Supervisor Regular Meeting-January 6, 2014-Minutes

Westfall Township, Matamoras, PA
January 6, 2014

The regular meeting of the Westfall Township Board of Supervisors was held Monday, January 6, 2014 at 7:27 pm. The meeting was held at the Township Building on Delaware Drive and LaBarr Lane, Westfall Township.

Those present were Chairman, Larry Flansburg and Vice Chairman, Robert Melvin; Supervisors, Raymond Banach, Lester J. Buchanan and Jerry Dotey; Solicitor, Robert Bernathy, and Secretary, Jodi Hulse. Also present was Zoning Officer, Michael Rendleman; Scott Myer, Bill Schneider, Chad Steward, Rob Llewellyn, Lisa Mickles, Beth Brelje, John Dalton, and approximately ten members of the general public.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA: Supervisor Banach stated we had an Executive Session for personnel for the purposes of interviewing zoning officer applicants. The executive session was held January 6, 2014 at 6:30. Also, he would like to add to the old business section of the agenda, a letter to Matamoras regarding EPRPD split of payment between Westfall Township and Matamoras Borough. Supervisor Banach also added to old business, discussion regarding Westfall Township firehouse flooding issue/Engineering Firm.

Agenda approved on a motion by Supervisor Buchanan. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Banach and carries with all in favor.

EXECUTIVE SESSION: An executive session was held on January 6, 2014 for personnel who were for Zoning Officer position interviews.


MINUTES: A motion was made by Supervisor Banach to table the minutes for December 3, 2013 Public Hearing, December 3, 2013 Regular Meeting, December 18, 2013 and December 27, 2013. The motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Melvin and carried with all in favor.

TREASURER’S REPORT: Scott Myer gave the report. He said the treasurer’s report is for the calendar year of 2013. Income for the year was in line with budget which was 1.7 million and expense was in line with budget which was 1.88 million. He said we had a short fall of $170,000 which is what was expected which was transferred from reserves to cover the shortfall. Mr. Myer said we are in the process of obtaining a Tax Anticipation Note. He asked Solicitor Bernathy if we have a closing date yet. Solicitor Bernathy said we passed the ordinance and he spoke with Greg Myer and he asked the closing take place in the beginning of the year so we can schedule the closing at any time. Solicitor Bernathy said he expressed the need for the funds. He asked Mr. Myer where we stand. Mr. Myer said we can make it through January. Solicitor Bernathy confirmed he should schedule the closing as soon as possible. Vice Chairman Melvin said to schedule the closing as soon as possible since our reserve it slim.

A motion was made by Supervisor Banach to accept the Treasurer’s Report. The motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Melvin and carried with all in favor.

POLICE REPORT: Chad Stewart gave the Police Report. The report was for the month of December. The monthly count of offenses known to police were two assaults, one burglary, twenty five larceny theft, one forgery, two fraud, two vandalism, two possible drug abuse, one drunkenness, ten disorderly conduct, one all other offenses for a total of fifty two. The monthly count of persons charged for offenses are two assaults, eleven larceny theft, two stolen property, two drug abuse, one disorderly conduct for a total of eighteen. The miles patrolled for the month were 6,410. Year to date miles patrolled were 70,106. Motor Vehicle Accidents for the month were 13 and year to date 175. Calls for service for the month were 182 and year to date were 2448.

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


The Westfall Fire Department report was given by Rob Llewellyn. He stated there were 7 automatic fire alarms, 4 motor vehicle accidents, 3 stand-by transfer, 1 spill control, 9 outside investigations, and 3 structure fires. The total calls for December were 27 and total calls year to date are 362. Mr. Llewellyn said for EMS there were 51 calls for Westfall Township, 20 calls to cover Squad 33 and 3 calls to cover Squad 19. Total EMS calls for December were 74 and 758 calls year to date for EMS.

Chuck Pranski gave the report. He said on December 4, 2013 they worked on the checking the equipment on Engine One and Tanker. The monthly meeting was held on December 6, 2013. The department had a work night on December 11, 2013 and they checked the equipment on Engine Two. They held a Special Meeting on December 15, 2013 for new boat equipment. December 18, 2013 the airbags were repaired on the Hovercraft. They had Hovercraft training on December 28, 2013 at the Matamoras Boat Launch. Mr. Pranski said the total man hours for the month were 80 and total equipment hours were 125. Total man hours for the year were 1,235.7.

Mr. Pranski also thanked Supervisor Flansburg for donating his supervisor salary to the Mill Rift Fire Department.

Chairman Flansburg asked about the status of the compilation. He asked if anyone on the board has heard anything. The response was no. Chairman Flansburg asked Mr. Pranski to look into the matter and get back to him.

Supervisor Banach asked if the department has proper insurance with the new boat. Mr. Pranski said they are covered under the department’s policy.

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

HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT: Bill Schneider gave the report for December. He read the list of dates which the department handled road maintenance for snow removal and laying down material for ice storms and weather conditions. He said most of the month has taken up their time with taking care of the roads from storms. The Highway Department has been maintaining the equipment. Mr. Schneider said that he has ordered 225 tons of salt in December and 175 tons of anti-skid material. He said there has been a fair amount of overtime so it has been quite an expensive month.

Chairman Flansburg asked Mr. Schneider how he feels about his budget. Mr. Schneider said as of now he thinks it should be fine. Chairman Flansburg asked about the extent of the repair on the 550. Also, he asked about the heat at the Highway Department Building. He heard the heat was out. Mr. Schneider said that has been taken care of.

Supervisor Banach moved to approve the Highway Report. Motion was seconded by Supervisor Buchanan and carried with all in favor.

BUILDING/ZONING REPORT: Michael Rendleman reported that there were four building permits issued in December and one zoning permit. Total permit fees were $1,475.00 with $200.00 outstanding.

He said last month there was an issue raised regarding stop signs at Lowe’s. There are only four stop signs on their development plan. He said they are all in place.

Vice Chairman Melvin said that Walmart has some signs which need to be replaced. Mr. Rendleman said he has not heard back from the manager at Walmart as of yet. Vice Chairman Melvin stated his concern about the stop sign by Dunkin Donuts. He feels it is a traffic hazard since it is always knocked down or being held up by cinder blocks. Solicitor Bernathy said it must be permanently affixed. Supervisor Buchanan said the trucks run it over frequently. Vice Chairman Melvin asked Mr. Rendleman if he could look into the matter.

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

CORRESPONDENCE: On desk for review.


Schedule Workshop Meeting for Paddler’s Point for January 21, 2014: Vice Chairman Melvin said we tentatively scheduled the meeting and we would confirm it once the new Supervisors were present. Supervisor Banach asked if there is litigation going on with this. Solicitor Bernathy said the applicants have appealed the Supervisor’s decision. He said we can meet with the applicant for purposes of settlement of that litigation but it would have to occur at executive session. Supervisor Banach said that the discussion the applicant had with a few of the Supervisors was that they wanted to revamp their plan. He said so since they have filed an appeal that has been “thrown out the door”. He questioned Solicitor Bernathy. Solicitor Bernathy said that could be discussed in settlement as part of potential litigation. There was additional discussion regarding whether or not to schedule a meeting. No meeting was scheduled.

A motion was made by Supervisor Banach to send a letter to the applicant. Motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Melvin and carried with all in favor.

Schedule Executive Session for Personnel (Zoning Officer): Supervisor Banach said we need to advertise again for this. This was tabled.

Vacation of Pond Drive: Supervisor Banach asked Mr. Schneider if he has been able to obtain estimates. Mr. Schneider said he has not as of yet. Supervisor Banach said to table this until estimates are obtained and the weather is better.

Letter to Orange and Rockland/Phone Company/PUC regarding Utility Poles in Right of Way: Supervisor Banach said this has been an ongoing thing. There are many poles that have been abandoned by Orange and Rockland and they have put new poles up but the telephone company leaves the poles in the township right of way. He said they are a hazard for plowing snow and to the citizens since they are in the roadway. Discussion was held regarding sending a letter to Public Utility Commission.

Discussion was held regarding the proposed widening of Route 6 & 209 and emergency vehicle access and safety concerns.

A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to send a letter to the Public Utility Commission concerning the removal of poles in Westfall Township. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Banach and carried with all in favor.

There was additional discussion regarding the safety issue of emergency vehicles access when Route 209 & 6 widening project is taking place. Mr. Schneider agreed to obtain a contact number from PennDOT. Supervisor Buchanan agreed to make the call to obtain more information.

MJS Engineering Bills: Solicitor Bernathy said we are obligated to a pay a portion of the bills and he reviewed the bills and they appear to be legitimate. He said there were plans recorded and he has not received a copy of them. Supervisor Banach and Supervisor Buchanan said it was their understanding that there no other financial responsibility since settlement was made. Solicitor Bernathy said he will review the settlement agreement to refresh his memory.

Letter to Matamoras Borough-EPRDP Split: Solicitor Bernathy said he sent a letter and has not received a response. Supervisor Banach asked Solicitor Bernathy to send another letter with a copy of the previous letter. Solicitor Bernathy agreed to do so. Supervisor Banach said the contract is for three years and the time is up so this needs to be discussed as well as the split. Vice Chairman Melvin said he did not feel the contract read that way.

A motion was made by Supervisor Banach to approve Solicitor Bernathy sending a letter to the EPRPD to request a meeting to discuss the contract details and the split. The motion was seconded by Chairman Flansburg. Supervisor Buchanan was in opposition so the motion carried with four in favor and one opposition.

Engineering Firm-Westfall Township Firehouse flooding issue: Chairman Flansburg said there have been some complaints from residents on Blue Ridge Avenue regarding flooding from the Fire Department. He said he has confirmed there was a soil and erosion plan. The Conservation District said they are not responsible if it does not work and that they just make the recommendation. Chairman Flansburg said he had the plan reviewed by Joe Hudak who said the plan is in order and he went to inspect the property and there was no evidence of flooding. He said Mr. Hudak also charged the township $800 to review his own plan. Mr. Hudak also told Chairman Flansburg that the leaders on the gutters were too long and if they were cut back the water would disburse better. Chairman Flansburg said he went to personally take a look and there are no leaders on the gutters. Rob Llewellyn said he may have been talking about the old building which the gutters are still there and in place. Chairman Flansburg said the problem seems to be coming from the new addition. Rob Llewellyn said in the past if there was water in the streets of Matamoras there was water behind the firehouse. It has been that way for fifteen or twenty years. Chairman Flansburg said it needs to be addressed since it has been brought to our attention. Solicitor Bernathy questioned if the problem has gotten worse by the new construction. Mr. Llewellyn said with a standard rain it is no different than it has ever been. Chairman Flansburg said we need to talk to Mr. Hudak and he would ask Mr. Hudak to be present at the next meeting.


Welcome New Supervisors: Chairman Flansburg welcomed Supervisor Buchanan and Supervisor Dotey once again.

Resolutions for PennDOT Maintenance Agreements: A motion was made by Supervisor Banach to approve the Resolutions for PennDOT Drainage Maintenance Agreement, PennDOT Sidewalk Maintenance Agreement and Eight Resolutions for Traffic Signal Approval and Applications. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor.

Appoint Deputy Tax Collector-Request from Laurie Pearce: Laurie Pearce stated a Deputy Tax Collector is recommended in case of illness. Supervisor Melvin said the Deputy Tax Collector will take over until the Board of Supervisors appoints someone else to do the job. There was discussion regarding the procedure of appointment of the position. Supervisor Banach brought up the issue of the Deputy being a family member. Laurie Pearce said that most Tax Collectors have a family member since they are familiar with the procedure in the home where the office exists. She said Matamoras Borough Tax Collector has her daughter as the Deputy. Supervisor Buchanan said the position is temporary.

A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to appoint Zachary Pearce as Deputy Tax Collector. The motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Melvin and carried with all in favor.

Appoint Robert Howard as Assistant Emergency Management Coordinator: Robert Ewbank said we want to now have two Assistant Emergency Management Coordinators. He said James Ellison is the first one and Robert Howard would like to fill the second position.

Bill Schneider said the Supervisors in the past would not allow a highway employee as Emergency Management Staff since the person is needed as a highway employee in an emergency situation. Supervisor Buchanan questioned if Mr. Howard is a line officer in the Matamoras Fire Department. Mr. Ewbank said he gave up that position. Vice Chairman Melvin said it is a good idea to have as many Emergency Management Assistants as possible. There was discussion regarding whether a highway employee should be on Emergency Management Staff. Supervisor Buchanan said Mr. Schneider will need both of his employees in any emergency situation. The Supervisors decided not to appoint Mr. Howard. Supervisor Banach said it is no offense to Mr. Howard. He is a great employee but he is needed at the Highway Department.

Letter from Pike County Library-Survey: The Supervisors agreed to have the survey available at the Westfall Township Office for residents to pick up and fill out.

Supervisor Banach said he would like to advertise all vacancies in the Township. A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to advertise all paying and non-paying positions vacant in the Township. The motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Melvin and carried with all in favor.


ADJOURNMENT: Meeting was adjourned at 8:19 p.m. on a motion by Vice Chairman Melvin. Motion seconded by Supervisor Banach and carried with all in favor.

Respectfully Submitted,
Jodi Hulse