SCHUYLKILL TOWNSHIP
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
MEETING DATE: March 1, 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, John Sartor, P.E.– Township Engineer

Other Township Representatives

Curt English-Schuylkill Township Planning Commission, Chief James Fetterman-Schuylkill Township Police Department, Robert Mauch-Chair Schuylkill Township Open Space Commission, Evan Taylor – Schuylkill Township Fire Marshall and Fire Chief Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Company, Morris Quigg-Schuylkill Township Planning Commission

Appearing Before the Board

Mr. Jeffrey A. Kowalczyk and Mr. Eric Willey of Barbacane, Thornton & Co., LLP, Mr. Robert Mauch, Chair-Schuylkill Township Open Space Commission

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.

2016 Audit Report

Mr. Kowalczyk presented the 2016 Schuylkill Township Annual Audit and Financial Report. Mr. Kowalczyk mentioned that the audit report is being presented to the Board earlier than in past years and noted that is because everything was ready at the township, the auditors progressed quickly and were able to issue the report with a date of February 13, 2017; the first report to be issued out of the approximately 40 municipalities audited by Barbacane Thornton. Barbacane Thornton conducted audits for the Township General Fund, Open Space Fund, Capital Roads Fund, Municipal Complex Fund, Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Company Capital Fund and Pension Plans (2). The Tax Collector audit will be conducted in April. The Auditor’s Report notes the Township is meeting all expectations and requirements, there are no significant remarks regarding internal controls and the Staff are following all processes and procedures as needed.

Consent Agenda

  1. Approval and acceptance of the Minutes of the February 1, 2017 Board of Supervisors Organization Meeting and 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 February 1, 2017.

Upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Majewski, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township accepted and approved the February 1, 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 February 2017.

Board Member Reports

Phoenixville Regional Planning Committee – Supervisor Cohen reported that at the last meeting, as part of the regional comprehensive plan update process, Ed Theurkauf provided regional statistics for the committee’s review and comment.  The vision portion of the regional plan will be presented at the April 26, 2017 meeting of the PRPC.

Tax Collection –Supervisor Majewski informed residents that the tax bills were mailed on March 1, 2017 and property owners who have not received their bill by March 15th should contact the tax collector.

Treasurer’s Report and Payment of Bills

Supervisor Majewski, Treasurer, advised the Board that as of February 28, 2017, the Township’s general fund shows a balance of about $3.3 million.  Supervisor Majewski reported that the bills for February 2017 have been reviewed and she recommended payment of these bills. 

Upon motion by Supervisor Parry, 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 February 28, 2017 and authorized payment of Township bills for the period ending February 28, 2017.

Announcements

The Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Company’s Pancake Breakfast will be held on Saturday, March 4th at the main station on Valley Park Road.

The Schuylkill River Heritage Center is hosting a free presentation by the curator of the National Watch and Clock Museum on Tuesday, March 14th at 7:30 p.m.

The Environmental Advisory Council is hosting a seminar on the impact of invasive plants on the native flora and fauna in Pennsylvania on March 23rd.

Supervisor Cohen informed resident that the Schuylkill Township Historical Commission is working with the Valley Forge Alliance (formerly The Friends of Valley Forge) on a special tour as part of the annual Chester County Summer Walks program. 

Supervisor Parry advised residents that there are openings on several township commissions and committees and said that anyone interested should contact the township manager.

Board Discussion Items

Old Business

Legal Matters

Solicitor Brennan advised the Board that there was nothing to report publically.

Amended and Restated Indemnity Agreement: Highway Occupancy Permit for Certain Off-site Stormwater Management Facilities in Schuylkill Township

Mr. Brennan advised the Board that the indemnity agreement is required by PennDOT to protect the agency and terms are still being negotiated.  Mr. Brennan recommended this agenda item be tabled to a future meeting.  The Board concurred and tabled the Amended and Restated Indemnity Agreement to an indeterminate future date.

New Business

Presentation:  Proposed Conservation Easement Acquisition on Parcel C.

Mr. Mauch informed the Board that the Open Space Commission is recommending the funding of a conservation easement on the property known as Parcel C.  Parcel C is a portion of the Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge property on Valley Forge Road (Tax Parcel ID: 27-6-120 +/- 75.1 acres).  The conservation easement will protect from development about 41.6 acres of the property including the Medal of Honor Grove.  Mr. Mauch advised that the appraised value of the property is $2,215,000 with $1,415,000 of the acquisition cost to come from the township’s open space funds and $800,000 through a grant from Chester County.  Mr. Mauch said the easement would be held by the Natural Lands Trust which will monitor and enforce in perpetuity the terms of the easement agreement.

Mr. Brennan announced that a public hearing and possible vote on the proposed conservation easement acquisition on +/- 41.6 acres of the Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge property (Tax Parcel ID 27-6-120) will be held on April 5, 2017 concurrent with the regular Board of Supervisors monthly business meeting

Resolutions / Ordinances

Resolution No. 2017-06:  Regarding the Concept of the Greater Philadelphia Region Completing 180 Miles of Circuit Trails by 2025 In Order to Achieve 500 Miles of Completed Circuit Trails

Supervisor Morrisson advised the Board that this resolution was discussed at the last Regional Planning Committee meeting and was supported unanimously by the committee members.  The Township Manager explained that this resolution does not commit the township to any action or expenditure but only indicates approval of the idea of the circuit trail.

Resolved upon motion by Supervisor Morrisson, seconded by Supervisor Parry, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township hereby endorses the concept of the nine countyregion completing 180 miles of Circuit Trails by 2025 in order to achieve 500 miles of completed Circuit trails and the Circuit Trails passage through the Township of Schuylkill, and encourages our neighboring municipalities to do the same; and the Township of Schuylkill supports the existing trails along the alignment of the Circuit Trails being designated as a “Circuit” Trail

Subdivision / Land Development

305 Kimberton Road (FB Storage L.P.) – Letter of Credit Reduction #2

Upon motion by Supervisor Morrisson seconded by Supervisor Cohen, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized Letter of Credit Reduction No. 2 for the FB Storage, L.P. self-storage project located at 305 Kimberton Road, Phoenixville, PA (UPI #27-2-81) in the amount of eighty-two thousand three hundred fifty-six dollars and five cents ($82,356.05) as recommended in the Gilmore & Associates, Inc. letter of February 22, 2017 (File No. 14-01069T1).

Phoenixville Area School District Early Learning Center – Escrow Release #4

Upon motion by Supervisor Cohen seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized Escrow Release No. 4 for the Phoenixville Area School District Early Learning Center located at 1 Phantom Way, Phoenixville, PA (UPI #27-5D-1) in the amount of seven hundred sixty-nine thousand six hundred fifty-seven dollars and twenty cents ($769,957.20) as recommended in the Gilmore & Associates, Inc. letter of February 6, 2017 (File No. 13-12010T1).

Mrs. Kathleen Mraz-34 Meadowbrook Lane, was recognized by the Chair.  Mrs. Mraz requested that the Board, when considering release of escrowed monies for the Early Learning Center (ELC) project, keep in mind the condition of the landscaping performed on the grounds of the ELC.  Mrs. Mraz said that many of the trees put in place look to be improperly planted and may not survive.

Additional Business

Traffic Calming

Supervisor Morrisson discussed with Chief Fetterman various aspects of the traffic speed studies conducted on Rhinehart Lane and Powderhorn Drive

Public Participation

Mr. Chris Perillo-429 Greene Lane, restated his concerns regarding the perceived speeding in the Moorehall development originally voiced at the December board meeting and again requested that speed bumps be installed on Moorehall Drive.  Supervisor Guerette advised Mr. Perillo that the township has been investigating traffic calming measures by meeting with other municipalities and through this research has determined that speed bumps may not be the best solution to traffic/speeding issues and, in some cases, actually turn into a liability to the neighborhood and the township.  Supervisor Guerette went on to say the township is currently developing a response process so that when residents bring up traffic issues in their neighborhoods, the township has a method in place to determine the best solution for that particular neighborhood.

Ms. Laurie Griggs, 805 Spruce Grove Lane, suggested that Schuylkill Township host an open public meeting regarding the state of affairs in Washington, D.C.  Ms. Griggs went on to say that she is promoting a spring house tour and is considering donating the proceeds to Schuylkill Township for playground equipment

Mrs. Kathleen Mraz-34 Meadowbrook Lane, asked if the township was aware of the large spool of wire hanging alongside Pothouse Road near the entrance to the Levin property.  Chief Fetterman stated he would follow up with the appropriate utility company.

Supervisor Parry called for a five minute recess at 8:45 p.m.

Executive Session

An executive session was called to order 8:50 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.  The public meeting resumed at 9:25 p.m. Supervisor Parry reported that litigation and personnel matters had been discussed.

Adjournment

There being no further business before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 9:27 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, April 5, 2017 at 7:30 PM

Respectfully submitted,

Madeline Harbison
Township Secretary