Westfall Township, Matamoras, PA
May 22, 2012
The Westfall Township Board of Supervisors held a Special meeting on Tuesday, M ay 22, 2012 at 7:05 PM. The meeting was held at theTownshipBuilding on Delaware Drive andLa Barr Lane,WestfallTownship.
Those present were Vice-Chairman,Paul Fischer; Supervisors Raymond Banach,Larry Flansburg, andRobert Melvin; Solicitor, Thomas Farley and Secretary,Lisa Green. Also present were Debra Banach, Thomas York, Tom & Debbie Ryan, Dr. and Mrs. Waldman, Mary Smith, Evelyn DiLorenzo, and Valerie Pedone. Chairman,Robert Ewbankand Solicitor, Robert Bernathy were not present.
AGENDA: Motion to approve the agenda was made by Supervisor Flansburg. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Banach and carried with all in favor.
PUBLIC COMMENT: Supervisor Banach suggested the public wait until the people fromMalibu give their presentation stating there is only one item on the agenda this evening.
Veterans Charity Rodeo Roundup: Tom Ryan introduced himself to the board as the gentleman who has put this event together with Doc at the Ranch. He said they do a lot of charity work for Veterans organizations. This event is called “Hunts for Healing.” Luzerne Foundation Hunts for Healing gets no public funding. They take wounded veterans and veterans with PTSD and give them an opportunity to experience the outdoors like we do here inPennsylvania, they take them hunting, on hikes, trips, fishing etc. Mr. Ryan had them on his boat last year. Mindy the proprietor of Hunts for Healing purchased a barn and converted it into living quarters. She was aVietnam vet and a nurse inVietnam she houses 5-7 wounded Vet’s at a time. They come with mentors out ofBethesdaMaryland or Walter Reed. Mr. Ryan said if you’ve ever been around severely disabled veterans they are living longer due to the field hospitals and it is a struggle to live. Not having the experience of coming home to overwhelming joy from the Vietnam War, he and other vets have said this is never going to happen again. So this is one thing they are doing with having the rodeo to support to raise money for Hunts for Healing. We’ll have the rodeo, the bounce house, the mechanical bull, the pro-rodeo, food, The Cowboy Larry Show, and if the Township approves the fireworks we’ll have the fireworks show. It will be 4:00-9:30 event. Mr. Ryan said as of recipient of the Purple Heart it’s an honor to help fellow veterans. Supervisor Flansburg thanked Mr. Ryan for his work with the veterans.
Dr. Waldman of Foster Hill Road said he is a veteran and veterans don’t need fireworks. It scares them with bombs going off with PTSD, he is opposed to the fireworks stating it makes no sense. Supervisor Banach clarified that this is one event.
Valerie Pedone commented that the country and fireworks don’t mix she is married to a veteran as well.
Mary Smith said she lives right next to the Malibu Dude Ranch she will personally have to move her horses, as fireworks to not mix with horses. Mrs. Smith said she cannot lose a horse they are very dear to her and they’re dear to the ranch also. Her father is 92 years old and a WWII vet.
Supervisor Banach questioned if the ranch ever had fireworks before. Manager, Thomas York answered they’ve had fireworks on Fourth of July and New Year’s. Supervisor Banach asked if they’ve ever had permits. Mike Rendleman said they’ve never come to us for permits. Mrs. Smith is concerned if we approved this event we will set a precedent. Mrs. Pedone asked why they need the fireworks. Supervisor Flansburg said he believed the fireworks would entice more people to come. Mrs. Pedone said they need to leave the fireworks out. Supervisor Flansburg asked if we could reach a compromise. Mrs. Pedone answered Fourth of July because that is to be expected. Further discussion followed. Solicitor Farley questioned the zoning officer as to whether or not there is anything in the zoning ordinance regulating fireworks. There is not it is all regulated under the state law.
Thomas York said there is not going to be fireworks on Fourth of July nor the weekend before or after. Supervisor Flansburg asked if a compromise could be reached since there was no fireworks planned for the Fourth of July could they let this it then go for June 2, 2012. Supervisor Banach asked if the ranch would be able to help Mrs. Smith move her horses. They agreed to help anybody who needed it. Mrs. Smith asked how would they be assured that they were not going to have fireworks. Supervisor Melvin said there is a list of criteria that they need to follow that the state of Pennsylvania imposes, such as being registered with the Attorney General, having a $1,000,000 insurance policy. That the fire chief is ultimately responsible who is there for fire safety. Mrs. Smith said she is under the assumption that if it’s dry they will not have the fireworks. The fire chief said their setbacks are well within their property line. They need a 500 foot setback. Mrs. Waldman asked if all the requirements have been met and how many events does this cover. Supervisor Melvin said yes they have been met. Vice-chairman Fischer said this is for this one event. Supervisor Banach asked if they’ve contacted our police department, the state police, and Milford Borough to make sure traffic is flowing. Mr. Ryan said he has contacted John Curran the constable at Dingman who has spoken to Eastern Pike Regional Police Department and will be meeting with the State Police and Milford Borough. They also need to get the ambulances which Milford covers. Supervisor Banach asked for the anticipated number of people. Mr. Ryan said due to the cause were expecting a fairly large crowd and every dollar is going to the cause. Supervisor Flansburg directed his comment to Mrs. Waldman saying although he did not speak to Mrs. Dubinsky he delivered packages to Dr. and said there would be public comment tonight if they had any concerns whatsoever and Dr. Dubinsky said that the horses heard gunshots all the time, that there is a shooting range there and for the benefit of the veterans they have no problem with their horses. Mr. Ryan said that Interstate is the one that’s doing the fireworks and they are very professional organization.
Supervisor Banach questioned if they have done everything on the letter that we have asked them to do. Solicitor Farley said he believes everything is being sent to his office. Supervisor Melvin said before Bob left on vacation he received the insurance certificate and the letter from the Attorney General. Solicitor Farley said when he was President of the Chamber many years ago They used interstate to do fireworks atMatamorasAirportParkeach year and never had a problem.
Supervisor Flansburg said if he could ask everyone who came in objection if we could reach a compromise to not do fireworks for the Fourth of July and allow this event on June 2, 2012. Discussion followed. The public wanted to be assured that if the event was approved for June 2, 2012 that they would not do fireworks on July 4 or any other day. Evelyn DiLorenzo asked if Milford Township could be notified because everything that’s going on up at the ranch with the rodeo is going to affect Milford Township.
Supervisor Melvin moved to approve the Fireworks event conditioned upon the May 10, 2012 letter prepared by Robert F. Bernathy, and that no other fireworks will be displayed unless they come before the Westfall Township Board of Supervisors for approval in the future. Motion is seconded by supervisor Flansburg and carries with all in favor.
Supervisor Flansburg said he will speak to Milford Township tomorrow.
The fireworks display will go off at 9:30 PM. Mrs. Smith asked why the fireworks were being displayed at 9:30 PM. Mr.Yorksaid they needed to get the Bulls out prior to the show.
Mr. Ryan said thank you on behalf of the veterans.
Supervisor Banach asked for a report back from the neighbors to get feedback on how it went, to see what was good, what was bad, what could be changed with or without fireworks in the future. Supervisor Melvin invited the public to our June 5, 2012 meeting saying this will help shape us in what we do in the future. Maybe it’s not Malibu but will be somebody else doing something in the future. Mrs. Waldman said she will come back, she does not live on Foster Hill Road that there is a house there that is owned by someone who is not here this evening and is being rented on June 1, 2012 to a fine tenant, a new priest of the Episcopal Church and Milford. Mrs. Waldman is concerned that she will be waking up on June 2 finding out about this rodeo. Supervisor Banach suggested flyers be made and circulated. Supervisor Melvin said hopefully the landlord clued the tenant in on that. Dr. Waldman asked if we had a website for people that were not able to come to post their comments. Supervisor Flansburg said on the website is his e-mail address and cell phone number and he tries to answer all of them within 24 hours. Mrs. Green said the addresses www.westfalltownship.org .
ADJOURNMENT: Supervisor Melvin moved to adjourn at 7:34 PM. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Flansburg and carries with all in favor.
Lisa A. Green, Secretary