SCHUYLKILL TOWNSHIP
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
MEETING DATE: January 7, 2019

Duly advertised in The Pottstown Mercury and posted at www.schuylkilltwp.com

In Attendance

Board of Supervisors

Martha Majewski – Chair, Fred Parry – Vice Chair, Jim Morrisson – Treasurer, Mark Donovan – Member, Susan Guerette - Member

Township Administration

William Brennan, Esq.-Township Solicitor, Madeline Harbison – Township Secretary, Mary Lou Lowrie. P.E.-Township Engineer, E.J. Mentry – Township Manager

Other Township Representatives Present

Rick Beittel-President Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Company, Nick Cinciripino-Schuylkill Township Roadmaster, Curt English – Schuylkill Township Planning Commission, Chief James Fetterman-Schuylkill Township Police Department, James Shaughnessy-Recycling Coordinator

Call to Order

The monthly public business meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance. The meeting was chaired by Supervisor Majewski.  

Consent Agenda

  1. Approval and acceptance of the Minutes of the December 5, 2018 Board of Supervisors Regular Business Meeting.  No work session was held in December 2018.
  2. Acceptance of all departmental, committee, commission and council reports as posted and received by the Board of Supervisors for the month of December 2018.

Upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and accepted the Consent Agenda.

Board Member Reports

Supervisor Majewski advised the Board that a $100,000.00 grant has been awarded to the Township by DCNR for the Valley Park Park construction project.  This brings the total grant awards for the Park to $200,000.00

Treasurer’s Report and Payment of Bills

Supervisor Morrisson, Treasurer, reported to the Board that as of December 31, 2018, the Township’s general fund shows a balance of $3,050,909.35. Supervisor Morrisson reported that the bills for December 2018 have been reviewed and he recommended payment of these bills. 

Upon motion by Supervisor Parry, 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 December 31, 2018 and authorized payment of Township bills for the period ending December 31, 2018.

Board Discussion Items

Old Business

Legal Matters

Mr. Brennan, Township Solicitor, said there were several legal matters to be discussed in executive session, but he had nothing to report for public discussion.

Engineering Matters

Creek Road Stabilization Project

Mr. Mentry advised the Board that the Township Engineer’s cost estimate for the Creek Road stabilization project is about $160,000.00 and would require a formal bidding process.  A lower cost in-house option has been developed using the equipment rental contractor and the township’s Roads Department which will be about $50,000.00.  Both options are acceptable to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (“PaDEP”). Additionally, the PaDEP emergency permit for the project will expire at the end of January; using the in-house option, all necessary work could be completed by the end of the month.  Mr. Mentry asked which option the Board would like the township to pursue. Mr. Brennan reminded the Board that any work to stabilize Creek Road would require an easement from the YMCA. Discussion ensued regarding the pros and cons of both options.

Upon motion by Supervisor Morrisson, seconded by Supervisor Parry, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized the Township Manager to complete the Creek Road stabilization project using the in-house option and instructed the Township Solicitor to complete the necessary easement paperwork with all possible speed.

New Business

Release of Funds from the Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Company Capital Fund - Upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized the release of $342,727.00 for the final payment to Smeal Holding, L.L.C. for a pumper engine and $150,000.00 for paving work at the Main Station and Substation located in Schuylkill Township.

PELRAS Conference Attendance - Upon motion by Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Guerette, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized the Township Manager’s attendance at the 2019 PELRAS conference.

PaDOT Highway Occupancy Permit: Phoenixville Area School District Life Skills Center (“PASD”) Upon motion by Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Guerette, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized the Township Manager to execute the PaDOT Highway Occupancy Permit for the Phoenixville Area School District Life Skills Center subject to the execution of an agreement of indemnification with the PASD which is satisfactory to the township.

Discussion: Fireworks Regulations – Mr. Mentry informed the Board that Supervisor Guerette had requested this discussion after receiving complaints from residents.  Mr. Mentry explained that  under the new Pennsylvania fireworks law municipalities’ regulation options are limited;  local laws cannot be more restrictive than the state law.  Most municipalities have opted to limit when fireworks can be used.  Discussion ensued regarding the options available to the Township.  The Board instructed the Township Manager and Township Solicitor to draft a fireworks ordinance for the Board’s review.

Township Events at the Phoenixville Country Club (“PCC”) and the Freedoms Foundation Amphitheater – The Township will sponsor events at the PCC on Thursday, March 14, 2019, Thursday, June 13, 2019, Thursday, September 12, 2019 and Saturday, November 2, 2019.  The March event will focus on stormwater; details on all programs is forthcoming.  Discussion ensued regarding a repeat of the Schuylkill Freedoms Music Festival at the Amphitheater.  Supervisor Donovan will contact the event organizers for details and report back to the Board in February.

Supervisor Majewski reminded the Board that the Township is entitled to two dates for the Amphitheater and asked for suggestions for the second date.

Police Contract Negotiation Committee – Upon motion by Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township appointed Supervisor Susan Guerette, Supervisor Mark Donovan and Township Manager Edward Mentry to the 2019 Police Contract Negotiation Committee.

Resolutions / Ordinances

Nothing to report.

Subdivision / Land Development

Nothing to report.

Additional Business

Supervisor Morrisson commented that while the Distributed Antenna System House Bill has been defeated at this time, it will most likely come into play again.  He advised the Board to take the time to review the ordinance.  Mr. Mentry informed the Board that there is a model ordinance which addresses this issue that he would circulate to the Board and Township Solicitor.

Discussion ensued regarding township ordinance revision in general and procedures on how to bring recommended updates to the Board.

Announcements

  • Agendas for 1st quarter Board of Supervisors Work Sessions
    • Thursday, January 24, 2019 – Ordinance Review Open Space Conservation
    • Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - Ordinance Review Open Space Conservation
    • Thursday, February 28, 2019 – Ordinance Review Historic Resource Protection
    • Thursday, March 28, 2019 – PSATS Conference Motions Review
  • The Schuylkill Township Police Association’s Coat Drive will continue through March 20, 2019
  • The West End Fire Company #3, Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Company and Tower Health Phoenixville are sponsoring a hands-on emergency response techniques training for private citizens on January 15, 2019.

Public Comment

John Mraz – 34 Meadowbrook Lane:  Mr. Mraz advised the Board that the PASD is investigating a change to school start times in the District and urged Board members to stay abreast of the discussions because of the impact on residents’ taxes and traffic in the township.

Jeanne Sillup – 801 Spruce Grove Lane:  Mrs. Sillup asked for the status of the Wawa appeal.  Mr. Brennan responded on behalf of the Board informing Mrs. Sillup that the subject of whether to take an appeal to the Chester County Court’s decision is an executive session discussion this evening.

John Gregory – 121 S. White Horse Road: Mr. Gregory urged the Board to appeal the Court’s decision.

Executive Session

An executive session was called to order at 8:25 p.m. upon motion by Supervisor Guerette, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson and unanimously passed.  Present were Supervisor Donovan, Supervisor Guerette, Supervisor Morrisson and Supervisor Parry. Also present were the Township Solicitor, Mr. Brennan, the Township Manager, Mr. Mentry, and the Township Secretary, Madeline Harbison.  The public meeting resumed at 9:15 p.m.  Supervisor Majewski announced that litigation matters were discussed.

Upon motion by Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Parry, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township instructed the Township Solicitor to not take an appeal on behalf of the Township in the Chester County Court of Common Pleas Whitehorse Road-Phoenixville, LLC (Wawa) Land Use Appeal No. 2018-04982-ZB.

Adjournment

There being no further business before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m. upon motion of Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson and unanimously passed by the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township.

Next Board of Supervisors’ Meeting

Board of Supervisors Work Session................................... Thursday January 24, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Board of Supervisors Regular Business Meeting................. Wednesday February 6, 2019 at 7:30 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Madeline Harbison
Township Secretary