The regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on December 18, 2000. Chairman Hackman called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m. noting that the Board had been meeting in Executive Session since 6:30 p.m. to discuss legal and personnel matters.

Those present:

Board of Supervisors:

Wesley Hackman, Chairman
Frank Fazzalore, Vice Chairman
Scott Fegley, Secretary/Treasurer
Fred Allan, Supervisor
Grace Godshalk, Supervisor


Terry Fedorchak, Township Manager
John Koopman, Township Solicitor
Duke Doherty, Township Engineer
Kenneth Coluzzi, Chief of Police


Mr. Len Franckowiak asked for help on the project for timing of lights on the Newtown By-Pass. He stated two years ago Newtown Township indicated they were ready to put the project forward, but they needed to get PennDOT approval. Two weeks ago, Mr. Warren indicated the project may not start until 2002. Mr. Franckowiak stated Newtown Township has indicated they need Federal money, and they need to ask the Federal Government to fund the project. The Township Managers were asked to write to Mr. Greenwood to try to get Federal funding. Mr. Franckowiak stated he has now recently read in the Courier Times that Mr. Warren plans to start the project this spring. He asked if the Board of Supervisors could find out when the project is actually going to start and what they need to do in order to get the project moving forward. Mr. Hackman stated since Newtown Township has the bulk of the By-Pass, they are the lead agency. He stated Lower Makefield does wish it would get done as soon as possible. Mr. Fedorchak stated typically when the Townships approve a project, the money should then be committed by PennDOT. Mr. Fedorchak agreed to find out the status of the project.

Mr. Hackman noted that he and Mr. Fegley attended a meeting with Steve Sanderlin of Newtown Township, David Steil, Mr. Conti, Bob Moore and Lynn Bush of the Bucks County Planning Commission, and a representative from Wrightstown where there was a thorough discussion of regional traffic problems. They are going to discuss this with their Boards and they hope to have some letters of understanding prepared which will then be made public.

Mr. Richard Storm thanked the Board of Supervisors for the work they did in the year 2000.

Mr. David Vaughn, 1219 Linden Avenue, stated he sent in a complaint form to the Township last week. Mr. Fedorchak stated he received this a few days ago, but the Board of Supervisors has not yet received it in their packet. Mr. Vaughn stated he is asking that the pre-existing drainage ditch be reinstalled at 345 Maplewood. His home is next to 345 Maplewood. Mr. Vaughn stated when the builder built the new home at 345 Maplewood, he filled in the ditch in violation of the Building Permit and the grading plan. Water now goes onto the front of Mr. Vaughn’s property. He stated he has been working with the Township for nineteen months to try to get this problem corrected. The Township engineer did order that the ditch be re-installed, but then changed his mind and required that the contractor install a pipe. Mr. Vaughn stated it seems the Township engineer cannot require this since it was not required on the Plan. Mr. Doherty stated he has been on the property many times with Mr. Vaughn and Mr. Hess, the individual who built the home on 345 Maplewood. Mr. Hess is now before the Zoning Hearing Board, and the Board of Supervisors decided not to take any action on the request for Variance. Mr. Doherty stated the original Building Plan came in and showed the existing ditch. The builder then filled in the ditch. He was advised to open up the ditch, but the person who owned the home did not want the ditch put back in and asked that a pipe be installed.

Mr. Hackman noted they also received this evening a complaint from Mr. and Mrs. Frank Abate. Mr. Doherty stated their property is in the same general area. Mr. Hackman asked Mr. Fedorchak to look into this matter. Mr. Koopman stated the Township can require them to open up the ditch which would then put pressure on them to address the problem. Mr. Abate’s complaint form was provided to Mr. Fedorchak this evening.

Mr. Vaughn stated the Township has required that the ditch be put back in and is trying to reach an accommodation with the contractor to install a pipe. He asked that the ditch be put in immediately; and if they can reach an accommodation, they can install a pipe at a future time. Mr. Vaughn asked that he be kept informed as to what is happening. He stated he has called the Township Office in the past but was unable to get anyone to talk to him about his problem.

Ms. Linda Abate stated they are concerned about this problem as well since this same builder is planning to build on the tract of land next to their home. She stated that tract of land is considered a wetlands and there is a water course that goes through the middle of the property. She did send videos of this problem to Ms. Frick. She stated Mr. Hess needs variances in order to construct on the property. Currently he is planning on building alongside the creek but wants a "O" foot buffer as proposed to the 25 feet required. Mr. Koopman stated at the last Zoning Hearing Board meeting, the Board did grant the variances to enable a house to be built on the property. The property owner still has to apply for a Building Permit and address how the water will be handled. Mr. Abate noted Mr. Deon owns the property. Mr. Koopman stated the Board of Supervisors previously discussed the matter, but at the last meeting agreed to let the Zoning Hearing Board deal with the Variance issues. Mr. Hackman asked if it is possible for the Board to get involved again. Mr. Koopman agreed to look into this. Mr. Doherty stated he did not feel the matter was resolved yet by the Zoning Hearing Board. Mr. Koopman was asked to represent the Board of Supervisors the next time this matter will be addressed by the Zoning Hearing Board on January 16, 2001. Mr. Doherty added that the Army Corps of Engineers did a jurisdictional determination and indicated there were no wetlands. Mr. Vaughn stated he is also very concerned about a house being built on that property since it will aggravate an already difficult situation.


Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Allan seconded and it was unanimously carried that the date of the Re-Organizational Meeting will be Tuesday, January 2, 2001 at 7:30 p.m.


Ms. Susan Steele, Verizon, Inc. was present. Mr. Hackman stated there is currently a cabinet at the location they are discussing. Ms. Steele stated they have an existing easement of 33’ by 13’ with the cabinet. Mrs. Godshalk stated this goes back to 1986. Ms. Steel stated they are requesting an increase of 35’ by 15’ which is an additional two feet on each side. Mr. Doherty stated this is in the Twining Road right-of-way. Ms. Steele showed the surveyor’s sketch which was submitted to Mr. Fedorchak but had not been provided to the Board of Supervisors. Mr. Koopman stated the purpose of the enlarged easement is so that they can go to propane as a back-up system if the commercial power goes down. Currently Ms. Steele stated they have a battery back-up which only runs for eight hours. The propane would extend this to forty-eight hours. The propane tank is a 120 gallon tank. This will be buried and installed by a person who will be hired by Verizon who does this as their profession. There will also be a standing cabinet unit which will be on a 4’ by 4’ concrete pad. Lines coming to the box will be below ground. The generators on the 4’ by 4’ pad will run 48 volts dc which is the same voltage that runs on telephone lines. Ms. Steele noted that twice a month they will do testing for fifteen minutes, and this will be done in the middle of the week in the middle of the day. This is a diagnostic test.

Mr. Fazzalore asked if there is any way they could landscape around the boxes, and Ms. Steele agreed that this is possible. She asked if there was someone from the Township she could work with on this. Mr. Fegley asked that she come back at a future meeting with a landscaping plan to be reviewed by the Board. Ms. Steel agreed to do so.

Mr. Fegley moved and Mr. Fazzalore seconded to approve the Plan subject to the applicant coming back with a landscaping plan to be approved by the Board of Supervisors.

Ms. Virginia Torbert asked if this is the first of many Verizon may be planning on putting all over the Township. Ms. Steele stated they have them in other areas and are only putting them where they feel they are needed based on power outage reports.

Motion to approve carried unanimously.


Mr. Fedorchak stated they received a letter this evening to the Board of Supervisors from Mr. and Mrs. Walter Madden asking them to cancel this matter since Mr. Otten is out of the Township. In the letter they indicate that Mr. Coyne did stop by their home and presented them with new information that they would like to discuss with Mr. Otten before pursing this matter.

Mr. Fedorchak stated there was a water problem in this particular area, and the Township did get involved in helping to correct the problem. In order to correct the problem properly it was agreed they would have to put in new curbing to keep the water off their property. There had been curbs in this area, however, they had not been maintained. Mr. Fedorchak stated Township Ordinances indicate that if there is curbing in front of a property, it is the property owners’ responsibility to maintain the curbs.

No action was taken this evening.


Mrs. Godshalk moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of December 4, 2000 as written.


Mr. Murphy, attorney, and Mr. Meehan were present. Mr. Fazzalore asked what will happen with Lot #3, and Mr. Murphy stated Lot #3 is the balance of the property which Mr. Meehan will continue to own. It is where he lives currently. At this point Mr. Meehan has no plans to do anything else with the property.

Mr. Hackman stated they are starting with one lot and are going to end up with three lots. He understood that if there were more than two lots it was to be considered a major subdivision. Mr. Murphy stated this is correct and the Plans have been reviewed as a major subdivision. Mr. Doherty stated it was reviewed as a Preliminary Plan but the Planning Commission gave them a recommendation of approval for a Preliminary/Final Plan. Mr. Doherty stated the only difference would be that they would have requested legal descriptions, and Mr. Murphy stated they have agreed to supply these.

Mr. Fazzalore stated the PCS letter of 11/22 has nine items, and Mr. Murphy stated they are minor items. He noted the Planning Commission commented on two issues, the first of which dealt with the issue of improvements to Edgewood Road. Mr. Murphy stated twenty years ago when the property was previously subdivided, the Note was put on the Plan that whenever the property was further subdivided, improvements to Edgewood Road would be required. Mr. Murphy stated the Township engineer did not feel that they should put in the improvements to Edgewood Road at this time since the properties on either side are not being improved. The applicant provided an estimate to Mr. Doherty on what the work on Edgewood Road would be, and the applicant would agree to make that payment to the Township in lieu of actually doing the improvements at this time. This amount is $12,859.

Mr. Hackman noted Item #8 of the PCS letter which indicates any further Subdivision of Lot #1 or Lot #2 shall be considered a major Subdivision. Mr. Fazzalore stated Lots #1 or #2 could not be further subdivided. Mr. Koopman stated that note refers to the prior Subdivision which was a Minor Subdivision. Mrs. Godshalk stated she feels they should also refer to the Roberts’ Subdivision to see what was required since this developer may be required to make additional road improvements. She also expressed concern with what might be done with the balance of the property in the future. Mr. Murphy stated that matter is not before the Board of Supervisors this evening. Mr. Hackman stated they are eliminating the possibility of any internal road going to the rear of this tract. He stated they would not want an entrance to be on Edgewood Road if the balance of the tract were ever developed in the future. Mr. Hackman asked about a requirement that Lot #3 could not be further subdivided, and Mr. Murphy stated they would not be willing to agree to this. Mr. Hackman stated if they are not willing to agree to this, he would request that one of the lots being created be an internal roadway. Mr. Hackman stated they could reject the Plan since it does not provide for an internal roadway for the balance of the tract. Mr. Murphy stated he did not feel this was a Township Ordinance requirement. Mr. Koopman stated he would have to review the Ordinances, and feels they have time to table this matter to look into the issue further. He stated he and the Township engineer will look at this to see if there are Ordinances that would prohibit access off the collector roadway.

Mrs. Godshalk moved and Mr. Fegley seconded to table.

Mr. Hackman noted there are nine items in the PCS letter and a number of items in the CKS letter and asked if they could clear those items up before they come back to the Board of Supervisors. Mr. Murphy stated they would need direction on the force main issue which is Item #1. He stated there is a force main easement that extends from Edgewood Road that the Township installed years ago. The Township did not monument it, and Mr. Doherty has asked that the developer now monument it. The developer does not feel that they should be responsible for monumenting this. The Planning Commission was divided two to two whether the Township or the developer should do this. Mr. Koopman stated this was part of the Heacock reversal project. Mr. Hackman asked if the Ordinances at that time required monuments. Mr. Koopman stated the Ordinance requires someone who is subdividing the property to monument the easements on their property. He does not know that the Township Ordinance requires the Township to monument easements they install. Mr. Doherty stated there would be approximately nine monuments required. Mr. Murphy estimated the cost of this to be $2,500. Mr. Fazzalore stated he feels this is the Township’s responsibility. Mr. Hackman noted that portion of the property is not being touched in any way at this time.

Mrs. Godshalk asked the amount of acreage remaining after the proposed subdivision, and Mr. Murphy stated there are nine acres. Mr. Allan stated six of these acres are natural resource land.

The Board of Supervisors indicated that if the project ever comes back in for development of Lot #3, that the developer would be responsible for monumenting at that time.

Motion to table carried unanimously.


Mr. Allan moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to grant an extension of time to Bucks Central Church Preliminary Plan until 4/5/01.


Mr. Allan moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to grant an extension of time to Miskiel/Darrah Tract Preliminary Plan until 3/9/01.


Mr. Fedorchak stated approximately one year ago there were problems with newly installed lighting at Fields E & G at Macclesfield Park. Mr. George Hibbs was called in to help identify the problem and they performed a considerable amount of testing. Mr. Hibbs was present this evening and stated they put together specs to focus on Code deficiencies which related to the lighting installation and grounding. They did do in-depth testing. The specs were then let and opened on October 30, 2000 with the low bidder being E.D.S. Electric in the amount of $47,753. They have reviewed the bid and the references, and all information on E.D.S. Electric came back positive.

Mr. Fazzalore stated he is concerned since they originally spent close to $100,000 for the lights, and they failed. He is concerned that this bid came in at $47,000 and the other bid came in close to $90,000. Mr. Hibbs stated the original bid was for installation of the entire project. This bid is to address the problems - not to replace the poles themselves. Mr. Fazzalore asked if they determined why it failed and who was responsible. Mr. Hibbs stated they were able to determine why it failed but were not asked to determine who was responsible. Mr. Fegley stated he feels they will eventually collect from the responsible party. Mr. Allan stated he does not feel it is Mr. Hibbs’ responsibility to give information this evening on who was responsible, but that it should be submitted in writing to the Board. Mr. Hibbs stated he could review the deficiencies this evening. He stated from the incoming electric to the distribution panel two panels were not properly grounded. The grounding on the poles did not ground down to the subsurface on some of the poles. Mr. Allan expressed concern that someone could be electrocuted. Mr. Hackman stated they would like a complete written report on these matters. He asked that this be sent to the Board of Supervisors, and they will then discuss it in Executive Session since it could involve legal action. Mr. Hibbs stated this work has been done already, and he will photocopy it for the Board of Supervisors.

Mr. Fegley moved and Mr. Allan seconded to award the bid to upgrade existing grounding and electrical system at Macclesfield Park to E.D.S. Electric in the amount of $47,753.00.

Mr. Fegley stated he feels this is a serious problem, and the lights should be corrected so that the fields can be used. Mr. Hackman asked who wrote the specs, and Mr. Hibbs stated they were written by his electrical engineer. Mr. Hackman asked who will inspect this to see if it is installed correctly. Mr. Hibbs stated testing by an outside agency is part of the bid. Mr. Fedorchak asked if Mr. Hibbs’ firm would inspect this as well, and Mr. Hibbs stated they would if the Board of Supervisors so chooses. Mr. Hackman asked for an estimate for this inspection. Mr. Hibbs stated he was not prepared to provide this tonight. Mr. Fedorchak stated he did talk to the contractor, and he is ready to proceed. Mr. Hibbs estimated their inspection cost could be $2,500. Mr. Hibbs stated it is possible that the contract includes payment of the inspection fee. Mr. Fegley stated he is concerned that this is too open-ended. Mr. Fedorchak asked that Mr. Hibbs determine a firm price and then fax it to him so he can make the information available to the Board. Mr. Hibbs stated he feels the contract calls for two testers to look at the project. Mrs. Godshalk asked who will put on the final seal, and Mr. Hibbs stated his firm will as well as the electrical engineer.

Mr. Richard Storm stated the Township should investigate who was responsible for this project which failed.

Motion carried with Mr. Fazzalore opposed.


Mr. Hackman noted the proposal received from Mr. Hibbs. Mr. Hackman stated they are trying to find space for the Seniors where they can successfully run their programs. He stated the Board of Supervisors felt possibly the Rescue Squad Building could be used since the Rescue Squad no longer needs the entire space as they have cut back their services. Since Mr. Hibbs’ firm was involved in the previous Referendum, they asked him to take a look at using the Rescue Squad property for a Senior Citizen Center. He has submitted a proposal to review the building and advise the Board what it would take to turn a portion or all of that building into a functioning Senior Center.

Mr. Fazzalore asked if they have permission to do this since the Township does not own this building. Mr. Fedorchak stated he has discussed this with Steve Coyle, Bruce Pellegrino, and Harvey Humphries who were made aware at a meeting when they discussed a number of issues. The Board of Supervisors discussed that perhaps they would be using the building for either a Senior Center or moving the Police Department into that building. Mr. Fazzalore asked if he has this in writing, and Mr. Fedorchak stated he may. Mr. Fedorchak stated they expressed an interest in cooperating. Mr. Hackman stated they acknowledged that with their stripped-down service, they do not need the entire building, but they have not indicated how much of the building they really need and how they would co-exist. They did have a meeting last week with Jim McCaffrey who has been involved with the Rescue Squad for many years, and is interested in forming a Board of Directors of prominent people in the area to see if they can lend a hand to the Rescue Squad to get them back on their feet. They discussed at that meeting the fact that they possibly did not need all that space and possibly others could use it. They decided at that meeting that the best way to proceed was to wait until Mr. McCaffrey got more information and came back to the Board of Supervisors with an idea of how much space they needed before they proceeded with anything else.

Mr. Hackman noted in the proposal, Mr. Hibbs indicated there was 10,000 square feet; and Mr. Hibbs stated this is correct and includes the garage. Mr. Hackman stated in the Referendum it was indicated that the Seniors needed 7,000 square feet; and if the Rescue Squad needs half of the building, they would not have sufficient space for the Seniors. Mr. Hackman noted there is also a minimal amount of parking, and he does not feel there is sufficient parking for the Seniors, recognizing that their group is growing. Mr. Hackman stated he would not want to move ahead with this proposal at this time.

Mrs. Godshalk stated she feels this proposal is premature. She also feels the Township can do some of this preliminary work on their own at no cost. Mrs. Godshalk stated she also feels there should be dialog with the Seniors before proceeding.

Mr. Fegley stated the only other alternative would be to build a stand-alone facility, and he cannot support this since there were two Referenda which were defeated. He feels a stand-alone building would be a violation of what the voters decided. He does feel renovating space can be done without raising taxes, and he feels this is the way they should proceed. The only concern he has with the proposal is the open-ended cost in terms of the job. He does feel they need an architect to look at the existing facility to determine what can be done and the approximate cost of doing such renovations. He was disturbed to read about the proposal from the Rescue Squad since he is not sure the Board of Supervisors can wait to come up with a proposal on what they can do. He would like to move forward with a Senior Center. His only question would be with regard to the proposed cost of $9,600 as well as the "out" clauses.

Mr. Fazzalore stated the Township does not own the building and he questioned whether they can go in there. Mr. Fedorchak stated they have permission. Mr. Allan asked that Mr. Fedorchak provide something in writing to this effect.

Mr. Hibbs stated he was advised that the Rescue Squad would relocate their entire operation to the upstairs and maintain half the garage. Mr. Hackman stated this would leave 5,000 square feet for the Senior Center. Ms. Derr stated this is not enough. Mr. Hackman asked how many parking spaces are available, but Mr. Hibbs stated he did not do a parking count. Mr. Hibbs stated they could push the bank back and they would have to address retaining walls, etc. Ms. Derr stated she does not feel they would have sufficient parking for their needs. She is also concerned that ambulances will be going out the same driveway that Seniors would be using. She is also concerned about the size of the building since they cannot currently fit in their existing space at the Township Building let alone use something smaller. Mr. Allan stated possibly they could design a separate entrance for the Seniors. Ms. Derr stated the building would still not be large enough.

Mrs. Godshalk stated if they opened up the wall between the office and the bays, they would have one very large room. It was noted there would still be a problem with parking. Mr. Allan stated possibly they could create parking in the back where there is an empty lot. Mr. Hackman stated they have a membership of 500 currently and will most likely grow once they get their own building.

Ms. Virginia Torbert stated she does not feel the taxpayers would be in favor of a free-standing building but does feel they would be in favor of modifications to an existing building and making modifications for parking, etc.

Mr. Fegley moved and Mr. Fazzalore seconded to approve a figure not to exceed $5,000 for the proposal for a rudimentary design and an estimate on the cost of renovations.

Mr. Albert Roeper stated he feels the Board is wasting their money. He stated when they get done it will possibly cost twice as much as it would if they started from scratch although he recognizes starting from scratch with a new building does cause a problem. He suggested possibly moving the Police Department over to the Rescue Squad Building and putting the Seniors downstairs in the Township Building. Mr. Fegley stated they were advised that this would cost even more. Mr. Hackman stated it seemed that renovating existing space would cost even more money and it would not be exactly what they need.

Ms. Derr asked if the Plan for the Rescue Squad Building will give them as much space as they were previously discussing, and Mr. Hibbs stated it will not.

Mr. Fegley withdrew his Motion.


Mr. Fegley moved, Mr. Fazzalore seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve December 4, 2000 and December 18, 2000 Warrants, and November, 2000 Payroll as attached to the Minutes.


Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve Resolution No. 1072 - adopting the 2001 Budget.


Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve Resolution No. 1073 - fixing tax rates and special levies.


Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Allan seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve Resolution No. 1074 - providing that no contribution be required from Police Officers to fund the 2001 Police Pension Plan.


Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve Resolution No. 1075 - providing that no contribution be required from non-uniform employees to fund the 2001 Non-Uniform Pension Fund.


Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve Resolution No. 1076 - establishing the 2001 Park & Recreation Fee-In-Lieu of Fee.


Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve Resolution No. 1077 - establishing the 2001 Traffic Impact Fee.


Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Allan seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve Resolution No. 1078 - designating depositories for Township funds.

Mr. Allan complimented Mr. Taylor on the work done on the Budget. Mr. Fazzalore asked if the Board will get a final copy of the summary book, and Mr. Taylor agreed to provide this.


Mr. Allan noted the letter received in the Board’s packet regarding the Farmland Preservation Corporation and stated he feels they need to discuss this matter in Executive Session. Mr. Taylor stated he and Mr. Garton did research this and a letter was sent to the Farmland Preservation Corporation. Mr. Allan stated the Farmland Preservation Corporation feels there is other documentation that proves other than what is being indicated by Mr. Taylor and Mr. Garton.


Mr. Hackman moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to re-appoint Jamie McWilliams to the Golf Course Committee.

Mrs. Godshalk moved, Mr. Hackman seconded and it was unanimously carried to re-appoint Arthur Beers to the Community Pool Board.

There being no further business, Mr. Fegley moved, Mr. Allan seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 9:50 p.m.