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City Council Meeting Minutes

October 18, 2011

 

CALL TO ORDER:  City Council convened in a General Committee meeting on October 18, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA, to receive general public comment, with the following Council members present: Renee S. Nelson, Henry Hay Nixon, Toni Smith, Carol Hill-Evans, Vice President, and Genevieve H. Ray, President, with President Ray presiding. 
 
GENERAL PUBLIC COMMENT
 
Jay Andrzejczyk, Krista Hoskins, Michaela Newcomer, and Susan Newcomer, Williams Park Neighborhood Association, presented Council with a petition from the association regarding blighted properties located at 272, 278, 280 and 282 Cottage Hill Rd. (Note: Petition on file in City Clerk's office) They said the Fire Department was notified and they took pictures and posted notices on the properties, however, the properties remain blighted.
 
Patricia Maher, Pershing Avenue Neighborhood Association, spoke in favor of a neighborhood sweep for the area of Pershing Ave. between W. Princess St. to S. Beaver St.
 
Michael Helfrich discussed the mold issues at the Roosevelt Ave. fire station. He then expressed concerns about the upcoming bond issue, which he states includes a potential $6 million streetscape project.
 
Joanne Borders announced the “Stand Up for Our Community” event to take place on October 26 at 6:00 p.m. at the Lincoln Charter School. She encouraged residents to attend.
 
There being no further public comment, President Ray adjourned the General Committee meeting and reconvened in Legislative Session at 7:05 p.m., in Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA, with the following members present: Renee S. Nelson, Henry Hay Nixon, Toni Smith, Carol Hill-Evans, Vice President, and Genevieve H. Ray, President, with President Ray presiding. 
 
Members of the Administration in attendance included: Jim Gross, Director of Public Works,   Kevin Schreiber, Director of Economic and Community Development, and Steve Douglas, General Manager, Waste Water Treatment Plant. Also present was Assistant Solicitor Don Hoyt.
 
Members of York City Council staff in attendance included:  Dianna L. Thompson, City Clerk.
 
Pledge of Allegiance: The Pledge of Allegiance was recited. 
 
Approval of Minutes: Council dispensed with the reading of the Minutes of October 4, 2011 and unanimously approved them as written.
 
Correspondence and Announcements: President Ray read correspondence and announcements including Council's receipt of the Early Intervention Program Multi-Year Financial Plan, which will be soon be posted online for the public's review.
 
Councilwoman Smith said she spoke with the Director of FEMA and that residents who were turned down by FEMA for flood assistance can appeal. She said she plans to meet with the Director and will pass more information along as it becomes available.
 
PRESENTATIONS: None
 
COMMITTEE MEETINGS SCHEDULED
 
General Committee, Genevieve H. Ray, Chair: Council President Ray announced that Council met in general committee this evening, October 18, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers, to discuss final recommendations related to Bill No. 16, which is a Bill establishing a comprehensive towing ordinance. Council did not release the Bill from committee as further clarification was requested. Once released from committee, the Bill will be re-advertised prior to consideration of final passage in accordance with Article 115.02 of the Codified Ordinances as 60 days has elapsed since its introduction.
 
Police Committee, Renee S. Nelson, Chair: Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers to discuss potential purchase of a mobile license plate reading system. ($25,820.00)
           
STATUS OF PRIOR COMMITTEE REFERRALS 
 
Business Administration Committee, Henry Hay Nixon, Chair: Councilman Nixon reported that a special BA committee meeting was held on Monday, October 17, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers to discuss proposed projects to be funded through a bond issue and to put into place long term financing for the $14 million line of credit through Fulton Bank. He said discussion included how the $37 million bond would affect the budget, projects proposed to be implemented, and financing options. Councilman Nixon assured the public that subsequent meetings will be held prior to consideration of adoption of the bond issue and that the public is encouraged to attend and provide feedback.
 
SUBDIVISION / LAND DEVELOPMENT / HARB
 
Resolution No. 126, Session 2011, (View) A Resolution accepting the recommendations of HARB in issuing a certificate of appropriateness to Cody Smith for work to be done at 149, 151, 153 E. Philadelphia St., and Michael Knotwell of Shentel for work to be done at 147 W. Philadelphia St., was introduced by Nelson, read at length, and on motion of Nelson, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 126 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.
 
Resolution No. 127, Session 2011, (View) A Resolution authorizing the release of financial security funds to Apple Automotive in the amount of $21,666.70 related to development of a collision center at 1090 Marbrook Lane, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Nixon, Resolution No. 127 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.
 
 
FINAL PASSAGE OF BILLS / RESOLUTIONS
 
Final Passage of Bill No. 34, Ordinance No. 33, Session 2011, (View) A Bill amending the 2011 Budget in the amount of $8,750.19 for the Police Department's 2nd year Weed & Seed activities, which was introduced by Nelson at the October 4th meeting of Council and read by short title, came up for final passage. On motion of Nelson, seconded by Hill-Evans, Bill No. 34, Ordinance No. 33, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.
 
Final Passage of Bill No. 35, Ordinance No. 34, Session 2011, (View) A Bill amending the 2011 Budget for the Waste Water Treatment Plant in the amount of $166,650.00 to cover expenses related to flood damage, which was introduced by Ray at the October 4th meeting of Council and read by short title, came up for final passage. On motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Nixon, Bill No. 35 came up for discussion.
 
Waste Water Treatment Plant General Manager Steve Douglas said he provided Council with a Damage Assessment Report at the October 4 meeting. In brief, he explained that on September 7th & 8th, the WWTP experienced extremely high influent flows as a result of 11 inches of rainfall. He said during that period, the flow was about 8 times the normal flow and 47.6 million gallons above design flow. Staff made every attempt to keep the water moving through the facility but just after midnight on September 8th, the flooding occurred when treatment tanks overflowed. The flood waters began to recede by 7:00 a.m. that same day. Subsequently, staff enlisted the aid of contractors and with their help, the treatment plant was operational within 48 hours of the event. The cost to make repairs was $97,712.00. As this expense was not anticipated in the 2011 budget, this amendment adjusts the amounts in several line items to allow for payment related to this occurrence.
 
There being no further discussion, Bill No. 35, Ordinance No. 34, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.
 
NEW BUSINESS
 
Introduction of Bill No. 36, Session 2011, (View) A Bill amending the 2011 Budget for the Police Department in the amount of $111,134.17 for in-car cameras, was introduced by Nelson, read by short title, and deferred until the November 1st meeting of Council.
 
Introduction of Bill No. 37, Session 2011, (View) A Bill amending the 2011 Budget for the Police Department in the amount of $37,470.00 for a JAG award received for law enforcement operations, was introduced by Nelson, read by short title, and deferred until the November 1st meeting of Council.
 
Resolution No. 128, Session 2011, (View) A Resolution appointing Jason Lewis as a member of the Downtown Inc Board (York Business Improvement District Authority), to fill the unexpired term of Steven Lazun, which term shall expire January 1, 2015, was introduced by Nixon, read at length, and on motion of Nixon, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 128 came up for discussion.
 
President Ray read a letter on behalf of the Downtown Inc Board of Directors supporting Mr. Lewis' appointment.
 
There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 128 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.
 
 
Resolution No. 129, Session 2011, (View) A Resolution appointing Patricia A. Maher to fill a vacancy as an alternate member of the Zoning Hearing Board, which term shall expire January 1, 2014, was introduced by Ray, read at length, and on motion of Ray, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 129 came up for discussion.
 
Patricia Maher took a moment to introduce herself and thanked Council for their support.
 
There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 129 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.
 
The City Clerk administered the Oath of Office to Ms. Maher.
 
Resolution No. 130, Session 2011, (View) A Resolution accepting the recommendations of the Mayor in reappointing Dolores Abreu to the York City Human Relations Commission, which term shall expire July 16, 2014, and appointing Tanisha Silvagnoli to the York City Human Relations Commission, to fill the expired term of Barbara Beattie, which term shall expire July 16, 2014, was introduced by Nixon, read at length, and on motion of Nixon, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 130 came up for discussion.
 
Dolores Abreu thanked the Mayor and Council for their support and said she has served the commission for four years and there's a lot more work to be done. She said she enjoys helping translate for the Spanish speaking residents and feels the Human Relations Commission offers a valuable and needed service by offering civil rights protection to our residents.
 
There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 130 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.
 
Resolution No. 131, Session 2011, (View) A Resolution authorizing the purchase of one Chevrolet Pick-Up Truck with plow, for use by the Parking Bureau, in the amount of $25,635.00 through the PA State CoStars program (contract #025-003), with the vendor being Apple Automotive, York, through a five-year municipal lease program with M&T Bank and Real Lease, was introduced by Nixon, read at length, and on motion of Nixon, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 131 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.
 
Resolution No. 132, Session 2011, (View) A Resolution authorizing the sale (auction) of seven surplus vehicles (3 Chevrolets, 1 Dodge, 3 Fords) , was introduced by Smith, read at length, and on motion of Smith, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 132 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.
 
Resolution No. 133, Session 2011, (View) A Resolution authorizing a budget transfer for Public Works in the amount of $32,000 to cover electric, was introduced by Smith, read at length, and on motion of Smith, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 130 came up for discussion.
 
Public Works Director Jim Gross explained that this transfer is being put into place to cover electricity at 101 S. George St. He said although we have not yet moved, since we own the building, the electric bills must still be paid.
 
There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 133 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.
 
Resolution No. 134, Session 2011, (View) A Resolution authorizing a budget transfer for the Health Department in the amount of $51,121.00 for a state Immunization grant, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 134 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.
 
Resolution No. 135, Session 2011, (View) A Resolution authorizing a budget transfer for the Bureau of Housing Services in the 2011 HOME budget for CONE/HICDC to PIRHL for the George Street Commons project, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Nixon, Resolution No. 135 came up for discussion.
 
Director Kevin Schreiber explained that previously the city had allocated funding to CONE for the Thackston Park Homes project, and HOME funds for the Kings Mill Commons project. He said these funds were predicated on them obtaining additional funding sources to pay for their respective projects. Unfortunately, the developers for these projects were unable to bridge the funding gap and therefore, to help move the George Street Commons (GSC) project along, that funding is being reallocated to the GSC project. The Kings Mill Commons project has been shelved and the Thackston Parks Home project is in the process of submitting funding applications.
 
President Ray asked if the Administration plans to support the Thackston Homes project. Director Schreiber said they do plan to support that project.
 
Joanne Borders, resident, said residents of the Thackston Park area have not be kept abreast of the project. Director Schreiber said he would speak with representatives of the Housing Authority and encourage them to reach out to residents about this project.

President Ray posed a question she received from a resident asking why the city is supporting more downtown housing projects. Director Schreiber replied that there are several under utilized yet viable parcels that can be developed as mixed-use. He said with well-planned designs these properties would add to the economy and vibrancy of the city.
 
There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 135 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.
 
REQUESTS FOR FUTURE MEETINGS 
 
Councilman Nixon asked the City Clerk to prepare dates for Council to hold Business Administration Committee meetings to discuss the bond issue and five year financial plan. The City Clerk said she would review Council's calendar and will provide available dates this week.
 
COUNCIL COMMENT
 
Vice President Hill-Evans invited residents to attend the skills training program at the Community Progress Council. For more information, contact CPC at 846-4600.
 
President Ray congratulated Dr. Deborah Wortham, Superintendent of the York City School District, for hosting a successful visit from Vice President Joe Biden at Good Elementary School.
 
Councilwoman Smith thanked Public Works Director Jim Gross for helping Mr. Jerome Carter of Green St. in York who reported a broken porch that children were playing on and could have been injured. She said Director Gross had staff remove the porch.
 
ADMINISTRATION COMMENT: None
 
NEXT MEETING: The next regular meeting of City Council is scheduled for November 1, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. (Public Comment commences at 6:30 p.m.) in City Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA.
 

ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, the October 18, 2011 meeting of Council adjourned at 8:15 p.m.