TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

MINUTES – OCTOBER 18, 2004

 

 

The regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on October 18, 2004.  Vice Chairman Stainthorpe called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. noting that the Board had been meeting in Executive Session since 6:30 p.m. to discuss legal and real estate matters.

 

Those present:

 

Board of Supervisors:               Pete Stainthorpe, Vice Chairman

                                                Scott Fegley, Secretary/Treasurer

                                                Grace Godshalk, Supervisor

                                                Steve Santarsiero, Supervisor

 

Others:                                     Terry Fedorchak, Township Manager

                                                Jeffrey Garton, Township Solicitor

                                                James Majewski, Township Engineer

                                                Kenneth Coluzzi, Chief of Police

 

Absent:                         Frank Fazzalore, Chairman – Board of Supervisors

 

 

PUBLIC COMMENT

 

Ms. Virginia Torbert stated there had been prior discussions about political signs, and she is concerned with the large signs that have been erected recently.  She stated some of them are quite close to the road, and she questions whether permits were obtained. 

Mr. Garton stated the Township is no longer allowed to require permits for political signs.  Ms. Torbert stated the signs are standing on wood poles, and she is not sure how well affixed they are to the ground.  She is concerned that they could blow into the road.  Mr. Garton stated the Township has no right to enforce any regulations over political signs unless it is a clear and present danger to the public.  Ms. Torbert asked that they go out and see if they are stable, and Mr. Fedorchak agreed to do so.  Mr. Santarsiero stated

Ms. Torbert could contact the Department of Transportation to see if they would get rid of the signs. 

 

Mr. Stainthorpe stated he is concerned with the actions of both sides this year since signs have been disappearing and defacement of private property has been taking place.  He stated there is a need for civility in Lower Makefield.  He added that Lower Makefield used to be able to control the signs in the Township, but they are no longer permitted to do so by law.

 

 

October 18, 2004                                                            Board of Supervisors – page 2 of 9

 

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

Mr. Fegley moved, Mr. Santarsiero seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of September 20, 2004 as written.

 

 

TABLING OF MINUTES

 

Minutes of October 6, 2004 were unable to be considered this evening due to lack of a quorum able to vote.  Mr. Fegley moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to table approval of the Minutes of October 6, 2004.

 

 

APPROVAL OF OCTOBER 4, 2004 AND OCTOBER 18, 2004 WARRANT LISTS AND SEPTEMBER, 2004 PAYROLL

 

Mr. Fegley moved, Mr. Santarsiero seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the October 4, 2004 and October 18, 2004 Warrant Lists and September, 2004 Payroll as attached to the Minutes.

 

 

AUTHORIZE USING DEVELOPER’S ESCROW FUNDS TO CORRECT FAILED KAPETANOVIC/ DEMAIO DRIVEWAY

 

Mr. Majewski stated this matter concerns the private, shared driveway constructed for the Kapetanovic Subdivision off 532 East of the Village Market.  This driveway has failed and has severe cracking.  The Township was requested to take care of this as the developer was not willing to make the repairs.  It is recommended that the repairs be made using the developer’s Escrow Funds.

 

Mr. Garton stated during the development process, Mr. Kapetanovic had indicated that this would be a family compound; however, it turned out to be three lots which he sold.  Access was through a common driveway.  Mr. Kapetanovic was advised not to complete the driveway because of the construction which still needed to take place on the other lots, but he refused to wait to do so.  During the course of construction of the other lots, the driveway has failed.  No tax dollars will be used to make the repairs. 

 

Mr. Majewski stated an estimate to repair has come in under $10,000.  Mr. Garton stated they will have to get three written estimates. 

 

Mrs. Godshalk moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to authorize appropriate notices and drawing down the necessary funds to construct the driveway.

 

October 18, 2004                                                            Board of Supervisors – page 3 of 9

 

 

GRANT CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS FOR MC CAFFREY’S MARKET

 

Mr. Garton stated at the last meeting the Board approved the issuance of Building Permits but wanted to review the architectural drawings.  These were available this evening and were shown to the public.

 

Mrs. Godshalk moved, Mr. Santarsiero seconded and it was unanimously carried to grant Certificate of Appropriateness for McCaffrey’s Market.

 

 

GRANT EXTENSION OF TIME FOR FIELDSTONE AT LOWER MAKEFIELD

 

Mr. Fegley moved, Mr. Santarsiero seconded and it was unanimously carried to grant an Extension of time for Fieldstone at Lower Makefield until January 21, 2005.

 

 

PROGRESS REPORT ON PATTERSON FARM/SATTERTHWAITE HOUSE

 

Mr. Stainthorpe stated several months ago there was discussion about selling the Satterthwaite House, and it was suggested that they postpone this decision to give time to research Grants and see if there was a way to keep the property in Township hands.

 

Ms. Helen Heinz provided information to the Board this evening (copy attached to the Minutes).  She reviewed the history and location of the property.  She stated the process involved in nomination for the National Historic Register is 90% complete.  She stated they decided not to do the wood borings which the Board of Supervisors had approved because they felt it would be too inconclusive.  She stated the Conservancy will have to do an internal and external evaluation of all the structures on the property.  She stated they have been assured that there should not be a problem with this going through the National Register, and they may qualify for an even higher level.  She stated it has been pre-qualified through the State.  She stated the cost is $1,000 to complete the work with a not to exceed figure of $1,500.  Final Board review could be between three months and one year.  She stated once this status is obtained, they can get funding depending on the level at which they are accepted.  She stated the Township could be eligible for a tax credit as well.  She added there is also the option for a Conservation Easement which the Township could take advantage of.

 

Ms. Heinz reported on a number of other Grants for which they could qualify.  She stated some of these require that the structure be open to the public a certain number of days per year.  She stated they could also connect the Farm to the CLG at Edgewood Village which would also open up additional funds. 

 

 

October 18, 2004                                                            Board of Supervisors – page 4 of 9

 

 

Ms. Heinz stated she has looked at the buildings on the entire Patterson Farm and found out what maintenance had been done in the past and what has been done since the Township took over the property.  She stated the proceeds from the Farm sustained the Farm in the past.  She stated the income from the Farm should therefore be sufficient to sustain it in the future.  Ms. Heinz stated she has had discussions with Mr. Coyne who is writing specs which will use modern materials, and she is concerned that this will impact the historic character and could impact the status on the Register.  Ms. Heinz reviewed work that needs to be done at all the buildings.  She provided specific recommendations for each property. 

 

Ms. Heinz stated the Historic Commission would recommend that the Township set up a Committee for the oversight and maintenance of the Patterson Farm.  She stated fifteen individuals have been identified who are willing to work on this, and it should be opened up to other individuals interested in working on this as well.  They also suggested that this Committee work with the Historic Commission on funding and projects to be done.  She stated they do not want to be competing with other groups in the Township for funding.  They feel a part-time employee should be employed to handle all Township properties.    They feel they should be generating income by renting out the property so that the rental income will pay for the maintenance.  She reviewed several ideas for renting out the various structures on the property.  She noted the substantial number of buildings and structures that the Township now owns.  She stated they would like to be able to keep the Patterson Farm property intact and somewhat accessible to the public but would not want it to become an exclusionary group.  She would recommend a collaborative effort with the State tied in with the Edgewood Village.  She feels this property has Regional and National importance.

 

Mr. Stainthorpe thanked Ms. Heinz for the thorough report.  Mrs. Godshalk asked that Ms. Heinz’s full comments be provided so that they can be attached to the Minutes.

Mr. Stainthorpe stated he feels the notion of a Committee to work on this is a good one, but feels they should take it a step further. He stated the Township owns a number of properties, and he does not see a clear vision or mission for any of them.  He stated specific grants and specific amounts have not been given, and it was noted that there is a lot of competition for the funds.  He stated Ms. Heinz has outlined minimal maintenance for these properties, and it still adds up to a significant amount of money.  Ms. Heinz stated she feels the rental income could pay for the maintenance and the taxes.  She stated they may want to do something else in the future with the property and chopping up pieces of it for sale will make it less valuable.  Mr. Stainthorpe stated he feels a Committee that is formed should carve out a vision of what the Township properties should be. 

 

Ms. Heinz stated she is concerned that there are a limited number of people interested in working on a particular property every Saturday after a fundraising Event.  She stated a

 

October 18, 2004                                                            Board of Supervisors – page 5 of 9

 

 

number of the Grants are only valid if they are used for an income-producing property.  These Grants go from $10,000 to $100,000.  She stated it has been eight years since

Mr. Patterson has been maintaining the property.  Mrs. Godshalk stated she is not certain that this work had been done for a number of years by Mr. Patterson.

 

Mr. Santarsiero stated there are other ways to derive income beyond rentals.  He stated if the Satterthwaite House was opened as a Living Museum or for additional purposes, this would be a source of income as well.  Ms. Heinz stated if they are income-producing in any way, they are eligible for funds.

 

Mr. Fegley stated he agrees with a lot of what is in Ms. Heinz’s report, but feels much of what has been stated supports selling the Satterthwaite House.  He stated Ms. Heinz has indicated that the Township owns a number of structures, and there are a limited number of resources.  He stated the Township already has Elm Lowne.  He stated he believes that the Patterson Farm Manor House and the buildings around it could be used as a Living History Center/ Conference Center.  He stated Ms. Heinz’s calculations add up to $30,000 to restore the Satterthwaite House, and the prior estimate the Township had received indicated it would be $300,000.  Ms. Heinz stated she feels that number was inflated.  She feels the Satterthwaite House structures are the most rentable.  She stated people are already using the structures around it to repair cars, boats, etc.  She stated historically the Satterthwaite structures were joined, and the purchase has reunited a huge historic land grant.  She stated the back portion of the Satterthwaite is one of the most historic properties in the Township.  Mr. Fegley stated he feels it is going to cost the Township a substantial amount of money to bring this property up to a usable standard.  Ms. Heinz stated she feels Mr. Patterson left the property to the Township in the state it was with the hope that it would be left together. 

 

Mrs. Godshalk stated she feels they are back where they were one to two years ago with this project and a lot of what can be gained is contingent on getting it on the Register.  She suggested that they get this in for this year.  Ms. Heinz stated Ms. Stark has reneged on the Contract.  She stated Mr. Marshall did bid originally as well, and he is now willing to take this over for less than he previously bid.  He has indicated he will finish the project for $1,000.  Mrs. Godshalk asked that something be submitted to the Board of Supervisors so that they can vote on it.  Ms. Heinz stated the Historic Commission took it out of their Budget and proceeded with the project.  She stated Mr. Marshall has assured her that it will be in within the next two to three weeks. 

 

Mrs. Godshalk stated they know the work that has to be done on the house, and the level of the rent is not close to what they need.  She stated the Satterthwaite House needs the most work. She stated they should also find out who is using the barns and who is collecting the money for use of the barns. 

 

 

October 18, 2004                                                            Board of Supervisors – page 6 of 9

 

 

Mr. Stainthorpe stated they did start a discussion in Executive Session about renting out the garage, but felt this should be discussed at a public meeting.  Ms. Heinz stated Tyler Park rents out their buildings for storage.  Mr. Santarsiero stated there was a proposal that came up, and the Board decided they should discuss it at a public meeting. 

 

Mr. Fedorchak stated he was not aware of people repairing cars or boats in the structures on this property, and he will look into this.

 

Mr. Santarsiero stated he agrees that the figures the Township received for the repairs  were far overstated, and feels it would be wrong for the Township to start parceling out these structures. He would like to see the structures open to the public.  He would be in favor of creation of a Committee and expand it to address the other historic properties so it is done in a coordinated fashion with priorities of the properties that they would like to focus on.  He feels a Master Plan should be developed.

 

Ms. Heinz stated the Historic Commission members are concerned with the structures at the Golf Course as well.  She stated she has fifteen people who have already volunteered to be on a new Committee.  She stated they would like there to be coordination so that various entities in the Township are not vying for the same funds.

 

Mr. Zachary Rubin, 1661 Covington Road, stated he would be opposed to selling any portion of the property.  He reported on a farm owned by the City of Philadelphia and their program which is very successful and used by the School Districts and farmers. 

He feels this should be done whether or not they get Historic Register status.

 

Ms. Virginia Torbert stated she feels each case is different, and a historic property on a Golf Course is different than a historic property on a farm.  She stated when the Township purchased the farm, it was to try to preserve the agricultural heritage of the Township. She stated if they sell off the Satterthwaite House section of the tract, the leaf operation will have to be moved up at the Patterson Farm lane which is near the curve on Mirror Lake Road and the ponds.  She stated there is a growing movement toward Community Agricultural across the Country where “shareholders” get a portion of the farm products.  She stated this should not just be preservation of historic structures – it should be preservation of the Township’s agriculturally history.  She stated if they parcel out this portion, they will have to fence this section off from the rest of the farm because of the leaf operation which takes place at the Patterson Farm property. 

 

Mr. Stainthorpe stated previously they discussed preservation of open space, and

Ms. Torbert has indicated the Patterson Farm purchase was an opportunity to preserve the Township’s agricultural heritage.  He considers that to be a clear vision of what that property is for.  He stated he would like to prioritize the properties the Township owns since there are limited funds.    Mrs. Godshalk stated the principal reason the Township purchased this property was not for open space but as a farm.

 

October 18, 2004                                                            Board of Supervisors – page 7 of 9

 

 

Ms. Heinz stated the leaf operation does save the Township a significant amount of money.  She stated they would like to start the Application process for Federal Grants to restore the properties as soon as possible.  She stated the first Grant Application is due

May 1, and they could start writing this immediately.

 

 

AWARD CONTRACT FOR LOWER MAKEFIELD TOWNSHIP POLICE RENOVATIONS PHASE II

 

Chief Coluzzi stated this is the second phase of a three-phase project.  Phase I is now complete.  He reviewed what was done in Phase I and reviewed the work to be done in Phase II.  There were seven bids submitted with the low bid of $215,800.  While they budgeted $195,000 for Phase II in the 2004 Budget, there are opportunities to reduce Phase III costs to offset the increase in Phase II. 

 

Mrs. Godshalk moved, Mr. Santarsiero seconded and it was unanimously carried to award the Contract for the Lower Makefield Township Police Renovations Phase II to

J. Mann-R. Finley, Inc. in the amount of $215,800.

 

 

DISCUSSION AND TABLING OF 2004-2005 TREE TRIMMING BID

 

Mr. Stainthorpe noted the difficulty of reading the bids which were received. 

Mr. Fedorchak stated some of the companies bid an hourly rate and others bid on a daily rate.  Public Works had to go through this and change it so that the rates would be comparable.  Mr. Fedorchak suggested that this matter be tabled and it will be resubmitted to the Board in a clearer format.

 

Mr. Santarsiero moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to table award of the 2004-2005 Tree Trimming bid.

 

 

AWARD THE 2004-2005 EQUIPMENT BIDS TO QUALIFIED BIDDERS

 

Mr. Fedorchak stated on an occasional basis, the Township needs to secure certain equipment for specific jobs.  This is a listing of qualified bidders they could use in these situations.  They will attempt to get the equipment from the lowest bidder first; and if it is not available, they would then go to the next lowest bidder.

 

Mr. Santarsiero moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to award the 2004-2005 Equipment bids to the qualified bidders.

 

October 18, 2004                                                            Board of Supervisors – page 8 of 9

 

 

AWARD THE 2004-2005 CONSORTIUM SALT BID

 

Mr. Fedorchak noted the large price increase over last year.  It was noted a number of companies did not bid this year.

 

Mrs. Godshalk moved and Mr. Fegley seconded to award the 2004-2005 Consortium Salt Bid to International Salt Company, Inc.

 

Ms. Torbert asked the price per ton, and it was noted it was $47.83 per ton. 

Mrs. Godshalk stated if they had not gone through the Consortium, it could have been much more than this.  Ms. Torbert asked why the other companies did not bid.  This was unknown, and it was noted this was bid through the Consortium and not the Township.  The other bid received was $68 per ton.

 

Motion carried unanimously. 

 

 

SUPERVISORS REPORTS

 

Mr. Stainthorpe stated the Golf Course continues to do very well.  The figures through October 10 show they have achieved 65% of the proposed Budget for October already.

Mrs. Godshalk stated they achieved this in part because of the very successful 9-11 Golf Tournament held there recently.

 

Mr. Santarsiero stated the Farmland Preservation Corporation had their meeting last week and they will have the Fall Walk Through next Saturday which he plans to attend.  They would like to obtain Agricultural Security Zone status for a number of the Farmland Preservation properties that do not currently have it.  At the last meeting they also voiced interest in approaching the Township to ask that in certain developments the Subdivision Plans be amended to conform to the current Zoning on the issue of fencing around the Farmland Preservation Corporation properties.    Mr. Fedorchak stated he feels this should go to the Planning Commission first.

 

 

OTHER BUSINESS

 

Mrs. Godshalk stated the County Emergency meeting will be held tomorrow evening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 18, 2004                                                            Board of Supervisors – page 9 of 9

 

 

There being no further business, Mr. Santarsiero moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 8:55 p.m.

 

                                                            Respectfully Submitted

 

 

 

 

                                                            Scott Fegley, Secretary