The second business meeting for November was held November 19, 2007 at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154. Kevin Kuhn, Chairman, Mike Rodgers, Vice Chairman, Paul Hogan, Charlie Philips, Hugh Willig, Mark Thompson, Esq., Linda M. Csete, Township Administrator, and those on the attached list were present.
Mr. Kuhn called the meeting to order at 7:30 P.M.
Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the minutes of the November 5, 2007 meeting, and Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Philips moved to approve the Accounts Payable Report for the Operating Fund for November 19, 2007, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Taylor Gatz introduced himself as a representative of Kimberton Firefighter’s Relief organization who was present to voice their concern that Charlestown changed its method of allocating the state funds this year resulting in them receiving approximately $8,000 less than last year. Mr. Alston said that the state makes its Act 205 allocation to each municipality based half on total real estate valuation and half on population. He followed this method for 2007 by breaking the real estate valuation down for the Kimberton and East Whiteland Fire Company territories in Charlestown Township. In past years, the allocation was split 50/50 and was not equitably broken out, with East Whiteland’s Relief organization receiving less than they should.
Mr. Alston said these funds must be used for specific purposes by the Fire Companies and includes costs such as safety training and safety equipment for the fire fighters. Mr. Willig asked for confirmation that the two fire companies serving Charlestown have defined map boundaries, and Mr. Alston said yes. He said for the future he’d like to clarify the territories by listing each street and address range.
Mr. Kuhn said he understands Kimberton Fire Company’s frustration, but asked if they agree with the methodology. Mr. Gatz said yes, their issue is that they didn’t receive advance notice for 2007 and didn’t anticipate the change for their 2007 budget. Mr. Kuhn apologized for the lack of communication, saying that the Board took Mr. Alston’s recommendation, which they agreed made sense. Mr. Gatz asked if anything could be done. After some discussion, Mr. Kuhn said that unless the Township has a surplus at the end of 2007 beyond what was anticipated in their proposed 2008 budget, there would be nothing they could do. He asked what percentage of the total fire relief fund budget was represented by the $8,000 difference, and Mr. Gatz responded, 8%. If an additional payment was made by the Township to the Kimberton Fire Company, Mr. Alston confirmed the Fire Company could transfer that money into their fire fighters’ relief fund.
The Secretary indicated that Mr. Kohli forwarded a proposal from Chester Valley Engineers as the lower of two bidders to the Board for surveying the Revolutionary War Cemetery property in preparation for acquiring it from the Great Valley Presbyterian Church. Mr. Hogan moved to authorize signing Chester Valley Engineers’ proposal for the survey and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion. Mr. Philips asked if there are budget funds available for this project, and the Secretary responded yes, as it would come under open space acquisition costs, for which there are sufficient funds. Mr. Philips also asked that in the future, the chairpersons of the associated board or commission, in this case the HARB, be notified when proposals come in so they have an opportunity to forward a recommendation to the Board. Mr. Kuhn called the vote, and all were in favor.
Mr. Kuhn referred to Mr. Thompson’s earlier communication with respect to updating the Township’s ordinance on the Local Services Tax. The Township has had the Occupational Privilege ordinance in place since 1990, but due to numerous changes to the tax law, Mr. Thompson recommends they re-enact the ordinance under the new designation, Local Services Tax.
Mr. Thompson said if the Board decides to increase the tax, a provision must be included in the new ordinance to exempt individuals earning less than $12,000 per year, and the tax must be deducted from employees’ paychecks on a pro rata basis instead of in one payment. Mr. Kuhn asked if Centax would handle this change, and Mr. Thompson said yes. The Secretary said tax collection costs would increase due to the extra work in collecting, but it would still be minimal. Mr. Kuhn asked what other municipalities in the County are charging, and Mr. Thompson said of those that do collect the tax, most charge the full $52. Mr. Kuhn asked if the funds must be used for a specific purpose, and Mr. Thompson said yes, they must be used for roads, public safety and emergency services. The Secretary indicated that since the Township budgets far more than the tax would bring in, it would be no problem to apply any increased tax to these uses. After some discussion, Mr. Hogan moved to keep the tax at $10.00 per employee for 2007, and Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Rodgers moved to authorize the Secretary to advertise the Board’s intention to appoint a certified public accountant to conduct the 2007 audit, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion. Mr. Philips asked what kind of response the Township receives from the advertisement, and the Secretary said typically there is no response. Mr. Kuhn called the vote, and all were in favor.
Mr. Philips moved to approve Escrow Release #6, Final, for Emma Developers, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
applicant, the hearing was continued to December 17, 2007, 7:30 P.M. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154.
Mr. Thompson opened the hearing for the TND ordinance and the proceedings were recorded by Tom Corcoran, Court Reporter. There was no testimony this evening. The hearing was continued to December 17, 2007, 7:30 P.M. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 P.M. The next meeting is scheduled for December 3, 7:30 P.M. in Room 154 of the Great Valley Middle School.