Category Archives: Public Hearing

Public Hearing November 8, 2012

Westfall Township, Matamoras, PA

November 8, 2012

A public hearing was held on Thursday, November 8, 2012 for the purpose of taking public comment on the proposed Amusement Tax for Westfall Township. The meeting was held at the WestfallTownshipBuilding on Delaware Drive and LaBarr Lane, Matamoras, PA18336 at 7:02 p.m.

Those present were Chairman, Robert Ewbank, Vice-Chairman, Paul Fischer; Supervisors, Raymond Banach, Larry Flansburg, and Robert Melvin; Solicitor, Robert Bernathy and Secretary, Lisa Green. Also present were Treasurer, Scott Myer, Allen Johns, Beth Brelje, Rick Lander, Dave Jones, Michael Barth, Lisa Mickles, Eric Hamill, Luis Bocaletti, Suparmanto, Manager of the Best Western and approximately 30 members of the general public.

Chairman Ewbank thanked everyone for coming to the meeting stating we would be having a public hearing on the Amusement tax and turned the meeting over to Solicitor Bernathy.

Solicitor Bernathy said this is the date, time and place for the continuation of a previous proceeding that was conducted by the supervisors with specific regard to impose an amusement tax. That proceeding was held on October 2, 2012 and we are going to incorporate the minutes of that proceeding into the minutes of this proceeding. Since we were last here changes were made by way of modification to the amusement tax ordinance and those changes were advertised on three occasions in the Pike County Dispatch and proof of publication with regard to those advertisements will be incorporated into the preceding. When we last were here at the supervisors acknowledge that there was significant discussion and a lot of questions were asked. With that the supervisors as part of the continuation agreed to schedule a meeting with local business owners and invited them to attend a meeting on October 17, 2012. That meeting did occur and unfortunately the only business owner that came to the meeting was for Malibu Dude Ranch indicating that they had no objection to the amusement tax. Since we were last hear we have been able to gather some additional information regarding some of the businesses that are conducted by way of amusement here in WestfallTownship and we are going to supplement the record with specific regard to some information that was put together for us by the Eastern Pike regional Police Department. That is a docket of all of the responses made to some of the businesses that provide amusements in the Township. It is fairly significant as far as responses are concerned and the Township also notes the additional emergency response that is provided by various emergency responders here WestfallTownship. Again for purposes of economy we note that there are persons here who have already been heard at the previous proceeding. What we would like to do is ask if there is anyone present first who did not have the opportunity to be heard at the October 2nd proceeding that those persons be recognized. If there is anything that they would like to say for purposes of the record Solicitor Bernathy asked that they would raise their hands and be recognized.

Suparmanto the General Manager for the Best Western Inn at Hunts Landing said he believes that it is everyone’s responsibility to improve the life   and the continuation of growth and this Township yet he believes that all of those in the amusement business are being penalized. Suparmanto said that he knows it will affect his business because those people that are coming in on bus trips are elderly and any time he tries to raise the rates they say they can’t afford it.

Solicitor Bernathy asked attorney Hamill if he was here on behalf of anyone. Mr. Hamill said he is here on behalf of himself. Solicitor Bernathy asked if he was a resident of the Township. Mr. Hamill is not. Solicitor Bernathy asked if he owned the business and the Township. Mr. Hamill said he is a shareholder and on the board of directors of Slatestone Hunting Club and he is here because he saw the tax in the paper and he feels it has a strange impact on landowners as well as business owners here in the Township. He sees this tax as a strange tax commenting that if he plays a game of pool and puts for quarters and the machine is there going to have to be an extra slot to put the penny in? Otherwise it the 1% will come off the business owner’s gross income. So he believes it is a fairly significant tax even though it seems small. Giving further examples such as football game charging three dollars and having to pay $3.03. Mr. Hamill said someone would have to go down to the bank to pick up change to give out, stating they won’t do that they will just take it off the top of the three dollars and lose money. Commenting that the next step would be hiring somebody to do the tax returns because it’s due by the 10th of the next month. Suggesting this is a significant burden to the business owners. Mr. Hamill questioned if tricky trays and turkey shoots are going to be taxed as well. Mr. Hamill said for the past couple of years he has been contacted by Berkheimer Associates, wanting him to disclose his payroll and employees to see if one of his employees lives in an area where there is a local income tax. Further stating that if he needs to file additional tax returns he will not hire somebody from an area that has a local income tax. Saying the tax is not really being paid by someone else. It’s coming out of the business owners.

Supervisor Flansburg asked Mr. Hamill if he is suggesting that the tax should lie squarely on the backs of the residents. Further stating that everyone is standing up and saying don’t hurt us while all of the residents in the Township are already being hurt. Discussion followed. Supervisor Flansburg said we did not meet the Fire Department budget or the Police Department budget this year and for the additional money that we may collect on the amusement tax it might make that up.

Chairman Ewbank said each year we have to go to Court to ask for an increase above the 14 Mills that we are allowed by law to tax and this year we need to ask a 2.7 mill increase instead of the 1.7 Mills we’ve been requesting for the last several years.

Supervisor Banach said it is not to hurt the businesses, it is to make it fair for the residents commenting that someone who owns a $1 million home in Westfall Township will pay the same tax rate as the Best Western. Further questioning how many times did the homeowner call the Fire Department and the Police Department and have the ambulance come to their house. How many times are they using the service and yet they’re taxed at the same rate. There are people who come into our town and do things. Saying if it’s three cents its three cents and the business owners are saying that doesn’t count. But we are cutting things on our budget that are $10, $20 and $50 and if you keep putting pennies in the jar it adds up. Supervisor Banach further stated yes it may be a little bit of a burden but Solicitor Bernathy often speaks of the Earned Income Tax and we could take every business owner who earns $100,000 and tax them 3% and the School District will tax too and in his opinion that’s not fair because you’re taking the higher earners in the Township and giving them a double whammy. Saying the low income people don’t care because it’s not a big tax for them. This tax the board fails is fairer because it will be passed on to the transient person who uses our facilities.

Mr. Hamill feels the businesses supplement the income of the area as opposed to the households because the households burden the schools and add to the roadways. The business may call emergency responders more, but they are paying more tax.

Supervisor Banach said at the last meeting, it was disclosed that Kittatinny Canoes paid approximately $7000 in property taxes to WestfallTownship, Landers pays $395 and Indianhead pays $633. Mr. Hamill said they also employ the local kid, buy gas here and he feels we are biting the hand that feeds us. Discussion followed.

Chairman Ewbank said we have figures from the Westfall Fire Department showing their cost over the past several years to be over $50,000.

Michael Barth asked if the school is exempt. Solicitor Bernathy said we’ve calculated the figures and the amount of money from the school district would be up proximately $200. Stating we may be able to negotiate with them in order to cut down on what happens internally with the school district. Solicitor Bernathy said we are sensitive to that. However, does not find that the school district is exempt. Mr. Barth said he knows if you use the ambulance you are charged for it and questioned why can’t we charge for river rescues. Supervisor Melvin said the fire department soft bill’s and in doing that after two attempts at billing they do not go into collection. Supervisor Flansburg said we as a Township cannot bill for that.

Beth Brelje questioned of the $50,000 that Chairman Ewbank mentioned to be a cost to the Fire Department how much of that is from private citizens that took canoes on the River as opposed to who rented from the livery owners. Chairman Ewbank said those costs are for the purchase of the boat, boat repairs man-hours and not split up by users.

Luis Bocaletti, who represents the Westfall Township Fire Department wanted to let the people present know that this tax was not the idea of the Fire Department. Stating they may benefit from it but the whole amount of the tax will not go to them. Chairman Ewbank said we cut the Fire Department budget this year and we are trying to find a way to give some money back to them. Supervisor Melvin said in fairness to Luis the Fire Department did not ask the supervisors to impose this tax. Supervisor Banach stated the police and fire are always the first areas that get cut because that is the easiest to cut. And that is exactly what we cut this year. Supervisor Banach continued by stating the Westfall and Mill Rift Fire Departments are doing an excellent job, it is just that their departments were the easiest to cut.

Allen Johns, representing Have a Hoot Family Fun Center addressed Supervisor Banach and said he was out West hunting and that $.50 tax that was brought up at the last meeting is voluntary. Supervisor Banach said in Colorado and Texas he had to pay it and there was no way around it. Mr. Johns continued by stating it is an optional fee and questioned who are the transient people that the supervisors speak of, is that Milford and Port Jervis or is that just 50 miles away. Chairman Ewbank answered that is people that do not live in the Township that use our facilities and roads. Mr. Johns said he did not get notified of the October 17th meeting. Chairman Ewbank said that was at special meeting that was set for the purpose of meeting with the business owners which was agreed to at the October 2, 2012 meeting. Discussion followed. The business owners did not recall setting that date, however the Township recorded it in their meeting minutes. Supervisor Flansburg said we have a letter from the Attorney representing the canoe liveries stating that they would not be there. Mr. Jones said that was news to him.

Mr. Johns said the last time he heard from the Township was when his electrical permit fee got raised from $50-$302. Mrs. Green corrected Mr. Johns, stating that his fee did not get raised. The $50 was a review fee that’s paid at the time of application, and the $304 is the total permit fee. The Township did not raise the fee. Mr. John said in either case he did not know about the meeting. Supervisor Melvin said that Malibu Dude Ranch attended the meeting. Supervisor Flansburg said that it does not mean that the doors closed the Township is still willing to talk before we vote on the tax. Mr. Johns said he would rather pay the Township $1000 then pay a CPA $2000 to do the books. Chairman Ewbank said we still have to see if it is worth imposing the tax. Supervisor Flansburg said he wants to go on record as saying we are still open to conversation.

Mr. Jones said he believes that this tax is going to cost us more than we will earn and he also believes that they are exempt from this tax under two different exemptions. One is federal and one is from the tax itself. Stating his attorney said this is exempt but he really does not want to have to go to court over this. Mr. Jones said he just had a meeting with his accountants who told him he is losing money this year and will either have to increase his revenue or decrease his costs or he would not be around much longer. Mr. Jones continued by saying his business is not really worth anything for someone to buy because it is actually losing money, and he cannot afford a 1% tax on his business. Also having to come up with the gross income by the 10th of the month is nearly impossible. Mr. Jones said if Berkheimer were to audit him they would be there for days and he does not believe that they would charge the Township 3% to have an employee there for several days. Mr. Jones continued by saying this is a declining industry and he spent a lot of money trying to bring tourists to this area, stating that he is better off walking. Supervisor Flansburg asked Mr. Jones if he had seen the report from the Upper Delaware on the canoes that were put in the River last year stating it was shocking and grossly underreported. Mr. Jones did not see the report. Supervisor Banach said it is baffling because we were told to call the National Park Service to get our figures and we did that and it showed Kittatinny Canoes having just over 2000 canoes in the River last year. Mr. Jones said that report is not accurate. Discussion followed. Supervisor Banach said we were given a task to figure it out and we did that and this is what we received. Mr. Jones said in the whole upper Delaware there are less than 200,000 canoes being used which is why he built the zip line.

Chairman Ewbank said we have a letter here that the Pocono Mountains Convention and Visitors Bureau reported that they had a record income of $4,528,928 last year when at the meeting the representative made it sound like everyone was losing money. Mr. Jones said maybe because there’s a lot of growth in many areas. Chairman Ewbank said they get a 3% room tax from every hotel and motel in the Township and we want to know why some of that money can’t come back to us. Mr. Jones said that money goes to promote tourism not just here but in the Poconos. Mr. Jones said he appreciates the calls the police makes to his business but they also make a lot of money off of speeding tickets from their customers. Not that he is defending them because they shouldn’t be speeding, but that brings income back to the Police Department.

Mr. Johns said we’re looking at the River and the natural resources that Westfall has and it seems to be the direction that the Township is going that they think there is a pot of gold out there. Supervisor Flansburg said this is the first step that the Township is taking to offset the prices that our taxpayers are paying. Chairman Ewbank said we would like to not have to go to court and ask for one or two mill increase over the 14 Mills. Mr. Johns said he would sooner donate something to the Township rather than hire an accountant. Supervisor Flansburg said we are not asking for that, but we are open to suggestions.

Rick Lander said he did not know about the meeting either and apologized for not attending further stating that he was waiting for a phone call and a date. Mr. Lander questioned if the Boy Scout groups and the church groups pay the tax also stating it will cost more to administer than the tax will generate. Mr. Lander said he would rather work out an agreement where they pay a certain amount than to have the 1% tax.  Solicitor Bernathy suggested scheduling the meeting stating that the business owners seem to be making an offer in lieu of the imposition of the tax.

Supervisor Melvin said the board is not looking to get into the books of the business owners and this is not a punitive action. Vice-Chairman Fischer said we are looking to get this money off the shoulders of our property owners and spread out this tax. Otherwise either taxes are going up or the Earned Income Tax is going to be proposed.

Discussion followed about the amount of tax revenue that the amusement tax would generate and about the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River stating that the Township went to the wrong department to get their numbers. Supervisor Flansburg commented that the Township went where we were told to go.

Meeting was scheduled for 7:30 PM on Monday, November 19, 2012 to have discussions with the business owner regarding the amusement tax.

Mr. Barth questioned if this tax could be imposed solely on recreation that launch or stop in Westfall Township. Solicitor Bernathy answered that it is where the admission is charged.

Supervisor Banach questioned Scott Myer on the percentage of a two mill tax decrease. Mr. Myer said that would equal 6%.

Suparmanto questioned why those in the entertainment business are being affected by the tax. Commenting that these businesses bring people to the Township that spend money at other businesses such as McDonald’s, Burger King, Shoprite and the gas stations. Chairman Ewbank said that the Township does not get any money from these people such as the 3% room tax that we do not get a part of. Supervisor Melvin said that we are maxed out and we are trying to cut our budget and find ways to generate more revenue. Supervisor Banach that we’re looking at every avenue including the County to try to get a sales tax imposed, however we have not been able to do that yet. Supervisor Banach also commented on the duplication of services that we have such as the police at that school district. Discussion followed. Supervisor Melvin thanked Suparmanto for hosting all of the charitable events that they have.

Mr. Jones said people that come to support his business also spend money in other areas and the transient out-of-towners are not attending the schools. Mr. Jones also said a lot of the money he takes in he spends locally for electricians, body shops, tires, etc. saying that when they bring in one dollar to their business it translates to five dollars spent in the area. Supervisor Flansburg said you’re either part of the problem or part of the solution and the Supervisors would rather the business owners become part of the solution. Chairman Ewbank said we used to pave our roads every 10 years and we are so far behind that schedule now due to budget constraints, mentioning the possibility of imposing an Earned Income Tax in the future.

Beth Brelje said the supervisors on more than one occasion said this amusement tax is the first step that they are taking questioning if the supervisors are going to raise this one percent tax or do something else.

Discussion followed. Supervisor Melvin said we want to be partners with the business owners. Mr. Jones explained the things he does to give back to the community such as letting the fire department use his landing for rescues and the river cleanup that he does each year.

Supervisor Flansburg said he believes the business owners have it wrong because every chance he gets he asks people that come to the area if they were asked to pay $.50 for EMA and they drove here from New York City would they not come here because of the $.50 and every one of those people said they would agree to pay it.      The business owners suggested making it optional. Chairman Ewbank suggested closing public hearing at this point and getting on to the regular meetings since we have already scheduled a time to meet with the business owners.

Public hearing closed at 8:10 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa A. Green, Secretary

Supervisors Minutes Public Hearing June 5, 2012

Westfall Township, Matamoras, PA

June 5, 2012

A public hearing was held on Tuesday, June 5, 2012 for the purpose of taking public comment on the proposed Fire Loss Ordinance forWestfall Township. The meeting was held at the Westfall Township Building onDelaware DriveandLaBarr Lane,Matamoras,PA18336at 7:30 p.m.

Those present were Chairman,Robert Ewbank, Vice-Chairman,Paul Fischer; Supervisors, Raymond Banach,Larry Flansburg, andRobert Melvin; Solicitor, Robert Bernathy and Secretary,Lisa Green. Also present were Treasurer,Scott Myer; Zoning Officer, Mike Rendleman; Bill Schneider, Luis Bocaletti, Ann Marie Catalano, Chad Stewart, Jay Edwards, Bob Bostinto, Karl Flail, Valerie Pedone, Mary Smith, Dr. & Mrs.  Waldman, Mr. & Mrs. Robert DiLorenzo, Don Quick, Jolie DeFeis and approximately 27 members of the general public.

Solicitor Bernathy stated this ordinance has been advertised for public hearing at 7:00 PM however the board was in executive session and it is now 7:30 PM. In any event the ordinance has been advertised and the proposed ordinance is an ordinance of Westfall Township pursuant to act 98 of 1992 providing that in fire losses the insurance company, association or exchange shall transfer insurance proceeds to a designated officer of Westfall Township as a portion of the insurance proceeds to be held as security against the total cost of removing, repairing or securing the damaged structure, providing for fees, providing for penalties for violation and establishing procedures and requirements regarding insurance proceeds and to the implementation of Act 98 of 1992, as amended by Act 93 of 1994 inWestfall Township.

Solicitor Bernathy opened the floor to public comment.

Karl Flail asked if his house burned down and he has access to his insurance company does that mean that the town has access to his insurance funds. Solicitor Bernathy said yes that is the case. That is what this ordinance is about to see that the properties are cleaned up. That is if they are not implemented accordingly.

Solicitor Bernathy said we want to make sure that properties are cleaned up in that blight is managed. Further stating there are claims out there that are not honored and there’s no way for the Township to get money to help clean up the property. Mr. Flail questioned if it affects properties that are decades old and the owner has just disappeared. Solicitor Bernathy said no because there is no entity to get the money from.

Bob Bostinto asked if the money would be placed in an escrow account. Solicitor Bernathy said yes and the insurance proceeds will be held as security and used to repair or replace the home.

Public hearing closed at 7:33 pm on a motion by Supervisor Flansburg. Motion is seconded by Vice-Chairman Fischer and carries with all in favor.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa A. Green


Public Hearing January 3, 2012

January 3, 2012

A public hearing was held on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 for the purpose of taking public comment on the proposed Burning Ban Ordinance for Westfall Township. The meeting was held at the Westfall Township office on Delaware Drive and LaBarr Lane, Matamoras, PA 18336 at 7:32 p.m.

Those present were Chairman, Robert Ewbank, Vice-Chairman, Paul Fischer; Supervisors, Raymond Banach, Larry Flansburg, and Robert Melvin; Solicitor, Robert Bernathy and Secretary, Lisa Green. Also present were Treasurer, Scott Myer; Building Inspector, Shawn Bolles; Zoning Officer, Mike Rendleman; Bill Schneider, Bill Koferl, Jay Edwards, Mark Spatz, Dan Lawless, Joseph Banach, Elaine Shewchuk, John Shewchuk, Debra Banach, Ken Adams, Donna Schutz , Landa Copertino, and approximately 15 members of the general public.

Solicitor Bernathy stated there was a notice placed in the Pike County Dispatch indicating that the supervisors would conduct a public hearing here today January 3, 2012 at the Municipal Building to take comments on the proposed Air Pollution Control Ordinance for the prevention and control of air pollution; defining certain terms used therein; providing for regulations, exceptions, enforcement orders, responsibility of owners and operators, penalties, unlawful conduct, public nuisances, and validity. Following public comment, it will be the Supervisors intention if they so desire to choose to adopt the ordinance. Again, Solicitor Bernathy stated that this ordinance and a summary of the ordinance was advertised in the Pike County Dispatch. Proof of publication will be made available to the public and made part of the record.

Solicitor Bernathy said this ordinance was prepared based on a model ordinance by the DEP. Further stating that it should be made clear that if this ordinance is adopted that no person may permit the open burning of material in the area of the Township which is immediately adjacent to Matamoras Borough bordering Tenth Street, said area containing substandard lots of fifty (50’) feet by one hundred (100’) feet in area. Any other area in the Township this ordinance is not applicable. In that specific area fires may be set for the following reasons:

1)     A fire set to prevent or abate a fire hazard:

2)     A fire set for the purpose of instructing personnel in fire fighting;

3)     A fire set for the prevention and control of disease or pests;

4)     A fire set for the purpose of burning clearing and grubbing waste with certain restrictions;

5)     A fire set in conjunction with the production of agricultural commodities in their unmanufactured state on the premises of the farm operation;

6)     A fire set solely for cooking food;

7)     A fire set solely for recreational or ceremonial purposes.

The Supervisors are trying to regulate complaints received for leaf burning and household waste burning.

Solicitor Bernathy asked for public comment from the residents of the township.

Ken Adams of 214 C Tenth Street questioned if this is only 100 feet deep off of Tenth Street. Solicitor Bernathy explained that there has to be some applicability of the ordinance and some reason why it would only be applicable to that area of the township and the reason why is that it is adjacent to Matamoras Borough which has a burning ban as well as leaf collection, but more importantly that’s a very dense area of the township and when someone burns it affects the neighboring parcels; that was the reasoning behind the ordinance. Mr. Adams said his sister’s home is 214 Tenth Street and the property goes back approximately 500 feet. He has been accumulating piles of trees and brush on the property that he has been waiting for a fire drill to burn it. Mr. Adams said he is a member of the fire department and he feels they could call that a drill to go down and burn the pile up. Solicitor Bernathy said he would defer to the chief to see if that would constitute an exception to the ordinance as far as a fire set for the purpose of instructing personnel in fire fighting. Solicitor Bernathy said without that if this ordinance is adopted he would not be permitted to do that. Mr. Adams said he has trees that are being killed by the Pine Bark Borer and he plans on cutting them down and letting them fall. He wants to burn the piles. But he does not want to burn them at this time. He does not want to be a nuisance. He wants to burn them in a safe manner. Solicitor Bernathy said he is looking at the fire chief now and does not want to put him on the spot but without comment from him, if the ordinance does pass he would not be permitted to burn those piles. Mr. Adams questioned how deep on Tenth Street this will be going. Solicitor Bernathy said this has to be discussed by the Supervisors. There has been some discussion and if you look at the zoning map there is a triangle there and as it goes back off of Tenth Street it gets narrower. It is his opinion to adopt the whole triangle.

Donna Schutz of 218 Tenth Street asked if it is only from the Avenue back to Avenue C which is Mr. Ewbank’s neighborhood that is being banned or is it the other side of the Avenue also. Supervisor Ewbank displayed the zoning map for the public to see and explained that the triangle begins where 84 and Tenth Street come together by the Airport goes all the way up Tenth Street to the Mountain then on to the Masurack property at one point in time back out to the firehouse and along 84 back out to where 84 meets Tenth Street. It was asked what they would do with four acres of leaves. Supervisor Ewbank said we are taking that into consideration. Ms. Schutz said compared to people who burn woodstoves and coal that happens everyday from October to March as opposed to three or four days the whole year. Ms. Schutz asked about a fire pit that they like to use and Solicitor Bernathy said that is an exception to the ordinance. Ms. Schutz said then the ordinance is just to prohibit leaves and garbage. Solicitor Bernathy said that is not correct. The applicability of the ordinance is you can’t burn anything with the exceptions of what is in the ordinance. Ms. Schutz asked about what is going to be done with the leaves further commenting on what Matamoras Borough does with their leaf pickup. Solicitor Bernathy said there has been some discussion that it would be done by township personnel. There also may be intermunicipal cooperation. Everything is up in the air at this time. Supervisor Ewbank said we have a history of borrowing each others equipment and that may be an option. Discussion followed.

Landa Copertino says that the DEP gives examples of yard waste and says when we had hurricane Irene we needed to burn the debris. The petition she gathered was showing no one was in favor of burning. They were also in that immediate area that is being proposed. Mrs. Copertino said she has gone to Matamoras board meetings and no one has contacted them as of today regarding the leaf situation. Supervisor Ewbank said they haven’t been approached because this is the first time the burning ban has been brought up. Mrs. Copertino feels that there section of town is being abused by not being allowed to burn. Supervisor Flansburg asked Mrs. Copertino if we struck a deal with Matamoras to pick up the debris would those people be happy who were against the burning ban.  Mrs. Copertino said yes they would be happy, there are a lot of seniors there who try to do it themselves or pay to have it done and they just can’t get it done.

Joseph Banach said he has come from Port Jervis and followed Commercial Companies with New York plates dropping stuff off at our composting site. If we are going to start picking up our leaves you are going to have to do something about the commercial companies or the landfill is going to be as big as the mountain behind you. Supervisor Ewbank said he is not sure how to police that issue. It is supposed to be for Matamoras and Westfall residents only. Mr. Banach said there are more New York plates going in there.

Elaine Shewchuk read the proposed ordinance in the dispatch and she wondered if it would leave us open to discrimination. Stating that area is a small percentage of the township. Solicitor Bernathy said he does not believe it is discriminatory. He said it may be challenged but he does not find it to be problematic. Supervisor Ewbank said he had a conversation with the chief today who told him that two people had said they built their homes in Westfall and that they were going to burn they did not care if the smoke went into Matamoras. Supervisor Ewbank said that is what they are trying to prevent. They are not trying to discriminate against anybody.

Debra Banach said there are penalty provisions set up in the ad. Are we setting them up tonight and have we budgeted for them, asking what will it cost for enforcement. Supervisor Ewbank said we have a zoning officer and a police department. Mrs. Banach commented that if the zoning officer is called out on a Saturday to enforce this it is outside of his normal working hours and asked if that has been budgeted for. Solicitor Bernathy said this duty can be assigned to a Supervisor, a code enforcement officer or a zoning ordinance; there is an enforcement order section in the ordinance which specifies who will enforce it but this is echoing the cart before the horse comment. This may not pass. The enforcement order is in section six.

Mrs. Copertino said initially the Delaware Drive section was included and it was not now. Why is that? Who decided to drop this part of town and that part is still active. Supervisor Ewbank said as Solicitor Bernathy read it is because the Tenth Street area is very densely populated and the Delaware Drive area is not and that is why. Mrs. Copertino questioned if we are going to have a new zoning map. Supervisor Ewbank said we have a new zoning map.

Supervisor Banach said we are putting the cart before the horse. This has been going on since 2009 and even before that. There have been issues with who is going to pick up the leaves, who is going to enforce it, how are we going to pay for it and so on. Mr. Ewbank’s at the last meeting said there was an e-mail in 2006 at which time there were four road employees and we were working together with Matamoras Borough. At this time we have two road employees and the burden of the Katz litigation on the taxpayers, we can’t get Matamoras to go to Mashipacong Island to cut trees, so how are we going to get them to work together with us. Supervisor Banach thinks this should be tabled until all these items can be worked out and corrected. Further adding that if his taxes have to go up to hire people to pick up leaves he wants his 68 acres of leaves picked up also.

Mr. Adams asked if he could burn his trees because they are diseased. Solicitor Bernathy said he would ask the opinion of someone who is an expert disease or pest control. Further stating that if Mr. Adams can get some declaration that it is a fire set for the prevention and control of disease or pests, that would be an exception and he would be allowed to do it. Supervisor Flansburg asked when he plans to burn it, stating that if we haven’t passed the ordinance yet maybe he should get it done. Solicitor Bernathy stated if you were clearing a lot to build a house that is an exception also.

A resident stated if you live on Tenth Street all around it there are 4 acre, 2 acre, 1 acre, 2 ½ acre, there are no 50 x 100 lots unless you go up another 300 feet up the road. Solicitor Bernathy stated his understanding is that there are substandard lots he did not say they were all substandard and you have to take that into consideration with proximity to Matamoras Borough.

Linda Schutz asked how many board members live in proximity to where the burning ban will be. Only Supervisor Ewbank. Ms. Schutz said it is a whole ordinance to accommodate for one person. Supervisor Ewbank said it is not only for him there are people in the audience who are in favor of the burning ban. Mrs. Schutz said we are already paying millions of dollars for something that supervisors did not want in there own back yard. Further stating if you are going to do it, it should be all of Westfall or none of Westfall. Solicitor Bernathy said it is one out of five Supervisors. Ms. Schutz said that maybe Supervisor Ewbank should not be allowed to vote on it.

Mr. Banach said he agrees with Supervisor Banach that the cart is before the horse. First we need to get control of the dump or we’ll be back to Katz again. Solicitor Bernathy said he hoped that mentioning Katz was in jest.

Supervisor Ewbank asked Mr. Schneider for confirmation that Matamoras was part of Mashipacong Island.

John Shewchuk said Supervisor Banach has summarized his opinion. He is against the burning ban, believing there could be different times to burn.

Dan Lawless said if we are going to do this you should go a little further and include the trash which has to stop. Discussion followed about the burning of trash which is already illegal.

Public hearing closed at 8:17 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa A. Green