The first business meeting for January was held January 2, 2007 at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154. Kevin R. Kuhn, Chairman, Mike Rodgers, Charlie Philips, Paul Hogan, Hugh Willig, Mark Thompson, Esq., Linda M. Csete, Township Administrator, Jan Bird, Assistant Secretary and Fred Alston, Public Works Superintendent were present.
The meeting was called to order at 8:00 P.M.
Mr. Kuhn announced for Mr. and Mrs. Gerhard that William James Gerhard arrived on December 26, 2006, 6 pounds, 11 ounces. Mr. Kuhn said Mrs. Gerhard will be on maternity leave for three months but will dedicate some time to township business, primarily to work on grants for the township’s open space program.
No matters were brought forward.
Mr. Hogan moved to approve the December 18, 2006 minutes and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Philips moved to approve the December Treasurer’s Report and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Hogan moved to approve the January 2, 2007 Operating Fund Accounts Payable report and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the January 2, 2007 Open Space Fund Accounts Payable report, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Philips moved to accept the monthly reports as submitted, and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Philips asked for the status of the Jenkins subdivision. Mr. Kuhn said that Mr. Kohli recently transmitted a review letter on the revised plan, and he expected the lots to be ready to advertise this spring. He asked the Secretary to contact Mr. Diehl to request the draft bid document for review.
Mr. Kuhn tabled this hearing until January 22, 2007 to allow sufficient time for drafting of the ordinance and for legal advertising.
The Administrator referenced a letter dated 12/15/06 from the Transportation Management Association of Chester County, in which they indicate they are starting a bus route funded by PennDOT to relieve congestion on Route 202. The “Beeline” bus will run from Coatesville to Great Valley, and the Association selected an area outside of the former Decision One location as a bus stop in Charlestown and has requested comments from the Board. She said Mr. Kohli related to her his comments, that since the road is a state road, the TMACC only needs approval from PennDOT, and, that the TMACC should be informed that they must take responsibility for maintenance of any bus stop shelter structure. The Board had no other issues with the bus stop location.
Mr. Hogan reported that he has been looking into the ownership of the Revolutionary War Cemetery, which was confirmed to be the Great Valley Presbyterian Church by their Sexton. Mr. Hogan told him how Charlestown Township has been taking care of the property, recently removing a dead tree by crane that was in peril of falling and crushing headstones. Mr. Hogan communicated that the Township may be interested in acquiring the cemetery from the church and they seemed open to that possibility. Board members recalled research done on this question several years ago and Mr. Philips suggested speaking with Mr. McErlane to recall why the Township decided against acquiring this property many years ago. Mr. Philips believed it involved road widening issues; that PennDOT can’t widen Charlestown Road if the property is held under private ownership as opposed to being township owned. He said it is believed there are graves under the existing parking area at the cemetery. Mr. Philips recalled that Mr. McErlane recommended it remain under private ownership with the Township assisting with maintenance work and costs. Mr. Thompson referenced the Second Class Township Code, which indicates that the township is authorized to clean up an abandoned or neglected cemetery and the owner can be asked to reimburse costs. Mr. Kuhn asked about capital improvements, or corrections of safety hazards, as a stone wall on the property is in need of repair presently. Mr. Thompson indicated the Code is silent on this, but it is acceptable to work something out on costs as an appropriation to a non-profit organization. He will research the question of whether township ownership affects PennDOT’s ability to widen the road. Mr. Hogan asked for authorization to get an estimate on repairing the wall, and the Board members agreed he could move forward. Mr. Kuhn asked the Secretary to check with the township’s insurance agent on the question of liability if the township takes ownership of the property. Mr. Philips said Jane Dorchester provided research on the cemetery some years ago, and noted that it is in the Historic District and the HARB should provide recommendations before anything is done. Mr. Kuhn asked the Secretary to request that the HARB do a general investigation of the situation and provide the Board with a recommendation. Mr. Willig said there is some issue with the Playschool across the street, which utilizes the cemetery driveway as a turnaround when picking up/dropping off students.
Mr. Thompson summarized the draft Decision and Order for the Bell & Clapper conditional use application, and indicated he spoke with Mr. Kohli, who had reviewed it and found it acceptable. Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the Decision and Order, and Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Kuhn tabled this matter to January 22, 2007.
Mr. Philips moved to approve the 2007 S.P.C.A. Animal Control Contract, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Kuhn referred to a letter dated 12/15/06 from the Green Valleys Association requesting support in the amount of $1,000 for the 2007 “Envirofest” on May 5th. The Township had supported this event last year, which promotes efforts to educate and advocate for a clean and healthy environment. The Secretary indicated the Township’s participation can be credited toward their NPDES education and outreach requirements under Act 167. Mr. Philips moved to approve a contribution of $1,000 to Green Valleys Association, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Kuhn said that Mrs. Gerhard and Mrs. Staas attended a meeting of local Environmental Advisory Councils (EACs) hosted by Tredyffrin Township late last year, and the question arose as to whether Charlestown wanted to form its own EAC. He obtained a copy of the Schuylkill Township Ordinance forming their EAC, and read aloud portions that outline the functions of the group. After some discussion, the Board determined they cover these functions through the existing township boards, commissions, and consultants, and the general consensus was that an EAC is not needed at this time.
Mr. Kuhn explained that the Board previously voted to place the Piliero Easement with the French & Pickering Creeks Trust, and to pay them the associated monitoring fee. Last week it was learned that the French & Pickering could no longer meet the December 31, 2006 deadline. The Open Space Director determined that the North American Lands Trust could achieve the same ends within the deadline period, and Mr. Kuhn made arrangements on December 28th to execute the necessary documents with the NALT. A letter will be sent to the French & Pickering Creeks Trust requesting a refund of the processing fees paid to them for preparing this easement.
Mr. Hogan said he was working with scouts on two Eagle projects. One is a smaller bridge for Charlestown Park with an estimated cost of $500 for lumber, and a larger bridge for the Brightside Farm with an estimated cost of $1,000. The bridges will be assembled in Mr. Hogan’s barn, with adult supervision when power tools are used. Mr. Kuhn said Mr. Kohli should review the plans and issue a building permit. Mr. Willig said Ms. Coleman would like to be informed of the location for the bridge at Brightside Farm. Mr. Kuhn scheduled a site visit for the Farm for January 6th at 8:00 A.M.
Mr. Philips moved to adjourn the meeting and Mr. Kuhn seconded. All were in favor. The meeting was adjourned at 8:55 P.M. The next meeting is scheduled for January 22 2007, 7:30 P.M. in Room 154 of the Great Valley Middle School.