September 8, 1997

The first regular business meeting for September was held September 8, 1997 at the Charlestown Elementary School. John B. Sauser, Chairman, Robin J. Kohn, Irene W. Ewald, James E. McErlane, 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 7:35 P.M. and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited.


Mr. Sauser announced that a ceremony took place at the Revolutionary War Cemetery on August 20th to commemorate the graves of three soldiers with markers and flags. The ceremony was conducted by the Sons of Liberty with a chaplain and color guard. The Township Secretary and several residents were in attendance.

Mrs. Ewald announced that she and Mr. Alston attended Conrail’s “Operation Life Saver” program, which stresses the importance of observing gated railroad crossings, which drivers frequently drive through. Part of the program included a trip from Philadelphia to Harrisburg on one of Conrail’s restored trains from their Allentown museum.

Mrs. Ewald announced that she attended the opening of the Phoenixville Marian Youth Club season which started on Sunday, September 7th. The boys’ football program has grown to 225 members, and girls’ field hockey also increased its enrollment this year to 185.

Approval of Minutes

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the minutes for the August 4, 1997 Board of Supervisors’ meeting. Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor.

Mr. Kohn moved to approve the minutes for the August 18, 1997 Board of Supervisors’ meeting. Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor.

Treasurer’s Report for August 1-31, 1997

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the Treasurer’s Report for the period of August 1-31, 1997, and Mr. Kohn seconded. All were in favor.

September Accounts Payable

Mrs. Ewald noted a marked improvement in the road work bill for the month of August and commended the Roadmaster on his work with the contractor. Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the Accounts Payable for September 8, 1997. Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor.

Zoning Officer’s Report

Mr. Kohli stated that he is waiting for the advice of counsel on the matter of a tower constructed by PECO Energy along the PA Turnpike. Mr. McErlane distributed his opinion to the Board for their review.

Planning Commission Report

There was no Planning Commission meeting during the month of August.

Roadmaster Report

Mr. Thompson responded to Mrs. Ewald’s questions on the paving of the shoulders on Howell Road. Mr. Kohn asked about the signs on Hollow Road between Charlestown Road and Route 29, where signs have appeared on the curves stating Areduce speed to 40 MPH when the speed limit is only 35 MPH to begin with. Mr. Thompson responded that he’ll call PennDOT on this issue.

Fire Marshal Report

Mrs. Ewald noted that automatic alarms continue to be a problem in the township, and Mr. Alston agreed that there were a large number of them in August. Mr. Sauser asked for information on an accident at Pikeland and Merlin Roads.

Parks and Recreation Board

No one from the Parks & Recreation Board was in attendance.

Valley Forge Sewer Authority

Mr. Sauser stated that the August meeting minutes have been circulated.

Citizen’s Forum - Agenda Items

No comments were brought forward at this time.

Paving Bid 1997

Mr. Sauser explained that the Board directed the township engineer to notify the low bidder of the time frame in which paving was to be performed on Blackberry and Pickering Roads and Mr. Rittenbaugh responded that he would be unable to comply. Mr. Sauser moved to rescind the paving award and to plan this work for next year instead. Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor. Mr. Kohn noted that concern over the prevailing wage issue this summer caused the township to delay in awarding the bid, and Rittenbaugh Inc. is not to be faulted for being unable to meet the restrictive deadline.

Naylor Conditional Use Hearing:

Mr. McErlane distributed the draft decision for the Naylors’ Conditional Use application. Mr. Kohn moved to accept the decision as described in the Decision and Order dated September 8, 1997. Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor.


Mr. Sauser stated that a Conditional Use Hearing for Sprint/Spectrum has been scheduled for September 15, 1997. They wish to construct a telecommunications tower on a parcel of land in the NC District located near Devault Packing Company and the PA Turnpike.

1997 Road Maintenance and Materials Bids

Mr. Sauser stated that a draft of the bid documents were distributed to the Board and called for discussion. Mr. Kohli stated that he felt a pre-bid meeting would be unnecessary this year. Mrs. Ewald suggested changing the proposal deadline to 7:30 P.M. and for bids to be delivered to the Charlestown Elementary School instead of the Township office. The Secretary was directed to proceed with advertising and preparing the bid documentation.

PA State Police

Lt. Dennis Dougherty introduced himself as the new station commander at the Embreville Barracks. Residents’ concerns generally involved traffic speed enforcement. Mr. Sauser stated that dumping is frequently a problem in the township as well, and Lt. Dougherty suggested that a list of problem areas be provided to him for additional attention. Lt. Dougherty stated that he’ll obtain information for Mr. Sauser on the Merlin and Pikeland Road accident last month. Resident Marcia Solda commented that brush at this intersection is high and could have contributed to the problem. The Secretary will notify the Roadmaster to have the intersection cut. Ms. Solda also commented that speeding is a problem on Merlin Road.

Geoffrey Crowell stated that speeding, particularly in the early morning hours, is a problem on Charlestown Road near his home, which is situated near a blind curve.

Mr. Sauser commented that the State Police do an excellent job for Charlestown and wished for Lt. Dougherty to pass this along to the troopers.

Lyon Conditional Use Hearing

The proceedings were recorded by a court stenographer. Mr. Sauser moved to approve the conditional use request. Mrs. Ewald amended the motion to include the condition that grading in the setback area be minimized to take place only between 35-50 feet from the property line and be performed to the satisfaction of the Township Engineer. Mr. Kohn seconded the motion as amended by Mrs. Ewald and all were in favor.

Citizen’s Forum - Non-Agenda Items

John C. Snyder, Esq. Asked if the Naylors’ Certificate of Appropriateness needed to be discussed, and Mr. Sauser stated that a draft had been circulated and would be most likely signed after the meeting.

Jean Viallet, Dickson Drive, commented on the noise pollution from Great Valley Materials. He stated that although there has been some degree of improvement during the last two months, the level is still not tolerable, particularly in the early hours of the morning.

Marcia Solda asked what work is being done on Bob Berry’s pond, and Mr. Kohli responded that Mr. Berry has a permit from the DEP and is undertaking some cleaning work.

Ms. Solda asked for an update on the Pyle Farm purchase. Mr. McErlane responded that the agreement to purchase 20 acres of land has been signed and that the Wisner Rapp House Agreement is pending. Ms. Solda asked where the money for the purchase would come from and stated her concern over a possible tax increase. Ellen Behrle provided data she developed as a worst case scenario, which would translate into an average $90.00 tax increase per taxpayer for five years if the township financed the entire purchase, which is unlikely. Mrs. Behrle commented that she is thrilled with the purchase. Ms. Solda stated that she opposes it, and asked the solicitor if it was likely the deal would be closed. Mr. McErlane responded that he believes it will be.

Other Business

Mrs. Ewald stated that the seven year contract with the Phoenixville Marian Youth Club (PMYC) is up for renewal, and she recommends rolling it over for an additional seven years, noting the investment in money and labor the Club has provided to the community over the years. She stated that Parks & Rec Chairman Mark Connolly wanted to provide some input on additional items the Township may wish to include in the contract as an addendum to it. Mr. Sauser suggested that the Board review the contract and Mr. Connolly’s suggestion and placed the matter on the agenda for September 15th.

The Board discussed a letter from Diana Leslie requesting public water service for her lot in the Four Oaks Subdivision. The Secretary was directed to respond to Ms. Leslie explaining that the consensus of the Board is that no hardship has been demonstrated and therefore the request to extend the public water franchise has been denied.


The meeting was adjourned at 10:00 P.M.. The next meeting will be held at the Charlestown Elementary School at 7:30 P.M. on September 15, 1997.

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda M. Csete, Secretary