SCHUYLKILL TOWNSHIP
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
MEETING DATE: June 6, 2018

Duly advertised in The Pottstown Mercury and posted at www.schuylkilltwp.com

In attendance

Board of Supervisors

Martha Majewski - Chair, Fred Parry – Vice Chair, Jim Morrisson – Treasurer, Mark Donovan, Susan Guerette

Township Administration

William Brennan, Esq.-Township Solicitor, Madeline Harbison – Township Secretary, John Sartor. P.E.-Township Engineer

Other Township Representatives Present

Curt English – Schuylkill Township Planning Commission, Chief James Fetterman-Schuylkill Township Police Department, John Gregory – Vice Chair Historical Commission.

Call to order

The monthly public business meeting was called to order at 7:35 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance. The meeting was chaired by Supervisor Majewski.     

Consent agenda

  1. Approval and acceptance of the Minutes of the May 2, 2018 Board of Supervisors Regular Business Meeting Minutes and the May 24, 2018, 2018 Board of Supervisors Work Session.
  2. Acceptance of all departmental, committee, commission and council reports as posted and received by the Board of Supervisors for the month of May 2018.

Upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and accepted the Consent Agenda.

Board Member Reports

Planning Commission – Supervisor Donovan reported that the revised Thompson Tract subdivision sketch plan was presented at the May Planning Commission meeting. The Planning Commission recommended that a final sketch plan be presented to the Board of Supervisors.  Supervisor Donovan advised that Liberty House was also before the Planning Commission in May to present a concept for an affordable housing development on a lot owned by Liberty House immediately behind their present facility.  The development would consist of 33 2-story rental unit duplex dwellings.

Multimodal Plan – Supervisor Donovan informed the Board that the plan will be adopted by the County June 30th; the public comment period is still open.

Regional Comprehensive Plan Public Workshop – Supervisor Donovan reported that the public input workshop for the Regional Comprehensive Plan would be held on August 29th at the Kimberton Fire Company.  More information will be forthcoming.

Tax Collection – Supervisor Majewski informed residents that the 2018 face value period for Township real estate taxes will end on June 30th; any payments made after June 30, 2018 will incur a penalty.

Open Space Commission (“OSC”) – Supervisor Majewski reminded the Board the OSC meeting did not meeting in May and the June meeting will be June 12, 2018.

Environmental Advisory Council (“EAC”) – Supervisor Majewski reminded the Board and residents that EAC meetings begin at 7:00 p.m. for the rest of the year.  Members of the EAC participated in the Phoenixville Area School District’s tree planting project on the grounds of the Early Learning Center.  The EAC and members of the Phoenixville High School Environmental Club did a spring clean and weed of the Pickering Preserve Butterfly Garden and the municipal complex rain garden.

Teasurer’s Report and Payment of Bills

Supervisor Morrisson, Treasurer, advised the Board that the Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Company was requesting a disbursement in the amount of two hundred seventy-four thousand, two hundred seventeen dollars ($247,217.00) from the township-held fire company capital reserve fund for the purchase of a new fire engine (Spartan Metrostar Chassis) and recommended the Board approve this disbursement.

Upon motion by Supervisor Morrisson, seconded by Supervisor Parry, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved a disbursement in the amount of two hundred seventy-four thousand, two hundred seventeen dollars ($247,217.00) from the township-held fire company capital reserve fund for the purchase of a new fire engine (Spartan Metrostar Chassis)

Supervisor Morrisson reported to the Board that as of May 31, 2018, the Township’s general fund shows a balance of $4,321,181.00.  Supervisor Morrison added that the fire company capital fund, from which the disbursement for the previously mentioned fire engine would be made, had a current balance of $1,064,254.63.

Upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and accepted the Treasurer’s Report for the period ending May 31, 2018.

Supervisor Morrisson reported that the bills for May 2018 have been reviewed and he recommended payment of these bills. 

Upon motion by Supervisor Morrisson, seconded by Supervisor Majewski, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized payment of Township bills for the period ending May 31, 2018.

Board Discussion Items

Old Business

Legal Matters

Sedgley Farm PRD/Pohlig Builders LLC - Mr. Brennan, Township Solicitor, reported that the final hearing had been held on May 31, 2018.  Briefs by parties are due to the Township Solicitor by June 18, 2018 with the final decision by the Board on the PRD Tentative Plan Application due no later than July 31, 2018. The Solicitor recommended the Board consider how and when the deliberations will take place.

Whitehorse-Phoenixville LLC/Wawa – an appeal was taken by the Applicant on May 18, 2018 in Chester County Court. Mr. Brennan advised parties to this matter that under the rules of Court, they are not legally entitled to receive a copy of the notice of appeal.  The Solicitor and Township office worked with the Applicant to have a process in place for parties to obtain a paper copy of the Appeal.  The Township is required to file a Return of Record which was done by the Solicitor on June 4, 2018.  Within 31 days of June 4th, the Applicant must file its brief with the Court; the Township has 31 days from the Applicants brief filing date to submit its brief.  Mr. Brennan went on to say that if any of the parties admitted at the Township level on this matter wish to obtain party status before Chester County Court, they must follow the intervention rules stated in the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure.  Discussion ensued regarding the appeal.

Mr. Brennan requested that the Board consider several personnel issues in executive session.

Update: 2019 MS4 Permit Renewal

The Township Engineer, Mr. Sartor, informed the Board that the Pollutant Reduction Plan computer model is completed delineating the storm sewer shed to Valley Creek; the MS4 mapping is updated; a meeting was held with Township personnel on June 4, 2018 to identify BMPs and locations for the BMPs.  The computer model will be updated with this information to ensure that the Township will reach its PRP goal.  Discussion ensued regarding the computer model and its results.  Mr. Sartor stated that the next step is to schedule and advertise a public meeting and comment period for the draft Pollutant Reduction Plan at the July 5, 2018 Board meeting.  Discussion followed regarding the public comment process.

Upon motion by Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Parry, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized the advertisement of a public meeting on July 5, 2018 to present the Township’s Draft Pollution Reduction Plan to Township residents and open the public comment period.

Review and Correction of Certain SALDO and Zoning Ordinances

Supervisor Majewski briefly summarized the background of how certain inconsistencies with the review process responsibilities came to the attention of the Board and, based on the Board’s discussion at the May 24, 2018 work session, requested the Board approve that the Township Engineer, Gilmore & Associates, Inc., perform the review and correction of processes in Chapters 320 SALDO and 370 Zoning.  Supervisor Guerette questioned if the Township Engineer would review other municipalities’ ordinances to resolve the inconsistencies; Mr. Sartor responded that that has been and is part of the process.  Discussion ensued on how the review would proceed.

Upon motion by Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized the review and correction of processes in Chapters 320 SALDO and 370 Zoning by the Township Engineer, Gilmore & Associates, Inc., for a not to exceed amount of two thousand dollars ($2, 000.00).

Historic Resource Enforcement Issues

Supervisor Guerette expressed her dissatisfaction with the enforcement of the Township’s Historic Resource Protection ordinance and asked John Gregory to address the Board on the topic.  Mr. Gregory suggested the Board terminate the Township’s relationship with its current zoning code enforcement officer to be replaced with an entity or person more sensitive to historic issues.  Mr. Gregory recounted the Historical Commission’s frustration with what it perceives as an absence of attention to historical resource protection, specifically for derelict properties, going back a number of years.  Supervisor Guerette concurred, stating that in her opinion the Township should be issuing more citations under the historic protection ordinance and that the current zoning code enforcement officer has repeatedly demonstrated reluctance to do so. Discussion ensued regarding the historic property citation process.  Mr. Brennan advised the Board that this is not just an issue for Schuylkill Township; that a similar state of affairs exists in many municipalities due to, for the most part, the high cost of enforcement.  Mr. Brennan went on to say that in many cases, municipalities resolve the problem by attempting to work collaboratively with historic property owners.  Discussion ensued regarding the zoning code violation enforcement process. Mr. Brennan suggested the Board authorize him to research how other code companies handle historic enforcement and report his findings to the Board.  It was suggested that the current zoning code enforcement officer attend the next Board of Supervisor’s work session to answer the questions being raised this evening.  The Board continued its discussion on the current historic resource protection enforcement practices in the Township. The Board agreed to invite the Code Enforcement Officer to the June 28, 2018 working session for further discussion on the issue.

Update Music Festival

Supervisor Donovan advised the Board that the indemnity agreement requested by the Township is under review by both the Township Solicitor and Chaplins’ counsel.  Mr. Brennan clarified several points in the agreement with Supervisor Donovan.  A website (FreedomsFestival.com) and Facebook page (FreedomsFest) has been created for the festival and Chaplins has started marketing for the event.

New Business

Crossing Guard Services Proposal

Upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and accepted the May 29, 2018 All City Management Services proposal for crossing guard services.

 2018 ARLE Grant Opportunity

Supervisor Majewski invited the Township Engineer to address the Board and describe this grant opportunity.  Discussion ensured regarding the parameters of the ARLE Grant. 

Website Update

Supervisor Donovan advised the Board that he is looking for Supervisors’ comments on the information he has emailed this month and said that it would be helpful to have those in hand as he is meeting with the Township’s webmaster to discuss the design and content.  Discussion ensued regarding various design and content aspects of the proposed website layout.

Resolutions / Ordinances

Resolution 2018-05: Automated Red Light Enforcement Program Project Funding Agreement

Upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized the submission of an application to the 2018 Automated Red Light Enforcement Grant Program, provided an appropriate project is defined, and further designated as signatory for said application to be the Chairperson of the Schuylkill Township Board of Supervisors.

Subdivision / Land Development

Nothing to report.

Additional Business

Supervisor Guerette informed the Board that she would be meeting with The Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge and the Valley Forge Alliance (formerly known as The Friends of Valley Forge) on Thursday, June 7, 2018for discussions about the Schuylkill Township Freedom Trail project.

June 28, 2018 Board Work Session Agenda Items – Discussion items for June 28, 2018 will be Historic Preservation Enforcement issues with the Code Enforcement Officer, the municipal garage complex pole building, and the Pollutant Reduction Plan.

Announcements

  • June 7, 2018 – Schuylkill River Indians presentation with Paul Kusko-Phoenixville Historical Society
  •  June 23, 2018 – Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Company’s CPR Course
  • June 28, 2018 – Board of Supervisors Work Session

Public comment

John Mraz, Meadowbrook Lane.  Mr. Mraz informed the Board that The Endeavor Group attended the Phoenixville Area School District Finance Committee meeting to present the Valley Forge senior housing concept plan for which a zoning change was denied by the Schuylkill Township Board of Supervisors.

Executive Session

An executive session was called to order at 9:50 p.m. upon motion by Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson and passed.  Present were Supervisor Donovan, Supervisor Guerette, Supervisor Majewski, Supervisor Morrisson and Supervisor Parry. Also present were the Township Solicitor, Mr. Brennan and the Township Secretary, Mrs. Harbison.  The public meeting resumed at 10:55 p.m.  Supervisor Majewski announced that personnel issues and potential litigation were discussed.

Supervisor Majewski announced that an executive session conference call was held at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 6, 2018 to discuss personnel issues.

Upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized the termination of township employee Robert P. Gray.

Upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township accepted the June 1, 2018 resignation letter of Township employee, Marc T. Faulkner.

Upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Guerette, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized a five percent (5%) increase to the salary of Township employee Kimberly J. Yocom, Zoning Administration Officer, effective June 1, 2018.

Adjournment

There being no further business before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:00 p.m. upon motion of Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson and unanimously agreed by the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township.

Next Board of Supervisors’ Meeting

Board of Supervisors Work Session...................................... Thursday June 28, 2018 at 7:30 P.M.

Board of Supervisors Regular Business Meeting.................... Thursday July 5, 2018 at 7:30 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,

Madeline Harbison
Township Secretary