Somerset Borough Council Minutes

Council Meeting Minutes will be posted after they are approved at the following meeting.

Click to Print Minutes

Previous Minutes

 


 

Meet the Somerset Borough Council Members and Staff

Meet the Somerset Borough Council Members and Staff

Public Comment Policy

The Pennsylvania Sunshine Act (65 Pa. C.S. 701, et seq.) provides that the Board or Council of a political subdivision shall provide a reasonable opportunity at each advertised regular meeting and advertised special meeting for residents of the political subdivision or for taxpayers of the political subdivision or to comment on matters of concern, official action or deliberation which are or may be before the Board or Council prior to taking official action. (710.1).

To assure compliance with the Act, to inform members of the public who may wish to make comment, and to provide for predictable and orderly implementation of the public comment period, Somerset Borough Council has adopted this Public Comment Policy.

READ MORE >


 

2017 Council Meetings
Municipal Building

January 23rd
February 13th
Committee of the Whole Meeting - 5 PM
February 27th
Council Meeting 7 PM
March 13th
Committee of the Whole Meeting - 5 PM
March 27th
Council Meeting 7 PM
April 10th
Committee of the Whole Meeting - 5 PM
April 24th
Council Meeting 7 PM
May 8th
Committee of the Whole Meeting - 5 PM
May 22nd
Council Meeting 7 PM
June 12th
Committee of the Whole Meeting - 5 PM
June 26th
Council Meeting 7 PM
July 10th
Committee of the Whole Meeting - 5 PM
July 24th
Council Meeting 7 PM
August 14th
Committee of the Whole Meeting - 5 PM
August 28th
Council Meeting 7 PM
September 11th
Committee of the Whole Meeting - 5 PM
September 25th
Council Meeting 7 PM
October 9th
Committee of the Whole Meeting - 5 PM
October 23rd
Council Meeting 7 PM
November 13th
Committee of the Whole Meeting - 5 PM
November 20th
Council Meeting 7 PM
December 11th
Committee of the Whole Meeting - 5 PM
December 18th
Council Meeting 7 PM

 

*Council has traditionally rescheduled its November and December meetings based on the timing for budget adoption and the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.   The rescheduling will be done closer to these dates.

Borough of Somerset Council Meeting
November 20, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.

       Meeting was called to order by President Ruby Miller, opening with recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.

Roll Call:
      Council Members Present:  Ruby Miller; Fred Rosemeyer; Judy Pyle; Pam Ream; Sue Opp; Steve Shaulis and Gary Thomas.  Mayor Scott Walker also present.
Absent was Junior Council Member Maria Weimer.
Also present were the following:  Borough Manager Michele Enos; Director of Finance Brett Peters; Chief of Police Randy Cox; Solicitor James Cascio; and Consulting Engineers Tom Reilly and Jake Bolby.

Announcements:
  (a) None

Approval of Minutes of Previous Meetings:
  (a) October 9th, 2017 – Committee of the Whole Meeting Minutes

Motion
Mr. Rosemeyer moved, Mr. Shaulis seconded to approve the October 9th, 2017 Committee of the Whole Meeting Minutes.                                                                      
Motion Unanimously Carried    

  (b) October 23rd, 2017 – Borough Council Meeting Minutes

Motion
Mr. Shaulis moved, Mrs. Opp seconded to approve October 23rd, 2017 Borough Council Meeting Minutes.
Motion Unanimously Carried     

Award of Bids:
(a) None

General Public Comments
  (a) None
Administrative Business:
  (a) Communications – None

  (b) Payment of Bills -

Motion
Mrs. Ream moved, Mrs. Opp seconded to approve the payment of bills numbered 30224 – 30362, totaling $644,798.47.
Motion Unanimously Carried

Policy Agenda:

Old Business:
(a) There is no old business.

New Business:
  (a) Tentative Budgets for 2018 – Consider adopting the tentative budgets for 2018.

       (The proposed General Fund includes a ½ mill real estate tax increase)

       Mr. Peters distributed an adjusted Tentative Budget List incorporating the Capital items.  He stated that Ms. Enos met with the Department Heads, and cut items out of their Capital Request Lists that were not necessary for next year.  He incorporated the ½ mill tax increase into the Revenues.  Other Operating Costs were cut on the list including, the staffing expenses at the playground in the summer months, Civic Affairs, which includes the Holiday Christmas party for Borough Staff, and Spring Clean-Up.  Mr. Peters stated that he was able to balance the Operating Budget.   

Chief Cox mentioned the projected $42,000.00 surplus in the Police Department budget for this year.  He collected information on purchasing 1 Police Cruiser, with this projected surplus, by years’ end.  He stated that this would reduce the proposal for 2 Police vehicles for next year to only 1.  The price he received was a Co-Stars based quote for a 2017 Sedan.  This model is a 2017 leftover, and was reduced to $25,400.00.  So there’s approximately a $4,500.00 savings by picking up this leftover vehicle.  Purchasing a leftover 2017 SUV would reduce the cost to $27,800.00.  So there’s a significant savings, because we would be purchasing a 2017 leftover instead of a 2018.  Admittedly, there is not enough funds in the projected surplus to cover the cost of 2 vehicles at this time. 

Mr. Peters stated that the effects of purchasing a new vehicle now, would be transferring less into the Capital Fund for next year and future years. 

Mr. Peters and Ms. Enos explained the other information, to Council, regarding the handouts distributed by Mr. Peters.

Discussion was also held on the results of not having a tax increase verses having a tax increase.  Also discussed was what community services Council would agree to cut to reduce our Operating Costs.
Ms. Enos mentioned that it is a difficult thing when the Borough is asked to cut their Operating Costs, because they can only cut the things that are not “fixed” costs.  But this, unfortunately, results in reducing services to the residents.  She stated that this is the bad tradeoff. 

Motion
Mrs. Ream moved, Mrs. Opp seconded to consider adopting the tentative budgets for 2018, which includes a ½ mill real estate tax increase.    

Motion Carried 5 yes – 2 no
(Mrs. Pyle & Mr. Thomas voting “no”)

  (b) Resolution No. 2017-12 – Appointing a CPA firm to audit the Borough’s Accounts for 2017. (Current CPA firm is Friedline, Pipon & Co.)

RESOLUTION No. 2017-12

WHEREAS, The Borough of Somerset has by ordinance established the use of Certified Public Accountants to audit Borough Accounts, and;

NOW THEREFORE, We, the Council and Mayor of the Borough of Somerset designate Friedline, Pipon & Company to audit Borough Accounts for the year 2017.

                                                          ADOPTED this 20th day of November 2017.

Motion
Mrs. Opp moved, Mr. Thomas seconded to appoint the CPA firm Friedline, Pipon & Co. to audit the Borough’s Accounts for 2017.
Motion Unanimously Carried

(c) Resolution No. 2017-13 – Authorizing the execution of a sidewalk maintenance agreement with PennDOT in conjunction with the Turnpike Bridge Project.

RESOLUTION NO. _2017-13

       WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, acting through the Department of Transportation, has agreed to transfer to the Borough of Somerset all its right, title and interest in and to the sidewalk system on PA 601 included in the PA 601 over Pa Turnpike Project, in the Borough of Somerset, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, in accordance with the terms, conditions and covenants of the attached Agreement; and,

       WHEREAS, the Borough of Somerset, Somerset County, desires to approve the Agreement.

       NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, AND IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED, by authority of the Somerset Borough Council, Somerset County, that the Agreement is hereby approved and Michele A. Enos, Boro Mgr.  and is hereby authorized and
directed to execute the attached Agreement on its behalf and that Ruby W. Miller, President of Council is authorized and directed to attest the same.                                   

   Adopted and approved at a regular meeting of the Somerset Borough Council, Somerset County, this 20th day of November, 2017.

Motion
Mrs. Opp moved, Mr. Shaulis seconded to authorize the execution of a sidewalk maintenance agreement with PennDOT in conjunction with the Turnpike Bridge Project.

Motion Carried 6 yes – 1 no
(Mr. Rosemeyer voting “no”)

  (d) Resolution No. 2017-14 – Authorizing the Redevelopment Authority to submit an application for Somerset Borough for 2017 Community Development Block Grant Funding.

2017 ENTITLEMENT CDBG APPLICATIONS
AUTHORIZING RESOLUTION    
BOROUGH OF SOMERSET
RESOLUTION 2017-14 

WHEREAS, the State of Pennsylvania has made available to the Borough of Somerset certain funds under the Community Development Block Grant Program Act of October 11, 1984, (P.L. 906, No. 179) and;
WHEREAS, the Borough of Somerset recognizes the necessity and need to provide assistance to communities in the development of long range Community Development Plans designed to address significant local needs with emphasis on benefit to low and moderate income families, and;
WHEREAS, the Borough of Somerset recognizes the necessity and need to provide assistance to communities in administering Community Development projects designed to address a number of significant Community Development needs identified in the Community Development Plan, and;
WHEREAS, the Borough of Somerset recognizes the necessity and need to encourage and assist communities to focus upon and address housing and community facility problems, and;
WHEREAS, the State of Pennsylvania's Bureau of Housing and

Development, Department of Community & Economic Development has mandated that

the Borough of Somerset must meet certain legal and procedural requirements as delineated in

P.L. 906, No. 179, and;
WHEREAS, the Borough of Somerset recognizes the need and necessity of meeting these legal and procedural requirements;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Borough of Somerset, Borough Council do hereby authorize the Redevelopment Authority of Somerset County to submit an application for assistance to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Community & Economic Development, on its behalf as follows:
Funding in the amount of $100,385 will be used for an owner-occupied, housing rehabilitation program, Borough-wide, delivery, and administrative costs.

                                            Adopted this 20th day of November, 2017.

 Motion
Mrs. Ream moved, Mr. Rosemeyer seconded to authorize the Redevelopment Authority to submit an application for Somerset Borough for 2017 Community Development Block Grant Funding.

Motion Unanimously Carried


(e) Cooperation Agreement – Authorization to enter into agreement between the Borough, the County of Somerset and the Redevelopment Authority for the administration of the 2017 Community Development Block Grant funding. 

 Motion
Mr. Rosemeyer moved, Mrs. Ream seconded for authorization to enter into agreement between the Borough, the County of Somerset and the Redevelopment Authority for the administration of the 2017 Community Development Block Grant funding. 

Motion Unanimously Carried

  (f) Resolution No. 2017-15 – Authorization for the Borough Manager to execute the Lobbying Certification Form which verifies that no funds were used to influence the award of this grant money for the Uptown Sidewalk Replacement Project.

RESOLUTION 2017-15

           WHEREAS, the Council of Borough of Somerset, Somerset County, Pennsylvania recognize the need to replace existing sidewalks and curbing and the installation of wayfinding signs, located in the 100 block of West Main Street in Somerset Borough, Somerset County,

           WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, acting though the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, is administrating the federal funds from the Transportation Alternatives Set Aside Program, which makes federal funding available to the municipality for Transportation Alternatives,

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Borough of Somerset,

Understanding that the Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside Program will be funded with 100% federal funds, 0% state funds and 0% local funds for the construction phase, hereby advise all proper officials of the intent of participating in this program.

          FURTHERMORE, the Borough Manager is hereby authorized to sign all documents necessary to implement the program on behalf of Somerset Borough.

ADOPTED AS A RESOLUTION by the Council of the Borough of Somerset this 20th day of November 2017.

 Motion
Mrs. Ream moved, Mr. Thomas seconded to authorize the Borough Manager to execute the Lobbying Certification Form which verifies that no funds were used to influence the award of this grant money for the Uptown Sidewalk Replacement Project.

Motion Unanimously Carried

  (g) Somerset Area Ambulance Association – Requesting a donation for the year 2018.
Mr. Peters and Ms. Enos mentioned that the Borough had donated $1,000.00 per/quarter last year, totaling $4,000.00 for the year. 

Motion
Mr. Thomas moved, Mr. Shaulis seconded to donate $1,000.00 per/quarter to Somerset Area Ambulance Association in 2018.
Motion Unanimously Carried
   (h) Municipal Authority Board Member Resignation – Consider accepting the resignation of Joe Egly as a member of our Municipal Authority Board. 
Ms. Enos mentioned that Joe Egly has served on our Municipal Authority Board, and is now retiring. 

Motion
Mrs. Opp moved, Mrs. Ream seconded to accept the resignation of Joe Egly as a member of our Municipal Authority Board.
Motion Unanimously Carried

  (i) Letters of Interest – Consider authorizing “letters of interest” to serve as a Board Member on our Municipal Authority. 

Motion
Mrs. Opp moved, Mrs. Shaulis seconded to consider authorizing “letters of interest” to serve as a Board Member on the Municipal Authority. 

Motion Unanimously Carried

Mrs. Miller mentioned that metered parking will be suspended from “Light-Up Night” until the end of “Fire & Ice.” This will take place from November 25th, 2017 to the middle of January 2018. 

       Mr. Peters asked for direction from Council on what they would like to see happen with the Police Cruiser that Chief Cox requested to purchase this year with the Police Departments projected surplus in their budget.  He asked if Council would like to authorize Chief Cox to purchase the Police Cruiser this year.

Motion
Mr. Shaulis moved, Mr. Rosemeyer seconded to authorize Chief Cox to purchase a Police Cruiser with the projected surplus in this year’s Police Department budget. 

 Motion Unanimously Carried

       Mrs. Miller mentioned that Mayor Scott Walker was appointed to Tableland by the County Borough’s Association. 
Mrs. Miller also thanked Mr. Peters and Ms. Enos for a great budget layout.

Mr. Rosemeyer asked if the Borough was going to do anything about the tax break for firefighters in 2018.  He stated that Cambria Township had just recently done this for their firefighters.       

Ms. Enos stated that she spoke with Somerset Township Supervisors regarding this.  She stated that they want to have a joint meeting in January with the whole Borough Council, along with their Supervisors, and see what both would offer to this cause.  She said that Somerset Township Supervisors would like to keep their decisions consistent with the Boroughs, because there is shared firefighters from both Municipalities. 

Executive Session None requested.

Adjournment:
     Mr. Shaulis moved to adjourn, seconded by Mrs. Opp.                                                                                                     

Motion Unanimously Carried
7:53 p.m.                                                                                                           

_____________________________________
Michele A. Enos, Borough Manager/Secretary