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December 18, 2013 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 Karpiak, Weaver, Geyer and Ritch. Also attending this meeting was Solicitor Witt.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE AND MOMENT OF SILENCE: Invocation led by Pastor Higbee

VISITORS/PUBLIC COMMENTS:

Lucy King, Downtown Connellsville, Garden Club and Friends of Library updates

Judy Keller, Carnegie Library update, Christmas decorating contest

CORRESPONDENCE:

REGULAR AGENDA:

Resolution No.12-1-2013: “To approve the minutes from the November 27, 2013 City Council Meeting.”

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

Resolution No.12-2-2013: “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, Geyer, Ritch, Weaver and Mayor Matthews. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

MAYOR MATTHEWS:

Police Department Report

Resolution No.12-3-2013: "To set the meeting to reorganize City Council and to conduct any and all City business for Monday, January 6, 2014 at 5:00 PM in City Council Chambers, Municipal Building, 110 North Arch Street, Connellsville.”

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

Resolution No.12-4-2013: “To adopt Ordinance #1505, Bill No. 8 of 2013, AN ORDINANCE APPROVING COLLECTION PROCEDURES AND ADOPTING PENALTY, INTEREST, COSTS, AND SCHEDULE OF ATTORNEY FEES TO BE ADDED TO THE AMOUNT COLLECTED FOR DELINQUENT MUNICIPAL ACCOUNTS AND UNPAID MUNICIPAL CLAIMS.”

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

Resolution No.12-5-2013: “To approve Penn State Student Jenna Finella of Scottdale for an internship with the Police Department for 250 hours starting January 13, 2013.”

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

Resolution No.12-6-2013: “To advertise to accept applications for a part time clerk in the City Tax Office. Applications are to be addressed to the City Treasurer, 110 N. Arch St, Connellsville, PA and must be submitted by January 15, 2014 at 5 pm.

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

REMINDERS:

Friday, December 20th, 10 AM till 12 noon, Chamber of Commerce, 100 S Arch St, Caroling in City
Friday, December 20th, 2:00 PM till 4:00 PM, Chamber of Commerce’s Open House Holiday hours for City Hall will be: Tuesday, December 24th, 9 AM till Noon Wednesday, December 25th, closed for Christmas Wednesday, January 1st, closed for New Year’s Monday, January 20th, closed for Martin Luther King Day Matthews announced the Tax Office hours are in the paper if anyone needs to know what they are.

GEYER:

Resolution No.12-7-2013: “TAX ANTICIPATION NOTE
WHEREAS, the City of Connellsville, of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, anticipates current tax revenues as yet uncollected; and
WHEREAS, the City of Connellsville has inadequate funds for current expenditures; and
WHEREAS, the City of Connellsville has determined that it is necessary to borrow for the purposes of meeting current expenses by issuing a note to be repaid from said anticipated tax revenues; and
WHEREAS, Scottdale Bank & Trust Company has submitted to the City of Connellsville a proposal to purchase a tax anticipation note of the City of Connellsville with a principal of Six Hundred Seventy-Five Thousand Dollars ($675,000) and the City of Connellsville desires by the adoption of this resolution to accept such proposal and authorize the issuance and sale of its tax anticipation note;
NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved that:
1. The City of Connellsville hereby authorizes the issuance of a tax anticipation note in the amount of Six Hundred Seventy-Five Thousand and 00/100 Dollars ($675,000.00) in anticipation of the receipt of current taxes to be sold at private sale.
2. The note shall be in the denomination of Six Hundred Seventy-Five Thousand and 00/100 Dollars ($675,000.00), shall be redeemable at any time at the option of the officers of the City of Connellsville without penalty or premium, shall be fully registered without coupons; shall be dated on or before January 15, 2014; shall be payable at the Connellsville office of Scottdale Bank & Trust Company; shall be substantially in the form annexed to this resolution as Exhibit A and made a part of this resolution as though fully set forth in place.
3. The proposal of Scottdale Bank & Trust Company to purchase the note dated December 11, 2013, is hereby accepted and shall be incorporated into the minutes of this meeting. A true and correct copy of said proposal is attached hereto as Exhibit B, and the appropriate executive officers are hereby authorized and directed to execute and deliver a duplicate original of the acceptance of said proposal to Scottdale Bank & Trust Company.
4. The City of Connellsville hereby pledges to Scottdale Bank & Trust Company and grants to Scottdale Bank & Trust Company a first lien and charge on its taxes to be received during the period when the note is outstanding to secure the payment of the indebtedness evidenced hereby and the interest thereon.
5. Payment of principal and interest shall be made in accordance with the proposal of Scottdale Bank & Trust Company in the following amounts and on the following dates:
(a) Payment of interest thirty days after the date of the tax anticipation note and on the same date each successive month thereafter (or such earlier date if such successive month does not contain a sufficient number of days), and continuing until December 1, 2014.
(b) Payment of all outstanding principal and all remaining interest on December 31, 2014.
6. The appropriate executive officer be and hereby is authorized and directed to execute and deliver in the name of, on behalf of, and under the seal of, the City of Connellsville, the tax anticipation note in the form and containing the terms described above, and the City Clerk of the City of Connellsville be and hereby is authorized and directed to attest the same.
7. The appropriate executive or fiscal officer be and hereby is authorized and directed to prepare or cause to be prepared and to file a Certificate as to Taxes and Revenues to be Collected as required by Section 8128 of the Local Government Unit Debt Act. A true and correct copy of the said Certificate is attached hereto as Exhibit C.
8. The executive officers of the City of Connellsville be and hereby are authorized and directed to perform all acts which are necessary and proper for the valid issuance and securing of the note.”

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

Resolution No.12-8-2013: “To adopt proposed Ordinance #1501, Bill No. 4 of 2013, AN ORDINANCE FIXING THE SALARIES PAYABLE BY THE CITY OF CONNELLSVILLE FOR THE VARIOUS POSITIONS ENUMERATED HEREIN FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 2014, AND REPAEALING ALL ORDINANCES OR PARTS OF ORDINANCES INCONSISTENT HEREWITH.”

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

Resolution No.12-9-2013: “To adopt Ordinance #1502, Bill No. 5 of 2013, 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 2014, and repealing all ordinances or parts of ordinances inconsistent herewith."

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

Resolution No.12-10-2013: “To adopt proposed Ordinance #1503, Bill No. 6 of 2013, 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 2014 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, Geyer, Ritch and Weaver. Mayor Matthews voted nay. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Resolution No.12-11-2013: “To adopt proposed Ordinance #1504, Bill No. 7 of 2013, AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF CONNELLSVILLE REPEALING ORDINANCE NO. 587, ORDINANCE NO. 725, ORDINANCE NO. 1203, ORDINANCE NO. 1455, AND ORDINANCE NO. 1472, AND ANY ORDINANCES OR PARTS OF ORDINANCES INCONSISTENT HEREWITH, ALL OF THE CITY OF CONNELLSVILLE, AS THEY MAY HAVE BEEN AMENDED, REPEALED, OR OTHERWISE REVISED BY ORDINANCE FROM TIME TO TIME; REQUIRING A LICENSE FOR THE OPERATION OF MECHANICAL AMUSEMENT DEVICES; LEVYING A LICENSE TAX FOR GENERAL REVENUE PURPOSES UPON ALL OPERATORS OF SUCH MECHANICAL AMUSEMENT DEVICES OR CONTROLLING OR OWNING THE PREMISES ON WHICH SUCH MECHANICAL AMUSEMENT DEVICES ARE OPERATED; PROVIDING FOR THE COLLECTION OF SAID LICENSE TAX; AMENDING ORDINANCE NO. 658 TO INCREASE THE JUKE BOX LICENSE FEE; AND PROVIDING FOR PENALTIES FOR THE VIOLATION THEREOF.”

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

Resolution No.12-12-2013: “To pay all bills/expenditures for goods/services in excess of $500.00 as submitted: Mockenhaupt Benefits Group, $1,700.00, consulting, actuarial and administrative Services through November 30, 2013 for the Police and Fire Pension Plans.”

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

Resolution No.12-13-2013: “To turn over to Southwest Regional Tax Bureau all delinquent 2013 Per Capita taxes. The last date to pay the City Treasurer directly is January 30, 2014. The delinquents will be turned over to the collection agency on Feb 1, 2014.”

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

Geyer wished everyone a Merry Christmas and thanked Marilyn Weaver for working with him the past four years. He further thanked Mayor Matthews and noted he learned a lot from watching him. Geyer stated that Matthews and Weaver’s volunteer hours to the City should be commended. He noted the empty storefronts and Community Center before this Administration began and now they have transformed into moving the City forward and vibrant.

KARPIAK:

Public Works Report

Karpiak announced the City has received a grant for $97,552.00. He noted this will allow the City to purchase a truck. Karpiak commended Vernon Ohler for his work on this and his decision on what truck to buy noting how it will save on the wear and tear along with the transmission. Karpiak stated there will be old trucks the City will be selling. He stated they will maximize the potential of the grant. Karpiak thanked Toni and Vernon for securing the money.

Karpiak thanked Weaver and Matthews for the opportunity to work together the past four years. He noted there was professionalism, respect and courtesy among them even when there was disagreements. Karpiak noted that is one of the spirits that has propelled Connellsville to where it is now. He further stated he will miss working with them and appreciated both of their working relationships.

Karpiak wished all a Merry Christmas and thanked the community for joining in the community events and coming out in record numbers.

WEAVER:

Board of Health summary for 2013

Weaver stated she finds the Board of Health and Tom Currey very valuable and will miss them both greatly. She stated the City is fortunate to have Solicitor Tim Witt noting he has guided Council over the years keeping them from legal troubles. Weaver then thanked the City Clerk noting working with Toni a privilege. Weaver thanked Mayor Matthews for his support to Council, support to her and Wesley Health Center. She stated the City owes Matthews an enormous amount of gratitude for his service to the City for so many years. Weaver thanked Council for their relationship stating it has been a true pleasure.

Weaver wished much success to the new Administration. She stated that is why they serve on City Council, “to make our home a better town”. Weaver stated the past four years has been a gift to her.

Health Department Report Fire Department Report New Haven Hose Report

RITCH:

Resolution No.12-14-2013: “To open bids received for the sale of the following properties: Run Avenue, Parcel ID #05090442, Rear North Sixth Street, Parcel ID #05050010 and South Arch Street, Parcel ID # 05160093.”

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

Councilman Karpiak opened the only bid for Run Avenue: Lenny Johnson, $100.00 bid with Money Order of $100.00 was enclosed.

Resolution No.12-15-2013: “To accept/reject/table the bid of Lenny Johnson in the amount of $100.00 for the purchase of the following property: Run Avenue, Parcel ID #05090442.”

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

Karpiak opened the next and only bid for Rear North Sixth Street: Geno Gallo, $100.00 bid with Money Order of $20.00 was enclosed.

Resolution No.12-16-2013: “To accept/reject/table the bid of Geno Gallo in the amount of $100.00 for the purchase of the following property: Rear North Sixth Street, Parcel ID #05050010.”

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

Karpiak opened the next and only bid for South Arch Street: Hubert Coleman and Robert Renze, $250.00 bid with $50.00 Money Order enclosed.

Resolution No.12-17-2013: “To accept/reject/table the bid of Hubert Coleman and Robert Renze in the amount of $250.00 for the purchase of the following property: South Arch Street, Parcel ID #05160093.”

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

Resolution No.12-18-2013: “To place an invitation for bid for the sale of any City interest in the following properties: Run Avenue, Parcel ID #05-09-0436-01 and 140 S Pittsburgh Street, Parcel ID #05-07-0139 and direct the City Clerk to advertise the parcel for bid. Bids are to be received no later than January 13, 2014 at 4:00 PM and to be opened for the next regularly scheduled meeting two days prior at City Hall during the regularly scheduled Council Meeting.”

Geyer questioned if Council was going to add 140 S Pittsburgh Street to the resolution so it could be advertised again.

Ritch stated yes.

Keller questioned if Council Meetings were going to continue being scheduled as they are now.

Council agreed to word the resolution for the next Council Meeting.

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

Ritch gave summery of Parks and Public Buildings for the past year. He gave much credit to the Recreation Board noting their willingness to serve and all of the events they have brought forth to the City. Ritch noted the new volleyball court and updates of the parks. Ritch stated the Connellsville Community Christmas was well done and an outstanding event.

Ritch discussed the Community Center and all the events and community involvement the past year. He noted there is 60% occupancy of businesses and the Porter Theater is in use more than ever. Ritch stated a Theater group manages it and does that well. He thanked the Career and Technology Center for the working relationship and announced a donation of $5,000.00 to upgrade the electricity in the Community Center. Ritch stated many people have put a lot of time and energy into the center and noted Mayor Matthews is one of those people along with this Council. He recalled this Administration’s vow this time last year to keep the Community Center open and noted they have kept that promise. Ritch further discussed the possibility of the center having a Controlling Board in the future to handle the non-profit end of business. Ritch discussed the Aarons Building being a positive and the groundbreaking in the next few years. He noted the possibility of two hotels.

Ritch thanked Mayor Matthews and Councilwoman Weaver noting it’s been an honor working with them. He discussed their good working relationship noting they have never displayed their disagreements on camera noting their professionalism. Ritch thanked Mayor Matthews for his leadership, direction and opportunity to serve. He then thanked Councilwoman Weaver for her dedication and passion. Ritch thanked Geyer and Karpiak as well. He stated the City would be nothing without Solicitor Witt.

Chief Capitos stated it was an honor serving this Administration. He noted he has enjoyed working with everyone the past four years, especially Marilyn. Capitos thanked Mayor Matthews for his service to the City as Mayor and former Police Officer. Capitos stated when he was hired 36 years ago, Matthews was one of the guys already working on the force. He stated Charlie taught him a lot about police work and they fought a lot of battles together. Capitos stated it is an honor to know him and work with him.

Ritch thanked Capitos and Tom Currey for what they do. He then wished all a Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year.

CITY TREASURER REPORT:

Keller stated the Tax Office is closed at noon on Christmas evening and on the 26th and 27th and the 30th and 31st the Tax Office will be open 10 AM until 1:30. Payments can be put in the door mail slot and payments post marked by December 31st will be valid Keller stated.

Keller reminded everyone December 31st 2013 is the last day to pay 2012 Per Capita Taxes and January 31st 2014 will be the last day to pay 2013 Per Capita Taxes.

Keller wished Council, employees and residents a Merry Christmas and a safe holiday.

CITY CONTROLLER REPORT: NO REPORT AVAILABLE

Matthews announced this is his last meeting from 10 years on Council and thanked the residents for allowing him to serve the past 10 years. He noted it was a learning experience each year. Matthews stated turning over the Aaron’s Building was one of the most important moves this Administration has done. Matthews also credited this Administration with the hotel, which he noted took a lot of guts and courage and thanked them for the support on it. He also stated this Administration got out of the debt of and possibly of tearing down the Armory by selling it.

Matthews recalled when he was running for office he stated he was not a politician but a servant. He stated he hopes this Council has embodied that. He stated he believes that when someone runs, they intend to do a good job. Matthews stated he feels the new Mayor and Councilman will embody that and move forward. He offered one piece of advice to the upcoming Mayor and Council, “You have many years of experience up here with this Council, don’t just throw it all away. These guys have good ideas and know where they are at.”

Matthews stated he has been around City Government for a long time and this is the best Council I have ever worked with. He echoed that Council had disagreements but wouldn’t let it be aired to show the public because they dealt with it. Matthews gave an example that if Karpiak would vote against something today it would be over the hill tomorrow. He noted this Council knows that you can’t expect to get your way each time. Matthews stated with this Council, he feels good in leaving with the hands of the experience there. Further he stated he knows the energy with the new Mayor with what he has done on the Recreation Board and believes that Aaron has the City’s best interest at heart. Matthews stated he believes that all people that get on Council have the City’s interest at heart and not personal gain. Matthews stated the hardest thing is the groundwork this Administration has set and the next four years should be great for the City. He stated that is one of the reasons he would have liked to be around for it. Matthews noted he has a few things to keep him busy and a couple grandkids that will take up a lot of his time. Matthews thanked Council and Weaver for their service and all they do for the City including the Wesley Health Center. Matthews stated working with Tom Currey for four years has been a blessing. Matthews stated the demolitions over the past few years is another tribute to this Council noting more demolitions to unsafe structures has been done in the past four years than any time in City history. He acknowledged that Tom Currey can tell you what you need to go through before you tear down a house or structure, legally.

Matthews stated for the future, volunteerism in this town must be second to no-one (named many volunteer groups). Matthews stated he thinks that Connellsville in for a good run down the road.

Matthews ended with “To everyone, the employees, the Police Department, the Street Department, the Fire Department, the girls in the office; excellent to work with the past ten years. Thank you, again, residents of the City for giving me this opportunity and education. I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.”

Resolution No.12-19-2013: “That this meeting of City Council does hereby adjourn.”

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

Site by Michael D. McCumber (Connellsville, PA Pictures