CHARLESTOWN TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
The first regular business meeting for April was held April 7, 1997 at the Charlestown Elementary School. John B. Sauser, Chairman, Robin J. Kohn, Irene W. Ewald, Thomas F. Oeste, Esq., Surender S. Kohli, P.E., Linda M. Csete, Secretary, and those on the attached attendee list were present.
The meeting was called to order at 8:00 P.M. and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
Mr. Sauser announced that Roadmaster Jim Thompson’s mother-in-law, Evelyn Earhart passed away this morning.
Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the minutes of March 3, 1997 with one spelling correction of the name “Kapustin.” Mr. Sauser seconded and all were in favor.
Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the March 1- 31, 1997 Treasurer’s Report. Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor.
Mr. Sauser referred to a memo from the Secretary outlining a request from Darrin Anderson of Anderson Signs that a check for the last eight private lane signs be cut and held for delivery of the signs, which is expected next week.
Mrs. Ewald brought up two other considerations for the Accounts Payable list. The first was a proposed contribution of $1,000.00 to the Green Valleys Association for their work on the Sustainable Watershed Management Study, which Mrs. Ewald called a tremendous service to the township. The second was a proposed contribution of $400.00 to the State Police Camp Cadet program which the township has supported in the past. Mr. Sauser suggested that the Camp Cadet donation be placed on the next agenda for discussion.
Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the April Accounts Payable with the addition of check #1040 to Anderson Signs for $740.00 and check #1041 to Green Valleys Association for $1,000.00. Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor.
Mr. Kohli reported that he received a fax from Realen Homes outlining the agreed upon per unit contribution calculation for the 132 units constructed thus far at Charlestown Hunt. This figure was adjusted using the Consumer Price Index. A check for $43,105.92 has been sent to the Township representing $326.56 per unit for the 132 units constructed so far.
Mr. Kohli submitted a report he received from Vibratech, the independent vibration monitoring firm hired to measure blasting at the Devault Quarry. He stated that a representative of the firm can attend a township meeting to discuss the results. The Board directed the Secretary to notify interested residents of the meeting date when established.
Mr. Kohli reported that he’s been unable to reach Robert Jones on Valley Hill Road with regard to the landscaping business being operated without approval from his residence. In October, the Board had agreed to allow Mr. Jones until the end of 1996 to move his business and landscaping materials. Mr. Oeste recommended filing an equity action to request an injunction against Mr. Jones. A hearing would then be scheduled where a judge would decide the matter. Mrs. Ewald moved to accept Mr. Oeste’s recommendation. Mr. Kohn seconded but indicated his regret that the matter hadn’t be resolved earlier. Mrs. Ewald and Mr. Kohn were in favor. Mr. Sauser was opposed, stating that he wished to give the property owner more time to comply.
The Planning Commission didn’t meet during the month of March.
Mr. Thompson was absent but his report is on file.
Mr. Sauser recognized Mr. Alston for his recent completion of a refresher course in hazardous materials operations. Mr. Sauser asked for an update on a matter involving a January 911 call, and Mr. Alston responded that it’s being handled by the fire chief and district involved. Mrs. Ewald stated that she had concerns over whether Charlestown’s new addresses were in the 911 system, and Mr. Alston responded that he used the County’s special phone line to check on his own address and it was entered properly in the system.
Mr. Sauser announced that a meeting will be held on April 10th at 7;30 P.M. at the Great Valley Nature Center to discuss the future of trout stocking of the Pickering Creek.
Mrs. Ewald asked Mr. Winckelman for an update on the odor abatement program. Mr. Winckelman responded that the program is in place and he believes it to be successful. Mrs. Ewald questioned its success, stating that odors are still very noticeable.
Mr. Sauser referred to the March 21st status report from VFSA Manager Joe Bateman which announced an upcoming presentation to the VFSA Board on their extensive evaluation of storage alternatives for biosolids.
Mr. Winckelman asked for a clarification on the Devault Quarry blasting issue.
Lt. Dave Conan of the Embreville barracks and Sgt. Bob Foose of the King of Prussia Barracks (turnpike division) were present to give a brief report and answer questions. Lt. Conan reported that their has been an increase in personnel from 23 to 28 at Embreville. In 1996, they responded to 809 calls in Charlestown, representing a little under 7% of their total calls. 119 of the calls were traffic accidents, 14 burglary and 160 false alarms. False alarms continue to be a widespread problem, and in Charlestown represented 20 % of the calls they responded to. Thus far in 1997, 14% of their calls have been for false alarms. In 1997, they’ve responded to 198 calls, including 48 traffic accidents and 28 burglar alarms.
Kevin Kuhn asked how Charlestown Township compares to other municipalities with regard to false alarms, and Mt. Conan responded that it’s about average.
Mr. Sauser asked Sgt. Foose if the turnpike patrols will respond to a call off the Turnpike, and Sgt. Foose responded that under certain circumstances, they will do so. He also stated that there have been no significant turnpike incidents in Charlestown since he joined the barracks in July of 1996.
Lt. Conan gave some background on the Camp Cadet Program.
Mrs. Ewald thanked the State Police for their excellent service to Charlestown Township.
Mr. Oeste stated that the hearing record was left open in order to obtain a response from the Valley Forge Sewer Authority, since the driveway to be constructed would encroach on a VFSA easement. Mr. Oeste distributed a draft decision to the Board which was made subject to the VFSA response. Mr. Kohn suggested that this item be tabled until a written response is received from the Sewer Authority.
Mr. Sauser moved to approve Escrow Release #1 for Phase II of Charlestown Hunt in the amount of $197,943.34. Mr. Kohn seconded and the motion carried. Mrs. Ewald did not vote.
The conditional use hearing for Somerset will be continued at the May 5, 1997 Supervisors’ meeting.
Mr. Sauser moved to accept the escrow documents for Rojen Inc. Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor.
John DiLello asked if the township should consider an ordinance prohibiting the extraction of well water for resale. Mrs. Ewald moved for the Board to follow up on its discussion at the March 3rd meeting on the Sustainable Watershed Management Program by requesting that the Planning Commission, along with the township consultants, make recommendations for additional tools for water management, including protection against extraction of well water. Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor.
Stephen Schlicter requested an update on Pennrose Properties. Mr. Kohli responded that an update will be provided at the Planning Commission meeting on April 8th.
Ellen Behrle asked for the status of the Broadwater Lane access construction. Mr. Kohli responded that it has been completed. Mrs. Behrle asked if Realen Homes will remove the roadbed leading up to Sycamore Lane, and Mr. Kohli responded that he’ll contact them about it.
John Martin asked for the status of the Altemose case. Mr. Sauser said that the case is scheduled to be re-argued in Harrisburg next week and that the briefs have been submitted.
Janet Baldwin reported that the Historical Commission has been looking into the formation of an Agricultural Security District in Charlestown. She said that a Charlestown family was looking into applying for agricultural development rights but was unable to obtain them due to Charlestown’s lack of such a district. In February, a group of Charlestown landowners met with an agricultural consultant, Nancy L. Mohr, on this subject, and many individuals showed interest in joining an Agricultural Security District. She distributed a draft letter to the Board which the Historical Commission proposes to send to 51 individuals with properties over 10 acres in size inviting them to another meeting. Mrs. Baldwin stated that an Agricultural Security District must initially comprise 500 acres but they do not have to be contiguous. Mr. Oeste added that the township may also join another township’s district if the townships are adjoining. Mrs. Ewald noted that even if no adjoining township has an agricultural security district, one may be interested in joining Charlestown to form one. She commended Mrs. Baldwin and the Historical Commission on their initiative in looking into this matter.
Mr. Oeste referred to his letter of April 3rd to the Supervisors regarding correspondence from the attorney of Whitehorse at Charlestown buyers who questioned the term maintenance definition in the Declaration of Easements, Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions for the stormwater management basin on their lot. Mr. Sauser asked Mr. Oeste to re-examine the language of the document and placed the matter on the April 21st agenda for discussion.
Mrs. Ewald requested that several items be placed on the next agenda. First are the matters of planning and scheduling the spring road clean up and spring road tour. She also requested that Historical Preservation Ordinances submitted by the Historical Commission be discussed as well as the parameters for the Planning Commission’s review of the water extraction issue.
Mr. Kohn requested that the Chairman communicate with the other Board members by next week with regard to the upcoming meeting agendas.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 P.M.