February 2020 Approved Council Minutes.1

FEBRUARY 17, 2020







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 Peter Burton

Kathy Lyons Jeanne Miller Gregg Mitcho Robert “Doc” Orr

Robert Stubenbort, Borough Manager Joseph Yochim, Solicitor

Mark Corey, Engineer

Kevin Rafferty, Chief of Police

Dennis McDonald, Public Works Supervisor Mayor Robert Kremenik

Steven Matson Megan Kovacs Debbie Matson Earl Matson Shirley Hall Bev Bible Ginger Cinti Issy Lawrie

Sandy Rhodes, WCNJ Mike Adams, Dobler Hose


Motion made by Councilmember Mitcho to approve the minutes from the January 20, 2020 council meeting. Seconded by Councilmember Orr. All in favor. Motion carried.

Motion by Councilmember Burton to approve the bills. Seconded by Councilmember Noble. All in favor. Motion carried.

President McNally read the oath to swear in Girard Boroughs new part time Police Officer Steven Matson.

Issy Lawrie spoke to council regarding the National Garden Club Federation.

They would like for  every garden club member in the country to  plant a tree

in 2020 which would total 160,000. In light of this program the Elk Valley Garden Club has scheduled Scott Sjolander, the Associate Educator in Renewable


Natural Resources through Penn State Behrend to come in and speak about some techniques when planting trees on April 16, 2020. Ms. Lawrie said the Elk Valley Garden Club has eighteen members. Some of the members will

choose to plant their tree on their own property rather than borough property. Other suggestions for tree planting was Wells Park, the Girard American Legion and the corner of Prospect Street and Olin Avenue. Mr. Stubenbort said the Public Works Department piles snow at the corner of Prospect and Olin so that will not work. He did suggest two other options. Planting a tree in North Wells Park on the west side of the borough building and also along the Canadian National Railroad property along Commercial Street. Councilmember Burton mentioned Dan Rice Days and asked if there was an area available in Wells Park for an additional tree. Councilmember Lyons reminded Ms. Lawrie that each garden club member must call 811 before they dig. Councilmember Miller asked if the borough would be able to trim the tree that was planted on borough property. Ms. Lawrie said yes and the tree would belong to Girard Borough.





Councilmember Mitcho mentioned that Dobler Hose held its annual awards banquet on February 8, 2020. Councilmember Miller was honored for her

five years of service as well as Councilmember Orr for his sixty years of service. It was also reported that Dobler Hose answered 900 calls in 2019.

Councilmember Mitcho said that the police car that was given to Dobler Hose has been thoroughly cleaned. Two antennas have been removed and the holes have been filled. The red and blue lights have been removed and they are waiting for a new blue light for the front of the car. The car has been used

by members to attend training for EMT classes at the tech school and to pick up supplies. The car will be used to travel to Pittsburgh in March and will be used as a primary response vehicle to assist the ambulance. Councilmember Mitcho said the car is very much appreciated and thanked council.

Councilmember Burton thanked Dennis McDonald and the Public Works Crew for their hard work on remodeling the council chambers which looks great. Council really appreciates their efforts.

Councilmember Orr mentioned that he still sees cars parked across sidewalks. He would like to see the police department enforce the ordinance which does not allow for vehicles to park in the curb lawn area or sidewalks.

Councilmember Burton mentioned that he received a call from Larry and Mary Jane Vogt who live at 1006 Lawrence Court regarding their curb lawn tree. The tree is not in good shape and they are asking council to consider


taking the tree down. Councilmember  Burton said he did look at the tree and it does seem to be somewhat of a risk.




Councilmember Orr said the Emergency Management Agency is talking about the issue of where we would need an assessment if there was ever a natural disaster. Each municipality is responsible for a damage assessment report which would be turned in and compiled. Also, all municipalities are responsible to  turn in their Emergency Responder Plan to Chuck Kanarr.

Chief Kevin Rafferty presented council with two Letters of Commendation for Patrolman Brian Hughson and Patrolman Nicholas Spurgeon for actions that are in keeping with the highest traditions of the Girard Borough Police Department and the Borough of Girard.

Chief Rafferty and Patrolman Zuern assisted the Girard School District in a Safety Plan Exercise. The officers shot blank ammunition off in the Rice

Avenue Middle School to help teachers understand what sounds to listen for in case of an active shooter incident. Chief Rafferty said the school district is very proactive and the Safety Exercise went very well.

Patrolman Zuern told council he is seeking a Walmart Grant up to $5,000.00. He would like to use the grant money to update the interview system and possibly the surveillance system with commercial  grade  equipment.  With this grant there are no matching funds or reporting but a letter is needed that states the Girard Borough Police Department is a certified agency. Mr. Stubenbort will provide a letter to the department.

Chief Rafferty put an additional statistics report in councils agenda packet that list the actual arrest that might have stemmed from a less significant charge.

Councilmember Burton said that he visited with Mayor Kremenik and he is doing well and in good spirits.

Mark Corey updated council on the sewer situation involving Rice

Avenue, Nickel Plate Avenue and Randall Avenue. There are approximately ten houses not on public sewer because it is a challenge. The DEP would require a sewage planning effort that would likely take some time. It is a

real challenge without the installation of a new lift system. There is an existing lift station on Randall Avenue but we can’t get to it by gravity to serve all of the residents in need. We have enough preliminary information and we will keep moving the project forward.

Councilmember Miller asked if we have five fire hydrants on Sunset Drive. Mr. Stubenbort said there is one hydrant in the garage so we have a total of four.











Resolution 1-2-2020 will formally assign a  delegate  and three alternates from Girard Borough to the Erie Area Council of Governments. Presently President McNally is the delegate and Councilmember Miller is the alternate. Two more alternates are needed with this new resolution. Councilmember Burton made a motion to have all Councilmembers and the  Borough Manager become alternates. Seconded by Councilmember  Noble. All in favor. Motion carried.

Resolution 2-2-2020 will reaffirm our Police Mutual Aid Agreement with Lake City. Motion by Councilmember Orr to approve Resolution 2-2-2020. Seconded by Councilmember Lyons. All in favor. Motion carried.

Resolution 3-2-2020 will appoint Chuck Kanarr as the Girard Borough Emergency Management Coordinator. Motion by Councilmember Noble to approve Resolution 3-2-2020. Seconded by Councilmember Mitcho. All in favor. Motion carried.

Council is asked to accept the Liquid Fuels money totaling $121,607.78 which is be used for various road surfacing projects in 2020. The break down for the total is as follows:

Liquid Fuels Act 655 $109,688.78
Turnback Act 32 $    2,880.00
County Liquid Fuels $    9,039.00

Motion by Councilmember Noble to approve Resolution 4-2-2020 in the amount of $121,607.78. Seconded by Councilmember Orr. All in favor. Motion carried.

Councilmember Orr asked if any roads will be black topped in 2020.

He wanted to make sure Dennis McDonald would have enough time to order risers if needed. Mr. Stubenbort presented council with a three year road resurfacing schedule. We have about 15 miles of road in the borough so each year we can cover just about five miles of road. Any road with and X next to it needs the most attention and would need to have the scratch and seal coat. There are some roads that have not had anything done to them and are starting to fall apart. For the next three years we will tar and chip some of these roads while others might need to have the scratch and seal. For 2020 Mr. Stubenbort recommends working on the west side of town. Councilmember Miller


mentioned that the east end of Riley Drive is ponding ever since it was most recently resurfaced. This area will be looked at.

Mr. Stubenbort asked to get preliminary approval from council if we have to go over the budget and use some of the money from

General Fund to proceed  with the road resurfacing. Mr.  Stubenbort  is estimating between $10,000 to $15,000 dollars. Council agrees. This would help to get all of the roads in need of repair finished on the west side of the borough for 2020.





Ordinance 745 will repeal Section 5.6 (G) of Ordinance 681 and all other ordinances related to the Killed in Service Benefit under the Plan. PA Act 51 now provides this benefit. The Uniform Contract was changed  accordingly at the time PA Act 51 was adopted by the State. Motion by Councilmember Lyons to adopt Ordinance 745. Seconded by Councilmember Noble. All in favor. Motion carried.

The EACOG meeting will be held in the Girard Borough Council Chambers on September 2, 2020.

A water leak was discovered on February 5th on the east side of the  borough building on Mechanic Street. The Public Works Crew  repaired  the  leak promptly but the condition of the 2″ water line to  the  borough  building  is an  issue. The water line should be replaced.  Councilmember  Orr  asked  if  it  was  possible  to run a ¾ inch line inside of the 2″ pipe. Dennis McDonald said he had thought of

that as well but then questioned  whether  the  borough building would ever need a higher volume of water in the future for possible sprinklers.

On February 3, 2020 WJ (Willey) Sandell, VP of Generation Operations &

Development for AMP met with a Committee of Council to discuss the

AMP Project for peaking generators. It was determined  that the generators could be placed behind the old electric  generation  building on  Mechanic Street. AMP recommended the installation of one Power Block that consist of five engines as well as other electrical equipment. This would be enough to get us through all of the peak shaving and a power outage. If we should happen to have a blackout all we would have to pay for is the diesel fuel. The power block would be controlled by AMP in Ohio. If we had a power outage we would need

to call AMP and they would turn the generators on for us. For peak shaving AMP will turn the generators on and off automatically. All of the power stays in the borough and does not go out to the grid during peak shaving so we do not  have to worry about energizing any of First Energy’s lines. Councilmember Orr asked Mr. Stubenbort if he can have this verified. Each unit will produce 78 to 85 decibels. Sound deadening walls will need to be erected on the north and south side of the units.








The Downtown Girard Group is applying for a grant through the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority called the Renaissance Block Program. The project area for this grant is from Walnut Street to McQuillens. Councilmember

Noble asked if the last two addresses on Main Street West could be added. Councilmember Burton said yes. The grant is for $100,000.00 and is a matching grant so homeowners in the project area can participate with a 50% match from the grant up to $5,000.00. A meeting will be held on March 4, 2020 in the borough building. Mr. Stubenbort thanked Councilmember Miller and

Councilmember Burton for all of their hard work.

On February 12, 2020 a meeting was held with Jeremy Peterson and Chris Gerhart from the Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority. The EMTA is offering to increase service to the West County if the municipalities can financially help. Every dollar they receive brings in $10.00 in state money. EMTA will come to Dan Rice Days to explain their service. Motion by Councilmember

Burton to commit to giving EMTA $3,000.00. Seconded by Councilmember Mitcho. All in favor. Motion carried. Mr. Stubenbort will send out  the  letter of commitment.

Mr. Stubenbort asked council if they are interested in replacing the

old desk top now that the council chamber has been remodeled. President McNally said council can make a decision when the room is completed.

Councilmember Burton explained that items from the Hazel Kibler Museum had been placed in two storage units at the cost of $75.00 per month, per unit when the museum was sold a few years ago. Some of the furniture and art work have been moved to the gate house in the Girard Cemetery. A Marx Toy display

will be set up in the social hall as well as a Dan Rice display. All other items were given to the Erie County Historical Society to be catalogued and will then be placed in the Yellow House. The Historical Society signed paperwork which does not permit them to  ever sell any of  the items. Councilmember  Burton also took a painting of the Wolverine Boat to the Maritime Museum, but they were not interested. It will be placed somewhere in the borough building. Kevin Wheeler Auction House did  take some items and the money made from these will go back into the Hazel Kibler general fund. Councilmember  Miller would like to  have the fountain at the White House operational again. The ornamental topper for the fountain is at the Historical Society.

Verizon was notified that their fiber optic cable at the Lake Street Bridge is hanging very low and close to the bridge. Verizon said they will look at the line and correct the issue.

On February 7, 2020 Lake City Borough contacted the Girard Borough Office


with questions concerning the Laughlin Subdivision Water Project. Lake

City would like for the Girard Borough to hold off on starting the project. They will contact Mr. Stubenbort with a start date.

MISC                            Councilmember Burton asked if we hired a Foreman. Mr. Stubenbort said Mark Nelson is the new Foreman.

Councilmember Mitcho mentioned there will be a Swiss Steak Dinner on March 25th at the Girard Methodist Church. At present the Friends of the Library have raised $31,000.00 to help the Rice Avenue Community Library. Councilmember Noble asked Councilmember Mitcho to send a letter to the Girard American Legion regarding donations.

Councilmember Noble mentioned that after attending the PEMA Meeting we should be thinking about charging stations for electric cars for the future.

Councilmember Miller said that Conneaut Savings Bank will be hosting a shred day on May 23, 2020. All donations will go toward the Lucas Device that the Dobler Hose Fire Department would like to purchase.

Councilmember Miller attended the Erie County Planning Meeting as a representative for the Erie County Association of Boroughs. They were given new by laws by the County Solicitor but the subject was then tabled.

Councilmember Miller mentioned that on February 27th there will be an open meeting at the Conservation Center that the public can attend to hear about the new Parks and Recreation program.

Councilmember Miller asked if Mary Bowen has ever been reimbursed for collecting the Per Capita tax. Mr. Stubenbort said that Mrs. Bowen is

paid a flat rate while Dean Roney who is the Girard Township Tax Collector receives a percentage.

Mary Bowen provided council with a list of records as follows from 2012 that need to be disposed of in accordance to the Pa Municipal Records Disposition Schedule:





Also in need of disposal are the paid tax receipts for the year 2016.


Meeting adjourned at 8:35 p.m. for a five minute break before going into executive session.



At 8:42 p.m., President McNally asked for an executive session to discuss personnel and legal matters.

The regular meeting was called back into session at 8:52 p.m.



Councilmember Mitcho discussed the dangerous situation that forms when cars and trucks get stuck at the bottom of Tannery Road hill during a snow event.

Council talked about how the trucks use Tannery Road as a shortcut to  I 79 when I 90 is shut down. The problem would only be solved by shutting down the road when the weather is bad. Tannery road is in Girard Township.

Motion by Councilmember Burton and seconded by Councilmember Orr to adjourn at 9:07 p.m. All in favor.