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February 24, 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; K. Truver, Police Chief; D. Biondo, Solicitor; P. Vietmeier, Codes Official; N. Mastandrea, Junior Council Member; J. Stanton, Borough Engineer.

The minutes of the February 13, 2017 Council Meeting were presented. Ms. Randazzo motioned to approve the minutes; Mr. Swisher seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Public Comments:

Russ McKibben, 1456 Highland Villa Road – represents borough council on the Act 32 board. The management committee will be meeting on March 9th for recommendation to the entire commission to extend the Jordan contract or seek another vendor. Mr. Hartswick confirmed that Jordan has been an excellent collector and distributor of the earned income tax funds, and borough council agreed that the existing contract should be extended.

Mr. McKibben, as a member of the planning commission, also expressed his concerns regarding pedestrian safety from the Castle Court Apartments on Hamilton Road to the LRT across Route 88. Ms. Kovach stated that A.R. Building owners have been negotiating with the Sherwin Williams property owner for access, and Mr. Warhold stated discussions on this safety issue will continue.

Debbie Gallo, 3702 Lyndell Street – created an online petition signed by 109 residents from Castle Shannon and Whitehall who strongly believe that the commercial development, Castle Court Apartments on Hamilton Road, located in a 100 year old residential neighborhood, will have significant adverse effects on the safety, health and wealth of the surrounding neighborhood. Ms. Gallo presented council with a memorandum requesting the following actions:

1. To rezone parcel #250-D-2 to single family residential to prevent another apartment complex development. In addition, Ms. Gallo requested the borough review other sites within the borough to avoid future detrimental development.

2. Revise the borough’s zoning rules and regulations to protect residents and be less developer friendly including items such as prohibiting clear cutting next to residential property, adding larger tree buffer zones, requiring in depth traffic studies, etc.

3. Create a more transparent process for notifying residents of proposed developments and hearings across multi-media platforms.

4. Develop a plan to deal with the challenges of traffic safety, congestion and flooding that will drastically increase from the Castle Court Apartments and development of the St. Francis property in Whitehall.

5. Work with regional organizations to preserve and protect the scenic valley community.

Ms. Kovach stated that the required traffic study was completed by Trans Associates and approved by Penndot for Hamilton Road, which is a state road. A lengthy discussion continued on traffic concerns, proposed plans for the St. Francis property, and public hearing notification requirements. Mr. Warhold added that Whitehall representatives had traffic concerns when Steeplechase was developed, however the increased traffic has had no impact on Weyman Road because vehicles enter and exit at various times. Ms. Gallo listed concerns about the lack of forestry around the Castle Court Apartment development; however Mr. Stanton stated that the landscaping plans comply with the borough ordinance. Mr. Warhold and Ms. Kovach discussed planting a buffer zone in the park, and the installation of a new splash park is being planned with DCNR grant funding.

Mr. Heckmann commented that he appreciates everyone’s participation this evening and stated that Ms. Gallo presented forward looking recommendations for council to review that are zoning related and canopy related.

Sherri Suppa, 3409 Lockridge Road – questioned if additional trees will be cut for the splash park. Ms. Kovach answered no because the splash park will be located by the batting cage.

Ms. Suppa stated that she has talked to approximately 500 people about the Castle Court Apartment development and not one person thought the development was a good idea. Ms. Suppa also had a petition signed by residents.

Ms. Suppa stated that the existing traffic study does not count because it does not include the additional traffic from the St. Francis property development.

Paul Salvian, 538 Glenn Shannon Drive – stated that he supports the development project. He enjoys living in such a friendly, nice, safe neighborhood and was pleased that the borough is responsive to storm water issues on Killarney Drive and Glenn Shannon Drive. Because of the smaller houses and convenience to the City of Pittsburgh through public transportation, Mr. Salvian would encourage more millennials to move into our community. In addition, Mr. Salvian hopes that developers work with the borough, Penndot and Port Authority on the Shannon Transit Village project to provide a safer, walkable area on Route 88. Mr. Salvian works with developers and construction crews and noted the site plan for Castle Court incorporates the borough’s requirements, and additional tax revenues can be used for borough improvements.

Dan Zilch, 3510 McRoberts Road – stated he was born and raised in Carrick and wants Castle Shannon to remain a nice, bedroom community.

Ms. Kovach thanked the people attending the meeting and stated the borough is always seeking volunteers for Community Day, Memorial Day, tree planting projects, stream cleaning, etc.

Mr. Warhold discussed the deterioration of the downtown area that was blighted with empty storefronts. In 2008 the Castle Shannon Revitalization Corporation was developed and received 501(c)3 designation. Since then, many new businesses have opened in the downtown area. A streetscape plan is proposed with multimodal funding; and a façade improvement program with a funding match from local businesses is planned for this summer. The CSRC is committed to improving the downtown area to keep Castle Shannon from becoming blighted.

Ms. Kovach closed the public comment section.

Bid Openings:
Mr. Hartswick presented the rebid results for CD 42 demolition of 3415 Poplar Avenue. Mr. Heckmann motioned to award the bid to Allen Demolition for $7,000; Mr. Kirsch seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Chief Truver presented a listing of surplus police and codes vehicles. Ms. Randazzo motioned to advertise the vehicles for sale; Mr. Swisher seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Public Hearings:
Nothing to report.

Civil Service Commission:
Nothing to report.

Real Estate Tax Collectors Report:
Nothing to report.

Council Committee Reports:

Public Relations/Communications:
Mr. Heckmann commented on the Next Door forum online, and the petition discussed this evening. The online comments are read by council, however responses will be kept in an arena where the comments can be captured and published in the minutes, as opposed to making online statements. Residents can contact the borough office or attend meetings to discuss issues on an individual basis.

Public Works:
Mr. Swisher motioned to accept the proposal from Soli Construction to repair the right wing wall of the Killarney Road Bridge for $8,700 as an emergency repair; Mr. Oates seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

One proposal was received from Soli Construction for inlet rebuilds. This was tabled until next meeting when multiple bids will be presented.

Mr. Oates reported that public works completed a storm water repair on Hastie Road that was discharging water onto the street thereby creating a public safety hazard.

A 2017 dump truck has been purchased and is being outfitted with a plow and spreader.

Building and Grounds:
Nothing to report. Public Safety/Fire:
Nothing to report.

Mr. Swisher approved the check registers for February 17th and February 24th.

Community Activities/Planning & Codes:
Mr. Warhold reported that this year marks the 10th anniversary for Castle Shannon’s Community Day at Hamilton Park.

The CSRC committees will be meeting to review possible events this summer to promote the downtown area.

Mr. Warhold discussed the POEMS (Project Outreach Equipment and Medical Supplies) program to provide free medical equipment to residents. The program is in need of wheelchair donations.

The next board meeting will be held March 9th. The library has many activities available.

Editorial Board:
Newsletter articles are due mid-April.

Mr. Swisher stated that many communities have expressed their interest in joining MRTSA.

Municipal Associations:

Allegheny County Boroughs Association:
Nothing to report.

Allegheny League of Municipalities:
Nothing to report.

Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs:
Nothing to report.

South Hills Area Council of Governments:
Mr. Kirsch reported a minimal rock salt price increase. The March board meeting will be held March 16th at the Municipal Center.

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

Junior Council Person:
Keystone Oaks is hosting a mock car crash to demonstrate the serious, dangerous effects of drugs and alcohol.

The Keystone Oaks Wresting Team is in the playoffs.

Ms. Kovach suggested that Mr. Mastandrea attend a school board meeting to further report to council.

Engineer's Report:
Mr. Stanton will have an MS4 presentation for the April meeting.

Manager's Report:
Mr. Hartswick presented Resolution #638 to apply for a DCNR grant for Hamilton Park Improvements. Mr. Heckmann motioned to adopt Resolution #638; Mr. Warhold seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Mayor's Report:
Mayor Baumgarten commended Chief Truver and the Castle Shannon Police Department for their efforts to enforce and respond to driving under the influence incidents. Mayor Baumgarten added that drug overdoses are a terrible epidemic and reported 26 cases of drug overdoses reported by MRTSA this year with 11 deaths.

Mayor Baumgarten discussed an emergency response incident wherein a man had passed out on his porch overnight before his mother discovered him. When the paramedics arrived on the scene, the man’s body temperature was only 77 degrees. Through the paramedic’s efforts and emergency hospital treatment, his temperature was gradually increased, and he fully recovered. Many thanks to the dedicated emergency medical personnel for their service to our residents.

Mayor Baumgarten read a proclamation designating the month of April 2017 as Pennsylvania 811 Safe Digging Month.

Planning Commission:
Nothing to report.

Solicitor's Report:
Nothing to report.

Keystone Oaks:
Nothing to report.

Zoning Hearing Board:
Mr. Kirsch motioned to adopt Resolution #640 to appoint David Ely to the zoning hearing board with a term from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2019; Mr. Warhold seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Ms. Randazzo motioned to adopt Resolution #641 to appoint Joseph Cordier to the zoning hearing board with a term from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2018; Mr. Swisher seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Mr. Swisher stated that the demolition rebid through SHACOG resulted in a significant savings to the borough.


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