The following is a brief summary of the Ellwood City Borough Council June meeting held on June 20.
- Parking on Lawrence Avenue will be closed from Fourth to Eighth Street beginning at 2 p.m. for hosing.*
- Borough Manager Bob Villella reminded residents to not sweep grass clippings into the storm catchings, as that clogs the system.
- There will be a public hearing on a proposed zoning ordinance on June 27 at 5 p.m. “The zoning won’t be perfect, but we’re taking calculated, proven steps in developing our downtown,” council member David DeCaria said.
- The borough clean-up day will be Saturday, Sept. 17.
Approval of Outstanding Vouchers
- Council President Connie MacDonald voted “no” on approving the lists pre-paid and outstanding vouchers in response to a bill related to police court time that he felt the borough was not obligated to pay according to contract. The vouchers were approved 6-1.
- A motion was passed designating handicap parking on Sixth Street (east side) beginning 20 feet from the intersection of Bell Avenue and Sixth Street to a point 48 feet north. This is in order to provide more handicap parking for Municipal Building visitors near the new ADA ramp, which is nearing completion.
- A motion was passed declaring the Borough’s position that the safety and health of employees is a priority, that employees use the utmost safety in the performance of their duties, and that police officers use their body armor and employees of the electric and public works utilize all safety clothing, hats, gloves and any other apparel issued for their safety. This is in response to a decision by the PA Labor Relations Board forcing council to rescind the police body armor policy.
- A motion to approve a request by Sherri Greco to close the 600 block of Madison Avenue and the 400 block of Foch Street on July 3 from 2 to 11 p.m. for a block party didn’t receive a motion and was not passed. MacDonald said that because the party was during the Ellwood City Festival fireworks, the police department advised it would create significant traffic problems. “We approve block parties all the time,” MacDonald said. “It was just the wrong day for it.”
- A motion was passed approving the purchase of a 2016 Ford Police Interceptor AWD Vehicle from Milham Ford in the amount of $26,775 along with the installation of equipment by IbisTek in the amount of $14,04.55. These amounts will be paid from the General Capital Reserve Fund.
- A motion was passed advertising for bids for the sale of a 2010 Ford Crown Victoria.
- A motion was passed approving a request by the EC Community Enrichment to close Beaver Avenue and Lawrence Avenue from Fifth to Sixth Street for the summer concert series at the Community Plaza scheduled for June 18, 25, July 6, 16, 23, 30 and Aug. 13 and 20.
- A request was approved by the American Diabetes Association to hold the Pittsburgh Tour de Cure on July 17, utilizing the EC Volunteer Fire Department as a rest stop. Bicyclists are expected between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.
- A motion to purchase a 2016 Dixie Chopper lawnmower from Shulack Farm Equipment for $9,800 was passed. Council was originally going to buy a lawnmower from a different company for $10,799 and the purchase was changed at the meeting.*
- A motion was passed rescinding the “Body Armor Policy” adopted by Borough Council on Nov. 18, 2013 and the revision to the policy adopted on Dec. 21, 2015 per a decision dated May 10, 2016 by the PA Labor Relations Board. As explained by Borough Solicitor Ed Leymarie, when Donald Clyde was mayor (2006-2009), police officers could sign a release form to allow them to choose when to wear body armor while on duty. The PA Labor Relations board ruled borough council must negotiate a body armor policy with the police union. “Though it doesn’t make sense, this was a necessary legal action to take,” DeCaria said. “Their [police officers] refusal to always wear body armor is ridiculous.”
- A motion was passed hiring Peyton Caminite and Goldieann Bookamer for summer employment at a rate of $8 per hour.
- A motion approving a lease with the Ellwood City Area Public Library for parking lot maintenance was postponed pending more information.^
- A motion approving a policy regarding police canines and handlers was tabled before the meeting because Sgt. Michael McBride, the police department’s canine officer, had not yet seen the policy.*
- A motion to adopt the Civil Service Rules and Regulations revisions was tabled on the request of council member Mancini. Mancini had not been given the revised policy until Friday and requested more time to look at it. A motion to pull the motion passed 6-1, with Celli voting against.*
- A motion was passed awarding the bid of sale for the rear of 366 Circle Way to Mark and Tammy Mazzant for $1,000.
- A motion was passed approving a revolving loan application submitted by Posies by Patti for $42,000 for the property located at 328 Sixth St. “This loan is part of council’s efforts to help local businesses,” DeCaria said. “Town Center Associates advised that we improve our local floral market.” Town Center Associates is a downtown improvement consulting agency that the Ellwood City Borough has worked with for several years.
*added at noon, June 21
^This motion was tabled following a discussion prior to the council meeting. The article previously credited council members Marilyn Mancini, George Celli and Brad Ovial, but this statement was incorrectly based on information requests at the agenda meeting on June 13.