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, Susan Guerette
William Brennan, Esq.-Township Solicitor, Madeline Harbison – Township Secretary, John Sartor, P.E .- Township Engineer
Other Township Representatives Present
Chief James Fetterman-Schuylkill Township Police Department, Curt English – Schuylkill Township Planning Commission, Morris Quigg – Schuylkill Township Planning Commission
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.
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
Phoenixville Regional Planning Committee (“PRPC”). Supervisor Morrisson reported that the PRPC continues to revise the Regional Comprehensive Plan.
Schuylkill Township Planning Commission (“PC”). Supervisor Donovan reported that the Pohlig Builders was before the PC in February regarding the Tentative Plan for a planned residential development on the Reeves property. Supervisor Donovan advised that the developer will be back before the PC in March. Supervisor Donovan mentioned also that at the February PC meeting, Mr. Ben Thompson presented a revised sketch plan for the proposed development of the Pickering Valley Golf Club property in which the building lots would be consolidated in the northwest corner of the property in order to allow more open space and allow the option to keep the golf course operational.
Schuylkill Township Ordinance Committee. Supervisor Donovan reported that at the March meeting of the committee, adoption of the International Property Maintenance Code. No action was recommended by the committee and the topic was tabled for further discussion at later date.
Grants. Supervisor Majewski reported that in March the township submitted applications for two grants for the implementation of Valley Park Park; one to the Chester County Municipal Grant Program and one to the Schuylkill Highlands grant program for a total of $115,000.
Schuylkill Township Property Tax Bills. Supervisor Majewski advised residents that the township’s property tax bills were mailed to residents the first week in March. If any resident does not receive their bill by the end of March, they should contact the Schuylkill Township Tax Collector, Aaron Kern. Mr. Kern’s contact information is available on the Schuylkill Township website, www.schuylkilltwp.org, on the Information for Residents page.
Schuylkill Township Environmental Advisory Council (“EAC”). Supervisor Majewski reported that the EAC is planning their spring clean-up campaign and has tentatively selected April 28, 2018 for the campaign date. More details will be available in coming weeks.
Treasurer’s Report and Payment of Bills
Supervisor Morrisson, Treasurer, advised the Board that as of February 28, 2018, the Township’s general fund shows a balance of $2,999,742.91. Supervisor Morrison reported that the bills for February 2018 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 February 28, 2018, and authorized payment of Township bills for the period ending February 28, 2017.
Board Discussion Items
Schuylkill Township Pension Board Hearing. Mr. Brennan reported that a hearing was held on March 13, 2018 on a police pension matter. Briefs will be submitted within 10 days and a decision will be rendered.
Convenience Store Conditional Use Applications. Mr. Brennan advised the BOS that briefs have been submitted by counsel and parties and circulated to same; deliberations by the Board of Supervisors will be held in closed session on March 20 and a decision rendered by the Supervisors within 45 days.
Mr. Brennan further reported that a Right-to-Know request regarding the Sedgley Farms Tentative Plan documents was resolved and requested an employment matter be discussed in executive session.
Proposed Event at The Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge’s Amphitheater (“FFVF”). The Chair recognized Mr. Robert Cooney, the proposer of this event and chair of the Township’s facilitation committee. Mr. Cooney briefly described his vision of the event; that it will be a music festival for all ages with performances throughout the day, activities and food and beverage trucks. Attendance is projected to be about 500 people throughout the day. Schuylkill Township and Chaplin’s Music Café of Spring City, PA would be the sponsors of the event. Mr. Cooney said that the date of August 4, 2018 was selected after discussions with the FFVF and he would need approval from the Board of Supervisors to lock in this date. Discussion ensued regarding marketing, logistics, sanitary facilities, traffic and crowd control, insurance and emergency services. Mr. Cooney advised the Supervisors that he anticipates the bulk of the costs of staging the festival would be covered by sponsors; the Township will be asked to fund insurance coverage required, police, security, parking and emergency services. The Township Solicitor advised that he would need to research the Pennsylvania Second Class Code regarding allocation of taxpayer revenue for an event such as this; specifically, would it require setting up a non-profit arts corporation.
Upon motion by Supervisor Guerette, seconded by Supervisor Parry and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized moving forward with the planning of a Township event, specifically, a music festival, to be held at the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge Amphitheater on Saturday, August 4, 2018 subject to a review of law by the Township Solicitor.
Mr. Cooney was invited to provide an update at the April 4, 2018 Board of Supervisors meeting.
Reduction of Speed Limit on Valley Forge Road/Rte. 23 between White Horse Road & Starr Street
Supervisor Morrisson requested that Schuylkill Township petition PennDOT to reduce the speed to 35 MPH on Route 23/Valley Forge Road between White Horse Road and Starr Street. Supervisor Morrisson outlined his concerns regarding pedestrian safety and traffic accidents. Discussion ensued between the Board and Chief Fetterman regarding traffic speed, volume and accident records. No action was taken at this time. The Board instructed the Chief of Police to provide a traffic study to the Supervisors prior to the April meeting.
Appointment of Special Counsel for Zoning/Subdivision Recommendations for Pending Development.
Upon motion by Supervisor Donovan, seconded by Supervisor Guerette and passed, with Supervisors Parry and Morrisson opposed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized Supervisor Majewski, as Chair, to execute the extension to the engagement letter of Michael G. Crotty/Siana, Bellwoar, & McAndres, LLP dated March 12, 2018.
Charlestown Road/Bridge Street/Pothouse Road Signal Improvements
The Township Engineer reported that the bid opening for the Charlestown Road/Bridge Street/Pothouse Road signal improvements project was held on February 16, 2018 and three (3) bids were received.
Armour & Sons Electric, Inc............ $334,036.70
Carr & Duff, Inc.............................. $264,017.75
Lenni Electric Corporation.............. $255,363.98
Mr. Sartor advised the Board that the bid documents submitted by each of the 3 bidders have been reviewed and copies of the documents have been submitted to the Township Solicitor for review and recommendation. Mr. Sartor recommended to the Board that based on Gilmore & Associates, Inc.’s review of the submitted bids the contract be awarded to Lenni Electric Corporation, subject to review by the Township Solicitor.
Supervisor Morrisson questioned whether this signal improvement would negatively impact the current closed loop system in Schuylkill Township. Mr. Sartor responded that it would not; the light at Charlestown Road/Bridge Street/Pothouse Road would remain part of the system.
Upon motion by Supervisor Donovan, seconded by Supervisor Parry and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and awarded the construction contract for the Charlestown Road/Bridge Street/Pothouse Road Signal Improvements project to Lenni Electric Corporation (“LEC”) in the amount of two hundred fifty-five thousand, three hundred sixty-three dollars and ninety-eight cents ($255,363.98) contingent on the Township Solicitor’s satisfaction with LEC’s submitted legal documents.
Appointment of Planning Commission Member
Upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Majewski and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township appointed Michael C. Pellegrino, a resident of the Township, to the Schuylkill Township Planning Commission for a four-year term to expire in January 2022.
Resolutions / Ordinances
Consideration of Proposed Resolution No. 2018-08: Application for Traffic Signal Improvement at Pothouse Road and State Road (Route 29)
Resolved upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Majewski, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township adopts this Resolution No. 2018-08 by which it authorizes the Acting Township Manager to execute the PennDOT Application for Traffic Signal Improvement (Left Turn Phasing) at the intersection of Pothouse Road and State Road/State Road 29.
Supervisor Morrisson commented that a map of the current closed loop system had been included with the documentation for the left turn phasing application and he did not understand why the signal at Route 23 and Route 252 was not part of the Township’s closed loop system.
Supervisor Morrisson moved that the Township Engineer conduct a traffic study to investigate the benefits of incorporating the traffic signal at Route 23 and Route 252 into the Township’s closed loop system. The motion was not seconded. The Chair asked the Chief of Police to comment. Chief Fetterman responded that he has discussed the light timing at the aforementioned intersection with PennDOT. PennDOT considers the Route 252 light to be too far from the last light in the current system (Country Club Road) to be included. Supervisor Morrisson disagreed, stating it is his opinion that the timing of the light contributes to the backup of traffic on Route 23 and said he thought a study should be conducted. The Board requested that the Chief of Police continue investigate the matter and report back to the Board at their April meeting. Supervisor Morrisson withdrew his motion.
Consideration of Proposed Resolution No. 2018-09: To Authorize the Declaration of Disaster Emergency
Resolved upon motion by Supervisor Donovan, seconded by Supervisor Guerette, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township adopts this Resolution No. 2018-09 by which it affirms the Declaration of Disaster Emergency retroactive to March 7, 2018.
Consideration of Advertisement of Proposed Ordinance No. 2018-01: To Modify the Township’s Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance concerning Consideration of Applications
Upon motion by Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Guerette, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township authorized the submission of proposed Ordinance No. 2018-01 to the Chester County Planning Commission (“CCPC”) for review and, upon acceptance by the CCPC, to advertise said Ordinance for adoption by the Board of Supervisors.
Subdivision / Land Development
Phoenixville Area School District Early Learning Center (“ELC”) – Escrow Release #9
Upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Guerette, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized Escrow Release No. 9 for the Phoenixville Area School District Early Learning Center located at 1 Phantom Way, Phoenixville, PA (UPI #27-5D-1) in the amount of seven hundred sixty-four thousand, nine hundred thirteen dollars and eighty-eight cents ($764,913.88) as recommended in the Gilmore & Associates, Inc. letter of February 27, 2018 (File No. 13-12010T1). The amount remaining in the escrow account will be $240,000.00.
Kathleen Mraz, 34 Meadowbrook Lane, requested that the Board of Supervisors keep in mind the landscaping which still needs to be completed and/or corrected on the ELC grounds before releasing any additional escrow funds.
Supervisor Guerette stated her opinion that the work performed by the Township’s ordinance committee should be handled by the Board of Supervisors (“BOS”) in a public meeting. Supervisor Morrisson disagreed and pointed out that the ordinance committee is a working committee which performs the “nuts & bolts” work of researching, discussing and drafting ordinance language which is then brought before the Board for review, concurrence and approval. Discussion ensued regarding the establishment of a second monthly BOS meeting/work session for the purpose of ordinance revision.
Upon motion by Supervisor Guerette, seconded by Supervisor Donovan, and passed, with Supervisor Morrisson opposing, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township shall establish a second public monthly Board of Supervisors meeting as a non-voting work session for the purpose of ordinance revision; the date(s) and time(s) of said work sessions to be established upon further action by the Board of Supervisors.
Supervisor Morrisson announced his resignation as BOS liaison to the Open Space Commission, stating that for a variety of reasons, he does not feel he can effectively fulfill this role. Supervisor Morrisson recommended that the BOS consider Supervisor Majewski as his replacement.
Upon motion by Supervisor Guerette, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township accepted Supervisor Morrisson’s resignation as Board liaison to the Schuylkill Township Open Space Commission.
Upon motion by Supervisor Guerette, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township appointed Supervisor Majewski as Board liaison to the Schuylkill Township Open Space Commission.
Supervisor Majewski advised Board members that the Township has been asked for a letter of support for Liberty House LP’s application to the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency for low-income housing credits to support the rehabilitation of this supportive housing development in the township which provides low-income housing for residents with mental health and/or developmental disabilities.
March 24, 2018 – The Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Company’s Annual Egg Hunt will be held at the main station on Valley Park Road.
March 21, 2018 – Last day of the Schuylkill Township Police Association’s Coat Drive
April 7, 2018 – Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event at the CAT Pickering campus.
April 12, 2018 – Wildflower Seminar at the Phoenixville Country Club; sponsored by the Schuylkill Township Environmental Advisory Council. Additional Township-sponsored events at the country club will be held in June, September, and November.
A resident of 190 Buckwalter Road asked about the advertising for the newly created ordinance work session meetings, asking what form the advertising would take and if the notice would include the content of the ordinance to be discussed.
Bob Cooney, 1750 Rock Hill Lane, brought up several questions regarding the proposed Pohlig Builders development on the Reeves property; including whether a by-right plan was previously approved, the approval process for the current PRD tentative plan and availability of updated traffic plans. Mr. Cooney went on to express some concerns of the Township’s Open Space Commission regarding the tentative plan. Mr. Cooney was advised that the Open Space Commission should submit its concerns in a comprehensive report to the Board of Supervisors.
An executive session was called to order at 10:05 p.m. to discuss personnel matters. 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.
Upon motion by Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Parry, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township extended Madeline Harbison’s tenure as Acting Township Manager until further notice and approved a salary increase of five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) per annum; said increase to remain in effect only for the duration of her tenure as Acting Township Manager.
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 Parry and unanimously agreed by the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township.
Next Board of Supervisors’ Meeting
Board of Supervisors Regular Business Meeting.................... Wednesday April 4, 2018 at 7:30 P.M.