2014-12-11 Council Minutes

MINUTES
HAZLETON CITY COUNCIL
REGULAR MEETING
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2014

Call to Order:  Council met in regular session on Thursday, December 11, 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

Minutes of Previous Meetings:  None.

Proclamations/Communications:  None.

Courtesy of the Floor:  Mark Rabo, 8 West 1st Street, Hazleton commented on Resolutions 2014-125 and 2014-138. He said neither Resolution should be passed. He said there was no design approved by Council for the proposed park at Broad and Laurel Streets, and there was no public hearing before Planning and Zoning to change it to public space. There should have been a public meeting to allow for public input on this matter.

Dee Deakos, 43 West Mine Street, Hazleton commented on Resolution 2014-134. She asked if the Police Department got money from the state for this. She said they received a grant and all of these expenses should have been covered under that grant.

             

Old Business:

ORDINANCES

Ordinance 2014-19 Modifying Consolidated Plans for CDBG Program Years 2010, 2012 and 2013 (2nd Reading)

Presented by Sosar. Seconded by Mundie.

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

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Ordinance 2014-19 Modifying Consolidated Plans for CDBG Program Years 2010, 2012 and 2013 (3rd Reading)

Presented by Sosar. Seconded by Mundie.

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

ORDINANCE PASSES UNANIMOUSLY

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  Budget Ordinance 2014-20 An Ordinance Providing for the Appropriation of Specific Amounts Estimated as Required for the Various Departments of the Government of the City of Hazleton, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania for and during the Fiscal Year Dating from January 1, 2015 and Ending December 31, 2015 (2nd Reading)

Presented by Cusat. Seconded by Mundie.

On the Question:

Sosar said the storm water fee does not exist anymore because it was only passed for one year in 2013 and collected in 2014. The resolution passed was for one-time revenue activity. There is no method of collecting the fee at this time. Mundie agreed with Sosar. Mayor Yannuzzi said the Storm Water Management Plan was set by Ordinance, and the storm water fee was set by Resolution. He commented that the Ordinance is not set for one year. Sosar said the City passed a Storm Water Plan, but the issue of revenue and penalties was not discussed and not mentioned in the Ordinance. The Mayor said the prior City Council put in that the fee was only for one year, and not the Administration. Bast said a new Resolution has to be passed setting the storm water fee. Sosar was he is in favor of getting rid of this fee completely. The Mayor commented that if that is done, Council will need to make up the $375,000 in storm water fees somewhere else in the budget. Mundie made a motion to amend the budget to remove $300,000 from Line Item #392-3207 (Transfer from Stormwater). Mope seconded the motion.

1st Motion to Amend Budget:

Presented by Mundie. Seconded by Mope.

Roll Call (on 1st Motion to Amend Budget):  Bast-no; Cusat-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

1ST MOTION TO AMEND BUDGET PASSES 4-1

Back on the Question:

Bast stated that the budget is still $459,000 short. Cusat said that the revenue for the monthly permit parking and meters was overstated by $90,000. He said he believes it was erroneously double counted. Cusat made a motion to amend the budget to reduce Line Item #363-3212 (Parking Garage Fees) by $90,000. Sosar seconded the motion.

2nd Motion to Amend Budget:

Presented by Cusat. Seconded by Sosar.

Roll Call (on 2nd Motion to Amend Budget):  Bast-yes; Cusat-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

2ND MOTION TO AMEND BUDGET PASSES

Back on the Question:

Cusat suggested increasing the real estate transfer tax from 1% to 1.5%. Currently the City and the school district each receive 0.5%, and the state gets 1%. He would like to increase the City’s portion from 0.5% to 1%. Cusat said that the cost will be split between the buyer and seller when the property is sold, and it is only a one-time fee. He said he believes the City will see an additional $240,000 in revenue. Mundie was concerned with the effect of this increase on the City’s real estate market. He thought this change might hurt the City and it should be investigated further before putting it to a vote. Sosar agreed with Mundie. Cusat said that Scranton is getting over 3% and Wilkes-Barre Township is getting 3.8%. Mundie and the Mayor discussed the salaries and the workload for the people coming from the Parking Authority. Mundie said one of the employee’s workload was mostly at the parking garage, and maybe we should hire a part-time person instead. The Mayor said he maintains three or four of the city parking lots and the parking meters. Sosar stated that if the majority of his workload was at the parking garage, and now the DeAngelos will be doing all of that work, there is no reason for him not to be part-time. Mayor Yannuzzi said he was full-time and could not get everything done because there was so much work. Bast commented that if he could not do his job, then maybe we should not hire him. The Mayor responded that he was doing his job, but there was just not enough time in the day. He said there are two main maintenance people right now and it is hard for them to keep up with all the work. This person would be an asset to that department. Cusat asked if a new job description will be created for him, and the Mayor said yes. He added that this person will eventually be in the City Hall union. Mundie suggested trying him out on a part-time basis first. The Mayor said the City took over the Parking Authority and his work, and he is still maintaining everything as before. Neil DeAngelo of DeAngelo Brothers said that part of the parking garage lease is that they maintain it, and they will be picking up some of the expenses. He said the lease does not “kick in” until it is accepted. Mope commented that she received complaints that the parking garage was not being plowed, so, therefore, he is not doing his job. Mundie asked when the construction will be completed on the garage, and the Mayor responded in two to three months. Gottstein and Berger are working on it. DeAngelo said they are currently doing the concrete work. Mundie made a motion to amend Line Item #409-5100 (Maintenance Salaries) of the budget to reflect a decrease of $25,000, bringing the total to $104,438. Sosar seconded the motion.

3rd Motion to Amend Budget:**

Presented by Mundie. Seconded by Sosar.

Roll Call (on 3rd Motion to Amend Budget):  Bast-no; Cusat-no; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

3RD MOTION TO AMEND BUDGET PASSES 3-2

**THIS MOTION WAS RESCINDED LATER ON IN THE MEETING. SEE PAGE FOUR OF THESE MINUTES.**

Back on the Question:

Cusat said FICA, Medicare, etc., is affected by this change, therefore, those items need to reflect the decrease as well. Mundie said Tom Pribula will do all that. Sosar said Council could give Pribula a directive to reduce all of the affected line items regarding the decrease. Bast asked if salaries can be reduced if those individuals are in the union. He said the salaries are based on the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Mayor said this person is not in the union right now. Sosar made a motion to have Pribula amend all the other line items affected by the $25,000 decrease in Line Item #409-5100 (Maintenance Salaries). Mundie seconded the motion.

4th Motion to Amend Budget:**

Presented by Sosar. Seconded by Mundie.

Roll Call (on 4th Motion to Amend Budget):  Bast-no; Cusat-no; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

4th MOTION TO AMEND BUDGET PASSES 3-2

**THIS MOTION WAS RESCINDED LATER ON IN THE MEETING. SEE PAGE FOUR OF THESE MINUTES.** Back on the Question:

Mayor Yannuzzi said he believes Council is voting on an unbalance budget. Mundie asked who is included in Line Item #410-5100 (Police Non-Uniformed Salaries), and Chief DeAndrea said he believes it is John Synoski and Debbie Metz. Mundie asked if there is any way to decrease the amount of overtime, and DeAndrea said yes, if we hire more police. He added that every time a homicide occurs, overtime is needed. One-third of the overtime is in transporting prisoners to Wilkes-Barre. Mundie asked about using constables for this purpose. DeAndrea said constables are not bonded or certified, and the police are currently serving their own warrants. He said there are no constables working out of the magistrate’s office at this time, and none of them are on “standby.” He added that serving warrants have nothing to do with overtime. DeAndrea said there is an overtime reimbursement of approximately $100,000 that is not showing in the budget. This should be shown as revenue. Mundie said he would like to have Pribula separate the overtime reimbursements for the police department from the regular overtime. Chief DeAndrea stated there is also a $20,000 overtime reimbursement from Community Development. Mope agreed that these things should have separate line items. Sosar asked DeAndrea to keep Council updated on a monthly basis on police overtime. DeAndrea said he would have to get that from the payroll department. Mundie asked Fire Chief Donald Leshko upon the fire department’s overtime. Leshko said he tries to cut as much as he could every year. Most of the overtime is from fires and shift coverage. There is a minimum number of men that have to be on each shift, and there needs to be coverage when others are on vacation or out sick. Leshko stated that assisting other municipalities does not create overtime for the fire department. Mundie asked if there was an increase in salaries for the public works department. Mundie asked about the $10,000 in Line Item #430-5361. Cusat said that is for the lighting in the parking lots. Mundie asked about the $19,000 budgeted in recreation. Mayor Yannuzzi said the director is paid $12,000 and the rest is for the summer workers. Mundie suggested looking for more volunteers for recreation in order to save some money. Mundie discussed selling Water Authority property for additional revenue. Mope commented that this would only be anticipated revenue. Sosar made a motion to rescind the third and fourth motions to amend the budget regarding maintenance salaries and other affected line items. Mundie seconded the motion.

Motion to Rescind 3rd and 4th Motions to Amend Budget:

Presented by Sosar. Seconded by Mundie.

Roll Call (on Motion to Rescind 3rd and 4th Motions to Amend Budget):  Bast-yes; Cusat-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

MOTION TO RESCIND 3RD AND 4TH MOTIONS TO AMEND BUDGET PASSES

Back on the Question:

Cusat said the budget is now short $619,000. Mundie suggested adding the sale price of the Water Authority to the budget in order to make it balance. Bast said that is anticipated revenue and we do not know what the sale price will be. He said that the City does not have title to the land and we may not be able to sell it. He added that there is no line item in the budget for the sale of Water Authority land. The Mayor said Council approved the format of the budget, and no new line items can be added at this time. Sosar commented that Council will make changes to the budget and the Mayor will then veto the budget. He stated the 1.6 mill tax increase is for salary increases for the department heads. Sosar said that Council needs to do what it has to do to avoid a tax increase, and a balanced budget needs to be passed. Bast said it is fiscally responsible to leave a $619,000 shortfall in the budget. Sosar stated there is $300,000 sitting in sewer transmission fund and he will not ask the people of Hazleton to pay an additional $25.00 storm water fee. Mundie said we need to cut salaries from each department. Cusat said we cannot touch the police and firefighter salaries because of minimum manning requirements and their collective bargaining agreements. Bast asked where the money is coming so the budget will be balanced. He stated that any Council member who had questions regarding the budget could have discussed it with Pribula two or three weeks ago, instead of waiting until tonight’s meeting. Mundie motioned to table the Budget Ordinance, and Mope seconded the motion.

Motion to Table Budget Ordinance:

Presented by Mundie. Seconded by Mope.

Roll Call (on Motion to Table Budget Ordinance):  Bast-no; Cusat-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

MOTION TO TABLE BUDGET ORDINANCE PASSES 4-1

At this point, Mundie made an announcement that there will be two special meetings held specifically for the budget. They will be held on December 17, 2014 at 6:00 pm and December 30, 2014 at 6:00 pm.

             

RESOLUTIONS

Resolution 2014-125 A Resolution Requesting Local Share Account Funds for the Broad and Laurel Streets Center City Park Project (TABLED 12/2/14)

Mundie made a motion to remove this Resolution from the table, and Cusat seconded the motion.

Motion to Remove from Table:

Presented by Mundie. Seconded by Cusat.

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

MOTION TO REMOVE FROM TABLE PASSES

Presented by Cusat. No second made.

RESOLUTION FAILS FOR LACK OF SECOND

             

New Business:

ORDINANCES

Ordinance 2014-21 An Ordinance Amending Ordinances 1878, 1932, 88-52, and 2004-38, Providing for Assessment Levy, and Collection of a Tax for General Municipal Purposes and Imposing Additional Tax for the Sole Purpose of Funding Required Benefits to be Paid to or on Behalf of Pension Recipients Pursuant to Act 205, known as the Municipal Pension Plan Funding Standard and Recovery Act, which is Directly Related to the Pension Plan of the City of Hazleton (1st Reading)

Presented by Mundie. Seconded by Cusat.

Roll Call:  Bast-no; Cusat-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

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Ordinance 2014-22 Re-Enacting Ordinances 1931, 1932, and 1933, which Continue in Force and Effect for the Period January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015, Imposing the Real Estate Tax, Earned Income Tax, Per Capita Tax, and Resident Tax, Respectively (1st Reading)

Presented by Mope. Seconded by Cusat.

Roll Call:  Bast-no; Cusat-no; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

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Ordinance 2014-23 An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 88-14, Re-Enacting the Mercantile and Business Privilege Tax for the Period of January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015 (1st Reading)

Presented by Sosar. Seconded by Mundie.

Roll Call:  Bast-no; Cusat-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

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Ordinance 2014-24 An Ordinance of the City of Hazleton Fixing the Tax Rate of Real Estate Located in the City of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, for All City Purposes for the Fiscal Year 2015, Beginning January 1, 2015 and Ending December 31, 2015 (1st Reading)

Presented by Cusat. Seconded by Mundie.

On the Question:

Sosar made a motion to table the Ordinance until the next meeting, and Cusat seconded the motion.

Motion to Table:

Presented by Sosar. Seconded by Cusat.

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

ORDINANCE TABLED

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Ordinance 2014-25 Re-Enacting Realty Transfer Tax Provisions Pursuant to Article XI-D of the Tax Reform Code of 1971, and Authorizing the Department of Revenue of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to Determine, Collect, and Enforce the Tax, Interest, and Penalties (1st Reading)

Presented by Sosar. Seconded by Mundie.

Roll Call:  Bast-no; Cusat-no; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

             

  RESOLUTIONS

Resolution 2014-130 Resolution Amending the Agreement with Mullin and Lonergan Associates for Professional Services Related to Environmental Review

Presented by Bast. Seconded by Cusat.

On the Question:

Mundie asked if this firm has been used before for this purpose. Fallon Fermin responded that the Housing Authority has used them before.

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

RESOLUTION PASSES

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Resolution 2014-131 Accepting the 2013 Annual Audit

Presented by Sosar. Seconded by Mope.

On the Question:

Mundie asked the Bill Seymour of SB & Company if there was any surplus money found during the audit. Seymour responded there is a $124,000 surplus in the general fund.

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

RESOLUTION PASSES

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Resolution 2014-132 A Resolution Requesting Local Share Account Funds for the Purchase of a Code Enforcement Vehicle for the City of Hazleton

Presented by Sosar. Seconded by Cusat.

On the Question:

Mundie asked if this is a budgeted item. Cusat responded no. If received, this will be paid for with the LSA grant.

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

RESOLUTION PASSES

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Resolution 2014-133 A Resolution Requesting Local Share Account Funds for the Purchase of a Health Enforcement Vehicle for the City of Hazleton  

Presented by Cusat. Seconded by Sosar.

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

RESOLUTION PASSES ----------------------------------------------

Resolution 2014-134 A Resolution Requesting Local Share Account Funds for the Purchase of Equipment for the City of Hazleton’s Police Department

Presented by Cusat. Seconded by Bast.

On the Question:

Mundie asked who prepared this grant application, and DeAndrea said it is still being prepared at this time. Sosar said DeAndrea needs to start spending more of the seizure money. He added that he would like to see the check register for the seizure money account, and go over the expenditures and purchases. DeAndrea said he will get Sosar a copy of the check register. He added that this goes through the Department of Administration, and he will ask that department to let Council know of what goes in and out of that account. Mundie asked how much seizure money was received last year, and DeAndrea responded $250,000.

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

RESOLUTION PASSES

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Resolution 2014-135 A Resolution Requesting Local Share Account Funds for Catholic Social Services

Presented by Sosar. Seconded by Mope.

On the Question:

Neil Oberto of Catholic Social Services said he completed all the paperwork for this grant, but was not able to secure an estimate for the project prior to tonight’s meeting. He is waiting for an estimate for the repairs to the roof. He expects the project to be somewhere between $90,000 and $100,000.

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

RESOLUTION PASSES

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Resolution 2014-136 Resolution Permitting the City of Hazleton to Apply for a Local Share Grant on Behalf of the Hazleton Integration Project (HIP)

Presented by Cusat. Seconded by Mope.

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

RESOLUTION PASSES

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Resolution 2014-137 Authorization to Execute Cooperation Agreement between the City of Hazleton and DHD Realty Holding, LLC

Presented by Cusat. Seconded by Mundie.

On the Question:   Neil DeAngelo of DeAngelo Brothers said they need to add four personal guarantors to the Cooperation Agreement. Mundie made a motion to amend the Cooperation Agreement and approve the request of Neil DeAngelo to add four more names to the Agreement. Mope seconded the motion.

Motion to Amend and Approve the Request to Add Four More Names to the Cooperation Agreement:

Presented by Mundie. Seconded by Mope.

Roll Call (On Motion to Amend and Approve the Request to Add Four More Names to the Cooperation Agreement):  Bast-yes; Cusat-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

MOTION TO AMEND AND APPROVE THE REQUEST TO ADD FOUR MORE NAMES TO THE COOPERATION AGREEMENT PASSES

Presented by Cusat. Seconded by Mundie.

Roll Call (As Amended):  Bast-yes; Cusat-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

RESOLUTION PASSES

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Resolution 2014-138 A Resolution Requesting Local Share Account Funds for the Broad and Laurel Street Center City Park Project

Presented by Cusat. Seconded by Mundie.

On the Question:

Bast asked how much CDBG money is going for this project. Fallon Fermin said $90,000, which is from the 2014 Annual Plan. Bast asked if this money could be used for low income housing rehabilitation, and Fermin said yes. Sosar asked if this project has gone before zoning or planning, and Fermin said she did not know. Krista Schneider of the Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Revitalization said this property falls under the center commercial (CC) district. Community recreation facilities fall under the use for this land, and, therefore, they do not need to go before planning or zoning because they do not require a variance. She added that the budget for this project is $340,000. Cusat asked if the scope of the project can be changed or if the park can be moved somewhere else. Fermin said it is possible but there is no guarantee. Bast asked if they can use just the LSA funds and not the CDBG funds. Schneider said they would then be short the money they need to complete the park. Sosar said this is a prime location and they are going to need a lot of money to rehabilitate that lot. Bast said he would like to use the CDBG funds for something else. Sosar asked about the engineer working on this project. Schneider responded that if they are using CDBG money, then they can use Community Development’s engineer. Fermin said Community Development does not have an engineer at this time, but Dominic Yannuzzi of Alfred Benesch may do the work. If Yannuzzi does the work, Community Development will not pay for it. Bast made a motion to remove the $90,000 in CDBG funds for this project, but there was no second.

Motion to Remove $90,000 in CDBG Funds for the Project:

Presented by Bast. No Second.

MOTION TO REMOVE THE $90,000 IN CDBG FUNDS FOR THE PROJECT FAILS DUE TO LACK OF SECOND

Roll Call:  Bast-no; Cusat-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-no; Mundie-yes

RESOLUTION PASSES 3-2

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Resolution 2014-139 A Resolution Requesting Local Share Account Funds for the Purchase of Two Multi-Purpose/Fire Chief Vehicles for the Hazleton Fire Department

Presented by Cusat. Seconded by Mope.

On the Question:

Mundie asked why DeAndrea never applied for this before. DeAndrea said they did not need it before. He added that he was awarded a grant for $13,000 for turn-our gear and renovations.

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

RESOLUTION PASSES

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Resolution 2014-140 A Resolution Requesting Local Share Account Funds for the Hazleton Fire Department’s Fire Station Upgrades

Presented by Sosar. Seconded by Mope.

On the Question:

Fire Chief Donald Leshko said this grant will be used for new windows at all of the fire stations and for a new roof on the 14th Ward Firehouse.

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

RESOLUTION PASSES

           

Comments from the Audience:  Mark Rabo, 8 West 1st Street, Hazleton commented on the proposed park to be built on the corner of Broad and Laurel Streets. He said according to the Subdivision and Land Ordinance, this first needs to be designated as a recreational facility. Cusat said that could be done if the grant is awarded. Rabo said this project should be going through DCNR. He commented that he is tired with the City giving money to people who do not live in Hazleton for their “pet projects.” He asked that no CDBG money be used. Rabo said if there is any type of mistakes with this project, the City will be responsible for it. He said the procedures need to be followed, and they must go through the process of planning and zoning first.

Anthony Mope, 531 Hazle Street, Hazleton commented on an article that was in the Standard Speaker regarding his new garage. He said he designed the garage, not his wife, Jean Mope, and she should be left out of this matter. He stated he started this project in August, and went through all of the proper channels and procedures. Mope stated that according to Ordinance 95-26 this land can be used as an accessory use for parking and can be in an open area or enclosed. Mope added that the reason for building this garage was to house his collection of cars.

Norman Tarantino, 154 North Lee Court, Hazleton asked why the Firefighters’ new contract was not passed yet. He said these are good, hard-working men and this contract should be passed. Mundie said they are still discussing the terms, and there is an issue with the length of the contract. Tarantino said he requested information regarding residential driveways, but never received it. He said someone on Laurel Street is using a walkway as a driveway and something needs to be done about it. Grace Cuozzo, 948 James Street, Hazleton said all sewer lines lead to the Sewer Authority. She stated that a minimum of one acre is required to submit a storm water fee. The City is hitting people twice for storm water and sewer transmission. She asked Council to read the agreements between the Sewer Authority, West Hazleton Borough, and Hazleton City. Mope stated that the Sewer Authority took over all of West Hazleton’s sewer lines according to the agreement.

Comments from Mayor or Director of Administration:  None.

Comments from Junior Council:  Joel Soto said the format of the budget is hard to follow. He said he really likes the Hazleton Integration Project and it is a good thing for the City.

Comments from Council:  Bast said Anthony Mope should have known he needed a variance, because it is a commercial building in a residential area. He said Mope knew if he applied for a variance, zoning would not have approved it. He commented on the sale of the Water Authority land and asked when was the last time any commercial land was sold in Hazleton. Mundie said land was sold for $1.9 million two weeks ago.

Cusat was concerned about the collection rates and fees reflected in the 2015 budget. He said the City’s minimum municipal obligations are going up and the cost associated with the union contracts are going up as well. Cusat said we need a solid budget to begin the new year.

Sosar thanked everyone for coming. He said he is tired of hearing the same thing at every meeting. The last Council passed everything and questioned nothing. He stated that Council does not have the administration or any legal opinions to help it make decisions. Sosar commented “We can’t do our due diligence when the solicitor is not here.” He said Council has important decisions make and it needs answers to its questions. Council is trying to come up with solutions to some of these long-standing problems, and they want to make sure the budget is correct. Sosar commented that Councilwoman Jean Mope follows all the rules and regulations and does so much for the City. He said the comments made toward her were a “cheap shot.” He said we all need to be respectful of other people.

Mope thanked her husband, Tony, for coming and speaking at tonight’s meeting. She said the “cheap shot” backfired because she received overwhelming support from the community. Mope said people tell her they love the new garage. They also tell her she is doing a good job on City Council. She stated her husband went through all of the proper procedures before building the garage. Bast said he received many phone calls stating the exact opposite.

Mundie said he thinks it is great that Mope is building in the City. He said they will be paying taxes on this property, and it will be used to store his antique cars. Mundie commented that some people will do whatever they can to win an election. He said he is trying to do what is right for the City and its residents. He said he should have started working on the budget earlier. Mundie said there are amounts in the budget that should not be there, such as the $300,000 for the storm water fee. Mundie commented that the Mayor has been “walking out on the City all year.” The Mayor cannot answer all of the questions concerning the budget, and that is why the Director of Administration should be here. He added that it does not matter what Council does with the budget, because the Mayor will not follow it anyway.

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