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September 2, 2003 Meeting Minutes
BETHLEHEM CITY COUNCIL MEETING
Tuesday, September 2, 2003 – 7:30 PM – Town Hall
2. PLEDGE TO THE FLAG
3. ROLL CALL
President Schweder called the meeting to order. Reverend
Jennika Borger, of Edgeboro Moravian Church, offered the invocation
which was followed by the pledge to the flag. Present were
Ismael Arcelay, Jean Belinski, John B. Callahan, Robert J.
Donchez, James S. Gregory, Magdalena F. Szabo, and J. Michael
President Schweder announced that City Council met in Executive Session this evening, September 2, 2003 at 6:30 PM in the Mayor's Conference Room. The purpose of the meeting was for the City Solicitor to report to City Council concerning litigation and issues on which identifiable complaints are expected to be filed.
Public Hearing – Amending 2002 and 2003 Community Development Block Grant Programs
Prior to the consideration of the regular Agenda items, President Schweder called to order a Public Hearing to consider amendments to the 2002 and 2003 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Programs.
Dana Grubb, Deputy Director of Community Development, affirmed
that, whenever there is a request to amend the City's Community
Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program that affect activities
by 25% or more, under the Citizens Participation Plan a Public
Hearing must be scheduled to afford the public an opportunity
to comment. Mr. Grubb confirmed that the proposed amendments
have been advertised for the last 30 days. Mr. Grubb informed
the assembly that the City received an additional $69,000
in CDBG entitlements over and above the $2 million included
in the 2003 Action Plan. Mr. Grubb enumerated the transfers
decrease the unprogrammed funds in Fiscal Year (FY) 2002 by $134,000 and establish a new activity titled, BEAR Program, in the total amount of $136,000; increase the FY 2003 activity, Microenterprise by $20,000 and decrease the FY 2003 activities, Stefko Swale, by $70,000 and decrease the FRED Program, by $90,000, and increase the FY 2003 activity, Façade Program, by $160,000; and, establish a new FY 2003 activity, Illick’s Mill/ADA, in the amount of $47,000. Mr. Grubb noted that the Microenterprise account, which is funded through the Community Action Development Corporation (CADC), is currently budgeted at $5,000 and is for the Start Your Own Business Program. Focusing on the Stefko Swale account, Mr. Grubb confirmed that the transfer of $70,000 would decrease the account to zero. Mr. Grubb informed the Members it is important to point out that, with the State's approval, interest on payback funds for the Bethlehem Technology Center from a prior Enterprise Zone Competitive Grant will be used for the Stefko Swale project that will retain jobs at the SmitHahn company located adjacent to the Swale. Mr. Grubb, affirming that the amounts of $70,000 from the Stefko Swale account and of $90,000 from the FRED Program totaling $160,000 will be transferred to the Façade Program, advised that these additional funds are needed to process the Façade improvements loans. Recounting that a presentation on the Illick's Mill project was made earlier this year to City Council, Mr. Grubb noted that a new elevator will be installed and restrooms need to be constructed to meet ADA compliance in addition to other hardware that will total $47,000. Mr. Grubb added that the Illick's Mill Partnership continues to undertake fundraising activities and has applied for State and Federal grants.
President Schweder thanked Mr. Grubb for his work in conjunction with the BEAR project, as well as Mr. Hanna, so that the program that he had envisioned can come to fruition.
Mr. Donchez, expressing he is glad to see the funding for the Façade program increase once again, observed there is renewed interest in the program and it is great for the entire City.
Mr. Callahan inquired whether the request is enough to meet the demand for the Façade program.
Diane Donaher, Deputy Director of Economic Development, advised that $150,000 will address current requests. However, Ms. Donaher pointed out that there are about a dozen more requests, and requests will be able to be funded as the new construction year begins next year.
No one from the Public spoke to the matter of the Public Hearing.
Bill No. 39 - 2003, pertaining to the Public Hearing, was listed under New Ordinances on this evening's Agenda.
The Public Hearing was adjourned at 7:50 p.m.
4. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of August 19, 2003 were approved.
5. COURTESY OF THE FLOOR (for public comment on ordinances and resolutions to be voted on by Council this evening)
6. OLD BUSINESS
A. Bethlehem Authority – Sale of Property – Granger Road
The Clerk read a letter dated August 26, 2003 from Stephen R. Salvesen, Executive Director of the Bethlehem Authority, requesting approval for the sale of property on Granger Road to Mr. and Mrs. Zellers, the current tenants, for $45,000 net to the Authority. The Bethlehem Authority Board unanimously voted, at their meeting of August 14, 2003, to sell the property
President Schweder stated that the appropriate Resolution can be placed on a future City Council Agenda, unless the Public Works Committee wants to review this matter.
B. Assistant Business Administrator – 2004 Preliminary Budget Estimate – Pensions
The Clerk read a memorandum dated August 27, 2003 from Dennis W. Reichard, Business Administrator, listing estimates of the financial requirements of the Police, Fire, Officers and Employees, and PMRS pension plans and minimum municipal contribution to the plans for 2004 budget purposes, as required under Act 205.
President Schweder stated that the Communication is for information only at this time.
C. Deputy Director of Community Development – Key -Bethlehem Rental Rehabilitation Loan Program
The Clerk read a memorandum dated August 28, 2003 from Dana B. Grubb, Deputy Director of Community Development, to which was attached guidelines for the proposed Key-Bethlehem Rental Rehabilitation Loan Program developed by Keystone Savings Bank in cooperation with the staff of the City of Bethlehem and Bethlehem Redevelopment Authority. This program will commit up to one million dollars of private dollars provided by Keystone Bank for loans to rehabilitate eligible rental properties primarily located in South Bethlehem.
President Schweder referred the proposal to the Community Development Committee.
D. Police Commissioner – 2003 Local Law Enforcement Block Grant
The Clerk read a memorandum dated August 29, 2003 from Francis
R. Donchez, Jr., Police Commissioner, to which was attached
proposed resolutions concerning the 2003 Local Law Enforcement
Block Grant and requesting a Public Hearing on the matter.
Mr. Donchez and Mrs. Belinski moved to schedule a Public Hearing on the matter at the September 16, 2003 City Council Meeting. Voting AYE: Mr. Arcelay, Mrs. Belinski, Mr. Callahan, Mr. Donchez, Mr. Gregory, Ms. Szabo, and Mr. Schweder, 7. The motion passed.
8 . REPORTS
A. President of Council
Neighborhood Pride Program
Mayor Delgrosso advised that, with respect to the Neighborhood Pride program conducted in the 600 block of Fifth Street, Atlantic Street, and Laufer Street, Stewart Cochran, Environmental Health Officer, filed 98 violations under the program of which 86 were cleared by the owners or tenants, and citations will be issued for the remaining 12. Michael Palos, Chief Housing Officer, found 45 violations, received responses for about half, and those notified have 30 days to comply. Mayor Delgrosso, highlighting the fact that litter is still a problem, noted that installation of trash containers may assist in addressing the problem.
9. ORDINANCES FOR FINAL PASSAGE
A. Bill No. 38 – 2003 – Amending General Fund Budget – Health Bureau - Tobacco Grant
The Clerk read Bill No. 38 – 2003 – Amending General Fund Budget – Health Bureau – Tobacco Grant, on Final Reading.
Voting AYE: Mr. Arcelay, Mrs. Belinski, Mr. Callahan, Mr. Donchez, Mr. Gregory, Ms. Szabo, and Mr. Schweder, 7. Bill No. 38 – 2003, hereafter to be known as Ordinance 4211, was declared adopted.
10. NEW ORDINANCES
A. Bill No. 39 – 2003 – Amending Community Development Budget – 2003 CDBG Program
The Clerk read Bill No. 39 – 2003, Amending Community Development Budget – 2003 CDBG Program, sponsored by Mr. Donchez and Mr. Gregory, and titled:
AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF BETHLEHEM,
COUNTIES OF LEHIGH AND NORTHAMPTON,
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, AMENDING
THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BUDGET FOR 2003.
Voting AYE: Mr. Arcelay, Mrs. Belinski, Mr. Callahan, Mr. Donchez, Mr. Gregory, Ms. Szabo, and Mr. Schweder, 7. Bill No. 39 – 2003 was declared passed on First Reading.
C. Certificate of Appropriateness – 42 West Market Street - Motion to Table
Mrs. Belinski, highlighting the fact that a Certificate of Appropriateness for 42 West Market Street is listed on the agenda of the Historic and Architectural Review Board's meeting on September 3, 2003, questioned whether it would be premature for City Council to consider Resolution 11 C, a Certificate of Appropriateness for the same 42 West Market Street location, this evening.
Tony Hanna, Director of Community and Economic Development, indicated he is unsure why the Certificate of Appropriateness for 42 West Market Street is listed on both agendas.
Motion -Tabling Resolution 11 C; and Considering Resolutions 11 A, B, D, E, F, and G As A Group
Mrs. Belinski and Mr. Donchez moved to Table Resolution 11 C; and, to consider Resolutions 11 A, B, D, E, F, and G as a group. Voting AYE: Mr. Arcelay, Mrs. Belinski, Mr. Callahan, Mr. Donchez, Mr. Gregory, Ms. Szabo, and Mr. Schweder, 7. The motion passed.
A. Certificate of Appropriateness – 209 Wall Street
Mr. Arcelay and Mrs. Belinski sponsored Resolution 14,159 which granted a Certificate of Appropriateness to replace existing 3-tab shingle roof with 40 year slate line roofing at 209 Wall Street.
B Certificate of Appropriateness – 46 East Church Street
Mr. Arcelay and Mrs. Belinski sponsored Resolution 14,160 which granted a Certificate of Appropriateness to install two (2) 1-1/4 inch black iron open handrails at front porch of 46 East Church Street.
D. Certificate of Appropriateness – 62 East Market Street
Mr. Arcelay and Mrs. Belinski sponsored Resolution 14,161 which granted a Certificate of Appropriateness to repaint the exterior of the building, including all brick, wood siding and trim at 62 East Market Street.
E. Certificate of Appropriateness – 53 East Market Street
Mr. Arcelay and Mrs. Belinski sponsored Resolution 14,162 which granted a Certificate of Appropriateness to revise the paint colors and modify the existing metal fence at 53 East Market Street.
F. Certificate of Appropriateness – 29 West Fourth Street
Mr. Arcelay and Mrs. Belinski sponsored Resolution 14,163 which granted a Certificate of Appropriateness to change the existing sign face at 29 West Fourth Street.
G. Certificate of Appropriateness – 308 South New Street
Mr. Arcelay and Mrs. Belinski sponsored Resolution 14,164 which granted a Certificate of Appropriateness to alter the front façade of 308 South New Street.
Voting AYE on Resolutions 11 A, B, D, E, F, and G: Mr. Arcelay, Mrs. Belinski, Mr. Callahan, Mr. Donchez, Mr. Gregory, Ms. Szabo, and Mr. Schweder, 7. The Resolutions passed.
12. NEW BUSINESS
13. COURTESY OF THE FLOOR
Patrick Herrity, 732 Hawthorne Road, recounting he was under the impression that the City was promoting single family housing instead of deconversion of housing into rental units, expressed the hope that none of the money from the Key-Bethlehem Program would go towards deconversion of single family homes. Mr. Herrity suggested that perhaps funding under the program could be limited to rehabilitation of apartment type buildings.
Mr. Callahan affirmed to Mr. Herrity that is exactly the purpose of the program; i.e., to improve current rental units as opposed to conversion of single family homes to rental units.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:05 p.m.