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July 17, 2013 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 Karpiak, Weaver, Geyer and Ritch. Also attending this meeting was City Clerk Tesauro and Solicitor Witt.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE AND MOMENT OF SILENCE:

Mayor Matthews announced that prior to the meeting Council was in Executive Session for the purpose of discussing the acquisition of property.

VISITORS/PUBLIC COMMENTS:

Cindy Stevenson, discussed the TNR (Trap Neuter Return) Program and the “Cat Committee”. Stevenson, Rudnik and Benedict have put this program in place in Mt. Pleasant, PA. Sue Rudnik, discussed cats and how the TNR (Trap Neuter Return) program works. Theresa Benedict, discussed cats (another member of the “Cat Committee” and TNR Karpiak questioned how many traps are set out. Stevenson answered it depended upon how many they are trying to capture and it could be from 2 traps up to 6. She noted they own six.

Geyer questioned if they are established with a vet. Stevenson answered they are working with a few and Council could speak with them to ensure the TNR is a well-established protocol. She further noted most weeks they take 4-6 cats to a humane society to get fixed.

Karpiak questioned the cost of the traps. Stevenson answered the traps are $40 plus shipping.

Chris Rossclot, Cobblestone, Discussed a possibility of a hotel in City

Leigh Ann Lincoln, Treasurer of the Recreation Board, Discussed the board’s purpose and upcoming events

Judy Keller, Questioned an article in the paper

Lucy King, Downtown Connellsville update

Krista Martin, Discussed chickens
Cecilia Driscoll, Discussed chickens
Geno Gallo, Discussed chickens and asked Council for a pilot program
Weaver stated this issue has been debated at the Health Board twice and each time they made the decision they will not recommend it to City Council. She further stated that she does not want to burden the Code Officer with having to go around inspecting the coops. Weaver added private individuals have no standing with enforcing the codes. She insisted that there are more important problems with health and code in the City right now compared to trying chickens. Weaver stated in a perfect world, trying chickens would be wonderful, but noted this is not a perfect world. She made clear that right now there is more for Tom Currey to do than he has time to get it done. Weaver suggested those wanting the chickens write the ordinance, because she and Tom Currey do not have the time, take the ordinance to Mr. Currey who will give it to the solicitor who will review it and if he does not approve it, then that is the end of it. She further stated she is not willing to spend City money to pay the solicitor to write an ordinance for this. Weaver stated that she does not know if her fellow Council members agree with her. She stated after tonight she wants nothing else to do with this issue. Weaver stated her vote is no to raising chickens which she feels are farm animals. She further made it clear that she and the Board of Health are against it.

CORRESPONDENCE:

Guy Tressler, Jr., Westside Hill Italian Bash, Sunday, July 21st at 1 PM

Resolution No. 7-1-2013: “To block off Banning Avenue from the alley adjacent 1336 Banning Avenue to the intersection of North Eleventh Street for the annual Westside Hill Italian Bash on Sunday, July 21st, 2013; conditioned upon review and approval of Police Chief.”

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

City Church, Children’s event, Saturday, September 14th

Resolution No. 7-2-2013: “To block off and use the City Parking Lot located adjacent to the City Church building at 206 North Pittsburgh Street on Saturday, September 14th from 8 AM until 8 PM; conditioned upon review and approval of Police Chief.”

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

Downtown Connellsville, Autumn Mum Festival, Saturday, September 7, 2013

Resolution No. 7-3-2013: “To close Crawford Avenue between Arch Street and Pittsburgh Street on Saturday, September 7, 2013 from 7 AM until 7 PM with a rain date of September 8, 2013; conditioned upon review and approval of Police Chief and PennDOT.”

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

Elks Lodge #503, Request to close road on August 25, 2013 for their annual picnic

Resolution No. 7-4-2013: “To close North Carnegie Avenue, between East Crawford Avenue and East Orchard Alley from 9 AM August 24, 2013 till 9 AM August 25, 2013 for the Elks Lodge Picnic.”

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

REGULAR AGENDA:

Resolution No. 7-5-2013: “To approve the minutes from the June 19, 2013 City Council Meeting.”

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

Resolution No. 7-6-2013: “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 Karpiak, Geyer, Ritch, Weaver and Mayor Matthews. The majority of the votes being affirmative, the resolution was adopted.

MAYOR MATTHEWS:

Police Department Report

Proclamation, National Night Out, Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Public Service Announcement: We would like to remind the residents of Connellsville that the City storm sewer lines drain directly into the Youghiogheny River. Please do not dump anything into the street gutters like paints, chemicals, grass clipping and brush, trash or anything similar. The City of Connellsville will continue to work on making this a beautiful and safe river.

Resolution No. 7-7-2013: “To acquire an option to purchase, and to enter into an appropriate agreement, for the maximum amount of $50,000.00, the premises known as 225 North Water Street (Parcel ID 05-06-0360) from James T. Emerick and Jennifer L. Emerick, or their successors, for the sum of $1.00, pending review and approval by the City Solicitor.”

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

Matthews said they are not buying the properties, the City is buying the option to buy them incase developers are interested in them.

Resolution No. 7-8-2013: “To acquire an option to purchase, and to enter into an appropriate agreement, for the maximum amount of $50,000.00, the premises known as 237 North First Street (Parcel ID 05-06-0518) from Ralph Bosley and Cheryl Casini, or their successors, for the sum of $1.00, pending review and approval by the City Solicitor.”

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

Matthews stated Council is making a pro-active move to have something to offer developers when they come.

Reminders:

July 20th, Adopt a Block Party at Yough Park
July 20th, Rock The Park at East Park Celebration and movie “Up”
July 28th, Walk for Cancer, Central Fellowship Church’s parking lot on N. Arch Street, 7 PM registration and 8 PM walk, Contact Central Fellowship Church at 724-628-3949
October 13th, 3-2-1 Bike Ride at Yough Park, info@321ride.org
Lions Club Summer Concerts continue every Sunday night until September 1st, 7 pm to 9 pm – bring a chair

GEYER:

Geyer thanked Cindy Stevenson for offering their services to the City.

Resolution No. 7-9-2013: “To refund Tax Notice #260302 from paying City Local Services Tax of fifty dollars for the year 2012 upon City Treasurers verification of proof that said individual’s earned income was less than $12,000 in 2012.”

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

Resolution No. 7-10-2013: “To approve the payment of unpaid and delinquent real estate taxes on the Aaron’s Building property in the amount of $6,539.72 to the Tax Claim Bureau from the Parking Revitalization Account; to approve the payment of realty Transfer Taxes on the Aaron’s Building Property transfer in the amount of $655.96 to the Office of the Recorder of Deeds of Fayette County, Pennsylvania from the Parking Revitalization Account; to direct the City Clerk and City Treasurer to request and pursue the return or reimbursement to the City any unpaid and delinquent real estate taxes on the Aaron’s Building property exempted, exonerated, abated, or forgiven on the Aaron’s Building property by the City, Fayette County or Connellsville Area School District; and to authorize and direct all City officials and employees to take such actions as are reasonable and necessary to effectuate the actions resolved hereby.”

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

KARPIAK:

Public Works Report

Karpiak praised the Street Department with all of the work that has needed done and for all they have accomplished.

Resolution No. 7-11-2013: “To adopt Bill No. 3, Ordinance No. 1500 of 2013: AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF CONNELLSVILLE FURTHER AMENDING AND RESTATING ORDINANCE NO. 999, ENACTED JULY 10, 1967; ORDINANCE NO. 1110, ENACTED NOVEMBER 12, 1974; ORDINANCE NO. 1214, ENACTED DECEMBER 28, 1981; ORDINANCE NO. 1247, ENACTED OCTOBER 11, 1985; AND ORDINANCE NO. 1457, ENACTED FEBRUARY 13, 2007, THE CITY’S STREET CUTTING AND DIGGING ORDINANCES; EXEMPTING ADJACENT PROPERTY OWNERS FROM THE REQUIREMENT OF OBTAINING A PERMIT TO DIG OR EXCAVATE CITY SIDEWALKS AND GRASSPLOTS AND INCREASING THE PENALTY FOR VIOLATIONS.”

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

Karpiak explained the ordinance noting homeowners are not subject to the same stipulations as contractors.

WEAVER:

Health Department Report
Fire Department Report
New Haven Hose Report

REMINDER: A Farmers Market is featured in Downtown Connellsville, in the PNC parking lot, on Saturdays, beginning July 6th and ending September 28th, from 8 am - Noon. Come and purchase fresh locally-grown fruits and vegetables every Saturday and meet your friends. PNC Parking Lot on West Crawford Avenue

RITCH:

Zombie Run, Saturday, October 26th at noon, 5K Run with “Zombies” along the path

East Park Movie Nights: Saturday, July 20th, Disney Pixar Up sponsored by Tzan Insurance Friday, August 2nd, Disney's Monster's Inc. was replaced by Despicable Me sponsored by St. Johns Church Friday, August 23rd, in conjunction with our Falcon Football Pep Rally Little Giants sponsored by Bud Murphy’s

Resolution No. 7-12-2013: “To name the Sand Volleyball Court at Mountz Creek, in honor of, Catherine Anne Healy, for standout athlete in the Connellsville Area School District and Penn State University.

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

Ritch explained this young woman died in an accident, graduated from Connellsville and was a standout athlete.

Greg Lincoln noted this is possible because of Stone and Company donating the sand and gravel sold us other items at cost. Lincoln said without the help of local businesses some things wouldn’t be possible. He also thanked Councilman Karpiak for allowing the Street Department men to help with this project.

Ritch announced Catherine Anne Healy’s stepfather is a stone mason and requested permission to build a monument in front of the pavilion and have it dedicated in her honor.

CITY TREASURER REPORT:

Keller requested City Council consider amending the ordinance from an income level of $5,000 to $7,500 because it is so difficult for people to make it.

Keller also reminded residents that Berkheimer is collecting the delinquent local taxes. She also stated that if you got a notice from Berkheimer, you have to pay them, not the tax office.

CITY CONTROLLER REPORT: NO REPORT SUBMITTED

Resolution No. 7-13-2013: “That this meeting of City Council does hereby adjourn.”

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

Site by Michael D. McCumber (Connellsville, PA Pictures