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Borough Council Minutes
April 14, 2003
        6:30 PM
Attendance: Mayor John Backman

Council Members :
Council President, Jerome Ogden        
Vice-President, Tonya McNamara
James Holleman
Cheryl Bubacz (absent)
Raymond Kaminski
Timothy Roupp
Tom Bogaczyk

Borough Manager, George Lloyd
Police Chief, Ronald Steffen
Borough Secretary, Sally Ward
Patrick Barrett Esq., Borough Solicitor
Guests: Fire Chief Kevin Lindquist, Ambulance Company President Dean Hall, Charles Freeberg for Kiwanis Community Center, Glen Bastian - presentation ref: Business; Scott Bastian developer proposed store Riverside Plaza and Sherry Beaty Wellsboro Gazette reporter.

Meeting minutes 10 March 2003 Accepted Motion of R. Kaminski Second T. Bogaczyk, All in favor.
The Treasurer's report was read and approved, subject to audit.

The bills will be paid on motion of T. Bogaczyk, Second R. Kaminski. All in favor.

GUESTS:Glen Bastian explained the purpose of the Blossburg Improvement Association and its goals. The B.I.A. is asking the Council to appoint a committee from Council to work in conjunction on this project entitled "Get Businesses Plan, Blossburg PA". Each member was furnished a copy of the outlines for proceeding towards the goal of becoming a place of interest for businesses to come into the borough.

Incentives presented would have to be agreed upon by the property owners for prospective business people to receive the suggested benefits such as reduced charges for borough utilities; owners - with tax reduction over a period of time, and other suggestions.

Mike Egan as a member has advised there are sometimes grants for the landlords and tenants, which could be applied for.

Sample advertisements were part of the information packet as well as reports on the "Main Street Project" communities which have implemented plans.

G. Bastian stated he is not interested in running the program. He was asked to look into how this can be done. He would be willing to help if needed.

T. Bogaczyk remarked he understands the B.I.A. has completed plans which they had, now they would like to move forward with a proposal such as this. He reminded Council that as you walk up and down Main Street you see the vacant store fronts and note the improvements which even painting could help appearances. He would like to see a valiant effort made to see if something could be gotten off the ground. He would be willing to take part with the committee.

Thomas Bogaczyk and Tonya McNamara were appointed to the committee. Cheryl Bubacz will be asked if she would be willing to participate. J. Ogden said he would attend whenever he could if he is told when they plan to meet.

Scott Bastian presented information on progress being made for the new retail store Riverside Plaza. He has met with the Planning Commission to outline the parking situation. The Planning Commission can not do anything further at this time as Council will make the ultimate decision. It was pointed out the Borough owns the parking lot. No other business in the plaza pays any of the expenses for paving, painting, plowing, etc. An offer to pay yearly an amount towards these costs was presented by S. Bastian.

Questions were directed to P. Barrett concerning the steps which must be taken to have this completed in the manner required. He will prepare some type of agreement which will have to be reviewed before action can be taken by the Council.

The signs will be handled by an agent of the Dollar General as both will need special exceptions. Zoning Hearing Board will be set up to discuss parking if it is going to require it. The hearing for signs will not be at this time.

Fire Chief Lindquist attended to discuss further the progress on the building Building for the fire and ambulance. Subdivision application as acted upon by the Fire and Planning Commission had been open as the property is landlocked although the Ambulance lot does adjoin borough property on the west side (flood area). Also, the Progress requirement from Conservation for a permit when acreage involved. S. Hall is attending the School Board meeting this evening with information which J. Rakoski, G. Lloyd and K. Lindquist had come up with after visiting the site to explain to Rakoski what they needed/wanted.

Contact made with Mr. Cunningham to see if he would be interested in selling the lot on Ruah Street (west side of street) for another access. He was not sure if he was in favor of selling or not. He will contact K. Lindquist.

Ambulance building property: Need to sell shortly is another issue. P. Barrett was asked about this. He explained PA laws as to how you have to handle this type of property. According to law, once the building ceases to be the ambulance building, it must be in the borough name. The borough would have to be the one to sell it. Next question what would be done with the money of course, the need for payment on the building would be no doubt the reason for the use of the money. How to do this legally will be determined.

Dean Hall said that no tax money is in the ambulance building at all. P. Barrett said the law says, that's the land and that's where it came from. He is not getting into that at all. Just wants to explain the laws. The law does allow the borough to convey the land to the Fire Company free of charge, as long as that is what it is used for. If that use stops, the law says it will return to the borough. If they have a question, they can call Mr. Baker; but, that is just the way it is now.

As it appears according to the terms, borough would take the ambulance building back, put it up for sale, put the money back into a building. This will have to be studied further.

Mr. Barrett then asked now that they want to sell it, when do you want to give up the use of it? Not until the new building is completed. (Dean said to Mr. Barrett he did not want to go pick him up on a cold stretcher! No thanks he said, Mr. Ogden said they already did that to him. ) This too has to be taken into consideration. J. Ogden asked G. Lloyd If they had a hot prospect, could they sell it and house the ambulance with the borough vehicles. He said, there would be no problem. Could use this until they have new housing for their equipment.

Permit from County Conservation is being worked on. Letter from County Planner regarding requirement that it face street would be taken care of when access established. Also, the 2.5 - 1 ratio as in ordinance was not met by surveyor. This is no problem. P. Barrett explained the "for cause" which would take care of these items. Ward asked since the land will be needed for parking, the ratio should not be a concern. Mr. Barrett presented more information on the ways to do this.

H. House will be taking trees down as there is no good wood, only for chips. D. Hall asked that someone from Council come to the meetings. One is held every Tuesday evening. If even just one member could attend it would be so helpful. Membership wants to know what is going on, if Council member there can bring them up to date. The month to month for the meeting with Council is sometimes a hindrance. Kaminski, McNamara, Bubacz are appointees.

A motion "To allow H. House to go on site to do chipping" T. Bogaczyk; Second R. Kaminski. All in favor.

Lindquist and D. Hall left the meeting at 7:06 P.M.

C. Freeberg was then asked to present his report on the K.C.C. Finances $4,367.91 as of date of meeting. Expenses were floor cleaning, telephone, fuel bills. Request for rental by I.O.O.F. every 3rd Friday.

Roof to be done 10 May 2003 by Coal Festival Committee and volunteers. The painter for back room (Chuck) indisposed but will plan to get it done. He left meeting following report,(7:22 P.M.).

K. Lindquist and Steven Hall joined the meeting at 7:19 P.M. to report on the meeting of the school board. District will not approve subdividing the corner of the lot they own on Carpenter Street as requested. They will approve a right-of-way for whatever property the companies would actually use. The companies will be responsible for the legal fees, etc. It is the same triangle looked at before. Only difference is that they will not subdivide the land. Primary entrance would be Main Street. P. Barrett had expressed concerns about the situation with the entry business.

K. Lindquist asked what they must do now. P. Barrett said it could all be done at one time. Then papers to them for their approval.

Executive Session requested by Borough Solicitor 7:30 until 8:04 PM. No actions required, personnel discussed.

Reports : Mayor :  View report.

Police :  View report.

Borough Manager :   View report.
Borough Manager's:   Activity Log.

Planning Commission :  View report

Recreation :  View report.

Fire Department :  View report.

Television :    View report.

Library :     View report.

Street Committee :     View report.

K.C.C. :    View report.

Budget Committee :    View report

NPHS Student rep :    View report

Zoning Hearing Board :    View report

Ordinance Update Committee :    View Report.

Old Business:
  1. Ordinances: Nothing done. Also Emergency Ops proposed Ordinance discussed.

  2. Evaluation: Attorney has this to review. *(No E.M.D. Appointed)

  3. Well old hospital: Nothing.

  4. Pedestrian Bridge: Total to date $13,955.62 Donors listed.

  5. Cul-De-Sac Granger St.: Minor Sub-division B. Jones - A. Lindner: No reply to letter sent.

  6. Houses: P. Barrett sending letters re condemnation.

  7. Cul-de-sac: Cul-De-Sac Davis Lane: P. Barrett preparing 6 and 7 Drafts are prepared.

  8. Commissioners Letter RE: Occupation and P.C. Tax (Remains on Agenda).

  9. Building Codes Changes: Report by R. Kaminski. Action dates will be set and you will have to make a choice to opt in or out as he learned in the meeting at Towanda.

New Business:
  • Letter Mark Mundis: All received copy. Discussed what had brought it up.

  • Minor Subdivision Blossburg Improvement Association: Approved earlier.

  • Minor Subdivision: Borough (R.R.) Approved with conditions of right of way for access determined on Motion of T. McNamara: Second, T. Bogaczyk. All in favor.

  • Police Hire: Motion T. Bogaczyk; Second, J. Holleman, "That Joshua McCurdy be hired full time at $8.50 per hour during probation of six months. End of probation to be paid $9.00 per hour. Benefits to be in effect 1 May 2003. All in favor.

  • Welcome Center at Dams to be opened. Whoever wishes to attend, reservations to be made. Mayor and T. Bogaczyk will attend. T.C.A.B. Any reservations?

Mayor report:

  • Nothing to report.

  • Mayor

Police report:

  • Police: Report accepted Motion of T. McNamara; Second, J. Holleman. All in favor. Discussion on penalties for driving while uninsured.

  • A report had been made to the department about the emergency vehicles entering North Williamson Road from the north. Two people said they were forced over as the emergency vehicles were coming through that exit. The ambulance was going to a call; woman said she could not have room so she hit barrel. She thought they were on the other side of the barrel but were not.

    R. Kaminski asked if they had to obey the law like anyone else. The Chief said they do. Steffen said they had lights on as they were coming to a call. Council discussed. Send letter to the Chiefs express concern.

    Solicitor said one way to fix is to pick up additional liability on borough insurance. Obvious way would be to section off by Police, but could send out memo advising if they have to do this - contact department so it would be aware of what is going on, if emergency situation involved so police could be there.

    J. Backman said he was going to go talk to the contractors about the barrels.

  • Police

Borough Manager's report:

  • Report approved on Motion of T. Bogaczyk; Second, T. McNamara. All in favor.

  • Reported on progress of bridge. Bids not ready.

  • Island Park Cleanup: Spring cleanup homes. Island Park 3 May/rain date 17 is 10th for roof K.C.C. Homes 5-9 May 03 Rules will be published in ad. J. Holleman remembered last year it was discussed about having to charge due to the increased costs. Problem might result in people not putting stuff out, this way things are cleaned up. Ward contacted some property owners about getting cleaned up.

  • Money in pool work account from 1999. Now need money to pay for pool filters. Would like to close out that account by doing this. Motion "That we approve this payment," T. Bogaczyk: Second, R. Kaminski. All in favor.

  • Copy of web page by D. Jones effort to obtain donations for bridge. The Alumni may be interested if they see this. Copy sent to members. T. McNamara recommended copies put on lobby table for others to see. A motion was made R. Kaminski:, "That we approve Web page by D. Jones for the information on the bridge project". Second, T. McNamara. All in favor.

  • Trailer Park: J. Murphy attended Authority meeting. Agreed to pay first half hook-up fees. Will pay other half when first lots are in use. One going in next week at last.

  • A letter was sent to Council requesting action on recommendation to appoint Frank A. Wasowicz to be appointed to the Municipal Authority due to the unfortunate passing of Robert Johnson.

    Motion, "That Frank A. Wasowicz be appointed to the Municipal Authority" by R. Kaminski; Second, T. Bogaczyk. All in favor.

  • Borough Manager

Planning Commission report:

  • Letter sent to members deferring right-of-way proposition to Council. They are all very much in favor of the new business. However, concerns expressed as to what could result in future with right-of-way with this one being as it is. They requested Council expertise in handling this. Solicitor suggested he be authorized to draw up position plan. The parking has to be addressed, also. Signs come later. T. Bogaczyk would, at the direction of Counsel put this in form of a motion, "That we adjust borough streets according to his (Barrett's) recommendations. Also included in this motion the granting of the sub- division of the Blossburg Improvement Association for future development of the lot in Riverside Plaza." Second, R. Kaminski. All in favor.

  • Planning Commission

Recreation report:

  • Checking attendance. Susan Kaczynski had attended one meeting this past year. Possibly due to work schedule out of town. They wish to ask for a replacement. Suggestions made included: Lisa Frederick, Jeanne Carlson, Judy Andrews. George will make contact to see if anyone willing to serve. R. Kaminski is up for re-appointment if he wants it. He commented he can only make about one out of four of the meetings if someone else would be interested. No one expressed willingness, so he will remain. Copy of minutes of two meetings were given to members. Each month, Council is supposed to receive the copy. G. Lloyd will remind. The term of office is four years. School appoints, also. Motion by T. Bogaczyk, "That R. Kaminski be re-appointed to Recreation Board". Second, J. Holleman. All in favor.

  • Recreation

Fire Department report:

Television report:

  • Two new channels added; both religious. Another one FX is coming.

  • Television

Library report:

  • T. Bogaczyk had copies of the minutes from the board. A "Hold-Harmless" clause is being added to the insurance. Major cuts made us at 50% by new state budget. They will be working very hard to try to keep up the high standards. They are very concerned about what might result because of the cuts. Looking for fund raising ways.

  • Library

Street Committee report:

  • G. Lloyd said we must be looking at several streets. Big problems as a result of past winter. He will contact committee in May to meet to go over the streets.

  • Parking Lot: T. McNamara asked that when the lines are painted in the Plaza lot, hash marks be put by the fire lanes. She would hope this might help discourage the illegal parking. More signs might help even though some are posted. Enforcement by Police Department is needed. Suggest Police even just sit from time to time so they are visible.

  • Street Committee

K.C.C. report:

  • Reported under quest section.

  • K.C.C.

Budget report:

NPHS Student Representative report:

Zoning report:

Ordinance Update Committee report:

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Meeting adjourned 8:59 PM
Sally Ward
Borough Secretary