The Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors held their regular monthly meeting on Monday, October 2, 1995 at the Charlestown Elementary School, Charlestown Road, Devault, Pa.


John C. Martin, Jr., Chairman (arrived at 8:30 P.M.), John B. Sauser, Vice Chairman, Irene W. Ewald, Member, Thomas F. Oeste, Esq., Linda M. Csete, Secretary and those on the attached attendee list.

The Vice Chairman called the meeting to order at 8:00 P.M.


Mrs. Ewald reported that Mr. Kohli is recovering well after undergoing surgery last week and everyone wishes him well. She announced that she attended the Republican State Committee Fall legislative session last month, where the possibility of raising the gasoline tax for the reconstruction of roads and bridges was discussed. She is concerned over the formula being proposed for the allocation of the tax funds, which is heavily slanted against Southeastern Pennsylvania in general, and even varies by county, with Montgomery County receiving more per mile than Chester County. Further, there are no adjustments built into the formula for changes in population. Also during this meeting, 4 judicial candidates were elected for the Republican ticket, all four of whom are prosecutors.

Mr. Sauser announced that he attended the meeting at the Valley Forge National Park. Congressman Kurt Weldon was also in attendance for this meeting which focused on National Park issues, with Roger Kennedy, director of the National Park Service speaking. Plans were discussed for restoration of the Arch as well as for the creation of a National Museum for Revolutionary War artifacts, of which 70% known to exist are in the hands of twelve private citizens. There is interest in a site at Valley Forge Park. Deer control was mentioned briefly, but was considered a local concern and not accorded much discussion. Mr. Sauser also announced that he attended the Valley Forge Sewer Authority meeting of Sept. 28, 1995, which will be discussed later in this meeting.

Mrs. Ewald requested that the minutes of September 1, 1995 be tabled until the Secretary can review two topics included in them.

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the September 1995 Treasurer’s Report. Mr. Sauser seconded and the motion passed.

Mrs. Ewald moved to change the notation under check #8201 for Thomas Comitta Associates from “Zoning Hearing” to “Curative Amendment” and to approve the October 2nd, 1995 Accounts Payable Report with this correction. Mr. Sauser asked if check #8203 to Cox Recreation Concepts for playground restoration was in order, and Mr. Connolly stated that it was. Mr. Sauser then seconded the motion and the motion carried.

Zoning Officer’s Report:

Mr. Kohli was not in attendance.

Planning Commission Report:

Mr. Churchill was not in attendance.

Roadmaster’s Report:

Mr. Hiller reported that the final mowing for the year was completed, drains were cleared, and that he is attempting to contact the Sewer Authority about the subsidence on Pine Drive. He stated that, if necessary, the cracks in the road can be sealed in the interim. A Fall Road clean-up is planned before Thanksgiving and after the leaves have fallen. He stated that he has spoken to Mr. Atkinson, who asked if any tree replacement is planned following the widening of Green Lane. The bulk of the tree removal took place in the right of way in front of his property. Mrs. Ewald suggested that this matter be reviewed on the upcoming road tour.

Fire Marshal’s Report:

Mr. Alston reported that there were nine vehicle accidents, two trees and wires fires, one smoke investigation, one odor investigation, and one assist by the Fire Police responded to by the fire companies. Mr. Alston announced that he attended the Charlestown Emergency Operations Center rehearsal for the October Limerick drill. He also stated that on the morning of October 2nd there was a call for a cardiac arrest on Valley Hill Road that was delayed due to the lack of proper addressing. He stressed the urgency of completing the re-addressing plan without delay. He further stated that the drought ban on outside burning remains in effect until further notice. A few people in the township have been continuing their outside burning, and he has contacted them to remind them of the ban. He reminded residents to have their chimneys cleans since residue rising from chimneys can be a hazard, especially during drought conditions.

Parks and Recreation Board:

Mr. Connolly reported that the Project Manual for the Intermediate Soccer Field bid was delivered to the Township office on September 29, 1995. He requested that if the Board meets prior to November 6, 1995 they include in the public ad that the bids will be opened at that meeting instead of the November 6th meeting as stated in the Project Manual. The Manual noted that this might occur, and all bidders who have picked up the package have been so advised.

Mr. Connolly stated that the Park is currently in good condition and that it has an active football, hockey and soccer schedule this fall.

He stated that there are presently only three members on the Parks and Recreation Board and he would like to see some additional members.

Mr. Connolly announced that he has accepted a new position with the Schuylkill River Green Association as Corridor Manager and invited the public to attend the meeting of the Charlestown Historical Society on November 1st at the Play School during which time matters relating to the Association will be discussed.

Valley Forge Sewer Authority:

Stephen Winckelman, one of Charlestown’s two representatives on the six member board, was present to report on the VFSA. He stated that the Authority is presently operating within its current budget and in fact has a surplus, that all permit requirements have been met, and that they recently received a safety award. He explained the ongoing study into spray irrigation by the VFSA consultant Gannett Fleming as having been prompted by the fact that the Regional Act 537 requires a study when an authority is operating at 90% of its capacity and/or experiences surges of 8% or more. Spray irrigation is one approach to enlarging the existing plant. Mr. Winckelman stated that no plan will be adopted until all points of view from the member municipalities are considered. Mrs. Ewald asked Mr. Winckelman’s opinion as a member of the VFSA joint board, but he was reluctant to offer one. Mrs. Ewald stated her concerns over the lack of direction or parameters that have apparently been given the consultant firm. Mr. Sauser read the Township’s response letter written by Mr. Martin and dated September 15, 1995 which states that Charlestown Township is opposed to spray irrigation.

Mr. Sauser stated the Sewer Authority’s 1996 Operating and Construction Budgets were discussed at the meeting and are to be voted on at the next meeting. The budget includes proposed funding for further odor reduction controls. He also reported that with regard to the vote on allocation of excess capacity, Option #2, returning the capacity to the lessors, was selected.

Mrs. Ewald stated that she welcomes the input from the VFSA board in order to gain insight on what Charlestown’s representatives perceive to be the key issues for the township, especially at this point in time when a number of issues have recently arisen.

(Mr. Martin arrived at this time.)

Citizen’s Forum:

Mark Connolly stated that he has a tentative agreement with Realen Homes with regard to the Broadwater Lane access and that papers are being drawn up contingent to the township’s being a party to the issue of tree removal. Realen is expected to contact the township to arrange a site visit.

Janet Baldwin asked for the status of the PA Historical Commission Grant which the Township wishes to re-direct to the Markley property, and Mr. Sauser responded that he has been in contact with Carole Rubley, who will handle this change for the township. Mrs. Baldwin stated that the Charlestown Historical Society has decided to accept the Markley Property. She stated that the Great Valley Nature Center is interested in cooperating with the Historical Society and that she has spoken to Eleanor Morris, who confirmed that her Board has no easement conflict preventing the Township from using the barn as a municipal office. Mr. Martin moved to approve a payment of $10,000.00 to the Charlestown Historical Society following settlement for use in maintaining the Markley property, representing a portion of the interest earned from the Open Space fund thus far. Mrs. Ewald seconded the motion and the motion carried.

Mr. Connolly requested a clean-up of the debris resulting from the barn which burnt down on Sycamore Lane. Mr. Martin directed the Zoning Officer to send a letter to the barn owner.

Lesia Hrysio stated that her stone ranch home adjacent to the Charlestown Hunt site has developed cracks that she suspects are caused by the construction work there. She has calls in to both Allan B. Myers Co., the road contractor, and Realen Homes. Mr. Martin requested that she send a letter to the Board at which time the Board will direct the township engineer to contact the proper parties.

Mr. Martin announced that he attended the drill for the Limerick Nuclear Power Plant on September 24, 1995 at the Elementary School along with Bob Wert, Charlestown’s Emergency Services Coordinator. He commended Mr. Wert and stated that the Township is fortunate to have him in this position.

Bill Nissle of Pine Drive asked for the status of the re-addressing project. Mrs. Ewald explained that the consultant hired by the County failed to submit a proper re-addressing scheme for Charlestown, stating that the submission was seriously flawed, leaving Charlestown to prepare its own re-addressing plan. Mr. Sauser said that there has been disagreement over the question of naming all the shared driveways in the township, whether an address for every fifty feet of frontage is really necessary, as well as how to number roads that meet other townships. Mr. Alston stated that by numbering each 50 feet of frontage, every numbering situation is answered. He further stated that the work done previously by the re-addressing committee is nearly complete and requires only another 12 hours work. The Board then scheduled a meeting with the re-addressing committee to be held on October 16, 1995 at the Charlestown Elementary School at 8:00 P.M.

Presentation - Sustainable Watershed Management Study:

Ralph Heister of Green Valleys Association introduced Tom Cahill and Wesley Horner of Cahill Associates, who gave a slide presentation outlining the watershed management study being undertaken by Green Valleys Association for which they received $125,000.00 in grants. Mr. Horner described the Pickering Creek Watershed, of which 28% is located in Charlestown Township, as a 109 square mile area. He stated that most of Charlestown’s natural water supply comes from the Pickering Creek Watershed, with a small portion coming from the French Creek Watershed. The focus of the study was the effect of various land uses on water resources, which specifically affect water runoff, reduction of infiltration, an alteration of the hydrological cycle and flooding. There was a question and answer session following the presentation. Dr. Heister also introduced Sue Pinkham, who will replace him as Executive Director of the Green Valleys Association as he is now the Special Projects Director.

Re-Scheduling of Fall Road Tour:

The date of the Fall Road Tour was changed from October 14, 1995 to October 21, 1995 to begin at 9:00 A.M. Mr. Martin directed the Secretary to notify the Roadmaster and Mr. Kohli’s office of the change.

Ordinance to Reduce the Size of Planning Commission:

Mr. Oeste stated that the proposed ordinance was properly advertised for tonight’s meeting. Mr. Martin moved to approve Ordinance #70-95 reducing the size of the Planning Commission from nine to seven members to be effective November 1, 1995. The motion carried unanimously.

Appointment of Acting Zoning Officer:

Mr. Martin moved to approve the appointment of Jim Kapner of Kohli & Associates as Acting Zoning Officer until Mr. Kohli can resume his duties. Mrs. Ewald seconded the motion and called for discussion. She requested that Mr. Kapner attend the next Board of Supervisors’ meeting so that the Board members can become acquainted with him and his credentials. Mr. Martin called for a vote on the motion, which passed with two in favor and one against.

County Convention:

Mr. Martin asked which of the supervisors planned to attend the upcoming county convention. All three plan to attend.

1996 Budget Meeting:

The 1996 Budget Meeting was scheduled for October 23rd at 7:30 P.M. at the Township Office.

House Bill 702 - Local Government Committee:

Mrs. Ewald moved to table a discussion on this item until the October 16, 1995 meeting in order to allow time for the PSATS newsletter referencing the bill to be distributed to all Board members. Mr. Sauser seconded and all were in favor.

Phoenixville Spur Meeting:

Mr. Martin referred to a letter of September 21, 1995 from Jim Gerlach and Carole Rubley inviting the Supervisors to a meeting on October 12, 1995 for the purpose of discussing the formation of a regional comittee to review and make recommendations on the implementation of the Phoenixville spur project. All three supervisors plan to attend.

Charlestown Hunt - Broadwater Lane Issues:

Mr. Martin referred to a letter dated September 6, 1995 from Marc Kaplin to John D. Snyder requesting that the Board consider the possibility of condemning an easement for emergency access over the Andersen property. Mr. Martin stated that the Andersens have property rights that cannot be disregarded and Mrs. Ewald responded this request does not recognize due process and proceeded to read aloud Mr. Kaplin’s letter. She said that the Board has discussed the problem of the easements with Realen Homes for eight years and have given them ample time to resolve them. They made representations to the Township that they had the easements when they do not. This issue must be resolved before one person moves into Phase I due to the serious safety issue involved. Mr. Martin directed Mr. Oeste to write a letter to Marc Kaplin explaining the Board’s position.

Charlestown Hunt Escrow Release #4:

Mr. Martin moved to approve Charlestown Hunt Escrow Release #4 in the amount of $433,813.45. Mr. Sauser seconded, and the motion carried. Mrs. Ewald did not vote.

Charlestown Oaks Recordation Extension Request:

Mr. Oeste stated that Lou Colegreco has requested an extension in the time allotted for recording the final Plans for Charlestown Oaks since they have a revision currently scheduled to be before the Planning Commission. Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the extension request to December 25, 1995. Mr. Martin seconded and all were in favor.

Robert Berry Request:

Mr. Oeste said that Mr. Berry contacted him with regard to the possibility of relocating his driveway for lot #7 in Eastwick to Church Road with the provision that certain restrictions be placed on his 3 lots. Mr. Martin directed Mr. Oeste to contact Robert Berry and instruct him to go through the standard procedure of submitting a subdivision plan to the Planning Commission.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:55 P.M.

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda M. Csete, Secretary