Somerset Borough Council Minutes

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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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2016 Council Meetings
7:00 pm at the
Municipal Building

January 25th
February 22nd
March 28th
April 25th
May 23rd
June 27th
July 25th
August 22nd
September 26th
October 24th
November 21st
December 19th

 

*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
April 25, 2016 – 7:00 p.m.

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

Present:

            Members of Borough Council: Ruby Miller; Fredric Rosemeyer; Judy Pyle; Pam Ream; Steve Shaulis; and Gary Thomas. Mayor Scott Walker was also present. 

Also Present:

            Borough Manager, Michele Enos; Director of Finance, Brett Peters; Chief of Police, Randy Cox;  Solicitor James Cascio;   Consulting Engineers from the EADS Group, Tom Reilly and Jake Bowlby; Director of Public Works, George Svirsko;  and  Assistant Manager, Joshua Summits. 

Announcements:

            President Miller made the following announcements:

            (a) An Executive Session was held at 5:30 p.m. April 11, 2016 to discuss Police Personnel Issues.

            (b) An Executive Session was held at 5:30 p.m. on April 25, 2016 to discuss Personnel Issues.

Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes

            Mrs. Ream then moved to approve the minutes of the previous meeting noting this correction – motion seconded by Mr. Thomas.
Motion Unanimously Carried.

General Public Comments

            Sienna Davis described a parking problem on West Garrett Street involving Residential Permit Parking. Students have been obtaining visitor permits from another permit parking area. 
She described some of the issues: too many cars from the school are parked along the street, causing residents difficulty in finding parking.  This also affected snow plowing since they would be there from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

            The Chief of Police said color-coding would be no problem but it may not be feasible until permits are re-issued.  We can institute an Agreement to accept the permit with the understanding that it can only be used in your parking area, but the permit does not limit visitors.

            Mrs. Davis said she is merely concerned about the students obtaining the permits.  Mr. Cox said they will respond, but he cannot dedicate an officer to be on the two-block area consistently.  He said if it would be acceptable, they will have the color code prepared by the time new permits arrive for next year, and he explained that the reason they selected color-coding was to avoid having to place stickers on cars. He said he would consider administratively drawing up an application that would also double as an Agreement.

Administrative Business

Payment of Bills

            Mr. Rosemeyer moved to pay the following bills for the April 25, 2016 Council meeting, as reviewed – motion then seconded by Mr. Shaulis:

Check Numbers:  27459 to 27600                
Total Amount:  $522,925.10
Motion Unanimously Carried.

New Business

(a) Resolution No. 2016-09

            Mrs. Enos explained that we are in the finalization stage of all documents required by FEMA concerning the January 2016 snow disaster reimbursement.  The “Designation of Agent” Resolution designates a person to execute and submit all documents.

            She recommends approval so that we can move forward in the FEMA Reimbursement Application Process.

Motion

            Mrs. Ream moved; seconded by Mr. Rosemeyer, to execute the following Resolution:

Resolution No. 2016-09
Designation of Agent for FEMA-4267-DR

BE IT RESOLVED, by Council of the Borough of Somerset, that Michele A. Enos, Borough Manager, is hereby authorized to execute for and in behalf of the Borough of Somerset, Somerset County, a Public Entity established under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:
            All required forms and documents are for the purpose of obtaining financial assistance under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.   (Public Law 93-288 as amended by Public Law 100-707).

            Certification signed, passed and approved April 25, 2016.

                                                                                                Motion Unanimously Carried.

(b) Sewage Treatment Plant

            Ms. Enos stated that we need to consider authorizing the EADS Group to advertise and prepare bid specifications for repairs to the “trickling filters” at our sewage treatment plant.

            Cost estimate is $120,000 which has been budgeted for the year 2016.

Motion

            Mr. Thomas moved; Mr. Shaulis seconded, to authorize preparation and advertising of specifications for the repair of the “trickling filters” at the sewage treatment plant.   

                                                                                                Motion Unanimously Carried.

(c) PennDOT Parking Study

            Ms. Enos explained that Penndot will be painting “traffic lanes” along West Patriot Street and West Main Street.
Penndot needs to determine which blocks could accommodate parking; whether both sides of the street; and which side is most appropriate, before doing the line striping.
To ask for this study to be performed, Council’s authorization to approach PennDOT would be required.  We do not typically pay for this type of traffic study, since this is a State highway. However if a cost should be associated with this request, it will be brought back to Council before we ask them to proceed.

           
Motion

Mr. Rosemeyer moved to approve the PennDOT Parking Study – seconded by Mr.  Shaulis.

Motion Unanimously Carried.

COMMITTEE, ADMINISTRATION, SPECIAL REPORTS

 

(a) Manager’s Report

Ms. Enos reported the following:

  • She attended the pre-bid Construction Conference along with Gary Thomas on March 30th, regarding the Public Works Garage Roof Replacement Project with EADS Group.
  • March 31st she met with Tom Jury and Mike Skiver to review the DEP Reports required when a commercial structure is demolished.
  • On April 6th we met with FEMA to discuss the documentation required regarding the January 2016 snow disaster.
  • On April 8th we met to discuss the repairs to the trickling filters at the sewer plant.
  • The Public Works Committee met April 14th and toured the streets to review the list of potential Paving Projects scheduled for this year.
  • On April 20th she met with Craig Weimer and Tri-Star to finalize all paperwork for the new pick-up truck that Council authorized.  (It is now in service at our Sewage Treatment Plant.)
  • On April 21st we attended a follow-up meeting with PEMA and FEMA to continue the process of applying for reimbursement for the January 2016 snow emergency. 
  • She met with Mr. Svirsko and George Spinelli (of Penndot) to review the list of roads that the Public Works Committee provided.  We have a list of cost-per-street and will be narrowing it down with the Public Works Committee.  We may need to eliminate some and include them in next year’s budget.
  • On April 26th she and Mr. Svirsko will meet with Selective Insurance for their Quarterly Safety Inspection.

 

(b) President’s Report

  • Ms. Enos said we made an offer on the Parking Meter status and are waiting on a counter.
  • Mrs. Miller asked about free parking on Saturday, April 30th at the municipal parking lot behind the Fraternal Order of Eagle building.   It was explained that the Somerset Ambulance Association’s Barbecue Benefit will held that day, and they had discussed placing the ambulances in the back parking lot for display.  

Motion

            Mr. Rosemeyer moved to allow the municipal parking lot behind the Fraternal Order of Eagles building to have free parking on Saturday, April 30th – motion seconded by Mrs. Ream.

Motion Unanimously Carried 

  • Mrs. Miller suggested attending the May 12th meeting at the Quality Inn to review the North Center Avenue Bridge Replacement Project.


(c)  Engineer’s  Report

Tom Reilly reported the following:

  • The Municipal Authority received funding for the water tank replacement from Pennvest, a 20-year loan, at interest rate of 1% for year one through five, and a little over 1.6% for years 6 through 20 – (a 1.8 million-dollar project).
  • They are planning on completing the contract documents, opening bids this summer and set up a Pennvest loan closing.
  • The Control System for the Water Treatment Plant is out for bids, opening the first week of May.
  • They submitted DEP permits for Storm Sewer Projects and we’re waiting for Penndot’s review.

President Ruby Miller presented the following Certificate of Recognition to Engineer Tom Reilly:

            On behalf of the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Somerset, we are pleased to recognize the appointment of Thomas M. Reilly, P.E. to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of EADS – given on this 25th day April, 2016.

(d) Public Works/Equipment Committee

            Gary Thomas reported no meeting was held for this period - one will be scheduled before next Council Meeting.

(e) Public Safety Committee Meeting

Mr. Rosemeyer reported the following review of their previous meeting, held April 18th:

  • They discussed the problem of drug overdose for first responders and will need to have officers trained on this subject before June 30th.
  • They discussed psychological testing for police officers.
  • Concerning Vehicle Cameras – these will not be placed because a new State Law will be forthcoming therefore will wait until it is passed before making any purchases.
  • Concerning a new vehicle – this is being placed “on hold” because of the capital expense for the garage roof.  He noted that each time we delayed purchasing a needed vehicle it puts us behind, for the following year.  Therefore after the roof is completed and funds are available we would like to buy the new patrol car.  Ms. Enos added that this can be brought up at the Finance Committee Meeting.

(f) Finance Committee

Mr. Rosemeyer provided the following Report representing Revenues and Expenditures through March, which is the “25% point” of the fiscal year:

General Fund:
Revenues:  10.93%
Expenses:   22.72%

Water Revenue Fund:
Revenues: 25.16%
Expenses:  28.44%

Sewer System Operating Fund:
Revenues: 23.11%
Expenses: 17.60%


(g) Somerset, Inc.

Judy Pyle’s Report:

  • The Board began preparation for the process of hiring an Executive Director.
  • A Trinity Park meeting was held.
  • We need permission from Council to paint the clock on the “Diamond” and remove the benches, which are in bad shape. (they discussed possibly using them elsewhere)  The clock belongs to the Borough therefore they need permission to paint it.  New benches will be arriving.

           
Motion

Fred Rosemeyer offered a motion to allow Somerset Inc. to paint the clock on the “diamond” - seconded by Gary Thomas.

                                                                                                           Motion Unanimously Carried.

           
(h)  Somerset Volunteer Fire Department

Mr. Thomas’ Report:

  • We had roughly 221 calls from October 1st.
  • There were several accidents here in the Borough.
  • Our call load has gone up, in helping other Fire Departments.
  • The new ladder truck is in service.  We had training on it last weekend, with probably 30 people being trained to operate it.

(i) Solicitors Report

            Mr. Cascio mentioned the right-of-way with the Somerset Hotel (which was behind the former Ramada Inn) was authorized at our last Council Meeting. The next step is to see that the line is properly installed in accordance with the Line Extension Agreement.

Adjournment

            Pam Ream moved to adjourn, seconded by Gary Thomas.

Unanimously Carried
7:58 p.m.

________________________
Michele Enos
Borough Manager/Secretary