Norristown municipality council meeting minutes



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NORRISTOWN MUNICIPALITY

COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES

The Council Meeting of March 15, 2011 was called to order by Council President, Linda Christian, at 7:30 pm in Council Chambers.


There was a Moment of Silence followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
The following Council members were in attendance:
Linda Christian Gary Simpson

Cathy Lawrence William Caldwell

Mary DeSouza Bill Procyson
The following Junior Council members were in attendance:
Jordan Allen Adam Pfender

Andre Nguyen Jasmine Williams


Also present were:
David Forrest, Municipal Administrator

Sean Kilkenny, Municipal Solicitor

Chief Russell Bono, Norristown Chief of Police

Jayne Musonye, Director of Planning and Development

Richard Zawisza, Director of Finance
Swear in two (2) Police Officers (Dougherty & Hoover)

Councilwoman Lawrence conducted the swearing in ceremony for Officer Jason Hoover. Chief Bono provided a brief background on the officers. He noted that Jason Hoover is from Ohio and was the class Lieutenant at the Police Academy. Councilman Procyson conducted the swearing in ceremony for Christopher Dougherty. Chief Bono noted that Christopher Dougherty served his internship here at the Norristown Police Department.


Presentations: Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) - Tyrone Powell

Municipal Website - Gabriela Prete, Nick Fote and Steve Sontag
David Forrest explained that he invited Mr. Powell to come before Council to make a presentation because of the desire to establish a disadvantaged business enterprise in Norristown. Mr. Powell provided his background, noting he’s been an attorney for 25 years and served for the Commonwealth of PA for 4 years. He introduced his partner, Mr. Bob Weston. They conducted a Power Point presentation which covered such aspects as “Lowering Procurement,” information on a disparity study, affirmative action programs and “Lowering Construction Costs.” Mr. Weston stated “Small business is the fastest growing segment.” It was noted that the overall cost of the study is $250,000 to $300,000. Mr. Weston stated “Data collection is the most important and most time consuming.” Members of Council posed several questions.
Municipal Website:

Gabriela Prete presented a Power Point highlighting the features on the Municipal Website. Councilman Simpson commented “You provided a website that is more efficient”. The majority of Norristown will be happy.” Councilman Simpson suggested using a video to explain such things as trash recycling. Ms. Doris Smith-Starks noted that the community needs to be made aware of the website and the information it provides. Council President Christian stated “We depend on Town Watch and the West End Association to get information out there.”


Motion to approve Minutes of the Committee of the Whole Meeting held on March 1, 2011 - There was a motion on the floor to amend the Minutes by Councilman Simpson with a second by Councilwoman Lawrence. All in favor. Motion carries. Councilwoman DeSouza noted the change is under “Changes in Appointments.” It should read that the co-chair of Code is Councilman Millner. The Junior Council members were in agreement.
Public Comment
Joanne Moody, 622 Cherry Street - Ms. Moody announced that she is withdrawing from “Cat Crew.” She noted that there have been food donations to Cat Crew but she is still using her own money for gas.
Alison Reynolds - Ms. Reynolds asked for an update on the number of Norristown residents hired for U.S. Maintenance. She noted that a movie theatre would have been great in the Logan Square shopping center. She also noted she was disappointed that Morello’s Towing was not selected since they are in Norristown. She also asked for an update on the Montgomery Hospital building and she pointed out that there were random trashcans on Airy Street.
Ryan Schofield, 770 Sandy Street - Mr. Schofield is a displaced resident of 770 Sandy Street. He asked about the roof being constructed at the site. David Forrest explained that the roof project is part of Phase II. Mr. Schofield asked about the destruction of public records for the detailed plans for 770 Sandy Street.
Bonnie Troemel, 728 Sandy Street - Ms. Troemel noted she sent emails to all Council members but only received 2 responses. The email was regarding the increment site proposed at 770 Sandy Street. She noted there is a historical cemetery on the site. Councilman Simpson commented that he generally answers emails with information regarding his District.
Cathy Pachella, 205 West Wood Street - Ms. Pachella commented that she didn’t receive call backs from all Council members. She complained about a call she had with Councilwoman Lawrence.
Announcements: by Councilman Simpson

Stony Creek Anglers - 25th Annual Clean Up - Saturday, March 26, rain or shine. Meet at the Fire Chiefs Bandshell in Elmwood Park at 8:00 am. Dress according to weather. Coffee and donuts provided by Starbucks. Tickets are still available for the Bicentennial Dinner Celebration to be held on Saturday, March 26 at Saviour Hall, 410 East Airy Street. Tickets are $40 per person. Montco SAAC “March Against Senior Hunger” will be held on Sunday, March 27th. There will be a 3K walk and a 1 mile fun walk - benefits Meals on Wheels program. Registration is at 8:45 am at the Montgomery County Community College. There will be a Fundraiser for the Bibbo family on March 19, which may be sold out. Please call 610-585-4020 for information. A registry has been set up at Target to purchase items for the Bibbo family. Junior Council member Williams noted that her school’s French Club will sponsor a 5K run to raise money for the Japan earthquake/tsunami victims. Junior Council member Pfender noted he is in the marching band and there will be a Home Show to raise money so they can attend the World Championship. There will be a 3rd District meeting on March 31 at the Norristown Public Library. The topic is the Norristown Budget.


PLANNING/ECONOMIC/BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Resolution - DCED/HOME Grant - Discussion

Director Musonye provided an explanation. Solicitor Kilkenny read the Resolution and noted “it is ready to approve.” There was a motion on the floor to approve the Resolution by Councilwoman Lawrence with a second by Councilwoman DeSouza. A Roll Call Vote was taken resulting in:

Junior Council members:
Linda Christian yes Jordan Allen yes

Cathy Lawrence yes Adam Pfender yes

Mary DeSouza yes Andre Nguyen yes

Gary Simpson yes Jasminee Williams yes

Bill Procyson yes

William Caldwell yes


Motion carries unanimously.
Resolution for Montgomery County Community Revitalization Program - Discussion

Director Musonye explained there are 2 facets: completing the Avenue of the Arts from Airy Street to Marshall Street and the Horizon Theatre. She explained the application is due April 1 and it requires a Resolution. Solicitor Kilkenny read the Resolution. There was a motion on the floor to approve the Resolution by Councilman Procyson with a second by Councilwoman Lawrence. A Roll Call Vote was taken resulting in:


Junior Council members:
Linda Christian yes Jordan Allen yes

Cathy Lawrence yes Adam Pfender yes

Mary DeSouza yes Andre Nguyen yes

Gary Simpson yes Jasmine Williams yes

Bill Procyson yes

William Caldwell yes


Motion carries unanimously.
Resolution - DCNR C2P2 Application for “Greenway Feasibility Study” - Discussion

David Forrest noted the desire to examine the possibility to connect Stony Creek and Saw Mill Run with the bike trails, to include East Norriton and West Norriton. He stated the application is due April 21 and there are no large out-of-pocket expenses. He added that the Resolution must be executed to submit with the application. Councilwoman Lawrence noted her opposition to voting on this tonight. David Forrest stated this will be brought to the next meeting.


640 East Main Street - Special Exception from Zoning Hearing Board - Discussion

The applicant was present. He would like to have storage space for his classic cars. Solicitor Kilkenny explained that Council usually remains neutral in these cases. Mr. Flynn shared pictures of the property. After some discussion with regard to type of Use, it was decided to let the Zoning Hearing Board make a decision.


PUBLIC WORKS
770 Sandy Street - Award Phase II - Discussion

Director Fazio explained that bids were taken and the Solicitor and himself found omissions with the apparent low-bidder so this was discarded. He recommended awarding the contract to Titanium Enterprises. He also noted there is no Phase II bid package and a change order will be obtained from the Phase II contractor. There was a motion on the floor to award to the apparent low-bidder, Titanium Enterprises, in the amount of $700,290.25 for Phase II construction in compliance with Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas by Councilman Caldwell with a second by Councilwoman Christian. All in favor. Motion carries.


There was a motion to open the agenda by Councilwoman Christian with a second by Councilwoman Lawrence. All in favor. Motion carries.
Director Fazio explained that “due to a lack of service” with the current lighting contractor, it has been decided to discontinue the contract. After reviewing bids with the Solicitor, it was recommended to award to M.J. Electric for one year. Solicitor Kilkenny noted that “The ability of Council to award this contract is contingent upon Public Statute 53 section 46.402, regulation of contracts.” Solicitor Kilkenny read the provisions. There was a motion on the floor to accept the bid from M.J. Electric by Councilwoman Christian with a second by Councilman Simpson. All in favor. Motion carries. Solicitor Kilkenny noted that because this was not an agenda item, Public Comment is allowed.
Mr. Troy Bean, 1424 Harding Boulevard - Mr. Bean asked if this was only for maintenance of the lights.
FINANCE
Approve Monthly Disbursements:

General Fund $584,263.99

Community Development 116,306.64

Parks & Recreation Fund 963.75

Police Grant Fund 3,576.59

Liquid Fuels 25,122.47

Debt Service Fund 100,975.00

Real Estate Tax Fund 410,946.08
There was a motion on the floor to approve the Monthly Disbursements by Councilwoman Christian with a second by Councilman Simpson. All in favor. Motion carries.
PUBLIC SAFETY
Handicapped Parking Request: 1013 West Airy Street

Councilman Procyson stated this was investigated by Officer Rambo and Councilman Procyson recommended approval. There was a motion on the floor to approve the request by Councilwoman Christian with a second by Councilwoman DeSouza. All in favor. Motion carries.


Zone “A” Parking - Discussion

Councilman Simpson noted there is a resident who doesn’t feel the Zone A parking should go as far north as Juniper Street and he plans on getting a petition to say there is no need for it. This resident has 3 cars and 2 stickers. Chief Bono noted that if Montgomery Hospital moves, there may be an increase to 4 stickers.


CODE
Motion to adopt Ordinance 11-03 - Regarding Handbills

There was a motion on the floor to adopt the Ordinance by Councilwoman Christian with a second by Councilman Simpson. All in favor. Motion carries. Junior Council member Adam Pfender asked if the sales increased for the businesses distributing handbills. Councilman Caldwell explained that Council is “acting on behalf of the residents.”


EXECUTIVE SESSION ANNOUNCEMENT

Council President Christian announced there was an Executive Session of Council held prior to tonight’s meeting to discuss personnel and litigation issues.


ADJOURNMENT

There was a motion on the floor to adjourn the Council meeting by Councilman Simpson with a second by Councilwoman DeSouza. All in favor. Motion carries.


Respectfully submitted,
Roseann M. Santangelo



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