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February 21, 2008 City Council Minutes

This regular meeting of the Connellsville City Council was held this evening at 7:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers, Municipal Building, and 110 North Arch Street, Connellsville, PA. Attending this meeting were Mayor Reed, Council Members Matthews, McIntire, Geyer, and Bodes. Also attending this meeting was Solicitor Tom Bowlen and City Treasurer Judy Keller.

A moment of silence was observed following the Pledge of Allegiance.

Public Comment:

Michael Edwards of 507 South Pittsburgh Street, Connellsville, from the Cultural Trust. Mr. Edwards invited council and the public to a meeting to be held on March 18, 2008 beginning at 5 pm until 6 pm at the Connellsville Community Center on Fairview Avenue in the auditorium. He noted this will be the first public meeting concerning the Main Street Program. He requested that not only business owners attend, but the public including children. He gave a brief on the Cultural Trust and Main Street Program.

Melissa Tzan, 1116 Race Street. She thanked Mayor Reed for speaking to the Connellsville Area School District Board Members at their meeting. Tzan noted that City Council along with the Connellsville Planning Commission must approve the Vo-Tech project. She informed council and the public of the dangers of this project and passed information out about it. Tzan noted that there needs to be serious studies done before council approves the project.

McIntire asked if council has the final say. Tzan answered council approves the “Land Plan” that the Planning Commission and City Engineer does.

Yvonne Rush of East Cedar Avenue concerning the cat problem in her area. She requested leash laws for cats and cat licenses along with fines for repeat offenders. Bodes agreed and noted it would help to keep track of the pets in the City. McIntire said he will give Rush a few dates he is available during the week so he, Rush and Rita Bornstein (Health Officer) can meet to solve this problem.

Rush then added comments about the Vo-Tech. She stated that Wal-Mart was built on pyrite and is now being torn down due to the damage. Rush added that the citizens of Connellsville cannot afford to have their tax dollars used for the Vo-Tech project just to watch it be torn down and taxed raised again to pay for the mistake. She added we can prevent the mistake by stopping it from starting.

Elisha Ronzio, Sycamore Street, noted she is not for the Vo-Tech project. She added that the elementary schools are being shut down to allow for more money for the Vo-Tech and it’s hurting the young children. Ronzio stated how the children do in school now will definitely affect the way they do academically in high school later.

Ronzio then thanked council for placing her on the Recreation Department Board and added she feels there are good people on this board and is looking forward to what can be done.

Correspondence:

Connellsville Garden Club requesting permission to hold Fourth Annual Geranium Festival on Saturday, May 24, 2008, in downtown Connellsville.

Regular Agenda:

Reed introduced and moved adoption of Resolution No. 2-1 -08, which was seconded by Bodes: “To accept the minutes from the January 15, 2008 City Council Meeting.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Bodes, McIntire, Geyer, and Reed. Matthew’s abstained due to being absent. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

DEPARTMENT REPORTS:

Mayor Reed discussed the following issues:

Police Officer’s monthly report Reed suggested that everyone check out filing income tax returns in order to obtain a refund. The Mayor appoints Robert Flockovich to the Redevelopment Authority term to expire the first Monday of 2013 Reed introduced and moved adoption of Resolution No. 2-2-08, which was seconded by McIntire: “To reappoint the following members to the Planning Commission: Dan Cooks, term to expire first Monday of January, 2012 Nicka Dunn, term to expire the first Monday of January, 2012” A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Bodes, McIntire, Geyer, Matthews, and Reed. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Reed introduced and moved adoption of Resolution No. 2-3-08, which was seconded by McIntire: “To appoint the following individual to the Housing Authority: Robin Gales, term to expire first Monday of January, 2013”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Bodes, McIntire, Geyer, Matthews and Reed. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Reed introduced and moved adoption of Resolution No 2-4-08, which was seconded by McIntire: “To appoint the following individuals to the Zoning Hearing Board:

Shawn Michael Pilla, term to expire the first Monday of 2013 Tom Karpiak, term to expire the first Monday of 2011 Vicky Cartwright, term to expire the first Monday of 2010 Charles B. Noel, term to expire the first Monday of 2012”

Geyer asked when the meetings were. Reed replied everyone was notified. Geyer and Matthews both stated they were not notified. Reed stated they were to be notified. Matthews noted not only did he not know about the appointment meetings, his agenda was different this evening from the one he was emailed before the meeting. Reed noted the names were not on the Agenda ahead of time because of a change that was taking place that morning.

Geyer said that he was not notified of the interviews dates of the persons wanting on boards and committees.

Matthews announced he did not receive letters from people wishing to be placed on a committee or board other than McPoyle and Weaver. Geyer agreed.

Geyer questioned Bodes if he was aware of the appointments. Bodes answered yes.

Geyer then asked McIntire if he was aware of the appointments. McIntire answered he did not attend the meetings and was aware of some of the people who wanted to serve, then suggested holding off on this resolution until everyone is comfortable with it.

After further discussion, the motion continued.

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Matthews, Bodes, McIntire, Geyer, and Reed. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Reed introduced and moved adoption of Resolution No. 2-5-08, which was seconded by Bodes: “To reappoint the following individual to the Senior Citizen Board of Directors: Walley Cable, term to expire the first Monday of 2013.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Bodes, Matthews, McIntire, Geyer, and Reed. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Reed introduced and moved adoption of Resolution No. 2-6-08, which was seconded by Bodes: “To appoint the following individuals to the Fire Fighters Civil Service Board: Carol Helinsky, term to expire the first Monday of 2009, Jeff Layton, term to expire the first Monday of 2011.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Matthews, Bodes, McIntire, and Reed. Geyer voted nay. The majority of the vote being affirmative, the Resolution was adopted.

Reed introduced and moved adoption of Resolution No. 2-7-08, which was seconded by Bodes: “To reappoint the following individuals to the Police Civil Service Board: Jesse A. Eutsey, term to expire the first Monday of 2012, Barbara A. Mongell, term to expire the first Monday of 2013.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Matthews, Geyer, McIntire, Bodes, and Reed. The majority of the vote being affirmative, the Resolution was adopted.

Reed introduced and moved adoption of Resolution No. 2-8-08, which was seconded by Bodes: “To appoint the following individuals to the Recreation Board: “Jamie McPoyle, term to expire the first Monday of 2013, Virginia “Ginny” Garlick, term to expire the first Monday of 2010, Elisha Ronzio, term to expire the first Monday of 2012, Nicholas Tzan, term to expire the first Monday of 2011, and Nancy Kohler, term to expire the first Monday of 2009.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Reed, Geyer, Matthews, McIntire and Bodes. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Reed introduced and moved adoption of Resolution No. 2-9-08, which was seconded by Bodes: “To reappoint following individual to the Traffic Committee: Irvin I. Albright, term to expire the First Monday of 2013.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Geyer, Bodes, McIntire, Matthews and Reed. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Reed introduced and moved adoption of Resolution No. 2-10-08, which was seconded by Geyer: “To authorize the signing of the road closing request form as required by Penn DOT to close the following streets:

West Crawford Avenue between Arch Street and Pittsburgh Street for the Fourth Annual Geranium Festival and festivities on Saturday, May 24, 2008. Requesting that West Crawford Avenue be partially blocked off Friday evening, May 23rd, from 7 PM until 7 AM the next morning and completely blocked off Saturday, May 24th from 7AM until the end of the festival.

The closing of certain streets on Monday, May 26, 2008, for the annual Memorial Day Parade, pending review and approval of city police and Penn Dot, pending review and approval by Connellsville Police and Penn DOT.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Bodes, McIntire, Geyer, Reed and Matthews. The majority of the vote being affirmative, the Resolution was adopted.

Reed introduced and moved adoption of Resolution No. 2-11-08, which was seconded by Bodes: “To designate the 2nd Saturday of July as Block Party Day in the City of Connellsville as per request of the Christian Outreach Ministries.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Bodes, McIntire, Geyer Matthews and Reed. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Reed introduced and moved adoption of Resolution No. 2-12-08, which was seconded by Bodes: “To authorize the mayor to make grant applications to the following entities:

Progress Fund for the Great Allegheny Passage Bicycle Trail enhancements at Third Street and the Yough River Park refreshment stand enhancement. Community Foundation for possible grants for community enhancements. Local Governor’s Academy for a summer intern to assist with the Multi Municipal Comprehensive Plan Development. DCNR as a partner with Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for grants to facilitate the Yough River Park and Stewart’s Crossing development projects and to help finance a safe corridor for all pedestrian and bicycle traffic crossing the Memorial Bridge While protecting the scenic view of the Youghiogheny River.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Bodes, Matthews, McIntire, Geyer, and Reed. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Reed introduced and moved adoption of Resolution No. 2-13-08, which was seconded by Bodes: “To approve the transfer of the 2005 CDBG funding allocation to the Stewart’s Crossing Project.”

Resolution: “To approve the transfer of the 2005 CDBG funding allocation to the Stewart’s Crossing Project.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Bodes, McIntire, and Reed. Geyer and Matthews voted nay. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Reed introduced and moved adoption of Resolution No. 2-14-08, which was seconded by Bodes: “To approve the following Connellsville Police Department promotions as per Civil Service Regulations:

Officer Jim Capitos promoted to Captain

Officer Steven Shaffer promoted to Detective Lieutenant”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Bodes, McIntire, and Reed. Matthews and Geyer voted nay. The majority of the vote being affirmative, the Resolution was adopted.

Reed introduced and moved adoption of Resolution No. 2-15-08, which was seconded by McIntire: “Whereas, A task force of state agencies and nonprofit partner organizations including the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the Pennsylvania School Boards Association, the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission, and the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Institute of Architects urges school districts to consider the social, environmental, and economic advantages of retaining older neighborhood schools when exploring the need for new or upgraded facilities. Money’s are available for renovation and preservation. Whereas, There is a preponderance of evidence that closing well balanced schools is critical to the future of the community. Whereas, The South Side Elementary School and Zach Connell School is an integral part of the city and has the largest and highest home value assessment in the City of Connellsville and the closing of the South Side Elementary School and Zach Connell School would have a significant negative impact upon the City of Connellsville. Therefore, The Mayor and Council of the City of Connellsville oppose the closing of the South Side Elementary School and Zach Connell School and will join with other agencies to assist in securing the necessary funds for the refurbishing and repair of the South Side School”

Geyer requested Zach Connellsville to be added.

Council decided by add Zach Connellsville to the resolution.

Reed announced that it’s their job to run the City and without the tax base raising the way they would like, it’s very difficult for them to provide services without raising taxes. That is why RDM has been called in, to make sure the City is not wasting money or duplicating services or have extra employees. Now, the school district is in the same situation. They are trying their best to provide services without raising taxes. The South Side School was built in 1905. At one time we had seven schools. She then discussed residential development by Southside School and the decisions the school board has to make.

Geyer added the school needs to take a look at the school safety. He noted we have a strong and successful police force here in the city and they are one of the fastest. If there was an emergency in one of our schools, our police and fire departments will be the first there. Geyer stated the taxpayers pay a little extra to keep our police and fire departments here in the boarders as well as our Street and Recreation Departments. These are all factors that our Director should be looking at as far as reasoning by keeping these schools as maybe two of the major hubs for your elementary schools.

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Geyer, McIntire, Reed and Bodes and Matthews. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Reed introduced and moved adoption of Resolution No. 2-16-08, which was seconded by Bodes: “RESOLUTION OF SUPPORT LIENS LAW Resolution No. 2-16-08, 2008 FOR SENATE BILL 777 AMENDING THE MUNICIPAL CLAIMS AND TAX Resolution: “WHEREAS, in order to ensure the fair and equitable treatment of all taxpayers within the City of Connellsville and this Commonwealth it is necessary to allow for the proper pursuit of the collection of delinquent real estate taxes; and WHEREAS, the City of Connellsville has determined that local officials should have the ability and the opportunity to choose the most appropriate method of collection of delinquent real estate taxes; and WHEREAS, the City of Connellsville should be able to utilize the Municipal Claims and Tax Liens Act, 53 P.S. to pursue such tax claims and should not be obligated to collect delinquent real estate taxes under the Real Estate Tax Sale Law with a 5% commission being paid for the collection of those unpaid taxes; and WHEREAS, Senate Bill 777 is important legislation that is currently before the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, that would allow the City of Connellsville and other municipalities and school districts the ability to choose the best method of collecting delinquent real estate taxes. NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CONNELLSVILLE THAT IT STRONGLY SUPPORTS SENATE BILL 777, AND URGES THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO QUICKLY CONSIDER AND APPROVE THIS LEGISLATION; and NOW BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT A COPY OF THIS RESOLUTION SHALL BE TRANSMITTED TO OUR ELECTED REPRESENTATIVE IN THE PENNSYLVANIA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Geyer, Matthews, Bodes, McIntire and Reed. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Bodes:

Bodes introduced and moved adoption of Resolution No. 2-17-08, which was seconded by Geyer: “To pay all bills as presented including all bills and expenditures for goods and services that exceed $500.00: American Rock Salt Co., PLGIT Liquid Fuels, $2,088.27, The HDH Group, Worker’s Comp., $13,811.92”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Bodes, McIntire, Matthews, Geyer, and Reed. The majority of the vote being affirmative, the Resolution was adopted.

Bodes introduced and moved adoption of Resolution No. 2-18-08, which was seconded by McIntire: “To accept the resignation of Patricia Miller as seasonal employee in the Tax Office. Resignation is effective April 1, 2008”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Reed, Bodes, McIntire, Geyer and Matthews. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Geyer:

Recreation Department Report

Geyer asked that the public keep George (Recreation Department worker) in their prayers as he goes through health problems.

He then mentioned Nancy Kollar who ran the swim program last year is waiting longer for the program this year in hopes the weather will allow better attendance. The swim program will be held at the Connellsville Community Center every Wednesday in March from 6 pm until 8 pm. The cost will be $3.00. The dates are March 5, 12, 19 and 26.

Mrs. Linda Shearer from the Connellsville Area High School Patriots is having their annual celebrity auction on May 8th at the Elks beginning at 6 PM. The items can be viewed on their website at www.CAHSpatriots.com.

Geyer introduced and moved adoption of Resolution No. 2-19-08, which was seconded by Bodes “To approve an application to the DC&R for a Recreational Grant through the Fayette County Planning and Zoning Office and Community Development Office.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Bodes, Matthews, McIntire, Geyer, and Reed. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Matthews:

Street Department Report

Matthews noted the City can no longer charge street opening fees on State roads. One of the utility companies called us on it. Reed asked if their is a maintenance agreement between the City and Penn DOT. Matthews answered he would check on it.

Matthews introduced and moved adoption of Resolution No. 2-20-08, which was seconded by Bodes: “To approve the bids as accepted by the Redevelopment Authority for the City’s 2008 Street and Alley Paving Project from Victor Paving in the amount of $82,113.13. This is a joint project between the Redevelopment Authority and the City of Connellsville. The City’s portion will be taken from the Liquid Fuels Account.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Geyer, McIntire, Reed Matthews and Bodes. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

McIntire:

Health Department Report

Treasurer’s Report

Keller questioned why the resolution to advertise for another worker in the tax office was taken off the agenda.

Bodes answered that she just advertised for help in November, which was just six months ago and should search for help through those applicants.

Keller then noted that out of the people who were appointed today, half were reappointed. She asked Mayor Reed why Marilyn Weaver was not reappointed when so many others were. Keller then added that Mrs. Weaver wrote letters to each member of council requesting to be reappointed. Keller added how highly intelligent Marilyn is and that she worked at NASA in Ohio and supervised over two thousand people. She further noted she feels this is a double standard and what is done for one person should be done for all.

Reed then stated to let the record show that we have a Controller’s list of balances that we have in our bank. The balance is February 21, 2008.

Reed introduced and moved adoption of Resolution No. 2-21-08, which was seconded by Bodes: “Motion for an Executive Meeting at 6:00 PM on Thursday, March 20, 2008, for the purpose of considering pending or new employment, collective bargaining or litigation issues.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Geyer, McIntire, Reed, Bodes and Matthews. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Reed asked that if anyone see Elmer Runion out, he is celebrating his 90th birthday, please tell him Happy Birthday.

Reed introduced and moved adoption of Resolution No. 2-22-08, which was seconded by Bodes: “That this meeting of City Council does hereby adjourn.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Matthews, Bodes, Reed, Geyer and McIntire. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the Resolution were adopted.

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