BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
The regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the
Board of Supervisors: Steve Santarsiero, Chairman
Ron Smith, Vice Chairman
Greg Caiola, Secretary/Treasurer
Grace Godshalk, Supervisor
Pete Stainthorpe, Supervisor
David Truelove, Township Solicitor
James Majewski, Township Engineer
Kenneth Coluzzi, Chief of Police
Ms. Michelle Stambaugh, Historic Commission, announced that they are currently accepting nominations for the Historic Preservation Award. She asked that they contact the Township with any nominations. June 1 is the deadline.
Mr. Santarsiero stated they have received requests from
residents to keep the yard behind the
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Mr. Caiola moved, Mr. Smith seconded and it was unanimously
carried to approve the Minutes of
Mr. Smith moved, Mr. Stainthorpe seconded and it was
unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of
Mr. Caiola moved, Mr. Smith seconded and it was unanimously
carried to approve the
Mrs. Godshalk noted the Financial Activity Report shows that they are 36% of Budget on their Real Estate Transfer Taxes. She stated frequently people think this is just developers bringing in transfer taxes but noted the community has a high turn-over because of the accessibility to New York, Philadelphia, and Princeton; and there is a high turn-over of old real estate as well. She stated they are currently $200,000 ahead of what they were two years ago and $100,000 ahead of last year. She stated one of the large sales which brought in income was the sale of the Belmondo Apartments which brought in $138,000 in transfer taxes to the Township as well as to the School Board.
DISCUSSION OF PATTERSON FARM MASTER PLAN AND MOTION ON RETENTION OF HERITAGE CONSERVANCY
Mr. Santarsiero stated several months ago there was discussion on what the Township’s plan should be with respect to the Paterson Farm on an ongoing basis. This has been discussed for a number of years, and there has been discussion of the need to create a Master Plan. He stated there was also concern voiced by some members of the community that the leaves that were being spread on the Patterson Farm by the Township were potentially detrimental to the farmland itself. Mr. Santarsiero stated in the interim they have been given the Heritage Conservancy Report which included discussion of the Patterson Farm, and Mr. Marshall is present this evening. Mr. Santarsiero stated
Mr. Caiola, Mr. Smith, and himself toured the Patterson Farm approximately one month ago. They were there to see the condition of the soil with respect to the leaf issue as well as to see the overall farm. They met with Sam Conti, President of the Farmland Preservation Corporation, as well as Buster Doan and Tom McGowen. He stated they discussed some of the ideas that the Township could adopt for the Farm going forward including the possibility of creating a Trust or organization that would, on a going-forward basis, own the farm to preserve it in perpetuity as a farm and take away any inclination a future Board of Supervisors may have to develop it. At the same time it would provide the Township with resources with respect to the leaf issue and rental income from the Farm. They also discussed the possibility of carving out the
Mr. Stainthorpe stated he would like to see any consideration of the buildings and the land at Patterson Farm put into the context of the larger plan that was discussed with the Heritage Conservancy as to what they will do with all of the historic properties. He stated the Township owns a number of properties, and any Master Plan should be in the context of what is their objective with respect to historical preservation.
Mrs. Godshalk stated when they purchased the Farm she was very instrumental in this, and they were positive that the Farm would be used as a farm as long as it could be and then the land could be used as recreation. They never felt that it would go to any development. She stated it could not be developed as the taxpayers are paying for the land. She stated it has been indicated previously that certain Board members wanted to put it into the Farmland Preservation program; and she stated the Farmland Preservation program was an Ordinance developed for developer’s contributions – not the taxpayers.
She stated the taxpayers are paying for Patterson Farm and are not paying for land that is in Farmland Preservation Corporation, which is a private corporation outside of the jurisdiction of the Township Supervisors other than the Board of Supervisors appoints the members of the Farmland Preservation Corporation. She stated the Farmland Preservation Corporation gains their finances from the lands that are leased to farmers. She stated in the Farmland Preservation Ordinance, if eventually there are no farmers willing to lease the Farmland Preservation land, the Farmland Preservation Corporation can use it for other uses such as recreation. She stated they can also bring it to a Referendum of the voters for three to four acre zoning, and build homes on the land. She stated this is clearly spelled out in the Ordinance. She stated they would not want to see this with Patterson Farm. She stated the Board of Supervisors should educate themselves on the Farmland Preservation Ordinance. She stated she is against the Patterson Farm going to Farmland Preservation as this is not what the taxpayers voted on. She stated the people who voted for the $7.5 million with which they purchased other land, would not want to see that land go into Farmland Preservation Corporation which could eventually sell it for development.
Mr. Santarsiero stated the idea they discussed approximately one and a half months ago was to create a separate entity and not the Farmland Preservation Corporation that would have title to the property eventually. Ms. Godshalk, stated they did previously discuss having the land go to Farmland Preservation. Mr. Santarsiero stated this that is not what he has indicated this evening. He stated the Farmland Preservation Ordinance is a piece
of legislation that has been passed by the Board of Supervisors and could be amended by the Board as well. He stated only 71 acres of the Patterson Farm is subject to easements that protect the Farm from future development since this was the land that was purchased with money from the County; and as a condition of receiving that money, the Township had to agree to those restrictions. The other restrictions that exist for the entire site are basically deed restrictions which could potentially be done away with. He stated he feels there is a danger down the road that a future Board could make a decision to develop the property, and one of the goals which he hopes they all share is to adopt an approach that will protect the property from future development. He stated once they have accomplished this, they should consider what they foresee happening at the Farm and determine the best use of the farm and how they can maximize this property as an asset for the Township.
Mrs. Godshalk stated a few years ago when Mr. Santarsiero first came on the Board they were going to subdivide the Satterthwaite House which is in the most need of care. She stated they had people at that time interested in putting in a bid, and there was a Subdivision of two and a half to three acres which would have been large enough for people to manage the property with some of the barns but small enough so that the Township would not have been hit with Zoning challenges and Variances by other public institutions perhaps that might buy it and want to turn it into some other use. She stated the house was in serious neglect before the Township purchased it. The Board at that time felt that a proper use of the house could be made and it would be fixed and be a showplace for the land the Township owns. She stated this was put on hold as the Historic Commission was looking into uses and the Heritage Conservancy was then brought in to look at it. Mr. Santarsiero stated he did oppose the Subdivision two years ago because he wanted to maintain the integrity of the Farm; and he hopes that they are at a point now, particularly with what was heard from the Heritage Conservancy which was consistent with the idea of maintaining the integrity of the Farm, that they can come up with a plan that does this and achieves all the goals they have.
Mr. Smith stated approximately two months ago this matter was discussed and he did mention exploring whether or not they wanted to transfer Patterson Farm into the Farmland Preservation Corporation. He stated his motivation was to remove the property from the political arena and do what he feels they all want to do which is to maintain the Farm as farmland. He stated he never wants to develop the Farm and considers it to be the gateway to the Township. He asked that they consider what is the best way to maintain the farmland as farmland. Mrs. Godshalk stated she feels the Farm should be in the hands of the Township which is the people of the Township and not just the Board of Supervisors. Mr. Smith stated he does not disagree and only wants to remove it from future attacks in the political arena.
Mr. Caiola stated he feels that once there is a full discussion, they will come to a determination that will be best for the entire Township.
Mr. Stainthorpe stated he feels the Patterson Farm is something they all want to preserve. He stated he is reluctant to put such a valuable asset into hands other than the Board of Supervisors. He stated he would be in favor of further restrictions on the property, but would prefer not putting another Board or entity in charge of the Patterson Farm. He feels it is incumbent on the elected officials to look out for the best interest of the Farm and the taxpayers. He stated he does feel there will be a time when there will not be farmers in the area.
Mr. Santarsiero stated he feels one of the things that is driving this now is the condition of some of the buildings on the site; and if they want to preserve the property as a single entity, they will have to decide what to do with the buildings. He stated it is difficult to make a decision on any one building unless they have a global view.
Mr. Stainthorpe stated he feels the best preserved farm is the Ruth Wright Farm; and the Township did not take the approach where they had to own it, but they did buy the development rights. He stated he is not suggesting that they put the Patterson Farm in private hands.
Mr. Zachary Rubin, 1661 Covington Road, stated two years ago
he spoke against the subdivision of the Patterson Farm, and the reason why was
that he feels it should be preserved as a Farm.
He noted the Fox Chase Farm in
Mr. Sam Conti,
would ever do this with the Patterson Farm. He feels the Farmland Preservation Corporation is the best vehicle for keeping the Patterson Farm as a premier part of Lower Makefield as a place for education and as a farm.
Mrs. Godshalk stated the citizens are still paying for this land. She stated the Farmland Preservation Corporation land has been paid for by developers. Mr. Conti stated they would not sell the Patterson Farm as it belongs to the Township. He stated the Farmland Preservation Corporation is an arm of the Township, and the Board of Supervisors appoints the Directors. Mrs. Godshalk stated while the Board does appoint them, they are a private corporation under their own By-Laws, and they could take it to a Referendum. She stated in twenty to forty years people may be so over-taxed that if someone tells them they could sell the ground and get $100 million, they may be interested in this. Mr. Santarsiero stated if this were ever pursued, he feels a majority of the Board of Supervisors would agree to amend the Ordinance to prevent this possibility from happening; and the Board does have it within their power to do that.
Mr. Jim Bray stated he read the Heritage Conservancy Report, and he feels it is quite apparent that there is a need for an overall strategic plan for the six historic properties the Township owns. He stated a decision made on one could clearly impact another, and they cannot make these decisions in a vacuum. He stated if the Township decides that they will retain all the properties, they should consider seriously the position of a Historic Preservation Manager in the Township. He stated one of the problems Townships have who do not have such a position is that it occupies a great deal of time of the Board of Supervisors. He stated if there is an in-house historic expert, a lot of these decisions can be made and advice given to the Board of Supervisors.
Ms. Virginia Torbert,
Mrs. Godshalk stated they are working on the Elm Lowne
springhouse. Mr. Santarsiero stated this
project is going slowly. Mrs. Godshalk
stated the individual who was working on this retired, and no one has picked
this up yet. She stated the people
involved in the program do have to do on-site preservations, so this will be
picked up again. Ms. Torbert stated
possibly they could enter into a similar arrangement to have some of the people
Mr. Sam Stewart stated he is farming the Patterson Farm, and it does serve a lot of good uses. He noted the use of the property for the leaves does save the Township money. He stated someone may want to rent the house. He stated he is paying the Township for
renting the ground. He stated it would be nice if they were able to stop houses from ever being built on the property.
Mr. Jeff Marshall stated one option is that the Board of Supervisors could consider rolling the Patterson Farm into the County/State Agricultural Preservation Program and putting the County/State Conservation Easement on it to preclude all the negative things they have discussed. He stated if it is placed within the County/State Agriculture Program, the Conservation Easement would be held by the County and the State which would restrict future use. He also stated while they would need to be careful as to how this is done, they could approach the head of this Program, to see if there is any interest in the County purchasing the Development Rights for the property. He stated the Township could also donate the Development Rights. He stated he would be happy to be involved in this. Mr. Marshall stated he feels this property would be highly rated. Mrs. Godshalk stated the property is not yet paid for. She stated the Development Rights may be worth less than the Township owes on the land. Mr. Marshall stated they could sell the Development Rights to the County. He stated the funds would come back to the Township for doing what they have said they want to do. Mr. Marshall stated he feels it is worth investigating.
Mr. Marshall stated he agrees the Patterson Farm should be addressed in context with other properties the Township owns, and he would be willing to work toward this goal. He stated they also need to consider separating the viability of the Patterson Farm as a farm from the viability of the historic buildings as farm-related buildings and consider if they have a role in modern faming. He stated ideally this would be the best use, but he is not sure that they do have a role in modern farming. He stated they need to look at it as a working farm and secondly as a collection of historic resources which ideally would be used in farming, but which for a lot of reasons, may not be appropriate uses for them. He stated he feels they need to decide what they can then do to keep them economically viable. He stated he has heard the term “protect from future development” and he is not sure what that means. He asked if they mean no buildings of any sort and no agricultural buildings that might be used in modern agriculture or do they mean no subdivision or residential units. He stated they must consider what are acceptable changes to the landscape that would not impact their vision, but may help keep it economically viable. He stated farming has changed over the years and will continue to do so. He stated they need input from the farmers on this.
Mr. Santarsiero stated he feels to move this forward, they should get Mr. Stewart, as the current farmer, to meet with Mr. Conti, Mr. Marshall, and the Board of Supervisors and begin the discussion in terms of fleshing out some of the details and begin to formulate a Plan; but do so in the context of a larger strategic plan. He stated he does not want to see their ability to develop a plan for Patterson Farm delayed too much because they have an issue with some of the buildings on the property, and they do not want to be in a demolition by neglect situation where they lose one of the buildings.
Mr. Stainthorpe stated in conjunction with including this in the Agricultural Protection Zone, they previously discussed getting the properties on the Historic Register; and he feels they need to encourage the Historic Commission to proceed with this as quickly as possible. Mr. Santarsiero agreed and stated they should ask the Historic Commission to move ahead with this. He stated he feels a representative of the Historic Commission should also be included in the discussions they will have because of the nature of the houses. Mrs. Godshalk stated they already know that the Patterson Farm has been determined eligible by the State. Mrs. Godshalk stated the Historic Commission is made up of volunteers, and she feels the Township needs to take the initiative on this matter.
Mr. Fedorchak stated the Historic Commission is currently
very involved with
Mrs. Godshalk moved to hire them to do the Patterson Farm. The Motion died for lack of a Second.
Mr. Smith stated he feels Mr. Marshall has a proposal to present to the Board and they can then consider Mrs. Godshalk’s Motion but in a broader scope.
Mr. Marshall stated there were seven recommendations in the Study which he prepared. He stated one was that there be a Heritage Commission or an expanded Historic Commission to act as a unified body that is charged with helping the Board of Supervisors work with the historic resources collectively. He stated the Heritage Conservancy would help with this process and provide technical assistance and follow through. He stated they also feel there is a need for a comprehensive plan. He stated if some of the properties are to be conveyed or have additional protection, they would help with appropriate easements either through the County program, or sell other historic resources to insure that they are protected. He stated Township ownership is not the only way to protect structures.
Mrs. Godshalk stated this matter was not on the Agenda; and people were told that this would not be on the Agenda, and they did not have to attend this evening. She noted specifically Elm Lowne.
Mr. Stainthorpe stated Mr. Marshall has made a proposal to provide services to the Township. He stated he does not feel they are deciding tonight that they will have a Heritage Commission, etc., but they should decide whether or not to retain the Heritage Conservancy.
Mr. Marshall stated the two remaining items are work on educational programs and National Register nominations for the properties the Board sees fit.
Mr. Stainthorpe moved, Mr. Smith seconded and it was unanimously carried to retain the Heritage Conservancy as a historic consultant, leaving specifics to a future meeting, and retain them at the rates in the proposal with an amount not to exceed $12,500.
Mr. Santarsiero stated they will discuss in the future what they would like to do and when. Mr. Santarsiero stated he feels they should begin by having a meeting with the Board of Supervisors, Mr. Conti, a representative of the Historic Commission,
Mr. Stewart, and Mr. Fedorchak to discuss the issues raised this evening and develop a preliminary plan as to how they want to proceed.
PATTERSON FARM – DISCUSSION OF LEAF DISPOSAL AND RECYCLING PROGRAM
Mr. Santarsiero stated a few months ago a concern was raised by some of the farmers about the potential negative impacts of the leaves being disposed by the Township on the Patterson Farm. He stated they received information including a memo from Mr. Coyne which details the current leaf disposal practice at Patterson Farm. He stated they also received an e-mail from a representative of the Penn State Extension which discussed some of the impact of the leaves being spread on the Farm.
Mr. Coyne was present and stated he worked with Mr.
Patterson for approximately forty years; and he stated if the practice was not
in the best interest of the Farm, Mr. Patterson would not have agreed to
it. Mr. Coyne stated over the years, the
volume of leaves has increased as the Township has developed. He stated after the Township purchased the
Farm, they continued this program. He
stated they are scrutinized by DEP who has been on the property at least once a
year and sometimes more. He stated he
has also obtained Grants from DEP amounting to over $1 million. He stated they would not give the Township
this amount of money if the Township were doing something wrong. He stated for fifteen years, they have
received Grants from the DEP who is supporting them with leaf machines,
spreaders, tub grinders, and other equipment.
He stated he has been told by DEP that in two years, the landfill at Falls will be filled.
He stated they are considering transport of the trash to the strip mines
which will be very costly. Mr. Coyne stated
when he first started recycling with Mr. Patterson, he started it in his garden and it grew from there. Mr. Coyne stated there were suggestions about putting some of the leaves on the Farmland Preservation land, and he feels this has merit. He stated he does not feel they are ruining the land. He stated they should lime every two years, and this is the responsibility of the farmer. He stated they are also finding other uses for the material they grind.
Mr. Santarsiero stated he did discuss this matter with the representative from Penn State Extension after he received the e-mail, and he stated they should be concerned with a nutrient problem which might exist as well as a soil structure problem. He stated the individual advised that he had given Mr. Coyne the test sampling kits to test the soil.
He stated the representative also indicated that while he has less expertise in this matter, there is a potential when leaves are being spread for many years, that you could potentially get a layering of soil that from a soil structure standpoint is not good because it effects how the water travels through the soil. He indicated that this analysis is more in depth, and he does not have the expertise to do this. He did indicate that the process of deep mixing the leaves on the site is something that would tend to minimize potential soil structure problems. Mr. Santarsiero stated he is not sure how it is being done. The
representative also noted that from his visual inspection of the site, he felt it looked good. Mr. Santarsiero stated given the length of time the leaves have been deposited on the Farm, this may warrant some further investigation.
Mr. Coyne stated Mr. Patterson did use sub soil which is a device that goes deep and helps to mix. He stated the renters typically do not do this because of the cost. He stated they are not getting the crops they used to get; and if a farmer does not sell their product directly through a farm stand, it is difficult because the cost to produce the commodities is not what it used to be and the cost to produce them has gone up.
Mr. Santarsiero asked what is the depth of leaves deposited on the ground currently, and
Mr. Coyne stated they are putting them on heavy because of the maturity of the trees. He stated he feels they could put some on the Farmland Preservation Corporation properties because some of that ground is poor. Mr. Santarsiero stated the information they received from the Penn State Extension indicated that they should not put it down deeper than 6”; and he is concerned because of the amount of leaves they have to dispose of, they may be putting down too many leaves. He stated he has discussed with Mr. Conti the possibility of taking some of the leaves that they are currently depositing on the Patterson Farm and bringing them to some of the Farmland Preservation properties as a way of relieving the situation at Patterson Farm and also as a way to provide more nutrients to the soil at the other farms. Mr. Coyne stated he would be willing to do this provided they can get in there with their equipment. He noted some of these are small parcels; and if the area is not wide enough, it is difficult to access. He stated he has also mixed it with yard waste which results in good mulch. He stated at the Patterson Farm they do keep equipment on the property to help with this operation.
Mr. Conti stated in the leases for the Farmland Preservation properties, there is a provision that they may be asked to accept leaves; but the Township has never seen fit to provide leaves to the Farmland Preservation Corporation properties. He also suggested that they look at other areas where there is open space available such as at the Snipes Tract which would give a large area to work with to compost.
Mr. Santarsiero stated the Farmland Preservation properties are small; but he asked if there are some which would be well suited for deliveries of leaves coming in. Mr. Conti stated he does feel there are some, such as those that are over thirty acres. He agreed most of them are smaller than this.
Mr. Stainthorpe stated he feels the Board of Supervisors is
micromanaging the farmers. He feels Mr.
Coyne needs to work with the individual from
Mr. Santarsiero stated he feels it is important that they make sure that all parties are comfortable that all the facts are on the table and nothing is being glossed over. He stated they should also have an understanding of the issues and what the potential solutions might be. He agreed that the details will not be worked out this evening. He stated the Board does need to have information on what is being done and what might be feasible. He stated he feels the next step would be to get Mr. Conti, Mr. Stewart, and Mr. Coyne to consider what can be done. He stated they should also have the nutrient test done. They can then consider if the soil structure analysis should be done as well. He stated they must consider how they will be comfortable that they are taking a sufficient number of loads and diverting them from the Patterson Farm to make sure that there will not be a problem. He stated to do this, they need to know the extent of the potential problem at the Patterson Farm and determine other options and the capacity of the other farms. He stated they do not want to create problems at the other farms either.
Mr. Santarsiero asked Mr. Coyne to proceed with the analysis of the soil nutrients. He stated they may also want to have the Penn State Extension representative come back and look at the soils and determine if they want to have the structural analysis done.
Mr. Santarsiero asked that Mr. Conti meet with Mr. Coyne to determine how many loads could reasonably be diverted to the Farmland Preservation properties without putting a burden on those properties. He asked that Mr. Stewart and the other farmers be involved in that discussion as well.
Mr. Ken Stewart stated there are Farmland Preservation lands that could be considered. He stated he does feel they need to do the soil structure. He stated they are looking into everything they can do to improve Patterson Farm. He stated he does feel some of the leaves should be sent to the Farmland Preservation Corporation land which would help that land as well.
Mr. Santarsiero asked Mr. Coyne and Mr. Stewart to report back to the Board of Supervisors within a week or two.
Mrs. Godshalk stated when she made the Motion to give the Heritage Conservancy the job of registering the Patterson Farm, she was cut off and no one would second her Motion. She stated when the proposal came up for the historic property technical assistance consulting, Mr. Santarsiero stated they should have all the facts on the table. She stated she did not get the information on the matter now being discussed and found out from Mr. Stainthorpe that this came by e-mail today yet it was discussed this evening. She stated she objects to this and feels things that are not on the Agenda should not be brought up. She stated she was not in her office today so she did not have an opportunity to read the e-mail. Mrs. Godshalk stated this item was not on the Agenda and it is being discussed and voted on. Mr. Santarsiero stated he had no control over the document being referred to by Mrs. Godshalk and saw it for the first time today as everyone else did. Mrs. Godshalk stated if this was the case, it should not have been brought up since it was not on the Agenda. She stated people who are involved in this are not present this evening.
Mr. Fedorchak stated he had asked Mr. Marshall for a proposal last week and asked if he could attend the meeting this evening because of what he anticipated would be on the Agenda. He stated as soon as Mr. Marshall got him the proposal, which was this morning, he immediately e-mailed it to the Board of Supervisors. He stated it was not something Mr. Santarsiero or any other Board member specifically asked for. He stated he felt they had discussed this previously in terms of getting the Heritage Conservancy involved beyond the Report in order to assist the Township with historic properties.
Mrs. Godshalk stated she agrees with what is being proposed, but does not feel it should have been brought up this evening as it was not on the Agenda and all the people involved were not aware of it.
A short recess was taken at this time. The meeting was reconvened at
RENEWABLE ENERGY PRESENTATION AND MOTION TO APPROVE PURCHASE OF ENERGY FROM PECO WIND
Mr. Stainthorpe stated there is concern with the price of energy as well as the Country’s dependence on foreign oil, and President Bush in his State of the Union Address discussed developing renewable energy sources. Mr. Stainthorpe stated he serves on the Board of the Bucks County Water and Sewer Authority and met Mr. Byron Woodman from Community Energy through that organization where he made a proposal that they consider powering some percentage of the treatment plants with wind energy; and they proceeded to move forward with such a proposal. Mr. Stainthorpe stated he felt this was also a way the Township could make a contribution to reducing the Country’s
dependence on foreign oil and take a leadership position for the Township citizens.
He stated this will not require them to build a wind farm in
Mr. Byron Woodman provided packets for the Board this
evening which includes general information regarding Community Energy. Mr. Woodman stated he has been with Community
Energy for over four years. He stated they are committed to building new wind
farms and reaching out to the voluntary market to end-use customers who are interested
in having some of their energy supplied by regional wind farms and taking those
purchases and building the next wind farm.
He stated currently their largest customers include the State of
Mr. Woodman stated they started with a few turbines in
Mr. Woodman stated the value proposition is to reach out to entities that have an environmental component in their Mission Statement and enable them to source some of their supply from regional wind farms. Mr. Woodman stated there is an interest in renewable energy and regional wind energy because it is a domestic source and does not rely on foreign sources of fuel. He stated this program enables each institution to purchase based on their own budget and environmental objectives. He stated the residential customers pay approximately $5 per month.
Mr. Stainthorpe stated he looked at the Township’s energy
budget for the year, and they are spending approximately $267,000 on
electricity. He would like to propose
for the Board’s consideration, taking 10% of this and switching it to wind
energy. He stated
program grow and the further it grows, the bigger the difference it will make as to the Country’s energy independence.
Mr. Stainthorpe moved, and Mr. Caiola seconded to approve
buying 10% of the Township’s energy from PECO Wind which would power
Mrs. Godshalk asked how they will realize savings, and Mr. Stainthorpe stated they will actually pay a little more.
Mr. Santarsiero asked if they enter into partnerships with
utility companies and sell their energy through the utility company. Mr. Woodman stated their goal is to build
more wind farms. He stated in this part
of the Country wind energy does cost more.
He stated the financial model they use to build the new wind farms is
called a Renewable Energy Certificate Model.
He stated when the wind is blowing and the turbine is spinning it
generates two commodities – one is sold into the electric grid at the spot
market rates and the other is the Renewable Energy Certificate; and this is a
one-to-one ratio. He stated the
Certificate approximates the delta in cost between the spot market rates and
the cost of having electricity come from the wind farm. He stated their model is two-fold – one to
work with large institutional customers to make large block purchases and the
other model is to work through utilities for the residential component. Mr. Santarsiero stated he understands that
under Pennsylvania law, the major utility companies have to provide some
percentage of their energy from renewable sources, and Mr. Woodman stated there
is an alternative portfolio standard; but he does not believe it has gone into
effect yet. He stated this will mandate
utilities to source some of their energy from renewable supply; however, the
voluntary market such as end retail customers are
really the ones that have driven to date the development of new wind farms in
Mr. Smith asked the standards in other States, and Mr.
Woodman stated each has its own portfolio standards which include a Tier 1
component which is the premier renewable sources such as wind and solar and a
Tier 2 component which can include bio mass, etc. He stated each State, given its own internal
resources, can frame up the portfolio to meet their own needs. He stated in
Mr. Smith asked Mr. Stainthorpe how he came up with the 10% figure, and
Mr. Stainthorpe stated when he looked at Macclesfield energy costs, they were 10%.
Mr. Woodman stated it is 2.54 cents per kilowatt hour so if
they were to power the Community Pool 100%, this would equal approximately a
24% purchase for the Township and would come to close to $900 a month. The cost differential would be approximately
$450 between going from
Mr. Smith asked Mr. Stainthorpe if he is familiar with any
other Townships that have done this. Mr.
Stainthorpe stated he is not aware of any in
Mr. Santarsiero asked if they are entering into a Contract, and Mr. Woodman stated they are entering into a Purchase Order so the energy bill they get will be the same as that which they currently get which would show generation distribution; however, one of the line items would be wind energy/renewable energy; and this will not fluctuate from month to month but is based on a block amount. Mr. Woodman stated they would look at the overall energy usage and take either the 10% or 100% for one account number and assign that to be from the wind energy source. Mr. Woodman stated this would be on a month- to-month basis. Mr. Santarsiero stated they could therefore decide in the future whether they want to increase, decrease, or stop it since they are not locked in. He stated he feels they should approve the Motion at 10% and then look at it further to decide what might make sense in terms of increasing it in the future. They could then have another public discussion to see where they are. Mrs. Godshalk stated while this is an issue for the taxpayers, it is also building for the future. Mr. Santarsiero stated he feels it has fallen on the local and State Governments to take the lead on this issue. Mr. Stainthorpe stated it is also important to consider the Country’s dependency on foreign oil which also impacts the Country’s foreign policy and other issues.
Mr. Truelove asked what would be required if they decide to change their percentage, and
Mr. Woodman stated they would sign another Purchase Order which would then override the existing Purchase Order.
Mr. Smith asked if the price of fuel goes up, would the wind energy price rise, and
Mr. Woodman stated it is 2.54 cents on top of the kilowatt hour they are paying. He stated the cost can increase, but it would never increase at a greater rater than it would otherwise increase. He added the PUC has approved the 2.54 cent price as the tariff price for PECO wind.
May 17, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 16 of 25
Mr. Zachary Rubin commended Mr. Stainthorpe for this
proactive Motion. He stated while the
intent is laudable, he would urge that they vote against this. He stated when PECO built nuclear plants,
they went to the security market for venture capital and raised the money
through selling of stock. He stated they
raised a lot of money and when PECO was deregulated, those costs were put on
the customers. He stated he believes
that wind, solar, and other sources are the way to go, but he feels it is
unacceptable that PECO has to go to Community Energy to build this and PECO
should be required by the PUC to have their own farms. Mr. Woodman stated Community Energy’s
effectiveness at building new wind farms in
Mr. James Bray stated he feels this proposal makes a great deal of sense. He stated the real price of gas also involves the price of cleaning up the air. He stated he received an application in his utility bill and is going to sign up personally as well.
Motion carried unanimously.
DISCUSSION OF ENERGY SAVING PROGRAM AND REVIEW OF TOWNSHIP FERTILIZER PROGRAM
Mr. Santarsiero stated he did discuss the renewable energy proposal with the Environmental Advisory Council and Mr. Bray and the EAC are going to put together a list of initiatives they would like to present to the Board of Supervisors at some time in the future. He stated preliminarily they are considering two items they feel make sense for the Board of Supervisors one of which is renewable energy and the other is conserving energy which would cut costs and also help the environment. He stated the EAC is also interested in seeing the Board of Supervisors consider the Township’s use of fertilizers including the amount and types of fertilizers that are used on the Township properties. He stated there has been a trend over the years to move toward organic fertilizers to minimize the impact on the environment and potentially the Township may be interested in doing this as well.
Mr. Bray was present and stated the EAC is proposing an extensive energy audit of all Township resources. He stated there are a number of audit groups in the area, and he feels the estimates to do an audit would not be very high. He stated the results he has
May 17, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 17 of 25
seen are startling. He stated he was previously involved with the Bucks County Opportunity Council who has energy auditors on staff and one of their functions was to go out and conduct extensive energy audits of residences and make recommendations which added up to an appreciable amount of money in cost savings. Mr. Bray stated he or someone else on the EAC through their networking could find out who does this type of work and have them contact the Township to make an appointment and make a proposal.
Mr. Bray stated with regard to the use of pesticides and
fertilizers, they do not know what is being done currently by the
Township. He stated they would like to
find out what the Township is currently doing and determine if there is a
better way to do it. He stated there is
a strong movement in the
Mr. Santarsiero stated he does not feel either of these tasks require a Motion and he asked that the EAC proceed with both of these. He asked that they come back to the Board of Supervisors with the individual who could conduct the audit with respect to the energy use and what the costs might be. He asked that the EAC work with Ms. Liney on the issue of fertilizers and pesticides used in the Township. Mr. Fedorchak asked that
Mr. Bray contact Ms. Liney, Mr. Coyne, and Mr. Damcott for the Golf Course. Mr. Bray stated their initial reaction is to leave the Golf Course alone right now and look at the other Township facilities until they gain some experience and they would then look at the Golf Course. Mr. Santarsiero stated they did discuss this at the EAC meeting and noted they do have a great concern that the Golf Course succeed, and they want to see how this might work elsewhere before they look at the Golf Course. He stated he feels the EAC should also come up with some information for the Board of Supervisors about the organic alternatives, the costs, and how they compare n terms of the job they do both with respect to fertilizer and pesticides. Mr. Bray stated they will consider the cost/benefit relation. He stated they will make recommendations as to where they feel the Township should go.
Mr. Stainthorpe stated he does feel that whatever they do should be balanced and they should look at all the sides. He noted not all chemicals are bad chemicals. Mr. Caiola agreed and stated he did work for a manufacturer for many years and as they had to change the way they made things, they found that while the materials were environmentally sound, they were purchasing twice as much because they were not as effective. He stated he feels the Board is looking for a very comprehensive study.
Mr. Santarsiero stated the energy efficiency analysis is not just what is done in the Township buildings, but also with the Township vehicles. He noted the Township has a large fleet of vehicles, and they should consider whether it is cost effective to purchase
May 17, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 18 of 25
hybrids or if, it is not cost effective, is there some number at which they might be comfortable doing it, knowing that they are doing something good for the environment even though the cost might be a little greater to the Township since it is not only the cost of gasoline but also what is being done to the environment and the cost to clean this up.
Mr. Santarsiero thanked the EAC for all the work they are doing.
AUTHORIZE ADVERTISEMENT OF AN ORDINANCE REGULATING THE
Mr. Truelove stated Mr. Magyar has drafted, and Mr. Truelove has modified tonight with the assistance of Chief Coluzzi, a proposed Ordinance which would restrict as a permitted use in the C-3 District only, the sale of fireworks as defined in the Ordinance. He stated what are excluded from the definition are the ground and hand-held sparkler devices, novelties, and toy caps; and the sale of these would not be restricted since many stores currently sell these. He stated all other fireworks would be impacted by this and limited to the Zoning District that is referenced. He stated there would be dimensional requirements and such use would not be permitted to be located within 500 feet of any premises selling alcohol, liquors, malt or brewed beverages, and not to be located within 500 feet of any premises selling gasoline, oil, petrochemicals, etc. They could also not be located within 500 feet of any local or State Park. Notice would have to be given to the Emergency Management Coordinator and the Fire Company. They have also included as an Amendment to that which was discussed earlier, that the operator would have a bonding requirement as well. He stated these derive from applicable State regulations. He stated there is also reference to the American Pyrotechnics Association. He stated they are trying to include as many references that the Township is already recognizing and also that are recognized standards at the State and Federal levels.
Mr. Truelove stated the impetus for this is because
Mr. Santarsiero stated it has come to their attention that
there is the possibility of some sale of fireworks at the Shady Brook Farm
property, although this is not the reason they are proceeding with this. He stated the reason they are proceeding with
this is because of the law which allows people from
Mr. Stainthorpe stated this is already an issue in
Morrisville. He stated there are some
vacant stores in the
C-3 zone. Mr. Stainthorpe stated Shady Brook is zoned Office/Research.
May 17, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 19 of 25
Mr. Santarsiero stated this is another reason why this is not directly in response to that possibility as Shady Brook does have other issues such as from a Zoning standpoint whether they are able to do this.
Mrs. Godshalk stated she is concerned about an office area which may have attached buildings and asked if there should be special construction of the building if they are going to store fireworks. Mr. Truelove noted on page 2 it states “all land development plans for construction, use, or renovation of existing buildings for the purpose of selling fireworks shall be reviewed by the Code Enforcement Officer for compliance” and it goes on to discuss the different Codes. Mrs. Godshalk stated she is not sure whether the Code has covered this as they have not had to consider this previously. She feels this should be updated as well. Mr. Santarsiero stated this is something that the Task Force is going to look into as well. Mr. Truelove stated it does state, “including but not limited to the International Fire Code and the Construction Code Act.” He agreed to follow up on this.
Mr. Santarsiero stated he feels they should authorize advertisement of the Ordinance this evening and if passed, they could amend it in the future; but he is concerned that currently it is possible someone could come in and set this use up and the Township wants to be protected from this as soon as possible.
Mr. Smith moved and Mr. Caiola seconded to authorize advertisement of an Ordinance regulating the sale of fireworks within the Township.
Mr. Smith stated they do not want to deprive anyone from making a profit; but they do not want the profit motive to override common sense.
Mr. Bray asked if they cannot prohibit the sale of fireworks
Mr. Santarsiero stated it is a use for which they have to provide. Mr. Truelove stated there are State laws that do allow for the sale of fireworks, but the State does permit the Municipalities to reasonably regulate where the fireworks can be sold. Mr. Santarsiero stated they are not zoning it out of existence, but are trying to minimize the impact if such a use were to come into the Township.
Ms. Karen Friedman asked if they have been allowing the sale
of fireworks all along, and Mr. Truelove stated it is a more recent development
because of what is happening in
May 17, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 20 of 25
Mr. Coluzzi stated they have been working on this for a month trying to get the Ordinance as restrictive as possible. He stated they feel this is the best they can do, and they cannot overturn State law.
Ms. Virginia Torbert asked if the Ordinance deals only with the sale of fireworks or does it also include language on the use of fireworks. Mr. Coluzzi stated use of fireworks is a different statute under State law. He stated this Ordinance deals only with the sale of fireworks. Ms. Torbert asked if it is legal for Pennsylvania residents to use fireworks; and Mr. Coluzzi stated while it is, it must be permitted and regulated by the State and also by any other Township Ordinances that are in place, such as Zoning, Police, public safety, etc. Ms. Torbert asked if an individual is permitted to set off fireworks on their property, and it was noted they are not.
Ms. Friedman asked if there is a maximum number of retailers that are permitted to do this. Mr. Truelove stated it is limited to the C-3 Zone, and there are dimensional requirements so it would not be possible to have a significant number in the C-3 area given the dimensional limitations.
Motion carried unanimously.
POSTPONEMENT OF CONSIDERATION OF AN ORDINANCE MANAGING TOWNSHIP RIGHTS OF WAY AND ESTABLISHING RENTAL FEES
Mr. Santarsiero stated there was discussion about this matter in Executive Session and the Board decided that they will postpone this matter until June 7, 2006.
Mr. Caiola moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to postpone this matter until June 7, 2006.
AUTHORIZE ADVERTISING AMENDED ORDINANCE RESTRICTING HOURS FOR TRASH COLLECTION WITHIN THE TOWNSHIP
Mr. Santarsiero stated they voted on this at the last meeting. It is on the Agenda again this evening because they had some revisions to the Ordinance as discussed at the last meeting and wanted to carefully follow the procedure for enacting the Ordinance. They are re-authorizing advertisement with the changes made so it is clear what the Ordinance says.
Mrs. Godshalk moved, Mr. Caiola seconded and it was unanimously carried to authorize advertisement of the amended Ordinance restricting hours for trash collection within the Township.
May 17, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 21 of 25
CANAL INTERCEPTOR REPAIR/REHABILITATION PROJECT – APPROVAL OF HIRING CKS ENGINEERS, INC TO PERFORM ENGINEERING SERVICES AND AWARD CONTRACT FOR INSTALLATION OF SILT FENCING
Mr. Fedorchak stated they are recommending hiring CKS, Inc. to perform all construction management and construction inspection services pursuant to the Phase I Canal Interceptor Rehabilitation Project. He stated they recently awarded the Contract for this and anticipate starting work shortly. CKS did perform the design, and it is therefore logical to hire them for the final phases. He stated the amount would be $135,000 for all services.
Mr. Stainthorpe moved and Mrs. Godshalk seconded to hire CKS Engineers, Inc. to perform engineering services in the amount of $135,000.
Mr. Caiola asked how the Budget will be impacted, and Mr. Fedorchak stated these costs will come out of the Bond issue.
Motion carried unanimously.
With regard to the silt fencing, Mr. Hoffmeister stated
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has identified habitat that is sufficient
to support the red-bellied turtle which is an endangered species in the Eastern
portion of the
Mr. Stainthorpe moved, Mr. Caiola seconded and it was unanimously carried to award the contract for installation of silt fencing along the canal to Land-Tech Enterprises, Inc. in the amount of $64,900.
ZONING HEARING BOARD
Mr. Truelove stated with regard to the Diane and Steven Bullard, 110 Ovington Road, Variance request to allow greater than permitted filling of steep slopes and planting in the Natural Resource area, the Board has indicated they would permit the Variance if it is determined by the Solicitor after research to see whether a restriction can be assessed regarding no further subdivision of the parcel. He stated they will report back to the Board on this.
With regard to the Michael and Colleen Attara,
May 17, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 22 of 25
encroachment due to non-conformity, it was agreed to leave this matter to the Zoning Hearing Board.
With regard to the Raul Lopez and Sara Sordo, Variance request to construct an addition and allow existing walkway resulting in grater than permitted impervious surface, it was agreed to leave this matter to the Zoning Hearing Board.
With regard to the Y-Knot Knit,
Mr. Santarsiero stated he would like HARB to deal with this situation as quickly as possible in terms of their review and to verify that this review is taking place simultaneously with the review by the Zoning Hearing Board.
Mr. Santarsiero reported on the upcoming Hazardous Waste
Recycling Collection to be held in the Township. He stated they are on schedule for the next
Newsletter toward the end of June, and
the Board will receive a draft of this early next week. He stated they will make appointments to the
Citizens Traffic Commission this evening; and he will, as liaison, schedule the
first meeting. He stated the next
meeting of the Southeastern Bucks League of Municipalities will be held May 31
at 7:30 p.m. at the
Mr. Smith stated he and Mr. Caiola will attend the Regional Traffic Task Force on
May 31. He stated the
Historic Commission is working on the
Mr. Caiola stated the Cable TV Advisory Council met and celebrated the service of Elliott Paul, the current Chairman, who has served on the Council for twenty years.
May 17, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 23 of 25
Mr. Stainthorpe stated the Philadelphia Section of the PGA came to the last Golf Committee meeting and made a brief presentation on renovating the manor house and using it for their offices. He stated while a significant amount of work still needs to be done, he feels this may happen. He stated the Golf Committee voted unanimously to continue discussions with them. Once their numbers and Plans are finalized, they will come before the Board of Supervisors. Mr. Stainthorpe stated they will have their VIP day on June 7 at the Golf Course which has been a very successful event. He stated any of the Supervisors who attend will have to leave early because the next Supervisors’ meeting is that evening. He stated the reason they had to have it that day was because there were no other dates available as outings were booked every other date in June.
Mrs. Godshalk stated the PGA was present a few years ago, and it is a good sign that they are back and are interested as it appears they have looked elsewhere and have not seen anything as attractive. Mr. Stainthorpe stated another benefit of this which was not clear up front is that they run some Tournaments – such as lower level PGA Tours; and if the headquarters is at the Course, there is a good chance that they may get one or two of the Tournaments and many times, the host Course can make approximately $350,000 from these Tournaments. He stated this would be a potential source of revenue which had not been anticipated.
Mrs. Godshalk stated there was recent publicity on the Airlines
Pilots bike ride across the
APPROVAL OF 2006-2007 FUEL BIDS
Mr. Fedorchak reviewed the staff recommendations for fuel bids which have been clarified since the last meeting of the Board.
Mrs. Godshalk moved, Mr. Caiola seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the 2006-2007 Fuel bids as recommended by Mr. Fedorchak.
APPROVE GRANTING EXTENSION OF TIME FOR FERRI TRACT PRELIMINARY PLAN
Mrs. Godshalk moved, Mr. Caiola seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve granting extension of time for the Ferri Tract Preliminary Plan until August 6, 2006.
May 17, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 24 of 25
APPROVAL OF RESOLUTION NO. 2117 AUTHORIZING THE DESTRUCTION OF CERTAIN SPECIFIC RECORDS
Mr. Stainthorpe moved and Mrs. Godshalk seconded to approve Resolution No. 2117.
Mr. Santarsiero stated if approved this would permit destruction of 1998 Sewer Billing records as well as 1998 and 1999 Accounts Payable records, Accounts Payable files from 1998, Invoice Entry from 1998, Invoice Maintenance from 1998, Purchase Orders and Proofs from 1998, Sewer Invoices from 1999, and Vendor Maintenance from 1999.
Motion carried unanimously.
APPOINTMENTS TO BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS
Mr. Santarsiero stated Yardley Borough has asked that
Mr. Santarsiero moved, Mr. Smith seconded and it was unanimously carried to appoint Greg Caiola as the Liaison.
Mr. Santarsiero stated he also should have appointed another Liaison to the Pension Committee earlier in the year and he announced the appointment of Ron Smith to this position.
Mr. Caiola moved, Mr. Stainthorpe seconded and it was unanimously carried to appoint the following to the Citizens Traffic Commission: Virginia Torbert, Sue Herman, Art Cohn, Richard D’Avino, Scott Weaner, Bruce McClish, and Gary Gilman.
Mr. Smith asked Mr. Fedorchak if they found any space in the
May 17, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 25 of 25
Mr. Smith moved, Mr. Caiola seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 10:30 p.m.
Greg Caiola, Secretary