CALL TO ORDER
ADMINISTRATION FIRE/POLICE PERSONNEL
Council in regular session was called to order via Zoom Meeting at 7:00 p.m. President McNally presiding.
Dennis McNally, 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
Kevin Rafferty, Chief of Police
Dennis McDonald, Public Works Supervisor Alfred Noble, Vice President
Sandy Rhodes, WCNJ Jim Simonelli
Shirley Hall Bev Bible
Dave Shalenburger Larry Russell
Motion made by Councilmember Orr to approve minutes from the January 18, 2021 council meeting. Seconded by Councilmember Burton. All in favor. Motion carried.
Motion made by Councilmember Lyons to approve the bills. Seconded by Councilmember Mitcho. All in favor. Motion carried.
Councilmember Mitcho mentioned that Lexington Road is a different jurisdiction but our pre panel will determine if it is a call Dobler Hose will respond to. Councilmember Mitcho also reported that the fire department has just spent over $16,000.00 to put a new engine into Truck 544.
Councilmember Mitcho also reported that West County Communication held their quarterly meeting on January 14th and during the meeting officers were elected. Councilmember Jeanne Miller was elected Vice President and because of this Councilmember Mitcho is requesting that he be changed from a primary to an alternate. Councilmember Miller would then be the primary member from the Girard Borough Council for the West County Communication Center Board of Directors. Motion by Councilmember Lyons to make Councilmember Miller primary representative from Girard Borough and Councilmember Mitcho the alternate for the West County Communications Board of Directors. Seconded by Councilmember Burton. All in favor. Motion carried.
STREETS AND SIDEWALKS
Councilmember Burton said that a new list is being worked on for sidewalks. Councilmember Burton and Mr. Stubenbort are revisiting the old list as well. Shirley Hall has mentioned that at Mechanic and Goss there is a situation with the sidewalk. We are reconvening in the spring and hopefully will do some sidewalk improvements this summer.
Chief Rafferty included in councils packet a request to hire another part time officer. Previously he was approved to have five on staff and we currently have four. Chief Rafferty also received word that Erie Police Department is doing background checks on one of our current part time officers. Chief Rafferty wants to be proactive in this situation. Motion by Councilmember Orr to hire one part time police officer. Seconded by Councilmember Lyons. All in favor. Motion carried.
Chief Rafferty said that Part Time Officer Jeff Parker has recently received an award from the State (DUI Association). Officer Parker explained that he received the Top Gun Award. This award is given to officers for removing impaired drivers off the road. There were about fifty officers from the State of Pennsylvania, including State Troopers who received the award. He feels very lucky to be one of the recipients.
Resolution 1-2-2021 will reaffirm our Police Mutual Aid Agreement with Lake City. Motion by Councilmember Mitcho to approve the Mutual Aid Agreement with Lake City. Seconded by Councilmember Burton. All in favor. Motion carried.
Resolution 2-2-2021 will appoint Andrew Pennock as the Girard Borough Emergency Management Coordinator. Motion by Councilmember Lyons to approve Andrew Pennock as the EMC for Girard Borough. Seconded by Councilmember Orr. All in favor. Motion carried.
Recently Mr. Stubenbort, Dennis McDonald, and Josh Olesnanik met with Jeff Gadley from the Dobler Hose Fire Department to discuss open
communication and sharing information about the fire hydrants in the borough so everyone is on the same page. The borough will continue to look for issues and replace units every year as well as turn hydrants twice a year and make repairs as needed. Dobler Hose has agreed to send firefighters out over the next few weeks to look for hydrants that don’t weep so we can work from that list.
Weeping means to shed water from the bottom of the hydrant to prevent freezing. This will be part of our ongoing hydrant program and the help from the fire department is very much appreciated. Also, a bagged fire hydrant means that Dobler Hose is aware that the hydrant needs repair and the firefighters are prepared to fight a fire using another hydrant. Mr. Stubenbort said currently there are four hydrants that are bagged in Girard Borough and the fire department is aware of all four hydrants. As soon as the weather breaks we
will get the hydrants replaced quickly. We still need to go back and look at some of the older hydrants that will eventually fail and continue to replace them. We still have some fire hydrants that go back to the early 1900’s. Councilmember Burton asked if the borough is liable for the hydrants that do not function properly such as the one on Templeton Avenue. Mr. Stubenbort said the borough has sovereign immunity. The hydrant near the house fire on Templeton was frozen but we were able to open it up. The house will need to be torn
down soon and the owner is aware of that. Councilmember Burton asked how much time do we give the owner to have the house taken down. Once we have a better understanding what is going on with the homeowners insurance council will need to make some decisions because it is a public nuisance even though it is roped off. We are going to continue to work with Dobler Hose and they with us in a positive manner and with open communication to get all of the hydrants working properly.
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The cost for the Directors and Officers Liability Insurance is $725.00 for Downtown Girard Inc. If other arrangements can’t be made for payment would Girard Borough Council consider covering this expense. Mr. Stubenbort said
it is necessary to have the insurance as stated in the bylaws of the 501C3. Motion by Councilmember Mitcho to approve paying the $725.00 for the insurance premium for Girard Downtown Inc. Seconded by Councilmember Burton. All in favor. Motion carried. Councilmember Miller said she just received an email from Travis Gordon from Urban Vantage and he said 300 surveys have already been turned in as of today regarding the Downtown area.
The 2021 cycle of the Fac;:ade Improvement Grant Program is now open. This will be the last year for the current grant cycle. Since 2018, the borough has awarded more than $109,000.00 in fac;:ade grants supporting more than
$240,000.00 in completed and scheduled improvements. All businesses within the designated downtown boundary are eligible for these grant funds. The fac;:ade grants will be made on a 50/50 matching basis. Girard Borough will provide up to 50% of the project cost as a grant, with the remaining 50% of the cost being the business owners responsibility. The deadline for applicants to apply is April 23, 2021. The applications are available at the borough office as well as the website.
The Girard Lake City Chamber of Commerce along with the Downtown Girard Inc. are requesting permission from council to have a Renaissance Party on June 24, 2021. This event will bring the Community out for some COVID friendly live entertainment, and food truck vendors while shopping the Main Street stores. Councilmember Miller said she spoke with Dennis McDonald today regarding electricity needed for the event. If anything else comes up regarding the event it is important to let Dennis McDonald and Chief Rafferty know about it. The food trucks will be parked on either side of the monument and Jim Tometsko’s band will play under the pavilion. Councilmember Burton also said that there will be hayrides given around town. There will be two tractor hayrides and one horse drawn hayride. The thought is to load people under the mural on Myrtle Street and go over to Walnut and back through town. The other thought was to go down Mechanic over to the cemetery and back through town. Councilmember Burton asked Chief Rafferty about closing one lane on Route 20. The Chief will look into this but being a state road we will need to get PennDot approval to shut a lane down. Chief Rafferty will see if he can come up with an idea for another route for the hayrides.
The PSAB will be offering a virtual conference on June 7th and 8th 2021. They are hoping that the fall conference will be live.
Last year on February 12, 2020 a meeting was held with Jeremy Peterson and Chris Gerhart from The Erie MetropolitanTransit Authority. The EMTA agreed
to increase service to the West County if the municipalities were willing to help. They are asking for $3,150.00 but the boroughs commitment was only
$3,000.00 a year for three years. Councilmember Burton mentioned that to the best of his knowledge they have not started the bus route. Council member Miller said she does not believe they have done anything.
Girard Township, Lake City Borough and Girard Borough have all paid EMTA but there has not been any increased bus service to the West County.
Councilmember Burton asked Mr. Stubenbort to send a note stating we would be happy to pay the invoice if bus service starts out here in the West County.
LAKE CITY WATER PROJECT
Mr. Stubenbort said that Lake City is required to have a permit with the DEP. Once the permit has been obtained we can move forward with the water project and sell Lake City water for the Laughlin Subdivision. They need the permit because we will be selling Lake City water and it is crossing our corporate lines.
The Garden Club would like to plant a tree in Wells Park this year. No decision has been made as to where the tree will be planted and what variety.
The Public Works crew will be trimming trees in the park in April and May.
Mr. Stubenbort said that he told the Garden Club where the tree is planted and the variety is important. We already have Dan Rice Days mapped out in the park and we do not want to interfere with that. Councilmember Miller will email the Garden Club.
Mr. Stubenbort said that the Erie Area Coalition of Government (EAGOG) is going to provide Girard Borough at least ten trees (at no cost to the borough) to
plant in the curb lawns for 2021. Mr. Stubenbort told Jessica Kunco that if they had any extra we would take four to six more trees. We do have designated places for the ten trees that will be provided but we can probably get a few more planted if they come our way. The EACOG picks the variety and plants the trees.
Robert Bossick, our long-time compost attendant has submitted his resignation.
Christopher Davis from 203 Sunset Drive is requesting to be considered
to fill the open position on the Girard Planning Commission as an alternate. We just picked up Larry Russell but if we could get Mr. Davis as an alternate that would be great. Sometimes it is difficult to get a quorum. Motion by Councilmember Lyons to approve Christopher Davis as an alternate for the Girard Borough Planning Commission. Seconded by Councilmember Orr.
All in favor. Motion carried.
Councilmember Miller wanted to remind Mr. Stubenbort that the grant from Erie County Gaming Revenue for the park (basket ball & pickle ball courts) opens March 1, 2021 and the deadline is May 1, 2021.
Councilmember Burton asked if we have ever heard back from Tim Ackerman on a plan with the trees in the Waterworks Park. Council will receive an update at next months meeting.
Meeting adjourned at 7:43 p.m. for a five-minute break before going into executive session.
At 7:49 p.m., President McNally asked for an executive session to discuss personnel and legal matters.
The regular meeting was called back into session at 8:25 p.m. No other issues were discussed.
Councilmember Lyons mentioned that Councilmembers Lyons, Miller, Mitcho, and Burton as well as the Mayor are all up for reelection this year.
Motion by Councilmember Orr and seconded by Councilmember Burton to adjourn at 8:31 p.m. All in favor.
Robert A. Stubenbort Borough Manager
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