Trafford Borough

Monthly Business Meeting Minutes- November 4, 2020

The Trafford Borough Council held its monthly business meeting on Wednesday, November 4, 2020, at 7:00 p.m., VIA Zoom


Council President, Kris Cardiff, called the meeting to order and led the Pledge of Allegiance and Moment of Silence.


Roll Call of Attendance by Assistant Manager Nina Solivan:

(Present) Kris Cardiff, Council President                                     Craig Alexander, Solicitor   

                                 Steven Perovich, Council Vice-President                   Ed Llewellyn, Mayor

                                 Christopher Corrales, Councilmember                      Ashley Stack, Borough Manager

 Zack Cole, Councilmember                                            Adam Hlad, Code Enforcement Officer

                                 Leslie Peters, Councilmember        

                                 Casey Shoub, Councilmember


(Absent) Ralph Deabner, Councilmember                                   Charles Miller, Emergency Management Coordinator 


Minutes: A motion "to accept the minutes of September 15, 2020, discussion meeting and the October 6, 2020, regular council meeting" was made by Councilman Perovich and seconded by Councilman Shoub. The motion carried unanimously 6-0. 


Payment of Bills: A motion "to approve the expense voucher list dated November 4, 2020," was made by Councilman Shoub and seconded by Councilman Corrales. 

Councilwoman Peters questioned what the expense to Norwin Rental in the amount of $10,629.00 was for. Manager Stack stated that it was for the approved purchase of the new lawnmower. 

Councilwoman Peters also questioned if the Deluxe Business Systems expense was the new online payment system. Assistant Manager Solivan stated they are checks for bill payments. The motion carried unanimously 6-0. 


Public Comment:

Councilman Cardiff read the rules for public comment.


Brandon Lacina 430 Brinton Avenue: Mr. Lacina reported the WHT had numerous trees fall onto the trail. Mr. Lacina asked all trail users to please pay attention to the WHT website and Facebook page. Mr. Lacina mentioned the WHT is always looking for volunteers and is still accepting memberships. The TBA is going to be releasing new artwork that ties the community to the trail system. Mr. Lacina stated a zoom meeting is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. tomorrow for the parade. 


Councilwoman Peters thanked Mr. Lacina. Councilman Corrales stated he is interested in helping remove trees.


Dolores Sutton 601 Brinton Avenue: Mrs. Sutton thanked Mayor Llewellyn, the police department, and the council for the increased patrolling of the corner of Sixth Street and Brinton Avenue. Mrs. Sutton questioned what is being done to get drug dealers and drugs out of town. Mrs. Sutton also asked what the plans are for Holiday Happenings. 


Mayor Llewellyn stated he could not discuss ongoing investigations. Councilwoman Peters said there wouldn't be an event in the Manchester Room this year due to the current guidelines. We will have more details following the Zoom meeting. 


Borough Manager's Report: Manager Stack reported the remaining leaf collection dates are November 12, November 27, and December 10. All leaves must be placed in biodegradable bags, not weighing more than 40 lbs. Branches and twigs must be bundled into 4-foot sections not weighing more than 40lbs. Again, this service is provided by Waste Management per our contract. Sewage bills are due November 17. The general fund balance is approximately $609,177.00. The liquid fuel balance is approximately $107,046.00. The recreation fund balance is approximately $5,126.00. The sewage fund balance is approximately $7661,391.00, and the Veteran's Memorial Park fund balance is approximately $8,467.00. The November 17 discussion meeting will be for an in-depth discussion of the 2021 budget and the 2021 fee schedule. 


Mayor's Report: Mayor Llewellyn reported for October there were a total of one hundred thirty-eight service calls, with ten criminal complaints filed and twenty-five citations issued. Mayor Llewellyn stated if you see something suspicious, please call 911 right away.


Community & Economic Development: Councilman Perovich thanked Mr. Lacina for publishing all of the vacant storefronts. Councilman Perovich announced Dr. Gates' building is in the process of being renovated and looks great. Unfortunately, Nigro's Cleaners is closing; however, Paul will still be operating as a tailor.   


General Government & Finance: Councilman Corrales reported that the General Obligation Bond would be paid in full by 2042. This is the bond that was just refinanced, which frees up over $100,000.00 to use in the 2021 budget towards infrastructure projects. Councilman Corrales stated he plans to meet with Manager Stack to discuss code enforcement options. 


Parks & Recreation: Councilwoman Peters reported Mr. Miklos, a student who needed volunteer hours, had cleaned all of the vinyl signs at BY Park; they look fantastic. Councilwoman Peters stated she plans to attend a webinar on November 12 titled Parks and Ease of Maintenance. Councilwoman Peters said she hopes to gain information on a master plan and how to provide economic benefits for open spaces. Councilwoman Peters again mentioned a Zoom meeting scheduled for tomorrow evening to discuss Holiday Happening's. The Recreation Board's Halloween decorating contest went so well the board is considering a possible Christmas Decorating contest to twinkle Trafford. 


Planning, Property, & Ordinances: Councilman Shoub reported on behalf of Councilman Deabner. The code review committee has a meeting scheduled for next week. Adam has submitted proposed changes to the committee; we are still reviewing additional ordinances that need to be addressed. 


Public Safety: Councilman Cole stated he is requesting a meeting with Mayor Llewellyn, the police department, and Fire Chief Lindbloom regarding services. 


Public Works & Sanitation: Councilman Shoub reported the PennVest loan is due to be paid off in the year 2047; the current balance is $2,507,443.30. Councilman Shoub stated in the fire departments report it mentions the borough does not provide enough notice when accessing the building; we are at the mercy of the contractor or vendor and their schedule. We try to provide as much notice as possible. Councilman Shoub stated he doesn't feel that council needs to be admonished about it in a report. Chief Lindbloom said he is not admonishing anyone but reminding you that people who work in that area are around Coronavirus. We decontaminate ourselves, vehicles, and equipment; however, we are highly likely to contract the virus from you or your vendors because we don't know what you're doing. There have been times when you are in and out of there, and I do not know. Manager Stack stated that is not true; it happened recently as she was unaware because she always lets Chief Lindbloom know. Manager Stack stated this was never an issue before it happened recently; had she known the contractor was coming, she would have given Chief Lindbloom a call. Chief Lindbloom stated he was bringing it to everyone's attention because this is an important matter. Manager Stack stated Chief Lindbloom could have called her. Councilman Cardiff stated we will continue to be considerate towards each other.  


Presidents Report: Councilman Cardiff stated Trick-or-Treat was a success; everyone needed some normalcy. Councilman Cardiff stated he appreciates the out of the box thinking for holiday celebrations. Councilman Cardiff asked all to review the 2021 draft budget. 


Westmoreland Cares Act Resolution 

A motion "to ratify a resolution for the borough to apply for the Westmoreland CARES Municipal Grant" was made by Councilwoman Peters and seconded by Councilman Shoub.


Councilman Perovich questioned if this was the $30,000.00 grant. Manager Stack stated yes, that is correct. It is to cover our losses during COVID. Councilman Perovich asked what the chances are of receiving the grant. Manager Stack stated she is hopeful but is unsure of the probability. Both Allegheny and Westmoreland counties reached out. We would be eligible for $1,537.00 through Allegheny county. We have applied for the maximum grant allocation of $30,000.00 with Westmoreland. 


The motion carried unanimously 6-0.


Allegheny Cares Act Resolution 

A motion "to approve the resolution for the borough manager to apply for the Allegheny County CARES Municipal grant" was made by Councilman Shoub and seconded by Councilman Perovich. 


The motion carried unanimously 6-0.


Stormwater Management Ordinance

A motion "to approve the ordinance updating the borough's Stormwater Management Ordinance, replacing the borough's current ordinance in accordance with Westmoreland County's standards" was made by Councilman Shoub and seconded by Councilman Perovich.


Councilman Shoub stated if anyone wishes to read it, he has a hard copy that is fifty-two pages. 

Councilwoman Peters questioned if there is an electronic copy. 

Manager Stack stated yes, in the Dropbox. This is just a formality; the borough updated its stormwater management ordinance in 2018; however, there were a few things the county needed us to adjust. Rather than rewriting an entirely new one we are just adopting the counties as is. 


The motion carried unanimously 6-0.


Preliminary 2021 Budget

A motion "to receive the borough manager's preliminary 2021 budget" was made by Councilman Shoub and seconded by Councilman Cole.


Councilman Cardiff stated this is not an approval to the budget; we are just receiving it.


The motion carried unanimously 6-0.


Preliminary 2021 Budget Advertisement 

A motion "to approve the borough manager to advertise that the preliminary 2021 Budget is available for public inspection on November 18, 2020, following the November 17, 2020, discussion meeting" was made by Councilwoman Peters and seconded by Councilman Corrales.


Manager Stack stated this is required by law.


The motion carried unanimously 6-0.


Millage Ordinance

A motion "to approve the borough manager to advertise an ordinance setting the millage rates for 2021. The proposed millage rate is 28.5 mills for general government services and three mills for debt service, with no increases from 2020" was made by Councilwoman Peters and seconded by Councilman Cole.


Councilman Perovich questioned the three mills debt service. Manager Stack stated it all goes towards the General Obligation Bond. 

Manager Stack stated we have been running surpluses and see no purpose to raise taxes. 

Councilman Cardiff stated there had been no increase in five years. 


The motion carried unanimously 6-0.


Non-uniform Pension

A motion "to approve a resolution setting the borough contribution rates for the non-uniform pension plan at $1,125.00 per quarter for 2021" was made by Councilman Shoub and seconded by Councilman Perovich. 


Manager Stack stated this item, along with the next item, are formalities and are set according to the CBA. 


The motion carried unanimously 6-0.


Uniform Pension 

A motion "to approve a resolution setting the employee contribution rates for the uniform pension plan at the rate of 1% for 2021" was made by Councilman Corrales and seconded by Councilman Perovich. 


Councilwoman Peters reiterated this was previously negotiated in their contract. Manager Stack stated this amount is taken from the officer's pay bi-weekly. Manager Stack stated next contract, she will be negotiating a different rate. 


The motion carried unanimously 6-0.


Roof Replacement 

A motion "to approve payment of $1,968.22 to Frontier Contractors as a down payment for the roof replacement of the Public Works garage" was made by Councilman Shoub and seconded by Councilman Corrales. 


Manager Stack stated the current roof is decades old and has had a new leak every year since I've been here. We received six quotes, all of which were much more expensive, so this is a no brainer. The remaining amount will be budgeted in the 2021 budget. 

Councilwoman Peters questioned how long the roof is estimated to last. Councilman Perovich stated the invoice stated fifteen years. 

The motion carried unanimously 6-0.


New Business

A motion "to nominate Annette Costlow the 2020 Volunteer of the Year Award" was made by Councilwoman Peters and seconded by Councilman Shoub. 


Manager Stack stated Mrs. Costlow has put in numerous hours and effort in cleaning up the Welcome to Trafford sign out by BY Park; she also helps take care of the space in our upper parking lot on Cavitt Avenue. There are countless acts of volunteerism provided by Mrs. Costlow. She also works beside the TBA and is constantly asking where she can help. 


The motion carried unanimously 6-0. 


Councilwoman Peters stated she sent over information regarding bluebird nesting boxes. Some time ago, there were bird boxes placed at BY Park as a boy scout project, and Ms. Ecklar would like to volunteer to replace them. 


Ms. Ecklar stated there were three bird boxes on the split rail fence. When you have nest boxes, you cannot just put them up and leave them; they need to be taken care of. Ms. Ecklar stated she has been taking care of the current boxes since 2017. Ms. Ecklar stated she also maintains bird boxes at Three Lakes Golf Course in Penn Hills. This is a volunteer effort from all over the world. Ms. Ecklar is requesting council's permission to install new bird boxes. It will not cost the borough any money. Ms. Ecklar stated she received a small grant from the PA Blue Bird Society, which will allow her to build the boxes and pay for materials' costs. 


A motion "to accept the bird box proposal for a donation of 3-5 boxes at BY Park" was made by Councilwoman Peters and seconded by Councilman Cole. The motion carried unanimously 6-0.


Councilman Cardiff stated this is a great idea.


Councilman Cole questioned if there is any update on PAT. Solicitor Alexander stated we did receive a response to the letter. Councilman Perovich stated Manager Stack did forward that response along. Craig stated PAT and Haymaker are currently in active negotiations and requesting more time. Councilwoman Peters added they are requesting our patients until the negotiations are complete. 


Mayor Llewellyn stated the negotiations started in June; at this point, we have been pretty patient. 

Mayor Llewellyn questioned if PAT could do their layover in the BY Parking lot instead of messing up our roads. Today there was a bus parked in the BY parking lot.


Manager Stack stated the busses at the BY are temporary and agreed upon as an alternate turn around during the Forbes Road closure to keep them off the private roads. If the closure continues into the spring, we will need to develop an additional route as the Park will be too busy. 


Mayor Llewellyn questioned why PAT couldn't have their layover at the BY now because we are not going to wait until the spring for them to come up with an agreement with Haymaker Village, are we? 


Manager Stack stated that the decision is up to the council. 


Councilman Perovich stated he does feel that they should. He is unsure if PAT is using Forbes Road as a delay tactic, but he does not feel we should wait. 


Councilwoman Peters stated it is not a tactic; it is a reality; Forbes Road is closed. 


Councilman Perovich stated, on the other hand Forbes Road has nothing to do with the layover at the shopping center.


Mayor Llewellyn questioned if there are any proposed plans to have Viaduct Way repaired next year. 


Manager Stack stated yes, it is in the 2021 proposed budget. 


Mayor Llewellyn stated the council would need to make a decision before that. We cannot put money into the road and continue to allow them to have access to it. 


Manager Stack stated the repairs would not start until the spring; we do have some time.


Solicitor Alexander stated we could go back to PAT with a drop-dead date to no longer allow the busses in Trafford. 


Councilwoman Peters stated she thought we weren't going to say that; we just weren't going to allow them to park on Viaduct.


Solicitor Alexander stated we had done that, and they repeatedly said they are in negotiations; when will that end.   


Councilwoman Peters stated she understands and agrees, but she does not want Trafford residents to lose their bus service. 


Councilman Shoub stated the drop-dead date would be the day we start construction. 


Councilwoman Peters stated she heard Forbes Road was going to open on November 17, 2020. 


Mayor Llewellyn stated it had been delayed till December 19, 2020.


Councilman Perovich proposed a drop-dead date of December 31, 2020. 


Councilwoman Peters suggested we hold off until the end of the first quarter of 2021 because we do have walkers that catch the bus and cannot start construction until the spring.


Councilman Shoub stated we might be doing construction by then, and the problem will take care of itself.


We will inform PAT that we plan on redoing the intersection, and they will no longer be permitted to use the area. 


Councilman Perovich stated we should implement a weight limit once the road is repaired. 


Solicitor Alexander stated we would need to look into that as local deliveries are permitted. 


Councilman Deabner entered the meeting. 



Councilman Cardiff announced the discussion meeting for Tuesday, November 17, 2020, at 6:00 p.m.; the location will be determined at a later date. 


Councilman Cardiff announced the next regular meeting for Tuesday, December 01, 2020, at 7:00 p.m.; the location will be determined at a later date. 


A motion "to adjourn" was made by Councilman Cole and seconded by Councilman Shoub. The motion carried unanimously 7-0. 

The meeting ended at 8:01 p.m.