Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors Business Meeting
Minutes of November 1, 2004

The first business meeting for November was held November 1, 2004, at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154. Kevin R. Kuhn, Chairman, Mike Rodgers, Vice Chairman, Paul Hogan, Hugh Willig, Charlie Philips, Surender Kohli, P.E., Tom Oeste, Esq., 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 7:31 P.M.

Announcements - None

Citizen’s Forum/Non-Agenda Items - None

Mr. Mike Allen voiced his concern about the Supplee House on the old Volpi tract, stating the windows and doors are totally open and, by neglect, it will fall down. He asked if something could be done about it. Mr. Kuhn asked if Demolition by Neglect applies. Mr. Kohli said he would check the ordinance to see what can be done.


Minutes of October 18, 2004

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the October 18, 2004 minutes, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Kuhn made the following correction:

Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Minutes of October 25, 2004

Mr. Hogan moved to approve the October 25, 2004 minutes, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Treasurer’s Report – October 1-31, 2004

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the October 1-31, 2004 Treasurer’s Report, and Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Accounts Payable Report for November 1, 2004 – General Fund

Mr. Willig moved to approve the General Fund Accounts Payable Report for November 1, 2004, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion. Mr. Philips recalled that the description for check #3070 was to be changed from Roads assistant – salary, to Roads assistant – labor. Mr. Kuhn called the vote, and all were in favor.

Accounts Payable Report for November 1, 2004 – Open Space Improvement Fund

Mr. Willig moved to approve the Open Space Improvement Fund Accounts Payable Report for November 1, 2004, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.


Mr. Rodgers moved to accept the monthly reports, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Old Business - None

New Business

Charlestown Park Items

Parks & Rec Chairman Suzanne Riley said she has not yet received any quotes for sealing the trail. She said Melchiorre wants $1500 to only fill the cracks, but not to seal the entire pavement. Mr. Kuhn suggested she contact Ellen Behrle of Delaware Valley Paving to obtain a quote, then forward it to Mrs. Csete.

Ms. Riley asked Mrs. Csete if the Township has received input from the Solicitor regarding the Abel Fence, Llc. fencing bid, which did not include a certificate of insurance. Mr. Oeste said this could be waived as long as it was obtained prior to any work being done. Mr. Philips suggested going with the low bidder. Mr. Willig agreed subject to receipt of the insurance certificate.

Mr. Philips moved to approve the Abel Fence, Llc. fencing bid subject to receipt of the Certificate of Insurance, and Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

With regard to quotes for tree work, Ms. Riley said Mark Jones bid on the work that was requested: the felling of a large oak tree and the removal of the tree-related debris. She recommended using Mark Jones, because his bid was slightly less expensive than Lord’s Services.

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve awarding the contract for this tree work to Mark Jones, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Ms. Riley will call Mark Jones to get things moving, and Mrs. Csete will check to ensure Mark Jones’s insurance certificate is up to date.

At the suggestion of Mr. Philips, Mr. Kuhn asked Ms. Riley if she wants to increase the Parks & Rec Board to seven members from the current five, and she responded affirmatively. Mr. Philips asked if there is anything the Supervisors can do to get her to stay on the Parks & Recreation Board past her notice of resignation date of December 31st, but she said unfortunately there is not. She said she believes putting new blood into the Parks & Recreation Board is a very good idea, and that a larger group is going to help. Mr. Kuhn said, in the past, the biggest issue has been in getting people involved. He said, if there are people willing to serve, he is in favor of expanding the Board. Mr. Oeste will prepare an ordinance to expand the Parks & Recreation Board.

Woolen Mill

Mr. Hogan said there are telephone poles knocked loose that had been set up along the ground to control water run off, and that Melchiorre should pick up 2-3 20-foot poles and replace the 6-foot poles with them, as well as secure the remaining ones. Mr. Alston will coordinate this effort.

Mr. Kohli brought up the contract for repointing the windows. Mr. Kuhn agreed that is something that needs to move forward immediately. Mr. Kohli will advise the contractor that he can move forward.

Final Escrow Release - Valley Forge Christian College – Bongiorno Hall

Mr. Kohli distributed his letter dated November 1, 2004, which indicated everything is in order for the final escrow release for Bongiorno Hall in the amount of $27,738.00. Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the escrow release and Mr. Hogan seconded. With no further discussion, Mr. Kuhn called the vote and all were in favor.

Appointment to Agricultural Security Area committee (farmer)

Mrs. Csete said she only has two of the required three farmers for the ASA committee. She did not get a response from any of the others that Mr. Kuhn had recommended. Mr. Philips asked if the candidates must be a Township resident and Mrs. Csete responded no. Mr. Kuhn recommended a few additional names to Mrs. Csete. It was decided to table this topic until a third farmer can be found. Mr. Kuhn asked if it can wait until December, and Mrs. Csete said to keep the timeline on tract it would have to be done in November. Mr. Willig said his name could be used as the third farmer in the meantime.

Mr. Philips moved to approve the addition of Mr. Willig to the ASA as the third farmer, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Award Salt Bid for 2004-2005 Winter Season

Mr. Alston recommended the Board award the salt bid to Oceanport Industries, the second lowest bidder. Mr. Kohli asked for solicitor input; he was concerned about how to disqualify the lowest bidder. Mr. Alston indicated other townships had serious delivery issues with the lowest bidder last winter, but Mr. Oeste said that was not sufficient reason to disqualify them. Mr. Willig asked if multiple contracts could be awarded, and Mr. Oeste said they could not. Mr. Kuhn suggested tabling it until the next meeting. Mr. Alston was asked to contact the low bidder and tactfully ask if they would be willing to withdraw.

Mr. Kuhn asked for a status on supplies. Mr. Alston said right now there are 200 tons of mixed material ready to go in the salt shed. He said that would be adequate for at least the first two snowfalls. Mr. Kuhn asked how much the bid is for, and Mrs. Csete said in the past it has been for 300 tons.

Draft Letter of Support and Co-Petition with Green Valleys Association for upgrade of Pickering Creek Watersheds to Designation of Exceptional Value

Mr. Kuhn read the draft letter aloud and the Board approved the letter by consensus.

Zoning Hearing Board Application Overview – Gerald & Dorothy Moses

Mr. Kohli explained the purpose of this application is to add a family room on to the existing 600 square foot house, as they don’t have enough room for extended family events. Mr. Kohli said the house currently does not meet the setbacks on the side, and Mr. Moses wants to add on to the existing, non-conforming structure. The Board took a neutral position on this applicant, which must go before the Zoning Hearing Board.

On-site Septic System Reporting – Software Available

Mr. Kohli said more information should be obtained as to how the module will work. He said the Act 537 sewage plan requires that educational material go to the public and a record for all malfunctions be created and approved by the Health Department. Mr. Kuhn asked why the Township must be involved if it is the County that manages it. Mr. Oeste said the Act 537 requirements fall onto the Township’s shoulders. Mrs. Csete said this software, which will have the ability to transfer septic system data from the County to the Township, qualifies for an 85% reimbursement from the DEP, and therefore, may only cost approximately $1,000. Mr. Kuhn said for that price, it is worth it. The DEP requires the Township to monitor and educate its residents on septic system maintenance.

Mr. Philips moved to approve purchase of the on-site system reporting software during the 2005 budget year, subject to the ability to receive the DEP reimbursement, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Brightside Farm Subcommittee

Mr. Kuhn said it was not the Board’s intention to split up the Brightside Farm Committee. They would like to consider having a group of people who are not currently members of the Brightside Farm Committee to look at outreach programs and do some strategic planning to determine how the property can be best utilized.

Mr. Hogan said he felt the rules should come from the existing members. Mr. Kuhn said he was not as concerned about rule making as to what the Board wants the asset to be. Mr. Hogan said he thinks getting another group together to replicate what is already being done would cause a problem. Mr. Kuhn said the Board has sat on it and not gotten anything done about it. Ms. Coleman said she had previously talked about getting Phoenixville involved. She said everyone was excited but then it did not go any further. She said that does not mean that type of thing cannot be done. Mr. Philips said the Board owes it to the taxpayers to plan over the next 5-10 years what they want. Ms. Coleman said not to forget the property was bought in order to preserve the viewshed and open space, and said that reason can stand on its own. Mr. Willig agreed on its significance but said that is not enough. Mr. Philips said programmatic alternatives need to be researched to help keep it as a farm and eliminate suggestions that will not fit in with this concept.

Mr. Kuhn said the Supervisors do not see it as an active park. He said he feels anything that goes there should be agriculturally related. He suggested they get some really fresh people involved, to look at something in a way that no one in the room has done yet. Mr. Kuhn asked Mrs. Csete to circulate a copy of the document containing the land restrictions to the Board and Ms. Coleman.

Mr. Willig said the only successful thing that has worked to raise awareness of this property has been the community garden. He said big thinking has not been working. Mr. Kuhn agreed and said the community garden program has worked well for the past couple of years and it should be shared with the residents. Ms. Coleman mentioned Bob Roggio as a possibility for the committee. Mr. Oeste mentioned an individual who runs a farm in Uwchlan. Mr. Kuhn asked if Mr. Philips would run with that and come back to the Board with some recommendations. Mr. Kuhn confirmed that, as a sub-committee, they do not have to meet publicly. Mrs. Coleman said she belongs to the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau. She suggested writing an article about this farm asking for ideas. The Board members thought that was a great suggestion.

Mr. Kuhn said he would like Mr. Philips to have a group of people to recommend by the first Board meeting in December.

Mr. Willig asked if there is a concern with regard to the current tenants. Ms. Coleman said she thought she should go on the record stating the tenants are currently not in compliance. Mr. Kuhn confirmed it is mostly due to caretaker issues and a lack of communication on the part of the tenants. Mr. Kuhn suggested having the tenants e-mail the Township when they are not able to be there to fulfill their duties.

Ms. Coleman confirmed the lease was signed. She also mentioned the floor boards that are stacked in the barn. She said if they are installed, they will be taking away the historic aspect of the barn. Mr. Kuhn thought that was how it was originally. She said it was not; the boards were laid loose for loose hay. She said if we take out the loose boards and install planks, we are then changing the historic aspect of that building. Mr. Kuhn suggested they defer to Dale Frens.

Other Business

Since the Township has decided not to enter into the Winter Maintenance Agreement with PennDOT for the coming winter season, it was suggested that the residents be notified. Mr. Kuhn agreed and Mr. Willig suggested having Mr. Alston draft the communication.

Mr. Kohli looked at the ordinance for Volpi and said there is nothing in the ordinance with regards to Demolition by Neglect. Mr. Kuhn asked if there was a reason that it had not been added to the ordinance, and Mr. Oeste said there is no legal reason it could not be included. Mr. Kuhn asked if it can be tied to vacant structures, and Mr. Oeste said that is possible. Mr. Oeste will draft the ordinance, which must go to the County and the Planning Commission for review. The Board asked that it be given to the Planning Commission by November 14, 2004. Mr. Oeste will draft the ordinance as soon as possible, and it will be advertised for December 20th. The Parks & Recreation ordinance will also be advertised for that date.

Mr. Kohli asked about the study to determine whether the traffic signal at Valley Hill & 401 should have left turn lanes. Mrs. Csete will notify PennDOT to move forward with the study.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:06 P.M. The next Board of Supervisors meeting will be held on November 15, 2004 in Room 154 of the Great Valley Middle School. The Board went into executive session to discuss legal matters.

Respectfully submitted,

Melanie Lammers
Recording Secretary