The first business meeting for July was held on July 6, 2021, at the Great Valley Middle School at 255 N. Phoenixville Pike, in Malvern, PA.
The Board of Supervisors held an executive session on June 7th following the business meeting to discuss legal matters.
Ms. Cathy DiFilippo, of Charlestown Hunt, sought assistance from Supervisors due to an ongoing exterior stair replacement issue she had with the management company that has reached the $17,000 mark. Mr. Willig asked Mr. Wright to see if the HOA was correct in saying the stairs were not a common area since Ms. DiFilippo said that her ownership begins on the inside of her walls. First Ms. DiFilippo had asked for the Board to contact James E. McErlane, Esq. who had interest in the HOA management company called Penco. However, Mr. McErlane was present and did not know of the company.
Mr. Philips moved to approve:
Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Philips moved to accept the June 2021 reports #1-17 as submitted and Ms. Bednar seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Report #18 is a Spring Oak update from Mr. Wright. The sound study for June revealed little change from the May report. There is a scheduled Zoning Hearing that he hopes will provide more pressure to Beyond Meat to bring the noise issue into compliance. They were issued a citation that was appealed and is on hold for the Zoning Hearing. During this time, Beyond Meat has about 2 weeks to draft a list of specific actions they will take to improve the plant’s noise output. At this point, the “hold” or “suspension” of the Notice of Violation can be lifted. The audience may attend the hearing.
Mr. Wright said Mr. Thornton conducted the 5-point noise study at the Allan Meyer plant beginning on June 21st. They met with the plant management to discuss the results that may require heavy equipment and operations changes to reduce spikes on the report. Another meeting will be scheduled for further discussion.
Mr. Wright stated that he reviewed the two bids for the 2021 Road Improvement Project and recommends Innovative Construction Services as the lowest qualified bidder. All work listed below is scheduled to be done before mid-August.
Mr. Philips moved to award the 2021 Road Improvement Project contract to Innovative Construction Services for $202,755.85, and Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Paving will be done on Wells Road, Battle Creek Way, Loudoun Place, Amwell Valley Drive, plus sections 1R, 1L, Section 2, and Section 3 of Charlestown Hunt.
Mr. Wright said he’d worked with Spring Meadow resident Mr. Peter Charlier to address run-off problems on his property that came from both the development’s stormwater management system and from Howell Road due to insufficient inlet capacity. The Spring Meadow HOA arranged for a study by Momenee & Associates that resulted in recommendations to improve both conditions. For Howell Road, they recommended replacing four of the existing inlet grates with higher capacity “vane grates”. This is a relatively low-cost solution at ≈$1250 per inlet (or 4 at $5,000) and $2,000 for the Charlier property improvements, totaling $7,000.
Mr. Piliero moved to approve the improvement for Howell Road, including the four inlet grates, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Philips provided an update on the meeting he had with Mr. Michael McGraw on 6/25/21 concerning the Turnpike area basins. Mr. McGraw has expert knowledge of dealing with this type of project. He worked for Longwood Gardens with the meadow expansion and the mitigation project that was necessary to replace the original Route 52.
After starting over in these areas, he believes the Township can have a mix of native wildflowers, shrubs, and trees, with all-season interest, that will be beneficial for wildlife, in a pleasing design. Mr. McGraw stated there are invasive species that need to be controlled. He believes this area can be made into a grand entrance using well-chosen plants, a maintenance schedule, and proper watering.
Mr. Philips said he requested several options to consider, which will have various pricing strategies. The proposal will cover the entire basin area to Phoenixville Pike. This will be followed by a working meeting at the office with Mr. Goodman and others. He will draft a proposal for the Board to review by mid-July. The goal is to have something to present at the August meeting.
Mr. McErlane suggested the Board amend the Charlestown Code of Ordinances, Chapter 15 to reduce the speed limit on Wells Road from 35 mph to 25 mph to bring the limit more in keeping with the narrow and winding nature of that road. The Roadmaster, Jim Thompson, will make arrangements to replace the existing signs.
Mr. Philips moved to adopt Ordinance #218-2021 setting the speed limit for Wells Road at 25 mph, and Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. McErlane recused himself from this proceeding and suggested Wendy McLean represent the Township and meet with Mr. Wright regarding the 7/20/21 Zoning Hearing for Mr. Thomas A. Fillippo in the appeal from Section 27-1002.1.B. and 27-2101.
Mr. Philips moved to appoint Ms. McLean to represent the Township regarding the 7/20/21 Zoning Hearing for Mr. Thomas A. Fillippo in the appeal from Section 27-1002.1.B. and 27-2101 and Mr. Piliero seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote.
Mr. Bill Longua of the Parks & Recreation Board said their board requests the Board of Supervisors approve funding for a proposal from Theurkauf Design and Planning. It is for a concept plan for a park design at the Jenkins property on Valley Hill Road.
Mr. Philips moved to proceed with the project and obtain a proposal for Jenkins Park from Theurkauf Design & Planning. Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Pete Goodman presented the EAC subcommittee’s report on options for renewable energy once the Township’s contract with Direct Energy expires on July 18th. He referred to the report prepared by two EAC members with the assistance of Mark Connolly and an engineering student.
There were two PA based providers for only solar and wind energy. The Township uses only about twice what an average homeowner in Charlestown Township uses, so it is not a large electric bill. Of five meters, 3 are eligible for changing providers. There is a meter at the Township Office, one at the barn at Brightside Farm and one at the Mill (very low usage). The cost of switching to the Energy Co-Op - PA is $3,000 more a year (at .1190 per kilowatt-hour). The Township may not be able to use this option legally, as it would become shareholders. The Supervisors have requested more information and will reconsider this in a few months. Mrs. Csete will cancel Direct Energy and use PECO for now.
Mrs. Csete asked the Board to consider a Resolution to amend the 2021 budget to take care of a bookkeeping matter to properly account for a 2019 transfer of funds from the Open Space Fund to the General Fund that was used to create two capital funds. The transfer of $800,000 had been approved by the Board but the bookkeeping entry hadn’t reflected it at that time. The auditor provided instructions on making the appropriate entries, which will have no impact on the balances of any of the Township accounts.
Mr. Piliero moved to adopt Resolution 986-2021 amending the 2021 budget and Ms. Bednar seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote.
Mrs. Csete said she spoke to a representative at First Resource Bank and PLGIT, two of the Township’s depositories, to obtain interest rates into which maturing funds could be placed on July 15th. She said the best annualized interest rate available were a fixed.35% for CDARS or 2.09% variable rate from PLGIT in their PRIME fund. The Township already has some open space funds in a PRIME account, so no new account would need to be opened.
Mr. Philips moved to invest the maturing Open Space funds into the PLGIT PRIME fund, and Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote.
Mr. Philips suggested asking Charlestown Landscaping to improve the frontage of the Volpe property as done on the frontage of Charlestown Landscaping that is next door. Mrs. Csete will obtain an estimate.
Mr. Piliero moved to adjourn the meeting and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor. The meeting was adjourned at 8:51 p.m. The next Business Meeting is scheduled for August 2nd, 2021, at 7:00 p.m. at the Great Valley Middle School.