Borough Council Minutes 11-11-2014

MANHEIM BOROUGH COUNCIL

November 11, 2014

Roll Call:  President Dave Fenicle, Vice President Chris Simon, Pro-Tempore Brad Roth, Rebekah Bowers, Bryan Howett and Mayor Scot Funk

Staff:  Mark Stivers, Borough Manager, Linda Gerhart, Recording Secretary and Police Chief Joseph Stauffer

 

Visitors:

  • It was noted that most of the visitors present were looking to speak after the presentation by Ms. Doreen Ober of the Manheim Downtown Development Group.
  • Gina Brubaker was present to questioned the reason an Open House scheduled in a home on South Grant Street was cancelled due to zoning, which was the reason listed on the sign at the property. President Fenicle and Mr. Stivers explained the special extenuating circumstances involved with a previous Zoning Hearing Board decision at this property.  It was noted this is different than the typical home party show held by residents.  They also noted that council is looking to review some of the older ordinances for possible changes to continue to have our community prosper. Mr. Stivers explained that guidelines and rules are necessary to keep order and compliance in the borough and need to be enforced.  He noted that this is what transpired in this situation.  Residents are always welcome to contact the borough to make sure they are in compliance with all zoning and code issues.

 

Manheim Downtown Development Group Report:

  • Doreen Ober presented the quarterly report to council highlighting the recent successful annual car show and the future events planned for the holidays. She wanted to present a better understanding of the value of the Manheim Downtown Development Group. She reviewed the report she had distributed about the history and success of the group.  She explained that it had been announced by her advisory board that her position would be terminated at the end of November.  She stated that she did not want to leave the organization with a zero balance at the end of the year. She felt this would not be fiscally responsible.  She was looking for a commitment from council for an extended cooperation agreement to show continued support for the organization by the borough in future years.  She also requested that the Borough would continue its donation to the program for 2015.  MDDG is looking for increased participation from council on multiple levels with volunteering and advisory board participation.  She thanked everyone in the community for all their support for the last 6 years.  She was thanked for all her service to the community.
  • Mayor Funk thanked her for all her service to the community, for the successful events, and for all the projects organized and completed by the Manheim Downtown Development Group.
  • Eric Phillips requested permission to attend the Executive Session to address council on the Future of the MDDG. President Fenicle granted that permission.
  • Kelly Lauver asked for clarification of what the cooperation agreements entailed. It was explained that this has to do with grant funding for the future as a guarantee to support the MDDG since the money is given to the municipality not the nonprofit group.  The current agreement was extended to the end of 2014.
  • It was questioned if the MDDG Manager has to be employed full time to keep the program in place. Phillips commented that he believed strongly that a full time manager is needed.
  • Joyette Kendig gave the history of her business being established in the borough and how much support she received from Doreen and the MDDG. Ms. Kendig and Ms. Barb Basile praised Ms. Ober’s effort for making the MDDG program a success as she is the focal point of the organization and they feel continuation of the program is necessary to keep the positive momentum of the borough moving forward.
  • Peter Taraborelli from Blue Ridge Cable echoed the comments and offered his praises from a media point of view for having Ms. Ober as a continuous contact when questions arise in Borough.
  • Violet Geib stated that this would be a dreadful mistake to lose Ms. Ober.
  • Don DeHart also commented on the energy in the borough since 2005 for the MDDG. He thanked Mr. Phillips and Mr. Bodnar for their continued service to the MDDG as well.

Ms. Gretchen Smith gave her views on the continued effort to attract the new younger generations to our borough for the future.  She feels we need to have a point person for the organization, even if it is not Ms. Ober.  Ms. Marjorie Martinez echoed the same sentiments.

  • Dennis Ober expressed his views on the necessity of keeping the program continuing as the borough is a good close knit community and it would be a good investment to keep the momentum going.
  • Denise Boyer of Susquehanna Bank and President of the Manheim Chamber of Commerce gave a brief account of the 2012 restructuring of the chamber, which was partly due to Ms. Ober.
  • Eric Phillips did a recap of the start of the Manheim Downtown Development Group to the present. The use of the current economic revitalization committee by the Borough since it is already in place was suggested for consideration.  He presented a 5 year plan to council for consideration, which he feels is very close to making them self-sustaining.  He requested the cooperation agreement be acted on and the budget be considered as well so new goals and visions can continue.  It was questioned what funds would be necessary in addition to what has been donated in the past.  Mr. Phillips stated he had included in his five year plan a $20,000 donation instead of the yearly $10,000 from the borough.
  • A Motion was moved by Mr. Simon to approve the cooperation agreement between the Manheim Downtown Development Group and Manheim Borough for one (1) year pending adjustments. The Motion was seconded by Ms. Bowers and passed unanimously.
  • Ober was asked if she would stay and she said she would.
  • A Motion was moved by Mr. Simon to have Manheim Borough hire Ms. Ober as a Manheim Borough employee and pay her salary and the operating expenses for the Manheim Downtown Development Group. The Motion was seconded by Ms. Bowers.

It was suggested that council first look to see if that would work, as this expense is not currently in the 2015 budget.  Council is currently in the middle of budget discussions for 2015.  It was suggested that council adjourn to executive session for discussion.

  • A Motion was moved by Mr. Roth to adjourn to Executive Session at 8:11 PM for discussion on personnel matters. The Motion was seconded by Mr. Howett and passed unanimously.
  • A Motion was moved by Mr. Roth to adjourn from Executive Session at 8:25 PM to continue the council meeting. The Motion was seconded by Mr. Simon and passed unanimously.

Mr. Simon rescinded his previous Motion on the floor.  Ms. Bowers rescinded her second to the previous Motion on the floor.

  • A Motion was moved by Mr. Howett to have council appoint an ad hoc committee to meet with officials from the Downtown Development Group to pursue a transition of the operations of the Downtown Development Group to the Manheim Borough bringing on the manager on a full time basis. The Motion was seconded by Mr. Roth and passed unanimously.

The ad hoc committee appointed by Council President Fenicle to meet with Officials of the Manheim Downtown Development Group will be Mr. Howett, Mr. Roth, Borough Manager Mark Stivers and Council President Fenicle.  They will have a recommendation to be presented at the next council meeting. Mr. Stivers explained process and reasoning for the use of an ad hoc committee.  This committee will review all the aspects of having the Downtown Development Group continue, dealing with state requirements and as well as financial responsibilities.

 

Mayor and Police Chief Report:

  • Mayor Funk gave his report to council. He attended the Manheim Community Farm Show Banquet and noted that the Farm Show Committee enjoyed another great year of working with the Borough to make it such a great success.
  • Mayor Funk noted that except for 3 meetings this year, there was not a full council in attendance at Council Meetings. He encouraged Council to have better attendance and noted that Mr. Roth and Ms. Bowers are the only ones with perfect attendance.
  • Chief Stauffer distributed his report and reviewed it with Council.
  • Council was updated on the status of the new Radio System which is working well, the cruiser accident, the SRO grant, and the Civil Service hiring process which will be starting shortly.

 

Borough Manager Report:

  • Stivers presented his report to Council.
  • The Stiegel Street paving project is complete and the Shade Tree Commission was complimented on their help with getting all the trees placed, which will be completed later in the week.
  • The demolition of the property at 16 East Stiegel Street will be completed in the near future.
  • The Extraordinary Give Van will be in the borough on November 21st from 14:00 to 15:30.
  • Stivers presented a sample of the new name plates being considered for the council and committee members. We are also looking to update the signage in the borough building as well with the same design.
  • Council was updated on the RFP responses for Engineering Services. There were 11 proposals received and that has been short listed to 6 that will be contacted for interviews.  It was requested that an ad hoc committee be appointed to help with the interviewing process.  The appointed committee will consist of Mr. Simon, Ms. Bowers, Mr. Stivers and President Fenicle.
  • Council was updated on the DCNR Grant Seminar attended by Mr. Stivers and Ms. Mitchell.

 

Action Items:

  • The Borough Council Meeting Minutes for October 28, 2014 were presented for approval.
    • A Motion was moved by Mr. Howett to approve the Minutes of the October 28, 2014 Borough Council Meeting. The Motion was seconded by Ms. Bowers and passed unanimously.
  • The Voucher List for the Manheim Borough Authority in the amount of $2,498.04 was presented for approval.
  • A Motion was moved by Mr. Roth to approve the voucher list in the amount of $2,498.04. The Motion was seconded by Mr. Simon and passed with a vote of 4 to 0.  President Fenicle recused himself since he is an employee of the Manheim Borough Authority.
  • The Voucher List in the amount of $147,013.69 was presented for approval.
  • A Motion was moved by Mr. Simon to approve the voucher list in the amount of $147,013.69. The Motion was seconded by Mr. Howett and passed unanimously.
  • The Voucher List in the amount of $6,000.00 for the pool loan was presented for ratification.
  • A Motion was moved by Mr. Roth to ratify the voucher list in the amount of $6,000.00. The Motion was seconded by Mr. Simon and passed unanimously.
  • The PD Fund Voucher List in the amount of $284.67 was presented for ratification.
  • A Motion was moved by Mr. Howett to ratify the PD Fund Voucher List in the amount of $284.67. The Motion was seconded by Ms. Bowers and passed unanimously.
  • The Expense and Review Report was reviewed and found to be in order.

 

Committee Reports:

  • The Finance Committee has met and the preliminary budget had been given to council for review. Since we do not have a Zoning Officer it has been suggested that council may want to consider contracting services for this position instead of hiring a full time Zoning Officer.  This option is currently in the draft budget.  It was further thought to consider hiring a part time administrative assistant to assist with the Zoning Officer and to help with other borough office functions as well.   The Personnel Committee is making recommendation to contract out Zoning Officer services.
  • A Motion was moved by Mr. Simon to continue contracting Zoning Officer Services. The Motion was seconded by Mr. Howett and passed unanimously.

Mr. Roth noted that the payroll numbers are estimated and not firm until council makes a final decision on that.  The need to start building up the capital fund account with a minimal tax millage increase was presented for consideration.  The budget as of now is balanced, which includes a transfer of $25,000 to the capital fund account, but in light of possible additional expenses now being presented, the finance committee is looking for some guidance to finalize all the numbers.  Discussion was held on the handling of capital fund account and the need to build it up for future projects.  The committee plans to have the final draft budget presented at the next council meeting for approval to advertise for final approval in December.

  • The Parks/Pool Committee is working to form the Manheim Community Pool Advisory Committee from the sign-up sheets completed at the pool meeting held in September.
  • The Public Works Committee is currently discussing the CDBG fund application for 2015. Since the project they had originally considered for the funding application does not fit the criteria for CDBG funding, the committee is now recommending the stormwater project in the Northeast Quadrant of the Borough for an application for CDBG funding.
  • A Motion was moved by Mr. Roth to submit a CDBG funding request for the Laurel Street & Adele Avenue intersection of the Northeast Quadrant of the borough for stormwater improvements. The Motion was seconded by Mr. Simon and passed unanimously.
  • The Committee discussed the empty buildings that will become available in the borough as the new police station and ambulance buildings are completed. The new Snow Emergency Route has been completed and the signs will be posted to allow enforcement during snow events.

 

New Business:

  • Council was presented with a request from Eli Auto World concerning their interest in purchasing condemned 19 & 21 New Charlotte Street properties. There is currently a lien in the amount of $1,729.68 against 21 New Charlotte Street, the 19 New Charlotte Street property is clear.  Stivers explained that Eli Auto World is looking for some help in the cost of demolition of these properties, as there is some FEMA money available for some of these costs.  It was decided to table this discussion until the next council meeting, so Mr. Stivers can check on the availability of FEMA money for demolition and any other pertinent information on these properties.
  • President Fenicle has received information from PSAB about a Junior Council Member program. The Manheim Central High School will be contacted to see if there is any interest in this program.

 

Old Business:

  • The time capsule location is being considered as part of the Memorial Park Plan presented by Dave Christian Associates.

 

Executive Session:

  • A Motion was moved by Mr. Simon to adjourn to Executive Session at 9:12 PM to discuss personnel and litigation issues. The Motion was seconded by Mr. Roth and passed unanimously.
  • A Motion was moved by Mr. Howett to adjourn from Executive Session and return to the public meeting at 10:00 PM. The Motion was seconded by Mr. Roth and passed unanimously.
  • A Motion was moved by Mr. Roth to hire a part time Administrative Assistant and to authorize staff to begin that process. The Motion was seconded by Mr. Howett and passed unanimously.

Adjournment:

  • A Motion was moved by Mr. Howett to adjourn at 10:02 PM. The Motion was seconded by Ms. Bowers and passed unanimously.

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda Gerhart

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