LATROBE CITY COUNCIL
MONDAY, JUNE 13, 2016
Mayor Wolford called the Regular Monthly Meeting of Latrobe City Council to order at 6:31 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:
Eric Bartels - present
John Murtha – present
Trisha Caldwell-Cravener – present
Robert Forish - present
Deputy Mayor Gerald Baldonieri - absent
Julie Bisi - present
Mayor Rosemarie Wolford - present
Also present were the following: Wayne B. Jones, City Manager; Zachary Kansler, Solicitor; James Bumar, Police Chief; Michael Gray, Working Foreman for Public Works.
Mr. Murtha moved to adopt the May 9, 2016 minutes, second by Mr. Bartels. Vote 6-0.
BILLS PRESENTED FOR PAYMENT
Total Expenses $221,417.08
Total Payroll 95,969.93
GRAND TOTAL $317,387.01
See attachment “A”
See attachment “B”
See attachment “C”
See attachment’s “D”
See attachment’s “E”
See attachment “F”
Mrs. Caldwell-Cravener moved to approve the reports and bills presented for payment, second by Ms. Bisi. Vote 6-0.
Paul Houck of 121 W. Tacoma Avenue opposes update to Chapter 58 of the Code that permits bees and chickens and he thinks it is detrimental to the neighborhood.
Jeannette Wolff a representative of the Westmoreland County Beekeepers Association informed council that she is a licensed beekeeper and has bees within the City. She questions what provisions in the ordinance protects those already keeping bees. As a representative of beekeepers, she would like council to seek input from beekeepers before passing an ordinance. Ms. Wolff stated that no one has ever complained about her bees.
John Wandrisco of 844 Main Street stated that he has been a beekeeper since before WWII. Mr. Wandrisco said he has had bees in Latrobe for twenty-five to thirty years. He said that people have to take courses before starting beekeeping. Mr. Wandrisco gave an in depth analysis of bees and the keeping of bees. He also suggested that council obtain information from beekeepers before passing an ordinance.
Scott Kroh of 809 Weldon Street stated he is an amateur beekeeper with two hives and he agrees with Jeannette Wolff and John Wandrisco that council should get input for the ordinances and to separate the bees and chickens. He also said the proposed ordinance does not state the penalties.
Mayor Wolford said that maybe we can table this ordinance and hold a separate meeting.
Mayor Wolford then started discussion concerning the Third Ward Playground and asked for input from Jeanne Ashley, Jim Okonak and Craig Shevhcik.
Mayor Wolford stated she is a big proponent for Parks in town. Mayor stated that we receive grants and community support to keep our parks attractive. She said the city has realized $737,500 worth of improvements for only a $70,000 investment. The community contributed $346,500, the GLSD contributed $15,000, and we received $306,000 from DCNR. Mayor said the city needs to and should want to do these grant project. She said the city’s contribution is less than 10% of taxpayers’ dollars.
Jeanne Ashley, Craig Shevchik and Jim Okonak requested $25,000 from the City to help fund the Athletic Field. This is from money originally earmarked for Lincoln Trail and recently was going to be used for lights on the trail that were not in the original plans.
Mayor Wolford stated the $25,000 would only pay for ten lights that would not light up the entire trail and she thinks the money would be better used on the Third Ward Playground. Mayor stated we could always go after grant money for lights next year.
Trisha Caldwell-Cravener advised Ms. Ashley, Mr. Shevchik, and Mr. Okonak that they should secure money for matching grants before starting projects and if the city is contributing then council needs to be made aware and vote on the council floor. Mrs. Caldwell-Cravener is pro lights on the Lincoln Trail for safety factor and for people who work during the day to be able to walk at night.
Jeanne Ashley said that ten lights on a two-mile stretch would not be sufficient; trail needs thirty lights.
Mayor Wolford stated we should remember that parks usually close at dusk, and there are streetlights that illuminate the path.
Mr. Jack Murtha said he has told people before that he would not vote in favor of contributing more money to Parks and Recreation this year, and now here we are.
Mrs. Caldwell-Cravener asked how can we start projects without and end game.
Mr. Murtha asked if anyone else was approached for this money.
Mayor Wolford stated that $346,500 came from the community.
Mr. James Okonak stated that they apply in April for grants and then find the money after applying.
Ms. Bisi stated that you should not start future projects until you have the matching funds.
Mr. Forish stated that it is bad practice applying for grants before knowing where the matching money is coming from. He said the Fire Companies secure the funds first.
Mayor Wolford stated the $25,000 was already budgeted, we are just transferring from one project to another.
Mr. Bartels stated that the playground is the priority and needs to be finished. He said children crossing Ligonier Street to go to Legion-Keener is a safety issue and he loves to run but not at the cost of a park.
Finance Committee– Bisi, Wolford.
Public Safety and Public Works Committee– Bartels, Forish
No meeting yet.
Personnel Committee– Caldwell-Cravener, Murtha, Wolford
Health Committee– Bisi, Wolford.
Mayor Wolford reported that this committee is closed.
Events Committee– Baldonieri, Caldwell-Cravener, Murtha.
Mr. Murtha reported that the Bring Fred Home was a great success and everyone did a wonderful job.
Parking Committee– Bartels, Baldonieri, Forish.
Mr. Baldonieri reported there has not been a parking meeting yet.
GLSD Student Showcase Committee - Bisi, Caldwell-Cravener, Murtha
Mayor Wolford reported that we are trying to schedule a meeting and develop criteria and then approach the School Board.
Police Department– Chief Bumar complimented the Fire Department and First Ward on the great job on the on the Fair. Chief also said the Bring Fred Home Event went off without a hitch.
PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT
Mrs. Caldwell-Cravener made a motion to table the proposed Bee Ordinance and authorized the Solicitor to communicate with the public and beekeepers, second by Mr. Forish. Vote 6-0. Ms. Bisi and Mr. Murtha volunteered to work on this ordinance with the Solicitor.
Mr. Bartels made a motion to segregate the bees, chickens, and feral cats, have separate ordinances for each category, and authorize the Solicitor to advertise as such, second by Mr. Forish. Vote 6-0.
ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE DEPARTMENT
Mr. Murtha made a motion to appoint Michael Gray, upon the recommendation of the City Manager, as the Director of the Public Works Department with an annual salary of $50,000 effective June 1, 2016, second by Ms. Bisi. Vote 6-0.
Mr. Bartels made a motion to authorize funding in the amount of $25,000.00, initially budgeted for the Parks and Recreation Commission to utilize on the Lincoln Trail, to be instead utilized by the Parks and Recreation Commission on the Third Ward Playground Restoration Project, second by Mr. Murtha. Vote 6-0.
Mrs. Caldwell-Cravener made a motion to authorize the preparation and notice of an ordinance increasing the residential and commercial solid waste collection rates by two dollars per month, second by Mr. Forish. Vote 6-0.
Mrs. Caldwell-Cravener made a motion to authorize the City Manager to enter into a new health care agreement with UPMC based upon the explanation of the contract and the recommendation of the City Manager, second by Mr. Bartels. Vote 6-0.
Mr. Bartels made a motion to authorize the City Solicitor to execute the Joint Petition and Stipulation of Settlement in the Tax Assessment Appeal docketed at 6134 of 2015 with Westmoreland County Court of Common Pleas, second by Mrs. Caldwell-Cravener. Vote 6-0.
Mr. Murtha made a motion to authorize the City Manager to retain Janney Capital Markets for the reissuance of the 2012 General Obligation Bond, second by Mr. Forish. Vote 6-0.
Authorizing the recording of the Act 537 Plan Update Cost Allocation Agreement with the Westmoreland County Recorder of Deeds. Mrs. Caldwell-Cravener moved to adopt this resolution, second by Mr. Bartels. Vote 6-0.
Removing a handicap parking space on West Harrison Avenue and establishing a handicap parking space on Miller Street. Mrs. Caldwell-Cravener moved to adopt this resolution, second by Mr. Bartels. Vote 6-0.
Mr. Murtha made a motion to authorize the Police Department to purchase Drug Task Force equipment and seek reimbursement for said equipment from the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, second by Ms. Bisi. Vote 6-0.
PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT
Mr. Forish made a motion to authorize the City Engineer, Gibson-Thomas Engineering, to submit the calendar year 2017 CDBG paving application, second by Mrs. Caldwell-Cravener. Vote 6-0.
Mr. Murtha asked if trucks are ordered.
City Manager said it would be discussed at the agenda meeting.
Mr. Bartels thanked all that participated in the Relay for Life.
OPEN FORUM FOR CITIZENS REQUESTS
CITY MANAGER’S REPORT
City Manager Wayne Jones reported that the old street sweeper had been advertised on Municibid and sold for $2,400.00.
Mayor Wolford stated that we have recently experienced tremendous losses in the city with the passing of prominent citizens. Mayor Wolford read three proclamations (see attachment “G”), for Dow E. Carnahan, Harry C. Lattanzio, and Mary A. Stynchula.
Mayor said the Relay for Life was a success and thanked those who participated, the Fire Department, Police, and Public Works who really step it up during events.
Mayor Wolford said she had the pleasure of joining the tour of the Gibson-Thomas building during their 100th anniversary. Mayor thanked them for having their business in Latrobe and said that we are grateful.
Mayor reported that the Bring Fred Home event was phenomenal and commended Mr. Okonak. She said the event was fun and exciting and that Latrobe is a great place to be right now, and there is more to come.
Mayor congratulated Solicitor Zach Kansler on the birth of his new baby boy Finley.
Chief Bumar said for all to remember the tragedy in Orlando, and to keep those that perished and their loved ones in our thoughts and prayers.
Mrs. Caldwell-Cravener made a motion to adjourn, second by Mr. Bartels. Vote 6-0.
Regular Meeting of Council adjourned at 8:00 P.M.
Barbara J. Buck, Secretary