M. Diane McGaughey, Council President, opened the scheduled Borough Council Meeting at 7:30 PM, in the Council Meeting Room, 212 Unity Terrace, Rutledge, PA.
After the salute to the flag, the following Council members answered roll call: M. Diane McGaughey, Daniel Werner, Marie Govannicci (8:09 PM), Brian Costello and David Waltz.
Not Present: Marlaina Kloepfer, Tom Kopp
Also present: Mayor Kevin Cunningham, Police Chief Brian Craig, Robert Hunt., Jr., Esq., David White, Delaware County Council
Minutes: MOTION by David Waltz, Second by Brian Costello, to approve the minutes as submitted for the Council Meeting of May 6, 2013. MOTION approved unanimously.
MOTION by David Waltz, Second by Brian Costello, to approve the minutes as submitted for the Work Session of May 20, 2013. MOTION approved unanimously.
Public Comment: David White, County Council, presented Rutledge Borough council with a check for $50,000.00 for a Liquid Fuels Grant to repair Swarthmore Ave. The funds came from gasoline taxes from Harrisburg. Mr. White stated that Rutledge Borough will receive another Liquid Fuels Grant of $50,000.00 in 2014.
Ron Goetsch, 402 Waverly Terrace, stated that David Waltz came to his house to discuss closing Waverly Terrace between Swarthmore Ave. and Rutledge Ave. and making it part of the Triangle Park.
Thank you for soliciting our position on this subject of the proposed closure of Waverly Terrace – Just OUR HOME is directly affected. This is the second time that someone has approached us regarding this scenario – Is this harassment? Coercion?
Our position is FIRMLY AGAINST the conversion of the block of Waverly to “park”.
Please be advised that we are prepared to defend our position – if need be legally. The present Board, as well as the Boards of the past fifteen years that we have lived in Rutledge, have worked diligently to keep our taxes down. I don’t see how a long law suit will help with this goal.
Our concerns are:
(1) No access with a truck or a car to load and unload large items with ease through the front door – except after a long walk around our property.
(2) No front parking for us and/or our guests.
(3) Effect on the value of our property – negative. Our attorney says it changes the “line of sight” from our property which negatively affects our property value.
(4) Perception that the house is “in the Park”.
(5) Fear of vandalism/theft because of the closer proximity of the Park.
(6) This is an invitation for adolescents to loiter, sitting on the bleachers and causing problems – would you want this at your front door?
(7) Invasion of privacy – visiting parents that allow children to run all over our property now, including sitting on our retaining wall.
(8) The view of the park will be compromised by the bleachers on a constant basis
(9) Reduces emergency response time which could cause loss of life.
How would you like to look out all your windows and front door to see people sitting in front of you? We have the noise from the games already and we understand this is only for a short period of time; but to obstruct our view of the park and cut off our access to the street on a permanent basis is just too much.
My wife Sandie is so upset that she called the Borough Hall…the secretary, Jennifer, has worked there twelve years and this is the first time she has ever talked to her. We are not complainers. We pay our taxes on time. We abide by you laws, codes and regulations….What have we done to deserve this? We love Rutledge and were proud to live here. How can we be proud of a Borough who wants to take away our view of the park, have strangers at our front door and put us under duress because of our home being located across from the park…..the very reason we bought the home in the first place!!! Now you want to obstruct our way of living both visual and physically – is this correct?
All this for little league bleachers? The people who will be using them will not have to look at them after the game is over- they are not paying the taxes in Rutledge only sitting watching a little league game and then going home to their house without bleacher in front of their front door – BUT WE WILL HAVE TO LOOK AT THEM & WE ARE THE TAX PAYERS!!!
Please don’t do this…….
Robert S. Hunt, 209 Linden Ave., stated that he addressed Council three years ago about the missing street signs that identify Linden Ave. and Waverly Terrace. The signs were finally put up about six months ago, but Waverly was spelled incorrectly. The signs were taken down and never replaced. The Borough has spent money to replace all of the stop signs, no parking signs, and watch children signs, which is wasteful.
Dan Mistichelli, 138 Rutledge Ave. is concerned about the proposed closing of Waverly Terrace. For those residents who live on the 100 and 200 blocks of Rutledge Ave., Waverly Terrace is a major place of ingress and egress to the Borough. Rutledge Ave. would have to be made two-way again. It would cut down on on-street parking. There are some homes that have no off-street parking. Current Borough ordinances place a limitation on the installation of more parking on properties. There have been times during games that Mr. Mistichelli has had to park several blocks away from his home. This is not a well-advised move on the part of Council, and will have a negative impact on homes in the area.
Treasurer’s Report: Gennifer Guiliano distributed the Treasurer’s Report for the month of May, 2013.
Letter from Ron Goetsch, 402 Waverly Terrace- opposes the closing of Waverly Terrace between Rutledge Ave. and Swarthmore Ave.
Tax Collector’s Report: Thomas Heron reported that the discount period has closed, as well as the face value period. Approximately $21,000.00 was collected in May. About $23,000.00 real estate taxes are uncollected. 15 accounts are in the penalty phase.
Code Enforcement Report: Harry Mirra read his report for May 2013:
9 Apartments Inspected
3 Correction Notices- No change in debris around properties- pictures were taken
Police accompanied Mr. Mirra to a property for inspection after 30 days of notice of property maintenance issues; citations will be issued
Vehicle without updated tags informed current tags are needed- given a copy of ordinance
Houses on Rutledge Ave. were left notices regarding low hanging trees and shrubs growing onto sidewalks
Investigated a complaint from a resident on Linden Ave. with trees falling on his fence. Mr. Mirra called Ridley Twp.- the ground belongs to Ridley Twp.
Mayor’s Report: Mayor Kevin Cunningham read the Police report for May. There were:
22 Parking Tickets 2 Warnings 9 Motor Vehicle Citations
5/4 Unity Terrace- victim of fraud; Officer Bardo gave the resident instructions on how to report credit card fraud
5/8 Abandoned vehicle- no tag displayed
5/24- open burning on the 100 block of Rutledge Ave.- the homeowner was advised that there is no burning in the Borough
5/29 Unity Terrace & Linden Ave.- Car struck a telephone pole and trailer. The male driver was unconscious, and a needle was protruding from his pocket. 25 packs of heroin were found.
Mayor Cunningham talked to Rose Valley about the Global Alert System. Mayor Cunningham also met with Michelle Roberts of Morton, regarding electronics recycling event on September 7, 2013, from 1PM – 4PM.
4th of July: Nothing to report.
Rutledge Girls’ Club- Nothing to report
Communication: Nothing to report.
Ordinance: Brian Costello stated that the Solicitor provided sample parking ordinances from other municipalities.
Trash: Nothing to report.
Building: The new house on President Ave. is almost completed.
Recreation: Nothing to report.
Sewer: Nothing to report.
Shade Tree Commission: Nothing to report.
Finance: Brian Costello reported that he will start the 2014 Budget soon.
Property/Borough Building: Diane McGaughey reported that the Borough is doing well with rentals. A dance group will begin renting on Tuesdays, for a three-month trial period.
Streets: David Waltz reported that a check was received from the County for $50,000.00 for the repair of Swarthmore Ave.
Joseph Sucher and Sons, the contractor for road repairs, is working in Ridley Twp., and will schedule Rutledge Borough’s road repairs after that work is completed.
Solicitor’s Report: Solicitor Robert Hunt reported that the Zoning Hearing Application for a fence at 5 Sylvan Ave. has been revised, to have the fence go to the front of the property, instead of to the end of the garage.
Mr. Hunt received the police contract for review.
Old Business: Nothing to report.
New Business: Diane McGaughey reported that, by law, the Borough must establish a Planning Commission. The Borough has decided on a five-member committee, comprised of three residents and two Council members. One resident has been interviewed, and two more residents are needed. The chairperson will be a resident.
David Waltz reported that bids will be opened for repairs to Swarthmore Ave. and curbing on one block of Waverly Terrace on June 20, 2013, at 10:00 AM.
Diane McGaughey asked the Street Committee Chairman to answer residents’ concerns voiced at the beginning of the Council Meeting.
David Waltz explained that the street signs on Linden Ave. and Waverly Terrace were spelled incorrectly, and new signs will be ordered. Mr. Waltz reported that he stopped by homes on a fact finding mission to see how residents felt about the closing of Waverly Terrace between Rutledge and Swarthmore Aves. Council has done nothing to move forward with the idea. Based on the public comment tonight, Mr. Waltz recommends that Waverly Terrace not be closed.
Public Comment: Dan Mistichelli, 138 Rutledge Ave. inquired about parking during the road repair project. David Waltz stated that temporary parking permits will be issued so that the residents may park on the avenues. Construction will take approximately one week.
Kim Brown, 32 President Ave., asked for an update on the trailer that parks on Unity Terrace outside her home. Brian Costello stated that revisions to the current parking ordinance will be reviewed at the June 17, 2013 Committee Meeting. Ms. Brown stated that she has been trying to get the issue resolved for seven months. Diane McGaughey stated that Council is working on the problem, and is sorry that there is no better answer at this time.
Bills for June 3, 2013:
MOTION by Brian Costello, Second by Daniel Werner, to approve payment of the bills for the month from the General Fund in the amount of $9,311.60. MOTION approved unanimously.
MOTION by Brian Costello, Second by Daniel Werner, to approve payment of the bills for the month from the Gas Fund in the amount of $1,128.01. MOTION approved unanimously.
Since there was no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:10 PM.