REGULAR BOROUGH COUNCIL MEETING
JUNE 3, 2019 MINUTES
ROLL CALL – President Frank Tarquinio called the meeting to order at 6:00 PM
PRESENT: COUNCIL MEMBERS ROB CIERVO, NANCY SCHOENLEBER, PRES. FRANK TARQUINIO, KATRINA FOSTER, ANNETTE HAAR, ADRIANE WENDELL, TREASURER GREG MYER, MAYOR SEAN STRUB AND SECRETARY PAMELA AHLSTRAND.
ADOPTION OF AGENDA/MINUTES- By motion of Haar/Ciervo , the agenda for the June 3, 2019 regular meeting was adopted;
By motion of Wendell/Ciervo, minutes of the May 6, 2019 Regular Borough Council meeting were adopted.
1. Zoning Ordinance No. 462 – Garage Apartments
2. Noise Ordinance No. 464 –
One hearing for both Ordinances. Motion to open the hearing by Wendell/Schoenleber. Wendell explained – Ord 462- During recodification, listed in Schedule of Uses in Commercial District, but not in Residential- oversight; also felt there should be a clear definition of what constitutes a garage apartment, and specify requirements/limitation on lot size, etc. Trying to reflect that if you have a single family house, and then put an apartment in the garage on the same property, would have two dwellings. The way the ordinance could currently be interpreted would be to say that you would need double the lot size in order to accomplish this (18000+); this allows for a lot size of 10,400 to have a garage apartment (same as a two-family). Added Definitions to both SALDO and Zoning Ordinance. Question from Jon Kameen – two units? Yes. What if it is a two-family house? Can you add garage apartment? Wendell said that would make it multi-family- can’t have in Residential. Tarquinio explained can’t change the ones that are already in existence. MOTION TO CLOSE- WENDELL/CIERVO. MOTION BY WENDELL/HAAR TO APPROVE THE AMENDMENT TO ORDINANCE 462.
Wendell explained amendment to Noise Ordinance- extending hours until 9 pm on Friday and Saturday; proposing an “alternative method of enforcement” as suggested by presentation by PennState Extension (Peter Wulfhorst)- If any audible noise at a distance of 125 ft from the property line where the noise is emanating . Tarquinio explained it is a hybrid approach. Wendell said trying to provide guidelines. Question from Kameen- either not both? Yes. MOTION TO CLOSE THE HEARING- WENDELL/CIERVO. BY MOTION OF WENDELL/FOSTER, AMENDMENT UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED.
1. Block Party – Dimmick/Chamber of Commerce – 6/22/19 Must have water-filled barricades, as in the past. BY MOTION OF HAAR/CIERVO, COUNCIL APPROVED
2. Yoga in the Park/Milford Presents – 6/23/19 BY MOTION OF HAAR/SCHOENLEBER, COUNCIL APPROVED
3. Walk for Alzheimer’s – Milford Healthcare/Alzheimer’s Assoc. – BY MOTION OF HAAR/FOSTER, COUNCIL APPROVED.
TREASURER’S REPORT: Treasurer Greg Myer gave his report – Tax Collection on target; RTT lower than last year so far (so far only $1396)- may be underbudget. Received annual fee from Blue Ridge (for franchise fee) at the end of Feb. – $10,115. Just received $3800 at the end of May- appear to be paying quarterly- will be a little more than budgeted.
BY MOTION OF CIERVO/FOSTER, TREASURER’S REPORT WAS APPROVED BY COUNCIL AS SUBMITTED. (Attached)
MAYOR’S REPORT: Mayor Strub gave the report. 92 Traffic stops; 69 Citations; 6 Parking tickets. Total mileage 2693.
Updates – Officer Troyan on medical leave; SOP being finalized; Officers attending vehicle Search & Seizure class; DUI & drug arrests are up due to more minor traffic stops; Chief McCormack is hoping to do a 3 on 3 basketball event in Ann St Park; Will be setting up DUI checkpoints in June & July in conjunction with Eastern Pike; Safety Day again, but possibly earlier, in August this year. Officer Zebriski is attending full time officer training; D’Ambrosio attending DUI checkpoint training.
Certificates of Appropriateness – ARB:
1. 201 Broad St. – Community House- Sign BY MOTION OF FOSTER/CIERVO, COUNCIL APPROVED ISSUANCE OF CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS AS RECOMMENDED BY ARB.
2. 100 Second St. – Pietrowski – Ramp – BY MOTION OF HAAR/WENDELL, COUNCIL APPROVED ISSUANCE OF CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS AS RECOMMENDED BY ARB.
3. 311 E Harford St. – Midlantic Realty (Panicucci) – Windows – Some discussion about application, denial by ARB. Ciervo asked if this was an emergency replacement? Were windows ordered? Who did work? Ciervo also asked that if, as a realtor, applicant had any clients who bought in the historic district. Mayor Strub asked if the windows which were replaced were “contributing”; Pres. Tarquinio commented that no none has allowed vinyl windows. Applicant Panicucci said she wanted a copy of ARB’s annual report, as well as the report they are supposed to issue when an application is denied. Secretary advised her to request that from the office. Some discussion about whether the windows which were replaced were “street” view, public view. Also disputed age of building- wanted to know our source. BY MOTION OF CIERVO/FOSTER, COUNCIL UPHELD ARB’S RECOMMENDATION TO DENY THE APPLICATION FOR REPLACEMENT WINDOWS (NOTE THAT THE APPLICATION WAS FILED AFTER THE WORK WAS DONE. ARB NOTED THAT THEY HAD TO ACT ON THE APPLICATION AS IF IT WERE RECEIVED PRIOR TO WORK)
Verge Maintenance: Tarquinio reported that Jay (p/t Street Dept employee) is working verge area throughout the Boro- shared cost between Borough and MEC. Sending letter with Historic Trust that it is the property owner’s responsibility to maintain the verge area (i.e., mowing, clearing leaves,, etc.) Jay is working on improvements in these areas which have been installed by MEC. Discussed Dr. Li’s office- Ciervo said had Street Dept. do once, but not again. Mayor suggested putting a lien on property if Borough doesn’t maintain.
Cleaning personnel, Temporary Summer help: Ahlstrand advised that Chick’s Cleaning is no longer operating as of June 1st. Would like to hire Sue (office cleaning person) individually. She has clearances, etc. BY MOTION OF WENDELL/CIERVO, COUNCIL APPROVED HIRING OF SUE ______________ for cleaning of Borough buildings.
Borough Council also approved hiring of temporary office help Jacob Ahlstrand for the summer, BY MOTION OF HAAR/CIERVO (at the rate of $10/hr, same as he was paid last summer).
-Ambulance service update: President Tarquinio advised they are still working on contract with Commonwealth; Atlantic has expressed an interest in returning to Pike County as well.
– Old Office, upstairs Borough Hall- Ciervo went into old office building (111 W Catharine St) and said work would be comprehensive- floor system, electrical, mold, etc. Suggested next step would be to have an engineer review- depending on what the Borough plans to do with the building. Possible sale of building? Tarquinio commented – shared septic? Responsibility? Mayor said could have an easement. Ciervo noted that Episcopal church is interested in using as office; another individual interested to use as rental property.
With regard to the upstairs offices in Borough Hall (109 W Catharine St) Tarquinio suggested the possibility of obtaining an LSA grant; asked Nancy Schoenleber to look at writing a grant.
-Update on Comprehensive Plan – Tarquinio advised that there will be a Training session put on by a State representative on June 10, 2019 at 7:00 pm for the Milford Borough and Milford Twp Planning Commissions. Question from Fred Weber, Resident – 315 W Ann- will there be a public portion at this meeting? Tarquinio said no- training session; if decided to do updated plan separately, then there will be opportunity for public input. Question from Weber – what is feeling of Borough Council with regard to pending change in Zoning at Milford Twp. Mayor explained that several years ago the Borough approached the Township about doing joint update to plan; usually able to obtain some assistance financially if done jointly. Township declined to participate at that time. Borough didn’t have funding to do on their own. Now Township is interested in pursuing. Weber asked about provisions for police, ambulance, etc. Tarquinio said the Township response to this point is that they will “defer that until later”. Mayor commented that not a clear path for one municipality to tell another municipality how to approach their zoning. Tarquinio noted that the prior comprehensive plan suggested that Borough, County, & Township should get together and purchase the Santos Farm.
-Update on Traffic Study – County Planning trying to get money from Pocono Tourist Bureau; asking Borough for $2500 contribution. Tarquinio suggests we give $1000 from this year’s budget, $1500 from next year. BY MOTION OF WENDELL/FOSTER, COUNCIL VOTED TO ALLOCATE THESE FUNDS FOR THE TRAFFIC STUDY BEING CONDUCTED BY PIKE COUNTY PLANNING. Asked Nancy Schoenleber to write some letters requesting funds; Mayor suggested Delaware River Joint Toll Commission might be a source of funds. Jon K asked what goal of study? Tarquinio said it is a traffic engineering study- any changes to be made by PennDot require a study. Study will identify traffic calming solutions. Once we have that, we can go back to the State and ask for grants.
-Electronics Recycling – Mayor gave update – Working with Matt Osterberg (County), Lou Troiano to have a joint day with County, other municipalities; no cost to Borough; may benefit fund raising for an organization as well. Will do after Labor Day.
-911 Signs – Wendell did some research; will cost $ – do we require residents to get their own, or get grant to purchase. Some discussion about cost (Wendell said $10-20/per sign). Have to decide where to place, how to accomplish this. Will follow through. Tarquinio said police and fire department said it is an issue. Wendell said could do Ordinance. Will look into it further.
Law & Zoning: Wendell – Gave update on Multi-Family project; Jacob compiled a report, compared to tax assessment records. Some self-identified, some determined other ways. Need to look at next step as to how to change assessment. Ahlstrand explained report (attached); Questions about how the “other” properties were identified. Tarquinio said done visually. Will check with the Solicitor.
Discussed Resolution for Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board- since Noise Ordinance now in place and enforceable, can petition PLCB for a hearing to allow noise, music, etc to be enforced by Borough rather than by State. Process is to submit documents to PLCB, then they set up a series of public hearings. They can then “exempt” Boro from their requirements for a year. Wendell read Resolution drafted by Solicitor. Questions from Public- Eugene Murphy, Resident- who does this benefit? John Kameen – Any cost to Borough? (No- PLCB schedules, bears cost of advertising, etc. ) Tarquinio explained this is an attempt to make noise ordinance (with regard to music) balanced across all types of businesses, both those with liquor licenses and those who don’t have that type of music. Mayor explained that currently those businesses with liquor licenses can’t legally participate in Music Fest, etc. BY MOTION OF WENDELL/SCHOENLEBER, COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY AGREED TO ADOPT AND SIGN RESOLUTION.
Finance & Budget: None
Parks & Recreation (Haar) – In Biddis park, having concrete base poured, chess table ready to be set. Linda Pinto (Garden club) is having some large trees cleared from Biddis Park as well. This morning, last of shrubbery excavated from Barckley Park; construction to start in about a week. Garden Club has installed new urns throughout the Borough and gave one to Ann St Park- planted in front of electrical panel.
Councilwoman Haar read a statement with regard to the basketball hoops: “I heard recently that my friend’s grandmother had a saying: even though I have no idea what you are talking about, it won’t stop me from having a strong opinion. There were very strong opinions due to the removal of the hoops due to excessive litter. My primary concern is for the safety and well-being of all who use the parks, but I answer only to the residents of the Borough of Milford. I would like to take this opportunity to set the record straight with regard to the hoops that were taken down from May 15th to May 23rd, which was a period of 8 days. It is important to note that approximately 90% of the negative feedback received was from people who live outside of the Borough, mostly it was people who do not pay taxes to Milford Borough who objected to the hoops being removed. In most cases, if you were using something that you did not pay for, one would say thank you. But that was not the case here. So let me be clear. We do not receive tax revenue from residents who live outside the Borough to support Milford Borough; but we do receive a disproportionate amount of complaints and unkind comments. Residents of the Borough provide the parks for everybody’s enjoyment, but with that comes the responsibility to treat the parks with respect. As a Council, we are committed to improvements and upkeep of our open spaces for everyone to enjoy safely. We are stewards of the resources of this town, and feel it responsible that the parks remain free from litter. This Borough will continue to consider what sanctions, including court closures, should be taken if the courts continue to be unsightly and littered. What we are expecting from people who use the parks is reasonable: clean up after yourself, and put your trash away. We took the same action this year that we took last year, with the approval of the Council, and so the removal of the hoops was not done randomly or spitefully. The parks are public spaces, but they belong to the residents of the Borough of Milford, and I expect they would be treated the way one would treat their own personal property. “
Question from Jon Kameen- how long will construction take on Barckley Park? Haar said by end of August, hopefully.
Question from Eugene Murphy- What recourse does Borough have with regard to the parks? Tarquinio said with regard to basketball court, will continue to remove hoops if there is litter. Murphy asked why was Annette “forced” to put them back up? Tarquinio said not forced, Council agreed to reasonable amount of time.
Borough Property (Ciervo): Nothing additional
Streets & Light (Ciervo): Paving- not enough to pave everything. Had Paul Curran identify what to pave first. Recommending Cherry Alley, Currant Alley, Blackberry Alley, Elderberry Alley and Pear Alley. Need to make decision tonight. Bids for streets were high, and UGI is doing work on streets. Question from Wendell – will there be any funds left to purchase signs, etc? Yes. Total of $121,000 in liquid fuels. BY MOTION OF CIERVO/WENDELL, COUNCIL AGREED TO ACCEPT PAVING BIDS FOR THESE ALLEYS, FOR LOWEST OVERALL BIDS.
Secretary Ahlstrand said PCPL took down tree branches in electrical lines. Asked for help cleaning up branches tomorrow. Ciervo will have Paul call. Tarquinio noted that tree in Remembrance Park which fell will be removed.
Insurance: No report
Tech/Communications: (Foster): Wendell will coordinate meeting with Barry and Kevin to transfer passwords, etc. She will contact Barry Bernathy.
Foster said she and Nancy Schoenleber worked together to send out newsletter. 263 people subscribed, 193 opened. 10 clicked through; a few bounce backs. They are working on a few projects now. Let them know if there are big items where they want a survey, feedback, etc.
PUBLIC COMMENT: Tarquinio reminded people of protocol- raise hand if you would like to speak. Identify name & address, have 3-5 minutes to speak, and then sit down. Next person will be recognized. No dialogue. Allow people to give their opinion, respectfully. Not a question and answer session.
-Ruth Murphy – 301 W Catharine St. Concerned about park- proud of what Annette has done for the Borough, Park, in the past 2 years. At this time Haar made a comment that she had wanted to keep hoops down longer; asked Chief to stop by and talk to the kids in the park, and that was done. Litter still remained. Was going to leave them down through Memorial Day, but due to negative comments on social media, was asked by several members of the Council if they could go up before Memorial Day weekend.
– Ronnie Eckler- 201 W Catharine St. – Breaks his heart to see people who don’t respect the parks. Says people are welcome to come and enjoy, but should respect it. Not residents responsibility to clean up garbage, broken glass, etc. Others will never respect the parks if we continue to clean up after them. Take pride in the community. Does not know if there can be signs on park fence stating rules, etc.
(Tarquinio noted that they will be putting up signs in all the parks about cleaning up- in basketball court, skate park, little league field). Haar said there is a sign at the courts now. Tarquinio said there is a $300 fine for adults; police will enforce if they catch them.
-Eugene Murphy – 301 W Catharine St- Said Annette should not have to endure threats, threat of lawsuit- not mentioned; doesn’t feel that she has the support of the Council. Haar said they have supported her. Said when hoops came down last year there was no issue; had emails from some parents who also understood. Tarquinio said he has not received any phone calls. Not an issue for the Council. Ciervo said can’t control what people say on social media. Murphy said this event is different from last year. Council said their position hasn’t changed- standard practice- next time there is litter, the hoops will come down. Further discussion ensued. Can’t control people commenting.
-Charles Pedersheim – 126 Greenwood Circle, Milford Twp. Took issue with position that the parks are for Borough Residents not people from other municipalities; had pictures of other parks in the Boro- Skateboard Park, Baseball field dugout- litter. Close the parks, don’t punish basketball players. Said Council “publicly scolded” the community’s children. Said if you go to a ball park or a movie theater, the employees clean up afterward. Disagree that there is excessive litter in basketball court. He will stop and pick up. Unfair standard for only one part of parks. Ulterior motive. No way to identify who is littering.
-Ruth Murphy – not young children, older teens or young 20’s. Any litter is excessive.
(Tarquinio noted that baseball league comes back on Mondays to clean up ball park)
– Jon Kameen- should give tickets; if his children littered, they would learn a lesson.
– Chief McCormack stopped and talked to kids who were on the Court- told them to clean up or hoops would come down. Went back at 11 pm, the trash was still there. Knows it was the basketball players. Went back and spoke to kids after hoops went back up. Fully supports Council’s decision.
– Mayor said the only reason this has become an issue is because Annette has done so much to improve the parks, and they are used more. There are 3 things that have come out of this:
1. Awareness that it is Milford Borough tax payers who support these improvements, that they take pride in providing these amenities for others to use; 2. Idea that the consequences be more formalized- i.e., the amount of time the hoops are down, etc. 3. Have had several people volunteer to specifically monitor garbage. Unfortunately, an example of how a little information on social media gets distorted.
– Anthony and Erin Coventry-Smith – 105 Blackberry Alley – problem with bear getting into dumpster behind Dunkin Donuts, climbing over fence to the tree on their property. Wendell said she is meeting with Zoning Officer Shawn Bolles tomorrow; will contact property owner about getting an adequate dumpster.
– Eugene Murphy – Pool/pond at 6th & Alley – Health hazard, fence broken, access to inground pool. Ahlstrand said can come into office and fill out complaint form; Wendell will check out as well.
-Secretary Ahlstrand read Meagen Kameen’s letter of resignation (attached) Read the section of the State Borough Code regarding resignation of Council members. Must accept within 45 days; 30 days to appoint. Would appoint someone to serve until the end of the year, which is when Kameen’s term is up. BY MOTION OF CIERVO/WENDELL, COUNCIL ACCEPTED RESIGNATION OF MEAGEN KAMEEN FROM THE BOROUGH COUNCIL. Will accept letters of interest, appoint at July meeting.
ADJOURN: BY MOTION OF CIERVO/HAAR, MEETING ADJOURNED AT 8:33 PM