Somerset Borough Council Minutes

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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.



2019 Council Meetings
Municipal Building

April 8th 5:00 PM Committee of the Whole Meeting
April 22nd 7:00 PM Council Meeting
May 13th 5:00 PM Committee of the Whole Meeting
May 28th 7:00 PM Council Meeting (Please note that we will be meeting on Tuesday, instead of Monday due to the Memorial Day holiday)
June 10th 5:00 PM Committee of the Whole Meeting
June 24th 7:00 PM Council Meeting
July 8th 5:00 PM Committee of the Whole Meeting
July 22nd 7:00 PM Council Meeting
August 12th 5:00 PM Committee of the Whole Meeting
August 26th 7:00 PM Council Meeting
September 23rd 7:00 PM Council Meeting
October 14th 5:00 PM Committee of the Whole Meeting
October 28th 7:00 PM Council Meeting
November 12th 5:00 PM Committee of the Whole Meeting (Please note this is a Tuesday – Monday the 11th is Veterans Day Holiday)
November 25th 7:00 PM Council Meeting
December 9th 5:00 PM Committee of the Whole Meeting
December 16th 7:00 PM Council Meeting



*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 Committee of the Whole
March 9th, 2020 5:00 p.m.

1. Meeting Called to Order - President R. Miller

2. Pledge of Allegiance

3. Roll Call:
Council Members present: Ruby Miller; Lee Hoffman; Pam Ream; Sue Opp; Steve Shaulis and Gary Thomas.  
Council Member absent: Fred Rosemeyer.
Present: Mayor Scott Walker. 
Also absent: Junior Council Member Patrick Kuhn.
Also present were the following: Borough Manager, Michele Enos; Director of
Finance, Brett Peters; Administrative Assistant, Roger Bailey; Solicitor, James
Cascio; Consulting Engineers, Tom Reilly and Jake Bolby. 

4. Announcements:
(a) None

5. Approval of Minutes of Previous Meeting:
    (a) All minutes are approved at the regular Council Meeting.

6. General Public Comments:
(a) None registered 

7. Policy Agenda:

    Old Business:
    (a) None

    New Business:
    (a) Request form submitted by Manager Enos:
         1. Transient Retail Merchants Ordinance – Discussion concerning proposed changes to the existing Ordinance.

Ms. Enos disclosed that proposed changes to this existing Ordinance was a request submitted by Chief Cox and Mayor Walker.  She explained that the Police Department was receiving complaints from our older population about individuals coming to their homes after dark, which was intimidating to them. 
Solicitor Cascio suggested looking at the whole Ordinance for restructuring.

Ms. Enos said that they are in the process of “fine-tuning” proposed recommendations.  Some “red-line” changes were also suggested by Chief Cox for review.  These recommendations will be shared with Borough Council after the process is complete.  Ms. Enos also invited Borough Councils suggestions, or changes, they may want incorporated into the Ordinance before a final draft is implemented.

         2. American Legion Post 181 – Discussion concerning the request for handi-cap parking space(s) on West Main Street.

Ms. Enos explained that the American Legion is requesting one or two handi-cap parking spaces outside of their building for their Disabled Veterans.

She stated that handi-cap spaces are normally placed at the end of the street, because there is accessible handi-cap ramps at the end of the street.  Assuming that an individual would be in a wheelchair, spaces right outside the American Legion building would not provide an accessible ramp for anyone to access.  In addition to that, curbing would also be an issue.  She added that there is specific requirements for handi-cap spacing regarding this matter.

Additional suggestions and discussion was held among Borough Council regarding this request. 
Ms. Enos said that the specific regulations and guidelines will be reviewed regarding handi-cap spaces.  Thereafter, the information will be brought back to Borough Council for their review.

         3. Capital Equipment for Water Distribution – Discussion concerning the appropriation of funds to purchase a Hotbox Reclaimer as proposed in the 2020 Capital Budget.

Ms. Enos brought out that the purchase of a Hotbox Reclaimer was a request from the Water Distribution Department.  She stated that it will be purchased through Seal Master, a Co-Stars approved contractor/ vendor. 

Ms. Enos explained that this purchase will be multi-funded.  It will be utilized for Water, Sewer and General Fund purposes.  Therefore, it will be shared between departments, and split and financed between departments, as well.  This purchase was previously considered and approved in the 2020 Capital Budget.   

         4. Coleman Pump Station - Discussion concerning an “Emergency Purchase” of a  pump for our Sanitary Sewer System.

Ms. Enos stated that the Borough received a quote from Ram Industrial Services regarding a pump purchase for the Coleman Pump Station. 

She disclosed that an independent evaluation was done on the pumps, and it was discovered that they are not repairable.  An independent comment was also received from our Engineer who evaluated the site.  Solicitor Cascio was also consulted, because typically, this would go under a bidding requirement.  But due to the fact that it is so essential to the operations of our Waste Water Treatment Plant and Sewage Collection System, authorization was required from Borough Council due to the urgency. 

Ms. Enos brought out that the total amount of the project, with installation, is $23,818.00.  She noted that the funds will be taken from the Sewer Reserves.  

Ms. Enos mentioned that this is something that had not been budgeted for or foreseen.   
She added that after review from Solicitor Cascio, Mr. Bolby’s opinion and the independent survey and evaluation of the pumps, this was the reason why emergency authorization was being sought after from Borough Council.

Mrs. Ream moved, Mrs. Opp seconded to approve the “Emergency Purchase” of a pump for our Sanitary Sewer System.
                                                                                    Motion Unanimously Carried

         5. State Hospital Chemical Feed Building – Discussion concerning the
             appropriation of funds to purchase an emergency generator as proposed in the
             2020 Capital Budget.

         6. Engineering Agreement – Discussion concerning the agreement for engineering
             services related to the Chemical Feed Building Generator Project.

                                  (Item #5 & #6 were discussed collectively)

Ms. Enos stated that this is not an emergency situation, it is for an emergency generator as proposed in the 2020 Capital Budget. 

She said that the State Hospital Chemical Feed Building is in need of an emergency generator.  In the 2020 Budget, the Borough budgeted $75,000.00 for an emergency generator for the Chemical Feed facility. The exact cost is unknown until design and engineering evaluation is received. Thereafter, we will be able to determine what is going to be needed, so that we can get a quote and cost estimate.

Authorization is being sought by Borough Council to enter into an Engineering Agreement for the services related to the Chemical Feed Building Project. 

Ms. Enos disclosed that the Basic Engineering Services will be $12,500.00.  Permits will cost $1,000.00.  Therefore, the total Engineering Agreement will be $13,500.00. 

Mrs. Opp moved, Mrs. Ream seconded,  to enter into an agreement for
Engineering Services related to the Chemical Feed Building Generator Project.

Motion Unanimously Carried

         7. Donation Requests:  
             (a) Chamber of Commerce – Requesting a donation for Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week. 

Ms. Enos mentioned that a list was sent to Borough Council from PSAB regarding allowable donations that Boroughs can make. 

She stated that she would be glad to present all donation requests to Borough Council at every Committee of the Whole Meeting for their consideration.  Ms. Enos added that if Borough Council wishes only to be presented with PSAB allowable donation requests, then she would be happy to do this, as well.

Borough Council, as a whole, agreed to be presented with only PSAB “allowable” donation requests for their consideration. 

Mrs. Ream moved, Mrs. Opp seconded, that Borough Council be presented with only PSAB allowable donation requests for their consideration.  

Motion Unanimously Carried

    (b) Year to Date Financial Report – Provided through the month of February
Mr. Peters distributed the Year to Date Financial Statements through February 2020 to members of Borough Council.  He disclosed that, arithmetically, we are16.66% through the year.

       General Fund:                Water Fund:                          Sewer Fund:
Revenues – 8.30%          Revenues – 15.54%              Revenues – 13.33%
Expenses – 13.71%        Expenses – 15.00%               Expenses – 14.79%

         Mr. Peters added that if Borough Council had any questions, to contact him and he would do his best to explain any questions.  

    (c) Manager’s Report – Reports distributed to Council for all departments for the
         month of February 2020.

Ms. Enos distributed all departmental reports to Borough Council, and said if there were any questions, to call her.

    (d) President’s Report - Given by Ruby Miller.

Mrs. Miller thanked Mr. Thomas for the food he provided for the Committee of the Whole Meeting.

She also mentioned that the Borough County Banquet will be held on March 19, 2020 at the Coal Miners Café in Jennerstown, PA.

Mrs. Miller also thanked the EADS Group for their $1,000.00 donation to the Somerset County Boroughs Association.

Mrs. Miller also disclosed that the Borough of Somerset will be hosting the Somerset  County Boroughs Association Meeting in November, 2020.

(e) Somerset Inc. Report - Given by Lee Hoffman. 

Mr. Hoffman brought out that on April 9th, 2020, the official “NPP - Neighbor Partnership Program” Ceremony will be held at Uptown Works, with the grant being officially announced.  He extended invitations to Borough Council, as well as the Somerset Inc. Board. 

Also on April 9th, 2020, there will be a “ground-breaking” at Trinity Park, as well.  With the “NPP”, at the last Somerset Inc. Board Meeting, voting was held on spending through the first phase. 

Mr. Hoffman mentioned that a consultant from Virginia will be doing a Vacancy Rate Study on the residential and commercial buildings, identifying the best use of them.  This will benefit for grants, and all sorts of future projects.  This will be taking place through Spring.
“Earth Day Trail” will be held for kids on April 18th, 2020. 

“Clean-Up Day” will also be held, but the date has yet be determined.

The “Lucky Leprechaun Race” will be on March 21st, 2020 at 2:00 p.m.  120 people are already signed up for this race.

    (f) PSAB Report – Given by Fred Rosemeyer. 
          (Mr. Rosemeyer was not in attendance, therefore, no report was given)

    (g) Somerset Volunteer Fire Department Report – Given by Steve Shaulis.

Mr. Shaulis brought out that during the month of February, the Fire Department answered 27 total alarms. 8 were in Somerset Borough.
He said that the Fire Departments Annual Fund Drive is now underway.  

Mr. Shaulis disclosed that items, twelve special automatic nozzles, were purchased through a $15,000.00 State Grant.  The nozzles are more efficient by adjusting the low flow and pressures.  

Mr. Shaulis mentioned that, in the past month, members of the Fire Department participated in a refresher training for Hazardous Material Operations.  Also, several members traveled to Allegheny County to participate in a training class. 

The Fire Department is moving forward to purchase a vacant lot between W. Union Street and W. Main Street.  It will provide additional parking for events, and could be used for other purposes in the future.

(h) Engineer’s Report – Given by Jake Bolby.

Mr. Bolby said the Pump Replacement Project at the Sewage Treatment Plant is still underway.  There was one adjustment that needed to be made for the first pump that was installed during start-up.  Now we have to move into replacement of the other two pumps.

He brought out that the Sewer Cleaning & Televising Contract is in its advertising phase. The Pre-Bid Meeting was held last week. Bids will be received on March 22nd, 2020 for that contract.

Mr. Bolby also disclosed that the Water Project is underway and moving forward on schedule with design, and environmental and permitting aspects.

    (i) Mayor’s Report – Given by Mayor Walker.
Mayor Walker expressed that he had no current topics to report.      

8. Executive SessionNone requested.


         Mr. Shaulis moved to adjourn, motion seconded by Mrs. Opp.                                              

 Motion Unanimously Carried
5:52 p.m.           



                                                                 Michele A. Enos, Borough, Manager/ Secretary