Regular Meeting of Council, California Borough, November 13, 2008, California Municipal Building, 225 Third Street, 6:30 P.M. President Bittner called the meeting to order. PRESENT: John Difilippo, President Jon Bittner, Vicki Gallo, Shelly Roberts, Walter Weld, Sheila Chambers, Mayor Casey Durdines ABSENT: Julie Gallo-Junior Councilperson A moment of silent prayer to remember Mr. Mariscotti and his family was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. ADDITIONS OR CHANGES TO AGENDA Mayor Durdines – Add two announcements Mr. Weld - Add - approval to look into a used skid steer for the street department Mr.Bittner - There was a problem this afternoon on a ruling whether Council could interview in executive session. Since all five people that expressed interest in Council were in attendance they would be asked to come to the microphone to do their interviews. The agenda would stand approved as printed and amended. APPROVAL OF MINUTES Difilippo/Weld motion to approve the minutes of the Special Meeting of October 2, 2008 duly carried. Weld/Chambers motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Meeting of October 9, 2008 duly carried. Chambers/Roberts motion to approve the minutes of the Continued Meeting of October 17, 2008 duly carried. PUBLIC COMMENT ON THE AGENDA There were no public comments on the agenda. SECRETARY/TREASURER’S REPORT – Elizabeth Pfrogner Ms. Pfrogner read the accounts balance and accounts payable as of October 31, 2008. Difilippo/Gallo motion to accept Secretary/Treasurer’s report duly carried. President Bittner turned the meeting over the Mayor Durdines. COMMENDATION – OFFICER DORCON Mayor Durdines read a letter from the Department of Public Safety, California University regarding Officer Dorcon’s stellar performance and heroic efforts as a police officer during a crisis situation. On behalf of the California Police Department, the Borough of California and the citizens of California, Mayor Durdines commended Officer Dorcon on his heroic actions on September 22, 2008 in which he was able to rescue a woman from a burning structure. This was not the first time that he has distinguished himself while serving the citizens of California. Earlier this year he talked an individual out of taking their own life. Mayor Durdines thanked Officer Dorcon for the excellent work he does in keeping the citizens of this Borough safe. Officer Dorcons thanked everyone and was glad he could be of help. BROWNSVILLE AREA REVITALIZATION CORP. (BARC) Stefanie Chitester of Brownsville Area Revitalization Corp. spoke about a project starting in Brownsville, to do a water trail map, which is a map of river access points and amenities produced for river users. The Fishing Boat Commission designates these routes in coordination with a local community group who agrees to manage the trail. The area of the Mon River covered is from Maxwell to McKeesport and that would meet up with the lower Mon Trail that is part of the Three Rivers Trail and then at Maxwell it would meet with the upper Mon River Water Trail. The water trail map is an easy project and inexpensive to implement. The benefit of water trail development is it would increase recreational use of the river by tourists and local citizens and will promote awareness of river conservation and safety issues. The Fishing Board Commission will distribute the maps across the eastern U.S. free of charge. She is here tonight to ask for the Borough’s official support and ask that at least one person from California Borough be named to the steering committee. She also invited the public to participate. Mrs. Chambers asked if the name could be forwarded to her, which could be done. The Mayor had been working with them but due to his work schedule could not be there all the time so he asked that someone else at least share the responsibility of working on this project. PRESIDENT’S REPORT – Jon Bittner REPORT ON EXECUTIVE SESSION President Bittner reported the executive session dealt with legal matters and turned the meeting over to Mr. Melenyzer. Mr. Melenyzer stated there were several legal matters that had to be discussed and could not be discussed in public because they are legal issues and that could impact on any further actions somebody might take against the Borough. INTERVIEWS -PEOPLE THAT HAVE SHOWN INTEREST IN COUNCIL Mr. Maddiex Mrs. Chambers asked Mr. Maddiex what his vision for the community three years from now is. Mr. Maddiex would like to hold the line on taxes, get Ms. Robert’s Kalamazoo Project underway, if the University continues to expand to gain control of the noise and various pollutions and bring this happily to co-existence. He sees great future for the Borough. He would take Council, the University, School District, Recreation Authority to work with elected officials to help everything along getting grants, working with the Mayor, police department. If everyone could work together good things would come, also civic organizations, churchs, Rotary, Optimist Club, etc. Mayor Durdiens asked why he is interested in the position. Mr. Maddiex stated he likes to serve. He served on the Planning commission, served as an alternate on the zoning hearing board and was elected to Council for the 2004-2007 term and he feels he could still be a use to this community. Mr. Hilty Mr. Hilty felt he may be able to help, he has twenty years in the construction industry. He did industrial mine, bridge and road work. He worked with UMW and the United Steel Workers of American Unions and the Corp of Engineers. He worked in contracting doing the bid, planing and building many projects. He worked on multiple projects including sewage plants. The Monongahela expansion and Redstone Township being the two closest projects. He served as quality control for the Rices Landing Bridge working with the Army Corp of Engineers and PennDot. He worked in human resources for a company with three hundred eighty five employees. He was safety director at the time he attended West Virginia University. He is certified to teach OSHA Safety Classes. For the last nine years he has worked in real estate. He owns three properties in California. He has only missed one or two meetings open to the public in the last year. Mrs. Chambers asked what his vision for the community is and how he might obtain it. Mr. Hitly feels the sewage project is a major project that needs to be addressed. There is a lot of ground that could be developed and resolve some of these issues the Borough has with housing and he thinks that is a very important issue that needs to be addressed. He would like to open up some new ground and would like that to be the main function. It is a key issue for him. The college needs to be addressed and see if the Borough and college could work together. Those are his two key issues. Mrs. Gallo asked if his interest in Council would effect him personally and if he would be able to divide the two and do what is best for the community. Mr. Hilty asked if that was asked because he owns property. She just worries about anyone who would have personal. Mr. Hilty stated regarding his rental property, he rents to single families up on the hill and he trying to conform to what is trying to be done up there to make that community stay the way that it is. He went out of his way to buy those properties and turn them into rentals for single families. He does have a lot of the same vision for up there and does not see why he would have any problems separating his private life with anything that was on Council. Mr. Mariscotti Mr. Mariscotti did not think there should be a separation between his private life and his business. His business is his life. Mrs. Gallo stated private life’s business and Borough business because if you make decisions based on putting money in your pocket and it is going to hurt the community it is unethical and people start talking about it and that is a concern of hers. Mr. Mariscotti understood her point but what he stated is everything he does in business directly involves his personal life so for him business and personal there is no separation. As far as Council, he wants to do what is best for the town because that directly affects his business and his personal life. He wants better communication between Council, the college and the school district and as of last week’s meeting, better communication between Council. If he gets this position the first thing he wants to accomplish is better communication between the seven Council members and the Mayor. Mrs. Gutosky Mrs. Gutosky was born in California Borough and raised in Malden. She and her husband have lived in California Borough since 1982, own property and raised a family in California Borough. She is a speech pathologist, worked for the Uniontown School District, has a bachelor and master’s degree from California University. Their grandchildren live in this Borough. She is concerned about the direction of the Borough for their future. Her children own property in this Borough. She feels that she can bring some common sense to the Borough as far as issues she seen brought across this desk. She comes to all of the Borough meetings and work sessions. She feels like she has a handle on some of the things going on. There is more to this Borough than just Wood and Third Streets. She thinks the Borough needs to work in one accord, needs to get some values that are for the good of the Borough for the good of the community, not self serving. Families are very, very important, having families in the Borough and addressing their needs, not only families with children but families that have elderly. Council needs to stand up for what is right and have better communication amongst themselves and the community. There has to be a better working relationship with the university. The university is here to stay and the Borough had better learn to take advantage of their presence here. It is really an asset and the Borough needs to capitalize on it. Mr. Alfano Mr. Alfano submitted a letter where he and Mr. Mariscotti had a conversation and Mr. Alfano would support him for the position if he desired to have it. He has had the luxury of serving for eight year and he thinks everyone should have a chance to serve. He would yield to Mr. Mariscotti if that would be Council’s decision. He Council to know that he is available for public service. He does take offense to the inference that any of these candidates have a personal agenda. Everyone sitting on Council has a personal agenda or they would not have run. They had something that they wanted to see happen that may have been outside of the interest or the best interest of the town. He works in an industry that runs on the code of ethics and he does not want anybody to think that he could not separate his business from his straight thinking for what is the best for the Borough. Mr. Bittner felt it very helpful for the community to have five applicants wanting to fill this position. He was very happy to see that interest and thinks that is health whether it is a special election like this or the regular election that is coming up in 2009. The more people willing to help the community, gives the people a selection to pick from. He is glad this is taking place. Mrs. Chambers added for those who do not get it, please do not go away. Please consider running next year. The Borough needs this input, please keep packing the room like this. Council appreciates everything and communication is a two way street between the community and Council. ANTHONY MARISCOTTI – FILL SEAT ON COUNCIL Weld/Difilippo motion to nominate Tony Mariscotti to fill Mr. Mariscotti’s seat on Council. On a roll call vote motion carried with all members voting yes. Mayor Durdines administered Mr. Mariscotti the oath of office. ADVERTISE FOR 2009 BUDGET WORKSHOP A budget workshop was set for Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 6:00 P.M. CONTINUED MEETING FOR PROPOSED BUDGET Mr. Bittner and Ms. Pfrogner were looking at the calendar and do not feel a continued meeting would be needed to adopt the proposed budget. It is hoped to adopt the budget at the December 11th meeting, which would then let Council do the final approval of it on December 30th. There would have to be a continued meeting on December 30th to approve the final budget. The tentative budget would be adopted on December 11th with the final approval of the budget on December 30th. RESOLUTION NO. 08-107 – WASH. COUNTY LOCAL SHARE PROGRAM Resolution No. 08-107 is to apply for the Washington County Local Share Account Program, the gaming money. Whereas, the Council of the Borough of California after assessing the needs of the Community desires to request funding through the 2009-1010 Local Share Account Program. Whereas, the Council of the Borough of California has agreed to apply for the local share account in the amount of $200,000 for the acquisition, demolition and revitalization of property located at 311-313 Third Street also known as the Hollywood Theater. This property may further be identified as parcel no. 080-008- 00-03-0002-00. Whereas, it is the also agreed by the Borough of California to use the 2009 Community Development Block Grant Funding in the amount of $139,750 as matching fund in the Local Share Account application. Now therefore let it be resolved that the Council of the Borough of California at the regular meeting held November 13, 2008 supports the request for funding from the Washington County Local Share Account Program for fiscal year 2009-2010. Chambers/Difilippo motion to approve Resolution No. 08-107 duly carried. RESOLUTION NO. 08-108 – AGREE TO USE DOTGRANTS SYSTEM Resolution 08-108, whereas PennDot and the Borough of California agree to use the dotGrants System to file the Liquid Fuels forms annually; including but not limited to, the MS-965, MS-329 and MS-999. Now therefore, it is resolved by the Borough of California the President of Council be the First Municipal Official who will sign the EALA and the Secretary/Treasurer as the Second Municipal Official who will sign the EALA and are authorized to execute all documents necessary to effect such an agreement, including to, an Electronic Access License Agreement (EALA) on behalf of the municipality. Weld/Roberts motion to approve Resolution No. 08-108. LIGHT-UP NIGHT – 12/5/08 – COUNCIL CHAMBERS – 6:00-8:00 P.M. Light-up Night will be November December 5, 2008 in Council Chambers from 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. sponsored by California Recreation. REQUEST FROM RESIDENTS OF LIBERTY TOWERS Mrs. Chambers stated the request from the residents of Liberty Towers is regarding the decision on the Silver Line Bus, she thought it was the Cal U bus that had been asked not to go there. She asked why a smaller one could not be used. Mr. Bittner asked them. They stated with the ridership, they have they need the larger bus. Mr. Bittner explained that an area of Liberty Street has deteriorated, it was fixed by the street department and it deteriorated again. A piece of equipment was in town doing work for the sewage was used to fix that. It was expensive to have done. That area was cut out, rebuilt and filled in with black top. Mr. Vitchoff asked Mr. Bittner to ask Mon Valley Transit Authority if they could reroute the bus because the bus traveling over that was causing a problem. He contacted the engineer, who felt that this patch would deteriorate again if the bus continued running over it. The options are that the Borough could continue fixing that every year. If it were to be fixed correctly it would be $100,000 to make Liberty Street concrete from the top to bottom so it was decided to ask Mon Valley Transit Authority to change the route of the bus. The Transit Authority could accommodate that by moving the bus stop down to the corner of Fifth and Liberty, approximately 120 feet more than coming out the front door of Liberty Towers. They have some bus stops in the Valley that required people to walk that far. A bus that stops there every Monday and they have never had any complaints about anyone having to get on that bus. The secretary at Liberty Towers contacted Mr. Vitchoff and told him that the people did not want to stand in the cold. He suggested that they could put up a mirror so they could stand inside until the bus pulls in. That was also a solution that was granted. This is why the bus was asked not to use that street. After investing several thousand dollars, that was the second time it was fixed and if the bus could go on another route that would save the Borough from continually having to repair that street. Mrs. Chambers suggested the residents of Liberty Tower could call the Transit Authority and ask them to send a van or a smaller bus. The Borough has no money for the streets anymore. When the price of gasoline soared, people stopped driving as much, which directly effects the Liquid Fuels reimbursement. She believes it is going to get worse and the Borough does not have an extra $100,000 to fix that street. Ms. Roberts asked if the main entrance to Liberty Towers is on Liberty Street and if there is any way they could exit on Fifth Street. They could not. They have to come out of the front door. Mr. Weld asked if they have been asked if a smaller bus could be run. Mr. Bittner asked that and it was indicated to him that the large bus would have to be the one runs there. Ms. Roberts asked if there is a van available. Mrs. Gallo asked if the owner of Liberty Towers would be willing to do anything for their residents. Mr. Bittner stated that is Redevelopment. They stated maybe, they could do something and he never heard back. Mr. Weld stated the bad thing is the bus comes down the hill, there is all that weight, they are putting their brakes on and thumping the road. Mr. Bittner stated the black top patch is right over the knuckle when they start down the steep part of the road. Mayor Durdines asked why a heated bus shelter could not be put in. Mr. Bittner stated there was a second bus shelter the Borough could have had. The Mayor stated that was just the standard shelter. Mr. Bittner felt that cold be pursued. He would contact the Transit Authority and Redevelopment tomorrow and try to get an effort started. The Mayor stated that still does not solve the issue of the distance they have to walk. Mrs. Chambers stated those two efforts would be proceeded with and get back on how that is working out. Difilippo/Roberts motion to accept Mr. Bittner’s report duly carried. PUBLIC HEALTH – Mrs. Chambers MONTHLY SEWAGE REPORT Mrs. Chamber read the sewage report for October 2008. Mrs. Roberts is working with Cypher and Cyper to see how to get the dead accounts off of the books legally. PENNVEST REQUISITION NO. 6 – PENNVEST FUNDS - $61,199.55 Fayette Engineers have prepared Requisition no. 6 for the PennVest loans in the amount from W.G. Tomko for $16,199.55. Chambers/Roberts motion that PennVest loan requisition no. 6 in the amount of $61,199.55 for W.G. Tomko be submitted. On a roll call vote motion carried with all members voting yes. APPROVE PENNVEST REQUSITION NO. 7 Chambers/Weld motion that PennVest Requsition No. 7 be submitted to PennVest in the amount of $131,895.90 for W.G. Tomko. On a roll call vote motion carried with all members voting yes. OPEN BIDS - REBAR Council had given Fayette Engineering permission to go out for bid on the rebar that was bought from Chivers. Ms. Pfrogner stated the Borough received one bid on the rebar. Mr. Brower sent out about a dozen. Ms. Pfrogner read the bid from Chuboy Excavating for rebar in the amount of $2,500. The certified check was enclosed. Mr. Bittner asked Mr. Brower what he estimated that as. Mr. Brower stated $30,000 to $40,000 and felt this should be tabled and looked at. Chambers/Weld motion to reject this bid duly carried. WAL-MART UPDATE Ms. Chambers gave an update on Wal-Mart. This is moving ahead. These things take time. Council is looking at a rough agreement sent to the Borough from the developer that involves the Borough engineer, Solicitor and Council. There are things that have to be fined tuned in it and everybody would be brought up to date when that happens. Difilippo/Roberts motion to accept Mrs. Chamber’s report duly carried. PUBLIC HOUSING – Ms. Roberts PERSONNEL POLICIES Ms. Roberts would like to begin working on personnel policies. Recently some things have occurred and she thinks if there were basic personnel policies in place, perhaps they would not have happened. She would go to the Borough News Forum comments as Council members go to this forum and ask questions and see if anyone else has personnel policies that could be voted upon. She is also asking anyone with any ideas to submit them and she would like to ask the employees too. Mayor Durdins could bring their policy manual. Not all of it would be applicable. Ms. Roberts would like that. She would try to get some others and feels the employees should have a little bit to say about some of these. Initially, she just wanted to work on the zoning office. She is not talking about any elaborate detailed thing, just basic policies and procedures. If the policies and procedures were in place, some of these things may not have occurred. She would appreciate any help she could get from anybody. REPORT ON SOUND METER Ms. Roberts stated regarding the sound meter she is muzzled. Weld/Chambers motion to approve Ms. Robert’s report duly carried. PUBLIC SAFETY – MRS. GALLO ANIMAL CONTROL REPORT Mrs. Gallo read the Animal Control Report for the month of October 2008. Weld/Roberts motion to approve Mrs. Gallo’s report duly carried. PUBLIC WORKS – MR. WELD Mr. Weld asked the okay from Council to secure bids on a new skidsteer. This is a smaller version of a front-end loader. There are several attachments for use with hydraulic connections. It would be a very versatile piece of equipment for the Borough. Mayor Durdines asked if that would be for next year’s budget. Mr. Weld stated unless a steal could be found now. It is not a machine that would be used every day, so it would be foolish to buy new. He and Mr. Vitchoff would look at used ones and get quotes. Chambers/Gallo motion to approve Mr. Weld’s report duly carried. FINANCE – MR. DIFILIPPO PAYMENT OF BILLS Difilippo/Chambers motion to approve payment of the bills. On a roll call vote motion carried with all members voting yes. Chambers/Weld motion to accept the Finance Report duly carried. JUNIOR COUNCILPERSON – MISS GALLO Miss Gallo was absent this evening. ENGINEER – MR. BROWER Mr. Brower submitted a written report. MAYOR’S REPORT – MAYOR DURDINES NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH PROGRAM The Mayor stated the Neighborhood Watch Meeting originally scheduled for Monday was postponed to the November 17th, at 6:00 P.M. so the Chief of Police could attend. He had a scheduling conflict for this Monday. The Mayor encouraged everybody to come, residents, students, business people, everyone. There would be a power point presentation and literature giving an overview of the program. PHI SYGMA PHI – FOOD DRIVE The brothers of the Phi Sygma Phi National Honors Fraternity at California University are conducting a food drive for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and are requesting that everybody place non-perishable food in front of your home before 11:00 A.M. on Saturday, November 22, 2008. Mayor Durdines issued them a solicitation permit so they should be properly identified. BROWNFIELD GRANTS Mayor Durdines reported that he met with the grant writers today. Everything was wrapped up for that project and would be submitted tomorrow. They are asking for approximately $200,000 for assessment money from the Environmental Assessment Agency. He received a letter of support from the D.E.P. and they are supposed to get a letter of support from California University. He has a copy of the grant proposal that he could make available for Council to look at if they so choose to. Difilippo/Gallo motion to approve the Mayor’s report duly carried. SOLICITOR’S REPORT – Attorney Melenyzer Solicitor Melenyzer had nothing to report tonight. OLD BUSINESS There was no old business. NEW BUSINESS There was no new business RECOGNITION OF CITIZENS Mr. Maddiex Mr. Maddiex was disappointed that the handicap sign for voters was not out on election day. Mayor Durdines stated that was an oversight. Mr. Maddiex asked Council to place Mr. Mariscotti’s name on the monument in front of the library to honor Councilmen who died in service. He asked that Council find another way to accommodate the people from Liberty Towers. He knows there is a budget problem but these people are senior citizens. Mr. Bittner stated he is going to be making some more contacts. Council is definitely not forgetting. This is not being given up on. Mrs. Urick Mrs. Urick asked Council their decision on the change over on Zulu Street. She was approached, given a very good offer and signed an agreement to go into this. She has been before Council many times with frustrations. There is still a garbage situation since June that has not been resolved. Council cannot do a noise ordinance, cannot get the garbage situation straightened out. Nobody informed her they were going to put people on Welfare in her neighborhood. Where was the impact study done on her, it wasn’t. If the money comes through from this guy, the Borough is losing two people Mr. Crumrine Lou Crumrine, a representative of the Liberty Towers would like Council to reconsider this, what is causing the problem up there, he understands the road condition is part but many of the people use canes and walkers. They can get down to Fifth but cannot navigate back up the hill. That is why they would like to get the bus once or twice a day, where they could pick them up in the mornings and drop them off in the afternoons. Some people go to the Center every day to get their meals and stuff like that. He would like a definite 100% plan worked out with a smaller bus or let that bus come down that hill at least twice a day to accommodate them. It is a hardship for some of them to get a wheelchair up Liberty Street to the building. There is not another entrance. There is an exit door at the end of the building that sets up on top of the hill. There are no sidewalks, only an emergency exit door. Ms. Roberts asked if he considered contacting the Washington County Redevelopment Authority. Mr. Crumrine stated their office has contacted them. Ms. Roberts asked to see if they would have a meeting at his building and talk with the residents. Mr. Crumrine stated when they contacted Redevelopment, they stated it was not their problem. The garbage truck still comes down the hill. He has told them that is one piece of equipment that you cannot stop. Mr. Bittner has seen those buses coming through and never sees them loaded. He does not see why they could not supply a smaller bus. Mr. Crumrine hopes that by Spring something could be worked out between the Borough, the bus company and the University. He understands that bus did not start coming down that way until after they built Jefferson. Mrs. Chambers would like to request a representative from the bus company come to the Borough to talk with them to see what could be accomplished. Mr. Bittner stated some of the drivers were backing up to the Towers from Fifth Street but the safety person from the bus company did not allow that. Mr. Bittner and Mrs. Chambers would try to resolve this problem. Joe Augustine Mr. Augustine worked for the Transit Authority and helped put the Silver Line together. The person representing California on the Board of Directors for the Transit Authority should bring this up to the board. Mr. Bittner stated that is Joe Dochinez. Mr. Augustine stated the Silver Line was geared towards college students. Tuition money is paying for that so Council needs to talk to the college to see if they could make the changes. Janet Bateman Mrs. Bateman stated an ordinance was just passed to protect the neighborhoods, residents and families. Now a gentleman wants to buy some of the Borough residences and the idea of the ordinance was trying to protect the neighborhoods when somebody wants to buy more of them. She wanted to know if Council has any information whatsoever about this. If this continues there would be no neighborhoods to protect. The speed on Pennsylvania still exists, nothing has been done and somebody is going to get killed up there. The Mayor assured her that a traffic shift is being run like he stated was going to be run and the officer averages about twelve to fourteen traffic stops per shift but he is not quite sure where she is sitting. Mrs. Bateman hears a lot of screeching of wheels. Mr. Bittner stated there is a heavy police presence on Pennsylvania Avenue, Park Street and Hickory Street. They are concentrating the traffic control there. It has made a difference in a couple of neighborhoods because a couple of his neighbors have expressed that they are thankful to see them up there and it has made a difference. As Mayor Durdines expressed before, he is exploring the safe routes to school grant to try to put in an actual sidewalk but the grant period is closed for this year so he cannot apply for that until next year. So it would probably be two-year before the grant money is obtained but based on the criteria he is fairly certain that the Borough would be eligible for that and have a good chance at getting that. She asked if there is a garbage ordinance. If there is anybody that enforces the garbage deal because it sets out for weeks at a time. From the time they pick up the garbage, there is garbage right back out again and it makes the town look shabby. She thinks a retired person with no benefits, by the time they went around and wrote citations, they would make whatever money they made and the town would make even more. She suggested that six months ago and has seen nothing on that. James Goodwyn Mr. Goodwyn lives on the corner of Ash and First Street. He started sinking money into a home that his wife’s family has owned for eighty years and the sewer project was started this year. There is nothing left down there, Tomko demolished the roads and they damaged his property. Mr. Bittner stated that is the water company. Mr. Goodwyn stated Tomko destroyed the road, the water company tore his sidewalk out, dug up his yard, never gave him a notice that they were going to install a fire hydrant on his property and there is a fire hydrant twenty-feet on the other side of the road. He is putting in a new driveway, putting thousands of dollars in his home and the surrounding area has deteriorated in six months time. He asked if there a timeframe when Tomko is going to fix the roads, when is the sidewalk is going to be repaired or is it going to just fall apart. Mr. Bittner stated that is the water company and they would be contacted tomorrow. Mr. Goodwyn had to start driving his truck because he drug the exhaust on his car trying to get out of the road. There are ruts over your ankles. Mr. Bittner stated that was the water company because Tomko only came to the manhole. Mr. Goodwyn knows where Tomko was because they ran a pipe, had sewage through his yard and across his sidewalks. If it is going to deteriorate he has to make a decision whether his family are going to stay. He understands the college kids living around him, that is part of life here. Mr. Bittner would contact the water company tomorrow to see what their plans are. Gene Knight Mr. Knight has not heard an answer regarding the guy that is proposing building the apartment building, a store, beer garden and a pizza shop. Is this allowed, is Council going to stop it, has anything been discussed since last week? Mr. Bittner deferred him to Mr. Melenyzer because of the possibility that the Borough could have a legal situation taking place up there. Mr. Melenyzer stated there is insufficient information to render a legal opinion. Until he has that he cannot and he would not. Mr. Knight understood that but he stated that last week and thinks somebody should get the information to him. Mr. Melenyzer stated he is making progress but the information is coming in slowly. Some of the residents might have information that could be valuable and they could give it to Mr. Large so it could ultimately feed to Mr. Melenyzer. He cannot from a legal standpoint make any recommendations unless he knows all the facts. John Hilty Mr. Hilty read in the Focus that Booster Field and Phillipsburg School was sold to SAI and the board of directors approved the purchase for $460,000. It has not been determined conclusively how the property would be used. He was curious if they would be able to put a 400-unit parking lot across from his house. He would think with the new zoning that would be something that was not in the zoning. Ms. Roberts stated the Borough has the same amount of information that he has. Mr. Hilty asked if that fits into the zoning that it has been rezoned to. She has the same amount of information that he has. Mr. Hilty stated the Borough just went through an extensive rezoning. Ms. Roberts stated that depends on what… Mr. Hilty stated that is R-1 zone and he does not believe a 400-unit parking lot could be put in an R-1 zone. Ms. Roberts did not know. Mr. Hilty stated before getting into a situation where you have a site plan for something that is not going to come to fruition in the end and end up in a legal situation. They would have to come to Council to get some type of permitting and he hopes that this would at least be addressed as the Cross Street situation to stop this in an R-1, unless this Council has given them this property to do that. Ms. Roberts stated that is not the Borough’s property to give. Mr. Hilty congratulated Tony Mariscotti. Audry Knight Mrs. Knight asked if the Phillipsburg School property would be grandfathered into a use that it has been or would they need a special exception to change that. Mr. Melenyzer stated he would render a legal opinion but he needs the data. If he cannot get it he would recommend an investigator be hired to find out what is going on. He cannot give an opinion because he does not have all the facts. Mrs. Knight stated that seems to be the answer the residents are getting for everything. Mr. Melenyzer stated that maybe she should look to somebody besides the Solicitor. When the information is put on his desk and he does not give an opinion on it then you could chastise him in public because he would be wrong. Mr. Bittner stated tonight, he knows as much as Mr. Hilty just read out of the paper. The school district is in the process of selling that building. It was in the Observer Reporter this morning. They are going to Court to get permission to sell, he guesses the school district has to bet permission to dispose of this property, get some kind of court blessing. Other than that, what he read in the paper was the first time he was aware of what they proposed to use it for. Mrs. Chambers asked school board members and they told her they didn’t know. Mr. Bittner stated now that they have a proposed use for that building, Council would at least give that to Mr. Melenyzer as a starting point and he can work on that. Mr. Melenyzer stated one of the things, unless it is an emergency situation, he usually requests a directive on the minutes from Council for him to do anything. If it is an emergency situation in his opinion, he would do it and get ratification from Council later on. Mrs. Knight mentioned it is not the university that is buying the property, it is an independent corporation. Mr. Melenyzer stated her point is well taken but again Council has to look behind what is going on. He has no idea, but could find out. She would hope somebody would authorize him to do that. She then asked if it is true that the Zulu Apartments has had the water shut off. Ms. Roberts stated yes. Mrs. Knight asked why then are there people still living in there. Mrs. Chambers stated the water company was called and they can do nothing for ten days. Nobody has complained about that water being shut off, the water company stated they shut it off. Mr. Bittner stated there is a time constraint on buildings with no utilities, the time is up on Tuesday so Mr. Large could shut the building down on Tuesday. Weld/Gallo motion to authorize Mr. Melenyzer as information becomes available to proceed with an opinion and investigate the sale of Phillipsburg School and how it impacts an R-1 zone. On a roll call vote motion carried with all members voting yes. Mr. Melenyzer stated when a letter is received from an attorney it immediately becomes a legal issue which is under the statute, his authority. Mr. Hilty did not feel the school is a legal issue, he does not feel there is a legal problem at this point. They are talking about purchasing the property. He is asking Council if they are going to be able to build a parking lot there. That has nothing to do with a legal issue at this point, that is a zoning issue. Ms. Roberts had no idea because she has seen no paperwork. The paperwork would have to be dated. Mr. Hilty stated the Borough just went through a rezoning, you would surely have to know what that zoning is there. Is it a permitted use there or not? Ms. Roberts could not give him an answer until she sees the paperwork. Mr. Hilty thinks it is a bigger issue if Council does not know whether or not that could be done after a $30,000 rezoning project for the last six months. Ms. Roberts stated, again she needs to see the paperwork. She does not know what they are doing. Mr. Hilty stated he is not asking that question. He is asking if a parking lot is permitted in R-1 and that is not a legal question for Mr. Melenyzer and he doesn’t need to answer that question. If they do not own the property yet how could a legal ruling be made. Mr. Melenyzer stated somebody is coming to an end decision to do something with the property that the Borough would love to know in advance where they are headed. Mrs. Chambers stated the zoning has changed, but it would depend on the date of the sale. Mr. Hilty stated he thinks the sale is just proposed. Mrs. Chambers stated no one from the school district or SAI had come to Council. Mr. Hilty stated supposed hypothetically that this property has been bought. Mrs. Chambers stated this is not known and a bill of sale has not been seen. Mr. Hilty stated that is not his question whether or not it has sold, his question is if it is, are they able to put in a 400-unit lot. Mrs. Chambers stated that is all speculation. Mr. Hilty stated it was just talked about Pennsylvania Avenue being a nightmare, if there is a 400-unit parking lot across Orchard Street, Pennsylvania Avenue is not even going to exist. He would think that any plan for a lot like that would require a traffic plan and different efforts from the Borough. Russ Urick Mr. Urick stated the person who could answer these questions is the zoning officer. Apparently somebody is not doing their job, Council does not know what is going on. The question was asked if the water was shut off from that building. If the water has been shut off, it is a health hazard. He lives right across the street and with all this going on there are still people living in there and it is going to be nothing but filth. Is anybody going to go up there and check this? Are you going to say you cannot do that because it is illegal? Where are his rights as a citizen to get things done? He and his wife have complained for years about things up there. Somebody let the citizens know what is going on. Weld/Roberts motion to adjourn at 8:50 P.M. duly carried.
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