Monday's meeting of the Youngsville Borough Council saw updates on a number of ongoing issues and the introduction of two tentative additions to local law enforcement.
During public comment, Borough Manager Lisa Hagberg introduced two tentative new additions to the Youngsville Borough Police Department. Ben Leach was presented to council as a full-time addition to the police force and Rachel Canfield was introduced as a part-time officer who will also be working through the Warren County District Attorney's Office as a detective. Both positions are tentative pending position testing results. The two have already taken the required exams.
Council was updated on Streetscape progress.
Hagberg reported the borough has a verbal agreement with Tops Market concerning easements. She noted the need for a more concrete agreement, but said attempts to contact the business recently have been met with no response.
Hagberg also said the borough had not received any reply related to easements at the post office.
Prior to the update, council had received a letter from L.C. Titus threatening to hold the borough liable for vehicle damages if the post office entrance was not repaired. During discussion, council could not determine if the entrance was the borough's responsibility or the post office's. Repairs to the site are tentatively scheduled to be included in Streetscape work.
Hagberg noted that, following recent grant awards, the borough would begin advertising for construction bids on the project. Council agreed it would be best to look for "lump sum" bids to cover the duration of work on the project rather than bids based on an hourly rate. Hagberg said the bidding process is tentatively scheduled for mid- to late July.
Council was also informed engineering reports for Mill, High, Second and Fourth Streets were completed.
The issue of whether to support the Brokenstraw Watershed conservation plan surfaced once again.
Councilmember Eric Mineweaser asked, "What does it do to benefit our borough?"
Hagberg responded supporting the plan could open up grant opportunities.
Various members of council expressed concern that adoption of the plan would put new constraints on the borough, not only on water-related issues, but in regards to planning and zoning in general. Council also aired concerns that wording in the plan could restrict what private property owners could do on their own land.
"If it puts more red tape in the way of our say-so it isn't worth it," Councilmember Steven Morris said.
Councilmember John Barhydt noted, "I've heard lots of bad things from other municipalities once they got involved with this."
Council agreed to take no action on the matter.
Hagberg informed council there had been no progress on the Williams' property, formerly the site of the Youngsville Star Furniture manufacturing plant. According to the best recollection of councilmembers, the condition of the Williams' property has been an issue for approximately two years. Morris asked for council's "blessing" for Hagberg and himself to speak with the property owner in an effort to resolve the issue.
Morris said he wants to, "see if we can remedy this situation without the gloves coming off."
Council agreed a final "good faith" effort should be made, but took no official action on the matter. Council had previously set a deadline of June 30 for resolution of the matter before legal action is taken by the borough. Hagberg noted an extension of that deadline may be required depending on the outcome of talks with the property owner.
Council approved a resolution supporting Revitalization of Youngsville's application for a Pennsylvania Wilds Community Signage grant, pending it incurs no cost to the borough. The grant would be used to provide a welcome sign on Route 6.
Council Vice-President Doug Peterson said a "concerned citizen" had approached the borough concerning trees at the sewage treatment plant. Peterson asked council to allow a forester to cut down approximately six cherry trees for sale as lumber in exchange for a fair market value of the timber harvested. Council gave Peterson permission to pursue the possibility, but took no official action.
Youngsville Mayor James Farr announced he and Hagberg had discussed not giving a manager's report at meetings, as councilmembers receive the reports prior to meetings and can read them at leisure. Farr said the action would help cut down meeting length. Council approved the suggestion. All borough reports are posted on the bulletin board in the lobby of the borough office.
Hagberg reported a total of $619,703.38 in the borough's bank account at the end of May.
Farr reported a meeting concerning the Youngsville bicentennial next year will be held on June 14 at 4:30 p.m. at the borough offices.
Morris reported a canoe/kayak dice run will be held on Aug. 25 with a rain date of August 26. Further information on the event can be found at www.meetup.com/buffalo-outdoors/events/55563932/.
It was reported the zoning board approved a new sign at the car wash at their June 7 meeting.
According to Morris, on June 14, the Brokenstraw Valley Pool will attempt to break the record for the world's largest swimming lesson.