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City Council Meeting Minutes

October 5, 2010

CALL TO ORDER: City Council convened in a General Committee meeting on Tuesday, October 5, 2010 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

Charlotte Bergdoll, Cherry Lane Realty, said she heard one of the city's fire stations was going to close and if this is true, she said it would be a shame. She said she supports inter-municipal cooperation but feels closing one of our fire stations would affect surrounding municipalities. Ms. Bergdoll then suggested nuisance abatement classes or programs to educate property owners on the law.

Steve Young discussed the “scream mask” bandit attacking women. He then said he was still waiting to hear the verdict on the police department Facebook page as he said some residents are still blocked from posting comments. Lastly, Mr. Young said he would like to see Council and/or the Administration hold more public meetings to share ideas and concerns from residents.

Marie Rohleder, Olde Towne East Neighborhood Association, thanked the city for paving the alley between Reineke Place and E. King St. and for filling the potholes on Homeway. She then relayed that residents near the Renaissance Park are being disturbed by loud parties and loud church meetings. Ms. Rohleder stated that the police said there is nothing they can do because a permit for these activities was secured. She said language should be included in the permit to address noise. Councilwoman Smith responded that the noise ordinance must be obeyed regardless of the event.

Jerome Carter stated that for the past 35-40 years the pavement and sidewalks on his street have been crumbling. He said temporary patches have been made throughout the years but nothing permanent. Mr. Carter pleaded for assistance from the city in getting their street and sidewalks repaved. Director Gross said he would meet with Mr. Carter to take a tour of the street. Mr. Carter said with all due respect, a tour by the administration has been taken in the past, and 40 years later, no repaving. He did, however, welcome Mr. Gross to take a tour with him of Green St. to assess the area.

There being no further public comment, President Ray 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: 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 Development/Acting Director of Community Development, and Michael O’Rourke, Business Administrator. 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 September 21, 2010 and unanimously approved them as written.

Correspondence and Announcements: President Ray read correspondence and announcements.

PRESENTATIONS: None

COMMITTEE MEETINGS SCHEDULED:
Business Administration Committee, Henry Hay Nixon, Chair: Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, October 5, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers to discuss Resolution No. 108 (View) – A Resolution authorizing an Agreement of Sale for the purchase of 101 S. George St., York, PA, for the price of $2,700,000.00. (Note: Resolution No. 108 appears on tonight's agenda and will be acted upon if released from committee.)

STATUS OF PRIOR COMMITTEE REFERRALS:

Business Administration Committee, Henry Hay Nixon, Chair: Councilman Nixon reported that the committee met this evening, Tuesday, October 5, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers to discuss Resolution No. 108 (View) – A Resolution authorizing an Agreement of Sale for the purchase of 101 S. George St., York, PA, for the price of $2,700,000.00. Councilman Nixon stated that with this Resolution, no purchase execution is being granted at this point. This Resolution will merely serve as one phase of many approval processes to come before Council prior to consideration of actual purchase. Committee members approved a motion to release the Resolution from committee for consideration of final passage later this evening.

SUBDIVISION / LAND DEVELOPMENT / HARB: None

FINAL PASSAGE OF BILLS / RESOLUTIONS

Final Passage of Resolution No. 108, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution authorizing an Agreement of Sale for the purchase of 101 S. George St., York, PA, for the price of $2,700,000.00, which was introduced by Ray at the September 7, 2010 meeting of Council and referred to the Business Administration Committee, came up for final passage. On motion of Nixon, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 108 came up for discussion.

Councilman Nixon reported that the committee met this evening, Tuesday, October 5, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers to discuss Resolution No. 108. He stated that with this Resolution, no purchase execution is being granted at this point. This Resolution will merely serve as one phase of many approval processes to come before Council prior to consideration of actual purchase. After hearing discussion, Committee members released the Resolution from committee for consideration of final passage.

Vice President Hill-Evans stated she wants to be sure residents understand that this Resolution does not approve the purchase of 101 S. George St. She said, as explained by Councilman Nixon, there are many other steps involved before this action can become final.

Councilwoman Smith supports the Resolution and stated that we cannot continue to have City Hall in one location and satellite offices in a separate location. Housing all administrative offices under one roof has been discussed for years and she said she's happy to finally see some moves being made to make this happen.

President Ray asked Business Administrator O'Rourke to explain the “due diligence” clause of the agreement. Administrator O'Rourke explained that the city has 60 days to conduct Phase I, Environmental Site Assessment, and 90 days to conduct a feasibility study of the property for condition, usefulness, etc., and the city has the right to terminate the purchase agreement for any reason with a full refund of deposit money. President Ray said she would vote in favor of this Resolution based on the “due diligence” clause.

Steve Young, resident, said the due diligence clause grants the city various rights but it does not specifically mention the Council. He asked that Council be sure they are included in this process. Mr. Young also asked if the moving costs were included in the purchase price. Administrator O'Rourke said moving costs, renovations and utilities are included in the price, which will actually bring the purchase price to around $3.2 million. Mr. Young asked for full disclosure of the costs involved with this move including landscaping, snow removal, etc. Administrator O'Rourke said full disclosure and a detailed report will be made available once finalized.

Ed Lincoln, resident, said he asked other bankers if this was a good move and the consensus was that it was. He asked what will happen to the old City Hall located at 50 W. King St. Administrator O'Rourke said it will be occupied by the police department. Mr. Lincoln then asked if downtown nighttime patrons will be able to use the parking lot 101 S. George St. Administrator O'Rourke said the lot has been used and has become a big problem with litter, broken glass and other activities. The bank, which will remain in the building, was asked to police the lot. Though he hasn't thought about nighttime patron usage of the lot, he said he felt if the City took ownership of this building, the lot would be better maintained.

Council and Administrator O'Rourke engaged in discussion on bottom line figures and how this project would be funded. Additional questions arose about various other capital projects and costs. Administrator O'Rourke said he would provide documentation once finalized. Council suggested a General Committee meeting to further discuss capital projects.

Charlotte Bergdoll, property owner, feels this purchase will not be settled by the December deadline. She asked why we couldn't ask for an extension just in case we need more time as this process cannot be done quickly. Ms. Bergdoll asked several purchasing questions, which were answered by Administrator O'Rourke. She highly suggested that Council get a realtor involved in this process.

Franklin Williams, resident, said he understands that approval of Resolution No. 108 is the first step in order to determine if we need to take a bigger step. Mr. Williams spoke of the magnificent City Halls located across the country, such as Philadelphia, and feels 101 S. George St. would make a beautiful City Hall.

Joanne Borders, resident, stated that we must ask ourselves how long we have been renting space for the satellite offices (i.e., 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor) and how much taxpayer dollars go into renting these facilities. She said it makes more sense to buy, instead of renting indefinitely, as it will benefit us in the long run.

Jay Andrzejzcyk, resident, provided written testimony in support of purchasing 101 S. George St. (Read testimony)

Councilwoman Smith spoke at length about the inadequate space at City Hall and Marketway West. The current condition of these facilities do not meet the needs of our staff, she said.

Councilman Nixon said he doesn't like to feel boxed in and the sooner Council gets these reports, the better he'll feel about voting.

General Committee Meeting. Council scheduled a General Committee meeting for Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, to discuss various capital improvements projects and associated costs. (Note: The following documentation was later sent: Projected Debt Service, Project Cost Impact, Budget Debt Service)

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 108 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

NEW BUSINESS
Resolution No. 116, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution appointing Don Hake as a member of the Nuisance Abatement Board of Appeals, which term shall expire April 1, 2013, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Nelson, Resolution No. 116 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 117, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution appointing Noreen Freeland as an alternate member of the Nuisance Abatement Board of Appeals, which term shall expire April 1, 2011, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Nixon, Resolution No. 117 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0. The City Clerk then administered the Oath of Office to Ms. Freeland.

Motion to waive Rule 215. A motion was made by Nixon, seconded by Smith, to waive the provisions of Resolution No. 215 of Session 1969 to permit consideration of a Supplemental Agenda containing three (3) Resolutions. The motion passed unanimously. Therefore, Resolution No.'s 118-120 were introduced:

Resolution No. 118, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution adopting a 5-yr. smoothing method for the O&E Pension Fund, was introduced by Nixon, and read at length.

Resolution No. 119, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution adopting a 5-yr. smoothing method for the Police Pension Fund, was introduced by Nixon, and read at length.

Resolution No. 120, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution adopting a 5-yr. smoothing method for the Firefighters' Pension Fund, was introduced by Nixon, and read at length.

As Resolution No.'s 121-123 directly relate to Resolution No.'s 118-120, a motion was made by Hill-Evans, seconded by Nelson, to introduce Resolution's 121-123 as a whole. The motion passed unanimously. Therefore, Resolution No.'s 121-123 were introduced:

Resolution No. 121, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution establishing 2011 Minimum Municipal Obligation allocations for the Paid Firefighters Pension Fund ($1,972,854.00), was introduced by Nixon, and read at length.

Resolution No. 122, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution establishing 2011 Minimum Municipal Obligation allocations for the paid Police Officers Pension Fund ($3,842,987.00), was introduced by Nixon, and read at length.

Resolution No. 123, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution establishing 2011 Minimum Municipal Obligation allocations for the Officer & Employees Pension Fund ($759,447.00), was introduced by Nixon, and read at length.

On motion of Nixon, seconded by Smith, Resolution No.'s 118-123 came up for discussion.

Business Administrator O'Rourke outlined smoothing methods used to determine the actuarial value of assets as part of the actuarial valuation for the City's Officer's & Employees' Pension Fund, Police Officers' Pension Fund, and the Firefighters' Pension Fund. Smoothing was basically explained as: a proportion of the profits earned during good years is held back to ensure that a reasonable return is paid during years of poor performance. This may result in a smoothed effect on the increase of the unit price, as opposed to fluctuations that would normally occur in the daily price for other stocks or shares. Administrator O'Rourke then explained Minimum Municipal Obligation (MMO) contributions for the O&E, Fire, and Police Pension funds. MMO's are basically the state-mandated smallest amount a municipality must contribute to any pension plan established for its employees. The amount is calculated using actuarial science to ensure that municipal pension plans are sufficiently funded.

Lastly, Administrator O'Rourke discussed Act 205, which, in part, is an act mandating actuarial funding standards for all municipal pension systems; and establishing a recovery program for municipal pension systems determined to be financially distressed. The purpose is to strengthen municipal pension plans by requiring actuarial-based current funding standards by establishing state-aided, voluntary remedial rules to aid seriously underfunded pension plans in achieving compliance with standards.

Act 44, which was signed into law in September 2009, amends the Municipal Pension Plan Funding Standard and Recovery Act 205 of 1984, and is designed to give local governments short-term fiscal relief in operating public pension plans. Part of Act 205 establishes a municipal pension recovery plan that establishes a distress score based on the aggregate funded ratio of a municipality's pension plan. The score is used to determine a distress level for a pension and a corresponding funding ratio, or a percentage a municipality would contribute to pension plans. For example, municipalities with a funding ratio of 90 percent or higher would not have a distress level score while those with plans with a minimal distress level have a funding ratio of 70 percent to 89 percent. (Source: Standardspeaker.com) (View Distress Scores)

Administrator O'Rourke answered several questions from Council. There being no further discussion, Resolution No.'s 118-123 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

REQUESTS FOR FUTURE MEETINGS

General Committee Meeting. Council scheduled a General Committee meeting for Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, to discuss various capital improvements projects and associated costs. View the following: Projected Debt Service, Project Cost Impact, Budget Debt Service
COUNCIL COMMENT: None

ADMINISTRATION COMMENT: None

NEXT MEETING: The next regular meeting of City Council is scheduled for October 19, 2010 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 5, 2010 meeting of Council adjourned at 8:40 p.m.