Monthly Archives: February 2014

Supervisor Special Meeting-January 26, 2014-Minutes

Westfall Township, Matamoras, PA
January 26, 2014

The Westfall Township Board of Supervisors held a Special Meeting on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 4:00 pm. The meeting was held at the Westfall Township Municipal Building on Delaware Drive and LaBarr Lane.

Those present were Chairman, Larry Flansburg; Vice-Chairman, Robert Melvin; Supervisors, Raymond Banach, Lester J. Buchanan and Jerry Dotey; Solicitor Robert Bernathy; Secretary, Jodi Hulse; and one member of the general public.

Public Comment: NONE

Chairman Flansburg called the meeting to order at 4:04 pm.

Solicitor Bernathy said the Supervisors are present to pass Resolution 2014-11. He read the Resolution and stated notice of the Special Meeting was duly advertised in the Pocono Record and we need a vote to pass Resolution 2014-11 with any discussion.

A motion was made by Supervisor Banach to pass Resolution 2014-11. The motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Melvin and carried with all in favor. The vote was unanimous.

A motion was made to acknowledge that the Supervisors passed the Tax Anticipation Note Ordinance on December 27, 2013 and it was duly advertised in the Pike County Dispatch, and that the Supervisors will review and execute The General Obligation Note to the Dime Bank, The Non-Arbitrage Certificate, and the Certificate of No Litigation, by Supervisor Buchanan. The motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Melvin and carried with four in favor and one abstention.

There was no public comment and no response.

ADJOURNMENT: The meeting adjourned at 4:07 pm on a motion made by Supervisor Buchanan. The motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Melvin and carried with all in favor.

Respectfully submitted,
Jodi Hulse
Secretary

Supervisor Regular Meeting-January 6, 2014-Minutes

Westfall Township, Matamoras, PA
January 6, 2014

The regular meeting of the Westfall Township Board of Supervisors was held Monday, January 6, 2014 at 7:27 pm. The meeting was held at the Township Building on Delaware Drive and LaBarr Lane, Westfall Township.

Those present were Chairman, Larry Flansburg and Vice Chairman, Robert Melvin; Supervisors, Raymond Banach, Lester J. Buchanan and Jerry Dotey; Solicitor, Robert Bernathy, and Secretary, Jodi Hulse. Also present was Zoning Officer, Michael Rendleman; Scott Myer, Bill Schneider, Chad Steward, Rob Llewellyn, Lisa Mickles, Beth Brelje, John Dalton, and approximately ten members of the general public.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA: Supervisor Banach stated we had an Executive Session for personnel for the purposes of interviewing zoning officer applicants. The executive session was held January 6, 2014 at 6:30. Also, he would like to add to the old business section of the agenda, a letter to Matamoras regarding EPRPD split of payment between Westfall Township and Matamoras Borough. Supervisor Banach also added to old business, discussion regarding Westfall Township firehouse flooding issue/Engineering Firm.

Agenda approved on a motion by Supervisor Buchanan. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Banach and carries with all in favor.

EXECUTIVE SESSION: An executive session was held on January 6, 2014 for personnel who were for Zoning Officer position interviews.

PUBLIC COMMENT: NONE

MINUTES: A motion was made by Supervisor Banach to table the minutes for December 3, 2013 Public Hearing, December 3, 2013 Regular Meeting, December 18, 2013 and December 27, 2013. The motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Melvin and carried with all in favor.

TREASURER’S REPORT: Scott Myer gave the report. He said the treasurer’s report is for the calendar year of 2013. Income for the year was in line with budget which was 1.7 million and expense was in line with budget which was 1.88 million. He said we had a short fall of $170,000 which is what was expected which was transferred from reserves to cover the shortfall. Mr. Myer said we are in the process of obtaining a Tax Anticipation Note. He asked Solicitor Bernathy if we have a closing date yet. Solicitor Bernathy said we passed the ordinance and he spoke with Greg Myer and he asked the closing take place in the beginning of the year so we can schedule the closing at any time. Solicitor Bernathy said he expressed the need for the funds. He asked Mr. Myer where we stand. Mr. Myer said we can make it through January. Solicitor Bernathy confirmed he should schedule the closing as soon as possible. Vice Chairman Melvin said to schedule the closing as soon as possible since our reserve it slim.

A motion was made by Supervisor Banach to accept the Treasurer’s Report. The motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Melvin and carried with all in favor.

POLICE REPORT: Chad Stewart gave the Police Report. The report was for the month of December. The monthly count of offenses known to police were two assaults, one burglary, twenty five larceny theft, one forgery, two fraud, two vandalism, two possible drug abuse, one drunkenness, ten disorderly conduct, one all other offenses for a total of fifty two. The monthly count of persons charged for offenses are two assaults, eleven larceny theft, two stolen property, two drug abuse, one disorderly conduct for a total of eighteen. The miles patrolled for the month were 6,410. Year to date miles patrolled were 70,106. Motor Vehicle Accidents for the month were 13 and year to date 175. Calls for service for the month were 182 and year to date were 2448.

Supervisor Banach moved to approve the Police Report. Motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carries with all in favor.

FIRE DEPARTMENT:

The Westfall Fire Department report was given by Rob Llewellyn. He stated there were 7 automatic fire alarms, 4 motor vehicle accidents, 3 stand-by transfer, 1 spill control, 9 outside investigations, and 3 structure fires. The total calls for December were 27 and total calls year to date are 362. Mr. Llewellyn said for EMS there were 51 calls for Westfall Township, 20 calls to cover Squad 33 and 3 calls to cover Squad 19. Total EMS calls for December were 74 and 758 calls year to date for EMS.

Chuck Pranski gave the report. He said on December 4, 2013 they worked on the checking the equipment on Engine One and Tanker. The monthly meeting was held on December 6, 2013. The department had a work night on December 11, 2013 and they checked the equipment on Engine Two. They held a Special Meeting on December 15, 2013 for new boat equipment. December 18, 2013 the airbags were repaired on the Hovercraft. They had Hovercraft training on December 28, 2013 at the Matamoras Boat Launch. Mr. Pranski said the total man hours for the month were 80 and total equipment hours were 125. Total man hours for the year were 1,235.7.

Mr. Pranski also thanked Supervisor Flansburg for donating his supervisor salary to the Mill Rift Fire Department.

Chairman Flansburg asked about the status of the compilation. He asked if anyone on the board has heard anything. The response was no. Chairman Flansburg asked Mr. Pranski to look into the matter and get back to him.

Supervisor Banach asked if the department has proper insurance with the new boat. Mr. Pranski said they are covered under the department’s policy.

Vice Chairman Melvin moved to approve the Fire Department Reports. Motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carries with all in favor.

HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT: Bill Schneider gave the report for December. He read the list of dates which the department handled road maintenance for snow removal and laying down material for ice storms and weather conditions. He said most of the month has taken up their time with taking care of the roads from storms. The Highway Department has been maintaining the equipment. Mr. Schneider said that he has ordered 225 tons of salt in December and 175 tons of anti-skid material. He said there has been a fair amount of overtime so it has been quite an expensive month.

Chairman Flansburg asked Mr. Schneider how he feels about his budget. Mr. Schneider said as of now he thinks it should be fine. Chairman Flansburg asked about the extent of the repair on the 550. Also, he asked about the heat at the Highway Department Building. He heard the heat was out. Mr. Schneider said that has been taken care of.

Supervisor Banach moved to approve the Highway Report. Motion was seconded by Supervisor Buchanan and carried with all in favor.

BUILDING/ZONING REPORT: Michael Rendleman reported that there were four building permits issued in December and one zoning permit. Total permit fees were $1,475.00 with $200.00 outstanding.

He said last month there was an issue raised regarding stop signs at Lowe’s. There are only four stop signs on their development plan. He said they are all in place.

Vice Chairman Melvin said that Walmart has some signs which need to be replaced. Mr. Rendleman said he has not heard back from the manager at Walmart as of yet. Vice Chairman Melvin stated his concern about the stop sign by Dunkin Donuts. He feels it is a traffic hazard since it is always knocked down or being held up by cinder blocks. Solicitor Bernathy said it must be permanently affixed. Supervisor Buchanan said the trucks run it over frequently. Vice Chairman Melvin asked Mr. Rendleman if he could look into the matter.

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

CORRESPONDENCE: On desk for review.

OLD BUSINESS:

Schedule Workshop Meeting for Paddler’s Point for January 21, 2014: Vice Chairman Melvin said we tentatively scheduled the meeting and we would confirm it once the new Supervisors were present. Supervisor Banach asked if there is litigation going on with this. Solicitor Bernathy said the applicants have appealed the Supervisor’s decision. He said we can meet with the applicant for purposes of settlement of that litigation but it would have to occur at executive session. Supervisor Banach said that the discussion the applicant had with a few of the Supervisors was that they wanted to revamp their plan. He said so since they have filed an appeal that has been “thrown out the door”. He questioned Solicitor Bernathy. Solicitor Bernathy said that could be discussed in settlement as part of potential litigation. There was additional discussion regarding whether or not to schedule a meeting. No meeting was scheduled.

A motion was made by Supervisor Banach to send a letter to the applicant. Motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Melvin and carried with all in favor.

Schedule Executive Session for Personnel (Zoning Officer): Supervisor Banach said we need to advertise again for this. This was tabled.

Vacation of Pond Drive: Supervisor Banach asked Mr. Schneider if he has been able to obtain estimates. Mr. Schneider said he has not as of yet. Supervisor Banach said to table this until estimates are obtained and the weather is better.

Letter to Orange and Rockland/Phone Company/PUC regarding Utility Poles in Right of Way: Supervisor Banach said this has been an ongoing thing. There are many poles that have been abandoned by Orange and Rockland and they have put new poles up but the telephone company leaves the poles in the township right of way. He said they are a hazard for plowing snow and to the citizens since they are in the roadway. Discussion was held regarding sending a letter to Public Utility Commission.

Discussion was held regarding the proposed widening of Route 6 & 209 and emergency vehicle access and safety concerns.

A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to send a letter to the Public Utility Commission concerning the removal of poles in Westfall Township. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Banach and carried with all in favor.

There was additional discussion regarding the safety issue of emergency vehicles access when Route 209 & 6 widening project is taking place. Mr. Schneider agreed to obtain a contact number from PennDOT. Supervisor Buchanan agreed to make the call to obtain more information.

MJS Engineering Bills: Solicitor Bernathy said we are obligated to a pay a portion of the bills and he reviewed the bills and they appear to be legitimate. He said there were plans recorded and he has not received a copy of them. Supervisor Banach and Supervisor Buchanan said it was their understanding that there no other financial responsibility since settlement was made. Solicitor Bernathy said he will review the settlement agreement to refresh his memory.

Letter to Matamoras Borough-EPRDP Split: Solicitor Bernathy said he sent a letter and has not received a response. Supervisor Banach asked Solicitor Bernathy to send another letter with a copy of the previous letter. Solicitor Bernathy agreed to do so. Supervisor Banach said the contract is for three years and the time is up so this needs to be discussed as well as the split. Vice Chairman Melvin said he did not feel the contract read that way.

A motion was made by Supervisor Banach to approve Solicitor Bernathy sending a letter to the EPRPD to request a meeting to discuss the contract details and the split. The motion was seconded by Chairman Flansburg. Supervisor Buchanan was in opposition so the motion carried with four in favor and one opposition.

Engineering Firm-Westfall Township Firehouse flooding issue: Chairman Flansburg said there have been some complaints from residents on Blue Ridge Avenue regarding flooding from the Fire Department. He said he has confirmed there was a soil and erosion plan. The Conservation District said they are not responsible if it does not work and that they just make the recommendation. Chairman Flansburg said he had the plan reviewed by Joe Hudak who said the plan is in order and he went to inspect the property and there was no evidence of flooding. He said Mr. Hudak also charged the township $800 to review his own plan. Mr. Hudak also told Chairman Flansburg that the leaders on the gutters were too long and if they were cut back the water would disburse better. Chairman Flansburg said he went to personally take a look and there are no leaders on the gutters. Rob Llewellyn said he may have been talking about the old building which the gutters are still there and in place. Chairman Flansburg said the problem seems to be coming from the new addition. Rob Llewellyn said in the past if there was water in the streets of Matamoras there was water behind the firehouse. It has been that way for fifteen or twenty years. Chairman Flansburg said it needs to be addressed since it has been brought to our attention. Solicitor Bernathy questioned if the problem has gotten worse by the new construction. Mr. Llewellyn said with a standard rain it is no different than it has ever been. Chairman Flansburg said we need to talk to Mr. Hudak and he would ask Mr. Hudak to be present at the next meeting.

NEW BUSINESS:

Welcome New Supervisors: Chairman Flansburg welcomed Supervisor Buchanan and Supervisor Dotey once again.

Resolutions for PennDOT Maintenance Agreements: A motion was made by Supervisor Banach to approve the Resolutions for PennDOT Drainage Maintenance Agreement, PennDOT Sidewalk Maintenance Agreement and Eight Resolutions for Traffic Signal Approval and Applications. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor.

Appoint Deputy Tax Collector-Request from Laurie Pearce: Laurie Pearce stated a Deputy Tax Collector is recommended in case of illness. Supervisor Melvin said the Deputy Tax Collector will take over until the Board of Supervisors appoints someone else to do the job. There was discussion regarding the procedure of appointment of the position. Supervisor Banach brought up the issue of the Deputy being a family member. Laurie Pearce said that most Tax Collectors have a family member since they are familiar with the procedure in the home where the office exists. She said Matamoras Borough Tax Collector has her daughter as the Deputy. Supervisor Buchanan said the position is temporary.

A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to appoint Zachary Pearce as Deputy Tax Collector. The motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Melvin and carried with all in favor.

Appoint Robert Howard as Assistant Emergency Management Coordinator: Robert Ewbank said we want to now have two Assistant Emergency Management Coordinators. He said James Ellison is the first one and Robert Howard would like to fill the second position.

Bill Schneider said the Supervisors in the past would not allow a highway employee as Emergency Management Staff since the person is needed as a highway employee in an emergency situation. Supervisor Buchanan questioned if Mr. Howard is a line officer in the Matamoras Fire Department. Mr. Ewbank said he gave up that position. Vice Chairman Melvin said it is a good idea to have as many Emergency Management Assistants as possible. There was discussion regarding whether a highway employee should be on Emergency Management Staff. Supervisor Buchanan said Mr. Schneider will need both of his employees in any emergency situation. The Supervisors decided not to appoint Mr. Howard. Supervisor Banach said it is no offense to Mr. Howard. He is a great employee but he is needed at the Highway Department.

Letter from Pike County Library-Survey: The Supervisors agreed to have the survey available at the Westfall Township Office for residents to pick up and fill out.

Supervisor Banach said he would like to advertise all vacancies in the Township. A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to advertise all paying and non-paying positions vacant in the Township. The motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Melvin and carried with all in favor.

SUBDIVISION REVIEW and ACTION: None

ADJOURNMENT: Meeting was adjourned at 8:19 p.m. on a motion by Vice Chairman Melvin. Motion seconded by Supervisor Banach and carried with all in favor.

Respectfully Submitted,
Jodi Hulse
Secretary

2014 Supervisors Organization Meeting-Minutes

TO: The Auditors of Westfall Township, Pike Co., PA

FROM: Board of Supervisors, Westfall Township, Pike Co., PA

RE: Supervisor’s Annual Reorganization Meeting 1/06/14

The Supervisors of Westfall Township held their Annual Reorganization Meeting on Monday, January 6, 2014 at the Westfall Township Municipal Building and the following Officers were elected.

Temporary Chairman: Supervisor Buchanan moved to appoint Supervisor Robert Melvin as Temporary Chairman. Motion was seconded by Supervisor Banach and carried with all in favor.

Temporary Secretary: Supervisor Banach moved to appoint Jodi Hulse as Temporary Secretary. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Flansburg and carried with all in favor.

Chairman of the Board: Supervisor Larry Flansburg – The position of Chairman was approved on a motion by Supervisor Banach, seconded by Supervisor Dotey. Motion carried with three in favor and two opposed.

Vice-Chairman: Supervisor Robert Melvin – The position of Vice-Chairman was approved on a motion by Supervisor Buchanan, seconded by Chairman Flansburg. Motion carried with all in favor.

Supervisor Pro Tem: Supervisor Jerry Dotey -The position of Supervisor Pro Tem was approved on a motion by Supervisor Buchanan, seconded by Supervisor Banach. Motion carried with all in favor

At this meeting, the Supervisors appointed and filled the following positions.

Secretary: Jodi Hulse- Salary shall be set at the rate of $ 30,000.00 yearly. Hours are 8:00 a.m. through 4:00 p.m. daily (Monday through Friday) including Supervisors and Planning Commission Meetings. Ms. Hulse’s appointment made upon motion of Supervisor Banach, seconded by Supervisor Dotey. Motion carried with all in favor.

Treasurer: Scott Myer – Compensation set at $21,300.00 yearly. Mr. Myer’s appointment made upon motion of Vice Chairman Melvin, seconded by Supervisor Banach. Motion carried with all in favor.

Supervisors Meetings: The Supervisors set the following schedule for regular meetings for
the year 2014. Regular meetings will be held on the first Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m. Motion to approve schedule made by Supervisor Buchanan, seconded by Supervisor Banach. Motion carried with all in favor.

Special Meetings: The Supervisors set two special meetings to be held on Monday, November 17, 2014 and Thursday, December 18, 2014 for the purpose of introducing the tentative budget and adopting the actual budget for the upcoming year. Motion to approve schedule made by Supervisor Buchanan seconded by Vice Chairman Melvin. Motion carried with all in favor.

Supervisors Workshops: Supervisors Workshops will be scheduled as needed.

Designated official Bank Depositories for all Township funds shall be with the Pennstar Bank, The Dime Bank and Pennsylvania Local Government Investment Trust. Motion to appoint banks stated made by Vice Chairman Melvin seconded by Supervisor Banach. Motion carried with all in favor.

Board of Vacancy Chairman: William Koferl- Supervisor Banach moved to appoint Mr. Koferl as board of vacancy chairman. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Buchanan and carries with all in favor.

Township Solicitor: Attorney Robert Bernathy – Salary shall be at the rate of $100.00 per hour for attendance at a Regular or Special Township meeting and Workshops. All development work is reimbursed by the developer prior to final approval. Payable from the Township General Fund. Motion to appoint made by Supervisor Banach, seconded by Vice Chairman Melvin. Motion carried with all in favor.

Planning Board Solicitor: Attorney Robert Bernathy – Salary shall be at the rate of $100.00 per hour for attendance at a Regular or Special meeting or Workshop of the Planning Board. Payable from Township General Fund. Motion to appoint made by Supervisor Dotey, seconded by Supervisor Banach. Motion carried with all in favor.

Township Engineer: Kiley Associates, Inc. – Supervisor Buchanan moved to appoint Kiley Associates, Inc. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Banach and carries with all in favor. Supervisor Banach said we should reach out to Mr. Hudak to discuss a better price for the Township and his availability. Chairman Flansburg asked the board if they would like for him to set up a meeting with Mr. Hudak. The Supervisor agreed.

Alternate Engineer: Al Handy, Twin Oaks Consulting, LLC – Supervisor Banach moved to appoint Al Handy, Twin Oaks Consulting, LLC. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Buchanan and carries with all in favor.

Zoning Hearing Board: 3 year term

January 1, 2014 — December 31, 2016 Richard Andree
January 1, 2014 – December 31, 2016 William Gregory

Alternate – 1 Vacancy – January 1, 2014 – December 31, 2014
Alternate –1 Vacancy – January 1, 2014 – December 31, 2016

Motion to appoint the Richard Andree was made by Supervisor Buchanan. Motion is seconded by Vice Chairman Melvin and carries with all in favor.

Motion to appoint William Gregory was made by Supervisor Banach. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carries with all in favor.

Chairman Flansburg asked if there was anyone interested in applying for the Zoning Hearing Board Alternate positions. Chuck Pranski said he is interested. Supervisor Banach said to meet with Ms. Hulse after the meeting to obtain an application.

Planning Board: 4-Year Term

Auditors: 6-year term

Building Appeals Board: 3-year term

Member – Vacancy January 1, 2013 – December 31, 2016
Member – Vacancy January 1, 2012 – December 31, 2014
Member – Vacancy January 1, 2012 – December 31, 2015

A motion was made by Supervisor Banach to appoint Al Johns to the Building Appeals Board. Motion was seconded by Supervisor Buchanan and carries with all in favor.

Municipal Authority: 5 year term – January 1, 2014 – December 31, 2018 Jack Hoffman

Motion to appoint Jack Hoffman is made by Supervisor Buchanan, seconded by Supervisor Dotey. Motion carried with all in favor.

Zoning Hearing Board Attorney: Attorney, Douglas Jacobs – Salary of 100.00 per hour payable from Township General Fund, as required. Supervisor Buchanan motioned to appoint Attorney, Douglas Jacobs. Motion seconded by Vice Chairman Melvin and carried with all in favor.

Alternate Zoning Hearing Board Attorney: A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to table the appointment of an Alternate Zoning Hearing Board Attorney. Motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Melvin and carried with all in favor.

Building Appeals Board Attorney: Attorney Douglas Jacobs – Salary of $100.00 per hour payable from Township General Fund, as required. Motion to appoint Attorney Douglas Jacobs made by Supervisor Buchanan, seconded by Vice Chairman Melvin. Motion carried with all in favor.

Police Commission: 2-Year Term

Member – January 1, 2014 – December 31, 2015
Member – January 1, 2014 – December 31, 2015

Motion to appoint Vice Chairman Melvin made by Supervisor Buchanan and seconded by Supervisor Banach. Motion carried with all in favor.

Motion to appoint Chairman Flansburg made by Supervisor Banach and seconded by Supervisor Dotey. Motion carried with four in favor and one opposed.

Open Records Officer: Jodi Hulse – Motion to appoint open records officer made by Supervisor Buchanan, seconded by Supervisor Banach-. Motion carried with all in favor.

Voting Delegate to the State Convention: April 13 – 16, 2014 Hershey, PA. The board decided that any member of the board can attend once they have determined who is able to fit it in to their schedule. Motion was made Vice Chairman Melvin to table appointing the voting delegate. Motion was seconded by Supervisor Banach. This motion carried with all in favor.

Upper Delaware Council: Vacancy – 1 – Year Term – 1/1/2014 – 12/31/2014

A motion was made by Vice Chairman Melvin to table the appointment of an Upper Delaware Council representative. Motion was seconded Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor.

Planning Board Meetings: Shall be held the fourth (4th) Tuesday of every month at 7:00 PM. Motion by Supervisor Banach to approve schedule, seconded by Supervisor Buchanan . Motion carries with all in favor.

Planning Board Workshops: Shall be held the second (2nd) Thursday of every month at 7:00 PM. Motion by Supervisor Buchanan to approve schedule, seconded by Supervisor Banach . Motion carried with all in favor.

COG Representative: Supervisor Banach moved to appoint Jodi Hulse as Council of Governments representative. Motion is seconded by Vice Chairman Melvin and carries with all in favor.

Non Uniform Pension Plan Committee:
January 1, 2014 – end of term — One Supervisor
January 1, 2014 – end of employment — One Plan Member
January 1, 2014 – no longer wants position — One Citizen

Motion was made by Supervisor Banach to appoint Supervisor Buchanan as Member of the Non Uniform Pension Plan Committee. Motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Melvin and carried with all in favor.

Motion was made by Supervisor Banach to appoint Jodi Hulse as Member of the Non Uniform Pension Plan Committee. Motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor.

Motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to table and advertise for the position of the appointment of a citizen as member of the Non Uniform Pension Plan Committee. Motion was seconded by Supervisor Banach and carried with all in favor.

Road Task Force Representative: No appointment needed at this time. Albert Schneider is appointed.

Official Newspapers: Motion was made by Supervisor Banach to designate The Pocono Record as the official paper. Motion is seconded by Supervisor Buchanan and carries with all in favor.

Adjournment: Supervisor Banach moved to adjourn at 7:26 pm. Motion is seconded by Vice Chairman Melvin and carries with all in favor.

Public Hearing-December 27, 2013-Minutes

Westfall Township, Matamoras, PA
December 27, 2013

A public hearing was held on Friday, December 27, 2013 for the purpose of taking public comment on the proposed Tax Anticipation Note Ordinance. The meeting was held at the Westfall Township
Building on Delaware Drive and LaBarr Lane, Matamoras, PA 18336 at 6:04 pm.

Those present were Supervisors Larry Flansburg, Raymond Banach and Robert Melvin; Solicitor, Robert Bernathy and Secretary, Jodi Hulse. Also present was John Dalton.

Supervisor Banach opened the public hearing by stating the proposed ordinance.

Solicitor Bernathy stated there is only one person in attendance. The purpose of this particular proceeding is to approve the proposed ordinance which has been duly advertised in papers of circulation specifically The Pike County Dispatch. He said this is an ordinance increasing the indebtedness of Westfall Township, by the issuance of a general obligation note in the amount of $100,000.00 for sundry purposes; fixing the form, number, date, interest, and maturity thereof; making a covenant for the payment of the debt service on the note; providing for the filing of the required document; providing for the appointment of a sinking fund depository for the note; and authorizing execution, sale and delivery thereof. As indicated the note will be in the amount of $100,000.00 and the useful life of the obligation is a period estimated not to exceed one year. The principal of $100,000.00 is followed by the loan interest rate of 1.68%. The loan will be in favor of the Dime Bank. He said complete and full text is available for public perusal. Solicitor Bernathy said we have advertised a summary of the ordinance.

Solicitor Bernathy asked if there was any public comment. Mr. Dalton said no comment.

A motion was made by Supervisor Melvin to accept Ordinance #159 increasing the indebtedness of Westfall Township by $100,000.00 at 1.68%. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Flansburg and carried with all in favor.

Public hearing closed at 6:08 pm. A motion was made to adjourn by Supervisor Melvin and seconded by Supervisor Flansburg and carried with all in favor.

Respectfully submitted,
Jodi Hulse
Secretary

Supervisor Regular Meeting-December 3, 2013-Minutes

Westfall Township, Matamoras, PA
December 3, 2013

The regular meeting of the Westfall Township Board of Supervisors was held Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 9:00 pm. The meeting was held at the Township Building on Delaware Drive and LaBarr Lane, Westfall Township.

Those present were Chairman, Robert Ewbank and Vice Chairman, Paul Fischer; Supervisors, Raymond Banach (attended meeting by speaker phone), Larry Flansburg and Robert Melvin; Solicitor, Robert Bernathy, and Secretary, Jodi Hulse. Also present was Zoning Officer, Michael Rendleman; Bill Schneider, Rob Llewellyn, Luis Bocaletti, Lisa Mickles, Beth Brelje, John Dalton, and approximately seven members of the general public.

EXECUTIVE SESSION: NONE

APPROVAL OF AGENDA: Agenda approved on a motion by Supervisor Melvin. Motion is seconded by Vice Chairman Fischer and carries with all in favor.

PUBLIC COMMENT: John Dalton said he did not appreciate the comment which was made in the first meeting regarding the interpreters. He said this is the first time the interpreters are here. They were here a few years ago at a PennDOT session. He said he appreciates the interpreters tonight.

MINUTES: Minutes of the regular meeting held on November 7, 2013 were approved on a motion by Supervisor Melvin. Motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Fischer. Motion carries with all in favor.

TREASURER’S REPORT: Supervisor Melvin gave the Treasurer’s Report for November. We are on target for collections. Spending is in line with budget and we are in good shape as we get to the end of the year.

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

POLICE REPORT: Chad Stewart gave the Police Report. The report was for the month of November. The monthly count of offenses known to police were three assaults, one burglary, one rape, eleven larceny theft, one motor vehicle theft, four fraud, two vandalism, three possible drug abuse, one drunkenness, three disorderly conduct, two all other offenses for a total of thirty two. The monthly count of persons charged for offenses are one assault, five larceny theft, three drug abuse, one drunkenness, and one all other offenses for a total of eleven. The miles patrolled for the month were 5,659. Year to date miles patrolled were 63,696. Motor Vehicle Accidents for the month were 20 and year to date 162. Calls for service for the month were 166 and year to date were 2266.

Supervisor Melvin moved to approve the Police Report. Motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Fischer and carries with all in favor.

FIRE DEPARTMENT: Edward Isaacson gave the report. He said on November 6, 2013 they worked on the Hovercraft. The monthly meeting was held on November 13th and November 17th was their driver training. They had Scott Pack Drill on November 20th. There was a structure fire alarm on November 21st which was a false alarm on Cummins Hill. November 27, 2013 they cleaned and worked on their equipment.

The Westfall Fire Department report was given by Rob Llewellyn. He stated there were 3 automatic fire alarms, 5 motor vehicle accidents, 1 stand-by transfer, 1 gas leak, 4 outside investigations, and 3 brush fires. The total calls for November were 17 and total calls year to date are 335. Mr. Llewellyn said for EMS there were 40 calls for Westfall Township, 14 calls to cover Squad 33 and 4 calls to cover Squad 19. Total EMS calls for November were 58 and 684 calls year to date for EMS. He said they had seven members complete the RIT Awareness class, five members completed the Rapid Intervention Team Training, two members completed the Vehicle Rescue Awareness Training, two members completed the Vehicle Rescue Operations Training and eight members participated in structural burn session at PCTC.

Supervisor Melvin moved to approve the Fire Department Reports. Motion was seconded by Supervisor Banach and carries with all in favor.

HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT: Bill Schneider gave the report for November. He said they replaced two 24 inch culvert pipes on Cummins Hill-Bluestone Blvd. They black top patched Cummins Hill over culvert pipe. Spreaders were installed on trucks. Shoulder work was continued on Cummins Hill. Equipment maintenance was completed. Mr. Schneider attended the Road Task Force meeting. Culvert pipes were cleared from leaves. They maintained clear roadways from two storms on November 25, 2013 and November 27, 2013. They did a road check and material down on November 27, 2013. Twenty five tons of salt were ordered. Mr. Schneider said the conservation district will be coming to look at some of the permitting process for the future.

Supervisor Melvin moved to approve the Highway Report. Motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Fischer and carries with all in favor.

BUILDING/ZONING REPORT: Michael Rendleman reported that there were eight permits issued in November which were four building and four zoning permits. Total permit fees were $2,128.00 with $75.00 outstanding.

He said last month there was an issue raised regarding stop signs and parking lane identifiers. He pulled out the major land developments for Lowes, Walmart, Home Depot and Westfall Town Center. Walmart was the only one that had reference of stop signs and parking lane identifiers. He sent an enforcement notice to Walmart. They have been in contact with Mr. Rendleman and have ordered the signs for it but are not up yet. Supervisor Melvin said he drove through this morning and they are all up. Mr. Rendleman also talked to the property manager for the Lowes property and he was going to replace the sign on the right out only exit from Lowes. There was further discussion regarding a stop sign in front of Lowes.

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

CORRESPONDENCE: On desk for review.

OLD BUSINESS:

Reschedule Workshop Meeting for Paddler’s Point: Discussion was held to schedule the meeting. Supervisor Banach said to wait until the first meeting of the year to confirm the schedule of the new Supervisors. Supervisor Melvin said to schedule it for January 21, 2014 tentatively.

Health Insurance for Township Employees: Supervisor Melvin said he would like to keep all of the insurance with the same carrier. He said we will go with insurance which was discussed in Executive Session. He feels we did a good job with selecting what is fair to the employees and good for the township. We are able to offer similar or better benefits that before but we may need to share the cost with the employees in the future due to the cost increase. This will be discussed at a later time with the employees.

A motion was made by Supervisor Flansburg to pay the Health Care Invoice for the coverage which was discussed in Executive Session. Motion was seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carried with all in favor.

NEPA Membership: Tabled until December 18, 2013.

NEW BUSINESS:

Pike County Commissioners-Sale of Calendars and Coins at Township Office: A motion was made by Vice Chairman Fischer to allow the Pike County Commissioners to sell their Calendars and Coins at the Township Office. Motion was seconded by Supervisor Flansburg and carried with all in favor.

Letter from Kirk, Summa & Co., LLP-Public Accountant: Motion was made by Supervisor Flansburg to accept the letter from Kirk, Summa & Co. to provide accounting services to Westfall Township. Motion was seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carried with all in favor.

Letter of Resignation from Jolie DeFeis: Chairman Ewbank read the letter from Ms. DeFeis which was a resignation from Zoning Hearing Board as an alternate due to her appointment on the Planning Board. Supervisor Flansburg made a motion to accept Ms. DeFeis’ resignation letter. Motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Fischer and carried with all in favor.

Letter from Road Task Force-Appointment of Albert Schneider as Road Task Force Representative: Chairman Ewbank read the letter. Motion was made by Supervisor Flansburg to appoint Albert Schneider as Road Task Force Representative for Westfall Township. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carried with all in favor.

Schedule Executive Session for review of Zoning Officer Applications: Executive Session was scheduled for December 18, 2013 at 6:30 for personnel.

SUBDIVISION REVIEW and ACTION: None

ADJOURNMENT: Meeting was adjourned at 9:22 p.m. on a motion by Supervisor Flansburg. Motion seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carried with all in favor.

Respectfully Submitted,
Jodi Hulse
Secretary

Public Hearing-December 3, 2013-Minutes

Westfall Township, Matamoras, PA
December 3, 2013

A public hearing was held on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 for the purpose of taking public comment on the proposed Vacation of Pond Drive. The meeting was held at the Westfall Township
Building on Delaware Drive and LaBarr Lane, Matamoras, PA 18336 at 6:05 pm.

Those present were Chairman, Robert Ewbank, Vice-Chairman, Paul Fischer; Supervisors, Raymond Banach (by speaker phone) and Robert Melvin; Solicitor, Robert Bernathy and Secretary, Jodi Hulse. Supervisor Larry Flansburg was not present. Also present were John Stieh, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Anello, Jamie Everett, Frank and Diane Heater, Mr. and Mrs. John Dalton, Mel and Marianne Durrwachter, Chad Stewart, and approximately 20 members of the general public.

Solicitor Bernathy opened the hearing by saying there was a typographical error in the notice in the paper. The paper indicated that the hearing would start at 7:00 as opposed to 6:00 pm. The notices that went out to the individual property owners affected by the proposed ordinance were correct. He said we will take comment from the people who are present which may be affected by the vacation of Pond Drive and we will reserve any further proceedings until after 7:00 for the people who may have been informed by the notice in the newspaper.

Chairman Ewbank stated he would like the public to know that Supervisor Banach is attending the hearing by phone and that Supervisor Flansburg would not be present. Solicitor Bernathy stated there was a quorum.

Solicitor Bernathy said copies of the proposed ordinance were advertised and provided to those people who live along Pond Drive. Solicitor Bernathy went on to say there was previous objection to the partial vacation of Pond Drive by Attorney John Stieh who was present. He asked that Mr. Stieh’s correspondence dated September 16, 2013 be made part of the record. The individual notices which went out were to Mr. and Mrs. John W. Dalton, Jr., who were present, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Anello, who were present, Ms. Diane Heater, who was present, Mrs. Tonkin, who was present, Jamie Everett, who was present, Mr. and Mrs. John Stieh, who were present, and L & J Inc., who is represented by Mr. Stieh. Solicitor Bernathy asked Mr. Stieh if Mr. Biondo would be present. Mr. Stieh said he was not able to be present since he was away on business. He had an affidavit from Mr. Biondo. Solicitor Bernathy asked if there was anyone else present who lives adjacent to the portion of Pond Drive which is proposed to be vacated. Mr. Heater stated he did not receive notice. Solicitor Bernathy said his name was not on record as to ownership so therefore the correspondence was addressed to Mrs. Heater only. Lawrence Oellerich said he owns forty acres which has a right of way off of Pond Drive at the top of Decker Lane. Solicitor Bernathy asked if his property is in the area which is proposed to be vacated. Mr. Oellerich said Pond Drive has a connector which was never built between Decker Lane and his property is on that. Mr. Stieh said he is not quite sure where Mr. Oellerich’s property is located. Mr. Stieh asked if the Supervisors have looked at the subdivision maps for Valley View. Solicitor Bernathy said no. Mr. Stieh explained the map. Solicitor Bernathy asked Mr. Oellerich if the road has ever been used. Mr. Oellerich said it has never been constructed but the right of way over it does exist. Mr. Stieh said with all due respect to Mr. Oellerich the road was constructed and it was constructed by Donald Brink in 1977. Solicitor Bernathy asked if the road was ever used after construction. Mr. Stieh said it is a dead end at the back of River Drive Estates. Supervisor Banach asked if Mr. Stieh could please speak up. He also asked if Mr. Stieh is representing the community or himself. Mr. Stieh said he is representing the community, Valley View Estates, L & J, Inc., as a member of Valley View Community Association and as an individual. Supervisor Banach said thank you. Solicitor Bernathy said he is going to give Mr. Stieh “the floor” since he believed Mr. Stieh has some objections to place on the record. Mel Durrwachter stated his name and he said he lives down by the pond. He said he does not live at the top but he is part of the Valley View Association. Solicitor Bernathy confirmed with Mr. Durrwachter his property is on the paved portion of Pond Drive and that the paved portion is not proposed to be vacated. Mr. and Mrs. Durrwachter said they understand. Mr. Stieh asked if notice was given to Valley View Community Association. Solicitor Bernathy said he did not believe so. Mr. Stieh said Valley View Community Association owns property adjacent to the part of Pond Drive which is proposed to be vacated. Solicitor Bernathy said he has the map from the county and there is no indication that property is adjacent to this but would be noted for the record. Mr. Stieh said without that notice he thinks there is a fatal defect. He said secondly, with regard to the notices, when he received the letter which was sent to his office on September 25, 2013, there was no copy of the proposed map attached. That map was included as to what this ordinance was to be. He said that also creates a defect in the notice which was to be given. Mr. Stieh also said he does not understand why the notice was addressed to his office when it is addressed to his wife and himself and that everything else that has come to him from the township has come to his home. Solicitor Bernathy said he thinks the important thing is that he received the notice. He said he sent the notice to his office. Mr. Stieh said it was not sent to his home address within the ten day period. Supervisor Banach said he has a legal question for Solicitor Bernathy. He said if Mr. Stieh is bringing up these legal issues and there was a discrepancy in the time of the advertisement of the meeting we should advertise again and reschedule the hearing next month. Supervisor said we should do it correctly so we do not have a legal challenge by the attorney who is standing there. Solicitor Bernathy said it has been done correctly but we need to wait until 7:00 in the event people received notice by the paper rather than individually through the mail. Supervisor Banach said he does not want this to drag out for months down the road. If there is a legal issue then we should stop and do it over to make sure it is done correctly and do it in January. Solicitor Bernathy said that is something the supervisors can consider but we do have everyone assembled here. It would be prudent to take comment from the people that have taken time out of their evening to come here so they may not have to come back at a later time. Supervisor Banach said he understands and he agrees but he does not want this to become a bone of contention and turn into a twenty million dollar legal suit. Solicitor Bernathy said with all due respect he does not think this is anywhere close to being turned into a twenty million dollar legal suit. He said the supervisors can make a decision after we hear from the people who are present. Supervisor Melvin said he is in agreement that we should listen to the people. Chairman Ewbank and Vice Chairman Fischer agreed to listen also.

Mr. Stieh asked the reason this is being done. It is not clear from anything he has received. He said it is not clear to his neighbors and himself. Solicitor Bernathy said as indicated in the Ordinance, the fifth whereas clause, indicates the road is substandard, is rarely used, it is inaccessible during the winter and spring, proposed a safety risk to drivers and is difficult to maintain. He said that is all set forth in the body of the Ordinance. Mr. Stieh asked what the township is going to do to put that into the record tonight. He said you have to create a record tonight for the township. Solicitor Bernathy said “we are”. Mr. Stieh said the township has to produce its evidence of what the reason is for vacating the portion of the road. Solicitor Bernathy asked Mr. Schneider to come forward. Mr. Schneider came forward. Solicitor Bernathy asked Mr. Schneider to give his opinion on the vacation of Pond Drive. He asked him to first give his opinion on the condition of Pond Drive. Mr. Schneider said that the condition of Pond Drive is pretty rugged to take care of. He said since the road is not paved and they do not have skids on their plows, they must raise the plows during the winter. He said they use anti-skid and salt which they use on blacktop. Salt on dirt raises the moisture to the surface which creates a problem. Mr. Schneider said this past spring the road was so bad on the one end they had to shut it down since the highway truck was sinking in the mud. He said if a fire truck or garbage truck had gone through it probably would have sunk in the mud. They did put material over it to fix it so when it dried up it became more secure but the problem will keep occurring. He said his job as the Township Roadmaster is to make the Township aware of the problem areas. His opinion is that money needs to be spent to bring the road up to standard or it needs to be vacated. Solicitor Bernathy asked Mr. Schneider if at times the road is inaccessible. Mr. Schneider said they try to keep the road open but there are times when there is freezing rain and the road needs to be closed. The back side gets bad and everyone uses the front side. Solicitor Bernathy asked Mr. Schneider his opinion regarding the use of the road. He said it is passable. Solicitor Bernathy then asked Mr. Schneider about safety issues. He said this past spring it would have been impossible for a garbage truck or fire truck to make passage on the road due to the condition of the back side. He said if any pipes are changed on the down side of the road there will be residents complaining about a water issue on the down side of the road. Solicitor Bernathy asked Mr. Stieh if he had any questions for Mr. Schneider. Mr. Stieh asked Mr. Schneider how long Pond Drive has been gravel. He said he is not sure. It has been gravel for as long as he has been on the Road Department which is ten years. Mr. Stieh asked if Mr. Schneider was aware it was actually the township that ground up the pavement which was there with a machine back in the late 90’s early 2000. Mr. Schneider said he was not aware of that. Mr. Stieh then asked if he had looked at the township records to see what was done. Mr. Schneider said he has not. Mr. Stieh asked Mr. Schneider if he was aware that both times the road was turned over to the township it was paved with ID 2A. Mr. Schneider said, no. Mr. Stieh asked if Mr. Schneider was aware of the subdivision maps which were filed in 1972, 1974 and 1979 all contain requirements that the road was to be paved. Mr. Schneider said, no. Mr. Stieh asked when the last time anything was done to the road other than plowing. Mr. Schneider said we have not applied a lot of material to the road since it gets torn up when we plow. Mr. Stieh asked if the Township uses the road daily. Mr. Schneider said we check it as often as we can. Mr. Stieh asked if the fire company and the Police Department use the road. Mr. Schneider said I am sure they do. Mr. Stieh asked if the Township proposes to build any cul-de-sacs where the road is going two dead end. Mr. Schneider said not to his knowledge. Mr. Stieh asked how the Township would be able to turn their trucks around without a cul-de-sac. Mr. Schneider said the road is 50 feet wide. Mr. Stieh asked how wide the pavement is. Mr. Schneider said we would have to make the payment a bit wider. Mr. Stieh then asked Mr. Schneider if he has consulted with the fire company to see if the fire company would be able to turn their trucks around. Mr. Schneider said no. Mr. Schneider said road is not the only road that is a dead end in the Township where trucks will need to turn around in someone else’s driveway. Mr. Stieh said right now we do not have to do that. Mr. Schneider agreed. Mr. Stieh asked if Mr. Schneider has consulted with the Police Department as to whether they thought the road should be vacated. Mr. Schneider said that is not my job. Solicitor Bernathy said we have a letter from the chief that we will be reading into the record. Mr. Stieh asked Mr. Schneider if the Township does anything with the road when there’s ice. Mr. Schneider said we maintain the road and try to keep it open. On a rare occasion we do not take the chance with our trucks of getting stuck. He said the big issue is in the spring time when there’s frost coming out of the ground. Mr. Stieh said don’t we have that problem with most of the gravel roads in the Township. Mr. Schneider said the only other gravel road is fire tower road and we do not maintain that. Mr. Stieh asked if anyone has looked into the gravel roads program as a source of funding as an attempt to start to restore that portion of the road. Mr. Schneider said no. Not for that road. Mr. Stieh confirmed with Mr. Schneider he is aware that the gravel roads program provides grants from the state. Mr. Stieh said that does not cost the township anything. Mr. Schneider said he believes it is a match. Mr. Stieh said fire tower road was redone using grant funds, wasn’t it? Mr. Schneider said not to his knowledge. We applied for it but did not receive it. Mr. Stieh said according to the Township records and Mr. Thiele who was the road master at that time there was a grant for fire tower road. Mr. Schneider said that was before my time. Mr. Stieh asked Mr. Schneider if he knew how many times per day the road is used by vehicles. Mr. Schneider said no. Mr. Stieh asked if there has been any kind of traffic study done. Solicitor Bernathy said no. Mr. Stieh said that when my neighbors use the road there has been no record kept. Solicitor Bernathy said no. We do not have those kinds of records. Mr. Stieh asked if anyone knew how many times tractor trailers have gone up Pond Drive to make deliveries. Mr. Schneider said he is not sure. Mr. Stieh said with what is being proposed if a tractor trailer goes to make a delivery at Mr. Everett’s house will the truck be able to turn around with the road the way it is or will it have to go around the loop. Mr. Schneider said once a car carrier went up there and got stuck around the mountain side and he had to go up and help remove the cars from the carrier to get it out of there. Mr. Stieh said that was since the road had not been taken care of. Mr. Schneider said not to the point of it being black topped. Mr. Stieh asked if the Township has been receiving Liquid Fuels for the road. Solicitor Bernathy confirmed. Mr. Stieh then asked as far as everyone knows all of his neighbors and himself have paid their real estate taxes. Solicitor Bernathy asked Mr. Schneider if there are any homes adjacent to the gravel portion of the road. Mr. Schneider said no.

Solicitor Bernathy asked if anyone else had any questions. Supervisor Banach said he has a question for Mr. Schneider. He proceeded to ask Mr. Schneider, who has been a lifetime resident, if there are other township roads that have been abandoned that are dirt such as Sand Pit Road and the connection of the dirt road between Cinderella Drive and River Road. Mr. Schneider said they were abandoned years ago. Supervisor Banach confirmed with Mr. Schneider those roads are dirt. Mr. Schneider said he is not sure when that was but it was before his time and quite a while ago. Chairman Ewbank said he would like to comment on Mr. Stieh’s question regarding turning the fire trucks around. He said when we originally talked about this and we asked the fire department about being able to turn the trucks around. The fire department confirmed they would be able to turn their trucks around. He said Mr. Koferl was the chief at the time and he said he could turn the trucks around. He said he cannot speak for the current chief. Mr. Llewellyn stated with the road at its current condition there is not enough room for the fire truck to be turned around without pulling into one of the resident’s driveways. He said those driveways are not constructed to hold a 30,000 lb. truck. He said he is concerned about collapsing a culvert or sinking into the driveway. Solicitor Bernathy asked if there were other places in the Township where a private drive would be needed to turn around. Mr. Llewellyn said yes. Mr. Stieh confirmed with Mr. Llewellyn that at this point there is no need to back into someone’s driveway and that he would be able to just drive right on around. Mr. Llewellyn said yes. Mr. Stieh asked if that would expedite their services. Mr. Llewellyn said yes. Solicitor Bernathy asked Mr. Llewellyn if there is any emergency response he could think of that he would need to drive around that portion because we have already established there are no homes there. He responded that we have in the past for brush fires and calls we have had for wires down which have blocked the main portions of the hill. Solicitor Bernathy asked if there were any other examples. He said if there was a structure fire there is not hydrant system up there so we would have to run tankers to the call. Once we place apparatus on the roadway that eliminates us to be able to pass tanker trucks back and forth down the hill. We would be able to run tanker trucks up and down the hill on the other portion of the road. Solicitor Bernathy said that would be as long as it was not in the spring time as Mr. Schneider has indicated. He asked Mr. Llewellyn if he agrees that there are certain times of the year where they would not be able to bring the trucks on that portion of the road. Mr. Llewellyn said yes in the roads current condition. Mr. Llewellyn said this year alone we have used the road three of four times. Supervisor Banach said it seems to him that there seems to be some confusion. The Township is looking to abandon the road and not be responsible for it. The road is still going to be there. He said we are not taking the road away and it will stay there. It is just that the Township will not be responsible for it. He said the Township does not have the funds to be responsible for it.

Solicitor Bernathy said there are other property owners present who we need to hear. Diane Heater said she thinks this is ridiculous. She said the road has not always been dirt. She used to push a baby carriage around the road and why hasn’t the road been maintained by the Township. She said the Township better not be turning around in her driveway. Mrs. Anello then spoke. She said she lives in the last house on the turn before the portion of the road the Township is proposing to vacate. She said in 1994 the road was black top and well taken care of. She said portions of Pond Drive have been blocked during the inclement weather which has taken place. The fire department needed to come up the portion of Pond Drive proposed to be vacated to accommodate issues when there were trees down. She said the Township having to turn their trucks around in the resident’s driveways will be destructive. She also brought up the issue with the waste removal truck which makes its rounds once per week. She said it is always a hazard when a large vehicle with limited sight distance has to back up. She said backing up the large vehicles into someone’s driveway is foolish. She said the Township is saying the road is impassable in the spring. She disagreed. She said she uses the road constantly since she likes to keep an eye on what is around the area. Sometimes there are people that dump garbage or children looking for a place to be private. She said the Township is saying the road has not been maintained. That is not true. Solicitor Bernathy said that it is difficult now to maintain and not that it was not ever maintained. She said it is difficult but not impossible and the Township has chosen not to maintain it. She asked if the Township is choosing not to maintain it and tar and chip it for monetary reasons. She said 1900 feet of road and what are the monetary ramifications of that in the long haul. Solicitor Bernathy asked Mrs. Anello if the road is always accessible. She said she has never had a problem. She said there could be a problem getting out if a tree falls and blocks access if the road is closed. She asked where the responsibility of the wellbeing of the residents of that portion of the road come in. She said the road should be maintained for the wellbeing of the residents in that location and for emergency situations. Mr. Anello then spoke. He said when the Irene storm hit us the only people who were out there were he and Frank Heater. He said he and his wife have health problems. He said he had to go out with asthma and copd and cut the trees off of the road. He said a couple of times he plowed the road going down the hill with his plow truck because the Township was not there to do it. He said his property goes around to the next street. They need to get out that way in case of an emergency. Three times he and Mr. Heater have been struck up there and they cut trees and telephone poles off of the road. He said “Where was the Town”. Jamie Everett spoke. He said he has been on the road many times and it has never been inaccessible. Even in the spring. He said we need the road for the turn around. He said he is concerned about who is going to pay for ruined pavement from a large truck backing into his driveway. If one of the owners has a nice wall on their property, who is going to pay for it? Mr. Everett said it does not make any sense to close the road. It is much easier for the service trucks to just drive around. Solicitor Bernathy asked how frequently Mr. Everett has used the road. Mr. Everett said during the spring and summer time about ten times. Solicitor Bernathy asked Mr. and Mrs. Anello how frequently they use the road. Mr. Anello said they use the road more frequently. Mr. Everett asked if the road was originally paved, why was the pavement torn up. Solicitor Bernathy said he does not know and it was prior to his time. Mr. Heater spoke. He said he does not understand this whole thing. He goes around the road every other day. He said he likes to know what is going on at that portion of the road and it is very important to him. He said the loop is very important thing to the association. He said they pay taxes and he thinks it is totally ridiculous to vacate that little of an area. He said he is not sure how this got started but it is just wrong and there will be a liability to the Township when trucks need to turn around in people’s driveways. Especially if no cul de sacs are built. He also said there is not enough room to put cul de sacs since there is only a fifty foot right of way. Solicitor Bernathy said the survey we have from Kiley Associates indicates there is a portion of the existing gravel road that is not within the right of way and we are going to get more clarification with regard to that. Mr. Heater said he does not understand that. If the Township maintained the road and set up the right of ways then now the Township wants to change the right of ways. Supervisor Banach said we are not taking the road away and we are not putting chains up so it cannot be driven on. We are taking away the little maintenance the Township does on the road. It is just the same as any new development coming into the Township. We do not take any roads that communities want to dedicate to the Township. The roads do not meet the standards and as the standards change the Township needs to bring the standards up. He said the amount of money it will take to bring that 1900 feet up to specification is astronomical. This is what the Township is trying to stop. We are not trying to stop residents from using it our trying to stop people from going around it. He said the liability to take on a dirt road is astronomical and the Township does not have the money for it. It is not to penalize anyone on the hill or to not have the fire trucks go around it. It is not a personal thing. We are looking out for finances because we are strapped for money as a Township and we have kept the taxes as is. We are trying to find every way we can to keep the taxes the way they are. He said if we do not keep the taxes the way they are you might as well move back to Rockland County or I might as well move some place else. We have looked for different ways to save money even counting pennies to save all of the residents of the town money. Mr. Heater said to Supervisor Banach that he did not come from Rockland County and he has lived here all of his life. The tax dollar is not being spent the way it should be and there is no reason the Township should not be able to maintain the road so that it is passable. Supervisor Banach said to bring the road up to the state standard is extremely costly.

Mel Durrwachter spoke. He asked if the Township vacates the road if they would be responsible if they did not close the road off. Wouldn’t someone be able to sue the Township if they go off the road if it is not closed. Solicitor Bernathy said there is no requirement to put a barrier. Mr. Durrwachter asked if the Township would leave it open. Solicitor Bernathy said yes. Supervisor Banach said we are trying to get all of the roads and guard rails up to code, which Mr. Schneider has a list of, and we just do not have that kind of funding and will not have it for another twenty years. We are looking at the possibility of the Township getting sued if someone goes off the road because there are no guard rails or the culverts are not maintained property. He said the road is not going away. It is just going back to private ownership. Marianne Durrwachter asked if the road is going back to the association will the association be required to maintain the road. Solicitor Bernathy said that is a question you need to ask the association’s attorney who is here, Mr. Stieh. Mrs. Durrwachter said if that is the case then why weren’t all the people in the association notified that the Township was going to do this? Solicitor Bernathy said the legal requirements have been met which are notifying all of the adjacent property owners to the portion of the road which is proposed to be vacated. He said he understands Mrs. Durrwachter’s point but the law does not require it. Mrs. Anello asked if the road could be maintained at a minimal level where item four is applied to level it out. Is it a legal requirement that the road be brought up to such expensive specifications. Solicitor Bernathy said that is our concern. It goes back to Supervisor Banach’s concern is the condition of the road and how are we going to address it. She said the road is passable. It needs minimal care to allow emergency vehicles to continue to use the road and would be beneficial to everyone in the community with the residents knowing there will be an alternate escape route in case of an emergency. Solicitor Bernathy said we understand. Doug Dillmuth spoke. He said he does not think it is right the members of the association were not notified. Solicitor Bernathy said it is not legally required. Mr. Oellerich said he should have been notified since he has a right of way off of the road. Solicitor Bernathy said it is not a legal requirement for people who have a right of way off of the proposed portion of the road to be vacated to be notified. Diane Heater asked if all of the Supervisors are in agreement with this or is it just one Supervisor who wants this. Solicitor Bernathy said he does not know. Mrs. Heater said she wants to know how the Supervisors feel about this.

Mr. Schneider said he would like to respond to Mr. Anello’s comment about the trees. During Hurricane Sandy all of the Highway crews were out working with the fire departments and by 2:30 am all of the roads in the Township had at least one lane open. Pond Drive had wires down and when there are wires involved the trees cannot be touched until Orange and Rockland arrive at the scene to ground the wires. He also said if anyone ever sees ten inches of snow on a Township road they can call him personally on his cell phone number. Solicitor Bernathy said he does not think anyone is questioning Mr. Schneider’s maintenance. Mr. Schneider said on some of the roads that dead end it is an issue backing out onto roadways or into people’s driveways. He said also, if a tree goes down on Heater’s Hill there is no way anyone can get down. Mr. Anello spoke toward Mr. Schneider. He said two years ago “Irene” hit us and he was out there cutting trees off of the road and the Township did not come until seven hours later. Mr. Schneider said until the power company gives the okay we will not cut the trees. Mrs. Anello said there has not been an issue with clearing the snow on Pond Drive. She said she had to get out at four in the morning and the Township made sure she could get down and back up. She said during “Irene” and “Sandy” she understands the entire county was hit unbelievably. They did make several calls to the town and she said she is not sure who she spoke to but she was told they were not a “primary” road of concern because of the population. She said the reason was not because of the population it was because of the one way in and one way out issue. The roads that have the need come first.

Mr. Stieh said we have heard it is going to cost great amounts of money. He asked if anyone has an estimate from an engineer. Solicitor Bernathy said we have some approximations from Mr. Schneider. Mr. Stieh said he has three figures from three people who are aware of the portion of the road to bring the road to the condition it was when it was dedicated to the Township. Solicitor Bernathy said those were the Township specifications back then. Mr. Stieh said the estimates range from $24,000 to just under $40,000 which is paving the road with ID2A. He asked how can the township vacate the road if you do not know what it will cost to fix. It is a dirt road because the Township made it a dirt road. He said it was not a dirt road and it was never owned by the property owners association. It was originally owned by Biondo and as soon as it was built it was dedicated to the Township. It has always been a public road and has never been a private road. Mr. Stieh said he expects that someone will close the road off if it is vacated. Solicitor Bernathy asked Mr. Stieh if Mr. Biondo will close the road if it is vacated. He said he expects that could happen.

Solicitor Bernathy said there is a Conditional Use Hearing scheduled for 7:00 for the application of Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless which is an application to construct a free standing wireless tower on Berger Road in Mill Rift in a CD Zone. He asked if there was anyone present for that hearing and that would follow the proceeding taking place.

Mr. Stieh continued by saying the Township already owns the road therefore it is not the property owners association to have to bring the road up to any standard. He said when Biondo (L & J) built the road he paid to build it and then the Township took it over. He said now the property owners will be burdened with the expense of maintaining the road. He stated we already paid for it when we bought our lots. We paid for our lots which were on a township road which was maintained by the Township and dedicated to the Township. He said it is unfair since the Township did not do their job. He said he does not think it is even legal. He said this will affect the value of the properties and that he has spoken to a few different real estate people who confirmed there is a significant difference in value of properties on private roads versus township roads. Mr. Stieh added that if there is a significant decrease in value of our properties we will need to talk about how we will be compensated. He said the Eminant Domain Code talks about that and talks about damages. He said if the Township does not even know what the numbers are for the cost to upgrade the road then how can this even be considered.

Mr. Stieh said in the notice he received it said 1900 feet of road. Solicitor Bernathy said that was an approximation. Mr. Stieh said it is 1400 feet on the inside and 1600 feet on the outside. He said how can you even consider doing this without seeing the map which was received only today. Solicitor Bernathy said we are aware of where the road is and how large it is. Mr. Stieh asked if it is 1900 feet or 1600 feet. Solicitor Bernathy said he will go by what the survey says. He said the reason we had the survey done is to be accurate.

Mr. Stieh stated he brought with him all of the maps which have been approved by the Township showing the various sections of the road. Mr. Stieh said he would be happy to make copies for Township review. He read the map and the material which was originally on the road surface according to the map. Solicitor Bernathy asked Mr. Stieh that as he stated in previous meeting he is not holding the Township to that requirement. Mr. Stieh said that is correct. Mr. Stieh said Mr. Biondo was approached years ago by someone from the Township asking if he minded if the maintenance of the road was deferred until the houses were built. He said once Mr. Everett’s house was built the Township plowed beyond it. That was the system that worked for everybody. He said it is just wrong that now the property owners are going to have to pay for the maintenance of the road. Solicitor Bernathy said if your client agreed to defer maintenance then you cannot argue the fact that the Township has not maintained the road. Mr. Stieh said he is arguing that the Township did not maintain it. He said now if the Township decides something enormous has to be done it should not be the property owner’s responsibility since the Township chose not to maintain the road.

Mr. Heater asked Solicitor Bernathy if what he heard was true regarding the Township raising taxes by 3.5 mills. Solicitor Bernathy said he does not know what that has to do with this proceeding. He said taxes have not been increased. Supervisor Melvin explained the adjustment of mills to Mr. Heater and confirmed there will be no tax increase. Mr. Heater asked if any barrier will be put up on the road. Solicitor Bernathy said we are not required and he does not believe there is any plan to put barrier up.

Mr. Durrwachter said there are many people in the room who have a strong opinion to keep the road open and he asked if the Supervisors would reconsider and keep it open. Solicitor Bernathy said thank you.

Mr. Schneider added that they do maintain the road minimally. They keep the drainage ditches open and apply material when needed.

John Dalton addressed the board and said they have the possibility of leaving a legacy and the same thing with their predecessors all the way back to 1972. He said when the road was accepted by the town the responsibility was passed on to it successors whoever they are and it has been passed down through the years and it is now in your lap. He said if you make the right decision not to vacate the road you are being smart. He said if you make the wrong decision of vacating the road, he does not know what to say. He said it is your call.

Mrs. Durrwachter asked how much it has cost in the last five years to maintain the part of Pond Drive which is proposed to be vacated. She said your reason for wanting to vacate is financial so how much has it cost to maintain the road. Supervisor Melvin said we do not have the actual figures broken down by road. Supervisor Melvin said he thinks there are a lot of costs we do not know at this point.

Mr. Dalton made a comment regarding trash trucks driving through the community. He said the regular trash truck makes the trip all the way around the loop with no problem. He said UPS trucks usually turn around at the top and they do not drive through as they have done in the past. Federal Express makes the loop around. He said the police want to have the road open all of the time. Mr. Dalton said he stops and talks to most people that go through. He talks to strangers also to see what is going on. He suggested to the Supervisors that they keep that section of the road open. He suggested they get a three, five or seven year plan. It does not have to be done in one year. He said to get a plan in place and do it. He said in will not be regrettable.

Chad Stewart asked the Supervisors if they received his email. They said yes. Mr. Stewart said he is concerned about the trespassing issue. He is concerned about getting calls about people turning around on other people’s property. He said the road allow the police department access to the back side of the mountain in case of trespassers. He said there are a lot of trespassers this time of year due to the hunting season. The access helps enormously. Supervisor Melvin asked Mr. Stewart if the road was shut down if the police department would be able to drive their vehicles back there. Mr. Stewart said possibly not depending on how the road is shut down. He said eventually over time we will not be able to get back there as the road deteriorates.

Supervisor Melvin said his personal opinion on this matter is that the Supervisors need to gather more information regarding the cost and legal obligation. He would like to look at the maps further. He does not feel that he has enough information right now to make a decision. He feels the decision should be held off so that the maps can be reviewed along with the surveys and to discuss the costs. The reason he wanted to have this meeting is to hear the public comment. He said he is concerned about health and safety of people in that area. He is also concerned if the Township owns the road of the liability of inadequate guard rails and piping.

Vice Chairman Fischer said his personal opinion is that he would like to see this voted on tonight. He said enough wasted money has already been spent and will be continued to be spent on this. He said he thinks the community should know how much this is costing the Township right down to the translators needed for the hearing and the survey and everything else that is involved. We are talking about saving money and he said he thinks we are wasting money and that eventually if the Supervisors come to what he considers the right decision this will all be money wasted. He said he would like to get it done and make the vote now.

Chairman Ewbank said his opinion is that he does not have enough information to make the decision tonight. He said he has not seen any of the maps Mr. Stieh has and he has not seen the survey. He said he is glad we had this hearing to hear what everyone had to say about it but he said he is not prepared to make a decision on this tonight.

Supervisor Banach said he concurs with Supervisor Melvin and Chairman Ewbank. He said spending the money to look at things and do it will impact people but we also have to comply with state and federal laws. He said to answer some of the people out there, the new Supervisors came in and we are trying to obtain spread sheets and obtain information to get a five, ten or fifteen year plan for the roadways. We have been looking at the liabilities we have such as culvert, guard rails and curbs. We are trying to work through those. We cannot fix everything right away. He said it costs money to have an engineer look at a culvert. He concurs with Supervisor Melvin and he thinks we need to look at everything before this goes any further.

Solicitor Bernathy confirmed with the Supervisors they would like to take no action at this time and that they would need to re-advertise to take any further action. Chairman Ewbank asked Mr. Stieh to provide the maps. Mr. Stieh said he would and that he was surprised they were not reviewed prior. Chairman Ewbank said he did not know they existed. Mr. Durrwachter asked the Supervisors if they would provide information for the amount that has been spent on the road to maintain it in the past. Supervisor Melvin said Mr. Schneider would look into it. Chairman Ewbank said he was not aware that the road was a maintained township road. Solicitor Bernathy said to Mr. Stieh that we know it is a township road. Mr. Stieh explained the time the road was moved to change the grade of the road. This change made it so now instead of the cul de sac being in his front yard, his neighbor’s driveway is now there.

Motion was made by Supervisor Banach to table any decision for proposed vacation of Pond Drive Ordinance with the understanding there will be a re-advertisement for any future public hearing. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Melvin and carried with three in favor and one opposed.

Chairman Ewbank said thank you to everyone for coming out. He also introduced Supervisor Elect, Jerry Dotey.

Public hearing closed at 7:24 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Jodi Hulse
Secretary

Supervisor Meeting Rescheduled

The Westfall Township Supervisor Meeting which was scheduled for February 3, 2014 and cancelled due to winter weather conditions is rescheduled for Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. at the Westfall Township Municipal Building.

Thank you.
Jodi Hulse
Secretary