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City Council Meeting Minutes

February 6, 2007

City Council convened in Regular Session at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 6, 2007, in Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA, with the following members present: Toni Smith, Wm. Lee Smallwood, Vickie Washington, Joseph R. Musso, Vice President, and Cameron Texter, President, with President Texter presiding. Mayor John Brenner was not present.

Members of the Administration in attendance included: Jim Gross, Director of Public Works, and Michael O’Rourke, Business Administrator. Also present was Assistant Solicitor Don Hoyt. Kim Bracey, Director of Community Development, Matt Jackson, Director of Economic Development, Mark Whitman, Police Commissioner, and John Senft, Fire Chief, were absent.

Members of York City Council staff in attendance included: Dianna L. Thompson, City Clerk.

A motion was made by Smallwood, seconded by Washington, to dispense with the reading of the Minutes of January 16, 2007, and approve them as written. The motion passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays - 0.

Public Comment (On items not listed on the printed agenda)

John B. Louis, 316 E. Locust St., York, PA, read a prepared statement in which he outlined his personal, community, and educational background. Mr. Louis then discussed the city’s serious financial condition. He said businesses cannot succeed when boards of directors are fighting with each other. Mr. Louis stated that our success as a city can only come if you start developing an ability to reach collaboration on issues. He urged Council to work together to turn the city around.

Sterling Von Nickerson, 264 E. King St., York, PA, opined that he feels some city officials are using their political power to personally influence others and that some public officials receive preferential treatment. Mr. Nickerson questioned how the personal business of some officials get plastered all over the front page of the newspaper while others are able to keep their business quiet.

David Clarence, York, PA, questioned a public official about his marital status and whether the official used government equipment to carry on a personal affair. President Texter ruled Mr. Clarence out-of-order and directed him to refrain from personal lines of questioning. As Mr. Clarence continued to ask questions, which President Texter felt were improper, President Texter called for a recess at 7:15 p.m.

President Texter reconvened the meeting at 7:25 p.m.

Presentations

Tom Hilgrove, President of Rink Management Services (RMS), was onboard to give a 2006 performance evaluation on the York City Ice Arena. Mike Cleveland, General Manager, Glen Danischewski, and other staff joined Mr. Hillgrove. Mr. Hillgrove outlined that RMS is the nation's number one developer and manager of ice-skating rinks and recreational facilities. RMS’ history and reputation in the industry have made them the managers of choice for indoor rinks and outdoor rinks. RMS’ principals have an unparalleled reputation for customer service, quality of product and efficient operations with a proven track record of success. Mr. Hillgrove explained that RMS has been working diligently to get the community involved by offering many outreach programs and to increase resident participation. Mr. Hillgrove happily reported that 2006 was a successful year for the ice rink as revenue exceeded projections by $72,566.49. He said RMS continues its effort to increase participation at the rink.

Next, Mr. Mike Cleveland, General Manager, outlined the many outreach programs offered by RMS during 2006, which included: York City School District 4th and 5th Grade Ice Skating Program; Hannah Penn Middle School Student-Teacher outings for perfect attendance; “Try It” one-time lesson and skating outing; School Discount Nights; Spring and Summer group mailings; Free Learn to Skate Sessions, and many more.

Mr. Glen Danischewski then outlined the 2006 ice rink budget. The net operating income in 2006 was $228,234.79, which exceeded their original revenue projection of $155,668.00. Mr. Danischewski said RMS is optimistic about the future of the ice rink and that they would continue to seek ways to increase attendance and sponsorships.

Mr. Hillgrove then answered questions from Council and the public regarding services, resident participation and financial projections.


Committee Reports

Tuesday, February 6, 2007 – President Texter reported that a General Council Committee meeting was held at 6:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers to hear from members of the York City Sewer Authority information about improvements to the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and a $10 million borrowing planned to finance said improvements. He said an appended agenda would be considered this evening to introduce a Bill to consider the borrowing of $10,000,000.00 to fund said improvements to the WWTP.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 – Economic Development Committee, Vice President Joseph R. Musso, Chair, reported that a Committee meeting was held on January 23rd at 7:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers to discuss how to increase communication between the York Business Improvement District Authority (YBIDA) and taxpayers and to ascertain a positive framework from which to establish the future direction of the BID. He reported that a representative from the YBIDA contacted Mayor Brenner to meet and discuss the Mayor’s priorities with regard to the BID district.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007 – President Texter reported that a General Committee meeting was held on January 30th at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers to hear from the city’s auditing firm, Maillie, Falconiero & Co., a formal presentation on the city’s Annual Financial Report year ending December 31, 2005 (2005 audit). He said improvements were suggested and a follow-up meeting to discuss implementation of suggested improvements will be scheduled. The audit can be reviewed on the city’s website at www.yorkcity.org or in the City Clerk’s Office, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007 – Business Administration Committee, Councilman Wm. Lee Smallwood, Chair, reported that a Committee meeting has been scheduled for 7:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers to hear from representatives from Prime Buchholz (city’s consultants) information on the city’s current pension outline. He said this meeting will serve as an information session.

Appended Agenda
Councilman Smallwood made a motion to amend the printed agenda to include an additional item (York City Sewer Authority Bond Issue) and to consider said item first. The motion was seconded by Washington and passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.

Introduction of Bill No. 1, Session 2007, A Bill of the City Council of the City of York, York County, Pennsylvania, authorizing a Third Supplemental Lease to be dated as of March 2007, amending a Lease of September 15, 1987, as supplemented by a lease dated December 20, 1990 and a lease dated December 1, 1992, under which the Sewer System owned by the York City Sewer Authority is leased to this City for operation and use; approving a Guaranty Agreement guaranteeing payment of said Authority's Guaranteed Sewer Revenue Bonds, Series of 2007 ($10,000,000); directing execution, acknowledgement and delivery of said Third Supplemental Lease and Guaranty Agreement in behalf of this City and consenting to Assignment of the said Third Supplemental Lease by said Authority to Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company; approving the preparation of certain engineer­ing reports and authorizing certain applications to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and directing other necessary and proper action to effectuate the purposes hereof. The Bill was introduced by Washington, read by short title, and deferred until the February 20 meeting of Council.

Director Gross explained that a general Council committee meeting was held at 6:00 p.m. this evening with members of the York City Sewer Authority in attendance to detail the purpose of the $10,000,000.00 bond issue, which is to fund planned improvements at the wastewater treatment plant.

There being no further discussion, Bill No. 1 was deferred until the February 20 meeting of Council.

Consent Agenda. A motion was made by Musso, seconded by Washington, to introduce agenda items 1 and 2 (Bill No.’s 2 & 3) as a whole. The motion passed unanimously. Therefore, the following Bills were introduced by Texter and read in brief:

Introduction of Bill No. 2, Session 2007, A Bill amending the 2007 budget for the York City Police Department to appropriate revenues ($119,290.00) and expenditures ($42,290.88) associated with a 2004 Department of Justice grant award to reflect unspent funds to be used in 2007.

Introduction of Bill No. 3, Session 2007, A Bill amending the 2007 budget for the York City Police Department to appropriate revenue and expenditures in the amount of $4,500 for the York Police Academy ($1,000), Travel for the Youth Police Academy ($500) and Police escorted sporting events ($3,000) related to a Delinquency Prevention Grant award from PCCD.

President Texter said these Bills will be considered for final passage at the February 20 meeting of Council.

Resolution No. 13, Session 2007, A Resolution appointing Walter J. Yurek, Jr. as a member of the York Business Improvement District Authority (Downtown Inc.) to serve in said capacity until January 1, 2012, and Charles R. Noll as a member of the York City General Authority, to fill the unexpired term of Mark Werner, to serve in said capacity until January 1, 2012, was introduced by Musso, read at length, and on motion of Musso, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 13 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 14, Session 2007, A Resolution authorizing a borrowing in anticipation of current taxes and revenues, by the issuance of a $6,000,000 aggregate principal amount tax and revenue anticipation note, series of 2007; Determining to sell the note at a private, negotiated sale; Approving a certificate as to taxes and revenues to be collected; approving the number, date, maturity and interest payable on the note and the form of the note; Appointing a paying agenda and sinking fund depositary and establishing a sinking fund; Accepting a proposal of Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company, to purchase the note and authorizing the sale thereof to Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company, providing security for the note; and authorizing execution, sale and delivery of the note and other necessary action. The Resolution was introduced by Smallwood, and read by short title. On motion of Smallwood, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 14 came up for discussion.

Administrator O’Rourke explained that this is a process the city does every year. The borrowing will be used to bridge the gap in real estate tax revenue between the period January 1 and April 1 when the revenue is actually received.

Sterling Nickerson, 264 E. King St., York, PA, asked if there is a surplus in the city’s budget. President Texter responded there was approximately a $200,000 surplus in 2006, however, that was used to pay 2005 expenses.

Administrator O’Rourke added that we won’t know if we’ll have a surplus this year until all expenses are paid through year-end 2007. However, he explained that the amount of money the city borrows goes up every year because of increases in expenses. To put it plainly, he said, there really is never any spare cash because debts are constantly being paid from year-to-year.

Tom Foust, York City School Board, asked if the tax bills have gone out because he hasn’t seen them. Administrator O’Rourke said the Treasurer handles real estate tax notices. Mr. Foust then discussed property assessments and how critical that is in determining revenue projections.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 14 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.

Consent Agenda. A motion was made by Musso, seconded by Washington to introduce agenda items 5-7 (Resolution No.’s 15-17) as a whole. The motion was seconded by Smith, and passed unanimously. Therefore, Resolution No.’s 15-17 were introduced by Washington and read at length.

Resolution No. 15, Session 2007, A Resolution authorizing the purchase of one (1) 2008 Ford F-350 dump truck for use by the Parks Bureau and one (1) 2008 F-350 utility body truck for use by the Building and Electrical Bureau, with said vehicles to be purchased through the PA State Contract #46000010847, at a cost of $52,789.00 for the dump truck and $29,988.00 for the utility body truck, for a total cost of $82,777.00, with the vendor being Apple Automotive Group, York, PA, and to be financed through M&T Bank through a five year municipal program lease, with annual payments not to exceed $18,250.00.

Resolution No. 16, Session 2007, A Resolution authorizing the purchase of two (2) 2007 Chevrolet Silverado ¾ ton pick up trucks for use by the Highway and Building and Electrical Bureaus, and one (1) 2007 Chevrolet 12 passenger van for use by the Recreation Bureau, with said vendor being Apple Automotive Group, York, PA, for a total purchase price of $74,080, and to be financed through M&T Bank through a five year municipal program lease, with payments not to exceed $16,300.00 annually.

Resolution No. 17, Session 2007, A Resolution authorizing an agreement with York Building Products, Co., York, PA, for the purchase of asphalt mixes, for the total purchase price of $71,742.50.

On motion of Washington, seconded by Smith, Resolution No.’s 15-17 came up for discussion.

Director Gross explained that these vehicles were budgeted for in the 2007 Capital Budget and he will look to sell the old vehicles at auction and would come to Council to approve said sale and the asphalt mix contract will authorize the city to purchase materials needed to patch potholes.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No.’s 15, 16 & 17 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays –0.

Consent Agenda. A motion was made by Washington, seconded by Musso, to introduce agenda items 8-9 (Resolution No.’s 18 & 19) as a whole. The motion passed unanimously. Therefore Resolution No.’s 18 & 19 were introduced by Washington and read at length.

Resolution No. 18, Session 2007, A Resolution authorizing an agreement with the York City Sewer Authority (YCSA) for construction of the Willis Run Crossing / Poorhouse Run Interceptor and Siphon projects, with the City of York to reimburse the YCSA for its portion of said costs.

Resolution No. 19, Session 2007, A Resolution authorizing an agreement with York County Municipal Solid Waste Authority for waste management services for the disposal of all solid waste.

On motion of Washington, seconded by Musso, Resolution No.’s 18 & 19 came up for discussion.

Director Gross explained that this project includes the Willis Run Crossing Improvements, Poorhouse Run Siphon Replacement, Poorhouse Run Interceptor Replacement, Arch Street Interceptor Replacement, and the Poorhouse Run Casing Pipe Installation. The project will address capacity issues, as well as infiltration issues with outdated piping. With this agreement, the city agrees to pay for its proportionate share of costs associated with the project.

Administrator O’Rourke added that the YCSA will do a borrowing of about $4 million dollars for this project.

Sterling Nickerson, 264 E. King St., York, PA, asked if the YCSA project would affect the baseball stadium. Director Gross said the project would have a minor impact on the stadium.

Next, Director Gross explained the solid waste contract. He said this agreement would, in part, support the expansion project planned for the York County Resource Recovery Center, which is used to manage York County’s garbage. Prior to construction of the expanded Center, York County Solid Waste has asked each municipality to enter into an agreement to commit to long-term waste disposal at the Center. This agreement would accommodate that request.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No.’s 18 & 19 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 20, Session 2007, A Resolution correcting the terms of the York City Sewer Authority members to conform to the Municipal Authorities Act (53 PaCSA §5601 et. seq.) which directs that members of the five member Board shall be appointed to staggered five year terms wherein one member’s term would expire each year on a five year cycle, was introduced by Texter, read at length, and on motion of Texter, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 20 came up for discussion.

President Texter said he discussed this with City Solicitor Chris Connard and after research, they found that the terms could be amended. Therefore, the following changes were made:

Member Term New Term
Jim Gross 1/1/09 1/1/08
Ryan Ural 1/1/09
Larry Young 1/1/10
Chris Watson 1/1/10 1/1/11
Pete Schmidt 1/1/12

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 20 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 21, Session 2007, (Click on Resolution No. 21 to view) A Resolution amending licensing fees in accordance with Article 1761 “Enforcement, Licensing & Appeals” of the Codified Ordinances relating to daycare facilities to become effective retroactive to January 1, 2007, as follows:

License Fees:

Group I-4 operating as day care facilities only, and Group E, day care facilities: $100 flat fee. All other Group I-4: $50 per individual served; and

Inspection Fees:

Inspection fees for Group I-4 operating as day care facilities only and Group E, day care facilities: $100 flat fee.

Motion to refer to committee. President Texter made a motion to refer Resolution No. 21 to the Fire Committee. The motion was seconded by Musso, and passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0. President Texter scheduled the Fire Committee meeting for Tuesday, February 20, 2007 at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers. (Prior to the regularly scheduled Council meeting.)

Consent Agenda. A motion was made by Smith, seconded by Washington, to introduce agenda items 12-15 (Resolution No.’s 22-25) as a whole. The motion passed unanimously. Therefore, Resolution No.’s 22-25 were introduced by Smallwood, and read at length.

Resolution No. 22, Session 2007, A Resolution authorizing an agreement with The Great American Property & Casualty Group to provide commercial property, inland marine and boiler and machinery insurance for the period of January 15, 2007 through January 15, 2008 and National Casualty Company to provide Police Professional insurance for the period of January 15, 2007 through January 15, 2008.

Resolution No. 23, Session 2007, A Resolution authorizing an agreement with Engle-Hambright & Davies, Inc. (EHD) to provide risk management finance and insurance brokerage services to the City of York on a fee for service basis for the period of January 1, 2007 through January 15, 2008 for the annual fee of $50,000.00.

Resolution No. 24, Session 2007, A Resolution authorizing an agreement with Safety National Casualty Corporation for worker’s compensation excess liability insurance with an annual premium of $43,398.00.

Resolution No. 25, Session 2007, A Resolution authorizing an agreement with Gerber Life Insurance Company to provide stop loss insurance to York City employees for the purpose of limiting risk exposure to excess liability.

On motion of Smallwood, seconded by Smith, Resolution No.’s 22-25 came up for discussion.

Administrator O’Rourke explained the scope of services for each provider. Particularly, he explained the EHD contract. He said EHD will compile information and prepare / submit loss reports to insurers for all coverages other than workers’ compensation, they will act as the city’s advocate with insurance companies, challenge claim declinations, negotiate reserves, and will assist the city and insurance companies in making recommendations for claim settlements. He said overall the city save $63,000.00 contracting with EHD. Administrator O’Rourke then answered questions from Council.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No.’s 22, 23, 24, & 25 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 26, Session 2007, A Resolution authorizing a three (3) year agreement with Riverside Consulting Group (RCG) effective January 1, 2007 at an annual fee of $70,000 - $85,000, to provide benefit consulting services in an effort to help control growth in expense in employee insurance programs, was introduced by Smallwood, read at length, and on motion of Smallwood, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 26 came up for discussion.

Administrator O’Rourke outlined the services to be provided by RCG. Some of the services RCG will provide to the city include: year end summary of the city’s benefits program including plan claim costs, projections and recommendations; monitor and track claims; review of city’s health care and group benefit costs drivers, assist with plan renewals and with negotiating rates with vendors, assist with relationships and vendor management, including tracking performance guarantees; assist with enrollment meetings; and solicit and negotiate renewal terms for stop loss insurance.

Tom Foust, 436 E. Market St., York, PA, asked who would be doing the monitoring related to these services. Administrator O’Rourke said a 3rd party administrator would oversee these services.

Nina Aimable, 904 E. King St., York, PA, asked if a committee was involved in choosing these agencies. Administrator O’Rourke said there was a committee that included, Pam Zerba, Solicitor’s Office, Laura Jensen, HR Dept., and former HR Director Bob Nace.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 26 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 27, Session 2007, A Resolution accepting the recommendations of HARB in issuing a certificate of appropriateness for work to be covered in the applications submitted by Dorgan & Zuck Building Contractors for work to be done at 329 E. Princess St., and Mr. & Mrs. Russell Roach for work to be done at 217 S. Pine St., was introduced by Smith, read at length, and on motion of Smith, seconded by Smallwood, Resolution No. 27 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.

Requests for future meetings

February 20, 2007 – Fire Committee, Toni Smith, Chair: Committee meeting scheduled for 6:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers (prior to regular meeting) to discuss Resolution No. 21 (click on Resolution No. 21 to view), a Resolution amending licensing fees in accordance with Article 1761 “Enforcement, Licensing & Appeals” of the Codified Ordinances relating to daycare facilities to become effective retroactive to January 1, 2007.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007 – Business Administration Committee, Councilman Wm. Lee Smallwood, Chair: Committee meeting scheduled for 7:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers to hear from representatives from Prime Buchholz (city’s consultants) information on the city’s current pension outline. He said this meeting will serve as an information session.

Council Comment

President Texter announced that Council is in receipt of an appeal in the Court of Common Pleas by Frank Countess who is appealing Council’s decision to deny a certificate of appropriateness for work to be done at 53 E. North St. (Note: Mr. Countess filed an application with HARB to move a billboard at 53 E. North St. across the railroad tracks and into the HARB District. On December 19, 2006, after reviewing the case and the recommendations of HARB, Council denied the application - Resolution No. 198 of Session 2006.)

Councilwoman Washington relayed concerns from downtown merchants about A Taste of York being scheduled the same day as First Friday. Merchants felt that the Taste of York event clashed with First Friday disrupting vendor sales. President Texter said he received similar complaints from merchants and asked Director Gross if he would discuss this with the city’s special events firm, Inside Out Consulting, about how to better coordinate events so as not to conflict with merchants. Councilwoman Smith said she would like to hear from Inside Out Consulting. Councilwoman Washington suggested Inside Out Consulting work with Downtown Inc.

Administration Comment: None

Next Meeting: The next regular meeting of City Council is scheduled for Tuesday, February 20, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA.

Adjournment: There being no further business, the February 6, 2007 meeting of Council adjourned at 9:15 p.m.