Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors Business Meeting
Minutes of March 7, 2016

The first business meeting for March was held on March 7, 2016 at the Great Valley Middle School in Room 154, 255 N. Phoenixville Pike, in Malvern, PA.


Supervisors: Frank A. Piliero, Chairman, Charles A. Philips, Vice Chairman, Michael J. Rodgers and Hugh D. Willig. Kevin R. Kuhn was absent.
Consultants: Mark P. Thompson, Esq., Daniel T. Wright, P.E., Ed Theurkauf and Thomas J. Comitta.
Staff: Linda Csete, Manager, Jim Thompson, Public Works, Tim Hubbard, Property & Safety Coordinator, and Lisa Gardner, Recording Secretary.
Public: See attached sign-in sheet

Call to Order:

7:04 p.m.


Mrs. Csete announced that copies of the 2015 Annual Report, recycling information, and the Winter Newsletter are available this evening.

Charlestown’s Earth Day event is scheduled for Saturday, April 16th with a rain date of April 23rd. Flyers are available tonight.

Citizens Forum

No matters were brought forward at this time.


February 1, 2016 Business Meeting Minutes

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the minutes for the February 1, 2016 Business Meeting and Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Treasurer’s Report February 1 - 29, 2016

Mr. Willig moved to approve the February 2016 Treasurer’s Report and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Accounts Payable Reports for Operating Fund for March 7, 2016

Mr. Philips moved to approve the General Fund Accounts Payable Report for March 7, 2016 and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Accounts Payable Report for Open Space Fund for March 7, 2016

Mr. Philips moved to approve the Open Space Fund Accounts Payable Report for March 7, 2016 and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.


Mr. Philips moved to accept the February 2016 reports #1-13 as submitted and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Old Business

Charlestown Park Improvement Project

Mr. Robert Dettore gave an update on the improvements at Charlestown Park.



New Business

Charlestown Day 2017 Update

Parks & Recreation Board member Karen Schlichter updated the Board on Charlestown Day, scheduled for September 24, 2016.

The Board of Supervisors needs to consider a beneficiary for the money raised. The following groups have asked to be considered.

  1. Great Valley Community Organization (GVCO)
  2. The Colonial Theater
  3. Charlestown Township Historical Society
  4. Local Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts

Mr. Lawrence is drafting the documents for establishing the Friends of Charlestown. Their mission is to foster and enhance the quality of living for Charlestown Township residents and neighbors. The goal is to obtain a 501 (c)(3) designation. The need for this group has come about because Mrs. Schlichter has already received funds for this year’s yet un-named beneficiary. This organization will hold these funds and provide better distribution as a non-profit organization, separate from the Township. Mrs. Csete asked what the lowest level is for being a beneficiary. Mrs. Schlichter said it is different each year since the beneficiaries run their own campaigns. The Committee intends on inviting a few groups they are considering to the next Parks and Rec meeting.

Whitehorse Meadows Request to Extinguish Equestrian Easement

Elizabeth Peterson of the Whitehorse Meadows Homeowners Association presented a petition signed by the residents of the development requesting that the equestrian easement for the Horseshoe Trail be extinguished. Residents want to “reclaim” the land that has become very overgrown, clear it, and be able to plant bushes as a sound barrier.

Mr. Philips explained that the Township makes great effort to have continuous trails. She can clear the trail and line it with shrubs, but it must be passable. Betsy Pilgrim stated that the trail is quite overgrown, and is now further broken up by fencing. The riders would often manicure the trail, but they have given up since fences have blocked the path. Mr. Philips again said the land is eased for trails and there should be no fencing to prevent access. Ms. Pilgrim will attend the next Parks and Recreation meeting, and there will be a site visit by Mr. Theurkauf with the interested parties.

Spring Oak - Discussion of Ordinance #194-2015 amending the TND Provisions

This item was removed from the agenda.

Spring Oak - Phase II Agreements

Mr. Thompson explained that there are several documents that need to be approved for advancing to the next phase of construction at Spring Oak. Mr. Wright approved the financial security amounts for Phase 2.

Mr. Philips moved to approve the following agreements for Spring Oak:

Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Mr. Comitta arrived at approximately 7:45.

Deerfield - Various Issues

Deerfield HOA members and/or residents Eric Hall, Scott Schusko, and Michael Dausch came to the Board of Supervisors tonight to bring three concerns to the Township’s attention. They also thanked them for the Open Space inspections being performed by Mr. Theurkauf.

#1 Possible Turnpike plan to construct 35’ berm to mitigate PA Turnpike Project MP 312-319: They asked if the Township can get involved in a berm plan, which will remove approximately 1000-2000 trees but is generally desired by the community. Initially they wanted a 15-20’ wall, and that would save the trees, but they do not meet the density criteria set by the Turnpike Commission. They are concerned that the berm landscaping would not be budgeted or completed after visiting a site in Tredyffrin that negotiated a berm. They also need neighborhood consensus for the berm, which is eating away at the time they have to secure their conditions/position. There is no paperwork documenting the proposed berm as of yet. The Turnpike Commission also does not plan on testing the soil they are using for the berm, which will be from the widening of the Turnpike. Although this appears to be a win-win situation for both parties, there is concern that stormwater could leach into the wells after seeping through untested soil. They gave Supervisors directions to visit a nearby Turnpike berm at Valley Forge Road. The group has contacted Senator Dinniman regarding this issue.

Mrs. Csete asked Mr. Thompson for clarification on a comment she regularly hears from callers, stating that the Turnpike put in walls for Tredyffrin because Tredyffrin put this requirement in their ordinance. Mr. Thompson said he expected it was not true. He thought it may be a rumor that arose from the widening of Route 202.

Mr. Theurkauf explained that at the start of Deerfield, sound dampening was part of the reason to carefully protect the existing woodland. But, just as important was that this long stand of mature forest is a valuable habitat resource. Preservation of this forest was considered a priority. In addition, he urged Supervisors to also consider the huge loss in viewshed, from Deerfield’s perspective, and from the high points a mile away from Deerfield, when considering a berm 35’ high.

The group bought the following measurements to the meeting:

Current decibels 58
Expected decibels with expansion and traffic projection 63
Expected decibels with a wall decreases the number to 54 (better than current)
Expected decibels with no improvements 68

Key Points given to the Deerfield group:

#2 Request for Temporary Traffic Control Signage: Representatives stated the traffic volume and speeding problems are escalating due to the Yellow Springs Road bridge closure. Drivers are using the development as a short cut. Mrs. Csete has since contactied the state police to increase patrols in the area. Representatives are requesting temporary “No Through Traffic” signs. Note: The Roadmaster will install temporary signs at both ends of the problem areas. The state police agreed to increase patrols around times when school buses are in the area. The residents were reminded that these signs are not enforceable unless accompanied by an ordinance, so they cannot ask the State Police to ticket offenders, etc.

#3 The HOA requests the removal of the gate leading to the stormwater basin off of Valley Hill Road. The gate has deteriorated and it serves no real purpose per Mr. Theurkauf. Due to the channels down Valley Hill Road, the Turnpike has more to do, to manage the stormwater flowing in this direction. Mr. Wright will check the plan and visit the site to be sure the gate can come down.

Lastly, the Board of Supervisors agreed unanimously that the Township needed to be involved. Mr. Wright will be reporting back to the Supervisors.

Charlestown Oaks Stormwater Update

Mr. Wright updated the Board on a meeting he and Mrs. Csete attended with representatives from Ingram Engineering Services and Asset Pro Management. The meeting was on behalf of the Charlestown Oaks Homeowners Association.

An investigation revealed the underground pipes were corroding. The replacement of the pipes, some being 60” wide and double layered, would be very costly to the HOA and necessitate the relocation of the homeowners around each cul de sac for about 3 weeks. After further inspection of all the pipes and stormwater basins, it was found that 9 cul de sacs as well as the tennis court have experienced failures with the underground stormwater piping. These systems have deteriorated due to corrosion of the material used to manufacture of the pipes.

Mr. Ingram proposes to line the pipes that can be saved with a CIPP product (a trenchless pipe rehabilitation product). It is a reinforced fiberglass UV spray treatment that is applied to existing pipes, instead of removing and replacing the entirety of the piping system. First the worst pipes would be repaired and then the rest would be treated. They identified 3 cul de sacs to repair for 2016, with the others to follow in subsequent years. This method is not nearly as costly, will not require relocating residents, uses smaller equipment, and helps the load bearing aspect of the pipes.

Mr. Wright indicated that if certified documentation can be provided supporting the proposed lining option, by an engineer, he would approve. An engineer will be meeting with Mr. Wright to discuss how to proceed, and Mr. Wright will check on environmental concerns mentioned by Supervisors.

Listing Agreement for Volpi and Jenkins Properties

Mr. Thompson stated when the market looks more favorable, hopefully in April, the packages should be ready for a May auction.

Comprehensive Plan Update - Individual or Regional Method

Mr. Comitta stated the Planning Commission has made a recommendation for the Board of Supervisors to adopt the Phoenixville Regional Comprehensive Plan as the Charlestown Municipal Plan. Also, arising from the Planning Commission Retreat is the recommendation that the Township adopt an individual addendum.

Mr. Comitta has applied for a VPP grant on March 1st. As suggested by Brian O’Leary, the Chester County Planning Executive Director, the Regional Plan allows the Township to share in the benefits of Phoenixville’s Plan. Plus, the County likes cooperation among the Townships, so the endorsement would put Charlestown’s grant application in a more favorable light. But, due to the emphasis the application placed on the pressure from growth in East Whiteland, it is also important to include specifics that relate to Charlestown’s southern neighbor, thus the addendum.

Mr. Theurkauf concurred with the Planning Commission and stated the Township only could gain from approving this. There are remedies if matters come up or the Township could withdraw if necessary. In addition, changes to the Regional Plan require a unanimous vote. Mr. Philips voiced concern about developers using something from the Regional Plan against Charlestown. Mr. Theurkauf reminded him that behind the Regional Plan are the strengths of the coalition (for example shared land use). Mr. Theurkauf needs to know before May how the Township intends to use the Regional Plan.

Per Mr. Comitta’s suggestion, Mr. Motel attended East Whiteland’s Planning Commission meeting. There is an opportunity coming in the near future, to meet and greet the newly appointed and elected officials of East Whiteland. It will be a time to discuss items such as the Route 29 corridor, etc. They have hired a planner; both Mr. Motel and Mr. Comitta sense a wind of change.

Agreement for Continuing Professional Planning Services for Devault Branch Rail Line

Mrs. Csete stated that Bob Thomas of Campbell Thomas & Company submitted Amendment #1 to the agreement for planning services relating to the Devault Branch Rail Trail. This would include additional services on an as needed basis, billed at an hourly rate. These services would include assisting with identifying funding sources, preparing grant applications, negotiating for easements, enlisting the support of the adjacent municipalities, and enlisting community support and interest. Mrs. Csete told Supervisors, there is no cost to the Township unless they use the services.

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the Campbell Thomas & Company Amendment No. 1 to the Agreement for Professional Planning Services relating to the Devault Branch Rail Trail, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Open Bids for Road Equipment & Labor for April 1, 2016–Mar 31, 2017

Only one bid was received by the Township Office for Road Labor and Equipment for the period of April 1, 2016 - March 31, 2017. Melchiorre Construction’s bid was $465,860.00. The bid was turned over to Mr. Wright to review against last year’s bid. There will be a recommendation for bid award at the April 4, 2016 meeting.

Award Contract for Pavement Markings at Route 29/Yellow Springs/Warner Lane

Mrs. Csete stated that Traffic Planning & Design obtained bids for pavement markings at the intersection of Route 29, Yellow Springs Road, and Warner Lane. Guidemark Inc. was the low bidder and is recommended for the work. Mrs. Csete will find out if they are using PennDOT approved materials. Mr. Motel asked for her to check and see if the attenuator installation is done at the same time.

Mr. Philips moved to accept Guidemark Inc.’s proposal to add additional thermal pavement markings to the Route 29/Yellow Springs/Warner Lane Intersection and include Alternate #1 to refresh the existing pavement markings on Warner Lane for $6,484.00. Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Authorize Devault Basin II Request for Proposals

Mrs. Csete described the second and final phase of the Devault Basin project, which was approved by PennDOT last year as an Adopt and Beautify project. This phase includes the installation of fencing and gates along the Turnpike right of way, and seeding of basins and meadow areas.

Mr. Philips moved to authorize distribution of the Request for Proposal for Phase II of the Devault basin project, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Preliminary Discussion on 2016 Road Improvement Projects

The Supervisors discussed Mr. Wright’s document entitled Charlestown Township 2016 Road Improvement Project, which was first circulated at the February business meeting. Tonight he circulated a roadway improvement project comparison showing 2016’s square yardage for bituminous materials as lower than past years.

It lists Mine Road, Pickering Road (on the other side of the bridge toward East Pikeland Township), Aldham Road and Union Hill Road, as the 2016 choices for repaving. Bodine Road was added since the square yardage was lower. There is very little culvert and curb work to be done, which will keep the cost down. It is expected to be lower than that of past years. Mr. Wright will return with design calculations, and the Board may vote on going out to bid in April.

Update on Codification Services

Mrs. Csete said she met with Christina LoVerde from General Code who provided details on their services. Since they are interested in taking over Keystate Publishing’s business, they have offered to host a PDF version of the codes from their website at no cost while the Township considers their proposal. She provided the pdf files to Ms. LoVerde so this can be done prior to March 31st when Keystate’s link will be shut down. This will provide more time to obtain quotes from other companies providing the service.

Mr. Philip moved to approve the initial transfer of codes to General Code. Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Resolution to Appoint Tax Collection Committee (TCC) Delegates

Mrs. Csete said there was a vacancy in Charlestown’s representation on the County Tax Collection Committee due to John Martin’s resignation late last year. Mr. Philips moved to adopt Resolution #868-2016 appointing Mrs. Csete as the primary delegate to the County Tax Collection Committee, with Mr. Piliero as first alternate.. Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Annual Earth Day Clean Up Event #11

Mrs. Csete announced that the Annual Earth Day Clean-up event is scheduled for April 16th with a rain date of April 23rd and volunteers are welcome.

Other Business

Mrs. Csete will check on the PennDOT progress of the signal change for the left turn at Phoenixville Pike and Charlestown Road.

Mr. Allen asked about the bollards’ rating at The Office Bar and Grille, citing safety concerns.

Mr. Philips requested a letter be sent to Mr. Townes regarding the signage and naming of the Marriott project.

Mr. Philips said the real estate advertising sign needs to be removed at the bottom of Union Hill Road & Route 29.

Ms. Canterella-Fox requested an update on the Auchincloss property. Supervisors informed her that they are still working on the easement.

Mr. Lawrence is working with Mr. Theurkauf, the Trails Committee, and the Park and Recreation Board on updating the trail map for the Regional Planning Commission.

Mr. Piliero announced that there will be a brief Executive Session after tonight’s meeting to discuss legal matters.


Mr. Piliero adjourned the meeting at 8:52 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 4, 2016, 7:00 p.m. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154, 255 N. Phoenixville Pike, in Malvern, PA 19355.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa K. Gardner
Recording Secretary