The following elected officials were present: M. Heckmann; N. Kovach; T. Kirsch; W. Oates; M. Randazzo; D. Swisher; M. Warhold; D. Baumgarten; E. O’Malley. 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 March 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.
Mayor Baumgarten presented a proclamation naming April 8 – 14, 2018 as National Library Week and encouraged all residents to visit the library, explore the available programs and services, and engage with your librarian. Ms. Randazzo thanked Heather Myrah, Library Director, Arla Muha, Library Board President, and Donna Minsterman, Library Board Member, for attending tonight’s meeting and providing hours of dedication and service to the library. Ms. Randazzo added the borough is blessed to have such a strong, active library with many new incentives and initiatives for community outreach.
Ms. Muha thanked council for their continued support to the library. Ms. Myrah presented 2017 statistics as follows: Registered Patrons – 2,718; Total Circulation – 52,715; Cataloged Items – 34,739; Visitors – 96,192; Programs Conducted – 645 with 5,059 participants. Ms. Myrah mentioned that the library plans to participate in the summer’s Party on Park events.
Mr. Heckmann added that funding from the regional asset distribution is based on a library’s circulation, online time, and e-downloads. Mr. Heckmann also encouraged residents to visit and utilize the Community Library of Castle Shannon’s various resources.
Bid Openings: Ms. Kovach motioned to authorize an advertisement for a surplus 2008 Hyundai Elantra with a minimum bid of $3,200; Mr. Warhold seconded; all in favor; motion carried.
Real Estate Tax Collector: Ms. O’Malley reported that March collections totaled $968,862.62, and year-to-date collections are $1,201,887.28.
Council Committee Reports:
Mr. Heckmann reported that two council members and two staff members attended the Allegheny League of Municipalities conference. The seminars covered many important topics. Castle Shannon’s progress on the Shannon Transit Village project was noted at a transit oriented development session.
The borough is holding a public meeting at the library on Wednesday, April 11th at 6:30 p.m. on Storm Water Management.
Christina Morrow and I continue to work on the new borough website. We are planning an early May launch.
Building & Grounds/Public Works
Mr. Oates reported the continuing winter weather has delayed many public works department projects for park upgrades and crack sealing.
Chief Truver advised that G402 Incident Command Training will be scheduled this year for executives and senior officials.
Mr. Swisher reviewed the check registers for March 29th and April 5th. Mr. Warhold motioned to pay the bills; Mr. Swisher seconded; all in favor; motion carried.
Community Activities/Planning & Codes
Mr. Vietmeier reported that a developer has indicated an interest in building a ranch house on an empty lot on Arch Street. This lot was the site of a former demolition project.
An initial business owners meeting will be held April 16th at the Ice Castle.
A Saw Mill Run Stream Clean-up event is scheduled for April 21st. Volunteers will meet at 9:00 a.m. on James Street. Mr. Warhold noted that during the recent heavy rains, Saw Mill Run continued to flow smoothly. This is a direct result of the former clean-up events.
Ms. Kovach discussed this summer’s Party on Park events. The Great Castle Shannon Bank Robbery Re-enactment will be held in June. The July event will have an Americana theme with a bike parade, bands and a farmers market. Bark on Park will be held in August with various vendors attending and the Evan Dean Band performing.
Initial preparations are being made to form a committee for the borough’s 100th anniversary event next year.
Ms. Randazzo announced that Friends of the Library Flea Market will be Saturday, April 14th from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Some changes in the library include Makerspace, which is an area where patrons of varying ages can work together, alone, or with library staff on creative projects. In addition, a central informational table will be created for the public.
The library board is currently working on a new diversity policy.
Mr. Swisher stated that budget issues for 2019 were discussed at the March 28th board meeting.
Junior Council Person
Mr. Mastandrea reported that students have 50 days of school left for this school year.
The Putnam County Spelling Bee is the spring musical to be held on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of this week.
Mayor Baumgarten attended an executive board meeting of the Pennsylvania State Mayors Association. The latest legislation for local use of radar is very restrictive and changes the intent of the radar judicial bill. Mayors are encouraging representatives to vote against this proposal.
The agenda contained minutes of the February 19, 2018 meeting.
Nancy Dempsey, 4214 Willow Avenue – reported that residents were not notified by Columbia Gas contractors about construction work on gas lines. The only notification residents received was that the meters would be relocated. Ms. Dempsey spoke to the foreman about the project being done on Willow Avenue and Hastie Road. Residents should have been notified since the project will cause traffic delays, possible yard excavation, and driveway restrictions. Mr. Hartswick will contact our Columbia Gas representative.
Joanne Strain, 1056 Hastie Road – received no notification about gas line repairs until red flags were posted in the middle of the yard. Ms. Strain noted that she invested a considerable amount of money on landscaping her property. She took time off work to discuss the project with the contractor. Ms. Strain was advised that the gas line project would run across her driveway, and an 18” section of the driveway would be cut out and replaced. Ms. Strain wants assurance that her driveway will be restored, and she has photos and videos of the property. Mr. Heckmann stated that council will stand up for their constituents, and preconstruction documentation is crucial.
Mike and Elizabeth Wozniak, 911 Edgewood Avenue – stated that the landslide to Oakdale dropped 5 feet overnight and is concerned that his lateral sewer line will be damaged. Public Works has been monitoring the area and providing daily updates to residents. Mr. Hartswick stated that the contract with Pennsylvania Soil and Rock has been signed, and the contractor was asked to move expeditiously on the core borings. Ms. Wozniak stated that if the lateral is damaged, she may not be able to get a contractor to make repairs because of the landslide situation. Mr. Heckmann advised that if a sewage backup occurs that causes a public health hazard, Mr. and Ms. Wozniak should prepare a contingency plan for such an emergency. Although council cannot move on the landslide situation until the report from the geotechnical engineer is received, the site will continue to be monitored daily.
Russell McKibben, 1456 Highland Villa Road – stated that there has been no construction work on the Hamilton Road project since January and the borough’s soil and erosion sediment policy is not being complied with. Mr. Heckmann advised that the contractor must build a road to move equipment to pour footers, and there is no access to asphalt at this time. Weekly site meetings are being conducted, and some storm sewer work was accomplished.
Mr. Heckmann closed the public comment period.
Mr. Warhold will be meeting with Senator Brewster regarding legislation for a stormwater fee versus creating an authority.
Mr. Heckmann noted that a suggestion box has been placed in council chambers for information sharing and feedback from residents.
Mr. Heckmann discussed a session on the opioid epidemic that was held at the ALOM conference. Residents can visit the Allegheny Health Department site at alleghenycountyandanalytics.com for more information and statistics. The southwestern Pennsylvania region has been hit very hard.