The first business meeting for 2013 was held January 7, 2013 at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154, 255 N. Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, PA.
|Supervisors:||Frank A. Piliero, Chairman, Michael J. Rodgers, Vice Chairman, Kevin R. Kuhn, Charles A. Philips and Hugh D. Willig.|
|Consultants:||Surender Kohli, P.E., Dan Wright, P.E., Mark P. Thompson, Esq.,|
|Staff:||Linda Csete, Manager, Jim Thompson, Roadmaster, Tim Hubbard, Fire Marshal, Lisa Gardner, Recording Secretary|
|Public:||See attached sign-in sheet|
Mr. Kuhn announced there had been an Executive Session before tonight’s meeting to discuss legal and real estate topics.
Vice Chairman Mr. Rodgers and all the Supervisors complimented Jim Thompson on taking good care of the roads on Christmas Eve, and on how well the brining of the roads worked on December 28th.
Resident John Pittock, also a member of the Charlestown Historical Society, asked Supervisors to not pave the 8 foot wide path that is portrayed on the Brightside Farm section of the Charlestown Township Parks, Recreation, Open Space & Trails Plan. He stated that mowed grass was best to walk on. Plus the 8 foot width is too large and would entice access by unauthorized vehicles, and increase vandalism. He also requested parking to be at the farmhouse, not at the Rapp house.
Mr. Kuhn reminded Mr. Pittock many meetings had been held on this issue over the past year with opportunities to comment, and the Brightside Survey that went out in early 2012 to all residents also asked for opinions on this subject. Only about 35 surveys were returned to the Township. He added that the Plan is currently being used only as a planning tool and has not yet been approved. Mr. Kuhn and Mr. Philips stated any opinions and suggestions are useful and welcomed, and there will be many opportunities to get involved in the process. For example, the February meeting of the Board of Supervisors will address the Plan as an addendum to the Comprehensive Plan. Plus there will be further meetings organized by JD Bravo.
Parks & Recreation Board Chairman Bob Jones added that the path width recommended by the state of Pennsylvania is 10-13 feet. Mr. John C. Martin, Jr. of the Zoning Hearing Board said orthopedic doctors recommend non-paved surfaces for senior citizens. Mr. Kuhn mentioned that some residents needing motorized vehicles to move around cannot use an unpaved path. Barbara D. Wilde suggested an article be in the next newsletter highlighting the $74,000 cost of the path.
David Greer of the Open Space Commission thanked the Supervisors for keeping the rural nature of the Township. He asked that, if they do change the Commission to a Committee, to be specific in the duties assigned. Also, many other townships have Environmental Advisory Committees, but much of the work done by this type of group has already been done by the Open Space Commission.
Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the minutes of the December 3, 2012 Business Meeting and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for further discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the December 2012 Treasurer’s Report and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the January 7, 2013 General Fund Accounts Payable Report and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote, and all were in favor.
Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the January 7, 2013 Open Space Fund Accounts Payable Report and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote, all were in favor.
Mr. Rodgers moved to accept the December 2012 reports #1-14 as submitted, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for further discussion, and there being none called the vote. All were in favor.
It was found by Mr. Thompson during the November 2012 Board of Supervisors Meeting that the legal requirement to notify adjacent property owners of the Conditional Use Hearing for this application was not met. Mr. Thompson said since then, the Township had received a request by the applicant’s attorney, to reopen the Hearing on February 4th, 2013, and additional testimony would be heard then. Mrs. Csete stated she had just received the mailing confirmations and a letter from Carol Altemose for a 60 day extension to the decision deadline for her Subdivision Plan Application until March 7th, 2013.
Notices are being mailed by the applicant to surrounding residents notifying them of a Continuation of the Hearing. The Hearing is being continued to February 4th, 2013, 7:30 p.m. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154, 255 North Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, PA. It was noted that no one was present for a Hearing tonight.
Mr. Rodgers moved to continue the Hearing until February 4th, 2013 for the Whitehorse Estates Conditional Use Plan. Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Piliero asked if there were any questions. Mr. Kuhn asked Mrs. Csete if it was possible to avoid having the cost of the proposed JD Bravo contract come out of the budget set aside for park improvements. She said since the Earned Income Tax receipts were higher than expected in 2012, she thought it was possible. Mr. Kuhn volunteered to be the liaison between JD Bravo and the Board.
Mr. Kuhn welcomed Rob Gallant of JD Bravo to speak about the Charlestown Park Improvements. Mr. Gallant said his company will obtain specifics in scope, costs, methods, and alternatives for the Plan, then put together a tight bid package. JD Bravo will not provide or bill for engineering services and surveys performed by outside companies. Since the wording of the contract contained the phrase “costs not to exceed” Mr. Kuhn felt comfortable with JD Bravo’s proposal.
Mr. Willig felt the meetings that were to be established with all the interested parties were vital and felt the logical nature of the Bravo proposal was satisfactory. Parks & Recreation Board Chairman Bob Jones added that there are utility issues and future goals to be considered and believes JD Bravo can bring a more encompassing plan to fruition.
Mr. Rodgers left the meeting at 8:25pm.
Mr. Philips made a motion to accept the proposal from JD Bravo for the Charlestown Township Parks, Recreation, Open Space & Trails Plan. Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there was none. All four Supervisors were in favor.
Mr. Thompson said he had received a signed Settlement Agreement, The Declaration of Covenants, and a check, to satisfy the Fadness matter.
Mr. Kuhn made a motion to approve the Settlement Agreement, Declaration of Covenant, and accept the settlement fee of $1,000. Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion. There being none, called the vote. All four Supervisors were in favor.
Mr. Kuhn described a one acre parcel of orphaned land located along the PA Turnpike owned by the Huttons along with two other similarly sized parcels owned by others that could be used for future trails. The total acreage is 3.4 acres. Mr. Thompson had previously contacted the Chester County Tax Claim Bureau. He researched the chance of obtaining the Hutton property at a lesser price, and the possibility of obtaining the other parcels at a combined price lower than the original price of each.
Tonight, Mr. Thompson felt that it was unlikely the purchase offer of $7,500 would be accepted, and Mr. Kuhn said there was no hurry to act as they could wait to see what the School District does.
Mr. Kuhn motioned to table the matter of the offer to Chester County to purchase the three parcels for $7,500 and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All four Supervisors were in favor.
During the December 2012 Planning Commission Meeting, Mr. von Hoyer and Mr. Richter volunteered to serve on the Advisory Committee and the Planning Commission formed a sub-committee to find more potential members.
Mr. Philips and Mr. Piliero stated tonight that they were both interest in serving. Mr. Kuhn agreed to search for another member, perhaps Bill Andersen. The committee must consist of 7 members, two or three from the Planning Commission and four ad hoc members who are residents of the Township. Anita LaBarge asked what criterion was necessary to serve on the Advisory Committee. Residents with an expertise in the local area, like a commercial real estate agent, and a developer were examples of potential representatives. Mr. Willig suggested the position be posted in the next newsletter. Mr. Kuhn asked Mrs. Csete to send the list to Tom Comitta.
Mr. Kuhn said that the Board has considered dissolving the Open Space Commission and asking its members to serve instead on an Open Space Committee. He asked Mr. Thompson to formulate wording that amends the current Ordinance to change the Open Space Commission to a Committee.
Mr. Philips moved to approve the adoption of the Act 44 Pension Disclosure Statement, and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All 4 Supervisors were in favor.
Mr. Wright said that he had spoken to Mr. Thompson who in turn spoke to Martin Goldberg about approving the Planning Module for the Spring Oak Traditional Neighborhood Development. Mr. Goldberg requested that the Board of Supervisors wait for a further review from the Valley Forge Sewer Authority before approving the module.
Mr. Wright told the Board and Robert Cunningham, who was present from Langan Engineering, that he and Mr. Thompson would work together to get this matter on next month’s agenda.
Mr. Kuhn moved to adopt Resolution #800-2013 approving the Planning Module for the Blue Howell Minor Subdivision subject to the demolition of a building on the property and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All 4 Supervisors were in favor.
Mrs. Csete provided some details on the proposed contract and recommended its approval. Mr. Philips moved to approve the 2013 S.P.C.A. Animal Control Contract, and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All 4 Supervisors were in favor.
Mrs. Csete asked the Supervisors to let her know before January 31st if any are planning to attend the annual Pennsylvania Association of Township Supervisors Conference April 21-24 so she can register them for the event. Mr. Piliero, Mr. Rodgers and Mr. Kuhn may attend.
Mr. Kuhn made a motion to nominate Mr. Rodgers as the Township delegate. Mr. Piliero seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All four Supervisors were in favor.
Gary Sheridan of the East Whiteland Fire Company was present to discuss Responding Fees for Charlestown Township. The Supervisors want to be sure that the East Whiteland Township Volunteer Fire Association is being appropriately compensated for all incidents, including fires, auto accidents, ambulance calls, false alarms, and en route cancelations. It is noted that not all these calls require clean-up or restocking of EWT vehicles. Mr. Kuhn said Charlestown had agreed to the one hour minimum for paid staff, including for false alarms, but now a one hour minimum restocking and cleanup fee was added to the proposal, which he objects to. Mr. Sheridan said the Fire Company can monitor when clean-up is needed. Mr. Kuhn offered to draft a letter responding to East Whiteland Township for the Charlestown Board and Mr. Sheridan to first review. It would note that a cleanup charge is acceptable on “what the fire department deems necessary”, not to be for routine fire alarms, false alarms, investigations, or calls cancelled en route.
Mr. Kuhn said it’s important to receive the data requested at the last meeting with East Whiteland Township and that another meeting should be set up after it’s received. Mr. Willig suggested requesting 6 to 8 months of history, after which Charlestown can agree to the proposed rates with the Fire Company monitoring the costs. A $7,500 place holder will be included in the 2013 budget. Mrs. Csete said the budget can be amended in the first quarter of the year to include this. Mr. Sheridan said there is $5,000 listed in the budget for the Uwchlan Ambulance Corp, but they don’t provide service to Charlestown. Mrs. Csete will resend the letter from Uwchlan Ambulance to the Township Supervisors so they can review it again.
Mr. Kuhn asked why the assessment appeal on 152 Ravenhill Road is so large.
Mr. Kuhn asked for clarification on a letter received from J. Loew and Associates providing an extension on their commercial land development application for the Tyler Griffin property. Mr. Philips noted it’s for the small office building proposed for the corner of Route 29 and Charlestown Road that was submitted for review prior to the TND application for townhouses on the same property.
The Burhans Estate donated half of $450,000 to the French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust and the other half to be spilt by the Charlestown Historical Society and Great Valley Nature Center. The Historical Society’s portion had a restriction imposed on it where the principal was to be invested and only the interest was to be spent. A codicil later named John Martin as executor and removed the Historical Society as a beneficiary. It was replaced with Charlestown Township to be administered through the French & Pickering Creeks Trust. Mr. Kuhn said the Trust is taking the position they’ll use the interest only, which concerns him as the Township is considering using its portion of the funds for a project in remembrance of Mr. Burhans. The Chester Valley Grange Building is one such project that may be considered, to restore the building and rename it the Harry Burhans Grange Building.
Mr. Thompson said the Burhans attorney can be asked for a determination of the intent of whether the principal may be expended. Mr. Kuhn asked for the Nature Center’s plans, and Mr. Philips said they’re considering a major project not restricted to interest only. Mr. Martin confirmed their portion was not restricted in this manner. Mr. Kuhn said the Board needs clarification on whether its portion is restricted, as the will indicates it is, but the codicil does not.
Mr. Wright and the Roadmaster asked about planning improvements to the Township roads in 2013. The Supervisors were in agreement that the program went very well in 2012. Mr. Piliero wants Mr. Wright and the Roadmaster to continue last year’s approach, creating a list of which roads have needs, and estimating their costs of improvement to be priced out individually. The list would then be reviewed and approved by the Board and the Engineer and Roadmaster would see the improvements through to completion.
Mr. John C. Martin Jr., former Supervisor for Charlestown Township and now liaison with Keystone Collections, said that the Keystone Collections contract expires in 2014. He suggested compiling deficiencies and grievances as leverage to reduce the amount of increase the Township may have to pay Keystone Collections in the next term. An article asking residents to notify the Township of any complaints will be in the next newsletter.
Mr. Thompson asked Supervisors to pass a motion regarding tax parcel #35-4-85 known as the Volpi Property. Mr. Kuhn made a motion authorizing Mr. Thompson to take all actions necessary and appropriate to take title to the Volpi Property using all means authorized by Pennsylvania law. Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All 4 supervisors were in favor.
Mr. Piliero adjourned the meeting at 9:20 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 4, 2013, 7:30 p.m. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154, 255 North Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, PA.