November 1 2018
This Meeting was recorded for Accuracy
Present: Ron Betts, Clark Baird, Sue Bartow, Beth Thompson, Jeffery Miller- Solicitor, Mayor Tom Pickup, Aaron Bouch
Absent none -
Note Mayor had to leave early
Gen Public - Ligonier Echo Representative- Alexander Ashcroft, Melissa Miller, Amy Lichtenfelt, Officer Salley, and Officer Chilcote, Pam StClair, Ryan Brannon, Ray Brannon, Kim Botteicher, Everett Saxton, William Lichtenfels, Shanyn Lichtenfels, Jean Pahach, Tom and Joanna Policichio, Dan Short, Ed Pease, Hans & Janet Hoel, Jim and Wanda Clawson
Meeting called to order 7PM by Aaron Bouch
Aaron asked if anyone in the audience had any question for the Mayor. He is on call and has to leave. No one had any questions for him.
Approval of October 4 minutes was presented. Motion was made to approve October minutes with correction, page 2 - public comment, Beth asked for other public comment and not Aaron. Ron made motion 2nd by Beth. All agree, motion carried.
Approval of special Meeting Oct 24 - Motion to approve minutes made by Clark, and 2nd by Beth. All agree, motion carried.
Sue questioned the police contract concerning the raises for the officer's. It was stated in the minutes that no raises were to be given until the new budget was approved. It also states that New Florence will pay for all the equipment. She wanted to know why we were paying for the acu-track checks. It was overlooked in the prior contract in error. Jeffery said an approval for the minutes is on the table and this is not the time to bring this up. Sue then said that she and Clark both opposed the contract and that motion was carried to approve, which was not correct. Minutes were then re-read and it states that Beth motioned to approve, Ron 2nds, Clark and Sue oppose. Tie breaker falls on the Mayor. Mayor in favor of police. Motion passes. Contract was signed by Beth and Mayor. Sue also brought up the 2019 budget, page 1 of the Oct 24 minutes. She wanted to make known to the public that she and Clark did not make a motion to not cut any additional expenses. Pat said she would correct to say the Majority of the Council decided not to cut any expenses down further. Clark then made the motion to accept the Oct 24 minutes, 2nd by Beth. All in favor, motion carried.
Treasurer Report. Sue motion to pay additional funds for Hercules Truck and Equipment on the truck, Aaron 2nd, all in favor motion carried. Clark motioned to accept treasurer report 2nd by Aaron. All in favor, motion carried.
Police Report for October was given by Officer Salley.
Total Incidents 4
Total Arrests 0
Total Accidents 0
Total Parking Tickets 0
Total Non-Traffic Citations 0
Total Traffic Citations 1
Total Written Warnings 3
Total Traffic Stops 3
St Clair TWP. 0
Seward Boro 0
Fire Dept 0 EMS 0
Ligonier TWP 0
Ligonier Boro 0
Sheriff Dept. 0
Total Assists 1
Mileage Beginning 15630
Ending 15842 Total 212
Fuel 26.3 gallons
August police bill was presented to pay. Beth motioned to pay bill, 2nd by Ron, with the deduction of the acu-track charges. Motion to pay $880. for August with the deduction for the acu-track charge. Motion carried.
September bill was presented to be paid. September $804.00 Ron motion to pay Sept bill, Beth 2nd to pay. All in favor, Motion carried.
Solicitor Report: Nothing at this time.
Public Comment: Wanda Clawson spoke up. She thinks this millage rate is outrageous for the elderly. She thinks it should be a smaller amount. She also has a question on the new tax collector. If the Borough raises the tax rate she wants to know if it is legal for a family member to vote on it. That has been asked by me by several people. Jeffery said if the board wants to address this then I will answer. He said the ethics committee says if a family member is on the board, then that person should abstain from voting. There are exceptions and one is if the voting becomes a tie in which case the individual may cast a vote. Anyone else.
Amy asked what we would be going to. She has heard several different things. She just said to spend wisely. She knows they need to go up. Advertising is one of them.
Joanna Policichio wanted to know why the town is not cleaned up first before we raise taxes. She says that garbage is everywhere, farm animals are being raised, rabbits, ducks, roosters crowing every hour. I am not willing to pay higher taxes until this is cleaned up. Garbage and tires lying around the alley. I don't want to make the neighbors angry so I have not complained before this.
Clark stated the police have a copy of the Ordinances so the people should not have to come here to complain before anything gets done. Police number to notify police 724-235-2011. Will post on bulletin board for all to see.
Everett, wanted to know about the per capita tax. He said is it still $10 or is it going to go lower.
Aaron stated the new Ordinance says it will be dropped to $5.00. Also other items are being corrected in it.
Jean Pahach wanted to know what the average person's taxes will be. It was explained that it is based on your assessed value.
Aaron said we are trying to balance the budget and because the cost of everything has gone up over the years, the town has not raised the taxes in approx 50 years. The money is just not there.
Mrs. Hoel wanted to know how much 1 mill gives us. It was stated approx $2200. We get only 1/3 of the spring taxes that is being paid. We are over $13,000 short of making the budget. She also wanted to know if we have the same expenses next year as we had this year.
Sue said she went over the treasurer report since January. We have over spent $13,000 this year.
Jeffery spoke up and said not known items come up all the time. The drain lines are ready to collapse. It cost us 3 times as much just to put gas in the vehicles yet the taxes have not gone up. Buildings are being torn down every year. When this happens the tax base also goes down.
JoAnne said a small tax raise every year would be better. She said if it is raised then she will appeal it until the garbage is cleaned up. It was brought up about possible cutting timber from the stump farm again.
It has been about 15 years now, however, the Forrester has been very sick and has not been able to check it for possible cutting. Ron found a 2nd contract on the stump farm that says approx 80 acres were clear cut.
Sue said we need a new garage and will be getting a new truck also. We need one but not definite in getting one. It cannot be down there because of the salt having to be kept there. Sue asked what public thought would be a good millage.
Joanne said maybe 2 mills.
Beth brought up the cost of street lights is $7,000 per year alone. We need lights. She also asked if there was anything we could get from the state? Jeffery said no.
Now we have a possible police assessment per person for those communities who do not have a police force. That charge is $50.00 per year per person. If this goes through then a lot of households will be in trouble.
Bill Lichtenfels said why do we need cops anyway? There is no crime in town. We only have 4 citations in 1 month. That is hardly worth keeping them. If someone is going to do something then they are going to know when the cops are here. Is 4 incidents really worth paying $1,000 per month or raise the millage 7 mills to pay the cops.
Ed Pease commented on the way they fly through town. They are going to cause a major incident.
Aaron said he would address this issue with New Florence.
Update on Gas Company for street repairs Jeffery said he has not received a response and it has been over a month. What does council want to do? We can either sue or forget about it. We did change the Ordinance so I guess we drop this one and go forward with the next one. Does anyone have any other comment on the subject? Jeffery not sure what the cost would be to overlay the section. Pat said we have an estimate from Pro-One Paving for $4,000. Jeffery said it would cost more to sue. Aaron motioned to drop the issue, Beth 2nd. All in favor. Motion carried.
Update on the storage garage. Pat said she spoke to Keith, if we continue with the new garage and loan from S & T to cover the rest of the cost then he would need a letter stating that from council and we wish to not wait until next spring when the funds get released. Otherwise, we agree to wait until the $14,000 comes in the spring. Ron motions to wait, Sue 2nds. Beth asks what the garage total is. It is approx $92,000. We won't know until the actual bids are in. Aaron says unless we are assured that we can pay for this garage he is not going to sign any contract.
Update on Per Capita Ordinance. Aaron wanted to know if he needs to make a motion to approve the Ordinance. Aaron motions to approve, Beth 2nd. All in favor motion carried. Pat to run ad once a week for 3 weeks. Ordinance cannot be signed until December meeting.
Update on Dirt and Gravel Grant. Aaron thanked Pat and Ron for taking over the finishing of the grant. They got it down to where it had to go. Pat said there was only 6 other Municipalities that applied. They went over the grant, and said it would be in January before we would know if we got it or not. Pat explained there was 3 areas on the grant that was submitted. All the releases, were received in advance. The total applied for was $93,471.00 for all three projects.
Update on Comcast renewal contract. Jeffery said he has not heard back from them as of yet. Pat said Jeffery prepared a letter for Tom to sign which he did so this evening before he left. Aaron explained what the mini Verizon tower service is to the public.
Update on new computer system. Pat said all parts are in and the computer is being put together. Pat said by this upcoming week the new computer will be in place.
Update on the RJ Hedges & Associates - donation for K-9 dog training which will benefit the community. They wanted to know if the Borough would be willing to donate. Aaron said it has been put out to the entire community and that the Borough probably would be able to do so at this time. Aaron motioned not to donate, 2nd by Sue. All in favor, motion carried.
New Business: Next meeting is December 6, 2018 at 7 PM
4th street drain issue. Pat said everyone has a copy of an estimate from Bill Hughes to fix the drain by running a line from the drain at 4th and Walnut 82 feet to the drain by Darrell Betts drain. This will stop the water from running down 4th street to McKinley St to 3rd street and into drain at Lincoln Street. We really can't wait until spring or summer next year to see if the grant is approved from CDBG and Dirt and Gravel Grant. Pat showed everyone photos of the water running. Pat said we did not have this issue until Peoples Gas came in and replaced gas lines but we can't prove it. Estimate is $3652.50. Clark motion to have Bill Hughes fix, Aaron 2nd. All in favor, Motion carried.
Bills locksmith change. Bills' Locksmith owner passed away on Oct 4th and the shop was closed on the 5th. Was told no one can buy his business. Our records were turned over to Ryan Lied, who has a mobile service. He is currently looking for a permanent location in Indiana. Ryan Locksmith, LLC is 724-840-5625. Everyone agreed to let Ryan keep our file and use him if needed.
Demo-Fund - table until next month.
Election Day - Nov 6th. Pat said the office will be closed that day for business. Pat said she has sign's up at the Post Office and the Borough Office already.
Update on garage door replacement. - 2nd estimate received. Table until we get a third estimate. Aaron said he would get hold of Ted Moral for an estimate.
Aaron said he has a meeting with Bill Panasetta, who does insurance quote for the fire department. From what Aaron hears, our current company only insures the apparatus . They do not insure the equipment on the trucks. They would like to look at insuring their own trucks. This was looked into last year and it was more feasible to keep the fire trucks on our policy. Meeting is Wednesday Nov 7th at 1 PM. Aaron explained an incident with Blacklick Fire Dept and how their Borough insurance does not cover the equipment that was damaged.
CD Renewal- Pat said 1 CD came due on the 29th for a $2500. Interest rate was .744 %. S & T has a promotional 12 month CD at 1.13 %. Pat said after 5 days there would be no penalty if we need to withdraw. Sue motion to put into the 1.13% interest rate for 12 months, Aaron 2nds. Motion carries.
Kim Botteicher from k & K spoke up about events coming up. The bottom floor is a recovery center. We have served over 500 people coming through our doors now. We received a grant for our non-profit. Santa coming Dec 9th, November 15th, pre-Thanksgiving dinner. Kim said she can point out the drug houses in this town for those who don't think we have a drug problem. Please RSVP for the dinner so we can have enough food. Every Tuesday at 7:30 is drug awareness night. We now have meetings just about every evening.
Sewage Report: Sue spoke up and said still debating on whether to buy a camera and trying to get people to pay their sewage bills. Also working on a grant for the road to the plant.
Mayor Report: Tom has nothing to report.
Street Commissioner Report. 13.6 gallons gas used in zero turn Used personal truck 9 gallons gas while boro truck in garage getting fixed 27.3 gallons in Borough truck Greg and boys have been working on the sidewalks around the park. Repaired several holes in roads. Fixed the brakes on truck and cleared leaves in the drains.
Parks & Recreation Report: We did the movie night and horse hay rides. for October.
Back to the budget. Sue asked about Tax Collector commission. She wanted to know if that was based on 10 mills, then when we raise the millage where is the additional funds coming from. Is the $1500 going to cover the additional collections? There are several items that are on both the revenue and expenses. She wanted to know why they are listed in both sections. Sue also asked about the engineer funds. Why is it on the revenue as one cost and the expenses as a lesser cost? Pat said even with seven mills increase in order to balance the budget the difference had to come from that fund to get it to balance. Beth asked Sue, where can the fees come from in the budget to cut expenses that you have on your list. Beth says this list is not in our 2019 budget for us to cut. Aaron says we beat the cops contract to death, some want them some don't. He said he would talk to Neva to see if we could get out of the contract. Beth said she feels we need the police and there is no place else to cut. Bringing them in for just 8 hours is crazy. He really hates to do this. Aaron says working them 8 hours and trying to micro manage will never work. Aaron also said that if something happens in the town everyone needs to understand that it won't get fixed right away.
Jeffery said Council needs to ask New Florence to let them out of the contract, but keep the police until January since the funds are already budgeted for this year. In all fairness we need to keep them until January.
Aaron motions to raise the millage 4 mills and cut the police. Clark 2nds motion. Beth opposes. Ron abstains. In favor of motion, Clark, Sue, and Aaron. Motion carried.
If no other business, I motion to adjourn, Clark 2nds. Motion carried. 9:30 PM