September 2011 Council minutes

President Thomas E. Stinnett called the regular meeting of the Riegelsville Borough Council to order at 7:30 p.m. September 14th, 2011. Following the Pledge of Allegiance a roll call was taken.  PRESENT: Edward Bartosiewicz, John Panasiuk, Rodney Scott, Thomas Stinnett, Kathleen Weiss, Mayor Stokes

            K. Weiss motioned to approve the minutes of the August 10, 2011 Council Meeting and E. Bartosiewicz seconded.  Unanimous.



            A letter dated August 9th, 2011 from EMC Insurance Co., Borough Insurance Co., in reference to the recent Borough owned tree that fell on Borough resident’s shed.

            E-mails dated September 6, 13, 2011from Borough Resident Elizabeth Balogh in reference to the loud music at the Riegelsville Inn.

            Letter dated September 8th, 2011 from Cowan Associates, Borough Engineer in reference to the Borough Hall Steam Boiler replacement.


            President – Nothing to report

            Mayor – Mayor Stokes reported as of September 14th, 2011 he performed one wedding on September 1, 2011.  Went to look at Tractors and get quotes for the Borough with Matt Brady.  Mayor Stokes spoke to Borough resident in reference to the 3am loud music being played outside the Riegelsville Inn. Met with EMA about Irene and wrote several e-mails. Met with EMA about Tropical Depression Lee. Spoke twice with Representative Quinn about the needs of the Borough during the storms. Spoke to Borough resident, William Fazekas about water coming in his home. Matt Brady, Borough Employee went to check the water lines and it was ground water seepage not a water line break.  Spoke with State Police barracks commander about increasing traffic control before the start of school. Spoke with a borough resident having some trouble within their home and how to go about getting the state police reports on the incident. Spoke with K. Peck about the drain next to her home sending water into her home.  Spoke with Mike Snyder from Mr. Electric and he would like to look at Well #3 before they give a proposal for the Generator adaptor.

Mayor Stokes reported the following E-mail below from Borough property owner that he received:

Great to get these updates from you.  As a home owner in Riegelsville (duplex) that has flooded previously causing $93,000 in damage, I wonder why the township (or the Core of Engineers) doesn’t just take a simple step to prevent town from flooding?  Could I make this simple suggestion:

 Create an earthen dam that is slightly higher than Route 611 north of town, location might be around the ball fields, maybe 20 foot wide, put a nice walking path on top, gently sloped sides for children to play on / roll down, connect this to the existing canal walking path, raise the walking path from north of town to south of town, and thus keep water out of Riegelsville?  And when the floods come, sandbag the bridge if it’s lower than the canal path.  Millions upon millions of dollars of damage could be avoided for the vast majority of homes and businesses in town.  

 If my damage during the 2006 flood was $93,000, I would presume with 8-10 houses on Mapleswood having been damaged during the 2006 flood, we’re talking close to a million dollars of damage on one street alone.  Earth moving is not that expensive.  If the town bought an open parcel north of town for parking, provide a place for people to park, we built the earth dam / walkway, it could increase the amount of foot traffic in and around town, increase spending at our hard pressed commercial business, yet enliven town even more on weekends, thus creating more revenue and taxes to the town.  Most importantly it’s about flood protection.  This is my suggestion.

Unfortunately having been displaced by the bad economy to a job on the west coast I’ve missed seeing/experiencing the floods, but my tenants have not.  I’m always concerned about my investment in Riegelsville since I still think of this as my home!!  I would like to think between the town, the County, the State, and the Fed, we could get a short stretch of earth work done to make the town of Riegelsville resistant to flooding, at least the vast majority of it.

 There is a simple solution out there, I would like to see you spear-head discussions further on this with local, state and federal agencies if not already underway.

 Thanks again for you communications, great to see how everyone in this quaint small town pulls together when crisis knocks on our door step.

 Kindest Regards,
Theodore Soltis
Mayor Stokes response e-mail:

Sep 10, 2011 12:24:10 AM, wrote:

Dear Mr. Soltis,

 What you are suggesting is the building of a levee system. This was suggested in Easton as well and immediately shot down by the Army Corps of Engineers. I have lived in the midwest where some towns had them and others did not and I can tell you from experience they create way more trouble than they solve. Levees slow the river down and therefore cause it to dump it’s load. This in turn raises the river’s bottom higher and higher which causes you to have to continually raise the level of the levees until you have the town literally under the height of the river. Earth moving and building of walls as you suggest is insanely expensive and we would both be very old men before any money or permits might and I can’t emphasise might enough, be approved.

The solution to the problem is water management. Not building one six hundred home development after another. Not building hundreds and hundreds of paved acres of parking lots and causing untold millions of gallons of water to spill unchecked into the water sheds would be a good start. You get over 27,000 gallons of water per inch of rain per acre of impervious surface. During hurricane Ivan we had one third of the total rainfall of hurricane Diane in 1955 and yet the river was only four feet less in height. WHY? Two reasons development and complete mismanagement of the reservoirs that feed the Delaware from upstate New York. The state government is in total denial that the reservoirs cause any trouble at all and yet in the floods of 2004, 2005 and 2006 the river would have been six feet lower here in town. I am not sure which year it was that figure was correct and frankly right now since I have been up since 0340 this morning managing the situation, I really don’t care. The answer is pressure on the state level to kick New York into worrying less about the city having enough water and more into properly managing the levels of the reservoirs. I would be glad to send you links to the sites that will show you just how poorly NY is running the flow of water out of their reservoirs. I very much appreciate your concern about your investment in town as I live and work downtown. I am threatened with flooding every time the river comes up to the levels it has in the past. In fact there was over five feet of water in my home in 1955 so it is only a matter of time until the right combination of weather gets me again. In 2004, 2005 and 2006 I lost six weeks of business due to people not being able to get to my office. I wish I had a better answer for you but I can tell you levees are not going to happen.

As far as discussion of the matter I have been in constant contact with Representative Quinn about the flooding and she has been in contact with the state government and frankly both the state government of PA and NY really don’t care to address the problem. As far as spearheading a project like you suggest, that could and would be a full time job all in itself. I would gladly close my office and take this project on at the appropriate salary. Who do you suggest will be paying me and for all of the permits, equipment, engineering studies, materiale and purchase of the “open space”. The town state and especially the federal government do not have the money for this type of project and trust me it frustrates me also that SOMETHING, ANYTHING can be done about this. I will be sure to send your suggestions to Representative Quinn and once again will try and exert some pressure to get the water up in NY managed better. I truly wish I had a better response to your letter as your concerns, are the concerns of many of us here in Riegelsville. I am glad that you find my letters helpful in keeping abreast of the intrusion of the weather. I hope I never have to write another one. I will be sure to let you know what Representative Quinn has to say about what can be done.

 Yours in Health,

 Mayor Gregory Stokes

CITIZENS COMMENTS:  Borough Resident, Daniel Cook had a few questions for Council in reference to the proposed Zoning changes.  T. Stinnett answered the questions and stated during the hearing on Thursday September 29th, 2011 7pm all questions will be addressed.



Community Affairs:

Fire Co. News:  E. Bartosiewicz reported that the Firehouse Breakfast is August 21, 2011 8 AM to noon. Painting is being done to the inside of the firehouse. 

            Zoning:  K. Clayton, Zoning officer reported to council that Craig Cardone may want to change the current commercial space to residential.  T. Stinnett stated that we need to have another wrong way sign on Durham Road by the Riegelsville Tavern. E. Bartosiewicz asked K. Clayton if he spoke to Todd Myers about the Fire Co. addition. K. Clayton reported that he has looked over the plans and will have permit ready on August 24th, 2011.  T. Stinnett would like a letter to go to Riegelsville Inn in reference to the loud music.

            Library News:  Library Board member, Debbie Jo Mitchell reported to Council that September

17, 2011 is the Annual Flea Market (Sponsored by Friends of the Riegelsville Library). October 8th, 2011

4pm – 7pm. will hold the 1st Annual Autumn Festival outside on the Borough grounds featuring Wine tasting and local restaurant food. $45.00 a person.  Haunted tours will be the end of October, dates to follow. Concert event scheduled in the Borough Hall November 5th featuring Joe Cocco, Borough Resident.


      Public Count: 884

      Circulation: 1468

      Items lent out (In-County): 235

      Items Borrowed (In-County): 370

      Internet Use: 51

      Historic Room Visits: 2

      Total Cardholders: 1024

      Collection size: 16,912 items (9,951 adult +6,961 Easy, Juvenile & Young Adult)

            Riegelsville Enhancement Committee (REC) News: No meeting until September 28th, 2011 M. Brady weeded the pocket park.

            EMS News:  Meeting was cancelled

      Rec Board News:  The concession stand is getting water inside from the back gutter. Dirk Odhner will look into a solution for this.

Utilities: Borough received a drought watch update notice from DEP but since the letter was 10 days old by the time they emailed it and we have had a ton of rain, we will not be sending the letter around to the Borough residents.

            128 Sycamore Road has been complaining about decreased water pressure so M. Brady will look into this issue.

            T. Macaluso asked if she could remove the dead trees near Fern Meadows lot 1, since she will be clearing lot 1 very soon.  Council stated that would be fine to remove them.

Streets and Properties: New furnace bids for Borough Hall where opened. One bid was received from KC Mechanical Services; Mt Bethel PA the bid amount is $28,500.00 for the furnace removal and installation of the new furnace. There were also 3 chimney options:

  1. $17,500.00 stainless outside

                                                              2. $8,900.00 fan on top

                                                              3. $9,500.00 liner

The Council will make a decision at the Council meeting on Wednesday September 14, 2011 at 7:30.

            Borough Tenant, Patrick Trembler reported to Council that the leaks in his apartment around the chimney E. Bartosiewicz said he would look at the apartment after the meeting. Remarks: E. Bartosiewicz worked on the chimney Tuesday September 13, 2011.

            R. Scott reported to Council that he has information on a loader that the Borough may be interested in. R. Scott showed Council pictures.  Council had a few more questions that R. Scott will get back Council with the answers. Remarks: R. Scott has the manual for the loader and it has a power shift transmission.

            Council discussed the need for the Well #3 Generator adaptor that was discussed December 2010. R. Scott and Mayor Stokes will ask a few electricians for estimates.

Finance: During the finance meeting we discussed borrowing money for the new oil burner and front end loader. There is around 40445.54 that can be used toward the purchase of the oil burner. Bid received was from K. C. Mechanical of Mt. Bethel Pa.Price was 28500.00 plus Alternate bid for chimney was 8900.00.We were thinking about extending loan we already have.

Council questioned the $300.00 from the alcohol license from the new Riegelsville Tavern it seems higher than before.

No major streets to be repaired.

 K. Weiss reported that she and E. Bartosiewicz went to the Bucks Act 32 TCC Tax meeting on Tuesday

August 30th, 2011 at Warwick twp. They gave copies of their budget and spoke about auditors. Keystone also said they charge no commission to collect delinquent taxes. All charges go to the tax payer. T. Stinnett will be attending the Northampton TCC Tax meeting at Bethlehem twp on Thursday. September 8, 2011.


            Adoption of Resolution R-06-11 PennDot Master casting 3-year agreement E. Bartosiewicz motioned to adopt R. Scott seconded   Unanimous

            Approval of Check $1495.00 to Yates Electrical Services, Inc (Final payment for Pedestrian lighting) R. Scott motioned to approve E. Bartosiewicz seconded   Unanimous

            Approval of Check $690.00 to Severn Trent Water (Rebuild Chlorinator) R. Scott motioned to approve E. Bartosiewicz seconded   Unanimous

            Approval of “Notice of intent to award $37,400.00” for the Borough Hall Steam Boiler replacement to K.C. Mechanical Service  John Panasiuk motioned to approve  E. Bartosiewicz seconded Unanimous

NEW BUSINESS:    None to report

APPROVAL OF BILLS            K Weiss motioned to approve

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