MINUTES – MARCH 21, 2005



The regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on March 21, 2005.  Chairman Stainthorpe called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. noting that the Board had been meeting in Executive Session since 7:00 p.m. to discuss legal matters.


Those present:


Board of Supervisors:               Pete Stainthorpe, Chairman

                                                Scott Fegley, Vice Chairman

                                                Grace Godshalk, Secretary/Treasurer

                                                Frank Fazzalore, Supervisor

                                                Steve Santarsiero, Supervisor


Others:                                     Terry Fedorchak, Township Manager

                                                Jeffrey Garton, Township Solicitor

                                                James Majewski, Township Engineer

                                                Kenneth Coluzzi, Chief of Police





Mr. Jim Tolbert, 884 Slate Hill Road, stated at the last meeting he raised an issue regarding Verizon and he thanked the Township for their cooperation in this matter which is getting resolved.


Ms. Virginia Torbert, 1700 Yardley-Newtown Road, asked for an update on the Dalgewicz condemnation and the farmhouse in the Wilshire Development where the property owner wanted to demolish the property.  Mr. Garton stated with regard to the Dalgewicz matter, the property owner took an Appeal, and they are waiting for a Hearing date from Doylestown for the Common Pleas Court.  With regard to the Wilshire Development farmhouse matter, he is trying to find individuals to serve as Hearing Officers and by the next meeting of the Board he will have three recommendations and they will hear an Appeal from the denial of the demolition permit by the Zoning Officer at that proceeding. 





Mr. Fazzalore moved and Mr. Fegley seconded to approve the Minutes of March 7, 2005 as corrected.  Motion carried with Mrs. Godshalk abstained.


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Mr. Santarsiero stated Mr. Fedorchak was to look into whether they could get additional money for Stony Hill Road.  It was noted they are still working on this.





Mrs. Godshalk moved, Mr. Santarsiero seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the March 7, 2005 and March 21, 2005 Warrant Lists and February, 2005 Payroll as attached to the Minutes.





Mr. Stainthorpe stated the Township engineer and Donna Liney of Park & Recreation are present to give an overview and the Rivergate residents will then be given an opportunity to speak. 


Ms. Liney stated the Township has two 90’ baseline baseball fields.  These two fields – A and H – are in the original section of Macclesfield Park and have been serving the community since the Park opened in 1989 when there were two user groups in the Township –  PAA and YMS.  Since that time given the continued growth and development in Lower Makefield, PAA and YMS have had their enrollment numbers increase and there have been additional programs added in the Township including Pop Warner Football and Lacrosse.  She stated this has made it increasingly challenging to satisfy the demands for fields.  She stated YMS is one of the largest soccer clubs in the Nation.  She stated the user groups have had ongoing dialogue with the Park & Recreation Board regarding field space and improvements.  Last year PAA appealed to the Park & Recreation Board to address the pressing need for a 90’ baseline baseball field for their organization and other competing leagues.  She stated the Park & Recreation Board recommended to the Board of Supervisors lighting Fields H and F as the most immediate and cost-effective way to address this space issue.  She stated the Park & Recreation Board feels the Township needs to fully maximize its existing resources.  This improvement was approved in the Budget for 2005 by the Board of Supervisors.   The Rivergate Residents Association has raised concerns as to the conformity with Township Ordinances.


Mr. Majewski stated the current lighting proposal is for six new lights on Field H.  This is what is recommended by Babe Ruth Baseball.  The mounting height of the light fixtures will be 70’ which is comparable to the lights currently on the soccer fields.  They also propose to put two new lights on existing poles to light Field F which is the field closest to River Road.  These light poles had been erected with mounting brackets already on in

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order to put on lights in the future which is what is now proposed.  He stated they reviewed the lighting plan to verify whether or not it meets Township Ordinance, and they feel it meets all Township Ordinances and requirements.


Ms. Mary Mavis, 893 Slate Hill Road, stated she is President of the Rivergate Residents Association.  She stated they did not know about this project until it was already approved and found out about the project in mid to late January.  They would request that the Board reconsider their decision to install the lights and return to the original Plan which was to construct a new field.  She noted the letter which was provided to the Board which was signed by 90% of their residents in favor of finding a long-term solution.  She stated they looked at the meeting Minutes of the Park & Recreation Board for October 12 and November 9.  She stated on October 12 which was the first public record they found about the lights, Ms. Liney stated one project under consideration would be either construction of a 90’ ball field on the Samost Tract which was estimated in July to cost approximately $100,000 and an alternative project would be lighting Field H and possibly Field F at Macclesfield Park which would cost approximately $100,000. 

Ms. Mavis stated later in that same meeting the Minutes indicate that Mr. Fritchey stated he felt if they were interested in getting a 90’ field quickly, lighting Field H provided the greatest opportunity to resolve the situation in the short term.  He indicated this would increase the amount of playing time available for next year; and while he was not opposed to constructing a 90’ field at Samost, he is concerned that they have not had an opportunity to get public input on this and going through the public review process would probably mean it would not be built until 2006.  Ms. Mavis stated in the November 9 Minutes, Ms. Liney stated the funds are reallocated funds from construction of a 90’ ballfield on the Samost Tract.  Ms. Mavis stated it appears that the original plan was to build a 90’ ballfield which would give the community more playing time.  She stated they understand that the funds for this kind of capital expenditure are precious, and they would ask that the Township forego a short-term solution and go back to the long-term solution which would give more playing time for the residents of the community. 


Ms. Mavis stated they are also concerned that while the Township felt there was a need to get input from residents for building a field, there was no consideration about asking the Rivergate residents their input on this proposal which will impact the quality of their life.  She stated 90% of their residents, when they were advised of the proposal, agreed that lighting in Macclesfield Park seven months per year, seven nights a week until 11:00 p.m. would have a negative impact.  They understand that PAA will stop playing at 10:00 p.m. and lights will go off at 10:30 p.m. to give them time to get to their cars.  They understand that if the lights do not go off at 10:30 p.m., there is to be an automatic switch to turn them off at 11:00 p.m.   She stated children in their neighborhood have bedrooms which face the fields and their rooms will be lit up until 11:00 p.m.  She stated they requested that there be testing of the lighting and this was done with some residents present and they found that the backs of their homes are lit up when all the lights are on. 


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Ms. Mavis stated they are requesting that the Board of Supervisors reconsider this and spend the funds on installation of a ball field which they feel will provide more playing

time for the community.


Mr. Stainthorpe asked the results of the testing done on the lights already in the Park. 

He asked if the new lights will add significantly to the current condition.  Mr. Majewski agreed that it will be brighter.  He stated the results of the test that were done showed that at the property line the light level was 0.1 foot candles which is not significantly bright.  The maximum allowed by Ordinance is 0.5 foot candles at the property line.  He stated when you do look over at the fields, you do see the lights.  Mr. Majewski stated the lights on Field H will be further away than the existing lights at the Park.  He stated the lights facing in the direction of the homeowners will be over 1000 feet away from the nearest residence.


Mr. Santarsiero stated he did look at the existing lights and these new lights on Field H will be farther away.  He stated that while the two lights on Field F are a little closer, the cemetery is between the lights and the residences.  He stated to the extent that some accommodation can be worked out, he would like to try to do that.  He does not feel it is a trade off between building a new field or installing the lights.   He stated it has been brought to the Board’s attention that there is a need for 90’ fields and they will ultimately need one at the Samost Tract.  However, given the existing facilities, he also feels that to maximize their usage, the lights seem like a logical step.  He would like to discuss how late the lights can be on.   He stated he would ideally like to see the lights installed at Macclesfield as well as the construction of a field at the Samost Tract so that they can provide more playing space.  Mr. Santarsiero stated as to the question of bringing the residents into this earlier, the one distinction between the lights being installed and the building of a field on Samost is that currently there is nothing on the Samost Tract and the amount of work that needs to go into that is considerably more than what is involved with installing lights at Macclesfield.  Mr. Santarsiero stated another area of compromise is the possibility of buffering. 


Ms. Mavis stated there are some plans to do buffering, but they are not really going to help the light or noise from the baseball fields because their homes are placed fairly high. They would like to have additional trees to help the noise situation somewhat. 


Mr. Stainthorpe stated they had talked about changing how the lights are turned on and off.  Mr. Majewski stated they can install more expensive controllers for the lighting system that would automatically shut them off at certain times.  Currently it is possible to override the existing system.  He stated Ms. Liney has been looking into this.  

Mr. Stainthorpe stated they should look into this further.  Mr. Fazzalore stated he agrees they must look into this as he has advised Ms. Liney a number of times that the lights are on as late as 1:00 A.M.  He stated this also occurs at the recreation area near the Municipal Building.  He stated he feels the lights should be turned off by 10:00 P.M.

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Ms. Mavis stated they had heard with regard to the foot candles, that it was .3 out of .5.

She stated if you drive through their neighborhood, it is like stadium lights. 


Mr. Fegley stated it is not a question of one or the other, but long-term planning indicates that there will probably also be a 90’ field at Samost at some point although no master plan has been approved for that tract.  Based on past experience it takes years for a master plan to be developed and the Park to be actually constructed.  He stated they purchased Memorial Park in 1995 and only just now is there any earth moving taking place and this is only the initial work for the Memorial.  He stated he does feel the Board is sensitive to the issue, and he feels 10:00 p.m. would be more reasonable than 11:00 p.m.  He stated he feels there should be some mechanism to insure that the lights are not left on past this time. 


Mrs. Godshalk asked what ages are using these fields until 10:30 p.m.  Ms. Liney stated ages thirteen and above are on the 90’ baseline fields.  Ms. Laurie Grey stated they were also told that the adults use these fields.  Ms. Liney stated there are two adult leagues.  Ms. Liney stated the permits run to 10:00 p.m. and they do give them until 10:30 p.m. to get off the field and into their cars.  She stated 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. to

10:00 p.m. are the two time slots they look to accommodate.  Mrs. Godshalk stated she is concerned that young teenagers are on the fields until 10:30 p.m. on school nights.

She stated when they decided to install the existing lights and acquired the land that is behind the homes, they said there would be no active recreation permanent fields put in behind the homes.  She stated when they installed the lights for football and soccer, she felt that they said at that point there would be no more lights.  Mr. Fazzalore stated they also stated that they would do more buffering than is there now.  Mrs. Godshalk stated it is hard to buffer 70’ poles.  She stated at Memorial Park they had to guarantee to the people that there would be no lit fields.  Mrs. Godshalk stated she is not comfortable with the proposal being discussed. 


Mr. Santarsiero asked why they have to be 70’.  Mr. Majewski stated it is recommended that they be between 70’ and 80’ to adequately cover the fields. 


Mr. Fegley stated he does remember the discussions when they were expanding the Park that there would be no active carved-out fields in the area behind the houses, but he does not remember specifically that they promised that there would be no further lights beyond what was installed for the football and parking areas.  He stated if this can be shown in the Minutes that they did state this, this could affect his opinion. 


Mr. Mark Cook, PAA Commissioner, stated they are serving 900 families in the community and cannot wait.  He stated they have a severe demand for 90’ fields and have been discussing this with the Township for a number of years.  He stated the Township engineer indicated this will have minimal impact on the adjoining residences.


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Mrs. Godshalk asked if PAA has polled the families that might have children playing until 10:30 p.m.  Mr. Cook stated their games run until 10:00 p.m. and the extra half hour is to give time to get everything off the fields and get the fields prepped.  Generally speaking thirteen to fifteen year old boys do play baseball until 10:00 p.m. Mrs. Godshalk asked if the families are aware of this when they sign up, and Mr. Cook stated they are.


Mr. Gene Castone, Slate Hill Road, stated while there may be non-dedicated fields, they are seeding them for soccer.  He asked if these are next to have lights and Mr. Stainthorpe stated they do not have plans for further lights.  Mr. Castone asked about the Noise Ordinance, and it was noted the time limit is 10:00 p.m.


Mr. Greg Caiola, 929 Pickering Drive, stated he has been involved in baseball for a number of years and has been to communities where they do have switches where the lights go off at a specific time and this was driven by the same complaints as being expressed tonight.  He feels they need additional lights, but they should make accommodations to insure that the lights are turned off at 10:15 p.m.


Mr. Dave Bollard, Lower Makefield football, stated their League has also grown substantially.  Five years ago they had 200 players and last year they had 308.  With the Pennsbury School District setting mandatory cut offs for their teams he anticipates another 100 players .  He stated there are no other lit fields in the Township that they can use, and they are running into serious problems with meeting the needs of the participants on the two football fields.


Mr. Mike D’Maio, 1067 S. Kimbles, stated he is involved with YMS and they are stretched to the limit and cannot find enough fields to accommodate their program.  He stated they use Pennsbury School District fields and rent fields in Falls Township.  He stated YMS lets them go onto Field H when they are not using it.  He stated Lacrosse numbers are also tripling.  He stated they need more fields in general and more lit fields.  He stated Ms. Liney is feeling the heat of people coming down on her asking for field time.  He stated 5,000 children in the Township are in the recreation programs. 


Mr. Tom Stevenson, 903 Slate Hill Road, stated the elevation of their houses is significantly higher than the Park so when the lights are installed,  it shines into their second-story rooms.  He stated there was a natural buffer at one time, but this was taken out when the Park was expanded.  Mr. Stevenson stated this area in Lower Makefield is resource protected and the lights are as intrusive as a commercial enterprise and are affecting the quality of their lives.


Mr. Stephen Heinz, 1355 Edgewood Road, stated he has been involved in YMS for many years.  He stated as an architect he has also dealt with homes that faced lit fields.  He suggested that a study be performed as to what kind of trees it would take to buffer the new lighting. 

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Mr. Mike Morlach, 1 Del Rio, stated he is the Director of the 13 to 15 year old program for PAA.  He noted the difficulty of trying to provide field time for sixteen teams on two fields.  He stated the addition of lights will add six to seven field times.


Mr. Alan Hillard, 833 Princess Drive, stated ten years ago he did consider moving into Rivergate but recognized that he would be adjacent to a recreation facility for the Township and people using that Park would also potentially be parking on the public streets.  He opted not to move into that neighborhood.    He stated it was known that this was a recreational facility for the Township.  He stated no matter what was promised six to seven years ago, the facts have changed and with the population of children increasing they need the recreation facilities.  He is concerned with the alternatives of not offering such recreation activities for children. 


Mrs. Godshalk stated she is trying to please everyone.   She stated she feels the Township has provided very good facilities for the residents; but when a person moves into the Township and purchases a home, this is the largest asset they will have and they deserve to live in that home without being disturbed. She feels in this case, she is siding with the homeowners.  She stated there are many other areas of the Township which can be developed although it may not be possible to do so this soon.  She would prefer that they build a new ballfield if it costs the same to build one as it would to light the fields.


Mr. Ron Smith, 1574 Clark Drive, stated he is the Vice Chairman of the Park & Recreation Board and the President of YMS.  He stated they need not only the lights but as many fields as possible that they can fit within the recreational space.  He stated they should consider the cost of good citizenship and the costs if they do not have these fields.  He stated the recreation organizations have outgrown the facilities that currently exist.  They need the lit fields and cannot wait the years it would take to get additional fields constructed.  He stated 30% of YMS’ program has to go out of the Township to play home soccer games because of the demands on the fields.  He stated YMS has been working with Rivergate on their concerns in the past and they will continue to do so. 

He stated previously one of the Supervisors had indicated that they should cap off the number of players they allow, and he feels this is unacceptable.


Ms. Susan Wright, 878 Slate Hill Road, stated she has three children who are active in sports.  She stated she is an educator and a homeowner.  She stated she did have concerns when her children were in baseball with the late hours involved.  She stated the Park is a nuisance.  She stated she is at the entrance to the Park and the lights hit her deck.  She stated there is also constant noise.  She feels she will also have a problem selling her home.  She stated she is also a runner and can run in the Park as late as midnight and the lights are still on.  She stated she does not feel the quieter recreational activities have been addressed.



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Ms. Virginia Torbert asked the location of the fields which are planned to be lit, and

Ms. Liney showed the location on the Plan.  Ms. Torbert stated her parents are buried at the cemetery adjacent to Macclesfield Park and she does remember that a promise was made as far as the field directly behind the cemetery not being lit.  She stated she agrees that there is a need for new fields.  She stated she feels they should start to build on North Park, Samost, and Snipes now.  She does not feel anyone who is from the sports organizations would want their homes lit up like this.  She stated if the Board of Supervisors made a promise not to install new lights, they should live up to this.


Mr. Fazzalore moved to table this matter until the Township Manager reviews the Minutes to see where they stand.  Mrs. Godshalk seconded.


Mr. Santarsiero moved to amend the Motion to include a proposal that they take a look at what buffering they could put in there and do so in a expedited basis so that this is not lingering farther and to make a decision at the next meeting one way or the other.


Mr. Stainthorpe stated he does not believe they need to pass anything this evening.  He stated the lights are in the Budget and if they were to do anything tonight it would be to take the lights out and come up with alternatives.  He does not feel there is any question that there are significant recreational needs in the Township.  He stated when Macclesfield was first built in 1990 the population of Lower Makefield was about 17,000 and it is now 34,000.  He stated the Township needs to make many decisions on what projects they can proceed with in the Township, and they can only tax the citizens so much.  He suggested that they move forward with the lights but also look into the suggestions made by Mr. Santarsiero for buffering. 


Mr. Fedorchak stated at the current time they are doing the preliminary engineering for the lights.  Mr. Santarsiero suggested that as this process goes forward, they should also look into the buffering and the timing of the lights.


Ms. Mavis stated they should consider if the lights are going to be off at 10:00 p.m. if this is really going to accomplish much for the Township.  She stated they should also consider what it will take to monitor this.  She stated if the lights are going to be off by 10:00 p.m., play needs to be completed by 9:30 p.m. and she questions how much this will add to the playing time.  Mr. Santarsiero stated the teams would have to work around the fact that the lights will be off at 10:00 p.m. and possibly they will have to put equipment away with their high beams on.


Vote was taken on the Motion to table and did not pass as Mr. Fazzalore and

Mrs. Godshalk were in favor and Mr. Fegley, Mr. Santarsiero, and Mr. Stainthorpe were opposed.



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Mr. Fazzalore asked that the Township Manager review the Minutes to find out what was promised.


Mr. Santarsiero moved and Mr. Fegley seconded to have the Park & Recreation Director come back with firm costs on improvements on lighting including timers and recommendations on buffering.  Motion carried with Mrs. Godshalk abstained.


Mrs. Godshalk moved and Mr. Fegley seconded to immediately start drawing up plans for development of Samost Park. 


Mr. Fegley stated the reason why much of the new field development has not gone forward was because of the Senior Center issue.  Mr. Stainthorpe stated he feels the Park & Recreation Board should move forward in an orderly manner.  Mrs. Godshalk stated she feels the Park & Recreation Board does need guidance noting they have been trying to come up with something for Samost for ten years.  Mr. Fegley stated the Motion is not to go out for bids, but to direct the Park & Recreation Board to come up with a Master Plan for Samost.  Mrs. Godshalk stated the Samost Tract is approximately twenty-six acres and there is room for a Senior Center if it is to be built.  Mr. Fegley stated they could also budget money next year for more development of the Master Plan they already have for Memorial Park. 


Mr. Fazzalore stated he would vote for the Motion on the condition that the Senior Center be included.  No change was made to the Motion as stated.


Motion carried with Mr. Fazzalore and Mr. Stainthorpe opposed.





Mr. Gordon Walker was present and stated they requested the go ahead from the Board of Supervisors to convert a portion of the Golf Course debt from a variable rate to a fixed rate.  They have obtained all the information they need for the prospectus, secured bond insurance,  and the credit rating of Moody’s.  They have reaffirmed the Township’s AA rating.  Only two other Townships in Bucks County have an AA rating.  He stated they had agreed that once all the information was available, they would meet with the Board one more time to see how much of the debt they wanted to convert.  He noted the Interest Rate Chart on Page 3.  He noted Page 4 which shows that the variable rate for the entire issue is currently 1.98%.  Adding the Admin Fee shows that the Golf Course debt is currently costing the Township 2.38%. 


Mr. Fazzalore stated six weeks ago they did not take any action and they were at 3.44 on $8 million and now they are 40 basis points above that.  Mr. Walker stated the rates are up and down.  He stated currently they are only 10 basis higher than they were in mid

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January.  Mr. Fazzalore stated if they had taken action six weeks ago, they would be paying 3.44%.  They did not take action because the Board indicated they wanted more information.  He stated now they will be paying above the 3.5% that was what was in the Budget for the Golf Course.  Now they are at 3.72% or 3.94%.  Mr. Walker stated if the Board had indicated they wanted to proceed as soon as they could, they would still have had to prepare the prospectus, getting the credit rating, etc.  He stated they did not get the rating until March 8, and tonight was the next meeting of the Board.  He agreed that interest rates are higher and this is why they are discussing this.  Mr. Fazzalore stated if they stay with the variable rate, which is currently 2.38%, and the fixed rates go up, the variable will probably go up as well. 


Mr. Gordon stated the base rate they are currently paying without the Admin charge is 1.98% and the ten year average on the variable is 2.80.  He stated the Township will still have a significant portion in variable and you hope that it will be less than the ten or fifteen year average.  He stated the Township has enjoyed very low interest rates on the Golf Course loan over the last two to three years and have probably saved $300,000 to $400,000 a year versus having done a fixed rate in the beginning.  He stated a lot of his clients are now considering fixing a portion of their debt to cushion against potential higher rates.


Mr. Fazzalore stated he would like to have seen an option that showed 3.5% which is what they agreed to as well as an option that showed all $16 million for thirty years.

Mr. Gordon stated this would be costly.  He stated the Budgets were run on 3.5%.  If they convert the whole amount, they would be at 4.5%.  He stated they could get to 3.5% by waiting to see if the market gets better or they could convert less.  He stated no one really knows what will happen with interest rates. Mr. Fazzalore stated he does not feel rates will go down.  Mr. Walker stated long term rates have not gone up as much. 


Mr. Walker stated he would recommend Option II shown on Page 5 of the report.  He stated this would be approximately a 50/50 mix. 


Mr. Garton asked if when they do the auction can they do it on the basis that they have the right to add additional principal to the debt if the numbers look better than they anticipate.  Mr. Walker stated he will have to speak to the bond counsel as the Ordinance would have been pre-advertised.  He stated possibly they could negotiate with the winning bidder for another year or two.  He stated the Ordinance would have to be worded in such a way to give this flexibility.  He stated unless the Board has a special meeting, the earliest they could do this would be their next meeting on April 4. 

Mr. Garton stated they could call a special meeting next week. 


Mr. Garton stated if they get to the Auction Bid and are not satisfied with the rates, they do not have to go forward.


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Mr. Fazzalore moved and Mr. Fegley seconded to proceed with Option II as far as the Auction Bid. 


Mr. Fazzalore stated he would also like to know the additional costs from 3.44% to 3.82% and how this will effect the Golf Course.


Mr. Santarsiero stated if they had locked into the rate a year ago, they would not be in this position.  He stated he tends to be risk adverse.  He stated he suspects that the rates are going to go up and they will be back here a year from now looking at that part of the debt that is not fixed.  He stated he understands that the Golf Course was budgeted at 3.5%.  He would tend to err in favor of putting more in the fixed rate and minimize the potential downside going forward and feels this should have been done before despite the fact that they saved money.  He stated he does not like being exposed 50%.  Mr. Walker stated if they are going to go higher, he would suggest that the issue not be over $10 million as over $10 million it takes a lot of buyers out of the market. 


Mr. Walker stated while he will not personally be available next week, he will have someone available at the Township who can handle this.


Mr. Stainthorpe stated no financial advisor would have recommended that they lock into a fixed rate two years ago because the spread between variable and fixed was very large.  He stated now the spread is not as great and this is why they are proceeding in this way.  Mr. Santarsiero stated he feels the proof will be in the future and whether the downsides they will see going forward will outweigh the savings that were realized over the first two years.  He fears the downside will outweigh the savings realized.


Mr. Fegley stated there was also fear that the Golf Course would not be a success and this has not been the case to date.  He stated they have been advised that they saved $300,000 to $400,000 over the last two years.  He stated based on independent financial advisors, they recommended that they stay with the variable rate which would result in savings over the long term.  Now that the rates are changing, the Board is reacting to the market situation and acting in the best interest of the Township and fixing some and keeping some variable.


Mr. Santarsiero stated he still feels that while they hope the Golf Course will be a success, it will take a few years until they are certain of this.  He stated they also need to protect the residents against the downside with what may happen with interest rates. 

Mr. Fegley stated this is what they are doing. 


Mr. Zachary Rubin stated this is the original bond and the principal is not being paid down.  The Board agreed.  Mr. Rubin stated all bonds are callable and asked when it would be called.  Mr. Walker stated it would be five years although they can advance


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re-fund as well as call in the variable.  Mr. Rubin stated he was present during the prior discussions on rates and he felt the fixed rate less than a year ago was under 3%.  It was noted this was not correct.  Mr. Rubin asked the fixed rate at the time.  Mr. Fedorchak noted the Interest Rate History Chart and stated where they are now is very close to where they have been for a number of years.  Mr. Walker stated in 2002 when the decision was made to go variable, the fixed rate was higher than it is today.  Mr. Rubin stated he is talking about last year.  Mr. Stainthorpe stated they have been looking at this constantly.  Mr. Walker stated last year he did not appear before the Board of Supervisors but they continually updated Bill Taylor on the rates.  In 2003 the fixed rate was higher than today as it was 5%.


Mr. Matt Bulger stated they indicated that there is an option that they could come back to

whoever wins the auction and fix a larger portion.  Mr. Garton stated they would try to do this the day of the auction.  Mr. Walker stated if they would convert a little

more, those maturities are higher so it tends to raise the average rate on what you are converting.  If you convert less, you get a lower average rate.  Mr. Bulger asked about converting more and Mr. Walker stated if you go above $10 million you will be paying the higher rate.  Mr. Garton stated if you go over $9.9 million it is no longer attractive to large financial institutions.  This is $9.9 million a year in total.  He stated you cannot go back a year later and renegotiate with whoever was the low bidder.


Motion carried with Mr. Fazzalore, Mr. Fegley and Mr. Stainthorpe in favor,

Mr. Santarsiero opposed, and Mrs. Godshalk abstaining.


Mr. Santarsiero moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to direct the Township Manager to authorize advertisement of a special meeting on Tuesday,

March 29 at 4:30 p.m.






Mr. Garton stated pursuant to the Board’s receipt of the Applications, the Planning Commission and Agricultural Security Committee recommended that they be included.  These were advertised for consideration this evening.


Mr. Sam Conti, Farmland Preservation Corporation, stated they have nine tax parcels, five of which were included in the Agricultural Security District.  They are requesting approval of the inclusion of three more.  He stated one more is missing which is Clearview which is twenty-five acres.  This is the old Black Farm.  He would like this to be included.  Mr. Garton stated he has the record of what is included because he recorded


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all the adoptions with the Recorder of Deeds Office.  He asked that the Township send him a letter with the tax parcel numbers and he can cross check what is included. 


Mrs. Godshalk asked the impact if the land ceases to be actively farmed.  She stated she felt the land can be used as recreation land without a Referendum.  Mr. Garton stated this is in the restrictions that created the organization.  She asked if it states that there can be a Referendum where it can be developed into three acre lots.  Mr. Garton stated they would have to have a Referendum in order to sell it.   Mrs. Godshalk stated she feels it can only be developed as three acres lots.  Mr. Stainthorpe stated this does not effect the Agricultural Security District.  Mrs. Godshalk stated she questions if this would have any jurisdiction.  Mr. Garton stated it has no impact.  He stated this has a seven year duration and if it not used for agricultural purposes, it can be reviewed and have another hearing and take it out of the Agricultural Security District.  Mr. Conti stated he feels they have to have a Referendum approved if it is going to be used for a use other than farming. 

Mrs. Godshalk stated she does not feel this is correct and a Referendum is not required if it is going to be used for recreation.  Mr. Garton stated the Agricultural Security District gives certain protection.  If it is no longer being used as a farm, it ceases to be protected under this particular Resolution. 


Mr. Santarsiero stated they will keep the Agricultural Security Council active until they find out if they need to add another parcel.


Mr. Santarsiero moved, Mr. Fazzalore seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Applications by Farmland Preservation Inc for inclusion of the following parcels in the Lower Makefield Township Agricultural Security District:


  Resolution No. 2078 – Tax Parcel No. 20-3-33 –  Bethel

  Resolution No. 2079 – Tax parcel No. 20-8-82  Longshore

  Resolution No. 2080 – Tax Parcel No. 20-80-48 – Bridle Estates





Mr. Fedorchak stated this is to create an opportunity for the Township to save money on hospital costs.  He stated it is not uncommon for employees’ spouses to have healthcare coverage and this would allow the employees to make a choice.  If they would go with their spouse’s plan, they will pay the employee 30% of the Township’s premium costs. The Township would then save 70%.  Mrs. Godshalk stated she asked Mr. Fedorchak to look into this for a number of years as this is the standard in industry. 


Mr. Santarsiero noted Paragraph 3 where it states they reserve the right to cancel the waiver program or otherwise alter its provisions from time to time.  He asked if they

March 21, 2005                                                           Board of Supervisors – page 14 of 22



should have an obligation to provide notice to the participants, and Mrs. Godshalk stated they would have to do this.  Mr. Santarsiero stated there is nothing in this Resolution that states this.  Mr. Garton stated they could have a specific timeframe or leave it to the Manager to give notice.  Mr. Santarsiero stated he feels it should be in the Resolution so that they know what the Notice period is.  Mr. Garton suggested that they provide for sixty days notice and they Amend that provision.

Mr. Bob Slamen, Bedford Place, stated if there is double coverage, a person with a claim cannot go after both, and it was noted this is correct.  Mr. Slamen asked if 30% is the correct number, and Mr. Garton stated he has seen it as high as 50% and as low as 20%.

Mr. Slamen stated he feels 30% is probably a lot of money.  Mr. Fedorchak stated depending on whether it is a single or a family it could range from $2,000 to as high as $6,000 a year.  If they decide to go with hospitalization and/or the prescription there is a matrix of opportunities.


Mr. Santarsiero moved, Mr. Fazzalore seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve Resolution No. 2077 offering employees an incentive to waive healthcare coverage subject to amending  Paragraph 3 that the Township shall provide sixty days notice to anyone receiving the waiver prior to the Board’s action as to whether to do away with it or not.





Mr. Majewski stated they have been monitoring the culvert on Woodside Road since it was damaged last September.  They feel the road should be closed.  They have contacted emergency services and closure will be Monday at the earliest.  Mr. Fazzalore asked the estimated cost, and Mr. Fedorchak stated Mr. Majewski has projected the replacement cost to be approximately $200,000.  Mr. Fazzalore stated the Township recently spent $450,000 on a similar project,  and Mr. Fegley stated this was a bridge and was much larger.  Mr. Majewski reviewed the differences between those two projects. 

Mr. Fazzalore asked if they need permission from PennDOT, and Mr. Majewski stated this is a Township road and does not require permission from PennDOT.  He stated it does qualify for an emergency permit from the DEP.  Mr. Fazzalore stated they did not include this in the Budget.  Mr. Fedorchak stated he feels they may have a portion of the costs covered.   He noted they did make application to FEMA to replace this culvert and last week FEMA contacted him and indicated they have tentatively agreed to cover the cost to replicate the existing structure.  He would recommend that when they put this out to bid they get a number for replacing the culvert that is there and a second bid for what Mr. Majewski is proposing to be the optimum solution.  They will then take this to FEMA and hope to get reimbursed in the amount of $125,000 to $150,000. 


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Mr. Fazzalore agreed that this project needs to be done.  No action was needed to be taken by the Board this evening.


Ms. Torbert asked how long the road will be closed and asked about the detour route.  Mr. Majewski stated the official detour route will be Mt. Eyre Road.  He stated they anticipate the road will be closed approximately six months.  Ms. Torbert asked if Upper Makefield and Yardley Borough  have been notified.  Mr. Majewski stated Upper Makefield was notified and agreed it would be a good idea to notify Yardley Borough.





Mr. Edward Murphy, attorney, and Mr. Chris Messick were present.  Mr. Garton stated this was an Appeal from the recommendation from HARB not to issue a Demolition Permit.  He stated this is a continuation of the discussion held at the last Board meeting. 

The 3/3/05 memo from Mr. VanDyke was noted, and Mr. Murphy stated the survey discussed in that memo has been completed and transmitted to Mr. VanDyke.  In addition, the Board of Supervisors requested that the Heritage Conservancy be consulted about the circumstances giving rise to the Permit Application and Mr. Marshall is present this evening.  He has had the opportunity to look at the materials and has been out to the site.  Mr. Murphy understands he has prepared a report although they have not been provided a copy.  He stated in one of the meetings Mr. Messick had with Mr. VanDyke, he did see a copy of the Sketch Plan that Mr. VanDyke’s office felt was appropriate for the re-development of the site, although they have not been given a copy of this either since the Township has not yet made available the Escrow Agreement.  Mr. Garton stated this was sent to the Township weeks ago.  Mr. Murphy stated they have not seen it and as noted two weeks ago they have requested it and agreed to sign it and fund it.


Mr. Jeff Marshall was present.  Mr. Stephen Heinz asked if Mr. Marshall is present as a consultant to Mr. Messick, and Mr. Stainthorpe stated he is present as a consultant to the Township.  Mr. Stainthorpe stated Mr. Marshall has looked into this matter and provided the Board with written input.  He stated it appears that the issue with regard to the percentage of buildings that have to remain in order to maintain their status as a National Historic Register site is totally unclear and there do not seem to be any percentages required.  Mr. Marshall stated it is more qualitative than quantitative.  He stated when you initially list a property or District, there are rules and depending on the size of the District this can range from 50% to 75% of the buildings being historic or contributing.  There are no set rules for the opposite which is where there is a number of contributing resources where you fall below that you would be de-listed.  He noted the individuals involved at the National Register and the Local Preservation Office agreed there is no “magic” number.  They indicated it has to do with location and the significance of the District.



March 21, 2005                                                           Board of Supervisors – page 16 of 22



Ms. Michelle Stambaugh stated she has also looked into this further.  She stated they do not want any more buildings to get to a point where they could encroach on the historic integrity of the Village. 


Mr. Bob Oaks stated he has worked with Mr. VanDyke and has been building and restoring houses for fifty years.  He feels the way to restore the house is to reproduce and recycle as many of the materials as possible.  In working with Mr. Messick, he would supervise the project. 


Ms. Stambaugh stated they want to get the Agreement and escrow finalized and move forward.  She also suggested that there be signage at the Village on what is going on so that it does not just look like they are tearing it down.  The sign should indicate it is a revitalization of the community and they would like to work with HARB on this sign.


Mrs. Godshalk stated she has received a number of phone calls from people about what is going on with this property.  She stated there are tax credits for restoration and if this is a re-building, they will lose tax credits.  Mr. Marshall stated this is where there is a provision setting a certain percentage of the original fabric in order to qualify for tax credits.   


Mr. Fazzalore asked how the Historic Commission and HARB feel about this reproduction.  Mr. Stainthorpe stated to date there have been no definite plans proposed to comment on.  Ms. Wendi Grant, HARB stated they were originally told something different from what is now being proposed.  They would agree to set up an emergency meeting to discuss the new plans.  They would reiterate that they would deny the Certificate of Appropriateness that was presented to them in November and they wish to preserve as much of the materials as possible. 


Mr. Stainthorpe stated Mr. Oaks indicated they should recycle as many of the existing materials as possible and asked if he has been out to the site.  Mr. Oaks stated he would recycle as much of the siding as possible. The entire foundation can be repaired as well as the beams and the timbers.  Mr. Messick stated he would agree to this.  Mr. Messick stated the clapboard is suspect because the aluminum siding has been nailed onto it.


Mr. Stephen Heinz stated they had an organized presentation from HARB to make sure the Board understood all the aspects of their consideration so the Board could make a good decision this evening.  Mr. Heinz asked Mr. Oaks if he was an engineer or an architect, and Mr. Oaks stated he is an architect/builder.  Mr. Heinz reviewed the history of HARB and the Board of Supervisors working together over the years.  He stated he is concerned that this will send the wrong message that properties can be demolished because of neglect. 


March 21, 2005                                                           Board of Supervisors – page 17 of 22


Mr. Tony Islan stated HARB did review the request by Mr. Messick to demolish the building and they requested a review on how much of the structure could be saved.  He stated they are concerned that the Applicant went to the Board of Supervisors rather than come back to HARB to work with them.


Mrs. Godshalk stated if the Township had been doing their job under the CLG and the Historic Village Zoning, this house would not have come to this point.  She stated this started happening before Mr. Messick purchased the property.  She stated action should have been taken before it got to this point.  She stated the Township is the steward under the CLG and the National Register to make sure that these homes are maintained so they will not have to be demolished. 


Mr. Stainthorpe stated he does not feel anyone has overturned a decision of the HARB since he has been on the Board, and they do have respect for what they do.  He stated in this case they have actually done what was suggested and this is the third meeting they have discussed this.  He stated they have employed Mr. Marshall to review this as well.  He stated he feels they need to look into much tougher Ordinances regarding historic preservation and preventing people from letting places decay by neglect.  Mrs. Godshalk stated this is what she has indicated, and she stated under the CLG, they are obligated to do this.  Mr. Stainthorpe stated they need to make sure they are enforcing this.  He stated at the last meeting, he suggested a means test for work to be done on a historic property and you would have to show that you have the money to complete work on such a property.  He feels they should have the toughest laws in the State and not let this happen again. 


Mr. Heinz stated in the approval of the Plan that was previously submitted for renovation of the property by Mr. Celli, a portion of the building was permitted to be demolished.  He stated there is no reason why a portion of a structure for the good of the whole could not be demolished.  If someone comes to HARB with a full plan of what is intended, they will act on it with all speed.  He feels this needs to go back to HARB and reviewed again probably with a different result.  He stated the only option they heard – twice – was tear it down with no plan for anything else or anything being preserved. 


Mr. Santarsiero asked if they would agree to go back to HARB and show a Plan of what they propose to do after demolition is completed.  Mr. Murphy stated it is not their Plan.  He stated Carter VanDyke has supposedly prepared a plan, but they have not been able to see it because they were not provided with the Agreement to sign or fund.  Mr. Messick stated he has agreed to replicate the structure so he does not know why they have to go another month. Mrs. Godshalk stated she still feels they have to go to HARB since they are the authority in the Village under the National Register.  Mr. Garton stated HARB is a recommending authority, and the Board of Supervisors is the authority.  Mrs. Godshalk stated under the Ordinance of the National Register, HARB is the recommending authority, and she feels the replication does have to go back to HARB.  Mr. Murphy stated once a Plan is prepared it will have to go back to HARB. 


March 21, 2005                                                           Board of Supervisors – page 18 of 22



Mrs. Godshalk stated she understands that they want to use the building as commercial, but if they use it as residential, perhaps it would not have to be constructed as thoroughly because it would not have to go before Labor and Industry and perhaps then using the present foundations and some of the beams and walls would be easier.  Mr. Messick stated he does not feel he or the Board can determine what will be successful at this location as he feels the market will make this determination.  He stated he is not sure someone would want to live at this location.  Mrs. Godshalk stated in the Village they are going to have a mixture.  Mr. Murphy stated they were told that one of the elements of

Mr. VanDyke’s plan included a residential component, but they have not been able to see this.  He stated they will entertain all the elements of the Plan that Mr. VanDyke wants to propose.  Mrs. Godshalk stated she felt that the older structure would not have to meet Labor & Industry requirements.  Mr. Murphy stated there is no more Labor and Industry and it is all Township Codes and the Township provides the inspectors. 


Mr. Garton reviewed possible conditions of approval of granting the demolition permit.

Mr. Murphy stated he is concerned that the proposal is that they are required to get approval from HARB before the building is able to be taken down.  He expressed concern with the time this would take.  Mr. Garton asked if they were willing to execute a Development Agreement agreeing to the conditions if the demolition permit is granted, and Mr. Murphy stated they are willing to do this.  Mr. Murphy stated he felt once there was a new Plan, they would then go back to HARB with the Plan.  Mr. Garton stated he is trying to find a mechanism to guarantee that they can move forward.  Mr. Garton stated they are not looking for a Land Development Plan, but rather a plan for the structure. 

Mr. Murphy stated they have not been able to get this from the Township because the Township has not allowed them to sign the Agreement.  Mr. Garton stated Mr. Murphy indicated Mr. VanDyke did have a Plan, and Mr. Murphy stated they have been advised of this.  Mr. Messick stated Mr. VanDyke has a site plan for the entire site. 

Mrs. Godshalk stated they do not need to do the entire site and are just referring to this building.   Mr. Garton stated they want to identify what is going to be saved and to see a conceptual Plan that articulates what Mr. VanDyke has recommended.  Mr. Marshall stated this would be an elevation of the building to be constructed.  Mr. Garton stated they are not looking for an engineered Plan.  Mr. Messick stated he will replicate the façade of the building.  Mr. Stainthorpe stated this needs to be put in writing.  

Mr. Murphy stated it is not the Applicant’s Plan as the Board of Supervisors directed them to use Mr. VanDyke as a consultant and he has the Plan.  Mr. Santarsiero asked why this Plan cannot be given to the Applicant. 


Mr. Stainthorpe stated if Mr. Messick is willing to agree in writing to replicate the façade of what is there he feels he should be permitted to tear it down.  He stated he does not want to delay this any further noting that this is the third meeting during which this has been discussed.  Mr. Oaks stated if they wait long enough, the structure will fall down and someone will get hurt.

March 21, 2005                                                           Board of Supervisors – page 19 of 22



Mr. Murphy stated in 1978 when this building was cataloged by the Township, it was stated that is was in need of repair at that time.


Mr. Fegley moved and Mrs. Godshalk seconded to grant the Demolition Permit subject to:


            1)  Building is replicated so as to reproduce the façade consistent with

                  the recommendation received from Carter VanDyke;

            2)  As much of the clapboard and the beams that can be saved are in

                  fact saved and the foundation reutilized;

            3)   There is an elevation of Carter VanDyke’s recommendation

                  provided to HARB and an appropriate agreement be executed

                  complying and guaranteeing that Mr. Messick does all the



Mr. Murphy agreed to the Conditions.


Mr. Heinz stated HARB is not a consultant organization; it is an approval organization and it is either approved or not approved.  He stated this has not been approved.

Mr. Garton stated HARB is a recommending body.


Motion carried unanimously.





Mr. Edward Murphy was present.  Mr. Garton reviewed possible Conditions of Approval.  Mr. Murphy stated there were comments in the 3/9/05 PCS letter which are not applicable, and he has discussed these with Mr. Garton.  Mr. Garton stated this is understood.  Mrs. Godshalk asked about the entrance to Lot #1.  Mr. Murphy stated it must take access from the street of the lowest classification so it would be W. Ferry.

Mr. Murphy stated they are moving the lot line 65’. 


Mr. Fazzalore moved and Mr. Santarsiero seconded to approve the Preliminary/Final Plans dated 1/5/05 subject to:


            1)  PCS letter dated 3/9/05 to the extent not resolved including the

                  following Waivers:


                  a)  Section 146.a requiring curbs and street improvements

                  b)  Section 178.47a requiring sidewalks

                  c)  Section 178.93 requiring stormwater facilities

March 21, 2005                                                           Board of Supervisors – page 20 of 22



            2)  Receipt of all approvals by agencies having jurisdiction;

            3)  Payment of All Township expenses related to the Application.


Mr. Murphy agreed to the Conditions, and the Motion carried unanimously.





Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Santarsiero seconded and it was unanimously carried to grant an extension of time to Robert and Kathleen Widmer for Preliminary Subdivision Plans for property on Evergreen Road.





Mrs. Godshalk stated at the next meeting they hope to have the Memorial finalized and will ask to go out to bid.  Mr. Fazzalore asked about the status of the road.  Mr. Majewski stated they did take time off due to weather, and anticipate starting up again next week. 


Mr. Santarsiero stated he was unable to attend the EAC meeting because of a conflict with the Zoning Hearing Board which meets on the same night.  He stated he would like to continue to serve as liaison to the EAC, and they are looking to see if they can reschedule their meetings to Thursdays.  If this is not possible, a new liaison will need to be appointed.  He stated there will be a Canal Clean Up on April 2 at 9:00 a.m. and they will be meeting at the intersection of the Canal and Black Rock Road.  He stated the EAC is sponsoring a seminar on low impact development and stormwater management to be held in the Township Building on April 20.  This will be open to other Townships in the area at a cost of $150 per Township.  He stated the Southeastern Bucks League of Municipalities will have their next meeting in Tullytown on March 28. 





Mr. Fedorchak stated in October, the Township made application to the County for a $20,000 Grant for various historic preservation purposes.  The Township has received notice that they will be granted $19,000.  Mr. Fedorchak stated this can be applied for planning efforts, and he would suggest they use $10,000 of the $19,000 to pay

Mr. Marshall’s Contract and the other $9,000 can be used for repairs/renovations to the Satterthwaite House and Elm Lowne.


Mrs. Godshalk moved, Mr. Santarsiero seconded and it was unanimously carried to authorize execution of the Contract for 2005 Community Development Block Grant.

March 21, 2005                                                           Board of Supervisors – page 21 of 22





Mr. Santarsiero moved, Mr. Fazzalore seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the 2005-2006 Bucks County Consortium Road Material Bid.





Mr. Stainthorpe stated they did discuss a similar donation request at a prior meeting and since then they discussed this matter at the Golf Committee.  It was unanimously decided by the Golf Committee that they should stick with their policy of “no free golf.” 


Mr. Santarsiero asked approximately how many of these requests have been made in the past; however, it was not known.  Mr. Stainthorpe stated these are usually telephone requests made to Terry Bannon.  Mrs. Godshalk stated if people have an Outing at the Course, and are bringing in revenue, she does not have a problem with the donation of a foursome.  She stated the Memorial Outing brought in $40,000, and they did give a foursome as a prize.  She is concerned where they would draw the line on donations to community groups.  She stated she feels that the policy of giving it to people bringing in money for an outing is one they should stick to.  Mr. Fegley stated he does not feel they should give away a foursome to every community or civic group that wants to have a foursome for a fundraiser. 


Mr. Garton stated they would also be giving away taxpayer dollars and this would involve choosing which charity the taxpayers are supporting  and which they are not. 


Mr. Fegley stated he feels the policy should be that you can only give a foursome in conjunction with an outing that takes place at the Golf Course.  Mr. Stainthorpe stated he believes that is what the policy is.  Mr. Fegley stated he would like to know if this is the written policy; and if it is not, it should be put in writing.


Mr. Santarsiero stated he would like to know the policy of other Townships which have public courses.  Mr. Rubin stated RAM had a fundraiser at Middletown, and the Management Company donated the rounds, not the Township. 


Mr. Garton stated whatever they decide is appropriate, it should be done by Resolution of the Board of Supervisors.


Mr. Fedorchak was asked to find out what other Townships which have public courses do.  Mr. Fazzalore stated he does not care what other Municipalities do and feels they should not give away free golf when they have a large bond to pay off.  Mr. Santarsiero

March 21, 2005                                                           Board of Supervisors – page 22 of 22



stated he would also like to know how many people are requesting free golf noting the experience of other courses may indicate that you do not really get many requests.  Other Supervisors stated they feel once it is know that Lower Makefield donates free foursomes there will be numerous requests. 





Mr. Fazzalore moved and Mrs. Godshalk seconded to cancel the April 18, 2005 meeting due to the State Convention.  Motion carried with Mr. Fegley abstained.





Mr. Fegley moved and Mrs. Godshalk seconded to Appeal the Sunrise Zoning Hearing Board decision.  Motion carried with Mr. Fegley, Mrs. Godshalk, and Mr. Santarsiero in favor and Mr. Fazzalore and Mr. Stainthorpe opposed.





Mrs. Godshalk moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to re-appoint Susanne Curran to the Historic Commission.



There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 10:15 p.m.


                                                                        Respectfully Submitted,





                                                                        Grace Godshalk, Secretary