December 2021, January 2022 Council Minutes
Reorganization Meeting January 3, 2022
OATH OF OFFICE Solicitor Joseph A. Yochim Esq., Notary Public, administrated the oath of office to Peter J. Burton.
Solicitor Joseph A. Yochim Esq., Notary Public, administrated the oath of office to Jeanne Miller, Gregg Mitcho and James Simonelli.
CALL TO ORDER Mayor Burton called the reorganization meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in council chambers.
PLEDGE TO THE FLAG ELECTION OF
PRESIDENT Mayor Burton asked for nominations from the floor for the position of President of Council.
A motion was made by Councilmember Noble to nominate Councilmember McNally as President of Council. There were no other nominations from the floor. Second by Gregg Mitcho. All voted in favor of the motion. Councilmember McNally was elected President of Council.
CALL TO ORDER Meeting is called to order by President McNally at 7:03 p.m.
PRESENT Dennis McNally, President Alfred Noble, Vice President Robert “Doc” Orr
Jeanne Miller Gregg Mitcho Jim Simonelli
Robert Stubenbort, Borough Manager Peter Burton, Mayor
Joseph A. Yochim, Borough Solicitor
VISITORS Shirley Hall Larry Russell Karen Hortsman Julia Hortsman
Bill Cousins Kate Hansen Michael Curran
Kathleen D Simonelli Jenna Burton
Chloe Shultz Tristen Findlay Chase Schutz Doug Wright James Thayer George Drushel Betty Stephens Kim Burns
Pete Burns Scott Turner Allison Brocious John Mikovitch Patti Mikovich Clay Brocious
Micheal McConnell Ben Burton Miranda Gipe
OFFICERS President McNally asked for nominations from the floor for the position of Vice President of Council.
A motion was made by Councilmember Mitcho to nominate Councilmember Noble as Vice President of Council. There were no other nominations from the floor. Second by Councilmember Simonelli. All voted in favor of the motion. Councilmember Noble was elected Vice President of Council.
President McNally asked for nominations from the floor for the position of President Pro Tern.
A motion was made by Councilmember Noble to nominate Councilmember Orr as President Pro Tern. There were no other nominations from the floor. Second by Councilmember Mitcho. All voted in favor of the motion. Councilmember Orr was elected President Pro Tern of Council.
President McNally asked for nominations from the floor for the position of Vacancy Board Chairperson.
A motion was made by Councilmember Simonelli to nominate Councilmember Orr as Vacancy Board Chairperson. There were no other nominations from the floor. Second by Councilmember Noble. All voted in favor of the motion.
Councilmember Orr was elected Chairperson of the Vacancy Board.
President McNally said that he will decide on Council Committee Appointments once the open council seat is filled.
Councilmember Mitcho made a motion that due to the 30 day limitation to fill the open council seat a special meeting should be held on October 10, 2022 to allow for Girard Borough residents to speak on their behalf for no longer than two minutes each. Motion second by Councilmember Noble. All voted in favor of the motion.
Councilmember Orr made a motion to adjourn at 7:15 p.m. Motion seconded by Councilmember Noble. All voted in favor of the motion.
Robert A. Stubenbort Borough Manager
December 20, 2021
CALL TO ORDER
Council in regular session was called to order at 7:00 p.m. in council chambers. President McNally presiding. This meeting was by Zoom Video.
Dennis McNally, President Alfred Noble, Vice President Peter Burton
Jeanne Miller Gregg Mitcho Kathy Lyons Robert “Doc” Orr
Robert Stubenbort, Borough Manager Robert Kremenik, Mayor
Joseph Yochim, Solicitor
Dennis McDonald, Public Works Supervisor Mark Corey, Engineer
Shirley Hall Larry Russell
Courtney Fobes WCNJ Issy Laurie
Sandy Rhodes Bev Bible
Motion made by Councilmember Noble to approve the minutes from the November 15, 2021 council meeting. Seconded by Councilmember Burton. All in favor. Motion carried.
Bills will be presented at the next Council Meeting.
Larry Russell mentioned to Council that it would be a good idea to have fishing gear available at the children’s fishing pond in Water Works Park.
Councilmember Miller recommended a few contacts who may be able to help supply equipment. Mr. Russell also mentioned that it would be nice to have ice skating on the pond during the winter. Councilmember Noble mentioned that the borough would need to consider liability for ice-skating. President McNally asked Mr. Russell to work with a committee of people to discuss the best way to formulate winter ice-skating. Councilmember Burton suggested using the new basketball courts for ice-skating. Councilmember Burton offered to work on a committee with Mr. Russell to discuss the ice-skating further.
REPORTS Councilmember Mitcho reported that Dobler Hose responded to the recent garage fire on Lake Street. When the fire crew arrived the garage was fully engulfed and saving the house became the priority. The donation received
$1001 in 2021. Dobler Hose will spend $15,000.00 to repair an ambulance that needs repair. Springfield Township has decided that they will no longer offer ambulance service. A.F. Dobler Hose believes that ambulance service is necessary and needed.
The Erie Coalition of Governments Director Jessica Heron Kunco hosted a meeting on December 9, 2021 to report on solutions to the situations that emergency services are facing.
Emergency medical services, which are provided in the county through separate entities such as EmergyCare and Millcreek Paramedic Service and by a number of the volunteer fire departments, are required under their state license to be in service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. An exception is if a service is part of a regional or countywide collaborative EMS response plan. Under such plans, a department can state when it can and cannot be staffed, and what other department should be dispatched when those departments are out of service.
The ranks of Pennsylvania’s volunteer fire and EMS agencies have dropped from about 300,000 in the 1970s to about 38,000 today. The COVID-19 pandemic compounded the problem and is affecting not just the volunteer departments but career emergency medical service agencies.
While efforts have been made to recruit new members, those efforts have failed to develop a “significant pipeline” of new students. Certification of EMTs continues to provide a roadblock for potential EMTs and many complain that the current education for EMTs does not properly prepare them for the required national certification exam.
The terms for the following board members are up for reappointment by council:
Zoning Hearing Board Chris McNally 3 years Planning Commission Larry Russell 4 years Recreation Board Jeanne Miller 2 years
Motion by Councilmember Burton to approve the board appointments. Seconded by Councilmember Noble. All in favor. Motion carried.
The proposed 2022 budget in the amount of $6,129,631.00 has been prepared for council. The budget does not require an increase to the present real estate tax of 1.89 mills. Mr. Stubenbort also pointed out that no utilities had to be raised for 2021. Motion by Councilmember Lyons to approve the 2022 budget in the amount of $6,129,631.00. Seconded by Councilmember Noble. All in favor. Motion carried.
1-12-2021 Resolution 1-12-2021 will set the tax millage at 1.89 for 2022. Motion by Councilmember Lyons to approve Resolution 1-12-2021. Seconded by Councilmember Mitcho. All in favor. Motion carried. Mr. Stubenbort mentioned that if the tax millage does not change then council can pass a resolution. This would only become an ordinance if the millage changed.
2-12-2021 This resolution reaffirms the borough’s mutual aid agreement with Lake City.
Motion made by Councilmember Orr to approve Resolution 2-12-2021 reaffirming police mutual aid with Lace City Borough. Seconded by Councilmember Noble. All in favor. Motion carried.
CIVIL SERVICE The Civil Service Test took place on December 15, 2021 with only two candidates and one candidate passing. The Civil Service Commission will most likely need to test again using the list from the Mercyhurst program.
Former State Trooper Earl Cook was sworn in on December 8, 2021 as a part time Girard Borough Police Officer.
POLICE INTERCEPTOR The new Police Interceptor arrived on December 15, 2021. The new vehicle cost is $34,033.00 and upfitting will most likely cost another $8,000.00. Motion made by Councilmember Burton to approve the purchase of the Police Interceptor for $34,033.00 and associated costs to upfit the vehicle. Seconded by Councilmember Mitcho. All in favor. Motion carried.
2017 INTERCEPTOR The West County Paramedic Association is interested in the 2017 Police Interceptor that is being replaced. The vehicle has more than 80,000 miles. The Paramedic Association would use the vehicle for quick response when needed. CARFAX has similar vehicles for sale for about $18,000.00. Kelly Blue Book has the car valued at about $15,500.00. According to Borough Code the Council could sell the vehicle to the WCPA for as little as $1.00. Katrina Michael is the current WCPA Chairperson. Motion made by Councilmember Mitcho to approve the sale of the Police Interceptor to the WCPA for $1.00. Second by Councilmember Lyons. Discussion ensued with Councilmember Burton saying that the vehicle should be offered to WCPA for $10,000.00 to cover the cost of upfitting the new police vehicle. Councilmember Mitcho rescinded his earlier motion and then made a motion to approve the sale of the 2017 Police Interceptor for $10,000.00 with a 60 day option to buy. Seconded by Councilmember Burton. Councilmember Miller said that the WCPA could apply for a grant from the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority to cover half the cost. Council members Lyons, Burton, Mitcho, Miller, Orr and McNally voted in favor. Councilmember Noble voted against. Motion carried.
The cannon east of the Civil War Monument was struck by a midsized car on December 5, 2021. The drivers insurance will be notified for replacement costs.
American municipal Power is still finishing the hook up of the generation units located at the Public Works Garage. A complete shutdown of power to the borough will need to be scheduled. Council agreed that a shutdown should happen early morning on a week end.
Everstream Solutions LLC is doing preliminary design work to run fiber optic cable down Main Street from East to West and then South on Walnut but intends to run fiber optic cable underground on Main Street from Olin to Mechanic then down Mechanic to Vine to the CN RR and end up above ground on Chestnut. The Cohen Law Group will be contacted to get more information on the rights of the borough.
BASKETBALL COURTS The basketball poles, backboards and hoops with nets were installed on December 10, 2021 by Jeffery Associates. The bleachers are also complete. The painted lines for the courts will need to take place in good weather which will most likely be Spring of 2022.
GIRARD HOTEL PENNDOT has agreed to work with the borough to update the turning lane heading east from Main Street and north onto Rice Ave. A survey of the property has been requested from Mike Sanford Surveying (started 12/17/2021) and the PENNDOT property will be plotted and the park design implemented.
GIRARD DOWNTOWN One more grant from the ECGRA Main Street Money was awarded by the Girard Downtown Inc. on December 16, 2021. This grant is issued to the owner of the Elk Creek Lodge for exterior painting.
PSAB Boot Camp
On January 3, 2022 the Girard Borough Council will hold a reorganization meeting at 7:00 pm in the Council Chambers.
$150.00 per attendee. The Newly Elected Municipal Officials Training is intended for all elected and appointed municipal officials.
When: February 4th and 5th of 2022. Location Council agreed to give newly elected Councilperson Jim Simonelli the option to attend.
The Laughlin Subdivision water lines are in place and the home owners have until March 1, 2022 to complete the water hook up and at that time the water service from Girard Borough will be discontinued.
MISC Council member Mitcho mentioned the current Mayor Bob Kremenik should attend the reorganization meeting in January and pass the Mayor badge on to the new Mayor, Peter Burton.
Councilmember Orr mentioned that the West County Emergency Management Service has free smoke detectors and the WCEMS has adopted their 2022 budget.
Mayor Kremenik asked Councilmember Mitcho to explain his issue with the Mayors Conference of 2021. Councilmember Mitcho explained that Council voted to send the outgoing Mayor to the conference so that important information from the meeting could be shared, but no report was made to Council and later it was discovered that Mayor Kremenik did not attend the conference. The borough was not invoiced for the conference. Discussion ensued until President McNally ended the conversation by moving on to the next issue.
Councilmember Miller asked if the borough had an ordinance regulating AirBnBs. Solicitor Yochim said that the borough currently does not have an AirBnB ordinance, but the City of Erie is working on one that may be valuable to Girard Borough. Councilmember Miller said that there is an AirBnB in her neighborhood and no one was notified.
Councilmember Miller said that the Drive Through Santa event at the high school was successful despite the rain and high winds.
Councilmember Lyons asked if the borough has pursued a bottle club ordinance. The borough has not pursued a Bottle Club ordinance.
Councilmember Noble stated that he would like the borough to have an ordinance requiring all bicycles to have flashing lights, so they are more easily identifiable. Councilmember Noble mentioned that the sidewalk on the Rice Avenue bridge is in disrepair.
Meeting adjourned at 8:13 p.m. for a five minute break before going into executive session.
SESSION At 8:20 p.m., President McNally asked for an executive session to discuss personnel and legal matters.
MEETING The regular meeting was called back into session at 8:40 p.m.
PERSONNEL Motion made by Councilmember Lyons to allow the borough non uniform employees to leave early on December 23, 2021 if they wish to use personal or vacation time. Seconded by Councilmember Noble. All in favor. Motion carried.
PAYROLL Councilmember Burton made a motion to proceed with Freedom Systems as the boroughs outside payroll company beginning January 1, 2022. Seconded by Councilmember Mitcho. All in favor. Motion carried.
COUNCIL PAY Councilmember Mitcho made a motion to have Council pay moved from monthly to quarterly and have the option of direct deposit. Seconded by Councilmember Burton. Council members Lyons, Burton, Mitcho, Miller, Orr and McNally voted in favor. Councilmember Noble voted against. Motion carried.
ADJOURN Motion by Councilmember Orr and seconded by Councilmember Burton to adjourn at 8:44 p.m. All in favor.
Robert A. Stubenbort Borough Manager
Notice is hereby given that the Council of the Borough of Girard has scheduled a special meeting for 7:00 p.m. on January 10, 2022 in the council chambers.
• Any resident of Girard Borough that is interested in the open council seat may speak on their behalf. To qualify you must have resided in the Girard Borough continuously for one year and be a registered elector of the Borough of Girard. Council has asked that each person speak for no more than two minutes.
All other business properly presented will be discussed. The meeting will take place at the Girard Borough Council Chambers, 34 Main Street West, Girard, Pa 16417. Any questions can be directed to the borough manager M-F 8:00 am to 4:30 pm at 814-774-9683 x 203.
BOROUGH OF GIRARD AGENDA
January 10, 2022
CALL TO ORDER•…..•….Special Meeting………••7:00 P.M.
1. Any resident of Girard Borough that is interested in the open council seat may speak on their behalf. To qualify they must have resided in the Girard Borough continuously for one year and be a registered elector of the Borough of Girard. Each person shall speak for no more than two minutes.
2. On February 5, 2022 Scott Russell from the Girard School District would like to host the “Race to Remember” starting at the GHS then onto Lake Street and wind around side streets and back to the Highschool. The Sk would start at 10:00 am.
3. All other business properly presented will be discussed.