Notes From Monday’s Parkesburg Borough Council Meeting

Council President Kathy Rick and Vice-president Mel Keen review their material before the start of the meeting.

My notes from Monday evening’s Borough Council Meeting complete with misquotes, misspellings and misstatements.

Roll Call – All council members present except Mark Agen

Agenda reviewed and approved

Minutes reviewed and approved

Treasurer’s Report read by Borough Secretary Wendy Keegan but not voted on by Council

Motion made and approved to pay the outstanding Borough bills.

Pubic Comments

David Jones asked about the Treasurer’s Report

Police Chief’s report -97 traffic citations, 11 non-traffic citations, 4 criminal arrests, 15 parking tickets

Fire Chief’s report – 22 fire calls for the month with an average of 8 volunteers responding per call.  Consolidation continues to move forward, working on bylaws and standard operating procedures.  Next month the three fire companies will be dissolved into one company.  The new ladder truck will be delivered in mid September.

Parkesburg Knoll Phase 2A – Rouse Chamberlain is the technical owner of the property.  Doing due diligence including meeting with Borough Manager Jim Thomas.  The developer is considering 7 different house plans ranging from 1,300 to 1,600 sq ft.  Two car garages will be standard across all 7 models.  A discussion about price points and what is selling in Parkesburg ensued.  The developer asked  permission to build at least one home in the development with a single garage to showcase a lower price point.  Market conditions are keeping prices low.  Sample homes from the developer are available for viewing in Wallace Township and Limerick in Montgomery County.

Borough Manager Jim Thomas informs council of the $5.20 cent per resident county assessment and recommends Council reject the request.

Jim Thomas spoke about a notice from the county commissioners imposing a fee $5.20 for every resident of the County. The County would use the $2.5 million dollars collected to redo the 911 emergency response system and several other projects.  The notification was very sparse.  The approach has raised a lot of questions through out the County, every municipality is upset with the fee and the tactics used.  There are many questions that have to be answered.  The borough is against paying the fee at this time.  Solicitor John Carnes will draft a response which will be sent to the commissioner, showing our non-support for the request.  Mel Keen states that since the monies collected are to be used for public safety, the fee should be included in the county taxes.   Councilperson Persch stated the system has never worked properly and we shouldn’t be paying for a system that doesn’t work.  Council reviewed the resolution and passes it unanimously.  The resolution will be emailed to the commissioners in the morning.

Manager Jim Thomas said a new sewer line on 4th from East Bridge Street to South Culvert would be installed the last week in July through the first week of August.  Once the work is done the road will be resurfaced from curb to curb.

Jim Thomas New Borough code signed into law by the Governor.  The new code goes into effect July 17th.  There are quite a few changes.  Council members should familiarize themselves with the changes.  Mr. Persch asked for highlight or low lights from the changes.

Borough Solicitor John Carnes drafted an ordinance dealing with the tree problems, specifically trees that present a potential hazard if they fall.  The resolution stays away from people’s back yards and focuses on trees in or near public spaces and areas.

Sharon Wolf – Progress – working on the the cycle races scheduled for July 5th.  Looking for sponsors.  Interested parties should contact PABA.  PABA is sponsoring the race.  There is a planning meeting at the Government Services building every Tuesday night at 6:30.  Information on the kids races are on the Borough’s website.

The Library had the golf outing today.

Public comments

Former Council President David Jones addresses Council during the visitors comment portion of the meeting.

David Jones – suggested the resolution to the county be amended to include the suggestion that the county impose a tax rather than a fee for the new 911 service.  Spoke about the new Borough code being mostly legalese.  Mentioned the tree situation and suggested the Borough should try to see if something can be done to help the particular home owner with a problem tree to help her take the tree down.  Councilperson Keen suggested a community cleanup effort assisted by a tree expert.

Borough property owner Jim McCabe asks Council to justify police service.

Jim McCabe – Asked  whether Parkesburg should continue to provide police coverage for other communities.  The majority of people in town don’t seem to support the police services provided by the Borough, yet the town continues to move down this path.  Mr.McCabe expressed concern for the liability the Borough is opening itself up to.  Asked if the pensions for these police providing protection to these other municipalities are fully funded.  Asked if court costs are included in the rate we charge the municipalities served. (They are).  When told by Councilperson Chuck Persch he had no standing to be asking questions, Mr. McCabe responded by saying “I pay my taxes.  All I want are answers.”

Debbie Helms – Asked how she can get a copy of the agenda before the meeting.  She was told the agenda is being changed right up to the last minutes.

Meeting adorned at 8:15.


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