Trafford Borough

Discussion Meeting Minutes – Tuesday, October 16, 2018

 

 

The Trafford Borough Council held a discussion meeting on Tuesday, October 16, 2018, at 7:00 p.m., in the Manchester Room.  Council President, Kris Cardiff, called the meeting to order and led the Moment of Silence and Pledge of Allegiance.

 

Members in Attendance:

 

(Present)              Kris Cardiff, Council President                                    Edward Llewellyn, Mayor

                              Leslie Peters, Councilwoman                                      Ashley Stack, Borough Manager

                              Cheryl Petersen, Councilwoman

                              Joshua Sanders, Councilman                                                                                                                                                Casey Shoub, Councilman

 

(Absent)               Carol Morrow, Councilwoman

Zachary Cole, Councilman            

 

Council President Kris Cardiff stated that the meeting is regarding the 2019 Budget and to review where the borough’s at with the current 2018 budget.

 

Borough Manager Stack explained that she will be discussing the 2019 Budget: revenue increases, expenditure decreases and increases, and what offsets what.  She will be presenting a draft of the 2019 Budget to Council at the November meeting.  She explained the packets that Nina passed out show what was budgeted in the 2018 Budget and where the borough is currently at with spending.  For revenue increases in 2019, the borough will be receiving a cable television franchise increase and money from the school district for the Public Safety School Resource Officer position (this will be a new line item).  That revenue increase is already incorporated into the police wages for 2019.  For expenditure decreases: Public Works is switching health plans, saving the borough nearly $30,000.00 so the borough will not be incurring additional costs; a part-time position was eliminated in the Administrative Office; UCC Salaries and Wages (no. 413) will be decreasing due to the agreement with the borough’s new CEOs, this will be offset by the UCC Contracted Services (413.450) line item which is going to increase; increases in wages and pension; budget for new front doors for the borough building since it’s a safety concern; new lawnmower for Public Works; a truck for Public Works, the borough could trade-in the current F150 and sell the red F550 which is no longer usable to cover costs of the first payment (a new truck would allow for hauling heavier loads and plowing the alleys); cameras for the building which is also a safety concern; worker’s comp but unsure of what the premium increase will be at this time.  Full-time and part-time wages will be used to offset each other.  She discussed with Nina and other departments that line item numbers that were not used last year or this year will be eliminated from the 2019 Budget to make it easier for the public to understand.

 

Councilman Cardiff opened the floor to Council for questions.

 

Councilwoman Peters asked if they are going to have time to review this and ask questions at a later date.

 

Borough Manager Stack informed Councilwoman Peters that anyone can email her questions or suggestions.  She can then look into any suggestions before presenting the draft to Council.

 

Councilwoman Peters questioned how the borough is going to get more revenue, particularly how the borough collects delinquent taxes and Per Capita taxes.  She asked if Code Enforcement is responsible for that.

 

Borough Secretary Solivan explained that Berkheimer handles that collection.

 

Borough Manager Stack agreed with Councilwoman Peters about her revenue concerns, particularly since government cost-of-living increases are around 3% annually but revenues are not necessarily increasing.

 

Borough Secretary Solivan mentioned that the borough is at 31.5 mills, with 3 mills for special debt service.  This only leaves the borough room to increase the millage by 2.5 mills.

 

Borough Manager Stack explained that 1 mill is only about $25,000.00 for the borough.

 

Councilman Cardiff stated that he is not interested in raising taxes.  He then mentioned the Manchester Room rentals, which were budgeted for $20,700.00 but the borough has only received $16,822.00.  He asked if the borough will meet that and if the borough is down on rentals this year.

 

Borough Manager Stack stated that we are under budget for the Manchester Room revenues.  For park rentals, the revenues were actually over budget.

 

Borough Secretary Solivan addressed that the borough estimated high with the anticipation of more graduation party rentals like 2017.

 

Councilman Cardiff asked if a change in revenue for the Manchester Room is foreseen for next year.

 

Borough Manager Stack stated that she would just decrease it to what the borough receives this year.

 

Borough Secretary Solivan stated that the office received three bookings today.

 

Councilman Cardiff asked if the borough is attempting to repair the F550.

 

Borough Manager Stack stated one of the seasonal employees, who is a mechanic, tried to repair it but could not.

 

Councilman Sanders asked how many trucks we have and if we would want to stay at that number or could the borough go down to two.

 

Borough Manager Stack stated we need three trucks for plowing.  Also, that the Liquid Fuels Fund is at $106,000.00.  Once the final bill is received from the Murrysville Road Project, the remaining funds can be transferred into the Liquid Fuels Fund.  She would like to use these funds for a paving project next year.

 

Councilwoman Peters asked Councilman Shoub about the elimination of street lights.  Prior to the borough eliminating some of those lights the costs were over $54,000.00 annually.

 

Secretary Solivan informed Councilwoman Peters that street lighting expenditures were taken out of both the General Fund and Liquid Fuels Fund.

 

Mayor Llewellyn asked what is line item number 435.

 

Borough Manager Stack told him that was a pass through so the public could see that funds were being used for the ADA Curb Ramp project.  This project was through the County’s Community Development Block Grant.

 

Councilwoman Peters asked Borough Manager Stack and Secretary Solivan if they have any recommendations on ways for the borough to save.  Both responded, street lights, as the cost is nearly $50,000 a year.

 

Councilman Cardiff asked about LED lighting.

 

Councilman Shoub stated it was not cost effective, but he will check with Duquesne Light again.

 

Councilman Shoub worked with former Borough Manager Rich Sahar and the police in selecting which lights were previously eliminated.  He will check the street lights again in January.

 

Councilman Cardiff asked about line item number 438.100, Maintenance and Repair of Roads, being over budget by $8,000.00, and if that was for the Wallace Avenue Bridge repairs.

 

Secretary Solivan confirmed that line item included payment to Satira for the repairs.

 

Councilman Sanders asked if the borough could limit costs under number 413.210, Office Supplies.

 

Borough Manager Stack explained this is dependent on the Code Enforcement Officer and sees these costs decreasing as long as nothing changes with the borough’s current CEOs.

 

Councilman Cardiff opened the floor to questions from the public.

 

Rey Peduzzi on behalf of the Friends of Trafford Veterans Memorial Park: Mr. Peduzzi stated that their group would like to replace 152 feet of curb and sidewalk at the park.  They have approximately $10,000 and would like to put the money into the park.  A plaque is going to be placed in front of the World War I memorial.  They would like to put in a monolithic sidewalk.  They will pay to remove the dead Oak tree at the park, which will cost over $1,000.00.  He received an estimate from the Urbans to complete the work on the curb and sidewalk.  They should receive another $3,000.00 at their Night at the Races.  He asked if the borough could cover the cost of the curb in the budget.  He mentioned that the curb was destroyed during the big snow in 1950.  All the snow was pushed down into the park.

 

Borough Manager Stack suggested that she would contact Don Glenn for his recommendation on the project, and that she will call Mr. Peduzzi once she has discussed it with Don.

 

Councilman Cardiff asked about the Debt Principal being under $120,000.00, number 471.

Borough Secretary Solivan explained that the $81,000.00 should have been under the Sewage Fund for debt repayment and the other is for the General Obligation is for the principal of the building loan.  She reminded everyone that ALCOSAN will be increasing rates 7% so the new minimum bill for 6,000 gallons will be $118.33.  It is a pass through to ALCOSAN under the Sewage revenues, the borough is not gaining any revenue from the increase.

 

Councilwoman Peters asked how long the Debt Service charge is for.

 

Borough Secretary Solivan responded that the loan is for 30 years and it was initiated in 2015.  This was a sanitary mandate.  She mentioned that there is a shortage in what is collected from residents of over $5,000 a year.  To recoup that money, the Debt Service Fee would need to be increased, but at this time the borough does not want to increase these fees in 2019.  Once the loan was closed out for PENNVEST, the borough was reimbursed for $250,000.00.  This will cover costs for one and a half years.

 

Councilwoman Peters asked if there was any way to lower the minimum number of gallons.

 

Borough Secretary Solivan stated the minimum is 6,000 gallons for the borough.

 

Councilman Cardiff explained that the borough needs a set amount budgeted annually to cover costs and the mandate.

 

Borough Manager Stack stated that Morgan Stanley will no longer be servicing the police pension plan.  She will be working with Craig Alexander, the police department, and the Teamsters on this as it is a top priority.

 

The meeting adjourned at 7:50 p.m.