2014-11-10 Special Meeting Minutes


Call to Order:  Council met in special session on Monday, November 10, 2014 in Council Chambers. The meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m.

Silent Meditation and Pledge of Allegiance:  A silent moment was taken followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Roll Call:  Bast-present; Cusat-present; Mope-present; Sosar-present; Mundie-present

Courtesy of the Floor:  None.


Business at Hand:





Resolution 2014-113 Authorization to Execute Lease Agreement Between the City of Hazleton and DHD Realty Holding, LLC (TABLED 11/5/14)

Motion to Remove from Table:

Presented by Mope. Seconded by Mundie.

Roll Call (on Motion to Remove from Table):  Bast-yes; Cusat-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes


Presented by Bast. Seconded by Cusat.

On the Question:

Cusat made a motion to amend the Resolution to take out the part that states “the entire top floor of the Parking Garage,” and replace it with “the entire garage and the Mine Street strip.” Mundie seconded the motion.

Roll Call (on Motion to Amend):  Bast-yes; Cusat-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes


Back on the Question:

Mundie suggested making some changes to the Lease Agreement itself. The Mayor stated that the contract was already negotiated and cannot be amended. It would have to go back to DHD for more negotiations first. Cusat was concerned about the amount of revenue being collected from DHD for the parking spaces. Mundie said on page eight of the Agreement, it states the City has sole responsibility for the maintenance of the garage. Mayor Yannuzzi said we are paying for the elevator and they are paying for the elevator shaft. It is in the contract as $1.6 million. Mope asked if we will be receiving school and property taxes from DHD for the garage. The Mayor responded the City will be paying the taxes because we are the property owner. Mope questioned the City’s tax exempt status, and the Mayor said it should still be tax exempt. Mundie said he would like a legal opinion from Slusser. Mope said she sent him an email concerning this matter on November 7, 2014, but received no response. The Mayor said the Markle Building is tax exempt. Mope suggested checking into the tax-exempt status because taxes were paid on the former Northeastern Bank building when it was owned by the Water Authority. Mundie said taxes may have to be paid if there is a change of use for that property. Sosar said he would like to get a legal opinion from Slusser on this before going any further. He said he is not going to vote on something without a legal opinion. He commented that he is trying to what is right for the City and its residents. He added that changes to contracts also need to be reviewed by all legal counsel involved in the process before proceeding further. Mope stated that should this property become taxable, the City needs to be protected from a financial loss. Cusat asked if there is an increase in the cost of the parking spaces in the contract with DHD. Mundie responded that it is $30.00 per space for 10 years, and cannot be increased until after that time. Cusat commented about wording in the contract about the City paying the taxes. Bast responded the City will pay them, but DHD will reimburse us the money. He added that they will not be paying City taxes, only county and school taxes. Mope questioned page five of the contract regarding the taxes as well, and Bast stated that the City taxes will be reimbursed. Mope commented that Council’s questions need to be answered by Slusser first before moving forward with this.

Adjournment:  Mundie motioned to adjourn the special meeting with Mope seconding the motion. Meeting adjourned.