January 5, 2017
The Jermyn Borough Council held a council meeting on January 5, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. at the Jermyn Community Center, 440 Jefferson Avenue, Jermyn, PA in the Council Chambers.
On roll call present were: Messrs. Frank Kulick, Robert Parks, John Mark, Dan Markey, Joseph Smith, and JoAnne Wilson. Absent were: Kevin Napoli & KBA. Also present were Mayor Bruce Smallacombe, Fire Chief Ray Rood, Zoning Officer Robert Chase, Atty. Chris Harrison & Dylan Reeves; Junior Councilman.
MINUTES:A motion was made by Mr. Markey to accept the December 8, 2016 minutes, seconded by Mr. Smith; all in favor, motion carried.
Swearing in of Junior Councilman Evan Samuelsen
Evan was sworn in by his grandfather, Mr. Yurgosky.
Michael Carr from County Waste was present at the meeting. He asked council and the residents if they had any questions. Lou Demarco suggested they send the loose truck around first and then pick up the garbage cans. He said when he approached the driver with a concern regarding his garbage, the driver told him to call the office. Michael Carr said it is their check and balance when a resident makes a phone call to the office, this way they are able to carry out a work order when a call is made. Mrs. Wilson said she had two phone calls from two different people in two different sections of Jermyn. The callers stated they saw the recyclables being tossed and dumped into the same receptacle as the garbage. Mr. Carr explained their procedure, when they hit the recycling button the flap goes down and another one comes up, the garbage goes in one section and the recycling goes in one section of the truck. He said they do not throw away the recyclables. Mr. Parks had a concern with his own garbage. For two weeks his garbage was picked up but his recycling was not. He called their number and the customer service representative was rude. Mr. Carr said sometimes when their phones are overloaded the calls go to a call center. Mr. Parks also said the bulk truck that goes around drives around town like a maniac. Mr. Carr said he will bring this up in their operations meeting. He said if anyone has an issue please call him directly. Mr. Parks thanked Mr. Carr for coming.
Mr. Garvey from Michael Barbetti LLC performed the internal audit through November 30 of 2016. He presented to council his findings in the audit that was performed. They broke the report down in funds. Overall for 11 months there were excess revenues to expenditures so the funds balances increased from the prior audit which was at December 31, 2015. There is debt involved with some of those revenues that came in. $500,000 was borrowed for the paving project. Other than that there were minimal liabilities. The report also includes footnotes that are applicable to the financial statements presented. Our statements are not prepared on a true accrual basis. Our total debt is not recognized as a liability and we do not have a general fixed asset account group. Michael Barbetti, LLC will perform our DCED audit. They also issued a management letter that points out areas they feel can use improvement in record keeping and fiscal management. There were six or seven items listed. The Finance Committee will meet with Mr. Garvey. The management report along with the audit report will be available at the Borough Office. A motion was made by Mr. Markey and seconded by Mr. Smith to receive the auditor’s report ending November 30, 2016 and will be available for inspection in the Borough Office. All in favor; motion carried.
RAPID CAST:Mr. Markey presented council with a proposal for Rapid Cast. Mr. Markey said with Rapid Cast, we can send out as many e-mails, calls and text messages up to 1,000 contacts for $2,000/per year. Mr. Markey said this is a better way to communicate with residents. If there is a snow emergency we can let residents know. He said we have a lot of residents that are not technical savvy; they are not on the website and not on Facebook. The Superintendent from Lakeland School District Mr. Jeffery was at the meeting and explained how the system works for their school. Mr. Jeffery said they took the student demographic information and put it into School Cast and they had an option to opt out of it. He said there is a particular compliant sign up form they can use. He said the hardest part is maintaining accurate numbers, for example if someone’s number changes. Mr. Markey said if the public knows what we are doing this for they would be a lot more willing to do this. Mr. Jeffery suggested creating a poster. Mr. Mark said they can also put it in the newsletter. Mr. Parks said with all the complaints we had about the alternate parking it is a good idea. Mr. Rood asked how the information gets out there. Mr. Smith said someone would have to send out the message. Mr. Jeffery said you can give people access to put out the information. Mr. Kulick asked if you can break it down by area. Mr. Jeffery said that is another feature on it, you can set it up by zones, streets etc. Mrs. Wilson said we should look into this. Mr. Mark said we need three quotes. Mrs. Wilson would like one more company. Mr. Markey said this was the last one he researched and the best one. Mrs. Wilson said just so everyone knows we looked into others for transparency. Mr. Markey said he will get those other quotes from other companies.
2016 Highlights & 2017 Goals:Mr. Kulick asked chair members of the committees to give a brief review of 2016 and a look ahead for 2017
RECREATION:Chris Jordan from the Recreation Commission said he will be getting snacks for the vending machine. They are having the same events for 2017 as they did for 2016. He said they are keeping it simple until they get more people active. Mr. Jordan also stated Rec. will keep the candy vending machine because it provides them with the money to help with events. A motion was made by Mr. Markey and seconded by Mrs. Wilson to remove Joe Ambrosia from the Recreation Commission as per the recommendation from Chris Jordan of the Recreation Commission. All in favor; motion carried.
PRESIDENT:Mr. Kulick said one of the highlights of the year was the ability for council to merge together and get some things accomplished. Street paving, budget revision, garbage fee reduction, settlement on Zeller, gaming grant award, ordinance fee updates, garbage contract. Mr. Kulick said a general improvement in the function of council has taken place over the last year and is accredited to everyone at this table. Looking ahead: On going creek project, fiscal control; fine working budget, safety concerns (clean up blighted properties), safety of residents, ordinance consolidation, ongoing sourcing of grants. Mr. Kulick thanked all fellow council members for their support over the last year and look forward to it this year.
MAYOR:Mayor Smallacombe said it was a very good year to see members of old council and members of new council working together for the same goal of the Borough. The police department is under good hands with Chief Arthur and now we have another full time officer to go along with that. As we go forward we are going to be working on our ordinances and consolidating our ordinances into one big ordinance book that can be handled by the police department and residents can see and understand more. Mayor Smallacombe said we will continue to educate ourselves. Our council is taking apart of webinars and also learning through the PSAB. Mayor Smallacombe said it is great to see Junior Councilman doing a good job on council.
DPW:Mr. Markey said in 2016 the DPW accomplished a lot. There were no accidents in 2016, safety is our first priority. The DPW obtained some new equipment and got rid of some old equipment. Mr. Fuga was sent to a couple of Penn Dot classes and hopefully one day receives the education required to become a road master. They began plans to move out of the DPW garage and hopefully soon having a new one. Mr. Markey said they are utilizing their part time employees which helps pay less overtime to our full time employees. The plow schedule is working out very well. The DPW completed the main street light LED conversion. Mr. Markey said the lights look very nice going down main St. now. Mr. Markey stated 2017 goals: sell DPW garage and construct a new one, complete street sign conversion, fill work on some alley ways and roads that are less maintained, devise a plan and take action to repair Old Mill Rd., start building maintenance at the Borough building. Mr. Markey said they were able to get a lot of new equipment and do a lot of repairs in town and still stay within even mark for 2016 budget.
FINANCE:Mr. Smith said 2016 was a year of challenges. The Finance Committee met a lot. They started off with a simple question as they were starting the 2017 budget, what are your goals? They took 2014, 2015 & 2016 and looked at the revenue for each year, line item by line item. Rather than have a guestimate for 2017, they actually put down numbers they believe they can live with. There was a lot of give and take. Mr. Smith said the bottom line for the budget was what was best for the community. They were able to drop the garbage fee and drop taxes 1 mill. The Finance Committee will plan to meet quarterly, to make sure the numbers are where they should be. Mr. Smith said they worked hard together and excited to see what happens this year.
SHADE TREE:Mrs. Wilson said the bank balance is $2,834.21. She said usually they have a lot more money than that but this year has been rough. They did not have a lot of fundraisers.
Mrs. Wilson read aloud the 2016 Shade Tree Report: JSTC trimmed back trees on Washington Ave. and Lackawanna Ave. eliminating safety problems, planted 12 street trees, maintained the Jermyn Memorial Garden, maintained the World War I Veterans Park, maintaining the greenway in the “business area” of Jermyn Borough throughout the summer months, Scout Corner clean-up in conjunction with Girl Scouts. For 2017, they will continue to do the same as in 2016 to help maintain the beautification of Jermyn Borough. 2017: Tree planting will continue every year, grant seeking for replace of greenway in certain high traffic areas with modern grid form, continue with bus trips for the public as their form of fundraising, continue working with Recreation Commission and DPW in maintaining and beautifying the Town of Jermyn, replacement of mulch at Memorial Garden and W.W.I Veterans Park and at W.W.I Veterans Park replacement of gravel in parking area.
Mrs. Wilson said the gym doors must be replaced and she will talk to Mr. Chase about it. The air conditioner is in the budget and she will speak with our president on when we should have it done. She said we may need some help with the DPW. Mrs. Wilson thanked Superintendent Mr. Jeffery for assisting council within the selection of our two Junior Councilman. Mr. Jeffery said anything our students can be involved we will support. Mrs. Wilson commended Junior Councilman Dylan Reeves on giving his opinion during the Curfew Ordinance discussion.
CRIME WATCH:Goals for 2017: 50 active members, kickoff event, will continue the Jermyn Nigh Out, New checking account, working on Bylaws; adopt new bylaws at next meeting.
safety Concern Rusbrook-Jefferson:
Mr. Chase said it has been taken care of.
Meeting Dates:A motion was made by Mr. Markey and seconded by Mr. Smith to set the meeting dates for the 1st & 3rd Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m. beginning February. All in favor; motion carried.
CODE ENFORCEMENT:Mr. Rood asked if there is any progress on fees or a hearing board. He has not heard anything on the Red House. Mr. Rood said his hands are tied as code enforcement officer because he cannot make any final decisions with the property at the red house. He is making great progress with 536 Washington, they have a zoning permit. 504 Washington will be turned into a rental unit. Mr. Rood said he doesn’t know where to go from here; he doesn’t want to cite people in case they want to appeal it because there isn’t an appeals board. Mr. Markey said we have to appoint an appeals board. Mr. Kulick will set up a meeting and a committee. The committee will be Mr. Kulick, Mr. Smith & Mr. Parks.
ZONING:The company across from Rapid Pallet obtained the required permits.
Mr. Jeffery thanked council for their service they provide to the community. He is very proud of the two Junior Council Members. Mr. Jeffery would like feedback from the Community Newsletter. Mrs. Wilson said it is very good and helps keep everyone informed. Mr. Markey asked why it is only geared toward Community Leaders and not all parents or tax payers. Mr. Jeffery said it is a non-student, adult driven. The adults in the community that do not have children within the system have the information as well because they live within this community as well. Mr. Kulick suggested updates on the sports programs for the newsletter. Mr. Jeffery said he can contact the Athletic Director and asked to contribute an article for every letter. Mrs. Wilson thanked the Scott and Mayfield Elementary principals. The Shade Tree goes there for Earth Day and Arbor Day. Mr. Smith said there should be more in depth material for the comprehensive plan in motion, to inform the public on where the district is going now and plans for the future. Mr. Jeffery said that committee is currently in the planning phase. Mayor Smallacombe said it is very informative so we know what is going on around the schools. Mr. Jeffery said our students and staff are extremely community centered. Mr. Markey said we use a lot of your students for different things.
Lou Demarco asked about the audit for the Jermyn Youth Sports. Mr. Markey said we are waiting to talk to the solicitor to pass the ordinance. Lou Demarco asked about the minutes and budgets. Mr. Kulick said the minutes cannot be distributed until they are voted and approved and then they go on the website. The budget is advertised on the website and in the Borough Office. Lou Demarco asked who he can talk to about the DPW garage. He asked how it is zoned. Mr. Rood said it is R2 zoned. Mr. Chase said for personal use it isn’t a problem but for renting it out for storage units that changes the use classification of the zone. It may require a zoning hearing. Mr. Markey said we have not voted yet to go with a realtor. Mr. Rood said there are not property maintenance code issues with the building. Mr. Rood said the cost of the new siren would be $20,000 to mid 20’s.
Mr. Markey read aloud two other quotes of companies that are alike to Rapid Cast. Callemall.com limited 1,000 phone numbers $2,700 per year – Automatedcalls Inc. 1,000 phone numbers $2,519.76/ per year – Rapid Cast 1,000 licenses – $2,000/per year. A motion was made by Mr. Markey and seconded by Mr. Parks to go with Rapid Cast for automated calling system. All in favor; motion carried.
A motion was made by Mr. Markey and seconded by Mr. Wilson to adjourn the meeting at 9:05 p.m. All in favor; motion carried.