Duly advertised in The Pottstown Mercury and posted at www.schuylkilltwp.com
Board of Supervisors
Martha Majewski – Chair, Fred Parry – Vice Chair, Jim Morrisson – Treasurer, Mark Donovan – Member, Susan Guerette - Member
William Brennan, Esq.-Township Solicitor, Madeline Harbison – Township Secretary, E.J. Mentry – Township Manager. The Township Engineer was excused from this meeting.
Other Township Representatives Present
Rick Beittel-President Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Company, Nick Cinciripino-Schuylkill Township Roadmaster, Robert Cooney – Schuylkill Township Open Space Commission, Curt English – Schuylkill Township Planning Commission, James Fetterman-Chief, Schuylkill Township Police Department
Call to Order
The monthly public business meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance. The meeting was chaired by Supervisor Majewski. Supervisor Majewski announced that an executive session was held on January 28, 2019 during the Open Space Commission meeting to discuss land acquisition matters and an executive session was called at 6:30 p.m. immediately prior to tonight’s meeting to discuss personnel and litigation matters.
Upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Guerette, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and accepted the Consent Agenda.
Board Member Reports
Supervisor Donovan reported the Phoenixville Regional Planning Committee (“PRPC”) plans to address the Regional Trail Plan in 2019. As well in 2019, the PRPC will be working on membership expansion. Mr. Mentry informed the Board a workshop will be held on January 27, 2019 to solicit public input on the completed Regional Plan. The workshop will be held at the Phoenixville Borough Hall.
Supervisor Guerette announced that the Historical Commission will be holding a work session on February 28, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. in the township building to discuss the Historic Resource ordinance.
Supervisor Majewski informed the Board that the Environmental Advisory Council (“EAC”) has tentatively scheduled its Spring Community Cleanup for March 23, 2019. Details will be published once the date is confirmed. The EAC has submitted several more names to the USGS as part of its stream naming project.
Treasurer’s Report and Payment of Bills
Supervisor Morrisson, Treasurer, reported to the Board that as of January 31, 2019, the Township’s general fund shows a balance of $2,786,345.59. Supervisor Morrisson reported that the bills for January 2019 have been reviewed and he recommended payment of these bills.
Upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Guerette, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and accepted the Treasurer’s Report for the period ending January 31, 2019 and authorized payment of Township bills for the period ending January 31, 2019.
Board Discussion Items
Creek Road Stabilization Project - Mr. Mentry advised the Board that the project has been completed by the township’s equipment rental contract under the supervision of the Township Roadmaster. The work was completed in 3 days with about 500 tons of stone installed. Mr. Mentry added that it appears the project came in under budget.
Charlestown/Bridge/Pothouse Intersection Improvements Project - Mr. Mentry reported to the Board that the traffic signal and arms are installed and operational. There remains some restoration and concrete work to be done. Mr. Mentry advised the Board that the contractor for this project, Lenni Electric Corporation, has submitted payment request no. 2 in the amount of $33,692.62. The request has been reviewed by the Township Engineer and payment is recommended.
Upon motion by Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Parry, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized payment of Lenni Electric Corporation’s Payment Request No. 2 in the amount of thirty-three thousand, six hundred ninety-two dollars and sixty-two cents ($33,692.62) as recommended in the Gilmore & Associates, Inc. review letter of January 18, 2018[sic] (File No. 16-08052T1).
Proposed Fireworks Ordinance – Mr. Mentry informed the Board that the draft fireworks ordinance before the Board was adapted from Hanover Township’s recently enacted fireworks ordinance and essentially limits the usage of consumer fireworks to certain days and times throughout the year, those being January 1st 12:00 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. & 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.; July 3rd, July 4th, July 5th 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.; and December 31st 4:00 p.m. – 11:59 p.m.
Upon motion by Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Parry, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized advertisement of the proposed fireworks ordinance for consideration of adoption at the March 6, 2019 meeting.
2019 Schuylkill Music Festival – Mr. Cooney was recognized by the Chair to discuss the proposal for a second annual music festival to be held in Schuylkill Township. Mr. Cooney recapped the 2018 festival activities for the Board. The plan for Chapin’s proposed 2019 festival is to schedule it sometime between the end of August and the end of October, contingent upon availability of The Freedoms Foundation Amphitheater venue, and reducing it from an 8-hour event to 5 hours. Mr. Cooney said that Chapin’s is seeking financial and logistical support from the township. Discussion ensued regarding this requested support. Upon the advice of the Township Solicitor, the consensus of the Board was that no promise of support could be made at this time without further discussion.
Upon motion by Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Parry, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized releasing one of its two allowed use dates for The Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge Amphitheater for the staging of the 2019 Schuylkill Music Festival on a date uncertain at this time.
Phoenixville Rail Service Task Force Appointment – Mr. English briefly reported on the current activities and goals of the task force. Discussion ensued regarding various aspects of Schuylkill Township’s participation in this task force. Supervisor Majewski let the Board know that Mr. Norman Vutz, resident, and Supervisor Parry are both interested in participating on the rail service task force.
Upon motion by Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township appointed Supervisor Donovan as its representative on the Phoenixville Rail Service Task Force with the understanding that no commitment of services or funds may be made without prior approval by the Board of Supervisors. It is requested that Supervisor Donovan report monthly to the Board on the Task Force’s activities.
Discussion: Township Social Media/Facebook™ Policy – Mr. Mentry presented several sample policies to Board and briefly outlined the process and pitfalls. Discussion ensued regarding implementation of a social media policy and the launch of a township Facebook™ page. The Board instructed the Township Manager to proceed with the development of a social media policy and an implementation plan for a township Facebook™ page.
Supervisor Guerette asked about the progress of the township’s new website. Supervisor Donovan informed the Board that while the project had stalled over the last year, it was back on track and he would have more to report later.
Discussion: Historic Resource Property - Upon consensus of the Board, this discussion item was tabled to the February 28, 2019 work session.
Update – Schuylkill Township Safety Committee – Mr. Mentry explained the purpose of the safety committee was to identify ways to prevent workplace injuries and is a requirement of the township’s workers compensation insurance carrier. Mr. Mentry summarize the committee’s activities to date for the Board.
Resolutions / Ordinances
Nothing to report.
Subdivision / Land Development
Nothing to report.
Agendas for the February Board of Supervisors Work Sessions
Supervisor Morrisson mentioned the new PASD school hours. Supervisor Majewski said the new hours would be a difference a start time half hour later and dismissal a half hour later. The change will be effective in the 2019/2020 school year.
Supervisor Guerette requested that the Chief of Police, the Zoning Officer and the Township Solicitor investigate the legality of the signs on the property adjacent to the railroad bridge on Pawling Road.
Upon motion by Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Donovan, and passed, with Supervisor Parry dissenting, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township instructed the Township Solicitor and the Township Manager to prepare a draft ordinance to repeal the Schuylkill Township Planned Residential Development (“PRD”) Ordinance; said draft to be presented at the March 6, 2019 Board of Supervisors meeting.
At the request of the Board, the Township Solicitor, Mr. Brennan, explained the consequences of the ordinance repeal in that it does not affect the current two (2) PRD tentative plan applications or the relevant public hearing process for said applications. The Chair invited public comment on this topic.
Robert Cooney – 10 Lochview Lane: Mr. Cooney questioned whether 2 plan applications for the same property could proceed at the same time. Mr. Brennan said that two applications could proceed but only one plan may be recorded for development.
Danielle Jouenne – 52 Dorchester Way: Ms. Jouenne asked for clarification on obtaining party status. Mr. Brennan explained that party status may be requested by any landowner directly affected by an application by said landowners making a timely appearance of record before the judicial body (the Board of Supervisors) to request such status. Party cannot be granted in advance of the hearings but rather must be requested in the first public hearing and entered into the formal testimony of that hearing.
Susanne Rockey – 100 Diamond Rock Road: Ms. Rockey asked what happens to the second PRD plan application if the Court finds for the applicant on the first application. Mr. Brennan responded that there are several factors such as whether an appeal is sought which would determine the status of the second application. It would have no bearing on the timeline for completing the hearing process for the second application.
Mr. Mentry reviewed several items of correspondence regarding downstream notices for Supervisor Morrisson.
Supervisor Morrisson advised the Board that while the Distributed Antennae Systems (“DAS”) bill has been defeated, it will come back before the state legislature at some point and the township should be prepared to oppose it.
Susanne Rockey – 100 Diamond Rock Road: Ms. Rockey questioned why the township would be against DAS; Supervisor Majewski explained that this legislation would give DAS vendors the right to erect antenna poles anywhere in the right-of-way with no regarding to municipal zoning requirements or homeowner preferences.
Peter Brown – 403 Valley Forge Road: Mr. Brown said he was in favor of updating the township website. He then asked the status of the Wawa development; Mr. Brennan responded that the Chester County Court found against the township on the plan application and it was the Board’s decision to not take an appeal. An appeal by Wawa on a zoning hearing decision on this development is still before the Court. Mr. Brown requested assistance on a zoning matter from the Board; he was instructed by the Board to contact the Township Manager.
There being no further business before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 9:05 p.m. upon motion of Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Majewski and unanimously passed by the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township.
Next Board of Supervisors’ Meeting
Board of Supervisors Work Session................................... Wednesday February 13, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.
Board of Supervisors Work Session................................... Thursday February 28, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.
Board of Supervisors Regular Business Meeting................. Wednesday March 6, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.