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City Council Meeting Minutes

August 17, 2010

CALL TO ORDER: City Council convened in a General Committee meeting on August 17, 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, Toni Smith, Carol Hill-Evans, Vice President, and Genevieve H. Ray, President, with President Ray presiding. Councilman Henry Hay Nixon was absent due to previously scheduled plans out of town.

 

GENERAL PUBLIC COMMENT

 

Nina Aimable stated that she believes city employees should live in the city or at least 25% of the workforce should be required to live in the city.

 

Michael Helfrich relayed that a major plant restoration project was completely destroyed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He said we lost $50,000.00 worth of plant life by people who just wanted to kill everything.

 

Charlotte Bergdoll encouraged residents to take part in the voting poll initiated by Downtown Inc. and vote for Central Market as the #1 market in the area. Next, she said she supports state legislation that will come down hard on bad landlords. Lastly, Ms. Bergdoll spoke about bedbugs, which seem to be turning into an epidemic. She pleaded with residents who might have bedbugs to not put out infested furniture, mattresses, etc. because the bugs will spread.

 

Meg Hill-Griggson reported work being done to historic homes without permits and in violation of HARB's guidelines. She said some of the work involves removal of historical, architectural elements. She said this is really becoming a problem and should be addressed.

 

Tim Weaver said he has been working for the city for the last 13-14 years and feels privileged to be a city employee. He said he does his best to provide top-notch, cost effective services to residents and feels where he lives has nothing to do with his service to the York community.

 

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, Toni Smith, Carol Hill-Evans, Vice President, and Genevieve H. Ray, President, with President Ray presiding. Councilman Henry Hay Nixon was absent due to previously scheduled plans out of town.

 

Members of the Administration in attendance included: Kevin Schreiber, Director of Economic Development/Acting Community Development Director, Michael O’Rourke, Business Administrator, and Shilvosky Buffaloe, Northwest Triangle Project Coordinator. Also present was Assistant Solicitor Don Hoyt. (Note: Assistant Solicitor Shaleeta Washington resigned effective August 6, 2010.)

 

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 July 20, 2010 and unanimously approved them as written.

 

Correspondence and Announcements: President Ray announced that during the last recess, Council met in Executive Session to discuss personnel issues. (Clerk's note: Council's Executive Session was held on July 27, 2010 at 5:45 p.m.) President Ray also announced that Council will no longer request your address to be given when providing testimony. However, if you would like follow-up or responses related to your testimony, it is asked that you provide your contact information to the City Clerk or a Council member.


PRESENTATIONS: None


COMMITTEE MEETINGS SCHEDULED

 

Business Administration Committee, Councilman Henry Hay Nixon, Chair: Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, October 5, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers to hear information on Act 205 Distress Scores. (Scores)


STATUS OF PRIOR COMMITTEE REFERRALS

Bill No. 21: Amending Article 185.10 "Human Relations Commission; Powers and Duties" of the Codified Ordinances to decrease membership composition and amend attorney and employee provisions. The Bill was introduced at Council's July 20, 2010 meeting and referred to the Rules & Administrative Code Committee. The Committee met on July 27, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. and heard from members of the Administration and Human Relations Commission arguments for and against the legislation. Council needed additional information and therefore voted to keep the legislation in committee until further notice.


Bill No. 22: Establishing Article 155 “Public Library Funding” of the Codified Ordinances. The Bill was introduced at Council's July 20, 2010 meeting and referred to the Rules & Administrative Code Committee. The Committee met on July 27, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. and heard from representatives from Martin Memorial Library. Committee members voted the legislation out of committee and the legislation appears on tonight’s agenda for consideration of adoption.

SUBDIVISON / LAND DEVELOPMENT/ HARB

Motion for consent agenda. A motion was made by Hill-Evans, seconded by Ray, to introduce Resolution No.'s 96 and 97 as a consent agenda. The motion passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Smith, Ray – 4; Nays – 0.

 

Resolution No. 96, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution approving the final reverse subdivision plan submitted by Tooling Dynamics to combine two parcels at 905 Vogelsong Rd.

 

Resolution No. 97, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution approving the final land development plan submitted by Tooling Dynamics to construct two building additions and make various other improvements at 905 Vogelsong Rd.

 

Resolution No.'s 96 and 97 were introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Nelson, Resolution No.'s 96 and 97 came up for discussion.

 

Andrew Miller, LSC Design, stated that this project will combine two separate parcels into one with construction of two building additions of 16,370 sq. ft. and 17,500 sq. ft. Additional improvements include parking, a loading dock, landscaping, lighting, and storm water management.

 

Robert Updyke, President, Tooling Dynamics, outlined the company's mission. Tooling Dynamics, founded 1982, specializes in high volume, precision, micro-miniature metal stamping and Swiss screw machining. They are experts at working with very thin gauge metals under extremely tight tolerances. (Source: http://www.toolingdynamics.com/index.aspx) He said Tooling Dynamics employs about 140 full-time employees, working 3 shifts, and they will look to hire about 30 more employees as a result of this development.

 

Both answered a few project questions from Council.

 

There being no further discussion, Resolution No.'s 96 and 97 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Smith, Ray – 4; Nays – 0.

 

Note - Resolution No. 98: Director Schreiber explained that he submitted a letter asking Council to strike the HARB application submitted by Dusan Bratic for work to be done at 43-45 W. Market St. The RDA owns this property and, as such, Mr. Bratic is not authorized to do work. (Read letter)

 

President Ray asked Solicitor Hoyt if Council needed to entertain a motion to amend Resolution No. 98 to strike out Mr. Bratic's application. Solicitor Hoyt said no motion is needed and Council can just strike the language. Therefore, President Ray asked the City Clerk to strike said language when finalizing the Resolution. The City Clerk said she would comply.

 

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 98, as amended, was introduced as follows:

 

Resolution No. 98, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution accepting the recommendations of HARB in authorizing a certificate of appropriateness for work to be covered in the application filed by Rebecca Quattrone and Craig Zumbrun for work to be done at 31 S. Broad St. (mosaic mural), was introduced by Nelson, read at length, and on motion of Nelson, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 98 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Smith, Ray – 4; Nays – 0.

 

FINAL PASSAGE OF BILLS / RESOLUTIONS

 

Final Passage of Bill No. 22, Ordinance No. 21, Session 2010, (View) A Bill establishing Article 155 “Public Library Funding” of the Codified Ordinances, which was introduced by Smith at the July 20, 2010 Council meeting and read by short title, came up for final passage. On motion of Smith, seconded by Hill-Evans, Bill No. 22 came up for discussion.

 

Business Administrator O'Rourke stated that a general fund appropriation of about $15,000 was allocated to the library in previous years but was removed because of budget constraints. Fortunately, the city was able to find other means to fund the library system to make up for that shortfall.

 

President Ray explained that if this legislation is adopted, property owners of a $50,000 home will contribute about $4.11 per year to support the library's funding.

 

Allison Meckley, Martin Library, introduced several children who participate in the library's programs.

 

Issac McKeachern, Austin Colon, Emily Emmel, John Michael Hill, Novin Ramos Torres, and Eric March provided testimony about their involvement with Martin Library's youth programs and how these programs have served as a positive learning and networking tools for them. Each shared a different story such as how the library serves as a safe haven, a rich learning environment, friendships are made, an enjoyable experience, and futures are molded.

 

Sonia Holland said she spends time with her son at the library and sees first hand how the library's programs positively influence our youth.

 

Charlotte Bergdoll stated that she owns and manages several properties throughout York and feels this is one of the most effective ways to spend our tax dollars.

 

Tim Weaver said this is a prime example of reaching out to young people before it's too late.

 

Meg Hill-Griggson feels this is a worthy contribution because our best investment is to provide our children with a fun, safe, learning environment.

 

Vice President Hill-Evans said she was initially concerned about how this funding would affect the city's budget and whether a tax increase was inevitable. However, after hearing testimony this evening, especially from the children, she said she fully supports this initiative. She stated that as a Council member, she must vote responsibly when dealing with finances but feels this funding is worthy of support.

 

Councilwoman Smith added that she has supported funding the library for years because our kids need our help and this is a great way to positively contribute to their future. She said the yearly contribution, per capita, equals less than the cost of a case of bottled water, which is a small price to pay for educating our youth.

 

Councilwoman Nelson said she is not against this legislation, however, she would like to offer a proposal. She proposed recalculating contributions to $2 per capita, which equals about $82,000, plus a contribution of $31,000, which equals about $0.47 per month, per capita. However, in return, she asked that the library stay open on Friday and Saturday night until 8 p.m. because they now close at 5 p.m. on those nights and she'd like to help keep our youth off the streets.

 

Trish Calvani, President, Martin Library, said she would like to see all libraries open later and said they will definitely try to work with Council on this proposal.

 

Bill Schell, CEO, Martin Library, was delighted with the testimony shared by the youth on how the library has enriched their lives. He said their testimony is the fulfillment of a dream and the library will work closely with Council and the Administration to match the framework provided if this is Council's wish.

 

Administrator O'Rourke reminded Council that Councilwoman Nelson's proposal is different from what's being presented tonight. He said he's not sure Council will want to mandate amounts this evening without fully researching the proposal.

 

President Ray said her preference is to approve the legislation as-is but consider revisiting Councilwoman Nelson's formula during budget time as this could be done as the second stage of this process.

 

A discussion ensued on allotments, Councilwoman Nelson's formula, and state aid.

 

Nina Aimable agreed with the $1 or $2 contribution but being a retired citizen on a fixed income, she's concerned how these formulas would affect senior citizens. Additionally, she said she's concerned that the library could turn into a hangout for kids if it's kept open longer on the weekends.

 

After discussion, Council chose to keep the legislation as-is with possible reconsideration of Councilwoman Nelson's formula during the budget process.

 

Therefore, there being no further discussion, Bill No. 22, Ordinance No. 21, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Hill-Evans, Smith, Ray – 3; Nays – Nelson – 1.

 

Final Passage of Bill No. 23, Ordinance No. 22, Session 2010, (View) A Bill amending Article 713 “Disorderly Conduct and Disturbing the Peace”, Subsection 713.99(a) “Penalty” of the Codified Ordinances to correct a citation of law, which was introduced by Ray at the July 20, 2010 meeting of Council and read by short title, came up for final passage. On motion of Ray, seconded by Smith, Bill No. 23, Ordinance No. 22, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Smith, Ray – 4; Nays – 0.

 

Final Passage of Bill No. 24, Ordinance No. 23, Session 2010, (View) A Bill amending the 2010 Budget in the amount of $48,493.00 to reflect remaining expenditures from a state grant award which will be used to improve online permitting, which was introduced by Hill-Evans at the July 20, 2010 meeting of Council and read by short title, came up for final passage. On motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Smith, Bill No. 24, Ordinance No. 23, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Smith, Ray – 4; Nays – 0.

 

Final Passage of Bill No. 25, Ordinance No. 24, Session 2010, (View) A Bill amending the 2009 Budget to appropriate expenditures to cover 2009 expenses in preparation of the 2009 audit, which was introduced by Nixon at the July 20, 2010 meeting of Council and read by short title, came up for final passage. On motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Smith, Bill No. 25, Ordinance No. 24, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Smith, Ray – 4; Nays – 0.

 

Final Passage of Bill No. 26, Ordinance No. 25, Session 2010, (View) A Bill amending the 2009 Budget to appropriate revenue and expenditures to cover 2009 expenses in preparation of the 2009 audit, which was introduced by Nixon at the July 20, 2010 meeting of Council and read by short title, came up for final passage. On motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Smith, Bill No. 26, Ordinance No. 25, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Smith, Ray – 4; Nays – 0.


NEW BUSINESS

Introduction of Bill No. 27, Session 2010, (View) A Bill amending the 2010 Budget to appropriate revenue and expenditures in the amount of $9,689.00 for additional funding received from the PA Immunization Coalition to be used for salaries for immunization activities, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read by short title, and deferred until the September 7, 2010 meeting of Council.

 

Resolution No. 99, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution awarding a contract to Rink Management Services for the maintenance, management and operation of the York City Ice Arena for the period of September 1, 2010 through August 31, 2014 at a fixed contract rate of $4,800 per month or $57,600 per year for each of the four years of the term, was introduced by Smith, read at length, and on motion of Smith, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 99 came up for discussion.

 

Tom Hillgrove, President, Rink Management Services, said he is pleased to continue managing the ice rink, a duty Rink Management has been fulfilling for almost six (6) years. He discussed budget particulars and efforts made to increase attendance at the rink.

 

Mike Cleveland, Rink Management, discussed events held at the rink and activities offered to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for children and adults.

 

Administrator' O'Rourke detailed operating and capital budget expenses. He explained that over $100,000 has gone toward debt service and it would cost more for the city to close the rink. He said it's a marvelous facility but has low usage by city residents. He stated that Rink Management has been charged with increasing interest and attendance at the rink.

 

Vice President Hill-Evans offered collaborations with her neighborhood group, Veteran's Memorial Park Neighborhood Association, as a way to get the word out about activities and programs at the rink.

 

Councilwoman Smith suggested Rink Management contact city schools and work with administrators there to help spread the word about the ice rink.

 

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 99 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Smith, Ray – 4; Nays – 0.

 

Resolution No. 100, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution authorizing the filing of a proposal for grant funds with DCED in the amount of $1.5m for the Micro-turbine Co-generation System Project at the WWTP, was introduced by Smith, read at length, and on motion of Smith, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 100 came up for discussion.

 

J.T. Hand, Chair of the York City Sewer Authority, outlined that the Sewer Authority is committed to both replacing the existing system and to reducing operating costs with an energy efficient, micro-turbine co-generation system. This project would replace the current functionally obsolete co-generation system with a more efficient micro-turbine co-generation system. With operating expenses for electricity and natural gas costs currently demanding 13% of the waste water treatment plant's total operating expenses, the proposed micro-turbine co-generation system will generate approximately 2,500,000 kilowatt hours of electricity with a cost savings of nearly $300,000.00 annually. The grant request includes equipment, installation, and design costs associated with replacing the current system. The total cost of this project is $4,248,500.00 and the Authority is requesting a grant in the amount of $1,500,000.00 through the Alternative and Clean Energy Program. This request represents 35% of the total project cost.

 

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 100 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Smith, Ray – 4; Nays – 0.

 

Resolution No. 101, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution authorizing and agreement with Met-Ed for the relocation of electric utility lines within the Northwest Triangle project site with the total cost of the project being $258,000.00 of which $15,000.00 has been paid by the City of York, with $243,000.00 remaining, which will be paid in installments of $100,000.00 on or before August 31, 2010 and $143,000.00 on or before April 30, 2011, was introduced by Smith, read at length, and on motion of Smith, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 101 came up for discussion.

 

Director Schreiber explained that this is one of the final pieces of infrastructure in the NWT project site. This is a high voltage line that feeds most of the central business district.

 

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 101 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Smith, Ray – 4; Nays – 0.

 

Resolution No. 102, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution authorizing a budget transfer for the Bureau of Health within various line items to cover expenses for the remaining year, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 102 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Smith, Ray – 4; Nays – 0.

 

REQUESTS FOR FUTURE MEETINGS: None

 

COUNCIL COMMENT


Vice President Hill-Evans reminded residents and business owners that posting signs on utility poles is against the law. City ordinance 753.04 reads: “No person shall use any telegraph, telephone, electric light poles, or any awnings, poles, trees, or any public property of the City, for placing any advertisements thereon.” She said she will continue to take these signs down when she sees them. She stated that if she has your sign, you are more than welcome to contact her at 848-4788 and she'll be happy to return your sign if it's one of the illegal posting she removed.

 

Councilwoman Smith agreed and said she also removes these signs when she sees them. She said she has even heard that some people find signs nailed to their homes without their permission. Councilwoman Smith stated that action needs to be taken against these types of violators because the damage caused by these postings is very expensive.

 

Director Schreiber relayed that the city's Property Maintenance Inspectors are instructed to remove illegal postings so he asked that they be contacted at 849-2256 if you see these types of signs posted illegally.

 

Councilwoman Nelson shared that a member of her family contracted whooping cough so she encouraged residents to get up-to-date vaccinations to protect themselves and their loved ones. For information on vaccinations and immunizations, please contact the York City Health Bureau at 849-2254 or visit them at 435 W. Philadelphia St., York, PA.

 

ADMINISTRATION COMMENT: None

 

NEXT MEETING: The next regular meeting of City Council is scheduled for September 7, 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 August 17, 2010 meeting of Council adjourned at 9:03 p.m.