B6TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
MINUTES – MARCH 21, 2007
The regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on March 21, 2007. Chairman Smith called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by members of Girl Scout Troop 1292. Mr. Santarsiero called the roll.
Board of Supervisors: Ron Smith, Chairman
Greg Caiola, Vice Chairman
Steve Santarsiero, Secretary/Treasurer
Pete Stainthorpe, Supervisor
Others: Terry Fedorchak, Township Manager
David Truelove, Township Solicitor
James Majewski, Township Engineer
Kenneth Coluzzi, Chief of Police
Absent: Grace Godshalk, Supervisor
RECOGNITION OF KRAECK FAMILY AND OTHER INDIVIDUALS INVOLVED IN COLLECTING AND SHIPPING COOKIES, ETC. TO SOLDIERS IN IRAQ
Ms. Kathy Kraeck commented on the program started four years ago by her family which has expanded over the years to include numerous people including Brownie and Girl Scout Troops and Schools in the Pennsbury School District. Items collected included thousands of boxes of Girl Scout Cookies, toiletries, snack items, and cards made by children from the community. Those young people involved in the program present this evening were recognized by Ms. Kraeck. Mr. Smith stated he feels these young people are role models to those living in the community, and he presented Proclamations to those present this evening on behalf of the Township. Mr. Santarsiero thanked those involved for supporting the soldiers and being good examples to the Township residents. Mr. Stainthorpe stated he has attended a number of Eagle Scout ceremonies and like these young people, he is proud of the work they do and feels good about the future of the Country. Mr. Caiola stated it is excellent to see these young people doing public service when there are so many other things they could be doing. Chief Coluzzi stated he knows how much the Soldiers who are away from home and family appreciate receiving these packages and letters, and the Township is proud of the efforts of these young people.
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Ms. Nancy Doyle stated she is a member of Concerned Parents and Taxpayers of the Pennsbury School District. She stated her concern is with the proposed re-Districting Plan, and she is looking for public support from the Board of Supervisors. She noted Mr. Smith and Mr. Santarsiero did attend the Agenda meeting and made comments.
She stated this is a community-wide issue, and the Pennsbury School District has not done a good job of publicizing this issue. She noted the upcoming meeting at Makefield Elementary School in the morning on March 29. She encouraged everyone to check the Pennsbury Website which now includes the Makefield Feasibility Study. She stated this Study states that “a consideration of any additional space needs must also consider that the existing impervious coverage on the site exceeds the Township’s threshold for the
R-2 Zone, and the School represents a Special Exception to the Zoning classification; but the site designation limits impervious coverage to a maximum of 17%. Although the current coverage on the site including the building at 11 1/2%, parking and drives, sidewalks and paths encompasses 29.6% on a parcel of 10.2 acres as a result any additional square footage would need to be offset with impervious reductions on the site, accomplished within the existing structure, achieved through formal Variances, considered along with alternate materials such as drainage pavers, or some mixture.
Other Zoning restrictions which could effect this include parking, which requires one space per faculty member or employee plus one space for every two classrooms, in addition to the yard setbacks.” Ms. Doyle stated one of the issues they have with the Makefield Feasibility Study is that it states the Makefield population may double in the next five years with the enrollment projections. She stated at some point, the School District will be coming before the Board of Supervisors for approval; and while she is not stating they should not have renovations, with the proposed re-Districting it will not cover the fact that they are still overcrowded. Ms. Doyle stated she has flyers available listing the dates of the meetings which are also listed on the School District Website.
Ms. Doyle stated Dr. Long, the Pennsbury CEO, has asked for written comments to be mailed to his attention by March 31. She stated letters could also be e-mailed to the School Board members, and their e-mail addresses are on-line.
Mr. Smith asked the impact to those whose children attend Schools other than Makefield.
Ms. Doyle stated what has been done is not a full study. She stated they are shuffling sixty children to other buildings. She stated what they have not indicated is the class size will not get smaller as they will also lose a teacher. She noted this will impact everyone as the Schools in the northern part of the District are operating at or well above capacity, while those in the southern end of the District they are operating well below capacity. She stated a Space Utilization Committee was formed in 2002, and one of their recommendations included closing a school because of the enrollment projections. She stated the District has indicated moving 60 children will allow them five years, but the enrollment projections prove that in two years, they will be above current numbers.
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Mr. Smith stated at the meeting they attended when they were discussing the Makefield School renovations, the School Board members indicated they felt Lower Makefield was aware of these Plans. Mr. Smith stated one of the School Board members, Mr. Goldberg, who was against the proposal indicated that they were going to be moving children in Makefield into a “poorly-ventilated basement with no egress to get out of the building.” Mr. Smith indicated at that meeting that there was no way they would put elementary school children into a basement under his watch.
Mr. Truelove stated the Board of Supervisors cannot take a position on anything which has not been presented to the Township. He stated he does not want anyone to be able to make it appear that the Township has pre-ordained its position without having any Plans before them. He stated he understands Mr. Smith’s sentiments are well placed.
Mr. Smith stated while he recognizes this, they were discussing this at the School Board meeting as if it had already been discussed with Lower Makefield; and he indicated the Lower Makefield Township Board of Supervisors had no knowledge of any of this information despite it already being part of the School District’s Plan.
Ms. Doyle stated they did indicate that no full-time classes would be in the basement, but that Music and Art could be in the basement. Ms. Doyle stated with regard to egress, they indicated that there would be an elevator; however, Ms. Doyle reminded them that you cannot use an elevator in the event of a fire, and there could be handicapped people who could not get up the steps.
Mr. Santarsiero stated the major issue they tried to address at the meeting was that they need to do a comprehensive study and bring the public into this. He stated what he feels they are doing is a stop-gap measure at best and to pass it before there was an opportunity for input. He stated the Board of Supervisors needs to not only go to the meetings but also send a letter to the District.
Mr. Santarsiero moved to authorize the Township to send a letter to the Pennsbury School District that calls for a more comprehensive study and calls for the creation of a Citizen Commission to be part of that so that there is adequate public input.
Mr. Santarsiero stated to those who would state that this is not within the purview of the Township, he feels it is as it effects their residents.
Mr. Stainthorpe stated while he agrees there should be a more thorough study, he is concerned about the Board of Supervisors going into an area where they do not have control, noting he would not want the Pennsbury School Board coming to the Township Board to tell them how to run the Township. He does agree that the Board of Supervisors should support their citizens. He stated he is concerned about possibly prejudicing any future decisions which the Board of Supervisors will be called upon to make which may
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give them less leverage and not more, and would prefer that they encourage them to do a more thorough study and not discuss what may or may not be built at Makefield School.
Ms. Doyle stated they would appreciate whatever the Township can do. She stated their concern was with the lack of communication with the District as the public was only advised of this at an Edgewood PTO meeting at which very few parents are normally able to attend. She stated Makefield is just now learning about what is going to happen.
She stated she asked Dr. Long how they would get the information out to the entire community, and he advised that they feel contact through the PTO is the best way. She stated she advised him that 70% of the residents do not have children in the Schools.
Mr. Caiola stated he attended a meeting with the Edgewood parents and agrees that the problem is with communication. He stated as private citizens, the Board members can find out what is happening and voice their support. He stated the Board of Supervisors is doing their best to be transparent; and they are concerned that in this instance many people will be effected, and the School Board is not trying to get the word out about this issue.
Mr. Smith stated he has served on various Pennsbury Task Forces in the past, and his own children were involved in re-Districting. He stated he is surprised that in this instance there was a lack of communication, and he hopes that they will do the right thing.
Ms. Doyle stated there is a Pennsbury Board of Education Town Meeting to be held in the future, although the format for this has not yet been formalized. She stated April12 and April 19 are also meeting dates. She stated all those who live in the Pennsbury School District should be at these meetings.
Mr. Caiola seconded and the Motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Scott Lieb, resident of Lower Makefield, expressed his concern with the proposed Native Plant Ordinance noting he has a Degree in Ornamental Horticulture and has been in the agriculture industry for over twenty years. He stated there are many excellent native and non-native plants, and he feels the goal should be use of plants that grow well in the area and are non-invasive. He stated some comments were made by the Environmental Advisory Council indicating that the attrition rates of native plants are much lower and from a maintenance standpoint do not have to be replaced as often; and he stated this is not true for a variety of native plants. He noted a number of non-native plants which would be better substitutions for this area. He provided a packet of information to the Board this evening. He noted remarks made by Scott Geiser from the Penn State Extension Agency indicating that “non-native does not equal invasive.”
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He noted apples, peaches, pears, wheat, oat, and soybeans are not native. He also noted a number of grasses, trees, and shrubs which are non-native but are outstanding plants. He noted some native plants which are susceptible to disease, very slow growing, or which grow too large for urban landscapes. He stated the most important issue in selecting plants, assuming they are non-invasive, is not whether they are native, but rather whether they are well-adapted to growing conditions they will face in the landscape. He stated he feels they should use plants which have proven themselves. Mr. Caiola asked where
Mr. Lieb resides and his line of business, and Mr. Lieb stated he lives on Dolington Road and works for Brickman Group, landscape contractors.
Mr. Stainthorpe stated he has mentioned previously that while he is not a plant expert, he feels that just because something is not native, if it has been here for several hundred years and is non-invasive, he feels it should be okay. Mr. Truelove stated the Ordinance has been advertised, and he feels it will be on the Agenda on April 4. Mr. Stainthorpe stated he feels what Mr. Lieb has provided is valuable input for consideration, and he urged him to come back at that meeting so that there can be a healthy debate. He stated what they are trying to do is make the community better. He stated if the scope has been too limited, they should open it up to other considerations.
Ms. Ellen Saracini stated this is also a concern with respect to the Garden of Reflection. She stated their plant submission was accepted by the Board in the summer of 2002.
She stated at the Garden of Reflection they use plants as part of their architectural design many of which are mass groupings which create the design elements. She stated
Mr. Bray has advised her that the proposed Ordinance permits native plants only.
She stated in the Garden, their architect and the Committee have chosen plants not based on native or non-native but on being non-invasive, and most important on being deer resistant and to provide certain color and texture. She stated in the Ordinance it provides that any plant that is compromised and must be replaced, would have to be replaced with a native plant. She stated they have nine red maples which are not native and are representative of nine people from Lower Makefield. She stated if one of them were compromised and had to be replaced, it would have to be replaced with a native plant. She stated if any of the plants were compromised and a replacement was put in a mass planting, it would disrespect the design concept of what the Garden means. She stated
Mr. Bray has indicated he discussed this with an attorney, and they have come up with wording which could be added to the Ordinance. She stated it is not specific with regard to the Garden, and she is not sure if there are other instances in the Township where there are mass plantings and planting a native in between the non-natives already established, could be an issue. She asked that the Garden be grandfathered in, and that there be a specific exclusion in the Ordinance if it is passed. Ms. Saracini was asked to come back on April 4 to be part of this dialogue.
Mr. Bray stated during the process, they have been very open about what they were discussing and they will continue to do this. He stated he would personally invite
everyone to come to the meeting, and they will have a full hearing at that time.
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He stated he feels what has been expressed this evening are half truths, and they should determine whether or not people have a commercially-vested interest. He stated the EAC will not meet again until after the Board of Supervisors meets on this issue. He stated the Ordinance will also go before the Planning Commission on Monday, March 26.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Mr. Santarsiero moved, Mr. Stainthorpe seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the February 21, 2007 Special Meeting Minutes as written.
Mr. Santarsiero moved, Mr. Caiola seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the February 21, 2007 Regular Meeting Minutes as written.
Mr. Santarsiero moved, Mr. Caiola seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of the February 27, 2007 Special Meeting to Discuss Park & Recreation Issues as written.
Mr. Santarsiero moved and Mr. Stainthorpe seconded to approve the Minutes of the March 7, 2007 Town Meeting as amended. Motion carried with Mr. Caiola abstained.
APPROVAL OF MARCH 5, 2007 AND MARCH 20, 2007 WARRANT LISTS AND FEBRUARY, 2007 PAYROLL
Mr. Santarsiero moved and Mr. Caiola seconded to approve the March 5, 2007 and March 20, 2007 Warrant Lists and February, 2007 Payroll as attached to the Minutes.
Mr. Stainthorpe stated in January he discussed what they were spending for professional fees in the Township, and at that time he requested some additional reporting by project so that the Board could get a handle on this. He stated while he recognizes that there is a new Finance Director, he feels this is important and noted that the reporting they are getting is not as complete as what they had in January when he first brought up this matter. He stated he discussed this matter with Mr. Fedorchak and understands there are some issues with the Audit and some December expenses which came into January.
He added that from the report the Board did receive it appears they spent $30,000 on engineering for the month which puts the Township on pace to be at $300,000 for the year. He feels the Board needs to be managing these costs. Mr. Stainthorpe asked that
Mr. Fedorchak make all reports requested available to the Board next month.
Mr. Fedorchak stated all reports before the Board this evening are the same reports they have received routinely in the past with the sole exception of the Expense/Revenue Summary which included the year-to-date percentages. Mr. Stainthorpe stated this is the
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report he is interested in receiving. Mr. Fedorchak stated they cannot produce that report yet and will not be able to do so for 2007 until they close the books for 2006.
Mr. Caiola stated he agrees with Mr. Stainthorpe and feels they should get the report requested on a regular basis.
Motion carried unanimously.
DISCUSSION AND APPROVAL OF SNIPES SOCCER COMPLEX SKETCH PLAN
Mr. Majewski stated this property is located at the northwest corner of the intersection of Dolington Road and Quarry Road and is a former Christmas tree farm across the street from Elm Lowne and the Quarry Hill Elementary School. He stated they propose ten soccer fields and 350 parking spaces on the 34 acre tract. Planning on this property started in 2004. The Park & Recreation Board created a Sub-Committee comprised of members of YMS, a member from the Elm Lowne Committee, members of the Park & Recreation Board, and Township staff including the Police Chief. A Plan was recommended for approval by the Park & Recreation Board and then forwarded to the Planning Commission who asked for some changes which would create a loop road around the parking spaces. This Plan came in significantly higher than the Budget for the project as it added approximately $300,000 to the project and significant impervious surface. Modifications were made incorporating some of the safety recommendations of the Planning Commission, and this is the Plan being presented this evening.
Mr. Majewski stated the Plan proposes an entrance to the site off of Dolington Road opposite the entrance near the barn to the Elm Lowne property and a secondary entrance near the exit from Quarry Hill Elementary School on Quarry Road. They plan for a one-way traffic circulation and have moved as many of the parking spaces to the inside of the loop road as possible so that people exiting their car can walk directly to the fields without having to cross the roads. This Plan will allow one extra field than was previously contemplated for the site. The Park will also feature a skate park in the eastern part of the property near the parking lot; and although this has not yet been designed, the area is reserved for this use. A restroom/concession area and playground are also proposed along with a pavilion that could be located at two possible locations shown on the Plan.
Both Mr. Stainthorpe and Mr. Caiola expressed their satisfaction with the changes made to the Plan. Mr. Santarsiero stated he assumes that when they get to the engineering phase, they will consider pervious surfaces for the parking spaces; and Mr. Majewski stated they have done some soils testing on the site and determined that a good portion of the site is suitable for infiltration, and they intend to maximize this by using pervious
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pavement, rain gardens, and other low impact development type features which will help save in the cost of building detention basins.
Mr. Matt Maloney noted the entrance near Quarry Hill and asked if they have considered a four-way stop or a traffic light. Mr. Stainthorpe stated typically people would be at this Soccer Complex after School is closed. Mr. Maloney stated they also use the School facilities for sports and recreation. Mr. Maloney asked if the skate park will be Budgeted as a future improvement, and Mr. Stainthorpe stated they do not have a current Budget as the final design has not yet been done. Mr. Santarsiero stated it will be engineered as it is part of this Plan.
Ms. Ellen Saracini stated she lives in the area and noted traveling down Dolington Road coming up to the intersection, the Road curves to the left; and there is a serious blind spot in the area if you are trying to make a left-hand turn. Mr. Stainthorpe stated there has been a long-time Plan to straighten the Road and have it go straight to Creamery Road although the cost to do so was several million dollars. Ms. Saracini suggested the possibility of a traffic light at this location which would be less expensive than moving the Road.
Mr. Santarsiero stated the Citizens Traffic Commission is in the process of holding a series of public hearings for different parts of the Township, and they are asking residents to come in and bring up such issues. He stated their next hearing is April 16, and the last hearing will be May 21. Mr. Santarsiero stated the road straightening is on the Plan being shown. He stated there is also an issue there with regard to traffic calming. He stated a light or some other device at that corner is something the Commission could consider and report on ultimately to the Board of Supervisors.
Ms. Virginia Torbert stated she is concerned about the entrance on Quarry Road. She stated Quarry Hill Elementary School lets out at 3:45 p.m. which could be the same time they would be using these soccer fields. It was noted soccer would not started until
5:00 p.m. or later. Ms. Torbert stated teachers could be leaving School at this time, and
Mr. Majewski stated he feels they mainly leave from the side parking lot that goes out to Quarry Hill Court which is approximately 400’ away from the proposed entrance to the soccer complex. Ms. Torbert asked if there are any plans to widen the road at the entrance, and Mr. Majewski stated there is not. Ms. Torbert noted 5:00 p.m. is still a busy time of day in this area. She asked why the entrance was located directly across the street from the School exit, and Mr. Majewski stated they looked at this early on in the process, came up with several ideas, and eventually determined that what is proposed was the best location. He stated they did not want to have the entrance too close to the existing residents. He stated the Traffic Commission could look at this further and make comment.
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Mr. Stainthorpe moved, Mr. Caiola seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Sketch Plan.
Mr. Smith stated he was a former Officer of YMS, and he looks forward to this being the first step in getting additional soccer fields in the Township which has been discussed for many years. He noted the presence of several YMS members this evening.
DISCUSSION OF “COOL CITIES” PROPOSAL
Mr. Jim Bray and Ms. Lisa Grayson were present from the Environmental Advisory Council. Mr. Bray noted Mary Barrett, a Township resident, brought the Cool Cites Program to the attention of the EAC six months ago. Mr. Bray stated Americans are finally coming to an understanding of global warming and with this comes a moral obligation to do something about what scientists have labeled the most serious environmental problem facing the world today. He stated if the Federal Government refuses to act, they must move forward on their own. He stated they are present to discuss what they can do on a local level to confront this issue. Mr. Bray stated
Ms. Grayson is the EAC’s Cool Cities Coordinator. He stated she works at the University of Maryland where she advises communities as to how they can procure funding for stormwater management projects. Mr. Bray stated after Ms. Grayson makes her presentation, they will ask the Board to take the first step in combating global warming by signing the Mayor’s Climate Agreement and joining the Sierra Club’s Cool Cities Program.
Ms. Grayson stated the EAC recognizes the impending threat of global warming, escalating energy costs, and diminishing non-renewable energy sources and believes it is imperative that the Township responds accordingly. She stated after exploring a number of options, the EAC proposes endorsing the Cool Cities Program. As of November, 2006 over 300 Mayors and close to 60 million Americans have pledged to reduce global warming emissions in their Cities to 7% below the 1990 levels by the year 2012. She stated this is a fairly conservative pledge, and they hope that Lower Makefield can meet or exceed these numbers.
Ms. Grayson stated there are four steps to becoming a Cool City modeling on the Sierra Club’s Cool Cities Program in cooperation with the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI). She stated Step 1 is to take the Cool Cities Pledge which is signing the Mayors Climate Protection Agreement which has been provided to the Board. She stated this is a non-binding Agreement setting the goal of reducing global warming emissions 7% below the 1990 level. Step 2 is to conduct a global warming emissions inventory which will identify the Municipalities major CO2 sources and the greatest opportunities for reduction and will provide a baseline to judge progress toward the goal. The Township will also conduct a comprehensive energy audit of all Township
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facilities. Step 3 is to create a solution plan to reduce emissions and lower energy costs for the Municipality. She stated there are three primary strategic categories to be addressed in the plan including a cleaner vehicle fleet, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. She stated each of these local solutions will save taxpayer dollars and improve public health. She stated specific solutions could be higher fuel-efficiency Township vehicles, LED traffic lights, incentives to residents who purchase hybrid vehicles, and activities that are already underway such as the pledge to purchase renewable energy and conduct the energy audit to identify areas where improvements can be made in the facilities operations. She stated Step 4 would be to implement and monitor progress to make sure the Plan is carried out to the best of their ability. Ms. Grayson stated she has volunteered to head up the Program and manage the Committee if the Board of Supervisors decides to move forward on this. She stated there is support available from the Sierra Club and ICLEI which will provide tools and resources to help carry out the Plan.
Mr. Caiola asked the primary way of obtaining the 7% noting that the Township does not have a huge fleet of cars, and Ms. Grayson stated they must first establish the baseline to identify where are the major emission loadings. She feels it will probably be in the facilities operation and the vehicle fleet. She stated they will also make recommendations to the community as to how they can participate to reduce overall emissions. She stated there are a number of very affordable and easy solutions. She stated they need to have a comprehensive outreach and education component as well so that the community has an understanding. Mr. Caiola stated the Township has already made a commitment to wind, and they are trying to get a certain number of residents to sign up for this. Ms. Grayson stated they will receive credit for that in this program.
Mr. Santarsiero stated they must first determine the target as they do not know what the 1990 levels were. He stated there was some discussion at the last EAC meeting as to how far back they can reasonably expect to go so that they can create the baseline from which they will then judge the reduction they need to make. He stated their hope is to go as far back as possible so that they can ultimately do the most meaningful reduction they can.
Ms. Grayson stated a number of other Cities are not going that far back with their data collection and are basing their goals around the 2000-2002 window. Mr. Bray noted the Governor of New Jersey is trying to institute a Plan that calls for a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions by the year 2020 and an 80% reduction by the year 2050.
Mr. Stainthorpe stated he has done some research into global warming and feels while we are definitely undergoing climate change, he does have a problem with science by consensus noting there are opinions on both sides. He feels there is “spinning” going on by both sides. He feels it is difficult for those who are not scientists to fully understand the true severity of the problem and how much humans are contributing to it. He stated he has read that there was even more extreme climate change back in the 1600’s, and it may just be a natural pattern. He stated he also takes issue with the Kyoto Treaty but that
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does not mean this should prevent the Township from taking action. He stated he feels the Kyoto Treaty is inherently flawed in that it exempts China and India from participating. He stated there was a Senate Resolution done in 1995 sponsored by Chuck Hagel and Robert Byrd that passed 95 to 0 to not even consider the Treaty, and at that time President Clinton decided not to even submit it. He stated he does support renewable energy and has brought this to the Township and believes they are well on the path to achieving this 7% especially if they follow up with the commitment to the Smart Power Agreement to go to 20% by 2010 or perhaps accelerate that. Mr. Stainthorpe stated he is interested in what tools are available since he feels if they do something it should be real and meaningful.
Ms. Grayson stated even if people do question global warming, there are financial and environmental benefits to the Program. Mr. Stainthorpe reiterated that he is not in opposition. Ms. Grayson stated the benefits they would receive from signing onto the Program include training, software products, access to a professional network, on-line resources, information on what other local Governments have successfully used to reach their goals, technical assistance, and notification of relevant Grant opportunities.
Mr. Bray stated the EAC is a results-oriented group, and if the Board of Supervisors gives approval, the EAC will come up with a viable plan and see it to fruition.
Mr. Stainthorpe noted the cost of $6,000 to $12,000 for the study and stated the Board already voted some time ago to do an energy audit of the Township. He asked the status of that and if that study would serve this purpose. Mr. Santarsiero stated the Board voted for the authorization to have the EAC come back to the Board with a proposal for an energy audit so that would be part of this. Mr. Bray stated they are in the midst of accepting proposals now. They have received one proposal and have heard from two other groups. He stated he and Mr. Fedorchak are hearing the proposals. He understands that the Township will make the decision as to which firm would be hired.
Mr. Stainthorpe stated he did not want to commit the Township for a second study of $12,000 not knowing where they stand on the first study. Mr. Santarsiero stated his understanding is they will come to the Board with a recommendation after they get the responses to the RFPs, and the Board will make the decision. Mr. Caiola asked if what they are discussing this evening will be part of the scope of the RFP. Mr. Fedorchak stated they have interviewed three firms, and in the process are creating a scope of work and refining it based on the qualifications of the of the firms they are interviewing. At some point they will have a scope of work and discuss with the Board what is contained in that. Mr. Santarsiero stated they should make sure that they do not have duplication of work and they should chose something that will enable the Township to continue on with the Cool Cities Program, assuming the Board approves it this evening, and have that also enable the Township to take stock of the entire operation to see what they can do to meet the targets.
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Mr. Smith stated he would be in support of Step 1 and moving toward Step 2.
Mr. Santarsiero commended the EAC for leading the way on this and doing a tremendous amount of work over the last six months to get to this point. He stated he feels global warming is occurring, and it is human activity that is creating it. He believes when history is written on this era, this will be one of the most important issues that has faced us; and if something is not done, it will have a tremendous impact on civilization. He stated he recognizes that a lot of criticism of the Kyoto Protocol in the past was that it did not include China and India which are growing producers of CO2 emissions; and while this is a problem, it would have been better to do something than nothing at all simply because there was a flaw in the Treaty. He stated twelve years later it seems that the Federal Government if finally taking notice and will do something about this. He stated with the vacuum of leadership at the Federal level, it has been important for the States, with Governor Rendell leading the way in a proactive way in Pennsylvania; and now the local Government taking on this issue.
Mr. Smith stated with regard to Lower Makefield they have been the vanguard with moving ahead on these environmental concerns. He feels this is one more step the Township will be taking.
Ms. Helen Bosley, 546 Palmer Farm Drive, asked how they would implement such a program and questioned the expenses for the next five years. Ms. Grayson stated they do not yet have the costs. They will be assembling a Committee to develop a Plan and project costs, and these will be coming to the Township for approval. She stated they first need to do the baseline and then determine what it will take to meet their goals.
Ms. Bosley stated in 1990 she would estimate that the Township was 60% of its current size and to reduce by 7% of that, would bring back the Township to energy use of approximately 54% of what it is currently. She stated these types of numbers do not work, and she does not understand how they explain that as a goal of the Program.
Mr. Santarsiero stated Ms. Grayson indicated that it would be difficult to reconstruct what energy levels were going back to 1990 particularly given the growth of the Township. He stated they will probably start with a benchmark date of possibly late 1990’s or early 2000s. He stated what they are discussing is what the Government produces by way of CO2 emissions; and even if the Township has grown at the rate
Ms. Bosley suggested, that piece probably has not grown commensurately with that.
He stated beyond that, this distinction highlights an important point because part of what they need to do with regard to global warming is not merely make sure that the Township Government is doing its share to reduce CO2 emissions but ultimately to do our part to make sure all of our residents are doing their share as well. He stated on that, we have no control over what people do nor should we; but we do have the ability to lead by example and try to convince people that this is the right thing to do. He stated he would encourage the Board members and members of the public to get involved in this as well.
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Ms. Bosley stated the primary source of CO2 in the Northeastern part of the United States is from coal fired and other type of utility plants; and to the best of her knowledge, there are none of these within the Township. She stated she feels it is appropriate that the Program is called “Cool Cities,” and it is Mayors who are dealing with this because a lot of those do have these types of structures within their Cities. She is concerned in the future with respect to the cost. She stated she was in favor of the wind power program since it is voluntary and is a good way to go. She stated as a consumer of electric, water utilities and sewers she understands the economic impact; but to have the Township go into a great deal of effort and extra expense, she is concerned about that.
Mr. Santarsiero stated he feels Ms. Bosley is making the assumption that this will be a huge expense. He stated the argument that most of the CO2 emissions come from coal fired power plants, while perhaps true, does not negate the fact that there are other sources of CO2; and whatever is under their control, is something that they could look at to see if they could reasonably reduce it. He stated if this is approved, he does not feel the public should feel that this is something that will cost the Township tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. He stated they are looking at a way for the Township to be a leader and show how it can reduce its emissions, and hopefully this will encourage the residents to agree to do the same on their own on a voluntary basis.
Ms. Bosley stated she feels much is being done at the State and Federal level and will be done on the County level as well. She stated she would not want there to be a duplication. She stated with respect to the cost, they should also recognize that to the extent that the Township continues to have Commissions to review these types of things, and have counsel and engineers involved in this, that is a cost as well. She stated she feels they should carefully look at all these programs including the Native Plant Ordinance and understand all the implications.
Ms. Smith asked if it is Ms. Bosley’s position that they do nothing. Ms. Bosley stated she is not saying that they should do nothing. Mr. Smith asked if her position is that they not take Step 1. Ms. Bosley stated she feels they should defer any decision with respect to the Cool Cities and feels it is inappropriate for the Township.
Mr. Zachary Rubin, 1661 Covington Road, stated he is in support of the Program. He stated he would like to know the cost of clean air and protecting children from UV rays and the cost to prevent acid rain. He stated CO2 emissions are caused by coal-fired plants, noting coal-fired plants produce electricity and we purchase electricity. He stated while he is a member of the PECO Wind Program, a lot of other residents are not. He stated while the coal-fire plants are not in the Township, they are in the Delmarva power grid. He questions the price tag on clean health and a clean environment.
March 21, 2007 Board of Supervisors – page 14 of 23
Ms. Sue Herman thanked the EAC and the Board of Supervisors for looking into this issue and for the opportunity to have public input. She stated she feels this is a worthy issue for ourselves and future generations.
Mr. Santarsiero moved and Mr. Caiola seconded to adopt the recommendation of the EAC and sign on to the Cool Cities Pledge by signing the Mayor’s Agreement.
Mr. Stainthorpe stated he has some other ideas on renewable energy he would like to bring up at a future time, and does not feel other ideas should be put on hold until they make a determination on the inventory. He stated if other good ideas come to the floor they should be considered. Ms. Grayson stated the first step would be to sign on and they will then convene a small Committee to move it forward and work on a Plan. She stated this would involve the emissions inventory and combining it with the energy audit to get an assessment and decide what steps they can take. Mr. Stainthorpe stated while he has spoken out about the Kyoto Protocol, there is a portion that is good which is the Cap and Trade. He stated this creates a market to bring capital to renewable energy. He feels the Country should be going the way of incentives and not regulations. Mr. Santarsiero stated there have been a number of articles that while the intent of that is good, in fact it has created some inefficient industries in the Third World; and it has not been the success they thought it would be. He stated he would agree that they should consider other ideas. He asked that Mr. Stainthorpe contact the EAC so that everything is coordinated and that all proposals go to the EAC so that they can consider them as well.
Motion carried unanimously.
A short recess was taken at this time. The meeting was reconvened at 9:20 p.m.
CONSIDER AUTHORIZING ADVERTISEMENT OF PROPOSED SIGNAGE ORDINANCE
Mr. Truelove stated the Board requested that they draft a proposed Signage Ordinance.
He stated at this point they are recommending that the Township focus primarily on the issue of billboards noting recent newspaper articles discussing the proliferation of billboards and litigation. He stated one of the issues that arose was that if a Township has no Billboard Ordinances in place, they are susceptible to challenges. Mr. Truelove stated the Board has indicated they are also concerned with political signs and some other commercial signage, but given the impetus of the billboards and the Township’s perceived vulnerability with respect to the billboard issue, he would recommend that they focus on this first and they can deal with some of the other issues at a later time.
March 21, 2007 Board of Supervisors – page 15 of 23
Mr. Truelove stated what is before the Board is a proposed Amendment to the Zoning Ordinance. If passed this evening, it would have to go to the Township’s Planning Commission and the Bucks County Planning Commission. He stated the proposal is to clean up some of the existing Ordinances to include references in the overall Zoning Ordinance to the classes of Districts to include reference not only to the proposed Billboard Overlay District, but also to make sure and include the Radio and Telecommunications Facility Overlay District or Cell Tower District and include it specifically as a reference in that Section. He has drafted and proposed for the Board’s review and public comment the Special Off-Premises Advertising Sign Overlay District (billboards). He stated this is a model term which has been used in other areas. He stated they propose that the Overlay District will mimic what they already have with the RTF (Cell Tower District) along the I-95 Corridor as well as the small section along Route 1 that traverses through and abuts Lower Makefield Township. He noted Township-owned property is not to be subject to erection of billboards so that there could not be billboards in those areas. He noted specifically the Five Mile Woods which does abut Route 1, and this area would not be included in the Overlay District.
Mr. Truelove stated the purpose is to give billboard owners, if they wish, an area which would be open to them since the Township does have the obligation to make certain areas available, and to make sure that it is regulated and meets with all requirements.
He stated some of the language mimics some language in Court decisions.
He stated the request tonight is for the Board to authorize advertisement.
Mr. Smith stated while he feels this is an important step in light of the litigation, he feels they still need to consider other sign issues in the Township to maintain and improve the quality of life in the Township.
Mr. Stainthorpe noted the blanks in the document and asked how and when they will fill these in. Mr. Truelove stated he feels this will be part of the planning process for the Planning Commission and Bucks County Planning Commission to consider. He stated the solicitor could offer suggestions to the Planning Commission. Mr. Stainthorpe asked if they can limit the number of signs in the Township, and Mr. Truelove stated they can essentially through the spacing requirements.
Mr. Santarsiero asked if they should advertise this tonight without having the blanks filled in. Mr. Truelove stated he would suggest that they authorize advertisement and they can come back with recommended changes subject to Planning Commission review before it comes back for final enactment. Mr. Stainthorpe stated he feels it does not make sense to keep advertising, and stated he would vote to advertise but asked that they fill in the blanks. Mr. Truelove agreed to this and stated they will make copies available to the Board after they do so.
March 21, 2007 Board of Supervisors – page 16 of 23
Ms. Torbert stated she feels the Federal Government has a requirement that there cannot be billboards within 500’ of an Interchange, and Mr. Truelove stated the Township would not overrule any of those regulations.
Mr. Stainthorpe moved, Mr. Santarsiero seconded and it was unanimously carried to authorize advertisement of the proposed Signage Ordinance and that it be sent forthwith to the Planning Commission.
UPDATE ON LINDENHURST ROAD TRAFFIC CALMING
Mr. Majewski stated he spoke with PCS earlier this week, and they will resubmit the Plans to PennDOT this Friday. He will check with PennDOT in approximately one and a half weeks after that time to see how it is progressing. He stated Mr. Steil has agreed to help the process along if it slows down.
Ms. Sue Herman, President of Residents for Regional Traffic Solutions, Inc. (RRTS) commented on the problems with quarry trucks and school children in the area. She stated the residents do not feel Mr. Steil will be an advocate for this project. She stated history shows he was against traffic calming for Lindenhurst Road and interfered in the process when the Township applied for the take back of the Road from the State, and it was the first take back denied by PennDOT District 6 in at least ten years. Ms. Herman stated RRTS recommends that traffic calming measures be considered now for any collector roads in the Township that are currently effected by heavy truck traffic or any collector roads that could be effected by such traffic in the future.
Mr. Stainthorpe stated Mr. Steil came through with the Grant money to proceed with this project.
Mr. Smith asked if Ms. Herman still has the DVD she showed previously on the trucks on Lindenhurst Road, and Ms. Herman stated she does have this DVD which was made in 2003. She stated their concern is that in the absence of public pressure at the Regional Traffic Planning Task Force which Representative Steil heads, those conditions could return to Lindenhurst Road and Stoopville Road and even worse if the Task Force chooses to make those Roads a designated truck route.
Ms. Helen Bosley stated Mr. Steil has been instrumental in getting funding for this project. Mr. Stainthorpe stated they already have the money for this.
Mr. Santarsiero stated regardless of who got the money, it is more important that the work be done. He feels they need to put more pressure on PennDOT, and they need to make sure that PCS follows through with this as the work should have been done already.
March 21, 2007 Board of Supervisors – page 17 of 23
Mr. Smith stated he agrees that they should get the road calming done as soon as possible to protect the Township residents. He stated he and Mr. Caiola serve on the Regional Traffic Task Force and will continue to look out for the interests of Lower Makefield.
APPROVE REQUESTING PENNDOT TO INCLUDE LOWER MAKEFIELD TOWNSHIP IN HIGHWAY OCCUPANCY PERMIT REVIEW PROCESS RELATING TO THE PROPOSED VETERANS CEMETERY IN UPPER MAKEFIELD TOWNSHIP
Mr. Fedorchak stated he has drafted a letter, and he would ask for Board approval to release the letter.
Mr. Stainthorpe moved, Mr. Caiola seconded and it was unanimously carried to release the letter.
DISCUSSION OF AMATEUR HAM RADIO ORDINANCE
Mr. Steve Levin, Lower Makefield, was present with Mr. Ken Dancer. Mr. Levin stated he is an amateur radio operator licensed by the Federal Government. He stated Lower Makefield is the only Township in the surrounding areas of Bucks County that does not have an Amateur Ham Radio Ordinance noting Falls, Bristol, and Newtown all have such Ordinances.
A video was shown regarding amateur radio.
Mr. Levin stated in August, 2005 he made Application for a Permit to erect a 37’ tower to help with emergency communication. He was denied the Permit because of Section
200-69A which states the height of an accessory building cannot exceed 15’ He stated according to a Federal preemption Law, PRB1, “except as otherwise provided herein, a station antenna structure may be erected at heights and dimensions sufficient to accommodate amateur service communications. State and Local regulation of a station antenna structure must not preclude amateur service communication rather it must reasonably accommodate such communication and must constitute the minimum practical regulation to accomplish the State or Local authorities legitimate purpose.”
Mr. Levin stated at 15’ feet high it is not very reasonable to communicate. He stated he is present to request than an Ordinance be passed and that the Township establish a reasonable height so that they can erect these towers and help with emergency operations.
March 21, 2007 Board of Supervisors – page 18 of 23
Mr. Smith asked how many ham radio operators are in Lower Makefield, and Mr. Levin stated to the best of his knowledge there are 115 registered, but probably only one quarter of them are active.
Mr. Caiola stated it seems that they are still able to communicate but not to the extent
Mr. Levin feels the need is from an emergency perspective. Mr. Levin agreed and noted when the flooding took place in Yardley, the Bucks County Amateur Radio Emergency Service played a big part in communicating the Police and Fire needs. An emergency operation center was set up at the firehouse in Yardley. Mr. Levin stated during Katrina he was also passing information out of the effected areas noting that amateur radio was the only way to contact out of that area. He stated he would contact people in this area advising them that their families were okay.
Mr. Stainthorpe stated he recalls their presentation before the Emergency Management Committee. He asked how they were able to communicate with New Orleans without a tower, and Mr. Levin stated he had to take down his tower as of November 1.
Mr. Stainthorpe stated he feels the Solicitor should look into the Federal preemption;
and if they are going to consider any change to the Ordinance, it would have to start with the Planning Commission and take input from the community as well.
Mr. Levin stated he does have sample Ordinances from surrounding Townships which he agreed to provide to the Township.
Mr. Caiola asked how many towers are in the surrounding communities. Mr. Levin stated he is aware of forty in both Falls and Bristol. He believes Bristol permits towers to be 125’ and Falls and Newtown permit 100’. Mr. Levin stated when he made Application for his tower, he was requesting 37’. Mr. Dancer stated an average height would be 55’ to 65’ which would be a reasonable height for their means of communication, and he does not feel there is a need for a height of 75’ to 100’.
Mr. Smith stated he would like to caution that there will most likely be an aesthetic concern from others in the community. He stated there would probably also be concern as to how many towers there could be in the Township.
Mr. Stainthorpe stated he feels that if they go ahead with this, it should be permitted by Special Exception and not by right so that each location is reviewed individually.
Mr. Smith asked if these could interfere with other people’s electronics, and Mr. Levin stated it is possible. Mr. Dancer stated because of cable and other means of bringing signals into homes, they do not have the same issues they had in the past. Mr. Caiola stated he also believes that there are filters available, and Mr. Dancer agreed.
March 21, 2007 Board of Supervisors – page 19 of 23
Mr. Levin stated with regard to aesthetics, he feels the construction of numerous sheds in neighborhoods is an eyesore. He feels when it comes to communication and all other systems fail, they will need the amateur operators to help communicate.
APPROVE ADVERTISEMENT OF RESPONSIBLE CONTRACTOR ORDINANCE
Mr. Truelove stated some time ago Mr. Santarsiero and some other Board members approached him with the possibility of looking into drafting a Responsible Contractor Ordinance. He stated many public sector entities have in the past few years enacted Ordinances or Resolutions to provide a floor for what the definition of “responsible” is for public sector construction projects. He stated if the Township is letting contracts out for bid, they are considering what are some of the standards that they can enact to determine the minimum standards of responsibility. Mr. Truelove stated they have looked at other Ordinances and Resolutions in place and are proposing a minimum contract dollar amount of $75,000. He stated it should not be lower than $25,000 because it references the Prevailing Wage Act which takes hold at the $25,000 threshold. He stated because of the scope and nature of some Contracts, they feel $75,000 may be a more reasonable sum, subject to review by the Board and other reviewing agencies.
Mr. Santarsiero stated his concern grew out of the Township’s experience with Metra, the contractor who is doing the work on the Interceptor line. He stated the Township was hesitant to retain them despite being the lowest bidder as they were concerned that they were not the lowest responsible bidder. He stated the Township lost this battle in Court, and Metra is now working on the project and it seems to be going well. He stated the Board at the time was concerned that they were going to run into problems, and this kind of Ordinance would give the Township more leverage when it comes to bidding out projects to make sure that they get the most responsible contractor and the best possible work for the Township, and ultimately this will be of benefit not only in terms of workmanship but in terms of cost as well since they will hopefully have things that last longer and be a greater benefit to the Township. Mr. Santarsiero stated he also knows that there are a number of residents who have had issues with their own contractors; and in fact, there has been suggestion that the Township should consider enacting an Ordinance that would require private contractors to register with the Township so that there is some control; and he feels they should consider this in the future. He stated what is being considered will give the Township more flexibility with regard to who the Township hires and give them flexibility to reject a bid if they feel it does not carry with it a responsible contractor.
Mr. Stainthorpe stated he would like additional time to study this to make sure that what they are doing provides ample protection but does not necessarily increases costs for the Township. He stated he is in agreement with the principle of the Ordinance.
March 21, 2007 Board of Supervisors – page 20 of 23
Mr. Caiola stated while the sewer interceptor situation has turned out well, he feels it would be good to have something with “teeth” to provide more options for the Township.
Mr. Smith stated he would like them to move as soon as possible with an accompanying Ordinance dealing with contractors working for residents. Mr. Santarsiero stated Geoff Goll, a member of the EAC, brought this to his attention since he had a bad experience. Mr. Santarsiero suggested that Mr. Goll attend a future meeting to discuss this, and the Board of Supervisors could then consider if they want to authorize Mr. Truelove to draft an Ordinance in this regard as well. Mr. Fedorchak stated what they have in place currently is very limited.
Mr. Santarsiero moved, Mr. Stainthorpe seconded and it was unanimously carried to authorize advertisement of a Responsible Contractor Ordinance.
APPROVAL OF RESOLUTION NO. 2141 – EXTENDING THE LIFE OF THE SEWER AUTHORITY
Mr. Truelove stated this was prepared by Mr. Koopman as part of his remaining work with the Authority. He stated he understands that the actual life of the original Sewer Authority in terms of Articles of Incorporation was going to expire in the not-to-distant future. He stated he also feels it has to do with some of the financing issues as well going forward.
Mr. Stainthorpe moved, Mr. Santarsiero seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve Resolution No. 2141 extending the life of the Sewer Authority.
Mr. Santarsiero stated he is not sure why Mr. Koopman prepared this. He stated this also relates to keeping a tighter rein on the cost of the professionals. He stated originally when they approved switching to Mr. Truelove’s firm last year, they had decided that there were some things the previous law firm, Begley Carlin, which Mr. Koopman is a partner with, should continue with to complete because the learning curve would be too great, and this would not be cost effective. Mr. Santarsiero stated it is now fourteen months after that decision, and he is curious as to why they are still doing work for the Sewer Authority.
Mr. Fedorchak stated he knows that the work they are doing is very limited at this point, and he feels this is the last piece of work they will do.
Motion carried unanimously.
March 21, 2007 Board of Supervisors – page 21 of 23
APPROVAL OF PUBLIC WORKS CONSORTIUM BIDS
Mr. Stainthorpe moved, Mr. Caiola seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Sign Material & Post Bids for 2007-2008 as outlined by Mr. Fedorchak.
Mr. Caiola moved, Mr. Stainthorpe seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Road Material Bid for 2007-2008 as outlined by Mr. Fedorchak.
APPROVAL OF DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT FOR SUNRISE AT LOWER MAKEFIELD AND SIGNING OF MYLARS
Mr. Stainthorpe moved, Mr. Caiola seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Development Agreement for Sunrise at Lower Makefield and authorize signing of Mylars.
APPROVE EXTENSION FOR RADVANY SUBDIVISION
Mr. Caiola moved, Mr. Stainthorpe seconded and it was unanimously carried to grant an extension of time to June 23, 2007 for Revised Preliminary Plan for Radvany Subdivision, 2119 Stackhouse Drive.
ZONING HEARING BOARD MATTERS
With regard to the Tom Lasserre, 18 Rita Road, Variance request to permit increase in non-conformity of side yard setback to construct a patio, it was agreed that the Solicitor should participate.
With regard to the James Johnson, 50 Fairway Drive, Variance request to construct an addition encroaching into the rear yard setback, it was agreed to leave the matter to the Zoning Hearing Board.
With regard to the Craig Bryson, 535 Nottingham Drive, Variance request to permit construction of a portico resulting in encroachment into the front yard setback, it was agreed to leave the matter to the Zoning Hearing Board.
Mr. Santarsiero stated the Citizens Traffic Commission began the first of its three Public Hearings soliciting input from residents on traffic problems throughout the Township.
March 21, 2007 Board of Supervisors – page 22 of 23
He noted there was significant comment about issues on Roelofs Road and request for traffic calming by residents. He stated a number of residents expressed their gratitude to the Board for creating the Citizens Traffic Commission and reaching out to residents to get input, and they expressed frustration with the previous Boards of Supervisors where they did not feel there was a lot of responsiveness. He stated they hope there will be more participation at the next two sessions in April and May. Mr. Santarsiero stated the Leagues of Municipalities will meet on March 29 in Yardley Borough at 7:30 p.m, and representatives of the Lower Makefield Disabled Persons Advisory Board will be making a presentation that evening to encourage other Townships who are members of the League to create their own such Boards. He stated there are relatively few of these in Lower Bucks.
Mr. Stainthorpe stated there will be a special meeting of the Golf Committee on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. to discuss establishing a policy regarding High School Golf Teams playing at the Course. He stated currently there are six of them playing at the Course, and it is having an economic impact; and while they want to be supportive of these programs, they feel they need to establish a policy that is fair and also looks out for the Township’s economic interests. Mr. Stainthorpe stated the Farmland Preservation Corporation will have their tour of the Farmland properties on March 31 at 8:00 a.m.
He invited those interested to meet at the Sterling Farm.
Mr. Smith stated the next meeting of the Regional Traffic Task Force will be on Thursday, March 29 at Northampton at 7:30 p.m. Mr. Smith stated people who are concerned about traffic in the region should come out to this meeting. He stated when the Task Force meeting was held at Lower Makefield, there were more residents from other Township in attendance than there were from Lower Makefield. Ms. Herman stated RRTS does express a lot of their concerns, but it would be good to hear from more people. Ms. Herman also noted the Open House will be held on April 26 at the Charles Boehm Middle School. Mr. Fedorchak was asked to advertise these meetings on the Cable Channel. Mr. Smith stated the Special Events Committee is working on the Spring Fling to be held on Sunday, May 6th at Elm Lowne. He stated they are also working on the Veterans Day function. He stated he and a few other members met with the American Legion Post, and they are going to work with the Township.
Mr. Smith noted there are a number of Board openings including Historic Commission, Historical Architectural Review Board, Elm Lowne Committee and asked that those interested in getting involved send a letter of interest to the Township Manager.
Mr. Smith stated he was invited to attend a Task Force by the United States Army Corps of Engineers one week ago, and they are proposing doing a feasibility study. He stated he would like to discuss this as an Agenda item, and asked that it be put on an Agenda in April and to include members of RAFT as well.
March 21, 2007 Board of Supervisors – page 23 of 23
Mr. Caiola moved, Mr. Santarsiero seconded and it was unanimously carried to appoint the following:
Cable TV Advisory Council – Deborah Gable
Economic Development Council – Margaret Fine Levy
Emergency Management Committee – Jeffrey Gust, Alison Kliefoth
Environmental Advisory Council – James Bray, Laura Brandt, Alan Dresser
Zoning Hearing Board – Paul Bamburak, Gregory Smith
Historic Commission – Roseann Friehs
Planning Commission – John Pazdera
Park & Recreation - Dennis Wysocki
There being no further business, Mr. Stainthorpe moved, Mr. Santarsiero seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 10:25 p.m.
Steve Santarsiero, Secretary