2022-03-08 Council Minutes



P.O.  BOX 421

                                                                                   MILLHEIM, PA 16854


PHONE (814)-349-5350       FAX (814)-349-5733


March 08, 2022

Katie Blume called the meeting to order with the Pledge of Allegiance at 7:00 PM. Council members in attendance: Robert Zeigler, Nickelaus Engle, Cecilia Gallup and Beth Cowher also in attendance Mayor Steve Myers, Denise Immel Borough Secretary/Assistant Treasurer and Solicitor John Miller.

Citizens present: Leslie Warriner

Citizens Input: Ms. Warriner expressed concerns on the times work crew is removing snow from Main Street. Ms. Warriner was almost rear ended as she came down the hill and had to hit brakes and swerve to go around a snow bank created by the removal process. Is it possible to move the start time to later at night when traffic may be lighter? Katie Blume thanked her for her concerns, unfortunately no time is an excellent time to remove the snow, as requested by our residents and business owners, if moved to later at night people complain about the noise keeping them awake or waking up children and we also then have to deal with more large trucks passing through town. We will continue to remove snow as we have but will have work area ahead, signs with blinking lights placed at both ends of Main Street to alert people of the snow removal in process.

A motion was made by Beth Cowher, seconded by Robert Zeigler to approve the minutes of the 

February 08, 2022 meeting as presented. Motion carried.

A motion was made by Robert Zeigler, seconded by Nickelaus Engle to approve the financial reports as presented. Motion carried.

Code Enforcement Report/HARB/Planning Commission Reports:

The Code Enforcement report was reviewed with no questions or comments. No reports from HARB or the Planning Commission.

Employee Reports:

The water plant has been operating well. We assisted Gregg Township in finding a water leak. There are working agreements with neighboring municipalities to assist when needed. This includes sharing use of equipment and services. These agreements save the tax payers money as well as saves the work crew time.

There is still a foaming issue at the sewer plant which is under control but can’t be ignored. It is believed to be caused by commercial/industrial cleaners being dumped into the system. Our test results remain good. The beginning of May we are going to try to begin installation of the new membranes. Hopefully this is a one day process.

Freezing rain, ice and snow kept the road crew busy, using up most of the antiskid we had in storage. Raw salt order has been placed thru Co-Stars and will be delivered when contracts have been awarded. The thawing and refreezing of bridges and roads caused a hole to appear in the Elk Street Bridge, we were able to repair with left over material. With the nicer weather patches have also been placed on some of the bigger holes in road surfaces again using left over material.

The old pump station on Park Road has been dismantled, with materials being salvaged to use in future projects.

Signs were ordered as requested and installation has begun.

Dirt and gravel training was completed by both Mr. DeGarmo and Mr. Confer.

New Action Items

Motion to move funds from DCED grant to ARPA account:

A motion was made by Beth Cowher to reimburse the ARPA (American Rescue Act) account $45,500.00 from the DCED sewer grant for the initial payment to purchase the needed membranes, seconded by Robert Zeigler. Motion carried.

Borough building Geothermal:

The heat in both the archives room and the code office is not functioning, an estimate was received from Stanley C. Bierly in the amount of $1,375.81 for new motor, a zone damper for the archive room and zone damper motor replacement in code office plus sales tax and $300.00 to $325.00 in labor costs. The yearly preventive maintenance agreement on the geothermal unit was also presented. Robert Zeigler made a motion to have Stanley C. Bierly move forward with repairing the heat for both rooms and forgo signing any preventive maintenance agreement, seconded by Nickelaus Engle. Motion carried.

Approve spring collection dates:

Beth Cowher made a motion to hold the Borough brush and leaf collection the last 2 weeks of April, seconded by Nickelaus Engle. Motion carried.

Community work program:

Research will be conducted to see if this program is available for this year.

Parking/Parking Ordinance:

Per council request from our March meeting Solicitor Miller reviewed the parking ordinance currently in place for Main Street, if we wish to continue pursuing a 15 minute parking stall in front of 101 East Main Street (Millheim Post Office), Solicitor Miller recommended amending with a new ordinance limiting parking to 15 minutes. Cecilia Gallup made a motion to move forward with amending the ordinance limiting parking to 15 minutes at 101 East Main Street, seconded by Nickelaus Engle. Motion carried.

Solicitor Miller will proceed with the ordinance.

An email was received from a local business expressing concerns that clients do not realize there is free parking at the municipal lot, the sign is small and is easy to miss. Discussion was held on how the borough may be able to assist in this matter. Suggestions included seeing that the lot is available on google maps and also posting notifications in business establishments. Council member attending the next downtown business meeting will hold further discussion.

Local Shares Account (LSA) Grant:

Another grant opportunity was brought to council attention by Buchart Horn, where we could request $600,000.00 to replace the Raw Water Transmission Main. Robert Zeigler made a motion to adopt Resolution 2022-03 requesting the grant and designating Katie Blume and Nickelaus Engle as the officials to execute all documents and agreements relating to the grant process and payment of $100.00 application fee, seconded by Cecilia Gallup. Motion carried.

Robert Zeigler made a motion to approve Katie Blume sign the letter of ownership, confirming that the Raw Water Transmission Replacement project and all facilities will be owned and maintained by the Millheim Borough, seconded by Nickelaus Engle. Motion carried.

Old Action Items

Sewer grant updates:

Justin Kerstetter, sewer operator, John Segursky, engineer and Robert Zeigler have set a meeting at the sewer plant to review what is needed.

Penn Street update:

Justin Kerstetter approved and signed off on the material list as presented. Construction will not begin until school is out, probably mid-June.

Park Road updates:

Contracts for the bridge repair and paving have been received and reviewed by council and solicitor. Beth Cowher made a motion authorizing Katie Blume to sign the contracts as presented, seconded by Robert Zeigler. Motion carried. Cecilia Gallup made a motion to approve payment of Buchart Horn’s invoice in the amount $1,565.00 for professional services on the road/bridge project, seconded by Nickelaus Engle. Motion carried.

Dam Weir Updates:

Cecilia Gallup made a motion to approve payment of Buchart Horn’s invoice in the amount $460.00 for professional services on the Plant Screen and Dam Weir project, seconded by Beth Cowher. Motion carried.

DGLVR (Dirt Gravel Low Volume Road) update:
Ms. Warriner, Mr. DeGarmo, Mr. Confer and Mr. Engle will be meeting with Chris Myers from the Centre County Conservation District on March 11, 2022 to discuss options for Race Aly. Ms. Warriner will then prepare the grant application.

Fire Company Request:

Phone calls have been made to neighboring municipalities to obtain information on how they will be handling the request for reduction or elimination of municipal property tax or earned income tax for active volunteers. Municipalities have not made any decision, it appears that all are waiting to see what everyone else does.

Robert Zeigler made a motion to have Solicitor Miller prepare a resolution authorizing a 50% reduction in municipal property tax to all qualifying volunteers of the Millheim Fire Company, beginning in the tax year 2023 to be reevaluated every two (2) years, seconded by Beth Cowher. Motion carried. Solicitor Miller will present the resolution at the April meeting.

Last call for newsletter suggestions:

Spring newsletter will be going out in April.

Secretary’s Report

Line painting:

Parking stall line painting and curb painting needs to be done. Yellow curbing designating no parking is barely visible as are the parking stalls.

Robert Zeigler made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Cecilia Gallup. Motion carried. Meeting adjourned at 8:50 PM.


Denise Immel Secretary/Assistant Treasurer