JANUARY 2, 1996

The Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors held their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, January 2, 1996 at the Charlestown Elementary School, Charlestown Road, Devault, Pa.


John B. Sauser, Chairman, Robin J. Kohn, Vice Chairman, Irene W. Ewald, Member, Surender S. Kohli, P.E., Linda M. Csete, Secretary, and those on the attached attendee list.

The Chairman called the meeting to order at 8:40 P.M.

There were no announcements.

Mr. Sauser moved to approve the minutes of December 4, 1995 with the correction of a typo on page four replacing “two” for “tow”. Mrs. Ewald seconded and the motion carried.

Mr. Sauser moved to approve the minutes of December 18, 1995 with the addition of the omitted word “one” on page 3 to read “...two in favor and one opposed.” Mrs. Ewald seconded and the motion carried.

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the December 1-31, 1995 Treasurer’s Report. Mr. Sauser seconded and the motion carried.

Mr. Kohn moved to approve the Accounts Payable Report for January 2, 1996. Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor.

Zoning Officer’s Report:

Mrs. Ewald referred to a building permit listed on the December Report for a residence on Green Lane and asked that Mr. Kohli confirm that this is for a residence only.

Mr. Sauser referred to a letter from the Historical & Architectural Review Board which recommended the approval of Cynthia Harrington’s and Michael Kachmar’s plans for the former General Store property. Mr. Sauser said that Ms. Harrington mistook this letter as final approval and began renovation work. He has spoken with her and explained that work must be suspended until the Supervisors issue a Certificate of Approval. The Secretary was asked to distribute copies of the plans to the Supervisors and place the matter on the February 5, 1996 agenda.

Mrs. Ewald asked Mr. Kohli for information on work in progress at Brownie’s Tavern. Mr. Kohli responded that the new owner filed a building permit application on Dec. 22, 1995 and has proceeded with interior renovations and excavating the front stoop.

Mr. Kohli stated that temporary U & O permits have been issued for several units at Charlestown Hunt and that Mr. Oeste has notified Realen Homes Inc. that the additional U & O fees are due on these units per the existing agreement.

Planning Commission Report:

Mr. Sauser stated that the Planning Commission will review a sketch plan for the Valley Forge Christian College which proposes apartments at the VFCC site.

Roadmaster’s Report:

Mr. Hiller reported that the roads were salted and cindered as required. Intersections were cleared and salt and cinders were hauled to the Township yard.

Fire Marshal’s Report:

Mr. Alston reported that there was one vehicle accident, one wires fire, one barn fire, one automatic alarm and one vehicle fire during the month of December. He investigated one incident of open burning. Mr. Alston requested that residents be extremely careful with any permitted controlled burning as 1995 closed with precipitation 10” below average. He gave a summary of emergency services provided to the township for 1995. He noted that there were only 5 accidents at the Route 29 curve compared to more than 60 accidents in 1994. Also, for the second consecutive year, there were no brush fires along Conrail’s Devault Rail line. Mr. Alston reminded the Board that there is a place on the East Whiteland Fire Company Board of Directors for Charlestown and asked if one of the Supervisors would be interested in attending their meetings on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:30. Mr. Kohn stated that he is interested in representing the Board but noted that he is also interested in attending the Planning Commission meetings held on the same evening. Mr. Sauser proposed drafting a letter commending Charlestown’s four emergency service providers for their services during 1995.

Parks and Recreation Board:

Mr. Connolly thanked the Board for their assistance in obtaining grant money for the soccer fields and recognized John Martin in particular for his help during 1995. Mr. Connolly referred to his memo to the Board dated 12/28/95, the subject of which was 1996 Plans for the Parks and Rec Board. He noted that the P & R Board needs additional members in order to pursue these plans. Mr. Sauser stated that he is in the process of obtaining clarification on what part the School Board plays in appointing Parks & Rec members. In order to avoid designing Charlestown Park by default, Mr. Connolly requested that the Board consider the development of a Master Site Plan with input from the Township consultants. Mrs. Ewald further suggested that Mr. Connolly examine Schuylkill Township’s master plans for the area abutting Charlestown’s Park. Mr. Connolly went on to request that the Parks & Rec Board, Board of Supervisors, Planning Commission and the public form a group to enact some of the measures outlined in the 1993 Open Space and Recreation Plan. Mrs. Ewald suggested contacting the Open Space Task Force, which was instrumental in developing this plan, and begin taking action. Mr. Connolly invited the Board of Supervisors to a joint meeting to include the Parks & Rec Board, PMYC and PASC on January 23, 1996 at 8:00 P.M. at the PMYC Club House.

Valley Forge Sewer Authority:

Mr. Sauser stated that there is nothing to report.

Citizens’ Forum:

Mr. Connolly stated that a copy of the agreement between the Connollys, Andersons and Realen Homes has been sent to the Township office. He said there are substantial issues the township may be party to, particularly safety issues. Mr. Connolly stated that one of their concerns is that the access road will be used extensively by Hunt residents, and he wants it to be an emergency access only. Mr. Sauser stated that the Supervisors will review the document and afterwards decide how to best utilize the township’s consultants.

Mr. Connolly noted that the Intermediate Soccer Field must be built by May 15, 1996 in order to qualify for County Grant funding. He now questions whether the township should proceed with bidding or first consider the proposed field’s function in the overall scheme. After some discussion, Mr. Kohn suggested meeting with the Planner to determine whether or not the field will fit in with the overall site plan as discussed earlier in the meeting. Mr. Sauser agreed that this should be done before proceeding with bid preparation.

John Martin had additional information on the Revolutionary War Cemetery monument restoration and said that the Christiansen & Sons proposal calls for a polyurethane finish which cannot be applied during winter weather and must wait until April. Mr. Sauser stated he wishes to study the proposal further along with Priscilla Crowell’s letter and Janet Baldwin’s comments, suggesting that a citizen’s group be formed to develop an overall plan for the Cemetery site.

Spring Oaks - At Grade Rail Crossing:

Tim Townes of Hough-Loew Associates was present to request that the township apply to the Public Utility Commission for an at-grade rail crossing on Warner Lane. He referred to a draft agreement which states that his firm will cover all costs associated with the application and implementation of the project. Mr. Kohli suggested that he and Mr. Oeste review the documentation and present it to the Board after that has been accomplished.

Signal Service Inc.:

Mrs. Ewald made a motion to sign the 1996 agreement with Signal Service Inc. for maintenance of the traffic signal at Route 29 and Charlestown Road. Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor.

Dickson Drive sign:

With regard to two requests from the homeowner’s association at Hollow Run Farms, Kohli suggested that the Roadmaster review the street sign for Dickson Drive, which is not visible at night. The Association requested that a standard road sign be placed at the corner of Route 29 and Dickson Drive to alleviate this problem. The second request involved the installation of a lighted “Hollow Run Farms” sign. Mr. Kohli instructed the secretary to inform the Association that they may submit a sign permit application in accordance with Zoning Ordinance Article 14. The application should be placed in the name of the owner of the property where the sign would be placed. He further suggested that the Association be reminded that since the upcoming township-wide re-addressing process will more clearly identify their homes, they may wish to wait and reconsider until after this has been completed.

Supervisors’ Meeting for Jan. 15, 1996:

It will be determined at the January 8th meeting whether to cancel the January 15, 1996 Supervisors’ meeting as it may not be necessary.

Stinson Markley Property:

Mr. Sauser suggested that the Board review the proposals received from consultants interested in the restoration of the Markley Barn prior to the January 8th meeting. Mrs. Ewald added that as this is considered a professional service, it is not required to go out for bid. Instead, the Board may extend invitations for proposal submissions and then conduct interviews of potential candidates.

Mrs. Ewald moved to adjourn at 10:10 P.M. Mr. Sauser seconded and all were in favor.

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda M. Csete, Secretary