The regular monthly meeting of Yoe Borough Council was held on May 5, 2015 at the Yoe Borough Municipal Building, 150 N. Maple Street, Yoe, PA. The meeting was called to order by President of Council Sam Snyder at 7PM followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
Council members in attendance:
Regan Strausbaugh( arriving at 7:02PM departing at 7:37PM)
Others in attendance:
Dana Shearer, Maintenance
Sandy Sterner, Secretary-Treasurer
John Sanford, Mayor
Steve Malesker, Engineer
Peter Halderman, sitting in for Solicitor Rausch
Rodney Trimmer, resident(Appeal Hearing 1)
Heather Searle, rental owner(Appeal Hearing 2)
Councilman Snyder asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes from the prior meeting? Mayor Sanford said on Page 9 at the Mayor’s Report, second sentence should read Juvenile probation instead of adult probation. A motion was made by Councilman Howett to approve the April 7, 2015 minutes with the noted correction. The motion was seconded by Councilman Myers. All in favor. Councilman Snyder said motion carried.
Adoption of Ordinance 2013-03
Councilman Snyder said this was the ordinance that was tabled from last. Attorney Halderman said we put it on hold because we found out that HUD had purchased the property. We found out right before we were going to inact the ordinance. I did some research and found out we don’t need to readvertised, we are still in the timeframe for adoption. CR Property Group is purchasing that from HUD later this week. Councilman Snyder asked did you get the latest exhibit showing where the utilities are located. That will have to go along with the ordinance to the law library. Mr. Malesker will send via email the one that shows the utilities to Attorney Halderman prior to following it to the law library. Councilman Snyder said Ordinance 2013-03 is an ordinance to lay out and open Church Street Extended for pedestrian public access to Yoe Borough Park and for utilities. A motion was made by Councilman Myers to adopt Ordinance 2013-03. The motion was seconded by Councilman Harper. All in favor. Councilman Snyder said so be it ordained.
Recess of Regular Meeting at 7:03PM
A motion to recess the regular meeting at 7:03PM to open up hearings for appeals on the property maintenance was made by Councilman Myers. The motion was seconded by Councilman Bankoske. All in favor.
Appeal Hearing #1
Councilman Snyder said I’d like to open up the appeal hearing for Mr. Rodney Trimmer. Would all persons that would like to testify on behalf of the Rodney Trimmer case, please stand up? Mr. Rodney Trimmer and Dana Shearer took the following oath. To tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but that truth before this council on this matter under penalty of perjury. Mr. Trimmer and Mr. Dana Shearer were sworn in. Mr. Trimmer, you may sit down because the ordinance actually requires that the burden of proof shall rest on the rental code official to show and establish that a violation on this part has take place. At this point the burden of proof is on him to show council. Mr. Trimmer said I’ll admit that I was late. Councilman Snyder asked do you have any documentation that you would like to present for the record. Mr. Shearer said on the violation itself or any extenuating circumstances? Councilman Snyder said you can submit that to the council. He has already admitted to the violation, so make it for part of the record. Present it to council as part of the record. Mr. Shearer said to get you up to speed, Mr. Trimmer was delinquent for two units at $100.00 each. That would be $200.00. Your ordinance states that the notice of violation, each rental fee unit is accessed an additional $500.00 reinstatement. Currently Mr. Trimmer is arrears to the borough of $1200.00. Councilman Snyder said in light of Mr. Trimmer’s own admission. A motion was made by Councilman Harper to find that the burden of proof has been met and a violation of this part has taken place. The motion was seconded by Councilman Myers. All in favor. Councilman Snyder said let the record reflect that council has determined that a violation has taken place and you are in obeyance. At this time if you’d like to give some defense. The floor is yours. Mr. Trimmer said I have owned that property, two units are rented and I am staying in one, since 1987. I made a lot of effort to keep it clean there, and keep things in good shape. Steve Jackson is a tenant and he has been a member of this borough for a long time and Charlie Shaffer is the other one. I admit I forgot to do that. Within a two year period, I’ve had a problem with congestive heart failure for a week. They did a good job of solving that one. I have sleep apnea. I’m trying to solve that problem. I am throwing myself at the mercy of the court because of the penalty being so large, like 500%. All my taxes I pay every time. I’m hear to ask for a lower penalty, not the 500% penalty. From $200.0 to $1200.00. I’m throwing myself on the mercy of the court take in consideration that I’ve not been in the best health and I have sleep apena. Councilman Snyder said the reason that council set the reinstatement fee as high as what it is, to encourage people to pay timely. You get away $100.00 for the license, instead of having to go after someone and going to court. Council looked at this and said, at this point when you didn’t pay the $100.00 license fee we could go to court, which would cost us money, spend more time with our codes officer, probably have to have an attorney there, you might have your attorney there to defend yourself. Really what we are trying to do is get compliance and make it high enough it encourages compliance rather than people who just say, well I just won’t pay. Since we’ve had this instituted it, there was one year, when we first instituted it, they took a lot of lead way with it. It turned out that year, we were close to $7000.00 in arrears of people paying the fee. Then it becomes another issue, that by the time it gets to court then you’re talking about next year already. You are back at having the same thing, that is exactly why we set the fee where it is. Understand that doesn’t absolve you or it doesn’t stay the municipality from still going to court. That is our net line of defense to get people to comply. So if you were not to pay the reinstatement fee and you are still renting it out, our choice is go to the district justice ask for maximum fines and to go to the zoning officer. Hold your zoning certificate, your occupancy permit and really come down. That is why we set it the way we did, so we don’t have that problem. Mr. Shearer has there been any previous history? Mr. Shearer said yes sir, in 2012, which I believe that is the year you were referring to, Mr. Trimmer was several days late. Before I got the second letter out for the $500.00 reinstatement fee. He did accept at that time, through consultation with members of council, he paid an additional $100.00 that year, to off set that whether we cited him in court. That is what we did for anybody before we got the second letters out. We essentially assessed that same $100.00 that we would have gotten from the initial fine from the district justice office. In 2013, he was several months late, and we did not access any extra fees at that time. Last year he was in that time frame. Recently as the past three years, he’s also, maybe to what he testified of other conditions, this isn’t the first time that he’s been in arrears. Councilman Snyder said Mr. Trimmer seeing that you’ve gotten two passes in the past. Why shouldn’t we assess the two $500.00? Mr. Trimmer said I promise to pay next year. I know the time frame and I apologize for doing it and it won’t happen again. Councilman Myers asked do we send a reminder letter out, I don’t remember? Mr. Shearer said the way the code is written, is that you send the initial letter for the $100.00 have sixty days to pay. When that sixty days have expired, there is a second letter that they have an additional 60 days but that carries with it the $500.00 reinstatement fee. Councilman Myers said I remember that there was something in the letter, but not how it was stated? Mr. Trimmer asked when do you send the letter? Mr. Shearer said generally they are sent in February. We get the tax records from the county in that February/March time frame, we use that to get the letters off of because properties are verified to the list, to make sure that the property is owned by the persons we have listed. Generally they are sent in that February time frame. Councilman Snyder asked would like to add anything else? Mr. Trimmer said you have sixty days, you don’t send anything else? Mr. Shearer said the letter you received early February then the second letter was dated April 10, 2015. The original letter was dated February 5, 2015. April 6th was the cut off date, anything post marked April 6th was accepted in. I sent the reinstatement letter on April 10th. Councilman Snyder said he is saying is, the next sixty days notice to give him 60 days to pay the $500.00 along with the $100.00. That second notice is to say that you failed to pay the first one. You are currently within that. The point of this hearing is to determine if the council should access the whole $500.00 per unit or as Mr. Trimmer is asking for some leniency. The best that I would feel comfortable recommending to this council since Mr. Trimmer did pay for a hearing. I would be comfortable recommending $250.00 per unit along with $100.00 license fee. The reason I wouldn’t go much lower than that Mr. Trimmer is, your past experience according to testimony, we gave you a bye one year when we only charged you a $100.00. Another year we didn’t collect at all, the only reason according to Mr. Shearer was because you needed a permit and you came in and ended up paying and last year you paid on time. Mr. Trimmer said that’s this year, I always pay your taxes. Councilman Snyder said I’m not saying you don’t . Mr. Trimmer said I’m a good citizen. Councilman Snyder said yeah unfortunately the way we have to look at this because we have people that one unit and have people who have fifty units, and believe its no disrespect to you that you pay your taxes on time, think you are maintaining your property. Then we have other residents who pay their property taxes on time, but they don’t mow in a timely fashion. The council looks at all these ordinances and a violation of any the same. So what we are trying to do is get compliance. We are trying to achieve here. That is where I would be on this, I would recommend a $250.00 reinstatement fee for each unit along with the $100.00 license fee for each unit based on the previous history on this property. And that is giving you credit for taking the time, filing an appeal which I do know that cost you money, giving you some credit in that respect. And saving you some money in the long run that you aren’t paying a full $1200.00. Mr. Trimmer said I apologize and I’ll try to do my best. Councilman Snyder said these are public hearings so we will have record of it. I can’t speak for the rest of council, if your name pops up again and you come here asking for leniency its going to be tough. All we want is compliance. Councilman Myers said we need to have compliance, we need to have safe apartments in the borough. Mr Trimmer said a lot of boroughs enact a code because apartments are a problem. Councilman Snyder and Myers said we have them. Let the record reflect then that the council will except the $250.00 reinstatement fee for each unit along with the $100.00 licensing fee. You will have sixty days from today’s date, your statue was told. The outcome of this hearing was, you may have not had to pay anything. Sixty days from today’s date, we will send you a letter with tonight’s decision. If the $250.00 per unit and the $100.00 per unit is not paid within that sixty days, I think council will instruct Mr. Shearer to file criminal charges with the district justice and pursue this matter futher. Our secretary mentioned that you are in the process of applying for a permit, those monies need to be paid. The secretary said you have your taxes paid for this year on time. Mr. Trimmer said I talked to Connie and I am good. I think its current right now. The secretary said all fees payable to the borough have to be paid. Councilman Snyder said $250.00 per unit and $100.00 per unit or $700.00. You saved $250.00 by coming to the hearing. Mr. Trimmer asked about property inspection? Mr.Shearer said you are due around June 1st, contact me and we’ll set that up. Councilman Snyder said this hearing is adjourned.
Appeals Hearing #2
Councilman Snyder said the second hearing, Ms. Heather Searle. Will all persons that would like to testify in this matter please stand up and raise your hand. Do you swear to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth in the matter before this council under penalty of perjury. Mr. Shearer and Ms. Searle said I do. Very good. Ms. Searle you can sit down. The burden of proof is on the code official to prove that a violation of this section occurred. Mr. Shearer said on February 5, 2015, I sent the letter to Ms. Searle and her husband Joshua, for the property at 37 W. George Street. It was not received at the office by April 6th on April 10th sent certified mail of notice of violation for non payment of the $100.00 and for the $500.00 reinstatement fee. That money hasn’t received to that date to the secretary-treasurer. Councilman Snyder asked do you want to submit that as part of the evidence. Mr. Shearer submitted. Councilman Snyder asked any questions from council? If not do I have a motion if the burden of proof has been met and that violation has taken place. The motion was made by Councilman Harper. The motion was seconded by Councilman Bankoske. All in favor. Let the record reflect that the burden of proof has been met. Ms. Searle, your defense. Ms. Searle said it was honestly a mistake, this is the second year. We don’t money off of it. So I honestly did not know that the 100% amount was do, but now I do. The check was written on April 5th and I stopped here on April 15th. Hope I could get a pass this time. Councilman Snyder said so your defense is leniency of the council. In light of the fact, Ms. Searle paid a $250.00 fee for this hearing. Mr. Shearer do you have any previous? This is the first time, they’ve been late. Always been within the timeframe previously. In light of them paying for an appeal hearing, in light of this being the very first time. Mr. Shearer added the property was recently been inspected and is in compliance. Councilman Snyder asked I have no problem having the code officer reissue under the initial $100.00 fee with no additional assessment. My recommendation. I think again I need to caution, you were here with the other person, just trying to get compliance. We don’t want to hammer people as long as you comply that’s good. Ms. Searle asked may I make a suggestion, it might be easier if you have a set date every year. I lost the letter. Maybe be April 15th of each year. Councilman Snyder said since this is a hearing, for your particular case, we can bring that up under Visitors. If you want to stay at the next section under Visitors to address the ordinance itself. That may have some merit. Any discussion or comments? A motion was made by Councilman Howett to not access any additional reinstatement fee on the property as long as the $100.00 licensing fee is paid within the next sixty days, you will have sixty days from today’s hearing, this is the time you were told to get this money in. The motion was seconded by Councilman Bankoske. All in favor. Councilman Snyder said motion carried. Thank you.
Councilman Snyder said this concludes the appeal hearings for the Yoe Borough Council.
Reconvening the Regular Meeting at 7:35PM
Councilman Snyder recognized Ms. Searle as a visitor. Ms. Searle said my suggestion is that the ordinance be changed to have a set date for the due date. Councilman Snyder said right now, our section 204.6 the reason we did that, to give Dana some leadway because if there is massive snow out there, those letters aren’t getting out there to the end of February, maybe March. If there is nothing out there he can get them out at the end of January. The idea was if we make it 60 days, you’ve got the letter you just write on the calendar sixty days from now. The problem with setting a set date then, if Dana is late, we want to give the owners sixty days to come up with the money. Some have ten units and have to come up with $1000.00. We are trying to give them as much time. Taxes are due the same date. Councilman Myers said it would be nice if we had full time staff, I could see that happening. I can see what you are saying, only full time staff is Dana. If we get hammered like last year and this year, then we are behind the eight ball and we are going to have people come here saying you only gave us twenty days notice. It would be nice. Mr. Shearer said they were sent near the beginning of February. If we made a set date like April 15th, that is putting him behind the eight ball. Mr. Shearer said most years,in 2014 was end of February, 2014 some went out the end of January, there were two waves. Large chunk when out in January then others in February. Generally its at the end of January, beginning of February. One of the things that we have to look at, there is a lull in our capital as far as our carry over balance at the end of the year until you receive the funds from the property taxes. There is some cushion provided by that money coming in. Village Realty with 123 units in town, writes a check for $12300.00. They are usually in two to three weeks of mailing those checks out. Councilman Myers said what are you trying to tell me? Mr. Shearer said I’m saying until you get your tax money in, that money coming in for the fees does provide a cushion for the secretary-treasurer. That helps to pad. Councilman Snyder said at this point we will keep it on the back burner. I see the logic behind it. But at the same point if the letters go out mid February, you are still given a deadline in the letter. Mr. Shearer said it states sixty days from the date of the letter. By the definition of the ordinance ,it doesn’t specify business days, its sixty calendar days. Ms. Searle said I had it written down. Mr. Shearer said last year the letters were dated February 28th. Councilman Myers said I understand what she is saying, how many letters do we sent out. Mr. Shearer said we had four, two did not opt for hearing and did remit. Its around fifty letters. As properties are sold, and move around and become rental units. Councilman Snyder said the letter tells you how long you have to pay, either way you look at it. We can take it under advisement, if we continue have problems we will readdress the issue. Mr. Shearer said the ones that have the large multiple in town, have large multiple units in other municipalities. Those municipalities like Dallastown have these fees. They are use to this, its part of their daily billing. The ones that have problems are the ones with the smaller problems. Mrs. Searle said obviously I learned. Councilman Snyder said thank you.
Attorney Halderman said we covered the ordinance, that is all I had.
Councilman Snyder said we got notice that 197 S. Main Street, the Shahad Ali property is going up for sheriff’s sale.
Councilman Myers said I’ll give an update on the trail going through the borough. York Township has changed their recreation director. Debra Hartley resigned, they have a new person. I met with Carla today for a little bit. They money to come down to Boundary Avenue, now that group which is Dianne from Red Lion. They are taking that portion of the money, they are going to have a trail head somewhere in Red Lion Borough. But they do know, they are still talking to PENN DOT. The homeowners don’t want to give any property up but they also know that PENN DOT has a pretty large right of way. Sounds like, they aren’t going to fund that until 2017 coming from Locust Street to Yoe Borough. PENN DOT will give the right of way up and fund to Boundary Avenue and not worry about the property owners. Councilman Snyder said the TAP application is a three year application for 2020, which is due by August, now would be the time to get in the new cycle. Councilman Myers said we need to talk to Will from YCPC. Councilman Snyder said if it’s a three cycle for TAP this would be the time to put in for it. Councilman Myers said Carla asked us how we were doing with the area going up to the park. Carla still owes us a little bit of time. Discussion continued. Councilman Myers asked Mr. Malesker to email PENN DOT to find out what the right of way is in the area being considered for the trail. Mr. Shearer said we may have the last drawing. Mr. Malesker said we may show it on the Reidel property. Mr. Shearer said the upper side we are going to get into far over, there is going to be a nice retaining wall. Councilman Myers said she said on the feasibility study, Fitz and Smith has a lot of the area. Mr. Malesker said fencing would be needed so people can’t get down to the basins. Discussion continued. Councilman Myers said I wanted to give you an update.
Councilman Snyder said you may be aware we had an issue with the tax collector. The county was nice of enough to take on the responsibility for the tax collector. That went very well as far as I concerned. So far we got all the remittance. I think Connie is back doing her duties, she was doing that for May 1st. They were only going to charge us $300.00. A motion to appointing York County Treasurer as deputy tax collector by Councilman Harper. The motion was seconded by Councilman Bankoske. All in favor. Councilman Snyder motion carried. Councilman Snyder said I will let the county know then that we moved to appoint them. If the county solicitor needs more, we will do that then.
Councilman Snyder reminded Attorney Halderman about the upcoming garbage contract which expires 12/31/15 a three year contract. Probably advertise it in June to open in September.
Mr. Malesker said we talked last month about the borough line survey with York Township. Gary Milbrand mentioned since there are a couple of lines that don’t closed properly. He wanted to the east side of the borough surveyed like we did the other ones with GPS coordinates before he would want to proceed with the resolution. This item to budget this for 2016. We can give you an estimate for the budget.
Mr. Malesker said I had met with Sam and Seth with the issues we had with Lester Mummert when the plans were submitted. There is a need for a check list. We saw there isn’t a lot in the zoning ordinance when a single lot plan is presented, the way the ordinance is written it needs a little teeth to make sure they are in compliance. Your SALDO doesn’t kick in until there are three properties. Reviewing the zoning ordinance and making some recommendations when you have the single lot plans submitted. You can look at everything you need to look at. The proposal is attached to the engineer’s report. Comprehensive review of the zoning ordinance, complete a report to summarize the revisions and make recommendations to council, met to go over recommendations and make a plan check list. The check list would be done before going to Code Administrators. Councilman Snyder asked does this include the proposed zoning ordinance? So the review can be in a form of a ordinance to submit to YCPC. The change has to go through YCPC. Mr. Malesker said the way your current zoning ordinance is written, there is nothing for a single lot. With all the blighted properties, they would be redeveloped, the way the zoning ordinance is now, you don’t have to regulations for single lots. Now its just for three lots. Councilman Snyder said when we redid the zoning ordinance, the SALDO doesn’t kick in until there are three or more lots. Discussion continued. Councilman Snyder said as long as we can get a defined updated zoning ordinance. Mr. Malesker said we can get the clear language in the scope for next month. Councilman Snyder said if you can get definitions defined you can do that when you update.
Mr. Malesker said I did talk to John. There is an email from DEP about submitting an electronic copy of the emergency action plan. We did do that last year. There hasn’t been any updates. Do you want us to do it again? They want it in a word document, pdf’s of the maps. So we will resend the same email.
Councilman Snyder said when we were having the zoning discussion. We found out that the zoning ordinance when it got codified, the codifier changes all the numbers. The solicitor said you have to go by the codified version. You should print off the CD of the pages of the ordinance book. The secretary will give those to zoning hearing board members and their solicitor.
Mr. Shearer said we got a quote for street sweeping from All Seasons at $90.00 per hour. Councilman Myers said our cinders will be tested at work. The monies should come from the stormwater/infrastructure fund. A motion was made by Councilman Harper to accept the estimate from All Seasons for $90.00 for street sweeping. The motion was seconded by Councilman Bankoske. All in favor. Councilman Snyder said motion carried.
Mr. Shearer has an estimate for playground mulch for a truck load at $1368.40. We will need two loads. A motion was made by Councilman Myers to purchase two loads of playground mulch from Zeager Bros. Inc. The motion was seconded by Councilman Bankoske. All in favor. Councilman Snyder said motion carried.
Councilman Myers said we received a quote from All Seasons for mowing at the retention basin at $295.00 biweekly or once a month at $60.00 an hour. A motion was made by Councilman Myers to accept the quote and have All Seasons mow at the retention basin for 2015. The motion was seconded by Councilman Howett. All in favor. Councilman Snyder said motion carried.
Mr. Shearer said Kara Phillips of 358 S. Main Street plead guilty and paid the fine. At this point because the property was technically in violation from the previous year, I did not issue a letter for this year. I didn’t want it construed as that she was paid, but technically she was in violation. I did not send 2015 letter. At this point of have one of two options or suggestions. I can send the letter from 2015, remind her that she owes the money. If she doesn’t, we will continue to site, I can continue to site until she contacts us. Councilman Myers said don’t give her the opportunity to have a license. Councilman Snyder said every day you are in obeyance its another citation. He probably only fine her the $100.00. She still has tenants in there. She hasn’t paid her reinstatement fee. She admitted guilt by paying the fine. I’d go after another citation. Mr. Shearer said what direction should I take? Councilman Myers said the renter should vacate the building? Councilman Snyder said Code Administrators can pull the occupancy permit. Its not in compliance because it hasn’t been inspected.
Councilman Snyder said the new owner of 230 S. Main Street will have to pay the fees owed Code Administrators to get an occupancy permit. The fee cost is around $1200.00.
Mr. Smith attended a class on Saturday that dealt with management on child abduction.
Mayor Sanford said York County is starting to check for certification on Emergency Management coordinators.
Councilman Myers was reminded for copies of his certifications.
Mayor Sanford will present a written copy next month. The police report was 7 calls, 1 accident, 29 traffic citations, 3 juvenile arrests. Service hours for April 43.57 hours, administrative hours 23.20.
Mayor Sanford said there was some explosives being set off around the 200 block of Main Street. That gentleman will be cited for disorderly conduct or under the noise ordinance.
The secretary reported all the needed paperwork has been received from the Cougars along with the certificate of insurance listing Yoe Borough as additional insured and the agreement letter was signed.
The secretary reported that on 5/1/15 a deposit was made to the stormwater/infrastructure account from the general fund for $14300.00. For a current balance of $31923.03.
The secretary asked if council would consider spouting, the front door is rusting, or possibly fire proof file cabinet or carpet.
Councilman Snyder said we have the outstanding sewer invoice listing.
Councilman Snyder said he made contact with Attorney Springer. Discussion continued. Council wants a proposal from Attorney Springer and schedule him to meet with them.
There was no new business.
Zoning Officer’s Report
The zoning officer’s report speaks for itself.
Councilman Myers said we had a complaint on a driveway, being torn up. Mr. Tyson called Councilman Myers. I called Code Administrators, and gave them the address. The driveway was 3 to 4 foot and 10 foot long. He told me to get all the information. I get the address and name and sent it to me.
Payment of the Bills
An additional bill is $11.37 for Patricia Myers. A motion was made by Councilman Bankoske to pay the bills with the additional bill. The motion was seconded by Councilman Harper. All in favor. Councilman Snyder said motion carried.
A motion was made by Councilman Bankoske to adjourn the meeting at 9:18PM. The motion was seconded by Councilman Snyder. All in favor.