Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors Business Meeting
Minutes of May 19, 2003

The second business meeting for May was held May 19, 2003, at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154. Paul Hogan, Chairman, Hugh D. Willig, Vice Chairman, Irene W. Ewald, Mike Rodgers, Kevin R. Kuhn, Thomas F. Oeste, Esq., Surender S. Kohli, P.E., Stephanie D’Alleva Jolley, William H. Handy, Court Reporter, Linda M. Csete, Township Administrator, Melanie M. Lammers, Recording Secretary, and those on the attached list were present.

The meeting was called to order at 7:30 P.M.


Mrs. Ewald announced the college graduation of her son, Jonathan Ewald and extended congratulations to all high school and college graduates.

Mr. Willig announced he attended the memorial service for Mr. Fred Atkins. He said it was a fitting tribute to his life and said he would be greatly missed. Mrs. Ewald said his in-depth historical knowledge of Charlestown Township was a major asset to the community. Mr. Hogan added that one year ago, Mr. Atkins took him on the U.S.S. North Carolina, and that his happiest moment was on the bridge of the ship. He regrets he will miss a similar ship tour they had planned for later this year.

Citizen’s Forum - Non-Agenda Items

There were no Citizen’s Forum - Non-agenda items.


Minutes of April 21, 2003

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the April 21, 2003 minutes pending the attachment of the Earned Income Tax verbatim transcription, and Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Hogan called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Minutes of May 5, 2003

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the May 5, 2003 minutes, and Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Hogan called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.


Outdoor Advertising Conditional Use Application - Billboard Construction

The hearing was opened and continued to July 21, 2003.

Official Map

This hearing was opened and continued to July 7, 2003.

Sean & Jill Maher Conditional Use Application - Construction of Driveway in Steep Slopes

This hearing was opened and proceedings recorded by Court Reporter William H. Handy. Tom Oeste, Esq., added some exhibits and then closed the record, stating a decision will be rendered within the required amount of time.

Paul & Alexis McCarthy Conditional Use Application - Construction in High Ground Water Area

This hearing was opened and proceedings recorded by Court Reporter William H. Handy. Neighbors, Robert and Mary Ellen Joos, were made a party to the proceedings. This hearing was continued to July 7, 2003.

Performance Auto - Petition for Zoning Ordinance Amendment

This hearing was opened and proceedings recorded by Court Reporter William H. Handy. The hearing was continued to July 7, 2003. The request for Zoning Ordinance change must be properly advertised for enactment. Mr. Sean O’Neill, attorney for Performance Auto, requested that the Application and Conditional Use be done together, so both could be advertised simultaneously.

Altemose Conditional Use Application - Assisted Living Facility

Mr. Comitta was not available to testify this evening; therefore, this hearing was opened and continued to June 2, 2003.

Old Business

Spring Lane Farms - Draft Settlement Stipulation

Mr. Oeste referenced his re-draft of the Stipulation containing minor revisions, at which time Mr. Richard Orlow, in-house counsel for Genterra, interjected that he had reviewed the Stipulation and had made some changes of his own.

Mr. Rodgers asked if there are plans to put a deed restriction on the 17-acre lot, and Mr. Orlow said there are. He said they would ultimately like to put a mechanism in place where the buyer can do the deed restriction in order to benefit from the associated tax deduction. Mr. Oeste questioned how the Township could ensure the deed restriction would take place if left to the buyer, and Mr. Orlow responded it could be insured through correspondence between counsel and by adding a provision to the Agreement of Sale which requires the deed restriction. He added that a substantial economic penalty could be added if the deed restriction process had not begun within a specified period of time. Mr. Oeste said he would have to give it some thought.

Mr. Kuhn asked Mr. Orlow if there was already an agreement of sale before the buyer, and Mr. Orlow responded it is not yet signed, but negotiations have been ongoing. Mrs. Ewald asked if this was someone who had previously come before the Board with an interest in this property, and Mr. Orlow said it was. He said the potential buyer’s name is Chris Veno. When Mrs. Ewald asked if Mr. Veno was a current Charlestown resident, Mr. Kuhn responded he was not.

Mrs. Ewald asked what would happen to the people currently renting this property, and Mr. Orlow said he was reasonably sure they would be given no more than a 30-day notice to vacate the property.

Mr. Oeste asked Mr. Orlow to draft a letter containing the deed restriction stipulations for him and the Board members to review. Mr. Orlow said he would draft it within a few days and distribute it to Mr. Oeste and the Board.

New Business

Authorize Advertising of Bids: Road Equipment & Labor, Bituminous & Stone Materials, and Tree Work

Mr. Kohli said he met with Mr. Alston last Thursday regarding changes in the documents. Mrs. Csete indicated she had not yet received the documents from Mr. Alston. Mr. Rodgers asked if the same specifications were used as last year, and Mr. Kohli responded that only the number of hours had changed, although the roadside mowing has been placed with the tree contract instead of the road equipment contract. Mr. Kohli said the only thing outstanding was the issue of the sweeper. He said Mr. Alston removed the sweeper from the contract due to costs. Mr. Rodgers said he thought it would be best to keep the sweeper in the contract, and said he would talk to Mr. Alston regarding the issue to see if they could come to an agreement.

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the bid advertisements pending his discussion with Mr. Alston regarding the sweeper and the Board’s receipt and review of Mr. Alston’s documents. Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mrs. Csete asked for the date of the bid opening to include in the advertisement, and Mr. Willig responded it could take place at the end of the June 16, 2003 meeting. Mr. Hogan called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Sal Lapio - Escrow Release #8

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve escrow release #8 for Sal Lapio, in the amount of $60,139.80, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Hogan called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Donation Request by French & Pickering Creeks Trust

At the last meeting, Mr. Kuhn had made a donation request of $1,000 to be given to the French and Pickering Creeks Trust. He said they were very instrumental in obtaining the Solda easement. Mrs. Ewald said it was not appropriate to give this donation. Mr. Willig asked if this could be done, because he thought there were issues previously in attempting to give a donation to the Nature Center and other organizations. Mr. Oeste said he would have to check into it, so Mr. Hogan postponed this item until the next meeting. Mrs. Csete added she would need to check what funds are available in the budget for contributions, as she does not believe there is $1,000 left in the budget for that purpose.

Other Business

Camp Cadet

Mrs. Ewald asked if the contribution to Camp Cadet could be re-authorized. There was some discussion as to whether this request is any different than that of the proposed French & Pickering Creeks Trust donation, therefore, Mr. Willig asked Mr. Oeste if he would clarify what the Board can contribute to with some examples of what is and is not allowed. The Camp Cadet donation request was tabled to the next agenda.

Brightside Farm

Mr. Hogan asked Mrs. Csete if the Farm Committee had asked for a purchase order for Thomas Keyes, well installer, and Mrs. Csete said they had and that it did go out.

Upcoming Meetings

Mr. Kuhn said he ran into Senator Robert Thompson and indicated Mr. Thompson would like to meet with the Board to acquaint himself with Charlestown issues. He added that he plans to attend Sen. Thompson’s Meeting for Municipal Officials on June 11 at Columbia Station in Phoenixville from 7-9 PM. Mr. Kuhn will also be attending the Phoenixville Regional Planning Commission meeting on May 27th.

Emergency Pre-emptive Devices for Valley Hill & Route 401 Intersection

Mr. Willig said Mr. Alston asked him if the Board considered the proposal for additional pre-emptive devices for Valley Hill and Route 401. Mr. Kuhn voiced his concern that the cost of $6,200 was high and seemed not to have been specified correctly to begin with. Mr. Kohli explained that pre-emptive devices were there when the lights were first installed, but that adding a remote device, at that time, would have cost approximately $14-15k, so it was determined not to include it at that time. He said there is only a problem at peak hours when traffic backs up over the hill out of range of the existing pre-emptive signal. He said the new price for this device is reasonable. Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the proposal to install the additional device, and Mrs. Ewald seconded. Mr. Hogan called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Devault Village

Mr. Willig stated that Mr. Allen called to ask about setting a date for a joint public meeting regarding Devault Village. It was determined this meeting would take place on June 23, 2003, unless Mr. Rodgers finds he has a conflict, at which time, the meeting may be moved to June 30, 2003. Mr. Willig stated this is more of a presentation than a meeting and suggested the Board host the meeting, while allowing the Planning Commission to do the talking.

Baughman Mill – Board of Assessments Hearing

Mrs. Csete said the County Assessment Board set a hearing on the Mill property to decide if it should be changed to a tax-exempt status. She asked if there should be some representation from the Township at this meeting. Mr. Oeste said someone should attend, and Mrs. Csete said she would attend, but was not sure if she had the necessary authority. Mr. Hogan moved to authorize Mrs. Csete as a representative for Charlestown Township to attend this hearing, and Mr. Ewald seconded. Mr. Hogan called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Certificates of Insurance

Mrs. Csete said she the Township insurance provider has asked whether the Township is listed as Additionally Insured on its Certificates of Insurance for the Soccer Club and Phoenixville Marion Youth Club. Through her investigation, she found the Township is not listed as Additionally Insured, and the Certificates of Insurance have expired. She has contacted these organizations regarding this matter, but is not getting any cooperation from them. Mr. Willig recommended a letter from Mr. Oeste be written to them, and Mrs. Ewald suggested a letter from the Township be the first step. Mr. Oeste asked if the agreement requires that the Township be named as Additionally Insured, and Mrs. Csete said she would look into it.

Insurance Renewal

Mr. Kuhn asked Mrs. Csete if the insurance agent has come up with an estimate of the insurance renewal cost, and Mrs. Csete said not yet. Mr. Kuhn suggested the Township take a look at what is being insured, and noted that if a replacement of the same value is not planned should an accident or fire occur, it is pointless to insure for the entire value, thus lowering insurance costs.

Mrs. Ewald suggested that PSATS review the Township’s insurance and assets in order to provide a separate quote. Also, Mrs. Csete will set up a meeting between the Board and the current insurance broker to review the current renewal information.


Mr. Hogan adjourned the meeting at 10:07 P.M. The next meeting will be held on June 2, 2003, 7:30 P.M. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154.

Respectfully submitted,

Melanie M. Lammers
Recording Secretary