BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
MINUTES – APRIL 4, 2005
The regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the
He also thanked the neighboring communities for their help during this time.
Board of Supervisors: Pete Stainthorpe, Chairman
Scott Fegley, Vice Chairman
Grace Godshalk, Secretary/Treasurer
Steve Santarsiero, Supervisor
Others: Jeffrey Garton, Township Solicitor
James Majewski, Township Engineer
Kenneth Coluzzi, Chief of Police (left meeting in progress)
Absent: Frank Fazzalore, Supervisor
Terry Fedorchak, Township Manager
Mr. Sam Conti stated at the previous meeting he had asked if Clearview Farm had been certified as part of the Agricultural Security area. Mr. Garton stated he will get back to the Township on this in the next few days.
A gentleman from
April 4, 2005 Board of Supervisors – page 2 of 9
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Mr. Santarsiero moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of March 21, 2005 as written.
APPROVAL OF RESOLUTION NO. 2051 AUTHORIZING THE PAYMENT OF THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MILITARY COMPENSATION AND AN EMPLOYEE’S BASE SALARY FOR PERSONS CALLED TO ACTIVE DUTY
Mr. Garton stated there was prior discussion on this matter and the Board authorized the preparation of such a Resolution. Mr. Stainthorpe stated this was discussed in Executive Session some time ago. As of this date there are no employees who have been called up, but there are some who may be called up for active duty in the future. This Resolution will have the Township make up the difference between the military compensation and the employee’s salary. Mr. Fegley stated while they are not required to do this, they felt this was the right thing to do.
Mrs. Godshalk moved and Mr. Santarsiero seconded to approve Resolution No. 2051.
Mr. Conti asked if this includes fringe benefits, and Mr. Garton stated it does not as
Mr. Fedorchak has determined that they are covered by the military’s health insurance while they are on active duty.
Motion carried unanimously.
DISCUSSION OF GOLF COURSE RESIDENT ID
Mr. Stainthorpe stated the Golf Committee did discuss this at their meeting and were to attend the Board’s meeting to discuss it further with the Board. Mr. Stainthorpe stated the Board of Supervisors discussed this at a previous meeting and voted against doing this. No one was present from the Golf Committee to discuss this further this evening.
DISCUSSION OF CREATING A TOWNSHIP COMMITTEE TO DISCUSS INFRASTRUCTURE ISSUES
Mr. Stainthorpe stated Mr. Santarsiero requested that this matter be considered.
Mr. Santarsiero stated when he campaigned for Supervisor his idea was to have a Committee to be made up of Township employees and Township residents to study the Township roads, identify places that were in need of upgrade or redesign, and prioritize those throughout the Township and come up with a schedule of what to do. He felt this
April 4, 2005 Board of Supervisors – page 3 of 9
would include a significant aspect of public input since the residents would be the most familiar with the road problems that exist and would have the best input. He stated in the past, the Township has undertaken a review of infrastructure requirements every few years, but he would like to see a formal Commission created with Township input and input from others in the Township including the public to come up with a list of what should be done and come away with a prioritized list. He stated there are 33,000 residents in the Township and the infrastructure needs are pressing and need to be addressed.
Mrs. Godshalk stated there had been an unwritten rule with the Board for years that if anyone wants to bring up something at a meeting, it should first be submitted in writing. She stated she is only hearing about this for the first time. She stated the Township currently has a very sophisticated program with the Township engineer using a computerized road system that brings up the condition of the road which is how they base the money each year on what will be spent on road repair. She stated if Mr. Santarsiero had put something together earlier, it would have been very helpful to the rest of the Supervisors.
Mr. Santarsiero stated he did ask that this be put on the
Agenda at the special meeting last week on the Golf Course although Mrs.
Godshalk was not present at that meeting.
He stated while he recognizes that there are professionals working on
this, he feels the one component that is missing is input from the public; and
he feels they should have a mechanism to get the public involved. He stated the people who live in the various
areas of the Township know best what problems exist. He noted a specific
problem with the intersection at Bluestone and
Mrs. Godshalk stated when there are situations of concern, the public does contact the Township and brings up these issues at a meeting. She stated she does not feel there is a need for another Commission.
Mr. Stainthorpe stated he agrees with Mrs. Godshalk. He stated the Township roads are well maintained, recognizing that there are problems from time to time, and they have an excellent Public Works Department and engineering firm. He stated there is a system in place and the Board of Supervisors do a Road Tour at least once a year, although not required by law, when they go out with the Manager of the Public Works Department to look at things that need to be changed. He stated numerous times people have come to the Board of Supervisors at their public meetings and made the Board aware of problems with the roads. He feels the system works and he is reluctant to add another Board.
Mr. Fegley agreed.
April 4, 2005 Board of Supervisors – page 4 of 9
Mr. Santarsiero stated he is not criticizing the Road Department,
but stated the Township is large with a large population which puts a certain
degree of strain on the roads. He feels
it is not a maintenance issue and may be a design issue. He noted an area on
Mrs. Godshalk stated they have been doing this. She stated they addressed
Mr. Santarsiero stated most of the Second Class Townships in
the State tend to be rural and those Boards of Supervisors may not have the
same level of issues they have to deal with as they do in a Township the size
Mr. Tony Islan,
Mr. Joe Sundee,
April 4, 2005 Board of Supervisors – page 5 of 9
Mrs. Godshalk stated the Township engineer has a computer system of every road in the Township showing when it needs repairs. She stated the Board of Supervisors is primarily responsible for the Township roads. She stated they cannot maintain every State road in the Township without a significant impact on Township taxes. Mr. Sundee stated he feels there are problems which are more subtle which should be brought to the attention of the Board of Supervisors.
Ms. Virginia Torbert,
Mr. Paul Krupp,
Ms. Sue Herman stated she is a member of another citizens group which brings to the table wonderful brainstorming. She feels this additional Commission would provide additional input to the Board of Supervisors in an advisory capacity. She stated she feels she personally would have a lot to offer as she has been working on traffic issues for years.
Mr. Santarsiero moved that the Board of Supervisors create a Commission of citizens to work with the Township to study our roads throughout the Town and to make recommendations and identify problems that need to be corrected whether they be State or Township roads; and in the case of State roads, obviously to advocate on behalf of the Town and that the membership of the Commission be chosen on a geographic basis with input from the Solicitor as to how to best do that so as to be sure that all interests in the Township are represented. There was no Second, and the Motion died.
APPROVAL OF EXTENSION FOR FIELDSTONE (HARRIS FARM NO. 549)
Mr. Fegley moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve an Extension of time for Fieldstone (Harris Farm No. 549) to July 21, 2005.
April 4, 2005 Board of Supervisors – page 6 of 9
SIGN CASADONTI REVISED MYLARS
Mylars were signed following the meeting.
ZONING HEARING BOARD MATTERS
It was agreed to leave to the Zoning Hearing Board the Linda
Mr. Santarsiero stated the Southeastern Bucks League of Municipalities met last week and discussed the adoption of the new Stormwater Management Ordinance. The Board had some discussion this evening about possibly getting an overview on this from the Township engineer at a future meeting. Mr. Santarsiero stated at the League of Municipalities meeting they also discussed an issue to be considered by the Board this evening regarding regional negotiations with Verizon to try to get a franchise agreement with them as they begin to offer various services in the County. He stated there are a number of concerns that arise from this and all the Townships want to insure that the revenue stream from franchise fees does not dry up. He stated they are committed to try to work collectively to try to get the best deal possible for each of their Towns.
Mrs. Godshalk noted there may be a conflict with dates as
the next meeting of the Traffic Consortium will be Thursday, June 23 at 7:30
DISCUSSION AND MOTION ON REGIONAL NEGOTIATIONS FOR THE PURPOSE OF ESTABLISHING A FRANCHISE AGREEMENT WITH VERIZON
Mr. Garton stated he feels they should pursue a regional approach to this. He stated there has been discussion among the Township Managers as well as Mr. Santarsiero’s group.
Mr. Stainthorpe stated currently the Township derives a significant amount of revenue from the Cable Franchise Fees and Verizon will soon be offering cable television type services through the fiber optic line and at this point in time they cannot get a franchise fee from them. The Township is therefore facing a significant loss in revenue.
April 4, 2005 Board of Supervisors – page 7 of 9
Mrs. Godshalk moved and Mr. Santarsiero seconded to authorize the Township Manager to facilitate approaching this in a regional fashion.
Mr. Santarsiero stated the problem is that Verizon plans to offer streaming video that would take the place of traditional cable service and there is some uncertainty as to how that would impact franchise fees. He stated the revenue the Township currently gets is $250,000 from Comcast and the fear is all the Townships could be in a position where they no longer have that fee coming in. To the extent they can use the leverage of all the Towns who are concerned about this to get a better deal out of Verizon, he feels they should do that.
Motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE HIRING DGW TO PREPARE ELECTRICAL PLANS AND
Mr. Stainthorpe stated this is a more sophisticated timing system at the Park and does not necessarily impact the discussions that were held at the previous meeting.
Ms. Torbert asked if they have looked into the total control
lighting that advertises that the lighting will not go beyond the property
line. She stated they are looking into
this for the Wall Tract in
Mrs. Godshalk stated she did go to
Mr. Stainthorpe stated that is not the issue under consideration at this time as this is only doing the specs for the control of the timers. Mrs. Godshalk stated this does include the new lights. Mr. Stainthorpe stated this is only to spec it out.
Ms. Susan Sing,
Mr. Santarsiero moved and Mr. Fegley seconded to authorize DGW to prepare electrical plans and specifications for Macclesfield Park Fields A, E, F, G, and H.
April 4, 2005 Board of Supervisors – page 8 of 8
Mr. Santarsiero stated they previously discussed the issue of buffers, and Ms. Liney had provided a memo on this recommending white pines at a cost of approximately $7,300. Mr. Santarsiero asked if they will put this on the Agenda at some point or could the Board consider it this evening. Mr. Stainthorpe asked that they consider the Motion first.
Mrs. Godshalk stated the new fields are included in this. Mr. Santarsiero stated he felt at the last meeting they decided a vote was not necessary on the lights as they had already budgeted money for it and they were not at the point where they had a design to vote on.
Mrs. Godshalk stated further information had been requested. Mr. Santarsiero stated they did this and there was no reference indicating that the fields would not be lit. Ms. Liney stated there was a lot of discussion about the expanded area in 1994 and the residents had ongoing discussions with the Township. She stated she could not find anything on the original section or anything that said there would never be additional lights. The only statement she could find was a statement indicating that the current Board did not plan to do lighting in the expanded area.
Motion carried unanimously; however, Mrs. Godshalk asked that the Minutes reflect that she is in favor of hiring them for the existing lighting system but nothing additional for any additional fields.
Mr. Santarsiero asked that they consider proceeding with the buffers. He noted
Ms. Liney’s memo dated 3/31/05 which indicates that they could install twenty white pines, ten to twelve feet in height, at a cost of $7,300. Mr. Fegley noted problems with white pines when they lose their bottom branches. He does not feel this is the kind of tree which will provide an effective buffer in the future. Mrs. Godshalk stated she does not feel a 12’ tree can provide a buffer for lights 70’ high. Mr. Santarsiero stated from what the residents indicated, their properties slope up so the problems with white pines may not be a problem in this instance. He asked why they considered white pines, and Ms. Liney stated they had to do a quote on something and they had mentioned this kind of tree to the residents at a meeting and there were in favor of this. She stated they could consider another kind of tree if the Board desired. It was noted that this does not have to be considered this evening. Ms. Liney stated they will be meeting with the residents again at a future Park Board meeting. Mr. Majewski stated their landscape architect did look at this area and did recommend white pines for this location noting that they grow quickly and provide a lot of buffer.
This matter will be researched further and they will request input from the residents.
Mr. Santarsiero asked that this matter be put on the Agenda for the Board of Supervisors’ meeting in May.
April 4, 2005 Board of Supervisors – page 9 of 9
Mr. Fegley moved, Mr. Santarsiero seconded and it was
unanimously carried to approve the
Mr. Santarsiero reiterated his request that the interview process take place in public.
He noted the Board met in Executive Session and spent a considerable amount of time interviewing candidates for a vacancy on the Emergency Management Committee.
He stated he feels there is utility in having this process occur in public and asked that this be done in the future.
Mr. Santarsiero moved and Mrs. Godshalk seconded to appoint Jeffrey Gusst to the Emergency Management Committee. Mr. Santarsiero reviewed Mr. Gusst’s background.
Motion carried with Mr. Fegley abstaining.
There being no further business, Mr. Santarsiero moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 8:20 p.m.
Grace Godshalk, Secretary