Monthly Archives: June 2013

Supervisors Minutes May 7, 2013

Westfall Township, Matamoras, PA
May 7, 2013

The regular meeting of the Westfall Township Board of Supervisors was held Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 7:00 pm. The meeting was held at the Township Building on Delaware Drive and LaBarr Lane, Westfall Township.

Those present were Chairman, Robert Ewbank; Vice-chairman, Paul Fischer; Supervisors, Raymond Banach, Larry Flansburg and Robert Melvin; Solicitor, Robert Bernathy, and Secretary, Lisa Green. Also present were Treasurer, Scott Myer; Zoning Officer, Michael Rendleman; Township Engineer, Joseph Hudak; Bill Schneider, Ed Isaacson, Luis Bocaletti, Lisa Mickles, John Stieh, Nate Oiler, Rollin Cook, Lisa Babcock, Twila Decker, Chuck Pranski, Bob Bostinto, Nancy Price, and approximately 17 members of the general public.

AGENDA: The agenda was amended to remove the executive session and to move Subdivision Review and Action up before public comment. Amended agenda approved on a motion by Supervisor Flansburg. Motion is seconded by Vice-chairman Fischer and carries with all in favor.

SUBDIVISION REVIEW AND ACTION:

Rivers Edge, L.P. – Release of Development Approvals: Representative – Attorney, John Stieh

Attorney Stieh addressed the board stating he was here on behalf of River’s Edge who has sought a reduction in the bond that was posted in connection with the land development approval received in 2006. They are also looking to give up development rights to 24 of the units in Phase 3 of the project because they are no longer economically viable. Mr. Stieh has brought a copy of the plan to show the Supervisors the units that they will be vacating. Mr. Stieh explained that this is the recorded approved plan that was approved back in 2006 and the units they are proposing to give up are the units adjacent to the Home Depot between Rivers Edge Drive over to Heritage Point. Solicitor Bernathy questioned if the bond was relative to those 24 units. Mr. Stieh said that is correct. Supervisor Flansburg questioned what would be constructed. Discussion followed. Supervisor Banach questioned if once this is abandoned if a new map will be recorded. Mr. Stieh said no they have prepared an agreement that is to be recorded that will make reference to the map. Supervisor Banach said that in five years if they want to come back and develop they have to start new. Mr. Stieh said that is correct they would have to meet all the development approvals that are in effect at the time. Further discussion followed about future development. Solicitor Bernathy said for purposes of reference and for the courthouse records he believes it would be legally prudent to have an amendment to this map prepared and recorded of public record and referred to in the agreement showing the vacated portion. Further stating the release of development approvals can be approved conditional upon having the map recorded. Mr. Stieh said he truly seeks to avoid having to incur that expense because the agreement will run with the title to the property and it will cross reference the map at the recorder of deeds office. Commenting that if he will be buying a unit Rivers Edge and searches the title to find what is of record they will find that section has been vacated. He respectfully submits that is not necessary to spend the money to have the plan changed because it’s already going to be of record. Solicitor Bernathy said in the event of a conflict between the map that’s recorded and the writing that’s recorded he understands that the map is controlling. Supervisor Banach questioned if in Pennsylvania a title search is required when buying a piece of property. Mr. Stieh said no it is not required. Discussion followed. Mr. Stieh disagreed with the board’s position.

Supervisor Banach moved to approve the release of development approvals conditioned upon an amended map being recorded showing the abandonment of the 24 units in Phase III. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carries with all in favor.

Warwick Properties – Westfall Senior Apartments: Representative – Nate Oiler, R.K.R. Hess

Nate Oiler addressed the board stating they have been before the board previously with a Conditional Use application that was granted and they have now been through the Planning Commission with Preliminary/ Final Land development. Mr. Oiler is asking for a waiver to do both at the same time since they meet the requirements and stated they have a recommendation from the Planning Commission and a review letter from the townships engineer. Solicitor Bernathy suggested that Mr. Oiler give a brief presentation for the public’s information. Mr. Oiler said the site is located at the end of Hulst Drive between Paddlers Point Phase 1 and the Delaware River. It is proposed to be 93 affordable senior housing unit ages 55 and older with the exception of this super who will reside and one unit. The developer Mr. Mandelbaum had a previous engagement tonight and could not attend the meeting. Supervisor Melvin questioned if everything met the requirements of the fire Department. Luis Bocaletti stated that it did.

Solicitor Bernathy stated that the Planning Commission has recommended approval of this land development subject to the following five conditions: 1) the applicant should be aware that no final approval will be granted until PA DEP and MATW approve the sanitary sewer connection. 2) A letter of adequacy from the Pike County Conservation District (PCCD) for Erosion and Sediment (E & S) Control will need to be provided prior to any earth disturbance on the site. 3) An NPDES permit from PA DEP is required prior to any earth disturbance on the site. 4) Evidence of actual arrangements and legal agreements with local utilities for providing services must be provided prior to final plan approval. 5) The applicant should be aware that a review of the plan by the Westfall Township Volunteer Fire Department will be completed prior to final approval. Any comments from that reviews should be included on the plan. Solicitor Bernathy said with those five conditions it is right for disposition. Supervisor Banach commended Mr. Oiler on his response letter to the Pike County Planning Commission.

Mr. Oiler said he has received comment back from the Conservation District with regard to the NPDES Permit and that it should be approved within a matter of weeks. Solicitor Bernathy questioned Township Engineer Joseph Hudak as to whether they have met all engineering comments. Mr. Hudak said the comments were minor and were resolved. Supervisor Banach moved to approve the Final Land development plan subject to the five stated conditions. Motion is seconded by Vice-Chairman Fischer and carries with all in favor.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Nancy Price addressed those is attendance stating that she is running for the office of Sheriff of Pike County and stated her agenda and expressed some of the duties of office. Solicitor Bernathy stated that he disagrees with Ms. Price’s opinion of the duties of the office of sheriff and stated that Ms. Price’s views are not the opinions of the Westfall Township Board of Supervisors.

Twila Decker representing the CAAC presented the Supervisors with an invitation to attend their upcoming meeting. She further questioned the property behind ‘The Grill’ on Bertha Street stating there are now two
storage trailers there and asked if it is zoned correctly and whether they have permits. Zoning Officer Mike Rendleman said he was not aware of the second trailer but what is there seems to be construction debris and that it is not an attractive nuisance. Discussion followed. Ms. Babcock said there is a soda cooler there and she does not see how that is considered construction material. Mr. Rendleman was instructed to take another look at it.
Supervisor Flansburg asked if we have a solid waste ordinance stating that is something to look into. Solicitor Bernathy said they will try to fit it into something.

Ms. Babcock said she is here to discuss the signs for the tunnel stating that she purchased the signs herself and thought it would be a good idea to place the signs to deter the graffiti and drug trafficking. She said she called PennDOT and spoke to Charlie and he said they could put up the signs. Solicitor Bernathy questioned what the signs said. Ms. Babcock said they say ‘Warning This Area is under Video Surveillance.’
Supervisor Flansburg asked Ms. Babcock if the person she spoke to was Charlie Kingston and stated that he has recently told the Township that PennDOT will not take responsibility for the signs being down at the tunnel. Mrs. Green said it was stated verbally not in writing but that Mr. Kingston said PennDOT would not take responsibility for any liability that incurred for the signs being at the tunnel. Discussion followed with Ms. Babcock questioning why PennDOT will not take responsibility since it is their tunnel. Mrs. Green explained that at first Mr. Kingston called the office and said they have permission to put up the signs, but then it came to the board at their meeting and the board questioned who would take responsibility for any liability that incurred due to the signs being posted. When PennDOT was called Mr. Kingston stated PennDOT will not take any responsibility for any liability. Ms. Babcock answered who would take responsibility if something happened at the tunnel such as someone breaking their leg. Solicitor Bernathy said that would be PennDOT’s responsibility.
Further discussion followed. Supervisor Flansburg suggested Ms. Babcock contact Mr. Kingston again and obtain a letter in writing. Ms. Babcock said she is very concerned about the area and that her house has been burglarized and that she has been tortured and she needs someone to help her to help clean up the area. Solicitor Bernathy said they need to contact PennDOT because it is their jurisdiction and their property.

Ms. Babcock continued by stating they have an abundance of cats and kittens and that she has one kitten left and asked that someone please come and take it. Discussion followed. Ms. Babcock asked that anyone please come to 1020 Margaret Street and take the kitten.

Ms. Babcock then said she lives right next to the 84 Tunnel and that the traffic from 84 is shaking her house and something has to be done. She is requesting sound barriers. Supervisor Banach suggested she distribute a petition and bring it to the Supervisors at the next meeting and then the Supervisors could send a letter to PennDOT. Ms. Babcock said she will seek legal advice to get something done. Supervisor Banach said they have no control over the interstate highway system.

Chuck Pranski questioned how we could get out of the agreement with PennDOT for the tunnel and give it
back to them. Solicitor Bernathy said the problem is when I 84 was coming through the township petitioned PennDOT for the tunnel and PennDOT expended a considerable amount of money to construct the tunnel.
Discussion followed.

Ed Isaacson suggested Ms. Babcock contact the Humane Society or Pets Alive in Middletown who will come and pick up the cats and have them spayed and then let them go.

Ms. Decker said when the tunnel was first requested the request was made to have it be large enough to accommodate emergency vehicles such as an ambulance or fire truck and since that part of the agreement was violated she feels we should be able to get out of the maintenance agreement and gate the tunnel off.

Ms. Babcock questioned what happens if someone goes in the tunnel with a bomb or someone gets shot there. Solicitor Bernathy said that is the state’s jurisdiction and the Township does not have any exposure and he does not want the Township to have any exposure such as the Township supporting or recommending that signs be put up. Further stating the Township cannot afford that.

Bob Bostinto suggested with the rebuilding of Interstate 84 they should put up quietizers and seal off the tunnel.
Further discussion followed.

Rollin Cook said he and his wife made several calls to Comm Center regarding Assistant Chief Eric’s Stewart shooting in his backyard because it is not safe, and stated the police came up and did their thing. Solicitor Bernathy questioned if it was investigated. Mrs. Cook said yes and that the first time she called she wasn’t sure who it was because it was deer season and it sounded like it was right in her backyard. Mr. Cook continued by saying regardless of all this on Saturday he was driving his golf cart up the road and Mr. Stewart stopped in his black truck and told him he was being petty and if he continued to be petty he would give Mr. Cook a citation and be petty back to him stating he would citation him every time he drove his golf cart on the road. Mr. Cook said he is using the police force now and further stated that there are several people who drive tractors, golf carts, mopeds, four wheelers and that his response to Mr. Stewart was that if he gave him a citation for driving a golf cart on the road he would have to give Mr. Height a citation as well as himself for driving his quad up and down the road. Solicitor Bernathy suggested Mr. Cook take this complaint to the Police Commission. Supervisors Banach and Flansburg said there are Commission members present on the board. Supervisor Banach continued by saying this is not the first time and he applauds Mr. Cook for coming in. Further stating he has talked to Supervisor Melvin and previous board members about a certain police officer doing this and people have not come forward because they’re afraid of retaliation. And he applauds him for coming forward and saying it and that we have two Police Commissioners on this board and it needs to be addressed. Solicitor Bernathy said that the complaint needs to go to the Police Commission. Supervisor Banach said Mr. Cook doesn’t need to expose himself anymore and that we’ve had people that have come to meeting addressing concerns about the Police Department and they were pulled over that night or the next night and told what were they doing at the meeting. Supervisor Banach further stated that people are afraid to come to our meeting and continued by stating there are two sides to every story and the Police Commission needs to investigate and find out what the truth is. Mr. Cook said he is sure that he is going to be harassed. Supervisor Banach said this is not the first time this officer has done this. Supervisor Flansburg said to be clear they spoke about this before the meeting because we knew this was coming and that they had discussed maybe having an individual or a panel assigned by the commission to handle these so that an individual would not have to stand before the police officer who’s doing this to you. Vice-chairman Fischer said this is something that the Commission has to discuss with their attorney to figure out how to deal with this type of situation. Supervisor Flansburg he is appalled at this. Supervisor Melvin said there are two issues here one being where a resident could go lodge a formal complaint without fear of retaliation or retribution and that is something that has to be figured out by the Commission. That will be discussed at next Monday’s Commission meeting. And the second thing is how do they investigate the situation and that will also be discussed at the next meeting. The Commission may ask to have someone independently come in and investigate this. Supervisor Melvin thanked Mr. Cook for coming forward and said this is something they will take this very seriously. Supervisor Flansburg said if it is found to be true it has to be known that a police officer cannot use their badge as a weapon. Supervisor Melvin said he does not have the facts and he is not saying that Mr. Cook is making this up but there are two sides to the story and it needs to be investigated and not just pushed to the side. Further stating that since Mr. Cook is willing to come forward with this they owe him the courtesy of a response. Supervisor Melvin then said he is on the Police Commission and he supports the Police Department but there are limits and there is right and wrong and he is just hearing about this five minutes before the meeting. Stating that the Cooks seem to be very responsible citizens and he has no reason to doubt them whatsoever and thanked them for coming in. Vice-chairman Fischer said they have to create the proper forum to discuss this and it will be discussed at Mondays Police Commission meeting.

Lisa Babcock asked if there was a limit such as how far you had to be from a home with regard to discharging guns and arrows saying that they are finding arrows in their front yard because their neighbor is missing his target.

Solicitor Bernathy said there is no prohibition regarding the discharge of a firearm and the township has no ordinance against it. There are hunting regulations and regulations regarding shooting ranges such as what zone they can be in but as far as the discharge of a weapon that is not illegal. Ms. Babcock said that means she can shoot a gun on her property. Solicitor Bernathy said of course she can. Supervisor Melvin said not in Matamoras. Solicitor Bernathy said some Boroughs and Communities have prohibitions against that but the township does not and if they did you would not be able to protect yourself in your own home, stating the township does not regulate that and that is one of the reasons why because you would not be able to protect yourself.

Vice-chairman Fischer said as far as illegal driving of unregistered vehicles on township roads which means everybody there is a question of how far we can go. Mr. Cook said Mr. Stewart does it himself and that they all do it and he is not denying that. Solicitor Bernathy told Mr. Cook not to incriminate himself. Supervisor Banach said it doesn’t make it right and they can talk about what happened on his property and it doesn’t make it right because you have a badge. Vice-chairman Fischer said he is not saying that. Chairman Ewbank said they are getting into things that they have no control of. Supervisor Melvin confirmed that this will be discussed at the next Police Commission meeting Monday at 6:00 pm.

MINUTES: Minutes of the April 2, 2013 regular meeting were approved on a motion by Supervisor Flansburg. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Banach. Chairman Ewbank abstained. Motion carries with four in favor and one abstention.

Minutes of the April 18, 2013 meeting agenda were approved on a motion by Supervisor Banach. Motion seconded by Supervisor Flansburg. Supervisor Melvin abstained. Motion carries with four in favor and one abstention.

TREASURER’s REPORT: Scott Myer gave the treasurer’s report for January through April stating that April is the second biggest month of real estate tax collections. May is the biggest. We have collected our first Amusement Tax money from the DVSD who sent the check directly to the township. May 1st we made our payment to Dombrosky. Supervisor Flansburg moved to approve the treasurer’s report. Motion was seconded by Vice-chairman Fischer and carries with all in favor.

POLICE REPORT: Vice-chairman Fischer gave the report for April. There were 214 calls for service and 7,013 miles patrolled for the month. Supervisor Banach moved to accept the report. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Flansburg and carries with all in favor.

FIRE DEPARTMENT: Ed Isaacson gave the Mill Rift Fire Department report for April stating that on 4/3 they burned a brush pile at the Mill Rift Cemetery, on 4/9 they had an RV Fire on Heaters Hill, a Brush Fire Stand-by at 39 as well as their monthly meeting, on 4/17 they had the drill at boat launch, on 4/24 they had a work night , 4/28 they had a brush fire at the Best Western as well as a Brush Fire in Montague.

Luis Bocaletti gave the Westfall Township Fire Department Report for April reporting 3 automatic fire alarms, 4 motor vehicle accidents, 2 vehicle fires, 2 wires down, 8 smoke investigations, 1 possible structure fire, 1 brush fire, 1 fuel spill, 4 mutual aid structure fires, 3 mutual aid brush fires, for a total of 29 calls and 322.74 man-hours for the month. They also had training on April 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25th. Total man-hours for training were 101.5. For EMS there were 43 calls for Westfall, 11 covering squad 33 and 1 in Shohola and 1 in Montague. Mr. Bocaletti said they also have a fundraiser this month at Jakes Wayback Burgers on the 20th between 4-7 with a portion of the proceeds going to the fire department. Supervisor Banach questioned if their ambulance went all the way to Shohola. It did. Solicitor Bernathy asked if it was the closest available. It was. Mr. Bocaletti said they are normally covered but it was just a coincidence that they went out that far. Vice-chairman Fischer moved to approve the report. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carries with all in favor.

HIGHWAY REPORT: Bill Schneider gave the report for April stating that they continue with equipment maintenance. He attended the Road Task Force meeting. They continued to repair drainage problems and the bank on Heaters Hill Road. Filled pot holes on Cummins Hill. Spoke to Leeward Construction regarding the millings on Fire Tower Road. Supervisor Flansburg questioned if Mr. Schneider had prices on that. He said it was either $200 per hour or $4500 per week with an operator and stated if it were a three day operation it would cost $4800. Discussion followed with Mr. Schneider saying they could think about it for a little while but not for long because the work needed to be done. Supervisor Melvin questioned if we had our own operators to do this. Supervisor Banach said they go by engine miles. Supervisor Melvin moved to authorize Mr. Schneider to spend up to $5000 for the equipment required to do the millings on Fire Tower Road. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Flansburg. Solicitor Bernathy stated for liability purposes he prefers that our men do the work. If Leeward is doing the work we would need the Township named as an additional insured on their policy and he would like to review the policy to check their limits. Supervisor Melvin amended his motion to approve the spending of up to $5000 for the rental of the equipment and the delivery of the equipment for one week to do the job using Township employees. Supervisor Flansburg requested that Mr. Schneider leave one guy available for emergencies around town. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Flansburg and carried with all in favor. Mr. Schneider said he also spoke to Joe Hudak of Kiley Associates with regard to the work that needed to be done on Heaters Hill and Cummins Hill Road. Supervisor Banach asked which is the most important one to do first. Mr. Schneider said they’re equally important, but it wouldn’t make sense not to do the work on Heaters Hill now. After some discussion Supervisor Melvin moved to accept the Heaters Hill stream bank stabilization in the amount of $6325. Mr. Schneider continued by stating they received the signed road maintenance and video roadway on Cummins Hill from Michel’s construction for Tennessee gas. They received prices for the leaf vacuum which are in the Supervisor’s folders. Bill Schneider, Dick Mai, Robert Howard went to the equipment safety class put on by NEPA. And Robert Howard and Dick Mai attended a chainsaw class. They’ve been removing trees and trimming bushes from the right-of-way Fire Tower Road. The work on Heaters Hill for the FEMA project is 95% completed and we have been invoiced for that. Mr. Schneider believes we need approval from the board to pay the bill. Chairman Ewbank said we had two bills from Morgan site contractors for the Heaters Hill Rd., Culvert emergency repairs $36,503.52. The site work change order number one was $4080 and another change was $1200 for total of $5280. The first invoice number 67. Motion to approve Invoice No. 67 made by Supervisor Banach. Motion seconded by Vice-chairman Fischer and carried with all in favor. The second invoice was number 69. Motion to approve Invoice No. 69 made by Vice-chairman Fischer. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Banach and carries with all in favor. Mr. Schneider said we requested the use of the street broom from the DRJBC and have been working with Nelson Tree Service removing trees from problem areas in the Township. Motion to approve report made Supervisor Flansburg. Motion seconded by Vice-chairman Fischer and carries with all in favor.

BUILDING/ZONING REPORT: Michael Rendleman said there were 11 building permits and seven zoning permits for the month of April with fees of $5300. Supervisor Melvin moved to approve the report. Motion is seconded by Vice-chairman Fischer and carried with all in favor.

CORRESPONDENCE: On dais for review.

OLD BUSINESS: None

NEW BUSINESS:

Abandonment of Pond Drive: Solicitor Bernathy said he understands that the supervisors are seeking to vacate a portion of Pond Drive amounting to 1953 feet. The law is you need to do this by ordinance. Prior to doing so you have to have the hearing and give adjacent property owners 10 days written notice with the time and place of the hearing. If you vote in favor of the ordinance you need to send the enacted ordinance including a survey of the road including its location and its width to the County. Following that any property owner who is aggrieved can within 30 days with surety to identify the Board of Supervisors for costs, they can file exceptions. In the event exceptions are filed the court would appoint viewers who would review the ordinance as well as the exceptions. With that said we need to get the names of the adjacent property owners and set the date for the hearing. Chairman Ewbank questioned if we wanted to carry through with this. Discussion followed regarding the amount of liquid fuels money we received for this portion of the road. Supervisor Flansburg asked what the financial burden is to vacating the road. Solicitor Bernathy said we need to find out who the adjacent property owners are and send them notice and we have to have a survey done. Supervisor Banach suggested using the original survey when it was given to the town. Solicitor Bernathy felt the biggest expense would be the survey. Chairman Ewbank questioned if we abandon it are we going to have to put a cul-de-sac in. Solicitor Bernathy said no. The board decided to place this on the agenda for the next meeting to give time to find out who the adjacent property owners are as well as giving Solicitor Bernathy the opportunity to discuss the survey or draft that is required with our Township Engineer.

JR Davenport – Fireworks Riverview Inn July 4, 2014: Mr. Davenport was not present. Tabled.

Armed Forces Day Ceremony: Chairman Ewbank said for everyone’s information there will be an Armed Forces Day Ceremony on May 18, 2013 at Veterans Park in Matamoras. There will be no parade. There will be refreshments following the ceremony. The ceremony is being sponsored by Veterans Memorial Park and Education Center and Matamoras Devore-Quinn American Legion Post # 486.

Road Opening Policy and Procedure: Solicitor Bernathy said we have Resolution 2013–2 approving
The Water Trench and Road Restoration Requirements. Supervisor Banach moved to approve the resolution. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Flansburg and carries with all in favor. Supervisor Banach explained for the public that this is a policy for the purpose of when our roads are cut open there’s a policy in place to have them put that so that the Township residents are paying for it.

Signs: Supervisor Melvin said he and Supervisor Banach had a discussion about business signs that are popping up all over town that may not be paying the right fees or making sure there permit it and we seem to be proliferated with signs that are falling down and on the Route 6 & 209 corridor they are very prevalent. He wants to make sure that everyone is following the same policy and procedure. Supervisor Melvin questioned the zoning officer as to what the policy was with the vinyl signs that were stuck in the ground. Mr. Rendleman said for the most part they are not authorized. And the issue with the signs is that a letter has to be written given them 30 days to remove the sign. Supervisor Banach questions if it’s a matter of changing something in the ordinance to get something with some teeth. Vice chairman Fischer suggested contacting PennDOT again with signs that are posted on the fence in front of the shopping centers. Discussion followed. Supervisor Melvin said he is concerned because there are businesses that have come to us for approvals that were told no yet we have signs popping up all over. Supervisor Banach suggested the secretary reach out to PSATS to see how other townships are handling this situation. Solicitor Bernathy said that is not necessary since we have an ordinance. All the zoning officer has to do is issue a violation notice. Stating either we enforce the ordinance or we don’t. Further discussion followed. Solicitor Bernathy said this does become tedious for the zoning officer. However if we don’t send the notices the signs are bound to stay there. Chairman Ewbank asked who gets the violation notice the business or the property owner. Solicitor Bernathy said it attaches to this sign so it is the business. However the property owner should be copied.

Leaders of Tri State Government: Chairman Ewbank said that Mayor Clark started an ad hoc committee which met for the first time April 30. The committee is Mayor Clark from Matamoras, George Zitone from Montague, Bo Fean from Milford, Gary Clark from Milford Township, Chairman Ewbank from Westfall Township, Russ Potter from Port Jervis, and Karl Brabenec from Deer Park. The object of the committee is to promote our communities within other communities so that they can work together. They say it is the Tri State Area, Orange, Sullivan, Sussex and Pike Counties, there are seven towns, three states and they talked about shared services, and even better going on so that people can be notified. The next meeting is June 19 location to be determined at 7 PM and their comment to me every other month. The public is invited to attend. Chairman Ewbank said because he is a Lame Duck he suggests that someone else get involved because Chairman Ewbank will only be attending the next two or three meetings before his term expires. Supervisor Melvin said he will check his calendar and see if he can attend.

Chairman Ewbank said for informational purposes the Matamoras Water Authority will be flushing hydrants starting May 5th from 10 PM to 10 AM each day until completed. And sometime in May the Matamoras Water Authority will be replacing water lines on Pennsylvania Avenue from 10 Street to Stella Street and anyone that is going to be affected will be notified 24 hours before the start. If anyone has any questions they can contact the water authority of 491-2715.

Service Agreement – Marangi Disposal: Solicitor Bernathy said he has reviewed the agreement and subject to his previous review comments the change should be for a term of one year as opposed to five years, and in the last sentence the word material should be changed to waste so we have the definition of unacceptable waste. Aside from that it is right for disposition. Supervisor Banach moved to approve the contract. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carries with all in favor

Tax Abatement – Zitone – 8030: Chairman Ewbank said we have a tax abatement for Joyce Zitone where the assessed amount has been reduced by $8030. Solicitor Bernathy said the reason for the reduction is because the house has been removed. Supervisor Melvin moved to approve the tax abatement. Motion is seconded by supervisor Banach and carries with all in favor.

Chuck Pranski said he sees we’re being taken to court over the entertainment tax and his concern is that we’re going to be spending more in attorney fees than it is worth. Supervisor Flansburg said we are not being taken to court over an entertainment tax. The amusement tax is that a neutral spot. Solicitor Bernathy set we are involved with litigation and we are precluded from speaking about it. Mr. Pranski said his concern is that we are going to spend $20 to make $10. The Supervisors said they are very well aware of the situation.

ADJOURNMENT: Meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m. on a motion by Supervisor Flansburg. Motion seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carried with all in favor.

Respectfully Submitted,

Lisa A. Green
Secretary

Supervisors Minutes April 2, 2013

Westfall Township, Matamoras, PA
April 2, 2013

The regular meeting of the Westfall Township Board of Supervisors was held Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 7:00 pm. The meeting was held at the Township Building on Delaware Drive and LaBarr Lane, Westfall Township.

Those present were Vice-chairman, Paul Fischer; Supervisors, Raymond Banach, Larry Flansburg, Robert Melvin; Solicitor, Robert Bernathy, and Secretary, Lisa Green. Also present were Treasurer, Scott Myer; Zoning Officer, Michael Rendleman; Bill Schneider, Chad Stewart, Ed Isaacson, Luis Bocaletti, Lisa Mickles, Steve and Bobbie Height, Twila Decker, and approximately 16 members of the general public. Chairman, Robert Ewbank was not present.

AGENDA: The agenda was approved on a motion by Supervisor Flansburg. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carries with all in favor.

PUBLIC COMMENT: None

MINUTES: Minutes of the March 5, 2013 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 stating that $118,000 of real estate tax has come in for March. The first quarterly Katz payment was made and our expenditures are under budget. Supervisor Banach thanked the Secretary, Roadmaster, and everyone else involved with keeping expenditures under budget. Supervisor Flansburg moved to approve the treasurer’s report. Motion was seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carries with all in favor.

POLICE REPORT: Police Chief, Chad Stewart gave the report for March. There were 173 calls for service and 6,409 miles patrolled for the month. Vice-chairman Fischer said one thing that came up at the last police meeting was to take another look at the loitering ordinance. Solicitor Bernathy asked Chief Stewart for his thoughts on this. Chief Stewart said that the main issue is during the Delaware Valley football season. There are a lot of complaints from Wal Mart, the Milford Landing area and the Staples Plaza where there are a lot of retail thefts, vehicle damage, multiple fights, and vandalism. This is happening when the kids are supposed to be watching the football game but go off school property instead. Chief Stewart said if he had the loitering ordinance with some teeth in it, it would help in moving kids along. Solicitor Bernathy asked if these areas were all private property and whether or not Wal Mart posted the property, further questioning if Chief Stewart knew if Wal Mart partnered with municipalities in these situations. Chief Stewart said he expected they would. Supervisor Banach said that we are now asking for ordinance to control private property by asking for our Police Department to push people along on private property. Solicitor Bernathy said this is his initial point. Chief Stewart said it is not Wal Mart calling the police for this situation its people calling from the parking lot to say that a shopping cart was just flipped over onto their car. Discussion followed with Chief Stewart saying that if there’s no law behind it it’s hard to move people along who have been lingering around for two hours. Supervisor Banach asked if we have the loitering ordinance would he move along the pipeline people who are protesting up on Cummins Hill road. Chief Stewart said no, they would not, they would use discretion. Supervisor Flansburg questioned if there was something other than loitering they could look at. Chief Stewart said he is not aware of anything. Solicitor Bernathy questioned a nuisance ordinance. Further commenting that there needs to be an area of self-policing by these private property owners in which they can put the signs up and enforce it with the use of their loss prevention officers. Supervisor Melvin said part of the issue is that Davita Drive and Milford Landing Drive have kids hanging out on those roads and laying down in the medians. Supervisor Banach stated that the Kmart Plaza pays for private security and that Wal Mart should do the same. Supervisor Flansburg questioned whether the kids were Westfall residents or out-of-towners. Chief Stewart said most of them are from out of town. Supervisor Flansburg suggested putting pressure on the Delaware Valley School District, if they are high school kids causing the problem. Further discussion followed. Solicitor Bernathy said if you’re going to talk to Wal Mart you should also discuss the retail theft and have them police their own stores. Discussion was held regarding the area by Davita Drive. The supervisors suggested sending a letter to the manager of Wal Mart and the School District to set a meeting. Supervisor Flansburg questioned whether it was true that kids are parking at Wal Mart and walking to school because they’re not allowed to park in the schools lot. Chief Stewart said he believes some are but he doesn’t know how much. Vice-chairman Fischer said if he remembers correctly that was an issue a while ago when Wal Mart would move them along. Supervisor Banach moved to approve the police report. Motion seconded by Supervisor Flansburg and carries with all in favor.

FIRE DEPARTMENT: Ed Isaacson gave the Mill Rift Fire Department report for March stating that on 3/6 they had a pump drill at Port Jervis training center, on 3/12 they had their monthly meeting, on 3/21 they had the drill in Port Jervis at the training center, 3/24 there were wires down on Delaware drive, and on 3/27 they had a work night at the main fire station. Supervisor Banach questioned whether or not they were able to submit the audit reports that were requested last
month. Mr. Isaacson said the books are still tied up in the criminal case.

Luis Bocaletti gave the Westfall Township Fire Department Report for March reporting two automatic fire alarms, two motor vehicle accidents, one traffic control, one carbon monoxide alarm, and two vehicle fires for a total of eight calls and 36.19 man-hours for the month. They also had training on March 7, 14, 21 and 28. Total man-hours for training were 126. For EMS there were 35 calls for Westfall, 11 covering squad 33 and two covering squad 19 for a total of 48 calls. Mr. Bocaletti said they also have a raffle this month for two season passes at Bethel Woods. Cost of the ticket is $10. Supervisor Flansburg moved to approve the report. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Banach and carries with all in favor.

HIGHWAY REPORT: Bill Schneider gave the report for March stating that they continue with equipment maintenance on Truck Spreaders. He attended the Road Task Force meeting. They continued to repair drainage problems and stabilized the bank on Heaters Hill Road with rip rap. Filled pot holes throughout the township. Had four winter storms to treat and maintain. Met with the Conservation District on various projects and permitting throughout the township. Went to flagger training class as required by Penn DOT. Mr. Schneider, Robert Howard and Dick Mai were all certified. Met with Michael Lennon from Tennessee Gas on Road Maintenance agreement. Michels Construction will be doing the work. Worked on the compost area, and worked with Nelson Tree Service removing trees from problem areas in the township. They put material down on Firetower Road, however it’s going to need a fair amount of work Mr. Schneider said the back side of Pond Drive is closed because of the frost season. In Mr. Schneider’s opinion if the fire truck went down there it would get stuck. They put some material down but will need more. Supervisor Flansburg asked if the state is going to leave a machine on Firetower Road and have us put material down. Mr. Schneider said we are on our own with Firetower Road for now, however when PennDOT works on Route 6 we may be able to get millings for use on the road. Supervisor Banach questioned if we’re getting enough Liquid Fuels money to maintain the road. Or is it better to give PennDOT the road. Mr. Schneider said its 3 miles of road, and does not get maintained during the winter months, however that road was not taken on the tour with the supervisors and if they wish to see it he will show it to them. Supervisor Melvin said at the last meeting there were two jobs they were looking to do if the second one came under $5,000 and questioned how we made out on that. Mr. Schneider said we are good to go on the one project as far as the contractor goes, however the issue down below is waiting for permitting and to see what is required. Supervisor Flansburg moved to accept the report. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carried with all in favor.

BUILDING/ZONING REPORT: Michael Rendleman said there were eight permits issued for the month. One building, three electrical, one sign, and three zoning. There was also one planning submission. Total fees were just over $8,000 with the balance of $229 outstanding. Motion to approve the building and zoning report made by Supervisor Banach. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Flansburg and carried with all in favor.

CORRESPONDENCE: On dais for review.

OLD BUSINESS:

Letter to County Commissioners regarding Sales Tax: Supervisor Banach said he had the opportunity to speak to Lisa Baker and Matt Osterburg regarding the sales tax and he believes there is misunderstanding over the issue. Milford Borough and Shohola Township sent a response back stating they would not support it.

Supervisor Banach said that the County ultimately would make that decision and that they have the manpower to research the subject. Supervisor Melvin said he believes that Pike County generated several million dollars per year in retail sales. Further commenting that he believes a sit down meeting should be held. Supervisor Banach moved to send the letter. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Flansburg and carried with all in favor.

CAAC – Signs at Tunnel: Mrs. Green said Lisa Babcock was invited to the meeting to speak on this issue. Twila Decker said that Ms. Babcock could not make it tonight and that she is here in her place. Ms. Decker said from what she understands the signs are here and someone from PennDOT has given approval for them to be put up. Mrs. Green said that the gentleman by the name of Charlie Kingston called from District 4-0 and stated that PennDOT has given approval for the signs to be installed. Solicitor Bernathy said as the Supervisors know we have an agreement with the state and part of that agreement is for the Township to assume responsibility for maintenance and repair of items that are affixed to the tunnel; and the agreement specifically identifies lighting as an example of something that the Township takes ownership of and assumes the costs of maintaining. That agreement does not address signs or surveillance as the case may be, and Solicitor Bernathy has some initial concerns over ownership, maintenance, and repair of any type of surveillance equipment. Questioning what happens if there is damage. Who is responsible for that? Further stating it is not as simple as PennDOT giving the authority for the signs to be placed. Solicitor Bernathy questioned what the sign said. Ms. Decker answered that they say “Attention under Video Surveillance” and that they are white with red lettering. Also commenting that since the Township is responsible for maintenance of the tunnel that it is filthy with graffiti and needs to be painted. Mr. Schneider said they still had paint that was given to them from Home Depot, but they need to wait for warm weather in order to paint it again. Ms. Decker said the areas where the signs are posted on private property have less graffiti than other areas. Supervisor Banach asked if they had video cameras now. Ms. Decker said they do have cameras on private property and that the tapes are available to the police anytime they need to see them. Mr. Schneider said they have purchased the signs and are asking the Township to put them up. Solicitor Bernathy said now that the cameras are on private property and not affixed to the tunnel there is a difference. Ms. Decker said the cameras will be privately maintained. Supervisor Banach questioned whether or not the Township could be liable if people see the signs posted and think they may be safer going through the tunnel now that there are cameras and something happens to them. Solicitor Bernathy said that we certainly need more information from the state as it relates to that issue and the assumption of liability, as well as whether that’s going to be part of the agreement and are they assuming liability as it relates to maintenance of the signs and the placement of those signs. Supervisor Melvin said he and his wife walked through the tunnel today and said that it’s bad that he has seen a lot worse. Discussion followed. Ms. Decker said she had something stolen from her property 10 days ago and feels it was someone from the tunnel. Supervisor Banach said maybe it’s time to tell the state were going to put the gates up on the tunnel. Vice-chairman Fischer said there were even issues concerning the gate. The township will request more information from the State.

Upper Delaware Council – Letter of Support: Mrs. Green said we received a letter from the Upper Delaware Counsel today stating that they would send a letter in support of the town’s position regarding the DEP proposed guidance policy. Mrs. Green suggested that the Township foreword to the Upper Delaware Counsel the letter the supervisors submitted to DEP informing them of the town’s position. Supervisor Flansburg made the same suggestion. Supervisor Flansburg moved to direct the secretary to forward the letter. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Banach and carries with all in favor. Ms. Mickles questioned the board on their position. Supervisor Banach said the Township is opposed to the guidance policy and suggested that everyone submit a comment letter to DEP because this will have a great impact on the ability to build a home.

NEW BUSINESS:

Steve Height – Impound Yard: Steve height is questioning what this is about. Supervisor Flansburg said what he knows about it is that the Heights have a nonconforming use for a garage but not for impound yard. Mr. Height said it is a storage facility, further stating that when he received his nonconforming use permit he was approved for a storage facility as well, commenting that there was a joke that he was not going to have fifty cars there. Solicitor Bernathy said we have the minutes from November 20, 2000 meeting indicating that Supervisor Hess spoke to Mr. Bolles and that he indicated that the garage had been used for several years prior to the zoning ordinance; however there was nothing in writing on the record. The Solicitor at that time said the Supervisors may authorize the zoning officer to do an investigation and decide if it is a nonconforming use and register it as such. Subsequently there were documents regarding a certificate of occupancy for an auto repair shop, a sign for an auto repair shop, and the zoning application for the auto repair. Solicitor Bernathy questioned Mr. Height as to what he was using it for and if it was something in addition to auto repair. Mr. Height answered he is storing cars that he is working on as well as those that he has impounded. However now he is using it are his own vehicles. Solicitor Bernathy said the nonconforming use is for an auto repair shop and if he is storing cars that he is impounding that is a separate use. Solicitor Bernathy questioned if he has been operating there ever since he received the permit since 2000. Mr. Height said yes. Solicitor Bernathy questioned if he had an auto repair shop in Matamoras and whether he discontinued the garage in Mill Rift for any period of time. Mr. Height said he operated in both locations all along and has just recently closed his business in Matamoras. Solicitor Bernathy said Mr. Height does not have approval for a storage yard and if he is storing things there that is a change to the nonconforming use. Mr. Height questioned why all of a sudden this is coming up since he’s been doing it for so many years, commenting that he had a permit for a fence for his storage yard. Mr. Height said since he has been doing this for the past nine years and questioned what he needs to do to satisfy everyone. Solicitor Bernathy said he needs to come before the zoning hearing board for a special exception. Discussion was held. Solicitor Bernathy said Mr. Height can continue to operate as an auto repair shop but he needs a special exception to get approval for a storage facility. Solicitor Bernathy asked Mr. Rendleman for his comments. Mr. Rendleman said that an auto repair garage allows storage of vehicles on the property. Solicitor Bernathy said if it’s commensurate with auto repair. However if he is storing vehicles in addition to the auto repair it is an R-1 zone and it is a change of use.

Supervisor Flansburg said one of the reasons the Township got involved is because Mr. Height made some structural changes to his garage without getting a permit. Mr. Height was not aware that he needed a permit. Solicitor Bernathy explained that it’s not that he cannot do it he just needs to get the proper permitting done. Supervisor Banach suggested they come down and meet with our building inspector to see whether or not they need a permit. Supervisor Flansburg said people are complaining and until they come down to get the permit done people will continue to complain. Mr. Height said everything he’s done to that property has been to beautify it and to clean it up. Mrs. Height said people should have complained about their property years ago when it was much worse.

Supervisor Flansburg said he has seen Mr. Height working out of that garage and questioned when repairs are done how are they billed? Commenting that if they are not being billed from the Mill Rift location that would suggest that the nonconforming use has expired. Mrs. Height said they are billed separately from the Matamoras garage. Solicitor Bernathy said the zoning ordinance also speaks to abandonment of a nonconforming use and this is why Mr. Height was asked if he has continued with the repair garage for the last several years. Proof of that needs to be documented, as well as obtaining the building permit for the structural change, and approval of the special exception for the use of the storage facility.

Supervisor Flansburg asked Mrs. Height if the electricity bill for the garage is a separate bill or if it goes to the house. Further saying they just need to come in and obtain the proper permits so that the Township can let those who are complaining know those permits were acquired. Supervisor Melvin said they just need to clean up the paperwork. Further discussion followed. Mrs. Height said that they were using their property as an impound yard for the past 11 years towing and storing vehicles up there. Questioning why people are complaining now when they have been doing it for that amount of time. Supervisor Banach said they may want to talk to the State and see if they have an occupancy permit for their business off of a State Road.

Supervisor Flansburg said they have to look into complaints and gave the example of the complaints that were received about the Billboard sign of the woman in the bathing suit. The Township had to look into that and found out there was nothing that they could do and that’s what the public was told.

Schedule Workshop for Taxes and Employee Policy Manual: Mrs. Green said this meeting was for the transaction tax and stated that Brian Shaub of Keystone fireworks called today with a few dates that he would be unavailable. Mrs. Green further stated that the Supervisors had set aside the dates of April 18th or the 25th to meet with Matamoras borough however they have not gotten back to us. Supervisor Banach moved to set a workshop meeting for April 18th at 7:00 pm. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Flansburg and carries with all in favor.

Tax Abatement – Keith & Jeanette Hughes: Vice-Chairman Fischer said we have a tax abatement for Keith & Jeanette Hughes in the amount of $290. Supervisor Flansburg moved to accept the tax abatement. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Banach and carries with all in favor. Discussion followed regarding the procedure for the tax abatement and notification to the Township.

Renting of Meeting Room to Professionals: Supervisor Banach said that this came about because PennDOT recently had a meeting here with New York State and other professionals at no cost to themselves. Further stating that we should receive a fee for the use of the room because if they went to Best Western they would have to pay a few hundred dollars. Discussion was held. Supervisor Banach moved to approve the use of the meeting room for a fee of $50.00 up to three hours, as well as a certificate naming the township as an additional insured. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carries with all in favor.

Westfall Township Road Agreement – Michels Pipeline: Supervisor Flansburg questioned if we have our own Road Use Maintenance Agreement suggesting that we use that. Mrs. Green said we did send them ours and they sent this one instead. Supervisor Banach moved to approve the maintenance agreement on the townships form. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Flansburg and carries with all in favor. Mrs. Green questioned if someone will accompany the pipeline representatives when they videotape the road. Supervisor Banach said if he’s available that he will attend.

SUBDIVISION REVIEW AND ACTION:

EXECUTIVE SESSION: Called at 8:25 for Kittatinny and Indian Head Canoe Litigation.

Back in session at 8:50 p.m.

ADJOURNMENT: Meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m. on a motion by Supervisor Flansburg. Motion seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carried with all in favor.

Respectfully Submitted,
Lisa A. Green, Secretary