BRIDGEVILLE BOROUGH COUNCIL MINUTES
Council President, Michael Tolmer
Council Vice President, Bruce Ghelarducci
Council, William Henderson
Nino Petrocelli, Sr.
Mayor, Betty Copeland
Solicitor, Thomas McDermott
Engineer, Joe Sites Borough
Manager, Lori Collins
Police Chief, Chad King
Fire Chief, William Chilleo
SouthBridge EMS, Dan Miller – Absent
The meeting is opened with the pledge of allegiance and a moment of silence for the sick, handicapped, departed and military personnel of the community.
Manager Collins stated that they walked the areas of flooding and handed out flyers on June 25, 2018 getting information to residents and businesses as to what was going on at that time with the flood. I have been putting any updates on our Facebook page as soon as I get them, l have a listing of everyone that was affected by the flood and when any information comes to us, we will make sure to get it out to you by mail. If there comes a time when applications will need filled out; we will have a community meeting where we will be there to assist you with any help that you may need, We are not that far yet but when we get there, we will be there to assist you, It’s been over 2 weeks since the brutal storm of June 20, 2018 that affected our community bringing with it destruction that has not been experienced in the past 7 years. I would like to thank all who are and were involved in our clean-up effort and road to recovery. J understand that this road is challenging but we will be here to assist with information and guidance along the way, The list of volunteers and businesses that provided countless hours whether it be in the clean-up process, providing the equipment to get the job done or assisting and providing basic, crucial needs is astounding, For their part is our recovery, I truly wish to list and thank them for all of what they have done unselfishly contributing to our community, First the emergency responders of the fire departments: Bridgeville Volunteer Fire Department, Fire Chief and fellow emergency coordinator Bill Chilleo, Fairview Fire Depattment, South Fayette, Oakridge, Sturgeon, Lawrence, Mt. Pleasant, Bower Hill, Presto, Rennerdale, Kirwin Heights, Carnegie, Crafton, Muse and McDonald all assisted, Water Rescue Teams, North Strabane, Denovista, Stowe Township, Etna, Elizabeth Borough, New Brighton, East Bethlehem Township, New Kesington, Neville Township, Blawnox and Beaver Falls, Police Departments: Bridgeville Borough, Collier Township and South Fayette Township, Churches and their members: Bethany Presbyterian, First United Methodist, Holy Child, Vineyard and all of the volunteers spending countless hours handling these facilities. Municipal Public Works: Bridgeville, Collier, Robinson, South Fayette and Shaler, Contractors: Char-West COG, Dom Folino Construction, Heather Contracting, Lane Construction, Michael Brothers, Paul Orient Construction, Jet Jack, Weave1town and Waste Management. Agencies: Red Cross, South Hills Interfaith Ministries, LDS Charities, Salvation Army, Allegheny County Department of Human Services, United Methodist Communities on Relief and Southern Baptist. Donors and Volunteers: Mayor Copeland, Deb Colosimo, Sheryl Valentino, Tom McDermott, Pam Wheat, Sarasnick’s Hardware, Pittsburgh Eyecare Associates with Dr. Strain and all of those offering to donate food, clothing, furniture, etc.; or work to dispense the items. There were many unknown volunteers that assisted property owners with clean-up that we never found out who they were. We thank you.
Approximately 126 homes 48 businesses were affected by this flood event. 3 homes have been condemned at this time. FEMA and Allegheny County Emergency Services spent 2 days within the Borough assessing the estimated damages. Damages are not included should the property have flood insurance. The information was compiled and has been submitted to PEMA for review. Along with Bridgeville Borough; the county did declare a State of Emergency. It is uncertain as of today if the recent storms that occurred in Millvale, Aspenwall and Fox Chapel will be included in the loss calculation. The loss calculation must meet 18.1 million dollars for FEMA to declare an emergency and the applications for assistance to begin. You may have seen a member of FEMA in your neighborhood; they are not there to take applications for assistance but are servicing the homes that obtained flood insurance through FEMA. Allegheny County Emergency Service’s is meeting with FEMA and PEMA this week to try to establish the availability for businesses to apply for low interest SBA loans. As soon as the information is shared regarding the outcome of this meeting, we will inform our business owners. Please understand applying for and obtaining FEMA funding is a long process. It is not something that can be counted on in present but is more of a reimbursement program which at times is taking months for applicants to receive assistance. I have been informed today that Brentwood Bank is offoring micro loans to residents in immediate need. Requirement is just a good credit history. Once we obtain more information regarding this program, we will pass it on to the residents. All the debris have been removed from the stream with all streets open and functioning in a normal manner. The dumpsters will slowly need removed as the need lessens. The companies have requested that we return some of stock due to the need in Millvale. Should you have debris, place it at your curb. The Public Works department will pick it up and take it to the nearest dumpster. Should you have not taken advantage of the tetanus shots offered by St. Clair Hospital, please let my office know. Should there be enough participation, I will try to set up an additional time for immunizations. The flood reliefs centers updated schedule for this week has been posted on the Bridgeville Borough Facebook page. If you still are in need of supplies; they are over run with clothing at Vineyard Church. I will continue to ensure that everyone is provided with accurate and updated information. Should you have a special need or concern large or small, please do not hesitate to contact me, Bill Chilleo or a Council member. We will try to provide you with the answers needed to enable you to make the best choice for you, your family or your business with the information provided.
State Representative Jason Ortitay stated FEMA will be down here with the SBA and County Officials tomorrow. If you see them walking around, they are assessing the damage. They are the ones tracking and collecting the total accumulative damage to get to $18.1 million dollars. What happens at the PEMA level is that they will open up low interest short term loans. There is no money available at the state level so what they try to do is open it and get it to FEMA because that is where the grant money is at. If you see people that do not have flood insurance, make sure that they get to the Borough Building and file their claim. That is really important. There are still people that do not have internet access and may have not seen the posts or flyers. Please help them to come down and get the paperwork filled out. Every little bit helps. The landslides that occurred in February, they just declared a federal disaster late last month. Several months after the fact. That is the speed that the Federal Government seems to work at when they are collecting these things. He just wants to give everyone the proper level and expectation of time moving forward. He is happy to work with anyone here along with Council to help coordinate with the state and feds in any way that he can. Manager Collins has been doing a great job. She has been coordinating with me the last couple of weeks keeping me up to date until I got back into the district. He is really thrilled with the huge list of fire departments and the communities around us that have come here to offer assistance. He gave a special thanks to the Fire Chief, his crew and Manager Collins who has been working her butt off. I hope everyone can see this and appreciate what she is doing. She has been keeping me up to date. Thank you for allowing me to speak.
Mike Tolmer thanked Terry Herbick for all of his help with the flood.
Dennis Orient – 526 Baldwin Street, Bridgeville, PA 15017
Mr. Orient stated how devastating the water was with this flood. When he came down the next day and saw all of the people helping and working, it is a tribute to everyone here. It’s amazing when people come together and what can get done. He thanked Manager Collins for getting the dumpsters in. He also thanked Public Works who worked around the clock doing an amazing job. All of the people and different communities that were here was overwhelming.
Pasquale DeBlasio – 447 Washington Avenue, Bridgeville, PA 15017
Mr. DeBlasio stated that Ed Zombeck really appreciated the cold water that Mayor Copeland was handing out to l00’s of people. He stated that Manager Collins is amazing. Our Public Works did their job and he is hoping that over the next couple of months, some planning can occur. Clearly this is not news, this is the 2nd or 3rd rain event that has hit Baldwin Street in 2018. This is a continuing problem. There are a couple of things that he would like to request from Council: a request for proposals from a hydraulics engineer to look at McLaughlin Run Road to see if we can find a solution. We have pleaded with the Army Corp of Engineers for too long. Bridgeville has to take care of Bridgeville. Also people are trapped in properties that they cannot get out of. If they sell the property to someone else then the next person is trapped with a property in a flood zone. He asked Council to consider a resolution asking the manager and the attorney to explore acquiring flooded property. He thinks Council should rescind the Washington Avenue project that is going to cost $488,000.00 and use it for Bridgeville.
JanetRay – 1011 McLaughlin Run Road, Bridgeville, PA 15017
Ms. Ray stated that she is here representing her 91 year old mother who lives at 1011 McLaughlin Run Road. She has lived there for 67 years with several basement flooding’s but never anything like this. This water came down from Coolidge with clogged sewers that blew a manhole and flooded the road. Her whole foundation is ruined. Her mother has lost everything and she would like to know why. Manager Collins stated that coincidently the day the flood occurred, Coolidge Street was milled to be prepared to be paved. When all of that water came down that roadway, it came right into our catch basins. We are required under our MS4 permit tbat we have vactors in here in every area throughout the town. Every time it has flooded since 2004, we have continuously cleaned the catch basins. Fire Chief Chilleo stated that Dan Felton did not condemn that house because it is still considered to be habitable. It just needs repaired because there is no structural damage. He stated that he and the building inspector got in the house. The blocks are down but there is no sagging on the house. The blocks need put back in.
Laura Gibbons- 382 Carol Avenue Bridgeville, PA 15017
Ms. Gibbons stated that she is representing Precious Paws Pct Salon and this is the second time that she has been flooded in 5 years. The first she recovered in a couple weeks, this time they lost everything. She is worried about her employees because there is no help for businesses except to get a loan. Manager Collins stated that PEMA, FEMA and the County are meeting tomorrow. You will be included in the number with FEMA when and if it is declared, then you will be able to apply for assistance and reimbursements since you do not have flood insurance. Unfortunately, the way the process works is very slow and there comes some help for businesses before the residents. They are looking to try and enact the SBA loans; which are very low interest loans just trying to get businesses back up and running.
Mary Weise – 654 Orchard Avenue Bridgeville, PA 15017
Ms. Weise stated that she is probably the oldest person in this room and she has never seen devastation like this flood before. To all of the responders, it was the best thing she saw that came out of this disaster.
John Rattenni – 215 Washington Avenue Bridgeville, PA 15017
Mr. Rattenni stated that he has been in the insurance business in Bridgeville for over 30 years. He proposes that the Borough initiate or develop a committee to look at creating 3 pillars of action. One is to put together a group of volunteers who understand how to work through democracy and provide support to know who to call, what forms need to be filled out, what agencies can be applied to so these people are not coming here without a clue of where to go. We need a complete immediate action plan. We need to come up with a long term plan. We need 3 different sub committee’s and task force committee, each with community members who are engineer’s, contractor’s and then people that have worked in public service that can help constituents.
Jay Steck – 716 Maple Street Bridgeville, PA 15017
Mr. Steck thanked the Fire Department for carrying him out of his house the night of the flood because he had surgery. He also thanked all of the people that helped clean up. He doesn’t think that Public Works should be placing the cut up trees in the storage area at Chartiers Park just in case it floods Bridgeville Borough Council Minutes July 9, 2018 Page 5 because there is so much debris that comes down from Upper St. Clair. He would like to know if the property taxes are going to come down due to the flooding because the property values have plummeted, Manager Collins stated that as far as the assessment of the property; we can contact the office of property assessments and give them the addresses of the affected houses. That is how the valuation is calculated.
Bob Fryer – 475 Bank Street Ext. Bridgeville, PA 15017
Mr. Fryer stated that we need a permanent solution to the flooding, This is a regional problem. There was a study done in 1980 that shows that all of the bridges in Bridgeville are too small except one. The time has come for the officials and residents to convince the Federal, State and County Funding Agencies that this is a regional problem. He thinks the people in Bridgeville have suffered more than they should have and it is unfair.
Denise Hutton – 415 Margaret Street Bridgeville, PA 15017 Ms. Hutton stated that the Italian Club doesn’t have insurance because they are non-profit. She had all of our catering supplies and equipment in the building. She has nothing left. She is very upset and need help with assistance on what to do. She needs guidance for her business, employees and renters.
Randy Thompson – Baldwin Street Bridgeville, PA 15017 Mr. Thompson stated that there is a concern with all of the houses going in at Bedner’s. He wants to know where all the water is going from the new housing development. He stated that someone is going to get killed on Baldwin Street because the cars are flying up and down the street. He suggested that the police patrol the area more to get the speeders.
Jenny Bean – 409 Railroad Street Bridgeville, PA 15017
Ms. Bean gave an update on the fundraiser at Bar 31. Roughly $5,000 was raised and Bar 31 is going to match that to make it $10,000.
Chris Horan – D & C Supply & Bridgeville Rollerplex 335 Washington Avenue Bridgeville, PA 15017
Mr. Horan stated that this is the third time he has been through the flooding. D & C Supply was started by his grandfather and has been in Bridgeville for all 50 years. He thinks the residents of Baldwin Street, the businesses of Bridgeville and members of this community deserve better. He hopes that a long-term and short-term plan will come from this. Something needs to change.
Karen Zatta Martin – Blanc Printing 630 Baldwin Street Bridgeville, PA 15017
Ms. Martin stated that her and her husband has owned Blanc Printing on Baldwin Street since 2002, She stated that her press room was completely flooded and she has 13 employees that need a paycheck, She has lost over a million dollars due to the flooding on Baldwin Street, She stated that the Borough needs leadership.
Jay Cennenaro – 541 Baldwin Street Bridgeville, PA 15017
Mr. Cermenaro questioned if the best place to find updated infonnation is on the Bridgeville Borough Facebook page? Manager Collins stated yes, that as it comes in to us she posts it there. We haven’t had any substantial information except for the centers that have been helping. When we have more information and forms to be filled out, they will be mailed,
Mike Chiodo – 233 Station Street Bridgeville, PA 15017
Mr. Chiodo stated that Council can’t do everything. Who needs to be contacted is our State Representative and our State Senator. There should be a disaster on Pennsylvania but there isn’t one, It is because of the state legislator and state senate. We have to change things and hold their feet to the fire. Council works hard and nobody sees that. Manager Collins stated that the Army Corp of Engineers is where all of the money is. In 2004, we applied to the Army Corp of Engineers to do an Act 205 study, That has to happen first before they supply any type of aid or approve any type of program. They turned us down by saying the cost of a project in that area did not meet the benefit. The federal government is where the money is. One culvert is $1 ½ million dollars, the bridge going over Bower Hill Road is $2 million dollars. We are looking at a long term plan to do everything the right way. We have been in contact with the county as far as the bridge over Bower Hill Road, the one with the center pier. As far as the meetings have gone since 2004, they have informed us that it is not structurally deficient and they will not assist us in replacing it. lf the Borough of Bridgeville needs to replace it, we will have to replace it.
Mr. Chiodo asked about Act 542, which has to do with fireworks. He thinks that we need an ordinance.
Chief King stated that Act 542 has to do with the firework laws. This year it has changed as far as what fireworks are legal.
Tom Bean – Beer Warehouse 409 Railroad Street Bridgeville, PA 15017
Mr. Bean stated that he has been in contact with Rich Fitzgerald. He stated that he wants to be directed on who to contact and how to proceed, The creek cannot be touched even on a sunny day, He wants to be pointed in the right direction, We need to divide and conquer this, He thanked Chief King Bridgeville and his department for their presence. We have only been there for a sho1t time and we have gotten flooded 4 times.
Greg Totin – 323 New York Street Bridgevi1le, PA 15017
Mr. Totin stated that our infrastructure, storm water and sewage are bad. By sending Robinson Pipe in is not going to correct our infrastructure. You can snake a pipe till your blue in the face, if the pipe is broken, your storm water is going into your sanitary line and there both broke, that’s where your sewage comes from inside your house. Until you fix the infrastructure, it is going to continue to happen. He bought his house in August and he has been flooded 3 times with raw sewage. Your main line is the problem. All of these other Borough’s are putting money and time to fix their infrastructure.
Manager Collins stated that we started a Back Flow preventer program this year. We also have a million dollar a year sanitary sewer budget where we are mandated by the consent order just like the other communities. We do structural repairs, lining, manhole inspections and water proofing. We have been in contact with representatives from the county, the conservation district, the DEP and we want them to come down and tell us what we can put there. We want to know what we can put in this stream. We were ready to do it, we were under the declaration, and we had 2 posts in. If you don’t follow the criteria of the Allegheny County Conservation District, you could be fined up to $25,000 a day. We are always told no that we can’t dredge, can only take sediment out of the stream 50 feet up from a bridge. You are not allowed to go any further than that. There is so much criteria that we have to follow.
A motion was made by B. Ghelarducci, seconded by W. Henderson approving the minutes of the June 11, 2018 regular meeting as submitted. All in favor, motion carried 7-0.
A motion was made by B. Ghelarducci, seconded by N. Petrocelli Sr. approving Resolution No. 2018-07; a resolution designating the extension of the Declaration of Emergency of the Bridgeville Borough for an additional ten (10) day period due to the flash flooding experienced on June 20, 2018. All in favor, motion carried 7-0.
A motion was made by N. Petrocelli Sr., seconded by J. Colosimo approving the remittal of Current Estimate No. 1 – 2018 Pavement Maintenance Program – Contract A to Youngblood Paving, Inc. in the amount of$166,180.86 for work completed to date. Remarks: M. Tolmer stated that the estimate has been reviewed and approved by Engineer Sites. All in favor, motion carried 7-0.
A motion was made by J. Verduci, seconded by B. Ghelarducci approving the July 2018 Bill List. All in favor, motion carried 7-0.
A motion was made by B. Ghelarducci, seconded by V. Schneider approving the payrolls of July 13, 20, 27 and August 3 and 10, 2018. All in favor, motion carried 7-0.
A motion was made by J. Verduci, seconded by V. Schneider approving to pay any commissions due the June 2018 Real Estate Tax Collector Report. All in favor, motion carried 7-0.
A motion was made by J. Verduci, seconded by B. Ghelarducci approving the May 2018 Financial Report. All in favor, motion carried 7-0.
A motion was made by W. Henderson, seconded by V. Schneider approving the June 2018 Police Report. All in favor, motion carried 7-0.
B. Ghelarducci thanked Manager Collins and her staff.
FINANCE, JOSEPH VERDUCI
J. Colosimo stated that McLaughlin Park is closed until further notice. The newsletter deadline is extended to June 16th
N. Petrocelli Sr. thanked everyone that helped with Community Day. He also stated that everyone pitched in on helping for the flood.
W. Henderson thanked the Police Department and the Fire Department for all of their help.
Mayor Copeland stated that she is thankful for everyone that is busy with the flood. The first person to come was Connor Lamb, Carolyn from Bethany Presbyterian Church, Pj’s who served over 500 people with free meals and she is still offering free meals. God bless us all and help us to really love each other and get this community back to where it needs to be.
Chief King stated that the Methodist Church has cleaning supplies, Holy Child is handling the furniture, which if you are not ready to take it, at lease you could claim it and they can put it in storage for you. The Vineyard Church has a ton of clothing. Individual church groups have been going around letting people know to get the word out.
Solicitor McDermott provided his written report, He stated that a leader is someone that everyone wants to follow, There is one person for why Baldwin Street looks the way it does today compared to how it did look after the flood and that person is Lori Collins.
Engineer Sites provided his written report. He stated that he spoke with Fred Bingham from the Flood Authority last week and we spoke about something that might be done on McLaughlin Run maybe explore the possibility of the Flood Authority taking over the operation and maintenance if it’s a multimunicipal project especially since Bridgeville and Upper St. Clair are members of the Flood Control Authority. It’s something to think about.
Fire Chief Chilleo thanked everyone that thanked the fire department. We appreciate it. The night of incident, we did 50 or so water rescues by boat from all the departments that came in, We had 30 alone on Baldwin Street. 10 on Carol and Brookfield. He stated that his hats off to North Strabane because they were on their fourth rescue when all of the boats started coming in. 3 counties were hit that night. When something like this goes on, Allegheny County put themselves into a storm mode and they are watching. They would put all of these water teams on standby, It all hit at the same time. He personally called North Strabane right away because they have a paid staff and he knows the chief. They were set up and ready to go from Peters. The Char-West COG Chiefs Association had their meeting last week and we are looking into our own Swift water team. The demand is becoming more and more. In general, it’s becoming a problem. When the water is going up, the people are more important than vehicles or property. There were some disagreements regarding that. A human’s life comes first, an animal’s life comes second and property is last. The coordination went very well, He made the decision in the morning to suspend everything they were doing to start looking for the missing lady. He wanted to confirm that she wasn’t in our town. It did help get the family some closure, Everyone that came gave us assistance. Thank you for the support.
SOUTHBRIDGE EMS, DAN MILLER
M. Weise stated that she is selling raffle tickets. It will be 4 tickets to the Pirate game on August Bridgeville
BRIDGEVILLE LIBRARY REPRESENTATIVE
BRIDGEVILLE PARKING AUTHORITY REPRESENTATIVE
BOROUGH MANAGER, LORI COLLINS
B. Ghelarducci asked between Public Safety and our Solicitor to start legislation for the dumpsters. Seeing all of those dumpsters are disturbing.
Manager Collins thanked Bill Chilleo, she stated that without him, she would not have survived. It was very overwhelming.
Dennis Orient stated that is there any chance of calling Alcosan and the water company and see if they can cut us a break. Some people that have flood insurance aren’t getting the stuff that they are promised. Could Solicitor help us.
Solicitor McDermott stated that he could give advice as to what direct ion to go but he works for the Borough. He would be happy to help in any way he can.
ADJOURNMENT A motion to adjourn was made by B. Ghelarducci, seconded by J. Verduci. Motion carried 7-0. Meeting adjourned at 9:23 p.m.