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Warren County Commissioners Public Meeting

October 23, 2019 12:00 p.m.

Jackson Courtroom

 

Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin called the meeting of the Warren County Commissioners to order with Commissioner Cindy Morrison, and Commissioner Jeff Eggleston present.

 

Staff Present: Pamela Matve, Chief Clerk, Eric Hern, Fiscal Director, Solicitor Nathaniel Schmidt, Phil Gilbert, Director of Tax Claim, and Meredith Ketcham, Children & Youth Administrator

 

Citizens Present: Josh Cotton (WTO), Connie Zaffino, John Able, Piper VanOrd, Jodie Bevevino, Fran Leto, Matthew Scott, Diane Brant, and Judy Albaugh

 

Announcements: Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin announced that the meeting is being recorded.

 

Meetings held since the last meeting: Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin stated that there was one informal executive session with a staff member who wanted to meet, and this morning there was to be an executive session, and this was cancelled, to be held at a later time.

 

Correspondence:

 

Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin stated that at Monday’s Work Session, our auditing firm will make a presentation on our 2018 audit.

 

Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated that between the Commissioners they have received hundreds of emails regarding the Power Plant that has been closed and the renewal of the permit.

 

Public Comment:

 

John Able, Pine Grove Township, stated that he understands that the Power Plant has a permit application to have discharged waste dumped into the Allegheny River. He states that there is a new portion in this renewal application.

 

John then stated that it is extremely beneficial for the Warren County citizens to have a session with DEP and the owning organization. I feel that DEP should have a hearing to explain the process.

 

Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated that we have requested from DEP that they hold a public session. We are trying to get this done as quickly as possible. Many people at DEP and the various offices of been notified of our request.

 

John Able stated that the health effects of coal ash are significant and constitutes a grave concern for those that live along the river, entertain in the river such as kayaking, and fishing.

 

Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated that John would be the first person he would contact as soon as we have a meeting set up.

 

Commissioner Cindy Morrison thanked John for being in attendance today and voicing his concerns. We will do what we can to get this meeting set up, but the legislators are who you should be addressing, they have the authority.

 

Judy Albaugh stated that she lives on River Road, and she is not a scientist nor a chemist, but she does a lot on the river. She asked if the Commissioners have asked other Commissioners from the other counties what they are doing to address the situation.

 

Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated we just found out about this renewal permit just four days ago, and we are doing our best.

 

Judy Albaugh stated that many water authorities use the river water for a secondary source of drinking water. She then stated what we do here, effects many others downstream. She spoke to a chemist who is alarmed. Please, as Commissioners call the legislators on behalf of the citizens of Warren County to get the meeting set up.

 

Piper VanOrd stated that she agrees with what the others have stated. She hopes that they can get some answers. She stated that the responsible thing to do is to sound an alarm, rally folks together so we have a better understanding. We deserve to have an understanding; this is our river and our community.

 

Judy Albaugh stated that even though it is a renewal of the permit, it does not mean that in todays world, what they are doing is right.

 

Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated that the Commissioners have no authority of the permitting process, we just found out four days ago. We are doing everything we can to get a meeting set up.

 

Consent Agenda:

 

  • Agenda Content:

 

Minutes from the September 25, 2019, and October 3, 2019 Meetings: no changes need made.

 

Fiscal Report: Eric Hern, Finance Director stated there was cash on hand of $4,380,406.00 and in the Erie Bank account a balance of $448,569.00.

 

Eric Hern then stated that the funds we borrowed from the Erie Bank account rather than pulling from the TAN a couple weeks ago will be paid back today. That was an amount of $400,000.00

 

Proclamation(s): Domestic Violence Awareness Month, National Alzheimer’s disease Awareness Month, Greif Awareness Month, and Veteran’s Day

 

After the reading of the proclamations the following questions and comments were made:

 

Jodi Bevevino thanked the Commissioners for the proclamation and bringing Grief Awareness to the public.

 

Commissioner Jeff Eggleston thanked Jodi for the services that her organization does for those in need.

 

Motion was made by Commissioner Cindy Morrison, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to approve today’s agenda, the minutes from September, 25, and October 3, 2019 the proclamations as read, and the fiscal report as presented. Motion carried unanimously.

 

Old Business:

 

New Business:

 

Contract with Cafardi Ferguson Wyrick Weis & Stotler (labor attorney): Eric Hern, Fiscal Director explained that this is not a contract, but another law firm to get labor information from.

 

Commissioner Cindy Morrison asked if we are still contracted with Knox Law to which Eric stated yes. Commissioner Cindy Morrison then asked why we need a second law firm. Eric Hern, Fiscal Director stated that this gives us another vendor to use for different skill sets.

 

Commissioner Jeff Eggleston asked Eric Hern, Fiscal Director if this was the only vendor he had spoken with. Eric Hern stated that he talked with other counties.

 

Commissioner Cindy Morrison commented that she was not aware that the county was even looking for another vendor. It would have been nice to at least have an outline of the other vendors you spoke to and their costs.

 

Eric Hern, Fiscal Director stated that this firm is also a PCORP approved attorney. Commissioner Cindy Morrison then stated that if an attorney is needed for a claim, PCORP appoints one for us. Eric stated that yes, they do or we can choose who we want to represent us.

 

Eric Hern, Fiscal Director then stated his recommendation to the board is to have two attorneys’ available and he recommends Cafardi Ferguson Wyrick Weis & Stotler.

 

Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated that he had a casual conversation with Eric regarding this and told him he just needs to make sure to bring it to the board.

 

Motion was made by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston, seconded by Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin to approve the proposal for employment and labor services as presented. Motion carried with Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin and Commissioner Jeff Eggleston for, and Commissioner Cindy Morrison abstaining.

 

Commissioner Cindy Morrison stated that her reason for abstention is the fact that she does not have the information needed to make a sound decision.

 

WGL Energy, Electric Supply Agreement: Motion was made by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston, seconded by Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin to approve the agreement with WGL Energy as presented. Motion carried unanimously.

 

Repository Tax Bid: Motion was made by Commissioner Cindy Morrison, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to approve the bid of $890.00 from Ashley Whitman for parcel Cy-005-311630-000. Motion carried unanimously.

 

Appointments to EMS Task Force:  Motion was made by Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin, seconded by Commissioner Cindy Morrison to approve the appointment of Melissa Zydonik and Susanna Hummel to the EMS Task Force. Motion carried unanimously.

 

C & Y Preventative Aftercare Program contract: Motion was made by Commissioner Cindy Morrison, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to approve the agreement with Preventative Aftercare Inc. and Children & Youth as presented. Motion carried unanimously.

 

Contract for Transportation with Transit Authority: Motion was made by Commissioner Cindy Morrison, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to approve the Transportation Agreement with the Transit Authority after the corrections are made as suggested by our solicitor. Motion carried unanimously.

 

Approval of Ordinance 3-2019 Accepting PCoRP’s Bylaws: Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin stated that this is to reaffirm the PCORP bylaws, something that was done in the past and as time has gone by its time to reaffirm.

 

Motion was made by Commissioner Cindy Morrison, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to approve Ordinance 3-2019 Accepting PCoRP’s Bylaws. Motion carried unanimously.

 

Approval of the Agreement with Industrial Appraisal:  Eric Hern, Fiscal Director stated that historically the county has been inconsistent with tracking its assets. Industrial Appraisal will do a full appraisal of our assets in December, with an annual audit.

 

Commissioner Jeff Eggleston stated that this will help with our capital planning.

 

Motion was made by Commissioner Benjamin Kafferlin, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to approve the agreement with Industrial Appraisal as presented. Motion carried unanimously.

 

Ordinance 2-2019 Residential/Commercial LERTA: Commissioner Jeff Eggleston explained that today I am asking for approval to adopt Ordinance 2-2019 which has been on our agenda before, and it’s been on the web site for review. By the end of the month, all municipalities joining in on this program will have their ordinances passed.

 

Motion was made by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston, seconded by Commissioner Cindy Morrison to adopt Ordinance 2-2019 Residential/Commercial LERTA as presented. Motion carried unanimously.

 

 

Motion was made by Commissioner Cindy Morrison, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to approve the members of the EMS Task Force as presented. Motion carried.

Personnel Report:

 

Warren County

Personnel Transaction Report

As of

October 23, 2019

 

New Hires for Warren County

 

Changes for Warren County Employees

 

Separations

 

Motion was made by Commissioner Cindy Morrison, seconded by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston to approve the Personnel Report as presented. Motion carried unanimously.

 

Closing:

 

Commissioner Comments:

 

Adjournment:  Motion was made Commissioner Jeff Eggleston, seconded by Commissioner Cindy Morrison to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried unanimously.

 

Meeting adjourned 12:55 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,                                                                     Approved:

 

Pamela J. Matve                                                                  Jeff Eggleston, Secretary

Chief Clerk                                                                                           Warren County Commissioner