SCHUYLKILL TOWNSHIP
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
MEETING DATE: June 7, 2017

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

In Attendance

Board of Supervisors

Fred Parry - Chairman, Barbara Cohen – Vice Chair, Martha Majewski – Treasurer, Susan Guerette, Jim Morrisson

Township Administration

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

Other Township Representatives

Curt English-Schuylkill Township Planning Commission, Chief James Fetterman-Schuylkill Township Police Department, Sandy Momyer – Chair Schuylkill Township Historical Commission, Evan Taylor – Schuylkill Township Fire Marshall and Fire Chief Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Company

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.

Consent Agenda

  1. Approval and acceptance of the Minutes of the May 3, 2017 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 2017.

Upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Majewski, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township accepted and approved the May 3, 2017 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 2017.

Board Member Reports

Phoenixville Regional Planning Committee (PRPC) – Supervisor Cohen reminded residents of the public meeting sponsored by the PRPC on June 22, 2017, 7:00 PM at the Kimberton Fire Company and urged everyone to attend in order to provide their input on the regional comprehensive plan update.  The regional plan encompasses Schuylkill Township, East Pikeland, Charlestown Township, West Vincent Township and the Borough of Phoenixville. Supervisor Morrisson provided a progress report on the regional plan update stating the consultant is on schedule reviewing existing policies, data analysis, mapping and community input. Supervisor Morrison added that residents should consider taking part in the on-line public survey prior to the public meeting on June 22nd. 

Multimodal Transportation Task Force – Supervisor Majewski advised residents that updates from the May 25, 2017 public meeting on the Phoenixville Region multimodal transportation plan will be available on the Chester County Planning website at chescoplanning.org/transportation/phoenixvilleregion.cfm. Supevisor Cohen added that the multi-modal plan is part of the County’s Landscapes 3 plan currently under development and urged residents to participate.

Supervisor Parry mentioned several bills of possible interest to township residents currently in committee at the state legislature.

Treasurer’s Report and Payment of Bills

Supervisor Majewski, Treasurer, advised the Board that as of May 31, 2017, the Township’s general fund shows a balance of about $4.7 million. Supervisor Majewski reported that the bills for May 2017 have been reviewed and she recommended payment of these bills. 

Upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and accepted the Treasurer’s Report for the period ending May 31, 2017 and authorized payment of Township bills for the period ending May 31, 2017.

Announcements

Supervisor Parry announced the following:

June 8: Historic Barn Seminar

June 12: Conditional Use Hearings – Whitehorse-Phoenixville LLC.  The Township Solicitor, Mr. Brennan, advised the Board that due to the judicial capacity taken by the Supervisors in the hearings, by law the Supervisors may not enter into any public discussion nor take any evidence prior to the hearing.  Mr. Brennan told residents they are invited and welcome to attend the hearings.

June 15: Open Space Commission meeting

June 16: Valley Forge National Historic Park Special Heritage Night

June 22:  Phoenixville Regional Planning Public Meeting

Supervisor Parry reminded residents that on July 4th residents should reflect on the U.S. Constitution and U.S. Bill of Rights.

Board Discussion Items

Old Business

Legal Matters

Solicitor Brennan advised the Board that he had several matters for executive session but there was nothing to report publically.

New Business

2017 Oil & Chip Work on Certain Township Roads – Bid Opening:

The township manager announced that two bids were received in response to the Request for Proposals for the 2017 Oil & Chip work in the township.  The bid proposal was to oil and chip certain roads in Schuylkill Township for an approximate quantity of 50,000 square yards per Township specifications for a double application with work to be completed between June 15, 2017 and August 28, 2017.  Supervisor Majewski opened the bids.

Asphalt Industries, Inc. 169 Township Line Road, Chester PA  19013.............. $ 110,211.76

Martin Paving, Inc. 531 E. 28th Division Highway, Lititz PA 17543 ................... $  87,248.98

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 contract for the 2017 Oil & Chip work to Martin Paving, Inc. of Lititz, Pennsylvania for eighty-seven thousand two hundred forty-eight dollars and ninety-eight cents ($ 87,248.98) pending a bid compliance, specification and reference review by the Township Manager and Township Roadmaster.

Discussion – Former Meadow Brook Golf Club House and Barn Task Force

Supervisor Parry invited Mrs. Momyer, Chair of the Schuylkill Township Historical Commission to address the Board.  Mrs. Momyer reviewed the course of events surrounding the formation of the task force noting that the barn on the former Meadow Brook farmstead had come before the Supervisors for a conditional use to allow demolition of the barn.  Mrs. Momyer noted that the Meadow Brook Farmstead, now owned by the Phoenixville School District, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Because of the historical nature of the barn and their desire to save the structure, the Township’s Historical Commission went before the School Board and the School Board Building & Grounds Commission on several occasions, the result of which was the formation in late 2016 of a task force comprised of township and school district personnel.  Mrs. Momyer reported that the task force has been meeting monthly to discuss and explore avenues by which the buildings could be preserved and repurposed.  An early result of the task force meetings was the withdrawal by the school district of the conditional use application for demolition of the barn.  Mrs. Momyer reported that the task force’s current plan is to market the property with the first step being to list the farmstead with Preservation Pennsylvania as an “At Risk” property for 2017, one of 11 such properties in the state.  This allows input and support from Preservation Pennsylvania to assist with real estate listing, funding and marketing.  At this time, the school district is drafting a lease in order to create a marketing plan targeted towards adaptive reuse while maintaining the historical integrity of the house and barn.  A list of possible marketing sources is being developed in conjunction with Preservation Pennsylvania, i.e. preservation realtors, publications, websites, economic development agencies and architectural firms.  Mrs. Momyer advised the Board that the Historical Commission is requesting that the Board of Supervisors take into consideration any possible use which could be made of the farmstead within the township’s long range plans and invited individual supervisors to attend task force meetings.  Supervisor Cohen said that she would be happy to attend the next meeting.  Mrs. Cohen further commented that a substantial financial outlay would be required to rehabilitate the farmstead buildings and suggested the task force reach out to some of the innovative industries in Chester County to discuss opportunities to use the farmstead.  Supervisor Cohen inquired about the school district’s use of the house on the property for office space.  Mrs. Momyer replied that due to restrictions in the matter of student access, the school district determined that it was cost-prohibitive to renovate the farmhouse for school use.  Mrs. Momyer reiterated the request for input from the Board of Supervisors regarding the marketing, preservation and reuse of this historic property.  Supervisor Parry asked if with the substantial financial outlay required for rehabilitation of the property, is it possible to find a responsible lessee willing to take it on.  Mrs. Momyer replied that there are many companies and individuals who do restore National Register properties, some in far worse condition than the Meadow Brook Farmstead.  Supervisor Guerette stated that the Meadow Brook Task Force has done an outstanding job in identifying resources for the preservation of this premier historic property in Schuylkill Township.

Mrs. Momyer advised the Board of Supervisors that on June 28, 2017, the Schuylkill Township Historical Commission will be honored by the Chester County Historic Preservation Network for its preservation work.  Mrs. Momyer said this is a prestigious award as Schuylkill Township was chosen from all the townships in Chester County and much of the credit goes to the Board of Supervisors for their support of the Historical Commission.

Environmental Advisory Council Member Appointment

Upon motion by Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Guerette, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved the appointment of Mr. Jonathan Meyers, 555 Country Club Road, as an Alternate Member to the Environmental Advisory Council to a term to expire in January of 2018.

Resolutions / Ordinances

Ordinance #2017-03: Disability Benefit for Police Pension Fund.

Upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township does hereby ordain and enact Ordinance #2017-03 amending Ordinance #2003-04 dated August 6, 2003, Disability Benefit for the Police Pension in order to comply with certain benefit provisions that have become mandatory under Act 30 of 2002.

Ordinance #2017-04 Amending Specific Sections of Chapter 370, Zoning Ordinance

Upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township does hereby ordain and enact Ordinance #2017-04 amending specific sections in Chapter 370 – Zoning Ordinance.

Ordinance #2017-05 Amending Specific Sections of Chapter 320, Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance

Upon motion by Supervisor Morrisson, seconded by Supervisor Majewski, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township does hereby ordain and enact Ordinance #2017-05 amending specific sections in Chapter 320 – Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance.

Ordinance #2017-06 Repealing Chapter 290, Soil Erosion, Sedimentation and Grading Control

Upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Cohen, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township does hereby ordain and enact Ordinance #2017-06 rescinding of Chapter 299 – Soil Erosion, Sedimentation and Grading Control.

Advertisement of Ordinance #2017-07, Repealing Chapter 186, Flood Damage Prevention

Upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Majewski, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized the advertisement of proposed Ordinance #2017-07 to rescind Chapter 186, Flood Damage Prevention.

Advertisement of Ordinance #2017-08, Chapter 186, Flood Damage Prevention-New FEMA Rules

Upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Cohen, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized the advertisement of proposed Ordinance #2017-08, Chapter 186, Flood Damage Prevention incorporating new FEMA Regulations.

Advertisement of Ordinance #2017-09, Establishment of 25 MPH Speed Limits

Upon motion by Supervisor Morrisson, seconded by Supervisor Majewski, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized the advertisement of proposed Ordinance #2017-09 to establish twenty-five mile per hour (25 MPH) speed limits on two township roads, South Spring Lane and South Forge Manor Drive.

Resolution #2017-08: Acceptance of Deed of Dedication.

The Township Solicitor explained that in 2007, the Horseshoe Pointe subdivision was completed and Horseshoe Pointe Drive Deed of Dedication was accepted; however, a resolution stating the acceptance of the dedication was not passed.  The Township Manager explained that in order to include this township road in the state’s liquid fuels reimbursement calculations, the resolution must be made and recorded with the Chester County Recorder of Deeds.

Resolved upon motion by Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Cohen, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township does hereby accept the land dedicated as described in the Deed of Dedication presented to the Supervisors of the Township of Schuylkill by Horseshoe Pointe, Inc. dated April 7, 2007, whereby and wherein the road has been dedicated to the Township as a public road, the said road, Horseshoe Pointe Drive, being bounded and described per the aforementioned Deed of Dedication.

Subdivision / Land Development

Letter of Credit – Mortimer Sparhawk 2-Lot Subdivision

Upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Majewski, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized calling of the Letter of Credit for the Mortimer-Sparhawk 2-lot subdivision in the amount of three thousand three hundred dollars ($3,300.00) for failure to provide as-built plans to the Township per the land development agreement, and further grants to the Township Manager the authority to execute all documents necessary to accomplish the calling of the letter of credit.

Additional Business

Supervisor Guerette announced that the township staff is working on redesigning its website and hopes to have a draft before the Supervisors for review by mid-summer.

Public Participation

Several residents expressed a wish to speak about the proposed convenience store at the intersection of S. Whitehorse Road and Valley Forge Road.  The Township Solicitor reminded the Board and residents that the Board could not participate in any discussion or presentation of evidence regarding this matter prior to the June 12, 2017 Conditional Use Hearing.

Mr. Peter Mercuri – President Pickering Glen HOA, was recognized by the Chair and addressed the Board with his complaints regarding certain aspects of the Phoenixville Area School (“PASD”) District Early Learning Center building project; specifically maintenance of the public trail owned by the Pickering Glen Homeowners Association and the fence adjoining the trail.  Mr. Mercuri went on to discuss problems with ticks and concerns about the unmown properties bordering the Pickering Glen development.  Supervisor Parry advised Mr. Mercuri that the Township was pursuing getting the property at the corner of Pothouse Road and State Road mowed.  Mr. Morrisson advised Mr. Mercuri that the right-of-way does not convey public ownership, i.e., municipal or school district; ownership and maintenance responsibility remain with the property owner.  Mr. Mercuri went on to express dissatisfaction with the stormwater management agreement between the township and the school district and urged the township not to release remaining escrow monies until the Pickering Glen issues were resolved.

Mr. James Keller, 22 Second Street, expressed a concern about a debris-filled ditch running through his mobile home park.  Mr. Keller was advised by the Board to bring the issue to the manager of the mobile home park.

Mr. Frank Donatelli, 1495 Valley Forge Road requested that the township look into the matter of a hotel being operated at 1485 Valley Forge Road which he believes is in violation of current zoning for this property.  Mr. Donatelli then gave a brief summary of the history of this property from it being operated as a Christian conference center to the purchase of the property by Holly Lobby and the subsequent gifting of the property to the Valley Forge University and voiced his concerns over the use to which the University is and will put the property.

Ms. Laurie Griggs, 805 Spruce Grove Lane, requested that the Board of Supervisors be strategic thinkers when considering businesses wishing to locate within township boundaries.

Supervisor Parry announced that Police Officer James Hennessey has recently received his Criminal Justice degree with honors from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and asked Chief Fetterman to convey the Board’s sincere congratulations to Officer Hennessey for his hard work and accomplishment.

Supervisor Parry called for a five minute recess at 8:50 p.m.

Executive Session

An executive session was called to order at 8:55 p.m. upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Guerette, 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.  The public meeting resumed at 9:35 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 of Schuylkill Township authorized and appointed Mr. Michael G. Crotty Esq. of Siana Bellwoar to represent the interests of Schuylkill Township in the Whitehorse-Phoenixville, LLC matter.

Adjournment

There being no further business before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 9:40 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, July 5, 2017 at 7:30 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,

Madeline Harbison
Township Secretary