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 Present
Jason Cole-Schuylkill Township Fire Marshall, Curt English–Schuylkill Township Planning 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 further stated that statements to the Board will be limited to 3 minutes and comments by unrecognized persons will not be acknowledged.
Upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Handforth, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township accepted and approved the February 3, 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 February 2016.
Board Member Reports
Nothing to report.
Treasurer’s Report and Payment of Bills
Supervisor Majewski, Treasurer, advised the Board that as of February 29, 2016, the Township’s general fund shows a balance of about $2.8 million. Supervisor Majewski reported that the bills for February 2016 have been reviewed and she recommended payment of these bills.
Upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Handforth, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and accepted the Treasurer’s Report for the period ending February 29, 2016 and authorized payment of Township bills for the period ending February 29, 2016.
Supervisor Majewski told the Board that at the quarterly Schuylkill Township Pension Committee meeting, the township’s financial investment manager, Michael Glackin of InR, recommended that the township pay its Minimum Municipal Obligation (“MMO”) to the Police and Non-Uniform Pension funds on a quarterly or semi-annual basis rather than annually in October, the township’s current practice. Supervisor Majewski explained that this affords the township’s pension funds greater flexibility in the financial markets over the course of any given fiscal year.
Upon motion by Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Cohen, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized the submission of Schuylkill Township’s annual MMO payments to the Police and Non-Uniform Pension funds on a quarterly or semi-annual basis when determined by the Township Manager and the Treasurer to be a fiscally sound decision.
Supervisor Parry made the following announcements:
March 5th is the Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Company’s Pancake Breakfast fundraiser from 7 – 11 AM. Support your local fire fighters – come and eat the best pancakes in the area.
March 19th – the annual Egg Hunt will be held at the Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Company main station with 9:30 AM registration.
March 24th – Planting with Purpose, a presentation hosted by the Schuylkill Township Environmental Advisory Council with speakers from the Valley Forge Audubon Society will be held at the Phoenixville Country Club.
Supervisor Cohen informed residents that in 2016 Chester County is celebrating 300 years of iron and steel making with celebratory events taking place throughout the county. The Schuylkill River Heritage Center is hosting a free special event on Tuesday, March 15, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. with representatives of different sites who will be announcing their plans for the celebrations.
Board Discussion Items
Solicitor Brennan advised the Board on the following matters:
Meehan Barn: the township had a hearing before the Chester County Court of Common Pleas on the Meehan barn case; there has been no decision yet.
Citadel Homes, LLC/Joe Kravitz: the township has not received payment for the developer’s unpaid engineering bills and continues to seek restitution.
Tredyffrin Township Zoning Hearing Board/Proposed Ham Radio Tower: The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has not yet rendered a decision on the case.
James Keller – Manufactured Home Park Complaints
James Keller, 22 Second Street, again addressed the Board of Supervisors with his list of complaints about his mobile home community, namely telephone lines, propane tanks, apartments on adjacent street, resident’s fire pit on adjacent street, sewers, spacing of mobile homes, stray cats, and vacant houses. No discussion or action was taken by the Board.
Appointment to Environmental Advisory Council (“EAC”)
Upon motion by Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Cohen, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved the appointment of Mr. Thomas Heisey, 124 Oakwood Lane, to the vacant Associate Member seat on the Schuylkill Township Environmental Advisory Council, said appointment to expire January 2018
Naming of Unnamed Streams – Environmental Advisory Council Proposed Project
Supervisor Parry mentioned that he had a number of questions for the EAC on the stream naming project such as cost and what constitutes a viable stream. Supervisor Morrisson mentioned that the stream naming project may act as a bolster in trying to protect riparian buffers. Supervisor Majewski said that at this point, the Environmental Advisory Council is simply requesting approval from the Board to initiate this project using volunteers from the EAC.
Upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized the Schuylkill Township Environmental Advisory Council to proceed with the initial stage of identifying specific unnamed waterways within Schuylkill Township that are worthy of naming. Supervisor Parry added that the EAC should report regularly to the Board on its progress with the project.
Resolutions / Ordinances
Advertisement of Ordinance #2016-01: Amendment to Chapter 340.Article II. Traffic & Parking. Section 340-17 Stop Intersections
Upon motion by Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Cohen, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors approved the advertisement of Ordinance #2016-01: Amendment to Chapter 340.Article II. Traffic & Parking. Section 340-17 Stop Intersections to accept and include stop sign locations in certain developments.
Subdivision / Land Development
Valley Park Realty Associates, L.P.-Construction Close-Out for Valley Park Subdivision
Solicitor Brennan advised the Board that Mr. Douglas Knox of Bentley Homes was before the Board for the construction close-out of the Valley Park Subdivision as required under the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code. Mr. Brennan went on to say that the Township Engineer has deemed the public improvements, largely the roadway Waverly Circle, to be in good order for acceptance by the township. Mr. Brennan mentioned that among the documents to be approved by the Board is an eighteen (18) month maintenance bond in the amount of $234,019.43 which will secure the proper structural integrity of the public improvements for that 18-month period only. Mr. Brennan outlined for the Board the documents included in the construction close-out: the maintenance bond, the return of the construction escrow letter of credit and acceptance of the maintenance bond letter of credit, an indemnification agreement for a possible dispute regarding a stormwater basin, partial release of the mortgage for the value of the roadway, a deed of dedication, a standby letter of credit, and a realty transfer tax statement of value. Mr. Brennan requested that the Board consider a motion to approve and adopt Resolution 2016-10 accepting the deed of dedication for the Valley Park Subdivision. Supervisor Parry asked the Township Engineer if Gilmore & Associates Inc. recommended acceptance of the dedication. Mr. Sartor replied that all inspections were complete and recommended acceptance at this time.
Resolution 2016-10: Accepting Dedication of Certain Ultimate Right-of-Way Areas and Roads in the Valley Park Subdivision
Upon motion by Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Cohen, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and adopted Resolution 2016-10 Accepting Dedication of Certain Ultimate Right-of-Way Areas and Roads in the Valley Park Subdivision.
Solicitor Brennan informed the Board that Schuylkill Township is in receipt of the Maintenance Bond Letter of Credit for the amount of $234,019.43 and requested the Board consider a motion to return the Construction Escrow Letter of Credit to the developer.
Upon motion by Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Cohen, and passed, the Board of
Supervisors approved and granted Final Escrow Release No. 9 for the Valley Park Subdivision in the amount of one hundred twenty-five thousand two hundred sixty dollars and ninety-seven cents ($125,260.97) in accordance with the recommendation of the Township Engineer, Gilmore & Associates, Inc. in their letter dated February 24, 2016 (File No. 04-0832T) and further authorized the return of the original Construction Letter of Credit to Valley Park Realty Associates, L.P.
French Creek Business Park, Lot #3: Waiver Request and Final Approval
Mr. Michael Sodl, P.E. of Wilkinson & Associates, Inc., appeared before the Board on behalf of French Creek Associates, LLC. Mr. Sodl told the Board that Lot #3 is the final lot to be developed in the business park and explained that conditional final approval had been obtained for this lot development plan in September of 2007 but the development was not completed due to various factors. Mr. Sodl explained that a revised plan addressing the outstanding conditions was submitted to Gilmore & Associates, Inc. and also put before the township’s Planning Commission. Mr. Sodl said that in additional to final plan approval, he was also requesting a waiver from Section 503.B for providing 15’ concrete curb radii.
Upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Handforth, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved a waiver for French Creek Business Park, Lot #3, 11 Chrisveyn Lane (UPI# 27-2-77.3) from §503.B of the Schuylkill Township SLDO as shown on Sheet 2 of the plan titled “Proposed Land Development French Creek Business Park Lot #3,” dated June 5, 2007 and last revised February 4, 2016.
Upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Cohen, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township granted final plan approval for French Creek Business Park, Lot #3 (UPI#27-2-77.3) plan set titled “Proposed Land Development French Creek Business Park, Lot #3, dated June 5, 2007 and last revised February 4, 2016.
Nothing to report.
Peter Mercuri, President – Pickering Glen Homeowners Association (“HOA”), addressed the Board with a claim that he had been denied access to public records by the Township Manager, i.e., township minutes and bills. Solicitor Brennan responded that under the right to know law, existing public documents may be requested, however, Mr. Mercuri did not request a document but rather posed questions including how long someone had been a supervisor. Mr. Brennan further explained that as a courtesy, Mr. Mercuri’s question was answered in a letter from the Township Manager dated February 26, 2016 but there is no public document to provide to him. Mr. Brennan said the Township’s Board of Supervisors meeting minutes and invoices can be made available for Mr. Mercuri’s review if he so chooses. Mr. Mercuri proceeded to list a series of complaints against the Phoenixville Area School District Early Learning Center project and issues regarding the Pickering Glen walking path and adjacent property owners. Mr. Brennan responded to the matter of the path, stating that this matter has been addressed extensively over the past ten years; the law states that the land under the walking path belongs to the property owners, i.e., the Levins and the Pickering Glen HOA; there is an easement in place giving the public access to the walking path; and according to the recorded Pickering Glen HOA Deed of Covenants and Restrictions, the Pickering Glen HOA is responsible for maintaining the walking path. Supervisor Cohen added that Schuylkill Township met with the Pickering Glen HOA some years ago to discuss their concerns about the walking path and subsequently agreed to donate money to the HOA towards the cost of the reconstruction of the walking path. Mr. Brennan reminded Mr. Mercuri that proceeds from the Township’s lawsuit against the Pickering Glen developer had also been donated to the Pickering Glen HOA. Mr. Brennan suggested that if Mr. Mercuri was unhappy with neighboring property owners or the school district, his issues should be addressed with those entities.
David Faggioli, Delaware Valley Properties II, LLC, appeared before the Board regarding work being done at 330 Pawling Road (UPI#27-6-116). Mr. Faggioli informed the Board the Township Engineer suggested he come before the Board to discuss the demolition and removal of concrete pads and paving work outside of the area approved for a waiver from land development. Mr. Faggioli explained that his original plan was to leave the original concrete in the parking lot but it was badly damaged and broken and so could not be used for parking. Mr. Faggioli said the area had been paved as far back as the 1980s so it was his opinion he was replacing in kind. The Township Engineer reminded the Board that a very specific conditional waiver from land development approval had been given to Mr. Faggioli based on the sketch submitted for parking spots next to the his refurbished office building on the property. Mr. Sartor went to say Mr. Faggioli proposes to move some of the parking spots; Mr. Sartor, Ms. Bird, Township Manager, and Mr. Faulkner, Township Building Inspector, agree the change makes sense because it removes these parking spots from the egress/ingress lane to the property. Mr. Sartor also confirmed that there are existing, deteriorated concrete slabs which Mr. Faggioli is breaking up but he is not changing the impervious coverage. Mr. Sartor suggested to the Board that Mr. Faggioli submit to the Township an updated, detailed plan to show what the overall site will look like and to ensure there is no additional grading being done in the floodplain. The Board concurred and Mr. Faggioli agreed to submit such a plan.
Thomas Cehula, 94 North Whitehorse Road, voiced his objections to the installation of sidewalks in the township and presented a Whitehorse Road residents’ petition against sidewalk installation to the Board of Supervisors.
Linda Glass, 85 Kleyona Avenue, stated her objections to sidewalks in the township and presented a Kleyona Avenue residents’ petition against sidewalk installation to the Board of Supervisors. Ms. Glass asked the Board to be sure to listen to what residents say in this matter.
Donna Lee DiFrancesco, 524 S. Second Avenue, stated that she is also against sidewalks in her neighborhood.
Stephen Fosbenner, 178 North Whitehorse Road, stated that he does not recommend sidewalk installation in his neighborhood because of the incurred unasked-for maintenance costs and if this project was undertaken for the betterment of the community, the Board should look to the part of the community it will most impact.
Supervisor Cohen stated that the whole idea behind the sidewalk feasibility study, as well as the trail feasibility study underway, is not to infringe on residents’ property but to make the Schuylkill Township community more walkable. Supervisor Morrisson added that sidewalks are not there to serve only the immediately adjacent property owners but rather the whole community. Mr. Fosbenner said he does not want to incur the costs of snow removal, repair or replacement of sidewalks on his property. Mrs. Cohen assured Mr. Fosbenner that the Board of Supervisors would consider the thoughts presented by residents this evening.
Supervisor Majewski asked if the sidewalk locations maps were available. The Township Manager informed her the information presented at both the most recent sidewalk study and trail study public meetings is available on the township website but that the draft studies themselves were being finalized by the Township’s consultants. Supervisor Morrisson stated that the Township would be looking at the costs involved very closely. Supervisor Parry thanked the residents who submitted petitions for taking the time to collect their neighbors’ input and said that residents would have an opportunity to weigh in, and that all viewpoints would be considered when reviewing plans for the sidewalks and trails.
James Keller, 22 Second Street, stated his dissatisfaction with the Phoenixville Area School District Early Learning Center project.
Bernadine Clayton, 8 Meadowbrook Lane, shared her trepidation about whether the Board of Supervisors takes residents’ concerns and wishes into consideration when making decisions which affect those residents.
Supervisor Parry called for a five minute recess at 9:00 p.m.
An executive session was called to order at 9:05 p.m. upon motion by Supervisor Handforth, seconded by Supervisor Cohen and unanimously passed. 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 adjourned at 9:15 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.
There being no further business before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m. upon motion of Supervisor Handforth, seconded by Supervisor Cohen, and unanimously agreed by the Board of Supervisors.
Next Board of Supervisors’ Meeting
Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting:................................ Wednesday, April 6, 2016 at 7:30 PM