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Bethlehem Council MInutes
BETHLEHEM CITY COUNCIL MEETING
10 East Church Street – Town Hall
Tuesday, July 1, 2014 – 7:00 PM
Pastor Jim Lowe, of Graceway Community Church, offered the invocation which was followed by the pledge to the flag.
PLEDGE TO THE FLAG
1. ROLL CALL
President Reynolds called the meeting to order. Present were Bryan G. Callahan, Karen Dolan, Eric R. Evans, Michael D. Recchiuti, Cathy Reuscher, Adam R. Waldron, and J. William Reynolds, 7.
President Reynolds stated that prior to the consideration of the regular Agenda items, City Council will conduct two Public Hearings. The First Public Hearing is to review and accept public comment on the proposed use of funds to be received under the 2014 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG). The second Public Hearing is to consider Amendments to the Zoning Ordinance to replace Article 1317, Floodway and Flood Fringe Districts, with new Article 1317.
Public Hearing No. 1
President Reynolds called to order the First Public Hearing to review and accept public comment on the proposed use of funds to be received under the 2014 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) in the amount of $34,437, of which up to $23,193 is allocated to the City of Bethlehem. The remaining $11,244 is allocated to the City of Easton for whom the City of Bethlehem serves as fiscal agent as required by federal guidelines. For serving as fiscal agent, the City of Bethlehem will receive an administrative fee of $1,124.
Police Captain Ashley Heiberger stated he is pleased to announce that the City of Bethlehem has been selected by the Federal Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance to receive a 2014 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) in the amount of $34,437, of which $23,193 is allocated to the City of Bethlehem. The remaining $11,244 is allocated to the City of Easton for whom the City of Bethlehem serves as fiscal agent as required by federal guidelines. For serving as fiscal agent, the City of Bethlehem will receive an administrative fee equal to 10% of the City of Easton’s share and that amount is $1,124. Captain Heiberger informed the assembly that the City of Bethlehem’s funds will be allocated to the purchase of computer hardware, computer software and peripherals.
Ms. Dolan congratulated the Police Department on getting this grant once again.
There was no comment from the Public on the matter of the First Public Hearing.
President Reynolds noted the appropriate Resolution will be placed on the July 15 Council Agenda.
The First Public Hearing was adjourned at 7:05 p.m.
Public Hearing No. 2
President Reynolds called to order the Second Public Hearing to Public Hearing to consider Amendments to the Zoning Ordinance to replace Article 1317, Floodway and Flood Fringe Districts, with new Article 1317. Summary of the proposed amendment is as follows: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is finalizing the update of the Flood Insurance Study (FIS) and Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) for Northampton County. Based on these updates, the current Floodplain Ordinance needs to be updated in accordance with FEMA’s newly adopted guidelines.
Communication 5 A - Lehigh Valley Planning Commission – Zoning Ordinance Amendment - Floodplain Management
The Clerk read a letter dated May 30, 2014 from David P. Berryman, Chief Planner, Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, stating that the Commission reviewed the Zoning Ordinance Amendment, Floodplain Management, at its meeting on May 29, 2014, and that the amendment is consistent with the County Comprehensive Plan.
Darlene Heller, Director of Planning and Zoning, reported that the amendments to Zoning Ordinance Article 1317, Floodway and Floodfringe Districts, are minor revisions to the Flood Plain Ordinance as required by the State. Ms. Heller notified the assembly that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is updating all of the flood plain maps in Northampton County, and every municipality in Northampton County needs to update its Flood Plain Ordinance to comply with the new maps and the new regulations. Ms. Heller reviewed some of the changes to Article 1317. She pointed out that the timeline for plan completion has been changed from 5 years to 1 year, and added that the City keeps all of the plans in perpetuity. Ms. Heller advised some sections were deleted or requested to be deleted because they were repetitious. Ms. Heller highlighted the fact that the new maps come into play on July 16, 2014 and the City needs to reflect the new map updates. Some definitions were added, and some uses that include mobile homes, recreational vehicles, hospitals, and nursing homes are prohibited in a flood plain. Ms. Heller reported the revisions are very basic and academic but they need to be adopted to comply with the new State provisions and the new maps.
Al Bernotas, 1004 Johnston Drive, queried if there are any residentially zoned districts in the flood plain.
Ms. Heller replied yes there are.
Mr. Bernotas asked if there is any prohibition to paving those residential lots in the flood plain with asphalt, concrete or pavers and make that area impervious.
Ms. Heller noted any work in the flood plain or the floodway is reviewed by both the Permits Bureau and Engineering Bureau to see if it has any impact on the flood provisions.
Mr. Bernotas asked if there is a provision written into the Zoning Ordinance to prevent that.
Ms. Heller explained they review it against the Ordinance. There are certain things that are prohibited but paving itself is not outright prohibited.
Mr. Bernotas mentioned so then paving is not prohibited in the flood plain according to the Zoning Ordinance.
Ms. Heller replied that is correct.
President Reynolds stated Bill No. 19 is on this evening’s Agenda for First Reading.
The second Public Hearing was adjourned at 7:10 p.m.
2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The Minutes of June 17, 2014 were approved.
3. PUBLIC COMMENT
4. OLD BUSINESS.
A. Members of Council
B. Tabled Items
C. Unfinished Business
1. Article 112 – Campaign Finance Reports
Mr. Evans noted that under Old Business, Agenda Item 4 C, Article 112 – Campaign Finance Reports has been listed under Unfinished Business for a while. Mr. Evans added he believes this refers to the item that he brought forward last year. Mr. Evans affirmed that Members of Council are required to fill out reports that due to the County pre-election and annual reports need to be filed. Mr. Evans recounted that a few years ago Article 112.01, Filing and Posting of Campaign Finance Reports, was adopted. It requires Candidates for the offices of City Council, Mayor, City Treasurer, and City Controller to forward a copy of their respective Campaign Finance Reports to the Bethlehem City Clerk’s Office, which office forwards them to the Information Services Bureau to have posted on the City website. Mr. Evans explained that he brought forward the proposed repeal of Article 112, the Campaign Finance reporting law, last year because it was his belief at that time that since the County, where candidates are required to submit their reports, was putting them online he felt it was redundant to also have the City put them online. He pointed out that anyone could go online and immediately find it at the County. Mr. Evans continued on to say he had brought the proposal forward to have discussions and a debate about whether Council should drop the Ordinance because of the redundancy having the City Clerk’s Office doing that paperwork. Mr. Evans recalled the matter was discussed and it was decided that in view of the delay in Northampton County putting the reports online, he did not believe there was support to repeal the Ordinance at that time. Mr. Evans stated unless someone has other comments he would ask that Council withdraw this matter from Old Business, or it may require a motion if needed.
Mr. Recchiuti affirmed the proposal was referred to the Human Resources and Environment Committee of which he was Chairman at the time. Mr. Recchiuti commented it was tabled in that Committee, so he would defer to Council’s Solicitor if another meeting would be needed.
John F. Spirk. Jr., Esq., City Council Solicitor, noted if it was tabled in Committee it is still there so there is a need for it to either come to City Council from the Committee with a recommendation, or Council could vote to override the Committee and force the Committee to send it through and put it on the Agenda. Attorney Spirk continued on to say that in absence of those two things the matter is not here before Council so it would just be a matter of whoever types the Agenda whether to continue to carry it or not. It would not require a motion because legally it is still at the Committee stage; it is not before the Council.
Ms. Dolan asked Mr. Recchiuti if he recalls why it was tabled at that time.
Mr. Recchiuti believed by the time it came to the Committee, Northampton County was already lagging behind on posting campaign finance reports so the Committee decided a wait and see approach and then to revisit it this year.
Ms. Dolan, commenting that perhaps the Committee could convene, noted when it was reviewed last year, the response from the County was that they did not know when they were going to post them, and it would be seen what would happen for posting of the reports by Northampton County in the next election. Ms. Dolan said she would agree, even though she was the author of the original legislation, if it is redundant the City does not need to do this, but it does provide a service. Ms. Dolan suggested perhaps the Committee can research the matter.
President Reynolds noted this is something that can be reviewed.
B. Blighted Property Review Committee – Amending Article 149
The Clerk read a letter dated June 20, 2014 from James Fiorentino, Chairman of the Blighted Property Review Committee, stating that the Committee met on June 20, 2014 and reviewed and considered for certification multiple properties as recommended to the Blighted Property Review Committee by Michael Palos, Chief Housing Inspector. The Committee is requesting City Council’s consideration of amendments to Article 149 – Blighted Property Review Committee which need to be updated in Section 149.06 – Procedural Requirements, paragraph (b) Hearing, item (1) and paragraph (c) Appeals, item (1), from Vacant Property Review Committee to Blighted Property View Committee.
President Reynolds stated that the Ordinance will be placed on the July 15 Agenda.
C. Fire Department – Proposed Amendment – Article 1701.02
The Clerk read a memorandum dated June 26, 2014 from Craig Baer, Deputy Fire Chief, to which was attached a proposed ordinance amending Article 1701.02, Additions and Modifications, to include additional wording in IBC 903.4.2 Alarms.
President Reynolds stated the Ordinance will be placed on the July 15 Agenda for First Reading unless the Public Safety Committee wishes to review this matter. Chairman Evans confirmed that the proposal will be placed on the upcoming Public Safety Committee agenda.
D. Assistant City Solicitor – SoccerFest Use Permit Agreement – Amendments
The Clerk read a memorandum dated June 27, 2014 from Matthew J. Kloiber, Assistant City Solicitor, to which was attached a proposed Resolution to authorize amendments to Use Permit Agreements for SoccerFest.
President Reynolds stated Resolution 9 H is on the Agenda.
E. City Solicitor – Musikfest Use Permit Agreement – Amendment
The Clerk read a memorandum dated June 27, 2014 from William P. Leeson, Esq., City Solicitor, to which was attached a proposed Resolution and associated Amendment to Use Permit Agreement between the City and ArtsQuest for Musikfest.
President Reynolds stated the Resolution will be placed on the July 15 Agenda
A. President of Council
Letter from Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli – ID Cards
Mayor Donchez informed the assembly that Mark DiLuzio, Police Chief, has a statement to read.
Police Chief DiLuzio stated that, as a Police Chief in Northampton County and as Chief of Police for the City of Bethlehem, he wanted to read a letter he received from Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli, as follows.
“Recently, the Easton City Council unanimously passed a resolution urging the Pennsylvania Legislature to allow illegal criminal aliens in Pennsylvania to obtain valid Pennsylvania driver licenses. Thereafter, I read in the newspaper that the City of Allentown was considering the issuance of municipal identification cards to illegal aliens in Allentown. The latter initiative had some support from some police officers. The purpose of my correspondence to you is to ask you to consider opposing efforts by your municipality to grant benefits to those individuals who are illegally in the country. As chief law enforcement officer for Northampton County, I am adamantly opposed to allowing individuals who are illegally in the country to integrate themselves by obtaining state issued and/or municipal issued valid identification cards. You may recall that the terrorists who blew up the World Trade Center and killed thousands of Americans all used fraudulent driver’s licenses to launder money, get on planes and give themselves cover from their criminal activity. The fact is that a driver’s license is a ticket into the American mainstream. They allow people to establish an identity and obtain a foothold in their communities. They help you open bank accounts, enter secure facilities, board planes and obtain commercial drivers licenses which allows the driving of tractor trailers carrying hazardous materials.”
“In the past few years, the FBI has put law enforcement officials on alert for U. S. based operatives connected to terrorist organizations that may be in possession of commercial driver’s licenses and may be planning to use truck bombs. The fact is that granting drivers licenses to illegal aliens is bad public policy. Many people who offer this as a solution to the federal government’s problem of illegal immigration believe that this will only be applicable to illegal aliens from Mexico many of whom who come here to better themselves and their families. Unfortunately, granting drivers licenses to illegal aliens means that people from anywhere are in the same legal status. This means that terrorists from Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and other countries that sponsor state sanctioned terrorism would also have equal access to state issued drivers licenses. It also means that gang members, drug dealers and other criminals from other countries south of our U. S. border would also have the same legal footing.”
“In my experience, many of the illegal aliens that we arrest in Northampton County often have criminal records from their country of origin or are wanted on criminal warrants in other parts of the country for serious crime. In addition, many of these individuals are already operating with false identities and normally have numerous aliases making their identification just about impossible. By opening up privileges such as driver’s licenses and municipal identification cards to those who come in and ask for it, we are allowing individuals to gain cover with potential bad outcomes. Once again, all I can do is ask you for your assistance. I have always maintained that I am not a super chief of police over municipal police departments but can only lead in a direction that I think makes sense for the safety of Northampton County. I ask for your support and would appreciate if you could please communicate this correspondence directly to your municipal governing body by reading this letter at your next municipal body’s meeting.”
“As District Attorney, I have always tried to look out for the interest of the Northampton County community and to keep us all safe. Although I recognize that illegal immigration is a complicated issue and that there are many people here who have good intentions, I also recognize that everyone here is in violation of U. S. law if they came across the border illegally. In addition I also know that it is illegal to hire someone who entered the country illegally and it is illegal for them to have a job if they have entered illegally. I do not make the laws but only enforce them. I believe that granting benefits to those who are illegally in this country only encourages more illegal entry. Thank you for considering my comments.”
Police Chief DiLuzio stated that as a Police Officer for 34 years he took an oath to uphold the law and he cannot condone the issuing of any state or local identification cards to individuals who are here illegally in this country. He added that through his years as a Police Officer working undercover as a vice officer and a police detective he has encountered first hand many illegal aliens with multiple fake driver’s licenses and identification cards. Chief DiLuzio noted that many have a criminal history in multiple states and were here from other states, and were also deported and came back to this country under different names with different state driver’s licenses. He communicated that to add resolutions, laws or ordinances to an already out of control federal immigration problem is only going to create more confusion and more problems, creating and encouraging more unlawful behavior.
7. ORDINANCES FOR FINAL READING
A. Bill No. 16 – 2014 – Amending Non-Utility Capital Budget – Northampton County Gaming Grant
– Ambulance and Signage
The Clerk read Bill No. 16 – 2014 – Amending Non-Utility Capital Budget – Northampton County Gaming Grant – Ambulance and Signage, on Final Reading.
Voting AYE: Mr. Waldron, Mr. Callahan, Ms. Dolan, Mr. Evans, Mr. Recchiuti, Ms. Reuscher, and Mr. Reynolds, 7. Bill No. 16 – 2014, now known as Ordinance 2014-17, was adopted.
B. Bill No. 17 – 2014 – Amending Community Development Budget – Final 2014 CDBG and HOME
The Clerk read Bill No. 17 – 2014 – Amending Community Development Budget – Final 2014 CDBG and HOME Allocations, on Final Reading.
President Reynolds asked Alicia Karner, Director of Community and Economic Development, about the CDBG program in general, and to explain the latest information with the Federal Budget as far as the future is concerned because cuts in the CDBG program have been seen over the past several years. President Reynolds wondered if there is any information that Council needs to know. Acknowledging that the Department has to make tough decisions on what programs to fund and what not to fund, President Reynolds inquired if there is anything new on the horizon as far as CDBG funding is concerned.
Ms. Karner stated she would expect to anticipate a reduction with any state or federal funding source moving forward, and that is reality being dealt with today. Ms. Karner noted she is never thrilled when she sees any community rely so much on CDBG funds for its in-house operations, whether it is community policing or program administration. Commenting that is a situation for Bethlehem, Ms. Karner said she can appreciate that but other communities do not do that so that when cuts are made by the federal and state governments they are not as impacted. Ms. Karner advised she would fully expect the City to brace for additional cuts in CDBG programs.
Voting AYE: Mr. Waldron, Mr. Callahan, Ms. Dolan, Mr. Evans, Mr. Recchiuti, Ms. Reuscher, and Mr. Reynolds, 7. Bill No. 17 – 2014, now known as Ordinance 2014-18, was adopted.
8. NEW ORDINANCES
A. Bill No. 18 – 2014 – PennVest Loan
The Clerk read Bill No. 18 – 2014 – PennVest Loan, sponsored by Mr. Evans and Ms. Dolan, and titled:
AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING THE ISSUANCE OF THE CITY OF BETHLEHEM’S (“CITY” OR “LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNIT”) GUARANTEED REVENUE NOTE, SERIES OF 2014 IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF $10,737,000 (THE “2014 NOTE”) FOR THE CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS TO THE CITY’S BIO SOLID DEWATERING FACILITY EFFLUENT PUMP STATION; THE 2014 NOTE BEING ISSUED THROUGH THE PENNVEST PROGRAM WHICH REIMBURSES PROJECT COSTS ADVANCED; AUTHORIZING AN INCREASE IN THE CITY’S NONELECTORAL INDEBTEDNESS; FIXING THE FORM, NUMBER, DATE, INTEREST AND MATURITY OF THE NOTES; MAKING A COVENANT FOR THE PAYMENT OF DEBT SERVICE ON THE 2014 NOTE; PROVIDING FOR THE FILING OF THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTS WITH THE PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FOR APPROVAL OF THE ISSUANCE OF THE DEBT; PROVIDING FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF A SINKING FUND DEPOSITORY FOR THE NOTES; AUTHORIZING, EXECUTION, SALE AND DELIVERY OF THE 2014 NOTE, AND DOCUMENTS RELATED THERETO; PROVIDING CERTAIN COVENANTS AND RESTRICTIONS FOR SECURITY AND PAYMENT OF THE NOTES; ESTABLISHING CERTAIN TAX COVENANTS REGARDING USE OF THE PROCEEDS OF THE NOTES; REPEALING CERTAIN ORDINANCES OR PART OF ORDINANCES; ESTABLISHING THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ORDINANCE.
Ms. Dolan pointed out this is part of a very long effort on the part of the City and much of this came out of the entry of Mr. Brong into the position of Director of Water and Sewer Resources that is now filled by Mr. Boscola to choose to aggressively upgrade the storm water and waste water treatment facilities. Ms. Dolan added this has taken a lot of paperwork and arranging funds that come through PennVest and other sources. Ms. Dolan observed this is not only a benefit to the quality of the City’s water but also has cut back on the number of fines.
Voting AYE: Mr. Waldron, Mr. Callahan, Ms. Dolan, Mr. Evans, Mr. Recchiuti, Ms. Reuscher, and Mr. Reynolds, 7. Bill No. 18 – 2014 was passed on First Reading.
B. Bill No. 19 – 2014 – Zoning Ordinance – Replacing Article 1317 – Floodway and Flood Fringe
The Clerk read Bill No. 19 – 2014 - Zoning Ordinance – Replacing Article 1317 – Floodway and Flood Fringe Districts, sponsored by Mr. Evans and Ms. Dolan, and titled:
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ARTICLE 1317, FLOODWAY AND FLOODFRINGE DISTRICTS, OF THE ZONING ORDINANCE REQUIRING PERMITS FOR ANY CONSTRUCTION OR DEVELOPMENT IN DESIGNATED FLOOD AREAS; PROVIDING FOR THE ISSUANCE OF SUCH PERMITS; SETTING FORTH CERTAIN MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR NEW CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT WITHIN AREAS OF THE CITY OF BETHLEHEM WHICH ARE SUBJECT TO FLOODING; AND ESTABLISHING PENALTIES FOR ANY PERSONS WHO FAIL, OR REFUSE TO COMPLY WITH, THE REQUIREMENTS OR PROVISIONS OF THIS ORDINANCE.
Ms. Dolan noted the changes are based on changes in the Pennsylvania Flood Plain Management Act that the City must now enact to come into agreement with the State.
Ms. Heller stated yes, the changes are to be in compliance.
Ms. Dolan said she wanted to make sure there are no other changes besides what was required.
Ms. Heller replied no.
Voting AYE: Mr. Waldron, Mr. Callahan, Ms. Dolan, Mr. Evans, Mr. Recchiuti, Ms. Reuscher, and Mr. Reynolds, 7. Bill No. 19 – 2014 was passed on First Reading.
A. Authorizing Execution of Tower Lease Agreement First Amendment – T-Mobile USA Tower LLC – Clearview Park
Mr. Waldron and Mr. Recchiuti sponsored Resolution 2014-114 that authorized First Amendment to Tower Lease Agreement between the City of Bethlehem and T-Mobile USA Tower LLC, successor to Omnipoint Communications, Inc. as it relates to the Clearview Park site.
Voting AYE: Mr. Waldron, Mr. Callahan, Ms. Dolan, Mr. Evans, Mr. Recchiuti, Ms. Reuscher, and Mr. Reynolds, 7. The Resolution passed.
B. Authorizing Execution of Tower Lease Agreement First Amendment – T-Mobile USA Tower LLC –
Mr. Waldron and Mr. Recchiuti sponsored Resolution 2014-115 that authorized First Amendment to Tower Lease Agreement between the City of Bethlehem and T-Mobile USA Tower LLC, successor to Omnipoint Communications, Inc. as it relates to the Monocacy Park site.
Ms. Dolan queried if this is a switch from one company to another for the same site. Ms. Dolan, recalling that when the agreement was adopted originally the City was able to ensure that American flags would be flown at the top of the flag poles, said she is assuming that nothing has changed in that agreement.
Mr. Carp responded that Ms. Dolan is correct in her assumption that it is a switch from one company to another. Mr. Carp advised he is working on replacing the flag at the Monocacy complex that is not there now because it was in disrepair. Ms. Dolan stated that the flag is a wonderful feature.
Voting AYE: Mr. Waldron, Mr. Callahan, Ms. Dolan, Mr. Evans, Mr. Recchiuti, Ms. Reuscher, and Mr. Reynolds, 7. The Resolution passed.
C. Authorizing Execution of Tower Lease Agreement First Amendment – T-Mobile USA Tower LLC –
Mr. Waldron and Mr. Recchiuti sponsored Resolution 2014-116 that authorized First Amendment to Tower Lease Agreement between the City of Bethlehem and T-Mobile USA Tower LLC, successor to Omnipoint Communications, Inc. as it relates to the William Street site.
Voting AYE: Mr. Waldron, Mr. Callahan, Ms. Dolan, Mr. Evans, Mr. Recchiuti, Ms. Reuscher, and Mr. Reynolds, 7. The Resolution passed.
D. Transfer of Funds – Non-Utility Capital Budget – City Center Improvements and Ice Rink
Mr. Waldron and Mr. Recchiuti sponsored Resolution 2014-117 that transferred $35,000 in the Non-Utility Capital Budget from the Facility Capital Improvement Account as follows: $25,000 to City Center Improvements Account to begin the Fan Coil Replacement project for Building A, and $10,000 to the Ice Rink Account for start-up of the 2014-15 skating season.
Motion – Considering Resolutions 9 E through 9 G as a Group – Certificates of Appropriateness
Mr. Waldron and Mr. Callahan moved to consider Resolutions 9 E through 9 G as a group. Voting AYE: Mr. Waldron, Mr. Callahan, Ms. Dolan, Mr. Evans, Mr. Recchiuti, Ms. Reuscher, and Mr. Reynolds, 7. The motion passed.
E. Certificate of Appropriateness – 401 East Fourth Street
Mr. Waldron and Mr. Recchiuti sponsored Resolution 2014-118 that granted a Certificate of Appropriateness to enlarge the existing glass on the wooden doors, to replace existing glass with clear glass and enlarge the window and install a sign at 401 East Fourth Street.
F. Certificate of Appropriateness – 925 West Market Street
Mr. Waldron and Mr. Recchiuti sponsored Resolution 2014-119 that granted a Certificate of Appropriateness to replace the garage doors at 925 West Market Street.
G. Certificate of Appropriateness – 738 East Fourth Street
Mr. Waldron and Mr. Recchiuti sponsored Resolution 2014-120 that granted a Certificate of Appropriateness to replace the existing roof overhang and built-in gutters at 738 East Fourth Street.
Voting AYE on Resolutions 9 E through 9 G: Mr. Waldron, Mr. Callahan, Ms. Dolan, Mr. Evans, Mr. Recchiuti, Ms. Reuscher, and Mr. Reynolds, 7. The Resolutions passed.
H. Authorizing Amendments - Use Permit Agreement - SoccerFest
Mr. Waldron and Mr. Recchiuti sponsored Resolution 2014-121 that authorized the First and Second Amendments to the Use Permit Agreement between ArtsQuest and the City of Bethlehem for SoccerFest Events, according to the Amendments to the Agreement.
Mr. Evans asked Police Chief DiLuzio about the SoccerFest events. Noting it has been a great turnout and has been reported in the newspaper that there were large crowds, Mr. Evans wondered how traffic and crowd behavior has been.
Police Chief DiLuzio reported that crowd behavior overall has been good, and there were four arrests for all of the televised World Cup soccer games in which the American team competed that were policed. Out of those four arrests two of them would not be included under SoccerFest. One arrest was someone who showed up drunk, was turned away by security but stated that he still wanted to go in but got arrested. The other arrest was a retail theft. Police Chief DiLuzio added that at today’s televised World Cup Soccer match there was one drunkenness and one other issue. Pointing out there were 8,000 attendees who watched Sunday’s game, 4,000 who watched the other game and today’s game, Police Chief DiLuzio said statistically it was good and that is what they like to see, people enjoying themselves and not acting up. Police Chief DiLuzio turning to traffic, highlighted the fact that there is construction on the South Side near the televised venue and the delay was about 30 minutes, so for Sunday’s game within 35 minutes most traffic was cleared. Pointing out this is very similar to what occurs after the July 4th fireworks, Police Chief DiLuzio added that the traffic is being addressed by the Traffic Division and ArtsQuest and it is working.
Mr. Evans, mentioning he was in the area today for the first time, said there was a big presence with ArtsQuest personnel and Bethlehem Police, and he saw a few Officers on bikes. Mr. Evans stated it was a great success from everything he has read and commented it was good to hear the report from Chief DiLuzio.
Voting AYE: Mr. Waldron, Mr. Callahan, Ms. Dolan, Mr. Evans, Mr. Recchiuti, Ms. Reuscher, and Mr. Reynolds, 7. The Resolution passed.
I. Approval of Open Position – Director of Recycling (Postponed at the June 17, 2014 City Council Meeting)
Ms. Reuscher and Mr. Recchiuti sponsored Resolution 2014-122 that approved the filling of the position of Director of Recycling – Department of Community and Economic Development in accordance with the provisions of Resolution No. 2014-83 adopted May 6, 2014.
Mayor Donchez stated that Michael Conway will be the new Director of Recycling and his current position will not be filled for the remainder of the year.
Ms. Dolan believed this is the sensible thing to do and she is glad that Mr. Conway came through the interview process well. She thinks with the skills he brought as a supplement to Mr. Marshall’s position he hopefully will have the time to utilize those skills in his new position and she wished him luck.
Mr. Callahan stated he agrees with Ms. Dolan and thanked Mayor Donchez for working with City Council on this matter. While observing there were some other candidates, Mr. Callahan noted he has heard good things about Mr. Conway, and the fact that this saves a substantial amount of money for the rest of the year is a good thing.
10. NEW BUSINESS.
Mr. Evans announced a Public Safety Committee meeting on Tuesday, July 8 at 7:00 p.m. in Town Hall on the subjects of an Amendment to Article 1701.02 - Sprinkler Alarms and updates on Fire, EMS, Police and the 911 Center.
Mr. Recchiuti announced a Finance Committee meeting on Monday, July 14 at 6:30 p.m. in Town Hall on the subjects of amending Article 121.05 - Contracts, Water Fund permanent financing of the line of credit and debt restructuring, and Water Capital projects.
City E-Mail Server Outage
Ms. Dolan mentioned that City Council received an email regarding a City email server outage that occurred in the early morning hours of June 21 when the Exchange Server exceeded the total maximum size limit and automatically shut down. Advising that she was reading from a description of the event from Michael Brichta, Computer Systems Manager, Ms. Dolan explained that at the time a course of action was discussed on how to get the server back into operation. It was decided that all inbox emails older than 60 days would be deleted, all sent emails older than 7 days and all deleted emails older than 7 days would be deleted. Ms. Dolan added that this action resulted in the City server capacity dropping from 80 gigabytes to 75 and 75 is the maximum gigabytes that the City can store in its Exchange Server. She believed this is a relatively small number compared to what one might expect with a City of Bethlehem’s size so that is one issue. Ms. Dolan noted that by dumping all of these emails the server was able to go down to 50 gigabytes of data storage in a sense to buy time for the server. It was stressed that no email has been permanently lost to this incident and several copies of the backups from the June 21 date have been saved and were used to retrieve vital information. Ms. Dolan continued on to say that she emailed back and forth with Mr. Brichta and he talked about how there was supposed to be a license upgrade and it was in the pipeline for the 2014 budget but did not make it through. Mr. Brichta’s thinking was that this clean up should buy enough time until the license upgrades in 2015. Ms. Dolan noted they exchanged some questions and Mr. Brichta did not disagree with her when she said that this situation could have been avoided. Ms. Dolan commented that with the Exchange Servers there is certain amount of nightly maintenance that is done automatically and then there is a certain amount of regular maintenance that must be done and something that is called integrity checks that must be done by the IT department itself. Ms. Dolan pointed out that some of these are quarterly and some are weekly but it would not be difficult to find out how many gigabytes of information were being stored prior to the event, and then rather than an indiscriminate dump there could have been several other options. Noting that with a Microsoft Exchange Server it is suggested that maintenance routines be added, Ms. Dolan said, with the understanding that this Microsoft Exchange Server is a 2003 model and she does not know its actual capacity as far as maintenance goes, the City could possibly look at a 2007 model. Ms. Dolan added that 2007 has been noted to be probably the best of these exchange servers that has ever been on the market. Ms. Dolan asked whether it would be easier to store excess emails in the Cloud. Ms. Dolan wondered why the City cannot use gmail to host their email, since it is no longer that unusual for this to happen. She exemplified that Northampton County Community College uses gmail and the email address does not have to state gmail. Users can create techniques so the City could still have bethlehem-pa in its email address. Ms. Dolan remarked it is a lot less expensive than purchasing some of the other Cloud technologies. Ms. Dolan stated that if hardware is preferred she could not understand why the City did not install an additional terabyte of hard drive space. She said it costs about $100 and if the IT department had been watching the build up of emails, installing an additional terabyte might have taken a few hours. Ms. Dolan noted she also asked Mr. Brichta who authorized the deletion of emails but he did not answer that question. She also asked why the IT department did not know until a weekend emergency that such a mass number of emails needed to be deleted. Ms. Dolan, noting no one from the IT department is at the Meeting and Mr. Brong who oversees Mr. Brichta is not present, wondered if the Mayor has any thoughts on this and how the City might approach this knowing that there is not have a lot of money to spend and also knowing that sometimes these things do not necessarily cost more money and just requires more creative solutions.
Mayor Donchez advised he is meeting with Mr. Brichta and Blake Kleintop, IS Website Manager, this Thursday to go over this situation and also to get an update on the web design. Mayor Donchez, confirming that Mr. Brong is not at the Meeting this evening, stated he believes that in the 5 year plan for the 2015 Non-Capital Utility Budget an upgrade for the Exchange Server will be included.
Mark Sivak, Director of Budget and Finance, replied that is correct.
Mayor Donchez stated he has discussed the possibility of getting away from pa.gov and going to gmail or some other exchange and it is being reviewed. Mayor Donchez believed the City’s system overall is antiquated and needs an update. Mayor Donchez commented that he will provide more information after the meeting on Thursday.
Ms. Dolan, commenting she would appreciate it, said perhaps they could meet or the Mayor could send a memo to see what plans might be taken to prevent this sort of crisis management in the future.
Monocacy Park – Name
Ms. Dolan stated it came to her attention that the City legal department was considering renaming Monocacy Park. Commenting that the thought was to pick a name, Ms. Dolan noted two names that people call Monocacy Park are Illick’s Mill Park or Monocacy Park. Ms. Dolan said she advocates strongly for the actual name of the park. Ms. Dolan advised that when Monocacy Park was built in 1935 by the WPA it was named Monocacy Park. Illick’s Mill Park became a colloquialism over time and might even had been picked up in certain contracts. Stating that it seems to her to make more sense to use the actual name that is the historical name and probably the name that would go back the farthest in terms of records, Ms. Dolan highlighted the fact that the name Monocacy Park is written in stone at the entrance. Pointing out that calling the park Illick’s Mill Park with an entranceway that states Monocacy Park would not be a way to prevent confusion, Ms. Dolan noted that incorrect usage of the name could be resolved by use of aka, or also known as, language. Ms. Dolan hoped that for bureaucratic reasons the City would not under any circumstances alter its rich history and that the Administration takes this into consideration.
Mayor Donchez pointed out this is the first he has heard of this, he has had no discussions with Legal on this at all.
William Leeson, City Solicitor, advised that the Legal Department has proposed to no one a change in the name of the park. Attorney Leeson affirmed there have been some exchanges with the Fox Environmental Center about how a new lease would be drafted and the proper references and things like that. Attorney Leeson stated there have been some clarifications exchanged as to what the references and the phrases mean but there has been no proposal to change names or change the generic reference to Monocacy Park or even the formal name of Monocacy Park. Attorney Leeson said he is not sure where this information Ms. Dolan is speaking about came from.
Ms. Dolan said it did not come from anything to have to do with Fox Environmental Center because the current and proposed lease both state Monocacy Park.
Solicitor Leeson stated no one from his Department proposed a name change from Monocacy Park.
Ms. Dolan commented it some how got out there and it happens to be because of where she volunteers that she tends to hear these things a lot. Ms. Dolan said she is happy to hear this is not the case.
Solicitor Leeson reiterated no such proposal was made and he welcomed the opportunity to correct the record.
Motorcycle Noise – Main Street
Mr. Callahan asked Police Chief DiLuzio if there is a Noise Ordinance for the Main Street area because he has heard complaints from business owners and citizens about motorcycles revving their engines on Main Street. Mr. Callahan observed it seems there is a lack of a noise reduction system on some motorcycles, and when people are outside eating he has heard business owners complain about the motorcycle noise. Mr. Callahan wondered if there is a Noise Ordinance as far as a decibel level on motorcycles or cars. Mr. Callahan said there seems to be certain times of the day when people are outside on Main Street eating and large number of motorcycles come through and some are very loud.
Police Chief DiLuzio, expressing his understanding of what Mr. Callahan is talking about, advised there might be an inspection code violation on the motorcycle under the State Vehicle Code. Chief DiLuzio stated he would check with the Traffic Bureau tomorrow and get an answer back. Commenting it is a problem, Police Chief DiLuzio noted many cities have similar problems with this matter.
Safety During Musikfest
Ms. Reuscher, thanking Police Chief DiLuzio, explained she had a comment recently from a young man who identifies as gay and who is very concerned about safety during Musikfest, especially considering the event that happened last year. Noting there have been discussions on ways the City can be proactive about making sure that everyone feels safe, Ms. Reuscher communicated she is confident it is on the right track.
11. PUBLIC COMMENT
Declaration of Independence – Reading on July 4 – City Center Plaza
Tom Carroll, 248 East Union Boulevard, informed the assembly that on Friday, July 4 there will be a public reading of the Declaration of Independence at City Hall. Among the readers are State Representative Steve Samuelson, the Honorable Emil Giordano of the Court of Common Pleas in Northampton County, Mayor Robert Donchez, Police Chief DiLuzio and also some other elected officials from Lehigh and Northampton Counties as well. Mr. Carroll added that John Cornish has agreed to sing the National Anthem as part of the event that would be about an hour long and it starts at 11:00 a.m. Mr. Carroll encouraged everyone to come and participate if they can. Mr. Carroll added that District Attorney John Morganelli hit the nail on the head and commended him for being proactive on that issue. Mr. Carroll said he thanks Attorney Morganelli as a citizen and asks everyone to seriously consider the words he wrote in that letter.
Residential Lots - Paving
Al Bernotas, 1004 Johnston Drive, stated he is going to ask a rhetorical question and he will also give the answer. His question was whether the Members of Council would ever consider paving the entire lot at their homes from line to line with asphalt. Mr. Bernotas pointed out that the City’s Zoning Ordinance is silent on the issue of paving a residential lot. Impervious cover can be put down on a residential lot from property line to property line, back lot, front lot or side lots. Mr. Bernotas said he spoke earlier in the Meeting about this matter because he did not realize Ms. Heller was going to talk about it. Mr. Bernotas stressed there are residential lots in the flood plain and people can pave them but this absolutely makes no sense. Mr. Bernotas noted that he examined the Zoning Ordinance and talked to the Zoning Officer and there is nothing to preclude anyone from paving their entire lot. He pointed out that other cities smaller and larger than Bethlehem have maximum imperious coverage, although Allentown is silent about this issue, and Easton has it at 50% for the College Hill area. Mr. Bernotas informed the Members this is an issue because there is one property owner in the City of Bethlehem who wants to pave the lot. The owners already paved part of their lot without getting a permit and six months later they got the permit. Mr. Bernotas confirmed the owners just spent three years fighting him up to the Supreme Court to build a monster warehouse on Johnston Drive and Linden Street, they got their warehouse, and there were conditions in the Zoning Ordinance. Mr. Bernotas notified the Members that the owners paved the property without a permit, they did get a citation and also got a zoning violation for not obeying conditions of the decision of the Zoning Hearing Board. Mr. Bernotas advised that the owner of that lot bought a lot two doors up and he believes this will come back and haunt the City. The owners are fighting the paving right now and the only thing preventing them from paving more is the Zoning Officer. Mr. Bernotas noted that if he would try to change the Zoning Ordinance he would have to pay hundreds of dollars and get petitions signed. Mr. Bernotas said he would like a Member of Council to at least remember this and potentially have Ms. Heller take a look at this issue and have this added to the Zoning Ordinance so that a property owner in a residential area in the City of Bethlehem cannot pave their lot. Mr. Bernotas stressed there should be a maximum imperious coverage in every residential lot in the City of Bethlehem.
Use of Government Vehicles; Paving of Lots
Stephen Antalics, 737 Ridge Street, communicated that he wanted to speak about government owned vehicles. Mr. Antalics related an incident that occurred when he was in the Army and was given a government vehicle with Maryland plates for surveillance purposes. Following completion of the duty, he and a friend drove the car around the town and were charged with stealing government property. One of the lawyers said the car was not stolen but was misappropriated and the person in charge should be responsible. Mr. Antalics explained that is why he is sensitive to the use of government vehicles. Mr. Antalics noted that on the South Side around Fifth Street many of the side lots and back lots are paved because students park their cars there and no one seems to mind because they are student houses. Mr. Antalics thought if those houses were for sale no one would buy them because there is no place to plant a garden, and stated that Mr. Bernotas makes a valid point that should have been picked up a long time ago. Mr. Antalics reported that the big monstrosity that was on top of the Flatiron building on the South Side is back and Council may want to look into the issue again.
SoccerFest and Musikfest – Amendments
Scott Hough, of ArtsQuest, thanked City Council, the Mayor’s Office and Law Bureau for all of their work over the past few weeks for the Soccer Festival event. He confirmed that the United States Soccer Team did lose the game today so there will not be a game this Saturday, but the Lease Amendment approved this evening will be utilized for the final televised World Cup Soccer game on July 13, regardless of who the team is. Mr. Hough informed the Members that he spoke with Matthew Kloiber, Assistant City Solicitor, regarding an application that will be coming to Council for use of the unit block of Main Street and East First Street during the set up week before Musikfest that is a revision to the application already in front of Council.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.