REGULAR BOROUGH COUNCIL MEETING
May 6, 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, AND SECRETARY PAMELA AHLSTRAND. VP MEAGEN KAMEEN, MAYOR SEAN STRUB, AND SOLICITOR MAGNOTTA WERE NOT PRESENT.
ADOPTION OF AGENDA/MINUTES- By motion of Wendell/Haar, the agenda for the May 6, 2019 regular meeting was adopted as amended – Public hearing(s) on Ordinance revisions carried until the June meeting, except for Ordinance 463 (one way street); order of agenda changed to accommodate sewer authority presentation; addition of Amended Intermunicipal Agreement.
By motion of Haar/Schoenleber, the Minutes from the April 1, 2019 regular Council meeting and the April 16, 2019 Workshop meeting were unanimously adopted.
PRESENTATION BY HRG – Westfall Municipal Authority – Mark Spatz and Justin Vinsey (sp?) – Made a presentation with regard to Central Sewage Regionalization effort to utilize the wastewater treatment facility in Westfall Twp. Recognized by communities as an asset. Planning takes 2-3 years; then financing, implementation. Not a quick process. Funded through user, not tax revenue, which is the reason for municipal “authorities”. This proposal would be managed by Milford Water Authority.
Justin- said implementation takes time; requires “needs analysis”. Study involves visual inspections- no water samples, no access to houses. Follow DEP guidelines. Would not be a requirement to connect immediately.
Opened for questions from the public- Fred Weber- Although not immediate hook up, would it be mandated at some point? Answer- at Boro’s discretion whether mandatory, can be up to individual.
Q- How do you gauge a failing system? Mark Spatz- unique geology of the area; needs assessment to determine if different parts of town need to connect.
Q – Annual usage fee? Westfall is $72/mth; not determined yet for the Borough. Many factors play into that. Borough would receive “wholesale” rates. Also determined by financing options, length of payback.
Question from Jon Kameen, Mott St. – Is the plan to hook up commercial district first? Answer- it’s the Borough’s plan. Q- Who pays? A – Users of the system. Q – How many inspections will be done during the assessment? A- About 20% is a representative sample. Q- What is capacity? A- 374,000 capacity; 74,000 gallon use currently; full capacity is 130,000 (for Milford Twp & Boro), 130,000 for Matamoras. Q- If Katz property connects? A- would require a plant upgrade, probably in about 10 years.
Q – Will DEP mandate based on inspections? A – (Spatz) DEP is not heavy handed unless it is a public safety issue, e.g., obvious seepage.
Q- Tapping fee? (A- $1600 in Westfall) Grinder pump cost? (A- Varies based on property, etc) A – Options – all based on least expensive options; i.e., use of a community contractor; some costs could be built into financing.
(NOTE- Comment from President Tarquinio that he spoke with the representative from the Westfall Sewer Authority- he did not make the statement which was published in the paper with regard to DEP mandating hookup)
Question from Amy Eisenberg (Craft Show)– Will there be an opt-out condition for anyone in the commercial district? She doesn’t have the type of business that impacts the septic as a restaurant, etc. may.
Comment from Andrew Jorgensen (Dimmick Inn) – without central sewer, his business will close; other businesses are in desperate need as well.
A- Spatz- not an “even bill” across the board for all who connect in commercial district; higher based users will pay more.
President Tarquinio commented at this point that the Council is only getting a study completed. Question from Chuck O’Neil (Resident) – Can the Borough opt out after the results of the study is received? Answer – Yes
Q- Kameen- what is the “threshold” set by DEP as to percentage of failures?
Not a threshold at DEP; not just based on percentages. Just an evaluation.
Borough’s decision ultimately- can adopt by resolution. Once all information is received, it is presented to Council. Spatz noted that they are require to have a public comment period- must address all public comments.
Comment from Matt McCormack (Chief- MPD, owns house in the Borough, and also lives in Matamoras)- Did not force everyone to hookup. His hookup fee in Matamoras was $5100 total (based on length); cost of grinder pump paid by municipality if homeowners hooked up within the initial implementation of system; payment plan; local electrician and plumber stepped up and helped.
Comment about Grants- strength in numbers.
Question from Eisenberg- Will County pay for hookup? Non-profits? Library? A lot of associated costs.
PUBLIC HEARING: President Tarquinio explained that two of the proposed Ordinance revisions will be carried to the June meeting. The only one considered tonight is Ord #463, correcting the direction of three one-way streets which were just incorrectly designated (should be “Southbound” instead of Northbound). The reason for making them one-way is to avoid losing parking spaces on West Harford as part of the next MEC street improvement project. Secretary Ahlstrand noted that the hearing was properly advertised, and that it is on the record that the other two hearings will be carried until June 3, so there will be no requirement to re-advertise. The three alleys to be designated as one-way SOUTHBOUND are Elderberry, Huckleberry and Pine. BY MOTION OF WENDELL/FOSTER, the public hearing is opened. No comments or questions regarding this proposed Ordinance. BY MOTION OF WENDELL/CIERVO, HEARING CLOSED. BY MOTION OF WENDELL/SCHOENLEBER, ORDINANCE #463 unanimously adopted by Council.
PAVING BIDS – Tarquinio explained that paving bids were solicited based on funds received each year for Liquid Fuels from PennDot. Secretary Ahlstrand noted that advertisements were run in both the Pike County Dispatch and the Pocono Record; bidders had until 5:00 pm today to submit; received two sets of bids (individual bids for each street/alley). Required to open at a public meeting. Councilman Rob Ciervo, Street Dept Chair, opened the bids and read as follows:
Discussion about amount available- past years; Treasurer said $77,800+. Tarquinio said there are other things they can use funds for- signs, vehicle. Ciervo said list was compiled by Street Dept based on need. He also spoke with gas company, specifically about High St., Fifth- Gas Company will pave 14 ft wide, not just a patch. Need to go through and select which streets will be paved.
MOTION BY CIERVO/HAAR – REVIEW LIST WITH PAUL CURRAN, STREET DEPT, AND THEN DETERMINE WHICH STREETS TO PAVE. WILL VOTE TO ACCEPT BIDS AT THE NEXT MEETING. APPROVED
AMENDED INTER-MUNICIPAL AGREEMENT- Adding Matamoras to Act 537 sewage study. President Tarquinio read proposed agreement. BY MOTION OF WENDELL/SCHOENLEBER, COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY VOTED TO ADOPT THE AMENDED AGREEMENT.
a. Music in the Park 7/28/19 & 9/15/19 – Approved, Motion by Haar/Foster
b. Opera in the Park- Event & Banner (presentation by Xavier) – Approved, Motion by Haar/Wendell
c. DVYSL – Closing ceremony – Approved (with change in setup time to 8 am- Haar will contact) Motion of Haar/Wendell (Comment by Haar that she received an email from a resident commenting on how well the opening day ceremony was run)
Law & Zoning: Wendell – Reported on Permits (report attached); Resolution to request hearing in front of PLCB to have Borough Noise Ordinance apply- carried to next meeting.
Finance & Budget: (Kameen) – No report- Kameen not present
Parks & Recreation (Haar) – New ADA compliant water fountain has been installed thanks to Nick May and Tim Gartner; new pole @ Barckley Park, all lines raised to optimize view; Received grant for improvements at Barckley Park (Council needs to sign); Garden Club is installing new self-watering urns on Broad/Harford with assistance of Street Dept. on May 16th. Presentation by Scott Sheldon & Jeff Mackey of Recreation Committee-
Shed is 10 years old, is 10 x 20; proposing one that is 12 x 22, and about 2 ft taller (to allow for loft storage). Will have cubicle system for skates; heat. Would use volunteers to build. When rink is taken down, would allow all materials to be installed inside. Needs to meet with Zoning Officer with regard to setbacks, etc. Some discussion about contacting DVHS tech program. Question about threshold- bids?
Financing- Haar said have $8K in park budget earmarked for shed; an additional $7-8000 received in donations from Winter Lights, Mac & Cheese. Scott will contact companies for costs. Would like to move it from its current location- closer to Ann St? Need to speak to Zoning Officer.
Borough Property (Ciervo): Signs for Borough office, police are hung up. Has key to old office building and will go in and assess. Plumbing work was completed at Borough Office (with regard to switching to new gas service) Water heater will be done separately. Secretary asked Council members to look at empty offices upstairs as well- Arlene Quirk (Realtor) went in to look at them for the purpose of renting- she didn’t think they could be rented as is, and volunteers couldn’t do cleanup because of peeling lead paint, etc.
Streets & Light (Ciervo): Starting to convert light bulbs- he and Frank T (and whomever else would like) will walk and select lights to be replaced. Doing a chunk at a time; Note that a lamp post had to be removed at the corner of Mott St to allow steel beam to be taken down to the bridge project- at their expense; will replace. (Tarquinio commented- Part time street dept employee will be helping MEC with verge maintenance). Leaf machine does NOT operate at this time of year- posted on website about placing yard waste & leaves in barrels or bio-degradable bags.
Insurance: (Kameen): No report.
Tech/Communications: (Foster): Question from Katrina Foster about HRG (sewage engineering firm) – will they communicate when they start going out doing survey? Would like to make that information available to residents in newsletter- Tarquinio will send.
MAYOR’S REPORT: Chief McCormack gave report:
Traffic tickets – 93
Citations – 93
Parking tickets- 4
Miles – 2,476
Met with Public Safety Committee; new members, fresh ideas. Would like to change uniforms- no cost to the Borough, will use donation money. Request to spend about $2500 (more casual) APPROVED BY MOTION OF FOSTER/HAAR.
Pike Workforce- Offered internship for Police Dept. Will have reserve office- uniformed, 8-10 weeks, could extend to 12 weeks- would only be on payroll for 2 weeks.
911 Sign- Hawley Borough mandated; would like Milford Boro to do the same thing- difficult to see at night, can’t find in an emergency. Hawley is asking residents to use fire dept. signs on a designated corner of the property. Would need to be done by Ordinance.
Reduction in manpower- Officer Repecki resigned- got a f/t job in Archibald; Sean Crouthamel also resigned- being relocated. Asking permission to advertise. Trying to attract already-trained officers due to the time it takes to get a new officer on the street.
Bike patrols will be starting on 8-4 swing shift especially on weekends during heavy traffic time.
New IT person – has gotten all his clearances. Mayor will meet with Barry Bernathy to transition.
Speed calming device back up. Helps slowing down traffic. 5-6K cars coming in on Route 6; even more coming from Matamoras. Can’t use for enforcement, but is effective.
Trying to get funding from Highway Safety Council for crosswalk enforcement.
Asked to participate in Border to Border patrol- 3 states, all municipalities.
SOP will be done by the end of the month. Will then have to be approved by Council.
Proposing landscape/memorial to firefighters and police- on the side of Borough building (500 Broad St). Drew up design, getting costs, etc.
Pres. Tarquinio asked about decibel reader – do they have one calibrated? Checking on where to have it calibrated. Chief said they have adopted a policy to enforce noise complaints, reviewed with all officers, given a directive. Complaints forwarded to the Mayor.
TREASURER’S REPORT: Greg Myer gave report – RE Taxes ahead of last year; usually levels out as the year goes on. RTT lower than last year at this time- only $1300, not as many large transfers. Noted that there were certain overages on line items which was discussed at workshop in detail. New line item- computer tech expense? Tarquinio said yes- will be for both office and police.
BY MOTION OF WENDELL/HAAR, TREASURER’S REPORT WAS APPROVED BY COUNCIL AS SUBMITTED.
Certificates of Appropriateness – ARB:
1. 511 Broad – Gutters, etc. – APPROVED BY MOTION OF WENDELL/CIERVO
2. 311 E HARFORD – Windows- Denial- Carried until next month so applicant can approve.
Update on bridge (on 209 heading toward National Park)- not planning on doing work until 2023. Two things that concern borough- will put a temporary bridge on Callahan House side going across the creek; will need to put a crane on the bridge to move the sections so one lane of traffic will be blocked. Willing to do by working longer hours during the week – Monday through Thursday. (will have to give exception to noise ordinance) Secondly, they are proposing to get rid of sidewalk. Resident David Wineberg concurs, also recommended getting rid of metal plates. Wendell said in 2020 will start final design, will address then, and want input about sidewalk. Wineberg said it’s scary, not used. Some discussion. Haar likes sidewalk, gives access to cemetery, the Knob. Wendell said purpose of meeting was to report on archaeological impact, etc.
Wineberg gave update on Mott St Bridge – 7 months behind schedule. Crane may be coming this week. Did no work from 12/21 – 3/1. Cut up floor, shipped out for rehab. Explained steel beams, how they are welded together.
Cupola on 500 Broad – Haar reported that Mike Maruszewski was working on it; will need to piece it back together, etc. Cost of $5000. Bill Kiger (Historic Preservation Trust) confirmed that they would be contributing funds toward repair.
Planning Commission Appointment: Due to resignation of Rusty Coelho, there is an open spot on the Planning Commission. Received letter of interest from Granger Greenbaum, resident. BY MOTINO OF WENDELL/SCHOENLEBER, COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY APPOINTED GREENBAUM TO THE BOROUGH PLANNING COMMISSION.
Ambulance Update: Borough received notice today- advertising for drivers, etc. Question from Amy Eisenberg (public) – will the proposed development in Milford Twp impact the Fire Dept.? Tarquinio- Unknown; MFD is all volunteer. Proposed ambulance service would cover 12 hours that there are no volunteers. Would include 7 “lower” municipalities in Pike County, all contributing.
Borough Hall Update (Upstairs): Nancy Schoenleber spoke with the Director of Curriculum at the High School (Building Trades Course) – would need more information as to the nature of repairs, etc.
David Wineberg – Commented on proposed development of Santos Farm property in Milford Twp. Is this purely a township decision? What about the joint Comprehensive Plan? (He was formerly on the Planning Commission and Council, familiar with the plan) All municipalities should weigh in. Mandated by the State that it be updated/reviewed every 10 years. Tarquinio responded that there is some interest in a joint review of the Plan between Milford Borough and the Township; Boro Planning already reviewing. When approached several years ago, Milford Twp was not interested in reviewing jointly.
Debbie & Greg Murrow- asked Council to consider placing flag banners honoring military. (“Hometown Heroes”). Done by Sponsorship, no cost to the Borough. Proposing placing them on light posts. Questions from Council about size, who would hang (Foster). Murrow said time limits on how long they hang. Ciervo asked about Zoning issues. Recommended that they meet with Shawn Bolles, Zoning Officer, and that they contact the power company (PCPL) about putting on their poles. Wendell will run it by the MEC for their input (they install the street lights).
Bill McGaughey – Lives at 100 Sawkill. On corner of Raspberry Alley. Asked about putting up a mirror for safety. Ciervo will look at whether Borough can do; can’t place anything on utility poles.
ADJOURN: BY MOTION OF FOSTER MEETING WAS ADJOURNED AT 8:28 PM