April 11, 1990

The Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors continued their April 2, 1990 meeting on Wednesday, April 11, 1990, at 7:30 P.M. at the Nature Center of Charlestown.

Present: Irene W. Ewald, Chairman; John C. Martin, Jr., Vice Chairman; Vincent G. Kling, Sr., Member; Margaret A. Gallagher; Dave Fiorello; and those listed on the attached list.

Mrs. Ewald opened the meeting by giving a brief history of the Tyrone Farms area. In 1947 the area was surveyed and between 1947 and 1953 there was a plan submitted to the County Engineer for his review. The Township did not have a Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance until 1954. The County rejected the plan because the Township did not approve of the roads and there was no planning for stormwater handling. Nevertheless, Mr. O’Neill developed the land and people bought it in good faith and started to build. Very quickly the water handling problems and the lack of adequate roads became apparent and the residents complained. In the late 1950’s the Tyrone Farms Citizens’ Association was formed. The Supervisors were caught in the middle because they did not have an ordinance until after the project had been started. There was no way to fairly draw the line between those who bought before and those who bought after the ordinance was enacted. There are letters in the file from the 1950’s and 1960’s documenting the problems the residents were having with water.

The residents agreed to do pay twenty-five percent of the cost of improving the roads, the Township paid twenty-five percent and the County paid fifty percent. The Township was given the right to maintain the roads and to try and correct the stormwater problems. About ten years ago an engineering study was done with the intention of trying to correct some of the problems. An application was made to the Federal Government to finance this. The application was not processed for almost ten years. Last year the Township received $167,000 and this year $55,000 has been allocated. Tonight’s meeting has been called to show the residents what is planned for the second phase. The Township realizes that there were serious problems connected with the implementation of the first phase. Mr. Fiorello, from Mr. Kohli’s office, brought a punch list of what still has to be done and if there are any omissions the residents were asked to contact one of the Supervisors immediately. Mrs. Ewald said she would like to form a Citizens’ Committee who will work with the Supervisors and the Township Engineer.

Mr. Kling noted that the contractor was the low bidder. Mr. Kling fought against paying him because his work was so poor. The Township has held up payment of $10,000. The contractor for phase one put up a performance bond in the amount of ten percent of the contract. Mr. Piorello met with the contractor about three weeks ago. The contractor is aware of the problems and he wants to correct them to save his reputation. He should be here in a few weeks.

Several residents said they were very much against phase two being started before phase one is completed satisfactorily. Everyone agreed.

Mr. McLaughlin asked why sod was not put down where ground was torn up. Mr. Fiorello said the contractor is required to put in topsoil and seed these areas. Mr. McLaughlin feels sod is needed and not topsoil and seeding. Mr. Fiorello said the budget would not allow for sod. Mr. McLaughlin said the backfill that was put on his property contains rocks and blacktop. Mr. Kling said this job must be redone.

Mr. Fiorello went through the punch list and copies were distributed to the audience. He said the number one priority is to put in topsoil and reseed. There are areas near driveways and garages that need to be regraded. The swale at H8 and 19 was started at the end of the Fall and the contractor could not complete it because of bad weather. He will be back soon to finish this work.

Mr. Quay asked if the runoff problems on his property would be corrected. Mr. Fiorello said it is on the punch list.

On several driveways the curb elevations are higher than what was called for. On the high side of the road the fix is flush with the apron so that the water will run along the edge of the road. This will be looked into. There is a lip on the high side of the road so that there will be no problem when the road is resurfaced. Mr. Rittenbaugh feels the whole road will have to be resurfaced.

Mrs. McLaughlin asked who would pay for the corrections. Mr. Kling said it is the contractor’s responsibility.

A resident asked why rolled gutters were not used. Mr. Fiorello said that does not give much of a lip and this could cause a problem when the road is resurfaced. Mr. Kling said the most vulnerable part of any road is the edge. If the curb is a rolled curb it does not satisfactorily protect the edges of the road particularly when plowing and trying to retain water flow. You use the same amount of concrete. A proper curb which goes in the ground below the frost line is a permanent protection for the edge of the road.

Mrs. DiPaul said when the sewers were installed the sewer pipe came through the ditch on Marian Road. The ground was made flat with no swale to carry the water. When the road was paved it was even higher and there have been problems ever since.

Mr. Quay asked what was going to be done to the hole in his front yard. His homeowners’ policy will not cover him because the hole is so deep. The insurance company wants a letter from the Township saying the Township is responsible since they put the hole in the ground. The original plans called for a pipe to stop at the edge of his driveway but it was continued on. Mrs. Ewald told Mr. Quay she would bring this matter to the Solicitor’s attention and ask him for guidance. Mrs. Ewald reminded Mr. Quay that he has had a water problem for many years. Mr. Quay agreed that he had but he has always been able to fix it in the past. The pipe does not do a bit of good. The water goes on top of it rather than through it. Mr. Fiorello said the road would be crowned this Spring and this should give Mr. Quay some relief. Mrs. Ewald said the Township would continue to work with him.

Mr. Fiorello outlined the area included in the first phase. The second phase proposes to connect a pipeline along Marian Road and bring it down to connect to the system that was built in phase one. The $55,000 allocation will pay for a limited amount of piping, curbing and inlets. It should cover the block between Hilltop and Tyrone Roads. There will be curbing along the west side because the water is coming down from Hilltop. There will be a series of catch basins. There are existing inlets at either side of the Tyrone and Marian Road intersection. There is a twenty foot segment of pipe that discharges the water through the swale and it runs between the two roads. Piping will be put along the roads with a series of inlets. It will eventually connect to the pipe that was put in last year on Benburb Road. When the Benburb Road work was designed it was designed with Marian Road in mind.

Mr. Reis questioned the adequacy of the size of the proposed piping. Mr. Fiorello said the slope of the pipe has as much to do with its capacity as its diameter. It was sized for a twenty-five year storm.

Mr. Small asked someone to come out when it is raining so the problems can be seen. The water from the road comes down the embankment and down his driveway. There are four inlets proposed before getting to this property. The curb will stop at the corner of #20. The curbing may go further at a later date. Mr. Kling said the only thing the Township can do is keep the water from the public right-of-way from running on people’s properties with a pattern of catch basins and down slope curbs.

Mr. McLaughlin said there is a low spot on Hilltop Road where the water comes down the hill, crosses the street and goes into everyone’s back yard. Mrs. Ewald said this is a high priority item and asked Mr. Pyle to clean this swale as soon as possible. Mr. Pyle said the same thing will be done on the right hand side of Sycamore Lane. Mr. Pyle suggested building it up with blacktop. Mr. Martin said there is a financial restraint. It was suggested that a ditch be dug on the other side of Hilltop Road to get the water into the pipe where it belongs.

Mr. Coccio said his property has been getting flooded for twenty-five years. The drains are not clogged. Mrs. Ewald will look at the problem. It will also be observed on the Road Tour.

Mr. Gazzillo said there should be a swale along his property but there is a ditch. The contractor started in October but did not complete the work. He asked if it would be completed. Mr. Piorello said Mr. Gazzillo was told before the job was done what was planned and he did not complain at that time. Mr. Gazzillo said the equipment operator told him the Township instructed him to go as deep as he did. The ditch is too deep at the back of the property. Mr. Fiorello will check it. The swale was designed to take the water from Benburb Road through Mr. Gazzillo’s property.

Mr. Fiorello said it is anticipated that the second phase will start around the beginning to the middle of June. The contractor will have sixty days to complete the work. It was suggested that he be paid in phases after it is certain that the work is satisfactory. Mr. Martin said all the contractor does is follow the specs and if he does this he deserves to be paid. Mrs. McLaughlin suggested that it be made a part of the contract that the area must be cleaned up each day. Mr. Fiorello said this will be done.

Mr. Savastana asked if the road would be resurfaced. The $55,000 will not take care of resurfacing. The Supervisors will take their semi-annual Road Tour on April 21 and at that time they will be looking at all Township roads for prospective resurfacing.

Mr. Viscuso said there is a problem at the property across Marian Road from his.

A resident of 6 Coldstream asked if there is a solution for the water problem on Coldstream Road. It lays on his driveway. Mrs. Ewald said this will be a priority stop on the Goad Tour. Mrs. Ewald said this area is not a part of phase two but it was a part of the engineering study done in 1978. Coldstream Road is a State road.

Mr. Kling wondered if there was any money to pay for quality control in the field. Mr. Fiorello said he did not know what the Township’s contract with Kohli and Associates called for. Mr. Fiorello said he tried to go out once a day. He feels some of the $55,000 should be allocated for quality control inspections and in some instances they should be made every day. Mrs. Ewald said there is a tremendous amount of construction and engineering talent in the Tyrone Farms area and she encouraged some of these people to bid the job.

Mrs. Ewald asked if anyone was interested in serving on the Citizens’ Committee to let Mrs. Gallagher know. She feels six representatives would be a good number.

Mr. Reis was told the swale would be kept in the area of the paper road because water is coming down from the uphill side. There will be an inlet half way up the hill. The swale will be covered with dirt and seeded.

Mr. Gerhart who lives at the corner of Benburb and Hilltop asked if his ground cover would be replaced. He said this was the first time in thirty years he has had water on his driveway. It is a sheet of ice. The backfill used is almost all stone.

Mrs. Ewald asked the residents to document all their concerns in a letter.

Mr. Rittenbaugh said when the properties are seeded he will be there checking to make sure it is done right.

Mrs. Ewald thanked everyone for coming.

Mr. Rittenbaugh, Mr. McLaughlin, Mr. Small and Mr. Burger agreed to serve on the Citizens’ Committee.

Mr. Kling made a motion to approve payment of a check in the amount of $10,372.10 made payable to Thomas Comitta Associates for work done during March. Mr. Martin seconded the motion. It so carried.

There was no further business and Mr. Kling made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:30 P.M. Mrs. Ewald seconded the motion. It so carried.

Respectfully submitted,