Trafford Borough

Monthly Business Meeting Minutes- August 4, 2020

The Trafford Borough Council held its monthly business meeting on Tuesday, August 4, 2020, at 7:00 p.m., via ZOOM.

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

Roll Call of Attendance by Borough Manager, Ashley Stack:

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

                              Steven Perovich, Council Vice-President        Ed Llewellyn, Mayor

                              Christopher Corrales, Councilmember           Ashley Stack, Borough Manager

Ralph Deabner, Councilmember                      Adam Hlad, Code Enforcement Officer

                              Leslie Peters, Councilmember                          

                              Casey Shoub, Councilmember


(Absent)               Zack Cole, Councilmember                                            Charles Miller, Emergency Management Coordinator

                              Nina Solivan, Assistant Borough Manager


Councilman Cardiff announced an Executive Session held on August 4, 2020, for personnel and litigation matters.

Minutes: A motion “to accept the minutes of July 7, 2020, regular council meeting” was made by Councilman Perovich and seconded by Councilwoman Peters. The motion carried unanimously 6-0.

Payment of Bills: A motion “to approve the expense voucher list dated August 4, 2020,” was made by Councilman Shoub and seconded by Councilman Perovich. The motion carried unanimously 6-0.

Councilman Cole entered the meeting via ZOOM at 7:03 p.m.

Public Comment:

Councilman Cardiff read the rules for public comment.

Brandon Lacina 430 Cavitt Avenue: Mr. Lacina reported Larry George of the TBA is hosting a power wash and paint day on August 19. The Grow Trafford website has reached 5,000 views from as far as Altoona. Mr. Lacina stated the old Westinghouse Print Shop is only paying $19.17. Mr. Lacina questioned If this could be investigated. Mr. Lacina reported there was a down tree on the trail which cost appx. $1,900.00 to remove. Mr. Lacina stated success of the trail depends on memberships. Membership applications are available at Digital Trafford.

Councilman Cardiff thanked Mr. Lacina for his detailed report. Councilman Cardiff stated that exposure for our community is great.

Mr. Lacina provided additional information on Liberty Properties at Trafford, LLC. Mr. Lacina stated based on Allegheny County’s records, the property’s value is listed at $4,200.00 and is being taxed at the rate of 4.73 mills. Mr. Lacina stated the taxes are delinquent and would like clarification if the WHT were to purchase surround property.

Manager Stack stated any correspondence that has been sent from our offices get returned form the post office for an insufficient address. We have tried multiple avenues and continue to hit roadblocks.

Councilman Shoub stated the taxes Mr. Lacina provided only indicate the Allegheny county portion, a portion of the building is in Westmoreland County.

Solicitor Alexander stated the school districts usually handle the reassessments. Solicitor Alexander said he has contacts in the assessor’s office.

Councilman Shoub stated the property was listed on the last sheriff sale list.

Dolores Sutton 601 Brinton Avenue: Mrs. Sutton questioned the status of the memorial bricks, and the current Forbes Road detour and bus route. Mrs. Sutton also asked if the borough had any information on the future of Shop n Save and if there was anything council could do to move another grocery store in.

Manager Stack stated she previously mentioned the Parks and Recreation Committee and Carol Richardson form the TECDC to get together to find a new location for the bricks. We have received calls for individuals requesting their bricks back. Maybe we could open this up to the public to see what they want; if they want them back or if they want them at one of the parks. Carol Richardson was going to go through the list provided by public works and compare it to her original list.

Councilwoman Peters stated placing the list of the bricks on the website would be great.

Councilman Perovich mentioned reaching out to Andrew Capets and placing the list on the Historical Website.

Manager Stack stated the route has not changed other than the busses being routed to BY Park to keep them out of residential areas.

Manager Stack stated she did not have additional information on the store closing.

Councilman Cardiff stated that it is in Monroeville, and we do not have control. Councilwoman Peters concurred with Councilman Cardiff.

Councilman Perovich stated Shop n Save’s last day would be August 29, 2020.

Don Glenn, Engineer: No report.

Borough Manager’s Report: Manager Stack reported she had contacted PA DCED to check on the status of the PA Small Water and Sewer grant that we have applied for Meadow Street. The grant awards are due to be tentatively awarded on August 17, 2020. Chief Disso is ok with adding an additional speed limit sign on Wallace Avenue and will be coordinated with public works. Manager Stack thanked the public works department for replacing the roof on pavilion one at BY Park. The information board at BY Park will be pressure washed as requested by the recreation board. The 2019 audit is nearly complete. The general fund balance is approximately $734,241.00, the liquid fuels balance is approximately $231,102.00, the recreation fund balance is approximately $3,948.00, the sewage fund balance is approximately $599,423.00, and Veteran’s Memorial Park fund balance is approximately $8,467.00.

Mayor’s Report: Mayor Llewellyn reported for the month of July, there were a total of one hundred forty-five service calls, with nine criminal complaints filed, and fifteen citations issued.

Mayor Llewellyn reported the part-time police officer that was hired at the last meeting was supposed to start July 27, 2020, but was in contact with someone who contracted Coronavirus. He will start once he has been cleared.

Community & Economic Development: Councilman Perovich reported a meeting was held in July with a few TBA members, Councilwoman Peters, Councilman Cardiff, Manager Stack, and himself to discuss ways to move forward and to promote businesses. Councilman Perovich stated there are vacant storefronts, and property owners do not wish to rent them out.

General Government & Finance: Councilman Corrales stated he found a program by the name of Variety Children’s Charity Fund that provides bikes, and other devices for disabled children. Councilman Corrales offered his service if anyone would need help filling out an application. Councilman Cardiff asked Councilman Corrales to provide all the information to council prior to getting involved with a charity. Councilman Corrales stated this does not require the borough to have ties with the charity or to spend money.

Parks & Recreation: Councilwoman Peters stated she did not have a report this evening. Councilman Perovich questioned if Councilwoman Peters has heard anything from the school district. Councilwoman Peters stated she hadn’t, but as Manager Stack stated as soon as the information is available, she would let us know.

Planning, Property, & Ordinances: Councilman Deabner stated he did not have a report this evening.

Public Safety: Councilman Cole stated he did not have a report this evening. 

Public Works & Sanitation: Councilman Shoub stated he did not have anything further then what was already discussed.

Presidents Report: Councilman Cardiff stated the COVID19 numbers are slowly starting to diminish let’s keep being vigilant and get back to normal.

Ordinance to refund General Obligation Bonds, Series 2012

A motion “to approve an ordinance to refund the borough’s General Obligation Bonds, Series 2012, through the Series of 2020 Bond Issuance” was made by Councilman Shoub and seconded by Councilman Cole.

Mr. Patrick Healy Bond Counsel stated this is to refund your 2012 bonds that are outstanding for saving. The borough will realize savings just as if you were refinancing your mortgage lower interest rate now higher interest rate then. The ordinance before you is a bond debt ordinance required by state law of the local government unit debt act. Prior to the meeting, an advertisement was prepared relating to the ordinance. After the meeting, signatures will need to be obtained from Ashley and the Council President. There will need to be a filing with the DCED they have 20 days to review and approve the filing. One that has been approved by DCED, a closing date will be set, and a date to refund the 2012 bonds. The savings is a minimum of 2 percent; it usually is far exceeded.

Manager Stack stated the savings could be used towards debt reduction or opt to receive cash at closing. The cash at closing option would allow the funds to be used towards capital projects to be expended within thirty-six months.

Mr. Healy stated the legal ad and ordinance state the savings would be used towards debt reduction. We could push this back and redo the ordinance and advertisement to receive cash at closing. The current structure of the proposed debt service savings ordinance would allow you to use the saving monies towards anything, not just capital projects.

Manager Stack stated with debt reduction our payment amounts will be reduced over the course of the next few years. 

Mr. Healy stated savings will be seen within the first three years.

Manager Stack stated the funds that are normally budgeted for the general obligation bond line item would no longer need to be budgeted for at its current amount due to the refinance for the first three years. The funds that will not be expended due to the savings of the refinance will be able to be budgeted elsewhere.

The motion carried unanimously 7-0.

Agreement with Westmoreland County Housing Authority

A motion “to approve the agreement with the Westmoreland County Housing Authority for additional police services at Trafford Manor, expenses are to be reimbursed to the borough from WCHA” was made by Councilman Deabner and seconded by Councilman Corrales.

Councilman Cole questioned if they would be utilizing the borough’s officers.

Mayor Llewellyn stated yes, they would be utilizing our officers, and this will not take away from the current services this is in addition to and expenses to be paid by the county.

Solicitor Alexander stated he had reviewed the contract.

The motion carried unanimously 7-0.

Online Payment Services

A motion “to approve the borough’s current merchant service provider, Elavon, to provide online payment services through the borough website” was made by Councilwoman Peters and seconded by Councilman Shoub.

Manager Stack stated she reached out to the service provider PTSA uses for online services, and it was determined the service would not work for us due to being on the same server. Manger Stack stated she reached out to our current credit card provider Elavon and spoke with a representative. Since we are already a customer, Elavon will be waiving a few of the startup fees. The rates are the same as what we pay now. The rates vary based on the type of card that is used. Right now, the borough does incur these fees and are not passed on to the customer. In the future, we may need to make possible adjustments to the fee schedule if the costs incurred are substantial. One option that will be available is the ACH capture. The ACH capture will allow the customer to place their routing and checking account number in for a direct withdraw and at the rate of thirty cents per transaction. The current rates are charged by a percentage of the total. The website developer has been contacted and will have two separate tabs for general online purchase and sewage online purchases. Online payments have been the most requested service for years.

Councilwoman Peters questioned what services do Elavon currently provide. Manager Stack stated they are our credit card provider.

Anytime Nina takes a credit card payment for pavilions, sewage payments, etc. she runs it manually through merchant service which is Elavon.

Councilman Cardiff stated bottom-line we will be able to accept payments online if approved by council. Councilman Cardiff questioned what the timeline would be.

Manger Stack stated we would need to meet with Elavon’s IT for security purposes. Manager Stack stated hopefully by the next sewage billing cycle.

The motion carried unanimously 7-0.

Donation of Pavilions

A motion “to approve the donation of two pavilion rentals to Westmoreland Heritage Trail for October 10, 2020,” was made by Councilwoman Peters and seconded by Councilman Shoub.

Manager Stack stated the Level Green Woman’s Club reached out to WHT for a scavenger hunt due to fundraising challenges this year. Manager Stack mentioned donating the whole park to avoid any possible issues with a renting party.

The motion carried unanimously 7-0.

Payment to El Grande

A motion “to approve payment to El Grande for $117,766.25, for the 2020 paving project to be paid out of the Liquid Fuels Fund” was made by Councilman Shoub and seconded by Councilman Deabner.

Councilman Perovich questioned if the project was complete. Manager Stack stated the project had been completed Don recommended waiting to make the payment until the maintenance bond had been received and it has. 

The motion carried unanimously 7-0.

New Business

Councilman Cole questioned if there was an update from PAT regarding previous discussions. Manager Stack stated the last update was the bus route during the detour on Forbes Rd. The original route was set to go through a residential area, which was then moved to BY Park. The liaison from PAT stated they are still working on an agreement with Haymaker, she did sound hopeful and that things were moving in a positive direction. Manager Stack stated she plans to reach out to the liaison prior to the next meeting for another update.

Solicitor Alexander stated Melissa Edwards sent an email to Manager Stack on Sunday, August 2, 2020, titled public comment to which Manager Stack responded via email on Tuesday, August 4, 2020, however, she wanted the email read during the meeting. Solicitor Alexander read the email aloud, “There are potholes on Meadow Street that need to be addressed I am not interested in the cookie cutter “there’s a grant for that” they can be patched. Please notify public works and get it done. Eight Meadow Street is overflowing with construction debris including large storefront lettering, carpeting, building materials, and plastic. There was a six-foot-high construction debris pile burned from dawn till dusk on a Tuesday while unattended for an hour and a half in the early evening. I kept an eye on it until it began to rain and went at dusk. I reached out to Zack Cole a week before the debris pile was burned I explained that I was very concerned about the construction materials in the burn pile, the size of it, and the health and safety of the residents who live on the street. I was assured he would be in contact with Chief Disso and they would speak to the property owner about the burn pile. Clearly that never happened.  As a ten-year resident of this borough I am disgruntled and disgusted by the unprofessional, immature, and cruel behavior recently exhibited by Councilman Cole. That being said I am even more disgusted by the cowardness of this council by refusing to address it” signed Melissa Edwards 1 Meadow Street.

Solicitor Alexander stated in Manager Stack’s emailed response indicated that Code Enforcement was involved and offered Ms. Edwards the opportunity to speak with the Code Enforcement Officer and provided Ms. Edwards with the Code Enforcement Officer’s phone and email address. Also, if illegal activity is happening to please call 911.

Councilman Perovich questioned Code Enforcement Officer Hlad if anyone had been in contact with him on this situation. Code Enforcement Officer Hlad stated it is in process and has been aware prior to this email.


Councilman Cardiff announced the next regular meeting for Tuesday, September 1, 2020, at 7:00 p.m. the location will be determined at a later date.


A motion “to adjourn” was made by Councilman Shoub and seconded by Councilwoman Peters. The motion carried unanimously 7-0.

The meeting ended at 7:50 p.m.