LATROBE CITY COUNCIL
MONDAY, JANUARY 12, 2015
Mayor Wolford called the Regular Monthly Meeting of Latrobe City Council to order at 6:30 P.M.
Mayor Wolford asked all to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mayor Wolford asked all for a Moment of Silence.
The City Secretary read Roll Call:
Fabian Giovannagelo - present
Madalyn Smith – absent
Trisha Caldwell-Cravener – present
Deputy Mayor Michael Skapura - present
Gerald Baldonieri - present
Julie Bisi - present
Mayor Rosemarie Wolford - present
Also present were the following: Wayne B. Jones, City Manager; James E. Kelley, Solicitor; Joe Bush, Public Works Director; James Bumar, Police Chief; Ann Powell, Code Enforcement Officer.
Mr. Skapura moved to adopt the December 8, 2014 minutes, second by Mr. Giovannagelo. Vote 6-0.
BILLS PRESENTED FOR PAYMENT
Total Expenses $212,163.14
Total Payroll 92,537.29
GRAND TOTAL $304,700.43
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Mr. Skapura moved to approve the reports and bills presented for payment, second by Mr. Baldonieri. Vote 6-0.
City Manager Jones reported that the 2014 cash basis budget ended with city expenditures at 99% of the budgeted amount and 5% above in revenues.
James Miller of 127 E 4th Avenue questioned an item on the agenda regarding a retirement agreement for a police officer. Mr. Miller asked if that is why we put an ad in the paper for an opening in the police department.
City Manager Jones stated it was not replacing a retiree position; it was in fact to replace an officer that resigned.
Mr. Miller asked what was the purpose of the ad.
Mayor Wolford said for replacement of the officer that resigned.
Mr. Miller asked if that officer is working for Public Works.
City Manager Jones stated that the officer that resigned from the Police Department was hired for a Heavy Equipment Operator replacement position in the Public Works Department.
Mr. Miller asked if the city considered hiring part-time police officers.
Mayor Wolford stated the police bargaining agreement does not permit part-time officers, and she feels it is in the city’s best interest to have full-time officers.
Finance Committee – Mr. Skapura said no report, although he reiterated the City Managers comments that for 2014 we are close to spending what we said we would and exceeded what we expected to take in.
Public Safety Committee– Mr. Baldonieri reported that the next Neighborhood Watch meeting will be January 19 at 6:30 and John Metz from Rampart Security will be the keynote speaker.
Personnel Committee– Mr. Skapura reported that the committee met with and interviewed applicants for the Public Works position and is looking forward to participating in the upcoming hiring of a Police Officer.
Public Works Committee– None.
Community Development Committee – None.
Mayor Wolford reported that 2015 is the first year after Unity Township resigned from the Intergovernmental Cooperation Agreement. The name change is Latrobe & GLSD Parks and Recreation Commission and the commission is intact except for the three Unity Representatives. Mayor stated they are working on a budget for 2015 and are financially back to situation prior to the Intergovernmental merger, with Latrobe residents paying one rate, Unity Township residents paying a higher rate, and citizens outside the Greater Latrobe School District paying the highest rate.
Joe Bush reported that last year at this time, the city began new single stream recycling program and it has been a success with very few complaints.
Police Chief Bumar reported that right now the department is in the hiring process with twelve potential candidates.
Fire – None.
Code Enforcement– None.
ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE DEPARTMENT
Fixing the tax rate for general city purposes and other purposes for the fiscal year beginning January 1, 2015 and ending December 31, 2015. Mrs. Caldwell-Cravener moved to enact this ordinance, second by Mr. Giovannagelo. Vote 6-0
Establishing wages, hours and fringe benefits of positions of the City of Latrobe for fiscal year 2015. Mr. Baldonieri moved to enact this ordinance, second by Mr. Skapura. Vote 6-0.
Adoption of the Westmoreland County 2015 Hazard Mitigation Plan as the official plan for the City of Latrobe. Mr. Skapura moved to adopt this resolution, second by Mrs. Caldwell-Cravener. Vote 6-0.
Adopting informational sign policy. Mr. Giovannagelo moved to adopt this resolution, second by Mr. Skapura. Vote 6-0.
Mr. Skapura made a motion to authorize the Solicitor to prepare and advertise an Ordinance to amend the Code of Ordinances to include a fee schedule for the informational sign usage, second by Mrs. Caldwell-Cravener. Vote 6-0.
Amending Chapter 256, Vehicles and Traffic; Section 256-17, establishment and or removal of handicap parking spaces, Section 256-19, loading and unloading; Section 256-54, Permit parking; and, Section 256-59, Schedule XIII, Fines for illegal parking. Ms. Bisi moved to enact this ordinance, second by Mr. Giovannagelo. Vote 6-0.
Mr. Skapura made a motion to approve a Memorandum of Agreement between the City of Latrobe and the Collective Bargaining Unit of the Latrobe Police Department regarding retirement of Police Sergeant, second by Mrs. Caldwell-Cravener. Vote 6-0.
Mayor Wolford nominated Don Albert for appointment to the Latrobe Civil Service Commission.
Appointing member to Latrobe Civil Service Commission. Mr. Giovannagelo moved to adopt this resolution, second by Mrs. Caldwell-Cravener. Vote 6-0.
Mayor Wolford nominated Ralph Jenko for appointment to the Latrobe Zoning Hearing Board.
Appointing member to Latrobe Zoning Hearing Board. Mr. Baldonieri moved to adopt this resolution, second by Mrs. Caldwell-Cravener. Vote 6-0.
Mayor nominated Neal Fenton for appointment to the Latrobe Municipal Authority.
Ms. Bisi made a motion to adopt this resolution, second by Mr. Baldonieri.
Vote 3-Yes (Baldonieri, Bisi Wolford), 3-No (Giovannagelo, Caldwell-Cravener, Skapura) Motion fails.
Mayor nominated Don Clair for appointment to the Latrobe Municipal Authority.
Mr. Baldonieri made a motion to adopt this resolution, second by Ms. Bisi.
Vote 3-Yes (Baldonieri, Bisi, Wolford), 3-No (Caldwell-Cravener, Giovannagelo, Skapura) Motion fails.
Mayor Wolford informed the Finance Committee that there would be (1) one unbudgeted expense item due to a problem with property in the 6th Ward. There is debate as to whether the said property belongs to the City or Castle Co Packers. The cost for the survey will be $500.00.
Deputy Mayor Skapura asked for an update on completion date for Murphy’s Bridge on Mission Road.
Public Works Director Bush said the bridge could be completed by May even though the contract completion date is the end of June.
Mr. Baldonieri asked if Public Works will be holding another electronic waste pickup.
Mr. Bush said yes in the Spring.
OPEN FORUM FOR CITIZENS REQUESTS
James Miller of 127 E. 4th Avenue asked if the Neighborhood Watch Meeting on January 19, 2015 could be on the city sign and questioned if they have to pay.
City Manager said they do not have to pay, but we have not had training on the signs software.
Mr. Miller said he requested and received from Representative Petrarca’s office pamphlets related to the Neighborhood Watch. He said there are four different handouts with 3,000 of each stacked up at his house. Mr. Miller said he is contacting US Congressman regarding a meeting in Murrysville. The plan is to put the four handouts in plastic holders to hand on doorknobs, and requested that the city or some company donate approximately $200.00 to pay for the plastic holders.
Mr. Miller asked how the School Resource Officer is doing.
Chief Bumar said the School Resource Officer advises and counsels students, and most of his hours are predominantly spent at the school except during school break and when filling in for manpower coverage.
Mr. Miller stated we are finding out that less people are volunteering for openings on Boards and wondered if someone could be on two different Boards.
Solicitor Kelley replied there could be some conflicts with certain Boards and Authorities such as serving on both the Planning Commission and Zoning Hearing Board.
Mr. Miller brought up the three/three vote for the LMA position and asked what are the objections to the proposed people.
Deputy Mayor Skapura stated he had only received an email for Mr. Clair and would like to do his research, and he stated he has already expressed his concerns for someone to be a city resident.
Mayor Wolford stated there are no other engineers that applied and they are the most qualified. The Authority is still working through the Act 537 plan and having an engineer would be best.
Mr. Skapura stated LMA already has engineers and that could create conflict with them.
Mayor Wolford feels having an engineer on the Authority would help with understanding issues.
CITY MANAGER’S REPORT
City Manager Jones reported that we identified $10,000 savings on 2014 insurance and another $6,000 in 2015. Mr. Jones reported that Chief Bumar is giving up his weekends to help alleviate overtime in the Police Department. Mr. Jones reported that Joe Bush and his crew are doing a nice job on the roads during the snow events.
He is looking at getting reduced gas and electric rates locked in. Mr. Jones stated this with lower gas prices, lower insurance costs, and lower salary rates for new Police Officers, 2015 locks to be a good year budget wise barring any major catastrophes.
Mayor Wolford reported that a meeting with LMA is scheduled for Thursday at 3:00 here in Council Chambers to try and finalize the Act 537 plan.
Mr. Skapura made a motion to adjourn the regular meeting of council, second by Mr. Skapura.
Meeting adjourned at 7:22 P.M.
Barbara J. Buck, Secretary