Jermyn Borough Council met on Thursday, September 11, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. On roll call the following members were present: J.Wilson, J.McDermott, W.Estile, J.Allan and K.Hosie. Attorney Nicholls and Mayor Smallacombe were in attendance. J.Smith and R.Parks were absent.
MINUTES – A motion was made by J.McDermott, seconded by J.Allan to accept the minutes of August 14,2014. All members were in favor.
FINANCIAL REPORT – W.Estile gave the financial report:
Beginning Balance – $192,251.55
Deposits – $ 54,280.18
Expenses – $60,268.37
Ending Balance – $186,263.36
A motion was made by J.Wilson, seconded by J.Allan to accept the financial report as presented. All members were in favor.
MAYOR- Mayor Smallacombe said the police are doing a great job. There have been 5,751 incidents so far this year, there are patrolman at the school bus stops. He has received a lot of bear complaints. The police have worked on overgrown propertys, working Enradd and working foot patrols. The Mayor said he has not had a bad complaint about the police department in two years. He commended the fire police for their great job at events throughout the town. He asked Chief Arthur if he was aware of the White Cane Law. Attorney Nicholls said it is a state statute. The Mayor explained if you see a person crossing a road with a white cane, a guide dog or a blind person being assisted across the road you must stop. The Historical Society will be having a concert on October 18, with the Black Sage Band and it will be held in the gym. The Historical Society will have an open house on November 9th from 1:00 until 4:00. There are new postcards out, you can purchase them at the pharmacy and Debbies’ Florist. The annual Jermyn Events Picnic will be on Sunday at Aylesworth Park at 2:30.
ATTORNEY NICHOLLS – Attorney Nicholls said he received three proposals for a building inspector, Bureau Veritas, BIU and Northeast inspections. He asked that Fire Chief Ray Rood, look at them. Mr. Rood said he would like to have the Zoning Officer and the Borough Engineer to be included. A motion was made by J.Wilson, seconded by W.Estile to have R.Rood, B.Chase and D.Kutch to review the proposals from the three building inspectors. All members were in favor.
R.Rood asked Attorney Nicholls if he has looked into the Muldoon property on Washington Avenue that was in a fire. Mr. Nicholls said he did not look at it yet. Mr. Rood commended the Crystal and the Artisan for the great job at the convention, winning eight prizes.
PUBLIC INPUT – A Mr. Bob Horne address council concerning the driveway permits they paid $25.00 for back in 2009, what is happening with the project for the sidewalks? K. Hosie said we were informed that the State did not have the funds to finish the project. Mr. Horne asked if the permit is still good. Mayor Smallacombe said it should be unless it states differently on the permit.
Mr. Horne said there has been a lot of speeding down Rushbrook at 4:00 in the morning also dump trucks without a tarp covering their load. Chief Arthur said he will address the problem.
Carol Murnock, 702 Lincoln Avenue ,addressed Council , she said she could not sit on her porch all summer due to the noise for the trucks, she said they shake the porch. The Mayor said he will contact our State Representatives to see if they can help in anyway. K. Hosie said our Chief will have our officers out there.
Floyd Celli, 642 Washington Avenue asked if there is a date yet to fix the alley behind his property. He said he heard there was going to be a petition about the alley? The Mayor said he heard about a petition. Mr. Celli said he did not want a petition to stall his project. Mr. Celli expressed his frustration about how long it is taking to get his problems solved. He said Mr. Burton came to see him the Monday after the last council meeting and Mr. Burton said he would get back to Mr. Celli in a few days, its been four weeks and he has not heard a word from anybody. Mr. Celli feels like he is being lied to and no one helps him. Mrs. Hosie said we do our best, we try to do what we can. Mr. Celli said it is not good enough.
Mr. Celli said what good is public input? Mrs. Hosie said we cannot hold the contractors hand. Mr. Celli said how can you even consider Bureau Veritas’s proposal? Mrs. Hosie asked if Mr. Celli had called Mr. Burton? Mr. Celli said no. Mrs. Hosie said you could have called me and asked for Mr. Burton’s phone number.
Andy Whitiak, 512 Garfield, said he has been part of Jermyn for 50 years, and he loves this town, but doesn’t like what’s going on. He said that he supports the police department. He doesn’t understand why something wasn’t done years ago about the trucks. He said he got sand on his new vehicle parked at the post office. He said the trucks are going to kill someone. Mr. Whitiak said he lost money over a sign for four months and speed traps on 107. He asked that the cars don’t pull into his parking lot when being pulled over. He said that the police got two of the drug houses in town and there is a about a dozen to go. He asked how many full time employees does the borough have? Mrs. Hosie said four. Mr. Whitiak asked how many lived in Jermyn? Mrs. Hosie said two. Mr. Whitiak feels if someone works full time in Jermyn they should live in Jermyn. K. Hosie said there is nothing in our policy stating that employees have to live in Jermyn. Mr. Whitiak asked how many are salaried? Mrs. Hosie said two and if Chief Zellers comes back Chief Arthur would drop down to an officer. Mr. Whitiak asked if pictures of our police officers could be put on a wall, he said he doesn’t know any of them.
Mr. Whitiak asked if 107 could be zoned commercial? Mr. Nicholls said someone could file a petition and it would go to the Zoning and Planning Commissio ns.Mr. Nicholls said any one can do it. Mr. Whitiak suggested that the meetings be publicized on a public channel, other towns do it. Have more people coming to meetings not chasing them away. He said we need speed checks not speed traps.
Ann Horne, 320 Rushbrook, said the Manor across the street from her home, does anyone know what they are going to do with it? The secretary said it has been sold but does not know what their intentions are. Mrs. Horne said they are keeping the grass cut down.
Mr. Whitiak said that someone who comes in his business said there is prostitution in town. The Mayor asked that Mr. Whitiak contact the police when he hears something.
WRIGHT CENTER – A Ms. Kellen Kraky from the Wright Center asked council for their approval and support for their 5-k and health fair being held on October 5. Mr. Estile said there were a lot of problems last year. The runners were on the wrong side of the cones, there was no help from the Borough of Archbald. Mr. Estile said he does not have any fire police to help. Ms. Kraky said she will approach Archbald and the Lackawanna College Cadets will help with traffic control. The Chief asked if they would be willingly to pay for an officer, like they did last year? Ms. Kraky said yes they would. Mrs. Hosie said that the Wright Center has to supply help.
A motion was made by J.McDermott seconded by J.Wilson to allow the Wright Center to hold their 5K walk/run and health fair on October 5. All members were in favor.
Mr. Art Wilson asked if public input can be limited? K. Hosie said yes according to Roberts’ Rules of Order we can limit public input to five minutes for each person and we will be looking into it in the near future.
FINANCE- A motion was made by J.Wilson, seconded by J.Allan to approve the invoices in the amount of $ 2,668.53. All members were in favor.
PUBLIC WORKS – K.Hosie said we have received two applications for the DPW position and will hold off until next month , we are putting another ad in the Carbondale News.
PUBLIC SAFETY – J.Wilson reported that 5 trees were taken down on Bacon Street and the Shade Tree are looking into taking two more down on Rushbrook Street, these projects were not funded with grant money.
Junior Councilman Brian Swatt reported that he has been looking into grants on websites, he said he will compile a list and get it to the Mayor and the Chief.
Bids were opened for the 2014-2015 Insurance Package:
DGK – $81,094.00
EHD – $ 79,180.00
The bids were given to Attorney Nicholls for review.
DRONES – There have been complaints about a drone in town. Attorney Nicholls said he will look into it. B.Chase said they adopted an ordinance in a town south of us. The Mayor asked if the Chief could check with other police departments. J. McDermott asked if the Fire Chief can shut down a drone at a fire scene. Mr. Rood said he cannot control it. K. Hosie said she has concerns that it may cause a distraction for the police and firefighters.
ALLEY BEHIND CONVENIENT – K. Hosie reported that W.Estile and herself addressed an issue at the alley alongside 110 Franklin Street. The residents fence has been damaged twice by large trucks going through the alley. It was discussed that perhaps the borough could put ballards in. The Mayor said we have to be careful because if someone hit one of the ballards, the borough could be liable. Mr. Estile said the ballards are expensive. It was decided that the borough cannot help and the secretary was asked to send a letter to the homeowner.
J.Wilson said the Shade Tree will be purchasing three welcome to Jermyn signs, she asked if the DPW could drill the holes for the signs. She also said they will be applying for a grant to plant more trees and the people will be notified. The STC Commission will be working with Penn State on the natural garden, located in the alley by the field.
Mrs. Wilson said the Historical Society would like to see if they could use the first and second floor of the DPW garage to store and open to the public all the historical artifacts. As the building is over 100 years old perhaps they could get on the National Historical Register and perhaps grants may open up. Mrs. Wilson asked if a feasibility study could be set up to explore the possibility of using the DPW garage. K. Hosie placed J.McDermott, B.Parks and J. Wilson to be on the committee. A motion was made by J. Wilson seconded by W.Estile , to establish a feasibility Committee made up of three members each of the Jermyn Council and Jermyn Historical Society: JoAnne Wilson, Robert Parks, Jeffrey McDermott, Walter Avery , Alice Grzbowski and Thomas O’neil, to study and form a compatible arrangement/agreement between the Jermyn Borough Council and the Jermyn Historical Society on the Jermyn Historical Society utilizing the current Jermyn Borough DPW building, located on Madison Avenue, Jermyn ( formerly the Crystal Fire Company and Jermyn Borough Chambers). This Feasibilty Committee shall have the arrangement report submitted on or before December 31, 2014 to Jermyn Borough Council and Solicitor for review and subsequent agreement action. All members were in favor.
CHANGE OF COUNCIL MEETING DATES – K.Hosie said that if council considered changing some dates to Friday mornings, herself and some other council people would not be able to attend and the solicitor would not be present. It was decided a change could not be made at this time. J.Wilson asked perhaps some work sessions could be changed K. Hosie said we can look into it.
ACTING CHIEF WILLAIM ARTHUR – A motion was made to re-appoint William Arthur as Acting Chief until the next meeting or if Chief Zellers returns by J.McDermott, seconded by W.Estile. All members were in favor.
A motion was made to adjourn by J.McDermott ,seconded by J.Wilson. All members were in favor.