March 21, 2022
CALL TO ORDER
POLICE PART TIME
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 Jeanne Miller
Gregg Mitcho Robert “Doc” Orr Jim Simonelli Doug Wright
Robert Stubenbort, Borough Manager Peter Burton, Mayor
Joseph Yochim, Solicitor Mark Corey, Engineer
Kevin Rafferty, Chief of Police
Dennis McDonald, Public Works Supervisor Officer Ryan Zuern
Larry Russell Shirley Hall Abi Pooler
David Lindenmuth Carolyn Lindenmuth Bev Bible
Ginger Cinti Chris Byers Dave Marino George Drushel
Motion made by Councilmember Mitcho to approve the minutes from the February 21, 2022, council meeting. Seconded by Councilmember Noble. All in favor. Motion carried.
Motion made by Councilmember Orr to approve the bills. Seconded by Councilmember Wright. All in favor. Motion carried.
President McNally called for the swearing in of the newest part time police officer. Mayor Burton swore in Tanner Hughes as Girard Borough’s newest part time police officer.
COMMENTS Borough resident George Drushel introduced Dave Marino to council. Dave Marino is the owner of Dahlkemper Landscape Architects & Contractors. Mr. Marino presented a draft of the Girard Hotel Park property. He explained the design process that is needed to render a result. After a site analysis of the park, he said with the minimal amount of space available, less is more. He recommends a low maintenance landscape with a diversity of trees, such as shade trees around the perimeter and flowering trees, a walking path, benches, lighting and a focal point. A suggested focal point would be a sign to welcome visitors to Girard that reflects the architecture of the downtown buildings. A second design option would be to include parking spaces. Mr. Marino said a conservative cost estimate for the project would be $160,000.00 to
$175,000.00. George Drushel also spoke to council regarding a cleanup of the hillside on the south side of Route 20 East as you enter into the borough.
Funding for the proposed foliage and vegetation would come from the proceeds of the Dan Rice SK Run. Mr. Drushel asked if Public Works would assist in the cleanup and Council did not agree or disagree.
Abi Pooler spoke to council with an idea for an art walk here in the Borough, in hopes of showcasing local artists and bringing people into the shops and businesses downtown. A tentative date would be June 10, 2022, from 6-10 p.m. Council agreed it is a good idea and to move forward.
Larry Russell spoke to council about a new fundraiser for the Rice Avenue Public Library to be held on April 23rd, 2022, at the Girard United Methodist Church. New and used golf equipment is being gathered to sell.
Scott Rastetter Republican Candidate for County Council, 6th District, introduced himself to Council.
ADMIN, FIRE POLICE
Councilmember Mitcho reported that Dobler Hose Fire ChiefTim Vargulich has stepped down. An election for a new Fire Chief will take place April 7, 2022. The ambulance is out of service, which puts Dobler Hose into a crisis. A meeting with all local fire companies and West County Paramedics will be held to discuss options. Dobler Days will be held June 11, 2022, as a fundraiser for new air packs.
Councilmember Orr reported that Andrew Pennock, EMC, visited with the Girard School District to update their multi-hazard plan; the EOP rewrite is almost complete, the State sent a Climate Strategy Plan to help prepare for better mitigation.
MAYOR/ POLICE DEPT.
NOTICE OF ACQUISITION
TROYER DEED OF EASEMENT
Mayor Burton reported that Tim Horton’s officially opens March 25, 2022, with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The Downtown Committee has been working on finishing up the Main Street Grant. A couple of complaints were received about 222 Templeton Avenue. A new business opened up on Main Street West called the Hippie Space. Chief Rafferty said Officer Cook has finished training and Officer Hughes will begin. The light bar and control unit for the new police car will be in by April 2, 2022.
Mark Corey explained that the permit information is turned into the DEP for the Walnut Street Storage Tank. We anticipate going out for bid before summer.
A draft Notice of Acquisition from PennDOT concerning the corner property annexation at Rice Avenue and Main Street; this draft is for council to look over. Motion made by Councilmember Simonelli to accept the draft notice from PennDOT for the property annexation of Rice Avenue and Main Street.
Seconded by Councilmember Noble. All in favor. Motion carried.
Cypress Creek Renewables is working to finalize the easement amendment concerning the solar array. They would like to amend the easement which would cancel the blanket right of the borough to drill new wells anywhere on the property; explicitly prohibiting drilling within the solar array area. Attached for review is the draft Amendment to the Deed of Easement and a map of the solar array. Once the description is finalized Council can review the document.
The cost to run the water line from the sidewalk on Main Street to the Civil War Monument is $9100.00 from Amendola Construction. Council has decided to not pursue the project.
The Erie County Association of Boroughs meeting will take place Tuesday April 19, 2022, at the Girard American Legion.
The Girard Borough Compost area will open April 2, 2022 and will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday.
The Girard Borough Community Pool is scheduled to open on Sunday June 12, 2022, and close on Sunday August 21, 2022. The Drool at the Pool will take place on August 22, 2022.
The spring water system flushing will take place April 18 to May 6th this year. Any discolored water will clear up after several hours.
John Snyder and Dylan Fedei will attend line worker training this year at American Municipal Power in Columbus Ohio. John is in his third year and Dylan is in his second year.
Attached is a copy of the borough roads that will be seal coated this year. The bid opening is projected for late March.
Suit-Kote is offering crack sealing with hot tar that can be traffic ready in minutes. An example, 708 gallons would cover Church, Hathaway and Prospect Streets. The cost would be $11,700.00 at $16.65 per gallon. This item is something that can be evaluated and budgeted for the future. Motion made by Councilmember Noble to have Suit Kote crack seal selected borough streets.
Seconded by Councilmember Mitcho. Voting in favor are Councilmembers Noble, Mitcho, Miller, Wright and Simonelli. Councilmember Orr opposed. Motion carried.
As of March 9, 2022, the water line to the Laughlin Subdivision is disconnected and will no longer be available for use.
The Borough Manager and Solicitor attended a meeting at the Bureau of Assessment to discuss the tax status of the Girard Hotel Property. The meeting is a formality to establish the tax-exempt status of the property as a public park.
The leaf pickup schedule for 2022 is April 215\ May 19th, October 13th and 27th, November 10th and 25th•
Attached is a quote for a traffic calming sign. The cost is $2990.00. The unit is battery operated and portable. Chief Rafferty spoke with the Edinboro Police Chief, and he said the traffic signs have made a positive difference in Edinboro. Councilmember Noble mentioned also to consider flashing pedestrian crossing signs. Motion made by Councilmember Simonelli to purchase the traffic calming sign. Seconded by Councilmember Mitcho. All in favor. Motion carried.
The National Register of Historic Places draft was presented to the public on Wednesday March 2, 2022, at 6:00 p.m. in the social hall. Many questions were asked and answered. Names for the future park at the hotel property were also discussed. Some examples included Paulson Park, Canal Park, Girard Canal Park, Girard Hotel Park, Girard Park or Girard Plaza.
This year the borough will work with Industrial Appraisal to update the entire inventory for insurance purposes. A price estimate will be received before the next council meeting.
CLEAN UP DAY
Tamera Kemmler with PLGIT held a virtual meeting on March 16, 2022. Councilmember Mitcho and Mark Schultz from A.F. Dobler Hose attended the meeting to learn more about what PLGIT offers. Councilmember Mitcho recommends the borough consider looking into the different services offered.
Girard Clean up Day will be Saturday April 23rd• Volunteers will meet at the borough office at 9:00 a.m. and walk the streets to pick up litter.
COMMITTEES Attached is the new Council Committee list provided by President McNally.
CHICKEN Mayor Burton provided council with information concerning a change to the zoning ordinance to allow chickens in residential areas. President McNally thanked Mayor Burton for the information and said further discussion is needed. Councilmember Miller suggested tabling a decision and forming a committee to make sure all avenues are considered, including getting information from the PA Dept. of Agriculture concerning poultry viruses, etc.
TREE REMOVAL Mr. Stubenbort said Public Works Supervisor Dennis McDonald has been getting bids together to take down trees along Old Ridge Rd. Asplundh Tree Service has provided a quote and they will not have to interrupt power supply to customers. Motion made by Councilmember Simonelli have Asplundh Tree Service cut trees down along Old Ridge Rd. Seconded by Councilmember Noble. All in favor.
WATER WORKS PARK Mr. Stubenbort has talked with the PA State Forrester, and he would like to begin walking the woods in Girard Borough Park on April 6, 2022.
MISC Councilmember Simonelli commented about the no parking sign in front of the Full Circle Winery. He suggested moving the sign, so it leaves 15 feet to the corner, which is the state regulation. This would allow an additional parking space in front of the business. Chief Rafferty said it would be looked at to determine if traffic entering onto and from Mechanic Street would be impacted.
Councilmember Mitcho commented on the EMTA bill that was received. He is unsure why Lake City Borough pays a lesser amount than Girard Borough and would like to see some data from EMTA to show how often their services are used. Councilmember Mitcho also pointed out a visitor from Lake City who wanted to mention a few words about the meeting with the PA Attorney General concerning the police shortage. Lake City Borough Council is asking Girard Borough Council to help take a proactive approach to the critical officer shortage by a regionalization of the two departments. Councilmember Mitcho asked Lake City Borough Council to come up with a proposal that Girard Borough Council can discuss.
Councilmember Noble thinks a sign marking the old trough would be beneficial since so many residents have no idea what it is.
Councilmember Orr asked if the new AMP Generator system is working. Mr. Stubenbort said First Energy is still evaluating, but it is functional.
Councilmember Orr let Mayor Burton know the dimensions of the monument to be placed at the hotel property.
Councilmember Noble suggested members of council go down to the new Public Works garage to see how nicely it has turned out.
Councilmember Miller asked about the cost of an electric car charging station to be installed in the borough. Councilmember Simonelli said there are many charging stations available, not just a universal one. After multiple comments, council agreed there needs to be more discussion on this topic before a decision is made.
Meeting adjourned at 9:27 pm for a five-minute break before going into executive session.
At 9:36 p.m., President McNally asked for an executive session to discuss personnel and legal matters.
The regular meeting was called back into session at 10:11 p.m. No other issues were discussed.
ADJOURN Motion by Councilmember Orr and seconded by Councilmember Simonelli to adjourn at 10:12 p.m. All in favor.
Robert A. Stubenbort Borough Manager