Workshop Meeting, October 4, 2017

The following notes are not authoritative and should not be construed as such. They are in no way official Council Minutes. This is not a complete transcript, as these are not based on a recording, but are notes compiled in real time based on live attendance by a citizen-volunteer attendee. As such, these notes have not been reviewed, or in any way sanctioned, by Council or the Borough of Coraopolis. The following notes are intended simply as a rough overview/update for Coraopolis residents who were unable to attend in person. Anyone wishing to obtain a copy of the official minutes should contact the Coraopolis Borough Office at (412) 264-3002.

Roll Call

In attendance: Robb Cardimen, Edward Pitassi, Linc Jackson, Rudy Bolea, Michael Williams, Dave Pendel, Dan Larocco, Ray McCutcheon, John May, Chief Denbow.

Not Present: Anthony Celeste, John Pessy

Questions on the Agenda

  • Motion to approve Resolution 17-274 distributing the General Municipal Pension System Aid in the amount of $119,294.58 in accordance with the MMO for the Municipal Pension Funds.
    • Question by Rudy Bolea: What is the General Municipal Pension System?
    • Answer by Ray McCutcheon: The State gives us some money toward the pensions.
    • Bolea moves, Pendel seconds. Roll call vote carries.
  • Motion to approve Resolution 17-275 approving the acquisition and subsequent disposition of Lot and Block Number 342-A-259 (Mill Street) through the Allegheny County Vacant Property Recovery Program.
    • Clarification by Ray McCutcheon: this is the property at Mill and 2nd
    • Larocco moves, Williams seconds. Roll call vote carries.
  • Motion to approve the transfer of funds to IIG Client Services in the amount of $142,903.00 for the Borough Pension Plan and the Employee Pension Plan.
    • Larocco moves. Pitassi seconds. Roll call vote carries.
  • Motion to authorize Police Chief Denbow to purchase a new police vehicle from Day Ford in the amount of $49,374.00 with the trade-in of the 2011 Ford F-150 purchased with DEA funds for a net price of $22,874.00 utilizing DEA funds.
    • Question by Linc Jackson about whether DEA Funds to cover net price as well. Ray McCutcheon says yes, but clarifies that we would be advancing the money and the Police Department would be repaying that money as soon as the funds are released to them.
    • Question by Dave Pendel whether car is fully equipped. Chief Denbow says yes.
    • A resulting discussion points out that, in the past 8 years, the Borough Police have purchased between 6 and 8 cars with DEA funds.
    • Larocco moves. Williams seconds. Roll call vote carries.
  • Motion to purchase a used 2013 Caterpillar 4WD Backhoe from Cleveland Brothers in the amount of $45,000 with the trade-in of the 1997 Case 580 Backhoe for a net price of $40,500.
    • Question by Linc Jackson as to whether the $40,500 is the price to be paid by the borough. Also wanting more information on necessity and cost comparison. 
    • John May responds that the old backhoe has a hole in the engine block. A brand new backhoe would have cost $96,000. We cannot use the CWSA backhoe for salting, so a second machine is necessary, and the borough has had at least two machines for decades. Caterpillar has maintained this used backhoe meticulously, and Dan Larocco and Rob Cardimen both inspected it and stipulated to its condition.
    • Bolea moves. Pitassi seconds. Roll call vote carries.
  • Motion to approve the agreement with Jordan Tax Service, Inc. for the years 2018 through 2021 for Borough Real Estate Tax Collection.
    • Bolea moves. Pitassi seconds. Roll call vote carries.
  • Motion to authorize the closing of Mill Street on October 21, 2017 in conjunction with the east side of the 935 5th Avenue Parking Lot for a harvest fest from 9am to 2pm.
    • Questions raised by Linc Jackson and Rudy Bolea to clarify which portions exactly would be closed off and as to necessity. 
    • Ray McCutcheon responds that only the right half of the parking lot (closest to the scuba shop) was closed, and that enough interest had been raised that additional space was needed.
    • Bolea moves. Pitassi seconds. Carries.
  • Euclid Avenue is discussed. John May explains that there is a grade problem on this road affecting our local capability to maneuver plow/salt vehicles during snow. Prior discussions with Moon Twp about this area were not fruitful. John May is requesting that a concrete barrier be put in place during the winter months to block access. He is concerned that otherwise, the borough will be faced with having to rescue stranded borough vehicles. Asks that this be considered and voted on next week.
  • 1st Avenue and Broadway Overlook is discussed. The overlook was installed in the early 70s and has begun to show its age. The railing is loose, and John May would like others to go out and inspect this, as he does not want anyone hurt. May need to temporarily close for safety. John May's team is not able to rebuild it - this would need to be subcontracted. However, his team can do the demo, if that saves money.
    • Ed Pitassi affirms that he has been out there and felt the railing could potentially give way if leaned on hard enough.
    • Rudy Bolea advises that he does not believe it prudent to invest money in a new structure until the borough has a master plan for the Waterfront.
    • Linc Jackson expresses that area residents love this park, and points out that any long-term plans for the Waterfront would be so remote that a beloved neighborhood feature couldn't be closed for that long.
    • It is suggested that John May should have someone provide estimates and work scope for further discussion/consideration of the issue. Council agreed that given it's condition, safety should be the first concern.

Comments from Council

Rudy Bolea

  • People on Watt Street and Montour Street are making turns from the incorrect lane. Wonders if additional signage might be beneficial. 
    • Suggestion discussed by council and ultimately rejected by Chief Denbow who advised that drivers are held responsible for obeying traffic laws by his officers' citations.
  • Ridge Avenue closing looks terrible, and the appearance needs to be improved given the proximity to the new soccer fields.
    • Discussion of options. John May to price out getting a gate installed. As the gate would very rarely every need to be opened, traffic could be held back for gate opening when necessary.

Dan Larocco

  • Praises new building
  • Voting in the 4th Ward will occur in the new borough building on 4th. Voting in the 3rd Ward will occur at the VFW. Dan worked hard to get this approved by the voting board prior to the coming election. Asks if a mailer has gone out to anyone in the 3rd or 4th Ward. Those present say no. Ray McCutcheon will follow up to see that these are sent.

Michael Williams

  • Michael took a moment to remind everybody to take extra caution when navigating the roads. Coraopolis doesn't want an accident like the recent tragedy in Moon.

Edward Pitassi

  • Ed reports that they have repainting the flagpole at the library and put a new flag up, but they need a light at the base of the pole since it will be flying all the time. He is unsure whether the electric cord at the base of the flagpole is live. Henry will look at this and get a cost estimate for him, and Ed will present this to the library to see if their funds can cover it.
  • The Shade Tree Commission has lost two members but may have gained another two. One of the volunteers is from McKees Rocks. There was some discussion about this, and the consensus is that the Shade Tree Commission will happily take any and all volunteers no matter what area they are from; however, when a new commissioner is found, they will need to check the ordinance if he/she is not a Coraopolis resident to see what the rules state.
  • Many people in the area have asked for a dog park. This was discussed by council at length; however, this was shelved for the time being as there is a desperate need for general greenspace parks for residents which will need to take priority, and the logistics of a dog park would have its own challenges such as maintenance, noise proximity to housing, and a system for enforcement of cleanliness. It was also pointed out that there is a nearby dog park in Moon Twp on Flaugherty Run Road.

David Pendel

  • Reiterated praise for new borough building and thanked Ray McCutcheon for all of his hard work. Points out that the feasibility study by the engineer had projected a minimum of $3.7 million to repair the old building. 
  • Also praised the current streetwork project and its visibility. 

Robb Cardimen

  • Plaques from old building have all found placement except for one from 1970s. Asks for motion to donate to Joe Divito at the Coraopolis Historical Society. Motion carries.

John May

  • In the alley behind 872 4th Avenue, a resident would like to pour a parking pad, but there is a "Watch Children" sign in place which he/she would like moved. There are children in the area, so this will be a relocation. John May will inspect for a new location and council will reconsider at a later date.
  • Bliwas field has no power. The meter circuit is bad and the service line is corroded and needs to be replaced. The repair estimate is $4,512. Duquesne Light needs to be on hand for this to proceed and they are currently not available; however, this will need to be remedied in the fall so that the ballfield is ready to go for the spring season. A motion proposed to pay H&L Electric $4,512, but then an Amended Motion is immediately re-proposed to pay H&L Electric an undetermined amount not to exceed $5,000 for electric repairs to Bliwas field as soon as they are able to move forward. Moved by Linc Jackson. Second by Rudy Bolea. Roll call vote carries.

Ray McCutcheon

  • Thanks the Newkirk couple, who is present, for their Vacant Property Program in which they have repaired about 1/2 dozen properties in Coraopolis.
  • Regarding the new building, would like to discuss getting quotes for cleaning maintenance. Would prefer an individual over a service as the quality of care would be better and the price would be more reasonable. Would like to advertise. Dave Pendel believes that it will be necessary to formulate a Job Description and pay structure prior to advertising. The cleaning service was priced out at $500/month for only 2 days per week minimal cleaning. 
  • For purposes of protecting the town's investment in the new furniture, they have been fitting would surfaces with glass. Would like to have the Executive Conference Room table also outfitted with glass so that it will last as long as possible. Capri Glass has quoted $750. Bolea makes a motion to pay $750 to Capri Glass from the Construction Fund to provide a glass cover for the Executive Conference Room table. Dave Pendel seconds this. Roll Call vote carries.
  • New soccer fields discussed. The Riverhounds now intends to construct a building onsite to train players year round. PennDot would like them to put in a turning lane.
  • A movie company will be filming at Barto's on October 9th from 3:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. There will be minimal to no road stoppage. There will be big lights on site after dark which could disturb neighbors, so they will be notified.

As a final note, Robb Cardimen reminds everyone that Mindunters will premier on Netflix on October 17th. Mindunters was partly filmed in Coraopolis.

Council retires to Executive Session.