APPROVED February 9, 2022 Council Minutes

March 10, 2022 0 Comments

President Thomas E. Stinnett called the regular meeting of the Riegelsville Borough Council to order at 7:00 pm February 9, 2022. If anyone makes inappropriate comments, tries to sell something, is attacking someone, etc. you will be removed from this meeting.

The Pledge of Allegiance, Roll Call: PRESENT: Thomas Stinnett, Ed Bartosiewicz, Kate Brandes and Gary Chase, Rodney Scott and Mayor Stokes.

Motion to approve January 12, 2022 Council minutes.  E. Bartosiewicz motioned to approve, K. Brandes Seconded.   Unanimous.

Motion to approve January 26, 2022 Special Council meeting minutes.  E. Bartosiewicz motioned to approve, G. Chase Seconded.   Unanimous.  

Motion to approve January 30, 2022, Special Council meeting minutes.  R. Scott motioned to approve, G. Chase Seconded.   Unanimous.

CORRESPONDENCE:

Borough Secretary received the Annual 2021 Report from Tom Stinnett, Secretary Riegelsville Planning Commission. This report contains the 2021 minutes.

Letter dated January 12, 2022 from Bucks County Board of Elections and Registration Commission.

Borough polling place- General Primary May 17, 2022 and General Election November 8, 2022.

Letter dated January 12, 2022 Kelley Drye & Warren LLP- RCN Telecom Services (Lehigh) LLC’s.

Notice of intent to operate under new trade name Astound Broadband and Astound Business trade

names.

Letter dated January 26, 2022 From Caselle: Software support and maintenance increase effective July 1, 2022 by approximately 3%.   The increase will be approximately an additional $4.50/ month. We currently pay $150.00/month split between GF and WF.

Email received February 2, 2022 at 3:22 from Beth Banko, Borough Resident in reference to a snow plowing issue. B. Banko would like the corner of her property that was dug up by the plow fixed before mowing starts. Matt Brady, Public works supervisor looked investigated the concern and reported back to S. Masteller, Borough Secretary- Some of the grass/debris was plowed this grass/debris extends approximately 8” over the road edge. Before mowing season the grass/debris will be cleared back to the edge of road and any debris in the grass from the snow plowing will also be removed. Sherry responded back to Beth with an apology and this information.  Beth responded back that she has zero confidence in the M. Brady’s qualifications to make any decisions and she does not want him on her property without notification. Beth said she will clean up the mess.

REPORTS: 

President: T. Stinnett wanted to thank Sherry for continuing to get the Borough business taken care of in addition to keeping up with the RTK (Right to Know) requests.

Mayor: Mayor Stokes reported that he has helped a few Commercial trucks getting to the Canal Bridge and realizing they can’t get to New Jersey over the DRJTB (Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge). He gives them paper directions to get turned around. T. Speicher- Borough resident asked if the drivers receive tickets. Mayor stated they will get tickets from the State Police, there has been a few that has damaged street signs and Borough property like hydrants.  Then the Trucking Company pays for the damages plus they get tickets.  The Bridge attendants call the State Police on both sides of the Delaware Bridge.

Report: Sherry Masteller appointed Open Records Officer (ORO) 

January 2021

1~RTK request received in January and final response within 5 business days, fee of .50 still outstanding.

1~ Appeal from PA Office of open records, Elisabeth Banko VS Riegelsville Borough Docket No. AP 2022-0021 and final denial determination received.

1~ Final partial denial/ partial granted determination from PA Office of open records, Bob Ryan VS Riegelsville Borough Docket No. AP 2021-2021.

12~ RTK’s received via emailed on 1/31/22 after office hours, opened on 2/1/22.

Open Records Officer Hours:  8 ¾ Hours to process, gather documents and if needed forward requests to an agencies of the Borough. 

Solicitor fees: January: $62.50

COMMENTS OF CITIZENS:  Please state your name, you have 3 minutes to speak.

Todd Myers- Riegelsville Community Fire Company Chief and 4-Borough residents present.

Todd Myers reported to Council that the consolidation is moving forward, the new name for the Ottsville and Riegelsville Fire Companies will be “Palisades Regional Fire Rescue (PRFR)”. They are waiting for a few final documents to finalize the consolidation. Rob Brady, Consultant is very pleased with the progress and he will be meeting with Borough Council and go over a workable budget and contract in July or August 2022. Ottsville & Riegelsville Fire Companies will start joint meetings in March. Ottsville has 2 locations and Riegelsville has 1, these locations will stay the same. Equipment has already been inventoried and shared with both Companies. One of the Riegelsville Trucks is getting old, Ottsville already has one. Rodney asked if the truck will be replaced. Todd said it will be replaced with one that is update to what is needed in our fleet.

Ottsville & Riegelsville continue mutual aid and work very well together, so nothing will change how calls are done. The consolidation will help us to get grants/funding and combining the volunteers is needed to continue helping the communities.  It is very difficult to get volunteers to join the fire companies today.   Mayor Stokes asked where donations can be sent. Todd said to the Riegelsville Fire Co. PO Box 185, Riegelsville PA, Tuesday nights is drill night so you can drop donations in person then.  The Fund Drive will be mailed out in March 2022. Gary asked how large is the 2 areas combined. Todd said approximately 100 miles.  Gary suggested maybe you could get a lock box at the Fire Company so donations can be dropped off anytime.

T.Stinnett asked T. Myers for updates as Borough Engineer: Farm land north end of Borough. The owner has a hoop building that needs to comply with the Borough Flood plain. Todd and Jim Kopchak, Borough zoning officer have been corresponding on this process. Todd would like the Council to revisit the Borough’s Floodplain Ordinance. T. Myers will talk to J. Kopchak about the stone wall that is going up at 456 Easton Road property and the floodplain.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:   E. Bartosiewicz and Todd Myers left the Council meeting due to a fire call.

Community Affairs: Kate Brandes called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm on January 19, 2022.

If anyone makes inappropriate comments, tries to sell something, is attacking someone, etc. you will be removed from this meeting.

Members Present: Kate Brandes, Ed Bartosiewicz, Gary Chase, Rodney Scott and Thomas Stinnett.

Others Present: Frank Preedy- Borough EMC, Jim Kopchak-Zoning officer, Sherry Masteller-Borough Secretary, Tammy Macaluso-Borough Treasurer and Beth Banko- Library Trustee.

2- Borough residents present.

Concerns from citizens: Please state your name, you have maximum 3 minutes to speak. No one spoke.

Discussions:

Zoning: Jim Kopchak, Borough Zoning Officer reported to Council his January 2022 report.  Permits: 1 Building permit: New dormers & Bathroom alteration. 1 Zoning permit: Re-Roof.

Enforcement Activities:

129 Maplewood Road- Flood elevation certificate was received in December. Two sets of plans with the RFE and Floodplain ordinance data is needed for our floodplain manager to review.

808 Durham Road update: No update.

601 Easton Rd, Wendy Breyer and Bob Ryan: The Mayor of Riegelsville informed Jim that he was getting complaints regarding the “Vote Bob Ryan” political sign located at 601 Easton Rd.On December 15, 2021, Jim investigated the complaint and observed the election sign for Bob Ryan was still in place. Election Day was Nov 2, 2021.  His sign was up for more than the 20-day period as permitted by section 1306(e) (3) of the Zoning Ordinance.  A violation notice was sent out on December 15, 2021.The compliance date was 20 Jan 2022.On January 13, 2022, Jim received an e-mail from Mr. Richard Ting-ACLU-PA Staff Attorney.  His letter stated that he received a complaint from Bob Ryan.  In his letter, Mr. Ting alleges that our sign ordinance is unconstitutional.At that point, all correspondence was referred to Mr. Dudeck, the Borough Solicitor.No further enforcement action will be taken by the Zoning Officer until the validity of the sign ordinance is resolved and the directive from our solicitor is received.

No scheduled ZHB meetings.

702 Durham Rd. Jim suggested that the new property owner- Brent Chavez present his business plan during the Riegelsville Planning Commission on February 7, 2022. Contact the Borough Secretary to be added to their meeting.

DCED UCC quarterly report was submitted to Tammy- Borough Treasurer.

Library News: Borough office received from Terri Randolph (Director) the December 2021 Directors report minutes and they have been filed. Beth Banko, Board of trustees reported that the library staff and patrons continue to keep the mask wearing mandate in place. The new AC will be installed this month. Thank you to the Car show for the donation towards the new AC.  The book sort has been postponed due to the increase in Covid cases.

Fire Co. News: E. Bartosiewicz reported to Council that there has been quite a few house fires.  They are taking a class on driving an ambulance.  Rodney asked if someone is going to come to Council to update us on the Consolidation.  Ed will ask Chief Myers for an update.

Riegelsville Enhancement Committee:  Kate said nothing to report at this time. .

UBREMS (Upper Bucks Regional EMS) News: E. Bartosiewicz reported they continue to receive Covid funds from Municipalities.

Rec Board News:  R. Scott reported that they received 2 Thank you letters from Riegelsville Library and Lords Pantry from the Fall Rollout car show donations.  Library received $2000.00 to the new AC, $400.00 to the 2022 Halloween Parade and $300.00 towards the 2022 Egg Hunt.   Lords Pantry received $500.00. Girls Softball sign ups have started.

Riegelsville Emergency Management: F. Preedy reported to Council that he attended the safety walk thru at Palisades.  Frank contacted “united way” for possible aid due to emergencies in the future.  Frank also talked to Gerry Giarratona, Director of Transportation for Palisades School District to supply 4 school buses with drivers in case the Borough would need to evacuate due to an emergency.  Frank will attend the February Bucks County quarterly meeting.  Frank introduced Dominick Angione, Borough resident that would like to join the Emergency Management Team.  Council has received his application and clearance.  Ed asked about his fireman experience and Dominick stated he was a volunteer for many years and enjoyed it.

 Riegelsville Planning Commission:  T. Stinnett reported that the next meeting is February 7, 2022 at 7pm. REMARKS: T. Stinnett reported the Mr. Chavez-New owner of 702 Durham Road, did not attend the meeting on February 7, 2022.  Tom also reported that they looked at the Riegelsville Borough Commercial District Plan- a Riegelsville Borough Comprehensive Plan Document of 2002- put together by Bucks County Planning Commission. On page 44 states that PennDOT has a Traffic Calming Handbook for traffic calming. Tom asked me to try to locate that handbook. Tom asked Sherry to forward the Borough contact from BC Planning Commission.

Meeting adjourned 7:17 pm.   Next meeting February 16, 2022 7pm

Utilities: Rodney Scott called the Utilities meeting to order at 7:18pm on January 19, 2022.

If anyone makes inappropriate comments, tries to sell something, is attacking someone, etc. you will be removed from this meeting.

Members Present:  Rodney Scott, Ed Bartosiewicz, Kate Brandes, Gary Chase, Tom Stinnett.

Others Present: Frank Preedy- Borough EMC, Jim Kopchak-Zoning officer, Sherry Masteller-Borough Secretary and Tammy Macaluso-Borough Treasurer.  2- Borough residents present.

Concerns from Citizens:  Please state your name, you have maximum 3 minutes to speak.

No one spoke.

Discussions:

A replacement chlorine tester for Well #3 was ordered and will be delivered in 2 weeks.

Update: Office renovation, Rodney reported that he was going back and forth with Charles- Borough Engineer in reference to the line items that are quoted very high on the bids.  Sherry reported that the Borough cannot change the bid amounts. Council will have a special meeting On Wednesday January 26, 2022 at 7pm to vote on the formal bid.  Tammy asked Council that we should wait until next year since Covid 19 cases are on the rise again.  Tammy also said to Council that the health of Sherry and herself should be considered too. Working remotely has been working well for the Borough office.  Also the renovation is not in this year’s budget since we thought it would be done last year. Council will take this information into consideration before the vote on January 26th.

Update: Covid funds/Water project. Council revisited the water main quotes from October 2021 during the 2022 Budget discussions. Council would like to see and updated estimate for the extension on Edgewood from dead end to Fern Road. Tammy will reach out to Audrey with Cowan. During the February Council meeting a formal project should be assigned that the Covid funds will be used for. The first report is due April 2022.

Council continues to edit the “Public Works Supervisor Job Description” draft.

The Borough received a load of salt today.

F. Preedy reported that Bucks County Department of Heath will be giving free Covid-19 Rapid test kits at 3 different Bucks County locations, started today in Langhorne. Flyer will go out in the “Rville Happenings”.

Meeting Adjourned: 7:36 pm    Next meeting February 16, 2022   7pm

Streets & Properties: Ed Bartosiewicz called the Streets & Properties meeting to order at 7:00 pm on February 2, 2022.  If anyone makes inappropriate comments, tries to sell something, is attacking someone, etc. you will be removed from this meeting. 

Members Present: Ed Bartosiewicz, Kate Brandes, Gary Chase, Rodney Scott and Tom Stinnett.

Others Present: Mayor Stokes and Sherry Masteller-Borough Secretary.

Comments from Citizens: Please state your name, you have maximum 3 minutes to speak.

3-Borough residents present.  No comments.

Discussions:

Borough Office renovation update: The beginning of next week we should have the signed documents from the Contractor.

Salt was ordered on Monday January 31.

Draft Public Works Supervisor job description will be added to Council agenda on February 9, 2022.

Edgewood water main extension update: Council will have all the information from John Scully-Riegelsville Water Operator and Audrey- Cowan Associates before adding the estimate to next week’s Council meeting agenda.

Sherry reported that on January 20, 2022 that she, Frank Preedy and Matt Brady attended A Penn DOT/ Municipal meeting with State Rep Labs and Penn DOT Maintenance Coordinators from Dist. 6.  Discussed that they have a shortage of current employees leaving and new hires. They continue to work on the 5 year plan- Sherry will forward those spread sheets to council. Some Municipalities have been helping to put up road closure signs due to emergencies like flooding since they don’t have enough signage for every location. Matt discussed that Borough’s do not have a contract with Penn DOT for the cleaning of the parallel lines in Route 611 but the townships do.  The Maintenance Coordinators do not handle those decisions and maybe the PA Borough Associations can help with these questions. Mayor Stokes added that Quakertown does have the equipment that is needed to clean out the lines, he will get some information from them and report back to Council.

Meeting adjourned 7:10 pm Next Streets/Properties meeting will be held on March 2, 2022 at 7:00 pm.

Finance: Gary Chase called the Finance meeting to order on February 2, 2022 at 7:10 pm.

If anyone makes inappropriate comments, tries to sell something, is attacking someone, etc. you will be removed from this meeting.  

Members Present:

Gary Chase, Kate Brandes, Ed Bartosiewicz, Rodney Scott and Tom Stinnett

Others Present: 

Mayor Stokes and Sherry Masteller-Borough Secretary.

Comment from CitizensPlease state your name, you have maximum 3 minutes to speak.

3 Borough residents present.  No one spoke.

Discussions:

The Trail Damage Update: PEMA received the uploaded DAP-2 form for the RPA (Request for public assistance) for Ida. Still no stone available, probably spring. PEMA representative will start individual interviews either in person or virtual very soon with Sherry.

2 external hard drives and new edition of “Roberts Rules” were ordered and received.

Council continues to look over the Current Bylaws.  Tom asked if the final draft will be ready for Next week’s Council meeting. Sherry said the document is about half done, hopefully it will be ready. Kate asked then will it be ready for the March Council meeting, Sherry said yes before that.

Council looked over the financials.

Gary reported that he and Tom attended the BC TCC (Buck County Tax Collection Committee) meeting, and they did have a quorum.  Joe Lazzaro, VP & General Counsel, with Keystone Collection Group told the attendees that Keystone had a successful 2021, and they ended the year with an 11.5% increase in overall tax collection revenues for Bucks County.  Mr. Lazzaro stated that some municipalities have issues with tenants paying Per Capita taxes, and Keystone has the resources to collect these.  Gary would like to set up a 3-way conference call between Tammy, himself and John Pinkerton, Keystone’s business development representative, to learn more about what services Keystone Collection Group can provide the Borough.

Meeting adjourned at 7:20 pm.  Next Finance meeting will be held March 2, 2022 immediately following Streets/Properties

UNFINISHED BUSINESS: If anyone has any questions please comment prior to the vote.

Approval to appoint Dominick Angione to Riegelsville Emergency Management Committee. R. Scott motioned to appoint, G. Chase seconded.  Unanimous.

Approval of the Amended 2022 Budget to include the Borough office renovation. G. Chase motioned to approve, K. Brandes seconded.  Unanimous.

Approval of Public Works Supervisor –Job Description. K. Brandes motioned to approve, G. Chase seconded.  Unanimous.

Approval of Cowan & Associates, water main extension estimate $124,150.00 (Edgewood from Dead-end to Fern).   Covid Fiscal Recovery Funds to be used for this project, balance to be paid by Water Company. R. Scott motioned to approve, K. Brandes seconded.  Unanimous.

NEW BUSINESS:  None to report.

 APPROVAL OF BILLS:   K. Brandes motioned to approve bills. G. Chase seconded.

Meeting adjourned 8:10 PM.

February 21, 2022 Borough Remote Offices Closed “Presidents’ Day”

Next Council meeting February 9, 2022 at 7pm

 

 

 

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