The first business meeting for September was held September 1, 2015 at the Great Valley Middle School, 255 N. Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, PA, in the library.
|Supervisors:||Frank A. Piliero, Chairman, Michael J. Rodgers, Vice Chairman, Kevin R. Kuhn, Charles A. Philips, and Hugh D. Willig.|
|Consultants:||Mark P. Thompson, Esq. and Daniel Wright|
|Staff:||Linda Csete, Manager, Tim Hubbard, Property & Safety Coordinator, Jim Thompson, Public Works, and Lisa Gardner, Recording Secretary.|
|Public:||See attached sign-in sheet|
Mr. Kuhn said the Board held an Executive Session at 6:30 this evening to discuss legal matters.
Mrs. Csete brought extra Comprehensive Plan Survey forms for residents to complete and return. She said the Township is getting a good response and the information is very valuable for the planning process.
Mrs. Csete reminded everyone that Charlestown Day is October 3rd and flyers are available tonight.
No matters were brought forward.
Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the minutes for the August 3, 2015 Business Meeting and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the minutes for the August 10, 2015 Business Meeting and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Philips moved to approve the August 2015 Treasurer’s Report and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Kuhn verified for Mrs. Csete, the Township’s intent to donate $250 to the Phoenixville Fire Department in memory of Deputy Chief Brian Gallagher. Also Mrs. Csete added that the Cedar Springs payment will be subject to the final inspection of Mr. Wright.
Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the General Fund Accounts Payable Report for September 1, 2015 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 General Fund Accounts Payable Report for August 10, 2015 and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Philips moved to approve the Open Space Fund Accounts Payable Report for September 1, 2015 and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Philips said that the Mill will be open for Charlestown Day and Mr. Frunzi will be present. All equipment will be running including the generator and corn crusher. The interior signage is progressing.
Mr. Rodgers said the Valley Forge Sewer Authority has reached a six year agreement with the union.
Mr. Kuhn moved to accept the August 2015 reports #1-14 as submitted and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Bob Thomas of Campbell Thomas & Company presented a brief history leading up to the culmination found in the Devault Rails-To-Trails Feasibility Study. Norfolk Southern Corporation’s decision to discontinue rail service between Phoenixville and Devault, and selling the line, has initiated interest in a project to construct a multi-use trail on the unused Devault Branch bed. The north end of all three alignments connects with the Schuylkill River Trail in Phoenixville. The south ends converge and connect with the proposed three mile long Warner Spur, which will in turn connect with the Chester Valley Trail. Although alternatives were evaluated and ranked, using the rail bed was easier and was the best alternative. The Devault connection to the Warner Spur, and Chester Valley Trail, makes this project attractive for major funding.
Devault Trail Committee Chairman Mr. Michael Churchill said the current route best displays the beauty of Charlestown Open Space and the trestle. He sees it as a major draw for many people interested in horseback riding, biking, or jogging/walking. Due to the multiple townships involved, the project is especially favorable for County funding. Neighboring municipalities will be working together with Campbell Thomas & Co. and Ray Ott & Associates, the consultants working with the Committee. Mr. Churchill especially thanked Mr. Bob Thomas, Mr. Ray Ott, Mrs. Csete, the Board of Supervisors of Charlestown Township, the French and Pickering Creek Conservation Trust, the Chester County Vision Partnership Program members, and PECO (Green Region Open Space Program) who put funding into this very manageable and doable venture.
After the Supervisors thanked Mr. Churchill, Mr. Kuhn asked what the next step would be. Mr. Churchill said he would be obtaining endorsements from neighboring townships, and working close with the County, as funding is researched and they decide how this fits in with the County’s vision.
The first comment from a resident mentioned the appreciation for considering the option that avoided the scenic trestle found on page 16, and the plus of connecting to the Pickering and Route 29 Trail. She also stated, for her neighbor John Carrow, that the report had rough and incomplete financial information, especially in regards to liability, and the maintenance and continuity of the trail long-term. Mr. Kusko felt any deviation from the bridge would cause curious trail goers to veer off the trail towards private properties. Mr. John Sauser asked about the condition of the bridge. Discussion continued regarding the safety of the trestle and the pros and cons of this route. Mr. Thomas said the steel trestle, although unused for about 12 years, has been inspected and has lost little of its integrity and certainly can handle trail traffic. All safety requirements would be met, while being in compliance with historical preservation and modern code. He then added that the final design would consider the maintenance and deterioration preservation costs.
Mr. Kuhn moved to adopt Resolution #853-2015, subject to Mr. Thompson’s review, accepting the Devault Rail Trail Feasibility Study Report and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Construction Coordinator Mr. Robert Dettore said the Notice to Proceed has been issued to Out of Site Infrastructure, Inc., to begin the improvement project at Charlestown Park. With administrative issues complete, ground work began on August 24th. The demolition, fencing, and erosion control are done, and the earth moving is starting now. Some walking and access patterns have changed but Academic Way is still the primary way to get into the Park. As long as it stays dry and warm, work will continue hopefully into December.
Mr. Dettore especially thanked Mrs. Csete for her help, and expressed her diligence and hard work attitude to the Supervisors. Also, Mr. Wright is confident that everything is going well.
Mr. Dettore said he received a proposal from Earth Engineering for construction phase inspection services on a time and materials basis, and recommends approval for additional work.
Mr. Kuhn moved to accept the Earth Engineering Proposal for Construction Phase Inspection Services dated August 20th, 2015 and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Charlestown Day Committee member Mrs. Karen Schlichter provided an update on Charlestown Day, scheduled for October 3, 2015. The Great Valley Nature Center is this year’s recipient of the fundraising portion of the event. There are now 39 vendors, of which 10 are non-profit, 3 food vendors, and there will be four tables allocated to the Township as follows:
First Resource Bank, Southdown Homes, and Penn Medicine are the newest sponsors. Mrs. Schlichter said she needs volunteers for a Friday 2 p.m. set-up, on Saturday from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., and for cleanup. All information needed for volunteering is on the website and Facebook page (updates can be seen on the website at CharlestownDay.Org). The Facebook page will be changing after this event, and become more of a Park & Recreation page in the future.
Benches will be in place per Mr. Detorre, and the parking is more than adequate, even with the construction fencing. Mr. Csete will have Mill photos at the Township tables and residents will be made aware of the Mill’s accessibility. Mr. Kuhn mentioned the need of a dumpster and Mrs. Schlichter will get back to him.
This item was tabled.
Mr. Thompson will have appraisals on the Volpi and Jenkins properties within two weeks. There is no report for Auchincloss.
At the August meeting, Mr. Thompson stated he had reviewed the agreement and noted small changes to various operative provisions, transportation planning, and the open space review process. He said a major change was providing for a legal defense fund. The provisions state that a PRPC member may provide funds to defend the Regional Plan. A member would make a formal request in writing to the committee for legal defense funds. Supervisors had tabled approval in August, until Mr. Willig was present to comment, since he is a member of the regional group.
Tonight Mr. Willig added that it was important to remember that even though the legal defense fund gives the ability to create and pool a fund together, it would be formed by a unanimous vote. (Votes were not majority rule, but unanimous.) Mr. Willig stated that there were no substantial changes, and it was meant as an update to an approximately 10 year old document. Mr. Kuhn asked about the conservation review section and Mr. Thompson said it was included for potential review.
Mr. Philips moved to approve the Phoenixville Regional Planning Committee Amended Implementation Agreement and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Kuhn stated the funds for the easement preparation were from a former resident, Harry Burhans who had kindly set aside a bequest with the French & Pickering Creeks Trust for Open Space Preservation. Mr. Kuhn asked if the Township could use these funds for appraisals. Mrs. Pamela Brown said yes and added that the Township does receive a discounted rate because of a long standing relationship with the French Creek and Pickering Conservation Trust. Mr. Philips added that the house is currently being rented.
Mr. Piliero moved to approve the French & Pickering Creeks Trust proposal to prepare an easement agreement for the Auchincloss property and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Rodgers moved to authorize Mrs. Csete to advertise the Road Salt Bid for 2015-2016 for opening on October 5, 2015. Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote, and all were in favor.
Mr. Philips moved to approve Escrow Release #6 in the amount of $142,889.50 for the Village at General Warren. Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Philips moved to approve Escrow Release #23 in the amount of $63,873.48 for Pickering Crossing. This is a reduced amount from the original request of $90,095.48. Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mrs. Csete stated she had circulated the application document prepared by Tom Comitta for the Vision Partnership Grant. She said the deadline is September 9, 2015 for the application for this County Grant to update the Comprehensive Plan. The total contract amount cannot exceed $75,000, and Mr. Comitta suggests applying for a $45,000 grant with a Township contribution of $30,000.
Mr. Philips moved to authorize execution of the Application for a Vision Partnership Grant to update the Comprehensive Plan and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Philips stated there is no designation for Township facilities to be non-smoking. Mr. Philips was concerned about smoking in the Mill. Mr. Thompson said it would be fine to post a Non-Smoking sign. For a more extensive no smoking policy, an ordinance would be required.
A resident suggested to Supervisors to include a disc golf course in the planning of Charlestown Park. They suggested she contact Chris Lawrence, Chairman of the Park and Recreation Board, and thought it was a good idea.
Mr. Piliero adjourned the meeting at 8:38 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 5, 2015, 7:30 p.m. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154, 255 North Phoenixville Pike, in Malvern, PA.