The third business meeting for October was held October 30, 2000 at the Great Valley Middle School. Irene W. Ewald, Chairman, Hugh D. Willig, Vice Chairman, Paul J. Hogan, Michael J. Rodgers, Kevin R. Kuhn, Thomas F. Oeste, Esq., Ed Theurkauf, Planner, Linda M. Csete, Township Secretary and those on the attached list were present.
The meeting was called to order at 7:40 P.M.
Mrs. Ewald announced that the Board met in executive session on October 26, 2000 at the Township office to discuss legal matters.
Mr. Rodgers advised residents that the Township doesn’t offer a leaf pick up service and asked them to avoid sweeping leaves into the roadway. Mrs. Ewald asked Mr. Rodgers to arrange the general fall clean up, which includes road sweeping, but not leaf pick up.
No matters were brought forward at this time.
Mr. Willig moved to approve the October 16, 2000 minutes and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion from the Board and then the public. There being none, she called the vote and all were in favor.
Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the October 23, 2000 minutes and Mr. Hogan seconded. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion from the Board and then the public. There being none, she called the vote and all were in favor.
Bill Handy, Court Reporter, took the proceeds. The hearing was closed and a decision will be rendered within 45 days.
Mr. Oeste provided a summary of the draft decision, which includes 24 Findings of Fact and 3 Conclusions of Law, Discussion, and an Order denying the application. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion from the Board. Mr. Willig said he was disturbed that such a serious challenge, coupled with a plan of the magnitude proposed, was put forward by the applicant in a manner demonstrating a prevailing lack of preparedness.
Mr. Kuhn moved to deny the application and accept the proposed decision as summarized by Mr. Oeste. Mr. Hogan seconded. There was no further discussion, and Mrs. Ewald called the vote. Mr. Willig, Mr. Hogan, Mr. Kuhn and Mr. Rodgers were in favor, and Mrs. Ewald abstained.
Mr. Oeste provided a summary of the draft decision, which includes 63 Findings of Fact and 12 Conclusions of Law, Discussion, and an Order granting conditional approval to the Tentative Plan, and denial of the Conditional Use Plan. Mr. Oeste reviewed the 41 conditions of approval, which he said were meant to address most of the consultants’ review comments, and included a requirement for the applicant to submit a sketch plan prior to the final plan to determine initial compliance. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion from the Board. Mr. Kuhn said he hoped to see the applicant accept the approval and work diligently with the Planning Commission on the final plan. Mr. Hogan agreed, stating his concern with playground and school bus issues. Mr. Rodgers said his greatest concern was the Route 401 & Newcomen Road intersection. Mr. Willig said that if the applicant had started the process in January with a sketch plan, the plan would have been a much better one. Mrs. Ewald said she was disappointed with the lack of planning on this project, noting that Charlestown Township prefers to begin the planning process by integrating a plan with the land. She said the proposed decision is structured to do this. She added that she is concerned with a transition between this site and surrounding, less dense, land uses. Transitioning would take items such as buffering, lighting, sound, and visual intrusion into consideration.
Mrs. Ewald asked for comments from the public, and there were none.
Mr. Kuhn moved to adopt the proposed Decision & Order as outlined by the Township Solicitor. Mr. Hogan seconded. Mrs. Ewald called the vote and all were in favor.
Mrs. Ewald said that the bid packages included a Qualification of Bidders form, which the four bidders included in the sealed packages instead of outside. Therefore, she said that opening the bids would not constitute their qualification; this would be determined afterward. She explained that the bid was structured so all or part of a bid can be accepted, and they will all need to be reviewed prior to a bid award.
The four bids received were as follows:
|Macanga Paving:||not all items bid|
|Melchoirre:||Bid on all but tree work for a total of $265,100|
|Tommy’s Paving:||Total of $369,000|
|E.S.I.||Bid for mowing only for a total of $107,800|
Mr. Rodgers and the Roadmaster will review the bids and anticipate a bid award on November 6, 2000.
The Secretary provided some details on the guest speaker and topic for the convention. Mr. Kuhn and Mr. Hogan will not attend, and the remaining Board members will confirm by the November 6, 2000 meeting.
Mr. Hogan will contact the two individuals interested in serving on the Parks & Rec Board to interview prior to one of the upcoming Board meetings. He said Marge Crawford has submitted a resume and has attended recent meetings. Louise Cantrell-Kehoe has likewise expressed interest.
This item was tabled to the November 6, 2000 meeting in order to clarify grant reimbursement requirements with the County.
Mrs. Ewald said Mr. Kohli, along with the county engineer, has developed a punch list of items to be addressed on the completed bridge prior to the Township’s acceptance of it. Mrs. Ewald and Mr. Hogan expressed an interest in attending the final inspection. Mrs. Ewald will coordinate a date with Mr. Kohli and advise the Board members.
Mrs. Ewald gave a brief history of the 100+-year-old wrought iron truss bridge, which was closed in 1991 for safety reasons. Residents, with support from local and state officials, were able to have a bridge rehabilitation approved instead of a concrete bridge replacement.
Mrs. Ewald moved to advertise for bids to erect a traffic signal at the Route 401 and Valley Hill Road intersection. Mr. Hogan seconded and Mrs. Ewald called for public comments. Fred Alston said thank you. Mrs. Ewald called the vote and all were in favor. She asked Mr. Oeste to investigate the possibility of expediting the matter with PennDOT as an emergency project.
Mrs. Ewald said that West Pikeland Township has declined to sign the joint resolution passed by Charlestown making application to PennDOT for a 4-way stop sign at the intersection of Newcomen Road and Route 401. PennDOT won’t approve a traffic signal without a full intersection improvement to include turning lanes and a 4-way stop was viewed as an alternative. Mr. Rodgers explained that West Pikeland Township hired a traffic engineer who recommend against the four-way stop. He recommended either realigning Newcomen Road or removing its vertical curve. He said that PennDOT would have to put a full intersection improvement into its 12-year plan and that a 4-way stop would act as an interim solution.
Some discussion followed, with various residents opposing a 4-way stop sign at the intersection, which they say will cause severe traffic jams. Mr. Rodgers agreed to speak again with West Pikeland Township, as the majority of Charlestown Board members agreed that a 4-way stop would still be better than taking no action.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 P.M. and the Board held a budget work session that was open to the public. A second work session will be held following the November 6, 2000 business meeting.