Tag Archives: Bill Schneider

Regular Supervisors Meeting – January 2012

January 3, 2012

The regular meeting of the Westfall Township Board of Supervisors was held Tuesday, January 3, 2012

at 7:25 pm. The meeting was held at the Township Building on Delaware Drive and LaBarr Lane, Westfall Township.

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, and approximately twenty one members of the general public.

AGENDA: Supervisor Flansburg asked to add the re-opening of the budget to the agenda. Supervisor Banach moved approve the agenda. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Flansburg and carries with all in favor.

 

Public Comment: None.

MINUTES: The minutes of the December 6, 2011 meeting were discussed. Supervisor Banach would like to have the minutes amended to include Supervisor Muir’s comments about him. Solicitor Bernathy said the minutes should reflect what happens at the meeting as far as who made the motion, who seconded, and who voted. There is no requirement that the minutes are verbatim. Legally the voting is all that is required. Solicitor Bernathy went on to say the board needs to decide on policy of what the minutes should reflect and that they could become very cumbersome for the secretary. Supervisor Flansburg suggested a public apology for the people who had to sit and listen to the comment, stating it has no place on this board. Going on to offer an apology for the language used at that meeting. Supervisor Flansburg then offered Supervisor Banach an apology from the township. Supervisor Banach thanked Supervisor Flansburg and moved to approve the minutes of December 6, 2011. Motion is seconded by Vice-Chairman Fischer and carries with all in favor.

The minutes of the December 21, 2011 meeting were reviewed and approved on a motion by Vice-Chairman Fischer, seconded by Chairman Ewbank. Supervisor Banach abstains. Supervisor Flansburg and Supervisor Melvin were not in office at the time. Motion carried with two in favor and one abstention.

TREASURER’s REPORT: Scott Myer gave the treasurer’s report for December stating that all things considered 2011 was a good year. Income was 10% over budget. Expenses were in line with the budget. As a result of the solid year we were able to pay off a cash flow loan two years early. Supervisor Banach moved to approve the report. Supervisor Melvin seconds the motion. Motion carried with all in favor.

POLICE REPORT: Police Chief Stewart gave the report for December stating that there were 5,693 miles patrolled for the month and 172 calls for service. Chief Stewart reminded everyone to keep their cars locked because there have been people going through cars recently. Supervisor Flansburg asked about the 172 calls for service not adding up with the top report number. Chief Stewart said the 2nd page breaks everything down and that he only gives the number of crimes reported to the FBI. Supervisor Banach moved to approve the report. Motion is seconded by Vice-Chairman Fischer and carried with all in favor.

FIRE DEPARTMENT: Bill Koferl gave the Westfall Township Fire Department Report for December reporting 3 structure fires, 3 mutual aid calls, 3 motor vehicle accidents, 1 smoke investigation, 3 auto alarms for a total of 13 calls for the month, and 301 calls for the year. Total man hours for the year 3,602. There were 42 ambulance calls for the month, total calls year to date 665. Chief Koferl asked permission to attend the three parades in 2012 Port Jervis, Middletown and Holiday in July, October and December. Supervisor Flansburg moved to approve the department going to the parades. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Banach and carried with all in favor. Supervisor Flansburg moved to approve the Westfall Fire Department report. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Banach and carried with all in favor.

Jay Edwards gave the Mill Rift Fire Department report stating that on 12/8/11 they had a monthly meeting, on 12/17/11 they had a Mutual aid in Sparrowbush, 12/18/11 they had a structure fire and on 12/29/11 they ad a drill where they pumped new engine to tanker. They had a total of 42 man hours for the month and 821.25 for the year. The purchased a new “used” 1990 truck at a cost of $20,000.00. Motion to approve the report made by Supervisor Flansburg. Motion seconded by Vice-Chairman Fischer and carried with all favor.

HIGHWAY REPORT: Bill Schneider gave the report for December stating that the department had been out for light snow on 12/7 & 12/8. Robert Howard started work on 12/15/11. They have been clearing culvert pipes and drainage. There was light snow last night that caused them to put material down on Mountain Avenue. They’ve worked on the compost area. Had a tree down on Philips Lane. Mr. Schneider explained that on occasion they take care of Delaware Drive because it is a 3rd rate road for Penn Dot and at times it could take six hours for Penn Dot to get back to that road. Mr. Schneider asked the board if it was okay for the department to continue to take care of Delaware Drive on those occasions. Supervisor Flansburg asked Mr. Schneider’s opinion and whether or not they would be doing it on their way to plow Mill Rift anyway. Supervisor Flansburg said he would not have a problem in that case as it would improve ambulance calls and such. Supervisor Banach asked if Lisa Green should send a letter and have us keep track of how many times we are maintaining the road and possibly keep it even with Penn Dot. Mr. Schneider said he could address it at the Road Task Force. Vice-Chairman Fischer moved to approve report. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Flansburg and carried with all in favor.

BUILDING/ZONING REPORT: Mike Rendleman gave the report for December reporting two building permits, one sign permit and three zoning permits issued with fees of $ 1,192.00. Motion by Supervisor Banach to accept the report. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carries with all in favor.

CORRESPONDENCE: On dais for review.

OLD BUSINESS:

Act 47 Monthly Report: Solicitor Bernathy stated that the township is coming up on the two year anniversary of the Federal Bankruptcy Courts signing the order confirming the Townships Bankruptcy Plan as well as the Act 47 Recovery Plan which amounts to final disposition of the bankruptcy plan. The Township is operating within the confines of its budget and continues to meet its financial obligations. The Township continues to provide essential services. Vice-Chairman Fischer moved to accept the report. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carries with all in favor.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

Burning Ban Ordinance: Supervisor Banach moved to table the burning ban ordinance until we understand

it a little bit more clearly in regard to enforcement and what is going to be relative to participation and cooperation with Matamoras Borough. Also how this will impact the residents of that area and the taxpayers. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Flansburg and carried with all in favor.
Heaters Hill Emergency Culvert Repairs: The following three bids were received for the Heaters Hill Project. 1) Kobalt Construction, Inc. @ $168,000.00 2) Pioneer Construction Co. Inc. @ $ 77,000.00

3) Morgan Site Contractors LLC @ $62,512.97.  Supervisor Banach asked Scott Myer about funding. Mr. Myer said there is funding for the project. Supervisor Flansburg asked if this would take care of all of the problem areas or just the one part. Mr. Schneider said it will take care of the emergency repairs to the culverts but there are other areas that the township road crew are working on also. Mark Spatz with Herbert, Rowland & Grubic, Inc. explained the project and how it will replace both culverts with one box culvert. Discussion followed. Supervisor Flansburg asked how we are going to accommodate people going to and from work. Mr. Spatz said that was clear to the contractor. Supervisor Banach questioned whether or not Mr. Spatz discussed the bids with the two lowest bidders. He did. Morgan also gave a day to day breakdown of construction schedule. Supervisor Melvin asked in the event of a major snow storm will they be able to plow Heaters Hill. Mr. Schneider said yes, this could still be done. Supervisor Banach asked if HRG would have someone there to monitor the progress. Mr. Spatz said HRG was not contracted to do that. Mr. Schneider was going to handle that; however they would be happy to do that if necessary. Dan Lawless asked if this had to do with the hurricane. Mr. Spatz said the culvert has been in the ground for a long time. The weather and storm did not cause it. There has been deterioration. Mr. Lawless asked about the increased size of the pipe. Mr. Spatz said they are being increased to 73 x 55 and 73 x 55. Joseph Banach asked about life expectancy of the galvanized pipe. The life expectancy is sixty seven years. Supervisor Flansburg moved to accept the bid from Morgan Site Contractors LLC subject to the Solicitors review. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Banach and carried with all in favor.

Advertise for Services:  Supervisor Banach said this has been mentioned last year. It is a good idea to see if we could cut costs. Supervisor Melvin asked if we had a formal list of contracts. We do not have that. After a brief discussion the secretary was directed to compile a list of services by the next meeting for the Supervisors to review and decide upon which services they will begin to advertise for.

Reopen Budget: Supervisor Flansburg expressed his desire and right to reopen the budget. Supervisor Banach stated he believed it needs to be advertised by the 15th of February. Vice-Chairman Fischer stated that a lot of work went into the preparation of the budget. Solicitor Bernathy stressed the fact that the board is under a time constraint and this needs to be done within a timely manner as he checked the 2nd class township code. Solicitor Bernathy said the Court also gave approval of 15.7 mils. Discussion followed. Motion is made by Supervisor Flansburg to hold a special meeting for the purpose of amending the budget. The meeting will be held the following week, Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at 7:00 pm. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Banach and carries with all in favor. In the meantime Supervisor Flansburg and Supervisor Melvin will be given all budget worksheets.

 

SUBDIVISION REVIEW AND ACTION: None

Mr. Spatz stated that he needed the Easement Agreements for the Heaters Hill Projects.

Pike County Power & Light Advisory Board: Motion to appoint Supervisor Flansburg to the Advisory Board made by Vice-Chairman Fischer. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Banach and carries with all in favor.

Mr. Lawless wished to thank the Supervisors for passing the speed limit on Cummins Hill Road and for getting Penn Dot to fix the bottom of Cummins Hill Road.

 

ADJOURNMENT: Meeting was adjourned at 8.52 pm on a motion by Supervisor Banach. Motion seconded by Supervisor Flansburg and carried with all in favor.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa A. Green

Secretary

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

Secretary