December 18, 2023
CALL TO ORDER
Council in regular session was called to order at 7:00 p.m. in council chambers. Dennis McNally, Council President, presiding.
Dennis McNally, Council President Robert “Doc” Orr
Jeanne Miller Gregg Mitcho Jim Simonelli Doug Wright
Robert Stubenbort, Borough Manager Peter Burton, Mayor
Joseph Yochim, Solicitor
Dennis McDonald, Public Works Supervisor
Alfred Noble, Vice President Mark Corey, Engineer
VISITORS Shirley Hall Larry Russell
Laura DiPasqua-Grappy Gail Clapper
Ginger Cinti, Lake City Councilmember Fred Carlson
MINUTES Motion by Councilmember Wright to approve the minutes of the November 20, 2023 council meeting. Seconded by Councilmember Mitcho. All in favor. Motion carried.
BILLS Councilmember Orr asked if the Public Works Department could do the line painting for the municipal parking lot so the borough would not have to pay to have it done for $3,875.00. Mr. Stubenbort said that in the future the Public Works Department could do the painting. The bill for $3,875.00 was for the borough parking lot and Walnut Street. Walnut Street is a high-volume road and our equipment will take a long time to paint three lines. Councilmember Mitcho asked if the bill for Michael Sultanik was the final bill. Mr. Stubenbort said that the accounting work done by Mr. Sultanik is ongoing. The first part of Mr. Sultaniks work is the 2022 audit preparation and the audit is currently underway. Next Mr. Sultanik will work with the office staff to prepare 2023 monthly reconciliation and monthly close out for the 2023 audit. Motion by Councilmember Orr to approve the bills for payment. Seconded by Councilmember Simonelli. All in favor. Motion carried.
A.F. DOBLER HOSE
Fred Carlson from 624 Olin Avenue asked that his curblawn tree be cut down because it is bug infested and the tree is dying. Mr. Stubenbort said that they will take care of the situation.
Councilmember Mitcho mentioned that the fire training area on Haggerty Street is being vandalized and is also being used as a dump. The gate at the entrance will be locked from now on and cameras will be installed.
Mayor Burton reported that November 24th was the light up night and the food fender sold out. December 1st and 2nd was the Holiday 3, 2, 1, event and 277 participants spent $5094.00. On December 6th the Chamber lunch hosted almost 100 people including the police and public works department.
The terms for the following board members are up for reappointment by Council.
Zoning Hearing Board
Planning Commission Recreation Board
Susan Mueller (3 years) Bev Bible (3 years) Shirley Hall (3 years) Ken Lyons (4 years) Jeanne Miller (2 years)
Motion by Councilmember Simonelli to approve the board reappoints as listed. Seconded by Councilmember Wright. All in favor. Motion carried.
The proposed budget for 2024, in the amount of $6, 618, 983.00 was adopted at the November 20, 2023 meeting. The proposed 2024 Budget includes a tax of 1 mill for the fire tax and 1.89 mills real estate tax and allows for an increase of $2.00 per unit per month to the sewer base rate and an .0051 per kWh increase in electric and $665,174 in general fund reserve money to be used for Capital Expenditures. Motion by Councilmember Mitcho to approve the budget for 2024. Seconded by Councilmember Miller. Voting in favor are Councilmembers Simonelli, Wright, Mitcho, Miller and McNally. Voting against is Councilmember Orr. Motion carried.
RESOLUTION 1-12-2023 By this resolution the Council of the Borough of Girard, Erie County, Pennsylvania approves the filing of an application for the 2023 Erie County Municipal Infrastructure Gap Funding Program. If received this application will provide up to $164,228.00 to complete the Pine Tree Drive Storm Sewer Construction Project. The GAP Grants require a 30% match which will not be a problem due to the projected price of the project. Motion by Councilmember Simonelli to approve Resolution 1-12-2023. Seconded by Councilmember Mitcho. All in favor. Motion carried.
RESOLUTION 2-12-2023 Resolution 2-12-2023 will raise electric rates by $0.0051 kWh each month. This rate change will help to cover costs as we make the required upgrades and cover inflationary increases to utility maintenance. Motion by Councilmember Mitcho to approve Resolution 2-12-2023. Seconded by Councilmember Miller. Voting in favor are Councilmembers Simonelli, Wright, Mitcho, Miller and McNally. Voting against is Councilmember Orr. Motion carried.
RESOLUTION 3-12-2023 Resolution 3-12-2023 will raise sewer rates by $2.00 per base unit each month. Motion by Councilmember Wright to approve Resolution 2-12-2023. Seconded by Councilmember Simonelli. Voting in favor are Councilmembers Simonelli, Wright, Mitcho, Miller and McNally. Voting against is Councilmember Orr.
RESOLUTION 4-12-2023 This resolution will set the tax millage at 2.89 or the sum of two dollars eighty nine cents on each one thousand dollars of assessed valuation of all real property. 1.89 mills are the real-estate tax for general funds and 1 mill additional tax for the fire department. Motion by Councilmember Miller to approve Resolution 4-12-2023. Seconded by Councilmember Mitcho. All in favor. Motion carried.
WCPA The West County Paramedics Association is requesting a letter that lists our municipal support amount and a payment schedule. WCPA is requesting $35,916.00. Council discussed the payment and payment schedule. Mayor Burton asked if the $40,800.00 stipend to A. F. Dobler Hose would continue in addition to the 1 mill tax. Council agreed that the stipend would continue.
Council resumed the conversation concerning the West County Paramedics participation money. Motion by Councilmember Simonelli to approve the participation conveyance of $35,916.00 to the West County Paramedics Association in January of 2024. Seconded by Councilmember Wright. All in favor. Motion carried.
WATER REGULATIONS The new Lead and Copper rule is in effect and will require the borough to document the make up of all water lines coming off the water mains. The list is due by October of 2024. If any lead is seen it must be replaced. Some of the older homes in the borough may have leaded goosenecks and will need to be replaced.
MEETING On January 2, 2024 the Girard Borough Council will hold a reorganization meeting at 7:00 pm in the Council Chambers.
AUDIT STATUS Consultant Mike Sultanik is working with our auditor Maillie Accountants to complete the 2022 audit.
RETIREMENT TRUST Joe Scott, the MRT Services Director, Officer Ryan Zuern and the Borough Manager held a meeting on November 16, 2023 to discuss moving all of the borough pensions to MRT. The formal process will take place in the first quarter of 2024.
MISC. The Borough Manager mentioned that the list of officers for Dobler Hose is in the Council Package. Rick Myer is the Fire Chief replacing Jeff Gadley. Steve Laskowski sent an email stating that the Management Plan for Water Works Park is being reviewed and should be available soon. Rhonda Nichols sent a thank you card to Council for the yearly stipend.
Councilmember Mitcho thanked Liz Green who has been snow plowing and landscaping for the Rice Avenue Library for many years. The Public Works Department paints parking lot lines for the Library as needed.
Councilmember Simonelli mentioned that 120 Myrtle Street has a new driveway and five houses on Myrtle Street have driveways on both sides of their houses. No ordinance exists concerning driveways other than that they need to be on the property of the home owner. Councilmember Simonelli mentioned that one of his neighbors was denied a driveway by Council years ago but was not sure when or of the exact circumstances. Councilmember Simonelli mentioned that 120 Myrtle Street has cars parked in the road over night the past three nights and one of the cars is parked against the flow of traffic. Manager Stubenbort said that they may have received a ticket from the police. They were given permission to park on the street overnight while the driveway was being installed.
Councilmember Miller mentioned that the Christmas Tree Contest sponsored by the Rec Board was successful and the winners each received their check. The light up night went well, and the food truck was so busy that they ran out of food. Councilmember Simonelli mentioned that his neighbor Joe Cicero will give the borough his nativity scene for display in the park. On Friday December 15th the Rec Board held a Santa Event at A. F. Dobler Hose. The Rec. Board provided the Girard Borough Police Department with McDonalds gift cards which were handed out in lieu of citations. Girard Borough was granted 2023 CDBG money and the money will be available in May of 2024. Erie County Planning has three vacancies. Erie County has a new grants administrator. The Girard Downtown Partnership applied for a grant for $25,000.00 a year for the next four years to be used for the Girard Art Walk which will be on June 7, 2024. The Summer Solstice event will be June 20, 2024. The Girard Downtown Partnership will apply for a Main Street Grant through the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority.
Councilmember Mitcho mention that the Rice Avenue Library may not receive
$30,000.00 for operational purposes in 2024. The Barracks Restaurant donated its winnings from the Christmas Tree Contest to A. F. Dobler Hose and that amount will be tripled by an anonymous donation. So far $700.00 has been donated for the Christmas donation drive and that money will be tripled.
Motion by Councilmember Orr and seconded by Councilmember Simonelli to adjourn at 8:15 p.m. All in favor.
Robert A. Stubenbort Borough Manager