TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
MINUTES - JUNE 21,1999
The regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on June 21, 1999. Chairman Strahle called the meeting to order at 7:34 p.m. noting that they had been meeting in Executive Session since 6:30 p.m. to discuss personnel and legal matters.
Board of Supervisors:
William Strahle, Chairman
Wesley Hackman, Vice Chairman
Frank Fazzalore, Secretary/Treasurer
Scott Fegley, Supervisor
Grace Godshalk, Supervisor
Terry Fedorchak, Township Manager
Jeffrey Garton, Township Solicitor Jan Gouza, Township Engineer
Joseph Bainbridge, Acting Chief of Police
Ms. Amy Stoddart of 33 Fairway Drive stated she is the daughter of the late Robert Stoddart for whom the sports complex across the street from the Township Building was named. She stated she has recently noticed that the sign bearing her father's name has been removed, and she has learned that the Supervisors intend to rename the facility. She stated the Board of Supervisors on 3/28/88 granted permission to the PAA to erect the sign in honor of her father, and she asked that the current Board reconsider their decision to rename the complex. Mr. Fedorchak provided to the Board this evening the letter delivered by Ms. Stoddart to the Township today at 12:30 P.M. regarding this matter. Mr. Fegley stated the Board did receive in their packet the Minutes from the 1988 Board of Supervisors meeting during which the Board agreed to name the Complex. He stated he would be opposed to reversing that action.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Mr. Fazzalore moved and Mr. Hackman seconded to approve the Minutes of the meeting held June 7, 1999 as corrected. Motion carried with Mr. Strahle abstaining.
APPROVE HIRING PROBATIONARY POLICE OFFICERS
Mr. Hackman moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to appoint Lawrence M. Hilghman, Timothy G. Reeves, Jr., and Fabrizio Catoni as Probationary Police Officers. Mr. Strahle introduced and reviewed the backgrounds of the three Officers and Acting Chief Bainbridge, Sergeant Roche, and the Supervisors welcomed them to the Police Department
INTRODUCTION OF MICHAEL SOLOMON, ZONING CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
Mr. Fedorchak stated Tom Scott who had been the Code Enforcement Officer for the last ten years recently resigned. He introduced Michael Solomon, the new Code Enforcement Officer. Mr. Fedorchak reviewed Mr. Solomon's background noting that he spent three consecutive summers interning with Lower Makefield Township, first with the Public Works Department and then as Assistant to Tom Scott in the Code Enforcement Office. The Board welcomed Mr. Solomon to the Township
APPROVAL OF CONDITIONAL USE APPLICATION FOR CELLCO PARTNERSHIP D/B/A BELL ATLANTIC MOBILE
Mr. Garton stated the Application relates to the co-location of an antenna array on the existing Nextel tower and a small building to be constructed at the base of the tower. Plans were dated 2/17/99, last revised 6/4/99. Mr. Garton stated Notice of the Hearing
which was originally scheduled for two weeks ago was duly advertised and the property was posted. At the last meeting it was publicly announced that the meeting was being continued until this evening
Mr. Jim Kuhls, attorney, was present representing the applicant.
Mr. Fazzalore moved and Mr. Fegley seconded to approve the Conditional Use Application subject to:
1) Receipt of all permits and approvals by agencies having jurisdiction over such matters to the extent applicable;
2) Confirmation to be given to the Township that Bell Atlantic has executed a lease with Nextel permitting the co-location of the facility;
3) Compliance with the PCS letter dated 6/17/99;
4) Bell Atlantic to provide security to the Township to provide for removal of all facilities in the event of a discontinuation of their use of the tower and other facilities related thereto that being in accordance with the Zoning Ordinance;
5) Appearance of the building to be similar to the appearance of the Nextel building with the understanding that the building appearance will be approved by the Township prior to the placement;
6) Waiver of requirement for Land Development Approval;
7) Payment of all Township expenses be made by the applicant to the extent not already paid as it relates to the application.
Mr. Fazzalore asked if improvements will be made to the road, and Mr. Garton stated he understands it is Nextel's obligation to have this paved when construction is completed.
Mr. Hackman noted the other two shelters at this location are smaller than the one proposed by Bell Atlantic. Mr. Kuhls stated this is an unmanned equipment facility and does not have public water or sewer. The difference in size relates to the equipment used by Bell Atlantic which is different than that used by the other providers.
There was no public comment and the Motion carried unanimously.
APPROVAL OF DEVELOPMENT AND FINANCIAL SECURITY AGREEMENTS FOR KOL EMET
Mr. Hackman moved, Mr. Fazzalore seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Development and Financial Security Agreements and to authorize execution by the appropriate officers.
APPROVAL OF EXTENSION OF TIME TO STEWARTS FIELDS SUBDIVISION
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Hackman seconded and -it was unanimously carried to approve an extension of time to Stewart's Fields Subdivision to 10/5/99.
DISCUSSION OF SOUTH CRESCENT BOULEVARD AREA TRAFFIC
Mr. Charles Sweeny of 53 N. Homestead, Mr. Pete Popovitch of 1900 S. Crescent, and Ms. O'Hara were present to discuss traffic concerns with the South Crescent Boulevard area. Mr. Popovitch stated they are concerned about the safety of the children in their neighborhood. He stated they have been concerned about traffic in their area for three to four years and in the past have contacted the Police Department regarding speeding cars going through the neighborhood. He added in the past three months they have also had a number of accidents. He stated they are asking that the Board of Supervisors provide additional four way stop signs and/or speed bumps to help slow down the traffic.
Mr. Strahle stated when the residents were before the Board previously, the Board asked that the Police Department and Township engineer look into this matter. Officer Bainbridge stated one of the recent accidents did involve a car being driven by a local resident from the immediate neighborhood. He stated he feels surveys will need to be done in the area to determine the speeds being driven at different times of the day and where the traffic is going. He stated he does not feel this is a 24-hour problem and they should be able to target specific times of the day that there is a problem and have police officers in the area at those times. He stated they should also consider traffic engineering solutions. Mr. Gouza noted the memo he prepared outlining some possible engineering solutions.
Mr. Popovitch questioned how likely it would be that an officer would be on the scene at the time someone may be speeding in the area, and stated the residents feel stop signs and/or speed bumps would be more economical and permanent solutions.
Ms. Jill Kuntz of S. Crescent Boulevard stated this area was designed fifty years ago when there was significantly less traffic. She noted Edgewood, Big Oak, and Makefield Roads on the overhead map and stated people are driving in their area to avoid the lights at Makefield and Big Oak and Makefield and Edgewood Roads. She stated newer developments are designed to discourage cutting through since they are designed with cul-de-sacs. She stated the problem is also more dangerous in their area since there are no sidewalks.
Mr. Art Baldasari of Homestead Drive presented a map which shows South Drive as a major conduit. Ms. Kuntz stated she feels the problem is wider than his map shows.
Ms. O'Hara stated there are no stop signs when people turn off Makefield Road until they get to Countess. Mrs. Godshalk stated there was a stop sign at South Crescent and N. Homestead. Ms. O'Hara stated this is only a one way stop and people are speeding down South Drive.
Ms. Maryann Patt stated her family pet was killed during the morning rush hour and the people who stopped to offer their sympathy all indicated they were on the way to work. She stated Mr. Fedorchak has a copy of a letter from a gentleman who resides on East School Lane who stated they have a similar problem with their area being used as a cut through.
Mr. Baldasari stated he feels traffic is cutting across the creek from the newer development which has wider roads and they are then going the narrow roads.
Mrs. Godshalk stated she lives on Countess at the Comer of South and she and her neighbors have had a number of trees knocked over. She feels the traffic goes faster on wider roads and the focus should be on getting people to drive slower.
Mr. John Kilbar who resides at Sylvan and South stated the residents of the newer neighborhoods are using this area and there are not enough stop sic, s and this allows people to drive faster. He feels if a patrol car is in the area it will only slow down the traffic during the time the car is there.
Ms. Tamara Baldasari stated her neighborhood should never have been connected to the newer neighborhoods with South Drive. She stated she feels South Drive should be closed.
Mr. Hackman asked if the Township has the ability to install stop signs wherever they want. Mr. Gouza stated they do not since they must meet a set of parameters according to the State of Pennsylvania even if the road in question is a local road. Mr. Gouza stated these parameters include sight distance at the intersection, traffic volumes, and accident history.
Mr. Bob Krutchies of 14 W. School Lane stated he feels there should be a four way stop sign at the intersection near the Makefield School rather than a two way stop sign. He stated there was an accident near his home by a person who is a notorious speeder and he ran the stop sign.
Mr. Strahle asked about speed bumps. Mr. Gouza stated installation of speed bumps would build a hazard into the road. He stated speed humps are mechanisms which are safe and can be used to decrease the speed of traffic. He stated it may also decrease the amount of traffic since people would prefer not to go over a speed hump. He stated there is a specific set of criteria to follow for speed humps. Mr. Hackman asked if the Township has the ability to put speed humps where they want to, and Mr. Gouza stated they can.
Mr. Popovitch stated they did obtain the PennDOT regulations so they are aware of the requirements for stop signs, and from a line of sight standpoint, there are several locations which do meet the requirements because of the topography and trees in the area.
Mr. Hackman asked that the residents show on a map where they feel the stop signs and speed humps should be located and that they provide this to the Township Manager who will work with the Township engineer on this matter.
Mr. Fazzalore stated he feels they should seriously consider closing South Drive since he feels the other options are only "Band-Aids." Mrs. Godshalk stated there is only one road out of Edgewood Road going north. She stated if South Drive is cut off, it will force all the traffic elsewhere.
Ms. Kim Krutchies stated no one else in the Township is present complaining about traffic problems and she feels the Board of Supervisors should address their concerns. Mrs. Godshalk stated if they close South Drive other people from the area will be coming to the Township to complain about the traffic near their homes. Mrs. Godshalk suggested that they widen the roads in the neighborhood since the residents have indicated their roads are narrow. A number of residents present indicated they did not want the road widened.
Mr. Popovitch stated he does not feel closing South Drive is the only solution.
Mr. Fegley asked Acting Chief Bainbridge the impact of closing South Drive as it relates to emergency response time. Acting Chief Bainbridge stated the addition of Afton Chase helps the Edgewood Park area with regards to response time; however, whenever you take something away, it can impact the response time although it may have a minimal impact.
Mr. Popovitch stated they understand another meeting of the Board of Supervisors will not take place until the third Monday in July, and they are concerned with the timing of a solution since the children are now out of school. Mr. Hackman asked the engineer if the residents provided the map to the engineer shortly would he be able to discuss in one month a solution and Mr. Gouza stated he felt he could do this. Mr. Gouza stated if the residents provide their suggestions, he could evaluate these and advise whether or not there is something they can justify. He added the Board of Supervisors must also consider the impact of any solution to other residents in the area other than those present this evening. Mr. Gouza stated they would have to prepare an engineering study to justify the installation of any stop signs. Mr. Fedorchak stated the Traffic Safety Committee would then have to formally approve the installation. Mrs. Godshalk asked if there is any way they can raise the fines for speeding, and Mr. Garton stated these are regulated by State law.
Mr. Jack O'Hara of 1901 S. Crescent stated they were present three years ago and had the same reaction from the Board of Supervisors and nothing was done. He stated they are now being put off for another month. Mr. Fedorchak stated their efforts three years ago were almost exclusively with regard to installation of a four way stop sign and the consensus of the Traffic Safety Officer and the Chief of Police was that they did not meet the criteria for this at that time. He added they do not know whether this has changed and they are now also considering other options which were not previously considered. He stated the Board of Supervisors is committed to seeing what can realistically be done.
REJECT1ON OF BIDS FOR ROELOFS PARK PHASE 3
Mr. Gouza stated Phase 3 involves the construction of a facility to include restrooms, storage space, and a concession area. This was bid in three different contracts one for construction, one for the mechanical portion and one for the electrical construction according to State law. Total of the three bids was 10% higher than the original estimate; however, they know all the low bidders and would recommend approval.
Mr. Fazzalore noted the budgeted amount for the project was $250,000 and the combined total of the three low bids is $287,699. He stated he felt there was discussion that they were going to do away with the storage facility or that PAA was going to pay for a portion
of this cost. Mr. Hackman stated he felt a decision was made that the storage space would be left in, and the Leagues were going to discuss contributing to the cost. Mr. Hackman stated he feels this cost is too expensive for this project. He feels they should come up with a less expensive solution. He asked if Mr. Gouza felt the bids would come in lower if they went out to bid in December when the contractors are less busy. Mr. Gouza stated he did not feel there would be a significant decrease, and he feels these are good prices for the work that needs to be done. He stated this project was a culmination of working with the Park & Recreation Board and the League request for storage space for their equipment as well as the maintenance equipment. He stated they also felt there was a need for additional facilities for girls in the restroom area since this is primarily a girls softball facility. He noted if they cut down the size of the facility it would not cut down significantly on the cost of the mechanical or electrical portions of the project. Mr. Gouza stated if they are looking to save approximately $50,000, drastic rethinking needs to be done with regard to the facility.
Mr. Hackman moved and Mr. Fegley seconded to reject all bids.
Mr. Hackman stated the Park & Recreation Board should be directed to meet with the Township engineer and discuss how they can downsize this facility.
Motion carried unanimously.
AWARD BID FOR RECONSTRUCTION OF POOL ENTRANCE
Mr. Gouza stated bids were opened for reconstructing of the pool entrance so that there is a split entrance to correct the potential hazard with the existing situation. Two bids were received and they feel the low bid is valid and would recommend approval.
Mr. Fegley moved and Mrs. Godshalk seconded to award the bid for reconstruction of the pool entrance to S & H Landscaping for $23,660.25.
Mrs. Godshalk asked about the tree, and Mr. Gouza stated part of the bidding documents included moving the tree.
Mr. Taylor suggested the funds for this project come from the General Fund since the entrance is used by the Township Complex, Pool, Library, and Recreation facilities in the area. Mr. Fazzalore noted this was not a budgeted item. Mrs. Godshalk stated she feels a certain percentage of the cost should come from the Pool.
Mr. Hackman stated he feels this is a bad time of the year to be tearing up the entrance. Mr. Gouza stated the bid documents call for a staging of the construction so there should not be any disruption. Mr. Hackman suggested they start the project September 5, after the
After discussion is was determined that one third of the cost would be paid by the Pool, one third by Park & Recreation, and one third from the General Fund.
Motion to approve carried unanimously.
DISCUSSION AND TABLING OF KIEWIT FIBER OPTICS PROJECT
Mr. Fedorchak stated he received a letter from the company, and they are coming through the Township running fiber optics. Mr. Fazzalore moved to table the matter and asked that the company come to the Township Board of Supervisors to discuss this matter.Mr. Gouza stated the company called him about using Lower Makefield Township Roads. He stated their intention is to be on Woodside Road from River Road up to Dolington Road off the roadway between the roadway and the bikepath. When they get to the new section of Woodside Road, they will go up the bikepath as it winds through the trees. He stated they asked about restoration requirements.
Mr. Hackman seconded the Motion to table and the Motion carried unanimously.
APPROVAL OF RESOLUTION NO. 1030 AUTHORIZING PARTICIPATION IN THE PA DEPARTMENT OF GENERAL SERVICES COOPERATIVE PURCHASING PROGRAM (L3P PIGGYBACK)
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Hackman seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve Resolution No 1030.
APPROVE BIDDING ROOF REPLACEMENT WORK
Mr. Coyne stated this is the last section of the Municipal complex which was not previously done as well as the roof over the maintenance shop.
Mr. Fazzalore moved and Mr. Hackman seconded to approve bidding roof replacement work.
Mrs. Godshalk asked that the previous roofer not be invited to bid on this project. Mr. Coyne stated this concern will be addressed. Mr. Fedorchak noted they did recoup their costs from that roofer including the time spent by Township employees on this matter.
Motion to approve carried unanimously.
APPROVAL OF JUNE 7,1999 AND JUNE 21,1999 WARRANT LISTS AND MAY, 1999 PAYROLL
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Hackman seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve June 7, 1999 and June 21, 1999 Warrant Lists and May, 1999 Payroll as attached to the Minutes.
Mr. Fazzalore stated the Recycling Performance Grant was $20,000 over that received in 1998. He also noted there was a rebate on the casualty insurance. Mr. Hackman stated Real Estate Transfer Taxes as of the end of May were the highest they have ever been at $407,000.
APPOINTMENT OF INVESTMENT ADVISORY SERVICE FOR PENSION FUNDS
Corporal Histand and Jim Coyne, members of the Pension Committee, were present with William Taylor. Mr. Taylor stated they have interviewed eight different groups which provide Investment Advisory Service. The Committee has recommended mutual funds for
investments and recommended Manchester Advisors who use the Frank Russell family of funds as the Investment Advisory Service.
Mr. Fazzalore moved and Mr. Fegley seconded to appoint Manchester Advisors.
Mr. Strahle asked how long they have been in business, and Mr. Taylor stated they have been in business for over twenty years. Corporal Histand stated one of the reasons they are interested in Manchester is because they use the Russell Group which monitors their money managers on a daily basis. Fazzalore stated the Russell Group is well known and has done well. Mr. Taylor stated they also have funds that run the entire gamut and Manchester would make recommendations as to the distribution of funds.
Mr. Strahle stated he would eventually like to know if the investments are in socially responsible companies.
Mrs. Godshalk stated they did go into a very conservative approach as far as the stock funds were concerned.
Mr. Fazzalore stated last year the Township taxpayers contributed $ 100,000 to the Pension Funds and if they could make the funds earn more, possibly the taxpayers would be able to contribute less. It was noted it is anticipated the taxpayers will contribute $100,000 this year as well.
Motion to approve carried with Mrs. Godshalk voting no.
APPROVE LETTER OF INTENT TO REQUEST POLICE MANAGEMENT STUDY
Mr. Fedorchak stated the Center for Local Government Services will provide an evaluation of the Police Management. The Board of Supervisors is asked to approve a Letter of Intent which states that they are formally requesting that the Department provide this technical assistance to the Township. The study itself will cover a number of different areas of police operation and report on staffing as well as review each function of the police officers and support staff. They will also evaluate management information systems, computer programs, etc. and report on patrol and criminal investigation units. They will present a timetable as to when they anticipate coming in and how long it will take to complete the survey. Mr. Fedorchak stated he understands the Center typically avails itself of police professionals throughout the State to come in and do the evaluation.
Mr. Fazzalore moved and Mr. Fegley seconded to approve the Letter of Intent to request a Police Management Study from the Center for Local Government Services.
Mr. Hackman moved to amend the Motion to include a direction to the Township Manager to seek out two to three other consulting firms who specialize in the same thing and see how they compare and their costs. The amendment was accepted and the Motion as amended carried unanimously.
APPROVAL OF RESOLUTION NO. 1028 AUTHORIZING THE ACQUISITION OF TAX PARCEL NO. 20-64-72 - ELM LOWNE
Mr. Hackman moved and Mrs. Godshalk seconded to approve Resolution No. 1028.
Mr. Fegley moved and Mr. Fazzalore seconded to amend the motion to require that the funds come out of the General Fund and not the Open Space funds that were approved by the voters.
Mr. Hackman stated he feels this is a public use of funds that should come out of the Open Space Funds. Mr. Fegley stated he feels this act is illegal and a clear misappropriation of funds. He stated the wording on the ballot did not permit purchase of this type of property with these funds. Mr. Garton noted the Resolution does not have anything to do with money.
A vote was taken on the amendment to the Motion which did not carry as Mr. Fazzalore and Mr. Fegley were in favor and Mrs. Godshalk, Mr. Hackman and Mr. Strahle were opposed.
Original Motion carried with Mrs. Godshalk, Mr. Hackman, and Mr. Strahle in favor and Mr. Fazzalore and Mr. Fegley opposed.
DISCUSSION OF CAU DEVELOPMENT AND DIREC71ON TO CONTACT PENNDOT
Mr. Garton stated at the last meeting the staff was asked to review the approval of CAU by Newtown Township. He stated he has prepared a letter to this effect. The staff feels that Newtown Township complied with its own Subdivision and Zoning Ordinances and complied with the MPC by noting that their approval was conditioned upon PennDOT approval relating to Lindenhurst Road. He recommended that the Board of Supervisors not file an Appeal to the actions of Newtown Township but could participate in the PennDOT permitting process.
Mr. Hackman moved and Mrs. Godshalk seconded to direct the Township Solicitor and Engineer to contact PennDOT and advise them that Lower Makefield Township would like to be involved in the permitting process concerning this development.
There was discussion on sewers and water and it was noted these will be connected on the Newtown side.
Motion to approve carried unanimously.
ZONING HEARING BOARD MATTERS
Mr. Garton noted the Board has already authorized the Solicitor to appear for the purpose of obtaining additional information at the Hearing of Felix & Bernadine Scarno, 548 Keating Drive, Variance request for an addition resulting in a rear yard setback encroachment.
Mr. Edward Murphy was present regarding the Special Exception request before the Zoning Hearing Board to use the free-standing building at Stony Hill Road as a restaurant and related sign issues. Mr. Murphy stated the plan has not changed and the restaurant is
shown as it has been since Mr. DeLuca first presented the plan to the Township. Mrs. Godshalk stated she would like to see architectural plans for the restaurant. Mr. Murphy stated they are also requesting an additional entrance sign on the Stony Hill Road frontage. Building identification signs are also being requested. Mr. Hackman stated he is most concerned about the sign that will be on the restaurant itself.
The Supervisors had a number of concerns about signs for this project and Mr. Garton suggested that Mr. DeLuca be asked to have this matter removed from the Zoning Hearing Board Agenda of July 6, 1999 and to come to the next Board of Supervisors' meeting to discuss this matter. Mr. Hackman stated he would also like to arrange to have a tour of the hotel once it opens. Mr. Murphy agreed to discuss these matters with Mr. DeLuca. Mr. Garton stated if the applicant will not agree to have the matter removed from the Zoning Hearing Board Agenda of July 6, 1999, the Township will request a continuance.
Mr. Hackman asked the Solicitor to provide an update on the Golf Course, and Mr. Garton stated there is now a Court Order in place and the attorney for the opposing side has been directed to submit his brief.
Mr. Fazzalore noted the new Police Report which was received in the Board's packet. Acting Chief Bainbridge stated they are working on a new format and the information submitted was for only one week and not for the entire month. Mr. Fazzalore stated he prefers this new format.
Mr. Hackman noted Ms. Cecchine is doing an outstanding job installing the new computer and programs in the Police Department. The Police Department personnel are also being trained in the new system. Mr. Fazzalore stated Ms. Cecchine has indicated she is getting good cooperation from the Police Department.
Mr. Fegley stated he saw in his packet a letter from the Lower Makefield Seniors regarding an offer which was made to them to use the Elm Lowne property. He stated he was surprised that such an offer was made since he understood there was to be a Committee formed to determine how the property should be used. He noted the Seniors declined the use of Elm Lowne. Mr. Fegley asked who from the Township made this offer. Mrs. Godshalk stated she was given authority by the Board of Supervisors to show the property to different groups and she did show the property to two individuals from the Senior Citizen group who indicated it was not large enough for their use. Mrs. Godshalk stated she feels the Seniors should be able to use the property for some of their activities. Mr. Fegley stated the only authority given was to form a Committee to look into the use of the property.
Mrs. Godshalk moved, Mr. Fazzalore seconded and it was unanimously carried to appoint Jack Breuer to the Historic Commission,
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 10:00 p.m.
Frank Fazzalore, Secretary