4 public compliance requirements.

Mayor's Report:
Nothing to report.

Planning Commission:
Nothing to report.

Solicitor's Report:
Nothing to report.

Keystone Oaks:
Nothing to report.

Zoning Hearing Board:
Nothing to report.

Other:
Ms. Randazzo mentioned that the Castle Shannon Police Department received a $10,000 grant from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation to purchase a K-9. Chief Truver stated this was very encouraging, and will assist with partial funding. Contract language and logistics are being planned for the end of this year.

Ms. Kovach, Mr. Hartswick and Mr. Cassidy met with County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Bob Hurley, Director of Economic Development, on moving forward with a stronger application for the borough’s streetscape project.




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