Duly advertised in The Pottstown Mercury and posted at www.schuylkilltwp.com
Board of Supervisors Members Present
Fred Parry - Chairman, Kevin Handforth – Vice Chair, Martha Majewski – Treasurer, Barbara Cohen, Jim Morrisson
Mary Bird – Township Manager, William Brennan, Esq.-Township Solicitor, Madeline Harbison-Township Secretary, John Sartor, P.E.-Township Engineer
Township Representatives in Attendance
Deborah Brand-Schuylkill Township Auditor, Richard Beittel-President Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Company, Curt English–Schuylkill Township Planning Commission, James Fetterman-Schuylkill Township Chief of Police, Tracey Ann Hoffman-Schuylkill Township Auditor, Robert Mauch-Chair Schuylkill Township Open Space Commission, Jerry O’Dell-Chair Schuylkill Township Environmental Advisory Council, James Shaughnessey-Schuylkill Township Recycling Coordinator, Kyle Shirkness – Schuylkill Township Tax Collector
Call to Order
The regular public business meeting of the Schuylkill Township Board of Supervisors was called to order at 7:30 p.m. with Supervisor Parry leading the Pledge of Allegiance. The meeting was chaired by Supervisor Parry.
Supervisor Parry advised the audience that meeting attendees not on the agenda who wished to address the Board of Supervisors will wait to be recognized by the Chair, then proceed to the microphone and identify themselves for the record. Supervisor Parry said that statements to the Board will be limited to 3 minutes and comments by unrecognized persons will not be acknowledged. Supervisor Parry reminded meeting attendees that any proposed agenda items must be submitted to the township manager no later than 12:00 noon on the Wednesday preceding any given Board meeting and that late submissions will be not be placed on the current agenda but held for a subsequent meeting unless approved by the Chairman of the Board.
Supervisor Parry asked for an update on an item from the March 2nd meeting, asking if Mr. Faggioli of Delaware Valley Paving had submitted an as-built plan to the township for the work being done at 330 Pawling Road. The Township Engineer, Mr. Sartor, explained that Mr. Faggioli was working on the plan and it would be submitted by the end of April 2016.
Upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Majewski, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township accepted and approved the March 2, 2016 Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting Minutes, and all departmental, committee, commission and council reports as posted and received by the Board of Supervisors for the month of March 2016.
Treasurer’s Report and Payment of Bills
Supervisor Majewski, Treasurer, advised the Board that as of March 31, 2016, the Township’s general fund shows a balance of about $2.8 million. Supervisor Majewski reported that the bills for March 2016 have been reviewed and she recommended payment of these bills.
Upon motion by Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Cohen, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and accepted the Treasurer’s Report for the period ending February 29, 2016 and authorized payment of Township bills for the period ending March 31, 2016.
Schuylkill Township 2016 Audit Report
Jeffrey A. Kowalczyk, C.P.A. C.F.E., of Barbacane Thornton & Co., L.L.P. presented to the Board of Supervisors the results of the 2015 audit of the Schuylkill Township financial statements. Mr. Kowalczyk summarized the process and timeline of the audit, and said the financial statements of the township were found to be materially accurate in accordance with the standards of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. Mr. Kowalczyk went on to say that no significant deficiencies or material weaknesses were found in the township’s internal cash management controls and that past audit recommendations are in place.
Upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Cohen, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and accepted the Schuylkill Township 2015 Annual Audit and Financial Report as submitted by the township’s independent auditor, Barbacane Thornton & Company, L.L.P., on February 26, 2016.
Supervisor Parry made the following announcements:
West Pothouse Road will be closed from Meadowbrook Lane to State Road (Route 29) April 15th through May 16th for the installation of a sanitary sewer line for the PASD Early Learning Center.
April 9th – Designing with Natives Backyard Conservation Workshop at the Schuylkill Township Building. Details are on our website.
April 16th – Schuylkill Township’s Spring Cleanup. The township compost yard will be open to residents on Saturday April 16th from 8 AM – 12 noon. The compost yard accepts leaf waste only.
April 16th – Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event at the CAT Pickering Technical High School Campus 9 AM – 3 PM. No Electronics will be accepted.
April 26th – Primary Election. Polls open at 7 AM and close at 8 PM.
April 30th – Great American Cleanup in Schuylkill Township 10 AM – 12 PM. Contact Earl Cram of our EAC to volunteer.
April 30th – the Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Company’s annual Yard Sale will be held at the main station on Valley Park Road from 8 AM – 1 PM.
Supervisor Cohen added that on Tuesday, April 12th, Mr. Sam Katz will be at the Schuylkill River Heritage Center to speak about his production “Philadelphia – The Great Experiment.”
Board Member Reports
Phoenixville Regional Planning Committee (“PRPC”). Supervisor Cohen reported that the PRPC will be submitting a grant proposal this summer to Chester County which, if awarded, may cover up to 75% of the funding needed for the Comprehensive Regional Plan. Supervisor Parry questioned whether the PRPC Comprehensive Regional Plan has been before the township’s Planning Commission (“PC”). Mrs. Bird informed the Board that the regional plan has been reviewed by the township’s PC, the PC is satisfied with the regional plan and has recommended that the township move ahead and explore the option of a Comprehensive Regional Plan. Supervisor Parry said he still had reservations and questions on adopting the regional plan over the township’s comprehensive plan. Supervisor Cohen responded that adoption of a regional plan does not deny the township’s right to take individual action. Supervisor Morrisson added that there are still several stages to be completed prior to the Board’s consideration of the regional plan adoption.
Board Discussion Items
Solicitor Brennan advised the Board on the following matters:
Thompson Property Tax Appeal: A trial was held in Chester County Court and the Judge found in favor of Schuylkill Township and the Phoenixville Area School District.
Meehan Barn – Citation Appeal: Chester County Court of Common Pleas found the property owner guilty under the first citation; the second citation is under advisement.
Tredyffrin Township Zoning Hearing Board/Proposed Ham Radio Tower: The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has not yet rendered a decision on the case.
Citadel Homes, LLC/Joe Kravitz: A stop work order was issued on the construction at 840 E. Philip Drive (UPI # 27-6A-137) with a follow-up letter to Mr. Kravitz.
Municipal Building Roof Replacement Bids Opening
The township manager announced that one bid was received in response to the Request for Proposals for the roof replacement on the municipal building.
Kylor Contracting, L.L.C., Cassville PA........... $18,137.00
Upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Cohen, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized the award of the Schuylkill Township Municipal Building Roof Replacement Contract to Kylor Contracting, L.L.C. of Cassville, Pennsylvania, pending a bid compliance, specification and reference review by the township manager and township engineer.
Valley Park – Waivers and Zoning Relief
The township engineer summarized the waivers and variances recommended by the Schuylkill Township Planning Commission at their meeting on February 17, 2016 which included park use restrictions, phased installation of parking spots and certain sections of Chapter 310, Stormwater Management, and Zoning Ordinance Chapter 370.
Supervisor Morrisson reminded the Board that the bar for granting variances has been raised and he requested that an executive summary of the justification for the requested variances be prepared. The township solicitor advised Supervisor Morrisson that the project may meet the hardship qualifications; namely that without these variances, the community will not get the park. Supervisor Morrisson said he would still like to see a summary and requested that Mr. Brennan prepare one prior to any appearance before the Zoning Hearing Board.
Upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Cohen, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized a waiver from certain requirements of Stormwater Management Ordinance Chapter 310 to the extent that post-development peak flow rates will be reduced to less than pre-development peak flow rates for all storms from the 1-year through the 100-year storm events for the proposed Valley Park project; specifically, §310-307.A. for the 2-year storm for Phase 1 only and for Phases 1 and 2 combined; and §310-308.A. for the 1-year through the 10-year storms for Phase 1 only, and for the 2-year through the 10-year storms for Phases 1 and 2 combined.
Upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized restricting the public use of the proposed Valley Park to the hours between dawn and dusk on any given day.
Upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized a waiver from Zoning Ordinance §370-184.C to permit a reduction in the required number of parking spaces for the proposed Valley Park development to eight (8) spaces in Phase 1 and twenty (20) spaces in Phase 2.
Upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Cohen, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized an application to the Schuylkill Township Zoning Hearing Board for zoning relief from certain requirements of Zoning Ordinance Chapter 370 for the proposed Valley Park: §370-73.A(2). to allow a trail (a structure) and a driveway to be located in the flood hazard district; §370-73.B(3) and §370-73.B(7) to allow the proposed culvert(s) replacement/extension in the flood hazard district; §370-181.B(17) to allow no curbing for either parking lot and to allow the lower parking lot to be gravel; §370-183.C to allow the Phase 1 parking lot to be installed 16 feet from the front lot line; and §370-223.F(3)(d) to allow disturbance of more than 10% of the wetlands buffer, if required, during construction.
Rescheduling of the May 4, 2016 Board of Supervisors Regular Business Meeting
Supervisor Cohen requested that her fellow Board members consider rescheduling the May Board of Supervisors meeting so she could receive the Rebecca Lukens Award on May 4, 2016 for her role in Phoenixville’s rebirth. Supervisor Handforth objected, stating that while he congratulated Supervisor Cohen on the award, the advertised monthly public meeting for the Board was the first Wednesday of each month, changing the meeting impacted many more people than just Board members, and he was not in favor of rescheduling a public meeting for personal reasons which were not directly related to Schuylkill Township.
Upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and passed, with Supervisor Handforth dissenting, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved the rescheduling of the Wednesday, May 4, 2016 Board of Supervisors regular business meeting to Thursday, May 5, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Uncollectable Real Estate Property Tax Liens
Upon motion by Supervisor Handforth, seconded by Supervisor Parry, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township authorized and approved the exoneration of uncollectable Real Estate Property tax liens on certain parcels in the township as requested in the March 7, 2016 letter from the Chester County Tax Claim Bureau. Supervisor Parry added that the total sum of the uncollectable liens was $466.10 for a period from 2007 to 2014.
Appointment to the Open Space Commission (“OSC”)
Upon motion by Supervisor Morrisson, seconded by Supervisor Cohen, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township appointed Julie Brufke Wenger to the OSC as a member for a term commencing April 6, 2016 and ending December 31, 2018, and further appointing Ms. Wenger as Treasurer for the OSC for said term.
Confirmation of Open Space Commission Member
Upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township confirmed the OSC’s recommendation to change Mr. Bud Emig’s membership status with the OSC to Alternate.
Conditioned Conservation Easement Offer on Parcel “C”
Bob Mauch, Chair of the Schuylkill Township Open Space Commission, summarized for the Board the nature of the property on which the conservation easement is proposed and the negotiations to date including the fact that due to the uniqueness of this property, there was a high probability of receiving grant assistance from both the county and state, and other sources. Supervisor Morrisson asked whether the township would have to incur any debt in order to make the conditioned offer; Mr. Mauch said no. Solicitor Brennan asked if the offer could be conditioned upon obtaining the grants. Mr. Mauch said yes but that the township will almost certainly get some grant funding.
Upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized a conditioned offer for conservation easement on a 41.59 acre segment of Parcel “C”, subject to due diligence, completion of a mutually acceptable conservation easement agreement and trail agreement.
Resolutions / Ordinances
Resolution 2016-11 – Assignment of Signatory Authorization to the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors for the Parcel “C” DCNR Grant Agreement Signature Page
Upon motion by Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Handforth, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township resolved that the “Grant Agreement Signature Page” of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Grant Application for the proposed Parcel “C” Conservation Easement may be signed on behalf of the township by the Chair of the Schuylkill Township Board of Supervisors.
Resolution 2016-12 – Participation in Pennsylvania State Contract No. 561036ITQ
Upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Handforth, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township resolved that Schuylkill Township will participate in Pennsylvania State Contract No. 561036ITQ entitled Bituminous Material, Plant Mixed, Districts 1-12 by purchasing material from Independence Construction Materials, Glasgow and Highway Materials and based upon the terms and conditions of the contract. Further, Schuylkill Township will be responsible for the payment of material directly to the contractor of said expenses directly related.
Resolution 2016-13 – Designation of Agent for PEMA/FEMA Reimbursement Documents
Upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Handforth, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township resolved that the Township Manager, Mary R. Bird, is hereby authorized to execute for and in behalf of Schuylkill Township any Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and Federal Emergency Management Agency reimbursement documents for the January 22, 2016 Winter Storm.
Ordinance 2016-01 – Amendment to the Schuylkill Township Code, Chapter 340
Upon motion by Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Handforth, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township enacted Ordinance 2016-01 Amendment to the Code of Schuylkill Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, Chapter 340, Vehicles and Traffic, §340-17 Stop Intersections accepting Stop Sign Intersections in the Valley Park, Pickering Glen, and Anderson Farm developments.
Subdivision / Land Development
Phoenixville Area School District Early Learning Center – Escrow Release No. 1
On motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Cohen, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized Escrow Release No.1 for the Phoenixville Area School District Early Learning Center project in the amount of one million, two hundred fifty-two thousand, eight hundred thirty-seven dollars and ninety-nine cents ($1,252,837.99) as recommended in the Gilmore & Associates, Inc. letter of April 1, 2016 (File No. 09-05070T1).
Spring Meadows (McCann Trailer Park) – Escrow Release No. 6 Final
On motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Cohen, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized Escrow Release No.6-Final for the Spring Meadows (McCann Trailer Park) project in the amount of two thousand, four hundred eighty-three dollars and fifty-three cents ($2,483.53) as recommended in the Gilmore & Associates, Inc. letter of March 22, 2016 (File No. 98-0616T).
Nothing to report.
Laurie Williams, 805 Spruce Grove Lane addressed the Board with a request for an update on the proposed Saturday Board retreat meeting, trail prioritization and sidewalks. Supervisor Cohen informed Ms. Williams that the proposed Saturday, March 5, 2016 retreat meeting was cancelled by the Board, and that the sidewalk and trail feasibility studies were not yet finalized.
Peter Mercuri, President Pickering Glen Homeowners Association addressed the Board with complaints regarding the school project roadwork and HOA-required lighting in the Pickering Glen development.
Supervisor Parry called for a five minute recess at 9:00 p.m.
An executive session was called to order at 9:05 p.m. upon motion by Supervisor Handforth, seconded by Supervisor Majewski, and unanimously passed. Present were Supervisor Cohen, Supervisor Handforth, Supervisor Majewski, Supervisor Morrisson and Supervisor Parry. Also present were the Township Solicitor, Mr. Brennan, Township Manager, Ms. Bird, and Township Secretary, Mrs. Harbison. Mr. Richard Beittel, President of the Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Company, Mr. Robert Mauch, Chair Open Space Commission, and Mr. Jerry O’Dell, Chair Environmental Advisory Council. The executive session closed at 10:00 p.m. upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Handforth and unanimously passed. Supervisor Parry reported that legal matters had been discussed.
On motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Handforth, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township authorized and instructed the Township Solicitor to perform due diligence in the matter of the merger of the West End Emergency Medical Services and Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Company organizations and the impact to the township of such a merger.
There being no further business before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 10:05 p.m. upon motion of Supervisor Handforth, seconded by Supervisor Cohen, and unanimously agreed by the Board of Supervisors.
Next Board of Supervisors’ Meeting
Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting:... Thursday, May 5, 2016 at 7:30 PM