Westfall Township, Matamoras, PA
March 17, 2014
The regular meeting of the Westfall Township Board of Supervisors was held Monday, March 17, 2014 which was rescheduled from Monday, March 3, 2014 due to winter weather. The meeting started at 7:02 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 were Zoning Officer, Michael Rendleman; Scott Myer, Bill Schneider, Chad Steward, Rob Llewellyn, Ed Isaacson, Joe Hudak, Nate Oiler, Doug Olmstead, John Stieh, Michael Gable, Gary Williams, Charles Pranski, Beth Brelje, Lisa Mickles, John Dalton, William Koferl, Mr. and Mrs. Meyers and approximately twenty members of the general public.
Chairman Flansburg stated the Supervisors held a Special Meeting on March 5, 2014 for the purposes of informal discussion of previously approved Land Development for Westfall Senior Apartments by Warwick Properties, LLC. He said we have asked the applicant to come to tonight’s meeting to confirm the informal discussion which was held previously.
Nate Oiler from RKR Hess was present to represent Warwick Properties, LLC and to discuss the Westfall Senior Apartments and the Special Meeting which was held by the Supervisors on March 5, 2014. He explained the project as a 93 unit senior housing project which they have already received land development approval. They are ready to go but the project and the project is going to Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency for funding. Diamond Associates is assisting Mr. Mandelbaum (the owner) with the PHFA application and they met in Harrisburg. It was determined that if they applied for the whole project at once their chances of receiving funding are not likely. He said there are limited funds in rural areas. They were hoping to go into the application being “shovel ready”. Mr. Oiler said in order to phase the project into two they need to divide the property. There will be two buildings and two phases. He said the application was due last week and that is the reason for the Special Meeting since they did not have time to wait until the Regular Meeting for their presentation before the Board. The application will be for a subdivision between the two buildings. He referred to the plan which he presented. They will be filing a full subdivision application in time for the April Planning Commission Meeting.
Charles Pranski asked what the minimum age for the Senior Housing will be. Mr. Oiler said he believes it is 55 or older. Mr. Pranski was concerned if in the future there is not market for senior housing that it will change to allow younger people to reside there. Mr. Oiler said that the senior housing is a condition of the PHFA funding of the project.
Lisa Mickles questioned the funding. Mr. Oiler said that part of the project will be funded through tax credits to help keep the cost of the project down. The application was submitted last week and will take until June to know if approved.
Mr. Oiler addressed Item Number 11 on the agenda. He feels there is a need in Westfall Township for the Senior Housing and that any support from the Supervisors and the community would be appreciated. He requested a letter be written to the PHFA for support since there is a lot of competition for the funding and they need all the support they can receive. Mr. Oiler said they already have a letter from the county.
A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to send the letter. The motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Melvin and carried with all in favor.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA: A motion was made by Supervisor Banach to approve the agenda. The motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Melvin and carried with all in favor.
PUBLIC COMMENT: Twila Decker stated that she commends the Road Department for the great job they have done this winter but there was a large hole in the road on Oak Avenue between Graham and Cuddeback. Mr. Schneider said he would look at the problem. He believes that is where Orange and Rockland cut the roadway for repairs.
December 18, 2013- Minutes- Approved on a motion made by Supervisor Dotey. Motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Melvin. Supervisor Banach and Chairman Flansburg abstained.
February 11, 2013 – Minutes-Approved on a motion by Supervisor Banach. The motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Melvin and carried with all in favor.
March 5, 2014- Special Meeting Minutes – The minutes were not completed for approval. A motion was made by Vice Chairman Melvin to table the minutes. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Buchanan and carried with all in favor.
TREASURER’S REPORT: Treasurer, Scott Myer gave the report. Mr. Myer said the real estate tax money has started to come in the last week or two. He said with the help of the Tax Anticipation Note, cash flow is fine.
Supervisor Banach asked Mr. Myer if there were enough funds in the budget to buy a new dump truck, pickup truck and put a man on for thirty hours per week. He asked if we could spend $150,000 on the highway department. Mr. Myer said there are not enough funds to do so unless the budget was to change.
A motion was made by Vice Chairman Melvin to accept the Treasurer’s Report. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor.
POLICE REPORT: Chad Stewart gave the Police Report. The report was for the month of February. The monthly count of offenses known to police were 5 Rape, 3 Burglary, 18 larceny theft, 4 fraud, 3 disorderly conduct and 6 all other offenses for a total of thirty nine. The monthly count of persons charged for offenses are 2 Burglary, 9 Larceny Theft, 1 Fraud, 2 DUI and 6 all other offenses for a total of 20. The miles patrolled for the month were 5,407. Year to date miles patrolled were 11,104. Motor Vehicle Accidents for the month were 13 and year to date 33. Calls for service for the month were 152 and year to date were 32
Supervisor Banach moved to approve the Police Report. Motion was seconded by Supervisor Buchanan and carries with all in favor.
The Mill Rift Fire Department report was given by Edward Isaacson. Driver Training was held on 2/4/14 on Engine 2. 2/5/14 was a work night and they checked all Scott Packs. Their monthly meeting was held on 2/7/14. On 2/8/14 they had Driver Training on Engine 2. 2/8/14 Mutual Aid, Structure fire at Malibu Dude Ranch which was Tanker. They had a work night which all equipment was checked on 2/12/14. On 2/14/14 there was a structure fire at Milford Landing which they assisted with Tanker 1. There was an ice rescue class on 2/15/14 which was attended by Westfall and Matamoras. 2/19/14 there was a personal equipment check. They held a work night on 2/26/14 where they ran Engine 1 and Tanker 1 and on 2/27/14 they attended the I-84 Reconstruction Meeting. The total man hours for the month were 168 and Total Equipment hours were 18.75. The total man hours for the year were 350.
The Westfall Fire Department report for the month of February was given by Rob Llewellyn. He stated there were 4 automatic fire alarms, 4 motor vehicle accidents, 1 stand-by transfer, 1 chimney fires, 2 chief investigations, 1 gas leak, 1 assist ems, 1 vehicle fire, 1 structure collapse and 3 structure fires. The total calls for January were 19. Mr. Llewellyn said the total man hours for the month were 118.79. The total man hours year to date are 327.29. There were 41 EMS calls for Westfall Township, 23 calls to cover Squad 33, and 3 calls to cover Squad 19 with a total of 67 EMS calls. Eight members completed the ice rescue training with Mill Rift and they conducted four in house drills for a total of 102 man hours of training.
A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to accept the Fire Department Reports. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor.
HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT: Bill Schneider gave the report for February. Mr. Schneider said they were out twelve times for storms this month for sleet, freezing rain or snow. He attended the meeting which Orange and Rockland held regarding prioritizing which roads the township wants open first in case of a storm. Mr. Schneider said he also attended the meeting regarding the I-84 project on February 27, 2014. Kuharcik Construction came for red light servicing and to make sure all signs were up to specification. They have been doing maintenance on equipment. Mr. Schneider attended the Road Task Force meeting for February. He also spoke with the Conservation District to discuss some of the projects coming up this summer. He wants to start the permitting process for the project on Cummins Hill by Polatnick’s property since the process takes some time. Mr. Schneider said we also need to rent a broom for the roads and an excavator for the land fill.
Supervisor Banach confirmed with Mr. Schneider he is making the list of all of the projects which need to be done. There was additional discussion held regarding permits and future projects.
Vice Chairman Melvin moved to approve the Highway Report. Motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor.
BUILDING/ZONING REPORT: Michael Rendleman reported that there was only one zoning permit issued in February which was for an addition to the communication tower on Heaters Hill Road. He said there is a Zoning Hearing scheduled for March 27, 2014 for the expansion of the GO 24 Store.
Vice Chairman Melvin asked Mr. Rendleman to send another letter to Lowe’s regarding the Stop Sign which is down by Dunkin Donuts again. He feels the spot is dangerous and the sign is constantly knocked down. Mr. Rendleman said he would send another letter.
Chairman Flansburg said “Thank you” to Mr. Rendleman since this will be his last meeting. He said we are hiring a new Zoning Officer who will be introduced later in the meeting.
Supervisor Buchanan moved to approve the report. Motion was seconded by Supervisor Banach and carried with all in favor.
Mr. Dalton made a comment regarding the letter which the Supervisors sent to the Public Utility Commission. He thought there could be “more meat” in the letter. He thought the letter should have been at least one page long as opposed to such a brief note. Chairman Flansburg said we wanted the PUC to know how we feel but not to over step our welcome. No further comment was made.
CORRESPONDENCE: On desk for review.
Westfall Fire Company-Water Issue: Mr. Hudak was present to address the situation. He handed out a plan of the property to the Board. Mr. Hudak said it was brought to his attention last fall there was a complaint about run off on the fire company property. He said Kiley Associates did the original land development plan and he did some site investigation due to the complaint. He did not know of the building design and the gutter system which was proposed. It seems to him that the sources of the runoff are the downspouts of the gutters. He came up with three options. The first option, which is the most cost effective and easiest, is to gather the water and put it into dry wells. Option two would be to collect the water and they would need some easements across properties to divert the water to a pond. The third option is to collect the water and run it along the PennDOT right of way to discharge to a natural drainage way. Mr. Hudak then explained the specs of the drainage dry wells.
Supervisor Banach asked who will pay for the cost. Solicitor Bernathy asked why this was not addressed in the land development. Mr. Hudak said the building was built subsequent to his land development design. Chairman Flansburg asked if the fire department had an opinion. Mr. Llewellyn said to tell him who is paying for this and then he would have an opinion. Chairman Flansburg said he will donate his time and machine but he would not be willing to pay for the stone. Vice Chairman Melvin asked Chairman Flansburg if he is insured. Chairman Flansburg said he is insured. Mr. Hudak said the estimated cost would be a couple hundred dollars. Mr. Hudak said he will put a cost estimate together tomorrow and present it to the Board. Supervisor Banach said he has been on the Board and in the audience for a long time and one of the biggest problems is water. He said there have been at least fifty people who have come to the township with water problems that have not been fixed by the township. He said he just does not want to start a trend. Solicitor Bernathy said that the initial cost will go to the property owner and if someone wants to make a donation on behalf of the fire department, they may do so. Mr. Llewellyn said the fire department will build it according to a design as long as they can afford it. They cannot get into paying design fees. Mr. Hudak said he will provide the design for no charge. Mr. Koferl asked what will happen if this does not work. Solicitor Bernathy said then we go back to the drawing board. Supervisor Banach said we need to find more money in the township to start fixing our roads and putting storm drains in. We have not been spending enough money on our road which we are state mandated to do. Chairman Flansburg said it is better to do something than nothing so he wants to try to solve the problem.
Mrs. Meyers asked if this does not solve the problem then what will be done. Chairman Flansburg said we will talk again. There was additional discussion on the water drainage issue.
Fire Protection Contract: Solicitor Bernathy said he has provided to the Supervisors and the Fire Departments a proposed Fire Protection Contract for their review. Mr. Isaacson said he would like to change to section regarding the driver’s license requirement. He does not want to exclude anyone from membership if they do not obtain a driver’s license. He said an example would be if someone lives close to the fire department, he does not want to have to exclude that person from being a member just because they do not have a license. He obviously would not allow them to drive the equipment. Mr. Llewellyn read number 11 on the contract. He said not all members have a valid driver’s license.
There was discussion regarding the required back ground check. Chairman Flansburg said that the fire department puts up the money for the check and if the applicant passes then the Township will reimburse the expense. If the applicant does not pass the test then the applicant is responsible for payment. It is the fire company’s responsibility to conduct the background checks and not the responsibility of the township.
Ms. Brelje asked if this is a yearly contract. Solicitor Bernathy said this is new.
Mr. Llewellyn said the contract refers to the Township paying for background checks and or audits. He asked if that is that coming from the fire department budget. Vice Chairman Melvin asked Mr. Myer the cost of a CPA Audit. He said approximately $4,000. Mr. Myer said there are compilations and reviews which put the information together but does not give an opinion that all is materially correct. He said Westfall Fire Department does a compilation. There was additional discussion regarding the cost of a three year audit versus an annual audit. Supervisor Banach suggested we require statements showing where the township funds are being spent. There was additional discussion regarding the requirements for compilation and audits.
Charles Pranski was took the oath of office for Mill Rift Fire Police. He was sworn in by Chairman Flansburg.
A motion was made by Supervisor Banach to approve the Fire Protection Contract with the amendments discussed. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor.
Letter from Matamoras regarding EPRPD: Supervisor Banach stated he would like to have a discussion regarding this issue. He said we have been sending letters to Matamoras and we have been talking about the police department and the finances of the police department. The township has spent a lot of money on litigation and has been trying to get out of debt and try to do the things needed to be done that are mandatory. The fire department and the road department are mandatory. Supervisor Banach said he thinks we should send another letter to Matamoras to request another meeting which we have been asking for over a year to have a discussion about the contract, the terms of the contract, and the amount of money we are spending for police protection and come to some realization that we cannot afford that large of a department. He said he is not against the police department and that we still need the police but he thinks we cannot fund it at that level. We need a new dump truck and another man on the road. He said our roads are falling apart and our engineer has pointed out numerous things that need to be done. We need to run this as a business and we need to work with Matamoras but said he is personally and as a Supervisor frustrated with Matamoras since the only time they want to talk about money is when we send a letter stating there need to be negotiations or we will pull out. He suggests we send a letter stating this is a very serious matter for us and if they are not willing to set up a meeting with us to discuss the finances and the contract, that we give them our one year notice. Solicitor Bernathy said Matamoras is proposing meeting dates of April 29, 2014 or April 23, 2014 at 7:00 pm. There are some questions as to the purpose of the meeting. There was additional discussion regarding the purpose of the meeting. Supervisor Buchanan asked the purpose of our two commissioners. Supervisor Banach said the commissioners are not the Borough of Matamoras. Matamoras does not want to talk to us. We have asked. Supervisor Buchanan said he understands that but that is the reason we have two police commissioners. They have two police commissioners and they are supposed to go back to the Board. He said when we signed that contract the Board relinquished their power over the police department and gave it to the two police commissioners. Solicitor Bernathy said Supervisor Banach is talking about funding and participation in the contract. He is talking about withdrawing from the contract and from funding the department. Supervisor Banach said if we cannot get Matamoras to start talking to us, looking at the contract realistically and to come up with what we can afford then the notice will be given that after one year we will no longer be part of it. Supervisor Buchanan said you cannot threaten this. You either have to do it or not do it. He said once the letter is written the time starts ticking. Supervisor Banach said we have been paying Solicitor Bernathy hundreds of dollars to shoot letters back and forth to Matamoras. Supervisor Buchanan said basically what Matamoras is saying that they have nothing to say about it. He said if you want to withdraw then write the letter to withdraw and do not bother having any meetings. They have said in the letters that they do not want to talk about it and that is basically saying they are not going to talk about the budget. He said write the letter that we are going to withdraw in one year or stop talking about it. Supervisor Banach said he thinks there is a value with the EPRPD but it is not at the value of the money we pay right now. Supervisor Buchanan said they have told you that they have no problem with it so withdraw. Chairman Flansburg said he would like to throw one more stab out there and see if they would like to come to the table. He said that is his opinion and he is one of five. Supervisor Buchanan said when you do this and Matamoras does not show up you have to realize that clock starts ticking and the letter will have to be written that we are going to withdraw. He said this does not happen overnight and there is a whole lot involved from withdrawing from this police department. He read the one letter which was written and it said “if you don’t” and they started the clock. He is just going by what he read in the newspaper. Supervisor Buchanan said they have no interest in discussing the budget. Supervisor Banach said the contract reflects specific percentages. We have asked to talk about the percentages and they disagree to change the percentages. He said it is a community police department and it should be 50/50. Supervisor Buchanan asked if the two commissioners have brought this up at the commission meetings. Vice Chairman Melvin said yes. There was a meeting in 2009 regarding the splits. Solicitor Bernathy asked if they are willing to renegotiate the contract. Supervisor Buchanan said that is what the two commissioners are for. They need to ask them if they want to renegotiate the contract. If the answer is no, then the commissioners come back and report to the Supervisors. Vice Chairman Melvin said there are certain things they would like to renegotiate in the contract such as some common issues. He does not know if they are going to want to discuss the percentages. Supervisor Banach said he does not want to get rid of the police department but he feels we should sit down with all of the people who make the decisions and tell them what we can afford. Mr. Pranski questioned the time period of the contract regarding the length of payment of funds. He questioned it being two years. Supervisor Buchanan said it goes to the Court of Common Pleas. Solicitor Bernathy said there are all sorts of provisions that kick in and time tables. He said this is not something to be taken lightly. Then there are issues of alternate coverage also. Supervisor Banach said the point is not to get out but we need to sit down and have this conversation with Matamoras and have a discussion about Westfall Township and the need to get money back into our fire departments and back into our road department. We need to have drains, blacktop and additional people. He said we are spending a great deal of money on the police department and all of the other things in the town are falling apart in the millions of dollars. Mr. Pranski said he is concerned about when we lose our police department and the crime rates go through the roof in this township. Supervisor Banach said he will throw a number out there, $200,000.00. If we contribute that amount and have the State Police pick up the difference. Mr. Pranski said he lived in Dingmans Ferry which is closer to Blooming Grove and it would take them forty five minutes to arrive on the scene with a patrol in that area. He questioned the State Police coming down to Westfall for the petty issues. Supervisor Banach said we need to sit down and discuss this with Matamoras to see how we can do it and have everything we are required by law to have done. He said eventually people may not be able to go to work because we do not have plow trucks and the roads will not be able to be driven on because the roads are falling apart. We have bridges and culverts that are falling apart. We keep funding the police department. He said he is not against the police department. Mr. Pranksi questioned the amount of Liquid Fuels funds the township receives. Supervisor Banach asked Mr. Hudak how much it would cost to fix/build one bridge. Mr. Hudak said hundredths of thousands of dollars. Supervisor Banach said we have talked about this before and if we did not have Mr. Katz and Mr. Dombrosky we would not be having this conversation at all. He said he questioned back in 2008 if the township would be able to afford the police in the future if something happened and the township had to pay for the Katz situation. Mr. Pranski said if things were done on a timely schedule in the past with the roads and bridges the township would not be in this situation. Chairman Flansburg and Supervisor Banach both said that is exactly what we are saying here. Supervisor Banach said Mr. Thiele had a ten year rotation plan for black topping the roads. We have been giving up all of that and the money has been going to the police department. The fire departments have not gotten the money they used to get. He said this is a business and we have to share the pie and make everyone whole. Mr. Pranski said if there is not security on the business and the business is getting robbed in the middle of the night that is a problem. Supervisor Banach said he does not think it is that bad here yet. Vice Chairman Melvin said he would not say we give the money to the police department and that they earn it. He does not feel that the numbers have gone through the roof. Mr. Pranski said the costs would have been higher if we kept the old police department due to the pension costs. Supervisor Banach said these are the things we would like to speak to Matamoras about. Mr. Isaacson suggested the split be fifty and the two departments have their own territory, vehicles and jurisdiction. Vice Chairman Melvin said he thinks that would defeat the purpose of a police department. Mr. Isaacson said two weeks ago two of our cars went to Milford Borough. He said they should have their own department come out. Solicitor Bernathy said that is a mutual aid situation. Ms. Brelje asked Solicitor Bernathy details regarding the letter which Matamoras send regarding the dates of the meeting. He read the letter.
Mr. Pranski questioned the percentage of crime reports in each area. Vice Chairman Melvin said that information is available but he did not have it with him.
Chairman Flansburg said the township “check book” sits up on the desk in the form of a budget that everyone can look at. The State clearly says that the township must provide fire protection and road maintenance and plowing. He said there are four or five big ticket items, which are Katz, Dombrosky, fire department and road department. He said to look at the budget and see where he can provide $40,000 more dollars. Mr. Pranski asked how much the state police will charge. Supervisor Banach said they do not charge. Chairman Flansburg said that is already in our taxes. Mr. Pranski said they have been billing townships for their response. Chairman Flansburg said that no one is saying “no police department”. He said at one of the budget meetings there was discussion about raising the taxes by one mill which was roughly $40,000 which would be about $25.00 per household. It was flat out denied. Mr. Pranski said he understands but he is concerned if there is not police coverage at night.
Vice Chairman Melvin brought up the Earned Income Tax. Supervisor Banach said people do not want more tax and all we will be doing is penalizing the people of Westfall Township. Vice Chairman said there are a lot of people that come here from New Jersey and New York that come here to work that would pay the tax. The money would come here for all of the people that work at the school that live in other towns that do not have the tax. Mr. Myer said the tax is only paid once and it goes to where you live. Vice Chairman Melvin said this is something we need to discuss. Supervisor Banach said it would not be fixing the problem. All we would be doing is re-taxing the people so that we have more money to pay for things that we want. Additional discussion was held regarding taxes.
Chairman Flansburg said he would like to give Matamoras another chance at sitting down and talking about this.
Mr. Pranski brought up a local sales tax. Supervisor Banach and Vice Chairman Melvin said we cannot do it. Chairman Flansburg said the state regulates everything that can be taxed. Supervisor Banach said we were criticized for trying to get some income out of the amusement tax. Chairman Flansburg said we had a shot at taxing the cigarette stores. The cigarette store people sat down and said they would gladly pay a tax on the cigarette sales in Westfall but if the tax is not collected in Matamoras their cigarettes would be cheaper than ours and we will lose business. Mr. Pranski suggested to talking to Matamoras. Chairman Flansburg said Matamoras told us they were not interested. Matamoras is not known for their cooperation with us right now. He said he thinks our Board is sharp and ready to work but we keep getting shut down. There was additional discussion regarding the cigarette stores.
Mr. Dalton asked Solicitor Bernathy if he could see the letter which Matamoras sent. Solicitor Bernathy said sure.
There was discussion regarding the content of the letter to be sent to Matamoras. Supervisor Banach said the letter would not be an ultimatum. Supervisor Buchanan said we need to know going into the meeting if they say they do not want to negotiate if we are going to pull out of the police department. Chairman Flansburg said there are a number of things that need to be negotiated and considered. Supervisor Buchanan said suppose they do not negotiate. He asked Chairman Flansburg if we are ready to pull out of the police department. Supervisor Banach said he hopes it does not come to that. He feels that the amount of money and the needs of the parties should be discussed. Mr. Dalton said what about a “committee of the whole”. Supervisor Buchanan said that is what is being proposed. Supervisor Flansburg said if they are going to tell us that there is no negotiation then we have to drop the police department. He said he is ready to make the move.
A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to write the letter and request the meeting date with Matamoras Borough of April 23, 2014 at 7:00 pm at the Matamoras Borough Building. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey. Supervisor Buchanan was in opposition. The motion carried with four in favor and one against.
Paddler’s Point-Informal Presentation: Representative: Michael E. Gable, Boucher & James, Inc.
Mr. Gable told the Board that his client and his client’s legal counsel were not able to be present. Solicitor Bernathy confirmed with Mr. Gable he is here for informal discussion only. Mr. Gable explained the revised plan of the previously presented garden apartment plan. The revised plan is to remove seven units which reduce the number to 120 units. He said if they go less than 120 units, according to his client’s calculation, the project is not financially viable. He said the revised plan has three less buildings. Mr. Gable said they eliminated the buildings from the center of the project which opens the center up for green space. The plan retained the area along the stream and the picnic area. The walking trail still remains also. He said the impervious coverage is slightly less which is about two percent less which is still well less than the ordinance limitation. Vice Chairman Melvin questioned the parking spaces on the new plan. The parking spaces have been reduced and they are in full compliance with the ordinance, said Mr. Gable. He said the new amount of open space is 180,600 square feet. They agree to the $600 difference for the open space which is required by the ordinance. The calculation would be about $36,000.00. Vice Chairman Melvin said we will run into the same problem as before. We need to spend the money on something to benefit the community and there is no space to utilize the $36,000.00. Mr. Gable explained the project to Supervisor Buchanan. Supervisor Buchanan asked if the apartments would be rent subsidized. Mr. Gable said no. The intent is to have just rentals. Vice Chairman Melvin asked if there have been any studies done to prove the demand for the apartments. Mr. Pranski asked the rental rates and if the project would be considered low income housing. He also asked about the amount of people and traffic this will bring to the area. Mr. Gable said a study was done which he does not remember the figures but the amount of money coming in would greatly benefit the township. There was discussion regarding the traffic impact. Solicitor Bernathy said we must provide for all housing and we cannot discriminate.
Solicitor Bernathy stated the applicant has appealed the Board’s decision on the first proposal with the Court of Common Pleas which is pending this informal presentation. There was discussion regarding open space.
Supervisor Banach stated there was a lot of time spent on a Comprehensive Plan and one of the big issues was housing in Westfall Township. Mr. Gable said it is a problem countywide. There is no housing of this type available.
The Supervisors decided to discuss this further after the meeting and move on with the meeting.
Oath of Office-Elliot Gurian and Charles Pranski-Mill Rift Fire Department/Fire Police: Elliot Gurian was not present and the swearing in of Mr. Pranski was handled earlier in the meeting.
Letter from Planning Commission-Route 6 Outparcels, LLC-Mavis Tire Conditional Use/Land Development: Representatives: John Stieh, Esquire; Michael E. Gable, Boucher and James, Inc.
Solicitor Bernathy said the proposed Land Development/Conditional Use has been reviewed by the Planning Commission with recommended approval with certain conditions as set forth in their letter dated February 26, 2014. There are also reviews from Kiley Associates and the county agencies.
Mr. Stieh stated the proposal is a revision of the Land Development which was previously approved six or seven years ago when Dunkin Donuts was put in. That plan was for two buildings, a Dunkin Donuts and a retail space. Mr. Stieh’s client, Route 6 Outparcels, LLC has been approached by Mavis Tire to build a tire center.
Mr. Gable presented the Board with the project details. He said the proposed building is to replace a 5800 square foot retail/office store located next to the Dunkin Donuts. He explained the location of the site which is located directly behind the Dunkin Donuts. The proposed building is 6799 square feet and there is a slight addition to impervious surface for parking for the project. Mr. Gable addressed the fire department requirement of application of grass pave around the back of the building. He said the grass pave will be twelve feet wide and will be maintained year round to a hard surface. The grass pave is hard honey comb plastic which a heavy truck could be parked. They can be filled with gravel or topsoil for grass to grow through. He then explained the infiltration system proposed. Vice Chairman Melvin asked about wetlands and Mr. Gable pointed out on the plan the area of wetlands which is not on the site. Supervisor Banach asked if that area was flooded when Lowe’s flooded. Mr. Gable said yes but they have brought in about three and one half feet of fill so it no longer floods. He explained the flood elevation.
Mr. Gable said the site is being revised for the delivery truck. An area of the curb will be removed in order to provide the delivery access. Solicitor Bernathy explained the deliveries will be when the facility is closed which is one of the Planning Commission conditions of recommendation. Mr. Stieh asked if the Board would give some consideration for discussion on this subject. Mr. Gable said the peak time for parking for this type of facility is in the evening and on Saturdays. He said the peak for parking at the Dunkin Donuts is in the morning and the peak for this facility is in the evening. Mr. Gable said the times for deliveries will not be at peak and a lot of the time it will be when the store is closed. He said the applicant cannot always control the times of the deliveries and it would be difficult to have such a restriction. Solicitor Bernathy said Planning was concerned about the space being blocked when the store was open during a delivery. There was discussion regarding hours of the store. Chairman Flansburg questioned the staff parking. Mr. Gable said they would require the employees to park in the satellite parking area. Mr. Gable explained the parking situation at Dunkin Donuts. When Dunkin Donuts applied for Land Development approval in 2007 they had anticipated 40 seats. The actual building permit application was for less seating since they needed a larger baking area to help with the Milford Dunkin Donuts. This reduced the seating to 25 seats. He said there are actually 21 seats. This would revise the previously approved Land Development Plans. Solicitor Bernathy asked how many spots are now needed for parking. Mr. Gable said we are proposing 62 and there are 62 there. He said it is 5 spaces less than originally planned. Mr. Stieh said this is revising the previously approved Land Development Plan. Solicitor Bernathy confirmed with Mr. Stieh that this proposal is to address the issue at it relates to the need for a special exception. There was discussion regarding taking parking spots from the Lowe’s plan. Mr. Stieh said they are not taking any parking spots from Lowe’s and that they are keeping all parking on site.
Solicitor Bernathy reviewed with the Supervisors the letter from Planning and all conditions. Supervisor Buchanan did not agree with the condition of deliveries only during business hours. Additional discussion was held regarding deliveries on the site. Solicitor Bernathy said the intent of the condition suggested by Planning was for large delivery trucks and not UPS or Fed Ex trucks. It was so that there would be no blocking of the front of the building. Mr. Gable explained the entrances to the site. Mr. Stieh said there is a delivery area on the side of the building for straight trucks and box trucks. Mr. Gable said it is the applicant’s standard practice to load through the front of the store. Mr. Hudak said that if a large truck is parked there it will not block the entire parking lot.
Mr. Rendleman said the only problem he can see is that they are taking four or five spots from the existing Dunkin Donuts plan. Mr. Stieh said there was parking provided for an entire plethora of uses which were The Dunkin Donuts and retail/office space. That was the parking that was designed and laid out on a condominium basis. They have the right to share the parking and the common expenses. They even share the dumpster. Solicitor Bernathy said it changed since they are not proposing the need for the Lowe’s spaces. Mr. Rendleman said the plan was approved for a certain number of spots for Dunkin Donuts and a certain number of spots for the other use which gives a total to be used for the condominium use. Mr. Gable said this will be an official amendment to the approved plan if approved this evening. Solicitor Bernathy said the tire store is an approved use on the property and there are no zoning issues. There was discussion regarding the sprinkler requirement. Mr. Gable said this will be a building permit requirement also.
Vice Chairman Melvin questioned if there will be enough water supply from the water tank at Milford Landing in an emergency situation. Mr. Gable said he believes there will be but he is waiting for Pennsylvania American Water Company to supply a letter to confirm. There will also be a float test on all of the fire hydrants.
A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to schedule the conditional use hearing for April 7, 2014 at 6:00 pm. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor.
A motion was made by Supervisor Dotey to approve the Land Development with the conditions deleting numbers 2 and 3 on the Planning recommendation letter as noted. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Buchanan and carried with all in favor.
Warwick Properties, Inc.-Westfall Senior Apartments: Nate Oiler addressed the Board earlier in the meeting.
Shay Property-Notice of Intent to Remediate: Solicitor Bernathy said he sent the letter last Friday to make sure the Township stays in the loop.
Letter from Harrison & Burrowes Bridge Constructors-hours of construction: Chairman Flansburg said a request letter was received from the company doing work on the bridges. They would like to run a double shift for construction. His opinion is that he does not agree with running the double shift on Fridays. Supervisor Dotey agreed. There was discussion regarding hours of construction. Supervisor Banach said the traffic will not be affected since they are working behind the barriers. He said we would be better off letting them work and get done. Rob Llewellyn said the traffic will not be impacted. The noise from the double shift is the concern.
Complaint-Joseph Anello-fence damage from plowed snow: Bill Schneider said the subject property is on Pond Drive. He said he will look at the problem and if the fence is in the township right of way the owner will be required to move the fence. Vice Chairman Melvin asked if the fence is in the right of way. Mr. Schneider said he thinks it is in the fifty foot right of way. Supervisor Banach said if the fence is in the right of way it is the owner’s responsibility to fix it and if it is not the township needs to fix it if we broke it. Mr. Schneider agreed to speak with Mr. Anello and to determine if the fence is in the right of way.
PCCD-Dirt, Gravel and Low-Volume Road Maintenance Program: Mr. Schneider said he signed up for the course which there is no cost. The course is required to be taken every five years.
PA Route 6 Alliance Letter: A motion was made by Supervisor Banach to deny joining the PA Route 6 Alliance. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor.
Zoning Officer: A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to appoint R. Douglas Olmstead as Zoning Officer. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor. The hourly wage is $20.00 per hour.
Mr. Rendleman agreed to train Mr. Olmstead for four days.
Schedule “Spring Clean Up” Day: The Supervisors discussed the possible dates for the scheduling of the clean- up day. A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to schedule the clean- up day for Saturday, May 3, 2014 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor.
Request for letter to PHFA-regarding Westfall Senior Apartments – This was addressed earlier in the meeting by Nate Oiler.
SUBDIVISION REVIEW AND ACTION:
Letter from Planning Commission-Stanley/Rocko Subdivision: Chairman Flansburg stated there is a letter from Planning recommending the application of the Stanley/Rocko Subdivision. Gary Williams addressed the Board. Solicitor Bernathy said the application has been reviewed by the Planning Commission and Pike County Planning. Mr. Stieh said Chris Stanley and Joyce Rocko would like to subdivide their property in Mill Rift. They would like to subdivide off 88 acres and their house off of the 110 acre parcel. They would like to take the remainder of that track and add it on to the 155 acres which they own adjacent. Supervisor Buchanan asked the reason for the subdivision. Mr. Stieh said it would make their house easier to sell when they are ready to do so.
The Board reviewed the Subdivision Maps. Mr. Stieh said he received the letter which Chris Wood, SEO provided to confirm they did not need to do the sewage module. He also provided a copy of the court order which confirms the 40’ wide right of way. Mr. Stieh said the Pike County Planning approval has been received also.
A motion was made by Supervisor Buchanan to approve the Stanley/Rocko Subdivision with the conditions referred to in the Planning recommendation letter. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Dotey and carried with all in favor.
ADJOURNMENT: Meeting was adjourned at 9:40 p.m. on a motion by Supervisor Dotey. Motion seconded by Vice Chairman Melvin and carried with all in favor.