TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
MINUTES - MARCH 4, 2002
The regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on March 4, 2002. Chairman Fegley called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m. noting that the Board had been meeting in Executive Session since 6:00 p.m. to conduct interviews for various Township Boards and Commissions and to discuss legal and personnel matters.
Board of Supervisors:
Scott Fegley, Chairman
Terry Fedorchak, Township Manager
Grace Godshalk, Supervisor
PRESENTATION OF COMMUNITY PRESERVATIONS AWARDS
Mr. Fegley presented the Community Preservation Award - Landscape Category - to the Martha Washington Garden Club for the maintenance of the Slate Hill Cemetery and Elm Lowne grounds. Marion Holubec, President, accepted on behalf of the Garden Club.
Mr. Fegley presented the Community Preservation Award - Architecture Category - to Mr. and Mrs. Robert Colavito for an addition to their home in keeping with the original building materials and design.
Ms. Sally Conlon asked if the Township will challenge the proposed Referendum in Court. Mr. Fegley stated the Board of Supervisors will not challenge the Referendum, however, individual citizens may challenge it. Mr. Hackman stated he did write a letter to the Board of Elections in his position as Secretary of the Board, pointing out that according to the information he had, the matter had not been properly filed with the Township. He stated he has since learned that the information they had was misleading with regard to the wording of the submission, and that wording actually relates to competing petitions. He feels the Election Board will most likely advise him that this would not apply in this instance.
Mr. Fegley stated there still could be an objection the basis of the signatures on the petition. He added that the Board of Supervisors will most likely prepare a brochure advising the voters of the implications of Home Rule.
ANNOUNCEMENT OF TOWNSHIP CITIZEN COMMUNICATION AWARD
Mr. Fegley announced that the Lower Makefield Township Newsletter placed first in the State Association Contest. Ms. Ann Langtry was thanked for the work she did in putting together the Township Newsletter.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Mr. Hackman moved, Mr. Fazzalore seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of February 18, 2002 as corrected.
Mr. Hackman moved, Mr. Stainthorpe seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of February 26, 2002 as written.
DISCUSSION WITH FIRE SAFETY INSPECTOR AND MOTION TO AUTHORIZE ADVERTISEMENT OF ORDINANCE RELATING TO THE FIRE CODE
Mr. James Yates was present and stated since he last met with the Board of Supervisors he has reviewed an updated Fire Safety Code and made recommendations for amendments to the Code. He would recommend that they adopt the revised Year 2000 International Fire Protection Code. He stated he would like to review this with the Township Solicitor. He is also recommending that a fee structure be placed in the Ordinance that would charge each commercial property $150 annually to be paid to the Township to offset the cost of the program.
Mr. Fazzalore asked about the fee charged by other communities, and Mr. Yates stated he feels this is comparable to other communities.
Mr. Garton stated they would not include the fee within the Ordinance but rather the fee would be set by Resolution and then reviewed periodically.
Mr. Hackman commended Mr. Yates for the work he has done to date.
Mr. Hackman moved to authorize advertisement of an Ordinance relating to the Fire Code as amended by Mr. Yates following review by Mr. Fedorchak and Mr. Garton.
Mr. Hackman stated he feels the $150 annual fee would be adequate for a small building, but he is concerned that it would not be sufficient to cover the cost of reviewing larger buildings. He stated he feels there should be a sliding scale. Mr. Yates stated the $150 fee is seed money to get the program started. These funds will support the program for the first year. They will then probably amend the fee to address Mr. Hackman’s concerns.
Mr. Hackman stated he feels the initial inspection at a property will take the longest and subsequent inspections at the property will take less time. Mr. Fegley stated he feels the fee should be based on the square footage of the building. Mr. Hackman stated he feels the minimum fee should be $150.
Mr. Garton stated the Ordinance will not have the specific fee listed in it and they will agree to make some recommendations on the fee structure to be approved by Resolution.
Mr. Fegley stated there were some violations found in the initial inspections made by Mr. Yates, and he asked if there was any follow up. Mr. Yates stated letters were sent out advising of the violations but nothing further has been done.
Mr. Hackman asked when the inspections would begin, and Mr. Yates stated he feels the first series of inspections would begin in early fall. He estimated that it could take six to nine months before they inspect every commercial property in the Township.
Mr. Fazzalore asked if the Police Department will be involved, and Chief Coluzzi stated they will be involved if needed.
Mr. Stainthorpe seconded the Motion, and the Motion carried unanimously.
REVIEW OF EARTH DAY ACTIVITIES
Ms. Donna Liney, Recreation Director, and Ms. Patricia Martin, Chairman of the Environmental Advisory Council, were present to discuss the Earth Day Events. Ms. Liney stated they are receiving support from the community groups and they hope to make this Event cost neutral to the Township. She noted local crafters will be present and will make a donation to help defray costs. The Fishing Derby and Art Contest will be held again this year, and there will be a 5K Run/Walk sponsored by Merrill Lynch The Seiler Group.
The Police Department has also agreed to help with the Event. Mr. Fegley thanked Ms. Liney for all the work she has done on the Event.
DISCUSSION OF TOWNSHIP LIGHTED FACILITIES
Ms. Liney stated a resident recently commented about the lights on at Macclesfield Park and they have discovered that the warm weather had resulted in some evening soccer practices. The Facility Director had an old key which he used to turn on the lights, but was unable to turn them off. He has since received a new key. She noted the users do pay for the light usage. She stated the user groups have been reminded about proper use of the facilities. She has also asked the Police Department to contact the Park & Recreation Department if they see that lights are on after 11:00 p.m. Mr. Fazzalore stated he often sees the lights on at midnight at the Township Recreation Complex. Ms. Liney stated there has been some difficulty with the damp weather and the timers. She stated they will try to keep on top of this matter. Mr. Fedorchak stated an electrical engineer is being brought in to look at the timers.
APPROVE PROPOSAL BY PENNSBURY COLLEGE SHOWCASE TOURNAMENT TO PLACE A FLAG POLE IN HONOR OF ART COLEMAN AT ROELOFS SOFTBALL COMPLEX
Ms. Liney noted the offer made by the Pennsbury College Showcase Tournament to place a flagpole at Roelofs Softball Complex in honor of Art Coleman. This would be at no cost to the Township and would add a feature at the Complex that the Board of Supervisors had discussed during an earlier Road Tour.
Mr. Hackman stated Mr. Coleman is the "father" of the Girls Softball program in the Township. He stated the Tournament showcases the best girls softball players from around the Country. He asked where the pole would be placed and who will raise the flag.
Ms. Liney stated she feels it will be in front of the concession stand and stated if the flag stays up, it would have to be lit. Mr. Hackman stated if it is going to be lit, it would have to be close to the concession stand where there is electricity. Mr. Fazzalore stated if there are adverse weather conditions, the flag would have to come down.
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Hackman seconded and it was unanimously carried to accept the donation from the Pennsbury College Showcase Tournament.
AWARD CONTRACT FOR HILLSIDE AND SPRING SANITARY SEWER PROJECT
Mr. Zarko and Mr. Hoffmeister were present. Mr. Fazzalore noted the low bid is $100,000 less than the estimated bid. Mr. Zarko stated they received eight bids. He stated they reviewed the bid packet and the low bidders references. He noted CKS has had experience with this bidder in the past. While there had been some history of payment disputes, the contractor did a good job in their most recent project with them and there were no changes from the original contract. They did discuss the low bid with the contractor, and he indicated that he reviewed his numbers and feels confident with them. He stated at the current time he is very slow and he needs to get his people back working and fully expects to deliver the project at the bid price. Mr. Zarko stated they would recommend that they award the bid to the low bidder.
Mr. Hackman asked what this will mean to the homeowners. Mr. Zarko stated this will represent a cost reduction to the homeowners.
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Hackman seconded and it was unanimously carried to award the contract for Hillside and Spring Sanitary Sewer Project to PACT Construction, Inc. at a cost of $382,078.
APPOINT CKS ENGINEERS TO PROVIDE CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT/PROJECT INSPECTION FOR HILLSIDE AND SPRING SEWER PROJECT
Mr. Fazzalore moved and Mr. Stainthorpe seconded to appoint CKS Engineers to provide construction management/project inspection for Hillside and Spring Sewer Project at a cost of $55,000.
Mr. Zarko stated this is a not to exceed cost and they expect it to come in at $55,000 unless there is something extraordinary which occurs. They would come back to the Board of Supervisors if there are additional costs. He stated this is also a reduction in the overall cost to the homeowners since their original estimate was $60,000.
Mr. Fazzalore moved to amend the Motion to add "not to exceed $55,000."
Mr. Stainthorpe seconded the amendment, and the Motion as amended carried unanimously.
Mr. Zarko stated the contractor is anxious to start, and he would anticipate that within a month the project will begin.
Mr. Hackman asked about notification of the residents, and Mr. Hoffmeister stated after the pre-construction meeting, they will notify the residents of the approximate time within a week of when they will start.
AWARD BID FOR REAMING AND TESTING OF WELLS AT GOLF COURSE SITE
Mr. Taylor was present and stated this test will not go any deeper than the original test but will have a larger diameter. Mr. Hackman stated he feels they should move ahead since once this is done, it will take approximately six months to get the permits. Mr. Taylor stated the rate of flow was in question when they dug the original wells. He stated in the design of the course, they are laying out water holding ponds.
Mr. Taylor stated they are also considering this evening approval of a Professional Services Contract, and that firm will monitor the well drilling and the impact on the surrounding wells. Mr. Fazzalore stated he wants to make sure that they get factual reports and not just what they think the Township wants to hear. Mr. Hackman noted the information provided by DelVal Soils which relates to Mr. Fazzalore’s concern.
Mr. Hackman moved and Mr. Stainthorpe seconded to award the bid for reaming and testing of wells at the Golf Course site to Bucks County Artesian Well Drilling Company at a cost of $32,942.50. Motion carried with Mr. Fegley abstained.
Ms. Virginia Torbert asked for an update on the Board of View, and Mr. Garton stated despite his requests for a Hearing date, he has not been provided with such a date yet.
Mr. Mike Attara asked if the Contracts they have already awarded will still be in place if they find out there is not sufficient water. Mr. Fazzalore noted the Contracts awarded did include escape clauses.
APPROVAL OF PROFESSIONAL SERVICES CONTACT WITH DELVAL SOILS, INC.
Mr. Fazzalore stated he would like DelVal to be invited to a meeting once the report is concluded to explain their results. He asked that the residents be invited to attend.
Mr. Hackman moved and Mr. Stainthorpe seconded to approve the Professional Services Contract with DelVal Soils, Inc. to monitor well drilling, prepare hydrogeological report and prepare DRBC Permit Application at a cost of $14,100 subject to execution of a Professional Services Agreement and attendance at a public meeting to explain the results.
Motion carried with Mr. Fegley abstained.
DISCUSSION OF OPERATING COSTS OF STREET SWEEPING PROGRAM
Mr. Fazzalore thanked the Township for looking into the operating costs of the Street Sweeping Program and stated it appears that it is costing the Township less to do this work themselves than it would to have a private contractor do it. He stated he feels they should also look into the costs of the leaf pick-up program. Mr. Taylor stated they did try to look into this a year or two ago and they could not find an outside contractor willing to do the work for them.
APPROVAL OF ORDINANCE NO. 332 AUTHORIZING PARTICIPATION OF LMT POLICE DEPARTMENT IN A MULTI-AGENCY SPECIAL REACTION TEAM
Mr. Garton stated this was discussed by the Chief at a prior meeting, and the Ordinance has been advertised for discussion this evening.
Mr. Stainthorpe moved and Mr. Fazzalore seconded to approve Ordinance No. 332.
There was no public comment.
Chief Coluzzi stated this is a tactical team which would respond to emergency situations and could involve Lower Makefield officers going outside the Township borders and officers from other Townships coming into Lower Makefield if necessary. The officers will receive tactical training.
Motion carried unanimously.
CONCEPTUAL APPROVAL OF INTERGOVERNMENTAL AGREEMENT WITH NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP
Mr. Garton stated this is only a conceptual approval at this time. He noted he made the changes previously discussed and copies were provided to the interested residents. Once the Board of Supervisors approves this, it will be sent to Newtown Township.
Mr. Hackman noted the last page and the statement regarding "best efforts." He noted this does not include anything about Lindenhurst Road. Mr. Garton stated the prior paragraph does relate to this. Mr. Hackman noted the "best efforts" area is a recap, and he would like something included in this section as well with regard to Lindenhurst Road. Mr. Garton agreed to make this change.
Ms. Karen Freedman noted Point #2 and stated they would like to see added at the end "with the full approval of PennDOT as recommended by the Townships." Mr. Garton stated PennDOT will not be signing this Agreement. He noted they would have to get a permit from PennDOT. Ms. Freedman noted Point #4 and asked why they seem so be committing the Township to additional ramps. Mr. Hackman stated this was added by the Board previously. Mr. Fegley stated the Board agreed to have one loop and the amendment was that while they would agree with one loop, that they make provisions for two additional loops from a mapping standpoint. He stated they never discussed any of the implications of a loop ramp on the Torbert or the Wright properties. Mr. Hackman stated he had made the comment that if they really wanted to fix the problem, they really needed loops in the other quadrants. Mr. Fegley stated this is not the way the language reads in this Agreement which makes it sound like they are going ahead with three loops instead of just one. Ms. Freedman provided a copy of what the original language regarding the loops, and Mr. Garton agreed to take the language from the original Agreement.
Mr. Fazzalore stated he understands that Newtown Township has just approved the Toll Bros. project for the Heston property which will be different from the commercial project which was originally proposed. Mr. Fegley stated he feels this will be good for the traffic situation.
Ms. Torbert asked if they will show something on the other two quadrants, and Mr. Garton stated there will be a map showing the one loop that is proposed and the vacant areas on the other quadrants.
Mr. John Cowlie noted Item #6 and stated he feels it should be worded as it was on the prior document in Item #3. Mr. Fegley stated Upper Makefield has indicated that they are not willing to go ahead with the turn back of Lindenhurst Road, and he would not want the Agreement not to be approved if Lindenhurst Road is not turned back. Mr. Cowlie stated he is concerned with the truck issue and feels they should make this an objective. He stated Swamp Road has been restricted for thirty-one years. Mr. Hackman stated he feels the truck traffic should be on 413 and the By-Pass. He hopes Newtown Township will approve the Agreement, and they can get moving on some of these issues.
Ms. Sue Herman stated she does not feel Point #6 is strong enough to motivate the Township to take control. Mr. Hackman stated he wanted to approve something to send to Newtown Township that he feels they will adopt. Mr. Fegley stated Upper Makefield has already indicated that they will support Lower Makefield Township in requesting improvements at the culvert on Swamp Road, but they will not agree to a turn back of Lindenhurst Road. He stated the way this is now phrased it indicates Newtown Township and Lower Makefield Township can agree and they can go to PennDOT and possibly get approval to turn back those portions of Lindenhurst Road that are in Newtown and Lower Makefield. Ms. Herman stated she feels they are now watering down the Motion which was previously made. Mr. Garton noted the last sentence which states, "shall include turn back of Lindenhurst Road" and does seem very clear.
Ms. Carol Cowlie stated the language they used in August was much more precise. She noted her concern with safety on Lindenhurst Road and the truck traffic.
Ms. Marci Conti, Wrightstown, asked where they got the information that Upper Makefield’s approval was needed to turn back Lindenhurst Road. Mr. Fazzalore stated Mr. Warren indicated that all three Townships had to agree to turn back the Road.
Mr. Fegley stated they have been advised that it is more likely that a road can be turned back if all the Municipalities involved agree.
Ms. Freedman asked if there is a more clear way to define what is a "suitable means" for the truck traffic. Mr. Hackman stated he feels the Lindenhurst Road piece is a key piece of the Agreement and should remain. He stated he feels this Agreement represents a compromise, and hopefully Upper Makefield will agree that they are trying to improve things for the entire Region. Mr. Garton suggested that he add "suitable means not including local roads."
Mr. Garton stated he will revise the Agreement and bring it back to the Board of Supervisors. No Motion was made this evening.
DISCUSSION OF JEFFERSON AT MIDDLETOWN/BIG OAK ROAD
Mr. Garton stated he was asked if this was Land Development, but he has not made his review yet so he feels this is premature.
Mr. Williams stated the project is in Middletown Township on the west side of Township Line Road. He stated they are proposing adding four foot wide shoulders on both sides and to accommodate a new left turn lane to the site. They are not proposing a decel lane. They will add a traffic signal that Middletown is requiring escrow for at this new intersection. He stated it is south of the railroad track approximately 500’ south.
Mr. Garton stated he feels this is still Big Oak Road at this point. Mr. Williams stated they are proposing an apartment complex and there will be only one access. He stated Middletown has required that any improvements be tied to the Matrix improvements.
Mr. Hackman stated Matrix will go to the bridge and stop. Mr. Fazzalore asked if they will take out the stop sign, and Mr. Williams stated they did not speak to this, but he will look into it further. Mr. Garton will determine if this is subject to the Lower Makefield Land Development process.
DISCUSSION OF RELIEF FROM SUBDIVISION AND LAND DEVELOPMENT ORDINANCE PERTAINING TO DRIVEWAY SLOPE PERCENTAGE AND DIRECTION TO STAFF TO GRANT PERMITS
Mr. Edward Murphy was present and stated approximately two years ago they went to the Zoning Hearing Board for a two-lot project and received approval. They ultimately proceeded with submission of the Building Permit Application for the two lots; and in the course of the Application, the Township engineer determined that a section of the proposed driveway was greater than an 8% grade. He was advised that the best solution was that even though this is a Subdivision item, that they should go to the Zoning Hearing Board. He stated they did go to the Zoning Hearing Board, but the Board refused to hear the matter. Mr. Garton stated the Zoning Hearing Board does not really have the right to grant relief from a strict interpretation of the law for this item. He noted these lots were created in 1960 so the current regulations do not really apply. He feels they should direct the staff to grant the permits.
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Stainthorpe seconded and it was unanimously carried to direct the staff to grant the Permits. Mr. Stainthorpe asked that the Permits be issued as soon as possible and not in ninety days.
APPROVE EXTENSION FOR JEFFREY MANTO SUBDIVISION
Mr. Stainthorpe moved, Mr. Fazzalore seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the extension for the Jeffrey Manto Subdivision until 6/7/02.
APPROVE EXTENSION FOR D’AMATO TRACT SUBDIVISION
Mr. Stainthorpe moved, Mr. Fazzalore seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the extension for the D’Amato Tract Revised Preliminary Subdivision Plans until 6/8/02.
Mr. Hackman stated the detailed design is complete for the Golf Course, although there may be a few items outstanding. The Plans have been reviewed over the last few weeks by the Township engineers and Skelly & Loy along with the Golf Course engineers.
Mr. Hackman stated there are several items in the Subdivision and Zoning Ordinances which do not seem to pertain to a Golf Course, and these will need to be discussed.
Mr. Fazzalore stated at the 2/11/02 meeting of the Golf Course Committee there was a lengthy discussion on Hole #14, and he asked if this has been resolved. Mr. Hackman stated originally Hole #14 was coming up through the woods, and the Zoning Ordinance has restrictions on trees so they re-designed this and are actually counting trees to see if they can meet the 30% requirement. He noted they will be planting hundreds of additional trees. Mr. Fazzalore stated he was under the impression that only the Manor House was going to be retained, but according to the Golf Course Minutes it appears that a lot of the buildings will be retained. Mr. Hackman stated the Manor House and the building located where you come into the property will be saved. Mr. Taylor stated the small building adjacent to the Manor House will also stay. Mr. Hackman stated they may also keep one silo.
Mr. Fegley asked for an update on the Rescue Squad. Mr. Fazzalore stated there have not been any meetings held. Mr. Taylor stated they came to them in January and asked for $30,000 which they gave them. He stated they are still holding $40,000. He stated they are trying to give them an incentive to review their receivables.
Mr. Stainthorpe noted most of the members of the Pool Board have resigned and there has been some discussion of the Park & Recreation Board and the Pool Board being merged. Mr. Fegley stated there has been discussion on this but nothing has been done.
Mr. Fedorchak was asked that this matter be discussed at the next meeting.
DISCUSSION OF NEW LADDER TRUCK BID BY YARDLEY-MAKEFIELD FIRE COMPANY
Mr. Fedorchak stated they are preparing specs for the new truck and hope to make a recommendation to award the bid sometime in May. Mr. Fedorchak stated it will take approximately one year to build this piece of apparatus. Mr. Fazzalore stated they will have to put money up front. He stated it should also be understood that taxes will have to be raised to pay for this truck. Mr. Garton stated he has reviewed the specs and sent comments to Mr. Coyne today. Mr. Hackman stated Mr. Cadwallader attached information on changes in environmental laws regarding diesel engines. Mr. Coyne stated they are being required to install a certain kind of device. He stated they are trying to get this resolved so that they are not under that jurisdiction because this cuts the power and the heat of the engine goes up. Mr. Coyne stated they are trying to get this truck committed before the law takes effect.
APPROVAL OF CONSORTIUM SIGN MATERIALS AND POST BIDS
Mr. Hackman moved, Mr. Fazzalore seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Consortium Sign Materials and Post Bids.
Mr. Coyne stated the difference in price between this year and last year was very minimal.
APPROVAL OF CONSORTIUM ROAD MATERIAL BID
Mr. Hackman moved, Mr. Stainthorpe seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Consortium Road Material Bid.
Mr. Stainthorpe moved, Mr. Fazzalore seconded and it was unanimously carried to appoint Mike Burns to the Zoning Hearing Board.
Mr. Stainthorpe moved, Mr. Fazzalore seconded and it was unanimously carried to appoint Samuel Conti to the Farmland Preservation Corporation.
Mr. Stainthorpe moved, Mr. Fazzalore seconded and it was unanimously carried to appoint Michael Shavel to the Planning Commission.
DISCUSSION ON APPOINTMENT TO EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
Mr. Stainthorpe stated in order to appoint Robert Graham to Emergency Management he feels they will need to expand the Board. Mr. Fedorchak stated he will first need to check on the terms of the current members.
There being no further business, Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Stainthorpe seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 9:30 p.m.