Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors Business Meeting
Minutes of May 2, 2016

The first business meeting for May was held on May 2, 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, Kevin R. Kuhn, Michael J. Rodgers, and Hugh D. Willig.
Consultants: Mark P. Thompson, Esq., Daniel T. Wright, P.E., and Robert Dettore.
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:

7:00 p.m.


Mrs. Csete announced that the Supervisors held an Executive Session following the April 4th meeting to discuss legal matters.

She thanked everyone who participated in the Earth Day clean up on April 16th. About 50 people participated throughout the Township.

There is an Executive Session after tonight’s meeting to discuss legal matters.

Citizens Forum

Mrs. DeWilde obtained approval from the Supervisors for the Charlestown Historical Society to post signs for the June 4th Bluegrass & BBQ Party. Tickets will be available online. Also The Historical Society is sending out invitations for the Annual Dinner. She did not obtain approval to advertise in the Township newsletter or on the Township’s website.


April 4, 2016 Business Meeting Minutes

Mr. Philips moved to approve the minutes for the April 4, 2016 Business Meeting and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Treasurer’s Report April 1 - 30, 2016

Mr. Philips moved to approve the April 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 May 2, 2016

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the General Fund Accounts Payable Report for May 2, 2016 and Mr. Philips 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 May 2, 2016

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the Open Space Fund Accounts Payable Report for May 2, 2016 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 April 2016 reports #1-13 as submitted and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Old Business

Mr. Kuhn stated he met with Mr. and Mrs. Hornsey, of West Pikeland, regarding stormwater runoff. The couple lives downhill from the Rosewood development in Charlestown Township, and their driveway, stream, pond, and areas of their property are being affected by its stormwater runoff. Mr. Hornsey has obtained an estimate ($12,000) for remediation and has asked the Township to help with some of the cost, even though he does not live in Charlestown Township.

Mr. Wright stated that after obtaining the necessary Rosewood documents from the archives, all research has determined that the calculations were done correctly and stormwater criteria is compliant with County requirements. Mr. Wright said the functioning of the system was also verified by an inspector. He added that what the Township has done is already above and beyond its responsibility.

Mr. Hornsey stated:

Diament Builders has scraped the side of the driveway to help drainage reach the basin.

Mr. Wright said that once someone purchases a neighboring property, and stormwater facilities are established, things should improve. But, no one has bought it yet. Mr. Philips, with Mr. Thompson in agreement, said Charlestown should not pay since the Hornseys do not live in the Township. But the Hornseys believe the cause of their loss is from Charlestown Township. Mr. Kuhn asked Mr. Wright to contact the builder and he will also attend a site meeting with Mr. Hornsey and PennDOT. West Pikeland has not been asked to take any action.

Charlestown Park Improvement Project

Ordinance to Prohibit Parking or Standing on Certain Roads

Mr. Thompson explained in detail the amendment to the Charlestown Code of Ordinances, Chapter 15 to prohibit parking on Academic Way and Southwest Avenue in Charlestown Park.

Mr. Philips moved to adopt Ordinance #198-2016 to prohibit parking on Academic Way and Southwest Avenue, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Ordinance to Amend Rules for Active Parks

Mr. Thompson read aloud the amendments to the rules for active parks.

Mr. Kuhn moved to adopt Ordinance #199-2016 amending the rules for Active Parks, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion. . A minor edit is to read (for Rule M) “Removal or relocation of picnic benches or any other township property outside of covered pavilions is prohibited”. There being no further discussion, Mr. Piliero called the vote, and all were in favor.

Update-The Township has been billed for about 50% of the project, the project is about 55% complete, however it was supposed to be finished last week.

Mr. Robert Dettore gave an update on the improvements at Charlestown Park. From the standpoint of billings, the Park is 55% done. However, in early March he reported that March and April would show very significant progress. This has not been the case. Mr. Dettore regretfully had no progress to report in April.

Mr. Detorre has noticed troubling facts with this contractor:

  1. The contractor did not seize the opportunity the weather provided.
  2. Habitually understaffed
  3. Receiving payment complaints from other parties
  4. Lack of response to repair/replacement items requested by Mr. Detorre/inspector
  5. A neighboring Township has dismissed them for another project
  6. Core samples taken from the parking lot verify the depth were not to contract specifications.
  7. Restroom facilities need to be demolished and rebuilt.

The contract for 1.2 million dollars has $691,000 billed and the Township has paid $576,000. Of this residual, $400,000 is set aside for restroom facilities. At a permit inspection, the vertical block wall reinforcements did not pass. The code official told the contractor to demolish the partially built restroom. As of this date, this has not been accomplished.

Mr. Detorre asked for approval to take the next steps toward Consideration of a Declaration of Default, which would provide an opportunity for the Surety and contractor to meet and discuss options.

Mr. Detorre stated since the park isn’t done, he will also need his contract extended to Park completion, adding time and therefore dollars to the project. The Supervisors gave Mr. Detorre the authority to proceed, because it is important for the Township to stay protected, and in the realm of

having only paid for what work has been done, and not endanger the legality and protection the bond

provides. At this point it is best if any arrangements with the contractor are overseen or arranged by the surety company.

Next items:

  1. The code official will draft another Notice of Determination for the restroom.
  2. Mr. Detorre will move towards the Consideration of Declaration of Default.
  3. He will have a preliminary conference with the surety and the contractor.
  4. The surety may terminate the contractor.
  5. Mr. Detorre may need a Cease and Desist order after the preliminary conference.
  6. Mr. Thompson will probably join him after this point for additional contact with the other parties.

Overseeing the contractor has resulted in the expenditure of significantly more JD Bravo billable hours. Mr. Rodgers was not in agreement with extending Mr. Dettore’s contract, but Mr. Kuhn explained that JD Bravo is not the construction manager and does not perform contractor duties. Mr. Dettore makes sure Township interests are protected and its goals are completed. There is no financial risk to the Township. The Township will get what the contract specifies, at the agreed price, with the surety overseeing the work and insuring completion.

Mr. Detorre reinforced the point, the Township will still get what is specified in its contract, at the agreed price, but the surety will be taking the contractor’s position and begin overseeing the work and insuring completion. Any additional cost to the Township may be levied back and recoverable through the surety as Mr. Detorre tries to negotiate the project to a late completion date. Estimated completion is now in approximately three months.

J.D. Bravo Contract

After Mr. Dettore outlined the difficulties encountered with the general contractor, he requested an increase in the current not-to-exceed fee for JD Bravo by $30,000 to be partially recovered through negotiation with the contractor’s surety company. Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the $30,000 increase in the not-to-exceed fee for JD Bravo and Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. Four were in favor, Mr. Rodgers was opposed.

Authorization of Owner’s Representative

Mr. Dettore recommended that the Township preserve its rights under the construction contract, and the performance and payment bonds, by notifying the surety company that the Township is considering declaring a contractor default. In order to do this, he requested that the Supervisors authorize him to take this action.

Mr. Kuhn moved to affirm and authorize Mr. Dettore as Owner’s Representative to take any and all actions, to include the giving of Notices on behalf of Charlestown Township pertaining to the Contracts for Construction and related Performance and Payment Bonds for the Improvements to the Charlestown Park project. Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. Mr. Piliero, Mr. Kuhn, Mr. Philips, and Mr. Willig were in favor. Mr. Rodgers was not in favor.

New Business

Brightside Farm Park Trail Update

Mr. Wright updated the Supervisors by listing the accomplishments to the trail since the last meeting. The design has been approved, and the largest obstacle, stormwater management, has been solved. The design has little ground disturbance, and will include a thick stone layer under the trail. Supervisors thought it would be a good idea to make a crossing area for farm equipment. The next step is obtaining a NPDES Permit and a low volume permit, or perhaps a minimum use PennDOT permit, for the driveway. Although Supervisors wanted to go to bid, Mr. Wright suggested obtaining permits first. His next move is to meet with someone at PennDOT to expedite the permit.

Hanscom Conservation Easement

Mr. Wright noted that a yield plan for Mr. Russell Hanscom will be sent to the Supervisors and Mrs. Pam Brown by Friday.

Parking Lot for Charlestown Cemetery

Mr. Wright referred to the cost estimates he circulated previously for construction of a gravel lot at the Charlestown Cemetery. For 13 spots the cost was estimated at $17,628, dropping to $13,422 for 6 spots.

The Planning Commission Members recommended scaling back the lot to only six parking spots and leave the others in reserve. Mr. Churchill, from the Planning Commission, stated remorse in voting in favor of the lot. He agrees with Mr. Kuhn who does not like the remote aspect of the lot. It is a potential Township attractive nuisance.

Mr. Davison of Pickering Road stated there are very few visitors to the cemetery and the Playhouse provides enough parking. The Fishers of Fisher Lane were in agreement, and stated the back lot is still being used for parking. Mr. Doak, of Fisher Lane, notified Supervisors that there was a PennDOT culvert in that area, but it is actually now missing.

Mr. Wright will check on ideas for minimal improvements for the front of the cemetery, including a possible crosswalk, and contacting PennDOT for suggestions for both the cemetery entrance and the stormwater issue (missing pipe/culvert and stormwater at Playhouse). Supervisors also asked him to discuss, with the Playhouse, fixing stormwater issues in exchange for use of the parking lot.

Mrs. DeWilde received permission to have a short Memorial Day service at the cemetery from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

New Business

Auchincloss Conservation Easement

French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust Director Mrs. Pam Brown reviewed the proposal for placing the 58 acre Auchincloss property under easement. The following points were discussed:

  1. The 2 acre building envelope for 35-3-75.1, which allows for one dwelling and accessory buildings, was not delineated, however Supervisors were in agreement with the general area shown on the plan. No additional dwellings are permitted on 35-3-75.
  2. There was discussion on whether 2 acre envelopes would be large enough. It provided 5000 sq. ft. for footprint of a house, and 10,000 sq. ft. for accessory dwelling, pools, etc. (but not driveway). Supervisors determined that 2 acres was enough leeway for owners.
  3. Water and electric will be shared on the property.
  4. The Horseshoe Trail location will be marked out by Club members.


  1. Mrs. Brown will revise the map and choose a closing date.
  2. Horseshoe Trail marking will take place on the next Tuesday, weather permitting, and the tenants are to be notified.

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the easement agreement provided by Mrs. Brown as amended this evening and subject to review by Mr. Thompson. Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Annual MS-4 Report

Mr. Wright provided an overview of the MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm System) Engineer’s Report for the 13th year, ending March 9, 2016. No calculations are due this year. Next year a progress report will be required.

Update on Sinkhole Remediation Project - Route 29

Mr. Wright said he and Mrs. Csete attended a meeting on April 27th with representatives from PennDOT, the Turnpike Commission, Traffic Planning & Design Inc., the Transportation Management Association of Chester County (TMACC) and East Whiteland Township, where a presentation was given on the reconstruction of a 475 foot section of Route 29 between Atwater Drive/General Warren Boulevard and the Turnpike ramp. Plans to remediate a recurring problem with sinkholes, caused by surface runoff in the area, were revealed.

The project is expected to start in spring 2018 and have two phases, the first taking 1-2 months, and the second 2-3 months. Phase 1 will reduce Route 29 to only one lane open in each direction, Phase 2 will shift the lanes, while PennDOT excavates 10-15 feet to reach bedrock.

Resolution to Participate in the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission’s
Transportation & Community Development Initiative Grant Program

Mrs. Csete said the Chester County Planning Commission requested support in their multi-municipal planning effort to identify potential improvements to the transportation network in the Phoenixville Region. This plan would help to identify connections to regional trails, safety improvements on local streets, and further improvements to the regional transportation system. They asked that municipalities that wish to be involved in this initiative pass a Resolution of Intent. There is no funding commitment at this time.

Mr. Phillips moved to adopt Resolution #871-2016 supporting the County Planning Commission’s TCDI Grant Program Application and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Traiman Contract for Public Auction of Volpi and Jenkins Properties

Mr. Thompson provided an overview of the contracts from Traiman Corporation for listing the Volpi and Jenkins properties for auction. Mr. Thompson negotiated the revised fee ($19,416.42) since there were two properties. The auction will be at the Desmond Hotel in Malvern on Monday, June 27, 2016 at 2 p.m.

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the two contracts with the Traiman Corporation and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Open Bids - 2016 Road Paving Project

The following bids were received by the Township Office for the 2016 Road Paving Project.

United Tectonics Corporation $242,490.38
Charlestown Paving & Excavating Inc. $153,155.15
Cedar Springs Construction Co. $121,798.00
Innovative Construction Services, Inc. $168,291.25

The bids, which did not include materials, were turned over to Mr. Wright for review and recommendation prior to the bid award at the June 6, 2016 meeting.

Review Proposals for Basin Beautification Project Phase II

Mrs. Csete noted that two of the three bids for the basin beautification project exceeded $25,000, which triggers prevailing wage requirements. The project will need to go out for bid again with this revision.

Mr. Philips moved to reject all proposals for Phase II of the Basin Beautification Project, and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Mr. Kuhn moved to advertise and re-issue the bid and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Policy on Use of Parks

Mrs. Csete said that as the park improvements come to a close she’s received requests from small business owners for permission to hold classes at Charlestown Park. The Board may want to consider a policy on this type of use. The Active Park Rules Ordinance passed this evening states that “all commercial vending for food, beverages, goods and services are prohibited except during and in support of events sponsored or sanctioned by Charlestown Township”. However, this won’t prevent requests for Township sponsoring of their activity. Two recent requests for approval were for yoga classes and another to have dog training classes. She asked how the Board wants to respond to these requests. In a poll of other townships in the county, all who responded to her inquiry had policies prohibiting commercial uses. Supervisors agreed on the established non-commercial policy.

Resolution to Amend Budget

Mrs. Csete provided details on the spreadsheet she prepared proposing amendments to the 2016 budget. Adjustments were made to the carryover figures for the General Fund and Open Space Fund to reflect the actual year-end balances from 2015. Due to increased costs and expansion of the scope at Charlestown Park, additional funds were moved to cover these expenses in the Open Space Fund.

Mr. Rodgers moved to adopt Resolution #873-16 amending the 2016 Budget as proposed, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Schedule and Advertise Conditional Use Hearing for Kathrine Bright

Mrs. Csete received authorization to advertise the Conditional Use Hearing for Kathrine Bright. It will be scheduled for June 6, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154, 255 N. Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, PA. She proposes and in home occupation.

Village at General Warren Escrow Release #11

Mr. Wright gave his recommendation for approval of the Village at General Warren escrow release.

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve Escrow Release #11, in the amount of $$208,879.17 for General Warren Village and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Other Business

Mr. Lawrence of the Parks and Recreation Board said he received an email from the Great Valley Mountain Bike Club (not associated with the school district). They would like to teach young riders about responsible trail riding. Mr. Lawrence requested input from the Supervisors for a location. They suggested Brightside Farm Trail, noting that all Township trails allow bikes.

Mr. Rodgers wishes to fill the position on the VFSA Joint Board, previously held by Mr. Thomas Babacz, who is retiring. Mrs. Csete requested a list of duties for the position for advertising the position on the website. Mr. Kuhn moved to approve Mr. Rodgers to the Joint Board until such time as a replacement could be found, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Mr. Philips asked if there was a way to keep Phoenixville Pike’s roadside cleaner.

Mrs. Shannon Muldoon is having a drainage problem on Yellow Springs Road. There is $6,000 left in escrow from their conservation easement account, and a small bridge on their property is falling into the water due to erosion. The Roadmaster will visit the site, and contact PennDOT to determine what can be done. Mrs. Muldoon reports heavy stormwater flow since recent PennDOT paving. The Roadmaster will also visit the intersection of Merlin Road and Yellow Springs Road where the former Desfor Farms is located.

Mr. Kuhn gave a brief summary regarding the Great Valley Community Organization. They are looking for financial assistance for a community center building project. Supervisors requested a business plan and when the organization is farther along in its fund raising, they may consider a donation. Mr. Lawrence stated they are this year’s Community Day beneficiary.


Mr. Piliero adjourned the meeting at 9:30 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 6 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