Monthly Archives: November 2013

Westfall Planning Meeting-Rescheduled

Due to the winter weather forecast, the Westfall Township Planning Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, November 26, 2013 has been rescheduled for Monday, December 2, 2013 at 7:00 pm. The meeting will be held at the Westfall Township Municipal Building at 102 LaBarr Lane, Westfall Township.

Thank you.
Jodi Hulse

December Supervisor Meeting Schedule

This post is to confirm the Supervisor Meeting Schedule for December 2013. On December 3, 2013, the following meetings are scheduled: 6:00 pm Public Hearing for proposed Vacation of Pond Drive—7:00 pm Conditional Use Hearing for Proposed Construction of Verizon Cell Tower on Berger Road/Mill Rift—Regular Meeting to follow. On December 18, 2013 the following meetings are scheduled: 7:00 pm Special Meeting for Adoption of Budget—7:15 pm Public Hearing for Proposed Burning Ordinance. All meetings will be held at the Westfall Township Municipal Building at 102 LaBarr Lane, Westfall Township.

The column in the November 14, 2013 Edition of the Pike County Dispatch reflected the wrong dates.

Thank you.
Jodi Hulse

Supervisors Budget Workshop Minutes-October 7, 2013

Westfall Township, Matamoras, PA
October 7, 2013

The Westfall Township Board of Supervisors convened their first 2013 Budget Workshop on Monday October 7, 2013 at 7:00 pm. The meeting was held at the Westfall Township Municipal Building on Delaware Drive and LaBarr Lane.

Those present were Chairman Robert Ewbank; Vice-Chairman, Paul Fischer; Supervisor, Robert Melvin; Treasurer, Scott Myer; Secretary, Jodi Hulse and Roadmaster, William Schneider. Also present was John Dalton.

Supervisors Larry Flansburg and Raymond Banach were not present.

Scott Myer distributed the proposed 2014 Budget to the board. He stated to the board that he put together the bullet points of the budget. He said currently we are at 31.2 mills. One mill based on last year generates about $41,300 of income. He said as just a reminder, last year we had to budget in a transfer from reserves of $137,000. That mainly came about because of Dombrosky. We paid him 175,000. For informational purposes so that we are all on the same page, he said we could probably lower Katz from 7.6 mills to 7.4 mills. As far as debt service, there are two loans outstanding. One is the larger one and the other is the Sherwood Loan Truck Payment which will be the same at 3.15 mills. Mr. Myer said that Fire and Capital Roads are whatever the board wants to do with them. They were 1.5 and 2.25 mills. He said again, the Dombrosky payment this year will be $43,400 which is down by about $131,000. He said the Tax Collector’s salary is down. Supervisor Melvin said it is down for whoever gets the position. Mr. Myer said it will be down by $13,000.

Mr. Myer said the way he did the budget, which is a totally working budget, was basically using last year’s numbers and making a few adjustments. Supervisor Melvin said the police budget which will be proposed will be exactly the same as last year.

Chairman Ewbank said Dombrosky is going down $131,000. Mr. Myer agreed. Chairman Ewbank said that three mills is $123,000. He asked if we could go down. Supervisor Melvin said no since we took funds from reserves. Mr. Myer said he did not see any way that would be possible. Supervisor Melvin said we really tapped into our surplus hard for Dombrosky. My Myer agreed. Supervisor Melvin asked Mr. Myer if we are on a “shoe string” budget as far as surplus. Mr. Myer said not where you should lose sleep over but a transfer from reserves cannot be budgeted for at least a year. Supervisor Melvin said his concern is if the Highway Department Equipment needs a $30,000 repair will we be in trouble. Mr. Myer said no. It is not that tight. Supervisor Melvin and Mr. Myer agreed that some kind of emergency fund is needed.

Chairman Ewbank asked where we are at this year budget wise. Mr. Myer said we are where we should be. Income and expenses are both in line with what we thought. Chairman Ewbank asked if we will have any kind of a surplus. Mr. Myer said no. Supervisor Melvin said we had to bring in $137,000 from surplus. Supervisor Melvin said the part that is going to be tricky. In order for us to get the Dombrosky issue off the books we had to tap into our reserves. We are stuck with the mileage. One of the things he was thinking about was with Katz. Maybe we could save two tenths or three tenths. He said every year we pay $300,000 but we might collect $305,000, $306,000 or $307,000. He asked if we could use the extra in other areas. Mr. Myer said the budget is 1.7 million and being materially correct you could be off by $13,000. He does not like the idea of being off on the Katz tax. Supervisor Melvin said he wants to make sure we can fund the police department as it was last year and we need to go over the whole list of things which need to be taken care of with the roads. He wants to see if we can take a small amount from each area to keep the police department and have money set aside for things that Mr. Schneider needs to do to keep things “up to snuff”. Supervisor Melvin asked when will the debt services peel off. Mr. Myer said in nine years. He said it is $35,000 in interest. Chairman Ewbank said by then it will start all over again because we will need to buy a new truck. He said there is a 1.9 million dollar balance to Dime Bank. The Sherwood Truck payment is $9,412. It will be paid in October 2016.

Supervisor Melvin asked how we are doing with permits. Mr. Myer said it is $57,877 year to date. He said we budgeted $51,000 for last year so we made $6,000 more through September than we thought we would for the year. Chairman Ewbank said we have the cigarette store in process and the senior apartments. Discussion followed regarding the projects which are in process.

Supervisor Melvin asked if there was anything in the budget for the Amusement Tax. Mr. Myer said no. He feels we have a double edged sword here. He said it is a dangerous thing to put it in the budget but he gets nervous if we do not put it in the budget. He said if we put up a battle for something and everyone is questioning how much will be raised. Some will say why bother to do it if there is not enough being raised. Chairman Ewbank said it was projected we would take in $1,000 and we have taken in $965. Mr. Myer said we did not have a projection last year. He said he has provided the detailed report so the Supervisors could get a feel for things. The statement has the actual from January through September. The third column is a projection for the whole year. Vice Chairman Fischer said we need to keep in mind there will be an offset for attorney fees down the road. Supervisor Melvin just wants to prevent the public from questioning why we have the tax if there we are not making any money from it. He said we have told the “people” we have done everything we can to offset raising taxes. Chairman Ewbank said it is in litigation so we do not know how much it will be. Supervisor Melvin suggested we have a line item for the Amusement Tax. Discussion followed regarding opinions about the tax and litigation.

Mr. Myer asked Mr. Schneider if there are any grant possibilities he is not aware of at this time. Mr. Schneider said not at this time.

Mr. Myer said we treat the Liquid Fuels money as General Fund money. We pay public works budgeted items from the funds. He said this detailed working budget is from the General Fund and Liquid Fuels added together. Supervisor Melvin asked audit wise if there is another way to do this without causing any “pain”. Mr. Myer said the audit is just more involved since the auditors from Liquid Fuels cannot just go to one or two checks. They have to go through all reimbursements. Mr. Myer said it just creates more work for Jodi, me or the auditor but it does not create any problems. He said there is no harm in it.

Supervisor Melvin asked if there are any changes in FICA. He said there is one change. He had a meeting with Lisa Green and the ACT 47 crew that came in. They required FICA be listed as one budget item so the total for FICA is the same but it is all in one line item.

Discussion was held regarding the code enforcement officer issue for the proposed burning ban and sidewalk patrol. This discussion included input from John Dalton.

Mr. Myer said the mill number that you have to go in front of the judge is 14 mills but he wanted to go on record that is irrelevant in his opinion. He said it is an outdated number and he does not know why it needs to be done. He also said there is no way that Westfall in its current condition can get down to that figure.

Mr. Myer asked how the Supervisors would like to proceed. He asked if they would like to go through every line item. Supervisor Melvin suggested we start with the Highway budget. Mr. Myer said he has taken Mr. Schneider’s figures and plugged them into his budget. Mr. Schneider said he pretty much stayed with last year’s budget. He said there are some maintenance issues which need to be taken care of so he has raised that to $3,500. Cold patch has been raised since there is some work to be done on the back side of Cummins Hill. Supervisor Melvin addressed the road crew salary. He asked if we will give a raise. Mr. Schneider said he reflected a raise on the back page of his budget for Richard Mai and Robert Howard. He did not reflect a percentage since he would leave that up to the Supervisors. Supervisor Melvin asked what they make now. Mr. Schneider said one makes $15.00 per hour and the other makes $15.60 per hour. Supervisor Melvin stated his personal opinion is that we should try to figure out a way to give a 3 percent raise. He said he is including Mr. Schneider. He added the people work hard for the township and for a very long time they have taken freezes. Vice Chairman Fischer said we have always considered 3 percent as the going trend. He said it has been the last two years that things have gotten a little turned around. Mr. Schneider said he does not want to deny a raise but if it comes down to it he would rather see the money go to his workers.

Mr. Schneider addressed the future equipment fund. He provided an article to the Supervisors regarding a tax for road equipment fund in the amount of two mills for purchasing road equipment. Supervisor Melvin asked if we were at a max for taxes. Mr. Myer said we can go up three or four mills. Supervisor Melvin said he does not want to raise taxes. He said in order to come up with those two mills we would have to cut two mills somewhere else in order to not raise taxes.

Supervisor Melvin asked if the insurance costs have gone up. Mr. Myer said they have not increased since last year.

Mr. Schneider said he figured funds into his budget for a new computer, monitor and printer. The woman that does the workman’s comp audit suggested the highway department update their computer equipment since their training is viewed on that computer. Mr. Schneider said he could purchase all three items for roughly $800. Mr. Schneider also has Heater Hill guide rail in his budget to prevent any liability issues that may arise. He figured $5,700. He also said he spoke with Aileen Sullivan regarding the pole issue. He said we can have the poles replaced but the township may be responsible for the cost. Mr. Schneider said just as a point of interest if we require sidewalks to be constructed at some point, if the sidewalk is in the township right of way, it would be the township’s responsibility to maintain the sidewalks. It is important to make sure the sidewalks are not in the township right of way. Additional discussion was held regarding sidewalks.

Mr. Schneider said he is not sure what will be done with Pond Drive. He gave an estimate for stone for roughly eight inches deep and eighteen feet wide for the distance of the road. He said it would cost between $18,000 and $20,000. He said he put $18,000 in the budget for the Heaters Hill Drainage issue. Pioneer is expected to get back to him on that issue. He was asked a while ago to go through and prioritize any issues. One area is on River Road in Mill Rift and the other is at the end by Slate Stone’s gate. There are two culvert pipes by Platnick bridge need to be taken care of.

Supervisor Melvin asked Mr. Myer a few questions regarding the figuring of the amounts on the proposed budget for Highway expenses. Mr. Myer said to keep mills where they are the Liquid Fuels money needs to be figured in. Supervisor Melvin asked if the stipends were reflected in the budget. Mr. Myer responded they were. Supervisor Melvin said quite frankly he wants things done for the roads as do his fellow Supervisors. He said we will figure out how to do things with the roads if we do not have a “brew haha” over the police budget. Mr. Myer said this is a working budget and it does not balance yet since we are making changes. He said there are 2.25 mills which are about $90,000 to $95,000 being budgeted as a special tax for roads. Supervisor Melvin agreed that should stay. Mr. Myer said the actual budget is real big in repairs because of the project on Heaters Hill. The money came from FEMA in 2012 and the work was not done until 2013. Supervisor Melvin confirmed that was from Hurricane Irene. He asked if we received any funds for Hurricane Sandy. Mr. Schneider said no since we did not have road damage. Chairman Ewbank said they received a couple of thousand dollars.

There was further discussion held regarding transfer tax amounts and delinquent taxes. Mr. Myer said Local Service Tax is creeping up a little bit. Supervisor Melvin gave his opinion on Earned Income Tax. Mr. Myer said some people are paying it already but it is leaving the county. If we enacted the tax the money would stay in this county. Supervisor Melvin said if someone wins the Power Ball Lottery at Turkey Hill for two million and we have the EIT we get $200,000. If it were to happen now we receive nothing.

Mr. Myer said he does not know where they want to go from here. He said the fire and roads are variables. Debt service and Katz are a definite. He said the .2 mills saved in Katz he put to general fund. Supervisor Melvin questioned if we made all of our Katz payment this year. Mr. Myer said there is one left on the last day of the year. Supervisor Melvin asked how much money is sitting in that account. He said he is trying to come up with a way to fund the Highway Department, keep the police department where it is, to give Mr. Schneider a raise, and the other three employees a raise. Mr. Myer said there is $130,000 in the account. Mr. Myer said we just made a payment and in March we owe $75,000. Supervisor Melvin asked if we could use the Tax Anticipation Loan for that payment. Mr. Myer said no but we can use debt service money which can be moved back and forth. We normally do that at that time of the year since we are short until taxes come in. Supervisor Melvin said we have about $45,000 we can use. He said we have been taxing the people and we need to get some things done. There was further discussion held regarding the Katz tax and delinquent taxes. Supervisor Melvin suggested we refer to the lawsuit payments as “legal settlements”. Vice Chairman Fischer asked how much will the 3% raise total. Supervisor Melvin said $3,000 which is not a lot. He said it matters to an individual person more than the governing body. Vice Chairman Fischer agreed. He said that contractually the police are getting that also. Supervisor Melvin said he would like to squash that argument and he wants all of the township’s employees to have a 3% raise as well.

Bill Schneider asked the amount of mills for black topping in 2013. Mr. Myer said 2.25 mills. Mr. Schneider said this year the back side of Cummins Hill will need to be paved. There is one part of the road that is in pretty bad shape and to put down black top would cost roughly $58,000. He said the remainder of the road will be tar and chipped. Supervisor Melvin asked if we were caught up and Mr. Schneider said we have black topped all of the roads. Supervisor Melvin said if we can get more in the highway budget we could get more things done other than paving. He wants to make sure every year culverts and guard rail are being taken care of to keep up with maintenance. Mr. Schneider said we just got all of the millings from Pennsylvania Avenue for the stone and sub base for the Heaters Hill project so that is a savings. Supervisor Melvin said our roads are in good shape. Mr. Schneider added we are getting the millings from Milford to use on Firetower Road. Mr. Myer asked how much the paving project cost that was just finished. Supervisor Melvin said it was almost the full amount of the paving budget which was $98,000. Discussion followed regarding the paving budget.

Mr. Myer said that he caught something on the sheets that he presented to the board. He said that for fire and roads there was more money in the bank account in prior years so we budgeted more to spend then we brought in. The amount that is budgeted probably cannot happen again in be expense category. $85,000 under fire tax probably cannot happen at the mill rate that we have. Supervisor Melvin said we either have to raise the mill or cut what we give the Fire Department. Mr. Myer said the income the way we have it generated is $65,000 for the fire department. Chairman Ewbank said were looking at cutting the roads $20,000 and the fire department $20,000. Mr. Myer said we would not be cutting we would be using surplus from prior years. Chairman Ewbank asked if we leave it at 1 1/2 mills they will still get $65,000. Mr. Myer agreed. Supervisor Melvin asked if we could roll the 20,000 extra from the paving fund over. Mr. Myer said yes unless you can find something to spend it on in the next three months. Supervisor Melvin said we could probably spend that money on something on Mr. Schneider’s list of things that need to be done. Supervisor Melvin asked Mr. Schneider if paving the backside of Cummins Hill is in your plan and will cost $68,000 do you think you could get by with tar and chipping for $40,000 and get the Heaters Hill drainage issue and the guard rail done with the $20,000 of rollover. Supervisor Melvin said if this is the case then we can get some of the road issues taking care of. Additional discussion followed regarding the highway budget.

Supervisor Melvin asked if there were any other questions. Mr. Myer said he was going to fine tune the budget with everything that was discussed that evening. Additional discussion was held the cost of our Zoning Officer and budget amount for 2014. Supervisor Melvin asked how much we paid the tax collector last year. Mr. Myer said $67,000.

Vice-Chairman Fischer asked the status of the merge of the fire departments. Supervisor Melvin said we need more info to decide the outcome. Vice-Chairman Fischer said that every year the splits are an argument. Mr. Schneider said the split is 60/40 now and that mill rift does not have a way to raise extra money. They spend only what the budget allows. He said Mill Rift Fire Department used to send out a donation letter but since the fire tax the donations have been a lot less. Discussion followed regarding the fire departments.

ADJOURNMENT: Meeting adjourned at 8:32 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Jodi Hulse

Supervisors Minutes-October 1, 2013

Westfall Township, Matamoras, PA
October 1, 2013

The regular meeting of the Westfall Township Board of Supervisors was held Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 8:10 pm following a Conditional Use Hearing on Paddlers Point-Garden Apartments. 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 (present by speaker phone), Larry Flansburg and Robert Melvin; Solicitor, Robert Bernathy, and Secretary, Jodi Hulse. Also present were Zoning Officer, Michael Rendleman; Roadmaster, Bill Schneider, Chad Stewart, Edward Isaacson, Rob Llewellyn, Lisa Mickles, John Dalton, Landa Copertino and approximately 16 members of the general public.

Chairman Ewbank announced that an Executive Session was held on September 24, 2013 at the Westfall Municipal Authority for purposes of possible Litigation.

AGENDA: Supervisor Melvin suggested making an addition to the Agenda to have a discussion regarding sidewalks. Agenda approved on a motion by Supervisor Flansburg. Motion is seconded by Vice Chairman, Fischer and carries with all in favor.


MINUTES: Minutes of the September 3, 2013 regular meeting were approved on a motion by Supervisor Flansburg. Motion was seconded by Supervisor Melvin. Motion carries with all in favor.

TREASURER’S REPORT: Chairman Ewbank read the Treasurer’s Report since Scott Meyer left the meeting early. Chairman Ewbank said our third quarter payment has been made to Mr. Katz. He stated we will need a tax anticipation note in the amount of $100,000. We will need funds for this by January 2014 and this was expected and was in the budget. He asked if anyone had any questions.

Supervisor Flansburg moved to approve the Treasurer’s Report. Motion was seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carries with all in favor.

POLICE REPORT: Chad Stewart gave the report for September. The monthly count of offenses known to police were one assault, two rapes, twenty larceny theft, two fraud, one forgery, three recovery of stolen property, three vandalism, six drug possession, one offense against family and child, one driving under the influence, one drunkenness, fourteen disorderly conduct, and one all other offenses for a total of fifty. The monthly count of persons charged for offenses are one assault, three larceny theft, one forgery, two fraud, one vandalism, five drug abuse, one driving under the influence, one drunkenness, two disorderly conduct, one all other offenses for a total of seventeen. The miles patrolled for the month were 6,321. Year to date miles patrolled were 58, 037. Motor Vehicle Accidents for the month were 13 and year to date 142. Calls for service for the month were 199 and year to date were 1,895. Mr. Stewart added that this Saturday the Police Department would be at Home Depot providing fingerprinting for children from 10 AM to 2 PM. They would also be at Kmart on Sunday from 10 AM to 2 PM so anyone with children is invited to come and have fingerprinting done if they wish.

Chairman Ewbank asked Chad Stewart if you would like to elaborate on the speed enforcement evaluator forms he provided to the Supervisors. Chad Stewart stated that at the last meeting the supervisors gave three roads where there were speeding complaints being made. He said he put a radar recorder on Rose Lane, Heaters Hill Road, and Doug Miller Road. He said the information is provided on the reports. He said the count of vehicles, as well as the speeds, are on the reports. In the timeframe for this speeding is also listed on the reports so that it can be seen if there is an actual problem. He said on the front there is a speed enforcement evaluator and when someone makes a complaint a box is put out there. An evaluation is then done to see if an officer needs to be present to provide traffic control. He said unfortunately these three roads do not have any signage. He based the percentage of enforcement violations on a 25 mile per hour speed limit with a 10 mile per hour enforcement tolerance. He said the Rose Lane Report was listed as low. Heaters Hill was listed as high and Doug Miller Road was medium. This information gives an idea so that the Supervisors can decide if they want to proceed with a traffic study on these roads. He advised his officers to patrol these roads to slow some traffic down. Supervisor Melvin said the reports are very helpful. He thanked Mr. Stewart for providing the reports and doing such a good job on the reports.

A motion was made by Supervisor Flansburg to accept the Police Report. Motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Fischer and carries with all in favor.


Mill Rift Fire Department- Edward Isaacson gave the report. He stated that on September 4, 2013 they had a pump test. September 10th they held their monthly meeting. He said on September 11th they had a memorial service for their past Chief at the Mill Rift Cemetery and also painted the trim of the Substation that day. On September 16th they did Substation cleaning and had a false alarm for a structure fire. September 18th they had a pump test with the tanker. There was a controlled burn on September 25th at Pine Terrace. September 28th they responded to utility wires down at Kim Drive and Delaware Drive. Mr. Isaacson also stated they rose over $700 from the coin toss. He thanked all of the Township residents for their contributions and their continued support is appreciated.

A motion was made by Supervisor Flansburg to accept the Mill Rift Fire Department Report. The motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Fischer and carries with all in favor.

Westfall Fire Department- Rob Llewellyn gave the report. He stated that for the month of September there were 2 motor vehicle accidents, 5 automatic fire alarms, 4 investigations, 1 utility wire down, 1 unattended controlled burn and 1 stand by in station. The total calls for the month of September are14 and total calls year to date are 224. He said the EMS calls for September were 45 responses in Westfall Township, 18 responses to cover Milford Ambulance, 3 responses to cover Port Jervis Ambulance and 1 response to cover Blue Ridge Rescue Squad. The total calls for the month are 67 and total calls year to date are 605. Mr. Llewellyn stated they participated in the Warrior Festival with fire prevention utilizing the county smoke house this past weekend. He said they will be doing fire prevention at Home Depot on October 5, 2013, Kmart on October 6, 2013 and DVES on October 10, 2013. He said on September 23, 2013 they held their 1st annual golf outing which had a fair attendance.

A motion was made by Vice Chairman Fischer to accept the Westfall Fire Department Report. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carries with all in favor.

HIGHWAY REPORT: Bill Schneider gave the report for September stating they have been doing maintenance on Township property and compost area and mowing the right of way. He said they have been doing base and shoulder repair on Cummins Hill and Glass House Hill. Equipment maintenance has also been done. He said they ordered 200 tons of anti-skid and 50 tons of salt. They have also been working on the sander spreader to get it ready for winter weather. He said we are getting millings from Pennsylvania Avenue in Matamoras to use for shoulder work. The millings will also be used to make a pad for future salt shed. Mr. Schneider said that the black topping should be done by the end of next week for Glass House Hill and Reuben Drive. Millings will be put on Fire Tower Road next week also depending on the contractors. He suggested the Township send a thank you letter to Penn Dot for their tree clearing services on back road. Mr. Schneider also mentioned that we have talked about the Bushkill Creek about permitting that. It will cost about $5,200 for the culvert pipe replacement just past the steel bridge and the sooner we can do it the better. Chairman Ewbank stated it is his understanding Penn Dot is going to pave that road (Mountain Avenue) along with clearing the brush back. Bill Schneider said that was the original intent but it may be delayed.

A motion was made by Vice Chairman Fischer to accept the Highway Report. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carries with all in favor.

Chairman Ewbank asked Jodi Hulse to send a letter to Penn Dot thanking them for removing the vegetation along Mountain Avenue. She confirmed she would do so.

BUILDING/ZONING REPORT: Michael Rendleman reported that there were eleven permits issued in September which were four building and seven zoning. The total permit fees were $1,667.00.

Supervisor Melvin moved to approve the report. Motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Fischer and carried with all in favor.

CORRESPONDENCE: On desk for review.


Culvert Pipe-Cummins Hill Road: Supervisor Melvin asked Bill Schneider if he has an estimate for this project so that we can decide if we are moving forward. Mr. Schneider said it will probably cost around $10,000. Supervisor Flansburg said if it will not cost anything for engineering then we should get prices. He said Mr. Wisniewski does not want the water in his yard.

Amusement Tax: Solicitor Bernathy stated that as he indicated to the Supervisors at the Workshop Meeting, he has been in contact with the Attorney for Have a Hoot. They are asking for an exemption for the applicability for the amusement tax which was enacted by the Township. Their specific claim for an exemption has to do with their taking the position that they are a physical fitness facility. The Supervisors after having discussed this matter find that this is a family fun center that is not a family fitness center. He said there are batting cages, laser tag, an arcade, parties held there, and sale of food. The food includes hamburgers, hotdogs, french fries, etc. He said he indicated to Have a Hoot’s attorney, Mr. Schneider, as we did with the school district, if they provided us records regarding their admissions that we would accept money in lieu of the tax itself but that would have to be based on records that are provided to us. Solicitor Bernathy said we have taken the position that it is not a physical fitness center unlike the exemption that was claimed by Kittatinny Canoes. Kittatinny Canoes made the argument to the court that they were engaged in interstate commerce. The court found in their favor and against the township indicating they were in fact engaged in interstate commerce.

Solicitor Bernathy stated he will notify Berkheimer the tax needs to be paid by Have a Hoot. He said each claim for exemption in the future will be reviewed on a case to case basis.

Vacation of Road Ordinance-Pond Drive: Solicitor Bernathy said to the Board they have his letter dated August 13, 2013. He said at our last workshop meeting Attorney Stieh who is a resident of the township presented some opposition to the proposed vacation of Pond Drive. We have correspondence from Mr. Stieh dated September 16, 2013. He said to the Supervisors that it is within their discretion pursuant to the second class township code the Township may vacate by ordinance any road or portion thereof located within the Township. There is a procedure that must be followed before doing so. Solicitor Bernathy stated the Supervisors have asked for the Public Hearing to be advertised and scheduled for November but since then there has been additional information for your review. He asked the Supervisors how they would like to proceed. Supervisor Banach said he wants to proceed with the vacation of the road since it is a dirt road. Vice Chairman Fischer said he is not sure whether we should proceed. Chairman Ewbank said he thinks we should have our Solicitor look into the some of the details of Mr. Stieh’s letter. He does not want to see the Township in litigation over this. There was additional discussion regarding the vacation of the road. Solicitor Bernathy said that at the workshop meeting someone from the Fire Department said the road was closed due to winter weather. Bill Schneider said it was closed in the spring because the road was to muddy for travel of emergency vehicles. Solicitor Bernathy said that one of the positions of Mr. Stieh was that the vacation of the road will create two dead ends and that is one less access. He said that what is happening out there in the field is that it is not accessible at times already. Theoretically when it gets wet there are two dead ends. Bill Schneider suggested having a weight limit. Solicitor Bernathy said that would be restricting the travel of emergency vehicles. Supervisor Banach said it is still a dirt road. He said if Mr. Stieh is worried about dead end roads, most township roads are dead end roads. He said it is a dirt road and it is a liability. It is a private development which was taken by previous Supervisors a long time ago and to keep proceeding forward with the abandonment of the road. Supervisor Flansburg said he thinks the road is a liability to the township. Solicitor Bernathy said he does not believe at first glance that there is any claim for damages against the township if the road is vacated because the Supervisors would be enabling legislation which he has read. The Second Class Township Code gives you the discretion to vacate any road. He said they would just need to go through the procedure to do so. Solicitor Bernathy asked the Supervisors if they would like to have him prepare an opinion letter regarding damages and table this to the next meeting. Supervisor Banach asked Solicitor Bernathy if Mr. Stieh and the Association have conveyed to us they are going to sue the Township. Solicitor Bernathy said he inferred that at the workshop meeting. He indicated there may be some damage claim in that the residents of the community somehow detrimentally relied on the Supervisors opening that road to begin with. He said he does not understand, with all respect to Mr. Dalton, how they can incur damages from closing a road that was at one time closed to begin with and only opened as indicated by the Supervisors. He said his preliminary opinion is he would not have a damage claim but that does not mean that legal proceeding are not going to be instituted against the township, of course that is not what that means. If someone wants to bring a lawsuit they can and whether or not there is any merit to them is up to the court. Chairman Bernathy read a part of Mr. Stieh’s letter.

Solicitor Bernathy addressed the board stating they need to make a motion to withdraw the request for the Hearing based upon receipt of opinion from Counsel. Supervisor Banach asked if the meeting has been advertised. Solicitor Bernathy stated that it has not yet been advertised. We were waiting for this evening to confirm moving forward. Supervisor Banach said he is opposed to not proceeding forward.

A motion was made by Supervisor Banach to proceed with moving forward to vacate Pond Drive. Motion was seconded by Supervisor Melvin. Supervisor Flansburg was in favor. Chairman Ewbank and Vice Chairman Fisher were opposed. Motion carries with three in favor and two opposed.

Solicitor Bernathy said he is still concerned about the timing since he delayed the surveyor and he feels the Public Hearing will need to be continued to the December Meeting.

A motion was made by Supervisor Flansburg to continue the hearing for the vacation of Pond Drive to December 3, 2013. Motion was seconded by Supervisor Banach. Chairman Ewbank and Supervisor Melvin were in favor. Vice Chairman Fischer was opposed. Motion carries with four in favor and one opposed.

Bill Schneider said we have been maintaining the road with Liquid Fuels Funds. He said it is just difficult to plow since it is a dirt road and salt cannot be applied because it pulls the moisture up on the dirt surface. Solicitor Bernathy asked Mr. Schneider if there are any other township roads in similar condition. Mr. Schneider said no. We have no other dirt roads other than Fire Tower Road and we do not plow it. Lisa Mickles asked how many residents are on the road. Solicitor Bernathy said five or six. He explained this portion of the road has no homes on it. John Dalton explained the situation at one time when the power lines were down.

Burning Ordinance: There was a discussion regarding the scheduling of the Public Hearing for the Proposed Burning Ordinance and adding it to the agenda for the September 23, 2013 Workshop Meeting. Supervisor Flansburg moved to approve the scheduling of the Public Hearing for the Burning Ordinance on November 7, 2013. Motion was seconded by Supervisor Banach and carries with all in favor.

Tractor Supply: Solicitor Bernathy said the Supervisors addressed this at the Workshop Meeting. He said Luhrs is proposing to sell their parcel which had their business on it for many years to a Corporation which is proposing to occupy the current space of the building. The building will not be increased in size. There will be an additional use added to the building which will be the Dollar General. So the public is aware Luhrs will be basically swapped out for Tractor Supply. The other two existing uses the Fireplace Shop and Malamy Vestment will remain. This will all remain in the same footprint. No land development generally is being proposed. As a result the supervisors have decided that they can proceed by applying for a conditional zoning permit and a conditional building permit rather than going through a land development process. They are adding an impervious surface adjacent to the building. It is a poured concrete pad which is non-occupiable space. They will need to apply for storm water permits to make sure they are managing whatever storm water is created by that poured pad which will be approximately 15,000 ft.². They are also adding additional parking to address the Township’s concern. There are 76 current parking spaces and he will be adding additional spaces to make the total 104 spaces. Construction of those additional parking spots will be a condition of the zoning and building permits. They are proceeding under a section that provides for multi-use in this district which is a commercial zone. If there were any sewage permits they would have to be issued. A part of this property is located in Milford Township. He said the predominant development of the property is in Westfall. The law requires that the Township that has the predominant portion of the development issue the permits and approvals so we will put our friends in Milford Township on notice that this is proceeding as a permit process rather than a land development process. We are distinguishing this from any future land development applicants in the sense that this is non-occupiable space and that it is a pre-existing use. Everyone knows that Luhrs has been there for a very long time.

Proposals for Painting at Highway Building/Repair to Municipal Building: Chairman Ewbank read all estimates. Supervisor Flansburg stated the only estimate that had emulsifier for painting was Don Rosencrance’s estimate.

A motion was made by Supervisor Flansburg to accept the bid for painting the Highway building from Don Rosencrance in the amount of $1275 and the bid for the Township building entrance repair from Tom Lamb in the amount of $1700. Motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Fischer and carries with all in favor.

Burning Ordinance: Solicitor Bernathy stated as a follow up from our workshop regarding the ordinance. He said we are in a similar situation with that as we were with the vacation of Pond Drive. He asked the supervisors if they want to move forward and have the hearing in November. He said there are comments made by Supervisor Banach. He has written them on a copy of the proposed ordinance. He said the supervisors need to decide on the changes they have discussed to the ordinance. There was some discussion on who will enforce the ordinance. Solicitor Bernathy thinks there needs to be more discussion on who will enforce the ordinance. Chairman Ewbank said we need to have the enforcement in place before the public hearing in November. Vice-Chairman Fischer agreed. Chairman Ewbank said the only options we have for enforcement are either the police or a code enforcement officer. Supervisor Banach asked if the supervisors could designate a person and a backup person as of January 1. Solicitor Bernathy said they would have to have a title, job description and qualifications to fulfill that position. He said the supervisors can create a position to enforce the ordinance. It is a matter of creating the position and funding the position. He said some municipalities have the fire company issue the notice. He said he can see our fire department is not interested in getting involved. Solicitor Bernathy stated he thinks the person should have some background in code enforcement with some training or experience. Chairman Ewbank said that he and Supervisor Banach had a discussion earlier today. He said we would hire someone for the position and pay them $15 per hour and mileage and they would be more or less on call. Vice-Chairman Fischer added he did not think we would be able to get a trained experienced person for that little money. Supervisor Flansburg stated that he has had experience in the Fire Department and asked if the code enforcement officer could be him. Solicitor Bernathy said it could be as long as there is no other conflict. There was additional conversation regarding the code enforcement officer requirements.

Mr. Hess asked what the fine would be for the first offense. Supervisor Melvin said it would be $50 for the first offense $100 for the second offense and 200 for the third offense.

Solicitor Bernathy said there are copies of the ordinance if anyone from the public would like to review it. He read a part of the ordinance which states prohibited items to be burned. He confirmed with Supervisor Melvin that residents within the triangle can have campfires for cooking purposes. Supervisor Banach confirmed with Solicitor Bernathy that there would be an agriculture exemption in the ordinance. Solicitor Bernathy read the part of the ordinance to Supervisor Banach pertaining to agriculture exemption.

Solicitor Bernathy confirmed with the supervisors that the burning ordinance public hearing would be November 7, 2013.

Discuss details for advertising for Zoning Officer: Supervisor Ewbank stated we need to discuss details for advertising for a new zoning officer since Mike Rendleman has resigned from BIU. He said Mr. Rendleman has agreed to work for the Township as our zoning officer until we find someone else to take his place. Supervisor Flansburg asked Mr. Rendleman if he could come up with a job description so that we could advertise. Mr. Rendleman agreed he could do that for the supervisors.

Westfall Senior Apartments-Map Signing: Jodi Hulse stated that the maps are not present since the bond still needs to be reviewed and approve by Solicitor Bernathy. Solicitor Bernathy stated the supervisors can sign the maps at any time since they already approved them.

Sidewalks: Supervisor Melvin wanted to bring up a discussion regarding sidewalks. He said lots of times we do bonds a lieu of sidewalks and the sidewalks never materialize. He thinks when things pick up in our area and we want to have sidewalks we should change that policy with supervisors so that developers come through and put the sidewalks in. Supervisor Banach said he thinks we should contact the owners who we are holding money for and tell them they need to put the sidewalks in. Vice-Chairman Fischer agreed. John Dalton had a comment regarding the sidewalk in front of Phantom Fireworks. He said that he has seen several times people with their groceries trying to walk back towards Matamoras. Supervisor Melvin said we really need to start thinking about an ordinance for sidewalks.


Schedule “Meet the Candidates” Night: Supervisor Flansburg asked permission of the other Supervisors to host a “Meet the Candidates” Night to be held at the Township Building one evening. This will give a chance for residents to meet and talk with the candidates who are running for Supervisor. He said that Mr. Dotey was present. Supervisor Flansburg said he will purchase the coffee and donuts and send letters out to the candidates. Chairman Ewbank said Mr. Bostinto is running as well. Mr. Bostinto said he is running as a write in. Supervisor Flansburg said he would certainly include Mr. Bostinto. Solicitor Bernathy stated to Supervisor Flansburg to make sure there is a format for the meeting and that the structure of the meeting is uniform and all of the candidates are aware. The meeting was scheduled for October 14, 2013 at 7:00 at the Westfall Township Municipal Building.
Supervisor Flansburg said he noticed Mr. and Mrs. Meyer are present. He stated their issue with the water runoff with the fire department is not on the agenda that evening since he has not gotten a chance to all of the parties involved and have engineer review of the plans. He said it is not on the back burner and we are working on it. Supervisor Flansburg is planning to have more information together and to put the issue on our next meeting agenda. He stated he felt bad that it was not able to be on the agenda that evening. He confirmed with Mike Rendleman that the dumpster cannot be put where the fire department installed the pad.

Letter of Interest-Tina Hess-Planning Board Position: Chairman Ewbank stated read a letter of interest from Tina Hess dated September 27, 2013. He stated the Board will be taking applications and holding interviews for the vacancy positions. Supervisor Flansburg asked the Board if they would like to schedule the interviews. The interviews were scheduled for October 21, 2013 at 6:30 pm at the Westfall Township Municipal Building.

Landa Copertino had a question regarding the flea market behind Wells Fargo Bank. She asked if there has been a permit issued. Chairman Ewbank stated a permit has been issued. She asked how long the permit is for. Mike Rendleman said it does not expire. Edward Isaacson asked about the portable containers. Solicitor Bernathy said they cannot be there.


ADJOURNMENT: Meeting was adjourned at 9:18 p.m. on a motion by Supervisor Flansburg. Motion seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carried with all in favor.

Respectfully Submitted,
Jodi Hulse

Supervisors Workshop Minutes-September 23, 2013

The Westfall Township Board of Supervisors held a workshop meeting on Monday, September 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, Robert Melvin and Larry Flansburg; Solicitor, Robert Bernathy and Secretary, Jodi Hulse. Also present were Roadmaster, William Schneider; Zoning Officer, Michael Rendleman; John Dalton, John Stieh, Mike Barth, John Hess, Mr. and Mrs. Meyer and approximately ten members of the general public. Supervisor Raymond Banach attended the meeting by speaker telephone.


Solicitor Bernathy informed the people present that Supervisor Raymond Banach was available by phone and he would be participating by phone.


TRACTOR SUPPLY: Solicitor Bernathy stated that Tractor Supply has been here on two previous occasions informally and they appeared before the Planning Board through Attorney Stieh. He said they are asking the Supervisors and the Township to consider a permitting process rather than an approval process. Planning is recommending that the township consider a permitting process rather than an approval process. Solicitor Bernathy asked the representative for Tractor Supply to make the same presentation to the Board of Supervisors. Attorney Stieh reminded Solicitor Bernathy that he does not represent Tractor Supply and that he represents the Luhrs Family. Solicitor Bernathy apologized and said it is the Tractor Supply application. Attorney Stieh explained that it is actually an entity called TKC who has entered into a contract of sale to purchase the building. He said TKC came informally to the Planning Commission sometime in June and there was some confusion which emanated from what they really wanted to do. He added that it started to evolve into something it did not need to be. He said he became involved in this about a month ago and met with the Planning Commission a week or so ago. Attorney Stieh said the Luhrs have entered into a contract with TKC who is a representative of Tractor Supply in a number of states for the purpose of buying buildings and setting up the Tractor Supply stores. The application is for Tractor Supply and a Dollar Store. The fireplace store is going to remain also. He said one of the requirements of the proposed purchasers is to provide more parking. They are proposing to use the garden center and expand it slightly to the back and Tractor Supply requires that to be hard surfaced so that gets us into the question of storm water management. He stated he is here to represent Jim and Tom Luhrs and that they appeared at the Planning Meeting a couple of weeks ago and suggested they do not need to go through a complete land development process. He said they are not changing parking except for expanding a little bit, entrance or exits, or size of the building. They would only be expanding the hard surface on one side and expanding the parking a little bit so he asked if they could do it under the zoning ordinance (Section 8) which allows for this kind of thing. He added that the engineers for the township and TKC were present and the township Solicitor was also present. There was a discussion amongst all. He said that everyone was in fairly good agreement that it is not necessary to go through the complete land development process but to go through the permitting process instead. All agreed that this process could work. He said Solicitor Bernathy stated at the meeting that the Planning Board is recommending this but he would need to talk to his bosses about it. He said this is the reason we are here tonight.

Solicitor Bernathy said there were a couple of things he would like to make note of for the record. They are proposing what he considers to be non occupiable space. They are going to pour a pad which will be approximately fifteen thousand square feet and approximately in the area where they had the garden center as Attorney Stieh stated. It is important to note that this is not an enclosed space, it is non occupiable and it will not have immediate impact on parking or other services necessarily utilities or otherwise that are provided to the site so if someone in the future wanted to pursue the permitting process rather than what otherwise would be required which would be a land development application we can distinguish this if you so choose that route by saying this is non occupiable space. He said nevertheless they were some concerns regarding the impact an additional use would have that, in his opinion, would represent an additional use of the pre-existing structure which is not going to be increased in size at all. He said he thinks that would commensurate an impact on parking. They have agreed currently there are seventy six parking spaces on site and they have agreed to increase the spaces to one hundred four to address his concern regarding the additional use even though the building is not expanding, there is an additional use. He added the applicant has also agreed to address the storm water issue because the impervious surface will create storm water runoff. The applicant will also need to go through the county for the storm water issue and they have agreed these would be conditions that will be attached to a zoning permit rather than having to go through a land development process which is very time consuming. He said he would also distinguish this because it is a pre-existing use and if the Supervisors are going to consider the permitting process which Planning is recommending it would be pursuant to Section 801 B as provided in our zoning for a number of principal uses and principal buildings per lot and it talks about the applicant having to submit a site plan. The applicant has not only agreed to submit that plan as part of the zoning process but that plan would be reviewed for adequacy by our engineer and that they would agree to pay the reasonable cost for those reviews and for whatever costs the permits will be. He stated if the Supervisors are considering this process it is important to distinguish this so that it is not used against the township moving forward if someone wanted to expand their business the Supervisors need to do what is necessary to make sure this is something that fits these facts and that can be distinguished from others.

Supervisor Banach had a comment about the storm water. He asked if the water runoff which will come from the additional impervious surface be retained on Westfall Township property or will it be collected in an area in Milford Township. Attorney Stieh answered the area we are talking about is actually in Milford Township but the water will be retained within the perimeter of the property. Supervisor Banach suggested the applicant at least have Milford Township review the plan to eliminate future issues between the townships. Solicitor Bernathy stated he has answered this inquiry previously. His opinion on this matter, and he stated he has researched the law, is that he discussed this at the planning meeting and we need to put Milford Township on notice regardless of how we proceed. He said the law is quite clear that predominantly the structure and the development portion of this is on property which is situate in Westfall Township and the law does not provide for review of such an application by multiple municipalities. The law provides that the application process or permitting process would be in one municipality and that municipality would be where most of the development is. He said most of the building, if not all of the building, and most of the impervious surface is in Westfall Township. His recommendation is that we contact Milford Township and in fact he has been contacted informally by Don Quick who is a Supervisor for Milford Township and he informed him Westfall Township would put him on notice either way as a courtesy and an adjoining township. His understanding is that this is not a dual permitting process and that the applicant would proceed in one municipality and not both. He said to Supervisor Banach that is the law in Pennsylvania. Attorney Stieh said the septic system to the subject property is in Milford Township and they have made the necessary arrangements with the Milford Township Sewage Enforcement Officer for review of this process as to sewage concerns. Solicitor Bernathy confirmed with Attorney Stieh that is a permitting process. Attorney Stieh said that the SEO of Milford Township has indicated that based on the fact that it will be retail to retail and no increase to the number of potential users that they do not anticipate any sewage issues. Attorney Stieh stated again that they want to move this process along and they want to get this done and that is the reason they are appearing before the Board. He said there are ordinance provisions which allow this to occur and that is why they are here today.

Supervisor Flansburg stated all of the questions he had were answered. He stated his vote is for the permitting process. He did have one question regarding the impervious surface. He asked if the application would exceed the impervious surface allowance. Solicitor Bernathy stated he asked that question at the Planning Meeting and they are well under the impervious surface allowance. Supervisor Flansburg confirmed his vote is for the permitting process.

Solicitor Bernathy asked if there were any more comments regarding this issue. He then explained this is not a formal process. They are here basically “testing the waters” on an informal basis asking what it is as far as your discretion in concerned. He asked the Supervisors if they preferred the applicant submit for a land development process or as provided for in 801 B which is the permitting process with aforementioned stated conditions which we have gone through here. Supervisor Melvin said his concerns were the additional concrete pad and the water runoff which has been addressed and that the all of the retail stores stay within the same building. Solicitor Bernathy stated the addition of the dollar store will be an additional use. Supervisor Melvin confirmed there will be an additional twenty eight parking spaces and that those spaces would fit in the property boundary lines. Solicitor Bernathy confirmed. Chairman Ewbank asked Mike Rendleman if he had any comments and he said no. Supervisor Banach said he is good with it as long as the county reviews it and they pay the cost for our engineer review it. Solicitor Bernathy told Attorney Stieh he would send out a letter so that they could go through the permitting process.


Solicitor Bernathy stated there is a continuation of the Paddler’s Point Hearing which is scheduled for October 1, 2013. He said we are not here to discuss the facts or what your decision is going to be. He provided the Supervisors with a Memorandum of Law with regard to specifically fees in lieu of dedicating open space. He highlighted the memorandum. He explained that fees in lieu of dedicating open space are allowed and shall be in the amount of $600.00 per dwelling unit. He pointed out the amount is much higher than what was represented at the public proceeding. This is discretionary. He said if the Board and the applicant agree if the proposed subdivision or land development will pay fees in lieu of dedicating open space this fee shall be established by a fee schedule which may be updated by resolution of the Board until such time as a different fee is established the fee shall be $600.00 per dwelling unit. He emphasized the word “shall” which is a mandatory term and is not negotiable. He stated the Board must take into consideration whether the dedication of land would be preferable or fees. He outlined what their decision should be for land versus fees. He read parts of the ordinance which has been authorized by the municipalities planning code. He said the municipalities planning code is interesting and he had provided the law in bold print for review. He said if you were to go in this direction which is discretionary, which he cannot stress enough, the land or fees or a combination thereof are to be used only for the purpose of providing park or recreational facilities accessible to the development. The amount and location of the land to be dedicated or fees to be paid shall bear a reasonable relationship to the use of the park and recreational facilities by future inhabitance of that development or subdivision. He continued to read that section of the law. He asked that the Board familiarize themselves with the law by reading the copy he has provided so they are informed and can make an informed decision when the applicant appears for the continuation of the hearing. He said he cannot stress enough that we are not here to talk about facts or decide the issue but just for him to give his legal opinion

Solicitor Bernathy stated the next issue he researched is whether the minimum square foot required by the zoning ordinance is a legally enforceable requirement so if the Board decided they want to go in the direction to not provide for fees in lieu of and you want to require the open space as your ordinance provides you can do that. Minimum square feet required by the ordinance is enforceable as long as it is related to health, safety, morals and general welfare. He stated he goes into the law on this on the memorandum. He stated there was also an issue or questions regarding low income housing and the possibility this may become low income housing. He said he cannot stress enough and he has provided the law on this. He read a part of the law which states a municipality has the right to reasonably limit an owner’s absolute right to use his property with zoning ordinances designed to protect and preserve health, safety and welfare. The regulations and requirements of the zoning ordinance must not be unreasonably restrictive and must bear a rational relationship to a legitimate government purpose. A zoning ordinance which has the effect of totally excluding moderate or low income persons by means of excluding certain types of multi-family dwellings is exclusionary inherently discriminatory and therefore unconstitutional. He said that is very poignant and very limiting language that you cannot at all consider that this may or may not become low income housing in your decision making process. He said to the Supervisors that it the law and please take and read the memo so that you are prepared for the October 1, 2013 meeting regarding Paddler’s Point.

Supervisor Banach asked Solicitor Bernathy if we could vote against the Paddler’s Point proposal for the Garden Apartments. He wants the applicant to follow our zoning ordinance. Solicitor Bernathy stated he has provided the law in both instances. He said if you choose to go with fees in lieu of open space you can do that or if you wish to stick with the ordinance and have the minimum square footage requirement, you can do that as well. It is completely within your discretion.

Chairman Ewbank asked if the Pond Drive Vacation could be moved up so that Mr. Stieh would not have to sit through the meeting. Supervisor Flansburg agreed.


Solicitor Bernathy stated that Mr. Stieh has submitted a letter. Mr. Stieh addressed the Board. He stated he has lived on Pond Drive since 1978 and that when they built their home there was a cul-de-sac in the front of his house. He said he aligned his house to look down the cul-de-sac and he did so based on the fact Pond Drive was a public road at that time that terminated at the cul-de-sac. There was a dirt road which ran off to the right. The township, unbeknownst to him, had not accepted the last grade going up to his house to where the cul-de-sac was and the township told the developer to re-grade that portion of the road because it was too steep. As a result Pond Drive actually shifted seventy five to eighty feet to the right of where it was. He said his house then looked over the driveway which leads to what was Mr. Biondo’s property. He stated the township agreed to take Pond Drive which included the loop which would allow emergency vehicles to travel through and the people who lived there could get around. He said the township accepted the road based on this and all of the people who bought from the Corcoran property up bought with the understanding it would be a continuous road. Biondo brought the road into compliance with the township road ordinance. He tar, chipped, graded, and did all he needed to do. He said after about a year the township came in and tar and chipped it again. The township maintained the road. He said Mr. Biondo told him he has paid taxes on it. Mr. Stieh said he has paid taxes on it and all of the property owners bought with the understanding that the road was public. He said the township passed resolutions stating Pond Drive was a public road. His understanding from Mr. Biondo is that sometime in the 1990’s someone from the township said to Mr. Biondo that no one has any houses back there so do you mind if we do not maintain it the same way as we maintain the rest of the road. He added that the township has always plowed and cindered the road. Mr. Biondo told the township he did not care as long as when he sold a house back there it would be taken care of by the township. Mr. Stieh said that is the deal that was made. He said that all of the owners of property on Pond Drive are thinking how is an ambulance or fire truck going to get around in case of an emergency. He said no one is saying to the township that the road needs to be paved. He said it was once paved and at one time a grader went through and tore up the tar and chip and turned it to gravel. He asked Bill Schneider how long the road is. Mr. Schneider said 1,940 feet which is about 4/10 of a mile. Mr. Stieh said the township has received Liquid Fuel funds since that portion of the road was dedicated to the township. He said the township has collected the money for it and now for whatever reason the township does not want it as a township road anymore. He also said it is his understanding that to receive Liquid Fuel funds the requirement is that a traditional vehicle is able to be driven at fifteen miles per hour. He said that is the way the road is today and he can drive his tractor, pick-up truck and his car on it. He does not understand why the township wants to vacate the road. It will affect Biondo who has lots back there, the property owners association, and every land owner on Pond Drive. He said the township will still receive the Liquid Fuel funds for it. He questioned where the plow trucks would turn around if there were no cul-de-sac. The road is 22 feet wide. Bill Schneider added the road must be 33 feet wide according to state law. Supervisor Flansburg asked Bill Schneider how the road is plowed at the current time. Mr. Schneider said they plow around the road but it depends on the storm. He said there was an issue last year when the road became so muddy that a fire truck could not make it around the circle. There was no base left on the road and the fire truck sunk to the axle and had to stay there while the road was closed. He said the issue is we need to put money into the road which will be quite costly or vacate it. Supervisor Flansburg said he thinks the issue is if someone were to develop the property and the township was required to bring the road up to specs that the township does not have the money to do so. Supervisor Banach stated if someone were to drive on that portion of the road and they ruin their car that would be an issue. He said that he thinks Mr. Stieh is a little off on his date and time and that there were numerous people present when Mr. Biondo wanted to make that a town road. There were people at that meeting that brought pieces of tar and chip road. The road was built as tar and chip over dirt without any base. People were at that meeting and they did not want Pond Drive to be a town road because someday this would happen. He said to Mr. Stieh if someone drives down that road and gets hurt the township will get sued and we do not have the money for another lawsuit nor do we have the money to bring the road up to specs. He also said it is a dirt road, no one uses it, the township cannot plow it, and it is too much liability. We want to shed the liability. Mr. Stieh said the road was built according to the township specs because the township accepted it as a township road and he assumed that the township engineer at the time took a look at it. Supervisor Banach said it will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to bring the road up to township specs. Mr. Stieh said he has no idea how much it would cost to bring the road up to spec since he does not know what the township specs are Mr. Banach is making reference. He said it is a township road and the township has accepted Liquid Fuels funds for it for the past thirty five years that he is aware, it is used by the township and is a benefit to the residents of the township who pay their taxes. Mr. Stieh said to Mr. Banach to say it is a liability to the township is wrong. The law as is exists, and your solicitor can confirm this, that pertaining to state highways, there is very little law supporting that if someone gets stuck on the road that there would be liability to the township or to the state but more importantly what would be the liability for damages to the township under the eminent domain code. He said under the eminent domain code if the township vacates a road, the damages suffered by the property owners association are recoverable under the eminent domain code. No one wants to do that since we all live here, we all pay taxes here and we all enjoy living here. He said for the sake of spending a few dollars to plow the road and put some stone on the road why someone would be bothered to go through that expense and the enormity of the turmoil that would create for the township. He does not understand that. Mr. Stieh asked Mr. Dalton if he had anything to add. He said no and that Mr. Stieh has said it all. Solicitor Bernathy stated the Supervisors have a copy of his opinion letter dated August 13, 2013 regarding his research as far as vacation of the street is concerned. The second class township code does provide that you can vacate by ordinance any road or portion of road located within the township and obviously there are requirement that need to be met before doing so. He said there is provision under the law for the township to vacate the portion of that road but advance notice to adjacent property owners must be given. The owners can agree on the vacation but by what Mr. Stieh is indicating he does not think there will be an agreement as far as the vacation is concerned. He said the township is free to vacate selected portions of a road. That is without a view. He said that is the law on it and the Supervisors have asked that he move forward on this matter and he prepared the opinion letter accordingly. He said we are prepared to go forward with the vacation of Pond Drive but it is up to the discretion of the Supervisors.

Mr. Stieh stated that they will be creating two dead ends that do not comply with the township’s Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance. He said unless you are planning to build cul-de-sacs and then the township will need to be acquiring properties to do that. He asked where emergency vehicles will turn around. Supervisor Flansburg asked if we could vacate the road fifty feet closer and put a cul-de-sac. Solicitor Bernathy stated a cul-de-sac could be put there if there is emergency related concern. He said you could vacate the portion you are proposing to vacate and put cul-de-sacs to accommodate emergency vehicles. He does not know what the cost of that would be. Mr. Stieh stated that under the Subdivision Ordinance the township does not have sufficient right of way. He said he wants the township to leave there what is there. He is not saying to bring the road up to any kind of specification. He said Valley View Community Association has a few lots which shale can be obtained. He has not spoken to the Property Owners Association but he said they will be willing to make that source available to the township. Bill Schneider said that shale does not meet the standards. Mr. Stieh said again that all of the property owners bought under the assumption that was a loop. He said if something happens on the stretch from Mr. Corcoran’s house to his house, he has no way of getting out. Also, if something happens on the stretch from his house to Frank Heater’s house, he has no way of getting out. He said the loop allows that to happen and that is the reason the Planning Commission made the loop. He said that the Township making an agreement with Mr. Biondo not to maintain the road should not come back to bite him now. Supervisor Flansburg asked Mr. Stieh if he agrees that there are many other properties in the township that would have no other way out should there be a problem. River Road, Cemetery Road, Doug Miller, and Laurel Acres, he said they all have no out. Mr. Stieh said we all know those roads were laid out hundreds of years ago. Supervisor Flansburg said he understands Mr. Stieh’s point but he is trying to look at all of the facts. Chairman Ewbank stated that when we first discussed doing this we asked the Highway Department and Fire Department and they said they would be able to turn their vehicles around without going back there. Mr. Stieh asked which driveway will be used. Chairman Ewbank said we asked the question and we received an answer. Mr. Stieh said it does not seem fair to him that he has paid his taxes, the township has collected Liquid Fuel funds, the road was dedicated to the township, built in accordance with the township road dedication standards and now because the township got a buy on maintaining the road by agreement with Mr. Biondo that all of a sudden all of this should be forgotten. Supervisor Flansburg said that he agrees. Bill Schneider asked if the Supervisors would like to have an estimate for the cost. Supervisor Melvin asked if there is a legal standard that the road needs to be built. Solicitor Bernathy stated it has to be built in accordance with the current Zoning Ordinance and this is why it will be quite a significant expense. Mr. Stieh said if it is a public road it needs to be maintained to the standard to collect Liquid Fuel funds which means it must be able to be traversed by a two wheel drive vehicle at 15 miles per hour. Supervisor Flansburg asked the amount of Liquid Fuel we would lose if we vacate the road. Supervisor Melvin said roughly $2000.00. Supervisor Flansburg asked could that Liquid Fuels standard hold up if we were being sued. Solicitor Bernathy stated those are minimum requirements.

Bill Schneider said there are certain times of the year especially in the spring that an emergency vehicle will get stuck at that section of the roadway due to muddiness.

Chairman Ewbank stated they could not make any decisions at the meeting but would take all that is being said under advisement. Mr. Stieh said he would respectfully submit to the Board that it is a better thing to leave that which exists rather than trying to do away with it. Mike Barth asked since we have been collecting Liquid Fuels all of these years and we close the road can we be held legally accountable for not maintaining it. Solicitor Bernathy said the law provides for the vacation of any township road as long as you comply with the requirements set forth in his opinion letter. He said in his opinion, no.


Bill Schneider stated he has had a couple of contractors look at that situation at the Wisniewski property. He said the best way to solve the problem is to stay on the one side of the road where the water accumulates and take the turn out and drop the road lower. It requires funds. An excavator is required and there may be ledge. He is working on obtaining a more precise figure of the cost. Supervisor Melvin stated he understands the issue with the water but it was an existing issue before the house was built and this will cost a lot of money. Mr. Schneider said we were going to hire an engineer but the cost was a few thousand dollars. Supervisor Melvin said that we will be setting precedence for a property with a pre-existing water issue. Supervisor Banach stated that years ago George Decker and Ken Thiele installed culvert in areas where there we no homes. Now there are so many homes and so much traffic. He said Bill Schneider is doing a great job widening the roads but we are sending more water onto people’s property. He said what if Mr. Wisniewski decides to fill in the side of the road we will have water running down the road onto someone else’s property. Solicitor Bernathy stated that the law provides that the township has the right, easement wise, to discharge water that accumulates on the township roadways onto adjacent properties. They would be diverting water from its course which is actionable in a court of law. Supervisor Flansburg asked Bill Schneider where this is on his priority list.
Mr. Schneider said this will need to be hired out and it is not his most important project right now. Supervisor Flansburg asked Mr. Schneider to obtain some more information on cost.


Solicitor Bernathy stated with regard to the Amusement Tax, there are some outstanding matters regarding requests from businesses with specific regard to Have A Hoot. He said he had a discussion with Attorney Duke Schneider who represents Have a Hoot. Solicitor Bernathy said it is the township’s position the operation of the business is a family fun center not a family fitness center. The business is advertised as a fun center. There are batting cages, arcade, laser tag and parties are convened there. There is also food there. Pizza, hamburgers, and hot dogs are served. Supervisor Flansburg said no health food is offered. He said this facility’s primary purpose is not for physical fitness. He said someone may be able to make an argument that it is partly for physical fitness but not primarily and he has communicated this to Attorney Schneider. Solicitor Bernathy said they may, as they have done with the school, consider the tax in lieu of but that must be based on what it is that they are generating and they are substantiating their numbers. He said the township’s accountant put something in writing and his primary concern was that this was not being uniformly implied or based on speculation and that is not the case. He said that is not the case and we had asked the school district for numbers regarding the attendance at their football games and it was based on those numbers that we said you can make a onetime payment rather than incurring the administrative costs over a course of time. We are not cutting deals with businesses. If we did that, I agree with your accountant, we would have to do it with all of them. With all due respect that is not what we are doing. Regardless of what ever that tax may generate if they wanted to pay us that lump sum once rather than having to administrate it over the course of a year it would be fine. They would need to just pay for the cost of putting the collection program on their computer or whatever collection device they are using. Solicitor Bernathy indicated to Atty. Schneider that would be the supervisor’s position. Atty. Schneider said that he would get back to solicitor Bernathy. He has not heard from him as of yet. He added that would be the status of anyone who is taking the position that they are exempt. Solicitor Bernathy said if they refuse to pay that tax he would want authority to institute legal proceedings but he hopes we do not have to do that. There are other businesses that have paid their tax. They have paid on time. It is generating some income not the income we would like but it is generating some income from the Township. He said to the supervisors they have an obligation to enforce it. He said he indicated to attorney Schneider that it is a business and that sharing with us their books can be a delicate and confidential venture and he indicated that was not the supervisors intent but that you would want to see some substantiation of what is generated to get some idea of what the onetime payment would be a lieu of the tax. Supervisor Melvin that it would make sense to obtain the amount on the 1040 form just so they could get a general ball park estimate and not dive into the books or know how much profit is being made or what their costs are. Solicitor Bernathy stated that would be sufficient evidence.


Bill Schneider stated that in areas where people are black topping their driveways they are taking out the existing culvert pipes. His opinion is that the ordinance should be changed so that the culvert pipes are required to be changed before the black topping takes place.


Chairman Ewbank stated we have four proposals that have been presented to the Board. The prices vary. He and the Board reviewed and discussed the estimates and said they will take all estimates under consideration.

MIKE RENDLEMAN-Temporary Zoning Offers-Discuss details for Advertisement for Zoning Officer Position:

Chairman Ewbank confirmed that Mr. Rendleman will be retiring at the end of the month. He said he spoke with Mr. Rendleman and he has agreed to take the position of Temporary Zoning Officer for the Township until a replacement is hired. Solicitor Bernathy said to put the advertisement on the agenda for the October 1, 2013 Supervisor Meeting.


Chairman Ewbank stated there will be a Public Hearing on November 7, 2013 to discuss and possible vote on the Burning Ordinance. Solicitor Bernathy said the Ordinance will establish requirements and it exempts out what we are calling the “triangle” and it needs to be read in that context. Supervisor Banach stated he sent a copy of the Ordinance with some changes he has made. He said he is in 100% agreement and this has been talked about for such a long time. We have purchased the leaf picker. He said there should be no burning of leaves in the section on Tenth Street all the way out. There should be no burning of mattresses, tires and those types of items throughout the township. He does not think the Police Department should enforce this ordinance and that our Zoning Officer should be the enforcer. He also thinks there should not be a permit required for burning brush. He wants to make sure the township does not make another ordinance that is not enforceable. Our main goal was to make sure there is no rubbish or tires being burned down town and that the burning of leaves does not fill Matamoras and the whole valley with smoke. Vice Chairman Fischer agreed with Supervisor Banach. Solicitor Bernathy said the way the Ordinance is written burning is allowed except in prohibited areas without a permit from dawn until dusk. He explained that part of the Ordinance and added that is prohibits burning on Sunday but that can be changed as well if desired by the Board.

Mike Barth addressed the board with a question regarding having a bon fire in his back yard fire pit. Supervisor Flansburg said it is allowed. Solicitor Bernathy confirmed there will be no permits required for that. Mr. Barth asked about leaves and tree trimmings. Chairman Ewbank said the leaves would be picked up by the Township. Bill Schneider said we do not want to get involved in picking up any brush or branches, only leaves. The compost area will be open for dumping of brush and branches. John Hess stated that he is glad to see the Burning Ordinance. He said less than a month ago someone was burning plastic at 9:00 at night. There was a discussion held regarding the enforcement of the Ordinance.

Solicitor Bernathy asked the Board if he should advertise for the Public Hearing for November 7, 2013. Additional discussion was held regarding the enforcement of the Ordinance and who should do so. Solicitor Bernathy said this should be a line item in the Township Budget. Chairman Ewbank asked Solicitor Bernathy if the Board comes up with someone to enforce the Ordinance by the middle of October if that would give enough time for advertising the Ordinance. He responded, yes.


Chairman Ewbank read a complaint submitted by Robert Meyer concerning storm water from the new Westfall Firehouse running onto his property. Mr. Meyer said in his complaint the problem was not solved when the new firehouse was built and the problem has worsened. Solicitor Bernathy stated this is an issue that Mr. and Mrs. Meyer need to address with the fire department. Mrs. Meyer was present and stated they did speak with the fire department and they said they would do something about it and never did. She said the water runs between her house and her daughter’s house like a river. Solicitor Bernathy stated that if there is water being discharged from their property and it is not running into one of the township easements accordingly, and it is affecting the Meyer property, then you have a private cause of action, therefore this is not a township matter. He said it is a matter that needs to be taken up with the fire department by Mr. and Mrs. Meyer. Solicitor Bernathy said the storm water management should have been designed so that there is no adverse effect on adjacent parcels and it should be discharged on site or if it is offsite that it goes into the drainage areas. If it is not doing that and it is being diverted onto the Meyer property then that is considered a trespass of water and is actionable in a court of law which is not something the township would do on their behalf. Supervisor Flansburg added there are at least three other neighbors that are having some problems with this issue. He said there is also a problem with the dumpster being in the back. He spoke with someone at the fire department and brokered a meeting with them to see what can be done about the issues. Solicitor Bernathy said the fire department needs to comply with the specs of their plan. Supervisor Flansburg said there is supposed to be a dry well. Mrs. Meyer said there is no dry well. Solicitor Bernathy said it does become a township issue if they did not build pursuant to the plan approved by the township. In this case, there should be a violation notice issued. Supervisor Flansburg said he would like to sit with the fire department and discuss the issues. Solicitor Bernathy said we need to see the plans to see if they are built in accordance to those plans. Mike Barth said that the water creates a hazardous situation on Blue Ridge Avenue. Mr. Dalton asked who should have notified the fire department about this situation. Supervisor Flansburg said he has already. Supervisor Melvin suggested that BIU go out and look at the property. Solicitor Bernathy said Joe Hudak would be the one to do that job since he is the engineer. Mike Rendleman stated that BIU looks only at the building. Supervisor Flansburg said that he would review the plans and make a determination by the next meeting. Supervisor Melvin was concerned about missing dry wells.


Solicitor Bernathy said this has already been approved and the maps need to be signed. Jodi Hulse said we are waiting for the Developer Agreement and Bond from Attorney Schneider. Solicitor Bernathy said we need those documents since they are conditions of the approval.

Solicitor Bernathy recognized that Marge Tonkin was present. He said at a planning level she has been attending and we that we have a shortage on the Planning Commission. He said he approached Mrs. Tonkin and asked if she would consider coming back and she said that she would take that under advisement. Mrs. Tonkin confirmed. He is hopeful she will come back. Chairman Ewbank stated the Board of Supervisors has decided to take applications and interview the people for any opening for the positions.

Supervisor Banach asked Solicitor Bernathy the status of the letter to Matamoras regarding the closing of the compost area and the letter regarding the regional split. Solicitor Bernathy said he did not have either of the letters done yet but he would have them done for the October 1, 2013 meeting.

ADJOURNMENT: Meeting adjourned at 8:29 pm on a motion by Supervisor Flansburg, seconded by Supervisor Melvin. Motion carried with all in favor.

Respectfully submitted,
Jodi Hulse