Westfall Township, Matamoras, PA
August 6, 2013
The regular meeting of the Westfall Township Board of Supervisors was held Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 7:00 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; Zoning Officer, Michael Rendleman; Bill Schneider, Luis Bocaletti, Lisa Mickles, Beth Brelje, Twila Decker, Donald Quick, Alex Lotorto, Jodi Hulse and approximately 25 members of the general public.
Before the meeting started Chairman Ewbank stated Lisa Green sold her house, is moving to South Carolina and that her resignation is effective August 21, 2013. Therefore, this is her last official meeting with the township. An appreciation gift was given to Lisa Green for all of her time and services for the past eighteen years. Supervisor Flansburg stated Lisa Green has been through the hardest times Westfall Township has ever had. Chairman Ewbank stated Lisa Green keeps the Township “all together”. Lisa Green gave her thanks.
AGENDA: Agenda approved on a motion by Supervisor Flansburg. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carries with all in favor.
Chairman Ewbank stated two executive sessions were held. One was held on Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. for Litigation and Personnel and on Monday, August 5, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. for personnel.
PUBLIC COMMENT: Twila Decker stated, as a follow up to the last meeting, there will be a block party August 24, 2013 from 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM from Maple Avenue to Oak Avenue. Owners of all houses on those streets were in agreement of said party. She asked for the opinion of the Board. Chairman Ewbank stated to invite residents and advertise. Ms. Decker asked if the streets needed to be closed and Chairman Ewbank stated she would need to speak to the members of the Police Commission in regards to that. Supervisor Banach asked Bill Schneider if signs could be put up. Bill Schneider stated signs would be put up and taken down for the said dates of block party. Supervisor Melvin stated the Police Department would be notified and confirmed the dates and times of party.
Chairman Ewbank asked if any further public comment. No further comment made.
MINUTES: Minutes of the July 9, 2013 regular meeting were approved on a motion by Supervisor Banach. Motion is seconded by Vice-chairman Fischer. Motion carries with all in favor.
TREASURER’S REPORT: Scott Myer stated from an income standpoint we are almost at 100% of collections for the entire year through July for real estate taxes. He also stated from an income standpoint we are over for charges for services such as building permits and zoning permits. From an expense standpoint, we paid the third of the four quarterly Eastern Pike Regional Police Reports payments and all other expenses are in line. Supervisor Flansburg asked Mr. Myer, when he refers to “100 %”, is that average or better than average and Mr. Myer said it is totally normal. Supervisor Banach asked if there are any spare funds for the street department. Mr. Myer stated there was $100,000 budgeted for the road project this year which is there. Supervisor Banach said Bill Schneider has some projects he would like to discuss. Supervisor Flansburg moved to approve the treasurer’s report. Motion was seconded by Vice-chairman Fischer and carries with all in favor.
POLICE REPORT: Vice Chairman Fischer gave the report for July. The monthly count of offenses known to police were one rape, two assaults, four burglary, eighteen larceny theft, seven fraud, two recovery of stolen property, five vandalism, one sex offense, three drug abuse, three possession, three driving under the influence, two drunkenness, thirteen disorderly conduct, seven all other offenses for a total of sixty eight. The monthly count of persons charged for offenses are two burglary, eleven larceny theft, three fraud, one vandalism, two drug abuse, three driving under the influence, three drunkenness, two disorderly conduct, two all other offenses for a total of twenty nine. The miles patrolled for the month were 7,604. Year to date miles patrolled were 44,119. Motor Vehicle Accidents for the month were 22 and year to date 110. Calls for service for the month were 272 and year to date were 1440. Supervisor Banach moved to approve the Police Report. Motion was seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carries with all in favor.
FIRE DEPARTMENT: Ken Zielazny gave the July Mill Rift Fire Department report stating that they had a river rescue at number two bridge on 7/1, work night on 7/3, a mutual aid with station 39 on 7/7 which was a vehicle accident on Delaware Drive, utility wires down on Delaware Drive 7/8, cleaned and waxed trucks for parade in Port Jervis on 7/10, Stand by for station 39 for possible structure fire on 7/14, monthly meeting on 7/16, pump one training on 7/24 and 7/25 which fourteen people attended (one from Westfall), river rescue number two bridge on 7/27, cleaned firehouse for open house on 7/31. He submitted the compilation report and year to date reports for this year.
Robert Llewellyn gave the July Westfall Fire Department report stating there were 28 total fire calls, 5 motor vehicle accidents, 5 automatic alarms, 2 structure fires, 4 outdoor investigations, 1 utility wire down, 2 water rescues, 1 gas leak, 1 hazardous material, 1 environmental rescue, 1 traffic detail, 2 public service calls, 1 assist to EMS, and 2 brush fires. He stated total calls year to date are 177. EMS had 70 calls for the month which 43 responses to Westfall Township, 21 responses to Milford, 6 responses to Port Jervis with a total EMS calls year to date are 458. 14 members attended 16 hours of incident command training, 1 member attended the pump one class in Mill Rift. We also attended the Port Jervis Parade and brought home three trophies, which were second best for overall apparatus, second place tanker, and second place ambulance. Luis Bocalatti informed there will be a Golf Outing on September 23, 2013and still looking for sponsors. Also there will be a Pulled Pork Takeout Dinner on August 16, 2013 at the Firehouse. Submitted report that was requested at last month’s meeting. There was an application for the Doug Miller Scholarship Fund. There was a good turnout for the open house. Supervisor Banach asked about setting up a meeting regarding box calls with two supervisors. Supervisor Flansburg moved to approve the Fire Department Report. Motion was seconded by Supervisor Fischer and carries with all in favor.
HIGHWAY REPORT: Bill Schneider gave the report for July stating he met with Joe Hudak on the Wisniewski drainage area. He also met with Pat Wright regarding the Local Technician Assistance Program part of Penn Dot for criteria for guide rail inspection compliance for putting up and removing guide rails. There would be some removal of guide rail on Pond Drive and Heater Hill due to liability. He received an eighteen page report on what should be done and he provided the report. He stated there was no estimated cost at this time.
Mr. Schneider had a talk with a representative from Penn Dot regarding Black Topping the roads from Tenth Street to Mountain Avenue near the bus garage. Penn Dot will be sending tree crews to remove and trim right away. They will also be sending road crews for milling and filling some black top areas. This was in response to letter sent on July 18, 2013.
Mr. Schneider stated the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission road crews assisted in cleaning out storm drains and culvert pipes. All were cleared with exception of the one on Rueben Bell Drive. He also said he met with BJ Horton from Michels Pipe Line Construction regarding the maintenance agreement on Malibu Dude Ranch Road. He took some pictures. He also met with Scott Masisal from Penn Dot in regards to the Black Top Bid for Cummins Hill Area. We have been clearing right of way trimming, clearing shoulders and increasing drain areas/culvert pipes. The road has been widened so that the water flows away from the road for proper drainage.
The highway department will be replacing eight culvert pipes around Cummins Hill in two areas within the next two weeks. The road will be closed for three hours (9:00 am to 12:00 pm) and that signs would be put up Monday to inform residents of road closure. Mr. Schneider also stated we received the permit from the DEP Engineer Design back from Kiley and Associates for the Heater Hill Road stream area stabilization. He said we could do the lower part but would need a machine for the upper section. He said he would get bids. Supervisor Flansburg asked if we had someone qualified to operate the machine. Mr. Schneider said yes. Supervisor Flansburg suggested renting the machine since he thought it would be less expensive. Supervisor Banach suggested obtaining a quote for machine rental and as long as we have a licensed machine operator he agrees with it.
He also said there would be black top repairs done on the area roads.
Mr. Schneider stated he would need an easement agreement with the two land owners for the Heater Hill Road area. Attorney Bernathy asked Mr. Schneider to provide the names and addresses of those land owners.
Supervisor Banach asked Mr. Schneider to provide a priority list for the rail replacement.
Supervisor Banach moved to approve the highway report along with the sending of the two letters. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Flansburg and carries with all in favor.
BUILDING/ZONING REPORT: Michael Rendleman reported that there were five building permits, one electrical and six zoning permits for the month of July with fees of over $14,000.00. Vice Chairman Fischer moved to approve the report. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Flansburg and carried with all in favor.
CORRESPONDENCE: On desk for review. Chairman Ewbank read a letter received regarding budget meeting scheduled for the Eastern Pike Regional Police Department on August 26, 2013 at 7:00 pm at the Westfall Township Building on LaBarr Lane. The meeting will be open to the public. A discussion was held regarding Solicitors attending this meeting. Solicitor Bernathy stated he did not feel the need to have an attorney present at a budget meeting but if the Police Department was going to have an attorney present, the township should also. Supervisor Flansburg also did not agree with the need for an attorney to be present at the meeting. Supervisor Banach and Chairman Ewbank also did not see the need for a solicitor at budget meeting. Vice Chairman Paul Fischer stated he thought there were a lot of legal issues which we all need to come to terms with concerning the budget process. Supervisor Banach stated he thought we should have a meeting concerning money and issues we all have and then if there are any legal issues we could then obtain legal advice. Chairman Ewbank asked Supervisor Melvin to find out why the Police Commission wants a solicitor at the meeting. Chairman Ewbank also stated the Commission, the Borough and the Township will all have solicitors present and as far as he knows there is no need for a solicitor at a budget meeting. Supervisor Flansburg stated if we do not come to an agreement on the budget it will revert to last year and we do not need a solicitor to tell us that since the problem is coming to an agreement.
Tax Exoneration-Charles Homer Estate: This was regarding unknown property owned by the county repository. Lisa Green stated this was tabled from last month’s meeting. She spoke to Linda Husson and she told her the taxes have been exonerated already and it is just a formality to notify the township. The property went up for judicial sale and they do not even know where the property exists and there is no map number. The assessed value is $250.00 therefore the county tax was only three dollars and change. Supervisor Flansburg motioned to approve the tax exoneration. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carries with all in favor.
Resignation of William Mullery: Chairman Ewbank stated we received a letter dated July 15, 2013 from William Mullery. He is resigning as Chairman of the Westfall Township Planning Commission effective immediately. He is in the process of selling his home and moving out of state. Supervisor Banach motioned to accept the resignation and send a thank you letter. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Flansburg and carries with all in favor.
Letters of Interest: Chairman Ewbank read a letter from Twila Decker dated July 10, 2013 stating she would like to be considered for one of the vacancies on the Planning Board.
A letter from Jolie DeFeis to the supervisors was also read stating she is interested in one of the planning commission vacancies. Chairman Ewbank also read another letter from Ms. DeFeis stating she would be interested in being considered for supervisor appointment if there is a reason that any of the supervisors would not be able to complete their current term. Supervisor Banach confirmed with Secretary Green there is one position open and he would like to nominate Twila Decker for the open position.
A motion was made by Supervisor Banach to nominate Twila Decker for the Planning Commission vacancy. The motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Fischer and carries with all in favor. Chairman Ewbank stated we would keep Ms. DeFeis’ letters on file.
Culvert Pipe-Cumming Hill: Bill Schneider would like to close the road to make it possible to get the job done at a faster pace instead of stopping traffic and letting one cars pass around the machine. He stated two pipes would be done at a time. The traffic would be routed around the back side of Cummins Hill. Supervisor Flansburg asked Mr. Schneider if he would be replacing the pipe near Lake Ariel Camp where the big puddle is all during the winter. He said there is no pipe there to be replaced but it could be done.
Amusement Tax: Tabled for Executive Session.
Fire Hydrant Tax: Supervisor Banach said this was mentioned when Milford Water Authority was here, that the township should absorb the cost of approximately $1,000 for the fire hydrants being put in. He said if they allow it, if we get on the board and they meet all of our requirements that the township was going to start paying for those fire hydrants. He said he discussed with Ms. Green that we would collect the tax from the property owners from Tenth Street out and the Township would be responsible to pay the tax. He said it is the responsibility of the township to provide fire protection and travelable roads so he thinks we should absorb the $3,000 cost and put it towards the hydrants which is fire protection for our residents in those areas rather than the residents being taxed for it. He said if we are going to do it for one side of the town we are going to do it for the other in fairness. Supervisor Flansburg said that does make sense or to tax everybody. Solicitor Bernathy said we can look at our budget and adjust accordingly. Supervisor Banach states the residents from Tenth Street out should be refunded the tax and that the funds be set aside in our budget. Solicitor Bernathy, Supervisor Melvin, Supervisor Flansburg and Chairman Ewbank agreed.
Letter to Matamoras Water Authority: Supervisor Banach stated the letter would be similar to what we just did with Milford Water Authority asking to have a place on their board by the same law that allows us to be on the authority if Milford comes into our area for representation on that board since they are taxing our residents. He stated we should have a say. Supervisor Flansburg asked if we were looking to hold a supervisor position on that board or just a resident. Supervisor Banach stated he thought it would need to be a supervisor. Chairman Ewbank stated we could appoint a resident so there is representation from Westfall Township. The board asked Lisa Green to send another letter to the Matamoras Water Authority.
Compost Facility: Supervior Banach stated he has heard by rumor, Matamoras has been allowing commercial dumping at our facility and the key is being left out after hours and people dumping after hours. He suggested we send a letter to Matamoras. Chairman Ewbank stated it was more than just a rumor. He discussed it with the Mayor and she said it was being done and he asked for it to be stopped and she said it would stop. Chairman Ewbank added it was about two weeks ago he spoke to the mayor. Supervisor Melvin stated he stopped a couple of nights around eight o’clock in the evening to pick up mail and the gate was unlocked and he had to go and lock it. Supervisor Banach suggested we phase out the compost area if it is not being managed properly to avoid any problems with the stream in the future. He said, being part of the conservation district personally, if there is any polluting of the water shed, it will be the township’s responsibility to fix it. He suggested we start to talk to Matamoras and come up with an alternate plan. Vice Chairman Fischer suggested we reach out to Louis Troiano to see about coming in and giving us an updated presentation for money making possibilities. Supervisor Banach stated his concerns regarding the truck traffic on Delaware Drive. Supervisor Melvin said he would talk to Louis Troiano.
Michels Pipeline-Foster Hill Road: Chairman Ewbank reads the Form 7984 which serves as an addendum to the previous excess maintenance road agreement regarding Foster Hill Road. Michels agrees to provide Westfall Township with the March video survey of the road. Supervisor Banach added that this all came about when he sent Bill Schneider up to Foster Hill Road when chips were being hauled to Malibu. They were turning their “low boy” trucks around and we had not originally surveyed that road with them. Bill Schneider said besides the video he also walked the sight. Supervisor Banach stated if there is any damage to the road Michels Pipeline agreed to fix it for the township. Supervisor Banach moved to sign the Form 7984 for Michels Pipeline. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Flansburg and carries with all in favor. Lisa Green witnessed the signature of Chairman Ewbank.
Change to Employee Manual: Supervisor Banach stated we are changing the employee manual and have been reviewing it on an ongoing basis. The first change for each employee hired August 6, 2103 will receive four sick days for the first year of employment and eight sick days for each year after which must be used and may not be accumulated. Also, starting August 6, 2013 each employee will have three personal days as of January 1st of each year and the days cannot be accumulated. A motion was made by Supervisor Flansburg to approve the changes to the Employee Manual. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carries with all in favor.
Resignation of Lisa Green, Township Secretary: Chairman Ewbank read a Letter of Resignation from Lisa Green, Township Secretary, dated July 22, 2013. A motion was made by Supervisor Flansburg to accept the resignation letter. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Banach and carries with all in favor.
Hiring of Township Secretary: Supervisor Flansburg introduced Jodi Hulse as the new Township Secretary. He said she was chosen after an extensive interview session. Chairman Ewbank stated Ms. Hulse would be hired as the new Township Secretary, appointed as CAO to the Pension Plan, Open Records Officer, COG Representative and the Planning Secretary. Supervisor Banach stated the position is salary on Ms. Green’s official day she leaves and will be hourly during the training period. Solicitor Bernathy asked the salary amount of the position. Supervisor Banach stated it is $30,000. Chairman Ewbank added plus benefits. Solicitor Bernathy stated the salary is subject to all of the terms and conditions of the Employee Manual. Supervisor Banach added there will be a six month probation period. A motion was made by Supervisor Flansburg to approve the hiring of Jodi Hulse as Township Secretary. The motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Paul Fischer and carried with all in favor.
Resignation of Michael Rendelman: Chairman Ewbank read a Letter of Resignation dated July 29, 2013 from Michael Rendelman. The letter confirmed Mr. Rendleman will be retiring at the end of September, 2013. Supervisor Flansburg added he thought Mr. Rendelman’s time at the township has been nothing but service to the town. A motion was made to send correspondence to BIU regarding the replacement of Michael Rendelman as the Zoning Officer by Supervisor Banach. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Flansburg and carries with all in favor.
Road Bids- Rueben Bell Drive and Glass House Hill Roads: Chairman Ewbank stated there were three road bids to be opened. The first bid was from Wayco, Inc. in the amount of $98,029.39. The second bid was from Leeward Construction in the amount of $97,473.50. The third bid was from Hanson Aggregates in the amount of $99,838.90. Each bid was for the following: 463 Tons of Super Pave, 765 Tons of Super Pave, 315 Tons of Aggregate Shoulder and 473 Gallons of Prime Coat. Supervisor Banach asked Bill Schneider if there is any problem working with Leeward. Mr. Schneider responded “no”. A motion was made by Vice Chairman Fischer to accept the bid from Leeward Construction. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Banach and carries with all in favor.
Letter from Milford Township Board of Supervisors: Solicitor Bernathy stated the correspondence was from Donald Quick who is the Chairman of the Milford Township Board of Supervisors. Mr. Quick was present at the meeting. Solictor Bernathy confirmed with Mr. Quick the matter has been resolved and there was no further response needed at that time to the correspondence.
Request for Letter of Support-Pike County Baseline Ground Water Study: Chairman Ewbank read a letter from the Pike County Conservation District requesting the support of the township. A motion was made by Supervisor Banach to send a letter of support to the Pike County Conservation District. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carries with all in favor.
Reduction in Assessed Value-Richard Conklin, Jr.: Chairman Ewbank read a letter from the Pike County Tax Administration which referenced the property owned by Richard Conklin, Jr. (Map Number 067.03-01-17 and Control Number 13-0-002384—Lot 46 & 47, River Drive Estates). The assessed value is $13,440 and the revised value is for land only in the amount of $4,000. There is a refund of 2013 County/Township Taxes which have been paid at discount. No refund applicable for 2013 School Taxes. The reason for the reduction in assessed value is house has been demolished due to a fire as per Lisa Green, Secretary. A motion was made to accept the letter from the Pike County Tax Administration by Supervisor Banach. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carries with all in favor.
Support Posts and Roof at Entrance of Westfall Township Building: Chairman Ewbank stated the support posts and roof at entrance of building are in bad condition. Bill Schneider stated he thought the gutters needed to be remounted. Supervisor Banach asked Bill Schneider to have Ms. Green obtain three estimates and as long as the cost was under $18,000 we could have them fix it. Supervisor Flansburg said he just wanted to make sure we all knew it was in bad disrepair. Bill Schneider said the highway building needs to be repainted. Supervisor Banach agreed to obtain estimates for that also.
Resolution 2013-5 Act 44 2009 Pension Plan: Chairman Ewbank read Resolution of the Non Uniform Pension Plan Pike County Pennsylvania adopting written procedures on how professional services are chosen for Pension Plans in order to comply with Act 44 2009 in the Auditor General’s Recommendation. A motion was made to adopt Resolution 2013-5 by Supervisor Flansburg. The motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Fischer and carries with all in favor.
Subdivison Review and Action-Westfall Senior Apartments: Chairman Ewbank read a letter from the Municipal Authority which was one of the conditions of approval. No action required according to Solicitor Bernathy.
Repair of State Route 15-Mountain Avenue: Chairman Ewbank read a letter from Penndot which refers to repair work which will be done on State Route 15 and Mountain Avenue. The work will be completed by September 1, 2013 weather permitting.
EXECUTIVE SESSION : Personnel and Potential Litigation-Item #5-“Have a Hoot” and Matamoras Rod and Gun Club-Amusement Tax Application. Called at 8:02. Back in Session 8:42.
Police Commission Request: Alex Lotorto requested a copy of the contract between Eastern Pike Regional Police Department and Kinder Morgan. Chairman Ewbank stated that is something he would need to ask at the Police Commission meeting on Monday, August 12th at 6:00 at the Matamoras Borough Hall. Mr. Lotorto stated he submitted a “Right to Know” request to the Police Department and they said the contract does not exist. Solicitor Bernathy stated Mr. Lotorto would need to take that up with the Police Commission and ask them for it. He also stated we do not have any responsibility or jurisdiction regarding that issue.
ADJOURNMENT: Meeting was adjourned at 8:43 p.m. on a motion by Supervisor Flansburg. Motion seconded by Vice Chairman Fischer and carried with all in favor.