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July 20, 2011 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 was Mayor Matthews, Council members Geyer, Karpiak, Weaver and Ritch. Also attending this meeting was City Clerk Tesauro and Solicitor Mitchell.

A moment of silence was observed following the Pledge of Allegiance. Prayer was given by Pastor Don Smith.

VISITORS/PUBLIC COMMENTS:

Geno Gallo, Sustainability Coordinator, Discussed “Green Team” recycling and announced the need of volunteers. He requested anyone who would be able to volunteer to please contact City Hall.

Amy Camp, Manager of the Trail Town, Thanked City Council for accepting the artwork, discussed bike racks, costs for business at 50% the cost and non-profit organizations and questions regulations on State Roads in respect to placing the bike racks on the sidewalks of State Roads, also to see if the City has any regulations with the bike racks.

CORRESPONDENCE:

Guy Tressler, West Side Hill Italian Bash on July 24th beginning at 1 PM

Conn Area Catholic School, Centennial and parade, August 21st

Resolution No. 7-1-2011: “To block off Banning Avenue from the alley adjacent 1336 Banning Avenue to the intersection of North Eleventh Street on July 24, 2011, pending review of the Police Chief.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Weaver, Karpiak, Geyer, Ritch and Mayor Matthews. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Resolution No. 7-2-2011: “To block off East Crawford Avenue during the Centennial Parade on August 21, 2011, pending review of Police Chief and Penn DOT.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Weaver, Karpiak, Geyer, Ritch and Mayor Matthews. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

REGULAR AGENDA:

Resolution No. 7-3-2011: “To accept the minutes from the June 15, 2011City Council Meeting.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Weaver, Karpiak, Geyer, Ritch and Mayor Matthews. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Resolution No. 7-4-2011: “To waive the 4-day Resolution Rule to allow for items submitted after the 4-day rule to be read at the meeting tonight, such resolutions will be marked with an asterisk.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Weaver, Geyer, and Mayor Matthews. Karpiak and Ritch voted nay. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Matthews thanked the Historical Society for holding the Braddock’s Crossing Re-enactment. He further thanked River City Promotions holding their Triathlon and noted it was successful. Matthews also announced the Farmer’s Market is now being held uptown.

MAYOR MATTHEWS:

Police Department Report

Resolution No. 7-5-2011: “To appoint Gregory Lincoln to the Connellsville Recreation Board effective immediately, term to expire the first Monday of 2016.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Weaver, Karpiak, Geyer, Ritch and Mayor Matthews. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Resolution No. 7-6-2011: “To appoint Leigh Ann Lincoln to the Connellsville Recreation Board effective immediately, term to expire the first Monday of 2014.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Weaver, Karpiak, Geyer, Ritch and Mayor Matthews. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Matthews announced that these two people are married and have been attending the Recreation Board Meetings for awhile; further noting that they are happy to try this out and see how it works out.

Resolution No. 7-7-2011: “To appoint Sunshine Bubarth to the Connellsville Recreation Board effective immediately, term to expire the first Monday of 2016.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Weaver, Karpiak, Geyer, Ritch and Mayor Matthews. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Matthews thanked Councilman Ritch for keeping the Recreation Board going and on the up and up. He further stated that a lot of good ideas are coming out of the board.

Resolution No. 7-8-2011: “To appoint Gary Barker to the Connellsville Housing Authority for a term to expire the first Monday of 2016.”

Matthews stated that Barker has taken Melissa Tzan’s place due to her moving to the Recreation Board.

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Weaver, Karpiak, Geyer, Ritch and Mayor Matthews. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Resolution No. 7-9-2011: “To authorize the advertisement and sale of the Police Department Motorcycle, a 2000 BMW R1100RTP to be sold as is. Sealed bids accompanied by 10% Bid Bond will be accepted until 5:00 pm on August 17, 2011 in the Administrative Office, Attention: City Clerk, City of Connellsville, 110 North Arch Street, P.O. Box 698, Connellsville, PA 15425. The municipality reserves the right to reject any or all proposals.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Weaver, Karpiak, Geyer, Ritch and Mayor Matthews. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Resolution No. 7-10-2011: “To accept the resignation of Herbert G. Mitchell, III as City Solicitor effective August 1, 2001.”

Matthews and Council thanked Mitchell for his time. Mitchell thanked everyone he worked with.

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Weaver, Karpiak, Geyer, Ritch and Mayor Matthews. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Resolution No. 7-11-2011: “To appoint Attorney Tim Witt as City Solicitor effective July 21, 2011.”

Matthews introduced Mr. Witt and explained he will be hired tomorrow so that Mitchell can confer with him over the next 10 days with present City business.

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Weaver, Karpiak, Geyer, Ritch and Mayor Matthews. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Matthews explained the next resolution.

Resolution No. 7-12-2011: “WHEREAS the City of Connellsville ("City") and Widewaters Connellsville Company. LLC ("Widewaters") have mutually agreed to certain restrictive covenants pertaining property commonly referred to as the "Hotel Parcel"

WHEREAS a synopsis of the parties described covenant permits the City an option to "BUY BACK" the "Hotel Parcel" for a sum of One Hundred Thousand Dollars $100,000.00/100.

WHEREAS the City's option to purchase shall become extinguished in the event that Widewaters commences development on the Hotel Parcel

WHEREAS the City desires to have a hotel constructed on the Hotel Parcel

WHEREAS Widewaters has indicated at a public meeting of Connellsville City Council that other potential investors have expressed interest in constructing a hotel on the Hotel Parcel WHEREAS Widewaters has indicated at same public meeting that potential developers are deterred from exploring hotel construction on the Hotel Parcel as result of the City's Buy Back Option

WHEREAS Widewaters, in good faith, and in exchange for the attached easement agreement(), requests that the City relinquish their Buy Back Option of Hotel Parcel so that Widewaters may market the parcel to development firms interested constructing a hotel on the Hotel Parcel

The City of Connellsville hereby relinquishes their right to exercise the "buy back option" pertaining to property commonly referred to as "the Hotel Parcel," more fully described in the most recent agreement between the City of Connellsville and Widewaters Connellsville Company, LLC, in exchange for an easement agreement pending approval of the City Solicitor and City Engineer.”

Karpiak stated this resolution is one of the reasons he voted no on the four day rule. Karpiak further noted it is his duty to do what is in the best interest of the City. My opposition to relinquishing this buyout is, or this $100,000.00 buyout is, I feel, in the best interest of this town. It’s because of the clause in here for a reason, and the reason is for a hotel. We are giving that up with no guarantees that there will be a hotel. I think that it’s in Widewaters best interest to sell this. “I have no guarantees from Widewaters that they are going to erect a hotel on that hotel parel. Now we are faced with, before anyone can do anything, we are faced with this $100,000 buyout. It sat there for 8 years, untouched, and now this. We don’t have $100,000.00 and we do need a hotel. This states that investors have expressed interest in building a hotel on this parcel. Is it because of the City’s $100,000.00 buyout option that you are holding back?

Marco answered that the gentleman who will be marketing this hotel parcel will not stick his neck out if the City can pull back last minute. He further noted that he cannot “guarantee” a hotel will be built, but it’s very good.

Karpiak answered that what is in here is not correct and pointed it out. He further stressed the City “needs a hotel. Matthews noted that Widewaters is the City’s best bet for building the hotel.

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Weaver, Geyer, Ritch and Mayor Matthews. Karpiak voted nay. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Resolution No. 7-13-2011: “The City Council of the City of Connellsville hereby authorizes the Mayor, with authorization of both City Solicitor and City Engineer, to execute any necessary documentation to effectuate Resolution No. 12 (above resolution), pertaining to the city's relinquishment of their Buy Back Option of the Hotel Parcel and Easement Agreement given in exchange therefore.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Weaver, Karpiak, Geyer, Ritch and Mayor Matthews. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

GEYER:

Resolution No. 7-14-2011: “To pay all bills/expenditures for goods/services in excess of $500 as submitted: R J Network, $1,695.00, Replacement of camera equipment at Yough Park due to lightning damage.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Weaver, Karpiak, Geyer, Ritch and Mayor Matthews. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Resolution No. 7-15-2011: “To advertise to accept sealed bids for conducting the annual audit for the City of Connellsville for fiscal years 2011, 2012 and 2013. Bids will be accepted until 5:00 pm on August 17, 2011 and will be opened at the City Council Meeting on August 17, 2011 beginning at 7 PM. The municipality reserves the right to reject any or all proposals.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Weaver, Karpiak, Geyer, Ritch and Mayor Matthews. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Resolution No. 7-16-2011: “To authorize the advertisement of BILL NO.1, ORDINANCE NO.1481, AUTHORIZING PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTIONS FOR THE ACQUISITION, CONSTRUCTION, RENOVATION, AND IMPROVEMENTS TO PROPERTY SITUATED IN THE CITY OF CONNELLSVILLE; DEFINING ELIGIBLE PROPERTY; SETTING A MAXIMUM EXEMPTION AMOUNT AND AN EXEMPTION SCHEDULE; AND PROVIDING A PROCEDURE FOR SECURING AN EXEMPTION.”

Geyer explained that this resolution is for new property owners purchasing a property that needs renovation and allowing them to have the financial means to bring the property up to code.

Ritch requested a time line (tax abatement) in this resolution.

Geyer read the time line and procedure (available upon request). He further noted that it will sit for Thirty (30) Days for public comment and adjustment.

Karpiak noted the reason he voted no to allowing last minute resolutions is because of this and not being able to review it first. He further stated he is for tax abatement, but when people are given abatement then not use their own money (use grant money), he is against it.

Geyer explained the document was just typed up. A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Weaver, Karpiak, Geyer, Ritch and Mayor Matthews. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

KARPIAK:

Public Works Report

Resolution No. 7-17-2011: “To close portions of West Orchard Alley and North Meadow Lane during the 2011 Free Concerts at Lions Square, pending review of Police Chief.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Weaver, Karpiak, Geyer, Ritch and Mayor Matthews. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Karpiak thanked Dwaine Gordon for donating his property to the City for the City garage. He stated it’s a very nice thing that he did and he wants to ensure Mr. Gordon knows that.

Karpiak also noted the City has a recycling bin on the back side of the Garage.

Karpiak thanked everyone who helped with the Triathlon this year, noting there was not as many people this year. He added it was a three day weekend and a lot of people left, some may have felt that it’s too hard, some went to Morgantown the previous weekend then didn’t follow-up with the Triathlon. He thanked Councilman Ritch for his words, “It doesn’t matter if you have 50 people or 500, and they get the same show.” Karpiak stated they are not giving up and it will be bigger and better next year because this event is to promote Connellsville. He noted they are reconsidering the date. Karpiak did question when the restrooms at Yough Park will be updated and fixed.

Matthews questioned Glenn Wolfe of Widmer Engineering if that is in the grant for Yough Park. Wolfe answered yes it is.

WEAVER:

Fire Department Report Health/Code Department Report New Haven Hose Report

Resolution No. 7-18-2011: “To place a Request for Proposals for the City of Connellsville’s three year garbage service contract, with an option for four years, beginning November 1, 2011 and ending October 31, 2014. The Request for Proposals specs to be available at City Hall August 1, 2011. RFP's are due by 5:00 pm on September 21, 2011, and will be opened later that day at the 7:00 pm council meeting. The municipality reserves the right to reject any or all proposals.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Weaver, Karpiak, Geyer, Ritch and Mayor Matthews. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Resolution No. 7-19-2011: “To transfer ownership of City’s Engine #2 Fire Truck to New Haven Hose Company.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Weaver, Karpiak, Geyer, Ritch and Mayor Matthews. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

RITCH:

Parks/Public Property Report

Ritch noted he agrees that the City needs a hotel and he also attends events this month.

Resolution No. 7-20-2011: “To accept a piece of Art called “From Coke to Spokes,” made possible by a grant secured from the PA Council on the Arts by the Trail Town Program. The artwork, by Artist Jody Best, will be displayed at Yough Park at the intersection of 1st and 3rd Streets. This artwork will reflect the artists’ rendition of a Coke Oven.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Weaver, Karpiak, Geyer, Ritch and Mayor Matthews. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Resolution No. 7-21-2011: “To award the bid for the new Phone System for the City of Connellsville to R & J Network in the amount of $12,250.00, pending Solicitor’s review.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Weaver, Karpiak, Geyer, Ritch and Mayor Matthews. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Ritch explained the Veterans helped with resources with the following resolution. He also noted City Hall will hold a program with this resolution.

Resolution No. 7-22-2011: “To allow Michael Parlak, Eagle Scout, to construct a memorial at Veteran's Plaza, City Hall, honoring Connellsville's Medal of Honor recipient, Samuel Johnson for his bravery at the September 17, 1862 Battle of Antietam, Maryland, and in conjunction with the 150th anniversary to be celebrated on September 17, 2012.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Weaver, Karpiak, Geyer, Ritch and Mayor Matthews. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Ritch commended the Police Department stating they are one of the finest around. He then noted he has a problem with Crawford Avenue and the speeding. Ritch explained that there were just two deaths this past week on Crawford Avenue. “I live on Crawford Avenue and watch this on a daily basis.” He requested lines be put where the Armstrong, Vona’s and Crawford Trading Post stretch of road is. Ritch announced that he would like the residents of the City to know that he is pushing for that area to be targeted by the Police because it’s only 25 mph.

Matthews announced when Chief Capitos comes back, the department will get together with the Street Department and get the lines in and have a point to watch cars from.

Matthews discussed the City having CENTAX for taxes and the County, starting next year, will have Southwest. He noted employers may start getting notices and everyone should be aware of the change. He further commented Council needs to decide whom they will choose.

CITY TREASURER REPORT:

Resolution No. 7-23-2011: “To schedule an Executive Session at 6 PM on August 17, 2011 to discuss legal, personnel and contractual issues.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Weaver, Karpiak, Geyer, Ritch and Mayor Matthews. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Resolution No. 7-24-2011: “That this meeting of City Council does hereby adjourn.”

A vote upon the adoption of the resolution resulted as follows: Affirmative were Weaver, Karpiak, Geyer, Ritch and Mayor Matthews. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

Site by Michael D. McCumber (Connellsville, PA Pictures