RIVERSIDE BOROUGH COUNCIL
The Riverside Borough Council met on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 in the Municipal Building, 415 Dewart Street, Riverside, PA. The meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm by President Carolyn M. Bausch. Present this evening in addition to the President were Vice President Peter T. Fleming, Council Members Barb Kriner, John Domanski and Kevin Romansik. Antonio Michetti sat in as Solicitor for the meeting. Secretary Deborah Bausch attended also. Beth Rake participated in the meeting via telephone due to working out of state. Absent this evening were Council Member Michael Leibel and Mayor John LaMotte.
In the audience this evening were Todd Oberdorf, Alex Oberdorf, Nick Fowler and Brian Whitenight as well as Danville News Reporter, Karen Blackledge.
Todd Oberdorf took the floor first to address Council regarding the water run off at his property. He has met with Penn Dot officials as well as Dan Gable from the street department and council member John Domanski regarding installing a new pipeline along his property. He has been told it was the homeowner’s responsibility; however, he disagrees. Pipes were put in 40/50 years ago and he is sure homeowners did not do it. He measured the length today and it would take 63’ pipe to fix the issue at an approximate cost of $500.00. John Domanski suggested blocking off the inlet pipe and installing an air bag and baffle to help with water run off; water is bubbling out of the ground which would seem to indicate a blocked pipe. A lengthy discussion ensued regarding precedents that would be set. It is more than just the cost of pipe, it would be manpower and materials to consider as well. Todd agreed to try the pipe alternative as suggested by John Domanski and inquired as to who would monitor it and was told the borough would monitor it. Carolyn Bausch was concerned about the precedent being set and felt Penn Dot should have some skin in this. Todd stated someone from council should be talking with Penn Dot. It should be noted discussions have been held previously with Penn Dot personnel. Peter Fleming said we have experienced Penn Dot’s lack of responsibility. Peter Fleming will talk with Dan to see if he has had any more conversations with Penn Dot on this problem.
Todd then began discussing an old topic of grass clippings in the roadways. Kevin Romansik stated conversation we had previously was what measured amount is considered dangerous. Todd stated the borough does not have leaf blowers to use to blow off clippings. Peter Fleming stated our borough mower has a rear discharge but the bush hog cutter would leave debris in the roadway. Attorney Michetti said an ordinance could be passed for organic material in the roadway but it could be challenged in court; he also explained the presumption of whose grass was in the roadway can be hard to ultimately legally enforce. Beth Rake stated she had talked with people in the borough that rode bikes and motorcycles and none had an issue with the grass on the road. Enforcement was further discussed; John Domanski stated it would have to be observed to be cited. Barb Kriner also stated homeowner could say it was not their grass and would need proved as to whose grass it was.
Carolyn Bausch said she does not like grass clippings on the road either but enforcement could be hard. John Domanski felt if we had an ordinance on the books it might deter residents from continuing to do that.
Barb Kriner asked Chief Parkes about the door hangers he had spoken of in a previous meeting. Chief explained if a neighbor reported someone for grass in road, and the citation would go to hearing, that person would need to appear to testify.
John Domanski was making a motion to draft an organic matter ordinance; however, Attorney Michetti said a motion was not needed at this time. He would draft up a recommended ordinance for our October meeting. Peter Fleming would be all for an ordinance; he went on to talk about our recent paving which we found the road to be wider but due to grass overgrowing on the blacktop we had to have more paving done. Solicitor Michetti asked if an ordinance would be just for grass clippings? Barb Kriner questioned about sticks being part of the organic matter? Beth Rake stated she would be opposed to any ordinance regarding grass clippings; too hard to enforce and it will be a slippery slope to open a new can or worms. Todd Oberdorf questioned the snow ordinance doesn’t address any amount and therefore grass would not need any amount listed either. Chief Parkes stated he had spoken with a local judge in Millville about the issue and was informed if it was an entire property being blown onto the road, that would be a problem; however one path would not be a problem. Bike riders should pay attention when riding to stay safe. Solicitor Michetti will prepare a broad ordinance for council to review and then would need advertised if they decide to go forward. Barb Kriner agreed with Carolyn Bausch with being against adding any organic matter except grass. Kevin Romansik said enforcement would be an issue; it would be more of a courtesy.
One last issue from Todd Oberdorf was street repairs. He presented council with a list of roads and intersections that needed repair. Paving has been completed for this year. Roads to be paved are chosen by our Street Department as well as our expert Penn Dot representative who canvas the borough for the roads needing the most repair.
After reviewing, Minutes of August 5, 2019 were approved on a Motion by Peter Fleming and seconded by Barb Kriner. All voted in favor.
Budget Reports for the months of June and July were approved on a Motion by Barb Kriner and seconded by John Domanski. All voted in favor.
Due to the absence of the Zoning Officer Brian Anderson, his report was read by Carolyn Bausch. Carolyn Bausch stated she and Brian Anderson had ridden the borough streets checking out visibility issues at intersections. Report was approved on a Motion by Barb Kriner and seconded by Kevin Romansik. All voted for.
Dan Gable, Street Superintendent, was also absent this evening and Carolyn Bausch presented his report. Ditches have been cleaned and the paving has been completed. One item of discussion was new Christmas decorations. Several vendors had provided quotes for 22 wreaths for the lamp posts. Wintergreen Corporation had the best prices; John Domanski brought up it had sales tax on invoice. Secretary Bausch has a tax exempt certificate that was filed with them to remove that cost. Peter Fleming made a Motion to Approve purchase of 22 wreaths (48” size) from Wintergreen Corporation. Motion seconded by John Domanski.
Peter Fleming then spoke of pipes in driveways being the responsibility of the homeowners to maintain. Street Report was approved on a Motion by Barb Kriner and seconded by Peter Fleming. All voted in favor.
Nick Fowler then addressed council with the Southside Fire Company Report for July 2019. He stated the fire company was meeting with Rush Township asking for a half mill (1/2) fire tax to be incorporated; they are also meeting with Mayberry Township in this request. Nick Fowler spoke about the issue with radios; the Kenwoods are good radios but Montour County is requiring the higher priced Motorola radios. Kenwood would be allowed on the StarNet network; however Montour County will not allow their use. John Domanski asked about the cost to update the Kenwood radios. The Kenwood radios could have been updated for a cost of about $2000.00 compared to the huge cost to replace with Motorola models. Chief Parkes added that we are being mandated by Montour County to switch to Motorola or go back to Northumberland County for dispatch. John Domanski said the consultant from Motorola was getting a commission and should not be allowed to be the consultant and sell the product also. Barb Kriner then stated there was one positive point to the Motorola radios in that the system will be a better system. She further explained it will be set up with the State Police and towers are being upgraded. Capital Communications has the state contract. Nick said their 7 radios that had not been working properly are now working. Barb Kriner stated radios have been from Danville to Columbia County but with Capital doing the contract improvements are coming. Radio cost for the fire company has been dropped to approximately $20,000.00.
Carolyn Bausch said we were being dictated too and Peter Fleming felt the state should investigate since there is public safety involved. Barb Kriner felt things will be more uniform. Chief Parkes said the police radios would be about $40,000.00 and he would like to see the borough cover the cost of both police and fire company radios. There was a meeting today with Penn Strategies who we hope to hire to help find grants which may offset some radio costs as well as other issues in the borough. Peter Fleming made a Motion to accept the Southside Fire Company Report as well as cover the cost of radios for both departments. Motion was seconded by Barb Kriner. All voted in favor.
Chief Kerry Parkes presented the Police Department for July 2019. He stated National Night Out was a success but he would like to see more Riverside residents attend. Nick Fowler suggested we hold it here one year. Barb Kriner stated that Sarah Fowler does a great job with doing flyers and getting the word out for events such as their Fire Prevention program. Barb Kriner made a Motion to Accept the Police Report as well as paying for radios and seeking funding for them; Motion seconded by John Domanski. All voted in for.
There was no Mayor’s Report this evening.
Solicitor Michetti also had no report.
Under New Business this evening was Cyber Liability Insurance for the borough. Our insurance representative sent two quotes for data breach protection.
After some discussion, Barb Kriner made a Motion to Accept the quote from Hiscox Pro at a cost of $1378.00. Motion was seconded by Peter Fleming and all voted for.
Another topic involved our borough insurance for the upcoming year. Peter Fleming stated we should check with other companies every 3 – 5 years to keep competitive rates. Our carrier, Weiss Schantz has been good to work with and handle our issues.
They do periodic checks with vendors to be sure we are getting the most for our money. Two other companies had requested to give us quotes but after discussion, it was felt to stay with Weiss Schantz this upcoming year and future years to get competitive bid packages.
Next Agenda Item was the presentation of the Letter of Resignation submitted by Council Member Michael Leibel . His letter dated August 19, 2019 stated he was resigning due to health issues and he will be moving from the Borough in the near future. Carolyn Bausch mentioned we have 30 days in which to fill the vacant seat. Letter of Resignation was accepted on a Motion by John Domanski and seconded by Barb Kriner. All voted for. Carolyn Bausch stated that we have a nominee on the ballot in November. Beth Rake stated she felt Brian Whitenight should be appointed to the seat since he is on the November ballot. Barb Kriner said that would be her suggestion also. Brian Whitenight was in the audience and stated he would be agreeable to accepting the seat. On a Motion by John Domanski and seconded by Barb Kriner, Brian Whitenight will be the interim council member replacing Michael Leibel. The term would end on December 31, 2019. Brian Whitenight will be sworn into office at the next meeting, September 16, 2019.
Last agenda item of the evening was the paying of the Sudol paving project. There was much talk about the costs and payment from which accounts. We had budgeted money for this project and the bid had come in at $78,989.00. Invoice total was $91,927.00 which was about 16% over the bid price. Money was to come from Liquid Fuels and General Fund for this project. John Domanski questioned some of the figures for the budget and difference in the total and invoice. Barb Kriner made a Motion to pay the invoice cost of $65,000.00 from Liquid Fuels and the balance of $26,927.00 from the General Fund. Motion seconded by Kevin Romansik. Voting in favor were Carolyn Bausch, Barb Kriner, Peter Fleming and Kevin Romansik. John Domanski voted no. Motion passed on majority of yes votes.
At approximately, 8:22 pm, Barb Kriner made a Motion to adjourn the Regular Council session to an Executive Session. John Domanski seconded the motion. Council adjourned.
9:06 pm the Council had resumed meeting from the Executive Session. Barb Kriner then made a Motion to raise the salary of Secretary Bausch from $19.28 to $22.50 per hour effective immediately. Motion was seconded by John Domanski and all voted in favor.
Council Meeting adjourned at approximately 9:07 pm on a Motion by John Domanski.
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