APPROVED MINUTES OF THE RUTLEDGE BOROUGH COUNCIL
November 27, 2017 Work Session
212 Unity Terrace
Rutledge, PA 19070
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited and the meeting was called to order at 7pm by Council President David Waltz.
Present: Council President Waltz, Brianne Thomas, Eric Leggett, Marie Govannicci, Jim Jones and Carrie Kozub. William Neill, Esq. was also in attendance.
Absent: Mr. Shingle, Mayor Cunningham
Public Hearing on Fire Department Tax Credit Ordinance –
Council President Waltz explained the process of qualifying for a tax credit and the ordinance. He explained that currently 2 residents might qualify depending on the criteria developed by the Fire Department. He noted that the Morton – Rutledge Fore Department now has a new Chief so the process of developing the criteria may be slower. A new resolution will be passed every year to keep the credit active.
In response to resident questions, William Neill, Esq. explained the ordinance specifics and the appeal process. He noted that everything is being coordinated with Morton Borough so the ordinances mirror each other.
Credits do not include school or county taxes per Act 172. If someone is injured on the job they can still qualify for the credit. There is a copy of the ordinance on the website. Residents seemed to offer positive responses.
Public Comment – Tom Heron of Rutledge Ave. asked about the follow up on moving the crosswalk near his home. Council President Waltz indicated that Ridley Township would not be moving the crosswalk and they do not want a second crosswalk that close as they would need to provide a crossing guard for it.
Council President Waltz also indicated that the traffic study equipment is on-site currently at Swarthmore Avenue near the crosswalk. Swarthmore Officers are certified to undertake the traffic study and it is very detailed when complete. Council will be updated with the results when they arrive.
Heidi Sentivan asked that the website be updated to ask for resident volunteers (resumes) for the zoning and planning boards.
Mr. Jones gave an update on the sewer project. General Sewer was given the contract to video and clean lines throughout town. Last week the repair work was bid out. Specifications included pipes, some erosion control and work to some manholes. Prices came in lower than expected some a first phase will be awarded and a second phase bid will be considered for advertisement tonight. We can twice as much work with the grant funds than expected.
Motion to approve a bid from Mobile Dredging & Video from New Jersey in the amount of $119,629.00. Mr. Jones/Ms. Thomas All In Favor
Bids ranged from $119,000 to $256,000. Mr. Jones added that work can be directed to the areas most in need. The Borough pays for water infiltration into our pipes. It has to be corrected.
Motion to advertise for bids for Phase II of sewer work. Mr. Jones/Mr. Leggett All In Favor
A few years ago Mr. Jones estimated that a complete relining of the damaged pipes would be approximately $1.2 million.
In response to questions from Heidi Sentivan, Mr. Jones explained warranties, estimates and other factors.
Ms. Thomas commented on Communications – Yoga will be at Borough Hall tomorrow. Breakfast with Santa is Saturday.
Ms. Govannici was hoping that Margie (?) would be present to show scoreboard samples, but she was not able to attend.
Shade Tree is making ornaments and the fall plantings went well. The Shade Tree ordinance draft was reviewed and accepted by Shade Tree as a final draft. Ms. Govannici requested help handing out flyers for the tree lighting on December 4th.
The luminary bags have arrived. On Sunday December 17th bags will be filled. Council president Waltz requested that bags be stored in the fire company bays (with their permission) due to conflicts with hall use during the holidays.
It was also noted that the tiles are lifting in the lower hall.
Mr. Leggett had no report.
Council President Waltz announced that resident Dorothy Fisher had gifted the borough $5000 and the Fire Company $5,000 upon her passing. This generous gift to the borough will be used to erect a new lighted flagpole in the park and possibly a couple of benches. He asked for council’s consent. Prices have been received.
Motion to approve a new flagpole for Triangle Park, lighting equipment and benches with the funds from the estate of Dorothy Fisher. Purchases not to exceed $5,000. Her estate and family are publicly thanked for making this possible for the community. Mr. Jones/Ms. Govannicci All in Favor
Public Safety – No Report
Finance & Budget – Council members were given their draft budget copies for review and input the previous week. Mr. Waltz reported no tax increase for the 2018 budget cycle. In fact, there will be a reduction in trash and sewer fees in 2018. He indicated that the new council should have no difficulty living with the new budget. There is $40,000 – $50,000 in the sewer fund and even though there is an increase in trash hauling fees, more people are recycling which is offsetting the increase. We have a 5 year police contract so no new negotiations are necessary and that is the longest commitment we have gotten from Swarthmore so it has made budget planning easier. Swarthmore’s police contract fee is $93,000 next year. He ended by stating that the new council will need to track sewer and trash fees better. There will be a small excess collected but they will need it.
Ms. Govannicci reviewed her draft budget and asked why Triangle Park maintenance went up. It was explained that it did not really go up, the budget was reformatted to include more of the true costs for the park in that line. They included water fees, electric, more of the highway employee’s true time, etc. The infield fill is also expensive and it is unlikely it will be free again.
Motion to approve the preliminary budget for 2018. Mr. Leggett/Mr. Jones All In Favor.
It was noted that some streets work will be necessary next year. Mr. Heron asked about capital planning. Council President Waltz explained about our reserve accounts.
Motion to adjourn at 7:45pm: Mr. Leggett/Ms. Govannicci
All in Favor