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December 21, 2011 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, at 110 North Arch Street, Connellsville, PA. Attending this meeting was Mayor Matthews, Council members Geyer, Karpiak, Weaver and Ritch. Also attending this meeting was City Clerk Tesauro and Solicitor Witt.

A moment of silence was observed following the Pledge of Allegiance. Prayer was led by Pastor Brian Higbee.

VISITORS/PUBLIC COMMENTS:

Mark Costible, Liquor License

Judy Keller, City Treasurer, Finance

CORRESPONDENCE:

REGULAR AGENDA:

Resolution No. 12-1-2011: “To accept the minutes from the November 16, 2011 City Council Meeting.”

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

Resolution No. 12-2-2011: “To waive the 4-day Resolution Rule to allow for items submitted after the 4-day rule to be read at the meeting tonight, such Resolutions will be marked with an asterisk.”

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

MAYOR MATTHEWS:

Police Department Report

Resolution No. 12-3-11: “To approve Tyler Burd as an intern from Penn State for the Police Department starting January 9, 2012.”

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

Resolution No. 12-4-2011: “To schedule the Reorganization Meeting for Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 10:00 AM.”

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

Resolution No. 12-5-11: “To set the meeting time and place for the City Council Meetings of the City of Connellsville for 2012 to the following dates: January 18th, February 15th, March 21st, April 18th, May 16th, June 20th, July 18th, August 15th, September 19th, October 17th, November 14th, and December 19th. Meetings will be held in the Municipal Building, 110 North Arch Street and begin at 7:00 p.m. Executive sessions for personnel and legal issues will begin at 6:00 p.m. prior to each meeting.”

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

Resolution No. 12-6-11: “To introduce Ordinance No. 1487, Bill No. 1 of 2011, An Ordinance of the City of Connellsville, County of Fayette and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, shall be known and cited as the “City of Connellsville Stormwater Management Ordinance.”

Karpiak noted this is a piece of unfunded mandates. It is interfering in Private Property Rights, “what you can do with your property”. The people, this is in Section 102, inadequate management of accelerated runoff…First of all I don’t believe that we the City of Connellsville have inadequate management of accelerated runoff. We are being lumped in and pulled in with other places that have gone through some pretty big development. I don’t understand why that can’t just be put on those areas. Yet it has to be statewide, broad wide by the DEP. We are forced into doing this. If we don’t do this they will withhold Liquid Fuel Money. Over the years we have exercised common sense. We are doing things to this day that are common sense. But, to lump us in to a development area such as near Pittsburgh, Philadelphia or Harrisburg areas, we have a chance for development here now, especially with the Marcellus. There is a lot of earth being moved around now and it’s been done in safe ways. We are not going to move any earth here in Connellsville, but we are going to have to do things; this is going to get right into the homeowners pocket: for paving, if you want to put a new house up, pour pad and the parking could put you right out of business before you guys ever get in if this thing is passed. This is not a good thing and it is an attack on the private property and the Private Property Rights by the DEP. We need protection by our State Legislators and by the Congressmen to protect us against on-going things like this. There is not an elected official on this thing. These are people who were hired to do a job and they are telling us how to do ours with penalties at the end of it if we do not comply. And, they hold funding over our heads if we don’t comply.

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

Resolution No. 12-7-11: “To introduce Ordinance No. 1488, Bill No. 2 of 2011, An Ordinance repealing Ordinance No. 1293 of the City of Connellsville, electing to amend its' Municipal Pension Plan administered by the Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System pursuant to Article IV of the Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement Law; agreeing to be bound by all provisions of the Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement Law as amended and as applicable to member municipalities."

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

Resolution No. 12-8-11: “To introduce Ordinance No. 1489, Bill No. 3 of 2011, An Ordinance amending and supplementing Ordinance No. 1076, of the City of Connellsville approved August 12, 1974, which repealed Ordinance No. 1014 and its amendments and revisions, and as amended, repealed or otherwise revised by ordinance from time to time, relative to the establishment and maintenance of City Employees Pension, annuity, insurance and benefit fund or funds, to amend certain provisions of the Pension Plan or program applicable to the Police Employees of the City and to restate in its entirety such Pension Plan or Program.”

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

Resolution No. 12-9-11: “To enter into an agreement with United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union AFL-CIO.CLC on behalf of Local Union 13836-23 for a four year contract from January 2012 through December 2015.”

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

Matthews thanked the Trail Town Group for all they have done in the City of Connellsville. Mayor Matthews gave his condolences to City Treasurer Keller on the loss of her mother, Jean Wrote, who was a staple in this City “for as long as I can remember.” “I go back a lot of years here, besides my eight years in City Government I was on the Police Department for 23 years. She did her job, very professional. She had a distinguished career here in the City. Again, from Council and the City, we appreciate what your mom has done for us.

Matthews stated they are going to probably vote on the liquor license in January.

GEYER:

Resolution No. 12-10-11: “To pay all bills/expenditures for good/services in excess of $500.00, as submitted: Krumanacker Electric, $742.63, traffic signal repairs and Widmer Engineering, $765.00, Flood Plain Ordinance modifications.”

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

Resolution No. 12-11-11: “To adopt Ordinance #1484, Bill No.2 of 2011, AN ORDINANCE FIXING THE SALARIES PAYABLE BY THE CITY OF CONNELLSVILLE FOR THE VARIOUS POSITIONS ENUMERATED HEREIN FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 2012, AND REPAEALING ALL ORDINANCES OR PARTS OF ORDINANCES INCONSISTENT HEREWITH.”

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

Resolution No. 12-12-11: “To adopt Ordinance #1485, Bill No. 3 of 2011, An Ordinance of the City of Connellsville, County of Fayette, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, fixing the real estate tax rate and residence tax rate for all city purposes for the fiscal year 2012, and repealing all ordinances or parts of ordinances inconsistent herewith.”

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

Resolution No. 12-13-11: “To adopt Ordinance #1486, Bill No. 4 of 2011, AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF CONNELLSVILLE, FAYETTE COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, SHOWING THE ESTIMATED RECEIPTS, EXPENDITURES, AND LIABILITIES OF EVERY KIND FOR ALL THE FUNDS FOR FISCAL YEAR 2012 WITH THE BALANCE OF UNEXPENDED APPROPRIATIONS AS THE BASIS FOR FIXING THE LEVY AND TAX RATE FOR SAID FISCAL, YEAR APPROPRIATING THE VARIOUS AMOUNTS SHOWN AS PROPOSED EXPENDITURES HEREIN FOR THE EXPENSES OF THE CITY FOR SAID FISCAL YEAR FROM THE REVENUE AVAILABLE FOR SAID FISCAL YEAR FOR THE DEPARTMENTS, BUREAUS, AND SPECIFIC PURPOSES SET FORTH HEREIN, AND THE REPEALING OF ALL ORDINANCES OR PARTS OF ORDINANCES INCONSISTANT HEREWITH.”

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

Resolution No. 12-14-11: “To enter into agreement with HDH in the amount of $186,261.00 for the City’s Liability and Workmen’s Compensation Insurance; insurance to begin January 1, 2012 and cease December 31, 2012.”

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

Resolution No. 12-15-11: “To enter into a Tax Anticipation Loan Agreement for the year 2012 in the amount of $450,000.00 with Scottdale Bank at the rate of 2% interest for 12 months.”

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

Resolution No. 12-16-11: “To authorize the Director of Accounts and Finance to transfer money as necessary from the Parking and Revitalization PLGIT Account and the Storm Water PLGIT Account, to the General Fund for whatever general purpose City Council deems as in the best interest of the City, to meet unexpected expenditures to meet the financial obligations of the City for the year 2011.”

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

Resolution No. 12-17-11: “To pay Mockenhaupt Benefits Group $2,962.00 for consulting, actuarial and administrative services for the Firemen’s Pension Plan through October 31, 2011.”

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

Resolution No. 12-18-11: “To pay Mockenhaupt Benefits Group $63.00 for consulting, actuarial and administrative services for the Police Pension Plan through October 31, 2011.”

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

Resolution No. 12-19-11: “To join the neighboring municipalities in participating in the G Conferences to be held March 22, 23 and 24, 2012.”

Geyer noted the City has joined Scottdale, Mt. Pleasant, and last year South Connellsville and Everson in the G Conferences. The local Municipalities get together to share their thoughts and concerns on the working of the local government which benefits all parties involved. We will do this again for our 3rd year. “There is no cost to the City other than the time for our employees to go."

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

KARPIAK:

Public Works Report

Karpiak commended Vernon Ohler, Street Foreman and the crew for the work they did on Falls Avenue. “Not only did they do a good job, but they saved the City a lot of money.”

Karpiak reminded citizens that during snow days, on the even number day of the month, park on the even side of house numbers. On odd number days of the month, park on the side of the street with the odd numbers.

Karpiak suggested that everyone should contact congress and State Representatives because this Floodplain that is coming down the pike is every bit as nasty as the Stormwater. “In my humble belief, from what I have read, it will shut down a lot of development along our Rivertown. One of the most valuable pieces of property we have is right outside our windows, our river. With the stipulations and regulations that they will be added to new development is going to be immense. This will not be done until next December, from what I understand, because they do not have the floodplain map Ok’d yet. I urge people to say “enough is enough”. People who choose to live along the river choose to live there and know the risks involved with it. If you choose to develop a piece of property and if you are dealing with banks you have to prove to them that you are doing just fine also and that you know what you are doing, how you are going to do it. These things are investigated. To begin to build buildings and houses on stilts, to put holes in buildings so water can run through them, and then, again, they don’t just come up with a good idea that we will gladly get on board with, they come up with ideas that they will eventually have to threaten us like taking CDBG Money away or something else that prohibits us from doing what we need to do with that money. You can tell me what you want about someplace else, but it is not happening here. This is not needed here and I wish they would let it alone.

WEAVER:

Fire Department Report Health/Code Department Report New Haven Hose Report

Resolution No. 12-20-11: “To adopt Bill No. 1, Ordinance #1483 of 2011, AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF CONNELLSVILLE, FAYETTE COUNTY PENNSYLVANIA THAT SHALL BE KNOWN AS THE INTERNATIONAL PROPERTY MAINTENANCE CODE ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF CONNELLSVILLE FAYETTE COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA; THE PURPOSE OF THIS ORDINANCE IS TO PROTECT THE SAFETY AND ORDERLY DEVELOPMENT OF THE COMMUNITY THROUGH ADOPTING AND ENFORCING THE INTERNATIONAL CODE COUNCIL’S INTERNATIONAL PROPERTY MAINTENANCE CODE.”

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

Karpiak asked Mayor Matthews to back up to his department again. “I started out on the floodplain and Widmers, who I want to thank for protecting us from all the insanity. This has no bearing on you (Widmers), but it does on the City. We have to pay $750, to protect ourselves, again, from this coming down the pike. It is well worth that money. But still, we have to spend it and we will have to spend even more. We need to fight it. Call Pat Toomey, he wants to know about it. This kind of stuff has made other people perk up and say, Hey, wait a minute…we are not a controlled group of people you got here.”

RITCH:

Ritch announced he strongly supports Councilman Karpiak’s comments. “I have read this and think its government at its worst.”

Parks/Public Property Report:

Ritch thanked Judy Kroger and the Courier for the article that updated the recreational areas. He noted Austin Field, South Side is 95% completed. A grant from CSX for that particular area was used. Woodruff Park, new toys are being installed. The ground has been broken for that. The Redevelopment Authority had $17,000 approved for that. This should be operational in the springtime as well as our lighting for the softball fields. East Park is an ongoing project with the castle being refurbished in the springtime. I thank Mr. Lipps for his work. We will also have the tunnel, lights and handrails to be done also. Ritch thanked Mayor, Council, Police, New Haven, Street volunteers and boards in the City along with the behind the scenes people who do the work and never get recognized.

CITY TREASURER REPORT:

Matthews thanked City Council for all they have done. He further stated the budget this year is a very strict one. “If we run into the problem at this time next year that we are having right now, then we will have concerns.” He reminded residents he has been on Council 8 years and taxes have never been raised and they (council) does not want to do that. He further noted that Council tries to give the employees what they need to do the job and the citizens the services that should be due to them.

Matthews wished the citizens, Council and City Employees and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Resolution No. 12-21-11: “To schedule an Executive Session at 6 PM on January 18, 2011 to discuss legal, personnel and contractual issues.”

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

Resolution No. 12-22-11: “That this meeting of City Council does hereby adjourn.”

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

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