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

City Council Meeting Minutes

March 20, 2007

City Council convened in Regular Session at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20, 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, Kim Bracey, Director of Community Development, and Kendra Hunter, Director of the Bureau of Permits, Planning & Zoning. Also present was Assistant Solicitor Don Hoyt. Matt Jackson, Director of Economic Development, Mark Whitman, Police Commissioner, John Senft, Fire Chief, and Michael O’Rourke, Business Administrator, were absent.

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

A motion was made by Musso, seconded by Smith, to dispense with the reading of the Minutes of March 6, 2007, and approve them as written. The motion passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays - 0.

Public Comment: None

Presentations:

Alexis Rocher, Chair of Teens on the Move, a program through Victim Assistance, was onboard to present the mission and goals of the group. Ms. Rocher explained that Teens on the Move is a forum that gives young people the opportunity to discuss issues such as discrimination, teen violence, and relationships. She did say Teens on the Move mainly focuses on teen violence. The program brings together young people who have a special commitment to helping others and to challenge themselves to learn about issues affecting young people and how to educate them on dealing with these issues. Ms. Rocher said the group has done presentations on teen violence, participated in unity marches, and held a role-playing symposium on sexual harassment. Ms. Rocher said she is committed to this cause and has been involved with youth awareness efforts since 4th grade. To see the violence happening in our community breaks my heart, she said, but it also gives me the encouragement to try to make a difference.

Next, David Bever, Executive Director, Victim Assistance Center, and Karen Ferguson, Community Liaison, introduced the members of Teens on the Move. Those present included: Alex Gohn, Co-Chair, Charles Carter, Sheila Carter, Treshaun Carter, Jamia Harris, and Jasmine Harris. Mrs. Ferguson reported the group consists of a diverse mix of 27 teens represented by various school districts across the county. She said the goal is to provide education and awareness on teen issues. Mrs. Ferguson applauded the group on their efforts and said they have a lot of enthusiasm and their community involvements are overwhelming and encouraging. Mr. Bever said he hopes the growth of the group continues and thanked Mrs. Ferguson and members of Teens on the Move for their positive leadership.

Alex Gohn, Co-Chair, Teens on the Move, said he attends Eastern School District and he wants the word to get out that members are here to help.

Members of Council thanked Teens on the Move and Mr. Bever and Mrs. Ferguson for their presentation and for educating our youths on teen violence and commended them on a job well done.

Committee Reports

Business Administration Committee, Wm. Lee Smallwood, Chair: BA Committee meeting scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 in Council Chambers to discuss the feasibility of forming a permanent PEG oversight committee to oversee White Rose Community Access Television.

Fire Committee, Councilwoman Toni Smith, Chair: Resolution No. 21 (click on Resolution No. 21 to view), a Resolution amending licensing and inspection fees associated with day care facilities as established in Article 1761 of the Codified Ordinances remains in committee.

Legislative Agenda

Introduction of Bill No. 7, Session 2007, A Bill amending the 2007 Budget for the Department of Public Works to appropriate revenue and expenditures in the amount of $23,000 for a contribution received from York City Little League for the Allen Park Improvement Project (Rotary Fields), was introduced by Washington, read by short title, and deferred until the April 3 meeting of Council.

Introduction of Bill No. 8, Session 2007, A Bill amending the 2007 Budget for the Health Bureau to appropriate revenue and expenditures in the amount of $15,992.00 for a cancer grant, was introduced by Musso, read by short title, and deferred until the April 3 meeting of Council.

Introduction of Bill No. 9, Session 2007, A Bill amending the 2007 Budget for the Department of Community Development, which includes funds for a grant from the PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) in the amount of $1,000, which said funds will go to the YMCA for the Historic Fairmount redevelopment project to pay for the final audit, was introduced by Musso, read by short title, and deferred until the April 3 meeting of Council.

Introduction of Bill No. 10, Session 2007, A Bill amending the 2007 Budget for the Department of Business Administration, which includes funds for a Venture Grant, in the amount of $4,000.00 from the York County Community Foundation for mentoring/government leadership programs for high school seniors, was introduced by Smallwood, read by short title, and deferred until the April 3 meeting of Council.

Introduction of Bill No. 11, Session 2007, A Bill amending the 2007 Budget for the Bureau of Housing Services for CDBG funds in the amount of $108,581.41 for planning administration, was introduced by Musso, read by short title, and deferred until the April 3 meeting of Council.

Introduction of Bill No. 12, Session 2007, A Bill supplementing Ordinance No. 3 of 2007 adopted by Council on Feb. 20, 2007, among other things, a 3rd Supplemental Lease and approving a Guaranty Agreement guaranteeing payment of the York City Sewer Authority Guaranteed Sewer Revenue Bond, Series of 2007 ($10m), by authorizing the proper officers to prepare, certify and file a debt statement, borrowing base certificate and exclusion application as required by the Local Government Unit Debt Act and including the debt service schedule for the Bond, was introduced by Washington, read by short title, and came up for discussion.

Attorney Steve Hovis, Stock & Leader, and Bond Counsel for the York City Sewer Authority, gave a background on Bill No. 1, Ordinance No. 3 adopted by Council on February 20, 2007, in which Council approved a $10,000,000 borrowing to be used to provide funds for the acquisition of materials and professional services necessary for the WWTP renovation project. The first bond payment comes due December 1, 2007 and would continue with bi-annual payments through December 1, 2019. This is an Authority debt, which is being backed by the City of York. Additionally, contributions toward bond payments would come, in part, from sewer revenue generated by the city and surrounding municipalities for their share of sewer capacity. This Bill (Bill No. 12), he said, is related to the $10 million borrowing because this will adopt the debt service schedule, which was required by DCED.

There being no further discussion, Bill No. 12 was deferred until the April 3 meeting of Council.

Introduction of Bill No. 13, Session 2007, (Click on Bill No. 13 to view) A Bill repealing in its entirety Article 193 “Advisory Council on Recreation and Parks” of the York City Codified Ordinances, was introduced by Washington, read by short title, and came up for discussion.

Motion to refer to committee. Councilwoman Washington made a motion to refer Bill No. 13 to the Public Works Committee for further discussion. The motion was seconded by Musso, and passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0. A committee meeting will be scheduled at a later date.

Request for committee session. President Texter asked the City Clerk to provide available dates and times to hold a committee meeting for the Public Works Committee to discuss Bill No. 13, and a General Committee meeting to discuss collection efforts being made by the York Credit Bureau on delinquent city accounts. The City Clerk said she would research available dates and times and report back to Council.

Resolution No. 36, Session 2007, A Resolution appointing Robert Gratalo as a member of the York Business Improvement District Authority (a.k.a. Downtown Inc.) to serve in said capacity until December 31, 2011, was introduced by Texter, read at length, and on motion of Texter, seconded by Washington, Resolution No. 36 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 37, Session 2007, A Resolution awarding a contract to Washington & Dowling Contractors for 2007 Handicap Ramps in the amount of $56,800.00 to be paid from CDBG funds, account number 30-414-48203-20207, was introduced by Washington, read at length, and on motion of Washington, seconded by Smallwood, Resolution No. 37 came up for discussion.

Public Works Director Jim Gross explained that most of the work will occur along Pennsylvania Ave. and Parkway Blvd. President Texter asked Director Gross if he met with any of the disabled services agencies about the ramps. Director Gross said he did meet with a local agency and made sure the ramp specifications met their standards.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 37 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 38, Session 2007, A Resolution awarding a contract to I.B. Abel, Inc. for electrical construction services for the Allen Park Improvement Project for completion of the Rotary Fields at Allen Park, which said contract will be in the amount of $117,937.00 and paid from the Capital Fund, account no. 50-420-47120-00185, was introduced by Washington, read at length, and on motion of Washington, seconded by Smallwood, Resolution No. 38 came up for discussion.

Director Gross said this contract would be for phase II of the project, which includes electrical service to the one-story concession stand, scoreboard, and field lighting. Director Gross said I.B. Abel, Inc. made $27,000 in in-kind donations toward this project. Director Gross then answered a few project questions from Council. Council thanked I.B. Abel for their generous contribution.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 38 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 39, Session 2007, A Resolution awarding a contract to Golenco Contractors, Inc. for general construction services for the Allen Park Improvement Project for completion of the Rotary Fields at Allen Park, which said contract will be in the amount of $194,997.00 and paid from the Capital Fund, account no. 50-420-47120-00185, was introduced by Washington, read at length, and on motion of Washington, seconded by Smallwood, Resolution No. 39 came up for discussion.

Director Gross said this contract would be for general construction, which includes a one-story concession stand. There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 39 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 40, Session 2007, A Resolution awarding a contract to Pflumm Contractors, Inc. for 2007 street improvements – paving, which said contract will be in the amount of $422,505.00 and paid from the Liquid Fuels Fund, account number 21-421-44400-10009 and from CDBG grant funds, account number 30-414-48203-20207, was introduced by Washington, read at length, and on motion of Washington, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 40 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 41, Session 2007, A Resolution awarding a contract to Rota-Mill, Inc. for 2007 street improvements – milling, which said contract will be in the amount of $46,360.00 and paid from the Liquid Fuels fund, account number 21-421-44400-10009, and from CDBG grant funds, account number 30-414-48203-20207, was introduced by Washington, read at length, and on motion of Washington, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 41 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 42, Session 2007, A Resolution approving the preliminary/final land development plan submitted by JGD Associates, Inc. to construct a Sunoco gas station and convenience store at 260 N. Sherman St., was introduced by Musso, read at length, and on motion of Musso, seconded by Washington, Resolution No. 42 came up for discussion.

Jeff Bower, Senior Construction Engineer for Sunoco, and Matthew Pisco, Sunoco Project Engineer, were onboard and outlined the project. Mr. Pisco presented Council with colored renderings of the project. He said the store would be slightly elevated with stone trims and fully enclosed glass structure for viewing safety. Additionally, the lot would be triangular in shape housing dense foliage to separate the convenience store from the fueling station.

Vice President Musso challenged the project’s entranceway. He asked why PennDot has not required a highway occupancy permit because there is a couple hundred feet of open area. Public Works Director Jim Gross said he made an inquiry to PennDot about this concern but right now JGD Associates is not disturbing anything along the parkway and city officials are working with them to get the project underway.

Kendra Hunter, Director of the Bureau of Permits, Planning & Zoning, explained that a pedestrian passageway would be installed along the building line to allow for safe passage of pedestrians into the store. She did say the entranceway is not being disturbed because if sidewalks were installed, the project would encroach on PennDot’s right-of-way.

Vice President Musso said it is at times like this that it is incumbent for city government to install proper pedestrian accessways since there are currently none there. Mr. Pisco said we are trying to keep the construction site within our property lines. Vice President Musso said he would like to see the project brought up to proper standards because this project does not meet the requirements of our planning and zoning code. He said a wide entrance exists with this plan and he objects to pedestrians walking across a large entryway placing them in danger of being struck by a vehicle entering the gas station. Director Hunter said there is a clearly designated walkway to direct pedestrians away from the entranceway.

Vice President Musso said he will not support this plan because he feels a sidewalk along Sherman St. is essential to protect pedestrians. With the large entranceway, he said, vehicles can turn in anywhere placing pedestrians in harms way. Also, with Allen Park being across the street he said he’s sure children will be using the convenience store quite often. Without a sidewalk, kids will literally be walking in the same area as moving vehicles, he said.

Councilwoman Washington asked if this plan is not approved, would Sunoco still want to build in the city? Mr. Pisco said he couldn’t answer that at this point. This is a large investment project, he said.

Vice President Musso said he’s not falling for the “if you don’t approve what I want, I’m going to move out of the city” routine. He stated that the city has a lot of offers and this is all part of the business. He said he is pleased that Sunoco wants to invest in the city but feels JGD Associates should present a much better plan if they want to properly complete the project.

Tim Page, 680 E. Princess St., York, PA, said this will be a high volume gas station and convenience store and if these major corporations don’t want to follow our laws, then don’t approve their plans. There is a field across the street, he said, and children will be commuting back and forth across the street and we need to protect them.

President Texter said he understands these concerns but accepts the recommendations of the Planning Commission and Administration with regard to this plan and he will vote to approve this Resolution. He said demolishing the old convenience store and constructing a larger building and wider entranceway with walkways directing pedestrians away from the road is a viable compromise.

Councilwoman Smith also supported the project, though she too has concerns about pedestrian traffic. However, she felt that the project details seem to address this concern given the right-of-way issue. Additionally, she said she liked the fact that this project would bring in much needed tax revenue for the city.

Councilwoman Washington said she is not sold on this plan and would not support it because she feels pedestrian safety is not being adequately addressed.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 42 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 3; Nays – Washington, Musso – 2.

Resolution No. 43, Session 2007, A Resolution approving the final subdivision and land development plan submitted by Fourth United Methodist Church for improvements to their facility located at 1067 E. Market St., was introduced by Musso, read at length, and on motion of Musso, seconded by Smallwood, Resolution No. 43 came up for discussion.

Dennis Potts and Larry Abbleby, representatives of the church, were onboard to explain the plan. Mr. Potts said they will combine nine (9) lots into one parcel and will adjust the handicap parking layout to improve handicap accessibility. Vice President Musso asked if the remaining parcel would be tax-exempt. Mr. Abbleby said it would be tax exempt.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 43 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 introduced Resolution No.’s 44-47 as a whole. The motion passed unanimously. Therefore, the following Resolutions were introduced by Musso and read at length:

Resolution No. 44, Session 2007, A Resolution approving an encroachment agreement with Harp & Fiddle Irish Pub for a sidewalk café at 110 N. George St.

Resolution No. 45, Session 2007, A Resolution approving an encroachment agreement with White Rose Bar & Grill for a sidewalk café at 48 N. Beaver St.

Resolution No. 46, Session 2007, A Resolution approving an encroachment agreement with Sam & Tony’s Pasta House for a sidewalk café at 241-245 W. Market St.

Resolution No. 47, Session 2007, A Resolution approving an encroachment agreement with Jim & Nena’s Pizzaria for a sidewalk café at 35 W. Market St.

On motion of Musso, seconded by Smith, Resolution No.’s 44-47 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 48, Session 2007, A Resolution approving a contract with the York Cancer Center (Wellspan Health) to provide cancer prevention education for city residents for the period of March 20, 2007 – June 30, 2007 in the amount of $8,500.00, was introduced by Musso, read at length, and on motion of Musso, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 48 came up for discussion.

Motion to amend. President Texter made a motion to amend “Section 13(b) Nondiscrimination / Sexual Harassment Clause” of the contract to remove the (.) after color and add the following language: “…color (.) and shall comply with the city’s non-discrimination ordinance.” The motion to amend was seconded by Smith and passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.

Motion to amend. President Texter made a motion to amend the “Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved” clause of the Resolution to add “as amended” as follows: “….a copy of which is attached hereto and made a part hereof, as amended, with the York Cancer Center…” The motion to amend was seconded by Musso, and passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 48, as amended, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 49, Session 2007, A Resolution authorizing an agreement with Atkins House to provide HIV testing and counseling for York residents for the period of January 1 – December 31, 2007 in the amount of $5,010.00, was introduced by Musso, read at length, and on motion of Musso, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 49 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 50, Session 2007, 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 Kinsley Construction for work to be done at 14-20 W. Market St., was introduced by Smith, read at length, and on motion of Smith, seconded by Smallwood, Resolution No. 50 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Washington, Musso, Smith, Smallwood, Texter – 5; Nays – 0.

Requests for Future Meetings

Business Administration Committee, Wm. Lee Smallwood, Chair: BA Committee meeting scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 in Council Chambers to discuss the feasibility of forming a permanent PEG oversight committee to oversee White Rose Community Access Television.

Fire Committee, Councilwoman Toni Smith, Chair: Resolution No. 21 (click on Resolution No. 21 to view), a Resolution amending licensing and inspection fees associated with day care facilities as established in Article 1761 of the Codified Ordinances remains in committee. Councilwoman Smith reported that another meeting was held to discuss Resolution No. 21 and she is waiting for final recommendations from the ad-hoc committee. She said she would forward the committee’s recommendations at a future meeting of Council.

Public Works Committee, Councilwoman Vickie Washington, Chair: PW Committee meeting to be scheduled to discuss Bill No. 13 (click on Bill No. 13 to view) repealing Article 193 “Advisory Council on Recreation and Parks” of the Codified Ordinances.

General Committee, Committee meeting to be scheduled to discuss collection efforts being made by the York Credit Bureau in collecting delinquent city accounts.

Council Comment

Councilwoman Smith then asked for a clear definition of the law with regard to posting of signs because she is finding personal advertisements being posted on poles and trees. Director Gross said it is illegal to post flyers and handbills on poles and trees. (Codified Ordinances: See Article 1309.05(a)(4), which prohibits placement of signs on trees and utility poles and Article 741.02(n), which prohibits placement of signs in public parks.) Kendra Hunter, Director of the Bureau of Permits, Planning & Zoning said Property Maintenance Inspectors are directed to remove advertising signs posted on poles, trees, and public areas when spotted.

Councilman Smallwood report a flickering streetlight in front of a residential fence located at 51 N. Newberry St. President Texter reported a large pothole on Gunnison Rd. Director Gross said he would have his staff investigate.

Vice President Musso relayed concerns from residents along Roosevelt Ave. near Lincoln Park. He said they are having problems exiting their driveways because of the driveways close proximity to the road. He said he exiting is especially a problem. Director Gross reported that PennDot is currently discussing improvements to Roosevelt Ave. and they will look to incorporate recommendations from the feasibility study with regard to driveway entrances and exists as part of the overall redevelopment.

Administration Comment

Director Kim Bracey applauded the on-call work provided by Director Kendra Hunter during the emergency efforts from the explosion on W. College Ave. and rash of fires. She said Director Hunter has been an outstanding advocate for the City of York in responding to these emergencies and she commended her on a job well done. Director Bracey stated that Director Hunter has worn many hats over the past year because of a shortage in staff; however, she did say they have hired a Zoning Officer but are still seeking a qualified City Planner.

Council spoke kind words about Director Hunter and also applauded her efforts. Members shared positive comments from members of the community about Director Hunter’s outstanding service, as well as the service she provides to Council.

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

Adjournment: There being no further business, the March 20, 2007 meeting of Council adjourned at 8:30 p.m.