How do you Define Residency and Other Interesting Discussions from 5.4.20 CHB Council Meeting
Updated: Jun 2, 2020
It got a little heated today during the council meeting. As always notes are not in the order they occurred.
FINANCES & LEGAL MATTERS:
An additional (unbudgeted) $62K of transfer tax revenue was realized due to the sale of The Chester Heights Storage facility in March making the total revenues reported in April $161K.
Expenses reported for the month were only $34K.
A CD for $45K is being moved to a Citadel Bank to realize 1% interest instead of .75% offered by Iron Workers Credit Union. Iron Bank was not given the opportunity to increase their rate.
Resolution 5-20-A was adopted to extended the real estate tax discount to August 31st, 2020, and the face valued tax payment deadline to December 31st, 2020.
A proclamation was adopted to declare May 3rd – May 9th Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week in the Borough of Chester Heights.
Additional LEGAL MATTER:
Councilwoman Susan Clarke raised a legal issue regarding the residency of councilman Steve Cocozza-Taylor. She made a motion to have him resign retroactively to the date when he no longer resided in the borough. Click here for the link to the full statement as submitted to the council for inclusion in the minutes.
PUBLIC COMMENT: Residency Steve Cocozza-Taylor
in response to Susan Clarke’s legal point. Click Here for Audio of Anne's Comment text has been transcribed below.
(Anne Searl) “I would like to make a comment, a statement really, regarding the Steve Cocozza residency issue. In December of 2019 Mr. Cocozza was sued under landlord-tenant for eviction and public court records show that on 2/27 of 2020 Mr. Cocozza was legally evicted from his apartment at Madison for non-payment of rent for owing more than $10,000 of back rent. It has been 66 days since he was evicted. This is not the first time he has been evicted in the borough. He has not resided in the borough for over 2 months. He is the chair of the finance committee and has not attended a meeting since January and it is now May. And the only other comment I want to make is that in 2017 the residency of Marta Driscoll was called into question multiple times after that tree fell on her house during that storm in June of 2015. She had to reside in a hotel for a few weeks, but she was continually harassed after that devastating loss to her home by people seeking election in the borough. I just want to make sure that we are treating these situations consistently and fairly. Thank you.”
ROADS & PARKS:
Storm drain on Walnut Blvd. was cleared as was the fallen tree.
The Engineer recommended Ivy Road for the 2020 road improvement plan at an estimated cost of $40K.
Post Office will be getting a recycle bin financed by the borough and serviced by Opdenaker.
The Park is to be mowed and an aeration plan reviewed.
A concern about a road from Wawa Road to the new Septa Train Station will be investigated and reviewed by the engineer to be addressed with Septa.
The borough received close to 20 letters regarding the Acquisition of CWA by Aqua, but did not comment on their position. Learn more about this important issue HERE.
Marta Driscoll asked about the Powell property presentation during public comment.
Council stated that the Powell Property owners have not yet contacted the borough to schedule a presentation. The Solicitor did, however, meet with the Natural Lands Trust Land Preservation Representative. This meeting was held on March 10th.
Greg Chestnut asked what are the tax implications for the borough tax revenue and tax liability with the Powell property being rezoned for development. He noted that the main 43 acres are a participant in Act 319 which is a tax abatement program that allows for tax abatement as long as the land remains a farm. If the land gets developed the tax penalty would go back 6-7 years plus interest.
The question could not be answered definitively and Mr. Chestnut asked that a response be made available. The solicitor will raise the issue with the Powel Family attorney.
Last Day June 5th
Last Day for Seniors May 29th
Received a grant for Payroll Protection for 8 weeks.
Ebook rentals reduced to 14 days
All Fines Waived.
No Planning Commission meetings scheduled.
And that's all folks!
These are not official borough minutes.
Offical minutes and recordings should be made available by the borough within their regular course of doing business. Usually within a few days for recordings and a month and a half for official minutes.