Nov 3 2022

This Meeting was recorded for Accuracy

Meeting was opened by Lou McLaughlin 7 PM


 Keith St.Clair, Ron Betts, Lou McLaughlin, Sue Bartow, Jeffery Miller, Clark Baird, Mayor, Gladine McMaster

Absent: none

Public - Melissa Miller, Dan Short, JR, Ed Evans from Curry & Kepple

Approval of Minutes from Oct 3, 2022.

Sue questioned whether we got Rick Skovensky to set up an account under liquid fuels to pay for the 3rd & Market Street drain proposal.  Pat said that was discussed last month that we could not use liquid fuels because we had already gone over the state limit for projects to be done because of the 5th street project and using engineer fees for this.  We would have to have the 3rd street bidded out if he sets up liquid fuels. 

Also on page 5 under Street Commissioner Report, the statement on the grass needs cut.  It was Melissa that said that not Sue. 

Sue said she was talking about around the borough building. 

Sue said also under parks and rec page 5, last sentence the word need needs to be put in instead of an.

Ron said page 1 under public comment, Bill Hughes listed twice, page 3 under liquid fuels engineer fees section need to take out the word (not) and the word approved need to  say approval, motion to approve made by Keith, 2nd by Sue, all in favor motion carried.

Treasurer Report

Sue, on 10-6 Lowes, she wanted to know why we are buying grass and weed killer in October.  Pat said because we were constantly getting complaints of the grass and weeds growing in sidewalks and need to kill the grass.

Under liquid fuels account, on 10-18 transfer to payroll - Burtop wages ending 11-15 should be 10-15.  On page 4 of 5 in parks and rec.  A deposit from Presbyterian Church.  Is that a payment for cement?  Pat said they paid for remaining bags of left over cement from Parks.  Sue asked whether we got all our electric work done when we got the grant for the electric at the upper park.  Pat said yes for what we needed done at the time.

Sue wanted to know why we needed generators then.  Pat explained that vendors who requested power the generators were used for them.  All our available outlets were being used.  So when I brought up at last month's meeting about the use of gas for the event that was for the vendors.  So why was this not brought up at council meeting.  Pat said we do this every year.  Sue said well it should be brought up.  Lou asked if we knew approximately how much gas was used for the vendors.  Pat said we used total 11.55 gallons which equaled $27.00 that is listed on the log sheet.  Pat said the gas has not been stolen. 

Jeffery suggest that we just approve or disapprove the treasurer report. 

Gladine motions to accept treasurer report 2nd by Keith, all in favor motion passed.

Solicitor report. Nothing

Public comment.

Melissa, nothing.  Boone, 1 thing, Bill Hughes did a good job but he put the old lid in the grass and someone could fall over it.  Discussion was made on removing the lid.  It's pretty heavy.  Ed Evan's said he will move it in the morning with his fork lift. 

Old business:

Update on the 2020 CDBG - 1st and Lincoln Street inlet.

Ed said he emailed Jim Prisk, and they will fix it when they come and start the 5th street project.  Ed said he also spoke to Amanda on the subject matter.  Lou commented that he did not want the time to run out and they not get paid. 

Update on curb issues:

Lou said he got an estimate from Harvey Paving $18. per linear foot and at 250 feet it will run $4,000 to curb.  Keith said he is against it because we already have in the works to get fixed with the 5th street CDBG project.  He reviewed his notes from the past comments.  The least time frame Arch SR used was 12 years and the most he used was 25 years.  The borough does not have that kind of money to waste for something that has been going on for so many years.  Lou said someone needs to make a motion on this. 

Sue said she would approve to have done along with Lou.  Anyone else want to motion?  Jeffery said this is getting interesting.  So we have 2 yeses.  Does anyone else want to respond?  Keith, Gladine and Ron all said no.  Lou then said, ok motion failed. 

Update on start date for 2021 & 2022 CDBG work on 5th Street.

Ed said he will be here on the 29th.  He said he talked to Apex, and Amanda.  He said he wants to explain.  He is taking off next week.  He does not want his guys up here on the job without him present. 

Ed said by Feb 12, he should have pretty much of the job completed by then.  Sue said she would like to make sure that Pat has a copy of the E-mails on this. 

Pat said she has not gotten any emails on this until she received an email from Matt Curry saying they are going to start end of November. 

Discussion was made between Apex and county to make several changes and everyone was ok with it.  Pat said she has not received any of those emails.  This is where communication is failing.  We are being left out of the loop. 

Ed has scheduled to bore by Christmas.  He said he has spoken to Amanda and Sean on this already. 

Jeffery suggested that everyone needs to be kept in contact to keep misunderstandings from taking place.

Ed said he intends to work through the winter and use antifreeze in concrete if need be.  He will start around November 29th.   He wants to have everything ready for paving by April. 

Lou asked Keith if it would be ok with him to slope the bank down when they redo the curbing.  We also agreed to do 4 inch curb on 5th street . 

Equipment will be moving in the week before Thanksgiving.  A couple machines, loader, hoe, excavators. Start down at the creek.  I need a sample from the dyke to do a compaction report.   Ed will do a bunch of pot holes for the utilities, we can raise the pipes as much as possible.  Apex was ok with that also so we do not end up with 10 foot depth.  Will also pot hole the gas line from Market Street up to Washington Street.    Ed said he would contact (Andy) from Peoples Gas to see if they would like to replace their line while we have the road opened. 

Update on Municipal infrastructure priorities survey

Everyone has a copy of the survey form which Keith helped complete.  This project is a $3,986,000 and the funding source will be the PA small Water and PA H2O grants and $30,000 if needed.  Hopefully we won't have to pay for this one.

Anything else on old business.

Lou said he has some complaints about the tree at the park.  He understands that it was a safety hazard and falling down. It should have been brought to the borough attention before it was cut. 

Sue said she wants to go back on the gas issue.  It should be brought up to the council as well.  We do give parks $2500 per year. 

Keith said it was written down so he has no issue with it.  Keith said they are both dead issues.  No-one stole anything.  Ok from now on we should bring up at the meeting.

New Business:

Michael Fowkes - issue at 540 Market Street

Verizon needed to replace the telephone pole in front of Laurel Point Outfitters.  They contracted it out to a company to replace the pole and when they started to dig it out they hit a strong odor of gas.  They thought it was natural gas so they put in a 911 call and had the fire dept and peoples gas out.  It was discovered it was fuel that was saturated in the ground under the sidewalk and under the road from the old gas pumps that used to be there.   They stopped the work altogether.  Mr. Fowkes contacted the Borough to find out who owned the property.  I looked up the information on the web site to give them the phone number and owner of the business.  They tried several times to contact Mr. Dodson JR to get this resolved.  No response from him so Mr. Fowkes contacted us again and wanted us to take care of the situation since it was still within the right of way. 

Pat also put a phone call into Sue Toy to ask if she remembered whether her father had the tanks removed.  Sue Toy said it has been over 50 years since her dad owned the property and she could not remember if he did or not.  Pat then contacted Jeffery who in turn said to email Mr. Fowkes and inform him that the location was on SR259 and the right of way was also the state's right of way and not ours. 

Also to let them know they should contact DEP because of the fuel in the ground underneath. 

Findings on replacement of skid steer

Sue and Keith both have bids to be handed out.

Keith received a bid from Mark Supply Company, for a 2019 Kubota L2501 with 80 hours and a factory powertrain warranty until 11-26-2025. Fully enclosed cab with heat. full set of lights, 3 point hitch, 540 PTO 3 rnage hydrostatic transmission powered by 3 cylinder diesel engine.  quick attach 54 inch bucket. Cost $21,900.00

Sue received a bid from Pristows Sales & Service in Johnstown for a 2022 L25012 Kubota with a 66 inch bucket, front loader with grill guard, bucket rod indicator kit for $22,689.97

Clark asked if we could afford it.  Discussion was made on the old skid steer which we currently have and the problems we currently have. 

Sue said this is the co-stars price for us. 

Lou said he agrees with Keith, we really need to do something.  He also said if we get a new loader/skid steer he would be in favor of raises taxes by 2 mils. 

Keith asked about a cab.  Lou said it runs another $5,000.  Keith asked about the lift of the equipment.  Sue said we need the lift series to be able to put things into the truck because of the height. We can put other attachments on it at a later date. 

Keith motions to purchase the new machine that Sue got a bid from.  Lou 2nds the motion.  All in favor motion passed.  5-0

Jeffery wanted to know how we are paying for it.  Keith said at the budget meeting we were talking about this as well.  We could just move funds to cover the cost without getting a loan. 

Question- raise taxes by 2 mils or not.

 Lou said he was on the fence at last meeting and if we went with a new skid-steer he would agree to raise taxes. 

Pat said she also did a budget based on 20 mils for review.  Council needs to decide now whether to go with 18 mils budget or the 20 mils budget. 

Keith said with the American Rescue Plan money it makes the budget look like we have lots of money.  We really don't have that much.  Raising by 2 mils a little at a time makes it easier on the people.  If we don't do it this year then next year we would need to raise by 4 mils.  It is easier to raise taxes a little at a time. 

Sue asked if we raise taxes now do we have enough time to raise them and pass the new budget.  Jeffery said yes we do. 

Gladine said we really should raise taxes by 2 mils now.  She said she has people saying they would rather see us raise 2 mils at a time rather than more. 

Pat asked, so are we keeping 18 mils or raising taxes by 2 mils. 

Keith motions to raise taxes by 2 mils, 2nd by Ron, all in favor.  Sue opposes.  Motion passed.   4-1

Pat also asked the question if we are taking the remaining balance from the CD's and then replace when we sell the skid-steer.  Lou said if we have the money then we don't need to finance.  Pat to call bank and transfer remaining funds from the CD's. 

Boro Worker resignation

Lou read the resignation from Zach making it effective Oct 21, 2022 for personal reasons.  Sue said she will accept the resignation, Lou 2nds, motion passed. 

Clark said he also talked to Art about working for Borough.  He said he could not start until January. If we could find someone to work until then Art would be willing to take the job.

Paul Hall was also interested in doing the job.  Not sure if he would plow or not, though.  Gladine and Ron will talk to Paul and possible set up for an interview. 

Time clock replacement / broken cannot be fixed. ($460.00) 

Pat said the day part broke on the time clock and there is not a replacement part for it.  Mr. Newhouse can get us another one for $460.  Also checked with Amazon and the same cost. 

Lou opinion on time clock is not to get one.  Sue said we need for liquid fuels.  Pat said we do not. Pat emailed Rick Skovensky to ask the question whether or not a time clock is needed.  He emailed back and said we do not need a time clock to keep record. 

The employee can just write down the start time and end time and what he does on the time sheets.

Gladine said we do not need one.  Keith said he is with Lou. They are a waste and having only 1 employee we do not need one.

Sue personally thinks we need one.    

Gladine motions to not get another time clock at this time, Ron 2nds.  All in favor, Sue opposes. Motion passed. 4-1

Pat suggested we could install another camera on our system and have it pointed to the door to see when the worker comes in and out. 

Replacement battery for battery backup for computer.

Battery went dead and Pat said it keeps the computer on when the power goes out so I don't lose any information.  Pat spoke to Murray Auto & Electric in Greensburg.  If approval tonight I can take the backup down tomorrow to have it replaced.  The charge will range from 30 to 50 dollars.

Gladine motions to get a replacement battery, 2nd by Keith, all in favor motion passed. 5-0

Act 57 of 2022, which took effect Oct 10, 2022 (request for waiver of additional charges on real estate taxes)

Jeffery explained to council Act 57 and what it means to the tax collector for the Borough. A sample of the waiver of penalty taxes was sent along with the Resolution request that needs to be passed before January 1 if the Borough wants to include it.

Sue motions to do Resolution, 2nd by Lou, all in favor motion passed.

Any other business to discuss. 

Gladine, Pat had Gladine do an online class.  The commonwealth is gathering up millions of dollars to put in structures for electric vehicles. After they do the turnpike they will do Rt 22 and Rt 30.  There is money available for small and large businesses to put in charging stations.  Municipalities can put them in but we would also have to have a space large enough to handle a very large truck.  Lou asked if they will have universal plugs to work on all vehicles.  It takes her 1 week to get here from State of Washington.  You have to plan out where the charging stations are.  Pennsylvania is in the forefront of this project.  There is nothing pressing at this time to do anything.

Gladine also had another question.  We were talking about Clark about his compensation as being a Mayor.

Jeffery said New Florence actually did an Ordinance for this.  The borough can hire a Mayor as an employee in order to serve as Code Enforcement Officer. 

You do not need any special training to be a Code Enforcement Officer.  The Mayor by Ordinance can issue citations as a Code Enforcement Officer according to the Magistrates office. 

Gladine asked Clark if he wanted to be a Code Enforcement Officer.  Clark said yes.

Sue asked the cost to prepare an Ordinance for this.  Jeffery said it will cost 1/2 hour fee which is $45.00

Sue left the meeting at 8:50 PM before discussion for Ordinance for Code Enforcement Officer was completed.

Gladine motions to go ahead with the Ordinance for Code Enforcement Officer, do the advertisement and appoint Clark to the position for $50 per month.  Lou 2nd the motion, making effective January 1, 2023.  All in favor, Gladine, Lou, Ron yes, Keith no.

Mayor Report

Tim Sheridan grass was cut.  Pat informed Clark the property is being sold by owner.

Clark asked about looking into putting a cell tower for town.  Discussion was made on the existing tower and the issue with money situation. 

Pat said Verizon working on the 5G now.  They are supposed to be putting in mini towers around town. 

Jeffery said we tried to talk to Verizon in the past and they were not interested at the time. 

Vehicles on street without the plate, inspection, and insurance must come off our roads. 

Sewage Report:  

Nothing at time

Street Commissioner Report  

156 miles on truck, now has 1635 miles on it.  Put 27.56 gallons in fuel on 9-23.

Zero turn used 14.6 hours use 14.04 gallons gas.

Ron said when he mowed the park the other day he had to jump start the battery 6 times before it would start. Battery dead on zero turn.  In spring will call in for new tires which was already approved. 

Gladine wants to get 4 rachet straps- tie downs.  Get from Lowes in spring along with mower tires. 

Parks & Rec-  

Melissa said Dec 17- Santa is coming

Brittney wrote another grant for lower parks

Currently selling tickets for parks. Sponsored by Cemetery.

No other business.  Motion to adjourn made by Keith 2nd by Gladine, all in favor motion passed to adjourn at 8:50 PM.


Patricia Betts