Borough Minutes

Mount Gretna Borough

Meeting Minutes

February 12, 2018

Virginia Minnich, President, called the meeting of the Mount Gretna Borough Council to order at 7:02 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                                                                 Joseph Shay, Mayor

Keith Kilgore, Solicitor

William Care, Public Works Director/Code Enforcement Officer

Linda Bell, Secretary/Treasurer

Council Members Absent:  None

Also Present:

Officer James Conklin, Cornwall Borough Police

Arnold Rhinestat

Holden Kernan and Cooper ?, Boy Scout Troop #456 observing municipal government for a merit badge project.

Minutes, Financial Report and Invoices List:

Lois Herr made a motion to accept the January meeting minutes. William Kleinfelter seconded the motion. All were in favor.

Lois Herr made a motion to accept the January financial report and invoice listing as presented. William Kleinfelter seconded the motion. All were in favor.


Officer Conklin read the January police report. A copy of the report is attached and heretofore made part of the minutes.



Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority        Meeting minutes available on website  –

Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority         Stipends for Appointed Representatives

Lebanon Community Library                     Newsletter

Lebanon County Dept. of Emergency Services    Hazard Mitigation Plan meeting

Michael Bell made a motion to authorize the payment of a stipend to the appointed representatives to the Board of Lebanon Refuse Authority in accordance with the schedule presented in the correspondence. William Kleinfelter seconded the motion. All were in favor.   (Karl Kerchner is Mount Gretna Borough’s appointed representative.)


MAYOR: No Report

MOUNT GRETNA FIRE COMPANY: Mayor Shay provided copies of the Fire Company incident reports for January 2018. A copy of these reports is attached and heretofore made part of the minutes.


Rental Properties: Solicitor Kilgore reported attending the special joint committee meeting of Borough and Chautauqua board representatives concerning the growing number of short term rental properties. The committee discussed numerous options for reducing or eliminating many of the issues related to the growing investment/vacation home business within the Borough/Chautauqua. Pennsylvania Chautauqua deed restrictions do not permit multi-family dwellings.

The Uniform Building Code does not require building permits except for structural changes and upgrades to HVAC. It was discovered that extensive remodeling is under way at 425 Yale Avenue without a building permit. The contractor indicated that there were plans to create a multi-family unit sometime in the future. A stop work order was issued by Mr. Care. Mr. Care reviewed an email from Robert Mease, Lebanon County planning concerning the issue at 425 Yale Avenue.

Lois Herr made a motion to authorize Solicitor Kilgore to inform Lebanon County Planning and the new owner of 425 Yale Avenue that multi-family dwellings are not permitted within the Pennsylvania Chautauqua. William Kleinfelter seconded the motion. All were in favor.

Michael Bell made a motion authorizing Solicitor Kilgore to pursue strengthening of the building code restrictions for the Borough. William Kleinfelter seconded the motion. All were in favor.

Solicitor Kilgore briefly explained that it may be beneficial in these cases if the Borough established an historical district. Pennsylvania Chautauqua is on the National Registry of Historic Places.

Lois Herr made a motion to allow Solicitor Kilgore to explore the creation of an historical district by the Borough. William Kleinfelter seconded the motion. All were in favor.

Franchise Agreement:   Lois Herr reported that she discussed franchise renewal negotiations with another municipality who has employed Cohen Law Group to negotiate a new agreement. It appears to be the best way to increase franchise income and would more than cover the legal fees over a period of time.

Lois Herr made a motion to authorize Solicitor Kilgore to sign a letter of engagement with Cohen Law Group for negotiations of a franchise renewal agreement. Michael Bell seconded the motion.


Mr. Care gave the following report.

Snow Removal: Two snow and ice storms were experienced in the past two weeks. A considerable amount of salt was used during these events.

Equipment: No equipment issues were experienced.

Signs: A resident has submitted a complaint concerning the number of signs on Muhlenberg Avenue; no parking, for rent and even business advertising. Mr. Care has requested clarification on regulations concerning signs.

Brown Avenue Project: The Borough staff will be installing a new sewer main around the property located at 105 Chicago Avenue. Storm sewer materials, pipe and inlets, will be purchased from L/B Water at a cost of $7,653.76. Precast concrete end walls will be purchased from Monarch at a cost of $2,225.00.


425 Yale Avenue: Stop Work Order for 425 Yale Avenue previously discussed.

404 Pennsylvania Avenue: Mr. Care reviewed a plot plan for 404 Pennsylvania Avenue. The property owner’s landscaping extends into the Borough right of way, however, the Authority’s sewer main runs through the property. An easement agreement is being prepared by the Authority.

106 Brown Avenue: Mr. Care reported that the property owner of 106 Brown Avenue was constructing a driveway that would exit onto Pinch Road. Mr. Care informed the contractor that a PennDot permit is required to have a driveway opening on to a state road. The contractor has contacted PennDot and was informed that they are not permitted to use the driveway until a permit is issued. A permit may or may not be issued.



Pennsylvania Chautauqua: Allan Feldman stated that the joint committee to discuss rental property issues meetings are proceeding well.

Mount Gretna Authority:   No Report


Parking Meeting: The parking committee is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, February 14th.


Art Show Banner: The Art Show committee requests permission to install a banner across route 117 for the 2018 summer season.

Lois Herr made a motion to adopt a resolution permitting the installation of an art show banner. William Kleinfelter seconded the motion. All were in favor.



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

7:50 PM

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda A. Bell


Mount Gretna Borough Council