SCHUYLKILL TOWNSHIP
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
MEETING DATE: November 7, 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, E.J. Mentry – Township Manager, John Sartor. P.E.-Township Engineer

Other Township Representatives Present

Rick Beittel-President Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Company, Nick Cinciripino-Schuylkill Township Roadmaster, Curt English – Schuylkill Township Planning Commission, Chief James Fetterman-Schuylkill Township Police Department, Jim Shaughnessy – Schuylkill Township Recycling Coordinator.

Appearing before the Board

Brooke R. Ginty, Esq. – Counsel for Mr. Craig Conover, 100 Country Club Lane

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.  Supervisor Majewski informed the public that an executive session was held on October 29, 2018 with the Open Space Commission to discuss land acquisition opportunities.

Consent Agenda

  1. Approval and acceptance of the Minutes of the October 3, 2018 Board of Supervisors Regular Business Meeting and the October 25, 2018 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 October 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

Supervisor Donovan advised that a concept plan for low-income housing development by Liberty House was presented to the Planning Commission on October 17, 2018. No recommendation was made by the Planning Commission regarding the plan.

Supervisor Majewski reported that the Environmental Advisory Council has received approval from the USGS for two names submitted as part of the EAC’s unnamed stream project; Fishers Run and Potters Run

Treasurer’s Report and Payment of Bills

Supervisor Morrisson, Treasurer, reported to the Board that as of October 31, 2018, the Township’s general fund shows a balance of $3,583,757.27.    Supervisor Morrisson reported that the bills for October 2018 have been reviewed and he recommended payment of these bills. 

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

Board Discussion Items

Old Business

Legal Matters

Valley Creek Trunk Line Sale – Mr. Brennan, Township Solicitor, recapped the history of the trunk line sale transaction and advised the Board that a resolution approving the sale and conveyance agreement would be brought before the Board at their December meeting.  Mr. Brennan said that it was his understanding there would be little to no fiscal impact to Schuylkill Township with this sale.

Engineering Matters

Creek Road Stabilization Project

Mr. Sartor, Township Engineer, reported that the emergency PaDEP permit was received on October 3, 2018.  The survey, subsurface boring investigations have been completed.  The design plan for the stabilization should be finished in about two weeks and Gilmore & Associates is in the process of preparing a cost estimate for the project.

Mr. Brennan informed the Board that the YMCA has requested an extension regarding the Notice to Abate Nuisance issued to that institution regarding Creek Road.  The requested extension is through November 30, 2018 and the township solicitor recommended that the Board approve the request.

Upon motion by Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and granted an extension through November 30, 2018 of the Notice to Abate Nuisance issued to the YMCA regarding the log jam in Pickering Creek alongside Creek Road.

Discussion ensured regarding the magnitude of the log jam removal project.

Charlestown/Bridge/Pothouse Intersection Improvements Project – Mr. Sartor advised the Board that the first phase of work at the intersection has been completed and that the traffic signal pole and mast arms are currently in fabrication and should be delivered within the next several weeks.  Lenni Electric Corporation, the contractor, has submitted the first payment request per the construction contract and Gilmore & Associates recommends payment of this request.

Upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized payment of Lenni Electric Corporation’s Payment Request No. 1 in the amount of eighty-five thousand one hundred seventeen dollars and fifty cents ($85,117.50) as recommended in the Gilmore & Associates, Inc. review letter of October 31, 2018 (File No. 16-08052T1).

2017 Green Light Go Grant – The township received a grant award of $237,336.00 for a project to connect the Pothouse Rd/Whitehorse Rd, Whitehorse Rd/Valley Park Rd and Pothouse Rd/Charlestown Rd/Bridge St intersections to the existing signal system (Permit #I-0053) to provide improved coordination and traffic flow in the area.  Gilmore & Associates is requesting approval to proceed with the preliminary engineering and final design components for this project.

Upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized preparation of preliminary engineering and final design for the 2017 Green Light Go project.

2018-2019 Green Light Go Grant Application – Mr. Sartor reported to the Board that Gilmore & Associates is seeking approval to prepare and submit on behalf of the Township an application for the 2018-2019 Green Light Go Grant Program to modernize the existing signal equipment at the intersections of Valley Forge Road (SR 0023) & Ferry Lane/Country Club Road (SR 1005), Valley Forge Road (SR 0023) & Pawling Road (SR 1018) and Valley Park Road (SR 1036) & Country Club Road (SR 1005) to include video vehicle detection. The project also includes updating the signal timing and phasing at the intersection of Nutt Road (SR 0023) & Phoenixville Town Center Driveway/Wawa Driveway to include a dedicated westbound left-turn phase.

Upon motion by Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Parry, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized Gilmore & Associates to prepare and submit on behalf of Schuylkill Township a 2018-2019 Green Light Go Grant application for the traffic signal and intersection upgrades as identified above.

High Pointe Lane Proposed Stormwater Drainage Improvements – By consensus of the Board, this item was tabled to the December 5, 2018 Board of Supervisors’ meeting.

Discussion: 100 Country Club Road;  Brooke R. Ginty, Esq., counsel for Mr. Craig Conover, owner of the property located at 100 Country Club Road and presently listed in the Township’s Historic Resource Inventory, addressed the Board regarding the condition of the structures on Mr. Conover’s property and Mr. Conover’s strategy and plans to bring those structures into compliance with the Township’s Historic Resource Protection ordinance.  The Board advised Ms. Ginty that as no discussion has been held with the Township’s Historical Commission, coming before the Supervisors was premature and directed Mr. Conover to bring his plans before the Historical Commission so that body could form a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors.

New Business

Advertisement for A Budget Meeting

Upon motion by Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Parry, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized advertising a public notice of a special budget meeting to be held Tuesday, October 13, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. in the Schuylkill Township Municipal Hall.

Mr. Mentry advised the Board that neither the appointed Township Secretary or Assistant Township Secretary were able to attend the October 13th meeting and requested that a temporary assistant township secretary appointment be made specific to this one meeting.

Upon motion by Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson and unanimously passed, Susan Foster was appointed as temporary, Assistant Township Secretary for the November 13, 2018 Special Budget meeting only under §804 of the Pennsylvania Second Class Township Code.

Repeal of Acting Township Manager Appointment

Upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township repealed the appointment of Madeline Harbison as Acting Township Manager effective immediately.

Authorization to EAC for letter to Senators Toomey and Casey

Upon motion by Supervisor Morrisson, seconded by Supervisor Parry, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township authorized the Environmental Advisory Council to issue a letter in support of the Land and Water Conservation Fund to U.S. Senators Casey and Toomey.

Approval of Proposal for Restoration Work in Valley Park Park Trolley Station

Upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township accepted and approved the November 2, 2018 proposal from Andrew Gustine in the amount of nine thousand two hundred dollars ($9,200.00) for on-going interior restoration work in the Valley Park park Trolley Station.

Acceptance of Bids for Township Equipment Auctioned on Municibid

Upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township accepted the following bid amounts received on Municibid for township equipment: 2000 Grasshopper Mower 721D $1,500.00; 2004 Leaf Box – ODBCO $4,000.00 and 2007 Ford F550 Dump Truck with Plow $26,800.00.

Resolutions / Ordinances

Resolution 2018-17: Amending Schuylkill Township’s Open Records Procedures

Resolved upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Donovan, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township does hereby adopt and approve Resolution 2018-17 amending the Open Records Officer designation for Schuylkill Township.

Subdivision / Land Development

Phoenixville Area School District Middle School – Escrow Release #6

Upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized Escrow Release No. 6 for the Phoenixville Area School District Middle School in the amount of forty-five thousand six hundred fourteen dollars and thirty-five cents ($45,614.35) as recommended in the Gilmore & Associates, Inc. letter of October 31, 2018 (File No. 09-05070T1).  The amount remaining in the escrow account will be $7,600.00.

Additional Business

November 29, 2018 Work Session Agenda

Meeting of the Conservation Subdivision Ordinance Committee at 7:00 p.m.

Announcements

  • Stop the Spotted Lanternfly presentation at the Schuylkill Township Municipal Building on Thursday, November 8, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Company Soup Sale is Saturday November 17, 2018.

Public Comment

Ms. Laurie Joyce, 1090 Brookwood Drive – Ms. Joyce addressed the Board with her and her neighbors’ concerns about the proposed Liberty Village II low-income housing development.  Ms. Joyce expressed her opinion that this area is built-out, and municipal and school services are already strained. Ms. Joyce requested that the Board consider these concerns when the proposed development.  Supervisor Morrisson stated that there are some deed restrictions in place which will impede this development.  The Township Solicitor advised Supervisor Morrisson and the Board that it is not the function of the Board to pass judgement on things which have not been presented to them; that it is appropriate to note that there is an issue about a deed restriction which will be investigated when or if a plan is submitted to the Board for consideration.

Mr. John Mraz, Meadowbrook Lane – Mr. Mraz requested that something be done about the numerous “We Buy Houses” placards posted throughout the township.  Mr. Mraz advised the Board that Schuylkill Township had a 70% voter turnout on November 6, 2018.

Mr. Edward Hahn, 1236 Evergreen Drive – Mr. Hahn expressed his concerns about the stormwater issues on his property and the neighborhood in general.  At the request of the Board, the Township Solicitor advised the residents that as a rule of law, in the absence of affirmative township action, inadequate facilities are not a basis of township responsibility for stormwater problems.  Mr. Brennan went on to say this law has been in place for many years; townships such Schuylkill would quickly become bankrupt attempting to fix private property water issues.

Diana Deeney, 1070 Brookwood Drive – Ms. Deeney asked if the township could provide any support or suggestions to property owners or neighborhoods to resolve stormwater issues.  Supervisor Guerette advised that while the Board is not discounting that Ms. Deeney may have a problem, the fact is that many residents and neighborhoods in the township have approached the Board with water problems on private property during this unusually wet year.  Supervisor Guerette went on to say that the township’s public funds are being used to rectify issues in the township’s public rights-of-way and there just is not the budget to fix all the water issues all throughout the township on private property.  Supervisor Guerette added that the township cannot legally provide consulting services or guidance on this issue either; if a township source provided advice or a solution to a property owner which did not work out, the township could then be liable.

Diane Chiponis, 1095 Brookwood Drive – Ms. Chiponis expressed her concerns about the possible development of the present University of Valley Forge property. 

Executive Session

An executive session was called to order at 8:30 p.m. upon motion by Supervisor Majewski, seconded by Supervisor Parry and unanimously 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 Manager, Mr. Mentry.  The public meeting resumed at 9:20 p.m.  Supervisor Majewski announced that personnel and litigation matters were discussed.

Adjournment

There being no further business before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 9:20 p.m. upon motion of Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson and unanimously passed by the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township.

Next Board of Supervisors’ Meeting

Board of Supervisors Work Session................................... Thursday November 29, 2018 at 7:00 pm.

Board of Supervisors Regular Business Meeting................. Wednesday December 5, 2018 at 7:30 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Madeline Harbison
Township Secretary