REGULAR BOROUGH COUNCIL MEETING
OCTOBER 7, 2019 MINUTES
ROLL CALL – President Frank Tarquinio called the meeting to order at 6:00 PM
PRESENT: COUNCIL MEMBERS ROB CIERVO, KATRINA FOSTER, LUKE TURANO, ANNETTE HAAR, ADRIANE WENDELL, PRESIDENT FRANK TARQUINIO, TREASURER GREG MYER, SOLICITOR MAGNOTTA, MAYOR SEAN STRUB AND SECRETARY PAMELA AHLSTRAND. COUNCIL MEMBER NANCY SCHOENLEBER WAS NOT PRESENT.
(Prior to the adoption of the agenda, President Tarquinio announced that, out of respect for those who did not wish to stay for the entire meeting, there would be a time for Public Comment related to agenda items at the start of the meeting; there would be an additional time for public comment at the end of the meeting. He noted that there were two Resolutions pending as well with regard to the meeting date/time, and the meeting format.)
ADOPTION OF AGENDA/MINUTES- By motion of HAAR/FOSTER, the agenda for the October 7, 2019 regular meeting was adopted as presented.
By motion of Foster/Wendell, minutes of the September 9, 2019 Regular Borough Council meeting were adopted as presented.
PUBLIC COMMENT: President Tarquinio advised that this was to be handled as “comment”, not a dialogue. Should allow everyone an opportunity to speak before coming back to allow someone to comment again.
– Peter Rushton, W Ann St.- (1) About Borough- Dogs in Ann St Park becoming an issue; Mayor said that at present, if someone sees it, then call MPD (Mayor would like this to change, but must enforce at present)
(2) Question about sewer project/survey. Tarquinio explained process, said Council just approved study, not sewer “project”; results of survey late next year
(3) Question about Santos Farm- Where do we stand? Is Borough involved? Do we get to vote? Tarquinio said no, Borough gets no vote, does not know how they will vote.
– Fred Weber, Resident- Said at last meeting, Council was going to s/w outside Counsel about a
“position statement” with regard to Santos Farm; said no one on Council indicated support
when “polled”; where does Borough stand? Tarquinio said that 3 Council members did meet
with an independent attorney outside the Boro who has municipal expertise; Zoning is about
land use, Borough has no legal standing. Borough should not take a position, should not be
involved in another municipality; if legal action follows, Borough could be named if they make
themselves a party. Weber said what can individuals do? Commented about police calls, that
development of the Santos farm would be a “disaster”, no one wants it.
Councilman Turano reminded public that this was comments, not dialogue; asked if there was anyone from the public who wished to reiterate or agree with what Mr. Rushton and Mr. Weber said about Miford Twp. situation, so as to avoid repetitive comments which would take away from what others may have to say.
– Pete Cooney, 9th St.- Isn’t having the same attorney a conflict? Who was attorney they consulted? Tarquinio said Richard Henry, Honesdale.
– Chuck O’Neil – Resident- Will Solicitor Magnotta recuse himself with regard to Milford Twp.?
– Eugene Murphy – Asked about the rules of order? Is it attorney’s place to dictate? Tarquinio answered that they were following the State Sunshine Law; it was a Councilmember who stated the rules of procedure, not the Solicitor.
– Jon Kameen, Mott St – Questions about apparent changes to the scope of the sewage plan; was citing minutes from meetings in April and May, discussion of cesspools. According to minutes, 60% of systems in Milford Boro are cesspools, automatic failures? Discussion about mandatory hookups, sources of funding, etc. Terms have changed. Tarquinio said that part of study is to provide possible sources of funding. Kameen recommends that residents not participate in survey.
– Bill Kiger – resident- speaking for “Citizens for Responsible Growth”- concerned about Township; surprised at “disconnect”; submitted letter asking that Council participate in hearing in Twp. Will the Council not “defend the Borough”. Kiger feels there is a “responsibility” of Borough to speak at hearing; no impact studies.
– Denny Wagner – Resident – Township may resent Borough getting involved; each municipality is “sovereign” territory. Cited Westfall Twp. litigation.
– Meagen Kameen – Resident- Have Joint comprehensive plan with Milford Twp.
– Erica Burnett – 377 Foster Hill Rd., Westfall Twp. – Commented that this is the “center” of the Community; Boro should look at Comprehensive Plan, get together with Twp., other communities.
– Mayor commented that several years ago Milford Borough Council contacted Milford Twp., asked if they would participate in reviewing/revising; Milford Twp did not want to, Borough is happy to. Burnett said Westfall Twp is looking to revise their plan, hire a planner.
– Amy Eisenberg- 120 E Harford St (Parent’s property)- asked if sewage survey went out to businesses or just residences? Tarquinio said sent randomly. Solicitor explained that HRG had map which delineated random locations to be targeted, both commercial and residential. Eisenberg commented that her business will not benefit from this, being railroaded, does not want to share costs of mandatory sewage hookup. Tarquinio again said this is purely a study, not a proposal for central sewage. State’s concern is that the Boro has central water. Eisenberg asked about Cartwright getting grants for sewer- Tarquinio said that is in Blooming Grove, not connected to this proposal. He also added that once the study is completed, HRG must hold public meetings and answer all questions of residents. Eisenberg urged Council to pursue avenues that do not require mandatory hookup.
– Eisenberg had question about replacement of cement bridge on Route 209 (coming from NJ)- is there a time frame. Wendell said that they attended meeting; not even putting out RFP until 2023; will be putting up temporary bridge. Date has changed twice. For the one week that they install the temporary bridge there will be only one lane, but then will come back into the Boro before the business district.
– Tom Drew- Commented about temporary bridge, same as one in Pt Jervis
– Dennis Keane – W Catharine St. – Can Borough seek injunction to enforce terms of Comprehensive Plan? Tarquinio said no, had someone from State give workshop, Comprehensive plan has no impact on Zoning. If there had been a joint ZONING ordinance, would be different
– Trisha Lutfy, 406-410 Broad St – Would be in the best interest to work together on Comp Plan; met with Economic Development; Mr. Retsik is working with Monroe, Lackawanna, would allow Council to participate; sources of funding. Tarquinio said Council had no objection to a joint comprehensive plan
– Tom Miller- Milford Twp. – Would like to see Santos farm left as open space; encourage eco-tourism
– Celeste O’Neil – 704 6th St- Asked if anything was done to correct “misinformation” in supporting documentation of Milford Twp. report- any effort to correct? No
– Erica Burnett – Westfall Twp – Asking Borough to take action now.
– Denny Wagner- Perspective on Sewage- talking about it for 21 years.
– Jon Kameen – Question about police – Does MPD track number of calls for Milford Twp. Mayor said all calls go to Comm Center (911)- Triaged; send whoever is closest (Park Service, State Police, MPD). Chief said never directly dispatched to Milford Twp., dispatched by PSP. Mayor said will find out for next month how many go to Milford Twp. Kameen asked if we invoice those callers? Mayor said no, Chief said State Law. Kameen said they then have benefit of a police department without paying. Mayor said there is legislation pending in Harrisburg that would require municipalities without their own police dept to pay a fee to the State Police.
– END OF PUBLIC COMMENT PORTION (6:52 PM)
PAVING BIDS: Bids received for paving of Third Street. Secretary stated that advertising was done in accordance to Statute; received several requests for bid packets, but only received one sealed bid. Secretary noted this was NOT a liquid fuel expense, but was being paid out of street improvement fund. Councilman Rob Ciervo (Street Dept Chair) said bid received was from Linde Construction. Question from Solicitor as to how many packets were picked up/requested? Secretary said 3. Ciervo opened bid- $40,544.00. Solicitor noted that bid was in order: anti-collusion affidavit; 10% bid bond; workman’s comp affidavit. BY MOTION OF CIERVO/TURANO, PAVING BID FROM LINDE CONSTRUCTION FOR THE THIRD ST PAVING PROJECT IN THE AMOUNT OF $40,544 WAS UNANIMOUSLY ACCEPTED BY COUNCIL.
a. 2019-14 – Proposed to change meeting date of Regular Borough Council meetings to second Wednesday of each month for the remainder of 2019. BY MOTION OF WENDELL/FOSTER, COUNCIL APPROVED THIS RESOLUTION (Turano noted that meetings would be Nov 13th, Dec 11th) Question from Meagen Kameen- public- cost of advertising? Secretary replied depends on length.
b. 2019 -15 – Proposed resolution about public comments at meetings. Secretary noted that there were two drafts-Solicitor had made some comments. Solicitor noted that much of the language in the proposed resolution contained a recitation of what was already in the Sunshine Act; thought Council would want some discussion about length of time allowed for comment, etc. Per Pres. Tarquinio, will carry this to next month. Question from Jon Kameen (resident)- when will public comment be at the next meeting? Tarquinio said at the beginning of the meeting; may do so for the next two months, and let Council decide agenda format in January at reorganization meeting.
c. 2019-16 – Proposed Resolution about Barckley Park maintenance fee- Tarquinio said park has undergone renovations; could be used as a small wedding venue, photo location. Tarquinio proposed that if used as a wedding, $200 fee; if used for photos, $100 fee; Question from Mayor- limit number? Comment from Meagen Kameen- currently need to be sponsored by a non-profit to use; Question from Chuck O’Neil- just ceremony? Haar said could include Remembrance Place as well. Solicitor said could add to fee schedule. Comment from Meagen Kameen- is public hearing required? Change to Code? Solicitor said if “Special Event” is part of Borough Code, would have to change Code. Should have to be tailored to event. Turano suggested looking at it during a workshop. Wendell said will look at Borough Code.
PUBLIC NOTICE – Subdivision application reviewed by Planning for 800 Broad; Tarquinio explained this must be advertised before Council can act. Proposing that they advertise as required, and Council will review it 15 minutes PRIOR to the Budget Workshop on 10/17/19. Surveyor was present; questioned why there needs to be notice; thought they met requirements of waiver in lot improvement ordinance. Solicitor asked Zoning Officer to respond. Shawn Bolles- this is a subdivision, not a lot improvement. Does not meet the definition of “lot improvement subdivision”. Secretary noted that revised plans did not come in with adequate time to run notice for this Council meeting. BY MOTION OF WENDELL/TURANO, COUNCIL VOTED TO ADVERTISE THE REVIEW OF THE SUBDIVISION APPLICATION FOR 800 BROAD ST., TO BE REVIEWED AT 5:45 ON 10/17/19, IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO THE SCHEDULED BUDGET WORKSHOP.
a. Dimmick/First Responders Day – 10/12/19 – This is the 3rd year; requirement for barricades; close part of South Broad. BY MOTION OF TURANO/HAAR, APPLICATION APPROVED.
b. Black Bear/Jive Bar – Car Show – 10/19/19 – Representative from Jive Bar present- proposing closing street (E Catharine) from corner of Broad to end of bar; no outside food, drink, music. Closing from 9 am – 12 pm; Mayor said okay as long as opened at noon; need clarification that this is sponsored by Black Bear (non-profit). Require barricades; BY MOTION OF TURANO/WENDELL, APPLICATION APPROVED, SUBJECT TO CONFIRMATION THAT SPONSORED BY BLACK BEAR.
c. Strawberry Fest- Methodist Church – June 2020 (Event and Banner) – BY MOTION OF HAAR/TURANO, EVENT AND BANNER APPROVED.
ZONING REPORT: Zoning Officer Shawn Bolles gave his report (Attached)- Noted that there was an appeal as well as a letter requesting a zoning amendment re: 321 Fifth St.
MAYOR’S REPORT: Mayor Strub gave his report- Violation report (attached). Noted the increase in traffic stops over last year – 3 times as many as last year. Patrol mileage up 50%; speed sign located at E Harford/Second; then on Seventh St. If anyone has a particular location they would like to see it, send him a message. Likes to have it moved.
Proposal to increase fee for citations from $15 to $20. Solicitor said it would require a Resolution; does not require an Ordinance Change. By Motion of Wendell/Foster, Council voted to draft resolution incorporating changes to fee schedule.
Proposal from O&H to install two (2) additional cameras for security at Borough Office; BY MOTION OF TURANO/WENDELL, Council approved proposal in the amount $850.
TREASURER’S REPORT: Treasurer Greg Myer gave his report – Real Estate taxes collected are above budgeted amount; delinquent taxes- received a check today for $28,214; at least $23K will go to general fund; RTT received $3013 today- were far behind on RTT, but as of today shortfall is $7K, so may make it up by end of year. In 2018 RTT received was $41,658. Difficult to budget because it fluctuates every year. BY MOTION OF TURANO/WENDELL, COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY VOTED TO ACCEPT TREASURER’S REPORT AS PRESENTED.
Certificates of Appropriateness – ARB:
1. Walgreens (Rite-Aid rebranding) – Sign;
2. Wise Guy’s Barber Shop -305 Broad – Sign, window signage;
3. BB’s Transportation – Lumberyard- Sign replacement;
4. More for Less Sign- Signed moved from Lumberyard to Waterwheel
BY MOTION OF HAAR/TURANO, all items were approved by Council, based on recommendation of ARB.
NEW BUSINESS: NONE
a. Update on Consultation with outside attorney – addressed earlier in meeting;
b. Old Borough Office – Has been winterized; Tarquinio proposes we advertise it to have someone move it, offer for a dollar;
c. 911 Signs – Wendell said working on letter to send to 59 locations without numbers; after some discussion, will send letters to all residents, post on website;
d. One way street signs- Paul to do Pine Alley now; Paul has ordered additional signs, waiting for them to come in;
e. No Thru Traffic – Cost of signs BY MOTION OF WENDELL/TURANO, COUNCIL VOTED TO USE LIQUID FUELS FOR COST OF SIGNS IN THE AMOUNT OF $3000; Question from Jon Kameen about enforcement. Mayor noted that once Ordinance is in place, can send to GPS systems to re-route traffic.
f. Upstairs at Borough Hall – Nancy Schoenleber has submitted Grant application;
g. Ambulance activity – No update;
h. Central Sewage update – Question from Kiger (public) – will there be a public hearing on sewage situation? Tarquinio said they (HRG) will have hearings with each municipality, all questions need to be answered. Solicitor explained Act 537 study; once plan is ready to be submitted to DEP, required to have a 30 day comment period, then public hearing with DEP; Study will recommend, but each jurisdiction would need to pass Ordinance whether mandated, etc,. Question about referendum item? Solicitor will check referendum law. Tarquinio said ok for Solicitor to check. There is a law which could request referendum from County. Question from Barbara Tarquinio (public) – what does Jon K’s comment about “massive expense” mean? Kameen said Dispatch reports “$7-8 million”; not sure where that number comes from; no costs provided yet as study not complete;
i. Sidewalks- Bluestone leveling- Tarquinio said MEC will do in front of Craft Show; Borough working with Eric Yetter to do the rest (on Broad St). Cost is $500 for each half day of work;
j. HARB CLG Update- Secretary working on submitting application for certification;
k. Fair Districting Resolution- request received for Council to support; after some discussion, BY MOTION OF HAAR/TURANO, COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY VOTED TO SIGN RESOLUTION SUPPORTING FAIR DISTRICTING;
l. Painting of Crosswalks- Ciervo explained that had to revise proposal due to weather (thermoplastic material is temperature sensitive). Should be done next week, before Black Bear; (Question from Amy E – leaf machine schedule? Advised beginning on 10/14)
m. Engineering Maps – Stormwater Drains- BY MOTION OF CIERVO/WENDELL, COUNCIL VOTED TO APPROVE COST OF UP TO $6,000 FOR BOROUGH ENGINEER TO PREPARE UPDATED/ACCURATE STORMWATER DRAIN MAPS (DIAGRAMS, DEPTHS, ETC.)
Comment from Solicitor- provisions in Boro Code to allow a Borough to form a stormwater authority; loans would affect borrowing base. Authority can create project, then obtain low cost loan, grants, etc. Question from Mayor- could water authority do this? Solicitor said they would have to amend charter; Tarquinio said they gave it to us. Estimate 4 years ago was $900K to repair. Some work could be done by Borough Employees. Question from resident at corner of Elizabeth & 8th- can borough go to Township (comes down from Foster Hill Rd); Haar said Township’s response is that it’s a PennDot road, their responsibility. Solicitor will speak with Roadmaster in Milford Twp.
Law & Zoning: Wendell – No additional report
Finance & Insurance: Turano did review with EMC, insurance renewed at end of summer, review of historic building; reviewing coverage as to volunteers- minimum premium of $225 to cover volunteer liability; Secretary noted that Budget workshops were advertised for Wednesday Oct. 9th and Thursday Oct. 17th, both at 6:00. These were advertised only as budget workshops. After discussion, Council will NOT have quarterly workshop on Tuesday 10/15. Secretary will cancel.
Parks & Recreation (Haar) – Thursday October 10th- New shed being delivered to Ann St Park; old one will be re-located the following week to the Borough Property on Route 209. Received email from John Corrie, President of Little League- Electrical problem, will call CRL. Also read part of email- need “long term solution” to drainage problem at the ballfield coming off Third St. Said league has spent over $7000 in two years to address drainage. Asked that Council address in budget for next year. Tarquinio said to put in Capital expenditures.
Reported they have met the requirement of the grants that there be services offsetting; work exceeded what grant paid for, but raised $ to cover additional costs. Comment from George Borecky, Resident- flag at ballfield still not illuminated. Haar said will s/w CRL; Shawn Bolles said uses solar lights in Matamoras, will provide information. Question from Mary Ellen Theodore- “drilling” at ballfield? Mayor said this was part of engineering for river overlook proposal, no results yet.
Borough Property (Ciervo): No additional report.
Streets & Light (Ciervo : No additional report.
Tech/Communications: (Foster ) Tarquinio mentioned need for Borough emails; no remote access to Borough server, asked Katrina Foster/Adriane Wendell to look at outside servers. Foster asked about where website is hosted- Wendell said GoDaddy- they will look at setting up emails.
CORRESPONDENCE: Secretary sent out copies of all correspondence for review. Noted two items- email about Plum Alley – requesting paving; Letter from attorney Hamill requesting a zoning change. Wendell will meet with Shawn Bolles, other implications; Haar asked if that would put them under ARB? Yes- Solicitor said looking at existing non-conforming uses; Bolles said there are currently 11. Wendell/Bolles will discuss further.
ADJOURN: BY MOTION OF TURANO/CIERVO, MEETING ADJOURNED AT 8:15 PM