MAY 15, 2023
CALL TO ORDER
COUNCIL COMMITTEE REPORTS
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 Jim Simonelli Doug Wright
Robert Stubenbort Borough Manager Peter Burton, Mayor
Joseph Yochim, Solicitor Kevin Rafferty, Chief of Police
Dennis McDonald, Public Works Supervisor
Robert “Doc” Orr Mark Corey, Engineer
Shirley Hall Larry Russell Tim Knapp Bev Bible
Ginger Cinti, Lake City Borough Issy Lawrie
Motion by Councilmember Wright to approve the minutes from the April 17, 2023 council meeting. Seconded by Councilmember Noble. All in favor. Motion carried.
Motion by Councilmember Mitcho to approve the bills. Seconded by Councilmember Simonelli. All in favor.
Councilmember Mitcho mentioned that the 3rd Annual Dobler Days will take place on June 10th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Chamber of Commerce will be shredding paper from 11 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. There will be plenty of firehouse activity for the kids. Families can come and have lunch for free but donations will be accepted to support the Dobler Hose Fire Company. This is a wonderful community event and a great fundraiser for the Fire Department. A total of 9,960.00 has been donated during the 1st and 2nd Dobler Days event. The community is very generous. New this year will be a CPR class. Four of Dobler’s Volunteers have become certified to be CPR Instructors.
We had a major house fire a few nights ago in the borough. Dobler’s Ladder truck was very effective in fighting that fire. This ladder truck had just come back from the garage after receiving about $10,000.00 in hydraulic repairs. It is now back in the garage for more hydraulic repairs. The parts for the truck are difficult to find and sometimes do not exist which means a custom part has to be made. It is very unfortunate that the truck is so expensive to maintain.
MAYOR/POLICE Mayor Burton attended a meeting that was held by Erie County Executive Brenton Davis regarding Emergency Response. He would really like to see the fire departments come together and start an authority between Girard, Lake City and Platea. He said there is more money available if there is a Fire Authority rather than individual fire departments. This sounds like a long process. The immediate need though is for West County Paramedics. We voted to lend them $25,000.00 last month and Fairview Township gave them $77,000.00. They have the money now to pay their bills but we need to establish what will help them going forward. Councilmember Mitcho said Girard Township will hold a meeting on May 18that 6:00 p.m. at the Dobler Hose Fire Station to inform the township residents of the possibility of instituting a fire and EMS tax. Councilmember Noble said he has talked with some of the fire fighters concerning the formation of a fire authority. Any time an authority is formed the municipality loses control of it. We need to consider forming a Commission rather than an Authority. Councilmember Mitcho said it will be a county authority but we will be a district in that authority. Mayor Burton thinks we do need to look at a fire tax but need to make sure we do not implement an EMS tax in the situation that we have now. A different type of board or leadership would be needed before we could move forward on an EMS tax. Councilmember Mitcho said the county has hired an experienced consultant to assist with the EMS issue and is ready to move forward.
Chief Rafferty said last week the West County Emergency Management Coordinator, Shawn Wroblewski met with the Police and Fire Departments as well as EMS and the School District. Prior to Covid these departments were doing a lot of active shooter disaster training. Looking at putting together a schedule to start more disaster training in July focused around the school area and possibly a train derailment situation. There will be more meetings held prior to the training in July.
Chief Rafferty said the Drive for Success program through the Autism Society has been postponed until the Fall.
Our new police record management system is up and running and fully implemented now.
The license plate readers are all installed in the police cars. They are not fully functioning but Chief Rafferty is working with Motorola to fix the issue.
Chief Rafferty said we received a grant for the Click It or Ticket program looking for seat belt violations. This Thursday we will an officer present at the press release at the Welcome Center on 1-90 in Ashtabula for a Pennsylvania/Ohio initiative.
The server for the system for the new body cameras is still on back order.
Our new Part time officer is halfway through training and is doing very well.
Chief Rafferty said Officer Ludwig sent out about 25 citations for high grass today.
The new tasers came in for the Police Department. The American Legion agreed to pay the first year installment payment on them.
MANAGERS REPORT Resolution 1-5-2023 would allow for the suspension of Chapter 112 for 2023 events. (Alcoholic Beverages of the Girard Borough Municipal code during Borough Council approved civic events). This time instead of doing each event individually this will cover the civic events for the 2023 season. Motion approved by Councilmember Simonelli to pass Resolution 1-5-2023. Seconded by Councilmember Noble. All in favor. Motion carried.
WALNUT STREET WATER STORAGE TANK
LEAF PICK UP
This project is running behind schedule due to the weather. They were there today and getting started again on the project. Mayor Burton asked if there are any water pressure issues with the Walnut Street tank being down. Mr. Stubenbort said that there are pressure issues but nothing significant. May 18th is the last day for the spring leaf pick up.
The Girard American Legion Post #494 will have a Memorial Day Parade starting at 2:00 pm on Vine Street then left on Rice Avenue, left on Main Street then left on Church Street. The Drum and Bugle core will march in the parade and give a short performance at the cemetery. They will then receive a police escort back to the legion. Chief Rafferty said this has been arranged.
The American Legion is requesting permission to burn a brush pile at the Legion Park on May 20th at 11:00 a.m. Dobler Hose will be present to monitor the fire.
The Garden Club along with the Public Works Department and the Girard High School Honors students did a great job cleaning up Wells Park.
The Fairview Evergreen Nursery will donate bushes to replace the ones behind the Main Stage.
The Elk Valley Garden Club Flower sale will be held on Friday, May 19th from 9am to 5pm and Saturday from 9am to 3pm at the Girard Borough building.
WWTP American Resource Recovery Corporation began work on the RBC’s on April 6,2023. They completed the project and the total cost was $38,351.50. All four RBC’s are fixed and working well. The gear box will be installed on Wednesday May 17th•
The Civil Service Commission will hold a Civil Service test for the position of part time Police Officer on Saturday May 27th• The current Civil Service list is exhausted.
The Animal, Air B&B AND Trailer Ordinances are still pending, and the Committees should meet as soon as possible.
HEROES PROGRAM The Home Town Heroe’s program puts banners of those who serve or have served in the U.S. Military on utility poles in Girard and Lake City. Marybeth Traut has been administrating this project as a volunteer from its inception. She monitors over 170 banners on the local utility poles. A banner is requested, paid for and ordered. When the banner arrives, it is placed on a utility pole by the Girard Public Works Department. New banners accumulate over the winter
and the borough puts the banners up in the spring. Once a banner is found to be faded or torn on the utility pole, the owner is notified and given the opportunity to purchase a new banner. The renewal process takes time so that a new
banner can be purchased and when a number of banners are ready the Girard Borough Public Works Department replaces them on the exact pole that the original banner was placed. This information is tracked so that the loved ones know the exact location of the banner. Councilmember Miller asked if there was a chance to sit down and meet with the committee which consists of Dan Edder, Marybeth Traut and Al Noble. After talking with several different communities such as North East, Bridgeville and Pleasant Gap they shared that they put their banners up for Memorial Day through Veterans Day and then they are taken down so they weather better. Also, this way Marybeth Traut would have more time to order new banners. Mayor Burton said he doesn’t see why this couldn’t be done. Councilmember Noble said with this program the Public Works Department has to know where each flag has to be placed. Each flag is assigned to a specific pole so family members know where to find their loved one. Mayor Burton said in the original minutes when council approved this program the flags were said to have a life span of 2 years and most of them have been up five or six years. Councilmember Miller said when the banners become so weathered and it can’t be read, is not showing respect to that Veteran. The banners also cost around 250.00 initially with a replacement cost of half.
The borough office receives numerous complaints regarding the feral cats in the borough. It appears that there is more than one clowder of feral cats
in the borough. Feral cats are not pets and their urine and stool are a safety and welfare issue. Local shelters are unable to accept feral cats because they are not someone’s pet and cannot be adopted. The Game Commission does not allow trappers to catch and destroy any type of cat. If a cat is caught in a trap it must be released. Ginger Cinti from Lake City Borough Council suggested that Mr.
Stubenbort call Jessica Lybrook from Erie Animal Network she would be able to help. They come out and trap the cats and have them spayed or neutered then try and find barn homes for them. Mayor Burton asked if there was an area in the borough where they are more prevalent. There are actually more than one clowder and they are on Main Street, Haggerty area and also in the woods behind Battles Village. It was suggested by Larry Russell to put a message on the utility bills. We have done this in the past. Councilmember Noble suggested that the bill message be placed on utility bills in a different color to catch people’s attention. President McNally said that all of the cats are not feral. Homeowners let their pet cats out also. Councilmember Simonelli asked if it is illegal to let your pet cat out. Mr. Stubenbort said yes. The first fine is $25.00, second fine
$50.00 and the third is $100.00. Solicitor Yochim asked if this matter has been taken up with any of our representatives. Mr. Stubenbort said not at this time.
Shirley Hall mentioned that Dave Jeffries who lives at 239 Olin Avenue
is often seen running around the borough every morning. As he runs he always picks up garbage along the way. It would be nice if the borough would send him a thank you card. Councilmember Mitcho said he has spoken to him many times over the years and thanked him. He has picked up a lot of garbage over the years.
Larry Russell asked what is going on at the Mission property. The flower pots are gone as well as the paving blocks and bushes. Not sure if Mr. Troyer took care of this. Micky Curran is still mowing the area but just wanted an update if available. The borough has not been informed of anything regarding the Mission property for some time.
Mayor Burton asked if we had any applications for the Code Enforcement Officer job. Mr. Stubenbort said we had an interview and council can discuss this in executive session.
Councilmember Miller asked if we have equipment to video our meetings. We do not have the equipment and it is not required by law.
Mayor Burton mentioned there will be a free community lunch held at the Girard United Methodist Church on Monday, May22nd form 11 am to 1:00 p.m. Councilmember Wright will ask who is sponsoring the lunch.
On May 24th Joe Sinnott, the Director of Erie County Development will be at a meeting held in the Girard Borough Social Hall at 10:00 a.m.
Councilmember Simonelli asked if there was any information on crosswalk lights. President McNally said that the Fairview Township Supervisors are not happy with their lights. Mayor Burton said that he heard they feel that Route 98 speed limit is too fast for the crosswalk lights whereas Main Street in Girard would hopefully work better.
Meeting adjourned at 7:50 p.m. for a five-minute break before going into executive session.
SESSION At 7:55 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.
Councilmember Noble made a motion to authorize the Borough Manger to hire the services of Shawn Bolt as the Girard Borough Code Enforcement Officer.
Second by Councilmember Simonelli. All in favor. Motion carried.
Motion by Councilmember Wright and seconded by Councilmember Noble to adjourn at 8:29 p.m. All in favor.
Robert A. Stubenbort Borough Manager