Borough Minutes

Note:  The February 2019 meeting was cancelled due to snowstorm

Mount Gretna Borough

Meeting Minutes

January 14, 2019

Virginia Minnich, President, called the meeting of the Mount Gretna Borough Council to order at 7:00 PM. The meeting was held in the Boardroom, rear of the Post Office building, Mount Gretna, Pennsylvania.

Council Members and Staff present:

Virginia Minnich, President                  William Kleinfelter, Vice-President

Michael Bell                                                   Allan Feldman

Lois Herr                                                          Keith Kilgore, Solicitor

William Care, Public Works Director/Code Enforcement Officer

Linda Bell, Secretary/Treasurer

Council Members Absent:

Joseph Shay, Mayor

Also Present:

Officer James Conklin, Cornwall Borough Police Department

A sign-in sheet was passed around the room for the visitors.

POLICE REPORT:

Officer Conklin of the Cornwall Borough Police Department read the December police report. This report is attached and heretofore made part of the minutes. (Officer Conklin departed from the meeting.)

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Solicitor Kilgore briefly reviewed Ordinance #213 (adopted at the November meeting) which amends Ordinance #204 for safety by providing amended definitions for bedroom, day guest and short-term rental and providing for inspections and short-term rental licenses.

President Minnich allowed each person present to state their name and reason for attendance at the meeting and voice concerns.

Comments:

Patricia Wilmsen, owner of 416 Yale Avenue, voiced displeasure with the required rental property inspections, requesting that her property be “grandfathered”. Ms. Wilmsen noted that the wall in front of her property has not yet been repaired.

Numerous people present who are permanent residents of the Borough/Chautauqua, stated that they were in attendance in support of Ordinance #213.

Don Kensinger, resident of 215 Brown Avenue, suggested that a study group be formed to allow for community input.

John and Susan Hoyt, owners of 104 Princeton Avenue, stated that inspections, etc. should apply to all homes, not just rental properties. Mr. Hoyt questioned the closet requirements for bedrooms, limit of 20 people on a porch. He provided council members with a written statement of his concerns.

Frank Anthony, resident of 114 Princeton Avenue, stated that he owns several rental properties in Lebanon. Lebanon City has similar regulations “rules have to happen”.

Robin May, Campmeeting property owner, stated that the problems are due to people in general not renters.

Cheryl Kreider, Campmeeting property owner, stated that the regulations constitute a loss of rights.

Katcha Neal, Campmeeting property owner, stated that she was opposed to the ordinance. Mount Gretna was a resort community; the problem is the permanent residents who are becoming territorial.

Garey Wilmsen, owner of 416 Yale Avenue, raised concern for having to provide personal identification information to the Borough.

President Minnich thanked the visitors for the input, stating the Council will take it under advisement.

(The majority of the visitor’s left the meeting at the close of the Public Comment.)

Minutes, Financial Report and Invoices List:

Lois Herr made a motion to accept the December meeting minutes with the addition of a statement concerning the discussion on day guests pertaining to Ordinance #213. William Kleinfelter seconded the motion. All were in favor.

Michael Bell made a motion to accept the December financial report and invoice listing as presented. Allan Feldman seconded the motion. All were in favor.

Allan Feldman made note that the total revenue from Earned Income Tax is down again approximately 20% in 2018. It has gone down every year for the past several years. This is due mostly to the increased number of residents who are now retired and also due to the number of properties owned by non-residents, i.e. rental properties.

COMMUNICATIONS:

ABI                                         Residential Fee Schedule

ABI                                          copy of Property Maintenance Violation Cease Order

Comcast                               Price Changes

Dauphin/Lebanon County Boroughs Assoc.         Dinner Meeting – January 22

Lebanon Community Library                                       Newsletter

Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority                          Meeting minutes available on website – www.goglra.org

Music At Gretna                                        $500.00 Pledge for Safety Signage

PA State Association of Boroughs      Annual Conference – June 9 -12, 2019

Patricia Wilmsen                                      Email concerning Ordinances #212 & 213

Lois Herr urged Council members to attend the Dauphin/Lebanon County Boroughs Association meetings.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

MAYOR: No Report

MOUNT GRETNA FIRE COMPANY:

William Kleinfelter provided the Mount Gretna Fire Company’s report for 2018. A total of 216 calls were answered in 2018. A copy of the report is attached and heretofore made part of the minutes.

SOLICITOR:

Solicitor Kilgore re-stated that the deadline for rental property owners to schedule an inspection is now January 31st. Inspection will be scheduled in the week of February 11th through 15th.

ROADS AND STREETS:

Mr. Care gave the following report.

Snow Removal: We experienced one snow event this past weekend totaling about two inches of snow.

Total rainfall for 2018 was 73.88”.

Traffic Speed Control: Mr. Care exhibited an electronic speed control device which was borrowed from South Londonderry Township. Quote for the purchase of signs was shared with Council members. Depending on the features and added on the cost ranges from $14,220.00 to $17,970.00 for three signs. Additional quotes will be acquired.

Mr. Care will invite Patrick Wright, LTAP, to attend the February meeting to discuss traffic, pedestrian and parking issues along route #117.

Art Show Traffic:   A meeting was held on December 13th to discuss vehicle traffic, parking and pedestrian controls for the art show. Another meeting is scheduled for Friday, January 18th, in the Lebanon County Emergency Services offices.

Walkway and Stairs: The staff is currently working on moving the steps and walkway located adjacent to 108 Muhlenberg Avenue per the easement agreement with John Amodeo, the property owner.

Tree Trimming: MetEd will be trimming trees in the Borough which impact electric lines. A meeting with the tree company has been scheduled for Tuesday, January 15th at 7 AM.

Equipment: No Report

CODE ENFORCEMENT:

Building Permits: No Report

Notice of Violation: A notice of violation will be mailed to Donald Adams, owner of 102 Chicago Avenue.

VARIANCE REQUEST: NONE

LAISONS:

Pennsylvania Chautauqua: Allan Feldman reported that the Chautauqua has approved their 2019 budget. The Chautauqua has received a grant of $200,000.00 from the trust for improvements to Soldiers’ Field and will be receiving a grant from DCNR.

Mount Gretna Authority:   No Report

OLD BUSINESS

NONE

NEW BUSINESS

NONE

 

ADJOURNMENT

Michael Bell made a motion, seconded by William Kleinfelter, to adjourn the meeting. All were favor.

8:01 PM

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda A. Bell

Secretary/Treasurer

Mount Gretna Borough Council