The Westfall Township Planning Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, January 27, 2015 has been cancelled due to lack of an agenda.
Jodi Hulse, Secretary
The Westfall Township Planning Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, January 27, 2015 has been cancelled due to lack of an agenda.
Jodi Hulse, Secretary
Westfall Township, Matamoras, PA December 18, 2014
The Westfall Township Board of Supervisors held a Special Meeting on Thursday, December 18, 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 Melvin (by speaker phone); Supervisors,
Lester Buchanan and Jerry Dotey; Treasurer, Scott Myer; Secretary, Jodi Hulse; Roadmaster, Albert Schneider and John Dalton. No other members of the general public were present.
Chairman Larry Flansburg and Supervisor Raymond Banach were not present.
Pro Tem Chairman, Jerry Dotey called the meeting to order. The pledge of allegiance took place.
Secretary Hulse read the Petition for Tax Millage Increase as per order of Judge Jonathan Mark at Hearing held on December 16, 2014.
ADOPTION OF 2015 BUDGET:
Resolution 2014-18: A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to adopt Resolution 2014-18. The motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Melvin and carried with all in favor.
Resolution 2014-19: A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to adopt Resolution 2014-19. The motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Melvin and carried with all in favor.
ADJOURNMENT: The meeting adjourned at 7:06 pm on a motion made by Supervisor Buchanan. The motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Melvin and carried with all in favor.
December 1, 2014
The regular meeting of the Westfall Township Board of Supervisors was held Monday, December 1, 2014. The meeting started at 7:03 pm and was held at the Township Building on Delaware Drive and LaBarr Lane, Westfall Township.
Those present were Vice Chairman, Robert Melvin; Supervisors; Ray Banach (on speaker phone), Lester Buchanan and Jerry Dotey; Solicitor Robert Bernathy and Secretary, Jodi Hulse. Also present were Zoning Officer, Doug Olmstead; Road Master, Bill Schneider; Chief Rob Llewellyn, Chuck Pranski, Edward Isaacson, John Dalton, Mr. Shay, Tina Hess, John Hess and approximately 11members of the general public.
Chairman Larry Flansburg and Treasurer Scott Myer were not present.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA: Supervisor Dotey moved to approve the agenda. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Buchanan and carried with all in favor.
PUBLIC COMMENT: Tina Hess addressed the Board. She said there is a problem with the cigarette store across the street from her on Elizabeth Street. She brought a potential issue up back in the summer regarding the snow plowing. She said Solicitor Bernathy told her to bring it to the Board’s attention when the snow starting flying. She said now that it has snowed the snow is being plowed to her side. Solicitor Bernathy asked if the snow is being plowed onto her property. Mrs. Hess said yes and that it is being plowed onto the piece outside of her gate which is her property. Mrs. Hess said she is also tired of picking up the cigarette store’s garbage. There is a problem with cigarette cartons on her property. She said she is not going to be picking up the store’s litter. Mrs. Hess then addressed an issue with the snow being plowed on the curbing in the township property. She said she also wishes the store owners would shut the lights off at night. She said the “ATM” light and the “OPEN” sign blinks on and off all night. Supervisor Buchanan asked if Mrs. Hess filed a written complaint. Mrs. Hess said no. She said she now has to file a written complaint. She asked if “this was a new one”. She said her complaints are nothing the board has not heard before. She was told she had to wait for the snow and then for the building to be complete. Supervisor Buchanan asked Mr. Schneider if there is any problem at this location. Mr. Schneider said no. He said in the area cars are parked by Strickler’s property it is a little tight but he can talk to them about that. He said they did not plow it back real far in that area since there is not much frost in the ground and he wants to avoid tearing up yards. Solicitor Bernathy said they should not be plowing snow on Mrs. Hess’ property. Mr. Schneider said we were discussing an ordinance at one point. Solicitor Bernathy asked if there was an area designated on the plan for snow removal. Mr. Olmstead said he is not familiar with this and he would take a look at the plan. Mrs. Hess said the snow we had last week was a small amount which was not that big of a deal. She said it will be a problem if we get a lot of snow. Solicitor Bernathy said they should be managing their own snow. He said there is usually an area designated on the land development plan for the storage of snow. He said he will check into it. Mr. Hess said when the road is plowed the driver has to swing out for the curbing and all of the snow goes on his property. Mrs. Hess brought up the garbage issue again. Solicitor Bernathy asked if she would go and speak with the owner. He said as far as an ordinance violation in concerned, he will check into that as well. He requested Mrs. Hess take pictures of the excessive garbage. Mrs. Hess said she has a picture. Solicitor Bernathy said they have approvals for the signs. Mrs. Hess questioned the time they are allowed to have the signs lit. She said they close around 10:00 pm. There was additional discussion regarding the signs. Solicitor Bernathy requested Mr. and Mrs. Hess put their complaint in writing. He said this is the request of the Supervisors. Mrs. Hess agreed.
Vice Chairman Melvin asked Doug Olmstead to look into this matter. He confirmed with Solicitor Bernathy a letter of enforcement would then be sent.
There was additional discussion regarding the garbage on their property. Mr. and Mrs. Hess said the garbage is cigarette carton boxes and other larger boxes.
Chuck Pranski addressed the Board. He said there was discussion at the Upper Delaware Council Meeting regarding the decline in bat population in the area. There was a biologist present from East Stroudsburg University. There is a fungus called “white nose” killing the bats. He said they are looking for bat caves in the area or any old barns which house bats. They are looking to study bats in this area. Mr. Pranski said they are also looking to put bat boxes on properties. There was additional discussion regarding the benefits of bats. Mr. Pranski said this fungus has killed of 98% of certain species.
Mr. Pranski said the Pennsylvania State Police will be paying the Township approximately $875.00 which is part of ticket revenue. He said he assumes the township will be receiving these funds. Secretary Hulse said a letter was received confirming the payment. She said Mr. Myer is not present to confirm but she is pretty sure it goes into the general fund. Vice Chairman Melvin agreed.
Supervisor Dotey said there has been a problem in Mill Rift with noise pollution from the road across the river in the Hawk’s Nest. Mr. Pranksi suggested contacting the Deer Park Police Department. Supervisor Dotey said he wants to go above that. Mr. Pranski said it is a New York State DOT road but falls under the jurisdiction of Deer Park. Supervisor Dotey said the noise is almost unbelievable. Supervisor Buchanan said sometimes he can hear the motorcycles at his house. Mr. Pranski said he will bring it up at the next meeting. There was discussion regarding a sound pollution survey. Supervisor Dotey said it is mainly in the summertime all day long and also in the evenings. In the winter is on the weekends. Additional discussion followed. Supervisor Dotey said it is just too much. It is like being at the race track. Mr. Pranski said he will ask at the next Upper Delaware Council Meeting.
October 6, 2014 Regular Meeting Minutes: A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with three if favor and one abstention. Supervisor Banach abstained since he was not present at the October 6, 2014 meeting.
October 8, 2014 Budget Workshop Minutes: A motion was made by Supervisor Banach to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor.
October 29, 2014 Budget Workshop 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.
November 3, 2014-Approval of Agenda: Secretary Hulse stated there was no vote on the agenda approval at the last meeting. Solicitor Bernathy said it is a moot point therefore no vote is needed.
November 5, 2014 Budget Workshop: A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor.
November 17, 2014 Special Meeting: 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: Vice Chairman Melvin gave the report. He said income is as expected and expenses are in line. 99.5% of Real Estate taxes have been collected at this point.
A motion was made by Supervisor Dotey to accept the Treasurer’s Report. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Buchanan and carried with all in favor.
POLICE REPORT: Vice Chairman Melvin read the report provided by Chief Stewart for the month of November. The monthly count of offenses were as follows: 1 Assault, 21 Larceny Theft, 3 Fraud, 1 Receiving Stolen Property, 2 Vandalism, 3 Weapons, 5 Drug abuse, 7 Disorderly Conduct and 1 all other offenses. The total of monthly count of offenses was 44.
The total miles patrolled for the month were 5,288 and year to date 68,599. The total motor vehicle accidents for the month was 12 and year to date 192. Total calls for service for the month were 177 and year to date 2,235.
Supervisor Buchanan reported on the Police Commission meeting. He said Chief Stewart sent a letter to the Delaware Valley School District reporting on the traffic for the new school. This was at the school’s request. Supervisor Buchanan said the letter is on the desk for review. He said the bills were also approved for the EPRPD.
Vice Chairman Melvin said it was a total of $6,000. Supervisor Buchanan said they also received a letter from the NRA that Eric Stewart updated his hand gun/shot gun certification. He said they also approved the hiring of a part time police officer pending psychological, physical and school updates. His certifications need to be updated.
Supervisor Buchanan said if anyone would like to attend the Police Commission meetings they are the second Monday of the month at the Matamoras Borough Hall.
A motion was made by Supervisor Banach to accept the police report. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor.
The Mill Rift Fire Department Report for November was given by Chuck Pranski. The report was as follows:
11/02/14: Wires Down-Edwards Court-Eng 1, Brush 1, 11/5/14 Work Night-ran and checked all vehicles, 11/11/14: Monthly Meeting, 11/17/14, 11/19/14, 11/23/14: Officer Leadership Class, 11/22/14: Hazmat Awareness Class, 11/26/14: Work Night Equipment Maintenance, 11/27/14: Mutual Aid Station 39-Fire Alarm Rose Lane-Tanker 1 & Mutual Aid Station 39-Fire Alarm-Rose Lane, 11/28/14: Mutual Aid Station 39-Fire Alarm Pennsylvania Avenue, 11/29/14: Mutual Aid Station 39-Gas Leak-McDonalds-Tanker 1
Total man hours: 130, Total Equipment Hours ytd: 174.75 and Total Man hours for the year: 1,466.75
Mr. Pranski said they held elections at the monthly meeting. The Chief will be Tom Lamb, 1st Assistant will be Bob Mills, 2nd Assistant will be Ed Isaacson, and he will be President. He said Mr. Zielazny will be moving out of the area. Mr. Pranski said Kevin Smith will be Vice President. Deb Mills will be Treasurer. Someone will be taking the position of Secretary on January 1st.
The Westfall Fire Department Report was given for November, 2014 by Rob Llewellyn. The report was as follows:
12 Automatic fire alarms, 7 Motor vehicle accidents, 3 Chief investigations, 5 brush fires, 1 gas leak, 2 Utility Wires Down, 1 Assist EMS, 2 Stand in Transfers and 6 Structure Fires. The total calls for November; 39, 340 man hours, 305 calls to date and 2556 man hour’s year to date.
EMS Report for the month of November: 34 calls, Westfall Township, 31 calls to cover Squad 33 and 5 calls to cover Squad 19. Total calls for September; 70, 90.5 man hours for November, 1040 calls year to date and 1444 man hours year to date.
Training for November: Three drills/In-House training sessions held for 72 hours; One member completed 48 hours of Core Rescue Training; One member completed 48 hours of Fire Officer ship training; One member completed 7 hours of Foam Training.
Overall Calls year to date: 1,345 and Overall Man hours year to date: 5,713.35
A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to accept both reports. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor.
Supervisor Buchanan said the Board did not forget about meeting with the two departments. They plan on doing so after January 1st. Mr. Pranski said they will be having a joint fundraiser on January 24, 2015. Supervisor Dotey said he will be joining Supervisor Buchanan in the merger discussions.
HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT: Bill Schneider gave the report for November, 2014. Mr. Schneider said the department has done maintenance on equipment and cleared the right of way on Fire Tower Road. He said they applied millings to Fire Tower Road. The department worked on the shoulder on Cummins Hill. They cleared debris along the stream by Slatestone gate. Mr. Schneider said 50 tons of salt was delivered and he has another 50 tons on order. He said there was a storm on November 26th. They started at 8:00 in the morning and the ended work at 3:00 am on November 27th. They had six men working. He said there were many trees down and power outages. Mr. Schneider said the battery back-up systems worked very well during the power outages. There was a lot of heavy traffic in those areas. Supervisor Buchanan addressed an issue with the light by Milford Landing. Mr. Schneider said there was a problem with the reset and Kuharchik Construction was called for repair work.
Mr. Schneider said there were wires down on November 2, 2014 on Edwards Court. They were telephone wires. The wires were not put back up until November 26, 2014. Supervisor Buchanan suggested to cut the wires in order to plow the roads. Mr. Pranski said there are liability issues.
Mr. Schneider said if the weather warms up they will be applying cold patch to some of the potholes. He said he is still working on the DEP Permit for Bluestone Boulevard culvert pipe replacement.
Supervisor Buchanan asked who plows other than the regular department. Mr. Schneider said Dan Kroger, Gary Babb, Kevin Salvatti, John Revak and Eddie Eshelman. He said he rotates the drivers and they have a good crew that knows what they are doing.
Mr. Schneider said they used about 40 tons of salt on the last storm on November 26th. Supervisor Buchanan confirmed with Mr. Schneider there are no projected shortages for this year.
Supervisor Dotey said he was very impressed while driving around during the last storm. The department did a fine job. Mr. Schneider said the only time they have an issue is when Penn Dot does not get here. Interstate 84 is their main priority. He said they try and plow the Penn DOT hills to keep them open in case of an emergency situation.
Mr. Pranski suggested, in the future, billing any business for the costs of maintenance. Therefore he suggested adding this to the ordinance. Vice Chairman Melvin said this can be discussed at a workshop meeting.
Supervisor Banach asked Mr. Schneider to make sure the temporary CDL drivers are in our random drug program. He confirmed Dan Kroger is in the program but he would check to make sure. Solicitor Bernathy confirmed all drivers licenses are kept on record.
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 November, 2014. He said there were 4 building permits with a total of $1,087.00 in fees and five zoning permits with a total of $750.00 in fees.
Mr. Olmstead said the zoning permits this year have exceeded the amount issued last year.
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.
Supervisor Banach said Lisa Green and Kevin Katz from BIU were working on a list of open permits. He asked if anything has been done regarding this matter. Secretary Hulse said there are a few drawers of permit files that are still open. She said it is a very large project and she has not had time to do it. Supervisor Banach said if the permits are for houses and no Certificate of Occupancy has been issued, the taxes are not being collected. He suggested we look at this over the next few months to get it straightened out. Additional discussion followed.
Supervisor Banach suggested we have some workshops in the next few months to get all of the proposed ordinances straightened out to start out the year on a clean slate. Secretary Hulse said she will do the project if they figure out how they would like to handle it.
Mr. Pranski asked if there was a time period required to have a final inspection. Additional discussion followed.
Mr. Pranski said there may be an issue on the fire department level also. If someone puts up an addition and they are not aware of what is there.
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT: No report was provided.
CORRESPONDENCE: On desk for review.
No motions were made. Vice Chairman Melvin said the proposed timeline is the informational meeting which will be part of our February Regular Meeting and Public Hearing in March.
A motion was made by Supervisor Banach to send a letter to the Public Utility Commission requesting they send a letter to the cable and phone companies requesting they remove their wires and poles throughout the township right of way. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor.
Mr. Pranski asked if there is something that can be done as far as request any wires be removed within a certain amount of time. He said it can become an issue with equipment getting tied up in the wires.
Solicitor Bernathy said we can request the wires be removed within 48 hours. He said we would provide
Notice and if they do not act then we could take care of the emergency. There was discussion regarding
who will notify the cable and or telephone companies in case of an emergency situation such as wires
down. Mr. Pranski said the Mill Rift Fire Department will notify any down wires to the Township Office
then Secretary Hulse would notify the appropriate company and from then they would have 48 hours to
take care of the emergency. If they do not respond the Township would have the right to move the wires.
Mr. Schneider confirmed this would be the procedure with any obstruction, not just wires, trees also.
Solicitor Bernathy agreed. Supervisor Buchanan asked Mr. Schneider what would happen if the tree were
too large for our department to remove it. Mr. Schneider said we would then have to hire someone who
could handle the job. Mr. Shay said he does this kind of work for the power company. He said the phone
and cable companies are slow. He said there is a right of way for the utility companies. Mr. Shay said the
when his company sets them they do it in a better place. Supervisor Buchanan said this is the reason
Orange and Rockland moved the poles. Mr. Shay said to report any trees down as endangerment of the
safety of the public. The company will pay to have the trees removed. There was additional discussion
regarding contact numbers for the utility companies.
A motion was made by Supervisor Dotey to implement an policy for highway obstruction removal
which consists of giving the utility 48 hour notice for obstruction removal unless a declared emergency.
The motion was seconded by Supervisor Buchanan and carried with all in favor.
A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to release the escrow funds. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor.
content of a meeting and votes on policy/spending/budget changes. He said rather than audio record
the minutes, we would take notes and prepare minutes accordingly. The minutes will be posted on the
township website. Vice Chairman Melvin asked if anyone has any discussion regarding this matter. Mr.
Pranski said he has discussion regarding this matter. Vice Chairman Melvin asked if the Supervisors
have any discussion. Supervisor Dotey said no further discussion. Supervisor Buchanan said we will
no longer be audio recording the meetings. Supervisor Banach said we will do the state requirement for
the minutes. Mr. Pranski asked why all of a sudden this change. He said he asks for the audio every
month. He said the other attorney agreed to provide the audio and now all of a sudden we are done with
the audios. Supervisor Buchanan said it is not required so we are not doing it. Mr. Pranski asked if he
could legally record the meeting. Supervisor Banach said as long as the board is notified. Solicitor
Bernathy agreed. He said it is a public meeting.
Supervisor Banach moved to approve the elimination of the audio recording of any township meetings
and the destruction of any audio recordings saved on the computer from previous meetings.
Solicitor Bernathy said once the minutes have been approved the tape should be recorded over or
erased. The typed minutes become the record.
The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor.
Supervisor Buchanan said this is the way it is done in most municipalities. Mr. Pranski said he
finds it strange since he raised an issue with this that now the audio recordings are being done away
with. He said he does not know why everyone is afraid of having the recordings. Supervisor Buchanan
said the recordings are not necessary. Vice Chairman Melvin said he feels the meeting minutes are very
voluminous and it takes the Secretary a very long time to prepare the minutes. Mr. Pranski said he has
seen where there are things on the audio that are not in the minutes. Vice Chairman Melvin said
only need to reflect certain parts of the meeting. Supervisor Buchanan said we do not have to record
everything being said in the minutes. He said the state requires certain things. Supervisor Buchanan
said we are going to follow the state requirement and no more. Vice Chairman Melvin said the
Secretary spends too much time on minutes. We would rather she spend time on looking up the back
permits and letters. He said the meeting minutes occupy a majority of her time. Mr. Pranski said he
if fine with recording the meetings himself. Supervisor Buchanan said the minutes should be one page
Secretary Vacation Request: A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to approve the request formotion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor.
which we have talked about in the past. He read the proposed change in the employee manual which was as follows adding the secretary hours: “Regular Full-Time employee shall mean any employee regularly scheduled to work forty (40) hours per week, fifty-two (52) weeks per year, with the exception of the Township Secretary who is regularly scheduled to work 35 ½ hours per week, 52 weeks per year.
Supervisor Buchanan moved to approve the employee manual change which changes the secretary hours to 35 ½ hours per week. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor.
A motion was made by Supervisor Dotey to accept the Non-Uniform MMO report for 2015. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Buchanan and carries with all in favor.
Vice Chairman Melvin said he spoke with the Milford Water Authority last week. They do not have any
openings on their current board for Westfall Township. Vice Chairman Melvin said we have decided not to
pay for the authority’s services but he feels we should put the money in escrow so we have the money when
we do join the board. Solicitor Bernathy said it is the board’s discretion. Mr. Pranski said it is “taxation
without representation” at that point. Supervisor Banach said we made a verbal contract when they put the
lines in to have representation on their board. He said it is his opinion not to pay until we have
representation. Supervisor Buchanan said they cannot appoint someone without an opening on their board.
Supervisor Banach said they came to us with such short notice and there was quite a discussion regarding
representation on the board. He asked Supervisor Buchanan if we have representation on the Matamoras
Municipal Authority Board. Supervisor Buchanan said no. Supervisor Banach said it is his opinion that we
get “short changed”. He feels the tax should pay only when we have representation. Supervisor Dotey said
he thought they could make a temporary appointment for our representation. Vice Chairman Melvin said
they do not want to do so. They have a five member board. Supervisor Buchanan said we would have
representation at their next opening. Mr. Pranski said they did not say “at their next opening”. Supervisor
Buchanan said that is not the way he understood it to be. Mr. Pranski said this is where the recordings come
in handy. Supervisor Buchanan said the recording issue is dead. Mr. Pranski said the promise should not
have been made regarding appointment to the board if they did not have an opening. Supervisor Buchanan
said this is more than we have gotten from Matamoras. They told us flat out “no”. Vice Chairman Melvin
said some people at the joint meeting agreed. Supervisor Buchanan said Matamoras Municipal Authority
has wells and customers in Westfall and we have always been excluded from the board. Supervisor Banach
said we keep paying the bills. Vice Chairman Melvin questioned paying the fees to Matamoras Municipal
Authority until the issue is resolved. He said Milford shovels out the hydrants and Matamoras does not. Mr.
Schneider said he thinks the law allows a five person board to be increased to seven. Vice Chairman Melvin
said they are not willing do that right now. Supervisor Buchanan said there should be a contract for hydrant
maintenance. He said we need to start looking at contracts and the way they are written to benefit Westfall
Township. Vice Chairman Melvin agreed with Supervisor Banach but said he feels we cannot go anywhere
with this until someone is appointed to the board. Mr. Pranski said he feels we should not pay until we have
someone on the board. Mr. Isaacson said the other end of the coin is that they are providing a service for
our residents. If there is a fire the fire company will be using their water. Additional discussion followed.
Mr. Schneider said another reason for representation is so that the residents have a voice on rates. Supervisor
Buchanan said we do not have any say. He said we will not pay any more water providers until we have
A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to send a letter to the Matamoras Municipal Authority stating
no payment for services will be made until Westfall Township representation is appointed to their board. The
motion was seconded by Supervisor Banach and carried with all in favor.
SUBDIVISION ACTION AND REVIEW:
A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to approve the Lot Combination application for Mr. and Mrs.
Gazzola. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor.
EXECTUIVE SESSION: None
ADJOURNMENT: Meeting was adjourned at 8:20 p.m. on a motion by Supervisor Buchanan. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor.