Regular Meeting-November 2011

Westfall Township, Matamoras, PA

November 1, 2011

The regular meeting of the Westfall Township Board of Supervisors was held Tuesday, November 1, 2011,

at 7:00 pm. The meeting was held at the Township Building on Delaware Drive and LaBarr Lane, Westfall Township.

Those present were Chairman, James Muir; Supervisors, Vice-Chairman, Lester Buchanan, Robert Ewbank, Paul Fischer, Raymond Banach; Solicitor, Robert Bernathy and Secretary, Lisa Green. Also present were Scott Myer, Michael Rendleman, Bill Schneider, Chief Stewart, Christina Robin and approximately 18 members of the general public.

AGENDA: Supervisor Ewbank asked to add the revisiting of the zoning to Delaware Drive to the agenda. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Fischer. Motion does not carry. Chairman Muir said there will be a change in the order of the meeting. The Westfall Service Center will be moved up first on the agenda. Vice-Chairman Buchanan moved to allow the change. Motion seconded by Supervisor Ewbank and carried with all in favor.

Executive Session will be at the end regarding personnel.

 Public Comment: Christina Robin said it is her understanding the Orange & Rockland will not be paying a property tax. Do we know what type of tax they will be paying how much that will be? Attorney Klemeyer said they do not pay real estate tax they pay a utility tax and that is paid to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Supervisor Banach asked how that would benefit Westfall Township. Does the money get paid to Westfall? They are not aware at this time of how the tax money in lieu of real estate tax is divided. Christina Robin said we’ve had this question for a week since the zoning hearing board. When can we expect an answer? Mr. Klemeyer said once the site is constructed we will know.

MINUTES:  The minutes of October 4, 2011, regular meeting were reviewed and approved on a motion by Vice-Chairman Buchanan. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Ewbank and carries with all in favor.

The minutes of October 13, 2011 budget meeting were reviewed and approved on a motion by Supervisor Ewbank. Motion seconded by Supervisor Fischer and carries with four in favor and one abstention. Vice-Chairman Buchanan abstained.

Subdivision Review and Action:

 Orange & Rockland / Westfall Service Center:  Representative: Attorney, John Klemeyer

Attorney Klemeyer said that the township engineer has reviewed and approved the plans as well as the Zoning Hearing Board and the Westfall Township Planning Commission. Mr. Klemeyer said he would be happy to answer any questions as he has representatives with him from Orange & Rockland as well as the project engineer. Solicitor Bernathy said the Alternate Solicitor Anthony Waldron has reviewed this project, working in conjunction with the planning commission and he was part of that process. Vice-Chairman Buchanan asked what the conditions were. Solicitor Bernathy said they were stated in a September 22, 2011 letter from Planning with the following approvals needed   1) Zoning Hearing Board 2) Water Authority 3) Stormwater Calculations 4) Flagman be present with the movement of the poles in regard to comment #5 of the HRG letter dated September 21, 2011.  Vice-Chairman Buchanan moves to approve project subject to the stated conditions. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Fischer and carries with all in favor.

Milford Landing Lot 1.04 Taco Bell / Bank: Representative: Attorney, John Stieh

 Attorney Stieh said that they are hoping to construct a Taco Bell along the right side of the Staples Mall. They have been before the Planning Commission. Solicitor Bernathy said there are two conditions for the project.

1) Letter of Capacity / design plans for water and design plans for sewer. 2) Different measures as far as traffic control device at Davita Drive: Including an additional “STOP SIGN AHEAD” and “STOP” lettering.  Which is actually going to be on the roadway. Vice-Chairman Buchanan moved to approve the project subject to the stated conditions. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Ewbank. Motion carries with all in favor.

 TREASURER’s REPORT: Scott Myer said it has been a good year for Westfall. We are over 100% in income, and we are in line with expenses. Supervisor Ewbank moved to accept the report. Motion is seconded by Vice-Chairman Buchanan and carries with all in favor.

POLICE REPORT: Police Chief Stewart gave the report for September reporting 217 calls for service, with 7,538 miles patrolled. Chief Stewart said the overnight parking for Westfall Township is in effect for November 15th. Motion to accept the police report made by Supervisor Banach and seconded by Vice-Chairman Buchanan. Motion carries with all in favor.

FIRE DEPARTMENTS: Luis Bocaletti gave the Westfall Township Fire Department Report for October reporting 2 Landing zone, 3 MVAs, 1 wires down, 1 Auto Alarm, 7 Mutual Aid to scene, 1 River rescue. Supervisor Ewbank moved to approve report.  No report for Mill Rift. Motion is seconded by Vice-Chairman Buchanan and carries with all in favor.

HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT: Bill Schneider gave the Highway report for October reporting that they have been doing regular maintenance on the equipment and the compost area. He has worked on the highway budget. Mr. Ewbank and Mr. Schneider both met with a representative from FEMA and DEP and were given a permit to do the work on Pond Drive. They have ninety days in which to do the work. They’ve had some downed branches and ordered some 125 tons of salt and 50 tons of anti skid. Mr. Schneider thanked the fire departments for being out with them moving trees. Supervisor Ewbank moved to approve the Highway report. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Fischer and carries with all in favor.

BUILDING /ZONING: Zoning Officer Mike Rendleman gave the October report stating that we issued five building permits, one electrical, four mechanicals, two sign and one zoning permit with total fees of $25,456. Vice-Chairman Buchanan moved to approve the report, seconded by Supervisor Banach. Motion carried with all in favor.

CORRESPONDENCE: On dais for review.


 Act 47 Monthly Report: Solicitor Bernathy stated that as everyone knows as of March of last year the Federal Bankruptcy Court signed an order confirming the Townships bankruptcy plan as well as the Act 47 Recovery Plan which amounts to final disposition of the bankruptcy action. The township is operating within the confines of its budget and continues to meet its financial obligations. The township continues to provide essential services.


The Hiring of the Township Employee: Solicitor Bernathy stated Supervisor Banach showed him the ad for the job which stated that preference would be given to township residents. Solicitor Bernathy further stated that he did not have a chance to review the ad and feels an error was made and that the position should be re-advertised. He thanked Supervisor Banach for bringing it to his attention. Supervisor Fischer moved to re-advertise the position. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Ewbank and carries with all in favor.

Hiring of Township Engineer: Chairman Muir said we have two proposals from McGoey, Hauser and Edsall and Boucher & James. Chairman Muir asked for their rate schedules. Mrs. Green found a schedule for Boucher & James but not for McGoey, Hauser & Edsall. Vice-Chairman Buchanan said he didn’t understand why we were hiring an engineer he thought we hired HRG for the duration of 2011. Discussion followed. Supervisor Banach suggested re-advertising the position. This item will be tabled until the 21st of November.

Vice-Chairman Buchanan said he wanted to go back to the ad for the township employee and asked what is the problem with the township resident being preferred. Solicitor Bernathy said there would not be equal opportunity and there is no residency requirement in the 2nd Class Township Code.

Pond Drive Excavating: Bill Schneider said this will cost between $3,500 and $5,500. Chairman Muir asked if this was for removing the dirt as well. It does include the removal of the dirt. Chairman Muir asked about the distance, which is 500 feet. Vice-Chairman Buchanan moved to approve the project. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Banach and carries with all in favor.

 Personnel Policy: Chairman Muir said we need a motion to revise our personnel policy to put in a clothing allowance of $500.00 per year per employee plus $150 per year for steel toe work boots. Vice-Chairman Buchanan moved to approve the revision. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Fischer and carries with all in favor.

 Heaters Hill Bids: Bill Schneider stated HRG would be working on a bid package. There are two culvert pipes that need to be replaced. This needs to be done sooner rather than later. The will cost approximately $65,000 – $85,000. Vice-Chairman Buchanan said basically it will cost $25,000 to get a package to go out to bid. Mr. Schneider spoke of a box culvert. Chairman Muir asked Mr. Myer if we had money in the budget to do this. Mr. Myer said we have the $20,000 but did not calculate all of what it would cost. Supervisor Banach asked if it would cost $125,000 minimum with pavement and other contingencies. Chairman Muir said this is something that has to be done. Supervisor Ewbank moved to approve the $20,000 to put together the bid package. Motion is seconded by Vice-Chairman Buchanan and carries with all in favor. Discussion was held on whether or not this was an emergency situation. Mr. Schneider and Supervisor Ewbank both stated that yes this is an emergency situation.

 Petition for Tax Increase: Solicitor Bernathy said you have before you the same petition that you had filed last year. The township is presently levying taxes for general purposes at last years court ordered rate of 15.7 % which is 1.7 % above the allowable 14 mils. Solicitor Bernathy said the Court can approve up to 5 mils which would total 19 mils, and the township is only asking for 15.7 mils. Mr. Myer said to clarify the taxes are not going up over 2011. It is the same as last year, however we still have to ask for court approval. Vice-Chairman Buchanan moved to approve the petition. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Ewbank. Supervisor Banach is opposed. Motion carries with four in favor and one opposed.

 Cellular One Contract: Chairman Muir said we are paying approximately $50.00 per month for one phone and we can pay $63.97 plus tax for three phones. There is also the contract for the Air Card for the EMA computer at $48.00 per month. One for the Emergency Management Coordinator and one for the Zoning Officer. Vice-Chairman Buchanan asked how the service was. Mrs. Green said Mr. Bolles found the service to be comparable to Nextel. Vice-Chairman Buchanan moved to approve the contracts. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Banach and carries with all in favor.

 Audit Proposal: Chairman Muir said there is a proposal from Dale Kirk in the amount of $4,800.00 to perform the 2011 Audit. This fee is the same amount as this past year’s rate. Vice-Chairman Buchanan moved to approve the proposal. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Banach and carries with all in favor.

 Burning Ban: Chairman Muir asked that this be placed on the next meetings agenda. Solicitor Bernathy said the Planning Commission liked the proposed language of the Ordinance but there was discussion regarding the duration and location of burning and there should be deliberation on that. This item will be placed on the December 6th meeting agenda. Vice-Chairman Buchanan asked if the language will be changed by then. Solicitor Bernathy said the Supervisors need to come up with language. Supervisor Ewbank said the proposal is to ban burning in the parts of Westfall Township that are adjacent to Matamoras Borough, not the entire township. Supervisor Ewbank stated Matamoras does not burn and they should not be susceptible to the smoke that comes from Bell Manor or any of the areas that are highly populated and adjacent to Matamoras.

Landa Copertino said she doesn’t understand how she can split the township in two. It is like telling someone that you don’t want them sitting next to you. Mrs. Copertino also said that as of today no one has spoken to Matamoras about using their leaf vacuum. Vice-Chairman Buchanan commented that the board has not passed the burning ban yet and that he is opposed to any form of a ban.

Mr. Gregory said at the last meeting he questioned what to do about residents burning toxic refuse and what is the proper protocol and he was told to call DEP. Mr. Gregory called PA DEP and was told the DEP does not get involved with any residential burning issues. They solely get involved with Commercial burning issues. Further stating that it needs to be turned over to the township Supervisors. Solicitor Bernathy said we have a PA DEP Model Ordinance here which is an air pollution control ordinance that we have from the State. Solicitor Bernathy further said the Supervisors can adopt the ordinance and they need to do that for there to be enforcement action. The Supervisors will be discussing that at their upcoming meeting.

 Mr. Schneider asked if the township has an alternate engineer because the township has something that needs to be reviewed by an engineer for the Authority and it has been waiting. Chairman Muir asked if we could appoint McGoey, Hauser and Edsall. Solicitor Bernathy said absolutely. Supervisor Banach questioned who does the building reviews. Kelly Reynolds. Lisa Green will call Kelly Reynolds on the 2nd of November to see if he can review the floodplain permit.

Tax Abatement: Chairman Muir said we have a tax abatement for Marie Laurel who has had a trailer removed. Vice-Chairman Buchanan moved to approve the abatement. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Banach and carries with all in favor.

Discussion followed regarding the advertisement for the new employee. The new ad will go in the paper on the 10th of November with applications due back the 17th of November. Hiring will take place at the special meeting on November 21st, 2011.


ADJOURNMENT: Vice-Chairman Buchanan moved to adjourn at 7:52. Motion seconded by Supervisor Banach and carries with all in favor.


Respectfully submitted,




Lisa A. Green