Monthly Archives: February 2013

Supervisors Minutes January 23, 2013

Westfall Township, Matamoras, PA
January 23, 2013

The Westfall Township Board of Supervisors held a workshop meeting on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 7:00 pm 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 and Larry Flansburg; Solicitor, Robert Bernathy and Secretary, Lisa Green. Also present were Roadmaster, William Schneider; Zoning Officer, Michael Rendleman; Rob Llewellyn, Beth Brelje, John Dalton and Debra Banach. Supervisor, Robert Melvin was not present.

AGENDA: The agenda was approved on a motion by Supervisor Banach. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Flansburg and carried with all in favor.



Review Zoning as per Signage: Supervisor Banach mentioned that Home Depot would like an off premise sign and he was under the impression it was not allowed, although it looks like the zoning ordinance says in one place that it is not allowed and in another it is. Mike Rendleman said Home Depot did not ask for an off premise sign. They asked for a 50 foot sign on their lot and there is already a 65 foot sign on their lot, stating that off premise signs are not allowed. However there is no reason they cannot advertise on an existing Billboard. Supervisor Flansburg said he’s been in touch with Cindy from Home Depot and with Debbie from their legal department and their problem is the trees block the sign that they have already and that once someone turns onto Reuben Bell Drive they miss Home Depot and have to turn around on residential property. They would like a sign that tells people where to turn in and they are going to send information but it has not been received yet. Mr. Rendleman said they have a directional sign on their property that says “Home Depot Turn Here” at the entrance to their driveway. Supervisor Flansburg said what they would like is a sign close to Reuben Bell Drive or the intersection. Solicitor Bernathy questioned Mr. Rendleman if he agreed that people were missing the sign and going past Home Depot. Mr. Rendleman said he hasn’t had a complaint since they installed the directional sign. Further stating that he does not know why they can’t go before PennDOT and get a directional sign such as the Riverview Inn has on Route 6 & 209. Mr. Rendleman said if the supervisors change the zoning ordinance that applies to everybody in the Township. Solicitor Bernathy said he has to advise the supervisors that it would be a fundamental change to the zoning ordinance and that most municipalities prohibit off premise signs. Supervisor Flansburg questioned what was easier a variance or an amendment to the zoning ordinance. Solicitor Bernathy said a variance is based on hardship and that’s not easy to get. Solicitor Bernathy advised that you have to consider the impact a zoning change will have. Mr. Rendleman said the sign ordinance has issues in several different areas. For example there is a matrix of signs that are allowed and yet two pages later it says it is not allowed. Mr. Rendleman said this creates a mechanism that is not easy to control. Discussion was held about Phantom Fireworks. Mr. Rendleman said they did not come in to put the purple logo on the building. Supervisor Flansburg suggested tabling this item until he receives the information from Home Depot; however he wanted to mention that he has received phone calls from a church group about the billboard sign by the elementary school that has the woman in the bikini advertising for Dr. Buckley. Some people are finding it offensive. Solicitor Bernathy questioned if it was obscene. It is not. Solicitor Bernathy said we have to be careful about regulating content. Further discussion followed regarding the sign section of the zoning ordinance. Solicitor Bernathy suggested reaching out to Charlie Schmehl the draftsman of the ordinance.

Martin Luther King Day: Supervisor Banach said he doesn’t understand why the Township doesn’t give this holiday to the employees because banks and post office are closed. Mrs. Green said the township employees get 12 vacation days per year. Mr. Schneider said the highway department would probably still work. Supervisor Flansburg questioned how the day was on the holiday. Mrs. Green said it was quiet but she found work to do, stating that half the municipalities take the holiday off and half do not. Chairman Ewbank said he knows Matamoras takes it as a holiday because their street department was not out collecting garbage. The board decided to make it a township holiday and amend the employee policy manual. This item will be added to the February 5, 2013 meeting agenda.


Transaction Tax: Solicitor Bernathy said going back to September 4, 2012 we had on the agenda a proposed tax. He did legal research and confirmed that research with the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors for purposes of considering a tax which would provide for the issuance of a transaction tax on fireworks specifically, that would also apply to perhaps cigarettes, which could be discussed. Specifically this transaction tax would be on fireworks to include the purchase, sale, loan, pledge, gifts, transfer, delivery, or other disposition of any fireworks within the Township and that would apply to anyone engaged in that activity. This has been provided for us through the Local Tax Enabling Act which specifically describes a transaction tax. At that time Solicitor Bernathy prepared a hybrid ordinance which was an Amusement/ Transaction Tax Ordinance and the Amusement Tax was enacted and the Transaction Tax was tabled. At this time the supervisors have asked to revisit the transaction tax. Fireworks would include any combustible or explosive composition or any substance or combination of substances or any article prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or audible effect by combustion, explosion or detonation. That is a definition that will be part of the ordinance. The supervisors had discussed the actual transaction and the tax that would be proposed would be a .05% on each transaction. There are provisions in the ordinance for penalties as there would be for any other ordinance, there are provisions for enforcement of the ordinance and provisions for the responsibilities of the owners and operators of these establishments. The ordinance provides for civil penalties and he finds that type of conduct as unlawful. Solicitor Bernathy said those are at times boilerplate to all ordinances and added that this has been confirmed by the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors. Solicitor Bernathy continued by stating that with the amusement tax there was case law found in Pennsylvania where other jurisdictions and municipalities passed amusement taxes. With this situation there is no law on point however PSATS has made it clear that there is nothing prohibiting the Township from doing this. Solicitor Bernathy had a meeting with a representative from Phantom fireworks who wanted to discuss this proposed ordinance which was tabled back in October, and in the end they are recognizing the Township’s authority to enact such a transaction tax, understanding that it would be .05%. They want to work with the Township and made it clear that they also wanted to explore a number of other options in addition to that, which would include having property of which they would supervise personnel in the detonation of fireworks. They have also suggested as they have done and other municipalities that off-duty police officers would be hired as security. Solicitor Bernathy said again they are coming in good faith and he cannot say it is not going to be opposed because there was opposition to the amusement tax. Solicitor Bernathy thinks the number could be well over $100,000 if cigarettes are taxed as well.

Supervisor Flansburg questioned if what Solicitor Bernathy saying is that they would like to work with us and we would work with them. Solicitor Bernathy said yes that is what he’s saying and this is now the next step. This ordinance will be added to the next meeting agenda for purposes of advertising for public hearing. Solicitor Bernathy questioned what the board wanted to do regarding the cigarettes, stating this is not a sales tax this is a transaction tax that is allowable under the Local Tax Enabling Act however most municipalities have not used it. Supervisor Banach questioned if this transaction tax is unique to businesses in Westfall Township wondering if we placed a transaction tax on cigarettes would we also have the tax on lumber or tattoos. Supervisor Flansburg said what he believes Supervisor Banach is asking is can it be a transaction tax based on all businesses in Westfall Township so that we are not picking on one business. Discussion followed regarding the definition of the transaction tax and who it would apply to. Supervisor Banach suggested doing a separate ordinance for fireworks and cigarettes.

Supervisor Flansburg suggested inviting the cigarettes stores to a meeting to get their input. Solicitor Bernathy said as the record would indicate there was opposition by Phantom Fireworks and they have now reconsidered and said they wanted to be a good neighbor. Chairman Ewbank asked if there was a definition of fireworks and if it would apply to somebody selling sparklers down the street. Solicitor Bernathy said there is it would be any combustible or explosive composition or any substance or combination of substances or any article for the purposes of producing a visible or audible affects by combustion explosion or detonation. Further stating this is not applicable to sparklers.

Beth Brelje questioned if there was a law that said you could not tax cigarettes. Solicitor Bernathy said he is not aware of that but he will research it. Supervisor Banach questioned if this would apply only to cigarettes or to all tobacco products. Solicitor Bernathy said it would apply to all tobacco products.

Supervisor Flansburg said people that are going to hold quilting convention at the Best Western questioned how they go about paying the Amusement tax. Solicitor Bernathy said the ordinance provides a reporting requirement for those that were holding the quilting show. Vice-chairman Fischer said that Best Western just had a gun show and the ordinance went into effect on January 4, 2013 said that was applicable to them. Supervisor Banach suggested giving the registration forms to the businesses. Mrs. Green will take care of that. The transaction tax will be added to the February 5, 2013 meeting agenda.

2013 TAN: Solicitor Bernathy said that our Treasurer, Scott Myer had requested that Solicitor Bernathy have a Tax Anticipation Note ready in the event the Township needed it, however in Mr. Myer’s opinion he does not feel we need that at this time. Solicitor Bernathy said Mr. Myer thought the TAN would be like a line of credit in that we would not have to pay interest unless we drew on the money but that is not the way this loan was set up. Supervisor Flansburg said that Mr. Myer contacted him today and that he thought that since we would be paying interest on the money until April and paying a cost of $1000 to close the loan that was highway robbery. Mr. Myer said Milford Borough received a TAN for $150 from Wayne Bank. Supervisor Flansburg said Mr. Myer thought we had gone too far in the loan process and that we had to take it now. Solicitor Bernathy said absolutely not the Township does not have to take it and that when he first contacted the Dime Banks attorney he told him he was not sure it was even needed that we were just doing it on a precautionary basis. Adding that if Mr. Myer says it is not necessary then we will not take. Supervisor Banach suggested shopping around next year. Further discussion was held.

PSATS Convention April 21 – 24, 2013: Mrs. Green said the deadline for early registration is this Friday, January 25, 2013 and that she checked with Supervisor Melvin who is not able to go. Solicitor Bernathy suggested one of the board members attending. Supervisor Flansburg said Mrs. Green could put his name down on the registration form. Someone will attend.

Mr. Rendleman said after a cursory review of the zoning ordinance he does not see any reason why Home Depot cannot put up an off premise sign in the C-2 zone and it meets the other requirements of the ordinance. Solicitor Bernathy said that’s how he read it too. Mr. Rendleman said however there is another sign on the Zitone’s Property.


Township Roads: Bill Schneider said he has taken a tour of the Township roads with Supervisor Banach and Supervisor Melvin and showed them some of the areas of concern, stating that we have to prioritize some of the issues. One of the worst is the wall on Heaters Hill Road. It will be a problem if that collapses. He has pictures of the different areas, some of which were fixed such as the wash outs at the bottom of Heaters Hill and Bluestone Blvd., and some areas will need a lot more work. Possibly DEP and the Conservation District will need to get involved. Al Handy our former engineer had done a report several years ago and a lot of the work estimated was for the township to do themselves. The turnaround at the end of River Road in Mill Rift is starting to collapse. Mr. Schneider said if they can get the okay they could take the barriers back and fill that area with pipe and stone. Discussion was held regarding plow blades that were used in one area of Mill Rift. The one project for the Heaters Hill culvert pipe was fixed already and funded by FEMA along with the Decker Lane project. Supervisor Flansburg questioned if Mr. Schneider had a rough idea on the cost to fix the bottom of Heaters Hill. Mr. Schneider did not, however he said they could fix what’s there in place. However the DEP and the Conservation District need to get involved to find out the permitting requirements because there is a stream involved. Supervisor Flansburg said he felt they should prioritize the things they can do as opposed to those projects they need to hire someone for. Chairman Ewbank said the report from Al handy was done five years ago and the cost was $300,000 then, questioning what it would be today. Supervisor Banach suggested Mr. Schneider complete an action plan and pick the worst projects that need to get fixed first and get a legal opinion and the proper permitting and possibly get a grant through the Conservation District. Discussion was held on the projects that Mr. Handy reported on back in 2007. One project has been completed and the other is in process. Supervisor Flansburg questioned if you would increase the size of the pipes in fixing the projects. Mr. Schneider said if you increase the size of the pipes you need engineering therefore they will stay with the same size. Supervisor Banach questioned making the gravel part of Pond Drive seasonal. Mr. Schneider said if the property there ever gets developed the whole road would need to be brought up to Township specifications. Supervisor Banach is going to speak with the Conservation District on Monday and commented that we really need to start fixing the areas of concern because it is a liability issue.

Chairman Ewbank said for anyone interested they should take a ride around Cummins Hill Road to see the work that the road crew has been doing.

Mr. Schneider said the board should note that there are about seven telephone poles that need to be moved by Orange & Rockland that are too close to the road. He believes the township needs to send a letter to O & R. However the electric company will probably move the poles but the cable company takes forever.

Discussion was held regarding guide rails in town. Mr. Schneider said they have some guide rail at the shop.

Complaint re: Lot 40 Keystone Park: Mr. Schneider said he went down to take a look at the property and the homeowner showed him where the problem was, but this really isn’t a road issue. This is the low lying property and the road belongs to Milford Township. Discussion followed. Solicitor Bernathy stated that this is a preexisting condition and there is no liability on the part of the township. That needs to be relayed to them kindly.


Docket Review: Mr. Schneider said this came up during his road tour with Supervisor Melvin. The information provided by Mr. Schneider explains why the docket approval was reduced from 825,000 gpd to 375,000 gpd. Mr. Schneider said the gallonage was increased to 825,000 gpd for the Katz development and because Milford and Matamoras wanted to hook up. However the Project was reduced and Milford and Matamoras decided not to hook up therefore the gallonage was lost. Supervisor Flansburg questioned if they could get back to the 825,000 gpd. Discussion followed as to whether there was enough for the senior housing project and whether or not there would be enough if Milford decided to hook up. Mr. Schneider said if the authority was sold and it went bankrupt the sewer plant would fall back to the Township. Solicitor Bernathy confirmed that. Vice-chairman Fischer questioned if there was enough for the entire borough of Milford. Discussion followed. Supervisor Banach questioned what benefit Westfall Township residents would have it the sewer authority expanded. Solicitor Bernathy said it would add value to the municipality. Mr. Schneider said the tax payers do not have for the Authority it’s paid for by user fees. Further discussion followed.



Municipal Authority Land Development: Solicitor Bernathy said the Supervisors have a recommendation from Planning to approve the land development subject to the following conditions: 1) Review comments from Pike County Planning Commission 2) Address the details for the building as it relates to gas 3) Comments from the fire department regarding the gravel driveway and access regarding the structures. Solicitor Bernathy stated that the NPDES permit has been approved. The supervisors agreed that the Municipal Authority’s engineer did not need to be in attendance at the meeting. This item will be added to the February 5, 2013 meeting agenda.

EXECUTIVE SESSION: Called at 8:27 pm for personnel and possible litigation.

Adjournment: Meeting adjourned at 10:12 pm on a motion by Supervisor Banach, seconded by Supervisor Flansburg. Motion carried with all in favor.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa A. Green, Secretary


Supervisors Minutes January 7, 2013 Regular Meeting

Westfall Township, Matamoras, PA

January 7, 2013

The regular meeting of the Westfall Township Board of Supervisors was held Monday, January 7, 2013 at 7:32 pm. The meeting was held at the TownshipBuilding on Delaware Drive and LaBarr Lane, WestfallTownship.

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; Zoning Officer, Michael Rendleman; Bill Schneider, Bill Koferl, Rob Llewellyn, Ed Isaacson, Beth Brelje, Chuck Pranski, and 14 members of the general public.

AGENDA: The agenda was amended to add Eastern Pike Regional Police Department under Old Business. Motion to add the transaction tax under new business made by Supervisor Flansburg. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carries with all in favor. Motion to adopt the agenda made by Vice-chairman Fischer. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Banach and carries with all in favor.


MINUTES: Minutes of the December 4, 2012 and December 19, 2012 meetings were approved on a motion by Supervisor Melvin. Motion is seconded by Vice-chairman Fischer. Supervisor Flansburg abstained. Motion carried with four in favor and one abstention. Mrs. Green asked Solicitor Bernathy if he reviewed the minutes of December 19, 2012 with regard to Smokers Choice. Solicitor Bernathy has not had the opportunity to review them yet. Motion to approve the December 19, 2012 minutes subject to review of Solicitor Bernathy made by Supervisor Banach. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Melvin. Supervisor Flansburg abstained. Motion carries with four in favor and one abstention.

TREASURER’s REPORT: Scott Myer gave the treasurer’s report stating that 2012 was a solid year aside from the Dombrosky settlement. Income was $143,000 over budget partially from the PEMA grant but if you back that out we were still $80,000 over budget from an operational standpoint which is very good.  We were $152,000 over budget and expenses which wasn’t good but if you backed out the $175,000 settlement we were actually $25,000 under budget. All things considered it was a solid year. Supervisor Banach moved to approve report. Motion seconded by Vice-Chairman Fischer and carries with all in favor.

POLICE REPORT: Police Chief, Chad Stewart gave the report for December. There have been 170 calls for service and 5,543 miles patrolled for the month. Chief Stewart said also in the supervisors packets is the annual report for the Eastern Pike Regional Police Department. Supervisor Banach moved to approve the police report. Motion seconded by Vice-Chairman Fischer and carries with all in favor.

FIRE DEPARTMENT: Ed Isaacson gave the Mill Rift Fire Department report for December stating they had a Drill night on 12/5, the Monthly meeting on 12/11, a second Drill night on 12/19 and a medical emergency on 12/27. Total man hours for the month were 49.

Bill Koferl gave the Westfall Township Fire Department Report for December reporting 1 Landing zone, 1 Motor Vehicle Accidents, 2 Auto Alarm – Commercial false, 1 Standby, 2 Mutual Aid, 1 Controlled burn, 1 Hazmat, 1 Chimney fire,  1 Assist EMS with lifting, 1 Commercial structure fire, 1 Wires burning and 2 Residential Alarms. Total man-hours for the month 90.58. For EMS there were 40 calls in Westfall Township, 4 in Milford Township and 4 in Port Jervis. Total calls for EMS were 927 for the year. Mr. Koferl said this will be his last report as Rob Llewellyn will be the new chief. The board thanked Mr. Koferl. Motion to accept both reports made by Supervisor Flansburg. Motion seconded by Vice-chairman Fischer and carries with all in favor.

HIGHWAY REPORT: Bill Schneider gave the report for December stating that they are continuing cleanup from Hurricane Sandy and have been doing shoulder and right-of-way clearing on Doug Miller Rd., Bluestone Boulevard, and Cummins Hill Road. There trying to widen the roads that have narrowed over the years. They had two storms in December that required plowing and product. Equipment was maintained. Mr. Schneider said he attended the road task force meeting and he took Supervisor Banach on a tour of the Township roads. Supervisor Melvin questioned whether or not the issue that came up with the Delaware Valley School District last month was resolved. Mr. Schneider said that has been taken care of. The school district will no longer be getting material from the Township. Supervisor Banach moved to accept the report. Motion is seconded by Vice-chairman Fischer and carried with all in favor. Supervisor Banach suggested to the board that each of them take the road tour with Mr. Schneider and then schedule a workshop to discuss the work that needs to be done. Supervisor Banach said over the years the street department has given up a lot of money to other areas in the Township and the crew is doing an outstanding job, however there are things that they will not be able to handle on their own and we need to get an action plan together. We may need to get the conservation district involved with things and have legal counsel. Supervisor Banach said it is eye-opening taking that tour and this is one legal requirement that we have is to maintain the roads which our citizens drive on. Supervisor Melvin suggested each supervisor take the tour with Mr. Schneider prior to the next monthly meeting at which time a workshop can be scheduled.

BUILDING/ZONING REPORT: Michael Rendleman gave the report for December stating there were three electrical permits, one building permit, one mechanical and one zoning permit issued. Total fees of $510.25 were collected. Vice-Chairman Fischer moved to accept the report. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carries with all in favor. Mrs. Green explained that Mr. Rendleman used to attend all planning board meetings, however since BIU was hired for zoning Mr. Rendleman has only been attending the supervisors meeting. Mrs. Tonkin who was Chairman of the planning commission recommended that Mr. Rendleman continue to attend the planning commission meetings. Mrs. Green said there are situations where Mr. Rendleman’s attendance would be beneficial. However he would not have to attend all meetings. Supervisor Banach asked Mr. Rendleman for his thoughts. Mr. Rendleman said he doesn’t have a problem with that, the only reason he wasn’t attending is because it was not part of the agreement that was made with BIU. Solicitor Bernathy said this should be handled on an as needed basis as there are situations in the beginning of the project where it is necessary for the zoning officer to be in attendance. Supervisor Flansburg will call Carl Fregoni the Regional Manager for BIU on Wednesday.

CORRESPONDENCE: On dais for review.


Act 47 Monthly Report: Solicitor Bernathy stated the time has come to request review of the townships status with the state. That could be done by motion to consider removal from the Act 47 Plan. Mrs. Green said that Matt Domines is no longer with DCED. Supervisor Flansburg moved to request the Township’s review of the Act 47 Plan. Motion is seconded by Vice-chairman Fischer and carries with all in favor. Solicitor Bernathy said otherwise the Township continues to operate within the confines of its budget and continues to meet its financial obligations. The Township continues to provide essential services.  Supervisor Melvin moved to approve report. Motion is seconded by Vice-chairman Fischer and carries with all in favor.

Review Zoning as per Signage: Supervisor Banach moved to schedule a workshop for January 23, 2013 at 7:00 PM. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carries with all in favor. Supervisor Banach asked Mr. Rendleman if he will be available for that meeting. Mr. Rendleman said he would be available.

Berkheimer Agreement – Amusement Tax: Solicitor Bernathy said he has reviewed the agreement and he has a comment letter dated December 20, 2012. The agreement can be signed subject to those four changes. Motion is made by Supervisor Flansburg to approve the agreement with the four changes suggested by Solicitor Bernathy. Motion is seconded by Vice-chairman Fischer and carries with all in favor.

Eastern Pike Regional Police Department: Supervisor Melvin said he wanted to have the discussion because we did send a letter to the commission regarding the 12 month notice and they’ve had two other officers resign. They have to start discussing filling some of the vacancies. They are down three officers to date and are looking to replace two. The problem they are having is the letter is going to hinder an officer joining the Police Department and giving up a full-time job to come work at the Eastern Pike Regional Police Department. Vice-chairman Fischer said we are down part-time officers as well and on behalf of the community at large he feels the letter should be rescinded for the welfare of the department, the officers, and their families. Supervisor Flansburg said he feels before that could happen, the board has to have an intelligent conversation on why the letter was written in the first place and get an answer to those problems. Supervisor Flansburg said he does not know if the conversation should happen now or at a workshop meeting in the future. Solicitor Bernathy cautioned the board that some of this is regarding personnel which should be accomplished in executive session.

Supervisor Banach said we have to get the counsel of Matamoras Borough here to sit down and go over some of the issues. Solicitor Bernathy said he has already made that request via correspondence on behalf of the Supervisors but has not heard back. Supervisor Banach said the financial end of it needs to be worked out before we continue to dig deeper and deeper. Solicitor Bernathy said that they have agreed to work on the budgetary issues together commenting that it should have never gotten this far. Vice-chairman Fischer said the letter has made its point and all parties are coming together to try to keep any problems from coming up. Supervisor Flansburg questioned if the letter is retracted that all of the issues will be met. Supervisor Melvin said he felt the issues were budgetary. Supervisor Flansburg said there are a few other issues out there that need to be discussed and that he will gladly say publicly that he would retract the letter if all of the issues will be met.

Supervisor Banach felt we should go ahead and set the workshop meeting to get things ironed out. Solicitor Bernathy said he felt the main issue has been resolved by agreeing to include the supervisors in the budget process, further stating for whatever reason that hasn’t happened this past year. Vice-chairman Fischer said personally he believes the sooner we resend the letter the better off we are going to be. Supervisor Banach said until we look at our finances and come to the realization of what we can spend we cannot move forward, further stating there have been deals made that the supervisors had no knowledge of and we are expected to pay for it. Solicitor Bernathy said these are issues involving personnel and potential litigation and must be handled in executive session. Discussion followed. Vice-chairman Fischer moved to rescind the letter that was sent to Matamoras Borough Council regarding the intent to withdraw. Motion was seconded by Supervisor Melvin. Chairman Ewbank said we need to have guarantees that the issues will be met. Solicitor Bernathy said they have to recognize that this Township is one of the funding entities. Solicitor Bernathy said we have received a letter from counsel for Matamoras Borough that he immediately responded to and we have not heard back from them yet. We have in good faith asked for them to meet with us. Supervisor Banach said he’s been on the board since 2008 and has continually asked if the Police Department was union or not and the answer he’s been given is that it’s complicated questioning what’s complicated. Further stating that we have employees here who have not been given raises in years and we have supervisors who don’t take their salary yet the Police Department is given guaranteed raises, take-home cars, and insurance for their families. Vice-chairmen Fischer said that’s a benefit package they receive because their pay is not up to par for their job duties and there has to be a carrot to entice officers to come and work for the department. Vice-chairman Fischer further stated a motion has been made and seconded. Supervisor Melvin said from a budgetary standpoint he feels it’s incumbent upon the commission to see that Westfall pays no more than what we’ve paid this year or last year except for possibly $1,000 and clampdown on the spending. Supervisor Banach said the contract says it is based on the census and Matamoras has more residents and he feels the split should be 50-50. Further questioning why Westfall Township is taking the brunt of all the money. Further stating he is not against the Police Department, he feels they are doing a good job but we need to know if we can afford the department both now and in the future. The meeting needs to be done to get the issues resolved or were just kicking the can down the road. Solicitor Bernathy said he will follow-up with Matamoras Borough Council solicitor. Chairman Ewbank questioned if the letter is rescinded and three months later we find that we can’t work things out what happens with the letter. Solicitor Bernathy said you will lose a year and further stated that he never believed it was Supervisors intention to dissolve the Police Department the intention was that it was the only vehicle to put them on notice that the supervisors wanted to be made part of the budget process and for whatever reason they weren’t involved in 2012. The Supervisors want to make sure that doesn’t happen in 2013 and beyond. And we need to discuss specifically the effect the Regionalization Agreement has on this as well as the Collective Bargaining Agreement. That is what Solicitor Bernathy’s letter addressed and the sooner that meeting happens the better. Further stating that if they rescind the letter they have to go another year. Chairman Ewbank said our obligation is to the taxpayers of Westfall Township not to the Police Commission the Department or Matamoras Borough. Vice-chairman Fischer said he wants to remind the board that the Westfall Township share is only $15,000 more than the Westfall Township Police Department budget was in 2007 further stating that this only an approximate $2000 more per year.

Beth Brelje questioned Supervisor Flansburg on what his thoughts are. Supervisor Flansburg said he believed this has to be discussed in executive session. Solicitor Bernathy said he is advising that because this has to do with personnel, which is protected and privileged as well as potential litigation. Ms. Brelje said it sounds like a budgetary issue. Solicitor Bernathy said he keeps referring to two separate agreements which are the Regionalization Agreement in the Collective Bargaining Agreement and there may be breaches to those agreements and it is for that very reason why this needs to be discussed in executive session.

Ed Isaacson said he believes the letter is why we are losing officers because they are not sure about their futures and as far as the population goes Mr. Isaacson questioned how many hours per week the big box stores use of the police department. Further stating he knows officers that left the department because of the letter.

Chuck Pranski said this is going to become like Milford Borough which is known as the training ground for the Police Officers. Stating they will not stay with the department.

Supervisor Flansburg said if Vice-chairman Fischer can guarantee that his issues will be met he would rescind the letter. Vice-Chairman Fischer said he cannot guarantee that because other people are involved and he doesn’t know what the issues are. Further stating he does not have that kind of power. The only guarantee he could make is that they will address the issues. Supervisor Flansburg said he would like to go on record as stating he does not have a problem with the Police Department or the personnel. Chairman Ewbank agreed with Supervisor Flansburg’s comment. Supervisor Banach said eventually our employees with the Township are going to retire and we need to buy out their sick days and we need to figure out now how to do that by making cuts, making adjustments and running everything as a business, a money making business otherwise we are going to be at this point every year. Supervisor Flansburg said Matamoras Borough is at their max and they have no more money. They need to find ways to cut their budget as well.

Mr. Pranski suggested that the remaining three supervisors attend the police commission meetings, noting that Chairman Ewbank was at the last meeting. Supervisor Flansburg said that he and Supervisor Banach were at the meeting prior to that and at the last joint meeting between Westfall and Matamoras that we initiated we brought coffee and doughnuts and they publicly humiliated our Chairman at that meeting. Mr. Pranski questioned how things are not getting communicated or lost. Stating an accusation was made that things were being done behind our backs. Solicitor Bernathy stated that is a matter of compliance with an agreement. Stating this Township is a funding entity for that department very specifically pursuant to an agreement that may have been breached and that is something that needs to be discussed in executive session. Further stating we should move on. Mr. Pranski said everything needs to be discussed in executive session. Questioning the matter with Mr. Dombrosky saying the word around town is the supervisors of this Township made an offer to him that the insurance company advised against. And that there was no written agreement that he would get his job back. Solicitor Bernathy said we are not here to speak on that and that the matter has been settled. Solicitor Bernathy said that negotiations that led up to the settlement are not part of public record.

Beth Brelje said a few meetings ago when discussing the Dombrosky issue she was told the insurance was the subject of potential litigation, commenting that in fact it is not settled. Solicitor Bernathy said the Dombrosky lawsuit which is represented in court has been settled, however there may be further litigation. Ms. Brelje questioned if the Supervisors could discuss those issues about the Police Commission which are not matters of executive session. Solicitor Bernathy said yes they could discuss what issues are not executive session, and further stating that the Dombrosky litigation has been settled, the settlement agreement is a matter of public record. As a result of that settlement there may be further litigation that will be instituted by the Township against possibly the insurance carrier and those attorneys that represented the Township and that cannot be discussed. Ms. Brelje questioned Supervisor Flansburg on what those issues are that he can’t discuss. Supervisor Flansburg said they are matters of executive session. Discussion followed. Supervisor Flansburg then addressed Mr. Pranski stating it was he and Chairman Ewbank that were at the settlement hearing and they shared information with the board as they were supposed to do stating any information Mr. Pranski has is frankly bull and that he has no idea where he’s getting his information. Solicitor Bernathy said he is so factually incorrect and he has no idea where he’s getting his information. Mr. Pranski questioned if there was a written agreement that Mr. Dombrosky would get his job back. Chairman Ewbank said no. Solicitor Bernathy said that was a matter that was accomplished way back when in executive session. Mr. Pranski questioned why the township hasn’t fought this and left the meeting irate. Ms. Brelje said the supervisors have the option of discussing things outside of executive session. Solicitor Bernathy said he is advising against that because they would be circumventing the law.

Chairman Ewbank said it is time to move on. There is a motion on the floor to rescind the letter and Chairman Ewbank asked for a vote. Vice-chairman Fischer and Supervisor Melvin vote in favor. Supervisor Banach, Supervisor Flansburg, and Chairman Ewbank vote nay. Motion to rescind the letter does not carry. Chairman Ewbank said we need to move forward with the meeting that Solicitor Bernathy is talking about and then we can move on. Supervisor Banach said everyone on the board supports the Police Department but it comes down to money and it’s going to take the Police Commission, Matamoras Borough and the Township to get a plan for the future. Stating this is nothing personal and that everyone on the Police Department is doing a good job. Chairman Ewbank said everyone is construing that the supervisors want to get rid of the Police Department and that is not true. Discussion followed. Solicitor Bernathy said they’ve already submitted a letter in December requesting a meeting and we haven’t heard back. Further stating that nobody wants this, they want to move past this, however there have been issues regarding compliance with agreements that are in writing that have to do with budgetary issues and this Township participates in funding that department. For the collective bargaining agreement to give raises of 3% which has not been run by the funding entity, which are probably warranted, but that wasn’t run by the Township. Solicitor Bernathy went on to say there are other people in the Township including himself who have not received raises. Chief Stewart said if there are two people on the board part of the commission that were a part of that. Solicitor Bernathy said the decision needs to be made by the board in whole not by two members only and the board was not a part of this agreement. Chief Stewart questioned what would happen if Matamoras doesn’t want to meet. Solicitor Bernathy said he is going to contact them again.

Chief Stewart said it seems to be a fight between Matamoras and Westfall. Solicitor Bernathy said he is absolutely correct. Ed Isaacson questioned what would happen if Matamoras won’t meet. Supervisor Flansburg suggested going to Matamoras to discuss that.  The board decided to move on.


Ordinance # 159: Solicitor Bernathy said the record should reflect there was no comment at the public hearing. Supervisor Banach moved to adopt Ordinance # 159. Motion is seconded by Vice-chairman Fischer and carries with all in favor.

Atlantic Ambulance – Starr Grolimund: Ms. Grolimund said she was here over a year ago requesting that Atlantic Ambulance be dispatched as closest unit. She is here today to ask that Atlantic Ambulance be dispatched as primary ALS service for all of Westfall Township. If they are not available it would then go to the closest unit. Supervisor Melvin questioned if this is just for ALS not BLS. Ms. Grolimund said that is correct. Supervisor Flansburg asked for input from the fire chiefs. Mr. Koferl said Care One has been in and out of the service area and the last two years they were nonexistent. Atlantic Ambulance is here all the time. Mr. Koferl said if Care One is not in Port Jervis when they are dispatched and they are in Greenville 5 minutes goes by before the second ambulance will be called out. Further stating that for a heart attack patient five-minutes is too long. Supervisor Banach questioned if they go to every call. They will only go to ALS calls. Supervisor Flansburg questioned what needed to be done. Ms. Grolimund said the supervisors need to send a letter to the communication center requesting that Atlantic Ambulance be the primary responder for Westfall Township for ALS service. Supervisor Flansburg moved to send the letter. Motion was seconded by Supervisor Banach and carried with all in favor. Solicitor Bernathy asked the chief if he is recommending this and whether this will affect a positive response time. Mr. Koferl said yes this is on his recommendation.

PA Route 6 Alliance: Mrs. Green said a letter was received today from the PA Route 6 Alliance who wishes to designate Route 6 as a Scenic Byway. This involves 110 municipalities and 14 counties. However this would involve a 660 foot right-of-way in which no new signs or billboards would be able to be erected. Supervisor Banach said it’s just another level of government asking us to do something where we will not be compensated.

Chairman Ewbank said this would go against the help we are trying to give to Home Depot. The supervisors decided not to take action.

Transaction Tax: Solicitor Bernathy said a workshop has been scheduled for January 23, 2013 and this item should be added to the agenda. Motion to add this to the agenda made by Supervisor Melvin. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Flansburg and carries with all in favor.


ADJOURNMENT: Meeting was adjourned at 8:32 PM on a motion by supervisor Flansburg. Motion seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carried with all in favor.

Respectfully Submitted,

Lisa A. Green, Secretary

Supervisors Minutes January 7, 2013 Public Hearing

Westfall Township, Matamoras, PA

January 7, 2013

A public hearing was held on Monday, January 7, 2013 for the purpose of taking public comment on the proposed Ordinance # 159 which amends Westfall Township Ordinance # 31. The meeting was held at the Westfall Township office on Delaware Drive and LaBarr Lane, Matamoras, PA 18336 at 7:30 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; Zoning Officer, Mike Rendleman; Police Chief, Chad Stewart; Bill Schneider, Bill Koferl, Ed Isaacson, Chuck Pranski and approximately 15 members of the general public.

Solicitor Bernathy stated that Ordinance # 159 amends Ordinance # 31 which has to do specifically with traffic and parking regulations which was originally adopted November 25, 1974. This has to do with the time provision in section two and the penalty provision in section seven. The time provision will now reflect that parking is prohibited on all streets of the township at any and all times between the hours of 11:00 pm and 6:00 am November 1 each year thru April 1 of the following year and during any snowstorm.  Section seven; the penalty section will be changed to reflect that violation of the provision of the ordinance shall on conviction be sentenced to a fine of $15.00 in addition to the cost of prosecution.

Solicitor Bernathy stated that this 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 asked for public comment.

With no public comment being offered Supervisor Banach moved to close the public hearing 7:31 pm. Motion was seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carried with all in favor.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa A. Green, Secretary