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
Rick Beittel-Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Company President, Jason Cole-Schuylkill Township Fire Marshall/Valley Forge Fire Company Chief, Curt English–Schuylkill Township Planning Commission, James Fetterman-Schuylkill Township Chief of Police, Morris Quigg – Schuylkill Township Planning Commission
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.
Upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Handforth, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township accepted and approved the June 1, 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 June 2016.
Supervisor Majewski commended the Roads Department for the work done on the curbing on Evergreen Drive.
Supervisor Morrisson expressed his appreciation for the efforts of the township manager in organizing the complexities of this particular Board business meeting.
Supervisor Parry asked for an update on the submittal requirement of an as-built plan for 330 Pawling Road (UPI#27-6-116) and requested that the matter be pursued with Mr. David Faggioli.
Board Member Reports
Environmental Advisory Council: Supervisor Majewski informed the Board that the plans for Valley Park Park went before the Zoning Hearing Board in June and requested variances were granted. At this time, the township is waiting for the NPDES permit but all other permits are in place. Supervisor Majewski went to say that the Schuylkill Township Environmental Advisory Council has adopted Valley Park Road under the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Adopt-A-Highway program.
Treasurer’s Report and Payment of Bills
Supervisor Majewski, Treasurer, advised the Board that as of June 30, 2016, the Township’s general fund shows a balance of about $4.2 million. She went on to say that the township is halfway through its fiscal year and has expended only 27% of its budget. Supervisor Majewski reported that the bills for June 2016 have been reviewed and she recommended payment of these bills.
Upon motion by Supervisor Handforth, 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 June 30, 2016 and authorized payment of Township bills for the period ending June 30, 2016.
Supervisor Parry informed residents that Aqua Pennsylvania would be conducting water main replacement work on several roadways in the township and motorists should be prepared for delays.
Board Discussion Items
Solicitor Brennan advised the Board that there are a number of pending matters but there is nothing for public review.
Crossing Guards-PASD Early Learning Center 2017/2018 School Year
Discussion ensued regarding financial responsibility for the crossing guards. Upon consensus of the Board of Supervisors, further discussion on Schuylkill Township crossing guard(s) for the 2017/2018 school year at the PASD Early Learning Center was postponed to an undetermined future date.
Endorsement Letter-Phoenixville Region Comprehensive Plan Update
Upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized the Municipal Endorsement Letter dated June 28, 2016 for Schuylkill Township’s participation in updating the Phoenixville Regional Comprehensive Plan and agreed to meet the requirements of section 6.3.E of the Chester County Vision Partnership Program Grant Manual as follows: Phoenixville Regional Planning Committee representatives will serve as the Comprehensive Plan Update Task Force members for the project; Schuylkill Township will provide funds of 20% of the Municipalities’ collective obligation; and Schuylkill Township understands that Chester County’s reimbursement of the costs for preparing the Regional Comprehensive Plan Update will occur after adoption of the plan by all member Municipalities of the Phoenixville Regional Planning Committee.
Resolutions / Ordinances
Resolution 2016-20: Request to Amend Sterling Act of 1932
Resolved, upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township hereby formally requests the Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Senators and Representatives of the General Assembly of Pennsylvania to amend the Sterling Act to require that an amount up to One Percent of the non-resident Philadelphia Wage Taxes paid by non-residents of Philadelphia be remitted to the municipality in which the taxpayer resides.
Proposed Ordinance 2016-02: Amending No Parking on Certain Streets to Include Livingston Street and Wilmer Avenue
Upon motion by Supervisor Handforth seconded by Supervisor Cohen, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized the advertisement of proposed Ordinance 2016-02 amending Chapter 340, Vehicles and Traffic, Section 1. Chapter 340. Article II. Traffic and Parking, Section 340-21 to include no parking on the following streets: Livingston Street North and South between Charlestown Road and Wilmer Avenue; Wilmer Avenue West From Livingston Street to 1216 Wilmer Avenue; and Wilmer Avenue East between Livingston Street and West Pothouse Road.
Ordinance 2016-03: Amending the Definition of Yard
The Township Solicitor, Mr. Brennan, opened the public hearing on the proposed amendment to the Schuylkill Township Zoning Ordinance to amend the definition of yard and asked John Sartor, Township Engineer, to give a brief background summary on the reasons for the amendment. Mr. Sartor explained that the current Ordinance does not allow for retaining walls in any yard setbacks, creating a hardship for residents in certain building permitting circumstances and forcing them before the Zoning Hearing Board. Mr. Sartor confirmed the proposed amendment was common in other municipalities and would be an enhancement to the Ordinance. Mr. Brennan asked for any public comment on the proposed Ordinance amendment; there being none, the public hearing was closed.
Upon motion by Supervisor Handforth, seconded by Supervisor Cohen, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township ordained and enacted that the Schuylkill Township Zoning Ordinance Chapter 370 Zoning As Adopted on January 7, 2013, As Amended, § 370-7. Definitions and Word is amended to include retaining walls in the definition of Yard.
Supervisor Morrisson advised that the amended definition of yard should also be incorporated into the Schuylkill Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance. The Board concurred and instructed Supervisor Morrisson to add the amended definition to the list of recommended ordinance revisions to be considered by the Board of Supervisors at a future date.
Ordinance 2016-04: Amending the Police Pension Plan
Supervisor Morrisson requested a minor grammatical correction to the Ordinance on page 3, line 4 removing the word “a” before “Police Officers.”
Upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Handforth, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors ordained and enacted that the Schuylkill Township Police Pension Plan, which is contained in Chapter 45 of the Codified Ordinances of the Township of Schuylkill, is amended to add a new section establishing and implementing an Act 44 Retirement Program, as corrected in Ordinance 2016-04.
Ordinance 2016-05: Adopting the Phoenixville Region Intergovernmental Cooperative Implementation Agreement
Upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township, pursuant to the “Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Act” 53 Pa.C.S.A. 2301 et seq.) ordained and enacted as follows: the Phoenixville Region Intergovernmental Cooperative Implementation Agreement for Regional Planning is agreed to by the Township of Schuylkill; the appropriate officials of the Township are authorized and directed to execute and file on behalf of the Township the Phoenixville Region Intergovernmental Cooperative Implementation Agreement; and the appropriate officials of the Township are directed to perform all actions authorized by this Ordinance.
Subdivision / Land Development
Conditional Final Approval - Valley Forge Meadows Co., Inc. (Nolen Companies) Apartment Complex
Upon motion by Supervisor Handforth, seconded by Supervisor Parry, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and granted to Valley Forge Meadows Company, Inc. a waiver from Schuylkill Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance Section 402.B.7 “The location, size and species of all existing individual trees shall be shown on the plans” for the subdivision plan titled “Valley Forge Meadows Company, Inc. Residential Development Pawlings Road, Schuylkill Township Chester County” Tax Parcel #27-6-1217 dated September 18, 2009 and last revised June 22, 2016.
Upon motion by Supervisor Handforth, seconded by Supervisor Parry, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and granted to Valley Forge Meadows Company, Inc. conditional final land development approval for the subdivision plan titled “Valley Forge Meadows Company, Inc. Residential Development Pawlings Road, Schuylkill Township Chester County” Tax Parcel #27-6-1217 dated September 18, 2009 and last revised June 22, 2016; said approval conditioned upon adequately addressing all comments in the Keystone Municipal Services letter dated June 27, 2016 to the satisfaction of Mr. John Stoppi, Plan Reviewer and Building Inspector; adequately addressing all comments in the Gilmore & Associates review letter dated June 30, 2016 to the satisfaction of the Township Engineer including but not limited to: recording of plan, execution of an improvements agreement and posting of escrow, execution of a stormwater management agreement, and execution of a maintenance agreement for entrance/driveway into site; and, provision of a copy of the NPDES permit.
Phoenixville Area School District Early Learning Center – Escrow Release No. 1
On motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Majewski, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized Escrow Release No.3 for the Phoenixville Area School District Early Learning Center project in the amount of two million one hundred sixteen thousand, eight hundred thirty dollars and forty-nine cents ($2,116,830.49) as recommended in the Gilmore & Associates, Inc. letter of June 27, 2016 (File No. 09-05070T1).
Schuylkill Township Forum – September
Supervisor Cohen informed the Board that the September township event at the Phoenixville Country Club is scheduled for Thursday, September 15, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. The Schuylkill Township Police Department will do a presentation on issues affecting our community and all township residents are encouraged to attend.
Schuylkill Township Municipal Complex – Future Planning
Supervisor Handforth summarized the issues surrounding administrative, public works and police department space available vs. township growth and advised the Board that it was time to determine the best way to manage growth – should the existing building be renovated, a new building be constructed, or leased space found. Supervisor Cohen said that without knowing what the needs of the departments were, i.e., square footage required for specific functions now and going forward, it would be difficult to determine the best course of action. The Board of Supervisors instructed the Township Manager, with input from the Police and Roads Departments, to move ahead with a planning study to address the present and future space needs of township departments.
Mr. Raymond Kaller, 10 Kerry Lane, addressed the Board on the matter of a disputed fence installation at 3 Mountain View Lane. Mr. Kaller shared documentation which he claimed showed the fence was not a new installation and that the safety issue of large vehicles not being able to access Mountain View Lane has been addressed. Mr. Kaller said he has been working with the residents of 3 Mountain View Lane to resolve the dispute and have both properties surveyed, and he had been under the impression it was resolved. Mr. Kaller stated that he felt the issuance of a citation in this matter was unwarranted and he informed the Board he wanted the Supervisors to withdraw it. Mr. Kaller said it was his opinion that the Township Code Enforcement Officer acted inappropriately.
The Township Solicitor, Mr. Brennan, informed Mr. Kaller that the township does not involve itself in property line disputes; it is a neighbor to neighbor issue which must be dealt with by the parties involved. Mr. Brennan went on to explain that the complaint most often brought up by the residents of Mountain View Lane to the Board at the June 1, 2016 meeting was the safety issue of a blockage on Mountain View Lane caused by the location of Mr. Kaller’s fence. Mr. Brennan asked if the complainants were fully satisfied with Mr. Kaller’s remedial actions in this particular issue-the Board has no confirmation that they are, and Mr. Kaller presented no documentation indicating a resolution. Mr. Brennan stated the citation had been filed based upon two things, one being the failure of Mr. Keller to obtain a building permit for a fence installation. Mr. Kaller stated his position that the fence was not a new installation but rather a replacement which he understands does not require a permit.
Mr. Brennan said the citation has been issued by the township’s Code Enforcement Officer who is an independent law enforcement officer; the Board does not have the legal authority to withdraw the citation. Mr. Brennan’s suggestion to Mr. Kaller was to go to the hearing and present his evidence to the judge. Mr. Everett Callow, 5 Kerry Lane, and his son, James Callow, 2201 Eagle West, West Chester, addressed the Board in support of Mr. Kaller’s claim that the fence has been in its present location for years. Mr. Kaller was advised by the Board to work with the Schuylkill Township Zoning Administration Officer to try to resolve the fence permit issue.
Mr. Peter Mercuri, President Pickering Glen Homeowners Association, presented to the Board various complaints against the Phoenixville Area School District’s Early Learning Center construction project and issues regarding the Levin property adjacent to the Pickering Glen Community as stated in his email of July 6, 2016.
Mr. William Mertz, 565 Clothier Springs Road, requested that the Board take action regarding the perceived speeding issue on Clothier Springs Road.
Mr. Jeffrey Mann & Mrs. Theresa, 515 Clothier Springs Road, also asked the Board to address speeding on Clothier Springs Road, stating that while the guardrail installed by the township on their property has reduced the damage being done by out-of-control vehicles, they feel more should be done such as an increased police presence and the installation of speed bumps.
Mr. John Mraz, 34 Meadowbrook Lane, expressed his dissatisfaction with the recent E-Waste event co-sponsored by the township with several other municipalities and informed the Board that he had an issue with the elevation of the playing fields being installed on the PASD Early Learning Center campus. Mr. Mraz said the fields appear to be 2-4 feet higher than Meadowbrook Lane.
Board Member Resignation
Supervisor Kevin Handforth tendered his written resignation from the Schuylkill Township Board of Supervisors. Supervisor Handforth expressed his appreciation of the support given to him by his colleagues, the township commission and council volunteers, the township staff and police department, and extended his thanks to the volunteers of the Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Company for their exemplary service to the township. Mr. Handforth offered a special thank-you to the township’s residents for the confidence they showed in him as a member of the Board.
On behalf of the Board, Supervisor Parry expressed regret at Mr. Handforth’s resignation and thanked him for his service to the community.
Supervisor Parry stated that the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township would be taking applications to fill the vacancy on the Board created by Mr. Handforth’s resignation. Letters of interest and resumes should be sent to the Township Manager no later than 12:00 p.m. on Friday, July 15, 2016. The Township Solicitor reminded the Board that it had thirty (30) days from the effective resignation to appoint a replacement to the Board
Mr. Parry called for a motion to accept the resignation of Supervisor Handforth.
On motion by Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Cohen, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township accepted the resignation of Supervisor Kevin M. Handforth from the Board, said resignation to be effective Thursday, July 7, 2016 at 12:00 p.m., prevailing time.
Supervisor Parry called for a five-minute recess at 9:25 p.m.
An executive session was called to order at 9:30 p.m. upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Handforth. 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. The executive session closed at 9:45 p.m. upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Handforth and unanimously passed. Supervisor Parry reported that litigation and personnel matters had been discussed.
On motion by Supervisor Handforth, seconded by Supervisor Cohen, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized the hiring of one (1) additional full-time patrol officer by the Schuylkill Township Police Department.
There being no further business before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 10:10 p.m. upon motion of Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Handforth, and unanimously agreed by the Board of Supervisors.
Next Board of Supervisors’ Meeting
Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting:............................. Wednesday, August 3, 2016 at 7:30 PM