SCHUYLKILL TOWNSHIP
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
MEETING DATE: June 1, 2016

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

Also Present

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, James Fetterman-Schuylkill Township Chief of Police, Robert Mauch-Chair Schuylkill Township Open Space Commission, 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. 

Presentation by Girl Scout Troop 4254 and 410

Girl Scout troop leader Angela Moore and representatives from Girl Scout Troop 4254 and Brownie Troop 410 presented to the township plant markers made by the scouts for the Pickering Preserve Butterfly Garden.  Girl Scouts Anna Moore, Julia Moore and Harper Risch described the project, saying the scouts wanted to do something the community would enjoy and explained that the markers were made from recycled materials which was good for the environment as well.  Supervisor Majewski thanked Ms. Moore and the girls for their hard work, initiative and community spirit.

Schuylkill Sidewalk Feasibility Study

Supervisor Parry informed meeting attendees that Mr. Jeff Reigner of Whitman Requardt Associates will be giving a brief overview of the Schuylkill Sidewalk Feasibility Study and explained that the study is on the agenda this evening for the Board of Supervisors to only accept the study.  Supervisor Parry said that acceptance of the study does not mean that the Board is moving ahead with any particular sidewalk segment project within the study.  In the future, should the Board of Supervisors want to move ahead with a particular sidewalk segment project, there will be discussion of that particular segment at a subsequent public Board of Supervisors’ meeting.  That discussion could also include possible funding opportunities and budgetary considerations, engineering needs and construction timelines for that particular segment.  Those items are not for discussion this evening.  After the presentation by Mr. Reigner, the Board will have an opportunity to comment and ask questions.  Members of the audience will be given time to comment and ask questions after the Board has completed their discussion.

Mr. Riegner gave a summary account of the feasibility study project, touching upon the grant process, the goal of the study, the public meetings and feedback, and the anticipated benefits of adding sidewalks in the township.  In closing, Mr. Riegner said that should the township decide to move ahead with the sidewalk project, there were five key points to a successful implementation:  1) think long-term – this could be a 10- to 20-year plan; 2) obtain as much outside funding as possible, whether through developers building sections or through grants with relatively low township matches; 3) work in bite-size pieces; 4) start where there is community support; and 5) begin with logical connections to destinations.

Supervisor Parry said that he is not in favor of building sidewalks, that he feels Schuylkill Township is a rural community and sidewalks do not fit in with the identity of the community.  Supervisor Parry added that the Board must review this project in a judicious, objective and fiscally responsible manner.  He then asked if it would be worthwhile to put the sidewalk question out to residents as a referendum.

Supervisor Morrisson said the community was involved with the sidewalk feasibility study from its inception through the steering committee and it is his opinion the end product is clean and well-done.  He said there were three public surveys done – public workshop comments, a White Horse Road residents survey, and one conducted by the steering committee along certain proposed sidewalk routes – and 64% of total respondents are in favor of sidewalks.  Supervisor Morrisson added that this project might also fall under Section 607 of the Second Class Township Code – health, safety and welfare of residents.

Supervisor Cohen thanked Mr. Riegner and Supervisor Morrisson for their work on the study.  She said that in her opinion, the township has transitioned to a new demographic and is no longer a rural community.  Supervisor Cohen added that sidewalks fall within the multi-modal focus at the county level and recommended that the Board accept the sidewalk feasibility study and proceed in a positive manner for residents.

Supervisor Majewski reminded the Board that under the terms of the DVRPC grant, if the Schuylkill Sidewalk Feasibility Study is not accepted, the township will not be reimbursed for the cost of conducting the study.  She also said that accepting the feasibility study does not mean construction on any portion of the proposed sidewalks is a given.  Supervisor Handforth said he thinks the $11.8 million price tag is too high.

Several residents questioned the survey methods and results, and recommended that the entire township be surveyed to get an accurate accounting of the percentage of residents who are in favor of the sidewalk project.  Additional residents expressed concern about the cost of the project.  Discussion ensued regarding various funding methods.

Supervisor Parry called for a vote on Resolution 2016-19, Acceptance of the May 26, 2016 Schuylkill Sidewalk Feasibility Study and Associated Appendices.

Resolved, upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, that the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township accepts the Final Draft of the Schuylkill Sidewalk Feasibility Study and Associated Appendices dated May 26, 2016.

Supervisor Parry called a five-minute recess at 8:25 p.m.

The public meeting reconvened at 8:30 p.m.

Consent Agenda

  1. Approval and acceptance of the Minutes of the May 5, 2016 Board of Supervisors Regular Business Meeting.
  2. Acceptance of all departmental, committee, commission and council reports as posted and received by the Board of Supervisors for the month of May 2016.

Upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Handforth, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township accepted and approved the May 5, 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 May 2016.

Board Member Reports

Phoenixville Regional Planning Committee:  Supervisor Cohen reported on the presentation made by Carol Stauffer to the PRPC about the Chester County Pipeline Information Center.

Treasurer’s Report and Payment of Bills

Supervisor Majewski, Treasurer, advised the Board that as of May 31, 2016, the Township’s general fund shows a balance of about $4.1 million.  Supervisor Majewski reported that the bills for May 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 May 31, 2016 and authorized payment of Township bills for the period ending May 31, 2016.

Announcements

Supervisor Parry made the following announcements:

A presentation on the Underground Railroad and the Friends Meeting in Schuylkill Township will be given at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday June 9, 2016 at the Phoenixville Country Club. Join us for this look into our community’s rich history.

The Open Space Commission meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 14, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. in the Township Hall.

On Saturday June 18, 2016, the Electronics Recycling Event sponsored by Schuylkill Township, East Pikeland Township, Charlestown Township and Phoenixville Borough will be held in the Phoenixville High School parking lot from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm.

A Household Hazardous Waste collection event is scheduled for Friday June 24, 2016 at the Coatesville Learning Center from 9 AM to 3 PM. No electronics will be accepted.

Board Discussion Items

Old Business

Legal Matters

Solicitor Brennan advised the Board that there were a number of open space and zoning matters pending but there is nothing to report.

New Business

No discussion items

Resolutions / Ordinances

Resolution 2016-17: Adopting the Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan of the County of Chester

Supervisor Handforth explained that the resolution was needed to fulfill disaster mitigation plan requirements put in place by FEMA for hazardous mitigation grant program funding.

Resolved, upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Majewski, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township adopted the Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan of the County of Chester.

Resolution 2016-18: Revising Section No. 11 Miscellaneous Fees, K. Police of the Schuylkill Township Fee Schedule

The Township Manager explained that the revision was necessary to align Alarm Fees in the township Fee Schedule with those in the township Ordinance Chapter 90 § 90-3.

Resolved, upon motion by Supervisor Morrisson, seconded by Supervisor Majewski, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township revised, amended and adopted the official schedule of subdivision, land development, zoning and other fees and charges Amending the Ordinance of Code of Schuylkill Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, Chapter 90 § 90-3 A., Violations and Penalties to reduce by half the fees stated in A.(2), A.(3) and A.(4) and further to update the Township Fee Schedule to reflect those fees in the amended Ordinance..

Ordinance 2016-02: Amending No Parking on Certain Streets to Include Livingston Street and Wilmer Avenue

Supervisor Handforth moved to adopt Ordinance 2016-02; Supervisor Majewski seconded.  Discussion ensued with the residents of Livingston Street being in favor of No Parking and residents of Wilmer Avenue against the measure.  Supervisor Parry tabled the motion to the next Board of Supervisors meeting and requested that Supervisor Handforth meet with residents of both roadways to arrive at an equitable resolution and to report back to the Board at the July meeting.

Proposed Ordinance 2016-03: Section 1 Amending the definition of Yard

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 2016-03; An Amendment to the Code of the Township of Schuylkill, Chapter 370 Zoning As Adopted on January 7, 2013, As Amended § 370-7. Definitions and Word Usage amending the definition of Yard to include retaining walls.

Proposed Ordinance 2016-04: Amending the Police Pension Plan

Upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Handforth, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors approved and authorized the advertisement of proposed Ordinance 2016-04: Amending the Police Pension Plan to Include an Act 44 Retirement Program and Amending the Pre-Retirement Survivor Benefit.

Proposed Ordinance 2016-05: Adopting the Phoenixville Region Intergovernmental Cooperative Implementation Agreement

Upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Handforth, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors approved and authorized the advertisement of proposed Ordinance 2016-05: Adopting the Phoenixville Region Intergovernmental Cooperative Implementation Agreement.

Subdivision / Land Development

Escrow Release #2 for the Mortimore-Sparhawk 2-Lot Subdivision: S. Second Avenue (PID# 27-3P-15 and PID# 27-3P-15.1

Upon motion by Supervisor Handforth, seconded by Supervisor Majewski, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors approved Escrow Release #2 for the Mortimer-Sparhawk 2-Lot Subdivision on South Second Avenue, PID# 27-3P-15 and PID# 27-3P-15.1, in the amount of fourteen thousand nine hundred forty-three dollars and fifty cents ($14,943.50) in accordance with the recommendation of the Township Engineer, Gilmore & Associates, Inc., in their letter dated

May 16, 2016 (File No. 07-03074T1).

Additional Business

No discussion items.

Public Participation

Mr. Marcus Bloodworth & Mrs. Heather Bloodworth, 3 Mountain View Lane, addressed the Board regarding an on-going issue concerning a fence erected by Mr. Raymond Kaller of 10 Kerry Lane.  Mr. Bloodworth said this fence impedes the ingress and egress to the private roadway on his property and the matter is of great concern not only to him and his family but the adjoining property owners who have legal use of the road.  The concern is that the fence was installed by Mr. Keller directly on the roadway and large vehicles such as fire trucks, ambulances, and delivery trucks are now not able to negotiate the road and so cannot access the properties on the drive. Mr. Bloodworth said he and his wife asked Mr. Kaller to move the fence back about 5 feet but to date he has refused.  Mr. Bloodworth said they turned to the township for assistance in getting the fence moved because it is a safety issue. The township’s Zoning Administration Officer has written to Mr. Kaller on two occasions to inform him the fence is unpermitted and must be removed but Mr. Kaller has not replied.  Supervisor Cohen responded saying she has known Mr. Kaller for a long time and he approached her about this issue.  Supervisor Cohen said she was told by Mr. Kaller that the fence in question has been in place for thirty years; he was just making improvements to it, and she suggested that Mr. and Mrs. Bloodworth and Mr. Kaller meet to try to resolve the issue.  Mrs. Bloodworth informed Supervisor Cohn that when they moved into their home in December 2015, the fence did not exist-it was installed in March 2016, and also that they did not believe a meeting would bring about any resolution.  Mr. Lee Olszewski, 2 Mountain View Lane, confirmed the Bloodworth’s statements.  Supervisor Majewski noted that whether it was a new installation or improvements, Mr. Kaller should have obtained a permit.  Supervisor Morrisson added that he had gone out to investigate the matter and found the fence was blocking access on the roadway.  The Township Solicitor advised the Board that generally disputes about property lines are private matters but that it is a different matter when safety issues arise.  He added that a complication to this issue is that neither party has produced deeds or plans or surveys to indicate on whose property the fence actually lies.  Solicitor Brennan went on to say that under the Municipal Planning Code, a zoning code enforcement notice can be sent to Mr. Kaller to which he has thirty days to respond.  If no response is received, the Code Enforcement Officer may issue a citation. 

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.

Supervisor Parry called for a recess at 9:35 p.m.

Executive Session

An executive session was called to order at 9:45 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 10:05 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 Parry, seconded by Supervisor Handforth, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and accepted the Amended Collective Bargaining Agreement Between Schuylkill Township (Chester County) and Schuylkill Township Police Association (the “CBA”) for the 5-year period January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2019 to supersede the CBA for the period ending December 31, 2017 as ratified December 31, 2014.

Adjournment

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 Majewski, and unanimously agreed by the Board of Supervisors.

Next Board of Supervisors’ Meeting

Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting:.................................. Wednesday, July 6, 2016 at 7:30 PM

Respectfully submitted,


Madeline Harbison
Township Secretary