A business meeting was held October 6, 2008 at the Great Valley Middle School, room 154. Kevin Kuhn, Chairman, Charlie Philips, Vice Chairman, Michael Rodgers, Paul Hogan, Hugh Willig, Mark Thompson, Esq., Surender Kohli, P.E., Linda Csete, Township Administrator were present along with those on the attached list.
Mr. Kuhn called the meeting to order at 7:30 P.M.
Mr. Willig announced that unfortunately, residents Peter and Karen Wilson’s twelve year old son Jeremy passed away over the weekend after a bout with cancer. Jeremy was one of a set of triplets.
Mr. Kuhn announced that he attended the Great Valley School District’s 4:30 P.M. meeting this afternoon where O’Neil Properties were requesting approval for Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for the Worthington site. Mr. Kuhn took the position that the Township is opposed to relief. He noted that about 80% of attendees were in favor of the TIF, with the meeting well attended by developers.
Mr. Kuhn announced that the Board of Supervisors held an executive session on September 29, 2008 at 7:00 P.M. at the Township Office to discuss legal matters.
No matters were brought forward.
Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the minutes of the August 27, 2008 meeting, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. Four were in favor, and Mr. Kuhn abstained having not reviewed the minutes.
Mr. Philips moved to approve the minutes of the Sept. 2, 2008 meeting, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the September 2008 Treasurer’s 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 October 6, 2008 Operating Fund Accounts Payable Report and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion.
Mr. Philips asked if the PECO electric bills now reflected the change to wind energy approved by the Board some months ago, and Mrs. Csete responded yes.
Mr. Philips asked why there are two invoices from Advanced Lock & Security, and Mr. Alston responded that when they came out to re-key the locks, one doorknob and lockset was on backorder and installed during a second visit.
Mr. Philips asked why there is both a Verizon and A.T. & T. bill for the Emergency Operations Center. Mrs. Csete said the A.T. & T. portion is for long distance charges and is minimal. Mr. Alston said he’ll look into the service for the EOC.
Mr. Philips asked why there’s an invoice for trash removal on Blackberry Lane. Mr. Alston said he was contacted by a resident that a neighbor had moved out of his house and left a large amount of trash at the curb. Mr. Alston determined that for the small cost it should be taken care of.
Mr. Kuhn called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Philips moved to approve the October 6, 2008 Open Space Fund Accounts Payable Report and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion.
Mr. Philips asked if signs had been ordered yet for the preserved open space properties stating that Charlestown participated in the preservation efforts. Mrs. Gerhard said she has the signs required by the county and state but was waiting for the historical signage project to conclude before ordering township signs so they could match in style. From the audience, Renneth Grey asked where the signs are being placed. Mr. Kuhn named eased properties including: the Stonorov property on Pickering Road, the Brightside Farm on Yellow Springs Road, the Piliero property on Green Lane Road, Reinbow’s End on Yellow Springs Road, the Kling property on Pikeland Road, and the Solda property on Merlin Road.
Mr. Kuhn called the vote and all were in favor.
Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the October 6, 2008 State 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 September monthly reports and Mr. Hogan seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion.
Mr. Hogan said he ordered 15 yards of wood chips for the play area at Charlestown Park and will order 10 more yards to complete the work. He said litter remains a big problem at the park, but that will improve once the Renaissance School moves out of its adjacent location to an area on the north side of Phoenixville. Mr. Hogan said this Saturday there were over 1,000 children at the Park participating in a variety of organized activities, including six year olds playing Lacrosse. Mr. Hogan said there is a fence repair needed at the Park, and Mr. Alston offered to take care of it, to which the Board agreed.
Mr. Willig asked if the trenching work along Union Hill Road will be filled in, and Mr. Alston responded yes. Mr. Willig then asked about PennDOT’s oil & chip work on various state roads, and whether the Township can ask to be opted out. Mr. Alston said he’s spoken with PennDOT representatives, who said that this process is done in order to preserve the life of the road for up to five years. Budget concerns are the reason oil & chip work is done and it is likely to continue. Mr. Willig said it doesn’t enhance the look of the roads and is a problem for bicycles.
Mr. Kuhn called the vote and all were in favor.
Mr. Thompson opened the hearing for Robal Associates and read an email dated 9/30/08 from Debbie Woodall at Tupitza and Associates requesting a 3 month continuance. No testimony was heard. Since this would be at the time of the annual reorganization meeting, the Board continued the hearing to February 2, 2009, 7:30 P.M. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154.
Mr. Alston said he and Mr. Kohli have met with County representatives and may be able to work out a co-location plan with some cooperation from Crown Communications.
John Mosteller of Dewey Homes and Perry Morgan were present to update the Board on the most recent sketch plan, dated 10/3/08, for the Spring Oaks TND.
Mr. Morgan said they divided the plan into six areas and described the changes to each. The intention of the various areas was to give a different character to each while maintaining a synthesis throughout.
Area 1 – Entrance from Rees Road: Comments from the Design Review Committee (DRC) said there was no buffer from Rees Road, no entry identify, and no interest in the central island. Changes were made to improve these features by showing a variety of plantings along Rees Road for year-round interest, providing a berm and buffering from residences on Rees Road, preserving the existing vegetation, integrating the pathway system, with the horseshoe trail, and generally creating a sense of identity.
Area 2 – “Circle” Road: Previously showed open views of the garages. The design was changed to create an orchard pattern of ornamental trees in the open space areas, provide a berm and buffering of the view of garages, and creating interest with landscaping in the center island.
Area 3 – Community Center - Comments included problems with design of the parking area, lack of drop off area, dead-end parking, improperly scaled pool and pool deck, and no sense of entry to the community space or delineation of the space. Changes included a larger patio space with shaded seating, a larger pool with a naturalistic shape that also allows laps, a multi-purpose turf for potential putting, croquet and tent events, through parking, and bocce courts with a central overhead viewing area. A mail building is shown opposite the community building so the same parking area can be used for both.
Area 4 – Open Green Area – Comments included not enough guest parking, garages too visible from roadway, no pedestrian identity and segregation of the open space due to a bisecting walkway. Changes included the provision of parallel parking along the roadway, a pedestrian link integrating the open spaces, buffering the view of garages with the residential units, provision of extensive guest parking while minimizing visual impact, and creating of a large central green space for recreation and community gathering.
Area 5 – Residential Area to the south of the Large Green – Comments were that the driveways are too long and waste usable space. Changes included minimizing the length of driveways, creating defined outdoor courtyards between the units and garages, providing guest parking where available, providing optional architectural access to garages from units that could include laundry and pantry space.
Area 6 – Residential Area south of the roundabout – Comments were that the roadway lacks identify, green space is minimal and no identity linking to the Fillippo tract. Changes include integrating the turnabout into the boulevard. Raised pavement in the center island allows for visual interest while enabling emergency vehicles to pass through, providing an interior focal point as an architectural element framed by verticality of the boulevard planting, possibly providing a center island for the boulevard to create identity point and vertical green. Flowering trees are shown in the island for proper scale. A sense of entry is created to the Fillippo tract through plantings and entry monuments. No trees would be planted in the easement area.
Mr. Morgan then displayed an overall sketch of the trails and sidewalks, showing how to connect the areas together, including tracts off the Spring Oaks site. Board members indicated that the location of the crosswalk across Whitehorse Road needs further consideration.
Mr. Kuhn asked if the houses on Fieldstone Lane off Rees Road can receive more buffering. He said the Board appreciates the efforts of Dewey Homes on this project. Mr. Mosteller said Mr. Schrock will be taking the present sketch plan to engineering, and is requesting some time to work with the Township Engineer, Mr. Kohli, as well, in order to determine what waivers may be needed. They want to be through the design stage by March of 2009, and begin construction in the Spring of 2010.
Mrs. Csete said Parks and Rec Chairman Bob Jones obtained a quote from the Macadam Company, Inc. for line striping of the parking lots for the PMYC and Soccer Club at Charlestown Park for $1,250.00 and $500.00 respectively. He requests approval from the Board to proceed with the work. It was pointed out that although the Soccer Club lot is used by the Township’s concessionaires, it technically belongs to the Valley Forge Christian College, and so their approval should be obtained before striping that lot.
Mr. Kuhn moved to accept the proposal from the Macadam Co. Inc., conditioned on Mr. Kohli’s review of the plan and the Christian College’s written approval for the Soccer Club lot. Mr. Hogan seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
The following bids for road salt material were opened and read aloud:
Cargill – No Bid
Morton Salt – No Bid
International Salt Co., LLC - $84.00/ton FOB plant, $84.56/ton delivered
Oceanport Industries - $72.00/ton FOB plant; $77.38/ton delivered
The bid documents were turned over to Mr. Kohli for review and recommendation.
Mr. Kuhn said that although he’s been very happy with Melchiorre Construction’s work, it concerns him that the Township only received one bid for road labor & equipment, as has frequently happened in past years. He questioned the large increase in the hourly rate for chains and snow plows, which are up 50-80% over last year’s rates. He proposed that in the future, the Township bid road paving projects separately, which he believes is permitted under the contract terms.
Considerable discussion followed on the best way to get more bids in the future and whether breaking some of the bid work out is advisable. There was also a question raised on whether the bid takes prevailing wage required work into account.
Following upon the recommendation in Mr. Kohli’s letter dated 9/3/08, Mr. Willig moved to award the October 1, 2008 - March 31, 2010 Road Labor & Equipment Contract to Melchiorre Construction Co. subject to review by the Township Solicitor as to whether the contract precludes the Township from bidding paving out separately, and whether the bid document exposes the Township with regard to prevailing wage law. Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for further discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor. The bid was turned over to Mr. Thompson for review.
Mr. Philips said that the committee reviewed the two proposals for codification of the township ordinances and recommends that the Board accept the proposal from Keystate Publishers. Both Keystate and General Code had excellent references and no problems could be found with either company by the various townships and consultants contacted for comment. Mr. Kuhn asked if the continuity issue was addressed with Keystate, and Mr. Allen said yes, it was addressed for both firms, which confirmed they have reasonable succession plans.
Mr. Philips moved to accept the proposal of Keystate Publishers Company for codification of the Township ordinances, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor. The Township Administrator will contact Keystate Publishers to set up a schedule to begin work.
Mr. Philips said that earlier in September, a committee consisting of Mr. Thompson, Mr. Rodgers, Mr. Kohli and he met with Doug Clemens, the Chairman and CEO of Traiman Real Estate Auction Company to discuss the marketing and sale of the Jenkins Subdivision comprising four individual lots. Traiman would then be responsible for putting together the bid package to market to potential developers. Mr. Philips said they have a good track record and do better than townships that market properties themselves. Mr. Philips said the committee recommends the Township use them for the Jenkins sale.
Mr. Kuhn asked how the fee is calculated. Mr. Thompson said the Township has discretion as to whether they want an open auction or sealed bid process. Traiman recommends the bid process, which allows for a rejection of all bids. Traiman would have a fee in the range of $5,000-$6,000 if they went through the bid process and the bids were rejected.
Mr. Philips said the bids could be let in the Spring of 2009. Traiman posts new bids on their website and has a lot of hits when they go out.
Mr. Kuhn moved to go forward with the Traiman Auction Co. and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion. Mr. Philips suggested that Mr. Thompson negotiate the contract terms, after which time the Board would formally consider appointing Traiman as its contractor to market the Jenkins property. Mr. Kuhn amended his motion to include these points, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Kuhn called the vote and all were in favor.
Mrs. Gerhard provided a summary of two resolutions and a grant contract to be considered for acquisition of an easement on the Thompson property and for purchase of one parcel belonging to the Thompsons. She said Charlestown has been working with Schuylkill Township and the Thompson family to acquire an easement straddling both townships totaling 400 acres, with a maximum of 23 new homes proposed. Chester County is enthusiastic about the easement acquisition, while the DCNR showed interest in supporting the parcel acquisition. Trails would connect to the Horseshoe Trail and possibly the Pickering Trail. Ingrid Cantrell of the Horseshoe Trail Club will be working to take the Horseshoe Trail off the road and into the Thompson property, which makes the application for grant funding stronger.
Mr. Philips moved to approve Resolution #700-08 applying for a grant from Chester County to acquire a 109.94 acre easement on the Thompson Family property, pledging a match of 50% of the total appraisal cost, and to execute the Round 21 grant contract for same, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mrs. Gerhard announced that she received a letter from Sen. Dinniman that through his office the Township has received a grant from the DCNR for trail development. She said it can be used on the McDevitt easement, and that volunteers are already in place to map out the trail and create it. She asked the Board’s approval to send a letter of appreciation to Sen. Dinniman.
Mrs. Gerhard said she has prepared a grant application to Chester County seeking grant funds for acquisition of the 20.33 acre parcel #35-2-119.1A owned by the Thompson Family. She requested input from the Board as to whether they wished to consider the application and how much they are willing to pledge as the Township’s match. She said that applying for the grant doesn’t obligate the Township in any way; the grant can be declined if it’s later decided not to proceed with the purchase. Mr. Willig asked how this would be viewed by the County, and Mrs. Gerhard said she’s spoken to them and this is not a problem.
Mr. Kuhn said he would consider a match of $100,000 based on the 2004 sale price of the property. He said they could also offer the Thompsons whatever funds could be obtained from the County and DCNR if the Thompsons accepted that as full payment, considering the balance of the value as an in-kind donation. Mrs. Gerhard said the Township could also pass the project along to the land trust and have them handle the application and take ownership of the property. The Board went into executive session for 10 minutes to discuss the matter.
The Board reconvened, and Mr. Philips moved to approve Resolution #701-08 applying for a grant from Chester County to acquire parcel #35-2-119.1A from the Thompson Family, pledging a match of 50% of $100,000, and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mrs. Gerhard requested authorization from the Board to order an appraisal of Thompson parcel #35-2-119.1A. Mr. Philips moved to authorize the appraisal, and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Philips moved to adopt resolution #702-08 authorizing the use of Liquid Fuels funds for the resurfacing of portions of Yellow Springs Road, Pickering Road, Pickering Spur and Rees Road. Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Philips moved to approve Resolution #703-08 to set the Phoenixville Federal Bank & Trust as the depository for the Stevens Open Space Easement funds received from the DCNR, and as the depository for the Open Space Loan Payment Account, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Rodgers moved to appoint Michael Zolovich to the Parks & Recreation Board to fill a vacancy with an unexpired term ending 12/31/11, and Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion and then the vote. All were in favor.
Mrs. Csete said the deadline to register for the Fall County Convention of the Chester County Association of Township Officials is October 27th. None of the Supervisors said they plan to attend.
The budget work session for the 2009 Budget was scheduled for October 29, 2008, 6:00 P.M. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154.
Mr. Thompson said he circulated a revised draft ordinance to the Board that meets the DEP requirements. Mr. Rodgers said he was concerned about the requirement to pump all septic systems every three years to be onerous for one person households. Board members determined there was no way to monitor the number of people in each house. Mr. Philips moved to authorize advertisement of a hearing to consider adoption of the draft ordinance for November 3, 2008, 7:30 P.M. at the Great Valley Middle School. Mr. Rodgers/Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion and then the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Philips moved to approve Escrow Release #2 for the Ashford Subdivision in the amount of $23,293.00 and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Philips moved to approve the following escrow releases for Toll Brothers’ Charlestown Meadows project:
Escrow Release #6 for Phase I for $71,890.00
Escrow Release #5 for Phase II for $55,794.00
Escrow Release #4 for Phase III for $111,903.69
Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Kuhn moved to ratify the Board’s action to communicate the Township’s position to the Great Valley School District that the School District not accept O’Neil Properties’ Tax Increment Financing (TIF) proposal for the Worthington site, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Kuhn said he obtained a quote from Reed’s Woods Inc. to repair the fascia and install gutters on the Woolen Mill building for $8,600.00 after reviewing the job specifications with architectural consultant Dale Frens. He also spoke to Pete Segal about doing the work as a township employee, which would be at a lower cost, estimated to be 40 hours work at a rate of $25-$30 per hour. It was determined that due to the nature of the work it would be more prudent to have a larger crew on site and that Reed’s Woods could do a more professional job. Mr. Kuhn moved to accept the quote as written and to approve check #1429 for a 50% deposit in the amount of $4,300.00 to Reed’s Woods Inc. Mr. Hogan seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Kuhn suggested that the Board authorize Pete Segal to be hired as an employee to effect repairs on several windowsills inside the Mill. Mr. Philips moved to hire Pete Segal for this work over the winter and Mr. Hogan seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mrs. Csete said the final design submission was received on September 22, 2008, and according to the proposal accepted by the Township from Interpretative Solutions, this was submitted for final proofing and acceptance by the Township. No more than a word change or two was expected, as this final design had been reviewed by the committee and given the go-ahead. Following the submission, the HARB made a great many changes to almost all of the nine signs, including changes in photos, photo captions, titles, and text, which go far beyond the scope of the agreement. Mrs. Csete expects that when she contacts Mr. Dajevskis to discuss the changes, there will be an expansion of the project scope triggering additional fees. She asked how the Board would like her to proceed.
Mr. Kuhn authorized a change in scope to incorporate the latest changes recommended by the HARB up to a cost of $1,000.00, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:27 P.M. The Board of Supervisors went into executive session to discuss legal matters.
The budget meeting is scheduled for October 29, 2008 at 6:00 P.M. and the next business meeting is scheduled for November 3, 2008, 7:30 P.M., both in Room 154 of the Great Valley Middle School.