September 19, 2022
CALL TO ORDER
Council in regular session was called to order at 7:00 p.m. in council chambers. President McNally presiding.
Dennis McNally, President Alfred Noble, Vice President Jeanne Miller
Gregg Mitcho Robert “Doc” Orr Jim Simonelli Doug Wright
Robert Stubenbort, Borough Manager Peter Burton, Mayor
Joseph Yochim, Solicitor Mark Corey, Engineer
Kevin Rafferty, Chief of Police
Dennis McDonald, Public Works Supervisor
Shawn Wroblewski, West County EMA Jim McDonald, Chardonnay Village Susan Mueller
Shirley Hall Larry Russell
Nancy Brownstein Ginger Cinti Jamie Matson
Motion by Councilmember Mitcho to approve the July 18, 2022 council meeting minutes. Seconded by Councilmember Noble. All in favor.
Motion by Councilmember Noble to approve the August 15, 2022 council meeting minutes. Seconded by Councihnember Simonelli. All in favor.
Councilmember Orr asked about the bill for the oil change for two of the police vehicles and also about the purchase of miscellaneous items from Fairview Hardware. Councilmember Orr said that he would like to see the Public Works Department change the oil for police vehicles from now on. Motion by Councilmember Orr to approve payment of the bills.
Seconded by Councilmember Noble. All in favor. Motion carried.
Shawn Wrobleski introduced himself as the new West County Emergency Coordinator. Dave Shallenberger complimented the borough on the installation of the radar speed sign.
ORDINANCE 749 Ordinance 749 is to change the zoning for the St. Johns Church property
on Olin Avenue from R-2 Residential Medium Density to C-1 Commercial. The Planning Commission recommendation to Council is to allow the Little Explorers Christian Academy in an R-2 zoning district if tl1ey can prove tl1ey are a school. Jamie Mat on explained why she is interested in purchasing tl1e building. Susan Mueller explained tl1at changing tl1e property to C-1 zoning would change the character of tl1e neighborhood. R-3 would allow for tl1e business tl1atJamie Matson is interested in and provide for protection of tl1e quality of tl1e neighborhood. Mayor Burton explained that it is difficult to sell a church and urged Council to have a special meeting to have tl1e properly voted C
- Councilmember Noble explained tl1at he does not want council to vote until all of the facts are sorted out. Motion by Councilmember Mitcho to table tl1is issue until more information can be ascertained. Seconded by Councilmember Noble. All in favor. Motion carried.
CHARDONNAY VILLAGE The Planning Commission recommends tl1at council vote in favor of the
application of, Chardonnay Village L.P. to allow tl1e replot of lots 34, 79, 80, 81, 82 and 83 of plot of survey for part of tl1e land of Butternut Knoll map No.2002-141, Chardonnay Village, L.P., part of tract 328. Lot 80 is to become common space. All replotted lots are zoned R-1. Motion by Councilmember Mitcho to approve the change to tl1e PRD agreement to allow for tl1e changes as planned. Seconded by Councilmember Noble. All in favor. Motion carried.
ADMINISTRATION FIRE POLICE AND
PERSONNEL Councilmember Mitcho said tl1at A. F. Daber Hose and Ladder
Company is grateful to council for continuing to install storz fittings to tl1e fire hydrants. The storz fittings allow for the fire hose to be hooked up to the hydrant in seconds and tl1is allows tl1e firefighters to begin fighting tl1e fire earlier.
OLD RIDGE ROAD PARKING
Councilmember Orr updated Council on emergency management.
Councilmernber Simonelli mentioned that on September 22, 2022 at 11:00 AM a meeting witl1 Senator Laughlin, Fish Commissioner, Dan Pastore and Tom Cermal<., Sea Grant, would tal<.e place at the area of tl1e proposed fisherman parking area on Old Ridge Road. Council and otl1ers are welcome to join. Council was asked to consider turning part of the old Ridge Road dead end to the fish Commission to allow more properly for tl1e parking area.
MAYOR Mayor Burton thanked Lany Russell and Shirley Hall for edging the sidewalk at the Girard Hotel property. Mayor Burton said that the work on the house on Templeton “‘ 11 begin this week and that he and Dennis McDonald, the Public Works Supervisor, have received many complaints about the house since it burned down thirteen months ago. The house was totaled by fire. The Mayor went on to say that if work does not begin the borough should have the foundation hole filled in and lien the property.
The Mayor was called by the owner of Faulkner’s ScreenPrinting & Monogramming on Main Street and he feels as though there is drug activity at the neighboring building and the Mayor would like Chief Rafferty to investigate. The Mayor asked Chief Rafferty if the police have had any drug activity at that building. Chief Rafferty said that they have been called there for disturbances. Mayor Burton said that the building is a nuisance, and something should be done right away. Councilmember Wright said that the police would not be able to investigate without probable cause and therefore tl1e people that are noticing drug activity should call tl1e police immediately so they can investigate right away. The person complaining needs to identify tl1emselves and report directly to tl1e police at tl1e time that drug activity is being noticed. Chief Rafferty thanked tl1e Mayor for donating a rumbler attachment to tl1e new police vehicle.
Chief Rafferty explained that tl1e rumbler hooks up to tl1e police vehicle lights and sirens and when tl1e police vehicles are traveling at a high rate of speed it happens so quickly that sometimes cars do not pull over because they do not notice tl1e police vehicle with tl1e sirens and lights on. The rumbler will set a vibration into tl1e ground and startle the driver to pay attention and realize tl1at a police car with the lights and sirens on is approaching at a high rate of speed. The borough will need to have an outside company install tl1e rumbler at an unknown cost to tl1e borough. Councilmember Noble said tl1at tl1e tasers for tl1e police department are not in the budget this year and the tasers are outdated. The replacement cost is $6,000.00. The taser company can breal<. down the cost to about
$1,200.00 per year. The Legion agreed to pay for tl1e first year if the borough would agree right now to pay for the out’itanding amount for tl1e next four years. Chief Rafferty said tl1at he is applying for a grant from tl1e Office of]ustice Programs of tl1e Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) for updated technology and recruitment. It is a mde ranging grant but we are eligible for up to one million dollars. Body cameras and a license plate reader at $30,000.00 will be requested. All license plates 11 be scanned automatically, and all violations will be ticketed. Tasers can also be purchased for each officer and new routers purchased for every police vehicle. Radar guns can be applied for in case the law changes to allow them. New police software can also be applied for mtl1 this grant. The new software system 11 be tl1e same as the county system. Councilmember Simonelli raised a concern about pools in the borough tl1at are out of compliance. Motion by Councilmember Noble to accept tl1e money from tl1e Legion to pay for one year of tl1e laser agreement and have the borough budget pay for tl1e rest of the contract.
Seconded by Councilmember Mitcho, All in favor. Motion carried.
ENGINEER The Walnut Street replacement project is delayed until Spring due to the
delay in tank delivery. The tank compm1y did recommend a new design for the tank base that will save the borough money. A change order has been prepared and if approved will save the borough $29,600.00.
Councilmember Nable asked if the different design would be strong enough. Engineer Corey explained that this design is from the tank company and should be enough. Motion by Councilmember Wright to approve the Walnut Street Tank Project change order which will save the borough $29,600.00. Seconded by Councilmember Noble. All in favor. Motion carried. The CDBG project was approved for Girard Borough and awarded $59,979.00. Our prqject will be revised to accommodate the lesser mnount. Councilmembcr Simonelli mentioned that at Walnut and Locust, three squares of sidewalk need replaced.
2023 MINIMUM MUNICIPAL OBLIGATIONS
BUDGET ADOPTION SCHEDULE
A Resolution to approve the Financial Statements and Independent Auditor’s Report of the Erie Area Council of Governments for the Calendar Year Ending December 31, 2021. Motion by Councilmember Wright to approve Resolution 1-9-2022. Seconded by Councilmember Orr. All in favor. Motion carried.
The 2023 Police Pension MMO which is $119,002.00 and the 2023 Non uniform Pension MMO is $0.00 and the 2023 Administrative Pension MMO is $10,56tt.00 are requested to be adopted. Council is required to adopt the MMO in September. Motion by Councilmember Mitcho to adopt the 2023 MMOs as reported. Seconded by Councilmember Noble. All in favor. Motion carried.
The Budget Adoption Schedule begins with the work shop meeting that is scheduled for November 16, 2022 at 7:00PM.
Fall water flushing will talte place the first three weeks of October beginning October 3, 2022. Any discolored water will clear up overnight.
The Erie County Association of Boroughs Meeting will be held Wednesday October 19, 2022 at the Union City American Legion. Start time is 6:30 PM.
SIDEWALK The sidewalk in front of the apartment Building on Locust Street needs
replaced. Three estimates were requested:
Amendola Construction Lindy Paving
Motion by Councilmember Mitcho to table this issue pending further information. Seconded by Councilmember Wright. All in favor. Motion carried.
LEAF PICKUP Remaining Leaf Pick Up Dates are October 13 and 27 as well as
November 10 and 25. Only 30-gallon clear plastic bags will be picked up.
VOLUNTEER FIRE RELIEF ASSOCIATION
The ECOG Erie County Coalition of Governments is working with the Cohen Law Group to negotiate the Cable Contract for Erie County municipalities. Motion by Councilmember Noble to join other municipalities and the ECOG to work with the Cohen Law Group to negotiate our new cable contract. Seconded by Councilmcmber Mitcho. All in favor. Motion carried.
Two Ordinances are outstanding. The Air B-n-B and the Animal Ordinance. Committees continue work on these ordinances.
The 2022 Cmrunonwealth state aid allocation supporting the VOLUNTEER FIRE RELIEF ASSOCIATION (VFRA) is scheduled to
be direct deposited on September 21, 2022, in the amount of $15,668.70 and a this money will then go directly to A.F. Dobler Hose & Ladder Company. Councilmember Mitcho explained that tl1is money goes to tl1e fire relief fund.
BUILDING The rear HVAC unit of tl1e Borough Building needs to be replaced. The
cost will be about $11,000.00,
WECEMA The West Erie County Emergency Management Agency is requesting tl1at council vote favorably on tl1e 2023 proposed budget. Motion by Councilmember Orr to accept tl1e 2023 West Erie County Emergency Management Budget. Seconded by Councilmember Simonelli. All in favor. Motion carried,
Councilmember Noble said that the Pennsylvania Municipal Electric Association is disappointed in the low turnout for its conference. Only half of the membership was in attendance. Twenty-six of the boroughs are looking at installing solar for electric generation because the price of electricity keeps going up. Girard Borough is in APPA region eight and can be looked up online. The borough will need to have cyber security for all departments in the future. Municipalities can band together to get broadband. 2023 to 2027 a broadband plcm will be implemented. A megawatt increase of $25.00 to $94.00 will happen the next year to year and a half and may not come clown until next summer. Pennsylvania is the largest exporter of power in the United States because of the shale gas production. Renewable energy is part of the grid now. Coal prices used to be $50.00 a ton and are now $190.00 a ton because the Europeans are buying it. Electricity generated by natural gas has gone up because the United States exports natural gas. Cold winters and hot summers are driving prices up. Transmission rates have doubled since 2015. One third of rate prices are new ta’l’.es. EV vehicles are going to need charging stations. PennDOT will install 5000 charging ports at 2000 locations in Pennsylvania by 2028 at a cost of 178 million dollars. At this time there is no first responder training for EV fires. 36.4 percent of electric outages are caused by trees and other vegetation and squirrels. 63 outages affected 2500 customers. In 2023 funding to update our electric grids will be available. Grants are written by outside writers are more successful. Shovel ready projects stand a better chance of being funded. Disadvantaged communities are starting to get more grants. Councilmember Mitcho explained that the charging stations at the Tom Ridge Center are free. All municipalities are having problems recruiting linemen because of low wages. All councilmembers and tl1e manager need to know about the electric system. A new law concerning solar farms may make adjoining municipalities purchase solar power. Councilmember Mitcho said that a meeting concerning solar will tal<..e place at Summit Township next week. Councilmember Noble said tl1at currently tl1ere are two municipalities like Girard Borough tl1at have companies looking to begin renewable or gas powered generation and those municipalities will need to purchase tl1at power and PEMA is fighting iliat law right now.
Mayor Burton mentioned that tl1e Hagen History Center will have a Harvest Dinner in Girard on Friday, September 23rd and Saturday, September 24111, ,mcl only 24 people will be allowed for each elate. The Block Party in Lal<..e City is tl1is Thursday night. The West County Rangers will play music at tl1e event.
Councilmember Mitcho said tl1al the West County Historical Society will be conducting ghost tours October 7″‘ and 8″‘ from 7PM to 9PM. Lal<..e City Mayor will portray Dan Rice and Councilmember Mitcho will portray Reverenced Charles Strickland. This event has not tal<..en place since 2012. Chief Rafferty said tl1at in tl1e past volunteer firefighters have been used to help cross roads on tl1e way to tl1e event. Emergency Management has two LED signs tl1at will be used to cross traffic. Councilmember Noble mentioned that he included more information about the conference to each councilperson.
Meeting adjourned at 8:53 p.m. for a five-minute break before going into executive session.
At 8:58 p.m., President McNally asked for an executive session to discuss personnel and legal matters.
The regular meeting was called back into session at 9:07 p.m. No other issues were discussed.
Motion by Councilmember Orr and seconded by Councilmember Simonelli to adjourn at 9:32 p.m. All in favor.
Robert A. Stubenbort Borough Manager