COUNCIL OF THE BOROUGH OF WEST MIFFLIN met in regular session in the Municipal Building Council Chambers on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. prevailing time with President Regis Stephenson presiding.
ROLL CALL: Andzelik – Present, Munsie – Present, Falce – Present, Olack – Present
Kostelnik – Present, Popovich – Present, Stephenson – Present
Seven members present, absent none. Mayor Kelly present.
CITIZENS COMMENTS ON AGENDA ITEMS:
Jim Jasinski 4100 Home Street questioned whether research has been done before Council passes the Agenda Item A ordinance. Mr. Rober stated that this ordinance has been in progress for many months and has been reviewed by his office, the Department of Environmental Protection and Allegheny County. Mr. Rober said that the intent of the ordinance is to protect the residents and to provide control of these operations. Mr. Jasinski also questioned whether there is any nepotism involved with Agenda Items C and I. Mr. Stephenson replied that to his knowledge there is no nepotism involved in the hirings.
Harry Thompson 6679 Adams Avenue commented on Agenda Item A. He stated that with all the mines in the
Borough there would be a big problem if drilling was done in this area.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Motion by Olack, seconded by Popovich that the Minutes of the March 9, 2011 Special Council Meeting and the March 15, 2011 Council Meeting be approved. Roll Call: Seven ayes, no nays. Motion carried.
- ORDINANCE OF THE BOROUGH OF WEST MIFFLIN, ALLEGHENY COUNTY, COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA AMENDING CHAPTER 27 OF THE BOROUGH CODE ENTITLED “ZONING” TO PROVIDE CONDITIONS AND DEFINITIONS FOR OIL AND GAS DRILLING OPERATIONS THAT ARE AUTHORIZED AS A CONDITIONAL USE IN THE I-1 AND I-2 ZONING DISTRICTS IN THE BOROUGH.
Solicitor DiLucente read the ordinance. Motion by Olack, seconded by Falce that the ordinance be enacted. Roll Call: Seven ayes, no nays. Motion carried. Ordinance given No. 1173.
- B. Motion by Munsie, seconded by Falce to confirm and approve the cost of living adjustment payment to retired Police Chief Joseph Popovich pursuant to his retirement agreement with the Borough date of September 22, 2009, to be calculated by the police pension actuary in the same manner as prior eligible retiree Under remarks, Mrs. Popovich stated she would be abstaining since former Chief Popovich is her husband. Roll Call: Six ayes, no nays, one abstention (Popovich). Motion carried.
- Motion by Olack, seconded by Munsie to approve the hiring of Brad Eagan, Michael Neckerman, Ben Worek, Eric Harris, Michael Mroz, Andrew Howard, Nicholas Miele, William Minnick, Matthew Hodgetts, Everett Lesko, Louis Weber, Mark Lazzaro, Tyler Kosko, Tyler Carroll, Christopher Giles, Grant Shar, and Christopher Palko in the Street Department as Summer Help at a rate
of Seven Dollars and Eighty-Three Cents ($7.83) per hour. Roll Call: Seven ayes, no nays. Motion carried.
- Motion by Olack, seconded by Popovich to approve the Borough of West Mifflin Road Paving Project in the amount of Two Hundred Thousand Dollars ($200,000), to be paid out of the Capital Project Fund. Under remarks, Mr. Stephenson stated 13 streets would be paved and that the street list is available to the public. Roll Call: Seven ayes, no nays. Motion carried.
- E. Motion by Olack, seconded by Popovich to approve combining Assistant Recreation Director and Assistant Parks Administrator into one position that will be known as Assistant Recreation and Parks Director; and appointing Steve Keron as Assistant Recreation and Parks Director at an annual salary of Four Thousand Dollars ($4,000). Roll Call: Seven ayes, no nay Motion carried.
- F. Motion by Olack, seconded by Falce to approve a simple subdivision request of 2 lots (Lot & Block 387-L-73 & 387-L-76) as recommended by the Planning Commission for the “Neel Plan of Lots” located at 3034 Clairton Roa Roll Call: Seven ayes, no nays. Motion carried.
- G. Motion by Olack, seconded by Munsie to approve the Material Storage Pad Paving Project with the West Mifflin Sanitary Sewer Municipal Authority (WMSSMA). WMSSMA will be responsible for cost of materials for the project and supply labor, the Borough of West Mifflin will supply equipment, one operator and one laborer. Under remarks, Mr. Kostelnik stated that he is a board member of the WMSSMA and would be abstaining from voting. Roll Call: Six ayes, no nays, one abstention (Kostelnik) Motion carrie
- H. Motion by Olack, seconded by Munsie to approve Richard Marecic to the Borough of West Mifflin Safety Committee for a term of three (3) years, beginning June 1, Roll Call: Seven ayes, no nays. Motion carried.
- Motion by Olack, seconded by Falce to approve the hiring of Kelli Campas as Part-Time Administrative Assistant to the Borough Offices, pending successful completion of background and clearance reviews, at a rate of $12.00 per hour during probationary period, (probationary period will be
90 days from first day of work). Upon successful completion of probationary period hourly wage will increase to $13.00 per hour. Roll Call: Seven ayes, no nays. Motion carried.
- Motion by Munsie, seconded by Popovich to approve appointment of Thomas Manns as the Borough of West Mifflin Representative to the Pleasant Hills, Baldwin, West Mifflin EMS Board. Roll Call: Seven ayes, no nays. Motion carried.
- K. Motion by Olack, seconded by Munsie to approve scrapping of obsolete, non-functioning, non- repairable portable speed timing sign and trailer, with salvage fee used to reimburse the Crossroads Gas Station for storage and tow fee Roll Call: Seven ayes, no nays. Motion carried.
Community Development………………………………………………….. Walter B. Anthony
Mr. Anthony read the Community Development Report for the month of April 2011.
Mr. Anthony reported that the hhgregg Appliance and Electronics store is planning to open any day, and the Aldi’s Grocery Store would be opening on July 14th.
Police……………………………………………………………………………….. Chief Ken Davies
Chief Davies read the Police Department Report for the month of April 2011.
Chief Davies reported that many residents participated in the National Take Back Drugs Day on April
30th to safely dispose of their old unwanted prescription drugs.
Chief Davies reported that the West Mifflin Volunteer Fire Company #3 would be sponsoring a replenishment blood drive on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 for Clairton Police Officer James Kuzak who was shot on April 4, 2011.
Mr. Olack questioned the status of the request by Homestead to use the Borough’s holding cells for its prisoners while being processed and whether it is a time sensitive issue. Chief Davies said that he assumes it is and he would like to notify them of the decision as soon as possible. He explained that Homestead has been using West Homestead’s holding cells but there has been a staff reduction due to switching to Allegheny County 911. After further discussion Mr. Stephenson stated that this would be put in the form of a motion later in the meeting under New Business.
Public Works……………………………………………………………………. James Hess
Mr. Hess read the Public Works Department Report for the month of April 2011.
Recreation……………………………………………………………………….. Lance Maha
Mr. Maha reported that the Summer Playground Program would begin on June 13th, Monday through
Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. until July 29th.
Mr. Maha reported that anyone interested in a booth for Community Day should contact Steve Keron at
412-466-2127 or Lance Maha at 412-464-1918.
Mr. Maha reported that the Recreation Committee Monthly Meetings have been going well and that youth groups that have received donations from the Borough have expressed their gratitude for Council’s generosity. He said that although the donations have been less during these hard economic times Council has spread it out to include more youth groups.
EMS………………………………………………………………………………… Chief William Plunkett
Chief Plunkett read the EMS Report for the month of April 2011.
Chief Plunkett also reported that in addition to the station at Homeville VFC #1 the EMS has added a station at Duquesne Annex VFC#2.
Chief Plunkett read a letter of thanks from Ms. Binkney of Bowes Avenue thanking the EMS crew for their assistance.
REPORT OF THE MAYOR:
Mayor Kelly reported that several projects from the last few months are ongoing such as gathering information from Verizon and AT&T to install cell phone communication towers on the roof of the Borough Building.
Mayor Kelly reported that the Memorial Day Service would be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 28, 2011 at the Mitchell Paige Memorial Park.
Mr. Kostelnik questioned the status of the delinquent tax collection program. Mayor Kelly stated that the program is ready to move forward, however he is waiting for some input on the parameters.
REPORT OF THE SOLICITOR:
Solicitor DiLucente reported that his office has prepared a draft of the proposed anti-nepotism policy as requested by Mr. Kostelnik and Mr. Munsie. He stated that council would be able to act on it at the next Council Meeting. Mr. Kostelnik read the draft ordinance and apologized that it was not ready for tonight’s meeting
REPORT OF THE ENGINEER:
Mr. Rober stated that three of the four Traffic Signal Projects have been completed, however the lack of cooperation by the contractor has resulted in his office sending a letter on May 23rd asking for immediate action or face termination of their contract and recommended liquidated damages.
Mr. Rober reported that Tedesco Contracting has refused to provide required information to complete the grant application for reimbursement for a portion of costs incurred on the Webster Avenue Wall Project. He stated that he is currently working with PaDEP to resolve the situation.
Mr. Rober stated that he would be working with Mr. Kamauf to sign the appropriate documents for the MS4
Storm Water Permit to be submitted to PaDEP by June 9, 2011.
Mr. Rober reported that LaFarge will be prepared to begin site grading work on the Soccer Fields by late June. Mr. Stephenson thanked PA Water Company for completing the paving of Avon Road and also sharing in the
paving of Corbin Street and Donna Avenue. He also reported that the joint paving project by the Borough, 7-
11, Verizon and the Holiday Inn of the access road is now complete also.
REPORT OF THE MANAGER:
Mr. Kamauf reported that Lamar Advertising has completed the construction of 11 bus shelters and the Borough has received an annual payment of $8,800.
Mr. Kamauf reported that Allegheny County is offering a new Side Yard and Beautification Program to residents in the community at a minimal cost through the Allegheny County Vacant Property Recovery Program.
Mr. Kamauf reported that Verizon Vice President of External Affairs attended the May 18, 2011 Caucus Meeting and explained to Council that Verizon FIOS is not currently available to West Mifflin residents because they are currently working to fulfill other contractual obligations and at this time they do not know when the service will be available and that it is a Verizon business decision when they would offer it to the
Borough. He also stated that Verizon acknowledges that neither the Borough of West Mifflin or its officials are responsible for delaying this process.
PAYMENT OF BILLS:
Motion by Olack, seconded by Kostelnik that all bills properly approved by the Finance Committee be paid. Roll Call: Seven ayes, no nays. Motion carried.
Motion by Olack, seconded by Munsie to approve $3,944.95 from the Federal Forfeiture Funds for repairs to the West Mifflin Police Department Cell #4. Roll Call: Seven ayes, no nays. Motion carried.
Motion by Olack, seconded by Kostelnik to entertain an intergovernmental cooperation agreement with the Borough of Homestead for temporary housing of prisoners for no less that $27,000 per year. Roll Call: Seven ayes, no nays. Motion carried.
Motion by Andzelik, seconded by Kostelnik to appoint Audrey Miklusko as Summer Playground Supervisor at
$9.79 per hour and Michelle Brill as Summer Playground Assistant at $7.47 per hour for the 2011 Summer Playground Program at West Mifflin Community Park. Roll Call: Roll Call: Seven ayes, no nays. Motion carried.
Residents of Melvin Drive: Pat Wawro 225 Melvin Drive, Mary Clark 232 Melvin Drive, and Lucien Ramsey
212 Melvin Drive expressed their concern that their street is in dire need of repaving. Mr. Hess explained that Columbia Gas is doing a project there and when they are done the cul-de-sec will be completely redone and all curbing will be replaced. He also said that when they are finished the Borough would come in to patch.
Residents of Lebanon School Road: Brian and Shannon Willard 1141 Lebanon School Road, Al Manning
1125 Lebanon School Road and Lori Ballog 839 Blackberry Street expressed their concern about the methane gas leak in their neighborhood that caused an explosion in February and stated that not enough is being
done. Solicitor DiLucente said Borough officials have contacted all federal and state entities that could help fix the problem. He advised the residents who live near the leak to contact their legislators. Solicitor DiLucente said that in this type of emergency situation the federal government pre-empts the local body, legally leaving Council powerless other than putting pressure on federal and state government. Mr. Kamauf stated that he has
contacted all the legislative bodies and will continue to do so and that he is more than willing to share the correspondence with them and requested that the residents contact them as well.
Timothy Eads 4117 Outlook Drive shared pictures with Council of the abandoned property that is across the street from where he lives and requested that it be cleaned up. He said he has complained for the last three years and is not getting any results. Mr. Anthony said he has been trying to track the owner to no avail and there are also fines against the owner. Mayor Kelly asked if this property would qualify under the Allegheny
County Vacant Property Recovery Program. Mr. Anthony stated that it would qualify. Mr. Anthony stated that he and Mr. Hess will take a look at it and determine if it could be put on next year’s demolition list.
Jim Jasinski 4100 Home Street spoke about House Bill 379 introduced by Representative Galloway of Bucks County. He said that the bill pertains to illegal immigrants and his concern is that there are high school students and college students looking for jobs and he has noticed many foreigners working in the area and perhaps they are illegal immigrants. Mr. Stephenson stated that he is not aware of the bill, however he would check with Representative Kortz and ask him to get information to Mr. Jasinski.
Mr. Jasinski also spoke about the Homestead Library stating that 25 to 30 percent of the daily patrons are West
Mifflin residents and implied that the Borough should have a library.
Harry Thompson 6679 Adams Avenue questioned whether there are ramifications to the Borough if they had not passed the gas and oil drilling ordinance. Solicitor DiLucente remarked that if the Borough decided not to pass an ordinance companies could easily come in and do things that they shouldn’t be doing. He explained that it is better to attempt to regulate and this Council is being progressive and making certain all the safety, health and welfare issues are being addressed and in his opinion every municipality will adopt such an ordinance.
Lori Ballog 839 Blackberry Street questioned what the protocol would be if an alarm went off in one of the unoccupied homes involved with the methane gas leak. Chief Davies said he will look into whether a contingency plan exists.
Steve Marone 441 Livingston Road said that West Mifflin Fire Company #3 was dispatched to a call on McElhinney Avenue which one half of the street is in the City of Pittsburgh. He said that Fire Company #3 was the first responder and when the City arrived they were told to leave because the address was in the city. He stated that there are 3 streets in that neighborhood that are split between the Borough and the City and would
like to see this problem resolved. He said that this is the 3rd house that was lost in the past two years because of this situation. Mr. Munsie said he would contact City Councilman Doug Shields and try to set up a mutual aid agreement.
Motion by Andzelik, seconded by Olack that the Meeting be adjourned. Meeting adjourned at 8:25 p.m. prevailing time.