Westfall Township, Matamoras, PA
June 5, 2017
The Regular meeting of the Westfall Township Board of Supervisors was held Monday, June 5, 2017 at 7:01 pm. The meeting was held at the Township Building on Delaware Drive and LaBarr Lane, Westfall Township.
Those present were Chairman, Robert Melvin; Vice Chairman, Jerry Dotey; Supervisors; Lester Buchanan, Robert Bostinto and Paul Fischer; Solicitor, Robert Bernathy; and Secretary, Jodi Hulse. Also present were Zoning Officer, Wayne Rohner; Road Master, Bill Schneider; Westfall Township Fire Department Chief, Robert Llewellyn; Westfall Fire Department President, Bill Koferl; Mill Rift Fire Department Chief, Tom Lamb; Treasurer, Scott Myer; Robert Meyer, John Dalton, Robin Waizenegger, Marge Tonkin, Corinne Tonkin, Dr. Allan Detweiler, Davis Chant, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Ryan, and Thomas Shepstone; and approximately sixteen members of the general public.
EXECUTIVE SESSION: The last executive session was held at 6:00 pm on April 21, 2017.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA:
Vice Chairman Dotey added #7 under Old Business as “Emergency Road” and Solicitor Bernathy added #7 under New Business as “Act 172-Tax Credit for Volunteers”
A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to approve the agenda with the additions. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Bostinto and carries with all in favor.
MINUTES: A motion was made by Vice Chairman Dotey to approve the May 1, 2017 Regular Meeting Minutes. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Fischer and carries with all in favor.
A motion was made by Supervisor Fischer to call an executive session for personnel and potential litigation at 7:02 pm. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Bostinto and carries with all in favor.
The meeting was called back in session at 7:23 pm. Chairman Melvin stated that no decisions have been made.
PUBLIC COMMENT: Mr. Robert Meyer of 125 North Castle Drive addressed the Board with a complaint regarding excessive shooting at the Matamoras Rod and Gun Club property which borders his land. He stated that he moved to Westfall Township in 2005 and his property is located fairly close to the Matamoras Rod and Gun Club. He noted the following: originally there were roughly 100 members at the club with roughly 375 rounds being shot per hour at a five hour maximum; the club has expanded to accommodate pistol shooting; his property is 400 yards from pistol range; combat training contests have been taking place; 14,000 rounds are being fired within a five hour period; four ranges in use at one time and assault rifle shoots with fast shooting for five hours at a time emptying clips. He stated he complained last July to the Board and has submitted written complaints each month.
Chairman Melvin stated the use is still the same so therefore nothing can be done by the Board of Supervisors. Solicitor Bernathy stated he responded to Mr. Meyer’s first correspondence addressed to him as Solicitor and that he just received the second letter. Mr. Meyer invited the Board to come and listen to the excessive shooting which makes his home unlivable on the weekends. He stated the club is no longer a shooting club anymore and that it is more like an enterprise with increased fees and high dues. Mr. Meyer stated this matter needs to be investigated and an ordinance be put in effect to prohibit this activity. He asked the Board if they plan on investigating the matter. Supervisor Bostinto stated this is a civil matter between Mr. Meyer and the Matamoras Rod & Gun Club. Solicitor Bernathy stated there has been no violation of any Township ordinance and the use is a pre-existing non-conforming use and that he has stated this several times in the past.
Heated discussion followed. Mr. Meyer asked the Board if they were involved in the Katz matter. Solicitor Bernathy noted it was interesting that Mr. Meyer has copied Attorney John Stieh on correspondence addressed to the Township. He told Mr. Meyer that Attorney Stieh was the Solicitor for the Township during the Katz matter. Mr. Meyer confirmed that Attorney Stieh is his personal attorney and that Solicitor Bernathy did not need to personally attack him.
Solicitor Bernathy repeated that the use is a pre-existing non-conforming use and that he encouraged Mr. Meyer to seek legal counsel and review the Township Ordinances.
Mr. Meyer stated he would continue to put pressure on the Township to make a legal case. He stated that the Township could shut down the club today. Solicitor Bernathy stated that could not be done legally.
The Board thanked Mr. Meyer for coming in. No further comment was made.
Marge Tonkin thanked the Board for taking care of the sink hole repair near her property at Heaters Hill. Chairman Melvin stated the matter was an emergency and had to be addressed.
TREASURER’S REPORT: Mr. Myer gave the report through the month of May, 2017. He stated 100% of Real Estate taxes have been collected. Spending is in line and the Bell Manor Paving project payment has been made.
A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to approve the Treasurer’s Report through the month of May, 2017. The motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Dotey and carries with all in favor.
POLICE REPORT: Chief Stewart was absent therefore no report was submitted.
Westfall Fire Department: Chief Llewellyn gave the report for May, 2017: 5 Automatic Fire Alarms, 11 Motor Vehicle Accidents, 5 Brush Fires, 1 Water Rescue, 1 Landing Zone, 1 Stand By Transfer, 2 Chief Investigation, and 3 Structure Fires. The Total calls for May, 2017 were 15. The total fire calls year to date are 103.
The EMS Report for the month of May, 2017 was as follows: 44 Calls in Westfall Township, 4 Calls in Dingman Township, 6 calls in Milford Township, 12 calls in Milford Borough, 11 calls in Matamoras Borough, 2 calls in Shohola Twp, 1 call in Delaware Township, 1 call in Blooming Grove Township and 8 calls in Orange County, NY. Total calls for May, 2017 were 90. Total EMS calls year to date are 403.
The combined Year to Date calls are 506.
Training for the month: Four Drills/In-house training sessions held for 112 hours. Five members completed sixteen hours of Emergency Vehicle Driver Training at PCTC.
Fundraising: Pulled Pork Dinner-August 14; Gun Raffle-September 10; Tricky Tray-October 7
Other: Go-24 Store has not installed the hydrant or Knox Box as requested. The Westfall Township Volunteer Fire Department has provided feedback on fire protection contract.
Solicitor Bernathy stated he would revise the Fire Protection Contract with changes and have available for signatures for the next meeting. Bill Schneider, Mill Rift Fire Department President, confirmed the Mill Rift Fire Department agrees with the changes made by Mill Rift.
A motion was made by Vice Chairman Dotey to approve the Westfall Fire Department report for the month of May, 2017. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Bostinto and carries with all in favor.
Mill Rift Fire Department: Chief Lamb gave the report for the Mill Rift Fire Department for the month of May, 2017 which confirmed the following:
05/03/17: Work Night-Driver Training-engine 1 and 2
05/04/17: Structure Fire-Engine 1 Tanker, Engine 2 and Pump
05/12/17: River Rescue-Boat
05/24/17: Work Night –Driver Training-Engine 1, Pump & Tanker
05/31/17: Work Night-Driver Training-Fill Pool-Engine 1 & Tanker 1
Total Man Hours: 61
Total Equipment Hours YR: 105
Total Man Hours for the Year: 448
A motion was made by Supervisor Fischer to approve the Mill Rift Fire Department’s attendance in the July 8, 2017 Port Jervis parade. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Buchanan and carries with all in favor.
The Mill Rift Fire Department Report for May, 2017 was approved by motion by Vice Chairman Dotey. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Bostinto and carries with all in favor.
HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT: Mr. Schneider gave the report for May, 2017. The Department did shoulder work on Cummins Hill Road. They also clearer culvert pipes and drains throughout the township. Mowing and clearing of the bank at Pond Eddy was done. The department mowed the office area yard and worked in the compost area. Mr. Schneider stated the Bell Manor and Blue Ridge Boulevard paving was completed. Also, the Heaters Hill Road emergency repair was done. The test hole boring was completed at Blue Stone Boulevard. Mr. Schneider attended the monthly road task force meeting. The paving on Cummins Hill Road is also completed. Mr. Schneider stated the Freightliner was sent to Powell’s Truck Center for repair. He also stated there were a few complaints regarding the milling on Cummins Hill Road. The paving company left a large bump for several days since they could not pave due to weather conditions.
A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to approve the May, 2017 Highway Department Report. The motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Dotey and carries with all in favor.
BUILDING/ZONING REPORT: Wayne Rohner gave the report for May, 2017. He confirmed there were 9 building permits, 4 electrical permits and 10 zoning permits for the month of May, 2017 totaling $9,654.79 in fees.
Mr. Rohner confirmed the notice was sent out to the owner of the GO24 Store. He stated there is a process which needs to be followed and it can drag out.
A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to approve the Building/Zoning Report for May, 2017. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Fischer and carries with all in favor.
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT: Mr. Ewbank presented the Emergency Management Report for May, 2017. There were no calls for May, 2017. Mr. Ewbank stated he attended an Emergency Action Plan Tabletop exercise for the Mongaup River System Hydroelectric Project at the Hampton Inn on May 24, 2017.
Supervisor Bostinto stated he spoke with Alison Miskiman and there are some changes on the FEMA outlines and guidelines and that she would like an update.
A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to approve the Emergency Management Report for the month of May, 2017. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Fischer and carries with all in favor.
CORRESPONDENCE: On desk for review.
- Heater Hill Sink Hole Repair: This was done during May, 2017. No action taken
- Fire Protection Contract: Solicitor Bernathy received the requested changes from the Westfall Fire Department.
A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to approve the amended Fire Protection Contract. The motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Dotey and carries with all in favor. Solicitor Bernathy stated he would revise the contact accordingly and provide it to the Board.
3. Fire Department Split: Discussion followed. A motion was made by Supervisor Fischer to approve the Fire Department allotment from the general fund and special mils as 80% of the allotment to the Westfall Fire Department and 20% of the allotment to the Mill Rift Fire Department and the split for the Local Service Tax income to be 50% to each department. The motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Dotey and carries with all in favor.
4. Fire Code Enforcement-Notice of issues from Chief Llewellyn: Chairman Melvin stated the Board is taking this matter under serious consideration and that they are working on a proposed ordinance. He stated there needs to be an inspection program in affect. The ordinance will create a part time position to enforce to ordinance for the inspection of commercial properties only. The Board agreed to have Solicitor Bernathy prepare a draft ordinance for the Board’s review at the next meeting.
5. Pioneer Construction Lease: No one from Pioneer Construction was present. No action taken.
6. Malibu Dude Ranch: An informal discussion transpired regarding a proposed use. Representative: Tom Shepstone, Davis Chant, Mr. and Mrs. Ryan and Mr. and Mrs. Detweiller. Solicitor Bernathy stated he received a memorandum from Mr. Shepstone and did some independent research regarding this matter which was address at the May, 2017 Supervisor Meeting. He explained his findings and suggested the applicant apply for a Conditional Use Hearing. The proposed use did not fit the definition of a treatment center. Section 402 defines a treatment center as a use other than a prison or hospital providing housing for three or more unrelated persons who need specialized housing and treatment. It was established that the proposed use was not for criminal rehabilitation such as a half-way house. The proposed use was also not for currently addicted people that used in an illegal manner. Further, the use was not for a type of treatment for mental illness or other behavior that causes a person to be a threat to the physical safety of others. Because the proposed use was not otherwise provided for in any of the Township zoning districts the use shall be characterized as a conditional use and should proceed accordingly.Mr. Shepstone stated he this would be the most practical approach and will proceed accordingly.
No further comment and no action taken.
7. Emergency Road: Vice Chairman Dotey stated the Board needs to make a move to come to an agreement with Mr. Burger to obtain a right of way for an emergency road on the Township Property through to Decker Lane. Chairman Melvin stated this needs to be discussed in an executive session.
A motion was made by Vice Chairman Dotey to move forward to negotiate agreement with Mr. Burger. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Bostinto and carries with all in favor.
Solicitor Bernathy was directed by the Board to prepare a proposed lease/acquisition/agreement of sale.
- Steve Grandinali-Corning Gas: Mr. Grandinali informed the board that Corning Gas is in the process of hiring contractors to perform their electrical and gas work and that currently they rely on Orange and Rockland for their customer service.
Regarding the Schneider Lane and Cummins Hill Road/6 & 209 Street Lights, Mr. Grandinali stated the cost to install the street lights will be $5,004.00 and approximately $700.00 per year for lighting and electricity costs.
A motion was made by Supervisor Fischer to approve the installation cost of $5,004.00 and the approximate cost of $700.00 per year for lighting and electricity costs. The motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Dotey and carries with all in favor.
2. Kuharchik Construction-Contract for Services: A motion was made by Vice Chairman Dotey to approve the Kuharchik Construction Contract dated May 4, 2017 contingent the agreement is valid only through January 31, 2018. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Bostinto and carries with all in favor.
3. Permit Manager Update: A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to approve the payment of $350.00 to update the Permit Manager System the May 5, 2017 email provided by Cork Shunk, Permit Manager. The motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Dotey and carries with all in favor.
4. Advertise for Auditors: The Board decided to table advertising for the vacant Auditor positions.Corinne Tonkin volunteered for the two year auditor vacancy position. A motion was made by Supervisor Bostinto to appoint Ms. Tonkin to the two year Auditor position. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Fischer and carries with all in favor.
5. Upper Delaware Council-Resolution in support of the Scenic Wild Delaware River Geotourism Initiative: No action taken.
6. Invitation to NYC DEP Emergency Action Plan Orientation Seminar for the Cannonsville, Pepacton and Neversink dams: A motion was made by Chairman Melvin to approve sending two Supervisors to the seminar to include Supervisor Bostinto and also Mr. Ewbank, if available. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Bostinto and carries with all in favor.
7. Act 172-Tax Credit for Volunteers: Solicitor Bernathy explained the law which provides an option for the Township to offer a Real Estate Tax or Earned Income Tax credit to volunteers through a volunteer credit service program. This gives an incentive for fire and ems workers to volunteer. Chairman Melvin suggested the Board pursue this matter. A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to approve Solicitor Bernathy to prepare a draft ordinance for the next Supervisor Meeting. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Fischer and carries with all in favor.
SUBDIVISION REVIEW and ACTION: None
None held at the end of the meeting.
ADJOURNMENT: Meeting was adjourned at 8:35 p.m. on a motion by Supervisor Buchanan. Motion seconded by Supervisor Bostinto and carries with all in favor.