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May 14, 2009 City Council Minutes

This regular meeting of the Connellsville City Council was held this evening at 7:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers, Municipal Building, at 110 North Arch Street, Connellsville, PA. Attending this meeting were Mayor Reed, Council Members McIntire, Matthews, and Bodes. Also attending this meeting were Administrative Secretary Shelley Primus and Solicitor Mitchell. Councilman Geyer was absent.

A moment of silence was observed following the Pledge of Allegiance.

VISITORS/PUBLIC COMMENTS:

James McIntire, Connellsville, announced the release of the “Connellsville Crossroads” Magazine being May 23, 2009 at the Geranium Festival. He noted the 3 features of the first magazine will be the past, present and future of Connellsville. McIntire also announced that the second issue will be released at Timber Days on September 5, 2009. This issue will be focused on the railroad history and churches in Connellsville. He announced their website as www.connellsvillecultraltrust.org and the magazine subscription will be $35.00.

Goldie Brown, Connellsville, spoke next concerning the Landlord Ordinance and Section 8 housing.

Cynthia Oakes, Connellsville, discussed the City’s ordinance which pertains to “Potbelly” pigs. She requests City Council adopt a new ordinance recognizing “Potbelly pigs” as pets, noting the State has. Mrs. Oakes announced the Health Officer has given her 90 days to find a new home for her family pet of 8 years (potbelly pig) named “Barbie”. She requested council will take action before then.

Judy Keller, City Treasurer, requested City Council contact Mr. Marsh of Xpand to meet with him and discuss re-coop delinquent taxes. Keller noted all work will be done by CENTAX. She further discussed the General Fund account and the Tax Anticipation Loan.

Peter Jandura, Connellsville, thanked the Mayor and members of City Council for meeting with him one on one to discuss moving the City forward. He also stated he feels the Landlord Ordinance needs to stay in place and council should not back down.

Elisa Mayes, Trail Town Outreach Corp., discussed Connellsville Community Gardens.

Dr. Paul Dascani, Connellsville Landlord, discussed the changes that the landlords requested be made to the new ordinance.

Geno Gallo, Connellsville Landlord, discussed the changes that the landlords requested be made to the new ordinance.

Mayor Reed noted for the record that many changes were made to the original ordinance. She noted on pages 4 and 5 there were approximately 24 lines changed, search warrants was taken out, moves and re-inspection fees were taken out along with other areas taken out as well. Mayor Reed and City Council worked in good faith with the landlords for the best possible outcome for the City.

CORRESPONDENCE: NONE

REGULAR AGENDA:

Resolution No. 5-1-09: “To accept the minutes from the April 16, 2009 City Council Meeting.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Bodes, Matthews, McIntire, and Reed. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

MAYOR REED:

Curry Mine discussion: Mayor Reed noted that they had the second hearing and the third hearing will be June 10, 2009. She announced at the May 6, 2009 Curry Mine meeting that many groups testified about the negative affects it would have on the health, safety and welfare of the public, the land, waterways, Youghiogheny River, and the economic development of the communities. Laurel Hill Creek has been named as one of the 10 endangered waterways in the United States.

Charette discussion: Mayor Reed announced that a group of planners and architects visited the City last week, May 6, 2009, and proposed architectural designs for some historic buildings in the City. Last week they returned to concentrate on developing an attractive look for Connellsville. Amtrak has committed 1.5 Million Dollars for the construction of a passenger station in Connellsville. The Mayor discussed the importance of making a good image of Connellsville City.

School closing discussion: Mayor Reed noted many of the affects closing schools would have on this City and its residents. She also addressed the transportation costs that the School District did not project, adding that this would be an increase to taxpayers. She also announced that she and all four members of City Council oppose the closing of the school. Solutions could be to notify the State Department of Education and Re-instating a City of Connellsville School Authority Board. Mayor Reed asked the school board what the financial long-term debt was and did not receive an answer.

Mayor Reed announced “Career Link” is hiring persons aged 18 – 24 for summer employment. She noted residents can either contact them or come into the City’s Administrative Office to pick-up an application.

Milton L. Bishop, American Legion Post 301, Mr. J. R. Smith announces the annual Flag Day Program with the dignified disposal of Unserviceable Flags, Sat. June 13, @ 5:00 p.m.

She also informed the public that the residential rental unit registration has been extended until June 15, 2009.

The Geranium Festival is May 23rd.

Mayor Reed read a Proclamation designating May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day.

Police Department Report

The resolution “To adopt the Policy and Procedure Manual as prepared by Campbell, Beatty and Durrant.” was tabled at the April 16, 2009 City Council meeting. The Mayor did not read this resolution and noted it will be presented at the next meeting.

Resolution No. 5-2-09: “To appoint Peter Jandura to the Connellsville Board of Health, term to expire April 1, 2011.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Bodes, Matthews, McIntire, and Reed. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Resolution No. 5-3-09: "To request an information technology assessment of the City's current financial management computer software/hardware system by adopting a Letter of Intent for submission to the Governor's Center for Local Government Services as a follow-up to the Early Intervention Plan.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Bodes, Matthews, McIntire, and Reed. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Resolution No. 5-4-09: “To authorize the signing of the road closing request form as required by Penn DOT to close off a section of Orchard Alley between Cottage Avenue and Prospect Street on June 18th, 19th and 20th, between the hours of 6:00 PM and 11:00 PM for the annual Parish Festival held by Immaculate Conception, St. Rita and St. John the Evangelist Churches. This closing is pending approval of the Connellsville Police Department.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Bodes, Matthews, McIntire, and Reed. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

BODES:

Resolution No. 5-5-09: “To pay all bills/expenditures in excess of $500.00: John A. Fiesta Agency, Liability/Bond, $11,121.62; Krumanacker Electric, Traffic Control, $1,604.30; Widmer Engineering, Inc., Engineering fee for paving, $985.00; HDH Group, Liability Insurance, 29,794.75.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Bodes, McIntire, Matthews and Reed. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Solicitor Mitchell explained the next resolution.

Resolution No. 5-6-09: RESOLUTION IMPLEMENTING THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE LOCAL TAXPAYERS BILL OF RIGHTS BY ADOPTING RULES AND REGULATIONS, ADOPTING A DISCLOSURE STATEMENT, ADOPTING A FORM OF TAXPAYER PETITION AND ADOPTING ADMINISTRATIVE APPEAL PROCEDURES.

WHEREAS, the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania enacted the Local Taxpayers Bill of Rights (the “LTBR”) within the provisions of Act 50 of 1998; and

WHEREAS, The City of Connellsville certain taxes which qualify as Eligible Taxes under the LTBR; and

WHEREAS, in order to comply with the requirements of the Local Taxpayers Bill of Rights, the governing body of this political subdivision desires to adopt rules and regulations for practice and procedure implementing the LTBR, a Notice to Taxpayers, a Disclosure Statement and administrative appeal procedures relating to taxpayer Petitions.

NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED, by the City Council of the City of Connellsville, Fayette County, Pennsylvania (the “Governing Body”), as follows:

1. The Rules and Regulations attached hereto as Schedule 1 and incorporated herein are hereby approved and adopted.

2. The Disclosure Statement, substantially in the form set forth in Schedule 2 attached hereto and incorporated herein, is hereby approved and adopted.

3. The form of Petition for Appeal and Refund, substantially in the form set forth in Schedule 3 attached hereto and incorporated herein, is hereby approved and adopted.

4. The form of Taxpayer Notice, substantially in the form set forth in Schedule 4 attached hereto and incorporated herein, is hereby approved and adopted.

5. The form of Request for Extension of Time to Provide Information, substantially in the form set forth in Schedule 5 attached hereto and incorporated herein, is hereby approved and adopted.

6. The form of Initial Refund Claim Form, substantially in the form set forth in Schedule 6 attached hereto and incorporated herein, is hereby approved and adopted.

7. The Governing Body hereby determines that Administrative Appeal Procedures relating to Petitions for Appeal and Refund submitted by taxpayers in connection with the assessment, determination or refund of an Eligible Tax under the LTBR shall be undertaken by the City of Connellsville City Council in Executive Session.

8. The Administrative Appeal Procedures set forth in the Rules and Regulations and substantially in the form set forth in Schedule 7, attached hereto and incorporated herein, are hereby approved and adopted.

9. This Resolution shall be applicable to Eligible Taxes as of May 15, 2009.

10. In the event any provision, section, sentence, clause or part of this Resolution shall be held to be invalid, such invalidity shall not affect or impair any remaining provision, section, sentence, clause or part of this Resolution, it being the intent of this Governing Body that the remainder of the Resolution shall remain in full force and effect.

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Bodes, McIntire, Matthews and Reed. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

GEYER: absent

MATTHEWS:

Matthews read Geyer’s Resolutions:

Resolution No. 5-7-09: “To hire the following individuals as basketball and tennis instructors for the upcoming recreational program: Adam Stone, James Hariston, Leo Lowney, Bill Ricks and Bill Baur. Salaries to be paid from enrollment fee, which is not to exceed $500 and is contingent upon enrollment.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Bodes, McIntire, Matthews and Reed. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Street/Recreation Department Report

Resolution No. 5-8-09: “To open sealed bids for resurfacing the following City streets in the City of Connellsville: Sycamore Street from Washington Avenue to Newmyer Avenue; Carnegie Avenue from Wills Road to Fairview Avenue; and Patterson Avenue from Sycamore Street to Race Street.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Bodes, McIntire, Matthews and Reed. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

A. Folino Construction, Inc., $77,468 El Grande Ind., $86,720 Morgan Excavating, LP, $82,768. Victor Paving, $95,500 Derry Construction, $121,385 Glenn Johnston, $69,157

Resolution No. 5-9-09: “To accept the bid of Glenn Johnston, Inc. in the amount of $69,157.00 for resurfacing the following City streets in the City of Connellsville: Sycamore Street from Washington Avenue to Newmyer Avenue; Carnegie Avenue from Wills Road to Fairview Avenue; and Patterson Avenue from Sycamore Street to Race Street, upon approval of City Engineer and City Solicitor.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Bodes, McIntire, Matthews and Reed. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Resolution No. 5-10-09: “To add the following name(s) to the City of Connellsville’s on-call list for temporary and/or seasonal employment: Rachelle Wiltrout, Jeremy Keefer and Nathan Stoots.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Bodes, McIntire, Matthews and Reed. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

MCINTIRE:

Health Department Report New Haven Hose Report Fire Department Report

Resolution No. 5-11-09: “To set hourly salary for Tom Currey at $11.00 per hour retroactive date of hire, and to limit work hours not to exceed 20 hours per week unless an emergency occurs.”

McIntire complimented Tom Currey and the job he has been doing.

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Bodes, McIntire and Reed. Matthews voted nay. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Resolution No. 5-12-09: “To ratify the ACT 111 Interest Arbitration Opinion and Award between the City of Connellsville and the Connellsville Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 1917 as Awarded by Elliot Newman, Esquire, Impartial Arbitrator, April 9, 2009.”

There was a failure to second this resolution.

Solicitor Mitchell explained the resolution and why it was not needed.

McIntire withdrew the resolution and discussed the Fire Department. He noted that they went through an arbitrator and they were awarded more than the City can afford.

Bodes added the contract is going to cost the City too much money and it’s an outrage. He further suggested that the public get this information on what it will cost the taxpayers.

Mayor Reed stated that the contract award was disheartening for the City and that RDM recommended the Fire Station be sold. .

CITY TREASURER KELLER’S REPORT:

CONTROLLER WROTE’S REPORT:

Resolution No. 5-13-09: “That this meeting of City Council does hereby adjourn.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Bodes, McIntire, Matthews and Reed. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Site by Michael D. McCumber (Connellsville, PA Pictures