LATROBE CITY COUNCIL
MONDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2013
Mayor Griffin called the Regular Monthly Meeting of Latrobe City Council to order at 6:30 P.M.
Mayor Griffin asked all to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance.
The City Secretary read Roll Call:
Fabian Giovannagelo - present
Richard Jim - absent
Rosemarie Wolford – present
Michael Skapura - present
Deputy Mayor Kenneth Baldonieri - absent
Robert Forish - present
Mayor Barbara Griffin - present
Also present were the following: Alexander J. Graziani, City Manager; James E. Kelley, Solicitor; Joseph Bush, Public Works Director; Ann Powell, Code Enforcement Officer; James Bumar, Police Chief.
Mrs. Wolford moved to adopt the November 12, 2013 minutes, second by Mr. Skapura. Vote 5-0.
Total Expenses $180,560.75
Total Payroll 92,516.71
GRAND TOTAL $273,077.46
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Mr. Skapura moved to approve the reports and bills presented for payment, second by Mr. Giovannagelo. Vote 5-0.
Jim Bolton of 225 Irving Avenue questioned why the city borrows money to pay bills at the beginning of the year.
City Manager Graziani explained that we are not taking out a Tax Anticipation Note this year, that will save us from paying interest, but we will have a line of credit available if needed.
Mr. Bolton said the Transfer Station gave us money to cover expenses at the beginning of the year. He spoke in support of the Fire Police and cannot see why they work for us, as one officer’s salary would cover both of theirs and they cover the city twenty-four hours a day. Mr. Bolton said if he has a problem at three in the morning and engine would be at his house within five minutes. He stated that out of the services the city offers him he wants the Fire Department to respond first, and stated they are more important than anything else is. He stated the city could not afford a paid Fire Department.
Jack Murtha of 44 Marie Road stated that what Mr. Bolton said is completely true that having a paid Duty Driver to be at the scene in five minutes is irreplaceable. Mr. Murtha said you do not know what you have until it is gone.
Mrs. Wolford stated that we look at every department when doing budget work. She said by her knowledge we were never going to do anything to the Duty Drivers. She stated that we recognize and appreciate the Duty Drivers.
Mayor Griffin said we are not getting rid of any duty drivers.
Mr. Skapura assured that the options in the budget do not include any change to the duty drivers.
City Manager Graziani read from the budget narrative explaining that only a small percentage goes to the Fire Department and it is the best deal in town. He explained that there is only a 3.4% increase from last year in the Fire Department budget.
Mr. Giovannagelo stated that due to the Fire Chief making cuts last year and saving approximately $20,000, the 3.4% increase does not make up for the cut last year. He also said there are no cuts to the Duty Drivers.
James Miller of 147 East 4th Avenue asked if the budget could be on the website, and asked again if Citizens Requests could be placed later on in the meeting prior to council voting.
Mrs. Wolford said comments are related to items on the agenda and you are able to see what is being voted on. She said the only time the public would not know is when council amends the agenda, and unless it is an emergency, she prefers not to amend the agenda. Mrs. Wolford said in the case of an amendment to the agenda there could be citizen’s comments regarding that item.
Mr. Miller stated is was disgraceful the way we treated the Fire Chief at the last meeting.
Mrs. Wolford reporting for Parks & Recreation stated that they were approved for a $250,000 DCNR grant for the Lincoln Road Trail.
City Manager Graziani stated the city agreed to a $35,000 contribution towards the required matching funds, and that both budget options include the contribution.
ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE DEPARTMENT
Adoption of budget for fiscal year 2014. Mr. Skapura moved to enact this ordinance, second by Mr. Forish. Vote 5-0.
Authorizing a line of credit from Commercial Bank & Trust of PA in an amount not to exceed $200,000.00; establishing a maturity date for the revolving line of credit note of December 31, 2014 authorizing officers to draw down on the line of credit, and to sign and issue the note and to make payments as required by the revolving line of credit note. Mr. Forish moved to enact this ordinance, second by Mr. Skapura. Vote 5-0.
Mr. Giovannagelo made a motion declaring the position of City Auditor to be open and authorize the City Secretary to advertise for applicants for this position, second by Mrs. Wolford. Vote 5-0.
Mr. Giovannagelo made a motion authorizing the Solicitor to prepare and advertise an Ordinance to increase the Earned Income Tax Rate from 1.13% to 1.40% on residents and increase the nonresident Earned Income Tax to 1%, second by Mr. Skapura. Vote 5-0.
Mr. Giovannagelo made a motion authorizing the Solicitor to prepare and advertise an Ordinance to eliminate the $10.00 per capita tax paid to the City, second by Mrs. Wolford. Vote 5-0.
PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT
Main Street and Enterprise Zone Program. Mrs. Wolford moved to adopt this resolution, second by Mr. Forish. Vote 5-0.
Solicitor Kelley said he will send by email a packet for the Organizational Meeting and will advertise for next year’s meetings.
Mr. Forish stated he appreciated his four years on Council and feels he voted as a blue-collar worker. He thanked the City for his four years of service.
Mayor Griffin said that Mr. Forish was a good little boy and the most prepared person on Council.
CITY MANAGER’S REPORT
Alexander Graziani stated he has submitted his report to council and it is also available on-line. Mr. Graziani reported that on November 27 the Hope Center hosted a thank you gathering for public servants, first responders, and city workers. Mr. Graziani said there were cards developed by grade school students sharing their appreciation for first responders and it is available to look at.
Mr. Skapura made a motion to adjourn the Regular Meeting of Council, second by Mr. Forish. Vote 5-0.
Meeting adjourned at 7:12 P.M.
Barbara J. Buck, Secretary