DRAFT Council minutes September 14 2022

September 23, 2022 0 Comments

President Thomas E. Stinnett called the regular meeting of the Riegelsville Borough Council to order at 7:00 pm September 14, 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: Ed Bartosiewicz, Gary Chase, Rodney Scott, Tom Stinnett and Mayor Stokes.

Motion to approve August 10, 2022 Council Meeting minutes R. Scott motioned to approve, E. Bartosiewicz Seconded.   Unanimous.

 CORRESPONDENCE:

August 4, 2022, letter was read from Audrey Kenny, Bucks County Director of Emergency Services thanking the Council, Staff and Emergency Manager Frank Preedy for suppling the space and supporting the cooling shelter for the Community.

August 14, 2022, letter was read from Bucks County Board of Election ~ General Election info, November 8, 2022-voting hours 7am to 8pm.

REPORTS: 

President: T. Stinnett reported that on August 29, 2022 we held an Executive Session Tele Conference with Bill Dudeck, Borough Solicitor in reference to a prospective litigation.  Bob asked what litigation? Tom stated that is all I have to report.

Mayor: Mayor Stokes reported that a few trucks he has had to help turn around and not go over the Canal Bridge to continue to the River Bridge. Mayor Stokes helped a tree company go across the Canal Bridge to do tree work near the Riegelsville Inn. Gary will email Jodie from DRJTB Commission to get the updated count of trucks that are stopped from going over the River Bridge.  Mayor Stokes got a lost dog back home.

Mayor contacted the State Police Commander of Stockertown/Northampton County to make them aware of the speeding traffic coming into Riegelsville since PennDOT redid 611north of the Borough.

Report: Sherry Masteller appointed Open Records Officer (ORO)

August 2022 

3~ RTK received from Robert Ryan.  YTD: R. Ryan 51, A Moyer 1, Smart Procure 1, Build Zoom 2, Attorney Jacobs 1.

2~30 day extensions. Due September.

1~Granted.

Ryan VS Riegelsville Borough AP No: 2022-1425 Final Determination Granted due August 30, 2022. YTD: R. Ryan 9, B. Banko 1.  

Petition of review: Borough of Riegelsville (Petitioner) VS Robert Ryan (Respondent) in the BC Court of Common Pleas. Referencing the OOR Dockets 2022-1617 to 1620.

Open Records Officer Hours:  10 Hour~ Total $197.00 to process, gather documents and if needed forward requests to agencies of the Borough. ORO YTD: $1457.80. ORO-Appeals YTD: $344.75

Treasurer: 1 Hr 40 minutes minutes/ $34.53 YTD: $172.71

Zoning officer 30 minutes/ $31.00. YTD: $84.00

Solicitor fees: August paid: $412.50    YTD: $1537.50

COMMENTS OF CITIZENS:  Please state your name, you have 3 minutes to speak. 5-Borough residents.  

Dirk Odhner, Borough Resident asked how Bob could receive the documents he wants without it costing the Borough all this money.  Sherry, ORO explained the process when a RTK request is received. Not all the requests needs to go to Bill Dudeck, Borough Solicitor. The minimum amount of time is 30 minutes. Bob asked why Bill Dudeck’s invoice can’t be on the table for everyone to have a copy. Sherry said that when Bob requests Bills invoice some may need to be redacted.

Palisades Regional Fire Rescue (PRFR) update: Todd Myers, Commission and Alex Poniktera, Community Outreach Coordinator came to tonight’s Borough Council meeting to update everyone on the consolidation.

  • 3 entities are consolidating- Riegelsville Community Fire Company, Ottsville Fire Company and Ottsville Fire Company.
  • Waiting for one last document from Auditor General. They are already a Corporation.
  • They will continue to do Community Events like fish fry, Chicken dinners- advantage is there will be more volunteers.
  • Mass mailing will go out to all the communities that PRFR will be servicing to introduce the new regional company.
  • Oct 1, they will be passing their 2023 Budget.
  • They are asking all the Municipalities to give 3 Mils to PRFR for their fire service. Riegelsville 2022 Budget gave $18,000.00, 1 Mil as of 8/31 is $8,683.66. 3 Mil would be $26,050.98. Council will be working on this during the 2023 budget meeting.
  • Council member were given an invitation to the Community Day and Inauguration of PRFR, October 1, 2022, 2-8pm.
  • More grants will be available with combining the 3 companies.                               Riegelsville receives 29% of the fund drive that is mailed out twice a year.
  • They will be covering 132 square miles, nothing will change on the dispatch end.
  • COMMITTEE REPORTS:   

Community Affairs: Michael Pulsinelli called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm on August 17, 2022.

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

Members Present: Michael Pulsinelli, Ed Bartosiewicz, Gary Chase and Rodney Scott.

Others Present: Frank Preedy- Borough EMC, Jim Kopchak-Zoning officer, Mayor Stokes, Becky Finberg- Library Youth Service Coordinator and Sherry Masteller-Borough Secretary.

6- Borough residents present.

Comments 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 August 2022 report.

2-Building Permits: Alterations, New service door and Equipment.  1-Zoning permits: Re-Roof.

Enforcement Activities:

808 Durham Road update: No update as of August 17, 2022.

702 Durham Road: No update as of August 17, 2022.

1274 Easton Road, Bowman’s North: Received and paid for permits.

Property Maintenance Violations:

141 Delaware Road, Mr. Kreider has been making repairs to the garage door and painting some of the house.

118 Fern Road, Zoning office continues to receive complaints, Non-traffic citation was filed with the local magistrate on July 18, 2022. Court date August 31, 2022.

224 Easton Road, Jim will inspect the property August 24, 2022.

No scheduled ZHB (Zoning Hearing Board) meetings.

Library News: Borough office received from Terri Randolph (Director) the July 2022 Directors report minutes and they have been filed. Next meeting is September 12, 2022.   Becky Finberg- Library Youth Service Coordinator reported new sign with the corrected hours was placed by the front entrance. Art Classes for children are finished and they were very well attended. 2 representatives from the Payne Foundation visited the Library and they left very impressed by our Library. New AC for the back of the library has been contracted with Carl Volkman and will be installed on August 26.  Becky’s attendance at the “summer academy” at Durham Nockamixon elementary for weekly Storytime for Kindergarteners and modified Storytime for older children with an activity was well received. Teachers reported the children looked forward to the visits from Miss Becky. Summer Quest programs ended; Children and adults read 67,775 minutes- the paper chain are hanging in the Library.  Fall programs are being worked on.

Fire Co. News: E. Bartosiewicz reported the on October 1, there will be an Open House/Community Day event at the Palisades middle school. Get to meet the volunteers PRFR (Palisades Regional Fire Rescue).  Food, Vendors, Fire prevention fun and fireworks, more information to come.

Riegelsville Enhancement Committee:  Kate Brandes and 3 Volunteers on the Riegelsville Enhancement Committee presented to Council an update of what their ideas are to add more beautification to the Borough and Community events.

  • Purchase and plant a live Christmas tree in the front of the building, have the community get together and illuminate it. Also since this is a historical building to put live wreaths on the front door.  Council thought these were good ideas. Rodney said we can look at the front to pick the placement of the tree.
  • Fall Pumpkin decorating contest. Possible display on the front wall or up the sidewalk. Light the pumpkins and put orange lights out.
  • Since the Borough is looking to change the sign in the parking lot, they want to redo the plants and replace the base with stone or treated lumber. This will be a spring project. Borough Council will continue to put the specs together for the sign so it matches the other Borough signs.
  • Kate has discussed and received the Enhancement ledger from Tammy-Borough Treasurer. Kate stated that they have a line item on the budget also. The committee just want to understand how the finances work and what they have to work with. Rodney said we need to make it easier to work with.

Bob Ryan-Borough Resident asked why the Enhancement Committee doesn’t run like the Recreation Board. They have a checking account and received donations from Borough.  Rodney stated the Rec Board takes care of the Borough owned park. The donation from the Borough pays for the mowing and electric for the year.  The Enhancement Committee has never had their own check book.  Kate Brandes stated they don’t want to have a treasurer, they want to volunteer for planting and community events. Fundraising would be difficult for them to do with a small group. Gary stated you are doing what you love and that is a great thing.

UBREMS (Upper Bucks Regional EMS) News: E. Bartosiewicz reported they continue to look for more employees and gathering information to finding employees. Continue going on calls.

Rec Board News:  R. Scott reported the baseball field backstop old fencing has been removed by himself, Ed and another volunteer and will be replaced on August 22 and 23. Painting has started and Rodney is putting the wood up this weekend August 20 and 21.  Will be complete before the Fall Baseball games starts. During the meeting the quotes will be discussed to redo the playground weed barrier and mulch.  2 fall girls’ softball teams have started practicing and games are scheduled and will be added to “Rville Happenings”

Next meeting is Tuesday August 23, 7pm at the park.

Riegelsville Emergency Management: Frank reported that Roger Vonah, Borough resident would like to join the Riegelsville Emergency management team.  BC activated the Cooling stations August 8 & 9 due to the dangerous heat, Frank is manning the hours 10 am-5pm, plus Jason Anderson has been stopping in too.  Frank thanked Ed for getting the ice for the water they gave out.  Frank attended a quarterly meeting and teleconference with PEMA in reference to changing training requirements.  Frank will set up a time to meet with New State Rep- Craig Staats, starts January 2023 to give him a tour of Riegelsville and what we need. Jason took a Hurricane training webinar. Michael read a letter from Audrey Kenny, Director of Emergency Services on behalf of BC Board of Commissioners.  Thanking Council and Frank for partnering with BC for the first year providing and manning the Cooling shelter.

Riegelsville Planning Commission:  Draft August 1, 2022 minutes received.  No September meeting due to Labor Day.

Misc.: Nothing to report.

Meeting adjourned 7:58pm    Next meeting September 21, 2022 7pm

Utilities: Rodney Scott called the Utilities meeting to order at 7:58pm on August 17, 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, Michael Pulsinelli and Gary Chase.

Others Present: Frank Preedy- Borough EMC, Mayor Stokes and Sherry Masteller-Borough Secretary.  2- Borough residents present.

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

Discussions:

Covid funds/Water line extension Edgewood project: The second payment $44,589.08 has not been received yet. Pre-Construction meeting is set for August 25, 2022 at 9am, with Cowan, Contractor Passerini Inc., John Scully-Water operator, Matt Brady and Rodney Scott will attend.

Elmwood Lane/ Bidwell Road project. August 10, 2022 Council awarded the bid to Bracalente Construction Inc. Bob Ryan, Borough Resident asked if there was a date yet for construction. During the Pre-Construction meeting the discussion was to start beginning of November.

Lead & Copper samples (every 3 years) are ready for the Private Utility Enterprises to pick up tomorrow.

2023 Rate increase from Private Utility Enterprises, Inc. (Borough Water Operator Co.) increase of $42.00, Monthly $1400.00 to $1442.00.

Morton Salt, Inc. was low bidder and awarded for the 2022-2023 Season for Rock Salt delivered price per ton $67.76, 2021-2022 was $57.88.

Misc.:  Gary asked Mayor Stokes if there was any complaints from the flashing weight sign at the Canal Bridge. Mayor stokes stated that he cannot see it from his office so residents will not see it either. No complaints and No trucks to help turn around so far.

Meeting Adjourned: 8:10 pm     Next meeting September 21, 2022   7pm

Streets & Properties: Ed Bartosiewicz called the Streets & Properties meeting to order at 7:00 pm on September 7, 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, Gary Chase, Michael Pulsinelli, Rodney Scott and Tom Stinnett.

Others Present: Sherry Masteller-Borough Secretary.

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

5-Borough residents present.

Discussions:

Borough Building Safety Score & Cert. of Occupancy: Update-Cowan will do a walk-through of the Borough Building with Jim Kopchak, Ed and Rodney.

Borough Building front porch/tenant stairs update, received one quote. Ed stated we need to find other carpenters to contact. Kim Marciano-Hankinson, Borough resident said she can recommend a good carpenter and will call Sherry, Borough Secretary with the information.

Replacement boards for pedestrian bridge and stairs: Update- received one quote.

Elmwood Ln/Bidwell Ln road project update- Waiting for a date from Contractor then a pre-Construction meeting will be scheduled. Question was asked if we are doing road work on Court lane too.  Court lane is not included on this project. Gary stated that the project would need to be rebid if Court lane was to be added. Kim Marciano-Hankinson, Borough resident stated they usually have extra paving material that the contractor could put down. Rodney stated that the Borough Engineer would need to survey the properties, storm management, plus we do not pave Alleys/small lanes. Kim stated it needs to be fixed, so when will it get done. Rodney said isn’t part of it already paved and the rest stone. Two properties use Court Lane, there are other alley’s like behind the Post office that have high priority to be fixed. Unfortunately Court Lane is not a priority.

Kim Marciano-Hankinson, Borough resident contacted the Borough office in reference to drivers are not stopping at the Elmwood Lane stop sign and speeding up the Elmwood Lane from 611 and someone is going to get hurt or worse. Council asked if it was specific times, Kim said sometimes going and leaving church, and other times. Kim suggests speed bumps, Rodney said a traffic study would need to be done on that short road.

Suggestion was to paint on the road when it is redone “Stop ahead”, “SLOW”. Sherry will email the Church’s to remind their congregation members of this issue.

Chevy dump truck update- appointment September 12, to have the floor and fuel lines fixed at Riegelsville Auto.

Library Front door update: The Lock Smith has been called to change out the lock.

2004 Ford undercoating & 2017 Ford undercoating completed.

Borough Building Shingle issue update: Waiting for Corey with ProCom Roofing to look at the roof.

Alley between Delaware Road and Maplewood Road update: Waiting on an update from Cowan

Borough Park Playground mulch/weeds update: Both playgrounds have been redone with weed barrier and mulch.  The Baseball field backstop is completed except for the padding to be delivered.

Meeting adjourned 7:23 pm Next Streets/Properties meeting will be held on October 5, 2022 at 7:00 pm.

Finance:  Gary Chase called the Finance meeting to order on September 7, 2022 at 7:24 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, Ed Bartosiewicz, Michael Pulsinelli, Rodney Scott and Tom Stinnett.

Others Present: 

Sherry Masteller-Borough Secretary.

Comment from Citizens:  Please state your name, you have maximum 3 minutes to speak. 5 Borough residents present.

Discussions:

Gary reported that 2 Companies gave proposals to do Borough emails and IT updates. Gary is gathering more information from both. Information will be shared with Council as soon as it is available.

Gary apologized for not having the draft Borough Bylaws ready, other projects are taking priority.

“Automated Red Light Enforcement (ARLE) funding program with PennDOT”:  Sherry called Michelle with Armour and we are waiting for the inspection results. Rodney and Gary would like to meet with the technician once we get the results.

Gary reported that the Enhancement Committee put together their 2023 budget for Council to consider for next year’s budget.  They are putting up a real Christmas tree in the front lawn and they are going to set up a time to meet with a few Council members to look for the location to be planted.

Gary reported that Tom attended the quarterly Bucks County Tax Collection Committee Meeting was on August 31, 2022. There was no quorum only 44% were present. They are up 11.8% on delinquent accounts.

The current pulse water meters are obsolete so we have found some online to purchase until we update our meters to a radio read. John Scully, Borough water operator will be discussing this during our Utilities meeting on September 21, 2022. REMARK: We currently have 5 meters in stock, 10 meters and readers are on order.

Matt reported that a fallen tree damaged the fence by up at Well 1 & 2, Rodney asked if Matt contacted the fence co. yet.  Sherry will check with Matt.  There are trees that need to be taken down up at Well 1 & 2, we will get quotes for this project.

Discussion of Downtown Revitalization:  Gary would like to contact the owners of the vacant commercial properties downtown so we can have a line of communication. Gary has been attending webinars that discuss lots of ideas to help revitalize downtown areas. One idea would be a bicycle shop since we have lots of bicycle traffic in the Borough.

Matt reported that when ordered a new wheel speed cable for the DR Brush hog & Field Mower he was told that they have a special on a 3 year warranty for $199.00. REMARK: Since the Borough is considered Commercial we do not qualify for additional warranty. The 90 day warranty ended.

The Borough will be receiving our 2nd ARPA/Covid funds on September 9, 2022. REMARK: Treasurer transferred the funds from General fund to the Covid account on September 13, 2022.

Gary is gathering information to from PennDOT to add a flashing Speed Limit Signs for 611 to help with the speeding.

Ballot drop box should be delivered soon and will be open & manned two weeks before Election Day on November 8.

Cowan, Borough Engineer is working on the paperwork to renovate the Durham Road small parking lot.

Copier repair completed and the labor charges will be added to Council agenda for approval.

Matt has looked into purchasing a new Stihl MS 271 Chainsaw 20” bar the cost $459.99. Currently we have a 16”. Council said it would be a good idea to have a second one that is larger.  This will be added to the Council agenda on September 14.

Private Utility Enterprises, Inc., Borough water operator, rated will increase January 1, 2023 to $1442.00. Currently $1400.00.

Rodney asked if the yellow curbs are going to be painted and he suggested asking Sonny.  Sherry will check with Matt. REMARK: Sonny and Tony will start working on painting the curbs.

Kim Marciano- Hankinson, Borough resident reported that there are a lot of sidewalks in the borough that are a hazard to walk on, who is responsible to fix them.  The property owners are responsible for maintenance on their sidewalks.  Kim said that the ones on Delaware Road needs to be looked at. Kim said someone should look at all the sidewalks, Rodney stated when someone brings them to Borough’s attention we will look at them. The Borough “Ordinance Enforcement officer”, Sonny Groller will look at them and get letters to the owners.

Council looked over the financials, no questions.

Meeting adjourned at 8:10 pm. Next Finance meeting will be held October 5, 2022, immediately following Streets/Properties

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

Rodney reported that the concession stand at the Borough Park had a yellow jacket problem that Viking pest control came out on Saturday September 10. As of today the bees are gone and Rodney is going to block off the holes.

Gary asked Frank Preedy that when he meets with State Rep Craig Staats can he ask if he can attend a Council meeting

Approval to award Morton Salt the 2022-2023 salt bid $67.76 delivered price per ton. Increased by $9.88 over last year. R. Scott motioned to approve, E. Bartosiewicz seconded.  Unanimous.

Approval to appoint Roger Vonah to Riegelsville Emergency Management Committee. E. Bartosiewicz motioned to appoint, G. Chase seconded.  Unanimous.

Approval labor charges $116.00 to Stratix System, (Fix hinge). G. Chase motioned to approve, R. Scott seconded.  Unanimous.

 

Approval to purchase Stihl MS 271 Chainsaw $459.99 from Wehrung’s. G. Chase motioned to approve E. Bartosiewicz seconded.  Unanimous.

 

Approval of check Gunners Meters and Parts, Inc. $1525.00. (10 meters & readers) R. Scott motioned to approve, G. Chase seconded.  Unanimous.

 

Approval of JEC Computers quote with contract $594.00 plus Monthly contract $249.99 or without the contract $866.99. G. Chase motioned to table, R. Scott seconded.  Unanimous.

 

NEW BUSINESS: 

Cowan emailed the construction cost estimate for the proposed small parking lot/Durham Road. $102,778.39

 

Frank Preedy, reported that Penn Ridge, Parkland and East Penn School district was hacked by “See Saw”.

 

APPROVAL OF BILLS:  R. Scott motioned to approve bills.  E. Bartosiewicz seconded.  

Bob Ryan asked why the file # for Eastburn & Gray has been removed, that is different than it used to be. Bob asked Sherry if she removed it, Sherry said she did not.

 

 

 

Meeting adjourned 8:15 PM.

 

Next Council meeting September 14, 2022 at 7:00pm

 

 

 

 

Sherry Masteller

Borough Secretary

 

 

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