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Recent Action Report: Borough Council

State College Borough Council minutes require approval from Council before posting online. The Recent Action Report provides brief information on the actions taken by Council during regular meetings.

Aug 04

August 17, 2015 Regular Meeting

Posted on August 4, 2015 at 12:00 AM by SCB Communications Coordinator

State College Borough Council Regular Meeting
August 17, 2015 at 7 p.m.
Sarah Klinetob was not in attendance

Holmes Foster Park Master Plan Public Hearing
Council held a public hearing on the draft Holmes Foster Park Master Plan. The purpose of the hearing was to obtain public comment on the Plan prior to Council identifying recommendations for modification to the Plan or Council rejecting the Plan and reimbursing grant funds for the project

A work session will be scheduled for Council to review the comments.

Consent Items
Council approved the following consent items:
  • Approve vouchers and payroll for the month of July in the amount of $4,530,983.58. 
  • Approve minutes from the meetings held in July:
    • July 6, 2015 Regular Meeting
    • July 16, 2015 Work Session
    • July 20, 2015 Regular Meeting
  • Approve the closing of Holly Alley (between Holly Court and Hetzel Street) and High Street (between East Foster Avenue and Holly Alley), on Sunday, September 27, 2015, from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., for the annual East Highlands neighborhood block party.
  • Approve the closing of various Borough streets, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., for the State College Area School District’s Fall High School Boys’ Varsity football games, scheduled on the following Fridays, September 18, October 2 (Homecoming), 9, 23 and 30, 2015. 
  • Approve the closing of a portion of West Prospect Avenue, from South Gill Street to South Barnard Street, for the State College Area School District’s Fall High School Girls’ Home Tennis matches, scheduled on August 25, 27, September 3, 9, 14, 18, 25 and 30, 2015, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., and on September 12, 2015, for the State College Invitational, from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. 
  • Approve the use of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza, from August 26 through 29, 2015, from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., for Science Demos (part of Maker Week in State College) by The Make Space.
  • Approve the use of Sydney Friedman Park, on Saturday, August 29, 2015, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., for the final celebration of “Maker Week.” This event is hosted by the Schlow Centre Regional Library. 
Council briefly discussed and approved the following consent item:
  • Approve the closing of Pugh Street, from College Avenue to Calder Way, on Saturday, September 5, 2015, from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., for Bradley’s Cheesesteaks & Hoagies Eating Competition. 

Act 44 Pension Procedures
Council adopted a resolution and established formal, written procedures for Act 44 of 2009 compliance, which set forth new ethical procedures and requirements for procurement of professional services for Pennsylvania municipal pension plan services and management. Municipalities are required to adopt formal, written procedures to establish evaluation criteria, financial disclosure requirements, a conflict of interest policy and public advertisement and award standards. This action was recommended by the Pennsylvania Auditor General’s Office.

2016 Budget Calendar Amendments
Council adopted the following amendments to the 2016 Budget Calendar:
  • October 23, 2015 – Manager to present the budget to Council. This would occur at a work session at noon (12 p.m.).
  • October 28, 2015 – Council will hold a work session to begin its review of the budget proposal.
  • November 2, 2015 – Council will recess to a work session, following the regular meeting, to continue its review of the budget proposal.
The balance of the budget calendar will remain as previously approved by Council:
  • Budget Requests Due: September 11
  • Budget to Council & Public Inspection begins: October 23 
  • Council Review Sessions: 
    • October 28
    • November 2, 16, 23, 24
    • December 4, 7, 8, 14, 15
  • Public Hearing: December 7 
  • Budget Adoption: December 21
A final budget schedule will be published and made available to the public.

Opposition to House Bill 809
Council adopted a resolution in opposition of House Bill 809, which has been introduced to the General Assembly and referred to the House Local Government Committee. If the legislation is enacted, it would invalidate municipal ordinances that regulate student housing in State College, including the Student Home licensing and distance requirements in residential zoning districts, as well as the occupancy limits currently limited to three unrelated persons.

Restricting Firearms on Municipal Property
Council discussed the possibility of enacting a local ordinance restricting firearms on municipal property. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently declared that Act 192 was not valid, which was the basis for the repeal of a local ordinance that prohibited firearms in local parks.

The Solicitor has provided guidance on this matter, noting that the Court’s action to find that Act 192 is invalid does not affect the underlying law in the Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act. There was a large enough interest from Council to warrant placing this item on a future agenda.

Refuse Services Evaluation and Rate Study
Council adopted the Refuse Services Evaluation and Rate Study produced by MSW Consultants and authorized the final publication of the report, which is the first independent review of the State College Refuse System Program and Rate Structure in 20 years. The findings and recommendations include modifications to the existing rate structure, safety recommendations and other operational recommendations. The study is a guidance document and does not bind Council to any specific recommendation.

View Report…

Request for Zoning Text Amendment from the State Theatre
Council received and discussed a revised zoning text amendment requested by the State Theatre to allow for a reduction in glazing in order to install an ATM and authorized staff to schedule a public hearing and notice of enactment for September 21, 2015. At the meeting, Council was presented with new images of the proposed ATM, which reduces glazing by 7% compared to 25% in the previous proposal. Despite this item moving forward, some Council members remain categorically opposed to any reduction in the amount of glazing on downtown storefronts.

COG Program Plan and 2016-2020 Capital Improvement Plan
Council modified and approved comments on the 2016 COG Program Plan and directed staff to forward all comments and recommendations to the COG Executive Director.

Staff Updates
Staff updated Borough Council on the Bellaire Avenue Reconstruction Project, the redevelopment plan for 224 S. Allen Street and the YTD Financial Report.
Aug 04

August 3, 2015 Regular Meeting

Posted on August 4, 2015 at 2:13 PM by SCB Communications Coordinator

State College Borough Council Regular Meeting
August 3, 2015 at 7 p.m.
Sarah Klinetob was not in attendance.

Special Report
Anna Nelson from Centre Bike made a presentation to Council regarding their Centre Inspires grant application to obtain funding for an open streets program. The program is designed to improve health and wellness by encouraging bicycling, rollerblading and other  physical activity. If Centre Bike is selected for the Centre Inspires grant, the organization will  begin planning  for the program in October.

Consent Items
Council unanimously approved the following consent items:
  • Approve a resolution authorizing the Borough Manager to act as the Borough’s agent in the Execution of a 5-year Winter Services Agreement with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
  • Approve the closure of Heister Street (between College Avenue and Calder Way), on Thursday, September 3, 2015, from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., for Magnum Broadcasting’s block party and concert.
  • Approve the use of various Borough streets and roads, on Sunday, September 6, 2015, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., for the annual Mount Nittany Conservancy’s Marathon fundraiser.
  • Accept the resignation of Paul Robinson, with regret, from the Board of Health, effective immediately. Mr. Robinson has recently relocated outside the Borough. 
PSECU Grand Opening
Council removed a consent item for additional discussion, but subsequently approved the item. Council approved the closure of Hetzel Street (between College Avenue and Calder Way), on Thursday, September 10, 2015, from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., for the Pennsylvania State Employee Credit Union’s community grand opening celebration. Concerns were raised at this time about the length of the street closure.

Refuse Services Evaluation and Rate Study
Council received the Refuse Study provided by MSW Consultants for review and discussion at a future meeting. This study, which will be used as a basis for the Refuse and Recycling Budget over the next 10 years, is available online for the public to review.

View the Recycling & Refuse Study...

High Point Park Trail
Council rejected all bids for Project #9-2015-DCNR (High Point Park Trail) and directed staff to evaluate the scope of the project and to pursue additional funding options, potentially through DCNR. The bids received for this project were substantially over the both the engineer’s estimate and the budget for the project. 

COG Program Plan
Council was asked to provide comments to the COG Executive Director regarding the COG Program Plan. Council will review the Program Plan and discuss their suggested comments at the work session scheduled for August 10. 
Jul 20

Recent Action Report for July 20, 2015

Posted on July 20, 2015 at 8:00 PM by SCB Communications Coordinator

State College Borough Council Regular Meeting
July 20, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.
Sarah Klinetob was not in attendance.

Board of Health Report
Council received a report from Dr. William Taylor, Board of Health Chairman, who provided a review the Board’s recent activities.

Consent items
Council approved the following consent items unanimously.
  • Approve vouchers and payroll for the month of June in the amount of $3,071,443.15.
  • Approve minutes from the meetings held in June:
    • June 1, 2015, Regular Meeting
    • June 15, 2015, Work Session
  • Approve the closing of South Allen Street (between College and Foster Avenues), and the use of Mayor Welch Plaza, lobby and restrooms, on Sunday, July 26, 2015, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., for the Centre County Youth Service Bureau’s Annual Last Cruise – Best of the Best Car Show.
  • Approve changing H Alley to one way, from Calder Way to Beaver Avenue, in order to allow student move-in to The Graduate, on Saturday, August 22, 2015, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Approve the closing of various Borough streets (normal PSU 5k route) for the 2015 PSU Homecoming 5k, The Color Run, on Monday (Labor Day), September 7, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Approve the closing of the 500 block of Ridge Avenue, on Sunday, September 13, 2015, from 3:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., for the West College Heights Neighborhood Block Party.
  • Approve the use of various Borough streets and sidewalks (normal PSU 5k route) on Saturday, November 7, 2015, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., for the annual Penn State THON 5k Run/Walk, which fundraises for pediatric cancer patients and their families.
  • Approve the closing of various Borough streets, on Saturday, August 8, 2015, from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., for the annual Downtown State College Improvement District’s sidewalk sale. 
  • The Manager has appointed Patrick Ward as the Parking Manager for the Borough of State College. Council hereby consents to set appointment as required by the State College Home Rule Charter, Article VIII, Section 803. Powers and Duties of the Manager. 
  • Ratify the appointment of Maher Duessel, as the Borough Auditor for the three-year period ending on December 2017 and authorize the Manager to execute the engagement letter.
Evan Myers requested that item H: Project #2-2015 be removed from the consent item list and approved separately. Council awarded Project #2-2015 (Street and Alley Resurfacing) to R.C. Bowman, Inc., the low bidder, in the amount of $293,940.

Holmes-Foster Park Master Plan
Council formally received the Holmes-Foster Park Master Plan report and heard comment from residents that live near the park. The Plan presented to Council was developed by Stromberg, Garrigan and Associates with a matching grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The Borough requested comment from the community throughout the planning process and worked with a plan advisory committee of local residents. The consultants have responded to the comments received and incorporated changes into the latest version of the Plan, which was provided to Borough Council.

Council scheduled a public hearing for citizen input at Council’s August 17, 2015 meeting with a vote of five to one. 

Forest Management Plan for Thompson Woods Nature Preserve and Walnut Springs Park
Clearwater Conservancy and the Center for Private Forests at Penn State submitted a proposal to partner with the Borough of State College and College Township to develop a Forest Stewardship Plan for both Thompson Woods Nature Preserve and Walnut Springs Park. Although both facilities currently have approved Management Plans, the plans are not necessarily specific to the needs of the unique forest environment. Walnut Springs Park is a Borough Park, but ownership of Thompson Woods is shared with College Township. College Township approved the proposal at their Supervisor’s meeting June 18, 2015 along with 50% of the estimated costs of $4,500 contingent upon like approval from State College Borough. At the July 20 meeting, Council approved the proposal and authorized the Manager to execute the Agreement with College Township and the Clearwater Conservancy to develop the plan.