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August 2016

LATROBE CITY COUNCIL
MONDAY, AUGUST 8, 2016
LATROBE, PENNSYLVANIA

Mayor Wolford called a Public Hearing to order at 6:20 P.M.

This Hearing is to allow citizen comments regarding the proposed Chicken and Bee Ordinance scheduled for a vote at tonight’s Council Meeting.

Mayor asked for public comment.

John Wandrisco stated he participated at the ordinance redraft meeting.  He mentioned two areas regarding fees and nuisances sections. Mr. Wandrisco stated he was involved with the Mini Gardens project for twenty-five years and the Veggie Gardens eight to nine years ago.  He said he works two gardens still and saw two bumblebees in each garden, and ten bees working flowers in those gardens along with other little bees.  He said he worked for ½ hour and had no problems with the bees.  He commented that with seventy gardens in town, there could be a problem with that many bees.  He said if someone were to hide a cigarette in a flowerbed and touched a flower with a bee on it, they might get stung.  He asked himself are the flowers the nuisance or the bees.  Mr. Wandrisco said he thinks the ordinance is written too harshly for such a little problem.  He said that his nearest neighbor Harry Albert told him that he never had problem with bees.  The fee side of his issue is that Revitalization took over the paperwork involved for the Veggie Garden.  The fee was originally $10, and Revitalization immediately raised it to $15 and then $20.  Mr. Wandriso said that the people they were trying to help now have to pay a higher cost that they might not be able to.  He told someone who asked him how much he could make by starting a beehive that you could have 1000 hives and not make a profit.  Mr. Wandrisco does not think we need an ordinance.  He said we may be seeing a lot of people trying to get into keeping bees right, but when they see how much work is involved they may fall by the wayside.

Mr. Harry Albert sent the Mayor an email that he is on vacation, but wanted her to say he does not think we need an ordinance.

Mayor Wolford said if the ordinance is passed, it can always be amended.

Dominick Zachetti of 106 Adams Lane asked if when developing the ordinance concerning chickens, can they consider what more densely populated areas consider.  If lots are small, according to this ordinance, only two to three chickens are allowed and that will not maintain a family of four or six.  He said Pittsburgh allows six chickens in a 50 x 100 lot.

It was explained to Mr. Zachetti that current chicken people are grandfathered.

Paul Houck of 121 West Tacoma Avenue stated that after reviewing the proposed ordinance the only problem he has is it permits chickens in residential zones and there already is an ordinance.

Mayor Wolford said we are amending the existing ordinance and putting in guidelines and limitations.

Mr. Houck said we have started the Revitalization program and wonders how chickens will impact real estate values.

Mayor Wolford asked for any further comments.

No further public comments offered.

Mayor Wolford closed the Public Hearing at 6:34 P.M.

 

Mayor Wolford called to order the Regular Monthly Meeting of Latrobe City Council 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.

The City Secretary read Roll Call:

Eric Bartels - present
John Murtha – present
Trisha Caldwell-Cravener – absent
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; John Brasile, Fire Chief; Ann Powell, Code Enforcement Officer.

Mr. Murtha moved to adopt the July 11, 2016 minutes, second by Mr. Forish.  Vote 5-0.

BILLS PRESENTED FOR PAYMENT

Total Expenses                        $233,899.90
Total Payroll                               98,176.68
GRAND TOTAL                     $332,076.58

REPORTS OF CITY OFFICERS FROM JULY 2016

Treasurer’s Report

See attachment “A”      

Police Report

See attachment “B”

Public Works Report

See attachment “C”

Fire Report

See attachment’s “D”

Code Report

See attachment’s “E”

Tax Collector’s Report

See attachment “F”

Mr. Forish moved to approve the reports and bills presented for payment, second by Mr. Murtha.  Vote 5-0.

CITIZENS’ REQUESTS (related to agenda)

None.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Finance Committee– Bisi, Wolford.

No report

Public Safety and Public Works Committee– Bartels, Forish

Mr. Bartels reported that after discussion concerning the burn ordinance the committee with meet with safety committee for verbiage.

Personnel Committee–  Murtha, Wolford

No report

Events Committee– Baldonieri, Murtha.

No report.

Parking Committee– Bartels, Baldonieri, Forish.

Mr. Forish reported they just received the 2015 audit and are in the review process.

GLSD Student Showcase Committee -  Bisi, Murtha

No report.

BOARD/AUTHORITY REPORTS

None.

DEPARTMENT REPORTS

Public Works Department -  No report.

Police Department– Chief Bumar reported that the National Night Out Event will be held tomorrow night at the stadium.  Chief said that Steelers’ Night was great and thanked EMS & Fire Department.  He said with the magnitude of the crowd there were no incidents.

Fire Department– Fire Chief Brasile reported the same sentiments as Chief Bumar in that all went well with the Steelers’ Fest.  Chief Brasile said they parked 2500 cars.

Chief Brasile reported that a public safety issue occurred concerning burn pits.  He said they had a fire 1 ½  hour ago where a shed burned.  He said houses in town are too close together. When there are fire calls it is not only a safety issue for homeowners but also all public safety departments.  Chief Brasile stated he would consider fire pit use during Holidays with very strict regulations.

Police Chief Bumar stated he is not in favor of fire pits.

Code Enforcement  - No report.

PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT

                                                                        ORDINANCE 2016-8

                                                                        Amending Chapter 58 of the Code of Latrobe to permit the keeping of chickens and bees and to prohibit the feeding of feral cats and restricting the keeping of animals in kennels.  Mr. Murtha moved to enact this ordinance, second by Mr. Bartels.  Vote 5-0.

Ms. Bisi made a motion to authorize the Solicitor to schedule Public Hearings, in conjunction with the Planning Commission and the Zoning Hearing Board, on and prepare an ordinance regulating the siting of cellular towers, including small cell towers, within the City of Latrobe, second by Mr. Forish.  Vote 5-0.

Council decided to not make a motion concerning recreational fire, to allow further discussion on the matter at the August 22nd  Agenda Work Session.

                                                                        RESOLUTION 2016-32

                                                                        Resolution accepting the resignation of Council Member Trisha Caldwell-Cravener from the Council of the City of Latrobe.  Mr. Bartels moved to adopt this resolution (with regrets), second by Ms. Bisi.

Mayor Wolford thanked Mrs. Caldwell-Cravener for her service and wished her well in her future endeavors.

Mr. Forish made a motion to attempt to fill the vacant position on the Council of the City of Latrobe during the September 12, 2016 regularly scheduled Council Meeting and to advertise a Notice of Intention to fill vacancy, requesting applicants for the vacant Council seat provide letters of interest to the City Manager, second by Mr. Bartels.  Vote 5-0.

Letters accepted from residents and Council nominates and appoints at the September 12, meeting.  The cut-off date for applications will be Friday August 19, 2016.  Applicants are invited to the August 22, 2016 Agenda Work Session Meeting for introduction.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

None.

NEW BUSINESS

Police Chief Bumar spoke about the youth that helped in Haiti and he would like them to be recognized under the Student Showcase Committee.

OPEN FORUM FOR CITIZENS REQUESTS

Ken Shirley of Easy Street stated his property borders with Unity Township and we should not allow burning in the city and he is not in favor of this at all.  He does not even want it allowed on Holidays.

Curk Frye of 415 Spring Street commended Park & Recreation for the amazing bike trail on Lincoln Road.  He said he is frustrated that his son was approached by Police Officers, for riding a scooter in the Parking Garage.  Mr. Frye said they have been chased off in other parks and paths and does not understand why we do not allow them to ride somewhere.

Mayor Wolford said the Parks & Recreation determine who can be on the paths and set rules in playgrounds.  Mayor Wolford said to go to a Park & Recreation meeting.

City Manager Jones said not allow on sidewalks, but bicycles and scooters are allowed on the streets.

CITY MANAGER’S REPORT

City Manager Wayne Jones reminded Council it was two years ago this month they hired him.  He said he appreciates the opportunity to work here.  He said with help of staff and department heads the city has saved money by reducing electric costs, reducing insurance costs, refinancing bonds, installing LED lights in the building and Memorial Drive, recouping money owed and reducing health care costs.  He said over last two years we saved approximately $350,000.00.

MAYOR’S REPORT

Mayor Wolford echoed Chief Bumar and Fire Chief Brasile about the Steelers’ Fest.  She was there for the early party and later for the scrimmage.  She was amazed at the attendance this year.  She said the Public Workers Department had things looking sharp.  She said Fire Department and Police Department had things running smoothly.  She said they are professionals and know how to get things done right.  On behalf of Council, she appreciates them.  Mayor said National Night Out will be tomorrow night from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the stadium and encouraged all to attend.  Mayor said the Banana Split Festival is coming up and is great exposure for the city.  Mayor thanked all city staff for their help.

Mr. Forish made a motion to adjourn, second by Mr. Murtha.  Vote 5-0.

Regular Meeting of Council adjourned at 7:20 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara J. Buck, Secretary

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City of Latrobe • P: 724-539-8548 • Mailing Address: P.O. Box 829, Latrobe, PA  15650 • Physical Address: 901 Jefferson St., Latrobe, PA  15650