2023-02-14 Council Minutes

P.O. BOX 421
PHONE (814)-349-5350 FAX (814)-349-5733
February 14, 2023
Katie Blume called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM with the pledge of allegiance. Council members in attendance: Robert Zeigler, Beth Cowher and Nickelaus Engle also in attendance Denise Immel Borough Secretary/Assistant Treasurer and Sherry Corman Borough Treasurer/Assistant Secretary. Absent Cecilia Gallup and Mayor Steve Myers and Solicitor John Miller
Citizens present: none
Citizens Input:
The borough unexpectedly lost a former employee this past week, leaving behind a small family who is struggling to cover funeral expenses, a motion was made by Robert Zeigler to send a card to the family and a donation of $50.00 to the funeral home to help differ cost, seconded by Nickelaus Engle. Motion carried.
A motion was made by Beth Cowher to approve the January 10, 2023 minutes as presented, seconded by Robert Zeigler. Motion passed.
A motion was made by Robert Zeigler to approve the January 2023 financials as presented, seconded by Nickelaus Engle. Motion passed.
Code Enforcement/HARB/Planning Commission Reports:
The Code Enforcement report was reviewed with no questions or comments. No reports from HARB or the Planning Commission.
Regional Planning Report:
Robert Zeigler attended the Penns Valley Regional Planning meeting on January 24, 2023. Officers were elected with Ben Haupt as Chairman, Robert Zeigler as Vice Chair. Topics of discussion included better medical care access for the Penns Valley region and roadway flooding issues.
Employee Report:
With a few small snow storms the winter has been good, it has allowed our crew to focus on equipment up keep. There have been some nasty wind storms and those storms took a toll on the reservoir road. There are many trees down in many different spots. Come spring the road will have to be cleared to allow access to the reservoir. The storms also pushed over trees on Park Rd, nothing major just some road cleanup.
Gutelius completed the replacement of the shut off valve to 108 Penn Street.
Christmas decoration suggestions:
Keeping our current decorations. Repairing them every year. Approximate yearly cost. (lift rent $360) (yearly maintenance $250) (employee pay $260)

  • Purchasing all new decorations and replacing everything over time. (same as what we currently have) Approximately $1,000/year, per two wreaths, if this happens we have to worry about a power source. Currently to plug our wreaths in the plug is about 3 feet above where the wreaths hang Approx. (25ft) on the pole. That might affect the placement or overall position of new decorations.
  • Not putting wreaths up but lowering our banners to reach on a ladder. We would then be able to reach them, that being said we could do all seasons and special events for town. Approximately $1,000 for new banners and brackets (new brackets and winter time banners.) then roughly $600 a year for new seasonal banners. Another option would be to have someone take down our current banner brackets and we could see if they would work for new banners. That would save the cost of new banner brackets.
    -Purchasing a large artificial tree for the gazebo, decorating it. Approximately $2,700 for 13′ tree
    This year was a little more expensive for us to put the wreaths up because we had to rent a lift. Doing this we were only able to get 7/8 wreaths up, also we were not able to put up any banners with the lift we had. Eliminating the wreaths would take that cost away, putting banners up on all the poles by ladder. Later on down the road we could swap banners out all year for all seasons to brighten up town. Ultimately we are in the position where money will need to be spent no matter the option. We are also unsure about how our current setup will be put up next year whether it be us renting a lift and only being able to put up wreaths, or having someone with a bucket truck to put up wreaths and banners.
    New Action Items
    A motion was made by Robert Zeigler to approve payment PennDot for water line replacement on SR 2011 in the amount of $49,781.02 to be drawn from the water account, seconded by Beth Cowher. Motion carried.
    A motion was made by Robert Zeigler to reimburse Kathy Highbaugh, Tax Collector expenses in the amount of amount of $28.10 for postage and printing, seconded by Nickelaus Engle. Motion carried.
    A motion was made by Robert Zeigler to adopt Resolution 2023-2, authorizing the expenditure of $2,609.42 from funds collected by the Borough from the Fire Tax to the Millheim Fire Company No.1 for workers’ compensation insurance, seconded by Beth Cowher. Motion carried.
    Duck Murders:
    It has been brought to council’s attentions that a few of the local ducks have been the victims of a drive by shooting. The PA Game Commission has been notified and the offense is under investigation.
    Floodplain review:
    We have been notified by PEMA of a community assistance visit taking place on March 22 and 23. We will be supported by East Penns Valley Code and Centre County Planning.
    Side street repairs and Dirt and Gravel:
    A resident has voiced concerns on the condition of South Street from Penn Street to West Street. This issue has been addressed with our road master, this section of South Street is in need of repaving as the road is humped in the middle and cannot be grated level or built up level. Council requested that a quote be received.
    The 2023 DGLVR applications are due by March 31, 2023 a motion was made by Beth Cowher to redo the application submitted in 2022 for Race Aly seconded by Robert Zeigler. Motion carried.
    Staff hours:
    Due to the need for Sherry Corman to be available to address the care of her son she will be reducing the hours she works from the office to one day a week. She will continue to monitor email and text messages from home.
    Triathlon request:
    The race committee for the annual Penns Valley Triathlon has requested approval for Millheim Fire Police to work the race event on August 05, 2023. Nick Engle made a motion to approve the request for Millheim Fire Police to be available to work the annual fundraiser on August 05, 2023, seconded by Robert Zeigler. Motion carried.
    EPV Business Association:
    Robert Zeigler reported for the business association. The WalkFest will probably become a one day event, date to be determined. With the Millheim Pool and the Millheim Fire Company receiving donation from the proceeds.
    Disposition and Destruction of Records Resolution 2023-01:
    Robert Zeigler made a motion to adopt Resolution 2023-01 authorizing the disposition and destruction of specific records that are beyond the set retention period, seconded Nick Engle. Motion carried.
    Excessive contribution request:
    The Millheim Borough has been notified of an overpayment of $2,936.06 into our pension plan. Beth Cowher made a motion to request an excess of $1,741.14 be returned to the borough’s general account and the balance of $1,193.92 be returned to the state, seconded by Nickelaus Engle. Motion carried.
    Signage lights:
    The East Penns Valley Library has approached the Millheim Borough about suppling lights to illuminate the signage in front of the Borough building. Robert Zeigler made a motion to approve the request allotting $400.00 for purchase and installation to be drawn for the beautification fund, seconded by Beth Cowher. Motion carried.
    Street and Alley updates for mapping/911:
    The ordinances are being reviewed to identify correct locations of streets and alleys within the borough and the dates they were ordained. Several discrepancies have been located which will need addressed when review is complete.
    Research has confirmed that Bear Ally from Elk Street to Water Street was vacated on 06/23/1923 in Ordinance #34.
    Parking and Rentals:
    The borough is receiving inquiries into any ordinances or guidelines that are in place for properties within the borough that are being used as income properties. People have concerns about the safety of units and the issues of parking. The only requirement currently in place is that landlords must notify the Borough of the current tenant information. Suggestions received included a requirement that landlords must supply off street parking and that safety inspections should be completed. Research will be conducted as to how other boroughs handled income producing properties.
    Old Action Items
    Update on infrastructure:
    Screen Replacement Project:
    Buchart Horn is requesting that the Council authorize advertising the project. Bids can opened March 10, 2023 and make a recommendation to Council at the March meeting to
    award the contract. While Buchart Horn has not received the DEP permit to date they believe we should move the project forward as they don’t anticipate any changes from the proposed project.
    Robert Zeigler made a motion to move forward with the bid process, seconded by Nickelaus Engle, Motion carried.
    DCED Multimodal Grant Bridge Project:
    The design of this project it not yet underway. Buchart Horn will begin preparing drawings and specification to have this project ready for review in April. They will have to approach CFA about getting an amendment to the Grant Contract to extend our timeframe for completion.
    WWTP Project – Equalization Tank:
    Buchart Horn is designing the tank and the control mechanism for the EQ Tank. Preliminary design
    will be completed in 30 days and ready for review.
    Update on solar projects: no updates received
    Justin- training and test upcoming:
    Mr. Kerstetter is enrolled in sludge activation classes on February 14 and February 21, 2023. Sludge Activation testing is scheduled for March 31, 2023.
    Finalize comprehensive fee list via resolution:
    Concerns were raised on raising fees within the Borough. More information will be gathered and presented to council in March.
    Board and other appointments:
    A motion was made by Robert Zeigler to appoint Nickelaus Engle to the HARB committee, seconded by Beth Cowher. Motion carried with Mr. Engle abstaining.
    A motion was made by Nickelaus Engle to appoint Buddy Cowher to the open position on the Planning committee, seconded by Robert Zeigler. Motion carried with Beth Cowher abstaining.
    Secretary’s Report
    Cemetery update:
    Coordinates of the cemetery have been sent to Mr. Reichard, and a call made to the assessment office to find out the feasibility of the cemetery property being released for the property. Information has been given to property owner via a relative.
    A new shut off valve has been placed at 108 Penn Street and water has been shut off for nonpayment. Water remains shut off at 103 Center Street due to inside line breakage and 151 Penn Street for inside line breakage and nonpayment.
    Justin Kerstetter credit card increase:
    In order for the Borough to make credit card payments to venders it is required that payment be made at time of purchase, this allows the borough to earn credits from First National that can be used to pay down the credit card bill. A motion was made by Robert Zeigler to increase the credit card limit on Justin’s card to $2,500.00, seconded by Beth Cowher. Motion carried.
    Cell phone reimbursement:
    A motion was made by Robert Zeigler to reimburse Sherry Corman $40.00 per month for cell phone reimbursement as her current work situation will require use of her personal cell phone, seconded by Nickelaus Engle. Motion carried.
    Beautification CD:
    A motion was made by Robert Zeigler to move the funds in the Beautification CD to the Beautification checking, seconded by Beth Cowher. Motion carried.
    Checking interest:
    Sherry Corman will speak with First National on obtaining interest on the checking account held by their institution.
    A motion was made by Robert Zeigler to adjourn, seconded by Beth Cowher. Motion carried. Meeting adjourned at 9:45 PM.

Denise Immel Secretary/Assistant Treasurer