LATROBE CITY COUNCIL
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2014
Mayor Wolford called the Regular Monthly Meeting of Latrobe City Council to order at 6:32 P.M.
Mayor Wolford asked all to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mayor Wolford asked all for a Moment of Silence to remember all Veterans.
The City Secretary read Roll Call:
Fabian Giovannagelo - present
Madalyn Smith – present
Trisha Caldwell-Cravener – present
Deputy Mayor Michael Skapura - present
Gerald Baldonieri - present
Julie Bisi - absent
Mayor Rosemarie Wolford - present
Also present were the following: Wayne B. Jones, City Manager; James E. Kelley, Solicitor; Joe Bush, Public Works Director.
Mr. Skapura moved to adopt the October 13 and October 27, 2014 minutes, second by Mr. Baldonieri. Vote 6-0.
BILLS PRESENTED FOR PAYMENT
Total Expenses $582,502.94
Total Payroll 140,970.20
GRAND TOTAL $723,473.14
See attachment “A”
See attachment “B”
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Mr. Skapura moved to approve the reports and bills presented for payment, second by Mr. Baldonieri. Vote 6-0.
Finance Committee – Mr. Skapura reported that the Committee received Mr. Jones budget. Mr. Skapura and Mrs. Smith met with Mr. Jones to ask questions and discuss minor issues. Mr. Skapura stated they could have a final go around at the Agenda Session and thinks it is a good budget. Mrs. Smith agreed. City Manager Jones reported that he does not make any changes after presenting to council.
Public Safety Committee– Mr. Baldonieri reported that the next Neighborhood Watch meeting will be this Friday at 6:30. Officers were elected at the last meeting.
Personnel Committee– Mr. Skapura reported that interviews were conducted for the open Mechanic position. City Manager Wayne Jones reported that he and Joe interviewed two candidates and are now in the process of making a recommendation after checking references, and completing background checks. Physical and drug test will be performed on the recommended candidate.
Mr. Skapura reported that Thursday the 13th at 3:00 P.M., will be the next Negotiation meeting for the AFSCME contract.
Public Works Committee– Mrs. Smith reported that she spoke with the Public Works Director Joseph Bush on some issues. Mrs. Smith asked Joe about the new truck. Mr. Bush stated it will be in service in two weeks.
Community Development Committee – None.
Mayor Wolford reported that Latrobe Municipal Authority is still trying to work out the 537 plan. Mayor Wolford reported that Park and Recreation is in the process of figuring out their 2015 Budget when Unity pulls out.
Mayor Wolford suggested putting together a Parking Committee and said council can discuss it at the next Agenda prep session.
Public Works Director Joe Bush reported that the city held another E-Waste collection, and although not as much as the first collection, it was a big success. Mr. Bush thanked the Community Service Officer Beth Straka for her help in coordinating a group of juveniles that needed to complete community service. Mr. Bush stated they worked hard. Mr. Bush reported that the SRO police car should be in service by Friday.
City Manager Jones reported that GLSD granted receipt for the SRO car and $4,500 towards decals and equipment.
Code Enforcement– None.
ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE DEPARTMENT
Mr. Skapura made a motion to hire Gibson-Thomas Engineering Company Inc., to assist the City with obtaining documents from various contractors and subcontractors for the Latrobe Parking Garage Project related to the RACP grant, second by Mrs. Caldwell-Cravener. Vote 6-0.
Adopting GASB 34 Capitalization Policy. Mrs. Caldwell-Cravener moved to adopt this resolution, second by Mrs. Smith. Vote 6-0.
PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT
Authorization for the City Manager or his designee to remove a nuisance located at 827 Walnut Street; to take appropriate action for recovery of cost of removal; and/or to file appropriate lien. Mr. Skapura moved to adopt this resolution, second by Mrs. Caldwell-Cravener. Vote 6-0.
Mrs. Caldwell-Cravener asked if anything had been resolved regarding a request from a gentleman last month about a rat problem at 415 Fairmont and Walnut Streets. The Code Enforcement Officer is to follow-up on this matter.
Mr. Baldonieri made a motion to authorize the City Secretary to advertise for vacant positions for City Boards, Authorities, and Commissions.
OPEN FORUM FOR CITIZENS REQUESTS
James Miller of 127 East 4th Avenue asked if a tax increase is anticipated for next year.
City Manager Jones stated “No”.
Mr. Miller asked if the city is liable for attorney costs related to the lawsuits and where do we stand.
City Manager Jones stated he is not able to comment.
Solicitor Kelley said that special counsel from Pittsburgh is defending in the lawsuit.
Mr. Miller asked if council voted to authorize payment for the attorneys.
Mr. Kelley stated we are not liable beyond the deductible and the insurance company determines coverage and assigns counsel.
Mr. Miller stated that six arsons are under investigation and sent to the prosecutor in Greensburg and he thinks they are sitting on them and that someone should call Mr. Peck to see what is being done.
Jim Bolton of 2256 Irving Avenue is disappointed in the new council since they did not reopen the budget. He said the City was in trouble four years ago until the hailstorm brought in excess revenue. Mr. Bolton gave his view on the state of the budget and is concerned about 2015 expenses. He brought up maintenance on the SRO police car and the $280,000 payment each year for the Parking Garage debt. Mr. Bolton stated he could cut the budget by $100,000 by turning off the streetlights. He also stated that every time somebody wants a grant the city contributes $10,000.00.
Scott Lowther of 212 Walnut Street asked if anything could be done with the excessive traffic and speeding in the alley by St. Vincent DePaul.
City Manager said the Police Chief will look into it.
CITY MANAGER’S REPORT
City Manager Wayne Jones reported that the city will be hiring a Mechanic. He reported that the next union meeting will be held on the thirteenth at 3:00 p.m. Mr. Jones said the new electronic sign should be up after Thanksgiving. Mr. Jones stated he looked at the Police Pension breakdown of fixed assets and equity and believes we are not maximizing utilization of the account. Mr. Jones said the tower at St. Mary’s Cemetery is of no value and he is looking into taking it down.
Mayor Wolford reported that the City is in good financial shape and stated that in the past we had to have cutbacks in the Public Works Department and the offices. She stated we do have to replace police cars and try to improve the city by using revenue strategically and with thoughtful planning. Mayor Wolford said we have to be fiscally responsible and the commitment to Lincoln Avenue Trail of $10,000.00 is a good investment to receive ½ million in grant money. She reported that this will also improve home values. Mayor Wolford stated that the Veteran’s Day Parade is at 10:00 and will be followed by a ceremony at the Memorial. She said we all should give tribute to all the Veteran’s and God Bless America.
Mayor Wolford adjourned the meeting at 7:15 P.M.
Barbara J. Buck, Secretary