Council Meeting Minutes of 11-11-2014

 

 

 

BOROUGH OF NORTH CATASAUQUA

 

MINUTES OF REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING

 

NOVEMBER 11, 2014

 

 

President Joseph Keglovits presided at the Regular Council Meeting of North Catasauqua held November 11, 2014 calling the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

 

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

                        Yanek, Councilpersons William Nothstein, Cherie Gebhardt, Michael J. Seng,

                        Michele Hazzard, Solicitor William J. McCarthy, Treasurer Annette Englert and

                        Secretary Nancy Knecht.

                        Also present was Police Chief Kim Moyer, Emergency Management, Greg Scheirer,

                        Roger Scheirer.

 

EXCUSED ABSENCE:  Councilman Peter Paone and Dakoha Zelinsky, Jr. Councilwoman

 

Minutes of the October 28i, 2014 meeting were accepted as presented.

Treasurer Report was approved as read.

 

OBSERVING:    Michele and Anthony Romito and Ben Ferenchak

 

PEOPLE PRESENT

 

Scott Everett – Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor

 

Scott stated he was the Trail and Stewardship Manager for the D & L and was asked to give council and the borough as a whole what is going on with the Delaware & Lehigh trail in North Catty.  Scott presented a slide show and stated he would go through as quickly as he can and asked council to ask any questions as it is a little complicated. 

Scott talked about how the D & L National Heritage Corridor and the D & L Trail will go through the Lehigh Valley area both on sides of the river and specifically how it is going to get through North Catasauqua and money, what when where and how.  Scott explained the D & L Corridor is a 5013C non-profit with offices in Lehighton, Easton and Bristol, Bucks County.  They are developing a 165 mile long D & L Trail, do not own any of the property as an ex. North Catasauqua is the land owner for our part of the trail.  Scott stated in addition to the trail, D & L does historic education, Lehigh Valley Greenways and economic development.  Scott stated when the D & L trail is completed it will stretch from Wilkes Barre river down to Delaware River in Bristol, Bucks county.  The trail uses primarily two Delaware and Lehigh canals and the old Lehigh Valley railroad

Minutes of Regular Meeting – November 11, 2014 – Page 2 of 11

 

bed and on some places the trail will be on both sides of the Lehigh River. As an ex. he shows between Northampton to Allentown river left, Cementon to Allentown river right and also Slatington to Walnutport.  Scott reported the project for the pedestrian bridge at Jim Thorpe is moving ahead.  Scott reported they took money away but now they got it back so it is proceeding.  He stated they will link 40 miles north and 90 miles south for 130 miles of continuous linkage.  The D & L is currently negotiating with Norfolk Southern to purchase or get an easement to connect the D & L trail and Ironton Rail Trail and also LeFarge is part of the negotiations.  The goal on river right is to connect the trail down to Allentown Riverfront Development Project (old structural steel).  Scott showed council where it was on the map and explained the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission did a study on trail gaps of the Lehigh Valley—it is important to document when going out for funding.  Trail Gap #5 lumped 3 physical gaps together. 

Dry Run – North Catasauqua

Broken storm water pipe in North Catasauqua

Replace the bridge for umpteenth time between Catty Creek and Catasauqua.

Scott stated rendering was done.  He stated when everything would be completed he would like to create a small landing area on the riverside relatively inexpensive and would add a nice touch.  Scott stated work would be done in North Catty is repairing broken storm water pipe, installing trail from Northampton to North Catty /Catty border, getting the trail under the rail trestle, installing the landing at the bottom of the trail head and adding North Catasauqua as a launch \spot for the Lehigh River water trail.  He said it is just like there is a D & L Trail there is the Lehigh River Water Trail.  He said there are several stops along the Lehigh like Walnutport and Lehigh Gap Nature Center.  President Keglovits asked Scott if there was a possibility of using /reusing the old boat launch.  Scott checked with Wildlands and they are totally onboard with making it a stop. He said it would be hand portage but would have to deal with the drop-off.  Scott reported DEP does not require a DEP permit to fix the pipe.  He showed council a drawing the engineer did of the area.

Scott reported building the trail would have to be looked at in segments, not long length in N. Catty, the Lehigh Street project may come into play.  He said North Catasauqua up to Northampton border is do able now.  Northampton county open space is looking to do trail projects throughout the county.  Scott reported the big money went away and is now coming back in smaller chunks.  He is going to provide Northampton County with an estimate.  Scott reported the game plan to get the trail into North Catty is

  1. Fix the storm pipe with grant money received is a DCED grant from Harrisburg, has contract but no money yet.

  2. Provide Northampton County Open Space with the trail build out estimate.

  3. See what condition the canal and towpath is left in, needs a lot of work to get back as was before.  He wants to keep an eye on them.

  4. Finish the trail down to the border under the trestle.

The goal is to connect 2 trail heads, Northampton to North Catty.  North Catty with the exception of the bridge project is a lot easier then what the challenges are they face in Northampton.  The boat launch as a hand portage of the existing launch for the Lehigh River Trail, can’t get existing area they are using.  President Keglovits asked about the possibility of building a road under the

Minutes of Regular Meeting – November 11, 2014 – Page 3 of 11

 

trestle to use to get access to the riverside.  He wants to make it wider under the bridge so we could get access to the property on the other side.  Joe stated they can’t get to anything on the other side.  Scott said the main issue is PHMC, historical, they would have to give leave way, Joe would like 10 feet or something. 

Scott will continue to handle the Northampton design grant which also is North Catty’s projects.  Northampton applied for a trail design grant for $160,000, which would include North Catty.  He said to thank Northampton as they are managing the design of the North Catty trail.  Scott stated D & L will be placing the storm water pipe project out for bid.  They may need from the borough  an E & S plan submitted for the work to Northampton County Conservation District.  He would have his engineer do the plan and may have to be submitted through the borough.  The borough may need to be the applicant for future grants.  Non-profits can be the applicant but sometimes the municipality has to be the applicant. 

Scott stated at some point the ordinance will have to be changed to allow biking on the trail.  Grants are based on multi-use recreation, biking has to be allowed.  He showed where the lock was and the stone wall.  The borough owns land between track and river.  He also said it’s hard to envision getting a trail through there at any given time.  Trees are going to have to be cleared out to run the trail.  Scott stated there is a timeline for everything.  He would like to put pipe repair out for bid this winter so work can be done in the spring.  He stated the fact a permit is not needed should enable him to do that.  He said trail construction depends on whether permits are required and cost, sees late 2015 at the earliest if Northampton County Open Space funds it.  To complete the trail through North Catty, that is a really difficult section to get through especially down in Catty.  It is probably going to be 2016 depending on the bridge.  He sees a rough bike able trail at the end of 2015.  The goal for infrastructure will be in place by end of 2015 so there will be a workable or rough bike trail from Northampton to Allentown. 

President Keglovits asked if when they go out for bids for the pipe, money can be put in for some dozer work to cut a rough path where the trail is going to go at the same time as we have the construction entrance down there.  Pipe up to the borough line has macadam walkway, cut the path right up to the pipe, know where the path goes to trestle and could cut in again—wants at least preliminary work done.  Scott feels leverage the bridge contractor as much as you can, they have a lot of work to do to get back in place.

When moving earth and everything they should be putting back the canal channel and towpath.  Beyond that area of construction you get into permitting for earth disturbance and now get into lower end wetlands.  Scott stated he has to go by the book.  Joe stated not going as far, the trail would remain on top away from the river.  Scott said they will be right down along the canal.  Scott agrees with Joe but it goes into permitting.  To get from bridge up to pipe there are gully and things in the way.  Joe wants to get dozer from behind mall to bridge so the walking trail would be done.  If Scott can do under E & S he would get it done.  E & S is Erosion and Sedimentation. 

Councilwoman Hazzard stated nothing can delay the bridge, Joe understands that.  Joe stated where the stone is on existing path, are we going to try and leave there—if answer is yes going to circle back and see if any possibility to get it.  Joe is looking to leave it in place.  Scott stated contractually they have to go back to the way it was originally.  Scott is looking to get material

Minutes of Regular Meeting – November 11, 2014 – Page 4 of 11

 

and Joe wants to know the possibility of leaving it there.  Scott stated permit-wise can’t leave it.  Contractually material has to be moved.  President Keglovits asked about changing the contract, Scott stated if it doesn’t delay the project it can’t be left there.  Scott said it is cheaper to donate then to haul it.  It can’t be left in place because of permits. 

Roy Stewart of Keystone Consulting Engineers stated he talked to the project engineer, it would require a modification on the permit and Lehigh County as the permittee will not do. 

Stone has a buy-back option to the supplier.  Roy stated there are a lot of issues there—they want the canal restored.  Scott wonders what they are going to do—leave it level as it was originally. Joe stated with the majority of the stone in the canal there is a depression there.  Roy stated this is their project and he would not be handling—it is a D & L project.  Scott thinks the borough will probably be the permit holder for the trail and then again maybe not, sometimes it’s the D & L.  DCED grant match is the other money the Borough of Northampton received Scott stated.  Scott’s presentation ended.

 

OFFICE REPORT          SUBMITTED BY SECRETARY NANCY KNECHT

 

Secretary Knecht reported the following:

  1.  There were 2 building, 5 zoning and 4 street excavation permits issued in the month of October.

  2. She reported a Zoning Hearing meeting was held November5th.  Michael and Karen Henning of 520 Buttonwood Street was granted relief from Section 601.3 of the Zoning code requiring 3 feet from side and rear property lines.  The Hennings are going to put up a pre-fabricated garage on their property and there was a utility pole in the way.  There were no objections from the zoning hearing board or the neighbors and the variance was granted.

  3. All quarterly reports were completed.

  4. Secretary Knecht reported she is working on a report for the US Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding a Transitional Reinsurance Fee from 2014 through 2016.  The fee is designed to be transferred to health insurance companies to offset their costs for enrolling individuals in the Health Insurance Exchange regardless of pre-existing health conditions.  In 2014 the fee will be $63 per covered life, including employee and dependents.  The borough currently has 12 individuals covered under medical so the borough owes $756.00.  The enrollments are due November 15th and 1st payment will be due January 15, 2015.  The cost in 2015 will be $44.00 per individual.  This is part of the Affordable Care Act.

  5. Secretary Knecht reported House Bill 1135 was passed and signed into law by Governor Corbett on Oct. 31st.  This bill changes the name of the Hokendauqua Bridge to Lt. Col. Thomas J. Lynch Memorial Bridge.   Lt. Colonel Lynch was a bomber pilot in World War II.

 

Office Report accepted as presented.

 

TREASURER REPORT   SUBMITTED BY TREASURER ANNETTE ENGLERT

Minutes of Regular Meeting – November 11, 2014 – Page 5 of 11

 

Treasurer Englert received a check from Benecon, the borough health insurance provider for the remainder of the dividends for a portion of 2013 in the amount of $9,801.00.  She reported she received a check from Northampton County from the grant for the police car cameras.

 

Treasurer Report approved as read.

 

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

 

Mayor Molchany reported Councilwoman Hazzard, Councilman Paone and himself attended the bridge meeting yesterday.  Looking ahead 3 weeks,  pilings for Pier 5 are progressing, storm drain has been installed on our side and starting next week want to do sewer relocation.

 

Mayor Report accepted as presented.

 

PUBLIC SAFETY-FIRE REPORT             SUBMITTED BY CHAIRMAN WILLIAM NOTHSTEIN

 

Chairman Nothstein reported he was not able to attend the fire meeting last week and was not sure if Councilman Paone did.  He did not receive any information from Shawn.  Chairman Nothstein reported he did talk to Shawn and they are working on updating the membership listing in regard to what different positions are and who is allowed to drive truck and things like that.  With regard to the knox box system they are taking a look over the next month at different aspects before they come to council.

 

Public Safety-Fire Report accepted as presented.

 

RECREATION COMMITTEE REPORT   SUBMITTED BY COUNCILWOMAN CHERIE GEBHARDT

 

Cherie asked council if there is room to store the foldable soccer nets that are up at North Catty park.  It is very tight in the garage someone stated.  She stated instead of hauling nets it would easier to store at the park.  Chief Moyer stated he would look at them and see how much space they would take up.  There are a total of 8 nets.

 

Tree lighting is November 30th at 6:00 PM.

 

Recreation Report accepted as presented.

 

FINANCE & GRANT REPORT   SUBMITTED BY CHAIRMAN MICHAL J. SENG

 

Chairman Seng reported he defers to the Treasurer and the proposed budget will be presented later in the meeting.

 

CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION REPORT                       SUBMITTED BY CHAIRMAN MICHAEL J. SENG

Minutes of Regular Meeting – November 11, 2014 – Page 6 of 11

 

Chairman Seng reported the commission will meet next Tuesday, November 18th.

 

Finance and Civil Service Reports accepted as presented.

 

LAW COMMITTEE REPORT    SUBMITTED BY CHAIRWOMAN MICHELE HAZZARD

 

No Report

 

COUNCIL VICE PRESIDENT REPORT   SUBMITTED BY VICE PRESIDENT JOHN J. YANEK

 

No Report

 

SOLICITOR REPORT    SUBMITTED BY SOLICITOR WILLIAM J. MCCARTHY

 

Solicitor McCarthy reported he was handed the results of the assessment hearing regarding borough owned property.  He reported won 7 of 8.  The one that was lost was 1158 Front Street.  President Keglovits reported there was an old house there but the property was ripped down because of the road.  Solicitor McCarthy will look into this—he stated he has 30 days to appeal.  President Keglovits feels if the trail goes through will probably be using that property.  He will report back at the next meeting.

 

Solicitor’s Report accepted as presented.

 

COUNCIL PRESIDENT REPORT                        SUBMITTED BY PRESIDENT JOSEPH KEGLOVITS

 

President Keglovits reported he has one item that he will address under New Business.

 

Council President Report approved as read.

 

POLICE CHIEF REPORT                        SUBMITTED BY CHIEF KIM MOYER

 

No Report

 

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

PART-TIME EMPLOYEE LIST

 

President Keglovits asked councils thoughts—Councilman Seng thinks we should advertise.  Job descriptions are needed and President Keglovits stated he will bring up at the next meeting.

 

FIRE TRUCK

Minutes of Regular Meeting – November 11, 2014 – Page 7 of 11

 

President Keglovits reported he talked to the broker and they have had no inquiries.  He also stated the truck was going to go to the auction.  The auctioneer wanted 15% but if it sells in the next 6 months he would still get 15%. 

Mayor Molchany asked how long the borough is going to keep the 550 out of the garage.  Councilman Nothstein stated he mentioned it to the fire company.  President Keglovits and Chairman Nothstein will talk to the Chief.  Joe stated the 550 has to go in the garage.  The red truck has to leave, we are one bay short. 

 

EARLY RETIREMENT              

 

Treasurer Englert passed out a statement on changing the retirement requirements of the non-uniform employees with the advice of Beyer Barber with no impact on the pension fund.  Councilman Seng feels there is no reason why they can’t grant it.  President Keglovits stated the ordinance would have to be changed.  Kristin from Beyer Barber stated it can be done by Resolution.  President Keglovits would like a motion to make the following changes.

 

                          MOTION:       By Councilman Michael J. to make the changes

                                                To the Non-Uniform Pension Plan per the letter

                                                Dated September 29th of 2014 by Beyer Barber.

                                                2nd by Councilman Bill Nothstein.

                                                Head count – all yes

 

Treasurer Englert will contact Kristin at Beyer Barber and she will write the resolution/ordinance.

 

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

President Keglovits reported there are two scheduled meetings for December except the 2nd meeting is a couple days before Christmas.  He asked council if they want one meeting in December.

Vice President Yanek suggested holding off until the first meeting of December to see if we would need the 2nd meeting for some reason.

 

President Keglovits reported he received a proposal to do some blacktopping at Howertown & Wyandotte, 2nd Street where the sinkhole was, 5th and Grove and Howertown Road north of Daku’s where the road sank.  The cost would be $6,450.00.  He would like the work done this year.

 

                                    MOTION:         By Councilwoman Cherie Gebhardt

                                                            Authorizing proceeding with the paving

                                                            Work in the amount of $6,450.00.

                                                            2nd by Councilman Michael J. Seng

Minutes of Regular Meeting – November 11, 2014 – Page 8 of 11

 

                                                            Head count – all yes

 

President Keglovits stated council will go over the proposed 2015 budgets.

 

Treasurer Englert gave council a synopsis which is the first page along with the proposed budgets.  The General Fund budget overall increased 2.2% with no tax increase.  The treasurer showed each cost center, gave synopsis overall increase or decrease and upon doing that she showed the line items that were changed.

Treasurer Englert reported what was done in the General Fund under miscellaneous revenue—on page 2 put $55,000.00 to line item 380000.  She reported the $55,000 is going to incorporate the roof grant money and dividends from Benecon.  Annette stated everything else on the Revenue side is due to history.  President Keglovits wants to check into the cell tower revenue.  Looking at the contract we received $1,200.00 for one and $650 from the other.  He wants to look back and see when things changed.  President Keglovits stated they have a 5 yr. contract.  There are two companies on the tower and one is the administrator. 

 

General Fund – Revenue

The budget was gone over by line item—the Treasurer stated most changes are due to the past history.

General Fund – Total Revenues

Increased Earned Income tax by $10,000.00 to $310,000.

Increased Real Estate & Per Capita tax $5,000.00 to $20,000.

Royalties on Cell – decreased $8,426 to $17,250.

Rebate 911 – decreased $500.00 to $14,500. Many people are giving up their land lines.

Liquid Fuels –increased $10,730 to $66,500.

Overall Garbage was increased $14,000.00 to $314,000.00

Balance forwarded $25,000.

Total Revenue General Fund Budget is $1,513,250.00

 

General Fund – Expenditures

Auditor – increased $125.00 to $3,350

Office salary raises were 3% - The Secretary salary is split 70% General Fund – 30% Sewer Fund

The Treasurer salary is split 20% General Fund – 80% Sewer Fund

Capital Blue Cross – increase $46 to $7,345 overall increase of 1.7%

Dept. 402 Treasurer remained the same $31,175.

Tax Collection #403 remained the same at $13,503.

Building & Plant #409 remained the same - $50,200.

Police (410)

Per the contract received 3% overall increase for salaries for an overall increase of 3.99%

Annette figured it on 4 full-time officers, Pinto for 5 mos. Salary at 95% and June 1st gets 100%.

She figured part-time with one 32 hour patrolman and part-time up $7,500.00

Training increased due to state mandate

Minutes of Regular Meeting – November 11, 2014 – Page 9 of 11

 

Overall $551,855 an increase of 3.99%

Annette stated put in for a new police car $23,000.00 represents 2 year lease purchase.

President Keglovits asked the mileage on cars-Mayor stated he thought mid 70’s  The car will be replaced next year, 2015 yes, 2016 no.

In 2017 will replace another car.

President Keglovits asked about uniforms-are they going to keep putting money in the budget.  Chief Moyer stated for new hires money has to be there for contract items, uniforms are a contract item the chief stated.  Kim stated he tries to use what he has for part-timers and does not need much.  Chief Moyer stated he watched his budget very closely this year.

Fire Department (411)

Overall decrease of ½%

Fuel increased from $2,425 to $3,000.

Total Expense for Fire is $101,263.

Fireman’s Relief (#413) remained the same - $18,000.

Planning & Zoning (414) remained the same - $20,300.00

(415) Emergency Management upped $1,500. to $3,000.00 they would like to purchase one tablet and some other equipment.  They wanted 2 tablets but are fine with one.

(421) Health – Remained the same - $1,226.00

(427) Ash & Garbage – overall increase of ½ %

Salaries increased, Overtime remained the same, and only thing increased was salaries - $276,361 total

(430) Highway General Services – Overall increase of 14.3%

3% salary increase – Manager of Borough Services salary out of sewer, now going to be split $3,500 out of General Fund and $4,500. out of Sewer Fund

The new line items would be for public works supervisor, Asst. totaling $34,437.

Road Crew Supervisor-$3,745

Grass Cutting - $10,000.00 for a new law mower

Highway General Services Total Budget is $79,467.00

(431) Cleaning Streets decreased to $10,765 mostly part-time summer help now on call part-time help

(432) Snow & Ice Removal - $15,000.00 stayed the same

(433) Traffic Signals & Road Signs – increase for new program and includes signs also to $6,000.00

(434) Street Lighting – Same $42,000.00

$437) Repair of Tools & Machinery – decrease $1,500. To $13,000.00

(438) Maintenance Repairs to Highway & Bridges plus road material remains the same $22,000.00

(439) Highway Construction – remains same $500.00

(454) Parks – decreased to $23,889.00  Reduced trees by $2,500.00

(456) Libraries – Remained the same - $4,000.00

(480) Miscellaneous Expenditures - $1,936.00 Capital Expense building Fund $50,000.00 for a total of $51,936.

(486) Insurance

Minutes of Regular Meeting – November 11, 2014 – Page 10 of 11

 

Fire Remained the Same, Liability & Casualty increased to $10,000.00, Police Public Officiials increased $8,000.00 and Workmans Comp up $4,000 for a total of $65,000.00

(492) Interfund Transfers $40,000.00 put toward money to the Sewer Fund

Total Expenses – General Fund - $1,513,250.00

 

SEWER FUND

 

Revenues – the Treasurer stated no overall increase, stayed the same.

Total Revenue - $528,650.00

 

Expenses

(400) Administration – overall increase of 2%

400140 – Secretary Increase $420.00 raises 3%

Total Administration Total - $36,840.00

(405) Clerk Secretary – Decrease of 1%

Meetings & Conferences – down from $1,000. To $200.00.

Supplies decrease $1,000.00 to $2,000.00

Total is $49,966.

(406) Personnel Administration overall decrease of 6.4%

Decrease of $1,000.00 for consulting Fees

Total is $14,500.00

(409) Building & Plant – overall decrease of 28.3%

Supplies – decrease to $2,000.00

Office Equipment decrease to $4,000.00

Building Maintenance decrease to $5,000.00

Telephone – same - $3,500.00

Utilities – decrease - $3,000.00

Janitorial – same $900.00

Total - $30,400.00

(427) Ash & Garbage Disposal – decrease of 15.1%

Took out $13,000.00 for summer help, did not feel it was needed

Took $500.00 out of meetings and conferences

Total $73,611.00

(428) Sanitation – Decrease of 21.4%

Camera decrease to $2,000.00

Manhole testing down to $1,000.00

Total - $5,500.00

(429) Wastewater Collection – Increase of 7.3%

Manager of Borough Service – split - $4,500.00

Borough of Catasauqua increased $28,000.00 to $228,000.00

Vehicle Fuel – increased to $5,000.00

Material & Supplies – decreased $2,000.00 to $3,000.00

Minutes of Regular Meeting - November 11, 2014 – Page 11 of 11

 

Vehicle Maintenance – decreased to $3,000.00

Miscellaneous Expenditure – decrease to $4,733

Total - $291,333.00

(486) Insurance – Overall 39.4% Increase

Vehicle – increased to $8,500.00

Fire Insurance – increased $1,000.00 to $6,000.00

Liability Casualty – increased $6,000.00 to $12,000.00

Total - $26,500.00

 

Balance Budget – Total Expenses - $528,650.00

 

                                    MOTION:         BY Councilman Michael J. Seng

                                                            To accept the 2015 General Fund

                                                            Budget in the amount of $1,513,250.00

                                                            With no tax increase.

                                                            2nd by Councilman Bill Nothstein

                                                            Head count – All yes

 

                                    MOTION:         BY Councilman Michael J. Seng

                                                            To accept the proposed Sewer Fund

                                                            Budget for 2015 in the amount of $528,650.00

                                                            2nd by Councilman Bill Nothstein

                                                            Head count – all yes

 

                                    MOTION:         By Councilman William Nothstein

                                                            To pay all bills.

                                                            2nd by Councilman Michael J. Seng

                                                            Head count – all yes

 

                                    MOTION:         By Vice President John J. Yanek

                                                            To adjourn meeting

                                                            2nd by Councilwoman Cherie Gebhardt

                                                            All ayes

 

Meeting adjourned @ 8:45 PM