Special Meeting of Council, July 2, 2009, California Municipal Building, 225 Third Street, 6:00 P.M.
President Bittner called the meeting to order.
PRESENT: John Difilippo, Vicki Gallo, President Jon Bittner, Walter Weld, Mayor Casey Durdines
ABSENT: Shelly Roberts, Anthony Mariscotti
ADDITIONS OR CHANGES TO AGENDA
Mr. Bittner – add draft of agreement for Croftcheck Development. Mr. Melenyzer stated that would not be voted on tonight. A motion is needed for authorization to draft the other side of the inter-municipal agreement between West Brownsville, Center West and this Borough regarding the Croftcheck Development.
The second thing would be to consider hiring Brian Ashbaugh as an expert with regard to the Tomko matter. His rate is $325.00/hr. Mr. Meleneyzer spoke to him. A conflicts check was done. They said they could handle the case. Mr. Bittner stated Brian Ashbaugh is an engineer and an attorney.
PUBLIC COMMENT ON AGENDA ITEMS
Mr. Maddiex asked how many others were contacted. Mr. Melenyzer stated this is a professional service so no others have to be contacted. He recommended that the Borough hire this person because he is highly qualified. He is a mining engineer out of the Colorado School of Mines, was in the service as an engineer, has been an attorney for thirty years and has all the qualifications that the Borough needs with regard to Tomko and the boring underneath 43. With Council’s permission under the code Mr. Melenyzer is permitted to hire an outside attorney. Mrs. Gallo asked how the Borough found him. Mr. Melenyzer stated Art Brower is the one that started this because of his past experience with their firm particularly professional litigation over contract issues. Mr. Melenyzer liked that he has an engineering degree and familiarity with bores.
PRESIDENT’S REPORT – Mr. Bittner
TOMKO CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS – EXECUTIVE SESSION
Mr. Melenyzer stated since there is litigation already filed Council would have to go into executive session regarding the Tomko. Weld/Gallo motion to go into executive session on the Tomko contract negotiations at 6:10 P.M. duly carried.
Mr. Bittner called the meeting back to order at 7:12 P.M. The executive session dealt with litigation with Tomko.
INTER-MUNICIPAL AGREEMENT – CROFTCHECK DEVELOPMENT
Mr. Melenyzer stated the Borough needs to prepare an inter-municipal agreement with West Brownsville and Center West Authority for the Borough to take over the pump station and force main coming out of the Croftcheck Development. Chambers/Difilippo motion to authorize Melenyzer and Associates to draft an inter-municipal agreement with West Brownsville and Center West regarding the Croftcheck Development Sewage Project. On a roll call vote motion carried with all members voting yes.
HIRE BRIAN ASHBAUGH – ENGINEERING CONSULTANT
Chambers/Gallo motion to hire Attorney Brian Ashbaugh as an expert to advise the Borough on the Tomko matter at $325.00/hr. Under discussion Mr. Melenyzer stated he is not being hired as the attorney, he is being hired as the engineer expert consultant. Mr. Melenyzer wanted attorney left out. This is a technical issue. If Brian Ashbaugh was hired as an attorney on the Tomko case with Mr. Melenyzer, he no longer could testify as an expert regarding engineering. He is a mining engineer graduated from the Colorado School of Mines, which is one of the best in the country and Mr. Melenyzer wants him as an engineer. Mrs. Chambers amended her motion to engineering consultant. Mrs. Gallo amended her second. On a roll call vote motion carried with all members voting yes. CROFTCHECK FAMILY AGREEMENT
Mr. Melenyzer stated the agreement was redrafted with the Croftcheck Family, LLP with regard to WalMart. This agreement has some of the basic things that were in the former agreement, which has been terminated and rescinded. There is an alternate route that the Borough engineer has worked out the details of, which will provide an estimated 35 and 50 available connections for homes on Knob Road. This alternate route will be extremely beneficial to the Borough. With the first route there was some benefit but not much. This one opens up the Knob Road area and many other developable pieces of property for a gravity flow system coming from Knob Hill. They are going to spend at least or as Mr. Melenyzer estimates more from the Borough engineer than they would have with the first project. Another change was the issue in the old agreement that they had to put up $100,000 to the Borough, which is to be escrowed for continual maintenance on the force main line and/or the pump station. The previous agreement provided that the $100,000 would be paid to the Borough upon the connection of their force main to the Borough’s system. Mr. Melenyzer is sure there is going to be some discussion from Croftchecks but he advised their engineer before that he wanted the $100,000 paid to the Borough at the time they award the contract for the pump station. The reason Mr. Melenyzer thinks and Mr. Brower is going to look at this, the Borough has to coordinate the development of the gravity feed line from where they terminate their line to hook up with the Borough’s current treatment plant. Mr. Brower estimated that the Borough needs two to three thousand feet total of line to hook up to the existing system. Mr. Melenyzer stated this then creates in his, the engineer and most of Council’s opinion a tremendous amount of raw acreage. Then hopefully get a housing development and things that are beneficial to the tax base of the Borough. That is going to be a big argument when they put up the $100,000. Mr. Melenyzer does not see how the Borough could do it any other way. He would listen to anybody’s comments. The Council people are going to have this to review until next week but the Borough has to coordinate when the two lines go together so that the sewage can flow from the Croftcheck development. Those are the main changes. There are other minor ones, they have to pay $3,000/EDU where our residents are paying $1,500/EDU and right now there are 22.3 EDU's. Mrs. Bridges asked the estimated time line for the actual construction to begin. Mr. Melenyzer stated they said their time line was June of next year. So, the serious things that has to be worked out is the Borough would have to get bids for the Borough’s portion of the gravity flow and make sure the Borough is in position to award that contract at the same time they start work on the pump station. That is why he is saying put up the $100,000 then because the Borough is going to be spending money. Now one other change is originally in the first contract they paid for the Borough’s engineer to inspect everything. The Borough is thinking now that the benefit that the Borough is getting which is into the hundred of thousands of dollars, that the Borough would pick up the cost of Mr. Brower making periodic inspections to make sure the installation is being done correctly. If it isn’t within the agreement, the Borough notifies them. If they do not correct it, the Borough is not obligated to take the line. It was asked if Knob Road is a state or Borough road. Mr. Melenyzer stated they are coming up Wilson Road. Mr. Bittner stated Wilson Road belongs to the Borough and Knob Road belongs to the State. Mr. Melenyzer stated this is phenomenal compare to the other one. The other was still a benefit having WalMart but not the sewage end of it. It was asked if changing to gravity for Knob Road would eliminate a pump station. Mr. Melenyzer stated no. Once a point is reached on Knob Hill, then it can start to gravity feed coming to the Borough’s system. But they are obligated to come beyond the top of Knob Road. Mr. Brower stated after they put the pump station to pump to the top of Knob Hill they would build the gravity line all the way down to 43. Mr. Melenyzer stated that is why it is such a tremendous benefit to the Borough for the future but the infrastructure has to be in place or nobody is going to develop and build homes. Mrs. Chambers asked if once the agreement is finalized, would the Borough have a map that would show the people where it is going. Mr. Melenyzer stated it is mentioned in the agreement two exhibits which are not here but Mr. Brower tentatively gave him a drawing which shows their portion and the Borough’s portion but now that has been expanded. They are taking more so it has to be changed, the Borough will get a revised one and that would be shared with everybody. This has to go to Croftcheck’s attorney. It was asked if the $100,000 was to run the line. Mr. Melenyzer stated no that is to be escrowed so that in five or ten years from now if the pump and the pump station needs repaired the Borough has the money to do that. It does not come out of the general proceeds from the sewage fees that the Borough receives from the residents. It is a hedge on future maintenance and repairs of the pump station and the force main because it is part of this agreement that the Borough takes this after it is constructed and functioning properly. By putting this money in the bank the Borough would earn interest. If it stays there the interest alone might make some initial repairs so it will always be there for maintenance and repairs so it is never a burden on the residents of California. It is going into a special fund for that purpose, under the law if it is voted for Council to put it in that special fund, it cannot be touched for anything else. It would be a violation of the law. Mr. Melenyzer wants this when the Borough awards the pump station because then the Borough knows they have to do the awarding of the bid for the Borough’s gravity end. Mr. Maddiex asked if this would be on the California or West Brownsville side of Knob Road. Mr. Melenyzer’s understanding is it is on the California side. It is not the Borough’s responsibility to bring it through West Brownsville. This Borough will not assist them in any expenditure that they have. Mr. Maddiex felt the boundary was down the middle. Mr. Melenyzer stated it was found out tonight that it might not be owned half and half. The Borough is waiting for additional information. Mr. Maddiex recalled that when the road was worked on California paid half and West Brownsville paid half.
RESOLUTION – PENNDOT BOND – (TOMKO UNCOMPLETED WORK)
Mr. Brower stated a resolution is needed that Balla Enterprises was authorized to enter into a restoration maintenance bond with PennDot. Chambers/Gallo motion. On a roll call vote motion carried with all members voting yes. (Mr. Weld left before the vote was taken). Ms. Pfrogner had this typed already.
RECOGNITION OF CITIZENS
Mr. Prest of 131 Pennsylvania Avenue was here to get clarification about burning. He was told eleven years ago that he could burn 3:00 to 6:00, Monday through Friday and all day Saturday. Last Saturday a police officer showed up to say the Borough passed a new ordinance that you cannot burn at any time. He asked what to do with his stuff if he maintains his property and cuts his bushes. He then asked if there has been a change in the policy on this. The Mayor stated there has been no change to the burning ordinance however there was some discussion and he is not sure what the final resolution was in regard to the D.E.P. restricting burning. The officer was incorrect in stating it was a Borough ordinance but may have been correct in stating you cannot burn. Mr. Melenyzer stated the answer to that is the D.E.P. This Borough is in a basin and they are concerned about smoke, etc. so the Borough is in a no burn zone. Mr. Bittner stated under the Borough’s contract with County Hauling there is a spring and a fall clean up but you have to bag everything. Mr. Prest stated he cut down an eight foot tree, how could he bag that. The Mayor assumed that someone called because the police do not usually enforce that regulation being that is a D.E.P. rule. Mr. Prest again asked how to get rid of this stuff. Mr. Melenyzer stated check some farmers will allow brush and stuff to go in because they pile that up and the wild life use it as refuge in the winter. His farm is in Fallowfield, they have such a place as long as it is branches and shrubbery. Maybe there is a farmer in this area that might have an area. Mr. Prest stated if he is abiding by this new D.E.P. rule, everyone has to. He saw a property owner on Pennyslvania Avenue that had a big pile of burning stuff during the week. There needs to be some consistency. He asked if he could do marshmallows. Mr. Melenyzer stated you are allowed to do that. Mr. Bittner stated that is considered recreational burning.
Chambers/Difilippo motion to adjourn at 7:40 P.M. duly carried.