APPROVED MINUTES OF THE RUTLEDGE BOROUGH COUNCIL
September 25, 2017 Meeting
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: Brianne Thomas, Dr. Marlaina Kloepfer, Eric Leggett, Jack Shingle, Marie Govannicci, Jim Jones, Council President Dave Waltz, Mayor Cunningham. William Neill, Esq. was also in attendance.
Public Comment –
Heidi Sentivan – Unity Terrace – asked about the status of the zoning attorney. She says there is a case coming that may be ready by the next month.
Janine Michael – 209 E. Sylvan – Made a complaint about a rooster in the community waking her up. Joyce Watson, also heard the rooster and wanted to complain. They shower video of the rooster and chicken located at a nearby home. Mr. Leggett indicated he received an email about the rooster as well. Code enforcement is currently working on the situation which was brought to the office’s attention earlier.
Mr. Jones discussed the sewer information on the video project, as well as the evaluation of flows going on currently. 6 new meters will need to be put in and calibrated. The cost will exceed $100,000. Rutledge will be the first to get the new meters. Payment arrangements are being made that may not cost Rutledge anything and will provide a long term solution for the unbalanced numbers we are experiencing. The CDCA is trying to offer support to the Borough.
No trash report.
Communications – Ms. Thomas discussed the spaghetti fundraiser, fees and the updated minutes posted. There was a brief discussion about minutes approval.
It was reported that Mark Bascelli, the highway employee, is getting the park cleaned and ready for the next events.
Public Safety – Mr. Shingle discussed the current ordinance being discussed regarding a tax credit for members of the fire department. Comments were made about whether an item such as this should go before the voters directly, if it is a tax, etc.
Council President Waltz reminded everyone that funds are tight toward the end of the year.
Mayor Cunningham discussed athletics and memorial activities for music teacher Jack Hontz.
Shade Tree Ordinance notes were reviewed. There was a discussion of main points and concerns whether the Shade Tree Commission would be involved in suggestions after they developed a draft ordinance. Upon reviewing the attorney’s work, Heidi Sentivan indicated that she felt it was very different from what was proposed by the Shade Tree Committee. It was agreed to table any vote until the documents could be compared again and reviewed. Rachael Sten asked that 2 documents be developed. There was one to establish their existence officially and one to address issues with trees. She stated that there was no verbage about the public right of way and other matters that would help settle disputes. She felt that they completed an ordinance and sent it to the Planning Board and the resulting ordinance is nothing like what they sent. Where did all of the work go? The attorney tried to explain what was legally required and how he tried to blend the legal requirements with what they had. Mr. Neill stated that unfortunately just because everyone spent substantial time on it does not mean that the outcome is a legally viable document for the purposes he needs to meet.
Mr. Jones apologized that it needed to go through the attorneys and he felt it was heartbreaking to see the original changed, but he wanted everything done to make sure we find common ground again.
Jody – 214 East Sylvan stated that the Tree Commission ordinance discussion dated back to Kim Brown on Council. They sent over 2 ordinances to be revised. He feels the Tree Commission needs to be organized and authorized. The other concern was residents knowing that you can’t plant in the Right of way according to the existing ordinances. They felt they sought input from Kim, Marlaina and Eric (3 council members) so he felt council was well represented. Mr. Leggett agreed to table the matter.
William Neill, Esq. briefly discussed the Fireman’s Tax Credit. He stated that Morton Borough is using a sample that the State of PA has put out. There must be a hearing 30 days before the matter is voted upon in order to debate the criteria. Various criteria were discussed such as one criteria for active members and one for officers. Ms. Govannicci wanted to know if the ordinance affected contributions already made to the fire department by the borough each year. It appears it would nbot. It is in addition to those contributions to the combined fire company.
Old Business – None
New Business – There was a real estate discussion.
Mr. Leggett announced that the fee schedule and fence information is on the borough web page.
Public Comment – Jody stated that there needed to be some discussion about side yard fences and corner properties.
Mr. Jones added that he would like to review questions about plants, trees, shrubs that go over property lines. Ms. Bascelli joined a discussion regarding where a bush or overhanging tree can be cut back to and who is responsible. Trees hanging over a property line can but cut to that line by the homeowner whose property is being encroached upon.
Ms. Sten and Ms. Sentivan mentioned that they wanted wording about hazardous trees and dispute resolution.
Dr. Kloepfer read a letter of resignation to the Borough council and the public gathered. She accepted a job out of state and resigned effective immediately. She thanked several people and was wished well by several members of council including the Mayor.
Motion to accept the resignation of Dr. Marlaina Kloepfer effective September 26, 2017. Ms. Govannicii/Mr. Jones. All in Favor
Recess to Executive Session at 7:48
Return to Regular Meeting at 7:57
Motion by Ms. Govannicci/Mr.Jones to approve council discussion during recess All in Favor Dr. Kloepfer did not attend closed session.
Motion to adjourn at 8pm: Ms. Thomas/Mr. Waltz
All in Favor