May 6, 1996

The Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors held their regular monthly meeting on Monday, May 6, 1996 at the Charlestown Elementary School, Charlestown Road, Devault, Pa.


John B. Sauser, Chairman, Robin J. Kohn, Vice Chairman, Irene W. Ewald, Member, Thomas F. Oeste, Esq., Linda M. Csete, Secretary, and those on the attached attendee list.

The Chairman called the meeting to order at 8:05 P.M.


Mr. Sauser made the following announcements:

  1. The Chester County Health Department is making low cost rabies vaccines available through a number of veterinary clinics and hospitals and has provided a list of them.
  2. A series of meetings will be sponsored by Chem Nuclear Systems Inc. on the low level radioactive materials storage program; the closest meeting location is in Pottstown.
  3. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is seeking a gas tax increase in order to provide additional funds for both state highways and local road systems.
  4. A meeting will take place May 13, 1996 at 3:00 P.M. at the Liberty House construction trailer to discuss the Liberty House project.
  5. The Chester County Planning Commission is holding a series of meetings in the next two weeks on the county’s proposed Comprehensive Plan for which a list of dates and locations was provided.


Mr. Sauser proposed a revision of the minutes of March 18, 1996 which would delete the last three sentences on Page 3, carrying over to the top of Page 4 along with a spelling correction on Page 4 for “list pedens”. He directed the Secretary to re-draft and re-distribute the minutes to the Board and table them until the next meeting.

Mr. Sauser proposed several revisions/corrections of the minutes of April 1, 1996 to include: under Accounts Payable Report, change “Historic Village” to “historic properties”; clarifying the bottom paragraph of Page 1 to better describe the portion of Yellow Springs Road under discussion, correction of a typo in the middle of page 3, to read “issue”; and under “Charlestown Hunt-Request for Additional U & O’s, to make clear that the total number of temporary U & O’s cannot exceed the number of units in Phase I under the original plan. He directed the Secretary to re-draft and re-distribute the minutes to the Board and tabled them until the next meeting.

Mr. Sauser moved to approve the minutes of April 15, 1996. Mr. Kohn seconded and the motion passed.

Treasurer’s Report:

Mr. Sauser moved to approve the Treasurer’s Report for April 1 - 30, 1996. Mr. Kohn seconded and the motion passed.

Accounts Payable Report:

Mr. Sauser moved to approve the Accounts Payable for May 6, 1996. Mr. Kohn seconded. Mrs. Ewald opposed the motion based on her objection to check numbers #8421 and 8422. The motion passed with two in favor and one opposed.

Zoning Officer’s Report:

Mr. Kohli was not present, but Mr. Sauser noted that he met with Mr. Kohli at the Pyles’ farm, where the Chester County Soil Conservation District had been examining a flooding problem on Valley Hill Road, apparently caused by water run off from the PA Turnpike and running through the Pyle property. The Soil Conservation District office will draw up plans for a berm and work with PennDOT to correct the problem.

Planning Commission Report:

No one was present from the Planning Commission.

Roadmaster Report:

Mr. Rittenbaugh reported that the Spring Road Tour was held during April. Patching has been completed on the roads at the former Valley Forge Army Hospital site and that bids are being solicited for striping work. Prices are also being obtained on new signs. PennDOT has patched Charlestown Road, Foster Road and Yellow Springs Road but still needs to patch Seven Oaks Road. They have been notified of a damaged storm drain on White Horse Road. Mr. Sauser asked if the washout along Yellow Springs Road above Pyles’ farm had been taken care of, and Mr. Rittenbaugh stated that it had not, although some ditching work was done. He stated that PennDOT claims to be low on funding and is doing only necessary repair work at this time.

Mrs. Ewald directed the Roadmaster to replace the dead end sign on Blackberry Road and Sidley Hill at the spur, which was removed when loggers were working in the area. She asked if Mr. Rittenbaugh had been copied on an April 29th letter from PECO regarding trimming on Valley Hill Road between Route 401 and the A.T. & T. towers, and Mr. Rittenbaugh said this had been taken care of. Mrs. Ewald asked for an explanation on a resident’s complaint that the portion of Mine Road connecting to his property has yet to be paved. Mr. Sauser said that Mr. Kohli was asked to clarify this question during the road tour as the maps are conflicting as to where the township road ends and the resident’s driveway begins. Mr. Rittenbaugh stated that it has now been determined that paving is the Township’s responsibility and this will be taken care of.

Mrs. Ewald asked why she has not received weekly reports from the Roadmaster as she requested previously. Mr. Rittenbaugh stated that his understanding was that she wished to be notified only of certain occurrences such as road closings. Mrs. Ewald directed the Roadmaster to give her a report on a weekly basis. Mr. Sauser stated that it was not necessary for Mr. Rittenbaugh to report to anyone other than the Chairman and that as Chairman he would bring pertinent issues to the Board. Mr. Kohn was in agreement and also stated that his recollection agreed with Mr. Sauser iin regard to the Mine Road issue discussed on the road tour. Mrs. Ewald repeated that she expects a weekly report from the Roadmaster.

Fire Marshal’s Report:

Mr. Alston reported that during the month of April, there was one vehicle fire, one dumpster fire, one odor investigation, four automatic alarms and eight vehicle accidents. He also met with a property owner on Spring Mill Drive who was responsible for a hazardous materials incident on April 8th involving a spill of approximately 900 gallons of sodium hydroxide.

Parks & Recreation:

Mr. Connolly announced that the Township was awarded a Round VIII Small Improvement Grant from Chester County in the amount of $5,000.00 for the construction of a field hockey field in cooperation with the Phoenixville Marian Youth Club and expects it to get started later in the year.

Valley Forge Sewer Authority:

Mr. Winckelman announced that the VFSA awarded a contract for clarifying covers to be installed later in the summer.

Citizen’s Forum:

John DiLello stated that PECO has yet to remove the old poles along Charlestown Road even though new replacement poles were erected approximately a year ago. Telephone wires have not been transferred yet, and many wires are not properly strung. Calls to PECO have not helped. Mr. Sauser said he had also called and will follow up.

State Police Presentation:

Lt. Dave Connor of the Embreville Barracks was present to interface with the township residents and provided 1995 summary information and a report on the first quarter of 1996. There was some discussion on false burglar alarm activity, which is somewhat high in the township. Lt. Connor said that Trooper Matt Carr has replaced Trooper Gomez as Public Relations Officer.

Soccer Field Bid:

Mr. Sauser referred to Mr. Kohli’s tabulation of the bids, which included pricing on grading, seeding, and stump removal. It was decided to omit stump removal from the bid award as the Soccer Club offered to handle this part of the job themselves. The wording for topsoil requirements was changed from “a minimum of 500 cubic yards” to a maximum of 500 cubic yards. The Soccer Club agreed to supply any topsoil needed in excess of 500 cu. yds. Mr. Sauser then calculated that Fisher Construction Company is the low bidder for a total of $25,101.00.

A discussion then took place on Soccer Club President Gary Mooney’s letter of April 29, 1996 to the Township outlining possible solutions for the Soccer Club to reimburse the township for the grant amount in excess of $10,000, which comes to $15,101.00. Mr. Sauser moved to award the bid to Fisher Construction Company with the deletion of the stump removal requirement and changing the requirement for a minimum of 500 cubic yards of topsoil to a maximum of 500 cubic yards of topsoil and pending the acceptance of the grant time extension by the county and contingent upon reaching a satisfactory agreement with Fisher Contracting. Mr. Kohn seconded the motion. Two were in favor, and one was opposed.

Mr. Oeste suggested that the Soccer Club draft a letter agreement to the township for countersignature, and he will draw up the agreement with Fisher Contracting.

Mrs. Ewald expressed her thanks and appreciation to Mr. Kohli for the donation of his time in conjunction with this project.

Revolutionary War Cemetery Plaque Restoration - tabled until May 20, 1996

Budget Review for the First Quarter of 1996

Mr. Sauser noted that the snow removal category will be approximately $28,000 over budget after the receipt of PEMA funds estimated at $12,000. Mr. Kohn noted that most overages in the budget were winter weather related.

Road Maintenance for 1996:

Mr. Sauser stated that Mr. Kohli has estimated the paving of a portion of Blackberry Lane at $39,750, which the Board should consider and review. Mrs. Ewald suggested considering the small portion of Pickering Road beginning at the Davison driveway to the bottom of the hill at Charlestown Road, and Mr. Sauser directed the Secretary to ask Mr. Kohli to provide an estimate on this work as well. Mr. Sauser then directed the Roadmaster to proceed with minor pothole patching and to provide a schedule to the Township office of what he wishes to accomplish over the next month so the Supervisors can track the costs in conjunction with planning the summer’s paving work.

Scheduling of Road Bid Advertising:

Mr. Sauser distributed a draft advertisement for road materials and equipment bids, noting that he added anti-skid material to the road material bid.

Mr. Sauser stated his interest in developing a more professional contract for road equipment rental that would better protect the Township’s interests. He also read his notes on developing a “Statement of Work” which would describe service expectations and requirements for the contractor. Since the current contract expires on June 12, 1996, he requested input from his fellow supervisors by Monday, May 13th in order to prepare the ad and meet the advertising requirements.

Town Meeting to Discuss Apartment Proposal at the Valley Forge Christian College Site:

Mr. Sauser stated that he would like to invite citizen input on the “Coldstream Crossing” plan by scheduling and advertising a Town Meeting for this purpose. After considerable discussion on the timing for such a meeting, June 10, 1996 was selected as a target date for the first of several meetings. The Secretary was directed to check on the availability of the Township’s consultants and of the school for a meeting place.

Residents will be notified by postcard of the meeting. Mr. Kohn suggested inviting Pennrose Properties to attend and give a presentation.

Mrs. Ewald suggested looking at other potential zoning changes for the property in question other than the one to be proposed by Pennrose Properties. She gave a PRD-4 zoning classification as an example and stated that she would like to hold the town meeting in September to allow adequate preparation time.

Stephen Schlichter, a resident, stated that density is a major concern for him and his neighbors, and voiced his interest in considering other zoning options. Other residents, Chuck Issacs and Jim Mitchell both stated that they would like to have the first meeting in June in order to get people aware and educated about the matter.

Charlestown Brae - Phase II Escrow Release #4:

Mr. Sauser moved to approve Charlestown Brae’s Escrow Release #4 for Phase II based on Mr. Kohli’s markup. Mr. Kohn seconded. Two were in favor and one opposed.

Mr. Kohn moved to adjourn and Mrs. Ewald seconded. All were in favor and the meeting was adjourned at 10:20 P.M.

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda M. Csete, Secretary