2018-10-10 Council Minutes





Call to Order:  Council met in regular session on Wednesday, October 10, 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 September 26, 2018 Regular Meeting were approved unanimously.

Proclamations/Communications:   Alter Street Streetscape Project Presentation by Barry Isett & Associates.  Gregg Pavlick of Barry Isett & Associates spoke of the Alter Street Pennsylvania Infrastructure bank loan program.  He stated that for the past 1 ½ years, Barry Isett & Associates has been working with the city on a road’s program for different parts of the city. He said he is looking at 2,3 & 5-year plans to replace roads. Pavlick said Alter Street is one of the main thoroughfares and is a safety concern.   He said this has come up in past planning meetings.  Pavlick said there is an outstanding $200,000 LSA grant, received by the city, in the past year. He said approximately there is $125,000 CDBG planning for the same project.  He stated there still is a shortfall within the project with 5 grants submitted- LSA, multimodal to PENN DOT & DCED and to TASAP to finish the funding but none of them were successful.  He said the next step would be a program that PENN DOT offers called the Pennsylvania Infrastructure bank program. 

*Pavlick handed out reading information/material for council to review.

Pavlick said it is a low interest loan, through PENN DOT, that provides whichever liquid fuels money is eligible to finish the project off “as a whole”. Pavlick said this needs to be approved by the city’s liquid fuels representative.  He said this would be paid back over a 10-year period with a 2% interest rate.  He said he is not sure if he needs council approval on the submission or for the approval.  He said the 10-year payments would come from the liquid fuels program.  He said they are looking on expanding beyond Alter Street. He said their business manager also reviewed what would be affordable.  He said the uses for the liquid fuels money, currently, will be to focus on Alter Street. Pavlick stated there is an outstanding grant for the multimodal program on the DCED side.  He said he should hear about this grant in November or in the beginning of 2019.  He said they are trying to continue funding through grant sources.

Tom DeAngelo, Barry Isett & Associates representative, said the estimated project cost is $1,400,000 to go from Diamond Avenue to Sixth Street.  He said the scope of the project is to take Alter Street and resurface it, make storm water improvements- replacing inlets and adding more inlets, adding street lighting (street trees), and replace curb, sidewalks and 88 accessible ramps from Diamond Avenue through Sixth Street.

Barletta asked when the loan is paid back if this would come from the liquid fuels or general fund.  DeAngelo said it would be from the liquid fuels account, about $77,000 over 10 years.  Pavlick said the City must submit their financial records to PENN DOT to see if the City can afford this. He said there is also a review period and then a resolution would need to be approved.. He stated all of McAdoo’s road projects have gone through this process. He also stated Scranton has used this program.  He stated Alter Street has a lot of safety concerns and needs new lighting. 

Perry asked without this loan if the project could be completed.  Pavlick said, currently, there is $300,000 of a $1,400,000 project.  He said they can pave the roads and place the curb ramps.  He said the money can be used to rephase the street. He is trying to use the money as a match for other projects.  He said he is able to do this with the 5 grant submissions.  He said once a successful project is shown with additional phases completed then additional LSA money can be saved.  He said there is a grant for Wyoming Street waiting to be done.  Perry asked Dan Lynch, city administrator, if the City can “handle” $77,000.  Lynch said the City has committed to a loan for equipment through liquid fuels.  He said this is an affordable number for the City. 

Barletta asked how much would be left in the liquid fuels account.  Lynch said about $600,000 per year. He said $114,000 would be committed for the next seven years with $77,000 committed for this project.

Mope asked if the liquid fuels account is going up or down.  Lynch said he thinks is has plateaued. Perry asked if this would have an impact on the 2019 budget.  Lynch said not on the general fund budget, but it would for the liquid fuels. 

Pavlick said there are additional funds in the CDBG Action Plan for Fiscal Year for 2019 Ordinance.  He said the City’s roads are getting worse.  He said this program is put in place by PENN DOT for municipalities that need help. 

Gavio said it is good council is aware of this project.  He stated PEL will be notified of this endeavor for their approval.

Mope stated this is Phase 1.  She asked if there is a Phase 2.  Pavlick said there is a concern in this stretch with concentrating on the first six blocks of Alter Street.  He said when this is complete, then PENN DOT would be more acceptable for a grant approval.  Mope said the City Hall project is still underway with windows to be replaced.  Pavlick said this is the next LSA submission.  He said there will be a resolution on the next meeting agenda.   Mope said an LSA grant has been used at the City garage. She said the street lighting is being done by city workers, but the grant proposal is being changed.  She said the City needs to prioritize.  Pavlick said there is $200,000 sitting there.  He said there needs to be a match for this funds.   Mope said the grant money for Wyoming Street is still pending.  Pavlick said the City Hall and the City street lighting projects are being reviewed so this can be moved forward.  He said LSA money can fund a lot of projects.  He stated the municipalities need to work on their priorities. 

Mope said the City garage needed more grant money to complete this project. Pavlick said while working on a grant another grant submission needs to be submitted for another priority. Perry said the City residents state that the City always works on Broad Street.  He said this would be a project for the rest of the City.  Barletta asked if there would be cutbacks on this project, on what the City can afford, and what work would this consist of.  Pavlick said there would be $400,000 left for the project.  DeAngelo said that street lighting and landscaping can be removed.  He stated curbs and sidewalks can be done.  He said 3-4 blocks can be done.  Perry asked if there is a better deal with a whole block instead of “piece-mealing this.  DeAngelo said yes.  He said the City would pay for mobilization each time. 

Pavlick said all municipalities need to prioritize their projects.  He said he is trying to pick one of the worst streets to work on.  He said they also looked at the crime on Alter Street.  He said be revitalizing this area with street scaping, this work would be done by City workers.  He said some work is being done by counties for case streets.  He said most streets in the City are case streets and are eligible for funding.

Perry asked what the next step is.  Pavlick said it is to finalize the low interest loan application to be sent to PENN DOT to see if the City is eligible for this.  He said the resolution would be the last step. He said he wants city council’s approval and support.

Bid Opening:  None

Courtesy of the Floor (ON AGENDA ITEMS ONLY):  Dee Deakos, 43 West Mine Street, Hazleton, spoke of Ordinance 2018-36- An Ordinance Approving the Action Plan for Fiscal Year 2019.  She asked about CD money included in this ordinance. She asked about the Digital Deterrent system for $26,000 and cameras.  She asked how many cameras this would entail.  Police Chief Jerry Speziale said it depends on the quality of the camera.  He said it can be anywhere from 250- 2,500 cameras.  Deakos asked how many of the cameras are currently functioning.  Speziale said he does not want to give the number out due to public knowledge.

She also spoke of Ordinance 2018-38- Modifying Consolidated Plan for CDBG Program Year 2018. She said the money should be placed elsewhere then at playgrounds.  She said there is a lot of vandalism.  She said the money should be used, instead, for home improvement programs.  She said the City has a lot of blighted properties.  She said there should be programs for home efficiency improvements. She said Quality of Life means having a sound house.  She said senior citizens are having a hard time fixing their homes. She said there are a lot of illegal apartments in the City causing parking and crime problems.  She said there is nothing being done.

Joyce Chunko, 346 West Green Street, Hazleton, said any project the City is doing will help the City.  She said the City should have a project where a resident can buy a tree.  She said she nominated the City of Hazleton on the Domino’s Pizza website.  She said the city would get their City streets paved if they were chosen.  She said the City’s resources would not be used.

Old Business: 





New Business:


Ordinance 2018-36  An Ordinance Approving The Action Plan for Fiscal Year 2019 (1st READING)

Presented by Barletta.  Seconded by Gavio.

On the Question:

Barletta asked what demolition projects are going to be done.  Joe Zeller, Community Development  Manager, said the Code Department is working on a list of demolition properties. He said there is also funding from year 2017. Barletta asked Zeller if the list can be sent to city council.  Zeller said yes. Barletta also asked about $185,000 for street improvements.  She asked if this money is only for Alter Street. Zeller stated it can be used for all City streets.  He said this is City wide.  Barletta asked about The Green Light Go Match.  She asked if this will be used for Cedar and Diamond Ave.  Zeller stated this will be used for Grant and 15th Streets.  He said this is a misprint.  He stated it should say ARLE grant.  He said the ARLE grant (Automated Red Light Enforcement Program) is what is on Cedar Street and Diamond Ave.  He said this is a match for the ARLE grant.  Barletta also asked about the recreation improvements at City View Park.  She asked if a pavilion will be put up. Zeller said City administration is deciding on this.  Mayor Cusat said lighting needs to be installed and a pavilion that would “double” as a stage and a picnic area .  Barletta asked if this money can be moved to be used to improve the City streets.  Zeller stated there can be a transfer to another project.  Zeller stated the Alter Street money, if the project is scaled down, and the City applies for a multimodal grant, is $75,000 and can be used.  Barletta asked Zeller if money can be taken out of the recreation fund now.  Zeller said no.  Zeller also stated there needs to be a 30-day comment period.  He said the 2nd & 3rd readings need to be at the November 7th city council meeting.

Barletta asked if there can be amendments made after the CD public hearing scheduled on October 22nd. Zeller stated he can take it back and can be presented differently if the public has some suggestions.

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


Ordinance 2018-37  Modifying Consolidated Plan For CDBG Program Year 2018 (1st READING)  

Presented by Gavio. Seconded by Perry.

On the Question:

Barletta asked if the money is being moved from the program income and distributing to administration.  Zeller said the 20% of the income would go to administration.  Zeller said the Remaining money would go to a “higher” quality coating on the tennis and basketball courts at Altmiller Playground.  He said this will last longer and will look nicer. He said this is from program income from two properties that were sold and needs to go back into the CDBG fund.

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


Ordinance 2018-38  Modifying Consolidated Plan For CDBG Program Year 2018 (1st READING) 

Presented by Barletta.  Seconded by Colombo.

On the Question:

Barletta asked if the money, taken from Arthur Street, can be used for other things besides playgrounds.  Zeller said before helping residents with their homes and using money for inside renovations on older homes, he stated lead paint would have to be abated.  He said this could cost about $20,000.  Zeller said there are forgivable loans residents used, in the past, for these renovations.  Mope said most of the City’s homes have been updated.  Zeller said there were also home funds used for home renovations.  Mope said there are now limitations on what renovations can be done on a residents home.  She said there needs to be quality of life for the City’s residents. Zeller stated the playgrounds tennis and basketball courts are in poor shape.  Mope said they were never maintained. Mope said the money was always prioritized for non-necessity items.  She said  the City’s residents need to be made the top priority.  Barletta asked if there is money left over from taking this from the Arthur Street playground.  Zeller said the City was looking in putting a skate park.  He said the school kids use this playground a lot.  He said the Beech Street playground received donations of $12,000 from Cargill, a $4,400 grant from Luzerne County, and $11,000 in CDBG funds used for this project.  Mope asked if there were any bids received for Beech Street. Pavlick said there were two bids put out, but no bids were received.  He said this was due to the time of the year the bids were advertised.  He said weather was a main factor.  He said he did find one contractor to perform the project, but this needs to be “pushed back” to the spring.  He stated there is one put in place now and he is looking at the price difference.

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



Resolution 2018-70  Appointments to Junior Council

Presented by Gavio.  Seconded by Mope.

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


Resolution 2018-71  In Memoriam- Louis J. Pilati

Presented by Gavio.  Seconded by Mope.

On the Question:

Gavio said behind every good man is a good woman.

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


Comments from the Audience: Dee Deakos, 43 West Mine Street, Hazleton, said she noticed the recent bid openings have been lost.  She said one recent bid was not open at a city council meeting.  She asked how bids can be lost.  Lynch and Atty. Logsdon stated the bids were opened at a public meeting.  Lynch said if the bids are being opened at the city council meeting, the city clerk needs to receive all bids.  He said the bids need to go directly to the city clerk.  She asked why administration has not brought them to the city clerk’s office.  Lynch said this is being done now.  Deakos said not all bids were opened at the last city council meeting.  Lynch stated all bids were opened at the meeting.  Lynch said the city clerk and administration staff were new.  He stated it is very strict now. 

Comments from Mayor:   Mayor Cusat welcomed the new Junior Council members.

Comments from Council:   Colombo welcomed all the new Junior Council members.  He also said the resolution in memoriam of Louis Pilati is well deserved. Colombo said he was a true “ Hazletonian” who loved Hazleton. He stated that he may rest in peace and never be forgotten.

Barletta said Mr. Pilati was a great guy.  She welcomed the new Junior Council members.  She also congratulated the Hazleton Little League division at their ceremony.

Mope stated Mrs. Pilati is a lovely woman.  She also welcomed the new Junior Council members as they will be sworn in at the October 24th, 2018 meeting. She said they will learn a lot at the meetings.

Perry said the Junior Council program, institutionalized in 2011, is a great opportunity for the kids.  He wished them well and looks forward to their contributions.  He said Mr. Pilati was an amazing man and is missed.  He also congratulated our local responders- Michael Zapotocky, Brian Mandak and Russ Walper of the Hazleton Fire Department on their recent service awards. 

Gavio also welcomed the new Junior Council members. He stated Mr. Pilati was a good man.

Adjournment:  Gavio motioned to adjourn the meeting. Meeting adjourned

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