DECEMBER 21, 2020
CALL TO ORDER
Council in regular session was called to order at 7:00 p.m. during a Zoom Meeting. President McNally presiding.
Dennis McNally, President Alfred Noble, Vice President Peter Burton
Kathy Lyons Jeanne Miller Gregg Mitcho Robert “Doc” Orr
Robert Stubenbort, Borough Manager Robert Kremenik, Mayor
Joseph Yochim, Solicitor Mark Corey, Engineer
Dennis McDonald, Public Works Supervisor
Sandy Rhodes, WCNJ
Motion by Councilmember Burton to approve the minutes from the November 16, 2020 council meeting. Seconded by Councilmember Noble. All in favor. Motion carried.
Motion by Councilmember Lyons to approve the bills. Seconded by Councilmember Mitcho. All in favor. Motion carried.
Councilmember Mitcho mentioned that we will be receiving updates for our insurance renewals from Tom Giblin.
Mayor Kremenik said that the police department passed out around eighty
gift cards for the holiday season. There are still more gift cards to be given out. President McNally said he saw some very nice comments on Facebook.
Mark Corey gave council an update on the progress of the Walnut Street
water tank. The driller was in last week, but Mr. Corey said he had not received the results yet. We are moving forward with preliminary design and we should get the information we need right after the first of the year.
REPORT 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)
Kris Russin (4 years) Mickey Curran (4 years) George Drushel (2 years)
Motion by Councilmember Lyons to approve the board appointments for the Zoning Hearing Board, Planning Commission and the Recreation Board.
Seconded by Councilmember Orr. All in favor. Motion carried.
The proposed budget for 2021 in the amount of $5,538,729.00 has been presented to Council. The 2021 budget does include an increase in the water base rate by $2.00 per month and the sewer base rate by $1.50 per month. The 2021 budget does not require an increase to the present real estate tax of 1.89 mills. Mr. Stubenbort respectfully requests Council to vote in favor of the proposed budget. Motion by Councilmember Mitcho to approve the 2021 budget in the amount of $5,538.729.00. Seconded by Councilmember Noble. All in favor. Motion carried.
2021 TREE LIST
Resolution 1-12-2020 will set the tax millage at 1.89 for 2021. If the real estate tax does not change then a resolution is to be presented to Council at a
regularly scheduled meeting. An ordinance is only needed if the real estate tax is changing. Motion by Councilmember Burton to approve Resolution
1-12-2020. Seconded by Councilmember Mitcho. All in favor. Motion carried.
Resolution 2-12-2020 will raise the sewer base rates by $1.50 each month (43.00) and water base rates by $2.00. (17.00). Motion by Councilmember Mitcho to approve Resolution 2-12-2020. Seconded by Councilmember Lyons. All in favor. Motion carried.
Resolution 3-12-2020 is a resolution to authorize participation in the AMP
R.I.C.E PEAKING PROJECT as a host member. Mr. Stubenbort stated that this has been passed but AMP wanted it to be refreshed since it was so long ago. The agreement has already been signed and Resolution 3-12-2020 will go along with that. Motion by Councilmember Burton to approve Resolution 3-12-2020.
Seconded by Councilmember Orr. All in favor. Motion carried. The following curb lawn trees are scheduled for removal:
Girard Cemetery (along fence line) Girard Borough Pond
633 Pine Tree Dr 810 Pine Tree Dr (2) 140 Nickel Plate Ave 119 Lourdes (2) Aurora Ave
Councilmember Burton mentioned that Larry Vogt on the corner of Mechanic Street and Lawrence Court has been asking to have a curb lawn tree cut down for the last two years. Mr. Stubenbort said that tree has already been taken down. Motion by Councilmember Burton to approve the 2021 tree list for removal. Seconded by Councilmember Mitcho. All in favor. Motion carried.
The County is asking if Girard Borough Council is willing to forgo the tax payment penalty for 2021 as they did in 2020. The tax bills which are printed in February normally begin with a discount period then a face value period after which a penalty is applied. If Council approves then the penalty period will be eliminated for 2021. Mary Bowen said the reason the Tax Collectors need to know now is so that information can be put on the tax bills that go out in February. Motion by Councilmember Noble to eliminate the tax penalty for 2021. Seconded by Councilmember Mitcho. All in favor. Motion carried.
Councilmember Burton asked if we are offering the no penalty if it is not paid so it would be one price for the entire year. Mr. Stubenbort said the discount period still applies. Mr. Stubenbort said that most people in Girard Borough pay during the discount (90%) and a small percentage will pay the face value. It will be nice to offer this to people who are having a hard time paying their bills because of the effects of the pandemic. President McNally pointed out that the county has also approved the “no penalty” for 2021.
CONTRACT In Council’s agenda packet was the agreement for services between Girard Borough and Prism Glass Recycling LLC. During the projects six-month term beginning on or about January 11, 2021, Prism will not charge Girard Borough any set up, collection or handling fees. If we decide to continue our agreement with Prism after the sixth month term, they will continue to provide collection and handling services for an additional six months at no cost to the borough. At the end of the twelve-month period if Girard Borough wants to continue the service with Prism, a separate service agreement in which fees for Prism’s service will be established. Mr. Stubenbort said the hope would be that some of recycling costs could be subsidized through recycling grants. This would mean there would be little or no cost to the borough. We can try it out for a year and if council is not happy with the service at that time, Prism will come and remove the recycling container. We are looking for some different areas around the borough to place the recycling container. Girard Township will have their own recycling container for this pilot project according to Jessica Horan Kunco from the EACOG. By doing this trial with Prism Glass everything collected will not go to the landfill. Councilmember Mitcho mentioned that he will bring up the idea to place the recycling bin at Dobler Hose Fire Station. There is certainly plenty of room. Mr. Stubenbort is hoping that old mattresses and other garbage will not
be placed at the bin. Councilmember Mitcho stated that unfortunately the fire department does not have cameras that can pick up activity that close to Walnut Street. They only have cameras for the building so there could be some opposition because of that. President McNally mentioned that at the EACOG meeting because of Covid 19, Prism Glass is running behind on delivery of the containers. There are sixteen containers that will go out in January. We may not get ours until May or June because there are other municipalities who need and want more than one container. Mr. Stubenbort said if Dobler Days is any indication then those bins could fill up quickly. Councilmember Mitcho said that about 4500 pounds of glass was collected in a matter of three hours. President McNally mentioned Nelson Trushel’s property on the corner of Prospect and Olin might be another good location for the recycling bin. Motion by Councilmember Noble to approve the contract with Prism Glass LLC for a
twelve-month period for glass collection in Girard Borough. Seconded by Councilmember Mitcho. All in favor. Motion carried.
DOWNTOWN INC. Included in councils’ packet was the agreement for contract services between Girard Borough and Urban Vantage LLC. This contract will produce a Master Plan and a National Register Nomination submission. The cost is $33,500.00 which is below budget. The budget was set at $40,000.00 and the group was thinking it would cost in excess of $50,000.00 to get this done. The Girard Downtown Group Inc started with ten requests for proposals to get this done and narrowed it down to five interviews. After those interviews it was narrowed down to two and references were checked for both. The Downtown Group decided to move ahead with Urban Vantage. The phases are listed along with date deadlines in council’s agenda packet. Solicitor Yochim did review the contract and made some revisions. Councilmember Burton mentioned that this is partially paid for by Main Street ECGRA grant money as well. Councilmember Miller mentioned that we will also have money coming from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Mr. Stubenbort said in total we will have
$10,000.00 from ECGRA and $20,000.00 from the Pennsylvania Historical Society and Girard Borough will pay $3,500.00. Motion by Councilmember Burton to approve the Girard Downtown Inc, Master Plan and Historical District Plan. Seconded by Councilmember Lyons. All in favor. Motion carried.
- Phase 1: Part A: Market Analysis Deadline January 30, 2021
- Phase 1: Part B: Branding & Marketing Plan Deadline March 31, 2021
- Phase 1: Part C: Design Guidelines Deadline May 15, 2021
- Phase 1: Editing & Revisions Deadline July 31, 2021
- Phase 2: Kickoff Deadline Feb 1, 2021
- Phase 2: District Survey Deadline July 1, 2021
- Phase 2: Draft National Register
Nomination Submission Deadline Feb 1, 2022
- Phase 2: Final National Register
Nomination Submission Deadline July 1, 2022
- Phase 2: Final Approval Deadline Sept 30, 2022
MISC Councilmember Burton asked Mr. Stubenbort for an update on the
Girard Hotel. Mr. Stubenbort said that the asbestos testing results are still not in. He did ask Christy Mahany from the Erie County Land Bank if once the Downtown is registered as a Historic District and we had any other buildings that needed to be razed would the borough still be able to present them to the ECLB Board and would they be in favor. Christy said she did not know because this has never been presented to them. She also said the board would certainly hesitate to take down a building that was on the National Historic Register.
Councilmember Burton commented to Councilmember Mitcho that he heard the furnace at the Rice Avenue Community Library is not working properly.
He asked if there was money available through the Friends of The Library to take care of that. Councilmember Mitcho said that he believes there is enough
money to take care of the furnace and there will be some anonymous donations as well.
Councilmember Burton asked when Dylan Fedei starts working for the borough. Mr. Stubenbort said January 4th• Councilmember Burton asked if there is any training involved or certifications he needs. Mr. Stubenbort said he already has his CDL and he will start training with the crew and Dennis McDonald. We will also get him set up for the training through AMP as soon as it is available.
Councilmember Burton asked for a Covid update with the Public Works Crew. They are still working in two teams, so they are not together at any time.
Everyone can plow snow because each employee has a truck. They will be wiped down after being used. Mark Suscheck, our WWTP Operator and Josh Olesnanik our Water Operator are fine because they do not normally work with the rest of the crew.
Councilmember Mitcho wanted to verify that Dylan Fedei understands that he will be working on a probationary period for sixty days. Mr. Stubenbort said yes. Councilmember Miller asked if he will be tested for Covid. Mr.
Stubenbort said he will be questioned regarding his health on his first day.
Councilmember Noble mentioned that the person who wants to pursue
getting connected to public sewer in the Nickel Plate area approached him again about the matter. Mr. Stubenbort said we have not moved forward with that recently. Mark Corey said we did some preliminary survey work to just look
at elevation and it will be a challenge. It will be very expensive for a pump station for very few homes. Councilmember Orr commented that we do have a lift station on Randall Avenue. Mr. Stubenbort said yes but we would have to pump it over to the Randall lift station and then to the main. Councilmember
Orr asked if there was much difference in elevation. Mark Corey said there may be a few properties that could get there by gravity but not all of them.
Councilmember Noble asked if there was any chance of having a smaller lift station because it is a small area. Mark Corey said the alternative is most likely
a grinder pump. Councilmember Orr asked if there was any way we could lower our present lift station to accommodate the residents. Mark Corey said it is possible. We could build a new lift station beside our current one on Randall that would continue to function. President McNally said we should look into this. Mr. Stubenbort said the least expensive route to go would be to leave everything as is and not charge the residents for sewer. President McNally asked if the state could mandate the borough at some point to connect those handful of houses to our system. Mr. Stubenbort said yes. Councilmember Burton asked if the septic systems were leaching alright or is there an issue in the area. Mr. Stubenbort said that the ones that were causing problems have been replaced.
Councilmember Miller gave a report regarding the Recreation Boards “Drive Through Santa Claus Event”. There were over 250 children that came through. Through the cooperation of the School District, Girard Public Works and the Police Department there were no problems at all.
Motion to adjourn by Councilmember Orr at 7:43 p.m. Seconded by Councilmember Noble.
Robert A. Stubenbort Borough Manager