December 21, 2017
The Jermyn Borough Council held a council meeting on December 21, 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: Frank Kulick, Robert Parks, Dan Markey, Kevin Napoli, Joseph Smith, and JoAnne Wilson. Also present were Mayor Smallacombe, Ray Rood and Bob Chase. Absent were; John Mark, KBA, Atty. Moran and Evan Samuelsen.
Mr. Kulick asked everyone to remain standing for a moment of silence for Carol Filbert, who was very instrumental in getting the gym open and Jean McDermott whose son Jeff was a former councilman.
MINUTES:A motion was made by Mr. Markey and seconded by Mr. Napoli to accept the minutes of December 7, 2017. All in favor; motion carried.
General Fund $133,994.68, Recycling $5,743.23; Refuse $80,568.65, Investment Liquid Fuels $68,339.19. Disbursements from November 17 to December 21, $72,006.69. Deposits $44,450.03. Mr. Markey asked what the bill for MBC Solutions for it. It is for a prepaid block of time. Mr. Markey said he had to use the computer over the weekend and the one computer is still on Windows XP. Mrs. Wilson said it needs to be updated. Mr. Markey asked if this bill will pay for any software upgrades or anything like that because we are in dire need of it. The invoice is based on his time, not the software. Mr. Smith said he installed the Peachtree. Mr. Markey asked if he or we keep track of what is used on this prepaid time. He sends an invoice for his time on the amount of time he spent on doing something for us. Mr. Smith said his recommendation is to get a new computer instead of upgrading, it is an old computer. Mr. Markey said we have files we need to back up. Mrs. Wilson said if something should happen to the main computer and we need to get payroll out or something that immediately has to get out and it is going to take them awhile to fix it, usually they are very efficient and sometimes that does happen, that is why we have that second computer; even though it was old, that is why we never pushed it because it is the backup. Mr. Markey said we should upgrade the computers to maybe a laptop. Mr. Napoli said it would be smart to do a desktop and a laptop, instead of two desktops. A motion was made by Mr. Smith and seconded by Mr. Markey to accept the finance report. All in favor; motion carried.
Mayor said it is his last official meeting.
Walter Avery – received a certificate of recognition, paying tribute to Walter Avery for his dedication to the community. Walter is a devoted Lions club member and also the Historical Society. Jermyn Borough Congratulates Walter Avery.
Thomas Pidgeon – Thomas received a certificate of recognition. Thomas is a student at Lakeland High School where he is an outstanding and recognized athlete. Thomas was selected for the 2017 All Region Football Team as a wide receiver. Jermyn Borough congratulates Thomas Pidgeon and best wishes in his High School Athletic Career.
Dani-elle Kleha – Dani-elle received a proclamation honoring Dani-elle. Dani-elle is a Nashville performing and recording artist. Dani-elle has performed on some of the most well-known stages in Nashville. Jermyn Borough congratulates Dani-elle and best wishes within her music career.
Mark Edwards- Mark received a certificate of recognition. Mark was inducted into the 2017 United States Bowling Anthracite Hall of Fame. Jermyn Borough congratulates Mark for all of his accomplishments and dedication.
JoAnne Wilson- Jermyn Community Service Award Honoring JoAnne Wilson. Mayor said it was something he wanted to do for all of the help JoAnne has given the Borough since he has been here. In recognition of her tireless effort of the beautification of Jermyn, creation of the Memorial Garden, planting of 800 trees and WWI Park. The citizens of Jermyn extend their sincere gratitude. Mayor said it is for all of the help over all of the years, she is very instrumental.
Robert Parks- Mayor said Bob has helped with the Crime Watch, Events Committee, Shade Tree, Historical Society and DPW.Robert served on council for 12 years and has been very instrumental for many of Jermyn’s improvements. Robert served as the DPW chairman and council vice president. Jermyn Borough thanks Robert for all of his services he has provided to the Borough.
Mayor Smallacombe- Mr. Kulick presented Mayor with an award honoring Mayor Smallacombe. Bruce served as Mayor for 16 years. Bruce is well known for his involvements within Jermyn’s organizations. He is a charter member of the Historical Society and the Annual Christmas concert. Bruce is also an active member in the Lion’s club. Jermyn Borough thanks Mayor Smallacombe for all of his years of service as Mayor.
Police Report:Chief Arthur said the officers and the fire police did a traffic control for the light parade, citations were issued for ordinance violations for 614-616 Washington for garbage, and they try to put their garbage out again. The issue was addressed for them putting garbage next-door. The citations have been filed for the building owner and property manager. The juveniles from the park damage were identified and arrested. When court comes we are going to ask for community service and restitution. They had another incident recently where a juvenile was over on the East side spray painting things. This was a very good example of the Crime Watch working. One of the Crime Watch members observed spray paint over there in town and observed the suspect and notified the police immediately. An officer went over and did the investigation and spoke to the father and kid and he was arrested for criminal mischief. This is ideally how Crime Watch should work. Chief Arthur said the police cannot be everywhere, the member observed the activity and gave them all the information they needed to investigate. Police also arrested a Megan Law violator. The department of recertifications for this year are done. The camera at the Borough building on the side by the gym above the storage doors, it went dark at night. Chief Arthur called Mike Shea to make him aware of it, they replaced the camera. It may still be under warranty. All cameras are now working. There was a meeting with the bank with an emergency plan if there was ever a robbery. They are still doing house watch checks, some people are going down south for the winter.
Several notices have been put out regarding the snow removal. We had to tell people the Borough ordinance; it has to be removed within 24 hours of the storm. If there are issues with that, please call the police they will address it with the property owner. Total calls for the years are 4,190. They have been busy.
Mr. Smith thanked Chief Arthur, he had a family call him to see if they can watch their house for a funeral and the police were there right away. There was also a verbal altercation in front of Battenberg’s and the police went right over. Mr. Smith thanked the police.
Mayor:Mayor thanked everyone that came out and helped with the light parade. Mayor thanked all the residents that came out and supported the 25th Annual Christmas Show. A lot of hard work goes into doing these and the people of Jermyn enjoy it. Mayor said we have a new business in town, Colin’s Beauty Salon on Rushbrook. He said it is packed all the time and hope it continues and hopefully the new Mayor can do a ribbon cutting ceremony there. Mayor said she is thinking about buying the building if things work out good, they fixed it up nice inside and it is busy.
Mayor thanked all of the police officers for the last 16 years that worked under him. They have done a great job. He thanked all the council, solicitors, council presidents, firemen, secretaries, managers, zoning officers. There have been a lot of good people that have done great things for the town. Mayor thanked Chief for doing a great job, the police dept. is running very well. He said hopefully the new Mayor gets a key to the police dept. Mayor said two things he has for the police dept. Mr. Napoli brought up the radar last meeting. Mayor has been against it since it came out and it is something we don’t really need, we have the enrad system and we have the vascar. We have 25MPH speed limits. Mayor doesn’t think it is necessary thing for a small town. It is an unnecessary expense that we do not need at this time, we do a good job patrolling our Borough and patrolling speeders. The ENRAD system works well.
Mayor said we did have a verbal agreement over the course of all the years he was here we did have a 5 mile radius that the officers can leave and go get lunch. It was abused in the past and then it got better. He would like to see the Borough put something like that in writing in the police manual so that the officers are not taking the police car and leaving town and going in excessive amounts of distances from the Borough. A 5 mile radius is plenty; you can still get to the Burger King in Carbondale and Eynon and still get something to eat without worrying about seeing them somewhere else. The officers we have now are very good about it, it isn’t a problem but it does present a problem and citizens see it and it is not good for the Borough.
Mayor thanked everyone that supported everything in Jermyn throughout the years. Jermyn will continue to prosper and grow. The new council is doing a great job as well as the Borough secretary has done a great job so far. Mayor thanked Mr. Chase and Mr. Rood for all they do.
Fire:Mr. Rood said a few years ago we implemented an active 911 system, which notifies us of a fire call. It was always on everyone’s phone itself. His son Chris upgraded that they have monitors in the station now that when you come in and someone is coming to the station, you can see it on the monitor now. We have to put in we are going to the station or scene. It also gives a direction to where they are going on the map, to where the activity is. Right now, Chris and him are in the process are putting in where all of the hydrants are so when they get a call you can see exactly where the hydrants are before you leave the building. The size of the mains will also be in there.
Chief Arthur said there was an issue over Millenium with the parking, the guy across the street was parking on the sidewalk. Chief Arthur said where he is parking is actually on the curb but they had poles where the sidewalk was, technically where was marked before was the walkway. Technically he is not parking on the sidewalk, now the poles are gone. Whose job is that to make sure the poles are put back up and the problem is addressed. Mr. Chase said the new owner took over and he is not familiar with the new owner and he obviously wasn’t made aware of the previous agreement with the parking. Before he bought the place or when he bought the places, the poles were moved. He doesn’t think the new guy is made aware of the arrangements. Mr. Chase said it is the neighbor who decides to park and block everyone in.
LCAB:A motion was made by Mrs. Wilson to pay the 2018 LCAB membership dues for $75.00, seconded by Mr. Markey. All in favor; motion carried.
Finance:Mr. Smith thanked the committee; they spent many hours and many nights working on it. Mr. Smith thanked the Borough Secretary. Mr. Smith also thanked Mr. Kulick. It was a good committee and we came out with a good budget. Mr. Smith said he thinks 2017; we did a good job in watching our line items. Everything came together for the first time in a long time.
DPW: Mr. Markey said they will wait until next month to discuss the garage. KBA is talking to USDA regarding the building on funding.
Recreation: The rec. committee is having their 3rd annual Christmas party tomorrow night in the gym at 6PM for all children 12 and under.
Public Safety:Mr. Napoli thanked Chief Arthur and the other officers. With Officer Calzola resigning it left open a lot of uncovered shifts. When someone cannot cover Chief Arthur does it on his own. Mr. Napoli said Chief Arthur has 1 week of vacation left which he usually takes the week of Christmas, with Officer Calzola out, he cannot take the vacation. Chief Arthur asked Mr. Napoli to bring up if he can move the week he is owed over to next year because if he does not use the time he will lose it. Mrs. Wilson said suggested to use it in the beginning of 2018 so there is no confusion, she doesn’t see a problem it’s because an officer is not here. Mr. Napoli said with hiring a FT officer tonight and hiring the two PT officers there should not be an issue covering shifts in January. Mr. Kulick said the alternative would be to pay him; he’s kind enough to push it into next year. Mr. Napoli made a motion for Chief Arthur to take his 1 week vacation for 2017 and move it to next year, seconded by Mr. Markey. All in favor; motion carried.
Full-Time Officer: Mr. Napoli said the Committee met tonight with patrolman Russo, who is a part time officer here. It is a recommendation to hire Officer Russo as our Full time Officer to begin the first pay period of the New Year. A motion was made by Mr. Napoli to hire Anthony Russo as a Full time patrolman second shift with a rate of $17.00/hr. beginning the first pay period of the New Year in 2018, seconded by Mr. Smith. All in favor; motion carried. Mayor said he doesn’t have any say after this but he still thinks the Borough should use the grant from the Federal Government, it doesn’t come out until June but it’s not a necessity to have an officer, its nice to have it, but I think we can wait until June and save the tax payers a lot of money by getting the grant. Mr. Smith said this was discussed thoroughly at the Finance meetings and there were a lot of discussions on the pros and cons on having full time vs a part time officer. At this point in time if we didn’t have a full time officer, we still owe $17,000 for the full time officer pension even though there isn’t one. We are paying for two officers even though there would only be one. That was one of the positive things about having another officer. We felt that Jermyn is much better provided with Police coverage with a second officer because the reports that the finance committee got that it was getting harder and harder to fill shifts so to have continual coverage to provide the services that have been established in the past with Officer Calzola, we felt that best thing would be to hire a full time police officer. Mr. Smith said he thinks it’s a good move and in addition the Finance Committee studied all the kinds of grants that we can possibly get for the 2017-2018 budgets and anything that comes up that would help decrease the costs to the Borough for a full time patrol officer, the committee will definitely look into it. Mr. Smith said we felt it was in the Borough’s best interest to hire a full time officer. Mayor said he agrees a full time officer is needed he pushed for it for years. There is a federal grant that comes out every single year; it comes out in June every year.
Mr. Kulick asked if it’s guaranteed we would even get the grant. Mayor said he doesn’t know if it’s guaranteed but we would have to apply for it, it’s too late now. It should have been done years ago. Mr. Smith said he appreciates Mayor’s position but in the interest of the Borough, rather than wait the 6 months we felt it was the best thing to do it now. Mr. Napoli said the Mayor’s original comment was that it was nice to have but it wasn’t necessary. Mayor said not right now. Mr. Napoli said Mr. Smith made the comment its necessary and you agreed with it. Mr. Napoli said it is necessary for the Borough to have two full time officers and the reason he knows that it is necessary just look at the difference that has been made in the past year with having two full time officers. Look what has been taken care of with issues happening in town. Mayor says he agrees with him he just thinks they should have taken advantage of the grant.
Doors: Mrs. Wilson said it will be discussed in January.
MS4 Ordinance:Mr. Kulick said it was advertised and ready to be passed. A motion was made by Mr. Markey and seconded by Mr. Napoli to pass MS4 ordinance #15-17 regarding the storm water management ordinance. All in favor; motion carried.
Tax and Garbage for 2018:Mrs. Wilson made a motion seconded by Mr. Smith to allow the solicitor to prepare an ordinance establishing the tax millage rate for 2018 at 29 mills and the garbage fee at $125.00. Mr. Markey said he thinks the solicitor should be here to be informed by council at meetings or send a representative at his office. All in favor; motion carried. Lou Demarco asked if we still pay the solicitor if he doesn’t show up. Mr. Markey said he is on a retainer. Mr. Kulick said he should be here he won’t argue with that. Mr. Kulick said other than the retainer which is $400/month we have not paid him for anything else. Lou Demarco said it seems even when they send someone it seems like the person they send the person isn’t updated on what is going on. Hopefully someone in January comes around. Lou Demarco asked if we know who put in for any other positions. The police chief and KBA put in so far.
Budget:Mr. Smith made a motion to adopt the 2018 budget which includes raises for all employees and holidays for Borough Secretary that are included in it already. Mr. Markey seconded, Mr. Markey asked if it has been inspected by anyone. No one has come in and looked at it. All in favor; motion carried. Mr. Kulick said the budget that we have is excellent, compared to previous budgets he has seen in the past, this is a really working budget. The Finance Committee did a fabulous job.
Meeting Dates 2018: Mr. Kulick said we can leave them as we are or we can change them. Mr. Kulick said with a work session if we want to do something we can’t do it all we can do is talk about it. This way with two meetings we can talk about it and act on it. Mrs. Wilson said it was mentioned about the LCAB meetings; they only meet one a quarter. Mrs. Wilson said so it will be the 4th and 18th in January. Mr. Markey said no the 2nd in January. Mr. Kulick said we can say that will be our meeting for the month. Mr. Kulick said he complained last time that they shouldn’t have had a working meeting after the reorganization meeting. Mr. Markey said so does that mean we will have 3 meetings in January? Mr. Kulick said the reorganization meeting will take 3 minutes. Mrs. Wilson said we can just have one meeting in January and have the reorganization. Are we staying with the first and third Thursdays? Mr. Markey said if we went to the 2nd and 4th Thursdays so no one can miss the LCAB dinners. Mr. Napoli asked if we can table this to next meeting to have the input of the new council members. Mr. Kulick said it has to be advertised. Mr. Smith asked if we need two meetings a month. Mr. Markey said he thinks we do. Mr. Kulick said he likes two meetings a month. Mr. Parks said it is a good if something comes up. Mr. Smith asked if we have to meet on Thursdays. Mr. Napoli said he cannot do Monday’s. Mr. Markey said he is good with Thursdays; they have never been a problem for him. A motion was made by Mr. Napoli and seconded by Mrs. Wilson set the 2018 meeting dates to the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month at 7pm. All in favor; motion carried.
New Business:Mrs. Wilson asked if the reorganization meeting is the 2nd and the 1st meeting is the 4th and the next is the 18th. Mr. Smith said why we can’t conduct business right after the reorganization meeting. Mr. Kulick said he would feel hypocritical because when he came in he said they shouldn’t have done that. A motion was made by Mr. Smith and seconded by Mrs. Wilson to have the 1st regular meeting after the reorganization on January 2, 2018 and the 2nd meeting on Thursday January 18, 2018. 3 yeas, 3 no. Mayor- tiebreaker – yea. Motion passes.
Mr. Parks said he appreciates everyone that voted for him over the years and he hopes he served everyone well. He hopes the new council fits in well and everything keeps going forward the way it is. He appreciates the way things are looking and hope we move forward. Council thanked Mr. Parks for his service.
Mayor thanked the Crime Watch for all they do.
Mr. Lou Demarco said there has been a lot of drug overdoses in our area in the last 2 weeks. He has been to two viewings in the last week for 2 young people. Is there anything in the Borough that we take part in to prevent that? Carrie Chase said she volunteers for the Forever Sammie Foundation. They lost their daughter two years ago to a heroin overdose. They came in and spoke to a couple of people at our Crime Watch meetings. The problem is we cannot get enough people to join the crime watch.
Mr. Smith said Lou brings up a good point. In our budget we hired someone for the summer. 10 weeks for the summer and maybe we should try to do something earlier and put together a curriculum and in that curriculum have something about drugs and let them talk to the young kids and maybe we can do something as the Borough, if we save one person.
A motion was made by Mr. Parks and seconded by Mr. Napoli to adjourn the meeting at 8:35 pm. All in favor; motion carried.