Supervisors Minutes March 6, 2012

WestfallTownship,Matamoras,PA

March 6, 2012

 

The regular meeting of the Westfall Township Board of Supervisors was held Tuesday, March 6, 2012

at 7:00 pm. The meeting was held at theTownshipBuildingonDelaware DriveandLaBarr Lane,WestfallTownship.

 

Those present were Chairman,Robert Ewbank, Vice-Chairman,Paul Fischer; Supervisors, Raymond Banach,Larry Flansburg, andRobert Melvin; Solicitor, Robert Bernathy and Secretary,Lisa Green. Also present were Treasurer,Scott Myer; Building Inspector,Shawn Bolles; Zoning Officer, Mike Rendleman; Police Chief, Chad Stewart; Roadmaster, Bill Schneider; Luis Bocaletti, Jay Edwards, Judee & Jeff Doughman, John Dalton, Lisa Mickles, Twila Decker, Jerry Dotey and approximately fourteen members of the general public.

 

AGENDA: Supervisor Banach moved to approve the agenda. Motion is seconded by Vice-Chairman Fischer and carries with all in favor. 

 

Public Comment: Twila Decker said she was away and did not make the last meeting where the I 84 Tunnel was discussed. She has great concern that a resident or resident’s property is going to be injured and if that does happen she is puttingWestfallTownship on notice that she will have to seek legal council. Ms. Decker said she also has pictures showing what the tunnel looks like now. Supervisor Flansburg asked if Ms. Decker thinks the injury might come from someone in the tunnel. She said yes, she is being awakened at 2:00 and 3:00 in the morning and she has great concern because things get strewn around. Ms. Decker said she would like to call the boards attention to a letter that was sent to the Westfall Supervisors on November 6, 1997 stating that the tunnel was not being maintained properly and she also has a copy of the agreement stating that it needs to be maintained and needs to have lighting. She does not think that possible criminal activity should be going on there. Stating that the original petition for a tunnel was for emergency vehicles to go under it and they can not fit under it. There is also a bar in the middle of the tunnel. Ms. Decker said that this needs to be addressed and something needs to be done whether it is closed or whether it is closed from 6:00 pm to 6:00 am. Further stating that when the police are called the perpetrators run out the other side of the tunnel. Ms. Decker said she was told that the perpetrators had to paint the tunnel to make restitution and she didn’t see that done; stating she also volunteered the services of herself and another person to paint the tunnel because it is an atrocity. Ms. Decker said that she has previously complained and she is stating again that if they are harmed it is going to come back to Westfall because they have been notified. Solicitor Bernathy said with all due respect he completely disagrees with Ms. Decker’s position regarding the law. The Township has immunity initially and there is a contractual obligation going back to 1969. Ms. Decker said like the Pennsylvania Blue Laws it can be amended, adjusted or revoked. Solicitor Bernathy said the Supervisors at their last meeting said that they were going to move in that direction and reach out to PennDOT. Ms. Decker said she would be happy to reach out to PennDOT and send copies to her liaison there. Supervisor Melvin said he and Supervisor Flansburg went to a Supervisor training and met with PennDOT representatives and they are finding out what they legally can and can’t do at this time and he assured Ms. Decker that it has not fallen on deaf ears and it will be dealt with. Ms. Decker says she appreciates any forward movement on this matter. Chairman Ewbank stated that if one person uses the tunnel it can not be closed and we have letters from people stating that they use the tunnel. Solicitor Bernathy said he is aware of what the contract says and the township can attempt to continue to try to amend the contract. Further stating he does not believe the municipality has any liability and he does not think Ms. Decker is threatening the township. She said she is not, but she does have recourse. Further discussion followed. Supervisor Flansburg said to let it be said that the supervisors are not happy with the tunnel themselves and they are looking into everything they can do about it. The most popular thing they have heard so far is possibly gating it at a certain time and opening it at a specific time. However until they hear back from PennDOT their hands are tied. Ms. Decker suggested signs that said the area is being monitored to deter activity. Supervisor Banach suggested looking into the cost of obtaining video cameras to be monitored by the police department.

John Dalton said he would like to add a digital recorder to the agenda. Dragon will translate voice to text. Jerry Dotey said he would donate the Dragon software free of charge to the township. Mr. Dotey explained that you would talk into the computer and it would transcribe voice into text. Supervisor Flansburg asked Secretary Lisa Green what she thought and if she had a backup for the transcriber. Mrs. Green said she is happy with the transcriber and there is a backup. The Planning Commission Secretary has one also. Chairman Ewbank said Mr. Dalton’s comments are duly noted.

 

Jerry Dotey said it is the Solicitors’ job to look out for the township and he could appreciate that but it is also the people that need to be looked after as well.

 

MINUTES: The Minutes of the February 7, 2012 regular meeting were approved on a motion by Supervisor Flansburg. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Banach and carries with all in favor.

 

TREASURER’s REPORT:Scott Myer gave the treasurer’s report for February stating that January and February are typically slow months. That is basically what we expect for this time of year. As far as expenses things are in line with budget. Mr. Myer said we are fine this year. Supervisor Melvin commented that we do not need to do a bridge loan or anything like that this year. The answer was no. Supervisor Melvin moved to approve the report. Vice-Chairman Fischer seconds the motion. Motion carried with all in favor.

 

POLICE REPORT: Police Chief Stewart gave the report for February stating there were 5,331 miles patrolled for the month and 157 calls for service. Chief Stewart asked if we have an offsite advertising law because we get signs especially on the fence across from Wal Mart from all over and they leave them up until they rot off the fence. Solicitor Bernathy said off premises signs are prohibited. Supervisor Banach said the state has to enforce it we can’t enforce it. Mike Rendleman said the state can enforce it they have something on the books, for the town to enforce it the Zoning Officer has to find out who has the sign up and send an enforcement notice and allow 30 days for the sign to be removed. Supervisor Banach suggested sending a letter to PennDOT asking them to remove the signs. The Chief said he is more than willing to send a letter. Chief then asked if the township is looking into a loitering ordinance. Solicitor Bernathy will look into that. Supervisor Flansburg asked if he heard correctly in that the department arrested the perpetrators in the armed robbery. Chief said they did. He was actually apprehended inNew York through a BOLO. Supervisor Flansburg congratulated the department on a job well done. Supervisor Banach moved to approve the report. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Flansburg and carried with all in favor.

 

FIRE DEPARTMENT: Luis Bocaletti gave the Westfall Township Fire Department Report for February reporting 2 Mutual Aid structure fires, 3 Commercial Auto False Alarms, 1 Landing Zone, 2 Commercial Fire Alarm, 5 Motor Vehicle Accidents, 1 EMS Assist Environmental Rescue, Carbon Monoxide alarm, for a total of 15 calls for the month. There were 51EMS calls for the month, 36 in Westfall, 12 covering squad 33, 3 covering squad 19.

 

Jay Edwards gave the Mill Rift Fire Department report stating they had a Drill Night on 2/8, a Monthly Meeting on 2/15, a Pump Drill on 2/22, a Winter Access /Rural Water Supply Pump Drill on 2/26 and a Mutual Aid- Assist ambulance crew moving patient on 3/2. Total man hours 68 and total equipment hours 22 and total man hours for the year are 175.5. Supervisor Melvin questioned the merger of the departments and whether the departments have met. Mr. Edwards said they have met once. Mr. Bocaletti said they need to meet again and depending on the outcome of that meeting they need to decide if this is what they want to do. Supervisor Flansburg asked if there was a date for the meeting and said he would like to attend if possible. Motion to approve the reports made by Supervisor Flansburg. Motion seconded by Vice-Chairman Fischer and carried with all favor.

 

HIGHWAY REPORT: Bill Schneider gave the report for February stating that on 2/10 and 2/12 they were out for Winter Storms. They performed regular maintenance on the composting facility, vehicles and equipment. They cleared brush and debris along shoulders, drainage ditches and right of ways onOld Milford Road,Cummins Hill Road and Glass House Hill. Performed shoulder work onHeaters Hill Road andOld Milford Road. Mr. Schneider met on seven occasions with FEMA representative Bob Gaunt, two times on site at Decker Lane and Heaters Hill looking over storm damage and repairs and other times doing paperwork on damage caused by Hurricanes Irene and Lee. Met also with Mitigation representative Bill Meyer on Heaters Hill and at the shop along with Bob Gaunt about the funding of the reimbursement of the project. A lot of time was spent on paperwork this month, and the forms required a lot of detail. Bob Gaunt was very helpful with what paper work was needed and very supportive of our project. Bob Wyant was also helpful with the hazard mitigation proposal. Lisa Green and Supervisor Ewbank were very helpful also. Hazardous Mitigation is a recommen-dation from FEMA on how to improve the site so it does not happen again and this is the reimbursement paid by FEMA, Category A: for clean up of trees, debris from the roads after the storm: $3,719.00. Category B: Emergency Protective Measures, (did not qualify) Category C: Permanent Work: roads, bridges, culverts etc. forDecker Lane $8,726.34, for Heaters Hill $54,292.88 Total Reimbursement from FEMA: $66,738.22. Mr. Schneider also had a meeting with Steve Cunningham from Jacobs Engineering discussing recommendations for the redesign of the 6 & 209 construction improvement project. These concerns were discussed:  Replacing street name signs along the 6 & 209 corridor, converting the red lights wire operation overhead and underground to radio controlled signal. PennDOT would like to change the old style of loop sensors in the pavement to overhead video cameras for traffic control. Requesting battery operated backup for the red lights at 84 ramp atStella Street and 6 & 209 and atReuben Bell Drive and 6 & 209. Requesting that the overhead illuminating lights for the entrance toReuben Bell Drive be reinstalled. There were winter storms on 2/24 and 2/29. A list of street name signs that are either missing or faded will be ordered now that the inventory is complete. Also waiting for the DEP permit to do Heaters Hill culvert pipe project. The winter has been mild. The department has been able to work on shoulders and right of way clearing normally done in the springtime and to continue clean up and repairs from Irene and Lee. Supervisor Flansburg asked if the end ofRiver Road in Mill Rift can be attributed to the floods. Mr. Schneider said it cannot be directly attributed to the flood. The damage was done over time. Discussion followed regarding getting an engineer in to look at the problem and the possibility of turning a fire truck or ambulance around there. Vice-Chairman Fischer asked about the request from PennDOT to change from coils to cameras stating obviously it is an expense. Is Mr. Schneider going to have a conversation with PennDOT about that and will the cameras be remote access aiding in traffic. Mr. Schneider said their purpose is to keep traffic flowing so it will not back up. Supervisor Banach questioned the fire chiefs with regard to the opticom system. Luis Bocaletti said they are working. Chairman Ewbank asked if the opticom system will work with the cameras on there. Mr. Bocaletti said he believes they will still work. Vice-Chairman Fischer moved to approve report. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Flansburg and carried with all in favor.

 

BUILDING/ZONING REPORT: Mike Rendleman gave the report for February reporting three building permits and three zoning permits with fees of $658.00. Motion by Supervisor Banach to accept the report. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carries with all in favor.

 

CORRESPONDENCE: On dais for review.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

 

Act 47 Monthly Report: Solicitor Bernathy stated as is common knowledge the township is coming up on the two year anniversary of the Federal Bankruptcy Courts signing the order confirming the Townships 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. Supervisor Flansburg asked if we are going to be out of the Act 47 Plan soon. Chairman Ewbank said he and Lisa Green met with Matt Domines this past week and Mr. Domines stated he would be getting us out of the Act 47 Plan within the next couple of months. Supervisor Banach moved to approve report. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Flansburg and carries with all in favor.

 

Re-Appointment of Planning Board Member Joseph Banach: Supervisor Melvin moved to appoint Joseph Banach to the Planning Board to a term running through December 31, 2012. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Flansburg. Supervisor Banach abstains. Motion carries with four in favor and one abstention.  
Purchase ofEmergency Road Signs: Supervisor Banach questioned Bill Schneider as to how many road closed signs we have. The township had two and ordered two more. There are no detour signs. Mr. Schneider said they cost about $500.00 each. Supervisor Banach said there should be a little bit extra cash because some of the supervisors did not take their salary. Supervisor Banach said he would like to notify people that roads are closed ahead. Chairman Ewbank said in the past when we’ve had to have signs PennDOT has staged signs along the road and Emergency Management has gone and placed them when they needed them. 

 

Cleanup Day – Electronics Recycling:  Lisa Green spoke with Frank Funicella at Advanced Recovery to set up the date for April 28, 2012 to coincide with our cleanup day. Supervisor Flansburg asked if we can open it up to everyone. Supervisor Banach asked if they will manage it. Mrs. Green said they will send a 24 foot truck with three men. Supervisor Flansburg suggested doing the electronics recycling in the front parking lot and continuing to do the cleanup day in the back at the composing facility. Chairman Ewbank said we will have the township cleanup day strictly for township residents for $10 per car load $20 per truck and $ 30 per large truck. The electronics recycling will be open to all county residents and business free of charge. Supervisor Banach questioned if we need insurance to protect us. Solicitor Bernathy said we do and that Advanced Recovery should name the township as an additional insured on their policy.  

 

NEW BUSINESS:

 

Exoneration of Previous Years – Delinquent Taxes Only: Miles Hudgens: Chairman Ewbank stated that

the building value was reduced due to a square footage correction in the total amount of $204.66. Supervisor Flansburg moved to approve the exoneration. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carried with all in favor.

 

Resolution 2012-2: Disposition of records. Tabled.

 

Backup Generator Municipal Buildings: Chairman Ewbank stated we need to look into a generator for the municipal building. Supervisor Melvin stated he and Supervisor Flansburg learned about the Costars program where we can leverage businesses to find better prices at their Supervisory training a few weeks ago. Supervisor Banach said we also need to find out what size generator we really need. Supervisor Melvin said a few years ago when they had a large power outage Pike County Light & Power had a program where they went out to check the buildings to see what size generators were needed and with the boards permission he could go back to Pike County Light & Power and see if they would still do that for the Township. Supervisor Banach said the question would be what buildings were needed? Does Mill Rift have generators or the Westfall Fire Department? Chairman Ewbank said if we get a major flood all the buildings are all inaccessible and all underwater. Discussion followed. John Dalton said he was pleased to hear the board say something about a generator. He has a 20,000 watt generator and his strongest recommendation is not buying one through Home Depot nor Lowe’s but to go through a contractor like Voltron. Mr. Dalton described the workings of his generator with propane gas. Supervisor Flansburg said he would lend the township his generator. Mr. Schneider said it would cost more to wire the building then to purchase the generator. Supervisor Melvin will check with Pike County Light & Power to see if they will let us know what size we need for the township building.

 

Backup for Office Computer: Lisa Green said she initially spoke to Chris Wood when she found out that her on site back up went bad. Mr. Wood recommended Carbonite an offsite computer backup company. She then spoke to Barry Bernathy who is our Information Technology Technician, who highly recommended the company because all of our data will be stored offsite. We will receive a 10% discount for being a non profit municipality so the cost will be $206 per year. Supervisor Flansburg questioned what it would cost to replace what we had. Mrs. Green said approximately $200 but then it would be onsite. Mrs. Green said she is using a 30 day free trial now. Supervisor Flansburg asked how she liked it. Mrs. Green said she likes it. She doesn’t notice the program, it doesn’t slow down the computer and it backs up every stroke so it she forgets to back up the program does it for her. Supervisor Banach said it is worth the $206. Supervisor Flansburg moved to approve the purchase. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Banach and carries with all in favor.

 

Shredding Services: Tabled

 

Severe Repetitive Loss Grant / Ed Eshleman: Lisa Green said she heard from Gary Orben with the Commissioners Office that the Grant was never closed out with the County so the County is going to continue with the project. Supervisor Banach moved to delete this item off the agenda. Motion is seconded by Vice-Chairman Fischer and carries with all in favor.

 

Zoning Hearing Board / Letters of Resignation: Chairman Ewbank said we have a letter from Martin Greenwald who respectfully resigns his position from the Zoning Hearing Board. We also received was a letter from John Shewchuk who regrets that he can not serve on the Zoning Hearing Board. Vice-Chairman Fischer moved to accept both letters. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Fischer and carries with all in favor. 

 

Zoning Hearing Board / Letters of Interest: Chairman Ewbank said we have a letter from William Gregory ofDelaware Drive. Supervisor Banach asked if Mr. Gregory would be willing to serve as a member as opposed to an alternate. Mr. Gregory agreed. Chairman Ewbank said we also have a letter from Jolie Defies who is interested in the Alternate Position to the Zoning Hearing Board. Supervisor Banach moved to appoint Mr. Gregory as a member to the Zoning Hearing Board for a term of 3/6/12 – 12/31/13. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Flansburg and carries with all in favor. Supervisor Banach moved to appoint Jolie Defies as an alternate member to the Zoning Hearing Board for a term of 3/6/12/-12/31/14. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Flansburg and carries with all in favor. Supervisor Banach asked to send a letter to Marty Greenwald thanking him for all his dedicated years of service. Supervisor Flansburg questioned if we still had an alternate position open. We do, there is one alternate position open now. 

 

Pike County Commissioners Resolution 12-07 / Pike County Conservation District Resolution 2012-01: Mrs. Green said we need to send a letter of intent stating that we received their notice of intent to participate in the Pike County Scenic Rural Character Preservation Program and we support the general intent of the project for groundwater baseline water quality study. Supervisor Banach asked if this was the same as they had done in the past. Lisa Mickles said this is different this is for the fracking. Supervisor Melvin stated this is to get a baseline before they drill so that we have the baseline study to compare to. Supervisor Banach moved to send the letter of support. Motion is seconded by Vice-Chairman Fischer and carries with all in favor. Chairman Ewbank said they are looking for a grant of $135,000 for this project.  

 

Vacation Request / Lisa Green: Chairman Ewbank read Mrs. Greens vacation request asking for the following 10 days as a portion of my 2012 vacation. Mrs. Green said she has taken into consideration payroll and meetings. March 28th Tentative, due to the fact that Lisa is expecting her first grandchild. April 2nd, 5th, 6th Tentative, July 16th through 20th and July 23rd”. Supervisor Banach moved to approve the request. Motion is seconded by Vice-Chairman Fischer and carries with all in favor.  Supervisor Flansburg asked for clarification on the March 28th tentative date questioning if Mrs. Green may come back and ask the board for a different date. Mrs. Green said that is correct it depends on when her daughter in law goes into labor.  

 

DCNR Greenway Plan / Lackawaxen and Upper Delaware River – Request for Letter of Support: Chairman Ewbank said they also want a letter of support. Mrs. Green said this will be a little more involved. They are requiring two meetings of the Board of Supervisors and approximately 40 hour’s worth of time as an in kind contribution. Supervisor Banach questioned if it had to be a Supervisor or if it could be Alex Cena from the Upper Delaware Council. The board will table this item until the workshop.

 Solicitor Bernathy stated regarding the loitering ordinance the Police Chief asked about there is a General Powers provision in the 2nd Class Township Code Section 1506 which permits the Supervisors to enact or adopt ordinances, bylaws, rules and regulations not inconsistent with or restrained by the Constitution and laws of this Commonwealth necessary for the proper management, care and control of the township and its finances and the maintenance of peace, good government, health and welfare of the township and its citizens, trade, commerce and manufacturers.

 SUBDIVISION REVIEW AND ACTION:

 Monroe LBL LLC:  Signing of Plans: Land Development was approved September 6, 2011. Plans were just received now. The last item they needed was the NPDES Permit and that was received about ten days ago.

Lisa Mickles questioned what the plans were for. Mrs. Green said it says Monroe Optical.

 

 EXECUTIVE SESSION:  Called at 8:07 for Personnel. 

 

ADJOURNMENT: Meeting was adjourned at 8:37 pm on a motion by Supervisor Banach. Motion seconded by Supervisor Flansburg and carried with all in favor. 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Lisa A. Green

Secretary