2017-02-07 Council Minutes

MINUTES

HAZLETON CITY COUNCIL

REGULAR MEETING

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2017

Call to Order: Council met in regular session on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 in Council Chambers. The meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm.

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

Roll Call: Cuozzo-present; Gavio-present; Mope-present; Sosar-present; Mundie-present

Minutes of Previous Meetings: The minutes of the December 28, 2016 Liquor License Transfer Hearing and December 28, 2016 work Session were approved unanimously.

Proclamations/Communications: None.

Bid Opening: None.

Courtesy of the Floor: Mark Rabo, 8 West 1st Street, Hazleton on Ordinance 2106-4, liability protection, suggested to put clause in Ordinance regarding the city’s liability. Cuozzo wants to amend Ordinance regarding the water and soil damage. Rabo said there is limited growing space regarding marijuana. He suggested it should go to planning for their recommendations. Mope said it also should go to the county. Rabo said this is done after it goes to the Planning Commission. Rabo asked if the UCC and property maintenance ordinances are the same as other ones? Atty. Logsdon said this is just for appeals only.


Old Business:                                                                                                                                    

ORDINANCES

Ordinance 2017-1   An Ordinance Establishing Procedures for Towed Vehicle Auto Release and Administrative Fees (1st reading ) (TABLED 1/17/17)

ORDINANCE FAILS FOR LACK OF PRESENTATION


RESOLUTIONS

Resolution 2017-3    Approving the Contract between the City of Hazleton and the Department of Public Works (DPW) Service Employees International Union, Local No. 473, NCFO. (TABLED 1/17/17)

Motion to Remove from table:

Presented by Cuozzo. Seconded by Mope.

Roll Call (on Motion to Remove from table ): Cuozzo- yes; Gavio- yes; Mope- yes; Sosar- yes; Mundie- yes.

MOTION TO REMOVE FROM TABLE PASSES UNANIMOUSLY


ON THE QUESTION:

Mundie factored in cap of 10%. Mayor Cusat agreed. He said if there is an increase of 5% every year, there will be no cap. It was negotiated with Atty. Jack Dean and members of the union. Sosar asked if the mayor would sign the contract. Mayor Cusat said yes.

Presented by Cuozzo. Seconded by Gavio.                                              

Roll Call: Cuozzo- yes.; Gavio- yes; Mope- yes; Sosar- yes; Mundie; yes.                                              

RESOLUTION PASSES UNANIMOUSLY 


New Business:

ORDINANCES

Ordinance 2017-2   An Ordinance Establishing Procedures for Towed Vehicle Auto Release Form and Administrative Fees ( 1st reading )

ON THE QUESTION:

Cuozzo asked what happens if the state passes their law. Atty. Logsdon said it would trump this, but the rest of the Ordinance will stand. Sosar stated there is on-going litigation. He is not comfortable with this right now. Gavio asked if the Police Chief and Atty. Logsdon are okay with this. The Police Chief said he agrees. He spoke with Towers about this. Mundie said one day storage and towing is $250.00. The Police Chief said the fee is $50.00/ day outside. After hours, the fee is $75.00/ day outside; towing and storage are $130.00. For those not abiding by the law, AAA does not come for traffic accidents, unlicensed, uninsured vehicles, etc. Mundie stated this is similar to other cities. The Police Chief agreed. He said this is not a usery tax.

Presented by Gavio. Seconded by Mundie.

Roll Call: Cuozzo- abstained; Gavio- yes; Mope- yes; Sosar- yes, Mundie- yes.

ORDINANCE PASSES 4-1


Ordinance 2017-3   An Ordinance Recognizing the Medical Marijuana Industry and Specifying the Placement of Medical Marijuana Growers/Processors and Dispensaries in the City of Hazleton ( 1st reading )

ON THE QUESTION:

Mundie asked if the order was reviewed. Mope stated yes. This is a proactive approach that took into consideration the state’s guidelines. Mundie stated this is not Mayor Cusat’s ordinance. He was contacted by Tarah Tohill and he sent council an ordinance. From there, the ordinance was sent to Atty. Logsdon. Cuozzo stated it should not be allowed in the B-2 (General Commercial District). She said to please correct and amend the Ordinance for the city to have a bond from those buying, selling and growing marijuana. The growers should have a $ 1 million bond for soil and water contamination. Mundie stated the city will be insured up to $ 1 million dollars. Cuozzo stated the city needs to be protected. Gavio asked if there are regulations by other municipalities. Atty. Logsdon said probably. Cuozzo stated the burden cannot be on the taxpayers to clean up. The city has had bonds in place for such things prior.   Cuozzo mentioned to include two paragraphs regarding bond requirements into ordinance.

1st Motion to Amend:

Presented by Cuozzo. Seconded by Mundie.

Roll Call ( 1st on Motion to Amend): Cuozzo- yes; Gavio- yes; Mope- no; Sosar- no; Mundie- yes.

1ST MOTION TO AMEND PASSES 3-2

BACK ON THE QUESTION:

Cuozzo motioned to change the B-2 zoning district to I-2 in the Resolution. Mundie seconded the motion.  

Second Motion to Amend:

Presented by Cuozzo. Seconded by Mundie.

Roll Call (on 2nd Motion to Amend) : Cuozzo- yes; Gavio- yes; Mope- yes; Sosar- yes; Mundie- yes.          

2ND MOTION TO AMEND PASSES 5-0

Third Motion to Amend:

BACK ON THE QUESTION:

Cuozzo stated the greenhouses should have a liner and a water return system to avoid any contamination. Sosar stated the potential abuses of medical marijuana for street usage. He stated the normal amount given out is either weekly or monthly. Sosar said how the marijuana is used is according to state guidelines. He said he feels uncomfortable with the state’s laws and regulations. Sosar stated this should have been handled more sensibly. Mope stated there is nothing being addressed with what could happen with the leftover product when the marijuana is no longer needed.

Third Motion to Amend:

Presented by Cuozzo. Seconded by Mope.

Roll Call ( on 3rd Motion to Amend): Cuozzo- yes; Gavio- yes; Mope- yes; Sosar- yes; Mundie- yes.              

3RD MOTION TO AMEND PASSES 5-0                                            

ORDINANCE PASSES                                    


Ordinance 2017-4  An Ordinance of the City of Hazleton Amending the City of Hazleton Zoning Ordinance of December 14, 1995 to Regulate Medical Marijuana Facilities as a Result of the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act, PA Act 16 of 2016, which Legalized the Growing, Processing, Storing and Dispensing of Medical Marijuana. (1st reading)

ON THE QUESTION:

Mundie said this should go to the planning commission. Sosar stated it should then go to the Zoning Board. Sosar said that State Representative Tarah Tohill’s letter stated the approvals are being between February 13, 2017 and March 13, 2017. Mayor Cusat stated he will give them a month to have the application prepared. Cuozzo asked where the waste facility would go. Mayor Cusat said there are only twenty two licenses and six territories. Cuozzo asked if the Environmental Protection Agency needs to come to inspect the facility.   She also asked if the city would have any regulations from the EPA. Atty. Logsdon said the problem with the federal government is that they do no support municipalities on this matter. Sosar stated that is why the PA Department of Environmental Protection would get involved. Cuozzo stated the waste needs to be destroyed in a specific manner. Mayor Cusat wants an opportunity to get the industry here as soon as possible. This Ordinance was passed by other municipalities months ago. He wants to start this in 2018. Mayor Cusat said we could all give input at the planning meeting. Sosar said we will need a full land development plan to do this.

Motion to Table:

Presented by Mope. Seconded by Mundie.

Roll Call ( on Motion to Table ): Cuozzo- yes; Gavio- yes; Mope- yes; Sosar- yes; Mundie- yes.

ORDINANCE TABLED 


Ordinance 2017-5   An Ordinance Regarding Fees for Appeals filed Pursuant to Uniform Construction Code (UCC) and International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC) Violations in the City of Hazleton (1st reading )

ON THE QUESTION:

Cuozzo asked why fees are so high. Mayor Cusat said they are in line with other municipalities with some municipalities being asked what the fee is now. Mayor Cusat said there is no fee. Mandak said the public has an appeal to the UCC board. The city is absorbing the cost.   

Presented by Mope. Seconded by Gavio.

Roll Call : Cuozzo- yes; Gavio- yes; Mope- yes; Sosar- yes; Mundie- yes.

ORDINANCE PASSES UNANIMOUSLY


RESOLUTIONS

Resolution 2017-7   Appointment to the Sewer Authority- John Zola

Presented by Cuozzo. Seconded by Mope.
Roll Call:  Cuozzo- yes; Gavio- yes; Mope- yes; Sosar- yes; Mundie- yes.

                                           RESOLUTION PASSES UNANIMOUSLY                                              

Resolution 2017-8       Appointment to the Sewer Authority- Richard Ammon

Presented by Cuozzo. Seconded by Mope.

Roll Call: Cuozzo- yes, Gavio- no; Mope- yes, Sosar- yes, Mundie-yes.

RESOLUTION PASSES 4-1 (4- YESES, 1- NO)


Resolution 2017-9   Appointment to the Hazleton City Water Authority- Robert Stefanovich.

Presented by Mundie. Seconded by Mope.

Roll Call:   Cuozzo- no; Gavio- yes; Mope- yes; Sosar- yes; Mundie- yes.                                  

RESOLUTION PASSES 4-1 (4- YESES, 1- NO)

Resolution 2107-10   Resolution Filling the Position of City Clerk- Eileen Matenkoski

ON THE QUESTION:

Mayor Cusat stated the resolution should indicate the new city clerk is part of the management policy.

Motion to Amend:

Presented by Cuozzo. Seconded by Mope.

Roll Call ( on Motion to Amend):  Cuozzo- yes; Gavio- yes; Mope- yes; Sosar- yes; Mundie- yes.

Presented by Gavio. Seconded by Cuozzo

Roll Call: ( as Amended ): Cuozzo- yes; Gavio- yes; Mope- yes; Sosar- yes; Mundie- yes.

RESOLUTION PASSES UNANIMOUSLY

Resolution 2017-11  Reappointment to the Hazleton Housing Authority- Charles Gennaro

Presented by Gavio. Seconded by Mope.

Roll Call:   Cuozzo- yes; Gavio- yes; Mope- yes; Sosar- yes; Mundie- yes.

RESOLUTION PASSES UNANIMOUSLY


Comments from the Audience: Mike Vislocky, Hazleton, President of Highway/Street union, thanked everyone for their work with the contract. He also thanked Council for their approval of the contract.

Ted Sherrock, 67 Franklin St., Hazleton, thanked Council for the appointments to the Sewer Authority. Pat Fay was a great addition and a good man. He stated the Council should acknowledge him.

Mark Rabo, 8 West 1st St., Hazleton, thanked Ed Shoepe, and welcomed the new members on the sewer and water authorities. He inquired about the status of St. Joseph’s Hospital’s inspection. He questioned why someone who was not the owner of the property was there at the site. Mayor Cusat stated he had permission to bring people in to look at the building (the manager of the building gave him permission). Rabo stated there are business regulations, city codes, and local tax payer’s bill of rights. The tax payers should have 30 days to provide this information. The tax information can only be handled by a bonded tax collector. Mayor Cusat stated we only need the tax ID # for the tax preparer. We are not asking for dollar amounts. We are asking for tax identity, not information. Rabo stated the Ordinance says the information goes to Code Enforcement. He said this would need to be changed to Berkheimer. Mayor Cusat stated Allentown collects their own taxes. He said the ordinance he is reading has nothing to do with tax information. Cuozzo stated those in Code Enforcement are not bonded and do not have the proper ordinances. This would put the city in a bad situation. Logsdon stated the city needs to have insurance for identity fraud. He said he cannot do anything about this. Mayor Cusat said he and Tom Pribula are the only ones bonded. The EIN goes on everything. Mundie asked why you need to hand deliver. Mayor Cusat said some municipalities require a driver’s license. Sosar mentioned a recent scam at UGI regarding employee information. He received calls about the sensitive information the city is asking for. Rabo asked if the tax ID’s are optional and how long does it take to get in. Mayor Cusat said he is not going to say it is optional. If he thinks his is fraudulent then he will not give a license. The deadline is March 31, 2017.

Comments from Mayor: Mayor Cusat told Sosar not to apologize for voting his conscience. He also thanked all those appointments to the Sewer and Water authorities. He also thanked the DPW workers. He said the contract was fair for both sides and will help in the future.

Comments from Junior Council: None.

Comments from Council: Gavio thanked the DPW union for their compromises.

Cuozzo thanked the DPW workers and congratulated the new appointments and those who previously served. He said he supports medical marijuana and wants to safeguard the city. She wants to hear the public’s opinion on this matter.

Sosar thanked the DPW workers and those appointed to the Authorities. He also thanked Pat Fay for his service on the Sewer Authority.

Mope said if we agree all the time, we are not doing our jobs. This is part of good government. Mope thanked everyone for coming, and thanked DPW, Frank Vito, Mayor Cusat, Atty. Logsdon, the Solicitor on the DPW contract, and thanked those who served on the Authorities.

Mundie thanked Lisa Shema for her 10 years as Hazleton City Clerk and welcomed new clerk, Eileen Matenkoski. He thanked those who served on the Authorities. John Zola is a plumber for 35 years. Richard Ammon has experience with loans. Both Zola and Ammon bring over 50 years of experience. Bob Stefanovich has 8 years of experience on the Board. Mundie thanked DPW for their fair negotiations with Mayor Cusat.

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