Duly advertised in The Pottstown Mercury and posted at www.schuylkilltwp.com
Board of Supervisors Members Present
Fred Parry - Chairman, Barbara Cohen – Vice Chair, Martha Majewski – Treasurer, Susan Guerette, 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
Curt English-Schuylkill Township Planning Commission, Chief James Fetterman-Schuylkill Township Police Department, James Shaughnessey-Schuylkill Township Recycling Coordinator, Evan Taylor – Schuylkill Township Fire Marshall and Fire Chief Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Company, Morris Quigg-Schuylkill Township Planning Commission
Appearing Before the Board
William Ryan, proprietor-The Stove Shop; James J. Kouch, P.E., McMahon Associates, Inc. – Stove Shop project engineer.
Call to Order
The monthly public business meeting 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 further stated that statements to the Board will be limited to 3 minutes and comments by unrecognized persons will not be acknowledged.
Upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Majewski, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township accepted and approved the January 3, 2017 Board of Supervisors Organization Meeting and Regular Meeting Minutes, and all departmental, committee, commission and council reports as posted and received by the Board of Supervisors for the month of January 2017.
Board Member Reports
Chester County Multi-Modal Map Steering Committee – Supervisor Majewski reported on the first meeting of the County’s multi-modal committee informing the Board that the scope, schedule and role of the steering committee was outlined. The purpose of multi-modal planning is to consider various modes of transportation (walking, cycling, automobile, public transit, etc.) and connections among modes. Supervisor Majewski said information about the steering committee will be posted on the County’s website and a public meeting is planned in April at the Phoenixville Borough Hall.
Phoenixville Regional Planning Committee – Supervisor Cohen reported that at the last meeting, Chester County presented an overview of what the regional comprehensive plan update should encompass. Supervisor Cohen said that the work on the regional plan update is expected to take about 36 months and input from residents will be gathered at public meetings. The public may also attend the Regional Planning Committee meetings held the last Wednesday of every month at the Schuylkill Township Municipal Building.
Environmental Advisory Council – Mary Ellen Heisey, Schuylkill Township’s Bird Town Representative, will be hold a Great Backyard Bird Count workshop on February 4th for anyone who would like to participate in this nationwide project on February 17th – 20th.
Supervisor Parry spoke about the various duties and roles of the township’s supervisors and the goals he perceives as important for 2017.
Treasurer’s Report and Payment of Bills
Supervisor Majewski, Treasurer, advised the Board that as of January 31, 2017, the Township’s general fund shows a balance of about $3.3 million. Supervisor Majewski reported that the bills for January 2017 have been reviewed and she recommended payment of these bills.
Upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Guerette, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and accepted the Treasurer’s Report for the period ending January 31, 2017 and authorized payment of Township bills for the period ending January 31, 2017.
The Schuylkill River Heritage Center is hosting a free presentation by the curator of the National Watch and Clock Museum on Tuesday, March 14 at 7:30 p.m.
The Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Company’s Soup Sale will be held on Saturday, February 18 at the main station on Valley Park Road.
Tax bills will be mailed to residents on March 1st.
Board Discussion Items
Solicitor Brennan reported on the following matters:
Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Company – the township is indirectly involved in a lawsuit filed against the fire company re: an accident by a West End Company ambulance driver which occurred prior to the merger with the fire company. Currently it is simply a matter of ensuring the correct insurance company enters an appearance.
Meehan Barn – a hearing has been scheduled for February 7th to follow up on the matter of the citations for demolition by neglect
Supervisor Parry recognized Mr. James J. Kouch, P.E. of McMahon Associates, Inc. Mr. Kouch explained he was representing The Stove Shop and presented a plan showing the proposed parking modifications on The Stove Shop site. Mr. Kouch explained these modifications are being done in conjunction with the recent roadway improvements associated with the Phoenixville Area School District (“PASD”) building project. These roadway improvements impacted The Stove Shop property’s existing parking area. Changes to offset the impact and approved through the PaDOT HOP process were relocation of The Stove Shop driveway and a reconfigured parking area. Changes being requested by The Stove Shop outside of the approved plan are changing the 9-foot parking stalls width to 10-foot widths and additional paving behind the warehouse storage area. Mr. Kouch said The Stove Shop is requesting a waiver from land development for these changes because it is their opinion the changes are minor compared to what has already been approved. Additionally, Mr. Kouch said The Stove Shop is request a waiver from §320-23.N of the SALDO as regards to the requirement that parking stalls be 20 feet in length. Mr. Kouch said The Stove Shop is requesting 18 foot lengths for the stalls with a 2 foot overhang for bumpers. §320-23.N of the SALDO also requires 25 foot drive aisles; because of the existing dimensions of the site, only a 23 foot drive aisle can be provided. Mr. Kouch went on to say that The Stove Shop will be seeking a variance from the Zoning Hearing Board for the additional paving behind the warehouse storage. Mr. Kouch said the stormwater management system installed for the roadway improvements is sufficient for the additional impervious surface. Supervisor Guerette asked what the impact on impervious surface would be; Mr. Kouch said the impact on impervious surface would be to increase it from 72.7% to 75.6%. Supervisor Cohen asked if the Township Engineer has reviewed the proposed changes; Mr. Sartor replied that Gilmore and Associates had submitted a review letter to the township on January 27, 2017 and there are no technical objections to the land development waiver, the parking stall length or the drive aisle width. Mr. Sartor added that the township ordinance required 16 parking stalls based on the site use and there are 16 stalls provided on the plan.
Upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Cohen, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and conditionally granted the following waivers for The Stove Shop property at 20 E. Pothouse Road, Phoenixville PA 19460, Tax Parcel No. 27-5-45, as shown on the plan entitled Stove Shop Property Improvements Exhibit dated January 17, 2017; Revised January 31, 2017; and as reviewed by Gilmore & Associates, Inc. in their letter dated January 27, 2017 (File No. 17-01169T):
1. Chapter 320. A waiver from the Schuylkill Township requirement for filing and processing of a land development plan.
2. Chapter 320-23.N. A waiver reducing the parking stall length from the required 20 feet to 18 feet, and reducing the drive aisle width from the required 25 feet to 23 feet.
The waivers are conditioned upon (1) the formal submission to, and favorable response from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry of the code requirement for the proposed non-compliant handicap parking space, and (2) a variance following a filing with the Zoning Hearing Board for relief from non-impervious coverage requirements.
Mr. John Mraz, 34 Meadowbrook Lane, questioned whether granting these waivers created a precedent. Mr. Brennan responded that waiver requests brought before the Board are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and granting a waiver in one instance does not mean future requests will be automatically approved.
Emergency Declaration Officer Appointment
Upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Majewski, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township appointed Supervisor Susan Guerette as the township’s Emergency Declaration Officer for 2017; said appointment granting the authority to declare a local disaster emergency, subject to later ratification by the Board of Supervisors. If the appointed Emergency Declaration Officer is absent or incapacitated, said authority shall devolve upon the Chair of the Board of Supervisors or, said Chair being absent or incapacitated, upon the Township Manager as the Chief Administration Officer of the Township.
Discussion: Traffic Calming Measures
Supervisor Parry informed the Board that a fact-finding meeting was held with the Deputy Chief of Police of East Whiteland Township. Ms. Bird, Township Manager, reported on her research with other municipalities on this subject. Her findings were that with any request brought before the governing body for traffic calming measures such as the installation of speed humps and/or bumps, many municipalities require that 70% of the residents affected by the installation must be in agreement; either on a street or within a development. Additionally, many municipalities which had installed speed humps/bumps have since removed them because they generated more complaints and problems than the initial traffic issues. Ms. Bird went on to say that each complaint should be looked into as to whether it is a speeding or volume issue because in many instances it is an impression of speeding traffic rather than a reality. Supervisor Guerette said that during the meeting with East Whiteland, they mentioned additional types of traffic calming measures they have used successfully such as narrowing of travel lanes on roads. Supervisor Guerette said in her opinion, more research on this subject was needed in order to respond to residents’ concerns. Ms. Bird suggested that each incident be investigated on a case-by-case basis with traffic/speed counts. Supervisor Guerette added that Chief Fetterman has been extremely responsive to residents’ concerns by monitoring traffic in these situations and determining what measures might alleviate the problem.
Amended and Restated Indemnity Agreement – Highway Occupancy Permit for Certain Off-Site Stormwater Facilities in Schuylkill Township
Mr. Brennan advised the Board that there have been some modifications to the agreement which must be clarified and recommended this agenda item be passed to the next Board meeting. The Board concurred and tabled the Amended and Restated Indemnity Agreement to the March 1, 2017 Board of Supervisors meeting.
Elected Tax Collector Compensation
The Board concurred that compensation for the Schuylkill Township Elected Tax Collector should be increased effective January 1, 2018.
Resolution No. 2017-05: Regarding Modification of Compensation of Elected Tax Collector
Resolved by the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township, upon motion by Supervisor Morrisson, seconded by Supervisor Cohen, and unanimously passed, that effective January 1, 2018, the Elected Tax Collector for Schuylkill Township shall be compensated for services rendered in the amount of five dollars and seventy-five cents ($5.75) per tax bill collected.
Resolutions / Ordinances
Ordinance No. 2017-01: Amending “An Ordinance Prescribing Traffic and Parking Regulations in Schuylkill Township, Chester County, and Providing Penalties for the Violation Thereof”
Upon motion by Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Parry, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors enacted and ordained Ordinance No. 2017-01 Amending “An Ordinance Prescribing Traffic and Parking Regulations in Schuylkill Township, Chester County, and Providing Penalties for the Violation Thereof” Article II, Section 1: Speed Limits Established shall be amended to include Tullamore Lane. The road is to be posted for a maximum speed limit of twenty-five (25) miles per hour.
Subdivision / Land Development
Nothing to report.
Nothing to report.
Mr. Peter Mercuri, President Pickering Glen Homeowners Association, voiced a complaint about the new street light and traffic light installed at the intersection of Trotters Drive, Phantom Way and Pothouse Road, stating his opinion that they were in violation of the township’s lighting ordinance. Ms. Bird responded that the lights were installed by mandate of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation as part of the PASD ELC building project. Mr. Brennan said the township would consult with the PASD on the issue and get back with Mr. Mercuri. Mr. Mercuri went on to state his dissatisfaction with certain aspects of the PASD building project relating to the Pickering Glen development.
Mr. John Mraz, 34 Meadowbrook Lane, voiced his concerns regarding anticipated school district tax increases and urged the township supervisors to attend the school district meetings. Mr. Mraz then asked the township to keep a close eye on the landscaping being put in place on the ELC grounds and recommended that escrow monies be held to ensure the plantings are viable. Discussion ensued. No action was taken by the Board
Mr. Michael Perpiglia, 111 Forge Hill Lane, addressed the Board at the invitation of Supervisor Morrisson regarding a stormwater issue on his property. Mr. Perpiglia said that stormwater is conveyed through the back of his property from the direction of Powderhorn Drive and the runoff over the years has eroded a gully about 12-15 feet deep and 15-20 feet wide. Mr. Perpiglia said the remediation for the problem is a major endeavor. The Township Engineer has been to his property to review the situation; clearances have been obtained from PaDEP and the Chester County Conservation District but he questioned the Board on why it should be his responsibility to fix the issue. Mr. Perpiglia asked what the township could do for him and what has been done to rectify the situation. Supervisor Cohen asked for the Township Engineer’s input. Mr. Sartor explained that he had visited the property several months ago when Mr. Perpiglia’s father had contacted the township. Mr. Sartor said he does not know the complete historical perspective of the problem but he believes the path of the runoff swale was the defined drainage course at the time the development was constructed. Mr. Perpiglia said he believes there are about 65 acres of drainage funneling through the runoff swale behind 3 or 4 properties on Forge Hill Lane. Supervisor Cohen asked whether the township stormwater study would include the area in which Mr. Perpiglia resides; Ms. Bird said the study, which would be completed in about 18 months, would include this neighborhood. The Board informed Mr. Perpiglia that it would take his concerns under advisement.
Supervisor Parry called for a five minute recess at 9:05 p.m.
An executive session was called to order 9:10 p.m. upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Majewski and passed. Present were Supervisor Cohen, Supervisor Guerette, Supervisor Majewski, Supervisor Morrisson and Supervisor Parry. Also present were the Township Solicitor, Mr. Brennan, Township Manager, Ms. Bird, and Township Secretary, Mrs. Harbison. By invitation of the Board, Chief of Police James Fetterman was present. The public meeting resumed at 9:40 p.m. Supervisor Parry reported that litigation and personnel matters had been discussed.
Upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Cohen, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors approved and executed an addendum to the Collective Bargaining Agreement (“CBA”) between Schuylkill Township and the Schuylkill Township Police Association (“STPA”) for the contract dated January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2019 amending Article 6 – Wages, New Hires – Full time officers hired after January 1, 2017, Paragraph A. Starting Wage and Paragraph B. Compensation Time.
There being no further business before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 9:45 p.m. upon motion of Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Majewski, and unanimously agreed by the Board of Supervisors.
Next Board of Supervisors’ Meeting
Board of Supervisors Regular Business Meeting................. Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at 7:30 PM