WestfallTownship, Matamoras, PA
March 21, 2012
The Westfall Township Board of Supervisors held a workshop meeting on Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at 7:00 pm at theTownshipBuildingonDelaware DriveandLaBarr Lane,WestfallTownship.
Those present were Chairman,Robert Ewbank; Vice-Chairman,Paul Fischer; Supervisors, Raymond Banach, Larry Flansburg andRobert Melvin; and Secretary,Lisa Green. Also present were Roadmaster, William Schneider; Zoning Officer, Michael Rendleman; Building Inspector,Shawn Bolles; Bill Koferl, Township Engineer, Joe Hudak; Nicholas Dickerson and approximately 7 members of the general public. Solicitor, Robert Bernathy was not present.
AGENDA: The agenda was approved on a motion by Supervisor Flansburg and seconded by Supervisor Melvin. Motion carried with all in favor.
PUBLIC COMMENT: None.
Nicholas Dickerson PA DCNR Greenway Plan: Nicholas Dickerson said the County is looking to put in a grant for the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. They are trying to put together an action implementation plan for a greenway that would go from the Delaware River Corridor from the Wayne Pike Border all the way to the Milford Boat access. This is a greenway plan that would take all of the open space plans that have just been completed in the County and craft together an implementation plan. Similar things are taking place in Sullivan County and because they are doing the plan on that side of the river a Greenway Corridor is really not complete if it is not done on this side of the river as well. Mr. Dickerson said we are looking to take these plans from all municipalities and craft together a vision that will use those Municipal plans; the County open space plan as well as theCountyRegional plan and various other plans. Mr. Dickerson further stated they are trying to craft a vision to use for our side of theDelaware River and he is asking for the Township’s support. Chairman Ewbank confirmed that it was not financial support. Mr. Dickerson said he is asking for an in kind contribution. It would be a matter of attending these meetings and the time it takes for the meeting to take place. Supervisor Flansburg questioned if it will be detrimental to any of our property owners along the river. Mr. Dickerson said they are not intending for that to take place. Stating it is those concerns they want to use as part of the Greenway planning process. Most of theUpper Delaware is privately owned. The problems that are happening inSullivanCounty are that rafters are using private property to use the restrooms, dump garbage, camp, etc. They want to make proper signage to direct people and this in no way wants to restrict development. Supervisor Banach asked where this start and ends. Mr. Dickerson said it starts from Delaware River at the Pike / Wayne Border as well as the Lackawaxen River at the Pike / Wayne Border it’s about 58 miles at length and all the up to Milford Borough. Supervisor Banach questioned how they would interact with the Park Service who already regulates the River. Mr. Dickerson said they have their letter of support and they are already working with the partners on the other side of the river and they have their management plan in place so it would be a matter of Mr. Dickerson working with them to get recommendations off the ground. DCNR wants to see all municipalities start to implement plans. Supervisor Banach asked if the funding was coming from the government. Mr. Dickerson said the funding was coming from a donation of their services and a match of DCNR funding. Chairman Ewbank said we will act on this at our April 3, 2012 meeting.
Update SALDO Traffic Lights – Maintenance Fees & Design: Supervisor Banach said the SALDO only says we would follow PennDOT’s recommendation and if there is any more development technically we should have it in there already that we want generators, etc. Supervisor Banach said he believes we should change the wording on it now so that everything that goes on the traffic lights including the fire departments opticom system. Chairman Ewbank asked if this has anything to do with the Route 6 & 209 project. Mr. Schneider said not exactly but Supervisor Banach is talking about new development. Supervisor Banach said the township should not be going down to plug in generators on the traffic signals and all the bells and whistles that could be there should be there and the developer should be paying for them because he is the one making the money. Chairman Ewbank asked if Joe Hudak could elaborate. Mr. Hudak said the equipment would have to meet PennDOT’s standards. Supervisor Banach said also the maintenance fees should be looked at as our insurance costs increase. Supervisor Melvin asked about the LED lights. Mr. Hudak said sometimes they are not adaptable. We need to see what PennDOT has to say about that. Mr. Schneider said we had a grant that changed to LED lights some time ago. Discussion was held regarding the snow because the LED lights do not generate heat. Supervisor Banach suggested that the secretary contact PSATS for some sample ordinances. Supervisor Banach also suggested that the maintenance fees for the traffic signals be paid quarterly as opposed to annually.
Agreements for Pedestrian Underpass: Chairman Ewbank read the letter submitted from Solicitor Bernathy dated March 12, 2012. It is Solicitor Bernathy’s recommendation that the Supervisors consider making specific findings of fact regarding the pedestrian underpasses continued use in relation to that which may negatively impact its use including, but not limited to, the cost to the township for maintaining the underpass and the lighting facilities which is his understanding is nominal. The letter went on to say that should the Supervisors consider permanent closure of the pedestrian underpass, that a public hearing with advance notice to all Township residents be considered for purposes of fielding any information which could be useful in the Supervisors determination of terminating the contract with the Commonwealth. Supervisor Flansburg said he didn’t believe they talked about closing the tunnel permanently only gating it and keeping it open between 6:00 am and 9:00 pm. Chairman Ewbank said there are a lot of options, he believes we need to find out from the State what they will allow us to do or if they will give the tunnel to
us and let us do what we want. Supervisor Melvin said one of the things that came out at the Police Commission meeting last week from the Chief and Assistant Chief is that they have really stepped up their patrol of the tunnel and they have done some investigating and found that there is a geocaching site on the internet which is very popular among teens and young adults and the tunnel is one of those gps geocaching sites. Supervisor Melvin went on to explain that these treasure hunter people who like to do things at night go around and visit these sites and sign a piece of paper that they were there and upload it to the internet. Supervisor Melvin said that nobody has control over the web, nobody can take these geocaching sites off of the web, but the Chief and Assistant Chief found out that some of the traffic at the tunnel coming through is not all crime related. The geocaching site is one of the attractions that are adding to the traffic there. A lot of the traffic at the tunnel is from people that are playing this game and many of the cars are out of state plates. Supervisor Melvin said there are a lot of things that are going on and he likes the idea that it be gated at night and opened in the morning. We have to figure out the costs involved with that. Chairman Ewbank said we need to research with the Commonwealth what we are allowed to do. Vice-Chairman Fischer said he remembers the statement that if there was one person who uses the tunnel we would not be allowed to close it. Supervisor Flansburg said we may be allowed to amend the agreement. The board will have the Solicitor send a letter to PennDOT’s attorney to see if they want to amend or terminate the agreement or what the indemnifications are to us if we do terminate.
Shredding Services: Chairman Ewbank said that he andLisa Green met with a representative of Cintas today and he gave us a proposal for $225.95 to come out and do a one time clean out of approximately 8 boxes plus all the extra land development plans that we have on site. Or the other proposal was to do an offsite clean out at a cost of $188.95. Chairman Ewbank said he contacted three companies but Cintas was the only one that responded. Another service would be to have a 65 gallon container on site on a regular basis with a twelve week cycle. This cycle could be extended if necessary. Supervisor Flansburg said if he had his choice he would rather have the records destroyed on site as opposed to risking an accident and having our records strewn around. Supervisor Melvin questioned if there is indemnification or confidentiality. Chairman Ewbank said either way they do it they give us a certificate of destruction. Vice-Chairman Fischer said just forinformationPikeCounty Licensing uses Cintas for their Motor Vehicle records. Further discussion followed. This item will be added to the April 3, 2012 meeting agenda.
Alternate Attorney: Chairman Ewbank spoke toDoug Jacobs last week who recommended Tony Magnotta for an Alternate to the Zoning Hearing Board. Attorney Magnotta said he would work for $175.00 per hour and Chairman Ewbank said that is the problem we have now that our alternate Anthony Waldron’s rate is $175.00 per hour and we can not pay that. Mr. Magnotta agreed to work for $125.00 per hour. Mr. Jacobs told Chairman Ewbank that in twenty years he has only had one conflict. Supervisor Melvin said that $125.00 is better than $175.00. Supervisor Flansburg questioned if paying Mr. Magnotta $125.00 when Solicitor Bernathy and Attorney Jacobs make $100.00 per hour would create a problem. The rest of the board did not think so because the other attorneys were getting steady business. Chairman Ewbank saidDoug Jacobs, Solicitor Bernathy and Attorney Magnotta’s office were a handful of attorneys that do zoning issues. Supervisor Banach questioned if anyone responded to our ad. Mrs. Green said we did not receive any letters. It was advertised in the Pike County Dispatch and theNews Eagle. This item will be added to the April 3, 2012 meeting agenda.
Composting Facility: Supervisor Banach said his understanding is we do charge now for commercial businesses and asked how many are paying. Mrs. Green said only four or five. His feeling is we should lock the gate and they need to come in and sign in and out. Chairman Ewbank asked about residents and whether they should come in and sign in as well. Supervisor Melvin asked Mrs. Green what it will do to her. She said it will take a lot of time out of her day. Discussion was held regarding the amount of people that come per day. There are both Matamoras and Westfall residents that it is open to. Bill Schneider said the secretary would get nothing done if she had to operate the gate all day. Supervisor Flansburg suggested adding it to the agenda and thinking about it for two weeks to come up with ideas. Supervisor Melvin asked if there were peak times. Supervisor Banach suggested putting a combination lock on it and having them come in and register. Supervisor Melvin questioned how much we charge per year such as the tree trimming companies. Mrs. Green said $300.00 per year and that was intended for commercial businesses such as the landscaping businesses. The questioned was raised if we made enough money per year to hire someone to sit out there and man the gate. This item will be placed on the April 3, 2012 meeting agenda.
Draft Road Use Maintenance Agreement – related to Shale Gas activities: Mrs. Green said she had given this to the Solicitor and when she spoke to him today he said for the Supervisors to review it and to put it on the April 3, 2012 meeting agenda. She did speak to Supervisors Melvin and Flansburg about this previously. Chairman Ewbank asked Mr. Hudak if he has any input on this. Mr. Hudak said it is largely Mike Mrozinski’s project but he could look into it because he has modified it for Milford Township when they were doing gas line expansion. Chairman Ewbank said that he believed it was basically for use if and when the infrastructure is going to be put in for Marcellus Shale. Mr. Hudak said yes that is true and if they want to look at an agreement that has been used before. The board asked when the deadline is. It was February 29, 2012. Supervisor Melvin said he read the agreement and said he did not know if the $12,000.00 bond was sufficient. Mr. Hudak said you may want to adopt the PennDOT standards or come up with something else coming up with a road inspection before and after. Mr. Hudak will prepare something for the April 3rd meeting. This item will be added to the April 3, 2012 meeting agenda. Supervisor Banach questioned if this agreement would go to the owners of the companies or the individual construction companies. Because his experience is like Chesapeake Energy bonded the roads for all contractors. Mr. Hudak said that is his understanding that the prime company would bond the roads. Supervisor Banach said if you had four gas companies you would have four bonds. Mr. Hudak said that is correct.
Employee Working Hours: Supervisor Banach said this was spoken about before regarding not having employees working on holidays. Supervisor Melvin said he and Supervisor Flansburg are working on job descriptions and they have a lot of work before them. They need to decide who reports to who. The board all has to get together and they need to decide working hours. Supervisor Melvin questioned Mrs. Green as to whether or not the Employee Handbook Notifications were received. Mrs. Green said all employees received them but she is missing a few receipts. Supervisor Melvin said it is important that they are all received. Supervisor Banach said going forward he feels the board should set some hours and not have the employees working on holidays. Supervisor Banach suggested that Supervisor Flansburg and Melvin meet with the other supervisors two at a time to get this done sooner. This item will be added to the April 3, 2012 meeting agenda.
Computer Protocol: Supervisor Banach said he believes there is no computer protocol and he feels we need to get something in the employee policy manual. The board agreed that something needs to be added regarding computer protocol. Supervisor Flansburg asked if now should be the time to bring up about the Hepatitis C testing. Supervisor Melvin said that the policy manual says Hepatitis C Testing will be done for all employees for the ambulance and fire at the expense of the Township. Supervisor Melvin said if it is in the policy manual we should follow it. It is for all new members when they join. Bill Koferl said it does make a lot of sense because if you test positive when you started you have a baseline. But if you test negative it is assumed you acquired Hepatitis C from your job. Discussion followed. Supervisor Banach questioned how the fire department andEMSlogs their fluids. Mr. Koferl said there is a whole protocol. If there is exposure the secretary receives notification. Supervisor Melvin said he and Supervisor Flansburg saw it in there and they both felt that it needed to be followed. Supervisor Flansburg suggested the fire department get a list of new members. Supervisor Melvin mentioned the fire department compliance officer should keep the records. Further discussion followed.
Pictures for Website: Chairman Ewbank said our webmaster thought it would be a good idea to take a picture of each board member to put on the website. The board agreed and the secretary will ask Mr. Cena to come to the next board meeting. Supervisor Banach said that Mr. Cena should be sent an “at a boy” for a job well done for the website stating we received a high rating from the Pocono Record since Alex came on board to do this for us. The secretary contacted Mr. Cena and he will come May 1st to do the pictures.
Letters to PennDOT 6 & 209 Upgrade /Overall HighwayInformation: Bill Schneider said at the last meeting several things were talked about including the redesign of the 6 & 209 construction improvement project. Mr. Schneider said they are going to be replacing four culvert pipes onReuben Bell Driveand we would like to see that they blacktop that. Also discussed were replacing street name signs along the corridor, converting the red lights wire operation overhead and underground to radio controlled signal. Mr. Schneider said that PennDOT would like to change the old style of loop sensors in the pavement to overhead video cameras for traffic control. Mr. Schneider said they would be drafting a letter to Jacobs Engineering with these issues for PennDOT. Vice-Chairman Fischer said that Ken Thiele had addressed the issue of the left hand turn on 6 & 209 a while ago. Supervisor Flansburg questioned if the letter was being drafted. Discussion followed.
Plant upgrade, new pump stations, sewer lines toRose Laneresidents: Mr. Schneider stated he gave the Supervisors the bids for the sewer improvement project, the installation of the sewer line extension intoRose Laneand the financial statement as to how the three grants were applied to the projects.
BUILDING / ZONING: None
SUBDIVISION REVIEW AND ACTION: None
Adjournment: Meeting adjourned at 8:26 pm on a motion by Supervisor Banach, seconded by Vice-Chairman Fischer. Motion carried with all in favor.
Lisa A. Green