Minutes of Middletown Borough Council Regular Business Meeting of January 7, 2013

January 7, 2013 Middletown, PA 17057 The January 7, 2013 regular business meeting of the Middletown Borough Council was called to order at 7:03 p.m. by Council President Christopher R. McNamara. Following the invocation by Reverend Don Potter of the Presbyterian Congregation of Middletown, and the Pledge of Allegiance, the following Council members answered roll call: Barbara Arnold, Donald Brooks, John Brubaker, Robert Louer, Christopher R. McNamara, David Rhen, Scott Sites and Suzanne Sullivan. Judith Putric was absent due to work obligations, Council President McNamara reported. Also in attendance were Mayor Robert G. Reid, Borough Borough Manager Tim Konek, Borough Secretary Chris A. Courogen, and Adam Santucci, of McNees, Wallace and Nurick, the Borough's solicitors. PUBLIC COMMENT Mike Bowman commented on the generator problems in Borough Hall, saying they should have been repaired long ago. He also said the Borough should have established a temporary finance office to receive payments while Borough Hall was closed due to the generator problems. EXECUTIVE SESSION At 7:07 p.m., Council went into executive session. Council reconvened publicly at 8:39 p.m., with Council President McNamara announcing matters pertaining to personnel and potential litigation had been discussed. Councilor Sites made a motion to approve advertising for six part-time police positions, with the stipulation the hiring process follow the Borough Code and that the mayor and the police chief would bring their recommended candidates to Council's Public Safety Committee, which in turn would bring the list to the full council for approval. The motion was seconded by Councilor Sullivan and approved by a unanimous 8-0 vote. Councilor Brooks made a motion to direct the solicitor to launch an investigation into the December 24, 2012 carbon monoxide incident at Borough Hall. The motion was seconded by Councilor Rhen and approved by a unanimous 8-0 vote. Councilor Rhen made a motion to move the police department to the Behney Building and to allocate the $20,000 previous appropriated for police department renovations to the old electric department building instead be used to make necessary renovations to the Behney Building. The motion was seconded by Councilor Brooks and approved by a 6-2 vote, with Councilors Brubaker and Sites dissenting. Mayor Reid asked if the Emergency Management offices would also move to the Behney Building. Councilor Rhen suggested that decision be put off until the police department determines how it will utilize the new space and sees if there is enough room for Emergency Management. Councilor Louer commented that it is an ongoing process and will take some time to complete the move.

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Councilor Rhen said if it is determined there is room at the Behney Building for emergency management, a new motion can be made to relocate emergency management at that time, but for now, the second floor of the Borough Building, where the Emergency management Center is located is fine because it is on the second floor of Borough Hall and not where the carbon monoxide problems were. Councilor President McNamara pointed out the Emergency Management operations center would be without backup power in the event of an incident because the generator that leaked has been taken off line. That is why the Mayor had directed the Emergency Management Center moved to the fire department for now. Mayor Reid concurred, saying to let it go for now. Councilor Rhen reported he would like to see the Police Chief get quotes on new uniforms and report back to Council no later than February 13. He also talked about the need to reduce the police car fleet to 5 vehicles, with the chief to determine which two current vehicles will stay in the fleet until the two new cars arrive. Councilor Rhen made a motion to reduce the police fleet to 5 vehicles by February 13. The motion was seconded by Councilor Brooks and approved by a unanimous 8-0 vote. Council President McNamara directed the Borough Manager to prepare a memo to the Mayor, with a copy to the Chief of Police, informing them of Council's decision. Councilor Louer reported on the issue regarding the sewer lateral inspection ordinance and moved to suspend the current ordinance in its entirety. The motion was seconded by Councilor Brooks. During discussion, Councilor Brubaker urged any new policy include provisions to allow the Borough to inspect downspouts and floor drains to make sure they are not connected to the sanitary sewer system. Council President McNamara said Councilor Louer's suggestion was to suspend the current ordinance until Council decides on a new plan. Councilor Louer said his intent is to facilitate real estate transactions while Council decides how to change the law. Councilor Brubaker said he has also gotten calls from realtors saying the Borough's taxes are high and also a hindrance to home sales. Councilor Sites asked about the time frame for deciding on a new program. Councilor Brubaker said it will take two months to get a new ordinance in place. Council President McNamara said the Borough can still have an inspection program, just without holding up real estate transaction. The motion was approved by a 7-1 vote, with Councilor Sites dissenting.

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Councilor Louer made a motion to authorize the Borough Manager to purchase new two-way radios for the public works department. The motion was seconded by Councilor Sullivan. There was discussion about the cost, which was determined to be approximately $850 per radio. Borough Manager Konek said that would be a one-time capital cost, with no ongoing monthly charges. Funds from the Capital Improvement Fund can be used to purchase the radios. Having the radios would be valuable in times when phone systems are down, he said. Councilor Sullivan asked if they would work everywhere in the Borough. Councilor Brooks said they would work in places where cell phone might get a signal. The motion carried by a unanimous 8-0 vote. Councilor Brubaker moved to approve the minutes from the December Council meetings, as corrected. The motion was seconded by Councilor Sites and passed by a unanimous 8-0 vote. NEW BUSINESS Councilor Brooks asked that the question of whether to repair or replace the generators in Borough hall be placed on a future Council agenda. Council President McNamara asked the Borough Manager what would be a reasonable timeline for staff to prepare a report on the generators. The Borough Manager said 4-to-6 weeks. Council President McNamara then directed the manager to have staff prepare a report for Council's March committee of the whole meeting. Councilor Brooks asked that the report include a look at what it would take to be able to have backup power for the entire building. Councilor Brubaker reported that Matthew Ray, a former part-time Sewer and Water Department employee who recently resigned after more than 17 years of service to the Borough, had passed away and asked a moment of silence in his memory be observed. Councilor Brooks added Mr. Ray was survived by his wife and three children. Following the moment of silence, Councilor Brooks moved to adjourn. Councilor Sullivan seconded the motion and the meeting adjourned at 9:13 p.m., with Council President McNamara reminding that council would not meet again the next night.

Borough Secretary