Edinboro council meets to discuss fireworks, census

Category:  News
Friday, March 27th, 2020 at 1:22 PM

Edinboro Council met on Monday, March 9, at 6:30 p.m. in council chambers.  

With only one council member absent (Mary Ann Horne), the group approved the minutes of the last meeting held Feb. 10. 

Council then approved bills paid on Feb. 24, totaling $84,577.20, and approved March bills, totaling $70,305.36. They also approved payroll paid on Feb. 14, totaling $80,741.74, and Feb. 28 payroll, totaling $75,610.66.  

They then discussed openings for various Edinboro committees: one spot is open on the Water & Municipal Authority Board; one spot and two alternate spots are open for the Housing Review Board; one alternate is needed for the Civil Service Commission as well as the Planning Commission; and three members and one alternate is needed for the Shade Tree Committee. You can apply for the positions on their website and they’re open to the public.  

Next, Borough Manager Kevin Opple gave his report. 

He noted that for the 2020 Census, the borough has printed sample census information on the backs of utility bills so residents keep them. He added that they are also looking into getting census workers at the borough’s census events, which will be held at the Edinboro Library — March 23 from 2-8 p.m., April 8 from 1-5 p.m. and April 9 from 2-8 pm. — as well as at the Edinboro borough building on March 24 from 2-8 p.m.  

Note: These events have since been postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

The census approaches for official nationwide rollout on April 1, so Opple wished to communicate information to Edinboro students. He said, despite the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, students should still be counted as part of the Edinboro population. 

Opple explained that to be counted at a certain location for the census, one must reside there for most of the year (more than half, most of the time, etc.). He said, “as if coronavirus never happened,” students have been, and still would be, residing at their on or off-campus locations at the time of April 1. Citing undercounting in the area for the past two censuses, Opple stressed the importance of a proper count for the purposes of accuracy, as well as funding and transportation needs, among other reasons. 

For students that typically would be in their residence halls on April 1, the Edinboro University Office of Student Affairs will have already filed their residence for the census. They would not need to do any filing of their own or, most importantly, be counted at another location such as their parents’ house. This would cause inaccuracy by double-counting. 

For students that would be living in houses off-campus, one student, if they were in the area, could get the census information (with their log-in code), and file on behalf of the others that live with them. The code is specific to that residence, so if the code is entered, certain information would be automatically applied to the submission. If the code is lost, the student filing would just need to manually enter the information.  

For example, if three students lived in a house, one student would file, and the other two would be counted on that submission.  

In addition to census information, Opple originally planned to attend EU President Dr. Guiyou Huang’s inauguration on March 20, along with councilmembers Aaron Gast and Fred Langill; the inauguration has since been cancelled. 

He also detailed previous events he attended, such as the Erie Chamber State of the Community Event, WIC Little Free Library opening and the EUP MLK Awards Luncheon. He also planned to attend the PELRAS municipal law training at State College from March 17-20. The event has since been cancelled. 

Opple then discussed an upgrade to the sewer line from “Normal Street to the plant via Brookview and Water Street Extension.” The low bidder for the project was Chivers Construction Co. Council unanimously awarded the bid to Chivers.  

Council also approved the July 3 fireworks permit, waiving the permit fee and authorizing use of borough insurance for the event. After last year, where there was apparently not enough food for everyone, there will be “twice the food vendors,” according to Jason Spangenberg, the borough finance director. They additionally passed a motion to donate $500 for the fireworks. 

The borough has not decided if the event will be cancelled due to COVID-19. In a later email, Spangenberg said: “With the fireworks event still over three months away, we are certainly hoping things will be back to normal by then. However, we are monitoring the situation and will be prepared to decide on the event as we near July.” 

From here, they moved on to new business, where Langill made a motion for the borough manager to “explore the acquisition of an Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership membership.”  

In an update, Opple explained: “The exploration of the partnership with the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership is still in the works. The partnership is with the Edinboro Community & Economic Development (ECED) corporation, our local 501.c.3 community non-profit.” 

According to the ECED Facebook page, they are a “nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing local businesses, promoting our regional assets and creating a local community we can be proud to call home.” 

Opple continued: “The question was whether the ECED is interested in membership of the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership. Since the ECED was only founded in January 2019, they don't have a lot of financial resources, so the council might be interested in donating money for one year of membership.” 

The motion to “explore” this option was passed. 

The next Edinboro Council meeting will be held on April 13. Council meets on the second Monday of every month. 

The meeting minutes can be found here.

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