2014-12-2 Council Minutes

MINUTES
HAZLETON CITY COUNCIL
REGULAR MEETING
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2014

Call to Order:  Council met in regular session on Tuesday, December 2, 2014 in Council Chambers. The meeting was called to order immediately following the work session.

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:  The minutes of the November 10, 2014 Work Session and Special Meeting were approved unanimously.

Proclamations/Communications:  None.

Courtesy of the Floor:  Grace Cuozzo, 948 James Street, Hazleton commented on Resolutions 2014-119 and 2014-120. She asked Council to approve both of these Resolutions because they are very important project for the Greater Hazleton Joint Sewer Authority. If these projects do not occur, rates will have to be increased. She said the GHJSA supports four municipalities.

Mark Rabo, 8 West 1st Street, Hazleton commented on Resolutions 2014-125 and 2014-129. He has no issue with revitalizing downtown Hazleton. He feels some City officials have a conflict of interest regarding this project, because they are on the Revitalization Board. He asked if the Mayor can be on the board and also apply for grant money. He asked when and where assessments were done in order to proceed with these projects. Rabo commented that crime in the City needs to be addressed immediately. He asked if $1 million will be enough money to complete these projects.

Dee Deakos, 43 West Mine Street, Hazleton commented on Resolution 2014-125. She asked when the match was earmarked by CDBG, and when the purpose of the grant was changed from a parking garage to a park.

Norman Tarantino, 154 North Lee Court, Hazleton asked about the lease for the plow truck. Mundie said this is in addition to our regular workforce. It will only be used for emergency purposes, and we may not even need it.

             

Old Business:

ORDINANCES

None.

             

RESOLUTIONS

None.

             

New Business:

ORDINANCES

None.

             

RESOLUTIONS

Resolution 2014-119 A Resolution Requesting Local Share Account Funds for the Greater Hazleton Joint Sewer Authority

Presented by Mope. Seconded by Cusat.

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

RESOLUTION PASSES UNANIMOUSLY

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Resolution 2014-120 A Resolution Supporting the Local Share Account Funds Application for the Greater Hazleton Joint Sewer Authority Incinerator Additional Emission Control Equipment and Installation

Presented by Mope. Seconded by Sosar.

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

RESOLUTION PASSES UNANIMOUSLY

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Resolution 2014-121 Award Contract for 2014-2015 Winter Emergency Snow Removal Equipment

Presented by Cusat. Seconded by Mope.

On the Question:

Bast said that this has always been done, and it is for extra help on an emergency basis only. He added that it may not even be needed.

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

RESOLUTION PASSES UNANIMOUSLY

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Resolution 2014-122 A Resolution for the Appointment of Sewage Enforcement Officers for the City of Hazleton in Accordance with the Regulations of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

Presented by Mundie. Seconded by Cusat.

On the Question:

Cusat asked if this is done every year, and Mundie replied yes. Mope stated that this is needed to fulfill the requirements of the state.

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

RESOLUTION PASSES UNANIMOUSLY

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Resolution 2014-123 Awarding a Contract to Furnish and Deliver Unleaded Gasoline and Diesel Fuel

Presented by Mope. Seconded by Sosar.

On the Question:

Sosar motion to amend the Resolution in the last paragraph to read “Be it further resolved that said contract is effective for two (2) years according to the bid specs of the lowest responsible bidder.” Mundie seconded the motion.

Motion to Amend:

Presented by Sosar. Seconded by Mundie.

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

MOTION TO AMEND PASSES UNANIMOUSLY – RESOLUTION AMENDED

Roll Call (as amended):  Bast-yes; Cusat-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

RESOLUTION PASSES UNANIMOUSLY AS AMENDED

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Resolution 2014-124 A Resolution Exempting a Veteran form Real Estate Taxes for the Years 2011, 2012 and 2013

Presented by Sosar. Seconded by Mope.

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

RESOLUTION PASSES UNANIMOUSLY

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Resolution 2014-125 A Resolution Requesting Local Share Account Funds for the Broad and Laurel Streets Center City Park Project

Presented by Cusat. Seconded by Mundie.

On the Question:

Krista Schneider, Director of the Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Revitalization said she does not know if grant match will be with CDBG funds. She stated there was funding put aside for park improvements. She added that an LSA Grant does not require a match. Schneider said this may refer to a dollar value to help fund the project. Mope asked if Schneider talked to anyone in the City about this. Schneider said she spoke with Dominic Yannuzzi and there was money left over in CDBG or the LSA Grant for the project. Cusat asked if this is being done on behalf of the City, and Schneider responded that the Alliance does not have any involvement in that. Sosar asked where this Resolution came from. Cusat said he assumed the Mayor asked Yannuzzi to move forward on this. Sosar said $1 million was to go toward the Parking Garage. He asked if we have the right to use this money for a park. Bast said all of the money left from the $2.4 million has to go in the existing Parking Garage, and it cannot be used for anything else. Sosar asked where the matching funds are coming from. Bast stated that he does not support the construction of a park at this site. He said the City is landlocked and he felt this property would be better used as a business instead of a park. Schneider said a strategic plan was done for the downtown revitalization, and they have held public meetings, workshops, etc., and almost everyone has supported the construction of a park at this location. She stated that the downtown area does not have any civic space to host cultural events. This will be complimentary to the Arts Center in the building next to it. The Mayor is in support of this project and the public input is desirable. She had no information on the match. Sosar felt there were other ways to achieve this goal besides the application for a grant. He said the Water Authority wanted to put a park on McKinley Street, and she should contact them for their input. Mope said some of Council’s questions on this matter need to be directed to the Administration. Schneider said this needs to be completed by December 31, 2014. The concept and design has already been developed and it will benefit downtown Hazleton. Sosar said he is “scared” of allocating CDBG funds to this project, because there are other problem areas of the City that this money could be used for. Schneider stated the earliest award of these funds will be in April of 2015. The CDBG amount will be $50,000. Cusat was concerned that the former owners may have a right to fight for this property because the use is being changed. Bast said that matter was settled and it was purchased by the City. Sosar felt once the other amenities are added, it could become expensive to complete and maintain. Schneider said Phase 1 is topsoil and seeding. Bast said he is happy with Phase 1 but not with Phase 2 of the project. Schneider commented that a gaming grant could be used as a match. Cusat asked if they went to Planning and Zoning. Schneider said parks are allowed under the current Zoning Ordinance. Cusat asked if the City is officially adopting the plan for the property. Schneider said the City currently has no plan for this property. She added that DCED will be looking for a plan that has community input. Cusat made a motion to table the Resolution and Sosar seconded the motion.

Motion to Table:

Presented by Cusat. Seconded by Sosar.

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

MOTION TO TABLE PASSES UNANIMOUSLY – RESOLUTION TABLED

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Resolution 2014-126 A Resolution Requesting Local Share Account Funds for City Hall

Presented by Mope. Seconded by Sosar.

On the Question:

Sosar said the building is in very bad shape and is in desperate need of repairs. He stated the he is fully in favor of this Resolution.

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

RESOLUTION PASSES UNANIMOUSLY

---------------------------------------------- Resolution 2014-127 A Resolution Requesting Local Share Account Funds for the Purchase of a Plow Truck for the City of Hazleton

Presented by Mope. Seconded by Cusat.

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

RESOLUTION PASSES UNANIMOUSLY

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Resolution 2014-128 A Resolution Requesting Local Share Account Funds for the City of Hazleton’s Municipal Garage

Presented by Mope. Seconded by Sosar.

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

RESOLUTION PASSES UNANIMOUSLY ----------------------------------------------

Resolution 2014-129 Resolution Permitting the City of Hazleton to Apply for a Luzerne County Local Share Account Grant on Behalf of the Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Progress

Presented by Cusat. Seconded by Bast.

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

RESOLUTION PASSES UNANIMOUSLY

           

Comments from the Audience:  Grace Cuozzo, 948 James Street, Hazleton thanked Council for passing the Resolutions concerning the LSA Grants for the Sewer Authority.

Mark Rabo, 8 West 1st Street, Hazleton agrees with the tabling of the Resolution regarding the grant for the park. He said the Planning Commission needs to sign off on this first. He asked if the proper changes were done to the official map of Hazleton. Rabo said there will be a County Council meeting at the Career Center next Monday at 5:30 pm and encouraged people to attend. He said the City needs to conduct a blight study. He stated that Allentown implemented a five-year blight plan three months ago, and this is something the City needs to look into.

Norman Tarantino, 154 North Lee Court, Hazleton asked who picked out and paid for the holiday lights on Broad Street. Mope and Mundie both said they did not know, but they will check into it. Tarantino commented on the hookah lounges in the City. Cusat suggested having Slusser write an Ordinance regarding this matter. Mundie said the Chief DeAndrea is working on this.

Comments from Mayor or Director of Administration:  None.

Comments from Junior Council:  None.

Comments from Council:  Bast thanked Bill Seymour of SB & Company for coming to the work session, and he thanked everyone for coming.

Cusat thanked Bill Seymour for coming. He said he is disappointed that the Mayor and the City Administrator were not present to listen to Mr. Seymour’s presentation regarding the audit. He added that he was disappointed with the Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

Mope thanked everyone for coming, and she also thanked Krista Schneider and Bill Seymour for coming.

Sosar thanked Bill Seymour for his presentation. He also thanked the Highway Department for the good work they have been doing on the care of the streets. Sosar thanked everyone for coming.

Mundie thanked Bill Seymour for coming and giving his presentation. He said Seymour’s company did a great job on the audit. Mundie said there will be a meeting held on December 11, 2014 at 6:00 pm. He added that there will be a land bank meeting at Penn State Hazleton Campus tomorrow at 6:00 pm. He thanked everyone for coming.

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

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