September 18, 2023
CALL TO ORDER
Council in regular session was called to order at 7:00 p.m. in council chambers. Vice President Noble presiding.
Alfred Noble, Vice President Jeanne Miller Gregg Mitcho Robert “Doc” Orr Jim Simonelli
Joseph Yochim, Solicitor Mark Corey, Engineer Peter Burton, Mayor
Kevin Rafferty, Chief of Police
Dennis McDonald, Public Works Supervisor
Dennis McNally, Council President Doug Wright, Councilmember
Robert Stubenbort, Borough Manager
Tim Knapp Shirley Hall Larry Russell
Shawn Wrobeleski, EMA Bev Bible
Nancy Bronstein Pat Howell Ginger Sarnowski Ginger Cinti Becky Feldman Issy Lawrie
Councilmember Simonelli mentioned several corrections to the minutes. He said that Councilmember Noble did not attend last months meeting. Also, Councilmember Simonelli seconded the motion for the Fire Tax Ordinance during last months council meeting. Motion by Councilmember Simonelli to approve the council meeting minutes as corrected. Seconded by Councilmember Orr. All in favor. Motion carried.
Motion by Councilmember Orr to approve the bills for payment. Seconded by Councilmember Mitcho. All in favor. Motion carried.
Shirley Hall thanked the following people for giving their time to paint fire hydrants, poles on the old basketball hoops and the recreation sign. Nancy Bronstein, Cindy Kremenik, Cindy Tavernese, Peggy Whaley, Doug Wright, Dave Thomas, Andy Aranyos, Steve Fenner and Roger Connors.
Also, thank you to Sheetz and the Girard Chamber of Commerce for providing lunch for the workers. Shirley Hall also thanked Dennis McDonald for getting the paint when it was needed and Mr. Stubenbort and Council for allowing the volunteers to paint over the last three years.
Shawn Wrobeleski spoke to council and informed them that an Emergency Action Plan is needed from the borough. He passed out a memo that he received from ADMAR. The letter states that ADMAR is interested in partnering with West Erie County Emergency Management Agency in order to provide any equipment needed in support of their emergency/disaster relief operations.
ADMAR stated they are willing to offer EMA a 10% discount on all equipment classes. They are also willing to extend a locked in delivery/pickup rate for all municipalities at a rate fixed at $130.00 each way. ADMAR will make every effort to commit to a four (4} hour call out response time starting from the time the initial call is received until the equipment is delivered to the designated location.
Ginger Sarnowski mentioned that the Bessemer Railroad Crossing on Olin Avenue is in bad condition. There are metal spikes sticking up. She did call them to report this but nothing has been done yet. Vice President Noble mentioned that Mr. Stubenbort could call the railroad to discuss the matter.
A.F. DOBLER HOSE
Councilmember Mitcho stated that Part Time Police Officer Tanner Hughes was voted in as a Probationary Member of the A.F. Dobler Hose and Ladder Company. Councilmember Mitcho also reported that all four tires were replaced on the 547 Ambulance at a cost of $2,432.19. Girard Township paid the entire bill. The rescue vehicle had new brakes put on. Dobler Hose received a grant for new Air Packs. Once they expire new air packs have to be replaced. (44,000.00}
There have been 60,000 lbs. of glass collected this year since January. The program could be short lived. Prism Glass started the program, but Pro Waste bought out Prism. They are not sure they can continue by charging the borough $50.00 per pick up. The cost of fuel and paying the driver is costly.
Councilmember Mitcho reported that the Girard Township has volunteered to plow snow for the West County Paramedics parking lot for the upcoming season.
Mayor Burton reported that he attended the Pa Mayors Conference on July 20- 23rd in Lancaster Pa. He attended along with approximately 175 Mayors from across the Commonwealth. Resolution 2023-01 was discussed with regards to radar usage for local Police Departments. Pennsylvania is the only state in North America that does not allow radar use by local police. Also, if a resolution was passed signage would need to be installed that warns of “Speed Enforcement Zone” and radar guns would need to be purchased.
Resolution 2023-02 has to do with the State: highway, routes and roads through the boroughs and townships. Once improvements are made, like culverts, catch basins, ect…the State would help the municipalities maintain regularly.
Also discussed was a Intelligent Road Management software called Vialytics but it was very expensive. This software would chart and map manholes and help maintain road data.
On Tuesday, September 19th from 6-8pm there will be a Townhall Meeting at the Girard American Legion with Pa State Representative Jake Banta.
There will be a BBQ hosted by the Hagen History Center held at the Yellow House on September 28, 2023. This event is a fundraiser for the Yellow House.
Chief Rafferty requested that two new full-time officers be hired. He explained that Girard Borough Police Department is the last department in the county that still hires part time officers. There are also fewer people coming out of the academy.
Chief Rafferty told council that the department will attend a dim light fire arm training on October 7th. This will be held at the Albion Prison.
Chief Rafferty explained that Officer Hughes is participating in the “Drive For Success” program along with the PA State Police and the Autism Society on September 12th. This program helps to teach people with Autism how to Drive.
Officer Hughes is now doing the UCR Reporting that Officer Hughson used to take care of.
October 30th through November 3rd Girard Borough Police Department is hosting the Data Master Breathalyzer Course in the social hall.
Chief Rafferty did contact PennDot about road crossing signs. They should arrive in the spring.
The Homecoming Parade will be on Friday, September 22nd at 5:30 pm. It will start at the Presbyterian Church and end at Battles Stadium.
Officer Zuern set up an event at the Dobler Hose Fire Hall on Wednesday, September 20th from 4-6pm. This event is for people who have license plates with peeling paint. Someone will assist in filling out forms to receive a new plate. Jake Bantas office will send completed forms in to the state. Council member Miller asked if people will park and come into the building. Officer Zuern said that it is going to be a drive through event.
Councilmember Mitcho reminded Chief Rafferty that the Fire Department can provide CPR Class for any new officers.
Mark Corey presented the final pay request from Konzel Construction.
This will be pay #5 in the amount of $134,445.86. The project for the Walnut Street Storage tank is complete. Motion by Councilmember Mitcho to approve final payemt #5 request from Konzel Construction. Seconded by Councilmember Simonelli. All in favor. Motion carried.
REPORT Resolution 1-9-2023 to approve the Financial Statements and Independent Auditors Report of the Erie Area Council of Governments for the Calendar Year ending December 31, 2022. Motion by Councilmember Mitcho to approve Resolution 1-9-2023. Seconded by Councilmember Orr. All in favor. Motion carried.
Resolution 2-9-2023 Resolution 2-9-2023 is for adopting the Downtown Master Plan. Motion by Councilmember Miller to pass Resolution2-9-2023. Seconded by Council member Simonelli. All in favor. Motion carried.
2024 MMO Council is required to adopt the 2024 MMO in September.
|Police Pension MMO||$121,023.00|
|Non Uniform Pension MMO||$0.00|
|Administrative Pension MMO||$10,696.00|
Motion by Councilmember Orr approve 2024 MMO. Seconded by Councilmember Mitcho. All in favor. Motion carried.
BUDGET ADOPTION SCHEDULE
STORM LINE REPLACEMENT
Included in Councils packet is the Budget Adoption Schedule. The work shop meeting is scheduled for November 8, 2023 at 7:00 pm.
Fall water flushing will take place the first three weeks of October beginning October 2, 2023. Any discolored water will clear up overnight.
The Sunset Acres storm pipe needs to be replaced. The storm pipe from the pond at St. Cyril & Methodius Church to Lourdes Drive is deteriorating at the seams and causing sink holes on the associated private properties. The pipe has been inspected and to fix the existing pipe would involve digging it up so it makes sense to replace the pipe. Mark Corey is working on the bid package now.
The Erie County Association of Boroughs meeting will be held Wednesday, October 25, 2023 at a place to be determined. The meeting starts at 6:30 pm. Council should email Mr. Stubenbort if they plan on attending.
LEAF PICK UP
WEST COUNTY PARAMEDICS
WATER WORKS PARK
The remaining leaf pick up dates are October 12th and 26th as well as November 9th and 25th. Only 30 gallon clear plastic bags will be picked up.
The West Erie County Communications Center budget for 2024 has been provided to council. Councilmember Mitcho did say that WECCC lost Franklin Township this year so each municipality might receive a cost increase. Motion by Councilmember Mitcho to approve the 2024 WECCC budget.
Seconded by Councilmember Orr. All in favor. Motion carried.
Council was provided with a letter written by the local softball players requesting that they be given one more chance to get organized and continue using the softball fields at Water Works Park. Councilmember Mitcho thought that the letter was well written. Councilmember Miller said that at least they know council is aware of everything regarding the softball fields. Motion by Councilmember Simonelli to give the local softball players a chance to get organized and continue using the softball fields. Seconded by Councilmember Mitcho. All in favor. Motion carried.
A meeting with municipal officials will take place on September 20, 2023.
At this meeting it is expected that municipalities will receive current financial information and new bylaws. This information is in anticipation of the fire departments making way to have board members that are appointed by each participating municipality. There has been debate as to whether the bylaws should wait for the new board before being adopted. The consultant and the consultant’s attorney decided to update the bylaws before the new board is seated. The new bylaws will provide a basic outline for the organization and then operational procedures will be decided and implemented by the new board. The new board, once seated will need to work on the agreement between the participating municipalities and WCPA. This agreement will provide the official way for participating municipalities to prove that they are providing this emergency service as required. The West County Paramedics Association has been making regular payments on the $25,000.00 loan from Girard Borough. At one point council talked about loan forgiveness so council will need to give that some consideration. Councilmember Miller mentioned that the Articles of Incorporation were not correct. Councilmember Noble said that every municipality should have the authority to say who sits on the board.
Mayor Burton commented that if WCPA is asking the borough to contribute money then the borough should have some input.
Council was provided with a letter from Stephen Laskowski, the Erie County Service Forester.
POOL STARTING BLOCKS The starting blocks at the pool have a clear vinyl antiskid coating that is peeling off. New coating has been ordered at a cost of $649.00. The starting blocks will be ready for the 2024 season.
MUNICIPAL BUILDING LIGHTS
VOLUNTEER FIRE RELIEF
The Borough Building now has a photo-eye that will control when the perimeter lights come on and shut off. Knorr Electric did the installation at a cost of $395.00. The old timer system required a physical change for daylight savings time and was difficult to dial in with the changes in sunrise and sunset. The new photo eye will detect light and dark automatically and control the lights.
Councilmember Orr asked why we got Knorr electric to do this job. He felt like this was something the borough crew could have done.
The 2023 Commonwealth state aid allocation supporting the VOLUNTEER FIRE RELIEF ASSOCIATION is scheduled to be direct deposited on September 21, 2023 in the amount of $15,533.23 and this money will then go directly to A.F. Dobler Hose & Ladder Company. Councilmember Mitcho said this money has serious restrictions on how it can be used.
MISC Mayor Burton said he spoke to Mary Pfeil from 254 Penn Ave regarding the smell of gas at the corner of Penn and Prospect. Dennis McDonald said National Fuel will be coming on September 19th to work on the gas leak. This should be repaired by the end of the week.
Councilmember Mitcho mentioned that District Justice Jeff Gadley sent a letter to Lake City and Girard Borough Police Departments that said he will available 24/7 until the end of the year. He also provided his personal cell phone number.
Councilmember Miller asked Councilmember Noble if the legion was decorating for Halloween. Councilmember Noble said no.
Councilmember Mitcho said the Cemetery Ghost Tours will take place on October 6th and 7th from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Last year about 400 people attended the tours.
Councilmember Orr mentioned Senate Bill 181 and 230 as well as House Bill 299.
If House Bill 299 passes all employees that work for a municipality that distributes their own electricity will have to follow OSHA regulations.
Councilmember Simonelli would like to see the sidewalk reimbursement raised from $120.00. This might encourage more homeowners to fix their sidewalks. Councilmember Miller mentioned that they can also apply for the ECCRA Grant.
Councilmember Noble provided highlights of information that he received from the PEMA Conference. He mentioned that there are 35 Pennsylvania electric providers and that 29 belong to PEMA.
Meeting adjourned at 8:10 for a five minute break before going into Executive Session.