BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
MINUTES – SEPTEMBER 6, 2006
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
Others: Terry Fedorchak, Township Manager
David Truelove, Township Solicitor
James Majewski, Township Engineer
Kenneth Coluzzi, Chief of Police
SPECIAL PRESENTATION - OFFICER TIMOTHY REEVES
Chief Coluzzi stated Timothy Reeves has been a Lower
Makefield Township Police Officer for eight years. He stated he joined the U.S. Army Reserves in
1995 and was called to active duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom,
Officer Reeves presented to the Chief a flag for the Police
Department which was flown in
Mr. Richard Adams,
September 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 2 of 30
Ms. Alison Smith complimented the Township on the recent Community Pride Day which was a great event. Mr. Santarsiero thanked all the Township employees and volunteers who helped make this event a reality in a short period of time. He particularly thanked Donna Liney, the head of the Park & Recreation Department, who did a tremendous amount of work putting the event together He also thanked Ron Smith who did a great deal of work putting together Community Pride Day contacting numerous organizations in the area and lining up numerous participants. He stated the event would not have occurred without his leadership. He stated because of the success of this initial event, he is sure that they will be able to have many more community events in the years ahead.
Mr. Smith stated the Township and community stepped up to the task. He also thanked the Chief and the Police Department and the members of the volunteer Boards. He stated many of the organizations were also able to recruit new members. He stated they will have additional Community Pride Days in the years ahead. He also thanked
Mr. Fedorchak, Ms. Liney, Sue Curran and her daughter, Andrea, who ran the bands, and the Yardley News which publicized the event. He also thanked the other Supervisors for their participation. He stated they were able to raise money for a good cause as well. He stated this will be the first of many over the years of a new, great tradition.
Mr. Caiola stated the event exceeded his expectations, and he feels the Township was primed for such an event.
Mr. Santarsiero stated when he suggested in January that they hold such events, he indicated the Township needed to further accentuate the sense of community they have in Lower Makefield and also to forge more of an identify of being residents of Lower Makefield. He feels Community Day was the first step in that direction on which they will be able to build. He noted the Board members received a number of e-mails complimenting the Township on the event. He stated those attending indicated they were able to learn a lot about the various organizations in the Township. He stated a number of people indicated how much they enjoyed the fireworks and hoped that there would also be a Fourth of July event as well.
Mr. Sam Conti stated he received letters from the Office of the Consumer Advocate regarding the Pennsylvania American Water Company. He stated a number of years ago, the Township sold their customer base of water customers to the Pennsylvania American Water Company; and as a result of that, there was a substantial increase in the rates at that time. He stated the Pennsylvania American Water Company sold their interest in the Company to a German Holding Company in 2002. He stated Pennsylvania American is a subsidiary of American Waterworks, and the German Holding Company paid a premium to acquire American Waterworks. He stated the stock market price at that time was $34 and they paid $46. He stated they paid $7.6 billion to acquire American Waterworks. He
stated the German company now wants to divest their ownership of the American Water
September 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 3 of 30
Company and its subsidiaries, and there is an Application being
prepared by the Pennsylvania American Water Company to allow the American
Waterworks to make a stock issue to purchase back the ownership of the Pennsylvania
American Water Company. He stated he has
been unable to find out the price of the shares that the German company is
asking; but whatever the price may be, it may have an affect on what the
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Mr. Caiola moved, Mr. Stainthorpe seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of August 2, 2006 as written.
APPROVAL OF AUGUST 7, 2006 AND AUGUST 21, 2006 WARRANT LISTS, AND JULY, 2006 PAYROLL
Mr. Caiola moved, Mr. Smith seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the August 7, 2006 and August 21, 2006 Warrant Lists and July, 2006 Payroll as attached to the Minutes.
Mr. Santarsiero stated they have now ended the season for the Pool, and it appears that the Pool will once again take in as much as they did last year which was $640,000. He thanked Mr. Brad Sharp who has been the Pool Manager for the last twenty years and has now retired.
Mrs. Godshalk announced that they have received a $90,000 U.S Department of Agriculture Forestry Grant. This was a 9-11 Grant made for Memorials. She thanked Mr. Fedorchak for administering the Grant with the help of some other employees and volunteers. She stated the money was spent beautifying Memorial Park. She stated trees were planted with this money as well as hundred of thousands of dollars of gifts from landscapers to Memorial Park. She stated they will be recognized on the Donor’s Wall.
September 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 4 of 30
UPDATE ON FLOOD RELIEF EFFORTS AND APPROVAL TO SUBMIT LETTER OF INTENT FOR A FEMA/PEMA HAZARD MITIGATION GRANT
Mr. Chris Benosky and Ms. Jeepsi Patel from Schoor DePalma were present.
Mr. Santarsiero stated also present are representatives from Yardley Borough - Joe Hunter, President of Yardley Borough Council and Bill Winslade, Manager.
Mr. Santarsiero stated the Supervisors received today a copy of the report dated 9/6/06 which was put together by Schoor DePalma pursuant to the Board’s direction in July.
He stated Yardley is very interested in knowing what Schoor
DePalma is recommending, and added that
Mr. Benosky stated
they met with members of RAFT, had a site walk with the Board of Supervisors
and a number of residents on 7/22/06, met with Mr. Winslade on 7/28, took
several additional site visits to verify conditions, and attended a meeting
with the northern residents on 8/16/06.
They also had discussions with the Friends of the
Mr. Benosky stated for the purposes of discussion and their report, they broke the Township up into five different study areas. Area 1 is the area north of the Yardley Borough limit up to the Upper Makefield limit, Area 2 consists of Yardley, Area 3 is south of the Yardley Borough limit near the Belmondo Apartments to south of the Rivergate Development, Area 4 is south of the Rivergate Development to south of Richard Road, and Area 5 is south of Richard Road to south of East Ferry Road/Morrisville Municipal boundary.
Mr. Benosky stated in order to define the problem and
develop solutions, they looked at three different River stages – the first
which they call the Low Stage is equivalent to a seventeen foot crest at
Mr. Benosky stated the proposed flood control measures were
evaluated based on two-foot topographic contours which were flown in 1980 for
September 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 5 of 30
Mr. Benosky stated there were no contour maps available for Yardley Borough. He noted a board showing Yardley and stated for this map, they supplemented it with the twenty-foot contours from the USGS mapping.
Mr. Benosky noted the first Map which shows the flood prone
areas for the seventeen foot crest in
He added that the flood walls would only be two to three feet high but anything over a seventeen foot crest would result in water coming over the flood walls.
Mr. Benosky stated the next level of protection that they
looked at was for the twenty-five foot crest.
He stated the only way to protect against this would be a continuous
flood wall around the region, extending from the towpath bank up across
Mr. Benosky stated for Area 1, their recommendation would be buy-outs, elevation, and flood proofing.
Mr. Benosky stated Area 2 is Yardley Borough which is in a naturally low area. He stated in Yardley Borough the River and the Canal meet. He stated the water from the River comes up into the Canal, flows down through Yardley Borough itself, and down into the Belmondo Apartment area. He showed the Conrail Railroad bank which acts as a dam. The water ponds up and breeches into the Canal below Lock Five, comes into the
September 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 6 of 30
Canal, rips through the small opening in the embankment, and
then breeches back out and runs along the Canal itself. He noted these areas on the maps for Areas 3,
4, and 5 where the water meets up with water coming from the low end of the
Township. He stated there is a
substantial area in Area 5 where there is flood storage but the water that
comes down from Yardley Borough and the Belmondo Apartments has nowhere to go;
and there is flooding behind
Mr. Benosky stated they propose trying to take the water
that is coming down through Belmondo from Yardley and try to stop the water from
breeching into the Canal, capture the water from behind the Conrail embankment that
is already acting as a dam, and install a conduit around the Railroad
embankment that allows water to get back to Macclesfield Park without entering
the Canal or going into the low area along the towpath. He stated they are also proposing an earthen
berm that runs along the back side of
He also showed the proposed flood wall along East Ferry and
along the Canal side of
Mr. Benosky stated they also propose a berm behind the residences that back up onto Glen Drive, Ivy, and Manor Lane as well as the enlargement of the Black Rock culvert and the culvert that is adjacent to it around the towpath, along with the backflow prevents that were included in Mr. Majewski’s report.
Mr. Benosky stated there is also a waste gate being evaluated by DCNR which could also help the situation.
Mr. Santarsiero stated what was just discussed was designed to
handle the twenty-five foot flood stage in
September 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 7 of 30
Mr. Stainthorpe noted Area 3 and stated he understands that if they proceeded with the mitigation being recommended, Belmondo would still flood. Mr. Benosky stated his understanding is that it does not usually get to the buildings. He stated they picked the twenty-five foot level as this was what they have been seeing lately and is the middle of the road. He stated they can choose the degree of protection they want to provide for.
Mr. Stainthorpe stated it appears that for Area 1, there does not appear to be much that they can do other than raising the houses or have a buy out. He stated the wall does not seem practical, and Mr. Benosky agreed. Mr. Stainthorpe stated for Areas 3, 4, and 5, there do seem to be some solutions, and Mr. Benosky agreed.
Mr. Santarsiero asked if this contemplates flooding still happening in Belmondo on the north side of the train berm, what would this mean for the rest of Yardley Borough.
He asked if what is being proposed will afford any relief
for Yardley Borough or exacerbate the problems they already have. Mr. Benosky
stated whatever they do will not exacerbate the problems in Yardley Borough and
the conduit will be sized so that they pass enough water so that they do not
back any additional water upstream. He
stated they were unable to design anything for Yardley Borough as they did not
have accurate topo data. Mr. Santarsiero
stated he understands that this was not specifically in the scope of their work,
but he did want to make sure that whatever
Mr. Stainthorpe asked if the control measures for Areas 3, 4, and 5 work independent of each other or do all have to be done; and Mr. Benosky stated doing them all together would the be ultimate solution, but the each piece can help somewhat at different levels of flooding. Mr. Stainthorpe stated when he reviewed the report it was obvious it would be very expensive; and if they did the work recommended in Areas 4, 3, and 5, it would cost $15 million which the Township could not afford, and they would have to have significant help from the State and Federal levels if they were to proceed. Mr. Benosky stated in the FEMA Application, there is an opportunity to apply to them for this kind of help.
Mr. Santarsiero stated in July when they first commissioned the study, one of the reasons they wanted to do this so quickly was because they expected the cost would be something beyond that which the Township could afford, and they would have to look to PEMA and FEMA. He stated they must decide what they want to do, and they can then make the Application for funding. Mr. Benosky stated when they get to final design, they can fine tune the cost and do some value engineering. He stated there are a number of ways they can do each of the projects.
September 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 8 of 30
Mr. Smith asked how realistic it is to expect that they will money from PEMA and FEMA to assist the Township and also asked about the timeframe. Mr. Fedorchak stated at this point it would be difficult to say, but he feels FEMA would be more inclined to take a closer look at buy-outs and elevations, and they would have a good chance to get those funded. He stated he does not feel they would be in favor of a $15 million project. He stated they do have to have the final Application in by the end of the year, and he understands that they would get a decision back to the Township relatively quickly.
Mr. Santarsiero stated in early August, the County invited representatives of the Townships along the River to come to a meeting to discuss funding and what money would likely be forthcoming. He stated he attended this meeting with Hank Hoffmeister and Chief Coluzzi on behalf of the Township. He stated Mr. Winslade was also present. He stated the representative from PEMA stated it was primarily Federal policy that the State follows; and he indicated that the order of priority is acquisition, elevation, and then structural changes similar to those being discussed this evening. Mr. Santarsiero stated they could try to get them to look at possibly changing this policy and to advocate on behalf of the Township and the other affected Townships to consider these options. He stated there may be others in the lower half of the region who want to have their homes raised, and they know that there are some already who want to put Applications in to that effect. He noted they also should state emphatically and in unison that these other structural solutions should also be seriously considered. Mr. Santarsiero stated when they do start discussing applying for funds, they should consider how they will do this procedurally – whether it is with the County, which is what was recommended at the County meeting, – or whether they proceed as individual Townships or in concert with one another. He stated they should consider where they stand the better chance of having their needs met.
Mr. Santarsiero noted the idea of having a channel or
culvert around the train tracks and into
Mr. Winslade had suggested more of a culvert that goes out
to the River. Mr. Benosky stated in
order to alleviate the pressures on the Canal, he feels they should investigate
some kind of water control structure which would allow water to get out of the
Canal without going over Lock 5. Mr.
Santarsiero stated when he met with Mr. Winslade on the site, they felt Mr.
Winslade’s idea would not only help solve the problem for
Mr. Hunter thanked Mr. Santarsiero and the other Supervisors for inviting them. He stated this is the biggest issue that faces their communities, and they need to work together. He stated flood waters have no boundaries between Municipalities. He noted the area at the train bridge is a critical spot. Mr. Winslade stated if there is relief in the
September 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 9 of 30
area of Lock 5, he also feels it will help Area 1. He stated if they can lower the Canal by a foot or two, it will lower it north to the previous Lock, north of Woodside Road as well.
Mr. Winslade asked how high the berm would be in
Mr. Winslade asked what storage they would get, but Mr.
Benosky stated they do not have the topos to make this determination. Mr. Winslade stated he feels this would be
key information to know. Mr. Winslade
stated they plow their streets in Yardley after floods and take three to six
inches of mud off the streets and plow it back into the River. He stated he does not feel Mr. Coyne would
want to clean five to ten inches of mud off of
Mr. Santarsiero stated Mr. Winslade had discussed a pipeline alternative, and asked
Mr. Benosky why he chose the option being presented and
asked if it was because they saw Macclesfield Park as an ideal holding
area. Mr. Benosky stated this was a part
of the reason as well as cost as it would be very costly to have a pipeline all
the way through. He stated depending on
how much water they are trying to move, it would be an extremely big pipe. He stated since there were no homes on
Mr. Fedorchak stated it would be helpful in order to fully
assess the impact of the wall on
Mr. Santarsiero stated he recognizes that what they are
proposing for this section is a less expensive alternative; but if they were to
cost out a culvert that ran along the southern side of the railroad tracks out
to the River, this would obviate the need for the berm around
Mr. Hunter stated if they could get the water from Lock 5 to
the River, it will lessen the flooding in
Mr. Santarsiero asked how quickly Mr. Benosky could provide a cost estimate for the alternative Mr. Winslade has recommended. Mr. Winslade stated they have done further investigation, and they feel there could be one or two low-lift pumps. Mr. Benosky stated they need to get better information as to how they can shut the water off. He stated they would need to do something to try to slow down the water. Mr. Winslade stated it only comes over the Canal three to four inches. Mr. Benosky stated they could price out something that goes out to the River by the end of the week.
September 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 10 of 30
A short recess was taken at this time in order to give those present the opportunity to review the maps being displayed. The meeting was reconvened at 8:55 p.m.
Ms. Alison Smith stated she is concerned that there is such a low level of water that keeps impacting them. She stated the level of water that is impacting them is in the three foot level. She feels they should look at requests for eight to ten foot berms as a safety factor. She stated Morrisville has somewhat similar issues and the dike protects the Township, but the low-lying area gets flooded. She stated during the last flood event, Morrisville used pumps to pump water from the Canal directly out to the River and were able to avoid flooding out the lower areas. She stated she feels what is happening is the water that is in the north end is stopped by Afton Road and the Canal water they are dealing with is from the one creek that comes into the Canal and the River comes in above Belmondo and floods the area near the Canal until it gets to the railroad bridge.
Mr. Winslade disagreed. He stated the elevation outside of the Belmondo Apartments is higher than twenty-five feet, and there is no water that comes to Belmondo from the River. Ms. Smith agreed it is not at Belmondo. She stated it is the next set of apartments up. Mr. Winslade stated it does not come in there either. Mr. Winslade stated the biggest contributor to water at Belmondo was a Canal break out and water coming over the top of the Canal. Ms. Smith stated she is basing her comments on people who indicated they were watching it come in from the River. She stated she feels they should get more information. She stated they should consider how to handle the amount of water that flows behind their houses.
Mr. Winslade stated when they provide
Chief Coluzzi stated most of the water that ended up in Belmondo came from the Canal on the breech of the Canal during the last two floods. Ms. Smith stated she disagrees since it was in the detention pond at Belmondo but not in the back. Chief Coluzzi stated during the first flood, when the water came, he was standing in Belmondo in the parking lot, and the water came down from the Canal and into Belmondo’s parking lot. He stated 80% of the water came from the breech on two occasions. Ms. Smith disagreed. She stated she was there also and what she saw was different than what Chief Coluzzi is saying.
Ms. Smith stated they were thinking that there could be pumping stations rather than the more permanent fixes. Ms. Smith asked if they would agree that there is a lot of water coming from Yardley to the Railroad bridge, and Mr. Winslade agreed.
September 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 11 of 30
Ms. Smith stated there is a culvert at
Mr. Smith asked why she is not in favor of the berm. Ms. Smith stated while she is in favor of the
berm, if they could do it without the berm, they will not be held up with
permits, etc. She stated if they could
handle it all by pumping it across Black Rock, and keep it low enough so that
it does not come up their rear yards, she would be in favor of this. She stated
currently it is flowing across
Mr. Benosky noted with regard to the berm that there are some issues with wetlands and some other items they still need to evaluate. He noted Ms. Smith has been a great help throughout their study. Ms. Smith stated she recognizes that they may still need berms.
Mr. Benosky stated Ms. Smith is also discussing temporary pumps, and they did have discussions about different levels of pumping and how much water they would have to pump. He stated pumps would have to be maintained and someone would have to operate them. He stated he feels the culvert enlargement they have proposed would be a more practical, long-term solution. He stated he feels Ms. Smith is discussing a series of portable pumps that could be moved into place in advance of a flood, and Ms. Smith agreed. She stated she feels they would have to have contractors bring these in and maintain them.
Ms. Smith stated she would still like them to consider that
once it gets to
Ms. Smith stated these ideas were what they felt could be done quickly without investing so much money. She stated a buy-out could cost $25 to $30 million and for elevations it could cost $15 to $20 million. She stated a $50,000 average claim for the houses would equal $3 million an event; and if they sell the idea of pumps to FEMA at $3 to $6 million, it would make economic sense if they tried to handle just enough flow so that the houses could handle it with the mini pumps they are using.
September 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 12 of 30
Ms. Joyce Lee,
Mr. Tim Prior,
Ms. Virginia Torbert, Yardley-Newtown Road, noted Area 1 and
stated she does not feel buy out or elevation is an adequate solution as they
are ignoring the infrastructure such as the roads and the crumbling sewer
system. She stated there is also a gas
line in this area. She stated she feels
they must look into something else such as dredging the River or levies. She also asked about the area by
Ms. Torbert stated since this has not been cleaned up, she
does not feel they should be sending gallons of water through a hazardous waste
site. Mr. Fedorchak stated it is not a
hazardous waste site – it is an industrial site. Mr. Benosky stated the berm would be outside
of this site. Ms. Torbert stated she
does not feel the use of
September 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 13 of 30
He stated they felt if it was going to flood anyway, they could use it since there is less there to damage than other areas. He stated they do recognize that repairs would have to be made there, and it would have to be cleaned up.
Mr. Roger Keel,
Mr. Scott Burgess,
Mr. Leonard Shrunk,
Mr. Bill Jones,
September 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 14 of 30
Mr. Benosky stated the flood walls would all have drainage ways with back flow preventers themselves so that any rainwater that fell behind the floodwall would be able to get through any of the low areas and get back to the River. He stated with the flood wall you are providing more storage for the stormwater until the River goes down and the storm water connects it through the cross drains. He stated anything that is done along the River is done under the jurisdiction of the Army Corp of Engineers, and they may not allow what has been proposed.
Ms. Helen Bosley,
Mr. Benosky stated they picked twenty-five feet as this was
something they were able to study with the photos and through discussions with
the residents, and it provided a benchmark.
He stated the levels of protection they are proposing are for
twenty-five feet; and as soon as they get over twenty-five feet, they will be
inundated. Mr. Santarsiero stated this
means it would be twenty-five feet at
Mr. Prior stated he assumes when they put an Application into FEMA it will show phases noting Phase I could be the back flow preventers. Mr. Santarsiero stated the Township is already doing the back-flow preventers which were agreed to previously; and they will consider some additional back-flow preventers which were discussed this evening. He stated they will have to further discuss the Application to FEMA later this evening.
Ms. Joyce Lee asked if they considered, rather than building walls or berms, what could be done with the drainage ditch parallel to the towpath and asked if they could deepen it.
Mr. Benosky stated they tried to shut the water off first and then looked at solutions for which they may be able to obtain Permits. Mr. Benosky stated he feels there would be wetland issues that would have to be addressed, and they did not feel they would be permitted to dredge the wetlands.
Ms. Ann Ronan,
Ms. Alison Smith stated they were first looking at the protection and then looking at prevention. She stated for the houses on the north end where they do get five to six feet,
September 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 15 of 30
she asked what it would take to look at doing the kind of moating that was done by one individual in the area to keep water out since she does not feel elevation and buy-outs are solutions that everyone wants to consider, and the construction of protection devices may be far more feasible and less expensive. She stated the moating would be similar to what was done at the Prior driveway. Mr. Benosky stated there are different levels of flood proofing and they could take the utilities off the first floor and put them on the second floor so that there is less damage to the house, they could build a flood ring around the house, etc.; but they did not go into details as to what could be done at each individual house. He stated they did identify the area where they should look into flood proofing. Mr. Santarsiero stated their scope of work was more toward an area-wide look rather than individual houses.
Mr. Santarsiero thanked Mr. Benosky for the presentation and
suggested that the Board take more time to digest what they have discussed thus
far and that they reconvene a meeting sometime within the next week just to
deal with this issue, decide what engineering ideas to proceed with, and then
go forward with their Letter of Intent to try to secure funding for the design
they decide to pursue. He asked that
Schoor DePalma look at the option of the culvert going across
Mr. Fedorchak stated he already has a good portion of the Letter of Intent put together adding that they know there will be an elevation component, a buy-out component, and they could put in a number for each of these. He stated he could also meet with
Mr. Benosky and decide on some reasonable number at it relates to some of the flood measures. Mr. Benosky stated the Letter of Intent is only a two-page letter with one space for the cost and a few lines for a description. He stated the formal Application would require the details. Mr. Stainthorpe stated he feels the Board should authorize the Letter of Intent and put in the number of $15 million or a figure to be determined.
Mr. Smith stated he agrees that they should not delay the matter.
Mr. Fedorchak stated Schoor DePalma has done a significant
amount of work already and is very familiar with the area and what the needs
are. He stated he feels
September 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 16 of 30
have any objection to
Mr. Santarsiero stated he did not want to delay the matter but rather wanted to have full input before making a decision; and if they feel they have enough information to put together the Letter of Intent, he feels they should proceed but feels they should have some clarity in terms of the number. Mr. Santarsiero stated it appears Areas 3 and 4 would total $8.4 million, and Area 1 depending on which flood stage they are considering could be $10.8 million or $2.7 million. Mr. Stainthorpe stated the estimate for Area 3 is $9.2 million, and Areas 4 and 5 is $4.8 million which brings it to $14 million. This does not take into account Area 1. These are the revised numbers received this evening.
Mr. Santarsiero stated this would also not include the added
cost of a culvert at
Mr. Stainthorpe moved and Mr. Smith seconded to submit a Letter of Intent to FEMA/PEMA with costs to be determined by Mr. Fedorchak and the Township engineer.
Mr. Burgess stated RAFT has a meeting next Tuesday at the Township, and would welcome the attendance of the Township representatives.
Mr. Santarsiero stated the Board will do their best to attend and will have this matter back on their Agenda on September 20; and at that point, they could make a decision as to which engineering alternatives they wish to pursue and have some input from Yardley Borough as well. He invited the Yardley Borough representative to attend that evening as well.
Ms. Bosley asked how much the current engineers’ study cost the Township and how much the additional study will cost. Mr. Benosky stated the additional study he has to do would be included in the costs. Mr. Santarsiero stated the cost of the study was $30,000, and this was approved in July. This additional study would fall within that scope of work.
Motion carried unanimously.
REGIONAL TRAFFIC TASK FORCE UPDATE AND MOTION REGARDING VETERAN’S CEMETERY
Mr. Smith stated approximately one week ago, there was a
meeting of the Regional Traffic Task Force which was held in the
September 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 17 of 30
number of safety concerns which had been pending for some time and were concerned with the delay in moving ahead on some of the projects.
Ms. Sue Herman stated they have been working very hard for
seven years to improve the safety conditions on
By-Pass because of the timing of the lights. She stated residents are enraged and have launched a Website about the dangers that are occurring on those roads.
Mr. Smith stated data was introduced about accidents on the
roads as well as “near misses” which caused him a great deal of alarm. Ms. Herman stated this is why she first
became involved in the organization because of a near miss by a quarry truck
with a busload of children. She stated
many of the people present at the meeting who reside on Worthington Mill were
begging the Task Force not to open
Mr. Fedorchak was asked the status of the opening of
Ms. Caiola stated they also discussed enforcement, and he feels all the Townships involved in the Task Force were concerned with the Budget process and wanting to make sure that all the Townships were doing their share of enforcement. He asked the Chief to
September 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 18 of 30
discuss the protocol for
Ms. Herman stated at the meeting they learned that
inspections are not being done as regularly as they were a few years ago and
the number of Township participating has fallen off. Chief Coluzzi stated Upper Makefield,
Mr. Smith stated that he hopes they can work closely with the other Departments to maintain the enforcement if not increase it.
Ms. Herman stated RRTS has written a letter to the
Ms. Herman stated they would appreciate the support of the Board of Supervisors in this matter. Ms. Herman stated at the Newtown Planning Commission they indicated they would invite the Lower Makefield Planning Commission to a special meeting to be held Tuesday night to review this matter. She stated she hopes both the Planning Commission members, the Township Manager, and the Board of Supervisors will attend this meeting.
This meeting will be in
September 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 19 of 30
Mr. Santarsiero stated he understands that Anne Goren, the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors of Newtown did want an indication if Lower Makefield had an interest in participating in whatever traffic studies will be undertaken, and he feels the Township would be interested in this as it will have an impact on Lower Makefield if this is the plan they are pursuing.
Mr. Stainthorpe stated if there are funeral processions on
Ms. Herman stated the residents do not want additional volumes of traffic on this road, and this could be used to justify making it an arterial road and would then impact the ability to get the traffic calming measures installed.
Mr. Smith moved, Mr. Stainthorpe seconded and it was unanimously
carried to authorize Mr. Fedorchak to inform Upper Makefield and
Ms. Virginia Torbert stated she feels they are moving too quickly on this as there is not an Agreement yet with Toll Bros. on the Cemetery. Mr. Santarsiero stated at the meeting next week, they will most likely just get information and advise them that if there is an Agreement, Lower Makefield would like to have input in the process. Ms. Torbert stated she feels the Citizens Traffic Commission should have the opportunity to discuss this before the Township takes a position on this, and Mr. Santarsiero agreed. Ms. Herman stated this project will have a highly-accelerated timeline. Ms. Herman stated there are also Zoning changes being proposed.
Mr. Santarsiero stated the Citizens Traffic Commission has
been meeting and is working toward putting together a plan that they will present
to the Board of Supervisors on what should be done for the various traffic
issues throughout the Township. He feels
Lower Makefield has been proactive in trying to deal with traffic issues
throughout Lower Makefield including the
Ms. Herman asked how the Board of Supervisors could formally
pose the question of the
Mr. Majewski stated his office prepared an estimate of the cost to repair the pond area. He stated the existing pipe that leads into the pond is deteriorating and there are several sinkholes in the area adjacent to residences off South Crescent Drive. He stated the pond that is located on Township-owned open space is silted and has an algae problem. There
September 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 20 of 30
is also a pipe coming out of the pond to a creek that is a tributary to Silver Creek which is slightly deteriorated. He stated the cost estimate to replace the pipes, dredge the pond, and restore it to a more natural condition is $112,138.40. He stated if the pipe that leads out of the stream was not replaced at this time, and if they eliminated the aerator that was suggested, it would reduce the cost by approximately $30,000; and the project would therefore cost $82,000.
Mr. Stainthorpe stated the Township does own this and has not maintained it for years. He stated he feels this is something they should do; but because of the amount, he feels they should consider it in next year’s Budget, and Mr. Fedorchak agreed
Mr. Santarsiero stated his only concern is with respect to the sinkholes as these present a hazard. Mr. Majewski stated the only measure they could take at this time with respect to the sinkholes would be to put planking over it and install sawhorses with lights which are in place currently. He stated there is a lead time necessary to get surveying and engineering work done in order to prepare plans and specifications to replace the pipe and dredge the pond. He stated if they are going to include the project in next year’s Budget, he feels they could still begin the engineering work now.
Mr. Smith asked if the sinkholes present a danger at the current time, and Mr. Smith stated they do.
Mrs. Godshalk asked how much Township open space surrounds the pond, and
Mr. Goll stated it is approximately five to six acres. He stated it also connects to the Silver Creek corridor. Mrs. Godshalk asked if anyone has looked into whether there was anything given by the developer for the maintenance of this area. Mr. Majewski stated he feels this was built in 1965 to 1970. Mrs. Godshalk stated there could be funds left in the Queen’s Grant Maintenance Fund; however, Mr. Fedorchak stated he did not feel they had records for this as it was going back forty years. Mr. Santarsiero asked that they look into this.
Mr. Smith stated he feels they should take the remedial measures now to take care of the sinkholes. Mr. Santarsiero asked if installing planks over the sinkholes would be sufficient to avoid any risk, and Mr. Majewski stated it would have to be monitored on a continual basis to make sure that further sinkholes do not develop. Mr. Caiola asked the size of the area where there are sinkholes. Mr. Majewski stated they are isolated smaller areas where part of the pipe has deteriorated. Mr. Caiola asked about the possibility of fencing which might be more effective than the planks to keep people out of the area, and Mr. Majewski stated this would be a good idea.
Mr. Santarsiero suggested that they consider this project for the Budget for next year. He asked Mr. Majewski that the planks be installed between now and the next Board meeting and that Mr. Majewski come back to the Board with a cost of what fencing might be
September 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 21 of 30
appropriate and how extensive it should be to cover any risk associated with the
sinkholes. Mr. Majewski stated they could install orange safety fence or snow fence. Mr. Caiola stated he would prefer this as these can be seen from a distance.
Mr. Majewski stated the Road Department may have some of this fencing available at this time.
Mr. Smith moved and Mr. Stainthorpe seconded that the Township immediately plank the area in question and install fencing or whatever remedial measures can be taken in the area.
Mr. Santarsiero moved and Mr. Smith seconded to amend the Motion to also authorize Schoor DePalma to undertake preliminary design work for the ultimate scope of work.
Mr. Gerry Riley, 1603 S. Crescent, asked if the Board is recommending that the aerator be eliminated in the overall project, and Mr. Santarsiero stated they are not making that decision tonight. The preliminary engineering will proceed, and they will address this in the Budget.
Mr. Ben Kaplan, 1607 S. Crescent, stated there are some localized sinkholes in the woods as well. Mr. Majewski agreed to look into this.
Mr. Ben Dolan stated he would encourage the Board to follow through on this and stated without proper maintenance, the Township may have problems downstream.
The Motion to amend carried unanimously, and the Motion as amended carried unanimously.
UPDATE ON THE STATUS OF THE REVIEW OF THE MATRIX PLANS
Mr. Santarsiero stated he was advised by Ms. Frick today that the Township engineer, Remington Vernick, has made comments on the initial Plan submitted by Matrix, and Matrix is now working to revise its Plans which they will have to the Township by September 15. Remington Vernick will then make an effort to get comments back to Matrix by September 22. Mr. Garton on behalf of the Township will then discuss with Matrix an appropriate time period for the Final review by the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors. Mr. Santarsiero stated he would like to discuss with
Mr. Garton what the timeframe will be and then consider any special meetings they may need to schedule.
September 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 22 of 30
AWARD BID FOR BLACK ROCK ROAD SEWAGE PUMPING STATION ELECTRICAL DISTRIBUTION EQUIPMENT UPGRADE
Mr. Fedorchak stated on 7/17/06, they opened seven bids for
the project ranging from $166,800 to $302,880.
He stated this will be a complete electrical upgrade of the
Mr. Fedorchak stated he does not feel this is unusual as one contractor may be more interested in the project than another.
Mr. Caiola moved, Mr. Stainthorpe seconded and it was unanimously carried to award the bid to Callaghan Electrical Construction LLC in the amount of $166,800.
Mr. Fedorchak noted this will be paid for from the $7 million sewer bond issue.
AWARD BID TO REPLACE AND RAISE 39 CASTINGS FOR THE 2006 PAVING PROGRAM
Mr. Fedorchak stated only one bid was received for this project. Mr. Stainthorpe moved, Mr. Smith seconded and it was unanimously carried to award the bid to C. S. Harris Constructors, Inc. at a cost of $44,980.
APPROVE STIPULATION TO SETTLE LITIGATION INVOLVING THE
Mr. Santarsiero stated this project is at the corner of Stony Hill and Heacock Roads. This issue was before the Zoning Hearing Board as the developer requested a Special Exception and Variances. Relief was granted by the Zoning Hearing Board, and the Township initially opposed the Plan. The basis of any further Appeal from the Zoning Hearing Board Decision that could have been lodged from a legal standpoint was removed when the developer agreed to meet certain of the Township’s demands regarding buffering and the water course on the property. This being the case, both the Township and the residents who had originally opposed the development agreed that they would withdraw their opposition pursuant to a Settlement that included among other things the construction of only a two-story building on the site which would have a maximum of seventy-six units or a maximum number of ninety beds. Mr. Santarsiero stated the Solicitor, Mr. Garton, has reviewed the Settlement Agreement and it has been signed by the residents. The recommendation to the Board is that they agree to the Settlement Agreement.
September 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 23 of 30
Mr. Stainthorpe moved and Mr. Caiola seconded to approve the Settlement Agreement as presented.
Mr. Zachary Rubin,
Mr. Santarsiero stated while a majority of the Board agreed a year ago that they did not want this facility at this site and agreed there may be other sites where it would have been more appropriate, they unfortunately arrived at a point in December when it became clear that there was no longer any legal basis upon which to maintain an Appeal from the Zoning Hearing Board’s Decision to the court of Common Pleas. They were therefore left with the decision whether it was wise to continue with the legal process or try to use whatever leverage they had with getting some concessions from the developer, and they chose this course and were able to get a slightly scaled-down complex.
Mrs. Godshalk stated she is still against this development. She stated in the Stipulation, they are guaranteeing the developer seventy-six units. She stated they originally wanted a three-story building; and while they have come down to a two-story building, it will cover more ground. She is concerned because this is a very low level area which floods out with a stream in the rear. She stated she does not feel they should guarantee the developer that they can build a building and get seventy-six units when they a have not seen the revised engineering. Mr. Santarsiero stated according to the Solicitor, it must be consistent with the stipulated design. Mr. Majewski stated they did present evidence to the Zoning Hearing Board as to what size facility they needed to accommodate the number of beds, and they have scaled this down somewhat. He stated they did have a two-story option which was shown at the Zoning Hearing Board.
Mrs. Godshalk stated she feels they should go with a Stipulation without guaranteeing them seventy-six units. Mr. Santarsiero stated they reached this Agreement in principal about nine months ago, and he does not feel they are in a position now to go back and
renegotiate that issue. He stated the Board did not have a lot of leverage from the Zoning Hearing Board, and the developer then decided to give in to the Township on the few issues upon which the Township had upon which they could have based a possible Appeal.
September 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 24 of 30
Mr. Rubin stated he feels the grounds for the Appeal was that the first-responders did not have an opportunity to testify in front of the Zoning Hearing Board about widths of fire trucks, etc. Mr. Truelove stated while he was not the Solicitor involved and does not know all the details, his understanding is because the Zoning Hearing Board decided the way they did, it put the Township in the position of being the Appellant and they had to take a position that was defensive as opposed to being more superior and therefore the Township had to deal with a position of relative weakness. Mr. Truelove stated he understands that the Stipulation addresses some of the issues of concern such as where certain functions would have to take place, making sure that driveways were located in certain areas, etc.
Mr. Santarsiero stated the Board of Supervisors wanted to have their expert,
Mr. Majewski, testify with respect to the buffer issues and the water course; and this went to the heart of whether they were entitled to a Special Exception. He stated they were precluded by the Zoning Hearing Board to present their witness. He stated they felt this was a fairly substantial basis upon which to make an Appeal to the Court. When the developer gave the Township the relief that the Township had originally sought on those two issues, it mooted that; and the Township was no longer in a position where they had a real basis upon which to take the matter to the Court of Common Pleas.
Mr. Rubin stated Court of Common Pleas decisions have been successfully appealed in the past. Mr. Santarsiero stated while he is aware of this, he is also aware that they must also consider the chances of success versus the cost of filing the Appeal; and they decided, on advice of Counsel, that this was not the course they should take in this instance.
Ms. Karen Friedman,
Mr. Goll asked if it is guaranteed that they will get seventy-six units, and
Mrs. Godshalk stated they are guaranteed the number noted in the Settlement Agreement. Mr. Goll noted the site constraints and stated he is concerned that they are being
September 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 25 of 30
guaranteed a certain number of units but may not be able to comply with some of the site constraints and asked if the Township has the leeway to reduce the number of units.
Mr. Majewski stated if they cannot satisfy the Township as to the engineering aspects of the Plan, the Plan could be denied by the Township.
Ms. Gail Freedman, Rose Hollow, stated she feels it is difficult to imagine how they will be able to get the parking on that site for this many units. Mr. Santarsiero stated he feels this is an issue for the Planning Commission to consider when they review the Plans.
Motion to approve carried with Mrs. Godshalk opposed.
ACCEPT WITHDRAWAL OF
Mr. Santarsiero stated they received a letter from the
Mr. Stainthorpe moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to accept the withdrawal of Orleans Homebuilders for the Ferri Tract.
Mr. Michael Cretski, Mr. Ken Olesack, engineer, and Mr. Randy Flager were present.
Mr. Cretski stated they are requesting an amendment from a
prior approval to do shoulder widening along the Beth El frontage on
Mr. Cretski presented this evening the proposed highway
improvements and the previously approved highway improvements. He stated the proposed change is to remove
the shoulder as you are exiting the property on
September 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 26 of 30
entrance heading south to Bluestone in order to install the
shoulder. The shoulder is not required
by PennDOT for safety. Currently there
is a decel lane heading into the site from
Mr. Stainthorpe moved, Mr. Smith seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Revised Plan for the entranceway to Beth El.
Mr. Cretski stated he would also like the Board of Supervisors to approve the Development Agreement and have the documents signed.
Mr. Smith moved, Mr. Stainthorpe seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Development Agreement as revised.
Mr. Randy Flager, on behalf of the Congregation, thanked the Board regarding this matter as well as for the opportunity to participate with the Township at Community Pride Day. He stated they look forward to being involved in this event in the future.
BODINE SUBDIVISION APPROVAL OF DEVELOPMENT AND ESCROW AGREEMENTS AND SIGNING OF MYLARS
Mr. Stainthorpe moved, Mr. Smith seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Development and Escrow Agreements for the Bodine Subdivision. Mylars were signed following the meeting.
APPROVE WITHDRAWAL OF PATTERSON FARM MINOR SUBDIVISION PLAN
Consideration of granting an extension of time for the Patterson Farm was discussed.
Mr. Stainthorpe stated this is the old consideration to subdivide Satterthwaite House out from the rest of the property; and since the consensus is currently that this is not something the Board wishes to pursue, he does not feel they should continue to provide extensions. He suggested they withdraw the Application.
Mr. Stainthorpe moved and Mr. Caiola seconded to withdraw the Minor Subdivision Plan for the Patterson Farm.
Mrs. Godshalk asked if they vote to withdraw it, and at some future date, they decide they want to subdivide the property off, could they use the same Plan; and it was noted they could.
Motion carried unanimously.
September 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 27 of 30
GRANT EXTENSION OF TIME
Mr. Smith moved, Mr. Stainthorpe seconded and it was
unanimously carried to grant an extension of time for
ZONING HEARING BOARD MATTERS
Mr. Truelove stated the Board of Supervisors has indicated
that the Township should take a position in opposition to the Tracy Miller and Peter Vandenbrand,
General Contractor, Variance request for the property located at
Mr. Caiola moved, Mr. Smith seconded and it was unanimously carried that the Township oppose the Application.
Mr. Truelove asked that the Board consider the matter
submitted by Patrick Kelly,
Mr. Truelove stated he understands that the Board has decided to participate in the matter but not oppose, and the Board agreed.
There was discussion on the Diane and Steve Bullard,
September 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 28 of 30
Mr. Santarsiero stated they are at some disadvantage this evening as their attorneys on this matter, Mr. Garton and Mr. Koopman, are not present. He stated he feels they will address this at the Zoning Hearing Board meeting, and he does not feel the Board should discuss this any further without Counsel present. Mr. Smith stated he is concerned about community notification and asked if the community was notified that this matter was being discussed this evening. Mr. Santarsiero stated the matter was listed on the Agenda, but he does not feel specific neighbors were notified.
Mr. Smith stated he feels the neighbors should be present and he would move to table until the next meeting. There was no second to table.
Mr. Stainthorpe stated he would disagree that they should table noting that this was discussed in Executive Session and the Board concurs that they should oppose this matter. Mr. Smith stated while he agrees, Mr. Fegley has raised a point which would require that their Solicitor be present to address the question he raised. Mr. Santarsiero stated the Board has made a decision to oppose the matter, and the Township Solicitor will explain their position before the Zoning Hearing Board which would be the more appropriate forum at which to discuss it.
Mr. Fegley stated they would like to proceed with the Zoning Hearing Board meeting on September 19 but had wanted to have the opportunity to understand the Board of Supervisors’ opposition, and if possible explain their position and eliminate that opposition but it does not appear that this will be possible at this point.
Mr. Caiola moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried that the Township oppose the Variance request to allow them to fill steep slopes.
With regard to the Cara Mia matter involving several
Variances to build a single-family residence on a vacant lot on the corner of
Mr. Stainthorpe moved and Mr. Caiola seconded that the Solicitor appear in opposition.
Mr. Bray thanked the Board of Supervisors for making this decision. He stated he is the spokesperson for a group of neighbors who have been opposing the building of a house on this property for seventeen years. He stated if a house is allowed to be put on that property, it will contribute to flooding in the area. Motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Santarsiero stated they will be working shortly putting together the next Township Newsletter. He stated the Citizens Traffic Commission is putting together as many different pieces of information as they can including a survey from the public which they were able to distribute on Community Day. They received a number of responses, and they will be working toward a prioritized list of traffic issues for the Board of
September 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 29 of 30
Supervisors to consider.
Mr. Santarsiero announced that the Southeastern Bucks League of Municipalities
will meet in
Mr. Smith stated the next meeting of the Regional Traffic Task Force will be held on
October 30 in
Mr. Caiola asked that Mr. Fedorchak set up the first meeting of the Economic Development Committee for the last Monday in September.
Mr. Smith noted he received a number of e-mails about Verizon and the impact of the Agreement. Mr. Santarsiero stated they should put this on the Board’s Agenda.
Mr. Fedorchak stated he just received a draft of the new
Franchise Agreement with Verizon and will forward it to Mr. Truelove for his
review. He stated the next step is that
a representative of Verizon will be contacting Mr. Fedorchak to set up a
meeting to discuss the
Mrs. Godshalk stated she will be unable to attend the next Zoning Hearing Board meeting on September 19 as that is the date of a major fundraiser for the Memorial, and
Mr. Caiola agreed to try to attend as Liaison. Ms. Godshalk stated the Elm Lowne Committee
is meeting next week, and she has received a number of questions because CAPS
is there and the house is not always presentable for people to walk through
when considering it for weddings, etc. She
stated it is going to be costing the Township additional money for cleaning in
between. She stated a number of people
approached her about using Elm Lowne including another artist group for
meetings and an Auction event. She stated
the Memorial construction committee is working everyday, but the rain has
impacted this. She stated there was a
Press Conference last Thursday where there was a great turn-out. She stated they are going to
SET PUBLIC HEARING DATE FOR LOW IMPACT DEVELOPMENT ORDINANCE
Mr. Santarsiero stated Mr. Closser has indicated they need to set a meeting date for the Public Hearing on the Low Impact Development Ordinance. Mr. Santarsiero recommended the first meeting in October, given the number of items already on the September 20 Agenda. Mr. Smith asked when they plan to be live on TV.
September 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors – page 30 of 30
Mr. Fedorchak stated he feels it may be possible to be live the second meeting in October. Mr. Caiola moved, Mr. Stainthorpe seconded and it was unanimously carried that the Public Hearing for the LID Ordinance be held on October 4, 2006.
APPOINTMENTS TO BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS
There was discussion on Board vacancies, and Mr. Santarsiero stated that there is a Vacancy for an Alternate on the Zoning Hearing Board. He stated they also need to fill the position of Township Auditor.
Mr. Bray stated there is a vacancy on the EAC as Chris Neely will be resigning.
Mr. Fedorchak stated Byron Roth has also returned from
There being no further business, Mr. Stainthorpe moved, Mr. Smith seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 11:15 p.m.
Greg Caiola, Secretary