2018-05-09 Council Minutes

MINUTES

HAZLETON CITY COUNCIL

REGULAR MEETING

WEDNESDAY, MAY 9, 2018

Call to Order:  Council met in regular session on Wednesday, May 9, 2018 in Council Chambers. The meeting was called to order at 6:00 pm.

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

Roll Call:  Barletta-present; Colombo-present; Mope-present; Perry-present; Gavio-present

Minutes of Previous Meetings:  The minutes of the April 25, 2018-Regular Meeting were approved unanimously.

Proclamations/Communications:  None.

Bid Opening:  Hazleton Active Adult Center Project- Kitchen Renovations. The bids were read by Atty.

Sean Logsdon.  The bids were broken down into two categories- kitchen and common area.

  1. Richard E. Angelo, Inc.- Hazle Township, PA. Kitchen items- 1 thru 15- $95,880.00. Common Area- 16- thru 18- $32,027.00.  Bid bond included.
  2. Bognet Construction, Inc., Hazle Township, PA. Kitchen items- 1 thru 15- $128,450.00. Common Area- 16 thru 18- $41,500.00.  Bid bond included.

Courtesy of the Floor (ON AGENDA ITEMS ONLY):

Grace Cuozzo, 948 James Street, Hazleton, spoke of Ordinance 2018-18- Modifying Consolidated Plan For CDBG Program Year 2016 and 2017.  She asked when the housing rehabilitation activity closed out. Joe Zeller, Community Development Manager, said the housing rehabilitation activity is not closed out. He stated this is a particular activity of housing rehabilitation that needed to be funded for the year. Cuozzo asked what activity this included.  Zeller said it was for roofing or a furnace. Cuozzo said this “makes sense”.  She stated to “cut this out”, in the city right now, is not a “smart move”.  Cuozzo said the community development block grant funds are very minimal.  She said this money should be utilized to keep the city maintained. She also spoke of Resolution 2018-49- Resolution Approving a Lease Agreement between Mayor Cusat’s Hazleton Revitalization Fund and the City of Hazleton.  She asked where this property is located.  Cuozzo asked if there is a company that owns this property.  Mayor Cusat stated it is a parking lot, owned by Thoren Industry, on Diamond Avenue, between Station 33 and the bodega, on the northside of Diamond Avenue.  Cuozzo asked why this would be leased.  Mayor Cusat said it is for residential off-street parking. Cuozzo asked if the city would charge the residents.  Mayor Cusat said yes; the city could charge residents.

Dee Deakos, 43 West Mine Street, Hazleton, spoke of Ordinance 2018- Modifying Consolidated Plan for CDBG Program Year 2016 and 2017.  She noticed, in the ordinance, that $62,000 is allocated to the Altmiller Playground project. She asked why it is so high.  Deakos stated there was money, in the past, used to renovate this playground.  Joe Zeller stated the activity has not been completed.  Zeller stated the demolition has just finished.  He said the construction will be started within the next few weeks.  He said the bids came in higher than anticipated when initially budgeted for the CDBG funds.  Zeller said due to the safety in the neighborhood, there needs to be adequate lighting at the playground.  Deakos asked how many lights will be installed.  Zeller stated he does not know. He said he needs to check into this matter.

Donald Leshko, Hazleton Fire Chief, spoke of Ordinance 2018-16- An Ordinance of the City of Hazleton Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, Replacing Chapter 83 of the Code of Ordinances, Ordinance 95-18 of the City of Hazleton, Entitled “Burglar Alarms, and Replacing it with “Alarms and Alarm Systems”. He stated this will update Ordinance 95-18- Burglar Alarm and replace it to Alarms and Alarm Systems. Leshko said this will change the fee schedule and will be updated with the 911 system for Luzerne County, for both police and fire ordinances.  He said the fee schedule “mirrors” the schedule used by the city of Wilkes-Barre.  He said the prior ordinance was updated in 1995. He also spoke of Ordinance 2018-44- Adopting the Amended Fire Civil Services Rules and Regulations. Leshko said prior to this vote, the fire civil service rules has been voted on and approved by the Fire Civil Service Commission.                                                                                                                                                 

Old Business:                                                                  

ORDINANCES

None


            RESOLUTIONS            

None


New Business:

ORDINANCES

Ordinance 2018-16     An Ordinance of the City of Hazleton, Luzerne County, PA, Replacing Chapter 83 of the Code of Ordinances, Ordinance 95-18 of the City of Hazleton Entitled “Burglar Alarms” and Replacing it with “Alarms and Alarm Systems” (1st READING)

Presented by Colombo.  Seconded by Gavio.

Roll Call:  Barletta-yes; Colombo-yes; Mope-yes; Perry-yes; Gavio-yes.

ORDINANCE PASSES ON 1st READING


Ordinance 2018-17  Modifying Consolidated Plan for CDBG Program Year 2015-2017 (1st READING)

Presented by Mope.  Seconded by Barletta.

On the Question:

Mope asked if this is money that was allocated, in previous years, that was not used.  Joe Zeller stated it is program income received.  He said this should have been presented to council, but was not in the past.  Zeller said it needs to be allocated to specific projects.

Roll Call:  Barletta-yes; Colombo-yes; Mope-yes; Perry-yes; Gavio-yes.

ORDINANCE PASSES ON 1st READING


Ordinance 2018-18   Modifying Consolidated Plan for CDBG Program Year 2016 and 2017 (1st READING)

Presented by Barletta.  Seconded by Colombo.

Roll Call:  Barletta-yes; Colombo-yes; Mope-yes; Perry-yes; Gavio-yes.

ORDINANCE PASSES ON 1st READING


RESOLUTIONS

Resolution 2018-44   Adopting the Amended Fire Civil Services Rules and Regulations

Presented by Colombo.  Seconded by Mope.

Roll Call:  Barletta-yes; Colombo-yes; Mope-yes; Perry-yes; Gavio-yes.

RESOLUTION PASSES UNANIMOUSLY


Resolution 2018-45  A Resolution Approving and Accepting the Deed of Dedication between Pasco L. Schiavo and the City of Hazleton 

Presented by Mope.  Seconded by Barletta.

On the Question:

Gavio stated there was information, given to the public, regarding Pasco L. Schiavo’s family history, and a picture of the park.  Mope said this is a “beginning” rendition.  She said there will be more items added to the park.

Roll Call:  Barletta-yes; Colombo-yes; Mope-yes; Perry-yes; Gavio-yes.

RESOLUTION PASSES UNANIMOUSLY


Resolution 2018-46  A Resolution Requesting a Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program (GTRP) Grant for the Comprehensive Park and Recreation Plan for the City’s Parks and Recreation

Presented by Mope.  Seconded by Gavio.

Roll Call:  Barletta-yes; Colombo-yes; Mope-yes; Perry-yes; Gavio-yes.

RESOLUTION PASSES UNANIMOUSLY


Resolution 2018-49   A Resolution Approving a Lease Agreement between Mayor Cusat’s Hazleton Revitalization Fund and the City of Hazleton

Presented by Mope.  Seconded by Colombo.

Roll Call:  Barletta-yes; Colombo-yes; Mope-yes; Perry-yes; Gavio-yes.

RESOLUTION PASSES UNANIMOUSLY


Comments from the Audience:  Grace Cuozzo, 948 James Street, Hazleton, asked Barletta if she   completed paperwork, by the city, and is following the abandon vehicle/towing policy instituted by the city. She asked if the businesses are complying with state law.  Barletta told Cuozzo to check with Police Chief Jerry Speziale.  Barletta said city administration would not know what is “going on”.  Cuozzo stated the city’s towing policy is very specific for city-owned businesses.  She said several businesses do not reside in the city.  She asked if the policies are being followed, or disregarded.  Cuozzo said no one answers these questions.  She said, in the Standard Speaker, Barletta stated she is an employee of an auto parts business, and the business is in the township.  Barletta told Cuozzo to talk with the business owner.  She said the policy needs to be discussed with Chief Speziale.  Cuozzo stated the policy is “very clear”.  She said it states, “to use a Hazleton business first”.  Cuozzo said only in an emergency or unforeseen incident, a business outside the geographic limits of the city could be utilized for towing vehicles.  Barletta stated the police chief instituted the original policy.  Barletta asked Cuozzo to come to the next city council work session, and the towing policy will be discussed.  Cuozzo said she spoke with the former owner of the business, and he stated, “the land in the city is so small”.  Mayor Cusat said at the next city council work session, the entire towing policy will be re-visited.

Dee Deakos, 43 West Mine Street, Hazleton, said the resolutions do not have much detail in them.  She said it is not “unreasonable” to ask questions on them.  She asked for more information.  Deakos stated her recent question on the $62,000 allocated to the Altmiller Playground was not excessive. She stated the city administration is “hiding details”.

Mayor Cusat said the entire lighting project includes lighting being totally rebuilt, from the base, including electricity, and being built from the “ground up”.  He said it includes two basketball courts, tennis courts, walkways, and parking area.  Mayor Cusat said the lighting will be sufficient.  Mope asked Zeller if he has any renditions on how the playground will look, and to inform the public.  She said the residents will feel they are being educated on the project.  Zeller stated the playground plans were on display at city hall and at the site.  Colombo asked Zeller if the playground will “mimic” the Beech Street playground lighting.  Zeller said it will be similar to the Beech Street Playground with the latest in technology. Mope asked if the lighting will be maintained all night, or will it be turned off.  Mayor Cusat stated the lights will be tested when they are installed.  He said the lighting will have to be illuminated with the rock formations and the shadowing.  Mope asked if there will be fencing installed.  Mayor Cusat said the courts will be fenced in.     

Comments from Mayor:   Mayor Cusat reminded everyone that Election Day is next week, May 15th, 2018.  He said the next city council meeting will be held on May 23rd, 2018 with the PEL/DCED Act 47 Recovery Plan Public Hearing at 5:00 p.m. He said he is disappointed with Luzerne County Council not taking into account the boroughs and city’s when enacting the $5.00 vehicle registration fee.  He wished all mother’s a Happy Mother’s Day. He said there has been two life-saving events, by the Hazleton Fire Department, recently in the city. He said there has been great team work in the fire and police departments. Mayor Cusat said all the fire department’s training courses come in “handy”. 

He said the city’s potholes are being filled by the pothole “killer”.  He said it is a one-man operation, working 12-hour shifts. Mayor Cusat said all of the Hazleton heights has been filled.  Mope asked if any of the north and south streets will be filled.  Mayor Cusat said the worker has a schedule; he does not know.  Mope asked how much this machine cost.  Mayor Cusat said no one sells the pothole machine; they are rented out.

Comments from Junior Council:  None- absent.

Comments from Council:   Mope thanked everyone for coming to the meeting.  She wished all mothers a Happy Mother’s Day.  She also thanked all the city employees for their work.  She said she is not in favor with Luzerne County Council implementing the $5.00 vehicle registration fee.  She said the city will not have the roads fixed.  Mope stated the money needs to be distributed throughout the county.

Perry asked all residents to read the PA Economy League’s ACT 47 Recovery Plan for the city of Hazleton.  He said residents can either bring their questions to the city council meeting or can email them to PEL.  Mayor Cusat said PEL is encouraging residents to place their questions in writing. Mope asked the city clerk to place on, the city of Hazleton’s website, the hyperlink for residents to obtain the ACT 47 Recovery Plan. The city clerk said she will place this on the city’s website.  

Colombo stated Fire Chief Leshko, Deputy Chief Brian Mandak and Jones, did a tremendous job in rescuing the fire victims at the recent city fire.  He said the city is very grateful to have their service. He is also not in favor of the $5.00 vehicle registration fee.  He is hoping the city can “regroup” their portion of the funds.  Colombo wished everyone a Happy Mother’s Day.  He wants to see the council chambers “full” for the PEL/DCED public hearing on May 23rd.

Gavio thanked the fire and police departments on a job well done.  He also wished everyone a Happy Mother’s Day.

Adjournment:  Gavio motioned to adjourn the meeting. Meeting adjourned

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