TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
MINUTES - MARCH 17, 2003
The regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on March 17, 2003. Chairman Godshalk called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. She asked for a moment of silence to reflect on the situation in the Country at this time.
Board of Supervisors: Grace Godshalk, Chairman
Wes Hackman, Vice Chairman
Frank Fazzalore, Secretary/Treasurer
Pete Stainthorpe, Supervisor
Others: Terry Fedorchak, Township Manager
Jeffrey Garton, Township Solicitor
Robert Williams, Township Engineer
Kenneth Coluzzi, Chief of Police
Absent: Scott Fegley, Supervisor
Ms. Mary Borkovitz stated she is having a 25th Year Celebration for the Performing Arts at Elm Lowne in May, and they are trying to curtail their costs. The printer has agreed to do all the invitations at no charge, and they are asking that the Township consider paying for the postage. They are sending out 1200 invitations. Mrs. Godshalk asked if any of these expenses were included in their Budget, and Ms. Borkovitz stated nothing specific was budgeted. Mrs. Godshalk stated when they do fundraising for Elm Lowne, they pay for the expenses and deduct that from what they raise. She stated the 9-11 Memorial Committee does this as well. Ms. Borkovitz asked if they would let them use the Township bulk mailing rate, and Mrs. Godshalk stated they could do this but they would have to pay the Township back for the postage. Mrs. Godshalk moved, Mr. Stainthorpe seconded and it was unanimously carried to allow the Performing Arts to use the Township bulk mail rate at their sole cost and expense.
Mr. Zachary Rubin, 1661 Covington Road, asked for a Motion from the Board of Supervisors to televise the Board of Supervisors’ meetings on the public access channel. He noted many other Municipalities televise their meetings. Mrs. Godshalk stated this has been discussed a number of times but there is a cost involved and a number of technical items to be considered. She stated there has been some concern that it might be used for “grandstanding.” She stated the Board could consider the matter further.
Mr. Patrick Frame, 16 Delaware Rim, asked about an issue relating to the Golf Course which he has discussed with the Township engineer in the past. Mr. Williams stated they will meet with Mr. Coyne on a number of issues and this matter will be looked into at that time.
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APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Hackman seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of March 3, 2003 as written.
Mrs. Godshalk turned the meeting over to Mr. Hackman at this time as she had a bad cold.
GOLF COURSE UPDATE
Mr. Hackman stated the Township has set up a Website on the Golf Course and information can be found at Makefield Highlands Golf Club.com or through the Township Website - LMT.org. He stated they will provide progress reports and pictures of the construction as it progresses. He stated you can provide your address on the site so that there will be a list of people in the area interested in the Golf Course who will be notified in the future of upcoming events.
DISCUSSION OF LINDENHURST ROAD TURNBACK AND MOTION TO
Mr. Hackman stated the Board had asked State Representative, Dave Steil, to attend the meeting to discuss the Lindenhurst road turnback matter. Mr. Hackman stated some of the reports the Board had received at their last meeting indicated their attempt to move ahead with the Lindenhurst Road turnback was not proceeding.
Mr. Steil introduced Ms. Sherri Zimmerman, PennDOT’s Director of Municipal Services. Also present were Andy Warren, Charles Staub, and John Young of District Six.
Ms. Zimmerman stated she works out of Harrisburg and has been working with the turnback program for two years. Ms. Zimmerman stated PennDOT has identified 12,000 miles of roads across the State which would be under better control if they were the responsibility of the individual Municipalities. Currently they have transferred approximately 4,000 of the original 12,000 miles. She stated when roads are identified, they fill out an application and work out what needs to be done before the road can be turned back to the Municipality. A review process then takes place to see if it makes sense to turn over the road. She stated some of the items they consider before transferring a road are whether it serves a local interest rather than a Statewide interest, does it break up a segment of roadway, does it run from intersection to intersection, is it cost effective to both parties, and will the Municipality have the resources to maintain the road. They also like to encourage intergovernmental cooperation. She stated they have a cap of $70,000 per mile which they will pay to get a road ready to turn back.
Mr. Steil asked how long the process would take for a road the size of Lindenhurst Road. Ms. Zimmerman stated this varies due to what needs to be done. She stated some roads are in a condition to turn back immediately and some take two years. She stated with regard to Lindenhurst Road, there are a significant amount of items to be done before it could be turned back. If it were approved, it would possibly take at least one year before the process was completed. Mr. Hackman asked if it would take a year to consider whether or not to approve or a year to do the work. Mr. Staub stated it would be a construction season which would be a better part of a year. Mr. Young stated normally it takes a few months to
do the paperwork and they have two years to do the work although you can request an
extension. He stated they would give the Township $120,000 for Lindenhurst Road.
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Mr. Young stated this matter would go before a Committee in Harrisburg to be approved.
Ms. Zimmerman stated there is a meeting every Monday but this matter has not been scheduled yet. Mr. Young stated once it is approved, they send a letter indicating it has been approved with documents to be executed. They would then give it to their Legal Department and a check would then be sent for $120,000. Mr. Stainthorpe asked if the Board of Supervisors should attend the meeting when the matter is considered, and
Ms. Zimmerman stated these meetings are held in Executive Session and are not open to the public. Mrs. Godshalk asked what criteria they use in making their decision whether a road will be turned back, and Ms. Zimmerman stated they consider the comments of the local community, comments from the District, the amount of money being considered, and the items she previously outlined.
Mr. Fazzalore stated they have indicated they would give the Township $120,000 but the Township engineer has indicated it will cost $1 million to repair the road. He asked who will pay for the difference. Mr. Warren indicated it would be the Township’s responsibility to make repairs in the amount of $120,000. He noted Pennsylvania has the fifth largest number of State maintained highways in the United States. He stated the State is responsible for 40,000 miles of roadway which he feels is far too much. He stated Pennsylvania will pay a Township a maximum of $70,000 per mile and the Township can repair the road to whatever level they desire with that amount of money. He stated in this case the Township looked at the Road and indicated they felt it would need $1 million worth of repairs. PennDOT does not feel they need that much in repairs since they just repaired the road approximately five years ago. He stated they would be willing to turn over the road, but they will not repair it to the tune of $1 million. If the Township does not feel $120,000 is sufficient, they should not take over the road. He stated the State also feels it should be from one logical terminus to another.
Mr. Steil asked when the Township would have the opportunity to give input to the State. Mr. Warren stated the Township wrote a letter and PennDOT indicated they would review this request. They wrote back indicating they would give the Township $70,000 per mile to take back the road. The Township then indicated that their engineer had indicated the number of things needed to be done to the road would cost $1 million and this is where the process stands at this point. Mr. Steil stated the Township wanted to discuss some of their concerns and asked when they could address PennDOT on this if they were not inclined to turn the road back or only turn it back with certain conditions. Ms. Zimmerman stated this would happen locally. Mr. Hackman stated it appears they would have to deal with the District 6 representatives, and Ms. Zimmerman agreed. Ms. Zimmerman stated when the application was sent, they felt the Township’s interest had already been addressed.
Mr. Steil stated the Board of Supervisors must now consider if they have other items to discuss with District 6.
Mr. Hackman stated the residents in the area have come before the Board indicating that there is an unsafe situation due to the number of heavy trucks traveling above the speed limit. The reason the Board has taken the action they have is that they would like to make the road safer and eliminate truck traffic since there is a By-Pass which they should be traveling on. Ms. Zimmerman stated when it goes through the Program Management Committee they consider whether it will make sense to their maintenance forces and what is being considered for the road. She stated they will look at the Township’s desire to limit access and then look at where the truck traffic would go instead. Mr. Fazzalore stated the trucks need to be kept on the By-Pass where they belong but there is no guarantee that they will do so.
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Mr. Warren stated he feels it may become a legal issue if the Township tries to keep people off certain roads. Mr. Stainthorpe stated they are aware of this and they do not want to send the trucks into another Township or another road, but they would like to lower the speed limit and install certain traffic calming measures. He stated this effort is born out of a great deal of frustration when they have tried to cooperate with neighbors and it has not worked. He noted they found the Swamp Road situation to be very frustrating since they have been able to keep trucks off that road for over thirty years.
Mr. Warren stated Newtown is also very angry because PennDOT is repairing the culvert which will open Swamp Road to trucks. Mr. Fazzalore stated they were under the impression that there were two culverts. Mr. Warren stated only one is restricted and that is the one they are repairing. Mr. Steil stated if the other culvert looks like it is deteriorating, they will fix it. Mrs. Godshalk asked if there are any State roads where trucks are not allowed to drive because of their proximity to a neighborhood or because of excessive weight. Mr. Warren stated the general answer is “no” although there are superloads that cannot go on any road except for highways because of width and weight. Mr. Steil noted Act 101 relating to Municipal Waste which does prohibit trash trucks from traveling on certain roads.
Mr. Hackman stated they were provided a document at their last meeting that indicated there was a system for evaluating the road; and if the road was not able to bear a certain weight, they could restrict it. Mr. Warren stated this is correct. He stated they did look into this recently with regard to Worthington Mill Road, but the road passed. He stated he feels Lindenhurst Road would pass as well. Mr. Hackman stated they were going to consider awarding bids tonight for core borings on Lindenhurst Road, and Mr. Warren stated while they could do this, he feels Lindenhurst Road would pass.
Mr. Keith Cochran, Heather Ridge, asked when the culvert will be repaired; and
Mr. Warren stated he can provide the date to him tomorrow. Mr. Cochran asked if there is something that could be put in writing when the second culvert will be repaired, and
Mr. Warren agreed to provide this.
Ms. Sue Herman asked who will the letter come from regarding the second culvert and what guarantee will they get in that letter that the second culvert will be repaired prior to any weight restriction. Mr. Warren stated they will not get any guarantee that it will be repaired. He stated they inspect all bridges every two years. The second bridge was inspected recently, and it was determined that it had six to ten years of viable life. Ms. Herman stated she has a letter from Mr. Warren indicating it has five years of viable life from the date of the inspection. She stated it will then be out of commission two years after the weight restricted culvert is replaced and the road will then have to be shut down again.
Mr. Warren stated they are not playing games with Swamp Road. Ms. Herman stated she is pointing out discrepancies. She stated she also has a letter from Mr. Steil indicting that he has talked to PennDOT and indicated that both culverts should be done if not simultaneously, then back to back. She stated she is concerned that residents are risking their lives when they cross Lindenhurst Road.
Mr. Chuck Snider, Heather Ridge, asked why they are discussing $1 million in repairs to Lindenhurst Road and asked why they need to bring it back to brand new condition.
Mr. Hackman stated they may not. He stated if they only get $120,000 to take it back, they will do $120,000 worth of repairs and then decide what else they want to do.
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Mr. Marci Conti, Worthington Mill Road, stated the truck restriction study did not include a pavement analysis. She stated there are currently eight huge potholes and there are 600 trucks a day traveling on the road. She stated the road is falling apart.
Ms. Claudia Fontaine, Heather Ridge, stated she wants to slow the trucks down and install other measures to spread out the trucks on the roads.
Mr. Stainthorpe stated retiming the lights on the By-Pass is the key, and he asked the status of this project and what they can do to move this along. Mr. Warren stated this was a $1.5 million project that was finished last fall. Mr. Steil stated the algorithms that manage the traffic are still being built. This can take as long as a year before they get to the optimal point.
Ms. Zimmerman asked if the $1 million for Lindenhurst Road includes the traffic calming measures, lights, etc., and Mr. Williams stated it does not.
Mr. Gary Cruzan, 1597 Clark Drive, asked if they have considered extra taxes on the dump trucks since they are causing all the wear and tear on the culverts.
Ms. Carol Cowley, 2000 Silverwood, stated the voice of the people means votes and those present can be voted out of office.
Ms. Virginia Torbert stated one of the reasons the trucks do not use the By-Pass is because there are no speed limit signs on the Newtown Township portion. She feels the speed limit is 55 because it is a divided highway, but because there are no speed limit signs many people drive only 45 miles per hour and people going 55 are cutting them off. She stated she feels this is an unsafe condition and signs should be posted in Newtown.
Ms. Herman asked if the Board of Supervisors will write the correspondence needed to get the speed limit signs posted on the By-Pass. Mr. Hackman stated he feels this is a PennDOT issue. Mr. Warren agreed to look into this and get back to the Township.
Ms. Herman stated the 2000 PennDOT study did recommend these signs. She stated when she attended the DVRPC meeting, she found many Municipalities have closed loop systems and getting them to run efficiently is not easy. She asked Representative Steil what he can do to insure that the Newtown By-Pass closed loop system is selected as one of the systems where PennDOT and the Township will work together to get the system working efficiently as quickly as possible. Mr. Hackman stated it appears that they are already working on this by what was indicated this evening. Ms. Herman stated additional stone will be going to I-95 in the upcoming years and they must insure that the debugging of the By-Pass is the number one choice for the debugging program. Mr. Steil stated he did receive information on this and he will review it to see what it gives them that they do not already have. He stated it is important for local Townships to support this as well.
He stated he feels the system is currently working, but he will look into it further.
Mr. John Cowley, 2000 Silverwood Drive, stated more people would have been present this evening but they opted to stay home to listen to the President. He stated those people present this evening feel they are in more danger by what Mr. Steil and Mr. Warren have done over the years with regard to this road. He stated many parts of Bucks County have only a one-party system and it becomes a closed club. He stated the reason there is a two-
party system is to have an adversarial balance. He stated he does not believe that the first
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culvert will be opened in 2003 and probably will not be open until the second culvert is ready to be closed.
Ms. Zimmerman stated they will review the Application as it has been submitted in the next few weeks and will review it in terms of the conditions they discussed this evening.
Mr. Stainthorpe asked if the application will go in with the reference to the need for
$1 million in repairs. Ms. Zimmerman stated if they are requesting $1 million in repairs, it will be turned down. She stated they would need to know what the Township would do with the $70,000 per mile that PennDOT is willing to give and would need a prioritized list of items.
Mr. Garton stated it appears that the Township needs to submit a revised Application including a list of what they would do with the $120,000 that PennDOT is willing to give. Mr. Stainthorpe stated he feels they need to sit down with Mr. Warren to insure that they know what to do.
Mr. Stainthorpe moved, Mr. Fazzalore seconded and it was unanimously carried to request PennDOT not to make a decision until such time that the Township has made a priority list and discusses it with District 6.
Ms. Dana Weyrick, Brock Creek Drive, asked about the disparity between the $1 million the Township engineer has indicated is necessary to repair the road and the $120,000 that PennDOT is willing to give. Mr. Hackman stated PennDOT has a cap on how much they will give and this has no relationship to what the road really requires.
Ms. Zimmerman stated there has been some talk about lights and traffic calming issues which could improve the safety of the road and she feels they should consider this as well.
Mr. Hackman thanked all those present for coming to discuss this matter.
APPROVE RFP FOR CORE BORING EVALUATION OF LINDENHURST ROAD
Mr. Hackman suggested that this matter be tabled at this time based on what was just discussed by PennDOT. Mr. Stainthorpe stated he feels they may be able to make this case if they find the road is decrepit. Mr. Fazzalore stated he feels they should continue with this matter.
Mr. Stainthorpe moved and Mr. Fazzalore seconded to approve issuing an RFP for core boring evaluation of Lindenhurst Road.
Ms. Herman noted the memo she sent to the Board and Mr. Williams asking them to use Sub Chapter A. Mr. Williams reviewed the work to be included which includes what they feel will make it as airtight as possible. Ms. Herman stated she appreciated putting the list together of engineering firms outside the influence of District 6.
Mr. Stan Spear, Tomlinson Lane, asked why they are proceeding with this since PennDOT has already indicated they will not give them the money. Mr. Stainthorpe stated possibly the road conditions could become grounds for limiting trucks.
The Motion carried unanimously.
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APPROVE APPLYING FOR A HIGHWAY OCCUPANCY PERMIT FOR LINDENHURST ROAD
Mr. Fedorchak stated they need permission from the State to do the core boring work.
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Stainthorpe seconded and it was unanimously carried to apply for a Highway Occupancy Permit for Lindenhurst Road.
Mr. Williams stated it will take some time to fill out the forms. He will try to get a blanket permit from PennDOT so they do not restrict where the borings must come from.
APPROVE AUTHORIZING ADVERTISING FOR BIDS FOR CORE BORING EVALUATION
Mr. Stainthorpe moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to authorize advertising for bids for core boring evaluation.
DISCUSSION OF GARDEN OF REFLECTION FUND RAISING EVENT
Mrs. Godshalk stated the Garden of Reflection Committee will be holding a fund raising event on September 7 which will include a bike hike, 5K Run, family walk, and refreshments. The event will take place at Macclesfield Park with a rain date the following Sunday. She stated they are requesting that the Township sponsor this event.
Mr. Stainthorpe questioned the word “sponsorship.” Mr. Fedorchak stated the issue is liability insurance. He stated the Fundraising Committee is not a legitimate Committee of the Township, and they do not have liability coverage and cannot get it on their own for such an event. They are asking the Board if they would sponsor this event so that it would be covered under the Township’s General Liability Policy. He has discussed this with the Township’s insurance carrier who has agreed to provide the coverage if the Board chooses to sponsor the event. There would be no additional cost to the Township for this coverage. Mr. Fazzalore stated he is concerned that if someone gets hurt, the Township will get sued.
Mr. Garton stated if someone gets hurt, the Township could be sued anyway.
Mr. Hackman stated if the Township is the sponsor, he feels the Township would have to organize it and run it. Mrs. Godshalk stated she does not feel being the host or sponsor means they need to run it. Mr. Fedorchak stated they could sponsor it with the understanding that the Fundraising Committee will be running it and providing the volunteers.
Mr. Garton stated the insurance carrier is fully cognizant of the event. Mr. Stainthorpe noted the Bike-A-Thon does not take place entirely in the Township and asked who would be responsible for this portion. Mr. Garton stated he feels they should review the particulars again with the insurance carrier to make sure they will be covered.
Mr. Fedorchak stated they could revisit this again, but the entire agenda of activities has already been provided to the insurance carrier and they have provided a detailed report. The only concern they had was with the hot air balloon rides. Mr. Fedorchak stated they could revisit this issue in two weeks.
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Chief Coluzzi stated they will coordinate this with the other Townships with regard to the Bike-A-Thon. They will be blocking off traffic in certain areas.
Ms. Virginia Torbert stated she has seen enough hot air balloons go into wires and asked that they look into the possibility that they would indemnify the Township.
Mr. Hackman stated he feels they will have to look into this again.
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Stainthorpe seconded and it was unanimously carried to table.
Mr. Hackman asked that they also write up a declaration indicating that the Fundraising Committee will be running the event.
DENY REQUEST FOR DEDICATION OF DOLINGTON ESTATES I, PHASE IV
Mr. Stainthorpe moved and Mr. Fazzalore seconded to deny the request for Dedication of Dolington Estates I, Phase IV due to outstanding CKS and PCS items and because some lots do not have Final Certificates of Occupancy. Motion carried with Mr. Hackman abstained.
DENY REQUEST FOR DEDICATION OF DOLINGTON ESTATES II
Mr. Stainthorpe moved and Mr. Fazzalore seconded to deny the request for Dedication of Dolington Estates II due to outstanding CKS and PCS items and because some lots do not have Final Certificates of Occupancy. Motion carried with Mr. Hackman abstained.
APPROVE GRANTING CERTIFICATES OF APPROPRIATENESS
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to grant Certificates of Appropriateness for 1679 Edgewood Road for addition and alterations to existing house, and for 1790 Yardley-Langhorne Road for hallway addition to existing building.
SIGNING OF LINENS
Linens were signed following the meeting for proposed renovations to the Super Fresh site and Afton Crest lot line changes.
APPROVAL OF MARCH 3, 2003 AND MARCH 17, 2003 WARRANT LISTS AND FEBRUARY, 2003 PAYROLL
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve March 3, 2003 and March 17, 2003 Warrant Lists and February, 2003 Payroll as attached to the Minutes.
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ZONING HEARING BOARD
With regard to the Mack Construction project for the property of Paul and Elizabeth Sullivan, West Ferry Road, to construct a single dwelling violating special setback from Pine Grove Road and exceeding the resource protection ratio for woodlands, it was agreed that the Solicitor should appear to insure that the minimum deviation is granted and a
reforestation program is implemented.
With regard to the Ethan and Elizabeth Shiller Variance request to construct an addition resulting in encroachment into the rear yard setback, it was agreed to leave this matter to the Zoning Hearing Board.
Mr. Hackman stated they received from Mr. Taylor a report on the monthly activities for the month of February and year to date the transfer taxes are significantly more compared to last year which was a record year. He stated they have also spent more than budgeted for snow removal.
Mr. Hackman stated work will resume on the Golf Course since the weather has improved.
Mrs. Godshalk stated on March 31, the Memorial Committee will be having an advance screening of “The Guys” at the Ritz East Theater in Philadelphia for a $20 donation per ticket.
Mr. Stainthorpe stated a question was raised regarding hunting on Farmland Preservation land, and he feels this should be considered further and clarified since some of the farmers who are tenants are hunting on this land which in some instances is very close to homes.
Chief Coluzzi stated there are restrictions on how close to residences you are permitted to hunt. Mr. Stainthorpe stated there are also questions about the Farmland Preservation buffers and trees which were planted which do not permit the farmers to cut in these areas. He is concerned that adjoining residents are going to complain to the Township. He noted the farmers have indicated they would like to take down some of the trees, but Ms. Frick has indicated they are not permitted to do so. Mr. Hackman stated they may have to go into this area with smaller equipment in order to cut these areas.
APPROVE HIRING DEL-VAL SOIL & ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTANTS TO PERFORM GROUNDWATER LEVEL MONITORING AND HYDROGEOLOGICAL REPORTING FOR THE GOLF COURSE
Mr. Hackman stated the DRVBC requires this. Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Stainthorpe seconded and it was unanimously carried to hire Del-Val Soil & Environmental Consultants to perform groundwater level monitoring and hydrogeological reporting for the Golf Course.
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APPROVE CONSORTIUM SIGN MATERIAL AND POST BIDS
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Stainthorpe seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Consortium sign material and post bids.
APPROVE CONSORTIUM ROAD MATERIAL BID
Mr. Stainthorpe moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Consortium road material bid.
Ms. Torbert asked if there is a list of the items that the Township buys through the Consortium. Mr. Fedorchak stated there are a number of these which can be obtained from Mr. Coyne.
APPROVE POLICE DEPARTMENT VEHICLE DONATION
Chief Coluzzi stated they would like to donate a Police vehicle to the Emergency Squad. He stated the vehicle has 120,000 miles and is no longer of use to the Department but could still be of use to the Emergency Squad.
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Stainthorpe seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve Police Department donation of the 1997 Ford Crown Victoria “As Is” to the Emergency Squad.
Mrs. Godshalk moved, Mr. Stainthorpe seconded and it was unanimously carried to
re-appoint Wendi Grant to the HARB.
There being no further business, Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Stainthorpe seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 9:10 p.m.
Frank Fazzalore, Secretary