The Riverside Borough Council met on Monday, April 5, 2021 in the Municipal Building, 415 Dewart Street, Riverside. Meeting was called to order at 7 pm by Council President John Domanski. In attendance were Vice President Barb Kriner, Council members Peter Fleming, Brian Whitenight and Delavan Whitenight Jr, Beth Rake participated by Telephone. Also present were Solicitor Joseph Michetti and Secretary Deborah Bausch. Absent this evening were Council Member Kevin Romansik and Mayor John LaMotte.
Our audience this evening consisted of Rick Dandes, Daily Item Reporter, Jon Stassel, Southside Fire Chief, Aiden Stein and Joel Wiest.
Joel Wiest spoke first and said he was not there on a legal issue but was with Mr. Stein, owner of Affordable Fuels. They spoke of an incident wherein one of their fuel trucks got stuck in a culvert and there was a heated conversation with the Chief of Police. Mr. Stein spoke on how his company has been in the borough for a long time and has never had an issue. He had asked for a return phone call from the Chief but it was never received; the Chief responded he felt it was not necessary since the driver of the truck was on the phone with the owner and the Chief was there as things were being relayed. There was conflicting times for arrival of a removal vehicle. President Domanski stated he was on scene shortly after it happened and there was a long time till the tow truck arrived, more than the 8 minutes previously reported by Mr. Stein. Traffic was blocked for a lane and a partial lane and the issue of safety is what the chief addressed that day. President John Domanski stated we would back our Chief in this matter. Brian Whitenight then stated in his business he has had tow companies forced on him in similar situations so this does happen.
Minutes of March 15, 2021 were put on the table. Vice President Barb Kriner called attention to a correction from previous minutes; Southside Fire Company does not charge Riverside residents for call outs. Jon Stassel confirmed they only bill out of area calls. Peter Fleming made a Motion to approve the minutes with the noted correction. Seconded by Vice President Barb Kriner and all voted in favor.
Budget Report for February 2021 was approved on a Motion by Vice President Barb Kriner and seconded by Delavan Whitenight Jr. All voted for.
Brian Anderson, Zoning Officer, presented his March report. It had been a busy month and there was one variance hearing. The Susquehanna Valley Modelers Club wanted to erect a sign that was larger than the ordinance allowed. This sign was approved at the Zoning Hearing board on 3/31/21. Vice President Barb Kriner inquired what was happening with the Decoteau property; lots of activity there. Peter Fleming added that Dave Decoteau is in charge of kayak rentals at a local venue. Report was approved on a Motion by Vice President Barb Kriner and seconded by Brian Whitenight; all voted for.
Dan Gable, Street Superintendent, then presented the street department report which covered several issues. First was talk of the water issue on 8th Street; springs have water running across the street and in winter freezing causing many problems. He presented a proposal from Chip Adams to install an inlet box and 12” pipe to divert the water to the creek. Brian Whitenight inquired if a study needed done; Peter Fleming added that at one time it had been a borough ditch. Solicitor Michetti stated that no study would need done since it was not going on private property.
The next issue was a sewer line at the property of Holly McCormick. Borough code states the sewer line is the borough responsibility to the property line; the pipe is the old orangeberg and it was proposed to blow in a liner rather than dig up the roadway. A Motion was made by Brian Whitenight to do both projects with funding to come from the Sewer Fund. Seconded by Vice President Barb Kriner and all voted in favor. Boyce Road was the next topic of discussion. Dan explained how much time and materials are used on that road each year and still not in good shape. Part of the problem is drainage pipes which would need addressed first before road repairs could be done. Road could be repaired from Kipps Run Road to an area just past Farmall Lane. Other part of the road would be marked No Maintenance but would be kept open for passing and emergency vehicles. It is felt that the residents use other roadways to leave their homes in that area. We would need homeowners to replace the driveway pipes; if we just remove them it would leave a ditch. Brian Whitenight suggested the homeowner buy the replacement pipe and we install them. Dan said a letter would have to be given to the homeowners. Delavan Whitenight suggested a cement culvert be installed. On a Motion by Vice President Barb Kriner and seconded by Brian Whitenight a bid package will be issued for repairs to Boyce Road. President Domanski stated we are to receive some COVID monies and that could fund this project. Another issue was the grading of Mainzer Hill. Dan has contacted Rodger Wintersteen who has done this in the past and will do again this year. He charges approximately $125/hour for his services.
A big issue is also trucks in the borough. They are on streets they should not be on and damaging signs and property. Signs need placed on Gearhart, Avenue C, Dewart and Factory Streets which see the most truck traffic. Posting of these streets would have to be authorized via an amendment to our Code book. President John Domanski asked for Dan Gable and Chief Parkes to get together and get a list of streets that would need signs placed before we do any amendments to our code. Street Department Report was approved on a Motion by Brian Whitenight and seconded by Vice President Barb Kriner. All voted in favor.
Dan stated Chris Henrie has been in charge of replacing street signs to be in compliance with new regulations; so far he has done about 100 and about 40 remain to be completed.
Paving Bids were opened with the lowest bidder being New Enterprise Stone and Lime Inc. Motion made by Vice President Barb Kriner to issue contract pending review to New Enterprise; seconded by Brian Whitenight and agreed to by all. Results of the other bidders is attached to these minutes.
Jon Stassel, Southside Fire Company Chief, presented the fire company report. He stated the first meeting is difficult for him to attend but will be sure his report is here each month. He said February was a slow month but March was a very busy month; property damage was over $100,000.00. He also stated the Borough Celebrations can be held at the Southside Fire Company grounds at no cost Report was approved on a Motion by Vice President Barb Kriner and seconded by Peter Fleming. All voted for.
Chief Kerry Parkes reviewed the police department report and started by saying Thank You to Southside Fire Company for offering to buy the department a pair of Conducted Electric Gloves. The generator is only a 5k unit and is being donated to Locust Twp who will take it and refurbish it for use by the SWAT team. Chief Parkes went into an in depth discussion of body cameras explaining their costs and programs available. He stated the RPOA would like to pay for some ammo purchased for training – Winchester 9mm; everyone was fine with that. The new vehicles are here; police have been playing car shuffle with removing equipment from old vehicles and placing in the new vehicles. The 2015 charger has been traded and delivered to Zimmerman Motors. Chief Parkes wanted to alert residents that spring clean up time is here – junk, vehicles, etc. need to be cleaned up. It was pointed out our Dumpster Day is May 1st. Chief Parkes also presented council will a letter he received from a resident in the borough praising Office Eamon Shoff who handled a family incident for them.
He was very thankful for the professional manner in which Officer Shoff presented himself and the Riverside Borough Police. President John Domanski then asked the chief regarding the 4 wheeler; since he took care of the generator what is happening with the 4 wheeler. Chief stated the guy who was to come take a look has not made it here yet and President John Domanski told him to find someone else then to handle it. Police Department report was approved on a Motion by Vice President Barb Kriner, seconded by Brian Whitenight and approved by all.
Due to the absence of the Mayor, there was no mayor report.
Solicitor Joe Michetti spoke of the progress in the school purchase. An Affidavit has to be received from appraiser for the school/courts to move forward. His report was approved on a Motion by Brian Whitenight and seconded by Vice President Barb Kriner. All voted in favor.
Standing Committee report for the 2021 celebration committee was given to members. Secretary Debbie Bausch explained a couple of the items and a flyer was given on the back of written notes for council to see what we have lined up so far. We are still seeking donations; fundraising is going okay.
Report was approved on a Motion by Vice President Barb Kriner and seconded by Peter Fleming. All voted in favor.
At 8:20 pm, Vice President Barb Kriner made a Motion to Adjourn to an Executive Session for personnel matters. Seconded by Delavan Whitenight Jr. Regular Session ended and Executive Session began.
Approximately 8:54 pm, Peter Fleming made a Motion to Adjourn the Executive Session and return to Regular Council Session. Seconded by Vice President Barb Kriner. Executive Session Ended.
Vice President Barb Kriner made a Motion to give Chief Parkes a letter dismissing his grievance and returning his money. Seconded by Brian Whitenight and approved by all.
Vice President Barb Kriner made a Motion to contact an Attorney who is a specialist with work employment law. This was seconded by Peter Fleming. All voted for.
Secretary Deborah Bausch was requested to look into dental and vision plans for the employees.
At approximately, 8:58 pm, Vice President Barb Kriner made a Motion to Adjourn, seconded by Brian Whitenight.
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