Minutes from Council Meeting on Tuesday, September 23, 2014

 

 

 

BOROUGH OF NORTH CATASAUQUA

 

MINUTES OF REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING

 

SEPTEMBER 23, 2014

 

 

President Joseph Keglovits presided at the Regular Council Meeting of North Catasauqua held September 23, 2014 calling the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

 

PRESENT:         Mayor William J. Molchany, Jr., President Joseph Keglovits, Councilpersons

                        William Nothstein, Cherie Gebhardt, Michael J. Seng, Michele Hazzard, Peter

                        Paone, Jr. Councilperson Dakoha Zelinsky, Treasurer Annette Englert and

                        Secretary Nancy Knecht.

                        Also present were Police Chief Kim Moyer, Roger Scheirer, Emergency Mgmt.

 

Minutes of the September 9, 2014 meeting were approved as read.

 

PEOPLE PRESENT

 

Observing:  Michele Romito and Dan Rosenblatt

 

Brenda Dreisbach – 1067 Howertown Road – 484-619-8244

 

Ms. Dresibach reported she was following up on the noise ordinance she presented to council a few weeks back and was sorry she could not make the last meeting.  She is offering her service if changes would be needed for the ordinance.  Brenda feels she can’t stress enough the importance of a noise ordinance and at times like this it gives the police something to fall back on.  She told council be free to contact her regarding the noise ordinance, we can’t let this slide, she stated it’s too important.  Brenda feels it is important for children, they must learn respect.

President Keglovits told Ms. Dreisbach it was discussed at the last meeting and at that time council decided not to take any action at this time.  Brenda asked the reason and President Keglovits reported there is a disorderly conduct ordinance on the books, Ordinance #162.  Solicitor McCarthy read parts of Ordinance #162 to Ms. Dreisbach.  Solicitor McCarthy stated it is a general ordinance and an older ordinance but feels it covers it.  Ms. Dreisbach stated to Solicitor McCarthy she has issues with her neighbor for over 6 years and is extremely familiar with this ordinance.  Brenda stated she has addressed this with the police and stated the police have not been able to enforce this ordinance.  She stated she put a $2,000.00 video system on her house.  Solicitor McCarthy stated each case is different.  Brenda reported the neighbor has since moved and she is looking to be proactive not reactive.  Brenda reported her surveillance system is extensive that is at her residence.  She stated nothing has been done by the police to

Minutes of Regular Council Meeting – September 3, 2014 – Page 2 of 8

 

prosecute or not.  Solicitor McCarthy stated her ordinance is very broad, too broad.  Brenda feels she pays a fair amount of taxes, is active in the community, her children live in the community and she feels she deserves a certain amount of protection.  Solicitor McCarthy feels the police department in the borough has been taking care of her matters.  Brenda stated the new part-time officers have been doing an absolute fabulous job.  President Keglovits reported the borough not only has young officers working but have some older ones also and they do a fine job.  Ms. Dreisbach would like to get back to the noise ordinance and stated many surrounding municipalities have noise ordinances.  She feels the borough has to be proactive and take the steps now.  President Keglovits stated he has been on council for a long time and Chief Moyer over 30 years on the force; ironically President Keglovits said a few years back Front Street residents complained about noise but other than that there have not been many noise complaints and usually it’s a party situation where noise is too loud from the party and music is shut down.  Brenda has done extensive research and reported not many municipalities deal with decibels.  She would like to move forward with adopting something.  Solicitor McCarty stated Ordinance #162 is sufficient.  Brenda feels her draft could be reviewed and adopt some of it.  Solicitor McCarty stated a letter went out today informing Ms. Dreisbach what council decided. 

Councilman Seng feels there is not a need at this time for a noise ordinance.  President Keglovits feels the material on the books is adequate and has stood up in court.  President Keglovits feels at this time the borough is adequately protected.

 

OFFICE REPORT          SUBMMITTED BY SECRETARY NANCY KNECHT

 

Secretary Knecht reported the following:

  1.  On Wednesday, September 10, 2014 the Zoning Hearing Board met and granted variances as requested to Willow Brook Farm.

  2. Secretary Knecht will be attending a PHMIC, (Benecon) meeting on Wednesday October 8th at Salisbury Township.  Information will be provided on the 2015 renewals as well as a report on the claim performance fund. 

  3. She reminded council they have a copy of the inventory sign proposal which was requested at the last meeting.

 

Office Report approved as read.

 

TREASURER REPORT   SUBMITTED BY TREASURER ANNETTE ENGLERT

 

No Report

 

MAYOR REPORT         SUBMITTED BY MAYOR WILLIAM J. MOLCHANY, JR.

 

Mayor Molchany reported he had good news—Chief Moyer was advised today the Northampton County Gaming and Revenue Economic Development Authority has granted the application for in-car videos cameras in the amount of $28,415.00.  Mayor Molchany reported the agreement is

Minutes of Regular Council Meeting – September 23, 2014 – Page 3 of 8

 

being prepared and should come to the chief shortly.  It will cover costs for the in-car video cameras along with the $5,000.00 grant he received from the District Attorney last year.  Congratulations to the Chief.

 

Mayor Report accepted as presented.

 

PUBLIC SAFETY-FIRE REPORT             SUBMITTED BY CHAIRMAN WILLIAM NOTHSTEIN

 

Chairman Nothstein reported the following:

 

Fire Report – August

4 Structure/Dwelling Fires (2 working fires)

1 Odor Investigation

2 Automatic Fire Alarms

1 MVA

1 EMS Assist

1 Water Rescue

 

10 Total Calls

 

Chairman Nothstein reported Chief McGinley is ill but stated they had a training session this week with 14 members present, the most they have had in a number of years.  Chief McGinley feels this is an upswing in membership and feels the department is heading in the right direction.

Chairman Nothstein reported he took a look last month at some expenditures and is looking at where in the budget the funds will available.  He stated he signed PO’s before the meeting for the pump testing in the amount of $500.00 which is coming out of vehicle maintenance and flow testing in the amount of $1,100.00 which will come out of equipment maintenance.  Bill reported they are also having some trouble with some of the pagers for some of the new members.  The radio budget is $4,080, which they will use for pagers and he also reported additional gloves and flashlights for the new members will be taken out of equipment maintenance in the amount of $572.00.  All amounts are within budgeted amounts.  Bill stated at this month’s monthly meeting they approved $13,000.00 coming out of their money for radio equipment and gear and committed $1,000 for joint fire prevention programs that will be held at Sheckler Elementary in conjunction with Catasauqua.  They also allocated $1,000.00 for visiting daycare centers and the girl and boy scout troops.  Chairman Nothstein reported they will be spending out of their own fund about $15,000.00 for equipment and fire prevention.

 

Public Safety-Fire Report accepted as presented.

 

RECREATION COMMITTEE REPORT   SUBMITTED BY COUNCILWOMAN CHERIE GEBHARDT

 

 

Minutes of Regular Council Meeting – September 23, 2014 – Page 4 of 8

 

Councilwoman Gebhardt reported the Rec Committee will be meeting September 29th next Monday to go through the refreshment stand, clean up and get ready for AutumnFest.  After that Cherie reported they will go back to 4th Thursday for their meetings.

 

Recreation Committee Report approved as read.

 

FINANCE AND GRANTS REPORT         SUBMITTED BY CHAIRMAN MICHAEL J. SENG

 

Chairman Seng reported Emergency Management will meet tomorrow night and talk about their budget.  They have a question about $100.00 petty cash.  Roger stated the money would be used for any major incident for things needed at the scene.  Treasurer Englert did not know if a new line item should be added or just have under Emergency Management.  It was decided to create a new line item under Emergency Management.

The finance Committee meeting for review of proposed budgets will be Thursday, October 2nd at 5:00 PM in the community room.

Councilman Seng had a question on Public Property & Parks.  He saw there are marks on 4th Street between Cypress and Buttonwood Streets.  President Keglovits stated the gas company was there probably had an emergency call.  When there is a PA Once Call they place arrows where they are going to dig.  Joe reported they were there Sunday. 

 

Finance & Grants Report approved as read.

 

LAW COMMITTEE REPORT     SUBMITTED BY CHAIRWOMAN MICHELE HAZZARD

 

Chairwoman Hazard commented figures did not change for the law budget for 2015.

 

Law Committee Report accepted as presented.

 

PUBLIC SAFETY-POLICE REPORT        SUBMITTED BY CHAIRMAN PETER PAONE

 

No Report

 

COUNCIL PRESIDENT REPORT                        SUBMITTED BY PRESIDENT JOSEPH KEGLOVITS

 

President Keglovits talked about the canal and where the stone is.  Joe stated he would like them to leave the stone.  It was filled in and then made a bigger spot where they actually work.  President Keglovits reported he talked to Scott Everett and the Project Manager for the bridge.  He would like to leave the stone in so the borough would have access in case of emergency.  Joe stated he did some research and reported Lehigh County has a temporary permit, soil conservation.  Application would have to be made by Lehigh County for a permanent one. President Keglovits tried to contact Scott Everett of Lehigh Delaware Corridor.  President Keglovits asked council’s opinion about leaving the stone and also stated it will cost some money

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for the permit.  Joe stated it would be a soil conservation permit.  He stated the cranes are setting in that particular area.  Joe said council did not need to decide tonight.  Councilman Pane stated he would be interested in seeing what the cost of the permit would be and the cost of soil studies.  Councilman Paone would like to see what an engineering study would say and the cost.  Joe thinks maybe the Delaware & Lehigh will pick up the cost.  Councilwoman Gebhardt would like to hear more about it.  Mayor Molchany reported his cousin Rich Molchany who is part of the project will try and make the next meeting along with the bridge engineer to hear from them what might be involved.

Councilman Gebhardt told council her neighbor talked to her about when the bridge was going to be completed and how much of an inconvenience it is.  The bridge may not be done until April or May, depends on the winter.  President Keglovits stated he will pursue.

 

President Keglovits reported a long time ago they discussed the possibility of changing the pension plan and see if the changes could be done.  Treasurer Englert and President Keglovits met with Kristin Backenstoe, our actuary employed by Beyer Barber.  President Keglovits stated Kristin is going to give the borough a letter about changes that could be made to the pension plan.  One of the changes would be if the employees retire early.  Kristine stated it would have no impact on the pension plan.  Treasurer Englert stated normal retirement is age 65 and completion of 10 years of service.  She stated early retirement would be age 60 and completion of 25 years.  Treasurer Englert reported what they planned to do and many municipalities are lowering retirement age to 55 with 10 years’ service with reduction.  Annette stated you would not retire with full pension.  Kristin also recommended the wording be changed to the highest consecutive 24 months throughout the employees’ career.  An actuarial study is not required, Kristin is preparing a letter for the borough. 

 

Council President Report accepted as presented.

 

SOLICITOR REPORT    SUBMITTED BY SOLICITOR WILLIAM J. MCCARTHY

 

The solicitor reported he will need an Executive Session for a possible claim against the borough.

 

Solicitor Report approved as read.

 

POLICE CHIEF REPORT                                    SUBMITTED BY CHIEF KIM MOYER

 

Chief Moyer reported it is close to Halloween and would like to spend approximately $360.00 for lights to replace quite a few sets, lights that go around the poles at the park as well as white ones for Christmas.

 

                        MOTION:         By Councilwoman Cherie Gebhardt

                                                Authorizing spending $360.00 for

                                                Lights at the park.

Minutes of Regular Council Meeting – September 29, 2014 – Page 6 of 8

 

                                                2nd by Councilwoman Michele Hazzard

                                                Head count – all yes

 

Police Chief Report accepted as presented.

 

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

Dog Wood Tree – Tree was planted President Keglovits reported.

 

 

Website – Treasurer Englert reported she talked with Eric Delabar and if anyone wants to see the website is public and can be accessed.  The pictures have not been updated yet.  The website is Northcatasauqua.org.  Eric wanted to be present this evening but is out of town on business.  Treasurer Englert stated ware scheduled to meet with Eric September 29th at 6:30 or so for Nancy and Annette to be updated on how to add minutes, news events, agendas, and pavilion dates.  Annette stated at this point Eric wants to just work with the office and the Mayor.  He can arrange multiple sessions if needed. 

Brenda Dreisbach asked about putting the ordinances on the site and Treasurer Englert stated all ordinances are typed or written so it would be quite a lot of scanning.  She will talk to Eric about that.  Annette reported she has a few links she would like to see added.

 

 

Sign Inventory – President Keglovits reported the cost of the program will be put in the budget and will wait for next year.  Councilman Seng reported it looks like a good thing and is glad the Chief found it.

 

 

Knox Box Ordinance – There are no comments as yet from the Fire Chief.

 

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

Mayor Molchany reported he will need an Executive Session on Timothy Varga.  He also reported he handed out a temporary budget for 2015 for the Police. 

 

 

Business Cards – Treasurer Englert reported business cards have been ordered and should be in Thursday.  She also researched some type of lanyard and wants to wait until the cards come in to move forward.  She stated she went through Vista Print and ordered for council and 3 full-time police officers at a cost of $130.00.

 

Minutes of Regular Council Meeting – September 23, 2014 – Page 7 of 8

 

Councilman William Nothstein – Councilman Nothstein stated at the last meeting a discussion was held about use of borough vehicles and the insurance issue.  He left a message for Ron Brosky  who was not in his office.  He left a message about some type of waiver or an event they would need other personnel to be covered.  Ron has not gotten back to him.

 

Councilman Nothstein would like to ask that when we have a motion brought up we should get closer to Robert’s rules.  He stated when the motion is 2nd a discussion should ensue and then the motion could be voted on.  Bill stated the reason he brought this up was because of the motion last week by the Chief to hire a part-time officer.  He wonders if he is replacing someone, a new staff person, if there is money in the budget.  Bill said as he was processing council was voting and he feels very uncomfortable with that. 

 

 

Jr. Councilwoman Dakoha Zelinsky  - Dakoha brought up to council about the possibility of changing Trick or Treat night because it is Senior night at the football game.  She stated families have to make a choice to support their older child or the younger ones.  Mayor Molchany reported Whitehall and Allentown are doing the same night and he did talk with Barb Schlegel and they both agreed to it.  Mayor Moclhany reported North Catasauqua and Catasauqua always do it jointly.  He said things are a lot easier when most municipalities have Trick or Treat at the same time.

 

 

Councilman Seng reported that under Finance, every month he signs the street light bill which is roughly $3,000.00 a month and thinks of ways to keep the cost down.  He said he talked to a man who told him to ask if the borough owns the street lights.  The borough does not own the lights, they are owned by PPL.  The borough went from PPL to Hess Energy to supply the energy and now it’s Direct Energy.  President Keglovits reported PPL will possibly sell them to the borough but the borough would have to maintain them too.  Mike asked council if he could talk to this guy.  He will not commit the borough to anything.  President Keglovits feels if we can further reduce it, it would be foolish not to look into it. 

 

Michele Romito stated there is a growing number of irresponsible pet owners at the park and do not clean up after their dogs.  She wondered if they could be fined or something.  Chief Moyer stated to enforce that there will have to be an ordinance. 

 

Council went into Executive Session at 7:55 PM.

 

The regular council meeting was reconvened at 8:05 PM.  The reason for the Executive session was for Mr. Timothy Varga and a possible claim by Mr. Soldrich. 

 

Treasurer Englert wanted to make sure council was clear on the discussion about the pension as it pertains only to the non-uniform pension plan.

Minutes of Regular Council Meeting – September 23, 2014 – Page 8 of 8

 

                        MOTION:         By Councilman Michael J. Seng

                                                To pay all bills.

                                                2nd by Councilman Peter Paone

                                                Head count – all yes

 

                        MOTION:         By Councilman William Nothstein

                                                To adjourn meeting.

                                                2nd by Councilwoman Cherie Gebhardt

                                                All ayes

 

Meeting adjourned at 8:06 PM