Monthly Business Meeting Minutes- November 6, 2019
The Trafford Borough Council held its monthly business meeting on Wednesday, November 6, 2019, at 7:03 p.m., in the Council Chambers.
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 Borough Manager, Nina Solivan:
(Present) Kris Cardiff, President Ed Llewellyn, Mayor
Casey Shoub, Vice-President (Via Phone) Craig Alexander, Solicitor
Zackery Cole, Councilmember Don Glenn, Engineer
Steve Perovich, Councilmember Ashley Stack, Borough Manager
Joshua Sanders, Councilmember Adam Hlad, Code Enforcement Officer Ralph Deabner, Councilmember Louis Corrales, Public Works Foreman
Leslie Peters, Councilmember Brian Lindbloom, Fire Chief
Executive sessions were held on October 16, 2019, for matters of litigation and on November 6, 2019, for matters of real estate and litigation.
Minutes: A motion “to approve October 1, 2019, Public Hearing on Intermunicipal Liquor License Transfer and regular Council meeting minutes” was made by Councilman Sanders and seconded by Councilwoman Peters. The motion carried unanimously 7-0.
Payment of Bills: A motion “to approve the expense voucher list dated November 6, 2019” was made by Councilman Cole and seconded by Councilman Perovich. The motion carried unanimously 7-0.
Dolores Sutton 601 Brinton Avenue: Mrs. Sutton came before the council to thank all parties involved for paving the intersection at Sixth Street and Brinton Avenue. Mrs. Sutton also thanked Glenn Engineering for fixing the landslide at Seventh Street and Brinton Avenue. Mrs. Sutton thanked Code Enforcement Officer Adam Hlad for checking into all of the property maintenance issues she has previously discussed. Mrs. Sutton informed the council that she has called the water company about moving the fire hydrant in front of her home and the water company indicated the Fire Chief and the Public Works foreman would need to coordinate efforts on a new location.
Manager Stack stated she will follow-up with the Fire Chief and the public works foreman.
Lynwood Leeman 334 Fourth Street: Mr. Leeman came back before the council for an update on items previously discussed. Mr. Leeman stated the leaves at Edgewood Avenue park are out of control. Mr. Leeman questioned why the snow fencing was not put up this year. Mr. Leeman stated the clean-out cap at Fairmont playground is still broken. Mr. Leeman stated the gate at Fairmont playground is out of alignment. He witnessed children swinging on the gate during the summer program.
Manager Stack stated the snow fence is broken and the borough will not be replacing it. We received several complaints about how ugly it was and complaints about it not being erected. Prior to the 2018 Waste Management contract leaf collection was a courtesy provided by the borough. There are five leaf collection dates provided by Waste Management. Public works will collect leaves on public property and if leaves are encroaching on catch basins to comply with MS4 requirements. Manager Stack stated she will have public works check on the clean-out cap and the gate.
Carol Richardson 225 First Street: Mrs. Richardson questioned if the company hauling dirt up to the Trafford Gun Club has posted a bond for First Street and Murrysville Road. She’d hate to see any damage done to the road that was just redone. Mrs. Richardson questioned if the company hauling the dirt has completed their project.
Councilman Cardiff stated item number 18 on the agenda will address Murrysville Road. Manager Stack stated she was unaware of what was going on until we started receiving phone calls. Manager Stack contacted both the engineer’s office and PennDOT to inquire if there was ever a weight limit set on the roadway and there was not. Borough Engineer Don Glenn then recommended a traffic study.
Patricia Paola 74 First Street: Mrs. Paola stated she belongs to the senior citizens’ baseball association. Mrs. Paola stated she is here to find out if we would be able to reserve two nights to have the field. We would pay a fee for each night. We have an opportunity to get a lot more people on our teams which would require an additional night. Any night preferably not a Friday night.
Mayor Llewellyn stated the girls’ softball association does not have their schedules ready until the end of February. Mayor Llewellyn stated Saturday and Sunday nights are available. Mrs. Paola stated those nights would not work. Councilman Cardiff stated we will we consider this request during scheduling time.
Danette Davis 102 Belleau Wood Blvd: Mrs. Davis came before the council to express concerns regarding an issue that transpired with Code Enforcement Officer Adman Hlad. Mrs. Davis stated she has called the borough office on numerous occasions to report code violations against her neighbor with no returned phone calls. Once a phone call was returned Mrs. Davis stated she did not like the manner or tone of the conversation presented by Code Officer Adam Hlad. Mrs. Davis turned in a complaint form against borough personnel. Mrs. Davis also informed the council of the emergency phone located outside of the building was not working. Lastly, Mrs. Davis questioned why borough equipment was being used on private property. Mrs. Davis stated she witnessed borough personnel and a council member working on a home in Belleau Woods. Mrs. Davis then questioned if anyone was getting paid for this job.
Councilman Cardiff stated Mayor Llewellyn spoke to him about Mrs. Davis’ concerns. Councilman Cardiff stated he also did speak with Adam Hlad. Adam Hlad publicly apologized to Mrs. Davis and Mrs. Davis stated she did not accept his apology. Mrs. Davis questioned if anyone else would be dealing with this matter other than Adam. Mrs. Davis stated she would like to file a police report over the conversation held between herself and Code Officer Adam Hlad. Councilman Cardiff stated he will follow-up with Borough Manager Stack to get this resolved. Lou Corrales Public Works Foreman stated he owns the property located at 103 Belleau Wood Blvd. Mr. Corrales stated not one piece of borough equipment was used at that property. Mr. Corrales stated all the equipment was rented from Sunbelt and he would be happy to turn in copies of receipts for proof. Manager Stack stated the emergency phone has been looked at. We’ve called Comcast and they say the lines are fine. We will be calling in a third party to look at all of the lines.
Gillian Graber 110 Belleau Wood Blvd: Mrs. Graber stated she is here tonight to understand why the sewage bills are so high. Mrs. Graber read a statement prepared by Mr. Graber. ALCOSAN has pocketed profits for over a hundred years and now they're forcing us to subsidize their required maintenance. Mrs. Graber stated she has a pool and has called ALCOSAN to adjust the bill and no one returned her call. Mrs. Graber questioned why people are being billed for water that isn’t being treated. Mrs. Graber stated she would like the ALCOSAN representatives present tonight to go back to their board and tell them to forfeit their benefits and cut their pay until the plant upgrade is paid for, not by consumers, not by residents, but by ALCOSAN themselves. ALCOSAN should have been responsible for the last hundred years collecting that maintenance fee and now we're having to subsidize that extra expense. Mrs. Graber also came before the council to reiterate her request to lower the speed limit to 15 mph in the Belleau Wood plan. Mrs. Graber stated Woodlawn Drive just across the street, the speed limit is 15 mph. Most of my neighbors that live at the end of Belleau Wood near the turnaround, they do not obey the speed limit as it is. I'm afraid for my children that play in the street. That's one of the reasons why he bought a home on Bella Wood because it is a nice private street and our children could ride bikes. Mrs. Graber stated she would appreciate it if someone could take an effort and initiative to reduce the speed limit.
Councilman Shoub recommended discussing changing the speed limit on Belleau Wood Blvd with the police chief. Councilman Shoub stated this has been looked into before but cannot recall what transpired.
John Jones 424 Fairmont Ave: Mr. Jones questioned who is in charge of scheduling leaf collection pick-up days. Mr. Jones stated the first two pick-up days the leaves were still on the trees. The catch basins are full there are leaves all over Edgewood Avenue and Fairmont Avenue. Mr. Jones stated we have plenty of help to clean the leaves up since we now have five public works workers. Mr. Jones stated placing the snow fence back up will alleviate the leaves from blowing up the hill.
Ann Lecuyer 205 East Gilmore: Mrs. Lecuyer came before the council to follow up on the hazardous mitigation surveys that are required to obtain federal grant funding. Mrs. Lecuyer commented on speeding on Murrysville Road. Mrs. Lecuyer stated she has personally been run off the road by school buses. Mrs. Lecuyer stated she’s had to quit taking the road because she’s always being run off of the road. Mrs. Lecuyer suggested having the police sit up there to monitor the speeding and the crossing of the lanes.
Manager Stack stated the EMC has been coming in every week. We are looking forward to having someone on staff to assist. Public Works set-up the EOC in the Manchester Room closet. Assistant Borough Manager Nina Solivan attended a hazard mitigation strategy meeting last week. The EMC also has been in contact with Chris Tanlinger and has submitted all of the required paperwork.
Presentation from ALCOSAN
Kimberly Slater Wood as lead municipal relations director and now I'm here with our municipal coordinator Joe Day. We're going to share with you some information regarding offices. Our agenda today will include some information about our municipal relations and outreach department. We're going to touch on our clean water plan, talk about rate increases and also some initiatives that we have for our municipal customers, which would be our GROW program, which is the green revitalization of our waterways. We're also going to touch on our clean water assistance fund initiative and then we're going to open it up for questions.
The municipal relations and outreach department is under the governmental affairs division. The purpose is to be the conduit for municipal customers. Which means if there are any issues, any matters that you may have, whether you need additional information or any problems that you're having, we are the department for you to contact. Should we not be able to handle those. We certainly have a great relationship internally and we will assure you that those matters will be addressed. You will be in contact with the appropriate ALCOSAN representative and we'll make sure that those needs are met and if they are not, Joe and I will follow-up to make sure that you've had a satisfied response. Mrs. Slater Wood stated she’s been with the department since 2015. It was actually created for that purpose. ALCOSAN had enough where with all to create this department of municipal relations and outreach for our municipal customers. Joe has been with ALCOSAN for 10 years. Joe has come on board as my municipal coordinator in 2017.
Some of initiatives and resources ALCOSAN offers to municipal customers is the municipal website. The municipal website is a resource that is available to all municipal representatives and elected officials. It is exclusive to municipal customers. The information is specific to each municipality.
There is access to information regarding our consent decree. My department municipal relations and outreach, we distribute a quarterly newsletter and that information is on the website and are archived. ALCOSAN has a Scholastic outreach department, where representatives engage in activities that are age-appropriate and hands-on for students. Mrs. Slater Wood stated Trafford has not requested the Scholastic program to date. Mrs. Slater Wood stated she will leave information for the program. ALCOSAN also offers two free camps a year. A summer science camp and clean water Academy. Each camp is one week, and registration fills up quickly.
ALCOSAN also has pups for clean water initiative. When pet waste gets left on the ground during a rain event it gets washed into our storm drains and contaminates our rivers and streams with bacteria and parasites.
One way for ALCOSAN to mitigate this problem is a pet waste station, that supplies biodegradable waste bags. Each municipality is allowed a maximum of three waste stations.
ALCOSAN is all about clean water! as you may. ALCOSAN is under a modified consent decree. ALCOSANS’ regulators are the Department of Justice, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Environmental Protection, and the Allegheny County Health Department. ALCOSAN just agreed on a modified consent decree. ALCOSAN has a clean water plan which they have started because it's all about clean water. It is about quality water for drinking, for recreational and aquatic purposes. Also, so that ALCOSAN is meeting the requirements of the regulators and also for economic development. With the clean water plan, we are hoping to reduce approximately 7 billion gallons of combined sewer overflows.
ALCOSAN has 83 customer municipalities. It includes 82 municipalities and the City of Pittsburgh. Councilman Perovich questioned if Trafford is the only West morning County municipality? Mr. Day stated there are small portions of North Huntingdon and Penn Township. Councilman Perovich stated Penn Township sends its sewage to WWMA. Mr. Day stated it is all gravity-based, some may go in different directions.
Mrs. Slater Wood presented a slide with ALCOSANS’ current rates and future rate increases. Currently, the consumption rate is $7.94 per 1000 gallons. With a service charge of $16.69 flat rate. All of the funding goes to the operations of the system.
Mrs. Slater Wood presented a copy of a Trafford sewage bill and outlined which fees are Trafford fees’ and which fees are ALCOSANS’. One initiative ALCOSAN has created to help offset the burden of rate increases is the Clean Water Assistance Fund program which will be discussed later this evening. Mrs. Slater Wood turned the program over to Mr. Day. Mr. Day stated this program is more for municipal officials. Trafford has participated in the Grow Program in the past. It is an initiative to reduce stormwater from getting into the sanitary system from the source. The program was created in 2016 and is available to every ALCOSAN customer or municipality. Trafford was approved for a grow grant in 2017 in the amount of $12,000.00. We are starting cycle five as we speak if there are any possible projects. If there are any INI inflow and infiltration where your pipes are cracked and there's groundwater getting in, Trafford could apply to line those pipes.
If Trafford has done any work in the past up until 2016, Trafford is eligible to apply for a reimbursement. The requirements for reimbursements are flow monitoring before and after, design cost, construction costs, and all invoices. Assistant Manager Solivan questioned if the Grow Program is specific to sewer lining. Mr. Day stated there are green projects like rain gardens and rain barrels, which are for combined systems because Trafford’s rainwater is going straight to the river. Combined systems collect both stormwater and sanitary. When weather events occur the combined pipes overflow and send sewage into the river. It doesn't make sense for a separate community to use green technology. So yes, sewer separation, if you have any combined areas you could separate out or INI repairs.
Mrs. Slater Wood stated since Trafford is a separate community, the pups for clean water kits, can also help with your MS4 outreach component. Mrs. Slater Wood went on to provide information about the clean water assistance fund. The clean water assistance fund has been in existence since 2016. ALCOSANS’ board of directors have set aside $1 million each year to help offset some of the burden. The requirements for the clean water assistance fund are based upon federal income guidelines and they change every year.
We have been successful with some residents of Trafford. There are currently 11 applicants currently taking advantage. Councilwoman Peters questioned if this program is available to renters. Mrs. Slater Wood stated the program is not for renters. It's for homeowners who meet the federal income guidelines. Mrs. Slater Wood passed out an informational handout with information on the clean water assistance fund. The credit is $32 a quarter and that is credited to the to the qualified ratepayer by the billing. Mr. Day stated the reason renters are ineligible is because you legally must be a customer of ALCOSAN. While renters do pay a bill to Trafford and Trafford send ALCOSAN a potion. However, if you're a renter, you're not technically an ALCOSAN customer. Councilman Perovich stated you cannot have an account with the water company as a renter. Mr. Day stated the water and sewer bill stay with the house, whereas an electric or cable bill stays with the person. It’s a lienable bill, we have no legal ability to provide that assistance to renters. Mrs. Slater Wood added it is the board of directors’ intent to continue the clean water assistance fund. We see applicants increase each year.
Gillian Graber questioned how much did ALCOSAN pay IN violations? Mr. Day stated ALCOSAN didn't have to. ALCOSAN was fined 3 million dollars. What ALCOSAN was able to do is what they called supplemental environmental programs or sets to offset that a fine. A stream removal project, where you take a direct stream out of the sewer and daylighting it because it is clean water that is being directed into a sewer pipe which brings a lot of debris. ALCOSAN did several of those projects which are multimillion-dollar projects to offset the fines. ALCOSAN was fined but did not have to pay a fee because those projects were completed. Mrs. Graber questioned how long ALCOSAN was in non-compliance before settling with the consent decree? Mr. Day stated ALCOSAN was always in compliance until new regulations were set. ALCOSAN was operating at compliance until the clean water act in 1992.
ALCOSAN has been in negotiations for the consent decree since the late nineties. Mrs. Graber asked Mr. Day to clarify if ALCOSAN had been out of compliance from 1992 until the consent decree. Mr. Day stated ALOCSAN was in negotiations. Mrs. Graber stated that's a long time to be in negotiations and not upgrade your plant and then put the burden on the people that are here now. Mr. Day stated the plant has been upgraded during that time frame. Mrs. Graber stated she has been a resident of Trafford for five years. When she moved to Trafford her bill was not nearly what it is now. All of a sudden there was a very steep increase. ALCOSAN was fined all that money because ALCOSAN wasn't doing their job from 1992 until the consent decree.
All that time you've could have been asking customers to pay a little bit more. Now we're having to subsidize that infrastructure upgrade that you should've been doing all that time since 1992. The Clean Water Act has been around for a really long time. I just don't see the excuse of we're going to give you some doggy bags. That's wonderful. ALCOSAN is putting on programs which is great, but we're the ones that are footing the bill. Mrs. Graber states she would like the representatives present tonight to go back to your board of directors and tell them to cut their pay, with no bonuses. Mr. Day and Mrs. Slater Wood both indicated the board is not paid; no stipends are paid. Mrs. Graber stated whoever is paid needs a pay cut to supplement the increases instead of the costumers. Mrs. Graber stated it is ridiculous to be out of compliance since 1992, its mismanagement. Mrs. Slater Wood stated ALCOSAN takes Mrs. Graber’s comments very seriously and will take all comments back to the board. Mrs. Graber questioned when ALCOSAN board meetings are and if they are open to the public. Mr. Day stated the meetings are generally the fourth Thursday of the month but because of Thanksgiving, it's the third Thursday. Mrs. Graber questioned what time of the day the meetings are held. Mrs. Slater Wood stated meetings start at 4:30 p.m. Mrs. Graber stated so individuals who work cannot attend. Mrs. Slater Wood confirmed the next meeting is on November 21st.
Joan Monroe stated she lives by herself in a house and has spoken to other people who have larger families and her bill is higher than theirs. Mrs. Slater Wood stated ALCOSANs’ billing is based on consumption. Councilwoman Peters stated there's a minimum gallon usage.
A question raised from the audience, has the borough always had a maintenance fee? I think this is where people are misunderstanding. I understand that ALCOSAN raised their pricing. However, it wasn’t until the borough implemented this maintenance fee that is doubling our bills. That's where people are starting to get upset. I think people are looking to blame ALCOSAN, but It’s the maintenance fee is that’s hurting everyone. My sewage bill is over $300.00 for three people. My actual sewage consumption is only $154.00. It's the borough fees that are outrageous. The audience member questioned where are the borough fees coming from? Are they ever going away? What is the deal with them?
Councilman Perovich questioned if the service fee of $16.69 is consistent with all of the municipalities. Mr. Perovich stated upon research Monroeville has a $15.60 ALCOSAN service charge on their bill. Mr. Day stated that was the previous year’s rate. Monroeville must not have updated their website.
Mr. Perovich stated the only community around here that is getting a bargain is North Huntington. North Huntington has a quarterly flat fee of $156.90 and is based on the usage of 12,500 gallons. Everyone Mr. Perovich has spoken to, they don't have any extra fees. North Huntingdon has its own treatment plant. Mr. Day stated during training sessions with new employees he always mentions it doesn't matter if you flush your toilet in Fox Chapel or Rankin, ALCOSAN is charging everyone the same rate.
Mr. Perovich stated let's say you're selling an empty residence and it's right about at the end of a quarter. Does ALCOSAN prorate the sewage? Mr. Perovich stated he was told that both parties the seller and the buyer have to pay a minimum. Someone is double-dipping somewhere.
Mrs. Slater Wood stated she did not know the answer to Mr. Perovich’s question but she will look into it. Mr. Day stated he is moving into a new home and the utilities are prorated. However, it is up to the municipality.
Mr. Perovich stated if someone moves in and they're like only one month into a billing cycle, they're going to pay the minimum. In reality, there are two months that they're paying for that they shouldn't be paying. Mrs. Slater Wood again stated she will find the answer.
Mr. Perovich stated not to absolve ALCOSAN because people aren't too happy with them but we do have to do something about the maintenance fee, the debt service fee at minimum It's $54.00 extra. Mr. Perovich stated one of the problems trying to understand the bill is Wilkinsburg Penn Joint bills in cubic feet and our sewage bills are in gallons. Which people don’t understand. Maybe they should get up with the times and give people there are bills in gallons instead of cubic feet. We also have a PennVEST loan which is mandated however the fee won’t be removed until the loan is satisfied. I'm not quite sure how much we have left on that at the current time. Councilwoman Peters questioned why the minimum bill is for 6,000 gallons. Mr. Perovich stated sewage is based on water consumption, Wilkinsburg Penn Joint Water Authority has a minimum cubic foot per month. Which equates to 6,000 gallons per quarter. Councilwoman Peters stated she feels the bills should be based on usage.
Carol Richardson questioned what services are being received from ALCOSANS’ customer service fee of $16.69 per quarter. Mrs. Slater Wood stated that's through the Municipal Authorities Act and the board of directors. They agreed on that $16.69. Mrs. Slater Wood stated all of the funds that are received by ALCOSAN go-to the operating system. We have 82 customer municipalities. I believe it is the board’s intent to make it as easy as they possibly can on the ratepayers.
We have an aging infrastructure. I wish I would have thought to bring some photos of what the pipes look like. ALCOSAN is in the process of regionalization. Mrs. Slayer Wood stated when she first started at ALCOSAN she went out with the regional conveyance department and viewed deteriorating infrastructure. Mrs. Slater Wood mentioned the pipes have cracks in them. There are trees and roots that come through. There are grease balls from commercial businesses. Prior to ALCOSAN being established all of the sewage went right to the river. Trafford is a separate community. The City of Pittsburgh is still combined.
ALCOSAN is gearing up to start separating combined lines. Which is part of the mandated requirements from the regulators.
Mrs. Slater Wood encouraged all to take a tour so that everyone can have a clear understanding first hand of what's going on.
Mr. Day stated to put things into perspective there's roughly on average 9 billion gallons of sewage overflow going into the rivers.
When ALCOSAN was created in 1959 discharging into the rivers was allowed, it didn't need to be treated. Regulations have changed and the cost of upgrading the infrastructure is high. In 2018 there were 14 billion gallons of overflow into the rivers and streams. Due to extreme rain events. A lot of the rain events that we used to call 100-year storms are now 10-year storms which are causing significant overflows more frequently. ALCOSAN is looking to reduce 85% of the average 9 billion gallons. Mr. Day stated it's going to take more infrastructure than we have and to fix the infrastructure that is currently faltering, not just at the ALCOSAN level but also at the municipal level.
Mrs. Slater Wood stated ALCOSAN is currently treating 250 million gallons of flow of water per day. Due to the requirements by the regulators, that's going to increase to 480 million gallons per day by the year 2025. By the year 2027, it's anticipated that that's going to be 600 million gallons per day. Which again is all mandated by the regulators and why we must undergo plant expansion with population growth. Mrs. Slater Wood and Mr. Day thanked the council for allowing the presentation.
Don Glenn, Engineer:
Don reported he sent the letter to State Pipe Services informing them the borough needs the performance bond for the Inwood Road sanitary sewer project.
Don reported he and Code Enforcement Officer Hlad have prepared a letter to the property owner on Stewart Street regarding a drainage issue.
Don reported Geo Build is still looking for their $7,500.00 fee for delays that occurred during the Seventh and Brinton landslide. The project was delayed because of the mismarking of the water lines performed by Wilkinsburg Penn Joint. Don stated he talked to Nick Bianci and agreed the $7,500.00 is an out of line figure. The delay was only for half of day. Don stated he did a few calculations and the figures should be about half of $7,500.00. Mr. Bianci is willing to pay the bill however he wants to negotiate with Geo Build.
Manager Stack reported sewage bills have gone out for the period of May through August. Payments are due by November 18th. Manager Stack followed up to a question that was asked earlier in the evening by a member present in the audience. Manager Stack stated she does not know when the sewer maintenance fee started. Manager Stack stated the borough has not raised that fee. The purpose of the fee is a dedicated source of income for any repairs that are needed on the lines. Anytime we have to camera the lines. Oftentimes we will have Penn Township Sewage Authority come in to take care of things we cannot in house. Manager Stack stated the council will receive her proposed budget tonight. There will be a budget discussion meeting where we'll go through all of this on November 19th in the Manchester Room at 7:00 p.m. The debt service fee is to cover our PennVEST loan that was a requirement due to the consent order. It was increased to $18.00 last year. Manager Stack stated she is not proposing an increase at this time however, she would like to mention the borough pays almost $109,000.00 per year when only $100,000.00 is collected. Don Glenn mentioned the surcharge in question is a direct result of the Department of Environmental Protection and the consent order. Under the consent order we not only have to repair our system but every five years we have to re-televise our system. Once the televising is completed there will be a need for new repairs to be made. The repairs that were minor five years ago become major in five years. Anything that is a major repair we are required to fix it. The surcharge didn’t come out of thin air, it only came about when DEP introduced the unfunded mandated consent order.
Code Enforcement: Code Enforcement Officer Adam Hlad reported there were twenty-one new occupancy inspections, and fourteen occupancy permits issued. Two building inspections and one permit issued. One street opening/ grading permit issued.
Cavitt Ave. 1 in process. 1 abated.
217 Woodlawn. Court date in November
Mary. In process.
Adrain. Scheduled to be abated by Saturday.
841 8th. Court date in November
804 8th. Met with Magistrate, issue continued until December.
Cavitt. In process
Belleau Wood. In process.
106 Pine St. Magistrate issued fine. Filed additional citation with magistrate.
Property Maintenance include:
Stewart St. Storm water management project in process. Don and I met onsite to observe progress. Violation notice mailed with early December deadline for completion.
Belleau Wood. In process.
Duquesne. Trash/abandoned vehicles. Abated.
Corner of 3rd and Cavitt. Owner is working on securing demo bids. 9 citations filed for IPMC violations.
501 Cavitt. We’ve been involved in a lot of activity trying to resolve this issue. We’ve been in process of securing any available funding from outside agencies. Have met with, and contacted multiple demo contractors, PennDoT, DEP, an environmental testing company.
Multiple Streets. I have been discussing with owners/occupant’s current leaf collection guidelines. We still have 3 collection dates remaining: 11/14, 11/29 and 12/12. Please collect leaves into paper yard waste bags and set out with your trash.
1 Zoning Hearing Board meetings scheduled, 1 ZHB meeting cancelled.
Solicitor Alexander stated most of the items that he’s been involved in have been the ongoing issues regarding 501 Cavitt Avenue, which we talked about an executive session today. Item number 16 on the agenda, is a release in right away agreement that deals with that issue as well that he’s reviewed at the manager’s request.
AGAPE Restoration Society was denied a variance to use a piece of property between Shadow Wood and Belleau Wood. AGAPE has filed an appeal to the zoning determination. They've also reached out to Solicitor Alexander through a few people threatening other sorts of action in which we needed to talk about at some point.
Solicitor Alexander stated he had prepared a right to know request denial letter from an individual who requested records with regard to repairs, which we don't have.
EMS: No report.
Trafford VFD: Fire Chief Lindbloom reported the fire department had 12 emergencies and 192 non-emergency medical transports. Dispatched on-scene time for fires, 4:34 for EMS 5:20. The EMS gets skewed a little bit. A couple of our EMS calls where non-emergency to help them lift something or help them open a door. We’re still under the nine-minute mark for emergencies. Chief Lindbloom reported the fire department installed 11 smoke alarms and 3 carbon monoxide detectors, in 3 different residences throughout the town. These services are provided free of charge by our volunteers and the smoke alarms and c02 detectors in the batteries. We get these items either through grants or we have one local business person that if I get turned down for a grant that year, he covers it. The fire department also observed and participated in the evacuation, drill at the elementary and middle schools.
Last month the fire department did a fire prevention talk at the elementary and middle school as well. Training CPR and basic life support were renewed for 13 members. We are required to do this every other year. The department had 13 people recertify last month and also had three members complete their annual advanced life support skills assessments. The assessments are conducted by UPMC hospital staff and the emergency physicians. They evaluate us on our skills of intubating, providing medications bringing in cardiac monitors and various other devices. Chief Lindbloom reported the second round of donation requests have gone out and have received only a few back. Chief Lindbloom stated I know nobody has any extra money laying around, but they're significantly lower this year than years past. On a positive note, the 200-club fundraiser is this Saturday and nearly all the tickets are sold. There are just a few left as people call in to reserve them. This is the fifth year and this is the closest we've come to selling out. We are still taking donations for door prizes and sponsors for the baskets and other prizes.
Chief Lindbloom reported the hoses and ladder testing was completed on the 12th. We have a third-party agency come in to certify all of the hoses and ladders. Chief Lindbloom stated there were zero failures. As part of the zoning hearing requirements, there was a tour conducted with the police chief and his officers at ACT Laboratories.
Chief Lindbloom happily reported FEMA awarded the fire department a grant for firefighter structural equipment, personal protective equipment for our firefighters in the amount of $26,955.00. Chief Lindbloom stated $26,000.00 gets him close to purchasing 10 sets of gear. It cost about $32,000.00 for 10 sets. We've been successful with federal grants.
Veterans Day is on Monday, there will be a celebration for the 100th year of the park starting at 10:30 a.m.
Chief Lindbloom stated on November 23rd, at 10:00 a.m. the Saturday before Thanksgiving. The fire department is going to decorate the clubhouse across the street. As part of our parade for holiday happenings, we're going to be turning the corner and lighting the tree. If you've ever seen the movie Christmas Vacation, we're looking to recreate that right across the street. We need your old lights and your old outdoor decorations. The department has ten generators; we’ll take anything you’ve got.
EMC: No report.
Rec Board: Rose Frolinni reported Halloween was a success, it was dry. It went very well. Everyone was happy. Thanks to Councilwoman Peters for being a judge. The only other thing I have is that the geese decoys have arrived. Mrs. Frolinni is meeting with Manager Stack and public works to discuss where we're going to deploy them and how we're going to deploy them.
TECDC: Carol Richardson reported the group has not been very active for the past few months because of other family commitments and medical issues from some of our members. However, we're still running ads on the electronic sign and we thank people who have been giving us that information. When this group was first incorporated almost 20 years ago, one of our first major fundraisers was selling engraved bricks, which were put in the walkway in front of this building. When the new sidewalks were putting in, those bricks were taken out. We'd like to know where they are, are they still in good condition? Mrs. Richardson questioned if the council or public works have any thoughts about reinstalling those somewhere in the borough? A lot of people paid a lot of money to recognize their family members, their classmates, veterans, and for those bricks to be sitting somewhere and not being on display is a disservice to those people. Manager Stack stated we do have the bricks; she’s seen them in the yard as a few weeks ago. There are some that were destroyed from the elements. Forman Lou Corrales stated some had to be pitched approximately 60 of them are left. Manager Stack stated she had mentioned possibly a landscape designer to see what suggestions they would have and to see if we could incorporate it back in front of the building somewhere where it won't have the wear and tear. Mrs. Richardson stated she has a folder with all of the original applications. The TECDC may be able to come up with some money to redo those broken ones if we can find somewhere to place them.
WHT: No report.
Mayor’s Report: Mayor Llewellyn reported for the month of October there were one hundred sixty documented calls, with thirty citations issued and nine criminal cases filed.
General Government: Councilman Perovich thanked all of the citizens that went to the polls to vote. I think the one thing that we should mention, and this goes out to the citizens. There weren't a whole lot of choices on the ballots. Trafford had a pretty good turnout considering looking at some of the other municipalities and comparing some numbers around.
Finance: No report.
Community Development: Councilwoman Peters stated Holiday happenings is December 7th. We need about a thousand cookies for the event to give away for people visiting. If anybody is interested to bake a few dozen or if you want to purchase one or two dozen, that'd be great. If you are planning to bake or purchase, please send an email to Traffordholidayhappenings@gmail.com or her borough email address at LPeters@traffordborough.com. Councilwoman Peters stated she is panicking because she is the only one baking so far. Councilwoman Peters stated Halloween was great. She doesn't normally get to peruse the neighborhood and watch the trick or treaters thanks to the fire department for letting her help.
Public Safety: No report.
Public Works: No report.
Sanitation: No report.
Presidents Report- Councilman Cardiff appointed Councilman Deabner to the Public Works Committee as chair and co-chair to Sanitation for the next month because in January we have our mandatory reorganization meeting. Next meeting Councilman Cardiff stated he will be doing a brief overview of where information is on our website. It was mentioned at a previous meeting that the information is difficult to find. Councilman Cardiff stated he spends a couple of hours a month making sure that the information is on our website. The purpose is so everybody in the public can see where your tax dollars are being spent. Councilman Cardiff stated he is hoping to go over that at the next meeting.
Receive Managers 2020 Budget
A motion “to receive the managers 2020 budget” was made by Councilman Cole and seconded by Councilwoman Peters.
Councilman Cardiff stated the budget will be discussed at the budget work session on November 19, 2019.
Councilwoman questioned if the proposed budget will be posted prior to the work session. Manager Stack stated she was planning on putting them out. Councilman Cardiff stated he will post it on the website as well. Manager Stack stated the budget is required to be advertised.
The motion carried unanimously 7-0.
Advertisement for 2020 proposed Budget
A motion “to advertise that the proposed 2020 Budget is available for public inspection on November 20, 2019, following the November 19, 2019, budget discussion meeting” was made by Councilman Sanders and seconded by Councilman Cole.
Councilman Cardiff stated we will not be voting on the budget at the discussion meeting we will be voting on it at the December 3rd regular meeting.
Manager Stack stated it is required by law that it must be advertised. This is just approving the advertisement for the day after the discussion meeting. Any of the proposed changes the council or the public has will be incorporated in.
Danette Davis stated there are a lot of people in the neighborhood that are older, including myself, that don't have the internet. I don't have a smartphone, it's all well and good with placing the information online. We can’t access anything. Councilman Cardiff stated you can call or stop by the borough office and pick up a copy.
Councilman Perovich added there is internet at the library.
The motion carried unanimously 7-0.
Advertisement for Millage Ordinance
A motion “to advertise an ordinance setting the millage rates for 2020. The proposed millage rate is 28.5 mills for general government services and 3 mills for debt service, with no increase from 2019” was made by Councilman Sanders and seconded by Councilman Perovich.
Manager Stack stated we didn't have any increases in 2019 and we're not proposing any increases for 2020. The motion is just an advertisement for the ordinance. The council would still need to vote on the ordinance.
The motion carried unanimously 7-0.
Authorize payment to McKee Asphalt
A motion “to authorize payment to McKee Asphalt Paving for $89,560.30, for the 2019 paving project” was made by Councilman Deabner and seconded by Councilman Cole.
The motion carried unanimously 7-0.
Approve Release and Right of Entry Agreement
A motion “to approve the Release and Right of Entry Agreement with the Redevelopment Authority of Westmoreland County for the demolition of 501-503 Cavitt Avenue” was made by Councilman Deabner and seconded by Councilwoman Peters.
Manager Stack reported Solicitor Alexander has previously reviewed the information. This is with other people being willing to possibly give some funding for this project. This demolition is court-ordered. The County has stepped up to try to help the borough and this is the first step in this. We have to do this so they can start taking action on their end.
Councilman Perovich questioned the possibility of salvaging the safety deposit box circle on the building as historical significance.
Solicitor Alexander stated we don't own the property. I mean it's not ours to be able to give that authority for. Usually, when a demo contractor comes in, they try to salvage what they can. Unless it's specifically written into the specs, the demo contractor keeps whatever he finds in there.
Councilman Perovich questioned if we could request to keep the deposit box. Solicitor Alexander suggested raising that issue with the County.
The motion carried unanimously 7-0.
Authorize an agreement with AEP Energy, Inc.
A motion “to authorize an agreement with AEP Energy, Inc., an electric supplier, for the term of 48 months with the stipulation that distribution fee will not increase” was made by Councilman Sanders and seconded by Councilman Deabner.
Manager Stack stated an individual has been contacting the borough regarding the electric supply. This would be for the borough’s electric bills minus the street lighting. They cannot do the street lights because they are not metered. Duquesne Light is increasing their rates by 8 cents in December. If we agree to this before the December rates kick in, we would save the borough approximately $1,400 annually.
Everything will continue to go through Duquesne light. Councilwoman Peters questioned if this is open to the residents. Manager Stack stated absolutely. Councilwoman Peters questioned if the residents could pick electric companies. Manager stack stated no, this group would be our supplier. Manager Stack stated currently were looking at a cost savings of $1,400.00 annually. Councilwoman Peters questioned if a lesser amount of time than 48 months is possible. Manager Stack stated we can, however she only has the numbers for the 48-month term. The best rate is for the longer term. We can terminate at any time with a penalty, but the provider did not provide that information. Councilwoman Peters questioned what the kilowatt per hour will be.
Manager Stack stated she did not know however, it’s a $1,400.00 savings for a four-year term with the possibility of additional savings. Manager Stack stated she did not include the savings in the proposed budget because we would wait to see how it goes prior to including any of those savings.
Councilwoman Peters questioned if we could do a 12 month and then if it goes well and we see substantial savings, enter into a three year or four-year term.
Councilman Deabner stated whenever he did this at his house and Duquesne light upped their fee because I switched a carrier. Would that do the same thing here? Manager Stack stated I was not told that it would. Councilwoman Peters stated that's why she was asking because the same thing happened to her.
The motion carried unanimously 7-0.
Authorize Glenn Engineering to conduct a traffic study
A motion “to authorize Glenn Engineering to conduct a traffic study on First Street and Murrysville Road” was made by Councilman Deabner and seconded by Councilman Cole.
Councilman Perovich questioned if Belleau Wood Blvd should be added to this motion. Manager Stack stated no, we will need to speak to the Chief of Police.
The motion carried unanimously 7-0.
Approve WHT to utilize BY Park
A motion “to approve the Westmoreland Heritage Trail to utilize BY Park for the Trail Towns Festival on June 6, 2020” was made by Councilwoman Peters and seconded by Councilman Perovich.
The motion carried unanimously 7-0.
Approve Handicap Sign
A motion “to approve the placement of an ADA handicap sign at 521 Fairmont Avenue, Trafford” was made by Councilwoman Peters and seconded by Councilman Cole.
Manager Stack stated both signs have been cleared by the chief of police.
The motion carried unanimously 7-0.
Approve Handicap Sign
A motion “to approve the placement of an ADA handicap sign at 518 ½ Cavitt Avenue, Trafford” was made by Councilman Sanders and seconded by Councilman Cole.
The motion carried unanimously 7-0.
Approve a part-time officer
A motion “to approve the hire of Blake Huck as a part-time police officer for the Borough of Trafford Police Department at the rate of $20.00 an hour” was made by Councilman Sanders and seconded by Councilman Deabner.
Councilwoman Peters questioned if this would take us to seven or eight part-time officers. Manager Stack stated this would make this will make six part-time officers. One of our part-time officers recently took a full-time position somewhere else and he is one of the officers who pick up a lot of shifts. Councilwoman Peters stated she wasn't aware there was a staffing change.
The motion carried unanimously 7-0.
Approve the purchase of a 2020 Dodge Durango
A motion “to approve the purchase of a 2020 Dodge Durango for the Trafford Borough Police Department from Tri-Star Motors for $29730.00” was made by Councilman Perovich and seconded by Councilman Sanders.
Manager Stack stated the police have been having with both the Durango and the older charger. This amount would be less the trade-in values upon council’s approval. Tristar is a co-star’s member so that as the costars price, but he will check with them about getting the other two, the 2012 Durango in 2013 charger up there for a trade-in. They're not worth anything for me to put them on Municibid otherwise I would recommend that. One of them, the battery's dead. The other one the engine is ready to blow any day.
Councilwoman Peters stated the black and white is ready to blow and the white Durango is inoperable. Manager Stack stated the charger cannot respond to calls because it's unsafe. It is currently being used to go to the school. Councilwoman Peters questioned if we have to have an unmarked car?
Solicitor Alexander stated no. Councilwoman Peters questioned if the ghost lettering is on the vehicle is necessary?
Mayor Llewellyn stated he will need to ask the chief. Councilwoman questioned how much will it cost. Mayor Llewellyn stated he will find that out too.
Councilwoman Peters stated she must justify buying a new vehicle versus lettering that's not required or needed by law.
Manager Stack stated one thing that's all included whenever council votes on the outfitting of the vehicle.
Councilwoman Peters questioned if Tri-Star does the letter or Mastro’s because Mastro posted that he did the lettering. Manager Stack stated we normally get the cars outfitted through Jay. Manager Stack stated we'll check on it. Councilwoman Peters stated if we're paying $29,000.00 and an additional $1,200.00 for the lettering that we don’t need, I'd rather save the $1,200.00.
The motion carried unanimously 7-0.
Approve a resolution for non-uniform pension plan
A motion “to approve a resolution setting the member contribution rates for the non-uniform pension plan at $1,125.00 per quarter for 2020” was made by Councilman Sanders and seconded by Councilman Perovich.
Manager Stack state this is required by the state every year regarding our pension. This is also a requirement per the public works a collective bargaining agreement. The fee is the same as it was last year
The motion carried unanimously 7-0.
Approve a resolution for uniform pension plan
A motion “to approve a resolution setting the member contribution rates for the uniform pension plan at the rate of 1% for 2020” was made by Councilman Cole and seconded by Councilman Perovich.
Manager Stated this is per the police collective bargaining agreement. For the year 2020, they would pay into their plan at a rate of 1% so that's what this is. Councilwoman Peters stated there’s no change from last year. Manager Stack stated this is a change. For 2019 they did not have to contribute. For 2020 they will be contributing.
The motion carried unanimously 7-0.
Nomination and approval of 2019 Renee Capetta Volunteer Award
Councilman Cardiff stated we've been presented with two individuals. Two letters have been received nominating Nick Petrucci for the volunteer of the year award. We also received one letter for Mary Signore. Councilman Cardiff stated council members can nominate anyone or either of the individuals whom we’ve received letters. want or they can nominate one of these individuals.
A motion “to nominate Nick Petrucci for volunteer of the year award” was made by Councilman Perovich and seconded by Councilwoman Peters.
The motion Carried unanimously 7-0.
No new business came before the council.
Councilman Cardiff announced the budget discussion meeting will be on Tuesday, November 19, 2019, at 7:00 p.m. in the Manchester Room.
Councilman Cardiff announced the next regular council meeting will be on Tuesday, December 3, 2019, at 7:00 p.m., in the Council Chambers.
A motion “to adjourn” was made by Councilwoman Peters and seconded by Councilman Cole. The motion carried unanimously 7-0.
The meeting concluded at 9:09 p.m. on Wednesday, November 6, 2019.