The following elected officials were present: M. Heckmann; N. Kovach; W. Oates; M. Randazzo; D. Swisher; M. Warhold; D. Baumgarten; E. O’Malley. Council Member T. Kirsch 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 February 26, 2018 Council Meeting were presented. Ms. Randazzo motioned to approve the minutes; Mr. Swisher seconded; all in favor; motion carried.
Mr. Heckmann opened the public comment section for agenda items. Being none, the public comment section was closed.
Real Estate Tax Collector: Ms. O’Malley reported February collections of $219,328.52. Balance due of $3,020,946.80.
Council Committee Reports:
Mr. Heckmann announced that on April 11th at 6:30 p.m. a public meeting will be held for storm water management and implementation of sources to address the borough’s MS4 requirements to reduce sediment and storm water flow into the watersheds. The meeting will be held at the Community Library of Castle Shannon. Many neighboring municipalities have instituted a storm water fee to fund their MS4 projects. Public participation is welcomed.
The new borough website is staged and in the design process. In the interest of improving transparency and access of information, the website should be ready mid-April.
Mr. Heckmann referenced new equipment in council chambers for installation of a projector and screen to improve participation in public meetings.
Mr. Heckmann, Ms. Kovach, Mayor Baumgarten, Chief Truver and Mr. Hartswick will attend the Public Employer Labor Relations Advisory Service seminar in State College this week.
Building & Grounds/Public Works
Mr. Oates reported that the public works department is preparing equipment for the spring season and readying the parks for baseball season.
Public Works Foreman Bob Ausman is conducting daily inspects on a landslide on Oakdale Avenue that damaged a sewer pipe.
Mr. Hartswick presented council with eight sectional segments and three smaller segments of proposed road improvements for the 2018 program. Mr. Heckmann noted that several utility companies will have street openings and be working throughout the borough this summer also. Mr. Oates motioned to proceed with bidding requirements for the proposed street segments; Mr. Swisher seconded; all in favor; motion carried.
The agenda contained the February reports.
Mr. Swisher reviewed and approved the check registers for February 23rd, March 5th and March 9th.
Community Activities/Planning & Codes
Mr. Warhold stated the Community Day Committee met last week and many of the initial preparations are completed.
Mr. Warhold announced that the Castle Shannon Revitalization Corporation is sponsoring an Easter EGGstravaganza on March 24th from noon to 3:00 p.m. in the downtown business district.
In addition, the Castle Shannon Revitalization Corporation is planning a Brewfest fundraiser in conjunction with Mindful Brewing on August 12th. Mr. Heckmann commended Mr. Warhold and Ms. Kovach on their initiative in planning great programming events for the CSRC and borough residents.
Ms. Randazzo announced that National Library Week will be April 8th to 14th. Mayor Baumgarten will present a proclamation for the April 9th council meeting. Library board members may also attend the meeting.
The library board met on March 1st. The board is proceeding with library lighting upgrades for future energy cost savings. In addition, the board is reviewing current policies.
Mayor Baumgarten stated the MRTSA board discussed upgrading the stretchers. Mr. Swisher added that this would help protect the paramedics from injury when lifting patients.
Mr. Oates reported the board meeting will be hosted by Baldwin Borough this month.
Allegheny County Boroughs Association
Allegheny League of Municipalities – Ms. Kovach attended the board of directors meeting and four new directors were appointed.
Castle Shannon Borough will be recognized as a Banner Community for the fifth year in a row. The recognition luncheon will take place on March 23rd at the Rivers Club.
Ms. Kovach announced that ACBA has an enhanced communication effort for municipal outreach entitled Member Marketplace to provide a hub of information for all municipal stakeholders to find valuable information such as job postings, bid/RFPs, meeting announcements and vendor information.
The ALOM Spring Conference will be held April 5th to 8th at Seven Springs.
The board is reviewing legislation regarding a state controlled earned income tax collection system. The board opposes this legislation since collection rates in Allegheny County are excellent. Mr. McKibben added there is also a program being considered regarding state collection of real estate taxes.
Junior Council Person:
Mr. Mastandrea reported that Keystone Oaks hosted more than 50 middle and high school robotics teams for Western PA Robotics Championships on Saturday, March 10th. The Keystone Oaks team made it to the elimination rounds.
The wood shop has a program to create and sell products which are in production. The website will be goldenoaksdesign.com.
Keystone Oaks Middle School Stream Night and 5th Grade Invention Convention will be held on March 22nd from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and will include product sales from the Real World Scholars EdCorp teams at Keystone Oaks Middle & High Schools, and the Middle School Art Show.
Mr. Heckmann discussed the Keystone Oaks student 17-minute “walkouts” starting at 10 a.m. on March 14th to show solidarity for the victims of the recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Act 32 Report:
Russell McKibben addressed council and stated that the board meets bi-annually. Mr. McKibben was recently elected as Vice President of the Executive Committee. The board received one complaint about budgeting for EIT collections. A large increase in EIT collections happened originally, however a 10% increase annually is not sustainable for municipal budgeting.
The board will be preparing for an audit and a request for proposal will be submitted.
Mr. McKibben stated his disappointment that very few school district representatives attend the board meetings, including Keystone Oaks School District.
Because of the efficiency of EIT collections, there is a discussion in the Senate and House of Representatives to combine all 501 and real estate taxes under the same collection areas as EIT districts. This would eliminate individual tax collectors. Mr. McKibben does not believe this would occur.
Council thanked Mr. McKibben for serving on the EIT board.
Mr. Hartswick reported that public works has started the annual storm water inlet inspection for MS4 compliance. Waste Management completed the analyzing, photographing and cleaning inspection of 540 inlets last year; however, annual inspections going forward will be conducted by public works.
Also regarding MS4, Lisa Brown from Economic Development South is working with Keystone Oaks School District for an educational program on Environmental Stewardship.
Mr. Hartswick announced that a public program regarding State of the Watershed Planning will be held this summer for the communities in the Saw Mill Run Watershed. Permit renewals will be received this month and reviewed by council.
Mayor Baumgarten discussed the police blotter that listed over 14 DUI arrests in the past several weeks and three Narcan recoveries. The police are doing a fantastic job as they try to stem the tide of drug and alcohol risks.
Mr. Biondo reported that Judge James denied the appeal from the borough for the Steel City Billboard case. The applicant will be required to appear before council for a conditional use request to install a billboard on Library Road.
The following residents had concerns regarding a landslide at 904 Oakdale Avenue and requested an update on the situation.
Mark Wetmiller, 904 Oakdale Avenue
Bryan Munnell, 909 Edgewood Avenue
Michael Wozniak, 911 Edgewood Avenue
Mr. Heckmann stated that the property is staked and being monitored for further movement. The borough’s responsibility will be to repair the sanitary sewer line that was compromised. The line is still functioning. An application was made for state/county emergency funds; however, we have not met the state’s requirements. Therefore, the borough will be absorbing the cost of the sewer line repair.
The borough is receiving bids from geotechnical consultants to provide their assessment on how to repair the sanitary sewer line. Council hopes to move forward as quickly and cost effectively as possible.
Mr. Wetmiller questioned if there was any planning ahead for further hillside movement. Mr. Heckmann answered that public works will continue to monitor the area daily, and residents would be advised if any heavily projected rainfall is expected. Mr. Heckmann advised residents to call 911 if they feel their structure is in any danger. Information will be provided to residents as soon as available; however residents can also contact Mr. Hartswick for further updates. Mr. Hartswick added that he has been in contact with Mr. Wozniak prior to tonight’s meeting.
Mr. Wozniak complimented Public Works Foreman Bob Ausman on his diligence in monitoring the slide and contacting residents.
Russ McKibben, 1456 Highland Villa Road – asked if the check register would be posted on the new website along with council minutes. Mr. Heckmann stated that it is likely that this information will be included, along with supplementary information such as pending legislation.
Debbie Gallo, 3702 Lyndell Street – forwarded information to council regarding a tree ordinance and thanked council for considering this request from residents. Additional information from the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy will be forthcoming. Mr. Heckmann explained that council is contemplating approval of a tree ordinance to support the longevity of heritage trees and certain species to reduce or eliminate clear cutting on new developments. Information was distributed to the borough solicitor for review.
Mr. Heckmann closed the public comment period.
Mr. Heckmann encouraged everyone to vote at the special election for congressman.