SCHUYLKILL TOWNSHIP
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
MEETING DATE: May 5, 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.

Consent Agenda

  1. Approval and acceptance of the Minutes of the April 6, 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 April 2016.

Supervisor Parry explained that the Supervisors’ meeting was being held a day late because Supervisor Cohen had been awarded the prestigious Rebecca Lukens award at a ceremony held on Wednesday, May 4th.  Supervisor Parry congratulated Mrs. Cohen on the award and thanked her on behalf of the community for her many years as a leader in Phoenixville’s renaissance and the qualities she exhibits and for which Rebecca Lukens stood, those being patience and perseverance in achieving goals.

Supervisor Parry asked for an update from Supervisors Cohen and Morrisson on the proposed Regional Comprehensive Plan.  Supervisor Cohen reported that the Schuylkill Township Planning Commission recommended adoption of the regional plan.

Supervisor Cohen advised the Board that she had attended the Chester County Planning Commission’s Multi-Modal event on Friday, April 29th, the focus of which was a discussion on how to implement an accessible, multi-modal transportation system in the community.  Supervisor Cohen said that Schuylkill Township is on the right path towards implementing a multi-modal system with its trail and sidewalk feasibility studies.

Upon motion by Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Cohen, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township accepted and approved the April 6, 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 April 2016.

Board Member Reports

Environmental Advisory Council (“EAC”): Supervisor Majewski reported that the Great American Clean-up event held in Schuylkill Township on Saturday, April 30th went extremely well with 12 volunteers picking up about 940 pounds of trash and debris on Valley Park Road.  Supervisor Majewski thanked the Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Company Fire Police for providing traffic control during the event and Mr. Earl Cram of the EAC for organizing the event every year.

Phoenixville Regional Planning Committee:  Supervisor Cohen reminded the Board that the regional comprehensive plan update grant application deadline is August 31, 2016.  Supervisor Cohen added that in June, the Chester County Planning Commission will send out a letter regarding the updating of the county’s plan.

Phoenixville Area School District Early Learning Center:  Supervisor Parry asked the Township Engineer about the status of the post-construction stormwater management plans for the project.  Mr. Sartor reported that the plans were currently under review.

Treasurer’s Report and Payment of Bills

Supervisor Majewski, Treasurer, advised the Board that as of April 30, 2016, the Township’s general fund shows a balance of about $3.6 million.  She advised the Board that tax revenues are coming in; the budget is under control and the finances of the township look good.  Supervisor Majewski reported that the bills for April 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 April 30, 2016 and authorized payment of Township bills for the period ending April 30, 2016.

Announcements

Supervisor Parry made the following announcements:

Route 29 will be closed between Creek Road and Pothouse Road on Saturday, May 14th from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for a drainage pipe replacement.

The annual community shred event is Saturday, May 7th, 8 AM – 12 noon at the CCIU Tech College (CAT Pickering Campus).

Supervisor Parry reminded everyone that Sunday, May 8th is Mothers’ Day.

The Avoiding Scams and Identity Theft workshop is Thursday, May 12th at 7 PM in the Schuylkill Township Hall.  Please pre-register with the township office for this seminar.

Please join the Friends of the Medal of Honor Grove for their annual spring cleanup of the memorial on Saturday, May 14th, 9 AM – 1 PM.  For more details, visit the Friends’ website at www.friendsmohgrove.org.  

National Police Week is Sunday May 15th through Saturday May 21st.

A Household Hazardous Waste Collection event will be held Saturday, May 21st at the Owen J Roberts Middle School  9 AM – 3 PM.  No electronics will be accepted.

Memorial Day is Monday, May 30th.  The township office will be closed.

Save the Date;

Thursday June 9th: a presentation on the Underground Railroad in Schuylkill Township will be given at the Phoenixville Country Club.

Saturday June 18th: Electronics Recycling Event sponsored by Schuylkill Township, East Pikeland Township, Charlestown Township and Phoenixville Borough

Supervisor Cohen added that on May 10th at 7:30 p.m., the Schuylkill River Heritage Center will be hosting Dr. Dan Mortenson’s one-act play on the history of the Valley Forge Army Hospital at the University of Valley Forge Krempels Theater.  The event is free of charge.

Supervisor Parry informed residents that the University of Valley Forge has a new interim president, Dr. Brian Klaus.

Board Discussion Items

Old Business

Legal Matters

Solicitor Brennan advised the Board on the following matters:

  • Meehan Barn – the deadline for the property owner to file with the Schuylkill Township Zoning Hearing Board (“ZHB”) regarding the demolition by neglect issue is approaching; if no filing is made, the township will petition the judge to find the property owner guilty under the citation issued.
  • Tredyffrin Township Valley Creek Trunk Sewer system legal action – the Valley Forge Sewer Authority has agreed to take over the township’s defense, manage the case and keep the township informed as the matter progresses.
  • Tredyffrin Township Zoning Hearing Board/Proposed Ham Radio Tower - the Third Circuit Court of Appeals has not yet rendered a decision on the case.
  • Valley Forge Meadows Co. Inc. Apartments (UPI# 27-6-1217):  Mr. Nolen will be requesting final plan approval at the June Board of Supervisors meeting.
  • Citadel Homes, LLC/Joe Kravitz – Mr. Brennan requested a discussion in executive session.
  • Police Matter – Mr. Brennan requested a discussion in executive session.

Conservation Easement Agreement – Parcel C

The Board discussed the grant applications submitted by the Schuylkill Township Open Space Commission (“OSC”) for funding of the conservation easement purchase for Parcel C.   Mr. Mauch, Chair of the OSC, said the probability of receiving the majority of the monies necessary for the purchase from the state and county grants is high.  Mrs. Cohen reported that she had been discussing the trail easement being proposed for the property with the property owner.  Mr. Mauch told Supervisor Cohen that the landowner’s position on the trail easement was that the conservation easement must be in place first.  Supervisor Cohen asked the Board to consider authorizing her to continue discussions with the property owner regarding the proposed trail easement on Parcel C.

Upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized a conditioned offer of two million two hundred fifteen thousand dollars ($2,215,000.00) for a conservation easement on a 41.59 acre segment of Parcel “C”, subject to due diligence, execution of a mutually acceptable conservation easement agreement, and a public hearing on the proposed transaction.

Upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township authorized Supervisor Cohen to enter into discussions with the Parcel C landowner regarding a potential path for a possible trail easement on the property provided such discussions are only held with a member of the Schuylkill Township Open Space Commission present.  Further, no decisions or declarations may be made by Supervisor Cohen on behalf of the township without express approval from the Board of Supervisors via a motion at a public meeting.

New Business

690 Pennypacker Avenue – Petition for Township to be Grant Applicant for Property Owner

Mr. Larry Saunders, IV, on behalf of his father, Larry Saunders, III (property owner) petitioned the Board of Supervisors to become a co-applicant on a FEMA grant to address stormwater issues on the private property located at 690 Pennypacker Avenue.  Mr. Saunders gave a brief history of the water issues encountered over the years.  Mr. Saunders said that his father is preparing to sell his property and does not believe he can receive full value for the property because of the water problems.  Mr. Saunders informed the Board that his father cannot afford the repairs needed and explained he discovered a $100,000 FEMA grant which may provide the necessary funding.  Mr. Saunders went on to explain that the grant must be applied for by a municipal authority and that it is a 75/25 matching grant.  Mr. Saunders said that his father would like the township to apply for the grant on his behalf and he would enter into an agreement with the township to repay all or a portion of the 25% matching funds.  Discussion ensued regarding the previous stormwater management study conducted by the township for Pennypacker Avenue and the issues peculiar to the property at 690 Pennypacker Avenue.

The Township Solicitor expressed concerns about, and advised against the township entering into this transaction, stating that the township cannot use public money for a private matter and that entering into a private agreement with a property owner for the use of public monies may not be legal.  Possible reimbursement to the township of 25% of the grant amount did not seem to be appropriate or in keeping with grant requirements.  Mr. Brennan went on to say that grants are awarded for public use, not personal projects.  The Township Manager added her opinion that it would set a bad precedent and may not be a fiscally responsible decision for the township to start partnering with individual property owners to fix private property issues.

The Board of Supervisors instructed the Township Solicitor to look into the legality of Mr. Saunders’ request of the township to become a co-applicant on a FEMA grant to address the water issues on the private property located at 690 Pennypacker Avenue.

PennDOT Adopt-A-Highway Program – EAC Sponsorship of Valley Park Road

Supervisor Majewski explained the EAC’s reasons for assuming this sponsorship.  Supervisor Cohen asked what responsibilities the township would be committing to under the sponsorship.  Supervisor Majewski responded that a clean-up event is required once a year, at minimum.

Upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township authorized and adopted the measure for the Schuylkill Township Environmental Advisory Council to assume the sponsorship of Valley Park Road in Schuylkill Township, Chester County, under the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Adopt-A-Highway Program.

Resolutions / Ordinances

Resolution 2016-14: In Support of the Chester County Planning Commission Application to the DVRPC TCDI Grant Program to Fund a Phoenixville Multi-Modal Plan

Supervisor Morrisson summarized for the Board the reasons Schuylkill Township should support this grant application.

Upon motion by Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Handforth, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township resolved to support the Chester County Planning Commission’s participation in the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission’s Transportation & Community Development Initiative Grant Program.

Resolution 2016-15: Police Officers’ Memorial Day and National Police Week

Upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Handforth, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township resolved to proclaim May 15, 2016, as Peace Officers Memorial Day and May 15 through May 21, 2016, as Police Week, and to encourage township residents to recognize the positive impact of the Peace Officers in our township, and to thank those who serve with honor and courage.

Resolution 2016-16: Opposition to PA PUC Policy on Certificates of Public Convenience to DAS Providers

Upon motion by Supervisor Morrisson, seconded by Supervisor Handforth, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township resolved that Schuylkill Township opposes the Pennsylvania Public Utility’s Commission practice of issuing certificates of public convenience to Distributed Antenna System (DAS) providers.

Discussion:  Parking Issue – Livingstone Avenue & Wilmer Road / Ordinance Amendment

Ms. Rose Long - 1020 Livingston Avenue, addressed the Board regarding the parking issue on Livingston Avenue and Wilmer Street caused by overflow parking by patrons of the Black Horse Tavern.  Ms. Long stressed that residents on Livingston and Wilmer were not objecting to the presence of the tavern but rather the safety and welfare concerns raised by too many cars parking on these narrow streets which have no curbs or sidewalks to protect residents.  Ms. Long stated that residents on Livingston Avenue and Wilmore Street are uneasy about emergency response vehicle access with parked cars on both sides of the streets.  Ms. Long said that she and the other residents in this neighborhood are requesting that “No Parking” signs be installed on Livingston Avenue and Wilmer Street and said that it is understood that the no parking restriction will apply to residents as well as non-residents. 

Mr. Brennan asked Ms. Long if she had contacted every resident on these two streets to find out if all homeowners were in favor of the No Parking request.  Ms. Long responded that every property has off-street parking, the residents in attendance tonight were in favor, and she had given the Township Manager additional names in support of the measure.  Mr. Brennan asked again if she had contacted all residents, Ms. Long said she personally has spoken with every property owner except one, and they are in agreement. .Ms. Bambi Seponsi – 1016 Livingston Avenue, Ms. Anna Heyford – 1003 Livingston Avenue, and Mr. Bob Elder – 1010 Livingston Avenue, voiced their concerns about the parking issue and their support for the installation of No Parking signs in their neighborhood.  Discussion ensued regarding the pros and cons of installing the signs and possible other solutions to the parking issue.

Upon motion by Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Handforth, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized the advertisement of proposed Ordinance 2016-02 Amending the Code of Schuylkill Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, Chapter 340, Vehicles and Traffic to Include No Parking Signs on Livingston Avenue and Wilmer Street.

Discussion:  Possible revision of Alarm Fees in Ordinance

Ms. Bird advised the Board that the Alarm Fees in Resolution 2016-02: Fee Schedule and those in the Ordinance Chapter 90 § 90-3 did not match and asked if the Ordinance or the Fee Schedule should be changed.

Upon motion by Supervisor Morrisson, seconded by Supervisor Cohen, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized the advertisement of proposed Ordinance 2016-03 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.

Subdivision / Land Development

Final Approval – Lot Line Revision: 1757 Rock Hill Lane (UPI# 27-6R-13) and 1763 Rock Hill Lane (UPI# 27-6R-6)

On motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Handforth, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township gave final approval to the Lot Line Revision Plan for  1757 Rock Hill Lane (UPI# 27-6R-13) and 1763 Rock Hill Lane (UPI# 27-6R-6)..

Additional Business

Supervisor Morrisson reported on the 2016 PSATS Conference.

Public Participation

Mr. John Mraz, 34 Meadowbrook Lane, asked if there have been any discussions regarding the PASD study done on the Meadowbrook Lane and Pothouse Road intersection.  Ms. Bird responded that there has been no discussion at the township level because the roads in the study are not township roads but rather are private and state roads.  Mr. Mraz mentioned issues with the amount of dirt at the construction site and asked if this had been presented to the township.  The Township Engineer said this has not come up to date.

Supervisor Parry called for a five minute recess at 9:25 p.m.

Executive Session

An executive session was called to order at 9:30 p.m. upon motion by Supervisor Parry, 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, and Chief of Police, James Fetterman. The executive session closed at 10:20 p.m. upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Handforth and unanimously passed. Supervisor Parry reported that legal and personnel matters had been discussed.

On motion by Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Parry, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized the extension of Police Lieutenant William Fitzsimmons employment contract for the period beginning July 1, 2016 and ending December 31, 2021 under the terms as discussed.

On motion by Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Parry, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized the extension of Chief of Police James Fetterman’s employment contract for the period beginning January 1, 2017 and ending December 31, 2021 under the terms as discussed.

Adjournment

There being no further business before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 10:25 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, June 1, 2016 at 7:30 PM

Respectfully submitted,

Madeline Harbison
Township Secretary