Somerset Borough Council Minutes

Council Meeting Minutes will be posted after they are approved at the following meeting.

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Meet the Somerset Borough Council Members and Staff

Meet the Somerset Borough Council Members and Staff

Public Comment Policy

The Pennsylvania Sunshine Act (65 Pa. C.S. 701, et seq.) provides that the Board or Council of a political subdivision shall provide a reasonable opportunity at each advertised regular meeting and advertised special meeting for residents of the political subdivision or for taxpayers of the political subdivision or to comment on matters of concern, official action or deliberation which are or may be before the Board or Council prior to taking official action. (710.1).

To assure compliance with the Act, to inform members of the public who may wish to make comment, and to provide for predictable and orderly implementation of the public comment period, Somerset Borough Council has adopted this Public Comment Policy.

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2018 Council Meetings
Municipal Building

February 12th
Committee of the Whole Meeting - 5 PM
February 26th
Council Meeting 7 PM
March 12th
Committee of the Whole Meeting - 5 PM
March 26th
Council Meeting 7 PM
April 9th
Committee of the Whole Meeting - 5 PM
April 23rd
Council Meeting 7 PM
May 14th
Committee of the Whole Meeting - 5 PM
May 28th
Council Meeting 7 PM
June 11th
Committee of the Whole Meeting - 5 PM
June 25th
Council Meeting 7 PM
July 9th
Committee of the Whole Meeting - 5 PM
July 23rd
Council Meeting 7 PM
August 13th
Committee of the Whole Meeting - 5 PM
August 27th
Council Meeting 7 PM
September 10th
Committee of the Whole Meeting - 5 PM
September 24th
Council Meeting 7 PM
October 8th
Committee of the Whole Meeting - 5 PM
October 22nd
Council Meeting 7 PM
November 13th
Committee of the Whole Meeting - 5 PM
November 19th
Council Meeting 7 PM
December 10th
Committee of the Whole Meeting - 5 PM
December 17th
Council Meeting 7 PM

 

*Council has traditionally rescheduled its November and December meetings based on the timing for budget adoption and the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.   The rescheduling will be done closer to these dates.

Borough of Somerset Council Meeting
September 24, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.  

       Meeting was called to order by President Ruby Miller, opening with recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.

 

Roll Call:

       Council Members Present:  Ruby Miller; Fred Rosemeyer; Judy Pyle; Pam Ream; Sue Opp; Steve Shaulis and Gary Thomas.  Mayor Scott Walker also present.

 

       Also present were the following:  Borough Manager, Michele Enos; Director of Finance, Brett Peters; Solicitor, James Cascio; Chief of Police, Randy Cox and Consulting Engineer, Jake Bolby.

 

Announcements:

  (a) None

 

Approval of Minutes of Previous Meetings:

  (a) August 13th, 2018 – Committee of the Whole Meeting Minutes

 

Motion

       Mrs. Opp moved, Mr. Shaulis seconded to approve the August 13th, 2018 Committee of the Whole Meeting Minutes.         

                                                                            Motion Unanimously Carried

                                                                                                                                 

 

  (b) August 27th, 2018 – Public Hearing Meeting Minutes

 

Motion

       Mr. Thomas moved, Mrs. Opp seconded to approve August 27th, 2018 Public Hearing Meeting Minutes.

                                                                             Motion Unanimously Carried

 

 

  (c) August 27th, 2018 – Borough Council Meeting Minutes

 

Motion

       Mrs. Opp moved, Mrs. Ream seconded to approve August 27th, 2018 Borough Council Meeting Minutes.

                                                                             Motion Unanimously Carried

Award of Bids:

  (a) None

 

General Public Comments:

  (a) None

 

Administrative Business:

  (a) Communications (none)

 

  (b) Payment of Bills -

 

Motion

       Mr. Rosemeyer moved, Mrs. Opp seconded, to approve the payment of bills numbered 31774 – 31914 totaling $587,845.07.

Motion Unanimously Carried

 

Policy Agenda:

 

Old Business:

  (a) None

 

New Business:

  (a) Mary S. Biesecker Public Library – Requesting Council to consider the re-

       appointment of the following Library Board Members to a 3-year term.

 

       1. Mr. G. Henry Cook:

 

Motion

       Mrs. Ream moved, Mrs. Opp seconded, to approve the re-appointment of Mr. G. Henry Cook to a 3-year term for the Mary S. Biesecker Public Library.

 

Motion Unanimously Carried

 

       2. Mr. Benedict G. Vinzani, Jr.:

     

Motion

       Mrs. Opp moved, Mrs. Ream seconded, to approve the re-appointment of Mr. Benedict G. Vinzani, Jr. to a 3-year term for the Mary S. Biesecker Public Library.

 

Motion Unanimously Carried

       3. Reverend Matt Deal:

 

Motion

       Mr. Rosemeyer moved, Mrs. Ream seconded, to approve the re-appointment of Reverend Matt Deal to a 3-year term for the Mary S. Biesecker Public Library.

 

Motion Unanimously Carried

 

   (b) Water Distribution Equipment – Consider authorizing the purchase of a small vactor unit for the Water Distribution Dept. from Bain Equipment Company in the amount of $64,375.00 under the Commonwealth’s Co-Stars Cooperative Purchasing Program.

 

       Ms. Enos stated that this was discussed at the previous Committee of the Whole Meeting.  She reiterated that the tank inspection at the State Hospital Tank, which was budgeted for this year, was completed.  She stated that the whole project was budgeted for this year.  Ms. Enos brought out that the project for the tank is going to be postponed until 2019.  She stated that the Water Distribution Equipment was going to be slated for the budget for 2019.  Ms. Enos stated that we are “swapping out” these two projects.  We do have enough money in our Capital Fund to cover for the Water Distribution Equipment at this time.   

 

Motion

       Mrs. Ream moved, Mr. Rosemeyer seconded, to authorize the purchase of a small vactor unit for the Water Distribution Dept. from Bain Equipment Company in the amount of $64,375.00 under the Commonwealth’s Co-Stars Cooperative Purchasing

Program.

Motion Unanimously Carried

 

 

  (c) Long Range Water System Improvements – Recommending that the Municipal Authority enter into an agreement with the EADS Group in the form presented at the meeting for engineering and design of up to $20 million dollars of capital improvements to the Municipal Authority’s Water System. 

 

       Ms. Enos stated that we will be discussing this further with the Municipal Authority in our meeting set up for October 15th, 2018.  She spoke with the Municipal Authority Board Members to let them know that Borough Council would be considering a recommendation, and what we previous discussed at the Committee of the Whole Meeting to proceed further. 

 

Motion

       Mrs. Ream moved, Mrs. Opp seconded, to recommend that the Municipal Authority enter into an agreement with the EADS Group in the form presented at the meeting for engineering and design of up to $20 million dollars of capital

improvements to the Municipal Authority’s Water System. 

 

Motion Unanimously Carried

 

 

  (d) Borough Council Meeting Date Changes – Consider authorizing the change of the

       following meeting dates:

 

       1. Monday, November 26th, 2018 meeting to Monday, November 19th, 2018.

 

  Motion

       Mr. Shaulis moved, Mr. Thomas seconded, to authorize the change of the meeting date on Monday, November 26th, 2018 to Monday, November 19th, 2018.

 

Motion Unanimously Carried

 

       2. Monday, December 24th, 2018 meeting to Monday, December 17th, 2018.

 

Motion

       Mr. Thomas moved, Mrs. Opp seconded, to authorize the change of the meeting date on Monday, December 24th, 2018 to Monday, December 17th, 2018.

 

Motion Unanimously Carried

 

 

(e) Resolution No. 2018-13 – Authorization to deposit the Commonwealth’s Allocation from the General Municipal Pension State Aid Program in the amount of $215,481.87.  This will be deposited in accordance with the Borough’s actuarial recommendation.

 

                             Resolution No. 2018 -13

            WHEREAS, the Borough of Somerset has received a direct deposit from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania dated September 20th, 2018 in the amount of Two Hundred Fifteen Thousand, Four Hundred Eighty-One and 87/100 ($215,481.87) Dollars, representing the Commonwealth’s allocation from the General Municipal Pension State Aid Program, and;

 

            WHEREAS, Act 205 of 1984 provides that pension allocations must be deposited in the Municipal Pension Plan within thirty (30) days of receipt by the Municipal Treasurer, and;

 

            WHEREAS, the governing body must determine by Resolution the amount to be distributed into its various plans;

 

            NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that Fifty-Eight Thousand Two Hundred Eighty-Five and 87/100 ($58,285.87) Dollars be allocated to the Non-Uniformed Collective Bargaining Pension Plan; and One Hundred Fifty-Seven Thousand One Hundred Ninety-Six and 00/100 ($157,196.00) Dollars be allocated to the Police Pension Plan.

 

            ADOPTED this 24th day of September 2018

 

Motion

       Mr. Shaulis moved, Mrs. Ream seconded, to authorize the deposit the Commonwealth’s Allocation from the General Municipal Pension State Aid Program in the amount of $215,481.87.  This will be deposited in accordance with the Borough’s actuarial recommendation.

Motion Unanimously Carried

 

 

       Mr. Rosemeyer mentioned that the next Junior Council Person is a young man by the name of Johnathan Wagner.  He mentioned that a meeting will be set up with himself and Ms. Enos prior to the next Borough Meeting where he will be in attendance.

 

       Mayor Walker brought out that the Borough Police Department received a portion of a $250,000.00 Federal Grant to county-wide Police Departments through the Law Enforcement Technology Enhancement Grant.  He stated that the Borough’s share is roughly in the amount of $32,000.00 - $33,000.00.  

 

       Mayor Walker mentioned that this grant enables Police Departments to place and update computers in Municipal Police cars. 

 

       Chief Cox mentioned that the grant money the Borough Police Department received will be utilized to upgrade our already existing in-car computer systems. 

 

       Chief Cox also brought out that they also received money through one anonymous donor, and a donation from The Eagles, to purchase Police cameras for every Patrol Officer to wear while on duty.  He explained that we’re fortunate in that our computer system in the Borough is going to allow us to self-store rather than have to pay an ongoing fee.  Chief Cox explained how the cameras work, and how they will attach onto the Officer’s uniform.  He stated that a policy will be put in place for when the Officer will specifically be allowed to turn the camera on and off. 

 

       Chief Cox thanked Mr. Shaulis, and The Eagles, for their generous donation towards the cost of the Police cameras. 

 

       Mayor Walker brought out that these new Police cameras will have virtually no cost associated with it to the Borough residents.  

 

       Mrs. Pyle mentioned that the router is fixed at Vo-Tech, so the school will be working on the Historic Signs. 

 

       She also brought out that Somerset Inc.’s upcoming Holiday Design Contest presently has six schools signed up to participate, including Somerset School District.  Mrs. Pyle explained how the competition will be held.

 

       Mrs. Pyle mentioned that Somerset Inc. applied for a Facade Grant in order to work on returning their office to the classic look.

 

       Mrs. Pyle stated that Somerset Inc. applied for a Community Foundation Grant.  She explained that if they are awarded the grant, it will go towards the match for the DCNR Grant, which they applied for in April.  Mrs. Pyle said that Somerset Inc. should be notified by December 2018 if they will be awarded this grant. 

 

       Mrs. Pyle brought out how Trinity Park was utilized this summer, although not finished.  She stated that discussion is being held within Somerset Inc. on what will be involved in completing the park.  

 

       Chief Cox suggested that Mrs. Pyle develop some very simple, basic rules for the use of Trinity Park, and then encouraged her to post the rules within the park.

 

       Mrs. Pyle mentioned that Fall Clean-Up will be held on October 5th, 2018, and said that over 1,000 spring flower bulbs will be planted in the beds at Trinity Park.

 

       Mrs. Miller asked when the streets are going to be started Uptown on the West side. 

 

       Ms. Enos disclosed that the Borough is in talks with PennDOT right now about moving the construction season, and doing both sides of the street next year.  She stated that it is getting late in the season now, and weather has been a factor.  Ms. Enos stated that once she receives official notification from PennDOT, she would disclose this information to Borough Council. 

 

 

 Executive SessionTo discuss potential litigation.  

 

Motion

       Mrs. Ream moved, seconded by Mrs. Opp to go into Executive Session to discuss potential litigation.

                                                                            Motion Unanimously Carried

                                                                                     7:25 p.m.

 

Back in Regular Session:

          7:56 p.m.

                                                                           

 

ADJOURNMENT:

       Mrs. Opp moved to adjourn, seconded by Mr. Shaulis.                

 

 Motion Unanimously Carried

 7:56 p.m.      

 

                                                                                                    

                                               

                                                                _____________________________________

                                                                      Michele A. Enos, Borough Manager/Secretary