Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors Business Meeting
Minutes of March 2, 2020

The first business meeting for March was held on March 2, 2020, at the Great Valley Middle School Choral Room, 255 N. Phoenixville Pike, in Malvern, PA.


Frank A. Piliero, Chairman, Charles A. Philips, Vice Chairman, Susan T. Bednar, Kevin R. Kuhn, and Hugh D. Willig.
Mark P. Thompson, Esq. and Daniel T. Wright, P.E.
Linda Csete, Manager, Jim Thompson, Roadmaster, Tim Hubbard, Public Safety & Property Coordinator, Marie Stone, Assistant Township Secretary, and Lisa Gardner, Recording Secretary. Mike Allen, Staff Planner was absent.

Call to Order:

7:00 p.m.


Mr. Philips stated Earth Day is April 18th. He requested letters be mailed by the office to businesses along Phoenixville Pike, asking them to please pick up litter along their stretch of the road. Mrs. Csete agreed.

The next business meeting on April 6th at 7:00 p.m. will be held at the East Whiteland Volunteer Fire Company building at 205 Conestoga Road, Malvern. A tour of the fire house will be available before the meeting at 6:30 p.m.

Mrs. Csete said there were newsletters and the 2019 Annual Report for Charlestown Township available at tonight’s meeting.

Citizens Forum

The South Jersey Chapter of Trout Unlimited is looking to the Charlestown Township EAC to suggest an area for planting riparian buffer species during the Earth Day event. Mr. Goodman suggested the area of wetlands above the Ice Dam but below Peak’s Pike. Mr. Goodman, with the approval of the Board, will suggest suitable species for the group.

Mr. Sandeep from Spring Oaks emailed the Members today to provide a picture of the buffer area between residents and Devault Foods. The developer is required to install a fence as a buffer, but from the last HOA meeting, it was reported that an extension of the landscape buffer, although more expensive, was the first choice. JP Orleans, per Mr. Wright, cannot be expected to do both. Mr. Sandeep said he was under the impression that the fence was still the first choice due to the trail being nearby, and to prevent children from getting near trucks. Ms. Bednar asked him to return to the HOA to obtain a final decision between the two options.

Per Mr. Wright, Mr. Comitta will share the landscape plan once the DRC approves it. The Board felt the planting proposal would be better once plants were established because the buffer would be taller and deeper than a fence.

Tonight, a new complaint about air quality (vs. odor) was substantiated by three nearby residents. A new intolerable and permeating smell, causing burning in the airways, and nausea, was discussed. It was reported happening on the most recent Thursday and Friday night roughly starting around 5 pm until about 9 pm. Mrs. Bednar said she also noticed a new odor and lives farther away in the Spring Oak development.

Mr. Wright said he was not sure what air quality standards the plant must meet. Mrs. Bednar wants him to find out what the plant was doing differently. Mr. Wright said the 6 charcoal filters are delayed at the manufacturer, and are expected to arrive mid-March. He added that Devault has found additional things they can do to help the smell (vs air quality). Mr. Willig asked Mr. Thompson about reaching out to regulatory agencies. First, Mr. Wright will check with the EPA and DEP regarding Devault Food’s obligations and monitoring requirements/data.

A resident, introducing himself as a scientist said that he smelled it too. The smell in his opinion, was “intolerable for animals to breathe” and felt it might include some chemical or cleaning agent.

The Board was questioned about the Spring Oak approval process for a development next to Devault Foods. The Members reiterated that the plant has been there for decades and in many ways grandfathered. However, there has been a change to the processes in the plant in the past year, and now by using legal policies, procedures, and government resources, the Township will continue to press in until the residents see major improvements. However, it takes time to see these steps through and allow Devault to comply (ex. purchase and install charcoal filters). Ms. Lorraine Filippo said she has seen improvement in the traffic and noise from trucks since the Township has changed the flow of traffic on Devault Lane. She also has not heard any nitrogen deliveries, so these are pluses. She is however concerned about the summer and this new odor.

Mr. Piliero asked the residents to please call the Township office day or night and leave a message if they smell the newest odor again.


Mr. Kuhn moved to approve:

  1. Minutes for the February 3, 2020, Business Meeting
  2. The February 2020 Treasurer’s Report
  3. The Operating Fund Accounts Payable Report for March 2, 2020.
  4. The State Fund Accounts Payable Report for March 2, 2020.
  5. The Capital Fund - Open Space Projects Payable Report for March 2, 2020.

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


Mr. Kuhn moved to accept the February 2020 reports #1-16 as submitted and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Old Business

Cemetery Wall Restoration Project Update

Mr. Philips updated the Board on a meeting he recently attended with Mr. Frens, Mr. Dettore, and New Traditions Masonry. They discussed the project schedule and temporary hiring of 2 masons and 4 laborers to undertake the restoration of the wall at the Charlestown Cemetery. The memorial service typically held at the Cemetery will still be held by the Historical Society this Memorial Day.

New Business

Ordinance to Set Parameters for Series 2015 Bond Refinance

Mr. Michael Wolf of Boenning and Scattergood provided details on the proposed bond issue that would refinance the 2015 bond issue. Mr. Wolf said the Township is expecting its Standard & Poor rating next week.

Mr. Wolf reviewed the material in the Bond Purchase Agreement between Charlestown Township and Boenning & Scattergood and stated that the Township would save an additional $400,000 over the next 10 years with the refinance.

$45,000 annually will be saved and placed into the Open Space Fund. Mr. Wolf said the interest rate is extremely favorable and provided information on the terms and conditions of the bond issue.

Bond Counsel Ms. Helen Mountain explained the proposed ordinance required by the Local Debt Act that will authorize the incursion of the new debt. She referred to the previously circulated Official Statement, which recites the price of the bonds, notes the establishment of a sinking fund, and states the Township will observe the various tax laws. Application to the Department of Economic and Community Affairs will be made to allow the debt to be self-liquidating by using the Earned Income Tax funds to service the debt.

Ms. Mountain said advertising was published on February 25, 2020. Closing is scheduled for mid-March with the bonds to be re-issued by June 1st.

Mr. Kuhn moved to adopt Ordinance #211-2020 and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, Mrs. Csete called a roll call vote as follows: Mr. Piliero – aye, Mr. Philips – aye, Ms. Bednar – aye, Mr. Kuhn – aye, Mr. Willig – aye.


Mr. Philips moved to appoint Mr. Greg Nesspor to the Zoning Hearing Board as Alternate Member to take Mr. Larry Bull’s place since he plans to move out of the Township, for a term ending 12/31/21. Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote, and all were in favor.

Mr. Philips moved to appoint the following individuals to a Project Steering Committee for the Devault Trail Study: Ms. Susan Bednar, Mr. Michael Churchill, and Mr. Chris Lawrence. Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote, and all were in favor.

Bunten-Stewart Minor Subdivision Plan – 2nd Phase

Mr. Bunten gave a brief overview of the Act 319 property, currently in phase 2 of a 2 part lot line change plan. Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the Stewart-Bunten subdivision application for a minor subdivision consisting of a lot line change for 2045 and 2061 Union Hill Road, and Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote, and all were in favor.

Overview of Zoning Hearing Board Application for James Bruder

Mr. Michael DiCicco presented an overview of a Zoning Hearing Board Application to add a 56 x 128 square foot accessory storage building on Mr. James Bruder’s property at 4277 Whitehorse Road. Mr. Wright explained the unusual nature of the property and request. It is in an FR district which allows for accessory use structures for residential or agricultural use, but this is for commercial use (non-conforming). It will allow the owner to store the large equipment, currently in the yard, inside, and also allow for dry lumber storage. However, to receive zoning approval there must be a hardship.

If approved, the project will still need to obtain the usual permits for land development per Mr. Wright. If they begin to store any hazardous materials, they are required to notify the Township. The Board took a neutral position toward the application and it will proceed to the Zoning Hearing Board.

Terracycle Recycling Program

Parks & Recreation Board member Ms. Ashlee Beyer provided information on a recycling program available for personal care products. The program partners with brands to develop recycling streams and then as the poundage of the products increases points are earned that can benefit charities. Ms. Beyer hoped to obtain approval to advertise the program in the newsletter and on the Township website. The Board was in favor of the plan so Ms. Beyer will send Mrs. Csete newsletter information. The drop off site is at the Community Eco Store in Phoenixville.

Brightside Farmhouse Lease 6/1/20 – 5/31/21

Mrs. Csete said the rent has remained the same at Brightside Farmhouse ($800.00 per month) since 2013. Mr. Kuhn said that improvements have been completed to the lower level bathroom, laundry room and outside walkway, and recommended that the Board consider an increase in rent by $100 when the lease expires at the end of May. A new roof is the next repair.

Mr. Philips moved to direct the Manager to inform the current tenants that the rent would be increased to $900.00 per month beginning with the 6/1/20 term, and Mr. Piliero seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote, and all were in favor.

Resolution to Authorize TMAAC to apply to the DVRPC for a TCDI planning Grant for Devault Trail Study

Mrs. Csete said she and Parks & Recreation Committee Board Chair Mr. Chris Lawrence met with Mr. Timothy Phelps from TMAAC and Mr. John Meisel, grant writer, regarding a grant submission for a study for the proposed Devault Trail. The grant would investigate options for ownership, liability, and maintenance of the future trail. The grant would cover 80% of the cost of the study, which is estimated at $80,000. The 20% match would be made of “in-kind” contributions that TMAAC has covered with services offered by Chester County, West Chester University, the PA Economic Council, McMahon & Associates, Campbell Thompson, and administrative services from TMAAC. There would be no cost to Charlestown Township, but as the applicant, Charlestown needs to authorize TMAAC to submit the grant application to the DVRPC on its behalf.

Mr. Kuhn moved to adopt resolution #962-2000 authorizing TMAAC to submit the grant application to the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission for a TCDI Planning Grant for the Devault Trail Study, and Ms. Bednar seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

GreenWeaver Landscapes Proposals for 2020 Maintenance of Charlestown Mill and Devault Gateway

Members discussed proposals from Green Weaver Landscapes for the Devault Gateway and the Charlestown Mill. The first proposal is for ongoing meadow maintenance at both locations, and the second is a one-time spring cleanup at the Mill. Mr. Philips noted that the Board is still waiting for the planting schedule and pricing based on an earlier presentation.

Mr. Kuhn moved to accept the GreenWeaver Landscapes maintenance schedule at the Charlestown Mill and Devault Gateway at the hourly rate of $85, and the second proposal for spring cleanup at the Mill for $4,510.00. Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Open Bids: Road Equipment & Labor for April 1, 2020 – Mar 31, 2021

The following bid was received by the deadline at noon today, for road equipment and labor for the period of April 1, 2020, through March 31, 2021. The amount of $141,900 by Melchiorre Construction Company was read aloud. The bid was turned over to Mr. Wright for review and comparison to last year’s figures. There was not a price increase. Recommendation for the bid award will be considered at the April 6, 2020 meeting.

Preliminary Discussion on 2020 Road Improvement Projects

Mr. Wright discussed four roads that were candidates for resurfacing this year. He told the Board that for an estimated $150,000 they could resurface and make improvements to Jamie Lane and Raven Hill while letting Rees and Warner Roads wait for 2021. The inlet boxes on Jamie Lane, per the Roadmaster, all needed repair and he agreed with Mr. Wright’s recommendation. Mr. Wright will return to the next meeting with final estimates and measurements for the Board.

Other Business

Both East Whiteland and Kimberton Fire Companies are beginning their annual fund drives. Kimberton ordered two fire trucks and expect October delivery. Please check their websites for other fundraisers.

Mr. Kuhn met with a rep from Traffic Planning and Design to discuss what improvements could be made to the intersection of Yellow Springs Road, Sidley Hill Road, and Phoenixville Pike. Charlestown Township is responsible for the traffic lights at the intersection, although it isn’t within the Township.

There will be an executive session following tonight’s meeting to discuss legal matters.


Mr. Piliero adjourned the meeting at 8:20 p.m. The next Board of Supervisors Meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 6, 2020, 7:00 pm at the East Whiteland Volunteer Fire Association Firehouse, 205 Conestoga Road, Malvern, PA.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa K. Gardner
Recording Secretary