Meeting was held at Bosler Library, 7:00pm
Whitney Amato, President
Connie Bires, Co-President
Ann Sheehan, Co-president
Stephen Hughes, Membership Secretary
Janet Spahr, Recording Secretary
Dawn Flower, Borough Councilwoman
Robin Guido, Borough Councilwoman
Minutes from May meeting were approved.
Whitney read an update from our treasurer, Antonia Hyde. SOSO’s new account is now active at Orrstown Bank. A balance of funds was not given. The balance reported in our account on May 14th was $691.14.
Borough Councilwomen Robin Guido and Dawn Flower were special guests at the meeting. They have both served on council for 2 1/2 years.
Robin Guido is surprised at which issues become “hot bed” issues and which don’t. Mobil food vendors have been given trial permission to operate near warehouses. They are still not permitted downtown.
A developer is proposing a high density apartment complex behind Giant. Seven Gables park land will not be built upon. No drawings have been shown yet to council. A pavilion and recreation space is is reported to be included in this development plan. The developers will be presenting their plan to council after the planning commission approves their plan. It was noted that the Borough’s Comprehensive Plan is very basic and should be improved.
Regarding the two largest sites available for development in the borough: The IAC site owners have been very open to hear what residents desire at their site. No decisions have been made as to how it will be developed. The Lear site is currently looking for a buyer/developer.
Dawn Flower chairs the Employee Relations and Community Participation Committee. She suggested that residents attend committee meetings in order to get in on discussions earlier than when issues come to vote at Council meetings.
The borough burning ordinance update was discussed. The police and codes officers now have more “teeth” in addressing complaints. Flues and chimneys are required on all burning devices. Burning trash and leaves is still not permitted.
Tot Lot discussion:
The damaged shrubs and trees have been reported to police each of the 3 times since the new landscaping has been installed in the Tot Lot. Robin Guido is chair of the Park & Recreation Committee. Annie Oiler requested more signs in the park re: no smoking and dawn to dusk rules. Andrea Crouse from the Park & Rec. department said through an email to Annie that she is concerned about “over signage” but will check into it. West Side neighbors are getting cameras from a community block grant. (They are eligible due to having a higher number of low income residents.) Andrea Crouse wrote that a water fountain would be very expensive to add to the tot lot, but she gave no dollar amount. A small pavilion may be possible but we need to decide on the size we want. No one has volunteered to take charge of adding further amenities to the tot lot. It was suggested that a high school student might take on the building of the pavilion and we would only have to pay for materials.
We now have a rain barrel (donated by Antonia) at the rear of a neighbor’s lot adjacent to the tot lot that is used for watering the plants.
It was suggested that Borough Council make public announcements that police are going to be more closely monitoring parks between dusk and dawn. If fines are given more often for disregarding park rules, and citations published in the paper, it may discourage further similar incidents.
The Rental Ordinance discussion:
The main weakness in the ordinance is that the Codes Department needs to push harder on enforcement. Council has recently given the Codes Dept. a directive to do so, hopefully improving quality of life in the borough. The Rental Ordinance *has* resulted in improvements, according to Dawn & Robin. Councilwoman Linda Cicconello suggested at the last council meeting that residents make a list of problem properties and send it to her. Dawn & Robin suggested to send such lists to the Codes Dept., with Linda copied. Issues such as high weeds, trash, structural deficiencies, over-occupancy, etc. should be reported to the Codes Dept. Report criminal issues to the police department.
There has been some non-compliance in property owners registering their properties/conforming to the Rental Ordinance. 16 properties have not registered and will be cited. A problem with the tenant/occupant reporting surfaced early: some tenants need to keep their address off of the borough’s public website. The borough has recognized that, keeping access to that information non-public. Landlords have been reporting their tenants names satisfactorily.
Property values continue to decline in Carlisle. The number of private homeowners is dropping compared to rental properties.
Question as to whether “branding” the neighborhoods in the borough is a good idea. There has been talk of doing that by DCA but it has not been followed through.
Neighborhood groups are invited to have a common booth at First Friday on August 1st. The booth would have representatives from each neighborhood, and passersby could be made aware of the groups and invited to join. Brenda Landis from West Side Neighbors is organizing it, and emails will be sent closer to the time to ask for volunteers to take turns at the booth. Glenn White may be helpful in planning a future 1st Friday that would have the theme of neighborhoods.
Re: having a party with all the neighborhood groups on a Wed. in August: the other groups have not responded.
Stephen Hughes brought up a membership issue. Currently, there are two levels of membership: Assoc. membership, which is free. Voting membership, which is $5.00. There are some businesses within SOSO’s boundaries which might like to be members, but the owners do not live within SOSO boundaries. Perhaps a new membership level might be established: a Business Membership, where the member would not have voting membership but they could get monthly advertisements on our googlegroup emails by paying a membership fee.
The annual Neighborhood Block Party is still on for September 6th. Gay Walker is chairing, and Whitney Amato and Ann Sheehan volunteered to help organize. Expect emails with details closer to the time.
Contact Janet Spahr for additions and/or corrections to these minutes, please.