OF LOWER MAKEFIELD
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
MINUTES - APRIL 16, 2001
The regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on April 16, 2001. Chairman Fazzalore called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. noting that the Board had been meeting in Executive Session to discuss legal and land problems.
Board of Supervisors:
Frank Fazzalore, Chairman
Terry Fedorchak, Township Manager
Ms. Sue Herman stated the Bucks County Courier Times indicated that Andy Warren sent a letter to the Board of Supervisors about a full intersection and asked if she can be provided a copy. This was acceptable to the Board. Ms. Herman also asked who will attend the upcoming meeting with Mr. Steil, and Mr. Fazzalore stated he and Mr. Fegley will attend.
Ms. Irene Koehler read into the record a petition which she provided to the Board this evening requesting that the width of Spring and Hillside Lane be twenty feet rather than the width proposed by the Township engineer. Mr. Doherty was asked the minimum width that could be constructed, and Mr. Doherty stated he feels the minimum is twenty-six feet wide. He stated he has had experience with a twenty foot wide street with curbs and it has created problems with turning radius for the fire protection vehicles. Ms. Koehler stated she feels she would prefer that the emergency vehicles go up onto the grass rather than risk losing their trees. Mr. Doherty stated there are also problems with cars parking on the street which then only provides a twelve foot wide travel lane. Mrs. Godshalk stated normally they should be able to accommodate parking on their own properties. She stated she feels this matter will be on the Road Tour on May 5. Mr. Doherty stated the trees not planted in the right-of-way should not be impacted with a twenty-six foot road width.
Mr. Allan asked if they could not have a compromise. Mr. Fegley stated he has yet to hear of a situation where the emergency vehicles were not able to access the older neighborhoods that have these more narrow streets. Mr. Doherty stated the smallest they have made a street since the new specs is thirty feet wide. Mr. Allan stated possibly they could place signage in the street that there is "no permanent parking permitted on the street." Mr. Hackman noted the information provided by Ms. Koehler from the Morris Arboretum. Ms. Koehler stated people from the Morris Arboretum came out to their properties. Mr. Fazzalore stated they will consider the information Ms. Koehler has provided. Mrs. Godshalk asked that Mr. Fedorchak notify Ms. Koehler of the approximate time the Board will be on their property during the Road Tour. Ms. Koehler asked if the engineer’s drawings are available for review since the Arboretum has some ideas on the location of the trench. Mrs. Godshalk stated the neighbors were already brought in during the initial planning stage. Mr. Hackman stated when the preliminary plans are designed, the neighbors will be brought in again.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Mr. Allan moved and Mr. Fegley seconded to approve the Minutes of April 2, 2001 as written. Motion carried with Mr. Hackman abstained.
DISCUSSION OF MATRIX DEVELOPMENT
Mr. Marc Brookman, attorney, Mr. Richard Johnson, Sr. Vice President of Matrix, Mr. Russell Tepper, Project Manager, Mr. Chris Burkett, engineer, and Mr. Robert Rodgers from Orth-Rodgers were present representing Matrix. Mr. Jim Yeager and Ms. Jennifer Mesic, Township consultants from Parsons-Brinckerhoff were also present.
Mr. Brookman reviewed the history of Matrix in the Township. He stated he understands from reading the newspaper that some of the residents have concerns about the project.
Mr. Brookman stated their current plans call for a 985,000 square feet mixed use development.
Mr. Larry Borda, 508 Heritage Oak Drive, stated over 1,000 people have signed their petition against the Matrix project and do not want the project to proceed. He stated he is willing to pay higher taxes in order to preserve the quality of life. He stated he feels this project will significantly impact the traffic. He does not feel the proposed uses will benefit the residents of Lower Makefield Township. He feels the people who want the project to proceed are those who do not reside in the Township and will not have to deal with the consequences. He asked that the Board reconsider the decisions they previously made. He stated there are millions of dollars left in the Budget with which to purchase open space, and he asked that the Board save this gateway to the Township. He feels the Township residents would be willing to pay additional taxes in order to preserve this property.
Ms. Maureen Freedman stated she resides in Lower Makefield Township. She stated in reviewing the history of the site, Mr. Brookman referred to an Agreement made in 1988 and asked with whom this Agreement was made. Mr. Fazzalore stated this Agreement was with Bellemead. Mr. Brookman stated in 1988 Bellemead entered into a Master Plan Approval Agreement with Lower Makefield Township which called for 1,285,000 square feet of light industrial and flex office use. Two years ago Matrix entered into a Purchase and Sale Agreement to buy the land in Lower Makefield Township and Middletown Township from Bellemead. After they entered into that contract, they had a series of public meetings with the Township during which they asked the Township for permission to modify the Plan and the Agreement and that series of public meetings evolved into an Amendment of the Agreement of 1988 the date of which is December 4, 2000 which provides for what is shown on the Plans this evening of 985,000 square feet to include office, retail and a limited service hotel.
Mr. Sheldon Halprin asked if all of the
985,000 square feet is in Lower Makefield, and
Mr. Brookman stated it is. He stated they also propose additional development in Middletown Township of 300,000 square feet, and this amount was included in their traffic report.
Ms. Ellen Ferry, Heritage Oak Drive, asked why the Board agreed to change the Zoning.
Mr. Fazzalore stated they did not agree to change the Zoning. The Zoning does allow retail and did so at the time the Bellemead Plan was approved. Ms. Ferry asked why the Board agreed to the retail portion. Mr. Fazzalore stated they agreed to it since the new plan proposed to cut down the entire amount of square footage. Mr. Hackman stated the Zoning Ordinance routinely gets updated. The Zoning for this area has permitted retail for the last eight years. He stated Matrix is not asking for anything that they could not get under the current Ordinance. Mr. Hackman stated they could also submit a whole new plan and if the Zoning Ordinance permits what is proposed, they have a right to construct it.
Mrs. Godshalk stated Bellemead and the Township had a Master Plan and Development Agreement written up. During that time they were told that they had to allow all types of development in the Township or they could be sued. Ms. Ferry asked if Matrix owns the property, and Mr. Brookman stated they are the equitable owner of the property although the close date has not yet occurred.
Mr. Fegley stated the property is the subject of a Development Plan. He stated some people have been discussing the purchase of the tract for open space and this was not an option. He stated there were several public meetings with Matrix about the property. Matrix asked for some changes, and Mr. Fegley stated he felt what Matrix was proposing was a preferable Plan since it would be less square footage and more open space would be preserved. This Plan also limited the number of box retail stores that could come into the Township. He stated under the Zoning Ordinance they could bring in more box retail stores than what they are proposing. He stated the Board of Supervisors is required by law to approve Development Plans if they comply with the Township Ordinances. He stated the Township cannot purchase every inch of open space left in the Township since they do not have the funds to do so. He stated they also must by law provide for every type of use in the Township.
Mr. Jim Scanio, Bexley Orchard, asked how much more of this type of development is left in the Township, and Mr. Fazzalore stated there is very little left that provides for retail.
Mrs. Godshalk stated there is a portion going down to I-95 on Dobry Road. Mr. Scanio stated if this continues, he will be leaving the Township.
Mr. Mark Santos, Yardley Meadows, asked how many of the Supervisors live in this impacted end of the Township. Mr. Fazzalore stated all Supervisors drive on these roads.
Ms. Marissa Gillin, Yardley Corners, stated she is concerned with the impact of the traffic at Yardley Corners. Mr. Fazzalore stated Matrix has met with the residents of Yardley Corners previously. Mr. Rodgers showed a Plan for the proposed roadway improvements including additional traffic signals. He stated traffic will not be able to pass back and forth between the new development and Yardley Corners, but residents of Yardley Corners will be able to safely access the roadway. Ms. Gillin stated they heard that there would be an additional 30,000 cars per day on the road. Mr. Yeager reviewed the peak traffic figures showing a.m. trip generation for the site to be 1,444 vehicles per hour between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. The retail portion would not be active at that time. In the evening peak the number is 2, 800 cars per hour. These will not all be exiting at the one intersection.
Mr. Bert Salmon asked if this project is going to happen no matter what the residents say, and Mr. Fazzalore stated the project has been approved.
Ms. Lorette LeCitra asked if these engineers are the same ones who designed the Home Depot. Mr. Fazzalore stated that project is in Falls Township. The engineers present stated they were not the same engineers.
Ms. Carol Cucchi, 1301 Apple Blossom Drive, asked if they could issue a moratorium on this development so that it provides time for the residents to work with the Board of Supervisors to see if there is something else they can do. Mr. Garton stated there is some time before the process is completed. He stated the Plan still needs to go through a Land Development process through the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors. Mr. Fazzalore stated the public is invited to all public meetings. He added that the meetings are always announced on the Township Cable Channel, and the pubic can also contact the Township Building about a specific item. Mr. Fegley stated Matrix has not yet submitted Plans other than the Concept Plans. Mrs. Godshalk stated she feels they could request direct access onto Route 1 to this site which would alleviate a tremendous amount of traffic. She stated there is room to provide this although a specific Highway Permit would need to be obtained.
Ms. Lisa Pflaumer, 47 Lang Lane, Middletown, asked when the traffic study was conducted as there is a difference with the traffic in the summer than other times of the year. Mr. Rodgers stated the peak hour counts were done on 8/11/99. Other counts were requested and these were done 2/5/00 and additional counts were requested in Middletown at Big Oak and Township Line Roads which were done 4/28/01 and 4/29/01. Mr. Yeager stated they also did their own counts to verify the data and these were done in May, 2000.
Ms. Pflaumer stated when there is a project that crosses Township borders, she would hope that there is coordination between the Townships. She stated some Middletown officials have indicated that they are being forced to accept this project because of the size of the project in Lower Makefield Township. Mr. Fazzalore stated the two Township Managers do speak. He stated Middletown does have different zoning issues since different uses are permitted in Middletown including a trailer park. There are also plans in Middletown for a 550 unit apartment complex in this area.
Ms. Abigail Gregone asked about road improvements proposed in the area. It was noted from the Bridge at I-95 to Oxford Valley Road, it will be four lanes with a grass median.
Mr. Steve Sancero, Hidden Oaks, asked about the Agreement of Sale. Mr. Brookman stated the Agreement was entered into some years ago. Settlement is scheduled for this fall. There are no contingencies related to closing other than paying the price.
Ms. Deborah Gould stated she resides on Oxford Valley Road and is a member of the Planning Commission. She stated she feels the Board should tell the residents how they will be impacted by the expansion of Big Oak Road and Oxford Valley Road and the capability of the turning lanes and stacking capacity since she feels it will be a traffic nightmare. Mr. Fazzalore stated some of Oxford Valley Road is already under a Federal improvement program and it will be six lanes, three on each side. Ms. Gould stated they will be using the existing roadway. She stated they should address these concerns with people who have to deal with this traffic on a daily basis many times a day. Mr. Rodgers reviewed in detail the existing conditions and the proposed road improvements planned for the area. He stated the proposed improvements are greater than what was proposed in the original Bellemead application, and there will be a substantial reduction in trip generation as well. He stated the Township Traffic Consultant also requested additional improvements, and these were incorporated into the design. He stated Matrix has also agreed to provide to the Township the dollar amount that Bellemead had agreed to pay for Route 1 improvements even though these improvements were paid for by the Federal Government. All road improvements proposed will be built as part of the first phase of the project and not as called for under the Bellemead approval which had called for improvements to be done over a number of years. Mr. Rodgers stated all improvements will be done within the legal right-of-way, and they do not need to acquire any additional land. Ms. Gould stated she feels the improvements described could take care of the existing traffic but will not be able to handle the additional cars that will be generated by this new project. Mr. Rodgers stated they do feel the improvements proposed will handle the additional traffic in Lower Makefield and Middletown.
Mrs. Godshalk stated there is room to make an extra decel lane going out to Route 1 using some of the Matrix land, and she asked if this is possible. Mr. Rodgers stated Route 1 is a Limited Access Highway, and they would not be able to obtain permission to get access to it. He stated the distance between the ramps for Route 1 and I-95 is very close, and there is no room to introduce a properly designed ramp at that location. Mr. Fazzalore asked about the possibility of including a road from Matrix to the ramp. Mr. Brookman stated this was discussed in context with the office development but neither their consultant nor the Township’s consultant have felt this was necessary for what was approved by the Board of Supervisors. Mrs. Godshalk stated they have the ability to make it safe for a widened ramp. Mr. Brookman stated their ownership does not extend to Route 1.
Ms. Linda Nagy stated she has noticed some backhoe activity in the area, and Mr. Fedorchak stated that work is part of the traffic signal interconnect project.
Mr. Al Greenlee, 1620 Covington, stated it does not seem like any of the traffic studies were done when Sesame Place was in operation.
Mr. Ho Ming San, 1523 Brock Creek Drive, expressed concern about the additional noise and pollution the additional cars will add to their neighborhoods.
Mr. Mike Burns asked if the bridge over I-95 will be widened, and Mr. Rodgers stated it will remain as it is currently.
Mr. Mike Cain, 1552 Brock Creek Drive, stated the three Supervisors who voted in favor of this project all live near Route 332 and will not be impacted by this development unlike the residents present this evening. He stated the Supervisors who live at 332 are cramming all the development at the end of the Township where they do not live. He stated there is land near 332 where a golf course is proposed, and he would recommend that they swap this project to go in that location.
Ms. Rhonda Gristy, Bexley Orchard, stated the impact of Sesame Place is enormous as well as all the other commercial and retail developments in this part of the Township. She stated going from six lanes of traffic down to the width of the existing bridge will create a tremendous problem. Mr. Rodgers reviewed the proposed traffic improvements in Middletown.
Ms. Debbie Ronte, Yardley Meadows, stated she feels the residents should have been provided time for meaningful input into this prior to approval. She stated she does not feel the Township needs more box stores and feels there are other opportunities for development which can be profitable and good for the community.
Mr. Allan commended the residents for coming out tonight. He stated he did not vote in favor of this project because of his concerns with the increase in traffic. He stated they had originally proposed a 124,000 square foot food store which would have been much worse than what is now proposed. He stated if the Board of Supervisors turns this proposal down, he is very concerned that something much worse will come in.
Ms. Jane Reed, 123 Knightsbridge Drive, asked what crime studies have been done.
Mr. Fazzalore stated they do have figures on the other shopping centers in the Township and the crime is minimal. He stated those crimes were against the stores themselves in terms of retail theft.
Mr. Jim Driscoll, Yardley Meadows, expressed concern with the existing water problems and how additional development will impact this. Mr. Burkett reviewed the storm water plans for the development to insure that the amount of run off that leaves the site is less than is currently leaving the site from both a peak perspective and total volume. He noted a large portion goes to Mill Creek and a smaller portion to Brock Creek. Mr. Driscoll asked if there are any FEMA floodplains on the site, and Mr. Burkett stated there are not according to the FEMA maps. Mr. Doherty stated the rate of run off cannot be greater than the existing run off according to the Ordinance requirements. Mr. Johnson stated there are wetlands on the site, and they are working with the Township and the Conservation District. The amount of flow will be reduced from what it is at present.
Ms. Mary Cain, 1552 Brock Creek Drive, stated she backs up to the creek and it floods at the current time. She is concerned about additional run off from the additional development and the impact on real estate values.
Mr. Gerry Rago, Makefield Glen, expressed concern with the impact of exhaust fumes on his child. He stated he feels there has been a lack of studies. Mr. Doherty stated an environmental impact study is not required by Ordinance.
Ms. Elly Neiman, Crown Terrace, stated she does not feel the developer cares about the residents and only cares about the money. Mr. Johnson stated they do take the development process very seriously. He stated they have worked with the Board of Supervisors for the past one and a half to two years and there have been five or six public meetings. He stated the Board of Supervisors has been very demanding of what they wanted for the citizens. He stated residents should also look at their track record in their past developments. Mr. Fazzalore stated when this project first came up, he visited one of their existing developments and was impressed with what they had done at that location.
Mr. Steve Woarski, Heacock Road, expressed concern with the water and stated he feels they should have no further development.
Mr. Gordon Principi, Emerald Drive, asked if the developer still wants to proceed with development in a community that is so opposed to their development. Mr. Johnson stated they respect the right of any citizen to come and speak their mind, but they are planning to proceed with development.
Ms. Carolyn Tucker asked how Middletown was able not to agree to the Plan.
Mr. Fazzalore stated Middletown Township has different zoning. Ms. Tucker asked if a Wegman’s is less acceptable than a Lowes. Mr. Fazzalore stated they negotiated with the developer to go from three box stores down to two. The Board of Supervisors has nothing to do with the actual retailers that go in.
Ms. Beth Wargo, 1528 Brock Drive, stated existing retailers are going out of business when additional retailers come in. She questioned what benefits are being given to the residents of Lower Makefield Township. She also asked if Matrix would be willing to put up a bond to restore the land if their businesses are not successful. Mr. Fazzalore stated this development will provide additional funds to the School District and to the Township. They are also proposing a $1.3 million one time payment and $100,000 every year for additional fire and police protection. Mr. Allan stated he would be in favor of something included similar to what Buckingham has put into effect.
Mr. Brian Ferri, Heritage Oaks Drive, asked why the Township will not require an environmental study. Mr. Fegley stated there are certain things that the Township can and cannot do. He stated the Township can buy land and they have been doing this in the Township; however, they are not able to purchase every tact of open space. If they purchase this tract, they would open up the remaining land to a curative amendment. He stated they have to consider all the residents of Lower Makefield Township. He stated this parcel under discussion has been zoned for this use.
Ms. Betsy Feinberg asked who is proposed for the big box stores. Mr. Johnson stated he is not permitted to discuss this at this time. Mr. Garton stated there are certain uses that are permitted, but the Township cannot designate the specific user. Mr. Fazzalore stated they have heard rumors that there will be Sears Furniture store and a Lowes in Lower Makefield Township and a Cosco in Middletown. They have also heard that the hotel will be Extended Stay America.
Mr. Gene Watson asked if Mr. Fazzalore visited the Horsham Road Project, and Mr. Fazzalore stated he did. Mr. Watson asked if there were any retail stores at that location, and Mr. Fazzalore stated there were not. He stated it was office buildings. He stated two thirds of the Lower Makefield project will be office buildings.
Mr. Mike Lupton, Cornerstone, stated it appears that despite what the residents say, the project is going to go forward. He asked the Matrix representatives if they would want a development of this size near to where they live. He asked the Board of Supervisors what steps can be taken to stop this project. Mr. Johnson stated their engineer is addressing the water issues and traffic concerns. Mr. Garton stated in the absence of Matrix agreeing to discontinue the project, the Township would have to breach the Agreement; and he would assume litigation and damages would result. He added that the Court could also decide that they would have to proceed.
Mr. Bob Slayman, Bedford Place, stated if this project will bring in additional money for the Schools and to Lower Makefield, he is all for it. He stated Middletown Township gets the tax advantages from their retail and Lower Makefield gets nothing. Mrs. Godshalk noted Newtown/Council Rock has a personal income tax. Mr. Fazzalore stated Middletown also has a mercantile tax.
Ms. Virginia Torbert, Yardley-Newtown Road, asked if Matrix is willing to sell the property to Lower Makefield Township and if there is any idea what this would cost.
She also asked the cost to the Township if the Township breaches the Agreement with Matrix. Mr. Fazzalore stated the individual who tried to broker the Patterson Farm indicated he could get $18 million for it; and he would therefore assume that the Matrix property would go for even more.
Mr. Borda stated there will be another meeting of RAM on Saturday at the Library. He stated he feels there will be an environmental impact from this project. He stated he also feels the Bellemead proposal would have been better than what is now proposed since this new plan adds retail which increases the traffic. He stated he does not feel there was enough proactive thought to giving the residents the opportunity to purchase this property, and there should have been a Referendum to see if the residents were in favor of this.
Mr. Borda stated there is space up at 332 which is already zoned O/R which could have been re-zoned to C/3. He stated he does recognize the problem the Township now has since an Agreement has been approved, but he feels that if 95% of the residents do not want this at that location, they should not be ignored.
Mr. Fegley stated Mr. Borda has indicated they will be meeting with Mr. Sugarman, a land use attorney; and he will be interested to learn what he has to say. Mr. Fegley stated he does not feel Mr. Sugarman will advocate breaching the Agreement, but he is willing to listen to what he has to say. Mr. Fegley stated the Board of Supervisors represents all the residents of Lower Makefield Township and there are neighborhoods that surround the 332 area and if the Board did what Mr. Borda suggests, there would be an equally large group of people opposed to the development of that area. Mr. Borda stated he appreciated Mr. Fegley coming to some of the RAM meetings. Mr. Borda stated he also recognizes that this was a difficult decision. He stated he also recognizes that the Township could be exposed to damages and may lose the case and he would not recommend this option if this is the case. He stated Mr. Sugarman does have some concerns about contract zoning.
Mr. Borda stated he feels the Board of Supervisors should be willing to work with the residents to see what can be done.
Mrs. Godshalk left the meeting at this time.
DISCUSSION AND TABLING OF RESOLUTION NO. 1080 - NEWTOWN BYPASS TRAFFIC SIGNAL MAINTENANCE AGREEMENT WITH PENNDOT
Mr. Hackman stated it appears they want Lower Makefield Township to maintain the Lindenhurst Road traffic signal. Mr. Fedorchak stated this is why he would recommend tabling this matter.
Mr. Allan moved, Mr. Hackman seconded and it was unanimously carried to table.
Ms. Sue Herman thanked Mr. Fedorchak for sending the memo to PennDOT expressing dismay about the delay. Mr. Fedorchak stated Mr. Warren assured him the construction time line will not change at all, and it will be constructed as originally anticipated.
Mr. Doherty stated the bid date is May 24 with Notice to Proceed anticipated to be by the end of July and completion of construction by the end of the year.
Mr. Hackman left the meeting at this time.
Mr. Fazzalore noted there will only be three Supervisors present for the remainder of the meeting.
DISCUSSION AND TABLING OF AWARD OF BID FOR REPLACEMENT OF SANDY RUN ROAD BRIDGE
Mr. Doherty was questioned about the additional money over the amount that had been budgeted for this project. Mr. Doherty stated the price they had in the Budget was from 1996. Mr. Taylor stated the funds will come from Street Projects. Mr. Fazzalore suggested delaying award of the bid for two more weeks. Mr. Doherty was asked to research this project further including why it has to be replaced and if it could be repaired rather than replaced.
Mr. Allan moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to table.
APPROVE REQUEST FOR DEDICATION OF SANITARY SEWER SYSTEM AND PUMP STATION IN BROOKSTONE I & II AND CORNERSTONE
Mr. Garton stated the staff recommends approval. Mr. Fegley moved, Mr. Allan seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve dedication of sanitary sewer system and pump station in Brookstone I & II and Cornerstone.
SIGNING OF LINENS FOR TIRES PLUS (CVS PLAZA)
Linens were signed following the meeting.
GRANT EXTENSION OF TIME FOR MINNES MINOR SUBDIVISION
Mr. Allan moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve extension of time for Minnes Minor Subdivision until 8/10/01.
ZONING HEARING BOARD MATTERS
The Maggio variance request relating to wetlands crossing and grading within the buffer area was noted. It was agreed that the Board would take no opposition if the applicant were prepared to restrict the property from further development and install an environmentally sensitive driveway.
The Board decided to take no action on the McVan, 1455 Robinson Place, Variance request.
The Board asked that the Solicitor appear in opposition to the Williams, 14 Houston Road, Variance request to construct an addition resulting in greater than the permitted impervious surface.
The Board decided to take no action on the Wolfenson Variance request.
APPROVAL OF APRIL 2, AND APRIL 16, 2001 WARRANT LISTS AND MARCH, 2001 PAYROLL
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Allan seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the April 2, and April 16, 2001 Warrant Lists and March, 2001 payroll as attached to the Minutes.
Mr. Fazzalore stated he reviewed the expenses and there are a number of Departments which appear to be over budget. Mr. Taylor stated they are looking at this closely.
APPROVAL OF COMPUTER SYSTEM
Mr. Fazzalore stated the request is for a $71,455 computer system which is $30,000 over budget. He asked what this system will do that is not being done now. Mr. Taylor stated this will allow them to meet the requirements that Mr. Furman previously discussed with the Board. He stated the existing system can no longer be modified because it is so old and it is difficult to get a technician to help work with that system. Mr. Fazzalore asked if they are expecting to spend $100,000 per year on computer systems, and Mr. Taylor stated they should expect to spend something every year. Mr. Fegley asked about the increase in cost, and Mr. Taylor reviewed the reasons the project went over budget. Mr. Fegley asked if this could be carried over to next year, and Mr. Taylor stated while this could be done, he would not recommend it. He noted the manufacturer is providing the upgrades at no cost but may not continue to do so in the future.
Ms. Becky Cecchine stated once they get the accounting system done, they also have to upgrade the Police system and this does take time and they are understaffed at this time.
Mr. Allan asked if this will cut down any more time for the people who work on the program, and Mr. Taylor stated it may since it will allow them to gather data and formulate it without having a fixed program to run it. He stated additional reports are going to be required by the year 2003. If this is not done, the auditor may have to give a Qualified Opinion and this could impact the Bond rate.
Mr. Allan moved and Mr. Fegley seconded to approve the computer system as requested.
Mr. Fazzalore stated that he hopes that in the future they will be able to budget better.
Motion carried unanimously.
Ms. Maureen Friedman asked if there is a company that will afford them a discount because they are a Government, and Mr. Taylor stated all the systems are strictly for government and they did get a discount under the State Contract.
Mr. Fegley stated the Earth Day activities will take place on Saturday, April 21.
Mr. Allan noted they are moving forward with the handicap access at the Pool.
DISCUSSION OF RENTAL OF ACREAGE TO FARM THE PATTERSON TRACT
Mr. Fazzalore noted the information the Board received. Mr. Fedorchak stated he met with Buster as directed and they offered him the opportunity and pointed out to him what they were hoping to receive in terms of rental which was in the neighborhood of what Farmland Preservation receives which is $55/60 per acre. Buster indicated he was not interested. Immediately thereafter Mr. Coyne proceeded, with Mr. Garton’s help, to put the item out to public bid and they structured it under a two and five year package. They received a great deal of interest and were pleased with the results. There were six local farmers who were interested in the Patterson Farm and the top two bidders were at $100 to $135 per tillable acre which is nearly twice the amount Farmland Preservation gets. He assumes that the Patterson Farm is a very attractive piece of farmland and they will be able to obtain a high price for the land. He would however, suggest that the matter be tabled since the high bidder in the five year category, Joe Stone, came to him this afternoon with an amendment to his proposal; and they have not had an opportunity to review it.
Mr. Fazzalore asked if they are willing to work with the Township on the leaves, and Mr. Fedorchak stated they will be able to work this out with whoever they rent to.
Mr. Fedorchak stated within a few days they will be able to make a firm recommendation.
Mr. Fazzalore stated he feels if income is received for the Patterson Farm, it should be put into a fund for the Patterson Farm since there are expenses the Township has to pay relating to the Farm. He stated it should be on a Balance Sheet and an Income Account.
No action was taken this evening.
Mr. Allan moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to re-appoint Albert Roeper to the Planning Commission.
Mr. Allan moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to re-appoint Susanne Curran to the Historic Commission.
Mr. Allan moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to re-appoint Paul Krupp to the Emergency Management Committee.
Mr. Allan moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to re-appoint Karen Wild to the Community Pool Board.
There being no further business, Mr. Allan moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 10:35 p.m.