Monthly Business Meeting Minutes- July 2, 2019
The Trafford Borough Council held its monthly business meeting on Tuesday, July 2, 2019, at 7:02 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 Nina Solivan Assistant Borough Manager:
(Present) Kris Cardiff, Council President Ed Llewellyn, Mayor
Casey Shoub, Council Vice-President Dane Dice, Solicitor
Zackery Cole, Councilmember Don Glenn, Engineer
Steve Perovich, Councilmember Ashley Stack, Borough Manager
Joshua Sanders, Councilmember Adam Hlad, Code Enforcement Officer
Leslie Peters, Councilmember Brian Lindbloom, Fire Chief
Cheryl Petersen, Councilmember
(Absent) Emergency Management Coordinator John Eliyas, Public Works Foreman Lou Corrales
Minutes: A motion “to accept the minutes of the June 4, 2019, regular meeting” was made by Councilman Sanders and seconded by Councilman Cole. The motion carried unanimously 7-0.
Payment of Bills: A motion “to approve the expense voucher list dated July 2, 2019” was made by Councilman Cole and seconded by Councilman Sanders. The motion carried unanimously 7-0.
Larry George 320 Cavitt Avenue: Mr. George reported the Trafford Business Association will host their second annual power wash and paint day on Saturday, August 10, 2019. Mr. George asked council for approval to resurface the concrete wall where the new LED sign is. The Trafford Business Association will hire a contractor at the rate of $95.00, to scrape off the old paint, power wash, and resurface. He would resurface the wall with a paint and concrete mixture in the color grey.
The second request from the Trafford Business Association is a program by the name of Adopt a Plot. Similar to PennDOT’s adopt a highway. The program would allow volunteers to take care of certain plots of property to keep the areas free of weeds, plant new flowers, and shrubs, and replace the existing mulch. For example, the borough’s parking lot at the corner of Fourth Street and Cavitt Avenue. There are two areas alongside the parking lot that need some upkeep. The bench needs re-stained, the weeds need to pulled, the shrubs need to be shaped. My company would be willing to adopt these areas with council’s approval.
Borough Manager Stack questioned if the contractor will oversee the volunteers during the wall resurfacing. Mr. George stated the contractor has put together a proposal to which Mr. George will send the borough a copy of. Borough Manager Stack questioned if the contractor is insured, Mr. George stated yes. Councilman Cardiff questioned will the proposed work conflict with the union. Borough Manager Stack stated no, this work would need to be contracted out. It is not something public works would handle. Councilman Cardiff questioned what would be needed to move forward with this. Borough Manager Stack stated the council’s approval. Solicitor Dice suggested an indemnity agreement stating the borough will hold no liability.
A motion “to have the solicitor and engineer work with the borough office to begin the first steps towards the wall resurfacing project” was made by Councilman Cole and seconded by Councilwoman Peters. The motion carried unanimously 7-0.
Borough Manager Stack stated regarding the Adopt a Space program there will need to be an itemized list of all that you’re planning to do, so that she may take the list to the union for approval or disapproval and then to the council if the union approves. Councilman Shoub suggested two areas in town that need attention, both Welcome to Trafford signs. There is one on Route 993 just below Westmoreland Park and the other on Route 130 just past the BY Park before the Urban’s. Historically these areas were taken care of by the Beautification Club and did not conflict with the union.
Delores Sutton 601 Brinton Avenue: Ms. Sutton questioned if the remainder of Brinton Avenue will be paved from the Bridge to Sixth Street. Also, questioned if council has come up with a street paving list.
Borough Manager Stack stated we are planning to spend approximately $90,000.00 with possible additional funds from the closeout of the Murrysville Road project. The current proposed list of streets to be paved are Inwood Road between Sixth Street and Zone St up to Jackson Avenue. The intersection at Sixth and Brinton Avenue. A strip on Duquesne Avenue near Third Street. A possible PA Water and Sewer Grant for Meadow Street that will address some of the very costly drainage issues. We are hoping to have the bids back and on the August agenda. Councilwoman Petersen questioned the underpass and the large hump after. Borough Manager Stack stated there are several issues with the underpass and until Northfolk Southern fixes those issues first it would be a waste of taxpayer funds. Councilman Perovich stated there is a major safety concern with the underpass with the condition of the road.
Stan Rudge (WHT Rep) 108 Sheer Street, Jeanette, PA: Thanked the borough and all the individuals involved for making the trail event such a success. Mr. Rudge presented the borough with a donation of $250.00.
A motion “to accept a donation from the Westmoreland Heritage Trail for $250.00” was made by Councilman Shoub and seconded by Councilman Sanders. Councilwoman Peters questioned if the funds could be placed into the parks and recreation line item since we do not have a celebration line item. Borough Manager Stack stated we do have a celebration line item, or we could use the funds to repay some of the wages that were expended for the event. The motion carried unanimously 7-0.
Brandon Lacina 430 Brinton Avenue: Mr. Lacina presented a draft of the business directory map that the Trafford Business Association is planning on placing around town and at BY Park. Mr. Lacina stated the business association is planning on keeping all the signage uniform to what is already at BY Park. The Trafford Business Association is gathering phone numbers, emails, etc. for the directory map that not only includes businesses but other important locations such as the borough building, the fire department, the public works garage, etc. Mr. Lacina thanked Councilman Cardiff for placing information on the website regarding a combination fundraiser that will benefit both the Historical Society, the library, and the Trafford Business Association. The fundraiser consists of restored prints of historical photos for purchase.
Councilman Cardiff questioned if there was a timeline on the directory project. Mr. Lacina stated the Trafford Business Association is looking to have everything installed early to mid-September before the weather starts deteriorating. Councilman Cardiff questioned how long the turn around time would be to produce the map. Mr. Lacina stated approximately two to three weeks.
A motion “to approve the placement of the Trafford Business Association’s business directory map signs contingent upon working with the borough office and public works” was made by Councilman Sanders and seconded by Councilwoman Peters. Councilwoman Peters questioned what the size of the sign will be. Mr. Lacina stated approximately 3ft by 4ft. The placement of the sign will be adjacent to the park rules sign. The motion carried unanimously 7-0.
Councilman Cardiff asked the audience if there were any additional public comments. Which there were none.
Engineer: Don Glenn reported the work at the intersection of Seventh Street and Brinton Avenue has finally been completed. The contractor and the paving company both did a nice job. The tree removal project in Brush Creek under the Wallace Avenue Bridge has begun and will continue tomorrow weather permitting. Lastly, Mr. Glenn stated he is looking to meet with Borough Manager Stack to review the street paving list for a possible amendment to include Viaduct Way and Fourth Street.
Borough Manager: Borough Manager Stack reported the borough parking lot on Cavitt Avenue, across from the post office will be closed for repairs within the next several weeks. The police will post notices prior to the close. The Public Works Foreman and I will be meeting with Adam Prince from Glenn Engineering in two weeks to discuss the most cost-effective and beneficial MS4 projects for the borough as per the DEP permit requirements. Opst and Associates will be working on our 2018 Audit in late July. Manager Stack stated she will be applying for a Community Development Block Grant through Westmoreland County Planning and Development – the deadline is at the end of September. The application will be focused on infrastructure and paving projects within the borough. The borough is eligible for a little over $80,000.00. If approved, the funding will not be released until late 2020. Manager Stack received a letter from the Beautification Club stating they will no longer be taking care of the planters or flower beds at the borough building and BY Park, nor will they be tending to the “Welcome to Trafford” signs near Westmoreland and BY Parks. Manager Stack reviewed a list of tasks public works was able to complete during the ten-hour day pilot program. The crew mulched the Terrace Playground, cut back vegetation in front of the footbridge and trimmed several trees at BY Park, saw cut and patched E Homewood, as well as patched other areas around the borough, remediated the slide at BY Park, reviewed the 2019 paving list with myself and Engineer Don Glenn, cut three dead trees on Forest Avenue, cleaned and/or repaired over 25 catch basins, Repaired broken soap dispensers in borough restrooms, and lastly Worked with State Pipe to camera the sanitary line on Inwood and will be coordinating with myself and Engineer Glenn to obtain quotes on the repair.
Code Enforcement: Code Enforcement Officer Adam Hlad reported for the month of June there were fifteen new occupancy inspections, seven follow-up occupancy inspections needed, four follow-up occupancy inspection were completed, five occupancy permits were issued. There were two zoning permits in process, and one zoning permit issued. There was one building permit in process and two building permits issued. There were four street opening/ grading permits issued. One demolition permit issued. There were nine grass/weeds complaints four in progress with five abated, one abandoned vehicle in progress, three garbage/trash complaints in progress, six property maintenance violations with five in progress and one abated, and one occupancy violations in progress.
Grass/Weed complaints include:
835 8th. Grass mostly cut, high weeds remain, waiting on Summary Trial notice from magistrate.
804 8th. No action taken. Waiting on Summary Trial notice from magistrate.
Murrysville Rd. Posted violation notice, abated.
Adrian Ave. Trying to find current ownership.
302 Duquesne. Filed complaint with magistrate. Working with owner to apply for Westmoreland County Demolition program.
90 1st. Abated. Owner provided season long service agreement to magistrate Kistler.
8th St. Abated.
1st St. Abated.
Abandoned Vehicle in progress:
Pine St. Spoke with property owner, will be removed by late July.
Garbage/Trash/Debris in progress include:
804 8th St. Trash bags accumulated and abandoned in front of garage. Waiting on summary trial notice from magistrate.
Pine St. Large pile of debris. Spoke with property owner, will have it cleaned-up and organized by late July.
Cavitt. Pile of debris from tree trimming. Spoke with owner, removed.
Property Maintenance in progress include:
Fairmont Ave. General property maintenance issues, Mark discussed with homeowner who will be working to improve conditions.
Shady Ln. Property neglected, weeds overgrown. Councilwoman Peters has organized a group of willing neighbors to tackle the job of clearing brush/weeds and cutting the grass. We are waiting on a liability release form to be signed by the Administratrix for work to commence.
Stewart St. Storm water management project scheduled to begin this weekend.
501 Cavitt Ave. Work on securing the building has begun.
5th St. Trees encroaching on sidewalk. Mailing final violation notice.
Property Maintenance abated include:
90 1st St. Magistrate issued fines.
Occupancy in progress include:
Brinton Ave. Waiting on ruling from Zoning Hearing Board to issue Occupancy permit.
Councilman Cardiff questioned what does securing the building at 501 Cavitt entail. Mr. Hlad stated per the order Mr. Yager is to remove the falling parapet, secure all accessible entry points, remove any broken windows.
Councilman Perovich stated 90 First Street looks a lot better than it has.
Solicitor: No report.
EMS: No report.
Trafford VFD: Fire Chief Lindbloom reported for the month of June there were eleven emergencies. Three of those were rescue emergency medical services calls, four for hazardous conditions with no fire, two good intent calls which are calls we get dispatched to other towns and are then canceled while in route, and two false alarms. For the month of June there were one hundred eighty-eight non-emergency medical transports. With an average response time for fire-related calls is five minutes, and five and a half minutes for ems related calls which both are under the national average of nine minutes. Chief Lindbloom also stated included on the back of his report is a survey of what the borough saves by having an all-volunteer fire department. The weather is very dry this week, please be careful when using fireworks.
EMC: No report.
Rec Board: Rose Frolinni reported there are about 40 children registered at both playgrounds. Mrs. Frolinni also thanked Councilman Shoub and public works for accepting the delivery, and the assembly of the new picnic tables at the Terrace Playground.
TECDC: No report.
WHT: No report.
Mayor’s Report: Mayor Llewellyn reported for the month of May there were a total of one hundred forty-two service calls, twenty-five citations were issued, and twelve criminal cases filed. For the month of June there were a total of one hundred forty-five service calls, twenty-nine citations were issued, and ten criminal cases filed. Mayor Llewellyn mentioned the Trafford Girls 13U Softball team won the regular season championship and the playoffs. The Trafford Girls 18U Softball team went undefeated the entire season.
General Government: No report.
Finance: No report.
Community Development: Councilwoman Peters stated there are eight hundred and six subscribers on Savvy Citizen. The Bushy Run 5K fundraiser will be held on July 14th. Councilwoman Peters questioned if Borough Manager Stack knew who installed new benches at BY Park. Manager Stack stated she did not have the chance to investigate.
Public Safety: Councilman Cole stated the Pennsylvania State Police has released information regarding the new firework laws in Pennsylvania. Consumers can now purchase and use “Class C” or “consumer-grade” fireworks that include firecrackers, Roman candles, bottle rockets, and similar fireworks that contain a maximum of 50 milligrams of explosive material. They cannot be ignited or discharged on a public or private property without express permission of the property owner. They cannot be discharged from or within a motor vehicle or building. They cannot be discharged toward a motor vehicle or building. They cannot be discharged within 150 feet of an occupied structure, whether or not a person is actually present. They cannot be discharged while the person is under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or another drug.
Public Works: No report.
Sanitation: Councilman Shoub reported the public works crew does like the ten-hour shifts. They have been able to accomplish a lot more with the extra hours in a day.
Presidents Report: Councilman Cardiff stated council is looking for nominations for volunteer of the year award. Nominations can be submitted to the borough office or any one of the members of council. Councilman Cardiff is looking to change the committees at the August meeting with additional comments from council and the borough office. Councilman Cardiff thanked Councilwoman Peter's for working with the code review committee, glad things are back on track with that and it’s greatly appreciated. Councilman Cardiff stated during his countless hours of researching other borough websites the borough does not have a true prominent logo. Councilman Cardiff stated we might've had one back in the day, but we don’t have one now. Councilman Cardiff suggested maybe somebody would like to work on a logo or if an organization wants to make a community contest out of designing one it could help to rebrand the town.
A motion “to accept Officer Christopher Kovacs’ resignation from the Trafford Borough Police Department” was made by Councilman Cole and seconded by Councilman Shoub. The motion carried unanimously 7-0.
Hire Stephen Zubach
A motion “to approve the hire of Stephen Zubach as a full-time police officer for the Trafford Police Department at the rate of $21.97 per hour” was made by Councilman Sanders and seconded by Councilman Cole.
Councilwoman Peters questioned if Mr. Zubach would be replacing Officer Kovacs. Borough Manager Stack stated Kovacs was a part-time officer. This had been advertised previously and the Civil Service Commission did approve the list. When we last tested, we only had one officer on our previous eligibility list and that is one of our current officers. The Civil Service Commission met last week and approved the posted civil service eligibility list. Mr. Zubach was the number one candidate on that list and received the Chief of Police's recommendation per his background check. Our current overtime budget is at 91% and we are only halfway through the year because we've had to have full-timers cover part-timer shifts. The part-timers are not taking as many shifts because they're working multiple jobs. We have over $64,000 remaining in our part time wages. So, the cost of hiring a full-time officer now would be covered in those wages for the remainder of the year. The Police Chief and I have discussed about next year budgeting. The part-time line item would be drastically decreased, and those funds will be moved to the full-time line item and this would bring more scheduling stability.
Councilwoman Peters questioned if the borough would be receiving school resource officer funding from the school district again for the up-coming school year. Manager Stack replied yes, and has already spoken to the superintendent and asked for an additional increase in wages due to the borough purchasing an active shooter policy. To which he told me to include that in the invoice.
Councilman Cole questioned if Mr. Zubach is a current part-time officer. Manager Stack stated there were no internal applicants.
Councilman Cole questioned how many full and part time officers are employed by the borough. Manager Stack stated there are four full time officers and five part time officers.
The motion carried unanimously 7-0.
Codification of Ordinances
A motion “to approve payment up to $5,700.00 to General Code to codify and supplement legislation for Trafford Borough for the years 2013 through 2018” was made by Councilwoman Peters and seconded by Councilman Perovich.
Borough Manager Stack explained the E Code that you can find online on the borough website is where you can find all the borough’s ordinances. E Code stay’s on top of our codification. We should be doing this annually and this is something that has not been done due to cost and personnel. I sent them all our previous ordinances once I came in from the previous years. E Code just recently emailed me and stated this needs to be done since it has not been done since 2011. I did talk to the solicitor last week about it and he said that we need to do this immediately. This is money that needs to be spent. I will be putting this under 406.450 other general government under contracted services. I've spoken to the E Code rep and they will plan on contacting the borough annually from this point on. If there are any new ordinances it will not be nearly as costly. Borough Manager Stack stated after this codification of seven years we will be codifying annually, and the cost should not exceed $1,500.00.
Councilwoman Peters suggested placing this in the budget so the committee can make recommendations. Manager Stack stated any recommendations from the committee would have to go before the board. They would have to be advertised as an amended ordinance or a new ordinance and then that would have to be voted on by council.
The motion carried unanimously 7-0.
Winter Traffic Services 2019-2024
A motion “to approve the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation 2019-2024 Winter Traffic Services Resolution” was made by Councilman Shoub and seconded by Councilman Cole.
Borough Manager Stack stated this pertains to any road that PennDOT is responsible for, but our guys cover during the winter months. The estimate they provided is approximately $44,000.00 over this period of time. This does sometimes fluctuate if we have a severe winter.
The motion carried unanimously 7-0.
Discussion on Trafford Emergency Services, a business, using the borough building for operations.
Borough Manager Stack stated this was brought up at the last meeting and this was one of those things that wasn’t even on the agenda so everyone would have the opportunity to talk, councilmembers, the fire department, and residents.
Councilwoman Peters questioned were there questions from the residents?
Manager Stack stated there were lots of questions from the residents.
Councilwoman Peters stated that’s why we talked about having a meeting with EMS and the fire department
Manger Stack stated there was, but I didn't see a reason. It's not a sunshine where people should be privately speaking whenever it's public.
Councilwoman Peters I was just wondering if you had a meeting with them, that's all.
Manager Stack stated No, I did not. That's why I put it on the agenda for everybody for public comment. We didn't even get into it last time and there really wasn't anything legally per sunshine law that would require us to be behind closed doors to discuss it.
Councilwoman Peters stated it is a matter of Real Estate. We could have executive session on that and had a discussion amongst council members.
Manager Stack stated its taxpayer money being used. How is it real estate? I don't understand.
Councilwoman Peters stated It’s borough property you're stating in the statement here.
Councilman Cardiff stated let me bring you up to speed. As the borough solicitor, he can interject and let us know what it is according to the state borough code on how to handle such a matter. So, in brief the TEMS closed down about a year or two ago. A new service was opened up at the TEMS building to provide transfer services in which I believe that the fire department has a role in, they have Trafford Emergency Services. Brian you can correct me at any time. I'm just trying to lay a basic synopsis here. The ambulances have been moved from there to the fire department that's located within the borough building. They are running the ambulances out of there as a transfer service. The question that residents have been having the old ems building is up for lease. Is it okay to have a business running out of the borough building?
Manager Stack added to which was not discussed or approved with council or discuss with the administration. We currently pay for the private fire water service for the trucks, the electric, the gas and the sewage. Which is all on the same meter. So, the borough is paying all of that's, we're using taxpayer funds for that. And that's what I've had a lot of residents. I had a former councilman come in and specifically say, why aren't they metered separately, why aren't they paying rent? This is why we've been getting a lot of calls here in the borough office regarding this because it was never discussed publicly.
Councilwoman Peters questioned Mr. Lindbloom if there was an agreement when this building was built with the borough as to usage?
Councilman Cardiff suggested prior to proceeding we should ask solicitor Dice for a statement let’s give him a moment to think on whether or not we should proceed in public or if it's something to deal with executive session of matters of real estate.
Solicitor Dice stated the executive session exception is something you can invoke should you so desire. I can say that under the executive session law it is to consider the purchase or lease of real property. So, if you wanted to discuss this in executive session as it does pertain to a lease, I believe you could, that being said it's up to this council. The executive session law is permissive to executive sessions.
Councilman Cardiff stated since we're not discussing a lease or anything, it's more of an informational discussion.
Solicitor Dice stated, I think if you want information from members of the public, members of this business or fire department it's appropriate to hold it out in the open at the same time. If there are any deliberations you wanted to have in executive session, I believe you would be able to as per the open meetings law.
Councilman Cardiff questioned Solicitor Dice if it is permissible to proceed.
Solicitor Dice stated absolutely.
Chief Lindbloom stated I’ll start off with a statement, because, I didn’t my fault for not reading the draft agenda on Facebook or on the website, so I didn’t really prepare for this until this afternoon. So I plugged a few comments together on what I thought you were going to discuss tonight so I’ll go ahead and read the statement I prepared and then I’ll answer the few things that you did talk about, if that’s okay. Briefly this afternoon, in a few minutes I prepared a little statement here – it’s pretty quick cause I thought I was going to have to read it in executive session and had to get it under two/three minutes. Dear Borough Elected Officials, I see on the agenda under New Business that you intend to have a discussion about the ambulance running a business in the fire station with this in mind I have a few items to make you aware of before you proceed with your discussion like I said I was going to do it in Public Comments. The fire department and the ambulance are one service, okay, and we have been for two years this month. Though we have parked the ambulances in the old ambulance space for most of the time all operations have been here in our offices. You, Council, told us to do this – in late 2016 and it’s disappointing that you don’t remember because it was a very big deal… in late 2016, Borough Council sent out requests for proposals for EMS coverage of Trafford. They have their own reasons for that. It was at that meeting the council designated Penn Township EMS as the borough’s emergency medical service provider. It was at this meeting that council told us the fire department there was because we didn't have ambulances in service at that time and the borough needed to designate someone that night and they designated Penn Township EMS. Council also said in a quote, it's only a one-year agreement, so go get your ambulances in service and we can revisit this next year. That was councilman Ledwich and President Cardiff, so we did. Our costs 100% our cost. We consider the fire department to be at least part owners of the spaces we occupy. The areas for the fire department vehicles were basic and minimal during the construction process. The third floor was an attic. The fire department paid to build out these areas. We have all the invoices and canceled checks to prove this. However, if you feel otherwise, we could sit down and discuss it further. Speaking of discussing it further. Every month I come here in person to submit my report. When I’m finished, I always ask, are there any questions for me? There are rarely any it seems to me that I'm often ambushed at these meetings with questions that can surely be answered in another setting. I'm here nearly every day in this building. I can be reached by phone, text or email 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I'm reachable. I say that every month. Council President Cardiff has sat down with the fire department only one time in eight years since he’s been on council and that was to discuss the closing of TEMS in 2016. Councilman Cole has been public safety committee chair for over two years He has never met with the fire department. To be fair, he did schedule a meeting once, but he didn't show up and he's yet to reschedule that. I was invited to one department head meeting with our borough manager since she was hired two years ago. The only discussion related to the fire department at that meeting was about snow removal at the fire station. My point is this, the communication between us seems to be one way from us to you at the monthly meetings and I just, I think we can do better than this. If it is your position that the volunteer fire department should pay rent to the borough, I urge you to rethink this. You currently pay nothing for fire protection, absolutely nothing. Do you really think it's fair to ask our volunteers to respond to emergencies for free, trained for free, provide public safety education for free. Perform maintenance for free, fundraise for free and extreme circumstances risked their lives for free and then turn around and ask them to pay you for the privilege. This board doesn't seem to know what we know someone's going to call for help. The child is choking, and mom can't breathe. Grandma fell again. A tree or wires blocking a road. The vehicle is crashed. My house is on fire. We must be ready to respond. It takes training time and money to accomplish this. You don't seem to realize that one of these dedicated volunteers may be injured or risk their lives for you tonight. Do you really want to them to pay you for that privilege, this campaign to the citizens of Trafford that elected you to do. Aren't there other issues you should be working on? I urge you to rethink this and open up lines of two-way communication with your volunteers. Thank you. Then that was my statement. So, I already said the disappointing thing, but this is longer than a three-minute conversation during public comments. The borough is always paid for the hydro maintenance. Always. We've been here since 1904.
Borough Manager Stack stated she didn't include the hydro.
Chief Lindbloom interjected I understand. Other than that, water, sewage, electric and we're talking about an impact of nearly nothing. There are four people here during the day and they're only here to get an ambulance and leave, come back and do reports and leave if they use the bathroom once or twice. I've ventured guess that you can't even measure it. And I, I venture a guess if there were separate meters, we'd be paying that bill. We have been paying all the utilities, all the maintenance, all the tires, all the fuel, all the vehicles, all the insurance, all the equipment, all the training, every single cost that comes with this borough that we use to pay has been on us since 2008 okay. We raise it. We lease the building as $30,000 a year that we could use to help support us. We've been spending from our savings and spending from our savings. Eventually it will all be gone. We bought the building across the street to return it. We also renting the building brings businesses to town, which is what we're supposed to be doing. We bought the building across the street to revitalize a blighted property that burned in 2005 and it sat vacant. Since then, our intent is to rehab, refurbish, and be able to make that, return that to a usable piece of property and seek income for the fire department from the rental of that property. Other departments have a bar, a bingo we don't want a bar. Okay. We don't have space for a Bingo. It costs us too much to rent the room. It's not cost effective. Okay. We're doing the best we can to protect you for free. It seems like once or twice a year I got to come up here and defend something like this when everybody walks past me to get here to come and ask me about it, pick up the phone and call me, pick up the phone and call me. Okay. Um, I came out believe that you're getting that many inquiries and if they are, it's simply because they don't know. They don't get the information in a three-minute conversation and now they also don't stop by and ask us. There are 14 volunteer firefighters, there's eight people on the ambulance, 20 people that you could talk to. You don't have to talk to me. Okay. So that's my statement. Now, if there's any questions of mine that I'm happy to answer it, but I'm ready not to talk about this anymore until we can sit down and a mature adult conversation. We can bring out the documents. My names on the plaque, the building. Okay. I've been here every meeting since 2001 okay. A lot of you don't know the history. I'm not holding a grudge. You don't know what happened and how we got here, and you don't know what it takes to keep running it. And we all do it for free. Okay. 24 hours a day, seven days a week for free. So, let's rethink this before we come out and in challenges. I know that you're just answering some public comments. I don't mean to be, it's not personal. I'm happy to come here every month and answer questions, but I can't get it done in three minutes. You got to sit down with me.
Borough Manager Stack stated there's a number of things there have been since I started. You and I met actually, I came upstairs, and you gave me a tour and we discussed that was enough.
Chief Lindbloom stated okay so twice.
Manager Stack stated No, but they're in there been other times we'll, but you at that time we, I talked as soon as I started getting inquiries about the, the fire department and I'd said it could you just because you had said that we could put so much money into this and I had said if you could give me receipts so I could have copies of that and I believe you need to talk to uh, um, Tom Dobrinick about it.
Chief Lindbloom stated Yeah, there were some things there. I'm waiting for this meeting and we keep talking about we're going to yeah.
Manager Stack stated that was, if, if I had, then I could have a record.
Chief Lindbloom stated to bring a bunch of papers is not, that doesn't do it justice. It took us three years to talk about it and we formed the committee. It took three more years to build.
Manager Stack stated that's why we're having a public discussion.
Chief Lindbloom stated there's more history than a few pages.
Manager Stack stated that's why we're having a public discussion because this has been an ongoing thing.
Chief Lindbloom Okay I'll do it, but I mean if I bring you $185,000.00 worth of receipts all these problems go away. I think our problems are bigger than that. I think their communication.
Manager Stack stated no, but the taxpayers also want to know.
Chief Lindbloom stated the tax payers did not put a nickel into what we paid, we raised the money. Manager Stack stated that's the past. Chief Lindbloom stated the taxes are the four mills to pay the $2 million loan. I understand now that loans 3 million for 30 years it was 2 million for 20 won't be built it. The building didn't get bigger. Right. I know you got to do business, you got to absorb other costs and other debts and to the same loan.
Manager Stack interjected that was prior to her employment.
Chief Lindbloom stated I know prior to you I'm not Casey is the only person who's been on council this whole time. I'm not blaming you. All I'm saying is that we talk more, we won’t have these problems.
Manager Stack stated that goes both ways when we hear it every day. When I receive calls about the Pitcairn fire truck being housed in our building.
Chief Lindbloom interjected I will talk to you about it.
Manager Stack stated I called you because we were receiving resident complaints. Why is there Pitcairn truck in the borough building. Chief Lindbloom stated he called the next day.
Manager Stack stated No, and then I had to ask you for a letter. It doesn't matter if the police housed another vehicle, they would have called me if the public works were to house another vehicle, they would have called me.
Chief Lindbloom stated we're part owners. We're at least part owners of it. We have complete control of what goes on in our spaces. The police don't ask me if they can park their car in front of my building. I don't even think I would have to ask anybody to park a truck inside. But you called, you made an inquiry the same day you had the letter from me.
Manager Stack stated but I had to ask after resident complaints and then people are, why are we housed? I did call her insurance provider and make sure because there's a number of issues.
Chief Lindbloom stated the borough is an additional insured we covered all this. I respond within the same day.
Manager Stack stated but you're saying that the line of why you didn’t call me initially and just say that, Pitcairn has asked about housing the vehicle here.
Chief Lindbloom stated you don’t call me if you can have a delivery in this building. I own part of this building. I take care of my area but if you come into mine, public works tells me before they come in, if you have to come in and you call me, I don't come into your area, why would I think to do that? But you're right and I willing and all future endeavors. I promise you.
Manager Stack stated that's the thing the whole housing the business. You said at our last meeting that is a business that Trafford Emergency Services.
Chief Lindbloom stated Trafford emergency services is one entity. One entity. Okay. How you do business. There are multiple different checking accounts for multiple different things that you have. We have the same thing. We have people that do different jobs. You have the same thing. It's a business. The fire department's been in business since 1904. Okay. And we continue the fact that we merged with the ambulance is what you told us to do, the fact that you're not here every day, finding out how we're doing and whose fault is that? I'm here every month.
Manager Stack stated you never asked for permission to house a business in the borough building. That's why I'm getting questioned.
Chief Lindbloom stated It was built for us. We've been in a building since day one.
Manager Stack stated the Trafford Emergency Services, the ambulance service that you're using here.
Chief Lindbloom stated there's no such thing anymore.
Manager Stack stated the carrier service that you're using as transport service.
Chief Lindbloom stated I moved a truck in. If I buy a new fire truck, I gotta call you. To ask if I can park it here.
Councilman Cardiff stated let me interject for a moment here. I think that the whole discussion and I appreciate your, your, your statement and I appreciate you coming after myself and Councilman Cole for not visiting with you. I apologize. Um, we can go and we can have lunch anytime you want, whenever you want to do. That's fine. I think the, the, the issue at hand was Why was it not communicated to the borough that this was happening, that you're moving these ambulances down here. That's all I'm saying. As a courtesy in the minimal.
Chief Lindbloom stated I had no direction from council.
Councilman Cardiff stated very minimal but that's kind of common sense though I would say.
Chief Lindbloom stated exactly. We’ve been at it since 1904, we've been in this building since day one. How is the communication?
Councilman Cardiff stated you're talking about communication and I'm not attacking you.
Chief Lindbloom stated tell me what you want.
Councilman Cardiff stated communication with the borough office so they know it's there so we can make sure that insurance will cover whatever it is that we have in that building.
Chief Lindbloom stated all six vehicles are owned by the fire department.
Councilman Cardiff stated that's fine but the end of the day though, it is the borough's building. Councilman Cardiff questioned on paper if the borough building blows up who’s problem is it?
Chief Lindbloom stated weather we’re listed on the deed or not we pay for our area. Chief Lindbloom stated we're covered by insurance.
Councilman Cardiff stated you guys are, but it's the boroughs.
Manager Stack stated their vehicles are insured. What I'm saying is if something happens to the borough building it’s the boroughs responsibility.
Chief Lindbloom stated we have a two-million-dollar policy for insuring us for everything and the borough is an additional insured and has been that way.
Manager Stack stated when I have to walk through with EMC and I'm going into the fire department, they, because we are paying the tax payers, the residents here are paying this taxes work. So, when you're running a transport service as a separate entity.
Chief Lindbloom stated we are not, it's the same thing.
Councilman Perovich stated that’s your bingo Brian, right?
Chief Lindbloom stated the ambulance is my bar, the rental property is my bar, my Bingo, my hoagie sales. Okay. How we can't sell that many hoagies.
Councilman Cardiff stated so why is it that one of these meetings when you're up here, you didn't just say, we're going to be moving the ambulances over the fire department?
Chief Lindbloom stated honestly, no one's ever asked me for that information before, before thought and I was up here at the end of it. I said, are there any questions for six months?
Councilman Cardiff stated you report on everything else which is great but why didn't that, those couple of words.
Chief Lindbloom stated I guess it's the same reason you didn't think to ask me.
Councilman Cardiff stated and the only reason why is because we want to make sure that we're legally covered on behalf of the taxpayers of the borough.
Chief Lindbloom stated that seems like a communication thing, right? You could've asked me.
Councilman Cardiff stated we're supposed to make sure that we're keeping the taxpayers safe, but also, you know, just when residents call us and say, why is this happening? We're not saying I don’t know. The tax payers are like, well, aren't you the borough? Aren't you supposed to know what's going on within your properties and everything? We should and you're absolutely right. There needs to be a communication change. Yes. Yes.
Chief Lindbloom stated No, that's it. I'm available 24 seven to answer any of your questions and I promise it quick and speedy response.
Councilman Cardiff stated I also want to clarify one other thing is you had mentioned when les race asked at the one meeting about the uh, property across the street, the clubhouse building. You had told everybody that you had purchased it privately because it was, it was a family member or was it in the family and you wanted to keep it.
Chief Lindbloom stated absolutely not misinformed or somebody misspoke from day one. The Fire Department purchased it. Okay.
Councilman Cardiff stated Just want to make sure.
Chief Lindbloom stated it was John Walko’s building. The only thing I mentioned is that he's been a longtime supporter of the fire department and we reached it very mutually beneficial agreement for the sale price. the first month we owned it, we cleaned it up because the trees when you cleaned it up.
Councilman Cardiff stated I was asked about it and I just wanted to have an answer.
Chief Lindbloom stated you see a lot of people report a lot of things they hear to you it's frustrating and nobody ever asks us.
Councilman Cardiff stated I know people say a lot of things.
Chief Lindbloom stated it was in the real estate transfer who owned it, who bought it. So that's public information. I'm happy to share everything. I stayed up here every month and brag about everything we do. If you want to hear that kind of stuff it’s a boring place to hear about daily business like that. We've been protecting you for almost one hundred and fifteen years.
Councilman Cardiff stated at the end of all this for right now I guess it's just we need to have common courtesy with each other and have more communication. Let's build from there.
Chief Lindbloom stated I understand. I know how it builds animosity because I get aggravated when I hear about it here and walk past you.
Councilman Cardiff stated for me you understand there is no Animosity form me, I'm pretty straight forward things that it's, we just want to make sure the borough's protected. I'll be asking the taxpayers, that's all.
Councilwoman Peters stated I think we need to make it clear on whose space is whose so that avoids confusion moving forward.
Chief Lindbloom stated it was all done on a hand shake. Nobody has leases it was a handshake, but that's the way they chose to do it.
Councilman Cardiff stated but a lot of things like that in the borough have happened years back.
Chief Lindbloom stated It's too late, we're in, we bought it.
Councilman Cardiff stated but in a court of law If anything would ever happen.
Chief Lindbloom stated well I welcome that opportunity.
Councilman Cardiff stated, you know what I mean? No, no. I'm not saying with the Fire Department, I'm saying it's like somebody got hurt downstairs or something. You know what I mean? In a court of law, when you go there and you tell the judge, oh well, you know, we're part owners on it over a handshake what's the judge going to do?
Chief Lindbloom stated well I mean we need an agreement. Insurance and all those items there because we are responsible. Manager Stack stated the structure is insured under the borough though that's the thing is it's still under us.
Councilman Cardiff stated we want to make sure.
Manager Stack stated that’s what I’m trying to get across.
Chief Lindbloom stated if you or someone were to get hit by a brick falling off it, that would belong to you. If they slip and fall during a tour of my station that's under me.
Solicitor Dice stated can I clarify something that's probably obvious here talking about a court of law. If somebody slips and falls, it's your building is my understanding and then under your insurance or the borough is listed as an additional insured what's going to happen is, you're both going to be sued. That's just the way these things work. People want as many parties as they can get in there. One of the big questions I had is the borough additional insured and you answered that before I could ask it. So again, it would seem that the borough is covered two ways so to speak. That being said, there is nothing wrong with trying to just get some formal agreement that specifies how this will work. I mean if both parties wanting.
Manager Stack stated so that means if something would happen with the transport, anything with that, if something would happen to one of their employees, even the that borough, we could technically be held liable as well. Even if we're listed as the additional insured, if it's something in his station and happens with one of his ambulance transports.
Solicitor Dice stated if it's in your building and it applies to your building.
Manager Stack stated I’ve been getting so many questions since day one, since day one I've been getting hammered.
Chief Lindbloom stated I want to put your mind at ease and that we were professional company.
Councilman Cardiff stated I agree with councilwoman Peters that I think that things need to be clarified.
Councilwoman Peters stated Yeah, let's put a red straight line down the middle.
Chief Lindbloom stated I don't want to just come present a bunch of stuff here and not have any context or conversation.
Councilman Cardiff stated but do you understand where we're coming from too?
Chief Lindbloom stated I do. I’m available all you gotta do is call.
Manager Stack stated as soon as you mentioned that the last meeting about the business, I immediately called our insurance broker and he said we need to have, we need to have the copy in our office of us being additional, but as per us talking before about the receipts back that think last year maybe or even when I first started.
Chief Lindbloom interjected yeah, I’m wait for this magic meeting. unfortunately, and I don't mean to be, I don't mean this to sound rude, but uh, my only job was to report to the president of council and my only obligation to report to council is how I spend his money. That's it. We're a private company. We're a private corporation. We're housed here. Yes, we're part owners or leasers. But I'm here to answer any question you have, but I'm sorry, I'm just saying I don’t mean to be rude.
Manager Stack stated your contradicting yourself.
Chief Lindbloom stated just that I don't think to say I need.
Manager Stack stated you're contradicting yourself. You just said that you want an open line of communication, but you only have to answer to him. You don't need to.
Chief Lindbloom stated I’m only required by law is report to counsel how I spend their money. Okay. But for the past practices, I'm here every month to answering every question and you'll get that from any fire department. They're real private about their stuff. We're not, we're wide open. You want to see the books? Come see the books. Do you want to see the audits? Come see the audits. We're very open. We have been since you've been on council since you've been on council 20 years you've been on council. We're very open. All I'm saying is my first thought is not to, I need to call Ashley and tell her because that's never happened before. Your first professional borough manager we've had, okay, we've had other people, but you've by far taken us way further than we've been before. Okay. If you'd like copies of insurance. Absolutely.
Manager Stack stated our broker said it was required.
Chief Lindbloom stated when you asked me for the rosters for your workers comp and I ain't going to offer it, we pay half of what you pay. I don't know why you pay so much. My ambulance service, which is the highest rate for workers comp is halfway of what you pay and I offer you to meet with our broker to see if you can get it cheaper and save you some money. I've liked some of it back but you know, I've never come here asking you for money. We raised it ourselves. Okay. I don't think we're in a position to start paying rent. Okay. We do need to have some formal agreements available anytime to talk.
Councilman Cardiff stated I say we put a bookmark in this. I think it was a good discussion.
Chief Lindbloom replied Yeah.
Councilman Cardiff stated got a lot out. You got, you understand where we're coming from. You understand where we're coming from. We get where you're coming from. We're going to talk to Craig and see what we need to do and like I said, what Councilwoman Peters said, I agree with her that I like to have finite definitions on things. You know what I mean?
Manager Stack stated It would make my job a lot easier.
Councilwoman Peters stated black and white is good.
Councilman Cardiff replied absolutely because again, it's like in the court of law. I have to look at it that way. I mean, it's a handshake. It's not gonna mean anything. So we just want to make sure that everybody's where they're supposed to be and everything's fine and we'll go from there. I think that's a good way to go from here.
Chief Lindbloom stated I’m the same as you. I get it. I get tired of explaining it. It's frustrating to the guys because this is the same group that basically hears us being, you know, in some cases attacked. I know sometimes we don't mean it that way, but that's how it seems to the average person then I ask them the next day to come around here and sell a Hoagie or sweep the floor. Uh, it's hard to keep that morale going. Okay. I still have most of the people we started with, uh, some of them are left because of that, because of the, the rhetoric. It always seems to happen in the worst possible time. We have our fund drive letter going out next week, and now you know, all the, in the social media and everything is going to be a turmoil between the fire department and the fire services.
Councilman Cardiff stated they're busy with other things. Trust me, this is probably the best time for you in social. They're preoccupied right now. I am kind of disappointed that the people that were on there, didn't show up tonight, just throwing that out there.
Chief Lindbloom stated they have other more important things to worry about.
Councilman Cardiff stated let's continue the discussion. Let's talk. We're going to talk to Craig Like I said, are anybody disagree with me on that? That our job is to protect the taxpayer’s money of this town.
Manager Stack stated, “I would love a formal agreement”.
Councilman Cardiff stated i just want to make sure that. Councilwoman Peters stated if I may, sir. Talk to Craig schedule a meeting and so everybody can be present. Everybody can here the same thing and just get it taken care of.
Councilman Cardiff stated I concur.
Chief Lindbloom stated Yeah. Well I agree. There's gotta be something better than what we're currently doing. So I welcome the opportunity.
Councilman Cardiff stated I think that's a great opportunity for everybody.
Chief Lindbloom stated the insurance paperwork is at my fingertips so I can come sit down with my whole portfolio and you can tell me what counts.
Manager Stack stated I need a copy of your saying we were listed as an additional insured. I need a copy of that. Yeah, that's what he said. Okay. Cause I called him immediately as soon as you called it a business last meeting.
Chief Lindbloom stated I just with the insurance guy Friday, you know, to make sure we're all thinking we got a new like, so our new workers comp was half of what you paid last year.
Councilman Cardiff stated Okay, let's, let's go from here. Okay, let's do that. This is an opportunity to build, correct?
Chief Lindbloom replied Yeah.
Councilman Cardiff stated You're agreeing.
Chief Lindbloom stated I mean we got some great things going on next door come see it. Okay. Okay.
Councilman Cardiff stated you agree this is an opportunity for us to build it?
Chief Lindbloom stated I'm here. Okay. I've been here.
Councilwoman Peters stated just say yes, just say yes.
Chief Lindbloom stated I've been here. I've said it, you know, sometimes yes doesn't do it though.
Councilman Cardiff stated and that's what we need to do. We need to all work together and build. So, let's go from there.
Chief Lindbloom replied I agree.
Councilman Cardiff announced the next regular meeting for Tuesday, August 6, 2019, at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers.
A motion “to adjourn” was made by Councilman Cole and seconded by Councilwoman Peters. The motion carried unanimously 7-0.