The first regular business meeting for April was held April 3, 2000 at the Valley Forge Christian College, Building #11. Irene W. Ewald, Chairman, Hugh D. Willig, Vice Chairman, Kevin R. Kuhn, Michael J. Rodgers, Paul J. Hogan, Thomas F. Oeste, Esq., Gary Bender, Esq., Surender S. Kohli, P.E., Ed Theurkauf,, Linda M. Csete, Secretary, Leah J. Campion, Assistant Township Secretary, and those on the attached attendee list were present.
The meeting was called to order at 7:45 P.M.
Mrs. Ewald said it was a pleasure to attend the annual dinner hosted by the East Whiteland Volunteer Fire Company to recognize the volunteers’ efforts. Fred Alston and Hank LeMein also attended.
Mr. Oeste announced that last week the Township was awarded attorney’s fees in excess of $14,000 from the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals for the 2nd Altemose appeal as a result of the Board’s petition. The Altemoses filed a petition for reconsideration of this award today. Mr. Oeste said the standard to be met in a petition for attorney’s fees is one of frivolousness, i.e., an applicant knew from the onset of the case that it would be unsuccessful. He noted that this standard is difficult to meet.
Mr. Hogan said he attended the Charlestown Elementary School’s production of AHMS Pinafore last week and was impressed with the industry and abilities of the students.
Corky Rittenbaugh, Rittenbaugh Inc., requested a meeting of the Board and the Board’s solicitor with himself and his attorney, Lawrence Sager, suggesting 6:30 P.M. on April 10, 2000 or at the Board’s convenience. The Board indicated they would prefer that only the two attorneys meet. They suggested Mr. Sager contact Mr. Oeste to make arrangements. Mr. Rittenbaugh then submitted a letter to the Chairman dated April 3, 2000 regarding an incident on Sycamore Lane.
Mr. Willig moved to approve the minutes of March 27, 2000 and Mr. Hogan seconded. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion from the Board and then the public. There being none, the vote was called and four were in favor. Mr. Kuhn did not vote as he was not present at that meeting.
Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the Treasurer’s Report for March 1 - 31, 2000 and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion from the Board and then the public. There being none, she called the vote. All were in favor.
Mrs. Ewald asked if an invoice from Rittenbaugh Inc. was included in the Accounts Payable and the Treasurer responded no. An invoice was received last week dated 3/22/00 noting a balance due of $9,000.50 and new services rendered on 3/3/00 for $472.00 and on 3/7/00 for $680.00. The invoice wasn’t included in the report because it hadn’t been approved by the Roadmaster. Mr. Faggioli indicated that the itemization for the $472.00 amount on 3/3/00 was in order but that the itemization for the $680.00 amount on 3/7/00 included equipment he didn’t request. Mrs. Ewald asked Mr. Rittenbaugh to correct the 3/7/00 itemization and the previous itemizations for the $9,000.50 balance per Mr. Faggioli’s directions. She would arrange to pay the invoice as soon as it was found to be in order by arranging for a check to be cut mid-month. She stated that as Roadmaster, Mr. Faggioli is in charge and his directions must be followed. Mr. Rittenbaugh said he’s liable for the work performed for the Township. Mr. Faggioli responded that Mr. Rittenbaugh is responsible for his men, but the Roadmaster is responsible for determining how the work is done and what is done. Mrs. Ewald said the Board’s policy is to treat everyone with respect and courtesy and the same is expected of the contractor.
Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the Accounts Payable Report for April 3, 2000 and Mr. Willig seconded. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion from the Board and public, and there being none called the vote. All were in favor.
Reports from the Planning Commission, Historical Commission, Zoning Officer, Roadmaster, Fire Marshal and Citizens’ Advisory Committee are on file. There was no Parks and Recreation Report. Minutes from the last meeting of the Valley Forge Sewer Authority are on file.
Mr. Kohli said the building permit report to the County has changed due to a new required format.
He said he’s been to Pebble Drive twice to investigate a complaint of dogs running at large but found no dogs outside at that location, where the property is fenced. He’ll contact the complainant for additional information.
Mrs. Ewald asked about several burned houses in the Township and how long they can remain unrepaired. Mr. Kohli answered that there’s no limit on time, provided the property is secured from entry. He said he’d check the house on Union Hill Road after hearing comments that it appears to be unsecured in the back.
Mr. Kuhn asked if Mr. Kohli had checked a road situation near the Schulze residence and Mr. Kohli responded no but that he would do so.
Mr. Kling said he’s researching drip irrigation and will be attending a seminar in the near future with one of the Board members.
Mr. Allen described the Planning Commission’s ongoing efforts to review and ultimately revise the Township’s 1976 Comprehensive Plan.
Mr. Kuhn said the Commission did not meet during March. He said he’d like the Board to move forward in considering the proposed ordinance to include Historic Properties over 25 acres in size in the Open Space Option. Mr. Oeste said that since more than 60 days has elapsed since the last hearing that the ordinance must be resubmitted to the Chester County Planning Commission. A hearing was tentatively scheduled for May 1, 2000.
Mr. Faggioli reported a road washout problem at Sycamore Lane. He indicated the contractor was called out to work on Sycamore last week but was sent home after a disagreement on equipment. The work was rescheduled for April 10th.
Mr. Faggioli said Dickson Drive was repaired after it was reported that the road was washing out in the area of a drainage pipe. The road was in danger of caving in due to the extent of the washout, so he had the contractor break up the road and fill in the area. He noted that the contractor did an excellent job, responding promptly to the emergency situation. Mr. Faggioli said he has an appointment on April 5th with a supplier of a type of pipe lining that expands and adheres to the inside of a pipe, effectively repairing any leaks. He’d like to consider using this lining to repair the Dickson Drive pipe. After the repairs are completed, the road will be resurfaced. Mrs. Ewald asked if the Souder subdivision is accessed off Dickson Drive and Mr. Faggioli said yes.
Marcia Solda requested police monitoring of speeders on Merlin Road, where PennDOT has been preparing to widen. Mrs. Ewald asked Mrs. Campion to research prior requests to PennDOT for a speed reduction on Merlin Road, which is currently posted at 35 MPH.
Mr. Alston reported there was 1 vehicle accident, 5 automatic fire alarms (for one Morehall Road location, its 9th time in 3 months), 1 wires fire, 1 brush fire, 1 car fire, and a fuel spill on the AS@ curve on Route 29. He noted that the State Police on the scene for the fuel spill were very cooperative. Rainfall is now 2@ above normal for the year, but he cautioned the public on burning due to high winds and low humidity this time of the year. He repeated his warning to be alert for the active deer population and reminded everyone to ensure their address is visibly posted at the entrance to their driveways.
Mrs. Ewald asked what fine he will recommend for repeat false alarms, as this matter is under consideration for an ordinance. Mr. Alston said he met with Mr. Oeste and they’re proposing a $300.00 fine for the fourth offense in a rolling 12 month period.
Mr. Alston said he’s currently working on a revised fire control ordinance and a new hazardous materials reporting and storage ordinance which will be discussed at an upcoming Planning Commission meeting. Mrs. Ewald asked when the ordinances will be ready for review, and Mr. Oeste said he’ll follow through as soon as possible, noting there’s a lot of work involved.
Sue Staas reported a large washout at the tracks crossing Aldham Road. Mr. Alston said Norfolk Southern Railroad has been made aware of a washout in this area but will contact them again after Mrs. Staas said she believes it’s become more severe recently.
Parks and Rec Liaison Paul Hogan said he led a clean up of Charlestown Park with four college students and four children last week. Pictures of the event were sent in to The Phoenix. Wood chips were replaced in the playground area, swing chains were sprayed with anti-rust paint, and litter was removed. He said everyone worked very hard.
Mr. Kuhn said a general roadside clean up is also needed. Mrs. Ewald said a notice was posted on the website asking for volunteers and two people came forward so far; Mr. Longua of Rees Road, and an Eagle Scout resident of Whitehorse @ Charlestown.
Mrs. Staas presented the detailed minutes from the February 23, 2000 Community Advisory Committee Meeting along with her own report which she reviewed in detail. She stated her concern that the committee members are expected to make a recommendation to the Turnpike Commission without having the data necessary to see the big picture.
She said the Charlestown CAC representatives have the following requests of the Board:
Mr. Hogan will contact the East Whiteland Township Board and Mr. Kuhn will contact Tredyffrin Township to see if a meeting can be arranged.
Mr. Kuhn said he’d like to know the outcome of the County’s meeting with the Turnpike Commission held on March 1st. Mrs. Staas said they’ll inquire at the next CAC meeting scheduled for April 12th, including the question of why the townships weren’t invited. Mrs. Ewald encouraged the townships to get together to meet with the County Commissioners and Bill Fulton of the County Planning Commission by making a request in writing.
In conjunction with the impact of the Turnpike Commission’s plans to widen the bridge and tunnel on Route 29 to four lanes, Mr. Kuhn noted Trammel-Crow’s proposal to widen Route 29 to four lanes. Mrs. Staas commented that PennDOT does the permitting for these procedures, and said PennDOT answers to the municipalities.
Mrs. Ewald explained that two C.D.’s in the State Fund, each for $85,000, are maturing next week. Another two C.D.’s in the Phoenixville Pike Improvement Fund, for $70,000 and $65,000 respectively, also mature next week.
She asked Mr. Faggioli for an estimate of funds he’ll need for paving projects within the next six months. Mr. Faggioli estimated $100,000, which includes paving Blackberry Lane.
Mrs. Ewald asked Mr. Kohli if any expenditures are anticipated from the Phoenixville Pike Improvement Fund in the next six months, and Mr. Kohli responded no.
Mrs. Ewald moved to direct the Treasurer to do the following:
Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion from the Board and comments from the public, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mrs. Ewald said a budget amendment is needed to provide funding for approved township supervisor expenses, as this category had not been provided for when the 2000 Budget was approved. She read the proposed resolution to amend the budget in its entirety, which states that $2,000 will be moved to the Township Supervisors Expense account #400.02 from the Road Maintenance Expense account #430.20. Mr. Rodgers moved to approve Resolution #562-00 as drafted and Mr. Hogan seconded. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion from the Board and comments from the public, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor. Mr. Oeste clarified that this action was more of a budget transfer rather than a budget amendment. Mrs. Solda asked why the change was needed, and after receiving clarification, commented that the new board is working hard and doing a good job.
Mrs. Ewald said the Board received a confirmation from the County Parks and Recreation Department that an extension to the upcoming deadline to 12/31/99 for the Round X Parks Facilities Grant will be accepted upon execution of a contract addendum. Mr. Kuhn moved to sign the addendum and Mr. Hogan seconded. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion from the Board and comments from the public. Mrs. Solda asked if extending the deadline will delay the project, and Mrs. Ewald said no. She then called the vote and all were in favor.
Mrs. Ewald read Resolution #560-00 in its entirety, which consists of an Application for a Permit to Install and Operate Traffic Signals at Route 401 and Newcomen Road. Mr. Rodgers moved to approve Resolution #560-00 and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion from the Board and the public. She asked what timeline is anticipated for completion of the installation. Mr. Kohli said it should only be a couple of months, the delay being the design of the signals, which he recommended be done by PennDOT instead of by him. Mr. Faggioli said that since the approach to this signal involves a vertical curve, some flashing lights or other warning device will be needed. Mr. Kohli said PennDOT will take this into consideration. Mrs. Ewald called the vote and all were in favor.
Mrs. Ewald referred to Resolution #561-00, in the same format as #560-00, consisting of an Application for a Permit to Install and Operate Traffic Signals at Route 401 and Valley Hill Road. Mr. Rodgers moved to approve Resolution #561-00 and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion from the Board and the public. Mrs. Ewald called the vote and all were in favor. Mr. Alston thanked them for their efforts.
Michael Honan, P.E. and Louis J. Colegreco, Esq. were present to discuss the vacating of a paper street in Whitehorse @ Charlestown between Lots 21 & 22. It is located in the Phase III section of the development although it wasn’t offered for dedication along with Great Woods Lane and Saw Grass Lane last year. This paper street was originally to permit the option of connecting the Whitehorse @ Charlestown road system with the Zeigler tract. However, since the Zeigler subdivision was later approved and is now under development in such a manner as to make this access unnecessary, Mr. Honan requested that the Board proceed with recording the Deed of Dedication from Route/Chamberlain to Charlestown for the paper street. The Board may then determine if they wish to retain an easement. If they choose instead to vacate it, an ordinance process must be initiated, and at its conclusion, the owners of Lots 21 & 21 will confirm their acceptance of the two halves of the paper street. Mr. Honan has confirmed their interests in doing so. Mr. Colegreco asked that a hearing date be determined should the Township decide to vacate the paper street.
Mr. Oeste said he discussed the matter with Mr. Kohli, who sees no reason for the Township to convert the paper street into an easement. Mr. Kuhn agreed he had no interest in holding an easement that leads to nowhere.
There was some discussion on the question of whether the deed of dedication for Phase III of Whitehorse @ Charlestown had been accepted by the Township. Mr. Colegreco maintained that the Board accepted the deed in September 1999 but that it hasn’t been recorded. He noted that the maintenance bond was posted in September 1999.
Mrs. Ewald indicated that a water problem has developed that relates to Phase III and that she’d like to see it resolved before recording the Deed of Dedication for Great Woods and Saw Grass Lanes and prior to acting on the paper street. Since the completion of the last two houses on Saw Grass Lane, there has been a major increase in water sheeting onto Rees Road. The water runs down Rees into Howell Road and has created a severe problem for a home situated at this intersection.
Mr. Kuhn asked if the re-alignment and paving of Rees Road could have caused the problem or exacerbated it. Mr. Faggioli said no; it relates directly to construction at Whitehorse @ Charlestown.
Mr. Willig asked if there is a visible water path, and Mr. Faggioli responded no; it’s more of a wide based sheeting coming over the hill from behind the Saw Grass Lane cul-de-sac.
Mr. Honan responded that Rouse/Chamberlain followed the approved plans and that no water is leaving the site due to the construction of the road or failure of the stormwater management system. Mr. Kohli agreed that the approved plans were followed and that the road passed inspection.
Mr. Faggioli said the Board should withhold recording of the Deed of Dedication for Great Woods and Saw Grass Lanes until the water problem is resolved. Mr. Colegreco responded that the two issues are unrelated. Mrs. Ewald polled the Board and all members agreed they’d like to resolve the water issue first, with Mr. Kuhn adding the proviso, Aonly if we can accomplish something.@ Mr. Oeste said if the land where the water originates is privately owned by parties other than Rouse/Chamberlain and not coming from the roads themselves, there is little the Township can ask Rouse/Chamberlain to do. He suggested the Board investigate the situation and then decide how to proceed. The Board will arrange a site visit with Mr. Kohli and Mr. Honan. The Roadmaster plans to attend, and Mr. Kohli will bring the approved plans to the site. Further consideration of vacating the paper road will be addressed at the May 1, 2000 meeting.
Mr. Willig moved to approve Escrow Release #2 for the Commons at Great Valley Lot #16 in the amount of $25,858.50 and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion from the Board and then the public, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Kuhn moved to approve Escrow Release #2 for the Commons at Great Valley Lot #17 in the amount of $42,629.00 and Mr. Hogan seconded. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion from the Board and then the public, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Rodgers moved to approve Escrow Release #1 for Maplewood Inc. in the amount of $345,483.87 and Mrs. Ewald seconded. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion from the Board and then the public, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
The proceeds were recorded by Arlene LaRosa, court reporter. The hearing was continued to May 1, 2000. The applicant will re-notify surrounding property owners of the next hearing date and agreed to supply documents requested by the Board. Mr. Oeste requested that any additional exhibits be submitted to the Township in advance of the next hearing.
The proceeds were recorded by Arlene LaRosa, court reporter. The hearing was continued to April 10, 2000.
Mr. Kuhn made his fellow Board members aware of grant funding available from the County as indicated in their most recent newsletter.
The Board directed the Township Engineer to survey the Oak Lane cul-de-sac.
Mrs. Ewald adjourned the meeting at 11:40 P.M. The next meeting of the Board of Supervisors is scheduled for April 10, 2000 at 7:30 P.M. at the Valley Forge Christian College.