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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.

Sep 23

September 21, 2015 Regular Meeting

Posted on September 23, 2015 at 8:16 AM by SCB Communications Coordinator

State College Borough Council Regular Meeting
September 21, 21015 at 7 p.m.


Special Report from the New Leaf Initiative

Representatives from the New Leaf Initiative presented their idea for the 2015 Centre Inspires Grant Program. The New Leaf Initiative is one of two finalists for the Centre Foundation program.

Consent Items
Council approved the following consent items:
  • Approve vouchers and payroll for the month of August in the amount of $2,613,578.54.
  • Approve minutes from the meetings held in August:
    • August 3, 2015 Regular Meeting
    • August 10, 2015 Work Session
    • August 17, 2015 Regular Meeting
  • Approve the closing of Westerly Parkway to South Allen Street to West Nittany Avenue on Thursday, October 1, 2015, from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., for the annual State College Area School District’s Homecoming Parade.
  • Approve a Resolution authorizing the Borough Manager to act as the Borough’s agent in the Execution of an Agility Agreement and Amendments with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
  • Approve with conditions the use of the sidewalk on the 100 block of South Pugh Street on Monday, September 28, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for Sheetz Grand Opening.

Project #15-2015 Woodland/Mitchell UV-CIPP Storm Sewer Lining

One consent item was removed from the consent agenda for further discussion and then unanimously approved. Council awarded Project #15-2015 (Woodland/Mitchell UV-CIPP Storm Sewer Lining) to Abel Recon, LLC, the low bidder, in the amount of $35,162.56. Abel Recon, LLC has worked with the Borough on similar projects.

Minimum Municipal Obligation for the Borough’s Pension Plans in 2016
Council received the Minimum Municipal Obligation (MMO) calculation for the Borough’s Pension Plans. The 2016 MMO for the Borough’s pension plans has been calculated to be $2,433,318, which includes $936,418 for the Police Pension Plan and $1,496,900 for the General Government Plan. A Defined Contribution Pension Plan (MMO) was also included with a projected obligation of $83,972.

Allen Street Civic District Redevelopment Plan & Proposal
Council received the final draft reports from the State College Borough Planning Commission and Redevelopment Authority on the Allen Street Civic District and scheduled a public hearing on the Redevelopment Area Plan for October 19, 2015. This plan inventories the conditions of the district and provides policies and conceptual site plans for its redevelopment. The final draft of this report is available on the Borough’s website.

The Pennsylvania Urban Redevelopment Act requires the Borough to hold a public hearing. During meetings in October, Council may further discuss these reports. Endorsement of the Redevelopment Plan and approval of the Redevelopment Proposal are tentatively scheduled for Council’s November 2, 2015 meeting.

Final Draft Report on the Allen Street Civic District Redevelopment Area Plan…

CATA’s Strategic Plan Update
Council Authorized the Borough Manager to forward the following comments on CATA’s Strategic Plan Update to its Board of Directors:

  • There should be more publicity of route and bus information for senior citizens who are not able to access route information on their cell phones.
  • Students enrolled at CPI or through the SCASD technical school curriculum should be considered for apprenticeships for mechanics.
  • Smaller buses should be considered for use on routes with lower ridership and for the CATA Ride and Commute programs.
  • Alternative services for riders should be developed for times when CATA’s service is cut back such as when Penn State University is not in session, especially for those who work on the north end of town.
Sep 15

September 8, 2015 Regular Meeting

Posted on September 15, 2015 at 12:24 PM by SCB Communications Coordinator

State College Borough Council Regular Meeting
September 8, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.

American Chestnut Tree Day Proclamation
Mayor Goreham presented a proclamation to Jean Najjar declaring October 23, 2015 as American Chestnut Tree Day in order to draw attention to the plight of the American Chestnut tree and the efforts to save and restore it.

PA Chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation...

Sustainable Communities Collaborative
Michele Halsell, Director of Penn State's Sustainability Institutes' Sustainable Communities Collaborative Program, gave a short presentation on the collaborations occurring between the Borough and the Institute including a preview of projects for Fall 2015 and Spring 2016, distribution of the Annual Report for projects completed in 2014-15, and plans for the end-of-semester closing celebration scheduled for December 3, 2015.

View the Sustainable Communities Collaborative Website…

Consent Items
Council approved the following consent items:
  • Approve the closing of South Gill Street, between West Foster Avenue and Highland Alley, on Friday, September 25, 2015 from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. for the annual Holmes-Foster Neighborhood Block Party.
  • Approve the closing of Westview Avenue, on Friday, September 11, 2015, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., for the Westview Avenue Neighborhood Block Party. 
  • Approve the closing of Curtin, Bigler and East Pollock Roads, East College Avenue and North Burrowes Street, on Friday, October 9, 2015, from 5:45 p.m. to 11 p.m., for the annual Penn State Homecoming Parade.
  • Approve the use of Burrowes Road on the Pennsylvania University campus, College Avenue (between Burrowes Road and South Allen Street), South Allen Street to Foster Avenue and Foster Avenue into the Sidney Friedman Park, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., on Sunday, October 25, 2015, for the 69th annual Centre Region Parks & Recreation Halloween Costume Parade and Costume Judging Contest.
  • Approve the use of the Community Room on December 5, 6, 12 and 13, 2015, for Santa’s Workshop, which is part of the annual Downtown State College Improvement District’s Polar Express that is held in conjunction with the Schlow Centre Region Library.
  • Approve the use of Sidney Friedman Park on September 18, October 2, 9, 23 and 30, 2015, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., for the State College High School Football Team’s KC Kettlecorn fundraiser sponsored by the State College Music Boosters. 
  • Approve the use of various downtown sidewalks on Wednesday, November 11, 2015, from 9:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m., for the annual Grace Lutheran Preschool and Kindergarten Veteran’s Day Sidewalk Parade.
  • Approve the closing of East Nittany Avenue, between Apple Alley and Locust Lane, as well as the use of surrounding streets in the residential area, from 6:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., on Saturday, November 7, 2015, for Housing Transitions 2015 Run for Shelter 5k Race.
  • Award the contract for design services for Bellaire Court Renovations to Weber Murphy Fox, the low bidder, in the amount of $28,000 plus reimbursable expenses.
The following were removed from the consent agenda for further discussion:

Bicycle Repair Stations
Council approved a resolution authorizing the Borough Manager to act as the Borough’s agent in the Execution of an Agreement with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for the acceptance of Transportation Alternative Program Funds to purchase bicycle repair station equipment to place throughout State College.  No taxpayer monies will be used to fund this project.

Little Free Libraries
Council approved the State College Evening Rotary Club’s request to install and maintain Little Free Library Units in four municipal parks as part of the Centre Region Parks & Recreation’s Gifts-for-Parks Program.  The Club was in attendance at the meeting to share information about the program and display an example of the Little Free Library.

Article about Little Free Libraries...

Resolution for Upper Big Hollow Wastewater Conveyance Project
Council adopted a resolution for the Upper Big Hollow Wastewater Conveyance Project in order to comply with the Department of Environmental Protection requirements to build a force main within the Borough and to the water treatment plant located in College Township.

Holmes-Foster Park Master Plan Advisory Committee
Council appointed Cathy Dauler and Evan Myers (substitute) to work with Borough staff to modify the Master Plan to make the plan more agreeable to the community and still comply with DCNR for grant funding requirements.

The advisory committee is charged with determining which elements of the plan are necessary and required and which elements should be removed, as well as outlining which elements that could be phased in within the next 1-5 years, those with a medium priority phased in within the next 5-15 years and those with a long-term goal of 15 years.

The Committee is asked to compile their recommendations by October 9, so they can be placed on Council’s October 19 meeting for Council’s consideration.

CATA’s Strategic Plan Update
Council has been asked to provide comments on the Draft CATA Strategic Plan Update. Council provided comments during the meeting. Comments from the general public will be accepted until October 8, 2015.

View the Draft CATA Strategic Plan Update…
Aug 18

August 17, 2015 Regular Meeting

Posted on August 18, 2015 at 3:53 PM 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.