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January 3, 2011
The regular meeting of the Westfall Township Board of Supervisors was held Monday, January 3, 2011 at 7:18 pm. The meeting was held at the Township Building on Delaware Drive and LaBarr Lane, Westfall Township.
Those present were Chairman, James Muir, Vice-Chairman, Lester Buchanan; Supervisors, Robert Ewbank, and Raymond Banach; Solicitor, Robert Bernathy and Secretary, Lisa Green. Also present were Treasurer, Scott Myer; Building Inspector, Shawn Bolles; Bill Schneider, Bill Koferl and approximately fourteen members of the general public. Supervisor Paul Fischer was not present.
AGENDA: Vice-Chairman Buchanan moved to add an executive session at the end of the meeting for litigation on Banach and Katz. The agenda was approved with all in favor.
Public Comment: None.
MINUTES: The minutes of the December 7, 2010 meeting were reviewed and approved on a motion by Supervisor Banach, seconded by Supervisor Ewbank. Motion carried with all in favor.
The minutes of the December 29, 2010 meeting were reviewed and approved on a motion by Supervisor Ewbank, seconded by Vice-Chairman Buchanan. Chairman Muir abstained. Motion carried with three in favor and one abstention.
TREASURER’s REPORT: Scott Myer gave the treasurer’s report for December stating that all things considered 2010 came in as expected with a few exceptions. Delinquent taxes and charges for services such as building permits came in higher than anticipated. Expenses were line with budget with the exception of the attorney for the bankruptcy; however the final payment has been mailed out to Pepper Hamilton. Motion to approve the treasurer’s report made by Vice-Chairman Buchanan. Motion seconded by Supervisor Banach and carries with all in favor.
POLICE REPORT: No report.
FIRE DEPARTMENT: Rob Llewellyn gave the Westfall Township Fire Department Report for December reporting 1 gas leak, 1 structure fire, 1 hazmat incident, 9 mutual aid calls, 3 motor vehicle accidents, 1 smoke investigation, 1 traffic control, 1 controlled burn, 1 water rescue, 2 public service calls, 1 carbon monoxide, 2 landing zones for a total of 25 calls for the month, and 279 calls for the year. Total man hours for the year 3085. There were 26 ambulance calls for the month, total calls year to date 394. Supervisor Ewbank moved to accept the report. Motion seconded by Vice-Chairman Buchanan and carries with all in favor.
HIGHWAY REPORT: Bill Schneider gave the report for December stating that the department had a call for wires down on Bluestone Blvd. They have put cold patch down throughout the township. Ordered another 50 ton of salt and received it on 12/11. Plowed and sanded the roads for the storms that we had on 12/12 and 12/15. Attended the monthly Road Task Force meeting on 12/16. Mr. Schneider stated that the Pond Eddy Bridge project will go out to bid on January 13th and will be expected to last 4 months. Vice-Chairman Buchanan said the township submitted a right to know request to PennDOT for information on the Pond Eddy Bridge and asked the following questions:
1) We need to know the ownership of the bridge
2) We need a copy of the standard inspection schedule for the bridge
3) We need to assert an exception for weight limit for emergency response
4) We need to get a date for correction and repair.
Vice-Chairman Buchanan said we received a response as follows:
Your request is granted. This bridge is co-owned by PennDOT and the New York State Department of Transportation; however, PennDOT is responsible for maintenance of this bridge.
The bridge inspection schedule for this bridge is as follows: regular inspection – two year cycle; interim inspection – six month cycle; underwater inspection – two year cycle and after a flood; in-depth inspection – four year cycle.
It is not possible for PennDOT to allow any exceptions to the posted weight limit on this bridge due to the bridge’s condition. Emergency response vehicles that are over the posted weight limit cannot cross this bridge in its current condition.
This bridge is scheduled for emergency repairs. The repair project will be bid on 1/13/2011. We estimate that the contractor’s notice to proceed will be issued on 1/17/2011, and the expected date for completion of repairs is 6/30/2011.
Supervisor Banach asked if there is any way we can send a letter to PennDOT regarding a contingency plan for homeowners that live in Pond Eddy.
Solicitor Bernathy said there has to be a contingency plan that the state has to comply with and the record should be clear that the Supervisors have no jurisdiction over that bridge and the supervisors’ hands are tied.
BUILDING/ZONING REPORT: Nothing to report.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN: Vice-Chairman Buchanan announced that the final meeting was held in December and on January 24th at 6:00 pm the Planning Boards of Matamoras Borough and Westfall Township will meet to review and recommend approval of the plan. On February 28th at 6:00 pm the Westfall Township Supervisors and the Matamoras Borough Council will meet to approve the Comprehensive plan.
CORRESPONDENCE: On dais for review.
Act 47 Monthly Report: Solicitor Bernathy stated that as he has reported at the past few meetings as of March 2, 2010 the Federal Bankruptcy Court signed the order confirming the Township’s bankruptcy plan as well as the Act 47 Recovery Plan which amounts to final disposition of the bankruptcy plan. The Township is operating within the confines of its budget and continues to meet its financial obligations. The Township continues to provide essential services and is otherwise compliant with the Recovery Plan, which has been approved by the Bankruptcy Court on March 2, 2010. The Township is otherwise in compliance with the settlement agreement reached with Katz with the caveat that there may be a delay with the installation of the pump station in which the township had to wait for a third party approval for a permit. This settlement agreement was approved by the United States District Court.
Cable Franchise: Solicitor Bernathy stated that he provided copies of the cable franchise at the last meeting and there was a resident present (Henry Cotterill) who asked the board if they wanted his help with proceeding forward. Vice-Chairman Buchanan asked what the next step would be. Solicitor Bernathy said that would be to reach out to the other party which would be Cablevision. Supervisor Banach moved to authorize Solicitor Bernathy to begin contract negotiations. Motion is seconded by Vice-Chairman Buchanan and carries with all in favor. Solicitor Bernathy asked if the Township wanted to partner with Matamoras in this. Vice-Chairman Buchanan said Matamoras Borough receives a check for a few thousand dollars each year from Cablevision.
Solicitor Bernathy said the percentage level that can be requested by law will most likely be passed on to the people who are subscribing.
Fire Loss Ordinance: Tabled.
Tax Anticipation Note: Solicitor Bernathy said that should be ready for approval soon. Solicitor Bernathy further stated that Scott Myers office negotiated a rate of 2.72% with the Dime Bank for Milford Borough. It is a line of credit so if the money is not accessed there is no interest charged. Vice-Chairman Buchanan moved to authorize proceeding forward with the tax anticipation note. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Ewbank and carried with all in favor.
Resolution 2011-1: This resolution is for the township fee schedule. There is no change to the fee schedule. Vice-Chairman Buchanan moved to approve the fee schedule. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Banach and carries with all in favor.
Clean up Day: Lisa Green said we rented three containers at a cost of $1500.00 for the last cleanup day and did not pay for the metal container. We brought in $770. Total cost to the township was $730.00. Vice-Chairman Buchanan moved to have the cleanup day. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Ewbank and carried with all in favor. Date is set for May 14, 2011from 8 am to 2 pm.
Appreciation for Donation of Time / Thomas Lamb: Vice-Chairman Buchanan wished to thank Tom Lamb on behalf of the Township and the Supervisors, stating we needed work done on the highway building and didn’t have the equipment to do it. Tom volunteered his time and equipment and did the work. Vice-Chairman Buchanan further stated that the trucks needed side wings on the sanders to keep the trucks from filling up and the highway department bought the material and Tom came up on a Sunday and cut, installed and painted them for us at no cost to the township. Supervisor Banach suggested sending a letter of appreciation.
Marcellus Shale Task Force Member: This is to serve on the Natural Gas Task Force which is different than the task force that the Commissioners asked for representation for in the past. Vice-Chairman Buchanan moved to appoint Chairman Muir. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Ewbank and carried with all in favor.
Tax Exoneration – SA-JUL, Inc $12.06: Solicitor Bernathy explained that this .545 acre parcel is already included in another parcel. Vice-Chairman Buchanan moved to approve the exoneration. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Ewbank and carries with all in favor.
SUBDIVISION REVIEW AND ACTION:
Kenneth Adams Minor Subdivision Final Plan: Solicitor Bernathy stated the board has a letter from the Planning Commission dated December 28, 2010 recommending approval of the submission and asking disposition of the matter and it has also been reviewed by the County. Vice-Chairman Buchanan moved to approve the plan. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Ewbank and carries with all in favor.
Adjourn to executive session at 7:45 pm for litigation.
Back in section 8:15 pm.
Vice-Chairman Buchanan moved to send a letter to the Westfall Municipal Authority asking if there is anything that they can to expedite any phase of the Katz Pump Station, such as staking it out, surveying it, or any other preliminary work that can be done to show a good faith effort. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Ewbank and carries with all in favor.
ADJOURNMENT: Meeting was adjourned at 8.16 pm on a motion by Vice-Chairman Buchanan. Motion seconded by Supervisor Banach and carried with all in favor.
Lisa A. Green