MINUTES- MILFORD BOROUGH COUNCIL MEETING
ON TUESDAY, AUGUST 18, 2020 THE MILFORD BOROUGH COUNCIL HELD THEIR REGULAR MONTHLY BOROUGH COUNCIL MEETING VIA “ZOOM”.
PRESENT ON THE CALL: MAYOR SEAN STRUB, PRESIDENT FRANK TARQUINIO, VICE PRESIDENT ADRIANNE WENDELL, COUNCIL MEMBERS PETER COONEY, JOE DOOLEY, ROB CIERVO, SOLICITOR ANTHONY MAGNOTTA, BOROUGH SECRETARY PAMELA AHLSTRAND, ASSISTANT BOROUGH SECRETARY LAURIE DIGESO, TREASURER GREG MYER.
This meeting was advertised and open to the public. Attendance by press and public was accomplished by call in or log in, and there were members of the public present in this manner.
Meeting was called to order at 6:00 PM by President Frank Tarquinio. Roll call and Pledge of allegiance.
- Agenda ADOPTED BY MOTION OF DOOLEY/TURANO
- Sula Jacobs – National Park Service- Discussion about River Rd., Mott St. “swimming hole” – Tarquinio said Borough is seeing increased traffic both on Mott St and River Rd, garbage left, etc. Sula Jacob, Superintendent- large increase in park visits since end of March; main goal is safety; using a lot of “adaptive management”; addressed several concerns of Park service: Trash & illegal dumping, black bear population, dumpster collection. Some numbers- July 2015 – Hornbeck Trail – 2100 visitors all month; one week in July 2020- 750 visitors. Discussion about swimming hole on Mott St- concerns about garbage, parking, safety if someone gets hurt. Jacobs said Mott St area not a designated picnic area, so no garbage cans, etc. Posted some signs. Comments from public- Jon Kameen (Resident)- thought rangers did outstanding job last week; enforcement on Mott St has been effective (signs by Boro and by Park Service); Fred Weber (Resident) – question about Dingmans Falls- weekday- groups coming with coolers, swim gear- no Rangers. Jacobs said not a picnic area, no swimming. Rangers at park 7 days a week; if anything observed, call dispatch number (she will provide). Comment from David Wineberg (Resident) – Garbage can was always provided, attached to tree; people always would bring garbage back up. Requested that garbage can be placed there again. Very upset about signs-no public hearing making parking “illegal”; closed to visitors; said sign in English and Spanish is racist, discriminatory. Tarquinio said sign was a temporary measure to address issue from the previous weekend. Heated discussion ensued. Mayor explained the only reason was due to concerns about emergency vehicles being able to access; Question from Wendell (VP) – was there a problem on River Rd? Tarquinio said a few weeks ago beach was closed for swimming, and people were parking on River Rd, picnicking and swimming. Jacobs said some of River Rd is NOT park service property; encourage people to go to Milford Beach, which has facilities. Question from Tarquinio- State road that leads to Milford Beach- any plans for State to repair? Jacobs said she will check with project engineer. *
- ADOPTION OF MINUTES – 7/14/20 Workshop, 7/21/20 Meeting- BY MOTION OF DOOLEY/WENDELL, ADOPTED AS PRESENTED.
- PUBLIC COMMENT ON AGENDA ITEMS:
- Fred Weber – Asked Wineberg to identify who he was speaking about- Advised not appropriate for public comment
- APPOINTMENT OF NEW COUNCIL MEMBER TO FILL KATRINA FOSTER’S SEAT.
Secretary advised 3 letters of interest received: Susan Lyddon, George Lutfy, Tim Haar; President Tarquinio opened for nominations- Adriane Wendell nominated Susan Lyddon, second by Rob Ciervo; Joe Dooley nominated George Lutfy, second by Pete Cooney; no other nominations. Tarquinio asked for a vote- Votes recorded as follows: Lyddon – Wendell, Ciervo, Turano; Lutfy – Dooley, Cooney, Tarquinio. In the case of a tie, Mayor votes. Mayor Strub thanked all candidates for their interest, and for their service to the Borough. He voted for Susan Lyddon. Secretary noted that she had completed an Affidavit of Residency, and Mayor swore her in. Lyddon could now participate in the remainder of the meeting.
- Treasurer’s Report- Greg Myer.RE Taxes needed to meet budget- $55,500; may not collect until end of year because of Resolution passed extending discount; above budget for RTT; over budget on a few items discussed last month. Question from Tarquinio about garbage truck- any pricing? Matamoras was to provide specs and price for tonight’s meeting but not received. Price was $191,500 last year, not much different. Dooley asked what interest rate would be- Myer said low 3%, recommended 5 yrs. Tarquinio mentioned lifts being put on truck to pick up barrels, Ciervo will speak with Paul, could be an issue with the alleys, etc. Cooney asked about monthly payment. REPORT ACCEPTED BY MOTION OF DOOLEY/CIERVO.
- SPECIAL EVENT – Milford Garden Club – Installment at parks for 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. 8/19 – 8/25 APPROVED BY MOTION OF WENDELL/DOOLEY
- Secretary noted that County advised there would be a rosary rally in front of Courthouse on Saturday
- ARB Certificates of Appropriateness- July 27, 2020 meeting:
- 200 Third St – Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice- Sign
- 105 W Harford – Bashful Blooms – Signage
- 611 Broad – Sparkomatic – Signs
- 403 Broad – Ramp
- 319 Broad – Jive Bar – Windows – Denial due to insufficient information
All were approvals except for “e”, which was a denial- Secretary provided report to Council, per the Ordinance; Question from Turano about reason for denial –
BY MOTION OF TURANO/DOOLEY, COUNCIL APPROVED RECOMMENDATION OF ARB WITH REGARD TO ALL OF THE ABOVE.
- New Business:
- Opening of bids for sale of equipment- Secretary advertised bids, only received one sealed bid for all three (3) items- Secretary opened bid- Old truck from water authority – $2377.77; spreader- $377.77; trailer – $277.77. (Ciervo noted that trailer hasn’t moved for 7 years) BY MOTION OF TURANO/WENDELL, COUNCIL ACCEPTED BIDS FROM GARY KOSKOWSKI (DOOLEY OPPOSED)
- Resolution to place Referendum item on ballot in November –Tarquinio explained have been meeting with Dingmans, Shohola, Milford Twp., Matamoras- talking about ambulance service long term. All have been making donations during COVID, hope to get reimbursed. Proposing to place a referendum on the ballot to raise the taxes for ambulance services to 2 mills, which would be an increase of 1.5 mills; would be an increase of approximately $40K, or $55/parcel. Increase needs to be done by referendum. Solicitor Magnotta noted that Milford Twp. approved a similar Resolution last night (to both add a millage for ambulance, and to increase) Solicitor noted that must petition the Election Bureau by September 2, 2020. If passed, should sign tomorrow and deliver to County Election Bureau. Secretary read proposed resolution. BY MOTION OF WENDELL/TURANO, COUNCIL VOTED TO PASS RESOLUTION AS READ. Tarquinio asked for questions – Wendell commented that Council will need a Communication plan for residents so they understand the referendum; suggested that Lyddon help with developing.
- Pennsylvania State Historical and Museum Commission – Tarquinio has been talking to Corey Kegerise about design guide as well as helping businesses rejuvenate after COVID; suggested two ARB members and two Council members (Wendell, Turano); Dooley asked about cost- none. BY MOTION OF DOOLEY/TURANO, COUNCIL APPROVED INITIAL MEETING. Moving forward, can get input from builders, businesses.
- Garbage can at Mott St – Some discussion, Turano said would need to be emptied on Mondays; Cooney offered to help; Ciervo said street cans are dumped more often and dump them into dumpster as needed. COUNCIL AGREED TO PLACE GARBAGE CAN.
- John Tryoan – Tarquinio asked for motion to give him a Certificate of Appreciation to Troyan- retiring. BY MOTION OF DOOLEY/TURANO, APPROVED BY COUNCIL.
- Old Business:
- Set date for initial Budget Meeting- Discussion about setting date; secretary explained used to do in September workshop meeting, but now only quarterly. Dooley said need numbers from each committee chair. He will work with Greg Myer and suggest a date.
- New garbage truck – Still waiting for information from Matamoras. Solicitor asked about existing agreement- 40/60? Explained that was for repairs and maintenance; but for purchase split is 1/3 – 2/3. Solicitor asked if truck was being purchased through CoStars? Myer said yes, he believe so.
- Ambulance service- COVID-19- Dooley applied for grant from Pike Forward – $114K Grant application; covers 12 hr ambulance service from start of COVID through 12/31/20; checked with Sara Hailstone- will start awarding August 28th. Donations from Borough total $30K through September; other municipalities have contributed as well.
- Long term ambulance issue- Covered by Resolution
- Ordinance changes- Wendell- submitting 2 Zoning Ordinance amendments and one new chapter in the Borough Code. First- Definitions based on State Supreme Court decision on Short Term rentals (Dwelling, family, short term rental definitions); Second- Prohibited Use of Drive-thrus/drive-in businesses (already a definition in the ordinance for drive in services- permitted as a conditional use). These both need to go to Planning Commission and County Planning. BY MOTION OF WENDELL/TURANO, COUNCIL VOTED TO SEND TO COUNCIL AND ADVERTISE FOR PUBLIC HEARING. New Ordinance would provide for Rental Registration in Borough Code. Not part of Zoning, but would recommend Planning could review. Looked at sample ordinances from Hawley and Honesdale. All property owners in the Boro would file one year registration of rental properties; fee to be determined. Would allow for inspections; owner has responsibility to maintain; tenant must follow Borough ordinances; also if there is a property owner who is not within 25 miles, must identify an agent if there are any issues with properties, etc. Secretary will issue “license”; enforcement by Code enforcement officer. Comment by Solicitor – change in tenants? Question from Dooley about fee- Wendell asked if finance committee would look at fee schedule. Comment from Mayor – Understands basis for Ordinance; does not understand purpose of requiring names of tenants. BY MOTION OF WENDELL/DOOLEY, COUNCIL VOTED TO ADVERTISE FOR PUBLIC HEARING.
- Paving issues – Cherry Alley – Linde has not responded to calls or engineers; Secretary has received additional calls from other residents (601 Broad); Ciervo said will need to take hard look at not paving alleys going forward. Tarquinio mentioned drainage issue at County building on John St. Question from resident John Souza- diverted water from his property to other properties. Ciervo will continue to follow up.
- Vote to send DRAFT Act 537 Plan to Planning Commission (Local and County) and State Historical and Museum Commission (w/edits) for review and comments. Tarquinio gave summary of edits- HRG suggested a SMP for all on site systems; Boro changed to monitor for 5 years and then see if it needs to be changed; engineers did not have access to 2006 Comprehensive Plan, have it now; changes to addresses. BY MOTION OF CIERVO/WENDELL, COUNCIL VOTED TO ACCEPT CHANGES AND BY MOTION OF DOOLEY/TURANO TO SEND TO PLANNING FOR REVIEW. Question from Fred Weber – Resident- if no SMP, how will Boro track systems ? Tarquinio said will get information from SEO and from pumping companies.
- Comprehensive Plan update- next meeting is September 28th , survey is up for 3 months.
- Change of date for ARB meeting- BY MOTION OF CIERVO/TURANO- COUNCIL VOTED TO CHANGE MEETING TO SECOND WEDNESDAY OF THE MONTH AT 7 PM. Secretary will advertise change, post on website.
- Sidewalk repair by Craft Show- Estimate from Lattimore, Ficken. Discussion about repair- Issue of tree- Paul Labounty looked at the tree, ok if borough removes rather than grind down. MEC had grant for $5000. Ciervo noted the concern is the root system- goes under road. Need quote to take down tree- Dale Thatcher (Shade Tree) – Said he and Paul examined; thought that roots could be chopped out enough once tree was removed. Question from Dooley about other sidewalks commented on by insurance company; Turano said will follow up, put on pause by COVID. They were “recommendations”, not requirements.
- MEC West Harford project update- Solicitor waiting for information from Kiley & Associates (engineer) for information; State is requiring an Ordinance designating “no parking”; Solicitor will reach out again; Tarquinio explained there is a change with PennDot process- suggested that Maureen Dooley act as liaison between PennDot and Borough.
- Mayor’s Report – Corporal Troyan – retiring, moving to Maine; John very important over “rebuilding” of MPD over the past few years; advertising for new part time police officer; patrol coverage in July up quite a bit over last year. Tarquinio mentioned the video John Troyan posted on Facebook – last sign off.
- Zoning Report – No report
- Committee reports-
: Shade Tree Commission – Dale Thatcher- over last 6 weeks, commission has inventoried trees in Borough. Categorized trees other than healthy ones – (1) very dangerous, needing to be removed in next year or two; (2) remove over next 2-3 years; (3) need trimming. Found 26 trees that needed removal in next year or two (1/2 this year, ½ next) 16 trees over next 2-3 years; 21 trees that need significant pruning, estimated about half of those might survive 5 years. Also, 29 stumps. Many of the trees planted at the same time were maples (red or silver), many are failing, most of the ones that need to come out sooner (26 trees), about $1000/tree; historically Shade Tree Commission has split cost with residents. Problem with taking out that many trees at once eliminates a lot of the character of the Borough. Question from Dooley – location of trees? Dale said only on verge on main streets (alley trees are not Borough trees). Question about percentage of resident contribution- about 80%. Turano noted that from an insurance perspective- dead trees are considered maintenance, not a covered expense. Commission will get bids for removal of the first half. Question from Wendell- how many removed last year? Labounty said he thinks about 20. Discussion about stumps, purchase of stump grinder; replanting. Will get estimate. Also need to appoint two additional members.
:Law & Zoning- Wendell – no additional report
:Insurance/Finance – Dooley – no additional report. Turano noted that renewal for Borough office – was functional replacement, now replacement costs. Secretary noted that they received endorsement to add Barkley Park; thanked Annette for all information as to values.
:Parks – Turano – received complaint from resident near skate park- excessive noise and foul language by some people using skate park. Mayor again said that MPD will respond immediately if they call; residents are hesitant to call 911, but County dispatch prioritizes all calls. Turano also mentioned good relationship with John from Little League; asked him to throw out pitch at championship.
:Property – Cooney – met with Turano about having meeting in park, when ready to have in-person meeting with regard to sewer plan.
:Streets & Lights – no additional report
:Tech- Susan Lyddon will take
:HR – Still 2 employees who have not taken harassment training.
:Appointments – Have several letters of interest for ZHB; Chairman Dave Heim was on meeting. Appointment committee met by Zoom- BY MOTION OF DOOLEY/TURANO, COUNCIL VOTED TO APPOINTED JOHN CICOLELLA AS A NEW MEMBER OF ZHB, MOVING TRACEY VICHTERS FROM ALTERNATE TO REGULAR MEMBER; ART ZEROULIAS AS ALTERNATE, JOAN STANDORA WILL REMAIN AS ALTERNATE.
- CORRESPONDENCE – None
- PUBLIC COMMENT –
- Secretary read a message received in “chat” from Tim Haar- asked to read- Tim said he was disappointed that the tradition of reading letters of interest for Council seat was disregarded; no Council members reached out once he submitted his letter of interest; sad commentary on Council.
- David Wineberg – asked that they “lift ban” for parking on Mott St, remove barriers, have a public hearing. Turano again noted reason for signs, etc. were safety concerns. Language on signs could be amended. Solicitor said can change without a hearing if there is a public safety issue. If access of emergency vehicles is not a concern, then perhaps signs should be removed.
- Meagen Kameen – resident- called police about parking, people were triple parked across the road, blocked street, camped out in front of house, driveways blocked, garbage thrown out windows. Much improved this past weekend with signs, people accessed on foot.
- Ciervo suggested that they be removed during the week, put back up on weekends through Labor Day.
-Tarquinio commented that only reason for not reaching out to Haar was due to lateness of his letter of interest.
BY MOTION OF DOOLEY/COONEY, MEETING WAS ADJOURNED AT 9:00 PM