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City Council Meeting Minutes

September 1, 2009

CALL TO ORDER: City Council convened in a General Committee meeting on September 1, 2009 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: Genevieve Ray, Cameron Texter, Toni Smith, Carol Hill-Evans, Vice President, and Joseph R. Musso, President, with President Musso presiding. Mayor John Brenner was not present.

GENERAL PUBLIC COMMENT

Wylene Sweeney, York, PA, stated that York City has a highly trained and experienced police department and as such deserves our ongoing attention and community support. With that in mind, she said she has developed community service pages devoted to improving public awareness of needs and participation in supporting the York City Police Department. Ms. Sweeney explained that the website was developed by volunteer resources. As the website evolves, it will provide interactive tools for York residents to explore. Visit: http://www.techenable.net/gisDesk.aspx for more information.

Steve Young, 9 N. Newberry St., York, PA, asked why there is no flag at the old Colonial Courthouse. He then discussed several blighted properties owned by the YMCA and asked why nothing is being done with these properties. President Musso said he would relay Mr. Young's concerns to the Administration.

Franklin Williams, 528 W. Market St., York, PA, asked why walking patrols have 2, 3, or even sometimes 4 police officers. He said they don't interact with citizens and he feels they need to be more attentive to the public. President Musso said he would relay Mr. William's concerns to the Administration.

Jerry King, 831 S. Duke St., York, PA, asked why the city allowed a rehab house for women to open up on his block. He said the property is a single family unit and he doesn't understand how they could open up such a facility. Mr. King said now that the property is being used as a rehab house, police calls have increased and available parking has decreased. President Musso said he would relay Mr. King's concerns to the Administration.

Jody Moore, 131 E. 5th St., York, PA, a local downtown food cart vendor, complained that he's being harassed by a parking enforcement officer (PEO) who he feels is doing selective enforcement for parking violations. He explained that he's been ticketed twice while unloading his vending cart, however, those violations were later voided after he complained. He said he's even seen where an armored truck delivering money to a downtown bank was ticketed. Mr. Moore stated that if this kind of behavior continues, businesses will relocate outside of the city. President Musso said he would relay Mr. Moore's concerns to the Administration.

There being no further public comment, President Musso adjourned the General Committee meeting and reconvened in Legislative Session at 7:10 p.m., in Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA, with the following members present: Genevieve Ray, Cameron Texter, Toni Smith, Carol Hill-Evans, Vice President, and Joseph R. Musso, President, with President Musso presiding. Mayor John Brenner was not present.

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

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

Pledge of Allegiance: Led by Sonia Huntzinger, the Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

Approval of Minutes: A motion was made by Smith, seconded by Ray, to dispense with the reading of the Minutes of August 18, 2009, and approve them as written. The motion passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Smith, Musso – 4; Nays – 0. (Note: Councilman Texter was absent during the vote on the Minutes. He re-entered the meeting at 7:13 p.m.)

Correspondence and Announcements: President Musso read correspondence and announcements. President Musso paid special tribute to Ed Berry, a local citizen, who recently passed away, and read his obituary at length. He then called for a moment of silence in honor of Mr. Berry. Each member of Council and the City Clerk then reflected on Mr. Berry's life and shared fond memories about him.

PRESENTATIONS: None

COMMITTEE MEETINGS SCHEDULED

Police Committee, Cameron Texter, Chair: Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers to discuss Bill No. 58-08 (View), a Bill amending Article 725 "Firearms & Weapons" of the Codified Ordinances to establish criteria for failure to report lost or stolen firearms.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Public Works Committee, Toni Smith, Chair: Councilwoman Smith said she received a request from Public Works Director Jim Gross to hold a PW Committee meeting on September 22, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers to discuss contracting with Ostara, LLC for services at the Wastewater Treatment Plant. In an email from Director Gross, he explained the following:

“As you are aware the Authority and City are entering a major construction phase at the WWTP to meet the requirements for Biological Nutrient Reduction (BNR) as imposed by DEP. One of the issues is the reduction of phosphorous. After careful evaluation by the Authority's engineer, Buchart Horn, it has been determined that the most cost effective way to treat for phosphorous removal is through a biological process as opposed to a chemical process. Ostara offers a biological process that provides for the removal of phosphorous from the waste stream and creates a fertilizer as the end product. There are three agreements that the City and Authority will be entering into if we move forward with Ostara. The Committee meeting will provide an opportunity for more explanation about the process and the agreements in question.”

Council agreed to schedule a committee meeting on September 22, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. to hear discussion on this matter.

Community Development Committee, Genevieve Ray, Chair: Councilwoman Ray requested a CD Committee Meeting/Public Hearing for Tuesday, October 13, 2009 with a run-over date of Tuesday, October 20, 2009 to discuss the final version of the Strategic Comprehensive Plan 2030. She asked that the public attend and/or send comments to the City Clerk at 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA, 17401 between September 1, 2009 and October 20, 2009. (View Comp Plan 2030)

SUPPLEMENTAL AGENDA

A motion was made by Texter, seconded by Ray, to waive the provisions of Resolution No. 215 of Session 1969 to permit consideration of a supplemental agenda containing one Resolution. The motion passed unanimously. Therefore, the following Resolution was introduced:

Resolution No. 102, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution authorizing execution of the Third Addendum to and Termination of Joint Venture Agreement for the purchase and sale of property located at 2010, and 2121-2161 Pennsylvania Ave. to Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC), with ½ of the proceeds from said sale going to the City of York in the amount of $325,000.00, was introduced by Musso, read at length, and on motion of Musso, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 102 came up for discussion.

Jeff Rehmeyer, Attorney, CGA Law Firm, representing the York County Economic Development Corporation (formerly known as the York County Industrial Development Corporation - YCIDA), was onboard to explain the transaction. Attorney Rehmeyer explained that in 1978, the City and the YCIDA entered into a Joint Venture Agreement for the purchase and sale of certain parcels in the York County Industrial Park totaling about 96.80 acres. Then in 1979, the City, the YCIDA, and the YCIDC entered into an unrecorded First Addendum to the Joint Venture Agreement and an unrecorded second Addendum to the agreement in 1984 regarding the portion of land owned by YCEDC consisting of 2101, and 2121-2161 Pennsylvania Ave.

In Section 10 of the Joint Venture Agreement, it provided that proceeds from the sale or lease of the land would be shared equally by the City and YCIDA. Since the YCEDC is a non-profit corporation, a Second Addendum was utilized to address this section of the agreement, which is further outlined in the Third Addendum to and Termination of Joint Venture Agreement.

Attorney Rehmeyer said in order to fulfill the agreements of the Second Addendum, YCEDC and HACC have offered to the city the sum of $325,000.000 for the sale of the property from YCEDC to HACC.

Administrator O'Rourke said he feels the appraisal of the property's value is reliable and serves as a good basis for compensation due the city. He did say, however, its unfortunately that the city was not given the opportunity to get involved with negotiations and sale of this property. Additionally, he said, as HACC is a non-profit organization, the city will lose tax revenue.

Discussion ensued on taxes, revenues and losses, and non-profit organizations.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 102 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

SUBDIVISION / LAND DEVELOPMENT / HARB

Resolution No. 103, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution accepting the recommendations of HARB in issuing a permit to Houcks & Company for work to be done at 1 N. George St. (former First National Bank), and Wayne Jackson for work to be done at 300 S. George St., was introduced by Musso, read at length, and on motion of Musso, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 103 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

CONSENT AGENDA

Introduction of Bill No. 33, Session 2009, (View) A Bill amending Article 1761 “Licensing & Inspection of Tenant Occupied Residential and all Institutional Occupancies” of the Codified Ordinances to establish restrictions on the operation of halfway houses, prisons, jails, and similar facilities, was introduced by Texter, read by short title, and came up for discussion.

Councilman Texter explained that this legislation seeks to place restrictions on facilities for criminals, including halfway houses and prisons, within the City of York. The Bill would ban the operation of such facilities within 500 feet of a residence or 1,500 feet near a park, library, community center and other facilities. He said York has more than done its part in the rehabilitation field with the existing facilities licensed and operating in the City and that these facilities can best operate elsewhere outside of York's historic areas, business districts and neighborhoods.

Councilwoman Ray requested that the Human Relations Commission and the consultants working on the updated planning and zone code review this legislation and provide comment as to whether it violates any fair housing laws or state/federal statutes.

Councilman Texter explained that this legislation does not fall under fair housing laws and that he would ensure HRC Director Stephanie Seaton and the consultants receive a copy.

President Musso asked the Solicitor's Office to provide a written opinion regarding this proposed legislation and whether it violates any current laws and/or regulations. Assistant Solicitor Hoyt said his office would provide an opinion.

There being no further discussion, Bill No. 33 was deferred until the September 15th meeting of Council.

Introduction of Bill No. 34, Session 2009, (View) A Bill amending the 2009 Budget to appropriate revenue and expenditures in the amount of $49,500.00 for a DCED grant award with matching CDBG funds to be used to improve online permitting capabilities for the Bureau of Permits, Planning & Zoning, was introduced by Ray, read by short title, and deferred until the September 15th meeting of Council.

FINAL PASSAGE OF BILLS / RESOLUTIONS

Final Passage of Resolution No. 100, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution authorizing an agreement with Kinsley Properties for a 3-yr. lease for 227 W. Market St. for use by the Bureau of Health, which was introduced by Ray at the August 18, 2009 meeting of Council, read at length, and tabled at the request of Community Development Director Dan Robinson, came up for final passage. A motion was made by Texter, seconded by Hill-Evans, to remove Resolution No. 100 from the table. The motion passed by the following vote: Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0. Resolution No. 100 was read at length and on motion of Texter, seconded by Hill-Evans, the Resolution came up for discussion.

Director Robinson explained that he asked for the Resolution to be tabled because he wanted to add an opt-out clause which would give the city the opportunity to relocate its offices, if needed, without being bound to a 3-year lease obligation.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 100 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

Final Passage of Bill No. 30, Ordinance No. 31, Session 2009, (View) A Bill amending the 2009 Budget to appropriate revenue and expenses for the Police Department in the amount of $10,600 for purchase of security cameras to augment the internal security system, which was introduced by Texter at the August 18th meeting of Council, and read by short title, came up for final passage. On motion of Texter, seconded by Smith, Bill No. 30 came up for discussion.

Councilman Texter relayed that these funds are coming from a DCED grant which the city received with the assistance of Representative Eugene DePasquale. He said these cameras will be installed in the lock-up area to ensure prisoners' safety.

There being no further discussion, Bill No. 30, Ordinance No. 31 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

Final Passage of Bill No. 31, Ordinance No. 32, Session 2009, (View)A Bill amending the 2009 Budget by appropriating revenue and expenditures in the amount of $350 for the Police Department for purchase of weapons, which was introduced by Texter at the August 18th meeting of Council, and read by short title, came up for final passage. On motion of Texter, seconded by Smith, Bill No. 31 came up for discussion.

Councilman Texter outlined that this amendment will allow the Police Department to replace a firearm that was sold to a former police officer, which is a perquisite of sorts offered to police officers under the FOP Union agreement.

There being no further discussion, Bill No. 31, Ordinance No. 32 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

Final Passage of Bill No. 32, Ordinance No. 33, Session 2009, (View) A Bill amending the 2009 CDBG Budget for the Bureau of Housing Services to appropriate revenue and expenditures in the amount of $453,416 for the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act award, which was introduced by Ray at the August 18th meeting of Council and read by short title, came up for final passage. On motion of Ray, seconded by Hill-Evans, Bill No. 32 came up for discussion.

Director Robinson said this is the stimulus money we previously discussed with Council. He said funds will mostly be used toward demolition and rehabilitation projects.

President Musso said when he calculates the budget figures, it appears we have a shortfall in program income so he questioned why we are lending out money by providing small loans to the community for rehabilitation projects. President Musso said in his opinion these funds do not meet the criteria for use as defined in the “purpose” of the stimulus money.

Councilman Texter disagreed in that he said these funds will help to eliminate blight through rehabilitation efforts, which is one of the purposes of the stimulus plan. He said approving or not approving this allocation will not remove the program as Council had previously approved this. This amendment would merely place money into this program so that it will continue to exist.

President Musso said that's his point. If there is no money in the program's budget, then the program can't operate and we could put the money to better use.

A brief discussion ensued on rehabilitation and demolition projects as they relate to the purpose of the stimulus plan and funding allocations.

There being no further discussion, Bill No. 32, Ordinance No. 33, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith – 4; Nays – Musso – 1.

NEW BUSINESS

Resolution No. 104, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution reappointing E. Hayden Mitchell to the Police Civil Service Board to serve in said capacity until September 1, 2013, and Carmen Bones to the Police Civil Service Board to serve in said capacity until June 17, 2013, was introduced by Texter, read at length, and on motion of Texter, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 104 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 105, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution authorizing an agreement with Fourth United Methodist Church to provide faith-based wellness programs to the community in an amount not to exceed $500 for the period of September 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010, was introduced by Ray, read at length, and on motion of Ray, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 105 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

REQUESTS FOR FUTURE MEETINGS

Public Works Committee, Toni Smith, Chair: Councilwoman Smith said she received a request from Public Works Director Jim Gross to hold a PW Committee meeting on September 22, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers to discuss contracting with Ostara, LLC for services at the Wastewater Treatment Plant. In an email from Director Gross, he explained the following:

“As you are aware the Authority and City are entering a major construction phase at the WWTP to meet the requirements for Biological Nutrient Reduction (BNR) as imposed by DEP. One of the issues is the reduction of phosphorous. After careful evaluation by the Authority's engineer, Buchart Horn, it has been determined that the most cost effective way to treat for phosphorous removal is through a biological process as opposed to a chemical process. Ostara offers a biological process that provides for the removal of phosphorous from the waste stream and creates a fertilizer as the end product. There are three agreements that the City and Authority will be entering into if we move forward with Ostara. The Committee meeting will provide an opportunity for more explanation about the process and the agreements in question.”

Council agreed to schedule a committee meeting on September 22, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. to hear discussion on this matter.

Community Development Committee, Genevieve Ray, Chair: Councilwoman Ray requested a CD Committee Meeting/Public Hearing for Tuesday, October 13, 2009 with a run-over date of Tuesday, October 20, 2009 to discuss the final version of the Strategic Comprehensive Plan 2030. She asked that the public attend and/or send comments to the City Clerk at 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA, 17401 between September 1, 2009 and October 20, 2009. (View Comp Plan 2030)

COUNCIL COMMENT: None
ADMINISTRATION COMMENT: None

NEXT MEETING: The next regular meeting of City Council is scheduled for Tuesday, September 15, 2009 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 September 1, 2009 meeting of Council adjourned at 8:20 p.m.