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City Council Meeting Minutes

January 19, 2010

CALL TO ORDER: City Council convened in a General Committee meeting on January 19, 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. Mayor Kim Bracey was not present.

GENERAL PUBLIC COMMENT

Lamar Burton, 115 W. Jackson St., York, PA, said he is excited about the prospect of new businesses in York and he urged the city to provide business information to local entrepreneurs during the early development stages. He also asked that more information associated with local businesses be posted on the website.

Sonia Huntzinger, Executive Director, Downtown Inc., announced the Mayor's Premier Business of the Month collaboration with Downtown Inc. She said the Mayor will visit and promote a “premier downtown business” each month. This month, the Mayor is scheduled to be at Blue Moon Restaurant on Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 5:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

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. Mayor Kim Bracey was not present.

Members of the Administration in attendance included: Jim Gross, Director of Public Works, Kevin Schreiber, Director of Economic Development & Acting Director of Community Development, Captain Wes Kahley, Acting Police Chief, John Senft, Fire Chief, and Steve Douglas, General Manager of the Waste Water Treatment Plant. Also present was Assistant Solicitor Shaleeta Washington. Michael O’Rourke, Business Administrator, was absent.

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 January 4, 2010 and unanimously approved them as written.

Correspondence and Announcements: President Ray read correspondence and announcements.

PRESENTATIONS: None

COMMITTEE MEETINGS SCHEDULED:

Rules & Administrative Code Committee, Genevieve Ray, Chair: Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers to discuss the Rules & Procedures of Council. (View)

STATUS OF PRIOR COMMITTEE REFERRALS:

Realty Transfer Tax: Councilwoman Smith reported that she and Councilwoman Nelson met with members of the York City School Board and representatives of the school district to go over various talking points related to the Realty Transfer Tax proposal. (Realty Transfer Tax) (Talking points) In brief, in 2008, former Councilman Cameron Texter drafted legislation to establish Article 355 “Realty Transfer Tax” of the Codified Ordinances. Though the legislation was never formally introduced, discussions remained on the table. She explained that the legislation seeks to impose a 1% tax on qualified properties as a means to generate revenue. At Council's December 16, 2009 meeting, former Councilman Texter stated that he hoped the revenue generated from this tax would be used to secure more public safety positions or other desirable services. Councilwoman Smith said discussions continue.

Councilwoman Nelson added that as discussions ensued, a so-called “gentlemen's agreement”, that was apparently struck decades ago, resurfaced. This so-called agreement would grant the school district 100% of this revenue though the city is legally entitled to half. She said to date, this agreement has not been found.

SUBDIVISION / LAND DEVELOPMENT / HARB

Resolution No. 13, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution approving the final land development plan submitted by LOGOS Academy to redevelop 256 W. King St. into a new private school with accessory parking and recreational areas, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 13 came up for discussion.

Tim Fulton, Susquehanna Real Estate, was onboard and explained that Council originally approved this plan on June 2, 2009 (Resolution No. 75) and it was recorded at the Recorder of Deeds Office on November 5, 2009. After being recorded, neighboring property owners expressed concern about the geometry of Dublin St. in relation to their rear property lines and fences. The plans have since been revised due to concerns raised by the adjacent property owners. It appears that existing improvements associated with these parcels, including fences and a carport structure, encroached upon the proposed right-of-way for Dublin St. and lands owned by the RDA. The previously approved land development plan called for a relocation of these existing structures, out of the Dublin St. right-of-way, to allow for the construction of Dublin St. After construction started and stakes were set for the proposed improvements, the neighbors voiced concerns regarding the relocation of their encroaching structures. LOGOS Academy, the RDA, property owners, Site Design Concepts and Councilwoman Genevieve Ray worked together to develop a revised design for Dublin St. in order to accommodate the neighbors' concerns. Dublin St. and the associated improvements have been relocated two (2) ft. to the east to allow the encroaching fences and carport to remain in their existing locations. The RDA approved a three (3) ft. wide easement along their common property line with these neighbors to allow the existing fences and carport and any future fences to remain in this area. (Source: Site Design Concepts letter from Jamie Smith dated 1/13/10)

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 13 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

FINAL PASSAGE OF BILLS / RESOLUTIONS: None

NEW BUSINESS

Introduction of Bill No. 1, Session 2010, (View) A Bill amending Article 1763 “Property Maintenance Code” to update definitions and include swimming pools and amend maintenance requirements for sidewalks & driveways, was introduced by Nelson, read by short title, and came up for discussion.

Motion to amend. Fire Chief Senft asked that Chapter 2, Section 202 “Definitions” of the Bill be amended to change the word “tin” cans to read “metal” cans. A motion was made by Nelson, seconded by Smith, to amend as noted. The motion to amend passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

There being no further discussion, Bill No. 1 was deferred until the February 2, 2010 meeting of Council.

Introduction of Bill No. 2, Session 2010, (View) A Bill amending Article 933 “Sewer Rentals” of the Codified Ordinances to increase rates, was introduced by Nixon, read by short title, and deferred until the February 2, 2010 meeting of Council.

Introduction of Bill No. 3, Session 2010, (View) A Bill amending Article 951.12 “Annual Collection Fee Schedule” of the Codified Ordinances to increase refuse fees, was introduced by Nixon, read by short title, and deferred until the February 2, 2010 meeting of Council.

Introduction of Bill No. 4, Session 2010, (View) A Bill amending the 2010 Budget for the Human Relations Commission to rollover 2009 grant funds into the 2010 budget, was introduced by Nixon, read by short title, and deferred until the February 2, 2010 meeting of Council.

Introduction of Bill No. 5, Session 2010, (View) A Bill amending the 2010 Budget to appropriate revenue and expenditures in the amount of $142,000 for a Safer York grant through the Federal Weed and Seed Communities strategy for 2009-2010, was introduced by Nixon, read by short title, and deferred until the February 2, 2010 meeting of Council.

Introduction of Bill No. 6, Session 2010, (View) A Bill amending the 2010 CDBG & HOME Program budgets to reflect changes resulting from actual funding levels rolled over from 2009, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read by short title, and deferred until the February 2, 2010 meeting of Council.

Resolution No. 14, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution appointing Councilman Henry Hay Nixon to serve as Council's liaison to the YorkCounts Public Safety Study Committee to serve in said capacity until the first Monday of January 2012 or until his successor is appointed, was introduced by Ray, read at length, and on motion of Ray, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 14 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 15, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution reappointing R. Franklin Williams as a member of the York City Zoning Hearing Board to serve until January 1, 2015 and appointing Dennis Kunkle as a regular member of the Historical Architectural Review Board to serve until the first Monday of January 2015, was introduced by Ray, read at length, and on motion of Ray, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 15 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

Mr. Williams was in attendance and thanked Council for his reappointment.

Resolution No. 16, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution consenting to the re-appointments made by the Mayor of Jamie Smith and James E. Boyer to the York City Planning Commission to serve until January 1, 2014, and Larry V. Young to the York City Sewer Authority Board to serve until January 1, 2015, was introduced by Ray, read at length, and on motion of Ray, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 16 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

Jamie Smith was onboard and thanked Mayor Brenner and Council for her reappointment.

Resolution No. 17, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution awarding a contract to Emerson Process
Management Power and Water Solutions (formerly Westinghouse PCD) in the amount of $58,298.00 for maintenance and support of the Waste Water Treatment Plant process control computer system, was introduced by Smith, read at length, and on motion of Smith, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 17 came up for discussion.

Waste Water Treatment Plant General Manager Steve Douglas outlined that Buchart-Horn, along with Emerson Process Management, developed and customized a system to fit the WWTP's monitoring and control requirements. One of the unique aspects of this system is that it controls up to 90% of the plant's operation. This system has allowed the WWTP to maintain an efficient operation with reduced workforce.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 17 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 18, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution awarding a contract to Heisey Mechanical, Inc. in the amount of $163,800.00 to replace a screw pump at Train 2 at the Waste Water Treatment Plant, was introduced by Smith, read at length, and on motion of Smith, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 18 came up for discussion.

Waste Water Treatment Plant General Manager Steve Douglas explained that while performing a routine inspection of the Train 2 Effluent Screw Pumps, it was discovered that unit #3 was severely damaged reducing pumping capacity by 40%. As the pump was over 20 years old, it was decided that it was time to replace it with a newer model.

There being on further discussion, Resolution No. 18 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 19, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution authorizing an agreement with Buchart-Horn, Inc. in the amount of $46,884.00 to provide general support services for the Westinghouse Computer System located at the Waste Water Treatment Plant, was introduced by Smith, read at length, and on motion of Smith, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 19 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 20, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution authorizing an encroachment agreement with Edward and Antonietta Smith to install a geothermal heating unit at 825 Chanceford Ave., York, PA, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Nixon, Resolution No. 20 came up for discussion.

Public Works Director Jim Gross explained that the property owner is installing a geothermal heating unit which requires a 6 ft. easement in order to dig a trench to lay the system in an unimproved alley. He said he doesn't foresee any problems with this project and this agreement will help document that pipes are installed below the surface.

Acting Community Development Director Kevin Schreiber took a moment to explain the geothermal heating system. In theory, a geothermal heating system is a central heating and/or cooling system that pumps heat to or from the ground. It uses the earth as a heat source (in the winter) or a heat sink (in the summer). He said the Department of Environmental Protection offers programs that provide loans to help with these types of “green” projects.

Councilwoman Smith said she would abstain her vote as this project is being done at her home. She outlined the costs involved with this system and the subsequent cost savings. She encouraged residents to take advantage of the incentives and programs offered for this and other “green” projects.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 20 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Ray – 4; Nays – 0; Abstained – Smith – 1.

Resolution No. 21, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution authorizing a transfer of funds for the Bureau of Highway and Fleet in the amount of $29,474.32 within the 2009 Liquid Fuels budget to cover unanticipated expenses, was introduced by Smith, read at length, and on motion of Smith, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 21 came up for discussion.

Public Works Director Jim Gross stated that this transfer will help cover unanticipated expenses associated with the December 2009 snow storm.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 21 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 22, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution authorizing a transfer of funds for the Police Department within the 2009 Budget in the amount of $12,500.00 to cover consulting services, was introduced by Nelson, read at length, and on motion of Nelson, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 22 came up for discussion.

Acting Police Chief Wes Kahley outlined that this transfer will be used to cover costs associated with consulting services secured to do a study of the police station. The study will include suggestions and recommendations on revamping our current police station or relocation and design of a new station. Chief Kahley answered a few questions from Council related to the study.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 22 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 23, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution authorizing a transfer of funds for the Police Department within the 2009 Budget in the amount of $37,695.00 to cover expenses for other contractual services, was introduced by Nelson, read at length, and on motion of Nelson, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 23 came up for discussion.

Acting Police Chief Wes Kahley said this transfer will cover costs to maintain the computers that operate their camera systems.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 23 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 24, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution authorizing a transfer of funds for the Bureau of Housing Services within the 2009 HOME Budget in the amount of $50,000.00 to cover expenses associated with the Homebuyers Assistance Program, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 24 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 25, Session 2010, (View) A Resolution authorizing a transfer of funds for the Bureau of Permits, Planning & Zoning within the 2009 Budget in the amount of $7,696.00 to cover Historic York consulting services was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Smith, Resolution No. 25 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Nelson, Hill-Evans, Nixon, Smith, Ray – 5; Nays – 0.

REQUESTS FOR FUTURE MEETINGS: None

COUNCIL COMMENT

Vice President Hill-Evans asked for prayers from the community for the victims of the Haiti earthquake. She said many efforts are taking place to help out the victims and she encouraged residents to make in-kind or monetary donations if at all possible.

ADMINISTRATION COMMENT: None

NEXT MEETING: The next regular meeting of City Council is scheduled for Tuesday, February 2, 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 January 19, 2010 meeting of Council adjourned at 8:20 p.m.