Monthly Archives: December 2014

Supervisors Special Meeting Minutes-November 17, 2014

Westfall Township, Matamoras, PA November 17, 2014 

The Westfall Township Board of Supervisors held a Special Meeting on Monday, November 17, 2014 at 6:00 pm. The meeting was held at the Westfall Township Municipal Building on Delaware Drive and LaBarr Lane.

Those present were Vice-Chairman, Robert Melvin; Supervisors, Raymond Banach (by speaker phone), Lester Buchanan and Jerry Dotey; Treasurer, Scott Myer; Secretary, Jodi Hulse ; Road Master, William Schneider; Solicitor Robert Bernathy and Luis Bocaletti.  There were no members of the general public present.

Chairman Larry Flansburg was not present.

Vice Chairman Melvin said there is one item on the agenda which is the adoption of the tentative budget.

Adoption of the Tentative Budget:  Vice Chairman Melvin said the tentative budget is the same mills which is 31.2 mills.  There is no change.  It is 16.8 mills for the general fund, 7.2 mills for Katz, 2.35 mills for Fire Departments, 2.25 mills for Capital Road and 2.6 mills for debt services.  Vice Chairman Melvin said this totals 31.2 mills.

Vice Chairman Melvin said the $410,000 budget amount for the Eastern Pike Regional Police Department is contingent upon Matamoras Borough coming in line with the 53/47 split contractual obligation.  If this is not met, the budget amount for the Eastern Pike Regional Police Department will be $385,000 which is the same as last year.  Supervisor Banach suggested if this is the case, the extra money is put in to our reserve fund.  Supervisor Dotey and Vice Chairman Melvin agreed.

A motion was made by Supervisor Banach to approve the 2015 proposed budget with the $410,000 budget amount for the Eastern Pike Regional Police Department being contingent upon Matamoras Borough coming in line with the 53/47 split contractual obligation.  If this is not met, the budget amount for the Eastern Pike Regional Police Department will be $385,000 which is the same as last year.  The extra funds will be put aside for general fund reserve.  The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor.

Luis Bocaletti asked if the split for the Fire Departments would be what was discussed at the last meeting.  Vice Chairman Melvin said yes.  This split will be 70/30.

There was no objection to the budget and no public attendance.

Mr. Myer said that both fire departments will receive eighty percent of their funding on June 15th and the other 20 percent on December 15th.

ADJOURNMENT:  The meeting adjourned at 6:05 pm on a motion made by Supervisor Buchanan.  The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor.

Respectfully submitted,

Jodi Hulse

Secretary

 

Supervisor Budget Workshop Minutes-November 5, 2014

Westfall Township, Matamoras, PA November 5, 2014 

The Westfall Township Board of Supervisors convened their third 2014 Budget Workshop on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 7:00 pm. The meeting was held at the Westfall Township Municipal Building on Delaware Drive and LaBarr Lane.

Those present were Vice Chairman, Robert Ewbank; Supervisors, Raymond Banach (on speaker phone), Lester Buchanan and Jerry Dotey; Treasurer, Scott Myer; Secretary, Jodi Hulse and Road master, William Schneider. Chief Chad Stewart, Ken Zielazny, Chuck Pranski, Tom Lamb, Luis Bocaletti, Rob Llewellyn, Bill Koferl and Kevin Salvatti were present.  There were approximately 10 members of the general public present.

Supervisors Larry Flansburg was not present.

Vice Chairman Melvin thanked all for coming.  He said tonight is to discuss the final Westfall Township 2015 budget.  He confirmed the Special Meeting scheduled for Monday, November 17, 2014 which is to adopt the tentative budget.

Vice Chairman Melvin said we are holding the millage at 31.2 which is the same as last year.  This has been the same since 2011.  He said the reserve has eroded to almost nothing.  Also, we will be required to obtain a Tax Anticipation Note in January to cover the first three months of expenses until revenue starts coming in.  He said we are running things pretty “lean” to keep the millage the same.  Vice Chairman Melvin said we have reviewed all budget submissions.  We have to pay the Katz tax.  We are looking at fire department costs of $100,000 which is split between the two companies.   Last year the split was $68,000 to Westfall and $32,000 to Mill Rift.  There was discussion regarding the split.  Vice Chairman Melvin asked if Mill Rift would accept $28,000 plus $10,000 LST which would equal $38,000 total.  Mr. Pranski asked if this is something they would be held to in the future.  Vice Chairman Melvin said “no”.  Mr. Pranski said he does not want this to set a precedent.  Supervisor Buchanan said he thought the two departments are working on merging.  Supervisor Banach asked Vice Chairman Melvin if Mill Rift is getting less.  Vice Chairman Melvin said Mill Rift requested $38,000 from the Township at the last meeting.  He said if we do the $32,000, it will be that plus $10,000 for a total of $42,000.  This is subject to change every year.  Supervisor Buchanan said if it were all one department the whole $100,000 would go to that one department.  We are not suggesting closing the fire house.  The Mill Rift Firehouse would still be there.  Supervisor Banach asked the difference between the money provided this year to last year.  Mr. Zielazny said they received $28,000 plus the $10,000 which was a total of $38,000.  Luis Bocaletti said Westfall received $67,000 plus the $10,000 which was a total of $77,000.   Additional discussion was held.  Mr. Bocaletti said Mill Rift will collect $12,000 on top of their budget for the relief fund.  Supervisor Buchanan said that was for the money Westfall FD collected in full in 2011.  He said the relief money is not included in the 2015 budget.  The relief money is totally different.

Vice Chairman Melvin asked Supervisor Buchanan how he feels about a 70/30 split for the fire departments.  Supervisor Buchanan said his opinion is that if the mills are staying the same, every department should receive the same amount of money with the exception of making up the relief money.  That means Mill Rift FD will receive a little bit more in 2015.  He suggested that if there is any money left over it should go into the roads which have been neglected.  Supervisor Buchanan disagreed with Supervisor Banach.  He said the roads have not been neglected.  He added that the roads have all been paved twice in the last twenty years.  Mr. Pranski said, with all due respect, the fire department mills can only be used for the fire departments.  Supervisor Banach said the township would not be in this situation if we were not paying lawsuits.  Supervisor Buchanan said that is right.  Supervisor Banach said there were some bad decisions made by attorneys and Supervisors who made the decision to not give people back their job and we are paying for it.  Supervisor Buchanan asked what that has to do with the road department.  Supervisor Banach said the roads have been paved but there are other areas that have been neglected.  He said we have been putting band aids on everything instead of fixing things 100% so they last ten, twenty or thirty years.  Our guard rails need to be addressed and a lot of other things which need attention.  Mr. Pranski asked the reason why the township is not suing the past Solicitors if they made such bad decisions.

Mr. Zielazny said Mill Rift FD will accept the $30,000 plus the $10,000.  Mr. Pranski said we will keep the peace.  Mr. Koferl said Westfall FD did not know what the splits were in 2011 for the relief check.  Supervisor Dotey said no one did.  Supervisor Buchanan said it was a mistake and we are trying to make it up.  Vice Chairman Melvin said no one is being blamed.  Supervisor Buchanan said that Westfall FD still had the benefit of receiving the whole amount.

Vice Chairman Melvin said this is not final but right now we are looking at a 70/30 split plus LST.  All Supervisors were in agreement.

Vice Chairman Melvin said the police department budget is up in the amount of $24,345.  Supervisor Banach asked the amount of money which the EPRPD has in reserve.  Vice Chairman Melvin said he thinks it was about $30,000 for $40,000 when they finished the year.  Supervisor Banach asked if that balance is carried every year.  Vice Chairman Melvin said he is not sure of that.  The information is on the report which was put in the Supervisor folders.  Supervisor Buchanan said they have not had a raise in three years.  He said we know Supervisor Banach has a problem with the police department.  Supervisor Banach said that is not true.  Vice Chairman said since 2011 the highway department/general fund growth rate has gone up 9.6%.  The police department is up 4.4% on a compound annual growth rate.  Vice Chairman Melvin said the idea is to give the police department a little bit more to help offset some of the extra costs they have.  Chief Stewart said the extra money they have is to cover costs for the first three months of the year since they do not received the Westfall and Matamoras funds until the first quarter is up.  Vice Chairman Melvin said we do not do accrual accounting.  There are bills which come in at the end of the year which do not get paid until January.  Supervisor Buchanan asked the amount the Mill Rift FD has at the end of the year.  Mr. Zielazny said it is negative.  There was discussion held regarding reserve funds.  Vice Chairman Melvin said that the highway department is up by $123,000 since 2011.  There was discussion regarding the possible purchase of a new truck in 2016.  The taxes and budget will stay flat but the equipment will rotate.  Supervisor Buchanan said his aggravation is not directed at Mr. Schneider in any way.  He said he knows the highway budget was jacked up to take money away from the police department.  It was done purposely.  Mr. Schneider said he did not jack it up and he stays within the budget the Supervisors allow.  Supervisor Buchanan said he understands that and he is not blaming him.  He said he is blaming part of the current board.  He said there was a full time man hired at $15.00 per hour as a flagger.  He can find a flagger for $10.00 per hour.  Mr. Schneider said certification is a requirement.  Vice Chairman Melvin said he feels we have the right amount of people to get things done in the township.  Supervisor Buchanan said we will leave it at that.   Mr. Schneider said that since most of the township roads have been blacktopped the capital road fund will be used mostly for tar and chipping so that some money can be saved and used for the larger projects which need to be done.   Vice Chairman Melvin confirmed the funds for the tar and chipping which were approved for this year will be carried over until the job is done in the spring of next year.  Additional conversation took place.  Kevin Salvatti said this is exactly the way the funds are carried over in the police department.  Vice Chairman Melvin said the township reserve should be $150,000 to $200,000.  Supervisor Buchanan said the police department uses the $30,000 to pay their bills until March comparable to a Tax Anticipation Loan.

Vice Chairman Melvin addressed the Emergency Management budget.  He said we have 4,000 on the budget.  Supervisor Buchanan said we are cutting that to $1,000.  Robert Ewbank said that cannot be done.  Supervisor Buchanan said we are doing it and if Mr. Ewbank cannot live within that budget to submit his resignation and badge and we would find someone else.  Mr. Ewbank said the rent to the Westfall FD is $200.00 alone which is $2,400 per year.  Mr. Ewbank presented his budget to the board.  The rent is much less expensive than what was paid to Matamoras.  He said they wanted $8,000.  Supervisor Buchanan said if a budget was submitted earlier we would have known the costs.  He read the phone bill part of the proposed budget.  Vice Chairman Melvin said that is $2,000 for phone bills.  Mr. Ewbank said there is a cell phone, hot spot and land line with fax.  Supervisor Buchanan asked why the office is not located within the township building to eliminate rent charges.  Mr. Ewbank said the fire department built an office in their building.  There was discussion regarding moving the office to the township building.  Mr. Ewbank said he cannot get here when the road is flooded.  Additional discussion followed regarding the budget amount to be given.  Mr. Ewbank said he guesses it is out of the question to ask for a onetime expense of $1,000 to put an antenna on the building for his radio.  The Supervisors did not agree.  Vice Chairman Melvin said we can provide $4,500 and he will pay for the post office box in the amount of $74.00.  Mr. Ewbank agreed.  There was additional discussion regarding the purchase of the antenna.  The Supervisors suggested waiting until the middle of the year.  The funds may be available then.  Mr. Ewbank said the rent for the fire department needs to be paid out of his 2014 budget funds.  He said he is waiting for the invoice.  Supervisor Buchanan said the fire departments are stubborn guys.  Mr. Llewellyn questioned his statement and said they do not get paid.  They are volunteer.  Supervisor Buchanan said the department do not want to merge.  Mr. Llewellyn said to draw up the paperwork and they will merge.  Mr. Ewbank said to Supervisor Buchanan that if he wants to take over his job, he will give it up.  Discussion followed.  Mr. Ewbank said he can do the job but he needs the equipment to do it.  Supervisor Buchanan said he was not aware of the rent being charged.  Vice Chairman Melvin said the issue is the actuals versus budget.  The rent needs to get straightened out.  Supervisor Banach suggested paying the fire department quarterly.  Vice Chairman Melvin agreed.

Additional discussion followed regarding suggestions of merging of the fire departments.  Supervisor Banach said it might open up the opportunity for grants for equipment.  Mr. Schneider said they are afraid to merge due to the possibility of Mill Rift being shut down.  Additional discussion followed.  Mr. Lamb suggested having this discussion at another time and not at a budget meeting.  Supervisor Buchanan said we are talking about budgets.  There is no difference if there is one or two departments.  Mr. Isaacson said they would be “begging for scraps”.  Mr. Bocaletti said we talked about a merger before, not a takeover, which was the way it was taken.  He had someone from the state come and talk about the procedure throughout the state.  It would be a merger not a takeover.  Supervisor Buchanan said from where he is sitting, he does not see the problem.  Discussion followed.  Mr. Pranski showed concern regarding bi-laws and qualifications.  Supervisor Buchanan said that could be amended.  Mr. Pranski said a lot of the members on the Westfall FD can take the classes since they are paid firemen.  Mr. Llewellyn said he is not paid.   Mr. Llewellyn asked if Supervisor Buchanan, at the next supervisor meeting, could be assigned at the chairman for investigation the merger of both departments.  He said this was done once before.  It was discussed by both departments and a member of the board.  It came back to a supervisor meeting and fell apart from there.  He said they have been pro-merger for seven years.  Vice Chairman Melvin said it will be discussed at the next meeting. Supervisor Buchanan agreed.  Discussion followed.

Vice Chairman Melvin asked if there are any other budget issues which need discussion.  Supervisors Buchanan and Dotey said no.  Supervisor Banach said as long as the mills stay the same and all departments are happy with the splits he is good with it.  Mr. Myer said he suggests putting the split for the fire departments in the organization meeting minutes.  He confirmed with the board he is adding $500 to the emergency management budget is the only change to the budget.  The board agreed.

ADJOURNMENT: Meeting adjourned at 7:43 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Jodi Hulse

Secretary

 

Supervisor Budget Workshop Minutes-October 29, 2014

Westfall Township, Matamoras, PA October 29, 2012 

The Westfall Township Board of Supervisors convened their second 2014 Budget Workshop on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 7:00 pm. The meeting was rescheduled from the previously advertised meeting scheduled for October 22, 2014 at 7:00 pm.  The meeting was held at the Westfall Township Municipal Building on Delaware Drive and LaBarr Lane.

Those present were Vice Chairman, Robert Ewbank; Supervisors, Raymond Banach (on speaker phone), Lester Buchanan and Jerry Dotey; Treasurer, Scott Myer; Secretary, Jodi Hulse and Roadmaster, William Schneider. Chief Chad Stewart, Assistant Chief Eric Stewart, Ken Zielazny, Chuck Pranski, Luis Bocaletti, and Rob Llewellyn were present.  Also present was John Dalton.

Supervisors Larry Flansburg was not present.

Vice Chairman Melvin welcomed all to the meeting.  He said tonight’s meeting for the departments to present their budgets to the board.  He added no decisions will be made this evening and that the next budget meeting is Wednesday, November 5, 2014.

Chief Chad Stewart presented the Eastern Pike Regional Police Department 2015 proposed budget to the board.  He said he knows there are a couple of areas the township wants to cut and he can look into that.  Chief Stewart said the big increase is insurance over the last four years which were about 37%.  He said there has been no increase in their budget since 2012.  The increase in health insurance was 18%.  The FICA increase is 10.49% and utilities are at a 44% increase.  Vice Chairman Melvin questioned any increase in fuel.  Chief Stewart said it has remained about the same at a 1.4% increase.  Vice Chairman Melvin said the total budget is $925,749 and Westfall’s part of it is $448,027.  He said this year is $385,655.   Supervisor Buchanan confirmed with Chief Stewart the proposed budget includes the replacement of the one officer they have been doing without for the past few years.   Vice Chairman Melvin confirmed the department has nine full time officers and four part time officers currently.  Supervisor Buchanan asked the amount of pay for starting a full time officer.  Chief Stewart said $37,100.  Supervisor Buchanan asked if Chief Stewart has any comparisons for surrounding areas.  Assistant Chief Eric Stewart said Port Jervis starts out at about $48,000 or $49,000.  The school police start at about $44,000.  Vice Chairman Melvin asked if anyone has any questions.  He said we went through this pretty thoroughly at the joint meeting.  Supervisor Buchanan said when the board sees the total budget from Mr. Myer it will be split the best it can be between the police and fire departments.  We have $992,633 to work with.

The Mill Rift Fire Department was second on the agenda.  Ken Zielazny presented the proposed budget and for 2015 to the board.   He also provided 2013 and 2014 financial statements to the board.  Mr. Zielazny said they eliminated the telephone at the sub-station which saves about $700 for the year.  He said the fuel cost for heating was quite expensive last year.  They are hoping not to spend as much this year.  Supervisor Buchanan said that fuel cost is down now.

Vice Chairman Melvin said the departments are trying to cut where they can to squeeze every dollar.  It is tight for everyone.  He commends everyone for doing it and he wishes life were easier.

Chuck Pranski said January through September in 2013 the department’s expenses were roughly $56,749.  They had an extra $6,000 in grants over their normal $12,000.  This year they have cut back to $37,626.  Mr. Pranski said hopefully the truck will be paid off this coming year also.  Last year their fund raising brought in $400 and this year they have raised almost $3,000.  They are working with the Westfall Department on a joint fund raiser.  They have had equipment donations.  They have cut back as much as they can.  Mr. Pranski asked if the board would like to discuss the funding issue in 2011.  Vice Chairman Melvin said it will be discussed at the next meeting.  Mr. Pranski also said the department would like the ability to solicit within the township.  Vice Chairman Melvin and Supervisor Buchanan both questioned why they cannot solicit now.  Mr. Pranski said they do not want to step on anyone’s toes.  Luis Bocaletti said they have an open invitation to solicit within the township.  Rob Llewlleyn requested Mr. Pranski define “solicit within the township”.  Mr. Pranski said having a fundraiser in front of Walmart or on the highway.  Supervisor Buchanan said Westfall FD sends out letters and he just donated $50 to them.  He questioned the reason Mill Rift is not doing this.  Supervisor Buchanan said he is a Westfall resident and he would support both departments.  Luis Bocaletti said they do not send mail outs to Mill Rift.  Mr. Schneider said it has been a gentleman’s agreement over the years.

Vice Chairman Melvin said the proposed budget is $48,922.  He asked how much is anticipated to come from Westfall Township.  Mr. Pranski said we get a grant for the truck for $12,000 and we have fundraising which is not a guarantee.  Mr. Zielazny said we would like to receive the same amount as this past year which was $27,750 plus the $10,000 for LST.  Vice Chairman Melvin said we will see what we can do.

The Westfall Township Fire Department was third on the agenda.  Luis Bocaletti presented the proposed 2015 budget.  He provided numbers from the past few years and said equipment maintenance and purchases are the variables.  The roof on the old station is in very poor shape and they have received two estimates to fix it.  Mr. Bocaletti said their spending has gone down considerably since 2011.  He said the estimates without structural repair are around $45,000 to $50,000.  Mr. Llewllyn said the oldest part was built in the 1940s.  Mr. Bocaletti said they spoke with Matamoras regarding waiving the water fee for the upcoming year which will save about $300 to $500.  Supervisor Buchanan asked the bottom line amount the department is looking to receive.  Mr. Llewellyn said last year we received $80,175 including the LST.  Mr. Bocaletti said the ALS charges will be an increase this coming year.  Vice Chairman Melvin said we are trying to hold the mileage flat but also give some money out where we can.

Supervisor Banach suggested the secretary of the township and the fire departments send a letter to inquire about grants for the fire departments.  There may also be money allocated to districts.  Mr. Bocaletti said they try to apply for every grant that is available.

There was discussion regarding the Emergency Management Budget.  Supervisor Banach suggested giving some of the unused portion to other departments.  Supervisor Buchanan suggested a $200 budget for Emergency Management.

ADJOURNMENT: Meeting adjourned at 7:20 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Jodi Hulse

Secretary

 

Supervisor Regular Meeting-November 3, 2014

 

Westfall Township, Matamoras, PA

November 3, 2014

The regular meeting of the Westfall Township Board of Supervisors was held Monday, November 3, 2014.  The meeting started at 7:00 pm and was held at the Township Building on Delaware Drive and LaBarr Lane, Westfall Township.

Those present were Vice Chairman, Robert Melvin (arrived at 7:12 pm); Supervisors; Ray Banach, Lester Buchanan and Jerry Dotey; Solicitor Thomas Farley (for Solicitor Robert Bernathy), and Secretary, Jodi Hulse.   Also present were Zoning Officer, Doug Olmstead; Treasurer, Scott Myer; Road Master, Bill Schneider; Chief Chad Stewart; Chief Rob Llewellyn, Chuck Pranksi, John Dalton, Twila Decker, Robert Bostinto, Ray Banach, Jr., Beth Brelje and approximately 25 members of the general public.

Chairman Larry Flansburg was not present.

Supervisor Jerry Dotey led the meeting as Pro Tem since Vice Chairman Melvin arrived late.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA:    Supervisor Dotey said there is an addition to “New Business” and requested Mr. Olmstead explain.  Mr. Olmstead said it will be a letter of violation at 1005 Pennsylvania Avenue.

PUBLIC COMMENT:     Twila Decker addressed the board.  She said there was discussion a few months back regarding bringing local news to the cable service.  She asked if this has been followed up upon.  Supervisor Banach said we do not have a franchise.

Mr. Pranski said a couple of months ago the board was asked to look into the original contract with the Welcome Center regarding a State Police Officer scheduled to be there full time.  Secretary Hulse said she has been looking but cannot locate the contract as of yet.  He said he also has a question which he will address under “old business”.

MINUTES:  

 October 6, 2014 Regular Meeting Minutes:  A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to approve the minutes.  The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey.  Supervisor Banach abstained since he was not present.  The motion did not carry.

October 8, 2014 Budget Workshop Minutes:  Tabled

October 29, 2014 Budget Workshop Minutes:  Tabled

TREASURER’S REPORT:   Scott Myer gave the report.  The report was through the end of October.  Mr. Myer said that income is at 100% for budget for the year.  This is right in line with where we want to be.  Expenses are also in line.  Mr. Myer said the final payment was made to Eastern Pike Regional Police.  He said we are in the process of obtaining a Tax Anticipation for January.

A motion was made by Supervisor Banach to approve the Treasurer’s Report.  The motion was seconded by Supervisor Buchanan and carried with all in favor.

POLICE REPORT:   Chad Stewart gave the report for October, 2014.  The monthly count of offenses were as follows:  1 Assault, 2 Burglary, 26 Larceny Theft, 1 Motor Vehicle Theft, 5 Fraud, 1 Receiving Stolen Property, 10 Vandalism, 4 Drug Abuse, 1 Liquor Law Violation, 7 Disorderly Conduct and 1 all other offenses.  The total of monthly count of offenses was 59.

The monthly count of persons charged for offenses were as follows:  1 Assault, 1 Burglary, 14 Larceny Theft, 3 Drug abuse, 2 Liquor Law and 1 Disorderly Conduct.  The total monthly count for of persons charged was 22.

The total miles patrolled for the month were 5,352 and year to date 63,311.  The total motor vehicle accidents for the month was 22 and year to date 180.  Total calls for service for the month were 205 and year to date 2,058.

Supervisor Buchanan said there was nothing of note on the Police Commission meeting.  A motion was made to pay the bills and there was no hiring or firing.  There were no incidents to report.

A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to approve the police report.  The motion was seconded by Supervisor Banach and carried with all in favor.

FIRE DEPARTMENT:    The Westfall Fire Department Report was given for October, 2014 by Rob Llewellyn.  The report was as follows:

2 Automatic fire alarms, 4 Motor vehicle accidents, 4 Chief investigations, 3 brush fires, 1 gas leak, 1 Landing zone, 1 Vehicle fires, 1 assist police, 1 public service, 1 standby transfer and 3 structure fires.  The total calls for October; 22, 158 man hours, 266 calls to date and 2216 man hour’s year to date.

EMS Report for the month of September:  45 calls, Westfall Township, 24 calls to cover Squad 33 and 8 calls to cover Squad 19.  Total calls for September; 77, 104.5 man hours for October, 970 calls year to date and 1,353.5 man hours year to date.

Training for October:  Five drills/in-house training sessions held for 122 hours.  The overall calls year to date are 1,128 and overall man hour’s year to date are 5,139.85.

The Mill Rift Fire Department Report for October was given by Chuck Pranski.  The report was as follows:

10/1/14: Work Night Checked all equipment Eng 1 & Tanker 1, 10/3/14: Mutual Aid Station 39 commercial fire behind Dunkin Donuts, 10/8/14: Drill night tanker to tank Rod & Gun Club Tanker 1 and Engine 2 Fill site, 10/14/14:  Monthly meeting, 10/22/14: Work Night checked all air bottles, 10/27/14: Brush fire Meadow Brook Rd.

Total man hours: 65.45, Total Equipment Hours ytd: 169.75 and Total Man hours for the year: 1,336.75

A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to accept both reports.  The motion was seconded by Supervisor Banach and carried with all in favor.

HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT:   Bill Schneider gave the report for October, 2014.   The department cleaned the culvert pipes and ditches from leaves.  Also, did shoulder work on Bluestone Boulevard and Cummins Hill.  Maintenance was done on equipment.  All trucks and spreaders are ready for winter.  Mr. Schneider said 100 tons of anti-skid was ordered and delivered.  He ordered 50 tons of salt.  He also attended the Road Task Force meeting.  Work has been done on Firetower Road.  There was a tree down on Edwards Court which Mill Rift FD helped with the removal.  Mr. Schneider said he has been working with the Conservation District for the possibility of a grant which would come next year.  The grant is for a stream improvement on Cummins Hill/Polatnick area.

A motion was made by Supervisor Banach to accept the highway report.  The motion was seconded by Supervisor Buchanan and carried with all in favor.

BUILDING/ZONING REPORT:   Doug Olmstead gave the report for October, 2014.  He said there were 3 building permits and three zoning permits with a total of fees collected in the amount of $1,560.80.

A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to accept the building/zoning report.  The motion was seconded by Supervisor Banach and carried with all in favor.

CORRESPONDENCE:  On desk for review.  

OLD BUSINESS:  

  1. Berkheimer Tax Collection Agency-Presentation by James Hunt, Director of Sales (Earned Income Tax): Mr. James Hunt addressed the board and the public. He said he was asked to give a brief interview regarding the Earned Income Tax. The tax is permitted under Act 511 for municipalities to levy to generate general operating revenue. If the township were to implement the tax it would be on wages, tips, net profits, commissions, salaries, stock options, sick and vacation time compensation and others which would be considered to be income under the Pennsylvania Tax Code. The maximum rate would be 1%. Items which would not be taxes would be interest and dividends, pensions, social security, welfare payments, and third party insurance payments (workers compensation).

If the tax were implemented it would be charged to residents and non-residents working within the jurisdiction.  He explained.  If a person is paying the tax to the municipality where they live then the tax would be collected by the employer here and returned to the municipality in which they reside.  If not, the tax would remain in Westfall Township.  If a resident of Westfall currently pays the tax to where they work, the money would be returned to Westfall Township if the tax were implemented here.  Mr. Hunt explained reciprocal income tax agreements with New York.

Supervisor Buchanan asked if there is a minimum salary for the tax requirement.  Mr. Hunt said there is not.  The municipality would have the right to have a low income exemption of up to $12,000.  Most municipalities do not utilize it.

Supervisor Buchanan asked if Walmart would be charged the tax.  Mr. Hunt said they would not.  The tax is charged to individuals and not corporations.  He said it would be charged to the employees of Walmart or any individual physically employed by Westfall Township.

Supervisor Banach asked if someone lives here and works in New York, are they taxed and how does Berkheimer know that person works in New York.  Mr. Hunt said the person is responsible to file an income tax report.  He explained further.  There would be an earned income tax return required to be filed as a resident of Westfall Township.  The State of Pennsylvania would provide a list to Berkheimer according to state income tax filing.  Additional discussion followed.  Vice Chairman Melvin confirmed if someone lives in New Jersey or New York and works in Westfall Township the tax would be paid to Westfall.  Solicitor Farley said the maximum tax is 1% but it could be less.  Mr. Hunt confirmed.  Solicitor Farley asked how the tax is enforced on self-employed residents.  Mr. Hunt said self-employed individual would be subject to the tax on net profits.  If the individual fails to file a return the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania would provide that information to Berkheimer.  Solicitor Farley asked if a person who is not the most honest contractor fails to pay the tax, can Berkheimer go to that companies tax return.  Mr. Hunt said yes.  Solicitor Farley asked if the person is claiming a lot less than the person actually earns, how it is enforced.  Mr. Hunt said if the person is lying to the State and Federal government, there is not much Berkheimer can do to collect the tax.   Additional discussion followed regarding stock options and investments.

Solicitor Farley asked who pays for business audits.  Mr. Hunt said it would be included in the 3% commission rate.  There are not additional costs to the township.   Supervisor Banach asked if the school district could take a percentage.  Mr. Hunt said the only way the school could implement an earned income tax is through voter referendum and it would be over and above any tax rate the municipality puts in place.  Supervisor Banach asked if in other areas in Pennsylvania once the tax is implemented by the township, the school district also implements the tax.  Mr. Hunt said they do not.  He said due to a law change which took place in 2006, school districts can no longer utilize the same piece of legislation as the municipalities to utilize the Earned Income Tax.  Further explanation followed.  Supervisor Banach asked of all the places that are collecting the tax in Pennsylvania, how many have been able to reduce their land tax.  Mr. Hunt said he does not have an exact figure available.  He said over the past twenty years he has worked for Berkheimer, there have been many municipalities who have reduced their real estate taxes but have not totally eliminated the land tax.  He said most municipalities enact the tax when the real estate tax limit has been reached.  Supervisor Dotey said it is his understanding that Lehman Township has reduced their taxes.

Mr. Hunt said the amount of tax reduction could be determined once one year of earned income tax has

been collected.   Supervisor Banach asked if the amount could exceed 1%.  Mr. Hunt said it cannot.  It has been the same since 1965.  Without any state input or voter input it stays at 1%.

Mr. Pranski confirmed with Mr. Hunt the tax is only charged once and would be returned to the municipality of where the person lives.  Mr. Pranski also confirmed that selling and buying stocks is not considered an income.

Mr. Bostinto addressed the Board.  He confirmed that the township has exited Act 47.  He also confirmed tax would not exceed 1%.

Ray Banach, Jr. asked if home sale profits would be taxed.  Mr. Hunt said no.   It would be net profits from a business only.

Supervisor Buchanan said there will be a public hearing if we move forward.  He said at this point the Board has not decided to move forward.  Supervisor Dotey asked when the tax could be implemented.  Mr.  Hunt said it can be done at any time.  It is best to do it at the beginning at a quarter.  Additional discussion followed regarding implementation timing.

Mr. Bostinto asked the average income proposed from Mr. Hunt’s experience in Pike County.  Mr. Hunt said, based on the current population and per capita and household income, the first year estimate would be  between $300,000 and $350,000.  The second year estimate is between $400,000 and $430,000.   The fourth quarter is not due until the next year so the full benefit will take place the second year (2016).  It is also based on the census.  Mr. Pranski confirmed the estimate includes only township residents and there is  a potential for the income to significantly more.  Mr. Hunt said it could be.  Supervisor Banach asked if  Mr. Hunt could provide information regarding who already pay the tax who lives in Westfall Township.

Mr. Hunt said he will obtain the information and provide it to the board.  He also agreed to provide the townships who actually reduced their land taxes.   The board thanked Mr. Hunt for the presentation.

Vice Chairman Melvin apologized for being late.  He then took over the meeting.

2. Volunteer Fire Relief Association Allocation: A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to make the split for the allocation as 50% to Mill Rift FD and 50% to Westfall FD for the next three years. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Banach and carried with all in favor.             Mr. Myer suggested making this part of the minutes at the Organization Meeting.  

2. Supervisor Radio Sign-out: Supervisor Buchanan said he has one of the new radios and Supervisor Dotey has one. The extra one is in the office. They have been numbered and signed out. Vice Chairman Melvin said the Supervisors are required to return their radios and their keys once their term is up. If the radios are not returned the township will bill the Supervisor.

3. Letter/Application from Milford Municipal Authority: Supervisor Buchanan said this is regarding the fire hydrants being installed in the township. He said when the board approved this they wanted representation on the Authority board. He said he sees no reason to entertain the letter until they appoint someone from Westfall Township to their board.A motion was made by Vice Chairman Melvin to send a letter thanking the Authority for their service but until there is Westfall Township representation on the board, the bill will not be paid. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Banach and carried with all in favor.

4.Leaf Vacuum Bids: Secretary Hulse said we received two sealed bids. Vice Chairman Melvin opened the bids. The following bids were received:

  • $1,001.00 from Edward Schmalzle from Lords Valley, PA
  • $1,050.00 from Brick House Gardens

 

 

A motion was made by Supervisor Dotey to accept the bid in the amount of $1,050.00 from Brick House Gardens.  The motion was seconded by Supervisor Banach and carried with all in favor.

NEW BUSINESS:

1. Emergency Management-Monthly Report: A motion was made by Supervisor Banach to send a letter to Robert Ewbank to request he provide a monthly report for Emergency Management Expenses. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor.

2.  Resolution 2014-17 (Revision of Resolution 2014-15)-Liquor License Transfer-Ice Cold Beer Here II: A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to approve the resolution. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor.

3. Schedule Workshop Meeting for ordinances: Tabled 

4. Thank you to the Keystone Club-Tree Donation: Supervisor Buchanan said the Keystone Club donated two ornamental pear trees which have been planted out by the parking lot. Mr. Mance planted them for the Township and our highway department put the fencing around them. Supervisor Banach suggested sending a letter of thanks.

5. Zoning Violation-1005 Pennsylvania Avenue: Mr. Olmstead said there is a zoning violation at this address and a certified letter was sent. The certified letter was never accepted and he sent it by regular mail also. The next step according to the ordinance would to have the Solicitor prepare a letter for further enforcement action. Supervisor Banach asked if this was the flea market property. Mr. Olmstead said yes. Supervisor Banach said we “bent over backwards” to get them in there in a timely manner.    He said it is kind of a slap in our face. Vice Chairman Melvin said we tried to help out a local business owner. They do not even have the fence up. There was additional discussion regarding the fencing. Mr. Olmstead the problem is the trailers. Supervisor Buchanan said they use them for the flea market. Mr. Olmstead said he understands but it does not meet the criteria of the ordinance. Solicitor Farley suggested he send a letter giving him ten days and then he will move forward filing the magistrate complaint. A motion was made by Supervisor Banach to approve Solicitor Farley to file suit and take appropriate steps per ordinance. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor

.Beth Brelje asked if the violation could be more clearly described. Solicitor Farley said there is a temporary structure on the property which has not been permitted. He confirmed the structures are shipping containers.

Mr. Pranski said he brought something up a couple of months ago and he would like a decision on it. It is regarding recordings of the meetings. He said the Office of Open Records told him the audio recordings of the meetings are open records until the minutes are approved. Solicitor Farley disagreed. He said recordings of the meetings are not actual minutes until they are approved. Mr. Pranski said he can request the audio of the minutes since it is considered an open public record until the minutes are approved. Solicitor Farley said he does not feel that is accurate. Ms. Brelje said she thinks it is accurate.  Mr. Pranski referred to the section in the law.  Solicitor Farley said he will check on the statute and that he knows exactly where to look.  He said he will look and provide an answer.   Ms. Brelje said since the audio recording is a true and accurate depiction of what happened at the meeting it is not something that needs approval and therefore it is public. Solicitor Farley said he will have an answer by the next meeting.

SUBDIVISION ACTION AND REVIEW:  None 

EXECTUIVE SESSION:   None

ADJOURNMENT: Meeting was adjourned at 7:55 p.m. on a motion by Supervisor Buchanan. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Banach and carried with all in favor.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jodi Hulse

Secretary

 

Supervisor Budget Workshop-October 8, 2014

Westfall Township, Matamoras, PA October 8, 2014

The Westfall Township Board of Supervisors convened their first 2014 Budget Workshop on Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at 7:00 pm. The meeting was held at the Westfall Township Municipal Building on Delaware Drive and LaBarr Lane.

Those present were Vice Chairman, Robert Ewbank; Supervisors, Raymond Banach (on speaker phone), Lester Buchanan and Jerry Dotey; Treasurer, Scott Myer; Secretary, Jodi Hulse and Roadmaster, William Schneider. Also present was John Dalton.

Supervisors Larry Flansburg was not present.

Scott Myer distributed the proposed 2015 Budget to the board.  Vice Chairman Melvin suggested the Board talk about administrative and highway proposed budgets.  He said the next budget meeting would be for the proposed fire department and police budgets.  The board agreed.

Mr. Myers suggested going over the detailed budget first. He said the liquid fuels funds are used to supplement the public works department.  The detailed budget is general fund and liquid fuels together.  He prepared the budget using history, information given to him by Mr. Schneider and making changes which are obvious.  He said we went in with a goal of trying to leave mills the same which would be 31.2 total and 17.4 general fund.

Vice Chairman Melvin suggested to talk about the summary sheet.  The mills are the same for the general fund.  He said liquid fuels has increased which is used for the highway budget.  There was a raise for Katz from 6.7 to 7.2.  He said last year this was lowered.  This year we have to collect the $300,000 again so that we have enough funds to pay the Katz tax.  Mr. Dalton said he does not particularly agree with that.  Vice Chairman Melvin said the fire tax and capital road is the same.  There are some reserves with the debt service.  Mr. Myers said that even though we left fire and roads at the same mills we used reserves this current year in the amount of 17,500 for fire and 20,000 for roads which we will not be able to do again next year.

Supervisor Banach asked Mr. Myer if there is a way to “juggle” the general fund so that we do not have to go before the judge.  Vice Chairman Melvin said that he thinks going to the judge is just a formality.  Mr. Myer said he does not know of any way to do so.  He said they tried to have the Dombrosky payment as its own tax and it was not allowed.  So, again, he said he does not think so.  Additional discussion followed.  Vice Chairman Melvin said last year the judge recommended the township try to collect additional revenue outside of the mills.  There was discussion regarding the fire hydrant tax.  Mr. Myer said the fire hydrant tax is not in the general fund.

Mr. Myer said the proposed budget for income is the first two pages of the detailed sheets.  He said real estate taxes are fairly consistent.  Delinquent taxes are more of a variable.  Transfer tax is also a variable.  He said we did very well this year with building permits and it is hard to say for next year.  We budgeted $75,000 and he said he does not see us collecting below that amount.  Mr. Myer said he is comfortable with income but expenses should be the focus.

Supervisor Buchanan asked about the amount for Health Insurance.  Mr. Myer said he has not seen anything regarding new figures.  Secretary Hulse said she has not received anything as of yet.  Supervisor Buchanan said he saw something on television regarding Walmart stopping insurance because of something to do with Obama Care which kicks in the beginning of January.  There was additional discussion regarding the billing last year.  Mr. Schneider said we received a $1,400 rebate since the insurance was not used.  Vice Chairman Melvin asked if there is a salary increase included in the budget.  Mr. Schneider said he put in a 3% raise for Robert Howard and Richard Mai.  There was discussion regarding the FICA tax on the budget statement.   Supervisor Buchanan said that Secretary Hulse has informed him that she was hired to work four days per week.  She has been working five days per week.  There was additional discussion regarding the hours discussed previously.  Supervisor Buchanan asked if comp time is legal.  Supervisor Banach said if the employee is paid by salary it is legal but if paid hourly, it is not.  Secretary Hulse said the agreement was for her to work five days a week which was 40 hours with the meetings as comp time until she felt comfortable with the job.  Then at that time it would go down to four eight hour days and the meetings would be included in the salary.  Vice Chairman Melvin said the employee handbook states in order for an employee to receive benefits, they must work 40 hours per week.  Secretary Hulse said that is correct.  Supervisor Buchanan said that is one of the things which is supposed to change at the beginning of the year regarding the Obamacare.  The hours worked per week health insurance requirement will be lowered.  Vice Chairman Melvin said he want to make sure we follow the law.   Additional discussion followed.  Supervisor Buchanan confirmed with Secretary Hulse that she wants to work the required hours to obtain the employer benefits.  Vice Chairman Melvin said we will work this out as we get closer to the end of the year.  He said we may need to add one half an hour per day for the four days and then the meeting hours.  The concern is meeting at least 35 hours per week.  He suggested Secretary Hulse to confirm the law with Solicitor Bernathy.  He said we will need to change the employee manual.  Supervisor Banach asked Secretary Hulse to send an email to PSATS to find out the legality of it.

The Supervisors went on the review other parts of the budget.  The next item discussed was “repair and maintenance” in the administrative budget.  Mr. Myer said the number is quite high for line 400.25.

Supervisor Banach addressed line 415.00 which is emergency management.  The budget amount is $4,000 and we did not spend near that amount.  Vice Chairman Melvin said he had a conversation with Mr. Ewbank and he was in the process of preparing his budget which he would provide it for the next budget meeting.  He said Mr. Ewbank indicated he was at $4,000 or maybe even $5,000 for next year.  Supervisor Banach said we have duplication of services.  We have emergency management through the county, township and fire department.  Vice Chairman Melvin said the Pike County Emergency Management office does not open unless there are three OEM’s in the county having an emergency.  Therefore the last storm we had on the night which we cancelled the meeting, the storm only hit the Matamoras and Westfall area so the Pike County Emergency Management Office did not open.  Vice Chairman Melvin suggested we see what the proposed budget at the next meeting.  Supervisor Buchanan said one year we purchased a computer for that department.  There was additional discussion regarding the emergency management phone line costs.  Supervisor Buchanan said if we allow $4,000 every year $4,000 will be spent every year.

Mr. Myer said, to answer the question regarding “repair and maintenance”.  It looks like there may be public works expenses under that category.  There was a large recent Kuharchik invoice in this category.  Secretary Hulse said that bill should not be coded to that category.  Vice Chairman Melvin said from a budget standpoint we can move money around if need be.  Additional discussion followed regarding the tax collector salary.

Supervisor Banach questioned the amount paid for the fire department year to date.  He confirmed with Mr. Myer that we still owe a payment at the end of the year.  There was discussion regarding the line item for professional services.  Supervisor Banach said it would be best if we could move funds from one line item to another where we actually are spending.  Mr. Myer said he will remove the line item for the third party plan review of $250.00.  This is no longer needed since we have BIU.  Everything under professional engineering is to Kiley Associates.

There was discussion regarding the enforcement of our Unsafe Building Ordinance.  Secretary Hulse said we received a couple of complaints which need to be addressed.  She said she discussed this with Solicitor Bernathy and he read the ordinance and confirmed the building codes official should enforce the ordinance.  She said she brought this up to Mr. Kevin Katz of BIU and he was not happy about it and he did not feel this job was in the contract.  Secretary Hulse said the Supervisors and Solicitor Bernathy need to talk about this.  Vice Chairman Melvin said to have Solicitor Bernathy draft a letter regarding this matter.

Supervisor Banach said the police fines are being shown as income but not as going out.  Mr. Myer said there are different fines.  The ones we are able to keep are the State Police fines.  The other fines going in and out net as zero on the budget.  Supervisor Banach asked the amount which is being transferred to the Eastern Pike Regional Police Department.  Mr. Myers said he does not have that information with him.  Vice Chairman Melvin said the fines come into the county and they send us half and we turn it over to the Police Department.  Supervisor Banach said he is concerned about officers being accused of writing speeding tickets for the benefit of the officer getting a raise.  He said he thinks the fines should go in the general fund and stay in the general fund.  Vice Chairman Melvin said it does not work that way by law.  Supervisor Banach said we are hiring them as a contractor and then they are becoming self-sufficient by writing tickets.  He said he is not saying they do that but someone might blame them for it.  Vice Chairman Melvin said we will have Solicitor Bernathy look into this.

Mr. Myer said that line 413.00 Code Enforcement is way over budget.  We received way more in income for building permits so we had to pay more out.  Mr. Myer suggested making the zoning and building codes one line item.  Supervisor Banach said to keep it separate so we know the zoning charges separate from the building.  Secretary Hulse’s suggestion is to keep is separate.  Supervisor Banach asked the amount of income from BIU.  Mr. Myer said 89,210.00.  He said we are $50,000 ahead.  Supervisor Banach said that BIU is a benefit to us since we are not paying any benefits to them either.  Vice Chairman Melvin agreed.  Supervisor Dotey asked if there are any other companies around.  Vice Chairman Melvin said there were not many and BIU was the most professional.  They charge by a fee table and not a percentage.

Mr. Myer said the next line is public works.  He said he has incorporated the information given to him by Mr. Schneider into the draft.  There are a few items on a separate page which Mr. Schneider has.  Additional discussion followed.  Mr. Schneider explained some of the line items on his budget.  He said we are over budget on anti-skid.  Supervisor Banach asked if they have cable for the local weather channel.  Mr. Schneider said they do not have a television any longer.  They only have a computer and internet hookup.  Mr. Myer said there may be some of the general government invoices being paid out of that line item.  He will check.

Mr. Schneider said he increased the anti-skid by $4,000.  Obviously, if the winter is not bad the money will not be spent.  Mr. Myer confirmed with the board the funds can be shifted within the highway budget if needed.  Mr. Schneider said there is a $3,000 increase in salt since the price has gone up.   He said we have 125 tons on hand now.   He also increased the “repairs to equipment” since some of the equipment is getting older and there were a fair amount of repairs this year.  Supervisor Buchanan said it depends on the winter which is another variable.  Mr. Schneider said this last winter put about three year worth of damage on the equipment.  Supervisor Banach suggested a line item for equipment rental.  Additional discussion followed.  Mr. Schneider said there is money in “road maintenance and repair” if needed.   Additional discussion followed.  Mr. Myer said an area where we struggle is the money coming out of public works department-general fund and there are special tax mills for the roads.  We really do not identify how those two funds will be spent.  Mr. Schneider said that normally most of the capital road funds goes to black topping.

Mr. Schneider explained he is working with the Pike County Conservation District to obtain a grant for the Bluestone Blvd. project.  It would be through the “dirt and gravel” since it is a low volume road.  He is also working with Chief Stewart on obtaining the traffic count.   Even though the road is tar and chip PCCD will consider it for a grant since it is next to the stream.

Mr. Schneider said the Freightliner will need new tires this year and some front end work on the back hoe also.

He said the liquid fuels went up by about $23,000 for 2015.  Vice Chairman Melvin said that all of the increases needed, which Mr. Schneider just went through, are in the budget.  Supervisor Dotey said the weather prediction is for a milder winter than expected.

Mr. Schneider addressed the third page of his budget proposal.  He said he put in a 3% raise for Mr. Howard and Mr. Mai.  Mr. Schneider said it is the Township’s obligation to paint all of the cross lines at the traffic signals.  Discussion followed regarding the line painting requirement.  The guiderails on River Road need to be addressed.  The Highway roof is in the budget for 2015 also.  Supervisor Banach suggested looking into obtaining quotes for construction of a new pole barn instead of putting money into something that is never going to be right.  Vice Chairman Melvin said he is not sure where the funds would come from.  Supervisor Banach said there should not be anything in the flood plain.  Mr. Schneider said that from time to time there are grants available.  There was discussion regarding the income of residents of Westfall Township.  Supervisor Banach said we should be working with the County to obtain grant money.  Supervisor Dotey said that Milford uses professional grant writers which makes a big difference.

Mr. Schneider addressed the item of “future equipment fund”.  He said he tries to put money away for future equipment needs.  Vice Chairman Melvin said in August of 2016 the large truck loan will be paid off.  This will allow the purchase of another vehicle if need be.  The older truck can be kept as a backup.  Supervisor Banach suggested looking at the Federal Surplus equipment for sale.  Mr. Schneider said we are signed up for the one in Harrisburg.  Supervisor Banach said “every penny counts”.  Mr. Schneider said the truck which Matamoras just bought was $75,000.00.

Mr. Schneider said there is an area on Bluestone Boulevard below the Slatestone gate which needs to be addressed at some point.  The road is starting to slide.  He said they applied “rip rap” to the area being washed away which does not hold it.  Now the stumps which were holding it are gone.  He said if the stream gets high, which it does since it is the watershed for all the way back to Firetower, it comes right up against the bank.  The Conservation District was out to inspect and issued a report.  He feels the “soil nail” treatment needs to be done.  Unfortunately the cost is high.  Mr. Schneider said the process does not require a permit for the stream since it does not go into the stream.  He said the cost is about $900 per foot and there is about 200 feet which needs to be done to stabilize the area.  Mr. Schneider said he would like to take about fifteen minutes to go over the photos of areas of concern.  He is trying to make it so that they complete the projects so that they do not have to go back and keep repairing the same thing over and over.  He discussed additional areas of concern.  He said he is very concerned about the Bluestone Boulevard area.   There is another issue up by Sign Ware Court.  This is where the Henchel Road issue comes in also.  The road is only six inches from being washed away.  They put gabion baskets on the bottom to stabilize it.  Mr. Schneider presented pictures to the board.  Mr. Melvin said he would love to purchase a new truck and fix the road but he is just not sure where the money will come from.  Supervisor Buchanan said if we can make it until 2016, we can purchase another truck.

Vice Chairman Melvin said the budget which Mr. Myer put together is $403,000 between capital and general funds for the highway department.  He said that is a good chunk of money and we should be able to figure out how to get some things done.  If we have an easy winter there are some other things we can get done.  Mr. Schneider said the line painting, other than Rueben Bell Drive, will come out of the escrow accounts.  Vice Chairman Melvin asked how the battery back-up system is working.  Mr. Schneider said that the last time of an outage it ran for fifteen hours.

Vice Chairman Melvin asked if there are any questions regarding the proposed budget so far?  There were none.  Mr. Myer said normally there are suggestions as to what to tweak in the budget.  Vice Chairman Melvin said there may be some tweaking within the highway budget but overall we can manage.

There was discussion regarding the paving and tar/chip projects scheduled for this year.  Mr. Schneider said the black top will be done by the end of the month and the tar and chip will be done in the spring.  Mr. Schneider explained some of the road work done within the “10 year plan”.  Hopefully, from now on we can tar and chip the roads since they have all been paved twice within the “10 year plan”.

Vice Chairman Melvin said that Matamoras Borough is advertising “Earned Income Tax” for January 1, 2015.  He said they are advertising and moving forward.  He said his personal opinion is that there will be a “snowball” effect within the county once the tax is implemented in one area.  Vice Chairman Melvin said he spoke with Mr. Hunt from Berkheimer and he will be coming to the November 3, 2014 meeting to talk about the “EIT”.  He said we really need to build a reserve for this township.  He stated the reserve scares him.  We cannot borrow money and he does not want to leave the township in a fiscal nightmare when he leaves in 2016.  He said if one mill is $41,000 and if we were confident that a good estimate is $325,000 from EIT, and we gave back five mills which is roughly $200,000, we could use the $125,000 in the first year to build a reserve.  He said there is a difference in opinions amongst all of the board.  He said he feels that the time is coming.  Supervisor Banach said we should obtain all of the information and have public meetings and then put it through a vote from the people of the town.  Supervisor Buchanan said it does not go to the vote of the people of the township.  Supervisor Banach said we need information from other areas that already collect the tax to see if it actually works.  It is wrong to double tax people, he said.  Supervisor Banach also said it is not fair that all of the big box stores would pay less in property tax and the people working would be paying more tax.  Vice Chairman Melvin said he does not feel it needs to go to a referendum.  It needs to be voted on by the board.  He said if we lower the mills slightly we can build up a reserve.  The people who are on disability or social security will not get double taxed.  Supervisor Banach asked if we would go to the school to ask if they will take half of the township’s money.  He said he is not totally against it but we need to get all of the information and see what is involved.  Supervisor Banach said he does a lot of work within Pennsylvania and he has not yet to find one township who is happy with the service of Berkheimer.  He said Cranberry Township fired Berkheimer and hired on person to handle the collection of the tax.  We see it now with the Local Service Tax.  Businesses are coming in and they want us to take care of it.   Vice Chairman Melvin questioned the referendum suggestion by Supervisor Banach.  He suggested talking with the Township Solicitor regarding the matter.  And again said it is a board vote.  We will have the representative from Berkheimer come and speak at our November 3, 2014 meeting.  He said we would have to vote on the November 3rd to have it take effect in January so it will have to be July to meet the forty five day requirement.  Vice Chairman Melvin said we can figure out how much the income will come from the tax and adjust millage next year.  Supervisor Banach asked if the tax would create money to spend on things or are we going to stay within our budget and manage within our budget.  Vice Chairman Melvin said it would be for reserves.  There was additional discussion regarding amount of reserve required by law.  Mr. Myer said we do not have enough money in reserve.  Vice Chairman Melvin said we are living too close to the edge if something goes wrong within the community.  Supervisor Banach suggested again we obtain the information and put it to a vote.  Supervisor Buchanan said it is not going to a vote.  Only a vote of the board.  Vice Chairman Melvin said his opinion is that he sees it coming.

Supervisor Banach said he is not being argumentative but in 2009 people came and yelled at the board and called people names that they did not want any more tax. He said we did what they wanted.  Now five people are going to vote on this.  He said he finds this disturbing.  Vice Chairman Melvin said this is what we were elected for.  He said it is not an easy decision but 90% of the state is doing it and it seems like the way to go.  We are out of options.   Mr. Dalton said he has not demanded a sign language interpreter for the past five years which has saved the township $21,000 to $22,800.

Mr. Schneider presented a list of information regarding the 10 year plan of road paving.  Additional discussion followed.  He presented photos to the board of the Heaters Hill issue.  Supervisor Dotey and Vice Chairman Melvin said they did a nice job.  Mr. Schneider presented photos of different areas of concern within the township.  Discussion was held regarding the Henchel Road issue.  Secretary Hulse said she will check with Solicitor Bernathy regarding the status of the letter to the property owners which was voted on previously.  There was discussion regarding the poles in the township right of way.

There was discussion regarding the next budget meeting scheduled for October 22, 2014.  Vice Chairman Melvin said he had to go away on business.  He confirmed with Supervisor Banach he would be on the phone at that meeting.  Supervisor Banach said he will make arrangements to make sure he is available by phone.

Mr. Schneider presented the board with information regarding the disbursement of funds for the EPA Grants for the sewer authority.

Mr. Myer said he feels compelled to make a statement and said it is not a political statement.  He said mills have not been raised since 2010 so this will be the fifth year with mills the same.  They are less than Milford and Matamoras.  We have barely been making it for five years.  He said every year we say the next year we will start putting money in the reserves.  Mills need to be raised or something needs to be done.  Supervisor Buchanan said personally as a retired person he has no problem with the property taxes in Westfall.  He said if you move to Port Jervis, Matamoras or Milford it is another “ball game”.   He said he is on a fixed income and has no problem paying his property taxes on six acres and a nice house.  Vice Chairman Melvin said the reserve issue is a big one and unfortunately the Earned Income Tax is a way to solve the issue.

ADJOURNMENT: Meeting adjourned at 8:45 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Jodi Hulse

Secretary

 

Supervisor Regular Meeting Minutes-October 6, 2014

Westfall Township, Matamoras, PA

October 6, 2014

The regular meeting of the Westfall Township Board of Supervisors was held Monday, October 6, 2014.  The meeting started at 7:01 pm and was held at the Township Building on Delaware Drive and LaBarr Lane, Westfall Township.

Those present were Vice Chairman, Robert Melvin; Supervisors; Lester Buchanan and Jerry Dotey; Solicitor Thomas Farley (for Solicitor Robert Bernathy), and Secretary, Jodi Hulse.   Also present were Zoning Officer, Doug Olmstead; Treasurer, Scott Myer; Road Master, Bill Schneider; Chief Chad Stewart; Chief Rob Llewellyn, Chuck Pranksi, Beth Breljie, John Dalton, Karen Colaiaco, and approximately 16 members of the general public.

Chairman Larry Flansburg and Supervisor Raymond Banach were not present.

Vice Chairman Melvin thanked everyone for coming out and called the meeting to order at 7:01 pm.  He stated that Solicitor Farley is present to represent the township from a legal standpoint since Solicitor Bernathy is away on vacation.  Vice Chairman asked if there are any changes to the agenda.  He said we would like to bring #1 under new business up to the top after public comment.  Supervisor Buchanan said we will table #7 under old business since we did not receive the document.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA:   A motion was made by Supervisor Dotey to accept the adjusted agenda.  The motion was seconded by Supervisor Buchanan and carried with all in favor.

PUBLIC COMMENT:    Karen Colaico addressed the Board.  She stated she lives on Stark Drive in Westfall Township.  She gave all of the Supervisors a copy of a letter she wrote regarding the “burning ban”.  She said she has not attended the meetings within the past year concerning this topic.  She questioned the reason the Supervisors did not enact the “ burning ban” which was worked on by the Supervisors.  She stated there are properties in Westfall which are close to Matamoras which are in close proximity to each other similar to Matamoras.  Mrs. Colaico said Matamoras saw it fit to enact the burning ordinance and she feels Westfall should do the same especially for the areas which houses are close to each other.  She said the EPA states that many harmful chemicals some of which are carcinogenic are produced and released into the air when leaves and trash are burned.  This alone should be reason enough to enact a ban.  She said the township has the responsibility to protect the welfare of its residents.  Many entire states have burning bans in place such as New York, New Jersey and Delaware.  New York State has banned burning in residential areas since 1963.  New Jersey’s leaf burning ban dates back to 1956.  Mrs. Colaico said that the Westfall Township website says “A beautiful place to live” but maybe it should add “but just don’t breath the air”.  She asked the Board where this stands at the moment.  Vice Chairman Melvin said a proposal was drafted last year but at this time with the current board, it is a dead issue.  He said there were issues regarding enforcement of the ordinance.  Supervisor Buchanan said it was voted down, basically.  Mrs. Colaico questioned how Matamoras enforces there ordinance.  She also said she finds it odd that the township purchased equipment to remove the leaves and now the township is selling the equipment.  It does not make sense to her.  Supervisor Buchanan said that is what happened.  The equipment was purchased before a vote on the burning ordinance.  He said the equipment was not adequate for the township and it is now being sold.   He said the burning ban is a dead issue for now.  Mrs. Colaico said she contacted Lisa Baker’s office but was informed since it is a Commonwealth the issue trickles down to the local authority.   She said she is very disappointed that this is not being considered since there are health issues.  She said it is appalling to her.  Vice Chairman Melvin said if someone is burning something illegal it is still against the law.  The Department of Environmental Protection would regulate this matter.

Mr. Pranski asked if Supervisor Banach is on the phone tonight.  Vice Chairman Melvin said he is not.  He said Solicitor Bernathy would have the answers to Mr. Pranski’s questions at the next meeting.

Mr. Dalton addressed the Board.  He asked if there were any comments at the last meeting regarding the outcome of the discussion amongst the committee members regarding the police contract.  Supervisor Dotey said it was his understanding there would be no comment made until the end of all discussions.  Mr. Dalton questioned why it was published in the Pike County Dispatch.  Vice Chairman Melvin said we have an issue with that but we still want to move forward and scheduled another meeting.  Mr. Dalton said after he read the paper he came and spoke with Secretary Hulse and then he went and spoke to Dave Clark.  Mr. Dalton said that Mr. Clark said they laid everything out there.  Mr. Dalton said he would like to hear everything from the Supervisors first.  He does not like reading it in the paper first.  Vice Chairman Melvin said the intention of the meetings are to share ideas and to see where there was common ground but not to make decisions.  We as a Board want to honor the commitment we made to Matamoras to discuss in good faith and when the meetings are done we will announce to everyone the outcome.  Supervisor Buchanan said we cannot control Mr. Clark and what Matamoras does, we can’t control.  There was additional discussion.  Ms. Breljie asked how long the Board plans to keep the public out of the deliberations.  Solicitor Farley said they are not deliberations.  Vice Chairman Melvin agreed.  Solicitor Farley said they are discussions.  Ms. Breljie said the public is very interested in this issue and very much wants to be part of the conversation.  She feels the meeting should be public.  Supervisor Buchanan said the meetings and committees were requested by Matamoras not Westfall.  Vice Chairman Melvin said there has been only one meeting so far.  Supervisor Buchanan said it lasted one hour.  He said the same issues will be brought up at the public budget meetings.    Supervisor Buchanan said the committee is trying to make things amicable.  There was only two members so there is no violation of anything.  He said all of the information was in the paper anyway.  Ms. Breljie asked how many more meetings are intended to take place.  Supervisor Dotey said whatever it takes.  Supervisor Buchanan said we start the budget meetings this week.

Duke Schneider and Thomas Hoff gave a presentation regarding the Greater Pike Community Foundation.  Mr. Schneider thanked the Board for allowing them to have their presentation.  He said he and Mr. Hoff are founding board members of the Greater Pike Community Foundation.  He presented a brochure to the Board and everyone in attendance.  He said he is a Westfall resident and he has been to so many meetings where there was discussion regarding how to make money for the township.  One way to raise money is through charitable giving.  He said the Greater Pike Community Foundation was founded about 2 ½ years ago.  It is now starting to walk and crawl.  Their purpose is to make all aware of what is out there.  He read information off of the brochure.  Someone can make a gift during their lifetime or upon death to a community foundation which becomes a fully tax deductible gift.  The gift can be donor designated.  It can be an immediate gift or over perpetuity.  He explained the program in more detail.  He stated this is a phenomenal tool for people who want to benefit their community long term.  He wants to make the public aware of the program.  He stated that all who serve on the board are volunteers.  They just had a fund raiser at Sky Top for the Barbara Buchanan Scholarship Fund.  He explained the program in more detail.

Mr. Hoff provided information regarding the Barbara Buchanan fund raiser.  Barbara Buchanan hopes to carry on her fund raiser every year so that donations will benefit the program in the future.  They are relying on the Luzerne County office of the organization for book keeping purposes until they are fully staffed.  He explained the program in more detail.

Mr. Schneider said that he has learned, during estate planning, people have given to foundations in other areas.  They had a good tie into Pike County but Pike County never had the foundation.  The reason he is here is to let people know this tool exists and it can encourage people to make donations to the community.  He said if a donation is made to a certain group and the group does not exist any longer, the board of the foundation can designate the money to a similar group to respect the person’s wishes who donated.

Mr. Schneider thanked everyone for their attention.

MINUTES:  

 August 18, 2014 Joint Budget Workshop Meeting Minutes:  A motion was made by Supervisor Dotey to approve the minutes.  The motion was seconded by Supervisor Buchanan and carried with all in favor.

September 2, 2014:  A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to approve the minutes.  The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor.

TREASURER’S REPORT:   Scott Myer gave the report.  The report was through the end of September. Mr. Myer said we are three quarters of the way through the year.  From an income standpoint we have collected 100% of the budget and from an expense standpoint we are still below 75%.  Vice Chairman Melvin said confirmed with Mr. Myer there is one more police department payment left before the end of the year. Mr. Myer said the bottom line is that we are still in line with budget.  The Katz payment was made in September and the next one is due in December.

A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to approve the Treasurer’s Report.  The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor.  

POLICE REPORT:   Chad Stewart gave the report for September, 2014.  The monthly count of offenses were as follows:  22 larceny theft, 3 fraud, 3 vandalism, 1 weapons possession, 3 drug abuse, 4 DUI, 2 drunkenness, 11 disorderly conduct and 2 all other offenses.  The total of monthly count of offenses was 51.

The monthly count of persons charged for offenses were as follows:  14 larceny theft, 5 drug abuse, 3 DUI, 4 disorderly conduct, and 1 all other offenses.  The total monthly count for of persons charged was 27.

The total miles patrolled for the month were 7,596 and year to date 57,959.  The total motor vehicle accidents for the month was 27 and year to date 158.  Total calls for service for the month were 239 and year to date 1,853.

Supervisor Buchanan said the police commission meeting minutes are now on file in the township office.  There was nothing significant to report from the meeting which is open to the public.  The bills were reviewed and they talked about hiring.  Vice Chairman Melvin said the annual audit report was submitted which is also on file at the township.  Supervisor Buchanan suggested the public attend the police commission meetings.   There is nothing secret going on at the meetings.  We go over the bills and talk about hiring.  He said the budget seems like a lot of money but we really do not pay enough for hiring.  Many employees come here, get their experience and then leave.  They are trying to find people who are Act 120 certified.  The schooling must be done prior to finding a job and paid for by the applicant before they are hired.  There was additional discussion regarding the pay scale for the EPRPD and neighboring areas.  Vice Chairman Melvin said we are also hindered by the fact that the person must live in the State of Pennsylvania to be qualified to be a police officer for EPRPD.

A motion was made by Supervisor Dotey to approve the police report.  The motion was seconded by Supervisor Buchanan and carried with all in favor.

FIRE DEPARTMENT:    The Westfall Fire Department Report was given for September, 2014 by Rob Llewellyn.  The report was as follows:

10 Automatic fire alarms, 3 Motor vehicle accidents, 5 Chief investigations, 2 Landing zone, 2 Vehicle fires, 2 Pedestrian struck, 1 Utility/Tree, 1 Water rescue, and 1 Structure fire.  The total calls for September; 27, 131.5 man hours, 244 calls to date and 2057.93 man hours year to date.

EMS Report for the month of September:  26 calls, Westfall Township, 33 calls to cover Squad 33 and 8 calls to cover Squad 19.  Total calls for September; 67, 103.75 man hours for September, 649 calls year to date and 1,249 man hours year to date.

Training for September:  Five drills/in-house training sessions held for 114 hours.  The overall calls year to date are 893 and overall man hours year to date are 4,637.35.

The Mill Rift Fire Department Report for September was given by Chuck Pranski.  The report was as follows:

9/03/15: Driver Training-Engine 1, 9/08/14: Water Rescue Delaware River, 9/10/14: Monthly meeting, 9/17/14: Work night-cleaned substation-ran all engines sub and main, 9/20/14: Milford Fire Department Memorial Dedication, 9/21/14: Hovercraft Training, 9/22/14: Met with Hugenot Chief-obtained mutual aid loaner radio, 9/23/14: Mutual Aid Sparrowbush-structure fire-Tanker 1, 9/24/14 Public Service-assist member-Engine 1

Total man hours: 76, Total Equipment Hours ytd: 157.5 and Total Man hours for the year: 1,271

Mr. Pranski said both fire departments are working on a joint tricky tray sometime in February for fund raising.

A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to accept both reports.  The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor.

HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT:   Bill Schneider gave the report for September, 2014.   He said the department has continued doing shoulder work and getting drainage areas ready for winter.  They are working on maintenance on the equipment and one of the spreaders is at Bonaham for repair.  They attended the Road Task Force Meeting.  There is base repair being done around the back side of the mountain which took up pretty much the whole month.  Mr. Schneider said they are almost done with putting up signs throughout the township.  He said there are six culvert pipe replacements which need to be done.  He asked the Supervisors if there are any suggestions of things which need to be done before winter.  Supervisor Dotey asked if the Bluestone Boulevard sign has been installed.  Mr. Schneider said not yet and that the sign is on order.  Supervisor Buchanan asked when the paving would be done.  He said sometime this month.  Vice Chairman Melvin asked how we are doing regarding winter materials needed.  Mr. Schneider said he just ordered 150 tons of anti-skid.  50 tons of salt will be ordered on November 1, 2014.  Salt cost is up by $4.00 per ton.  It was $68.00 per ton last year.  It was $34.00 per ton twelve years ago when Mr. Schneider first started working for the Township.  Supervisor Buchanan confirmed with Mr. Schneider all salt from 2014 contract has been used.  Mr. Schneider said he is already over budget on anti- skid.

A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to accept the highway report.  The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor.

BUILDING/ZONING REPORT:   Doug Olmstead gave the report for September, 2014.  He said there were 8 building permits and two zoning permits which totaled $4,002.91.

There was discussion regarding the types of permits issued and the cost of generators and generator permits.

A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to accept the building/zoning report.  The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor.

CORRESPONDENCE:  On desk for review.  

OLD BUSINESS:  

  1. Leaf Vacuum Bids: Secretary Hulse said that none were received. A couple of people came and looked at the equipment but no bids were submitted. Supervisor Dotey suggested advertising again. The cost of advertising was discussed. Vice Chairman Melvin confirmed with Secretary Hulse the equipment was advertised in the Pocono Record. There was additional discussion regarding how proceed with liquidating the equipment.

A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to advertise the sale of the Leaf Blower with a minimum bid price of $1,000.  The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor.

Mr. Pranski suggested helping Matamoras with the machine for leaf pick up.  Supervisor Buchanan said the machine is way too small.

2. Highway Department Roof Bids: Solicitor Farley suggested opening the bids and compare them with  the bid sheet before making decision.

             The first sealed envelope was opened but only the bid spec sheet was included.

Vice Chairman Melvin opened the second sealed bid envelope and read the bid details.  The first part of  the bid was $4,896.00.  Option two was: $11,500 for metal roof.  The architectural shingle bid was $9,100.00.  The bid was from the Ey Group.

The third bid envelope was opened.  Vice Chairman Melvin said the bid is from DM Home Improvement.   The bid amount for Option 1 was $11,380.00.  Option 2 was $14,330.00.  Option 3 was $6,685.00.    Option 4 was $17,712.00.

Mr. Pranski suggested, as per discussion at last meeting, patching and going over the existing roof to get through a couple of years.

Mr. Myer said the cost was not budgeted for this year. Mr. Schneider said he put it in his budget for 2015.

A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to reject the bids and revisit the matter in 2015.  The motion  was seconded by Vice Chairman Melvin and carried with all in favor.

 3.  Fire Department Drywell: Vice Chairman Melvin said this is regarding the issue with drainage at the Westfall Township Fire Department property. Mr. Schneider said we had our engineer come and look at the issue and have come up with a solution. He said the Supervisors need to figure out where the money will come from to pay for the work to be done. Mr. Schneider said that Morgan Site Contractors will be doing the work as a donation. The materials are $3,800.00. He said he wants to purchase the materials before winter comes. Chief Llewellyn planned on paying the cost but they are trying to get donations to do so. Mr. Pranski suggested a compromise. Vice Chairman Melvin asked Chief Llewellyn how the department is doing on their fundraising efforts. Chief Llewellyn said they are done for the year. There was discussion on the approval of the original plan. Chief Llewellyn said the DEP and PCCD approved the drawings. It was built to spec. After the building was constructed, a water runoff issue was detected. The neighbors asked if this would be corrected. The township engineer believes it is a rain water issue coming from the roof system. This was to be no cost to the fire department. He said as soon as they had the resources they would make the modification. Chief Llewellyn said the way the engineer drew up the plan for remediation it would cost $6,000 roughly but he said there were alternate materials which could be used which would cost $3,000 to $4,000 for the material. Mr. Pranski said that is with someone being nice enough to donate the labor. Supervisor Buchanan said we are grateful but questioned the money being available. There was discussion regarding where the money would or could come out of the budget. Mr. Myer said it could come out of the road budget or the general fund and is the board’s decision. Discussion followed.

A motion was made by Supervisor Dotey to approve the township paying for, from the general fund, the repair to resolve the drywell issue in the amount of $3,800.00 at the Westfall Township Fire Department.  The motion was seconded by Supervisor Buchanan and carried with all in favor.

Mr. Bostinto brought up the issue of the highway department roof.  He suggested patching it until next year.  Mr. Schneider said it should make it until next year.  It would be fairly substantial to patch the entire roof.  Supervisor Buchanan said in a perfect world the whole building should be replaced and put up in the back where it does not flood.  It was voted down previously about 15 years ago.

Supervisor Buchanan said he would like to thank Chris Morgan ahead of time for donated his time and equipment.

4.  Supervisor Radios: There was discussion regarding the whereabouts of the four Supervisor radios previously purchased by the township. Supervisor Buchanan said the radios are important for the Supervisors to communicate with the road department and in times of emergency situations. Vice Chairman Melvin asked if the radios are needed. Supervisor Buchanan said absolutely. The Supervisors need to communicate with each other and the road department in the state of an emergency. Vice Chairman Melvin said he does not think we need five radios. We should get two or three, he said.  Mr. Pranski said he can provide refurbished radios with a one year warranty for $250 each. They also have a digital display. They are HD1250 from Motorola. He said they are $650.00 new. Mr. Schneider said they are $400 according to an estimate received. Mr. Pranski said this is a whole different radio. Supervisor Buchanan said the radios we had were not numbered or signed out. Solicitor Farley suggested the Supervisors make sure the radios are compatible frequency wise. There was additional discussion. Mr. Schneider suggested buying new radios and not reconditioned ones.

A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to purchase three radios.  The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor.

Mr. Pranski said he would submit an estimate if the board wished.

5.  Board of Assessment Notices: A motion was made by Supervisor Dotey to approve the refund for taxes due to tax assessment error in the amount of $125.55 to Maria Reteguiz (Control #13-0-002303) and $161.92 to Michael and Elizabeth Hunt (Control #13-0-002695). The motion was seconded by Supervisor Buchanan and carried with all in favor.

6.  Resolution 2014-16-Health Insurance Trust: A motion was made by Supervisor Dotey to approve the Resolution. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Buchanan and carried with all in favor.

 

7. Draft Loitering Ordinance: Tabled 

 

8.  Earned Income Tax (EIT): Vice Chairman Melvin said he has a meeting with James Hunt from Berkheimer on September 4, 2014. The estimates for the first year of collection are $300,000 to $325,000. He said a large portion would offset property taxes to the taxes down. He said he confirmed with Mr. Hunt the tax would be based on W-2 forms and self -employment. He stated all of the income which would not be subject to the tax. We could put the tax into effect January 1st or July 1st. It takes about 45 days lead time and there is appeals process. Vice Chairman Melvin said that Mr. Hunt explained the whole process to him. Mr. Hunt is willing to come to the Township and speak to the board and the public. Berkheimer is the authorized collection agency for EIT for Pike County. The commission charge is 3%. Vice Chairman Melvin said he understands residents of the Township do not want taxes raised but costs are increasing. He feels the township has done a very good job in keeping taxes flat for five years. The township has a very small surplus every year. The township has received letters of recommendation from Harrisburg stating the township should have a 15 to 20% surplus at all times in case of an emergency. Mr. Myer said the township would not be able to obtain a loan other than a tax anticipation note because of the bankruptcy. Solicitor Farley said the board needs to make sure they want to move forward and then they would need to advertise and start the process. There was discussion regarding Berkheimer being the tax collector. Vice Chairman Melvin said there is no other option. He said that his personal opinion is that he likes the July window since it gives us six months to prepare. There are a lot of unknowns and he would like Mr. Hunt to come in and speak to the township. There was additional discussion regarding who would be taxed and the calculation of the tax. Supervisor Buchanan asked who else within Pike County collects the tax. Vice Chairman Melvin said Lehman Township. Supervisor Dotey said he had a meeting with Lehman Township last Friday and they explained their whole situation. They think it is the greatest thing that ever happened to their township. He said PSATS is also willing to have someone come and speak at a township meeting. Vice Chairman Melvin said this matter is on the agenda since he wants everyone to know we are talking about the EIT. It was in the paper three or four weeks ago and he does not want anyone saying they did not know about this. He said we are not voting on it or passing it at this time but we are bringing it up for discussion. He also said this is not “let’s go get $300,000 and spend it”. It will be used to bring down the mileage, reserve and additional costs. Supervisor Buchanan said we need the money and we are going to have to do it. Mr. McDonald questioned getting rid of school tax. Vice Chairman Melvin said we cannot do anything about school tax. There was additional discussion regarding school tax. Supervisor Buchanan said we will need to make the decision and there will be many people who are not happy with it. Mr. Schneider questioned if the school can take part of the EIT. Vice Chairman Melvin said Mr. Hunt will explain it in more detail.

A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to invite James Hunt from Berkheimer to the November 3, 2014 meeting to do a presentation on Earned Income Tax.  The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor.

There was additional discussion regarding the Supervisor radios.  Supervisor Buchanan said the bid received by the township for the Supervisor radios was $2,000.00.

Mr. Bostinto addressed the board regarding the EIT.  He asked if they thought $300,000 to $400,000 would be collected given the tax rolls within the township.  He does not think that much will be collected.  Vice Chairman Melvin said that was the conservative estimate given by Mr. Hunt.  Additional discussion followed.  Supervisor Dotey suggested we have Lehman Township come to the meeting also.  Solicitor Farley said that Solicitor Bernathy is the Solicitor for Lehman so he should be able to offer some advice.

NEW BUSINESS:

  1. Presentation: Thomas Huff and Duke Schneider-Greater Pike Community Foundation: Presented earlier in the meeting 

2.   Volunteer Fire Relief Association: Scott Myer said the state gives the township fire relief association funds. Generally if there is one fire department the municipality receives the money and disburses it to the department. We act as an agent for the money. Mr. Myer said that since he has been the treasurer for Westfall Township there has not been a discussion at any budget meeting regarding the allocation between Mill Rift Fire Department and Westfall Fire Department. He does not have any notes as to why the allocation was given totally to Westfall Fire Department in 2011. The invoices are approved by the Supervisors and given to him for payment. There are no notes stating any portion had to go the Mill Rift. Vice Chairman Melvin asked historically what happened. Mr. Myer said the split is 68/32 but he does not know why. He said the relief money gets audited by the Auditor General and they did not question it. There is no issue. He said he would like to have the Board approve the split to prevent further issue. Vice Chairman Melvin confirmed with Mr. Myer the 2011 allocation went to Westfall in full and 2012 and 2013 was a 68/32 split. Buchanan motioned to keep the split for the allocation at 68/32 (68% to Westfall Fire  Department and 32% to Mill Rift Fire Department).

Mr. Pranski said the check which was issued in 2011 was an underpayment check in the amount of roughly  $41,000 which was a substantial amount more.  Supervisor Buchanan said there is not much that can be  done now.  It’s “water under the bridge”.  He said there is no way the township can make that up.  It was a  mistake.  Mr. Pranski said the department is upset since they are the ones who need to “eat” the mistake.

Supervisor Buchanan asked if Westfall Fire Department if willing to give the funds back to Mill Rift.  Mr.  Pranski said he is sure they are not.  Chief Llewllyn said he does not have any idea of the financial end of it.  Supervisor Buchanan said the township cannot afford to give the difference to Mill Rift Fire  Department.  Mr. Pranski suggested that the over the next few years to split is different to make up the  difference.  Vice Chairman Melvin suggested the split to be 60/40.  Mr. Pranski said he was thinking more along the lines of a 50/50 split for the next few years.  He said it was a big windfall for them and a big loss  for us and we are on a limited budget just like everyone else in the township.  Vice Chairman Melvin said he feels Westfall is bigger so they receive more money but they also spend more.

The matter was tabled.  Vice Chairman Melvin said it will be discussed at the budget meeting and voted   on at the November meeting.

3. Collection of Local Service Tax-Notification Process-Berkheimer: Secretary Hulse stated Supervisor Banach questioned this. She said there are new businesses in the area which should be notified regarding the tax.  She said that Supervisor Banach said it is Berkheimer’s responsibility to do so.  Vice Chairman Melvin said he will find out from Mr. Hunt.  The matter was tabled.

SUBDIVISION ACTION AND REVIEW:  None

EXECTUIVE SESSION:   None

ADJOURNMENT: Meeting was adjourned at 8:27 p.m. on a motion by Supervisor Buchanan. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jodi Hulse

Secretary