October 6, 1997

The first regular business meeting for October was held October 6, 1997 at the Charlestown Elementary School. John B. Sauser, Chairman, 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 7:45 P.M. and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited.


Mr. Sauser stated that Chester County Emergency Services has published a pamphlet explaining the 9-1-1 emergency hotline service and requested that the Secretary obtain copies to distribute to the residents.

Mr. Sauser noted that the Township received its annual check from the Commonwealth of PA in the amount of $28,866.35, which is provided for each municipalityís firemanís relief association fund(s). Mr. Alston added that this money is collected by the state from insurance companies, who turn over a percentage of house insurance premiums for this purpose. Mr. Sauser indicated that Charlestown Township then distributes equal shares of this sum to the two fire companies that serve the township. These funds are in addition to the $25,000 contributed by the Township to each of the fire companies annually for their general use.

Mr. Sauser announced that a serious fire took place at the Jordan residence on Charlestown Road last week and wished to express his and the communityís concerns for the family.

Mr. Sauser announced that the Chester County Health Department is conducting a composting workshop on October 11, 1997 at 11:00 A.M. at the Unionville Fairgrounds.

Mrs. Ewald wished to recognize Township resident Joanna Reed, who was featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine on September 14, 1997 for her gardens. Mrs. Ewald noted that the article coincided with Mrs. Reedís 80th birthday and that a book is currently in print telling the story of Joanna and her gardens, and she wished to congratulate her on her achievement.

Mrs. Ewald remembered long time resident Bob Cleary, who recently passed away. She characterized him as a man with great generosity of spirit in his neighborhood and in the community at large and said that he would be missed.

Approval of Minutes

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the minutes for the September 8, 1997 Board of Supervisorsí meeting. Mr. Sauser seconded and the motion passed.

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the minutes for the September 15, 1997 Board of Supervisorsí meeting. Mr. Sauser seconded and the motion passed.

Treasurerís Report for September 1- 30, 1997

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the Treasurerís Report for the period of September 1- 30, 1997, and Mr. Sauser seconded. The motion passed.

October Accounts Payable

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the Accounts Payable for October 6th with the exception of check #1283 for $11,007.00 made payable to Rittenbaugh Inc., which she wished to discuss later in the meeting. There was no second.

Mr. Sauser indicated his concern with check #1279 for $48.00 made payable to Emory Todd, CPA for consultation services in conjunction with the Pyle Farm acquisition. He indicated that it wasnít the payment itself he objected to but the manner in which the consultation was sought without his knowledge. Mrs. Ewald stated that Mr. Kohn voiced his intention at a prior public meeting to seek financial advice for this purpose.

Zoning Officerís Report

Mr. Kohli stated that he met with Mr. Kohn on a noise issue and suggested it be discussed at the next meeting when Mr. Kohn would be present.

Planning Commission Report

Mr. Churchill stated that the Planning Commission recommended approval for the Ferguson Final Subdivision Plan at their September 9, 1997 meeting. He announced that the next Planning Commission meeting will be held on October 14th.

Roadmaster Report

Mr. Thompson stated that the school bus company submitted a list of intersections for which they requested mowing to improve sight distances, and this work has now been finished.

Fire Marshal Report

Mr. Alston provided some detail on the Jordan fire and stated that a fireman was injured during this incident.

Parks and Recreation Board

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

Valley Forge Sewer Authority

Mr. Sauser stated that the VFSA meeting minutes for September have been circulated and drafting of the 1998 budget is now underway. A budget meeting is scheduled for October 30, 1997 at the VFSA building.

Citizenís Forum - Agenda Items

Kevin Kuhn suggested that if a bid was submitted by Rittenbaugh Inc. for the 1997-1998 road labor & equipment rental contract, it should be disqualified in light of this yearís cost overruns with this contractor.

Mr. Kuhn asked why Rittenbaugh Inc. was released from their contract for paving two township roads at the August 4th meeting. Mr. Sauser stated that this paving contract was bid separately from the annual labor & equipment rental contract, and delays were caused by the prevailing wage determination issue this summer. The township agreed to withdraw from the contract when the low bidder, Rittenbaugh Inc., indicated that they would have difficulty meeting the reduced time schedule.

Rees Road - PECO Lines

Mr. Kohli stated that after Rouse Chamberlin relocated Rees Road as part of the Whitehorse @ Charlestown construction plan, the road was removed but some PECO utility poles and wires are still there. Mr. Kohli wanted these lines to be run underground, but PECO responded that this will cost the developer $250,000 as opposed to the $17,000 for standard overhead installation. Mrs. Ewald moved to direct the solicitor to advertise the abandonment of old Rees Road and to proceed with a public hearing to be coordinated with PECO Energy which should take place prior to the winter season. Mr. Sauser seconded and the motion passed. Mr. Oeste will verify whether PECO has any easements on old Rees Road prior to proceeding.

Lyon Conditional Use Hearing

Mr. Oeste indicated that a draft decision on the Lyon Conditional Use application was circulated and is waiting for final action. The Secretary was directed to place this matter on the October 20, 1997 agenda.

Road Material & Equipment Bids 1997-1998

Bids for Stone were received as follows:

Devault Crushed Stone: $6,331.25 F.O.B. Plant $8,135.00 Delivered
Glasgow Inc. $8,872.50 F.O.B. Plant Individual prices provided for
Delivered, but no Total

Bids for Bituminous Materials were received as follows:

Glasgow Inc. $44,810.00 F.O.B. Plant Individual prices provided for
Delivered, but no Total
Great Valley Material $40,855.00 F.O.B. Plant $44,655.00 Delivered
Highway Materials $48,700.00 F.O.B. Plant Individual prices provided for
Delivered, but no Total

Bids for Labor & Equipment were received as follows:

Delaware Valley Paving $189,100.00
Macanga Paving $207,570.00
Rittenbaugh Inc. $186,550.00

Mrs. Ewald moved to schedule the Labor & Equipment Bid for discussion on October 20, 1997 following a meeting of the Board with the Engineer and Solicitor to review the bids. Mr. Sauser stated he preferred the consultants to undertake their reviews and provide recommendations to be discussed at the October 20th meeting. Mrs. Ewald indicated that she discussed this issue with Mr. Kohn and would like advice of counsel prior to awarding the bid.

Bids were turned over to Mr. Kohli for review.

Charlestown Hunt Phase IV Building Status:

Mr. Sauser moved to defer this item to October 20th so a quorum would be present. Mr. Kohli explained that a new townhouse model similar to Model 200 in Phase I has been submitted for approval by Realen Homes which represents a change from the original plan.

Ferguson Preliminary/Final Subdivision Plan:

Darwin Ferguson was present to discuss his plan which proposes a 3 lot subdivision on Merlin Road with each lot in excess of 10 acres in order to maintain status as Act 319 properties, for which taxes are much lower. Mr. Ferguson feels that this will be a strong incentive for the new property owners to maintain these properties without further subdividing them. Mr. Kohli noted that although the County Health Department testing has been done and all the lots passed their percolation tests, the Township hasnít received the signed paperwork yet. He also noted that when the Planning Commission made its recommendation, the County Planning Commission comments were not yet available. They have since been received. Mrs. Ewald suggested that this discussion be tabled until the October 20th meeting to allow the Board and the Planning Commission an opportunity to review the County Planning Commission comments and allow time for the County Health Department signatures to arrive. She also voiced some concern that the lots will not be deed restricted, although she acknowledged that the subdivision plan itself is very sensitively handled. Mr. Kling stated that the question of further deed restrictions were discussed at the Planning Commission meeting and the Commission agreed with Mr. Ferguson that they would not be necessary. Mr. Sauser moved to approve the Preliminary/Final Subdivision plan for the Ferguson property. There was no second. The matter was placed on the October 20, 1997 agenda. Mrs. Ewald strongly encouraged the Planning Commission to review the letters from Tom Comitta and the Chester County Planning Commission with regard to this application prior to this date.

Chester County Association of Township Officials Fall Convention

Mrs. Ewald requested that the Secretary contact the CCATO Secretary for an agenda of this convention. The matter was tabled until the October 20th meeting.

Fall Road Tour

The Fall Road Tour was scheduled for Friday, October 24, 1997 at 10:00 A.M. and for the participants to meet at the PMYC Parking Lot.

Sproule Escrow Release #5

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve Sproule Development Company Escrow Release #5 in the amount of $27,415.50. Mr. Sauser seconded and the motion passed.

Zeigler Subdivision: Sewage Facilities Planning Module Resolution:

Mr. Sauser moved to approve the Resolution to accept the Sewage Facilities Planning Module for the Zeigler Subdivision. Mrs. Ewald declined to second the motion since the planning module includes four sand mound systems. The matter will be placed on the October 20, 1997 agenda.

Citizenís Forum:

Stephen Schlichter asked for further information on Act 319. It was clarified that any property over 10 acres with up to one house constructed on it is eligible for the lower tax assessment provided by Act 319.

Vincent Kling stated his strong concerns over the earth moving and tree removal activities taking place at the Charlestown Oaks construction site. He stated that when the plan was in the approval process, the Planning Commission sought maximum protection from erosion and protection against run off for the East Whiteland development adjacent to the site. He questioned whether their activities were in accordance with the stormwater management controls approved by the township. Mr. Kohli stated that he has a full time inspector available to him to visit the site and that construction activity is proceeding within the approved guidelines. He agreed to meet with Mr. Kling to walk the site.

Paul Schulze, a new resident to the Township, asked for the status of the Phoenixville Pike Intersection Improvement project. Mr. Sauser and Mrs. Ewald provided some background on the lengthy planning process with PennDOT and stated that the Township has its matching funds in place. PennDOT is continuously reviewing and revising the plans, which will include turning lanes in each direction. Ultimately, PennDOT must schedule the work, which was last projected for 1998. Mr. Schulze praised the township officials for their part in preserving Charlestown. Mrs. Ewald also gave some background on the plans to re-open Warner Lane.

October 6, 1997 Accounts Payable

Mr. Sauser moved to approve the October 6, 1997 Accounts Payable, commenting that Mr. Todd is due payment even though Mr. Sauser questions the process in which he was consulted. Mrs. Ewald expressed her ongoing concern over the cost of road work, citing a change in the cost of mowing from previous amounts ranging between $2,500 and $3,000 to as much as $11,000. She acknowledged that the Roadmaster is doing his best to work with an inexperienced crew, but paying 3-4 times as much for this work is excessive. Mr. Thompson responded that this year, 3-4 times as much mowing is being done compared to what was done in the past. He commented that this work wasnít done properly in the past and that heís now getting compliments from the residents. Mrs. Ewald said that she receives complaints instead and feels the contractor should receive only half his billing amount for the month. Mr. Sauser stated that the cost of the work is in line with the bid specifications of the contract for the estimated labor hours and equipment used. He said that the work heís seen is excellent and the contractor is due full pay. Mrs. Ewald questioned the quality of the work, citing Ravenhill Road as an example of work not done to township specifications. She stated that asphalt has been dumped in peopleís yards to fill holes instead of dirt and seed. Weed wackers and blowers are used instead of mowers. She disagreed with Mr. Sauser that her comments are an indictment of the Roadmaster. She requested that the Township Treasurer compile an analysis of roadwork costs for the past few years and compare them to 1997 costs. She seconded Mr. Sauserís motion to approve the Accounts Payable and the motion passed.

Citizenís Forum - Non-Agenda Items

Russ Hanscom wished to commend the volunteers at the Rapp House for making it look so great for Chester County Day.

Janet Baldwin wished to commend Mr. Kling for his continuing concern and attention to the Charlestown Oaks development


The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 P.M.. The next meeting will be held at the Charlestown Elementary School at 7:30 P.M. on October 20, 1997.

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda M. Csete, Secretary