Follow us on Twitter Friend us on Facebook Receive City Updates
{ Live, work, play in York. }

City Council Meeting Minutes

February 7, 2012

Signed Resolutions

Signed Bills

 

CALL TO ORDER:  City Council convened in a General Committee meeting on February 7, 2012 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: Joanne Borders, Michael Ray Helfrich, Renee S. Nelson, Henry Hay Nixon, Vice President, and Carol Hill-Evans, President, with President Hill-Evans presiding. 
 
GENERAL PUBLIC COMMENT: None
 
There being no public comment, President Hill-Evans adjourned the General Committee meeting and reconvened in Legislative Session at 7:00 p.m., in Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA, with the following members present: Joanne Borders, Michael Ray Helfrich, Renee S. Nelson, Henry Hay Nixon, Vice President, and Carol Hill-Evans, President, with President Hill-Evans presiding. 
 
Members of the Administration in attendance included: Jim Gross, Director of Public Works, Kevin Schreiber, Director of Economic and Community Development, Wes Kahley, Police Chief, Steve Buffington, Fire Chief, and Michael O’Rourke, Business Administrator. Also present was Assistant Solicitor Mark Elion.
 
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 January 17, 2012 and unanimously approved them as written.
 
Correspondence and Announcements: Councilman Nixon announced that Council is still seeking volunteers for the Fire Civil Service Board. He said there are currently two vacancies on the board and if citizens are interested in serving to please send their resumes and letters of interest to the City Clerk, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA 17401. (Notice: After March 14, 2012, please send resumes and letters of interest to the City Clerk, 101 S. George St., Suite 213, York, PA 17401.)
 
PRESENTATIONS

York Area United Fire and Rescue (YAUFR)

Mayor C. Kim Bracey opened the presentation by welcoming members of the YAUFR. She explained that in 2010, Mayor John Brenner commissioned a study to evaluate the York City Fire Department's operations and facilities. She said after she took office, her Administration followed up and formed a committee including Councilpersons Henry Nixon and Renee Nelson, Business Administrator Michael O'Rourke, and Fire Chief Steve Buffington. Mayor Bracey explained that our review focused on our aging facilities, at which time we observed a need for an upgrade to our facilities and equipment. She stated that some facility upgrades were made by our own firemen at their own expense. Mayor Bracey went on to say that her committee also considered closing 2 fire stations and building a new one. However, she said, we instead determined that shared services and mutual cooperation is a possibility that we would be willing to explore further. Therefore, she said phone calls were made to begin discussions on possible municipal cooperation. With that, Mayor Bracey introduced William Shenk, Chair, and Austin Hunt, Vice-Chair of the YAUFR.
 
William Shenk, Chair, and Austin Hunt, Vice-Chair, YAUFR, thanked Council for their consideration. Mr. Shenk then gave a brief overview of YAUFR. He explained that the elected board of Spring Garden Township and Springettsbury Township discussed the sharing of fire service resources as each was operating independently. As such, he said they formed an Ad-Hoc Committee in 2004 to review several factors including reducing and/or stabilizing costs while increasing efficiency in fire services, shared resources and training programs, reduction of unnecessary duplication of equipment and services, and preservation and enhancement of volunteer fire services. In essence, Mr. Shenk said their goal is to continue to erase municipal boundaries. He said they don't believe in merging for the sake of merging but when it comes to fire protection and public safety, there is a huge area for opportunity. He stated that they are very interested in regionalization and long-term cost savings and looks forward to exploring this option with the City of York. (Visit YAUFR website)
 
COMMITTEE MEETINGS SCHEDULED
 
General Committee, Carol Hill-Evans, Chair: Council will meet in general committee on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers to hear from the city's accounting firm Maillie, Falconiero & Company, LLP, a presentation on the City of York 2010 audit.
 
STATUS OF PRIOR COMMITTEE REFERRALS: No reports
 
 
SUBDIVISION / LAND DEVELOPMENT / HARB
 
 
Resolution No. 27, Session 2012, (View), A Resolution accepting the recommendations of HARB in issuing a certificate of appropriateness to Gibbon Construction for work to be done at 287 W. Market St., was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Nelson, Resolution No. 27 came up for discussion.
 
President Hill-Evans explained that action on this application was pulled at Council's January 17, 2012 meeting because resident Steve Young had questions regarding property lines. Council delayed its vote to allow the resident to settle the issue. (Read excerpt)
 
Steve Young, resident, provided Council with a drawn rendering of his block in which he highlighted 287 W. Market and his property at 11 N. Newberry. He asked if the city could prove that Gibbor Construction wouldn't be building on his property. He asked Council to vote “no” because the property lines haven't been resolved and utility company accessibility issues are still a concern.
 
Councilwoman Nelson asked Mr. Young where does Gibbor Construction plan to install the fence. Mr. Young said he is not exactly sure but feels property lines should be determined before installation begins. He stated that unfortunately none of his concerns have been settled through paperwork he was able to obtain.
 
Councilwoman Borders asked Mr. Young if he hired a surveyor since Council tabled the vote on this application. Mr. Young responded that he couldn't afford a surveyor and was told that each surveyor could come up with different a interpretation anyway. President Hill-Evans reminded Council that we are voting on the recommendations of HARB, not property lines.
 
Assistant Solicitor Mark Elion stated that his understanding is that HARB reviews material use and appropriateness of applications but they don't deal with property disputes. Additionally, he said the city does not have the authority to determine property lines as that authority is granted to the County of York. 
 
Councilman Helfrich said he finds it bizarre that the city can approve a plan when property lines are not specific. He said to put the responsibility on the property owner to prove their property lines is very disturbing and that there seems to be a glitch in the system. Councilman Helfrich said he doesn't understand the markings on the map provided by Mr. Young and is still unclear on the property lines and access points. As such, Councilman Helfrich said he would abstain his vote because although he feels the materials being used by Gibbor Construction is appropriate, he cannot vote to support construction on a property where boundaries are unclear.
 
Joan Burgasser, former HARB member, explained that HARB reviews the exterior of a property that is visible from a public right-of-way. She said HARB is not a zoning or planning entity and does not feel it is HARB's duty to review property lines.
 
Assistant Solicitor Elion reiterated that the city cannot determine property lines or settle property line disputes as we do not have legal authority to do so.
 
Ms. Burgasser said it would be helpful to residents if HARB agendas were published in some way so as to make residents aware of the projects in their neighborhood.
 
President Hill-Evans asked the City Clerk to contact HARB about possibly posting their agendas on the city's website. The City Clerk said she would contact HARB.
 
Vice-President Nixon said he shares the same concerns as Councilman Helfrich but asked if Council could abstain even if there is no conflict of interest at issue.
 
Assistant Solicitor Elion responded that passage of this resolution would require at least 3 “yes” votes but you can choose to abstain even if there is no conflict of interest. He again strongly urged Council to be mindful when voting that the city does not determine property lines.
 
Councilman Helfrich said he feels supporting this Resolution would be enabling a project on an issue that is unresolved. He asked if there are any mechanisms in place at the permitting level where disputes such as this could be taken up.
 
Assistant Solicitor Elion said the permit technician cannot determine property lines and Council should not consider matters outside of its jurisdiction.
 
There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 27 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nixon, Borders, Hill-Evans – 3; Nays – Nelson – 1; Abstained – Helfrich – 1.
 
Resolution No. 28, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution accepting the recommendations of HARB in issuing a certificate of appropriateness to Aaron Shaw for work to be done at 123 S. Pine St., and Benton Jackson for work to be done at 39 W. Philadelphia St., was introduced by Hill-Evans,
read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Nixon, Resolution No. 28 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Borders, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays – 0.
 
 
FINAL PASSAGE OF BILLS / RESOLUTIONS
 
Final Passage of Bill No. 1, Ordinance No. 1, Session 2012, (View) An Ordinance amending Article 338.02 “Imposition of Tax” of the codified ordinances to reflect an increase in parking tax as approved in the 2012 Budget, which was introduced by Helfrich at the January 17, 2012 meeting of Council and read by short title, came up for final passage. On motion of Helfrich, seconded by Borders, Bill No. 1, Ordinance No. 1, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Borders, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays – 0.
 
Final Passage of Bill No. 2, Ordinance No. 2, Session 2012, (View) An Ordinance amending Article 338.03 “Annual License” of the codified ordinances to reflect fee changes recommended by the Early Intervention Plan, Phase II, which was introduced by Helfrich at the January 17, 2012 meeting of Council and read by short title, came up for final passage. On motion of Helfrich, seconded by Borders, Bill No. 2, Ordinance No. 2, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Borders, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays – 0.
 
NEW BUSINESS
 
Introduction of Bill No. 3, Session 2012, (View) A Bill amending Article 155 “Appropriation” of the codified ordinances to reflect a decrease in funding for Martin Library, was introduced by Helfrich, read by short title, and deferred until the February 21 meeting of Council.
 
Introduction of Bill No. 4, Session 2012, (View) A Bill amending Article 541 “Dumpster Placement” of the codified ordinances to include provisions for dumpster bags, was introduced by Nelson, read by short title, and deferred until the February 21 meeting of Council.
 
Introduction of Bill No. 5, Session 2012, (View) A Bill amending Article 717.10 “Removing Dog Excrements” of the codified ordinances to require excrements be removed from private and public property, was introduced by Nixon, read by short title, and deferred until the February 21 meeting of Council.
 
Introduction of Bill No. 6, Session 2012, (View) A Bill amending Article 729 “Litter in Streams and Waters” of the codified ordinances to include prohibitions from littering on public or private property, was introduced by Nixon, read by short title, and deferred until the February 21 meeting of Council.
 
Introduction of Bill No. 7, Session 2012, (View) A Bill amending Article 1731 “Historic York” of the codified ordinances, subsection 1731.08 “Board Meetings,” to change meeting schedule to once per month, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read by short title, and deferred until the February 21 meeting of Council.
 
Introduction of Bill No. 8, Session 2012, (View) A Bill amending Article 1761 “Licensing and Inspection of Tenant Occupied Residential and all Institutional Occupancies” of the codified ordinances to include provisions for student homes, was introduced by Nixon, read by short title, and deferred until the February 21 meeting of Council.
 
Introduction of Bill No. 9, Session 2012, (View) A Bill amending the 2012 budget for the Memorial Park Improvement Project, was introduced by Borders, read by short title, and deferred until the February 21 meeting of Council.
 
Introduction of Bill No. 10, Session 2012, (View) A Bill amending the 2012 CDBG & HOME Budgets to reflect changes resulting from actual funds carried over from 2011 to 2012, was introduced by Nelson, read by short title, and deferred until the February 21 meeting of Council.
 
Resolution No. 29, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution appointing Jonathan Spencer as a probationary firefighter effective February 20, 2012, was introduced by Nixon, read at length, and on motion of Nixon, seconded by Borders, Resolution No. 29 came up for discussion.
 
Mr. Jonathan Spencer was present and gave a brief background about himself. Council welcomed Mr. Spencer.
 
There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 29 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Borders, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays – 0.
 
Resolution No. 30, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution appointing Mark Benjamin Orlando as a probationary police officer, was introduced by Nixon, read at length, and on motion of Nixon, seconded by Borders, Resolution No. 30 came up for discussion.
 
Mr. Mark Benjamin Orlando was present and gave a brief background about himself. Council welcomed Mr. Orlando.
 
There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 30 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Borders, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays – 0.
 
Resolution No. 31, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution authorizing a budget transfer for Public Works in the amount of $8,719.20 for vehicle fuel, was introduced by Borders, read at length, and on motion of Borders, seconded by Nixon, Resolution No. 31 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Borders, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays – 0.
 
Resolution No. 32, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution authorizing a budget transfer for Public Works in the amount of $47,152.63 for electric expenses, was introduced by Borders, read at length, and on motion of Borders, seconded by Nixon, Resolution No. 32 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Borders, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays – 0.
 
Resolution No. 33, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution authorizing a budget transfer for the Fleet Department in the amount of $1,229.90 for vehicle parts/accessories, was introduced by Borders, read at length, and on motion of Borders, seconded by Nixon, Resolution No. 33 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Borders, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays – 0.
 
Resolution No. 34, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution authorizing a budget transfer for the Bureau of Health in the amount of $23,018.00 for the Lead Program, was introduced by Nelson, read at length, and on motion of Nelson, seconded by Borders, Resolution No. 34 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Borders, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays – 0.
 
President Hill-Evans explained that the next three Resolutions seek to increase fees and in accordance with Ordinance 19 of 1997 fee legislation must sit for at least one meeting prior to consideration of final passage. Therefore, the following Resolutions (No.'s 35-37) will be considered for final passage at Council's February 21 meeting.
 
Resolution No. 35, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution amending fire alarm, false alarm and standby fees to become effective March 1, 2012, was introduced by Nixon, read at length, and deferred until the February 21 meeting of Council. 
 
Resolution No. 36, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution amending operational permits, construction permits and plan review fees in accordance with Article 1501 of codified ordinances to become effective April 1, 2012, was introduced by Nixon, read at length, and deferred until the February 21 meeting of Council. 
 
Resolution No. 37, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution amending occupancy licensing fees and inspection fees in accordance with Article 1761 of the codified ordinances to become effective
April 1, 2012, was introduced by Nixon, read at length, and deferred until the February 21 meeting of Council. 
 
 
REQUESTS FOR FUTURE MEETINGS 
 
Public Works Committee, Joanne Borders, Chair: Councilwoman Borders stated that Public Works Director Jim Gross has requested a Public Works Committee meeting to discuss introduction of a proposed Resolution to cooperate with the York Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (YAMPO) on the resurfacing of Market Street. Council scheduled said meeting for Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers.
 
COUNCIL COMMENT: None
 
 
ADMINISTRATION COMMENT: None
 
 
NEXT MEETING: The next regular meeting of City Council is scheduled for Tuesday, February 21, 2012 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 February 7, 2012 meeting of Council adjourned at 8:10 p.m.