Trafford Borough

Monthly Business Meeting Minutes- December 3, 2019

The Trafford Borough Council held its monthly business meeting on Tuesday, December 3, 2019, at 7:00 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                                       Craig Alexander, Solicitor        

                              Ralph Deabner, Councilmember                                 Don Glenn, Engineer         

                              Steve Perovich, Councilmember                                 Ashley Stack, Borough Manager

Joshua Sanders, Councilmember                                Adam Hlad, Code Enforcement Officer                                

                              Leslie Peters, Councilmember


(Absent)                             Zackery Cole, Councilman and Charles Miller, EMC                                                           


An executive session was held on December 3, 2019, for matters of litigation, real estate, and personnel.


Minutes: A motion “to approve the October 29, 2019, public hearing meeting minutes” was made by Councilman Perovich and seconded by Councilman Sanders. The motion carried unanimously 6-0.

Payment of Bills: A motion “to approve the expense voucher list dated December 3, 2019” was made by Councilman Sanders and seconded by Councilman Deabner. The motion carried unanimously 6-0.

Public Comment:

Dolores Sutton 601 Brinton Avenue- Mrs. Sutton thanked all parties involved who tried to help her get a fire hydrant moved in front of her residence. Mrs. Sutton also thanked Code Enforcement Officer Adam Hlad for taking care of her concerns. Mrs. Sutton added Mr. Hlad is doing a great job and is getting things taken care of here in Trafford. Lastly, Mrs. Sutton stated she has read in the newspaper that the Trafford Library is desperately looking for volunteers. Mrs. Sutton stated she has been blacklisted based on her comments and concerns regarding the drag queen fundraisers. Mrs. Sutton stated she has worked at the Penn Library for eleven years and knows the library system well.  Mrs. Sutton stated she will take her talents elsewhere.

Manager Stack stated the library has its own board and is not overseen by the council. 

Patricia Paola 74 First Street- Mrs. Paola came before council to question what the debt service is on the sewage bill. Mrs. Paola questioned how long the loan is for and how much is paid. Mrs. Paola stated if this is a loan for the repairs that were made around town, she was under the impression that is what the maintenance fee is for. If that is not the case what does the maintenance fee cover?

Manager Stack stated the debt service is to repay the PennVest loan in other words the sewer system infrastructure loan. The loan will be satisfied in mid-2040. The payments are $9,056.00 a month. Councilman Shoub stated repairs were made on Sixth Street, the Terrace, Belleau Wood, Woodlawn, and Seventh Street. The total project was 5.1 million dollars and 1.8 million dollars was a grant. The loan is only 1%. Manager Stack stated the maintenance fee is for repairs. The 2020 budget has a sanitary repair for Inwood Road in the amount of $190,000.00. Manager Stack mentioned the collected amount of money for the debt fee does not cover the yearly loan. The total loan for the year is $108,646.00 and the collected amount is closer to $100,000.00. With the continued ALCOSAN increases we’re not proposing an increase in the borough’s rates however, this is something that will need to be discussed in the future.

Jeff Contillo 424 Homewood Avenue- Mr. Contillo came before council to express concerns regarding the condition of Homewood Avenue. Mr. Contillo stated, “the road is in bad shape, it’s like you’re on a ride at Kennywood”.  We would like to have someone assess the road.

Councilman Shoub stated years ago council made mention of removing the bricks and the residents were not in agreement. Which is why it has not been addressed. Councilman Cardiff stated the intersection of Sixth Street and Homewood Avenue is really bad. Manager Stack stated she mentioned the area of Sixth Street and Homewood Avenue to public works and can be taken care of inhouse when the weather gets nicer. Manager Stack stated she will meet with the engineer to discuss some possibilities.

Joyce Miller 527 Fairmont Avenue- Mrs. Miller came before council to question if the borough building is paid off. Mrs. Miller questioned how much is still owed. Mrs. Miller questioned how much longer will it be until it’s paid off. Mrs. Miller questioned if the loan has ever been paid with sewage fund money. Mrs. Miller questioned if sewage money was ever used to pay for the borough building. Mrs. Miller questioned if there will be a lien placed on the property where the bank building is. Mrs. Miller questioned if the borough will own the property once the building is torn down. Mrs. Miller questioned if the funds to bring the building down will be borrowed from the sewage fund which was mentioned previously. Lastly, Mrs. Miller stated at the previous council meeting it was mentioned leaf collection is a courtesy. The leaves block and clog the storm drains. Leaves accumulate ticks and cause a hazard when they’re in the street and become wet. Mrs. Miller stated she doesn’t feel this should be a courtesy.

Manager Stack stated she does not know the payoff date. Assistant Manager Solivan stated the loan payment per year is $150,000.00 and is paid with general fund monies. No money is used from the sewage fund to pay the loan. Solicitor Alexander stated the sewage fund is a dedicated fund and are not permitted to use the funds for anything non-sewer related. Solicitor Alexander stated he is positive the answer is no, but it is possible the sewer fund could have loaned the funds during construction and if that was the case the monies would have had to have been paid back. Solicitor Alexander stated since he’s been appointed as the borough’s Solicitor there was no money used from the sewage fund for the buildings. Manager Stack stated at the same meeting she mentioned leaf collection is a courtesy she also mentioned public works will be collecting leaves around borough-owned properties and catch basins. Councilman Cardiff stated the scheduled leaf collection days save man-hours and tax dollars.

Borough Engineer:

Don wished everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Don reported he has completed a traffic study for Murrysville Road and recommends the road should be posted with a 5-ton weight limit.

Don stated on the agenda tonight there is a resolution requesting a grant from PA Small Water and Sewer in the amount of $106,954.00. This grant is to install drainage on Meadow Street. The street is flat, and the homes get flooded. The street is a dead-end and during rain events the water ponds at the end of the road. The plans include re-grading the road and a drainage system.

Councilman Perovich questioned when the Meadow Street project will be scheduled. Don stated the project hinges on the grant. Don stated we should know by spring if we were successful in obtaining the funding.

Borough Manager: Manager Stack reported the demolition of 501 Cavitt Avenue is progressing well. The demolition is being overseen by the Redevelopment Authority of Westmoreland County. The last leaf collection date is Thursday, December 12, 2019. Manager Stack stated she will be working with Solicitor Alexander on a resolution for the disposal of records which will be included on the January agenda. The 2020 fee schedule will be on the January agenda. The budget has not been altered since the discussion meeting.


Code Enforcement: Code Enforcement Officer Adam Hlad reported there were fifteen new occupancy inspections, and five occupancy permits issued. Two building inspections. Two demolition permits were issued. Three sidewalk opening permits were issued.

Grass/Weeds include:

217 Woodlawn. Property owner pled guilty to multiple citations, paid fine.

Mary. Spoke with homeowner, in process.

224 Adrian. Multiple citations filed. Partially completed.

841 8th. Abated. At summary trial on 11/25, property owner found guilty of 2 citations and fined. Magistrate continued other citations until early January to give homeowner time to obtain occupancy certificate and rent the unit.

804 8th. Continued trial set for 12/16.

Garbage/Trash/Debris include:

224 Adrian. Multiple citations filed.

Forbes Road. In process.


Property Maintenance include:

Stewart St. Storm water management project in process. Don, Ashley and I met onsite to discuss progress with property owners and Jim Pillsbury from the Westmoreland Conservation District. Discussed timeframe for project completion. Property owner submitted outline for continued progress, Don requested modifications that include firm timeframes.

Duquesne. Abandoned vehicle. Referred to police department.

Corner of 3rd and Cavitt. Summary trial scheduled for 12/16.  12 citations filed for IPMC violations.

7th Street. 2 separate properties with bushes/shrubs encroaching on sidewalk. In process.

224 Adrian. Multiple citations filed. Partially abated.

501 Cavitt. In process.


Councilwoman Peters questioned if the contractor will need to close part of the road for the demolition on Stewart Street.

Councilman Perovich questioned if there has been any movement on the Cromer building. Manager Stack stated we are still waiting to hear from the county on the Demofund grant. We should hear by the end of the year.

Solicitor: Solicitor Alexander stated the reorganization meeting will be held on Monday, January 6, 2020. The newly elected or re-elected candidates are required to fill out an affidavit of residency and an oath of office that Solicitor Alexander stated he as prepared. Solicitor Alexander stated 501 Cavitt has taken the majority of his time this last month not only with the demolition but the litigation. There was a right to know request submitted by the law firm that's representing the property owner. The right to know request contained 21 separate subparts. If anybody's familiar with the right to know act, you're required to respond within five days, but you're permitted to elect a 30-day extension. The borough was incapable of complying within that 30 days. What occurred was a deemed denial. The property owner took up an appeal. For the last month, we've been complying with the right to know request and responding to the appeal. This right to know has taken countless hours from his office, and the borough office. Ashley, Nina, and Adam all put ridiculous amounts of hours into this right to know request in addition to himself on top of our regular day to day work. Solicitor Alexander thanked the borough staff for their hard work. We're still in the process of complying with the request. We're up to about 2,000 documents at this point that we have to provide to them and we're going to provide to them. It's just been a lot of effort and I just wanted to thank the staff for all the time that they put in there as well. With regard to Mrs. Miller’s question on a lien. Solicitor Alexander stated we are absolutely going to lien the property for every dollar that is expended for the demolition. The law does not allow for attorney fees or staff time reimbursement.

The way the lien process works is you must wait for that property to be sold in order to be paid back. This doesn't mean you can't also go after them in other avenues and that's going to be litigated on both sides.

Solicitor Alexander stated we are far from done with this project. Not the demolition, hopefully, that will be done soon. Solicitor Alexander stated he is amazed the contractor is doing the demo by hand. Solicitor Alexander added Ashley and Nina worked diligently on trying to find funding. They saved the borough hundreds of thousands of dollars and a special thank you to the RAWC. Solicitor Alexander wished all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Councilman Perovich questioned if the public is privy to the 21 items requested. Solicitor Alexander stated absolutely.   

EMS: No report.

Trafford VFD: Fire Chief Lindbloom stated there were seven total emergencies and one hundred sixty-seven Non-Emergency Medical Transports. Three responses were fire-related with an average dispatch to on-scene time of five minutes and thirty seconds. Four responses were EMS related with an average dispatch to on-scene time of four minutes. The average for all calls were four minutes and forty-five seconds. The fire department installed three smoke detectors in one residence. The 200-club fundraiser was a success this year was the fifth year and we sold out. Next year’s event will be held on November 14, 2020.  Chief Lindbloom reported Dean Petrillo an employee of the EMS division welcomed a baby girl on November 18th. 

EMC: Manager Stack reported Chuck Miller will be attending the January meeting. Mr. Miller mentioned a location app for emergencies. Penn Township uses this system. Manager Stack will be discussing the system with department heads once more information is obtained.

Recreation Board: No report.

TECDC: No report.

Westmoreland Heritage Trail: No report.

Mayor’s Report: Mayor Llewellyn reported for the month of November there were one hundred and fifty-one total service calls. There were thirteen criminal cases filed and thirty-eight citations issued. Mayor Llewellyn reported there was a traffic detail on Belleau Wood Blvd and nine individuals were issued warnings. There will be five officers on duty during Holiday Happenings. Officer Kitterman will be the point of contact. Mayor Llewellyn wished all a Happy Holiday.

General Government: Councilman Perovich stated this is Councilman Sanders last council meeting. Councilman Perovich thanked Councilman Sanders for his service and wished him good luck.

Finance: Councilman Sanders thanked all for allowing him the opportunity to be a part of council. Councilman Sanders thanked all the members of the community and in the future when his children are older, he may run again.

Community Development: Councilwoman Peters stated there are over twenty participants in the parade. We have the Kennywood trolley this year. There's going to be some councilmembers walking in the parade. Cookies are rolling in. The Manchester Room will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for cookie donations. The committee will be back in the room around 4:00 p.m. to prep for the carolers at 5:00 p.m. The committee's been working hard to get everything organized and get parade participants. The weather is going to be close to 40 degrees, so we are looking forward to it.

Public Safety: No report.

Public Works: No report.

Sanitation: No report.

President’s Report: Councilman Cardiff presented Councilman Sanders with a certificate of appreciation for his time served on council signed by Councilman Cardiff and Mayor Llewellyn. Councilman Cardiff stated in the coming year no member of council will be paid.  Councilman Cardiff stated he is currently the only member that is paid a salary and donates all his money to the Night at the Races fundraiser. The law states during the time you are in office you cannot vote yourself an increase or decrease. Councilman Cardiff stated being that there will be an extra $600.00 back in the budget next year he would like to work with the borough office and any member of council who would like to participate in a borough matching grant program. The program would consist of a matching grant up to $600.00 for any new business to fix up the storefront. The details would need to be hammered out. The idea is an incentive for new businesses. It’s not a lot of money however if the program does generate new business, we can look at allocating additional funds in the coming years. If no new business applies for the funding, we can open the funding up to already established businesses. As long as it’s not a naked mannequin or a drag queen. Councilman Cardiff mentioned the PSAB has a junior council position. It’s a great opportunity to get the youth involved and to learn how their government works. Councilman Cardiff wished all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

2020 Budget

A motion “to approve the managers 2020 budget” was made by Councilman Shoub and seconded by Councilman Perovich.

Councilman Cardiff stated there are no changes to the budget that were proposed at the budget meeting. Manager Stack stated when the funding for 501 Cavitt Avenue was discussed it was mentioned that we would borrow the money from the sewage fund rather than taking out a loan. Solicitor Alexander stated seeking funding efforts for 501 Cavitt Avenue was a war room of staff. Manager Stack stated it did pay off because the county has taken control of the project and the borough will only need to contribute $25,000.00. There is an emergency line item in the budget for any emergency.

A roll call vote was taken Councilmembers Cardiff, Deabner, Shoub, Perovich, and Sanders voted yes. Councilwoman Peters voted no. The motion carried 5-1.

2020 Millage Ordinance

A motion “to approve an ordinance setting the millage rates for 2020 at 28.5 mills for general government services and 3 mills for debt service with no increase from 2019” was made by Councilwoman Peters and seconded by Councilman Sanders.

Councilman Cardiff stated the taxes are not going up.

The motion carried unanimously 6-0.

Approve 2020 sewage rates

A motion “to approve a resolution setting the 2020 sewage rates” was made by Councilman Shoub and seconded by Councilman Sanders.

Manager Stack stated the rates are ALCOSAN’S increases. The borough’s rates are not increasing. The new minimum bill will be $122.86. We are coordinating with ALCOSAN for a Clean Water Assistance Fund day. This would consist of a day for residents to sign up for the $30.00 sewage credit.

Approve payment to RAWC

A motion “to authorize payment to the Redevelopment Authority of Westmoreland County for $25,000.00, for the demolition of 501-503 Cavitt Avenue” was made by Councilman Deabner and seconded by Councilman Shoub.

Councilman Cardiff stated this is the amount the borough will be contributing towards the demolition of 501 Cavitt Avenue.  Manager Stack stated the bids ranged from $145,00.00 to $290,000.00. The lowest bid came from Schaaf Excavating and was awarded.

The motion carried unanimously 6-0.

PA Small Water & Sewer Grant

A motion “to approve a resolution requesting a PA Small Water and Sewer Program Grant from the Commonwealth Financing Authority for the Meadow Street Storm Sewer Project” was made by Councilwoman Peters and seconded by Councilman Perovich.

Manager Stack stated the matching funds are budgeted for if awarded. Councilwoman Peters questioned if this will give the borough MS4 credit. Manager Stack stated this is not for the purpose of MS4 however, there are things we can do to receive credit. Manager Stack stated the purpose of the grant is to correct drainage issues for future repair of the road.

The motion carried unanimously 6-0.

Advertise Ordinance 730 of 2009

A motion “to advertise an amendment to Ordinance 730 of 2009, under section 3, to add Murrysville Road to the list of roadways with weight restrictions of five (5) tons gross vehicular weight” was made by Councilman Sanders and seconded by Councilman Deabner.

Councilman Cardiff stated there were several complaints regarding dump trucks going up and down the hill. The road is freshly paved, and we do not want the integrity of the road to diminish. Councilwoman Peters questioned if 5 tons is less than a triaxle. Councilman Deabner stated a triaxle would be over 5 tons. Councilman Shoub questioned if we are required to post warning signs. Solicitor Alexander stated he will need to research the law. Although he is aware that you are required to post the weight restriction at the beginning and end of the roadway. Manager Stack stated all we are doing is adding Murrysville Road to the current Ordinance. Councilman Perovich stated the only problem with posting the beginning and end of the roadway at the top it’s North Huntingdon. Councilman Shoub stated we would only be required to post at the top of our roadway. Manager Stack stated she will speak with the manager in North Huntingdon.

The motion carried unanimously 6-0.

2020 Council Meeting schedule

A motion “to approve the 2020 Council Meeting schedule” was made by Councilman Shoub and seconded by Councilwoman Peters.

Councilman Cardiff stated the discussion meetings will be moved to 6:00 p.m. in the coming year.

Solicitor Alexander stated the January 6, 2020, meeting will be the reorganization meeting and the regular council meeting.

The motion carried unanimously 6-0.

2020 Council Meeting schedule advertisement

A motion “to approve the advertisement of the 2020 Council Meeting schedule” was made by Councilwoman Peters and seconded by Councilman Perovich.

The motion carried unanimously 6-0.

New Business

Councilwoman Peters thanked all and wished all Happy Holidays.

Councilman Cardiff stated it is with a heavy heart to recognize the passing of former Police Chief Charlie Knoll.

Solicitor Alexander stated Chief Knoll was the Chief when he lived and town and could always remember him walking down Cavitt Avenue checking the parking meters. He was a very good guy and a great chief.

Mrs. Paola stated Charlie gave a lot of years to this town.

Councilman Perovich stated Chief Knoll wanted his legacy to be the old police station where Digital Trafford is now. Chief Knoll spent countless hours remodeling the building and making it the police station.


Councilman Cardiff announced the reorganization and regular council meeting will be held Monday, January 6, 2020, at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers.

A motion “to adjourn” was made by Councilman Sanders and seconded by Councilman Perovich.