Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors Business Meeting
Minutes of December 1, 2003 Ė approved 12/15/03

The first business meeting for December was held December 1, 2003, at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154. Paul Hogan, Chairman, Hugh Willig, Vice Chairman, Irene W. Ewald, Mike Rodgers, Kevin R. Kuhn, Thomas Oeste, Esq., Gary Bender, Esq., Surender Kohli, P.E., Tom Comitta, Ed Theurkauf, Tom Corcoran, 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 7:32 P.M.

Announcements

There were no announcements.

Citizenís Forum - Non-Agenda Items

Ms. Sue Staas spoke with regards to the Horse Shoe Trail. She requested that the Board of Supervisors sign and send a letter she wrote on their behalf to the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission requesting that the Horse Shoe Trail be allowed in the Turnpike right of way along Pikeland Road in order to get the trail off of the road. The Board agreed to sign and send the letter.

Ms. Barbara DeWilde of Valley Hill Road acknowledged that some Board members may change in the coming year and publicly thanked the Supervisors for their past service.

Ms. DeWilde recognized that part of Valley Hill Road has yellow lines on it and asked what she can do to initiate having lines added to the other main Township roads. Mrs. Ewald referred her to Mr. Fred Alston, Roadmaster, so he could explain the PennDOT requirements for striping roads. Mr. Alston said there are two criteria that need to be met in order for PennDOT to stripe a road. First, the road must be a minimum width of 20 feet. Secondly, the minimum Average Daily Traffic (ADT) must be met. Mr. Alston said he is requesting an ADT study be done on various well-traveled Township roads, such as Yellow Springs and Hollow Roads. He said Charlestown Road is already slated to be striped, however, it is too late in the season to actually stripe any roads at this time. Striping will begin in the Spring. Ms. DeWilde asked what she can do to help push this effort along, and she was told it is never a bad idea to write a letter to PennDOT, with a copy going to the Township.

Ms. DeWildeís last item was with regards to Township road maintenance. She indicated she was part of a 13-car accident that occurred on Yellow Springs Road last winter. She asked what the Township is doing, and what she can do to ensure the principal roads are well maintained during bad weather in such a way that this does not happen again.

Mr. Kuhn noted that there will never be a guarantee a poor road condition will not recur. Mr. Willig asked Mr. Alston to review the priority of roads with regards to winter weather. Mr. Alston answered that in the past there three trucks are dispatched to the steeper roads first, namely, Union Hill Road, Yellow Springs Road, Buckwalter Road, Mary Hill Road, etc. He said this year an additional, fourth truck will be added to cover the Charlestown Hunt. He said they make their best efforts to get crews in place before things get bad, but that sometimes the lack of clearing of PennDOT-maintained roads prevents them from getting to the Township roads. Ms. DeWilde thanked Mr. Alston for his explanation and service.

Approvals

Minutes of November 17, 2003

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the November 17, 2003, minutes as written, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Hogan called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Treasurerís Report - November 1-30, 2003

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the November 1-30, 2003, Treasurerís report as presented, and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Hogan called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Accounts Payable Report - General Fund - December 1, 2003

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the December 1, 2003, General Fund Accounts Payable report as presented, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Hogan called for discussion. Mr. Kuhn suggested the Township be reimbursed by the Historical Society for 2 hours of legal services performed by Windle & McErlane on their behalf that was billed to the Township.

Additionally, Mr. Kuhn questioned the cost of $7,800 for the removal of five trees on Sycamore Lane. Mr. Alston explained the trees were dead and posed a hazard. Mrs. Ewald said the Homeowners Association should have taken care of it. Mr. Kuhn asked Mr. Oeste if the Township is 100% responsible for the removal of dead trees. Mr. Oeste replied that the Township has the option to take down the trees if they feel there is a danger to public safety, but that they are not required to do so. Mr. Hogan said the trees were removed from the Korean Church property after the owner had been notified on numerous occasions in the past with no action taken by them. However, the Korean Church representative indicated he was willing to share in the cost of removal. Mr. Kuhn, therefore, suggested the Township send the Korean Church an invoice for the work.

Mrs. Ewald suggested holding check #2245, and Mr. Kuhn said he felt this was unfair to the contractor since he was doing what he was told at the direction of the Township. Mrs. Ewald questioned why not all of the Board members were informed of the intent to remove the trees, and Mr. Rodgers agreed it should have been brought to the attention of the Board so they could have approved or disapproved it. He added that in the contract with C.M. Jones, there is a clause that allows the Township to remove a specific service and have it bid upon by others. He suggested taking advantage of that clause in the future.

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the General Fund Accounts Payable report subject to holding check #2245. Mr. Kuhn did not agree since the contractor acted at the direction of the Township. Mrs. Ewald yielded to his suggestion, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Willig said it is necessary that the Board discuss how they want to approach tree work in the future. Mr. Hogan called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Accounts Payable Report - State Fund - December 1, 2003

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the December 1, 2003 State Fund Accounts Payable report, and Mrs. Ewald seconded. Mr. Hogan called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Monthly Reports

Zoning Commission

Mr. Kohli said his report is on file. Mrs. Ewald said there is still an issue of spotlights glaring at Charlestown Oaks. Mr. Kohli said he did verify that shielding was added to the lights, and Mrs. Ewald asked if he could take another look at them. He agreed.

Planning Commission

The Planning Commission report is on file.

Historical Commission

The Historical Commission report is on file.

Open Space Commission

Mr. Kuhn said there was no meeting last month, therefore, there was nothing new to report. Mr. Kuhn read an excerpt from the Historical Commission report with regards to the Longwood School ruins. He asked if the Board should rescind its earlier approval to have someone use a metal detector on the property in order to search for artifacts. Mr. Hogan indicated there has been no interest by any archeological experts in searching for artifacts. He suggested they look again for an expert interested in the property, but if none is found, to let the metal detector be used.

Mrs. Ewald moved to request that Mrs. Csete send a letter to Fred Glansky to let him know his artifact search project is on hold, and to send a note to the Historical Commission asking them to research the avenues that should be explored with regards to a possible archeological dig. Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Hogan said he would provide the address of Mr. Glansky to Mrs. Csete. Mr. Hogan called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Mr. Hogan announced that the Pennsylvania Historical Museum Commission (PHMC) is giving awards and grants of $50,000 to $100,000 for this type of work, and suggested the Township investigate.

Mr. Comitta said he has been doing a lot of lectures for the PHMC and provided the contact name of Mr. Michel LeFevre with his telephone number and ask that he put them in touch with Mr. Curt Carr, head of archeology, regarding this matter.

Roadmaster

The Roadmaster report is on file.

Fire Marshal

The Fire Marshal report is on file.

Parks and Recreation Committee

The Parks & Recreation report is on file.

Brightside Farm Committee

Mr. Hogan indicated that Mr. Jacob Merriwether got two of the three bids in for the barn flooring material. Mr. Merriwether is hopeful the third bid will be received soon so he can email the information to the members of the Board and hopefully obtain an approval. Mr. Hogan said aluminum flashing is needed for the window sills, as well as corrugated siding for the west side of the calving barn. These items are planned to be purchased before the end of the year and to be installed as soon as possible thereafter. The Brightside Farm Committee report is on file.

Valley Forge Sewer Authority

The Valley Forge Sewer Authority report is on file.

Hearings

Ordinance Amendments - Article IV - Farm Residential

This hearing was recorded by Court Reporter, Mr. Tom Corcoran, and was deferred to the December 15, 2003 meeting.

Conditional Use Application - Outdoor Partnership

This hearing was recorded by Court Reporter, Tom Corcoran.

Elizabeth Witmer, Esq., attorney for Outdoor Partnership, marked the following exhibits while hearing testimony from her witness, Mr. Chuck Dobson:

Ms. Witmer asked that these exhibits be entered into evidence, at which time Mr. Oeste said they would reserve ruling on the admission of these exhibits into evidence pending their authentication. Ms. Witmer agreed to provide appropriate witnesses at the next hearing date in order to authenticate the documents.

Gary Bender, Esq. cross-examined Mr. Dobson, and then Mr. Oeste gave the parties the ability to ask questions. The following parties asked questions:

Cathy Friel, Forge Court
Fred Strittmatter, Blackberry Lane
Ginnie Durkan, Blackberry Lane
Gerrie Schinski, Yellow Springs Road
Mr. Jim Schinski, Yellow Springs Road
Regina Notar, Blackberry Lane
Jennifer Fensten, Blackberry Lane

The hearing was continued to December 15, 2003, weather permitting. In the event of bad weather or other emergency, the hearing will be continued to the next, regularly scheduled Board meeting, January 5, 2004.

At 10:36 P.M. the Board recessed for a 5-minute break.

Old Business

There was no old business.

New Business

Schedule Lillmars Conditional Use Hearing

This item was scheduled for the January 5, 2004 meeting.

Other Business

There was no Other Business.

Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 10:40 P.M. The next meeting will be held on December 15, 2003, 7:30 P.M. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154.

Respectfully submitted,


Melanie Lammers
Recording Secretary