Monthly Archives: December 2013

Supervisors Special Meeting-November 18, 2013

Westfall Township, Matamoras, PA
November 18, 2013

The Westfall Township Board of Supervisors held a Special Meeting on Monday, November 16, 2013 at 7:10 pm. The meeting was held at the Westfall Township Municipal Building on Delaware Drive and LaBarr Lane.

Those present were Chairman Robert Ewbank; Vice-Chairman, Paul Fischer; Supervisor, Robert Melvin; Supervisor, Larry Flansburg, Treasurer, Scott Myer; Secretary, Jodi Hulse Roadmaster, William Schneider, Attorney Christian Weed, and John Dalton.

Supervisor Ray Banach was not present.

Chairman Ewbank welcomed all to the Special Meeting for the adoption of the tentative budget.

Approval of Agenda: Chairman Ewbank asked if there were any additions or deletions to the agenda. Supervisor Flansburg added an Executive Session to for personnel to discuss health care.

A motion was made by Supervisor Flansburg to add an Executive Session to the Agenda to discuss health care/personnel. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carried with all in favor.

A motion was made by Supervisor Flansburg to approve the agenda. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carried with all in favor.

Public Comment: None

OLD BUSINESS:

Schedule Workshop Meeting for Paddler’s Point-Garden Apts: Supervisor Melvin said the attorney for Paddler’s Point and the owner want to get together with the Supervisors and figure out alternative solutions. He said we told them to stay within the ordinance. They would like to come back and get some opinions on some other options. Supervisor Melvin said the attorney would like to schedule the meeting for this year but he does not think that would be fair to the owner due to the schedules of Supervisor Flansburg and Supervisor Banach until the end of the year. Chairman Ewbank stated he thinks they should be scheduled to meet before the new board in January. There was conversation regarding when to schedule the meeting in January.

A motion was made by Supervisor Melvin to schedule the Workshop Meeting to discuss Paddlers Point for January 16, 2014 at 7:00. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Flansburg and carried with all in favor.

MJS Engineering & Land Surveying, PC-Invoice: Supervisor Flansburg asked Mr. Myer if he has seen the invoice and what his take is on it. Mr. Myer said he does not know exactly what the services were that were provided. He said we get the bills quarterly. Supervisor Flansburg asked Mr. Schneider if he has seen the invoice. It has to do with the Tennessee gas pipeline. He said the pipeline does not have anything to do with Katz. Chairman Ewbank said it goes through Katz’s property. Supervisor Melvin asked if there was a reason why we pay this bill according to the agreement. He said that the settlement should have taken care of this. Chairman Ewbank said he does not know if this was addressed in the settlement agreement or not. Attorney Weed said he will look into the settlement agreement and send a memorandum to the Supervisors as soon as possible. There was additional discussion regarding the bill. Supervisor Melvin said this bill has to do with the pipeline. Chairman Ewbank said he has seen other invoices that reference a subdivision. He said this was for a subdivision of one or two acres off of the Katz property. Supervisor Melvin said there must be some reason why we are responsible for 75% of the bill. Attorney Weed confirmed he will look at the agreement. There was additional discussion regarding the question of whether or not the pipeline is on the Katz property.

NEW BUSINESS:

Adoption of the Tentative Budget:

Chairman Ewbank asked if there was any public comment on the budget. He asked Mr. Dalton if he had any comment. Mr. Dalton said no.

A motion was made by Supervisor Flansburg to adopt and advertise the 2014 tentative budget. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carried with all in favor.

Executive Session: Called at 7:24 pm for personnel regarding health insurance.

The meeting was back in session at 7:48 pm.

ADJOURNMENT: The meeting adjourned at 7:48 pm on a motion made by Vice Chairman Fischer. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carried with all in favor.

Respectfully submitted,

Jodi Hulse
Secretary

Supervisors Budget Workshop Minutes-November 7, 2013

Westfall Township, Matamoras, PA
November 7, 2013

The Westfall Township Board of Supervisors convened their third 2013 Budget Workshop on Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 6:00 pm. The meeting was held at the Westfall Township Municipal Building on Delaware Drive and LaBarr Lane.

Those present were Chairman Robert Ewbank; Vice-Chairman, Paul Fischer; Supervisor, Robert Melvin; Supervisor, Larry Flansburg, Supervisor Ray Banach (attended meeting by speakerphone), Treasurer, Scott Myer; Secretary, Jodi Hulse and Roadmaster, William Schneider, Ken Zielazny, Tom Lamb, Rob Llewellyn, Luis Bocalatti, Jerry Dotey, John Dalton, Beth Brelje, Joann Featherman, George Featherman and a few members of the general public.

Chairman Ewbank started the meeting. He said he noticed quite a few people from Matamoras present and then asked why there were present. Pete Sigretto responded by saying they were present since they were curious to see how the Township runs their budgets. Chairman Ewbank said thank you.

Supervisor Melvin said he had a discussion with Scott Myer and we can keep the total budget at 31.2 mills with no increase. We are thinking about moving the money around into “different buckets”. He said he had lengthy conversations with Mr. Myer and the people at DCED today. Supervisor Flansburg confirmed with Supervisor Melvin taxes would not need to be raised.

Supervisor Flansburg went over the figures for the Fire Department Budgets. He said the Westfall Fire Department would receive $79,375 and Mill Rift would receive 33,125 in 2014. He added on a per call basis it will be $61.00 per call for Westfall and $828.00 per call for Mill Rift. Mill Rift needs more money per call since they have less calls and more fixed costs. Supervisor Melvin said those were the numbers he came up with. Chairman Ewbank said the numbers were along the lines previously discussed. He said we have tried to divide the monies to be fair. Luis Bocalatti said the Supervisors have worked with them in the past and we have all worked together toward our budget. Ken Zielazny said the past two years the split has changed and he hopes as we move forward this will change. There is only a certain level they can go to. Supervisor Melvin said he is taking that into account. He said right now it is 75/25 and he does not want to see it go below that. Supervisor Flansburg said he would like to give $1,000 of his $1,875 stipend to Mill Rift and the remaining $875.00 to Westfall. Mr. Zielazny said in the past ten years whatever money they have been given by the Township is all they have spent.

Supervisor Melvin said we are keeping the total budget at the 31.2 and slightly increasing the general fund and slightly lowering the Katz millage. Also, we are slightly increasing the fire tax. He said if we look at the receipts for 2013 for Katz we collected $326,000 in Katz tax. Since we have Taco Bell the amount has grown a little bit from the $300,000. He said we are using that extra money to fund some other things in the township that need to be done. Supervisor Flansburg asked Mr. Myer if the money could be used for anything other than Katz fund. Mr. Myer said it cannot be used in the general fund only special tax such as Katz tax, fire tax, road tax, and debt service. Supervisor Flansburg said we are trying to do is collect a little more from Katz, shift the mill over and make the $26,000 available in another account. Supervisor Melvin said hopefully the Amusement Tax will start to generate a little more revenue. He said there are some other revenue sources which may be coming up in the next twelve to eighteen months. We would like to one day say the millage in going to go down. We do not want to reduce the millage one year and then come back the next year and say we have to raise it again just so we can say it was reduced. He said we want to keep it consistent for the tax payer.

Supervisor Melvin said we have funds to do some of the guide rail issues which need to be done. He understands there are some big projects which need to be done in Mill Rift but is not sure when we will get to them. We need to start looking at them. He said that may be such a big project cost wise that it might need to wait. Chairman Ewbank said he had a chat today with Bill Schneider and Mr. Schneider said his wish list for the Highway Department is $42,000 including the aforementioned projects. He said something surely needs to be done by Polatnick’s. Supervisor Melvin said in the 2013 budget we had budgeted $120,000. Our paving projects cost $97,000. We are putting the extra $20,000 into the capital fund this year for the roads.

Supervisor Melvin asked if there was any further comment. Joann Featherman said Matamoras adopted their tentative budget last night and she wanted to make sure there were not issues with Eastern Pike Regional. She wanted to make sure there were no shortfalls in her budget and that Matamoras and Westfall were coming together budget wise. Supervisor Melvin said the amount budgeted for the police department is the same as the last three years. He would love to be able to raise the amount each year a little but he cannot guarantee it. George Featherman said Matamoras is at its limit and cannot raise taxes. Supervisor Melvin said we should be able to get through 2014 but 2015 will be tough. We will start to run slim on cash reserves. He said we are in Act 47 and do not have the ability to borrow. We have cut back on some things like the tax collector, secretary and garbage. Then we have to pay the workers comp and health insurance increases. Supervisor Banach asked Mr. Myer if there is enough cushion for the increase in health insurance. Mr. Myer said we have not done enough with the numbers yet. The information just came in this afternoon. He said obviously we can make it work but he could not give any good numbers at that time. Supervisor Melvin said he is concerned about reserve funds. Supervisor Melvin said we have some reserve. He thinks it will cost about $5,000 or $6,000 for the health insurance increase without looking at the numbers. Supervisor Banach asked about EPRPD’s health insurance increasing. Supervisor Melvin said he did not know but the Police Commission and the Chiefs will need to work out any increase given the budget that Westfall and Matamoras have funded. He said he had a conversation with some people in Harrisburg today and they expect reserves to be fifteen to twenty percent of the budget and we are running on five percent if things work out right. Harrisburg is starting to get a little nervous about this. They suggested raising mills but he said we are not doing that at this time. Supervisor Melvin said Mr. Myer was spoken very highly of. He said many second class townships are not lucky enough to have a CPA.

Supervisor Melvin asked if Supervisor Banach had further comment. Supervisor Banach responded saying Mr. Myer and Supervisor Melvin have done a great job with the budget. Supervisor Melvin said the county taxes and school taxes have gone up a little bit. He said if Westfall has an increase it would really be tough for people. He said, only speaking for himself, next year we may not be able to stay the same. We have a responsibility to make sure we spend our money wisely and keep the taxes low but he thinks we also have a fiduciary responsibility to make sure the township has enough money to pay its bills and not have to go out and obtain float loans.

Supervisor Melvin said the employees of the have not have salary increases in several years. We put a 3% salary increase in the budget for the employees. He said the Supervisors need to discuss the timing of the salary increases. The raise means a lot to the individual and the employees work hard for the township. The highway employees work really hard on the ditch work and when it is snowing outside.

Chairman Ewbank asked if there were any further question. There was no reply.

ADJOURNMENT: The meeting adjourned at 6:28 pm on a motion made by Supervisor Flansburg. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carried with all in favor.

Respectfully submitted,
Jodi Hulse, Secretary

Supervisors Budget Workshop Minutes-October 21, 2013

Westfall Township, Matamoras, PA
October 21, 2013

The Westfall Township Board of Supervisors convened their second 2013 Budget Workshop on Monday, October 21, 2013 at 7:00 pm. The meeting was held at the Westfall Township Municipal Building on Delaware Drive and LaBarr Lane.

Those present were Chairman Robert Ewbank; Vice-Chairman, Paul Fischer; Supervisor, Robert Melvin; Supervisor, Larry Flansburg, Treasurer, Scott Myer; Secretary, Jodi Hulse and Roadmaster, Bill Schneider, Police Chief, Chad Stewart. Fire Chief, Rob Llewellyn, Luis Bocalatti, and Kevin Salvati . Also present was John Dalton.

Supervisor Raymond Banach was not present.

Supervisor Melvin started the meeting by suggesting we discuss the police budget first. Chad Stewart said the bottom line is that we held the revenue of 2014, 2013 and 2012 for Westfall Township which is $385,655.18. He said the total expense and income at the bottom of his report is a bit higher than last year because of grants that has come in. The amount the Police Department is asking from the Township and the Borough is the same as last year and 2012. Supervisor Melvin asked in order for the Police Department to stay the same it is still down one officer. Mr. Stewart said they had two officers leave and he believes they joined the State Police. He said they hired one person and left the temporary position open. Supervisor Melvin asked if anyone had any questions. He said the budget is the same from year to year. He also said there has been a lot of discussion amongst the Supervisors regarding the split but that has nothing to do with Chad and the budget. Chairman Ewbank said he thinks the letter which was sent out regarding the split should not be addressed until after the first of the year when the new supervisors are present, new council people in Matamoras and a new Police Commission. Chairman Ewbank said that Chad is here to present his budget and nothing else. Supervisor Melvin said there were a couple of things that were discussed at the last Police meeting that are not in the budget that they are trying to get funds for which are some new defibrillators. These cost about $5,000 each. He said the Police Department will try to get some donations to pay for this equipment. He said it is not a requirement to have them for the Police Department but very handy to be used for infants, children and adults with interchangeable pads. Vice-Chairman Fischer said vests are another item the Police Department needs. Mr. Stewart said they received a grant for the vests. He said the government decided to shut down the day after they received them so he does not know the number. Chairman Ewbank said the natural gas store is in the process and the county is talking about converting some of their vehicles. Mr. Stewart said they are looking at converting their current vehicles and any new vehicles as well. He said he has been researching the use of CNG and he will be attending a seminar on October 24, 2013. Supervisor Melvin said there will be a meeting at the Blooming Grove Fire Training Center on October 24, 2013 and one of the discussions will be regarding grants for conversion of fleets for the natural gas.

Supervisor Flansburg said he had two things to talk about. One was that he did not agree that we would not need to talk about the 50/50 split which pushes it to 2015. He said if someone wanted to talk about it he would be willing to listen. He asked Chad Stewart about an item on his budget which is under revenue/reports DBD Task Force. He asked what the reports are. Mr. Stewart said the reports are accident reports which they charge $50.00 each. He then explained that portion of the budget. He said he did not want to put Mr. Stewart on the spot, but Supervisor Banach wanted him to ask Mr. Stewart where on his report the money is for patrolling the pipeline. Chad Stewart said he cannot point that out to him since he does not expect to be doing the pipeline in 2014. He said it will be reported on the next quarterly report. Supervisor Melvin said to Supervisor Flansburg he thinks the issue regarding the split for the Police Department cost should be discussed at an executive session. Supervisor Flansburg said he agrees but he guessed that some of the people present were there to talk about that subject. Chairman Ewbank said he felt they should not talk about it unless Matamoras was present and they were not. Supervisor Flansburg asked Kevin Salvati if he was present to represent the Police Department regarding the split. Kevin Salvati said no.

Chairman Ewbank asked if there were any other questions for the Police Department. There was no further comment.

The Mill Rift Fire Department was the next subject for discussion. Ken Zielazny handed out a sheet to the Supervisors regarding expenses for the rest of 2013 and proposed expenses for 2014. Supervisor Melvin asked how much was the budget allowance for Mill Rift in 2013. Supervisor Flansburg said it was $37,000 and Scott Myer agreed. Mr. Zielazny said they had a lot of truck maintenance this year which is far more than they normally do. He said one of their trucks was rusting badly and they had to have the underneath and the carriage repaired. They also ran into a problem with pumps. He said all of the new equipment purchased was done on grants. Supervisor Melvin asked if the accounting is for audits. He said he is paying an accountant for the reports which the Supervisors want. The accountant does all of the quarterly reports and the Federal Income Tax report. He said he only did the income tax report in the past but now he does the quarterly reports which are more cost. Supervisor Melvin asked if the amount they are looking for is $40,610. Mr. Zielazny said yes. He also said whatever they are given they will function with as they have done so for the past ten years. They had a good reserve so they were able to cover a lot of the extra expenses this year. Supervisor Flansburg asked Mr. Zielazny if he feels their equipment is in pretty good shape so that expense may go down. Tom Lamb said they still have a truck payment. Supervisor Flansburg said he understands that. He said the equipment looks good. Mr. Zielazny said the big thing this year was the truck maintenance and that expense will definitely go down next year.

Supervisor Melvin said he cannot guarantee we can do this. Mr. Zielazny said he understands.

Supervisor Melvin asked for the Westfall Fire Department budget. Rob Llewellyn handed out the budget sheet. Supervisor Melvin said on the cover letter it states 1300 emergencies. He asked how many emergencies they did last year and the year before. Luis Bocaletti said between 1100 and 1200. Supervisor Flansburg asked Mr. Bocaletti if those calls included ambulance calls. He said yes. Supervisor Flansburg asked how many of those calls are outside of Westfall Township. Mr. Llewellyn said probably about fifteen percent.

Mr. Bocaletti said the second sheet of his budget shows the last three years and the projection for 2014. He said most of the expenses are pretty fixed. He also stated they have neglected buying equipment. Chairman Ewbank asked their projected expenses for fundraising. He said they have really skyrocketed since three years ago and why is that. Mr. Bocaletti said we have to spend money to raise money.

There was additional discussion regarding the Westfall Fire Department budget while the Supervisors were reviewing the budget. Scott Myer said to Mr. Bocaletti, they really did not ask for a number. Mr. Bocaletti said the projection is $170,000. Supervisor Melvin said we cannot do $170,000. Mr. Bocaletti said that is what we need as far as expenses.

Chairman Ewbank said we cannot give you the exact figure yet. Mr. Bocaletti asked if there will be another meeting. Scott Myer said the goal is to keep the number the same as it was last year. Mr. Bocaletti said last year we talked about the split. He said he does not mean any disrespect to Mill Rift. He said with all of the calls there has not been a lot of time to go out and raise $100,000. He stated they are running out of members that are willing to do that. It is becoming tough. Vice-Chairman Fischer asked what the split was last year. Mr. Myer said it was 70/30. Supervisor Melvin stated we try and keep fire and police the same as last year. We budgeted in the salary increases for township employees. He said we have $120,000 budgeted for capital road expense which we only used $100,000 last year so we are carrying over the $20,000 for guide rails and some other things which need to get done on Heaters Hill. He said we are trying to take a portion of the Katz tax to the general fund to take care of some other costs we have. Supervisor Flansburg said we are not actually using the money but switching the mills around. Supervisor Melvin said yes.

Supervisor Melvin said I am not trying to create a battle here and then asked how many calls Mill Rift handles per year. Mr. Zielazny said about forty. Vice-Chairman Fischer said this is one of the hard things for us and this is why we try to push the two departments to get together. Tom Lamb said the same amount will be spent in the budget whether there are one fire house our two firehouses. There is so much money set aside for the fire department. Vice-Chairman Fischer said right now the two departments are pitting against each other and it makes things a little tough. Supervisor Melvin said we need to sit down at some point and figure out the cost savings and the offset to it to see what the loss would be. We need to compare it. He said he does not think it is the case of getting rid of one of the fire departments. He said we want to make the right decision. Mr. Bocaletti said he was looking at their meeting minutes from last year and the split was not changed due to the fact the Supervisors did not want to push anyone away from merging or not merging. Supervisor Flansburg asked Mr. Myer what a mill is actually worth. He said $41,300. Supervisor Flansburg asked if all of the Supervisors salaries are on the budget. Mr. Myer said yes. There was discussion regarding fire hydrants. Supervisor Flansburg asked if it was $4000 in the budget for fire hydrants. He said he needs to bring Supervisor Banach into the conversation. He said that the Township taxes a certain amount of residents down by the fire department and now we will get new fire hydrants out towards Luhrs and they are not going to pay. Supervisor Melvin asked Supervisor Flansburg if we are really getting those hydrants. Supervisor Flansburg said they’re going to the trailer park for sure. Supervisor Melvin asked if there would be someone from Westfall on that board. Supervisor Flansburg said there was a vacancy coming up and that we could fill that position. Supervisor Flansburg said Supervisor Banach is concerned about $4000 and also about the ADA compliance. He then asked if we need to consider one mill. He said we have the ADA compliance, the fire departments looking for more money, and the road department always could use more money. Mr. Schneider confirmed there are some things that need to be done. Supervisor Melvin said I don’t know where we can come up with a mill. He said he is not opposed to having the taxes going up. Shohola just went up one mill and one quarter. Supervisor Flansburg said the school has gone up and the County also. Supervisor Melvin asked us to Myer how much it would cost per taxpayer if the taxes went up one mill. He said a very rough estimate is $29.68 per parcel. Supervisor Melvin said Walmart will pay more. There was additional general conversation regarding the budget.

Chairman Ewbank said last week in the paper there was an article about security in the cost of living. The cost of living according to the federal government is going up 1 1/2%. He said how can we justify giving a 3% raise to our employees. Supervisor Melvin said our people have not gotten raises in years and 3% raise for our employees is about $3000. There was additional conversation regarding shuffling the mills. Supervisor Melvin said we need to keep in the back of our mind that at some point the Police Department will need more money probably next year or the year after so that we have a continual growth for new equipment. Mr. Myer said that you should have the mindset that if you do not raise taxes this year that it probably will need to happen next year. Supervisor Melvin asked his fellow supervisors their opinion on raising millage. Supervisor Flansburg said he certainly does not need to insult anyone but he feels that was raising taxes in the County is raising taxes now he a good time to do it while everybody is upset instead of waiting till next year. Supervisor Melvin said he feels the supervisors have been doing a good job of holding the line. But now things are starting to break. He said he wants to make sure that we have the right amount of signs and preparation in case of another ” Sandy”. He then mentioned looking into a one call service for emergency situations. We need to be proactive on these types of things and these types of things will cost a little bit of money in the future. Supervisor Flansburg asked the residents were present their opinion. Bill Decker said he is not for raising taxes. He said he is on a fixed income and if taxes keep being raised he will be out of here. He said glass house is paying most of the taxes in the Township as it is and he does not get any more service than anyone else does. Supervisor Flansburg said point taken. He said the other side of the coin is that we must look at this. There was additional conversation regarding a possible tax increase and income tax in the future. Mr. Schneider said unfortunately the Township has changed and costs have gone up there are projects that need to be paid for and taxes will need to go up at some point. Supervisor Melvin said there are some drainage issues that need to be taken care of and guide rail. Also paving projects need to be done. Mr. Schneider said the guiderail projects are required by the state. Supervisor Melvin said we do have debt service peeling off. There was conversation regarding the debt service and the time frame of it.

Mr. Myers stated he did not know about the ADA Cost. Supervisor Flansburg said he does not know if we have the number yet. Supervisor Melvin stated we do not have a ramp to enter the building. Supervisor Flansburg said that is one thing. Supervisor Melvin said these are things we need to consider. Chairman Ewbank said the bathrooms are not ADA approved either which will be a big expense. There was discussion regarding the hydrant tax. Mr. Myers said the bills are going out in January. Bill Decker asked if there will be a tax for hydrants for everyone. Supervisor Flansburg said no. Milford may be extending the water to the trailer park and the Pearce House and there will be new hydrants there which will be paid for. We cannot make certain people pay for hydrants when others are getting them for free. He said we are trying to figure out how everyone can have them for free when the day comes that Milford extends the area. Supervisor Melvin and Supervisor Flansburg both stated it may not happen until this coming year or the year after.

Supervisor Melvin said we need to play with some numbers. Supervisor Flansburg agreed. John Dalton asked the percentage for the tax collector. Supervisor Melvin said we lowered it this year to 4% from 5%. He said it was done before the election so that the person running for office knew what the rate would be. Supervisor Melvin added we have made some changes to reduce spending. The secretary position salary was reduced.

There was discussion about scheduling a third budget meeting since the Supervisors needed more time to go over the budget. Mr. Myer said we are getting close to the limit for mills and at some point Earned Income Tax will be inevitable. There was conversation held regarding Earned Income Tax. Mr. Myer said if you live and work in an area where the tax is collected, the tax is paid to where the person lives.

Supervisor Melvin said if we are tight on our budget he would give his stipend back. Supervisor Flansburg said he would also.

Supervisor Melvin asked if there is anything else. Luis Bocaletti said he hates to bring it up but he would like to discuss the split. Supervisor Melvin asked what the split between fire departments was last year. Mr. Myer said it was 70/30. Supervisor Flansburg asked if the Supervisors could look at the numbers to see if they could work something out. There was discussion held regarding scheduling a third budget workshop meeting.

Vice-Chairman Fischer asked what percentage the Westfall Fire Department is looking for. Mr. Bocaletti said it is not fair that their volunteers are required to spend one or two weekends a month holding fund raisers plus training and handling fire calls to come up with $100,000. Supervisor Melvin said we can move toward a direction but he would not plan on it being a jackpot. There was discussion held regarding the split last year and the year before. Supervisor Melvin said he is aiming toward 75/35 which he thinks is not a huge swing in numbers and is manageable by Mill Rift. Tom Lamb said the Mill Rift buys used trucks not new. He said they stay within their budget. Ken Zielazny said they will get an extra $7,000.00. Mr. Bocaletti said it is $7,000 less they will have to fund raise. Supervisor Melvin said one of the things in the back of his mind is that the police need to get a slightly bigger piece of the pie in 2015 in his opinion. Mr. Bocaletti said they are not being greedy but they are being asked to raise money to keep the fire department running. Mill Rift gets 100% of their piece of the budget without being asked to raise any money and it just does not seem fair. Mr. Lamb said to Mr. Bocaletti that he does not pay taxes to Westfall. Mr. Bocaletti said he is not here as a tax payer. He is here to represent the fire department. Mr. Lamb said to let Port Jervis handle the ambulance service. Mr. Bocaletti said since we run the ambulance we are able to survive. It is part of our income. There was additional discussion between Mr. Bocaletti, Mr. Decker and Mr. Lamb. Supervisor Flansburg we do not need want any arguing. Supervisor Melvin said we are here today to talk about the money. Supervisor Flansburg asked if we could keep Mill Rift basically the same and give Westfall a little more, would that work. He said everyone gave us their numbers and we have given everyone in this room our numbers. Supervisor Flansburg said to give us some time to look at the numbers and we will have a third workshop meeting. There was discussion regarding scheduling the third budget meeting. Ms. Hulse said she would speak to Solicitor Bernathy in the morning regarding the date requirements and she would let everyone know the date for the third budget meeting.

ADJOURNMENT: The meeting adjourned at 8:32 on a motion made by Supervisor Flansburg. Motion was seconded by Chairman Ewbank and carried with all in favor.

Respectfully submitted,

Jodi Hulse
Secretary

ZONING HEARING CANCELLED December 17, 2013

The Westfall Township Zoning Hearing for Choice Properties of PA, LLC scheduled for December 17, 2013 at 5:00 pm has been cancelled due to the winter weather conditions. Notice will be posted once the hearing is rescheduled.

Thank you.
Jodi Hulse
Secretary

Supervisors Minutes-November 7, 2013

Westfall Township, Matamoras, PA
November 7, 2013

The regular meeting of the Westfall Township Board of Supervisors was held Thursday, November 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 and Vice Chairman, Paul Fischer; Supervisors, Raymond Banach (attended meeting by speaker phone), Larry Flansburg and Robert Melvin; Solicitor, Robert Bernathy, and Secretary, Jodi Hulse. Also present were Treasurer, Scott Myer; Zoning Officer, Michael Rendleman; Bill Schneider, Ken Zielazny, Lisa Mickles, Beth Brelje, John Dalton, Ken Adams, Donna Schutz, Tina Hess, June Kalsinsky, Attorney Lars Anderson, Robert Bostinto and approximately 22 members of the general public.

EXECUTIVE SESSION: Chairman Ewbank states an Executive Session was held on November 4, 2013 for purposes of Litigation.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA: Agenda approved on a motion by Supervisor Flansburg. Motion is seconded by Vice Chairman Fischer and carries with all in favor.

PUBLIC COMMENT: Twila Decker suggested the Board approach Matamoras Borough about picking up leafs. Chairman Ewbank said the township has purchased a leaf vacuum.

Beth Brelje asked what the Litigation was for the executive session. Solicitor Bernathy responded Kittatinny.

Chairman Ewbank said we are going to change things up and address Number 1 under “New Business”-Letter from Planning-Conditional Use Application for Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless-Proposed cell tower on Berger Road. Attorney Lars Anderson introduced himself as representative of Verizon Wireless. A motion was made by Supervisor Flansburg to schedule a Conditional Use Hearing for proposed cell tower on December 3, 2013 at 7:00. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carries with all in favor. Solicitor Bernathy explained the procedure to Attorney Anderson. Attorney Anderson asked if the township does the advertising and Solicitor Bernathy confirmed.

MINUTES: Minutes of the workshop meeting held on September 23, 2013 were approved on a motion by Supervisor Flansburg. Motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Fischer. Motion carries with all in favor.

Minutes of the regular meeting held on October 1, 2013 were approved on a motion by Supervisor Banach. Motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Fischer. Motion carries with all in favor.

Minutes of the budget workshop meeting held on October 7, 2013 were approved on a motion by Supervisor Melvin. Motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Fischer. Supervisor Flansburg and Supervisor Banach abstained. Motion carried with three in favor and two abstentions.

Minutes of budget workshop meeting held on October 21, 2013 were tabled.

TREASURER’S REPORT: Scott Myer gave the report for October and stated that income is in line with expectations with budget. Expenses are as well. Mr. Myer said that he paid the invoice for the project for the capital roads the day of the meeting.

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 read the report which was submitted by Chad Stewart. The report was for the month of October. The monthly count of offenses known to police were two assaults, three burglaries, seventeen larceny theft, two motor vehicle theft, two forgery, one fraud, five vandalism, three driving under the influence, one drunkenness, six disorderly conduct, three all other offenses for a total of forty five The monthly count of persons charged for offenses are one assault, eighteen larceny theft, one fraud, two stolen property, one driving under the influence, three disorderly conduct, one all other offenses for a total of twenty six. The miles patrolled for the month were 5,608. Year to date miles patrolled were 63,645. Motor Vehicle Accidents for the month were 17 and year to date 159. Calls for service for the month were 205 and year to date were 2100.

Supervisor Melvin moved to approve the Police Report. Motion was seconded by Supervisor Flansburg and carries with all in favor.

FIRE DEPARTMENT: Ken Zielazny gave the July Mill Rift Fire Department Report for October stating on October 2, 2013 they had a general fire alarm on Cummins Hill also on October 2, 2013 they had equipment maintenance on Engine 1, Engine 2, and the Tanker. They held their meeting on October 9, 2013 and on October 10, 2013 they had pumping of Engine 1 to the Tanker. He said on October 16, 2013 they checked the equipment and pumped the brush truck. October 23, 2013 they had a class on reviewing all of the equipment on Engine 1 and Engine 2. They had a pump drill at Port Jervis for Engine 1 and Engine 2. Mr. Zielazny said they were donated a five person hovercraft by the Bellmar Fire Department in New Jersey. He said it will be useful in this area if we have frozen ponds and also on the river. Supervisor Flansburg asked if there was a connection to the Bellmar Fire Department. Mr. Zielazny said that someone who knows the fire department told them that we could use a piece of equipment like that in this area. They then donated to our fire department.

Rob Llewellyn gave the Westfall Fire Department Report for October. He said there were six automatic fire alarms, three motor vehicle accidents, three structure fires, one stand-by transfer, one gas leak, three landing zone, three outside investigation, one assist police, one public service, and two brush fires with a total of twenty four calls for October. There are three hundred eighteen total calls year to date. He said the EMS calls were forty two in Westfall, seventeen to cover Squad 33, and one call to cover Squad 28. The total calls year to date is six hundred twenty six. Mr. Llewellyn said we performed fire prevention completed at Home Depot, Kmart, and Delaware Valley Elementary School. They had fourteen members attend training on propane emergencies which was provided by Combined Energy Services. One member completed fire essentials class and Engine 390 was repaired and put back into service about one and a half weeks ago.

Supervisor Flansburg moved to approve the Fire Department Reports. Motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Fischer and carries with all in favor.

HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT: Bill Schneider gave the report for October. He said paving was completed on Edward Court, White Birch, and Reuben Bell Drive. Pocono Spray did some crack seal on Reuben Bell Drive and Doug Miller Drive. They have been working on installing street signs in the township but more need to be done. The plows and spreaders have been being prepared for winter. Mr. Schneider said they have been doing shoulder work throughout the township along with culvert pipe and ditch cleanouts. They have been working on Heaters Hill stabilizing stream banks by installing twenty eight gabion baskets. They have been working on the lower part of Heater Hill and still have about one hundred twenty baskets to install. This may be put off until spring. He said the painting has been completed on the Highway Building. The Highway Department has been performing maintenance on the highway yard area building. Six new tires have been put on the 550 truck for winter. There has been fifty tons of salt delivered. They have one hundred seventy five ton of salt on hand and three hundred fifty tons of anti-skid on hand. Mr. Schneider continued with the report by saying they cleared a tree which was done on Rose Lane. They filled washed out areas on Fire Tower Road. He said Kuharchik Construction brought the township to compliance with signs at traffic lights as requested by PennDot. He also worked on the budget and attended a Road Task Force meeting.

Supervisor Melvin asked Mr. Schneider if the amount of salt and anti-skid we have on hand is enough to get us through a normal winter. Mr. Schneider said we should be good. Supervisor Melvin asked about using the salt as per our contact. Mr. Schneider said we should not have a problem using that amount. Supervisor Flansburg asked if the gabian baskets are along the creek on Heaters Hill. He confirmed with Mr. Schneider he is working according to the permits.

Vice Chairman Fischer moved to approve the Highway Report. Motion was seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carries with all in favor.

BUILDING/ZONING REPORT: Michael Rendleman reported that there were ten permits issued in October which were five building, one driveway and four zoning. Total permit fees were $10,643 with 1,000 outstanding.

Supervisor Flansburg moved to approve the report. Motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Fischer and carried with all in favor.

CORRESPONDENCE: On desk for review.

OLD BUSINESS:

Burning Ordinance-Schedule a workshop meeting – Chairman Ewbank said we have had some issues with the wording in the ordinance. He asked the Board if we have figured it all out. Supervisor Banach asked if we have the proposed ordinance for advertisement. Solicitor Bernathy said we have asked for some time for comment on this and approve the final form so it can be advertised. He said it was ready to be advertised but the Supervisors decided they needed more time and it was continued until this meeting. He said to the Supervisors that they were each contacted individually and you each gave your concerns regarding the ordinance. He said the Supervisors need to discuss the concerns. Supervisor Melvin said the big issue is that leaves must be burned in a container outside the proposed zone. Solicitor Bernathy said the whole idea is to contain the fire. He said if you do not want containment of the fire that he does not know about regulations in general. He said even outside of the zone your goal safety wise is to contain the fire. Supervisor Flansburg said that we could have a distance from buildings in the ordinance for safety. Solicitor Bernathy said we have that and it is 25 feet. Supervisor Flansburg said that those types of things are containing the fire. Vice-chairman Fischer agreed. Solicitor Bernathy read a part of the proposed ordinance which reflects containing the fire. He said the whole idea of this section of the ordinance is to contain the fire. Supervisor Flansburg said that everything leading up to the actual container of the fire is containing the fire. Solicitor Bernathy asked if the supervisors would like to delete 1A which refers to the container. Supervisor Flansburg said for example he has 4000 cornstalks and he burns 50 a time and they don’t fit in a container. He is on 1 acre and it is not a problem. Solicitor Bernathy said if it is not in the triangle it is still regulated but you just want to delete the container. Supervisor Flansburg said that is correct. All supervisors agreed. Vice-chairman Fischer brought up the Sunday burning regulation. Solicitor Bernathy said we already took that out. Supervisor Flansburg asked if there is a permit requirement for outside of the zone. Solicitor Bernathy said yes. He said there are regulations for bonfires. Supervisor Banach said no. Vice-chairman Fischer said he does not agree with that either. He asked what the definition of a bonfire is. Solicitor Bernathy said there is a definition section and he read the definition of a bonfire. He said it would be considered generally a large fire. He said this language comes from the state. He said it you want to a bonfire regulation we can cross that out. Supervisor Flansburg asked if they bonfire will be allowed inside the zone. Solicitor Bernathy said absolutely not. Solicitor Melvin said fires in the zone are allowed for cooking only. Supervisor Banach asked how this would affect the people who have four or 5 acres right around Price Chopper. He said there was a gentleman who wanted to burn brush down there. Supervisor Melvin said there is no provision for that. Supervisor Banach said we might want to look into that. Solicitor Bernathy asked if the supervisors want to make an exception for a permitting process for the people in the triangle. Supervisor Flansburg asked if that was the reason Mr. Adams was present. Mr. Adams said he does not have that many acres and he does not burn often. Supervisor Flansburg said he thought that Mr. Adams had some things he wanted to burn. Mr. Adams said he burned some of the brush but now it is no longer on his property. The property has been sold. Solicitor Bernathy asked Mr. Adams it he lives in the triangle. He responded yes. Solicitor Bernathy asked Mr. Adams if this ordinance is objectionable to him. Mr. Adams said there’s not much burning going on in this area except for the one person that lives out in front of him and sometimes that person burns insulation and wires which can become a nuisance. He said he lives in Westfall Township not in New York City. He said he has to expect a little bit of smoke from leaves being burned. There is not a lot of burning going on in a part of Westfall Township. He said he does not burn any leaves and he has a lot of leaves. He asked what the Township is going to do when there is someone that lives outside the triangle and they are burning and the smoke is agitating the neighbor. What will be done for that person? Solicitor Bernathy said unless they are in violation of the ordinance there’s not much that the Township can do health wise. Mr. Adams said that is discrimination. Solicitor Bernathy said it is not discrimination since the ordinance is applicable to everyone that lives in the area. He said if it is uniformly applied and it reads well it is not in any way ambiguous. He said outside the ordinance you cannot burn household rubbish, rags, metal, rubber, plastics, tires, carpets, furniture, tin cans, masonry and other similar items. If someone is burning something they should not burn the ordinance is applicable to them and they will be cited. Chairman Ewbank said like your neighbor that burns his plastics off the wire. Mr. Adams said that he was notified on several occasions that he is not supposed to do it but he still does. Solicitor Bernathy read more of the ordinance regarding what is not permitted to be burned. Supervisor Banach asked about if there were a sporting event in the triangle. He said there should be a permitting process for that area. Solicitor Bernathy said he will add an exception that someone can apply for a permit within the triangle. Supervisor Melvin asked who would approve the permit. Supervisor Flansburg said the board would. Supervisor Banach said it would be similar to what we do with fireworks and we would ask the fire department to approve it. Supervisor Flansburg said to Mr. Adams that before there was no way to enforce this and we are working on a plan to enforce it now. Mr. Adams said very rarely does the smoke come toward his house but it blows towards Price Chopper and is probably a nuisance for those people. Beth Brelje asked if inside the zone you could have a chiminea. Supervisor Melvin asked if she would be cooking a marshmallow in it. Michelle Wilkins asked if as long as we cooked hotdogs we would be allowed. Ms.Brelje asked if there was not cooking then the fire would not be allowed. Solicitor Bernathy said you are allowed to grill and barbeque. Ms. Brelje asked if she could still have the fire and sit around with a bunch of friends and chat around the fire. She asked if people could sit around a campfire in their back yard. Solicitor Bernathy said if it is in the triangle the answer is no. He said no fires in the triangle. He said it labels it as such that it is dense and is adjacent to another municipality that prohibits fires. Ms. Brelje questioned again the proposed ordinance. Solicitor Bernathy said she could have a copy of the ordinance to refer to. Supervisor Melvin said that we are trying to prevent the problem of smoke laying in the valley and the town. He said it is a nuisance to Matamoras and a nuisance to the residents of our Township. He said he feels that it is a good neighbor policy. Solicitor Bernathy said that smoke is not coming from a barbecue grilling marshmallows. Chairman Ewbank said they do not burn in Matamoras and if you drive through Matamoras the smoke is coming from Westfall right into Matamoras. Twila Decker asked about the burning of personal documents. Solicitor Bernathy said you cannot do that. There is no burning allowed in the triangle. Donna Schutz addressed the board. She said she does not understand why the burning is not unhealthy for everyone in Westfall and only in the zone. She said there are parts of the Township that will be allowed to burn that the smoke will go over to Port Jervis and they are not allowed to burn. She said she thinks if we are going to have this ordinance should be for the Township and not just one small area. She said that Supervisor Flansburg as corn stalks he likes to burn. She said she has cornstalks she would like to burn also and she has 4 acres. She won’t burn them and that is fine. But she questioned how that is fair. He questioned the fee for a permit. Supervisor Flansburg said he is not sure that we will be charging a fee for the permit and that we just want to know that the fire will be going on. Ms. Schutz said she understands that the smoke bothers a lot of people but why is it only bad for one certain area and not the whole Township. He thinks it should not just benefit a few people. Supervisor Flansburg said he understands Ms. Schutz’s point. He said he thinks the intent is to complement what Matamoras is doing. Chairman Ewbank said it is aimed at that area because it’s a continuation of Matamoras. He said it is a congested area compared to the rest of the Township. Supervisor Flansburg said intent was not to slight anyone. Supervisor Flansburg said that Supervisor Banach has about 60 or 70 acres and there are times that he clears and burns and no one can even see the fire. It does not seem like it should apply to everyone. He said that once we have the ordinance in place and it turns out that out farther there is a problem we can incorporate that area into the ordinance. But we do not want to affect everyone if we don’t have to. Vice-chairman Fischer said the topography needs to be taken into consideration. Ms. Schutz said it is really only two weekends out of the year that there is a problem with burning. Supervisor Flansburg said there are quite a few people using 55 gallon drums to burn trash and those are the types of things that are agitating throughout the year. Ms.Brelje asked how many supervisors live in the zone. Chairman Ewbank said that he lives in the zone. Supervisor Melvin said that he lives in Milford Landing and there is no burning allowed they are either. June Kalsinsky said she has lived in Westfall Township for 54 years and there has never been a problem with burning of any kind. She said she burns kitchen garbage which is paper towels, paper plates, and boxes. She has been doing this for 54 years and now she will not be able to and that is not right. She said she has a lot of pine needles and leaves and she will not be able to burn them. She asked what she is supposed to do with them now. She said this is because a couple of people have allergies and those people should take care of their allergies. She does not have allergies and she is a taxpayer and she does not expect to have to pay for anyone’s allergies. She said she does not burn raw garbage. She said she is now not sure what she will do with her papers since this has not happened in 54 years. All of a sudden now just because a couple of people have allergies we are not allowed to do anything. She said that she had an allergy she would take care of it and she does not expect Westfall Township to take care of her. The board responded with point taken.

Chairman Ewbank asked if there was any more discussion. There was no response. He asked if we would be scheduling a public hearing. Supervisor Banach asked if we would see the draft ordinance beforehand. Solicitor Bernathy said yes. There was conversation regarding when to schedule the Public Hearing. Ms. Schutz asked what she should do with her leaves this year. Supervisor Flansburg said the ordinance will not start until next season. Bill Schneider said the equipment is not ready this year for leaf pick up.

Motion was made by Supervisor Flansburg to schedule Public Hearing for Burning Ordinance for December 18, 2013 at 7:15. Motion was seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carried with all in favor.

Vacation of Pond Drive-A motion was made by Supervisor Banach to schedule the Public Hearing for Vacation of Pond Drive for December 3, 2013 at 6:00. Motion was seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carried with all in favor.

Mike Rendleman-Temporary Zoning Officer-Discuss details for advertisement for Zoning Officer position-Chairman Ewbank asked if Mr. Rendleman has provided a description for the board to review. Ms. Hulse said it is in the Supervisor folders. There was discussion regarding the job description. Solicitor Bernathy the person should have experience.

Motion was made by Supervisor Flansburg to advertise for Zoning Officer Position for Westfall Township. Motion was seconded by Vice-chairman Fischer and carried with all in favor.

Supervisor Melvin asked Mr. Rendleman to check on the stop signs at Walmart that are missing. He thinks the SALDO plans require stop signs at those locations. He said the one by Dunkin Donuts is also knocked down. Chairman Ewbank said that he has had a woman him on a couple of occasions regarding the numbered lanes at Walmart. She thinks Kmart should have the same. Solicitor Bernathy said it may be in the land development plan. Mr. Rendleman said he does not think so but he will look into it. Chairman Ewbank said that the woman wants it for safety purposes.

Supervisor Flansburg asked Mr. Rendleman a few details of the job for advertisement purposes.

Schedule Workshop Meeting for Paddlers Point-Garden Apts – Solicitor Bernathy said that we had our last proceeding on October 1, 2013 and you have 45 days from that date to make a decision. He has contacted counsel for Paddlers Point and he has no objection to extending the period of time for the supervisors to make a decision.

Chairman Ewbank said he thought we made a decision. Solicitor Bernathy said you did make a decision and he is letting you know that they want to meet with you, as a result of that decision. Is it your intention to extend the period of time or move forward with the decision and have them come through all over again? Supervisor Flansburg asked Supervisor Banach his take on it. He said we needed decision but if they want to talk about it that’s fine. He said if they want to present something new is more than open. Solicitor Bernathy suggested the secretary put this on the agenda for the January 6, 2014 meeting and to call Attorney Ohliger and let him know.

Appointment of Planning Board Members – Chairman Ewbank said the board interviewed three people before our budget meeting. He said we need to appoint two people to the board. Supervisor Flansburg said that we have three people and two positions open. In the past we have taken applicants as they have come in order and we appoint them in order. He said he does not believe changing the policy in mainstream is good for the Township.

A motion was made by Supervisor Flansburg to appoint Jolie DeFeis and Marge Tonkin as Planning Commission Board Members with the stipulation that Jolie DeFeis gives up her position on the Zoning Hearing Board. The motion was seconded by Vice-chairman Fischer and carried with all in favor.

Supervisor Flansburg asked Tina Hess if she would be interested in the Zoning Hearing Board opening and she declined.

Discussion: Letter to Matamoras regarding split for EPRPD – Supervisor Banach said we sent a letter and he never got back to us so he asked if we should send another letter. Supervisor Flansburg said there’s been some information found that there may have been an agreement and we are still looking into the agreement that supposedly we made that no one seems to know about. Chairman Ewbank said we will table this. Ms. Brelje asked when the initial letter was sent. Chairman Ewbank said October 16, 2013. Solicitor Bernathy that he talked to the solicitor for the Matamoras Borough and there are some issues that you may have in common may be a good cause for you to reach out and meet with Matamoras on a couple of different issues including cable, franchise and transaction tax and composting.

NEW BUSINESS:

Health Insurance for Township Employees – Ms. Hulse said she just received the new insurance information today. Supervisor Melvin said that we just received notification due to recent changes at the federal government that the health insurance we currently have is being dropped as of December 31, 2013 so we now need to obtain different health insurance for employees. We were just notified of this yesterday and Mr. Myer has not had a chance to review it. He said there are several plans to choose from which could cost the Township $3000-$6000 more. We are not sure yet until we look at the numbers. We had a budget workshop before this meeting and we discussed that we could probably absorb the cost. Chairman Ewbank said we will table this until the December meeting.

Ms. Brelje asked how many employees are provided health insurance. Chairman Ewbank said four. Supervisor Flansburg said that Matamoras Borough is having the same problem. Ms. Mickles said all of the townships are having this problem.

Key for Township Building Front Door for Zoning Hearing Board Chairman – Chairman Ewbank said we have decided to give the key to the zoning hearing Board Chairman since there were a few instances this year with the zoning hearing board not being able to get into the building. Solicitor Bernathy said we thank Bill Schneider for being available on those evenings and letting us in.

Supervisor Melvin made a motion to give a key to exterior door only of the Township Building to the Zoning Hearing Board Chairman. The Motion was seconded by Vice-chairman Fischer and carried with all in favor.

Discussion regarding renewal of NEPA Membership – Supervisor Banach asked if we get any value out of the money being spent on this membership. We have been a member for the past couple of years. Supervisor Flansburg asked the amount of the membership. Ms. Hulse replied it is $275 per year. Supervisor Melvin asked if we have a representative who attends meetings. Ms. Hulse asked Bill Schneider his opinion. Mr. Schneider said he does not use it. Mr. Bostinto asked if we could table this and he would look into this. Chairman Ewbank agreed to table it. Mr. Bostinto said in respect to the cable franchise fees and the cell tower, he will obtain information for the Supervisors. There was conversation regarding cable franchise tax.

SUBDIVISION REVIEW and ACTION: None

EXECUTIVE SESSION: None

ADJOURNMENT: Meeting was adjourned at 8:02 p.m. on a motion by Supervisor Flansburg. Motion seconded by Vice-chairman Fischer and carried with all in favor.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jodi Hulse
Secretary