Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors Business Meeting
Minutes of October 20, 2003 – approved 11/3/03

The second business meeting for October was held October 20, 2003, at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154. Paul Hogan, Chairman, Hugh Willig, Vice Chairman, Mike Rodgers, Kevin R. Kuhn, Thomas Oeste, Esq., Surender Kohli, P.E., Tom Comitta, Tom Corcoran, Court Reporter, Linda M. Csete, Township Administrator, Melanie M. Lammers, Recording Secretary, and those on the attached list were present.

The meeting was called to order at 7:30 P.M.


Mr. Willig announced that Randy Wallett of the quarry abruptly cancelled his appearance at tonight’s meeting for a brief presentation on the Independence Construction Materials quarry operations. Mr. Oeste said he spoke with the attorney for ICM, who stated his client would be willing to meet with the principles to discuss the quarry, but did not feel it necessary to meet publicly.

Mr. Hogan said he has a friend who requested permission to look over the Longwood School with a mine detector. Mr. Hogan asked him to come before the Board to demonstrate his skills. Mr. Willig asked if the Township has ownership of the school yet, and Mr. Oeste replied it did not yet, but would soon.

Citizen’s Forum - Non-Agenda Items

There were no Citizen’s Forum/Non-agenda Items discussed.


Minutes of October 9, 2003

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the October 9, 2003, minutes as written, and Mr. Kuhn seconded subject to the following change:

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

Accounts Payable Invoice

Mr. Hogan said, after further discussions with Mr. Alston, he was in favor of releasing the C.M. Jones payment which was held back from the October 9, 2003 Accounts Payable Report. Mr. Rodgers indicated he still objected to payment of this invoice. He said he went to look at the work on Green Lane, which took 7.5 hours to do 3/10 of a mile. He felt $1200 for this work was excessive. He said when he asked Mr. Alston about the charge, Mr. Alston replied that the charge included work on Bodine Road as well. He said when he questioned Mr. Alston further regarding what work was done, Mr. Alston said the specifics weren’t included in the invoice. Mr. Rodgers said the Township has doubled the residents’ taxes and should be fiscally responsible when it comes to these types of charges. Mr. Hogan said he was willing to hold off on paying the invoice until the work performed for the $1,200 is better understood. Mr. Willig said he is hearing two different things from two different sources, and did not feel the Board should take any action without the Roadmaster present. He added that the invoice was lowered by $1,000, which Mr. Rodgers was unaware of. After further discussion, Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the amended C.M. Jones invoice in the amount of $21,444.50, and Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Hogan called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. Three were in favor, and one was opposed.


Conditional Use Application - Outdoor Advertising

Tom Corcoran, Court Reporter, recorded the proceedings. Mr. Oeste indicated the applicant was not yet ready to proceed, so the hearing was continued to November 17, 2003. Mr. Willig asked if any correspondence to this effect had been received by the applicant. Mr. Oeste and Mrs. Csete replied there was none. Mr. Willig asked if there were any deadlines to be concerned about, and Mr. Oeste said there were not; the applicant waived all time requirements until such time testimony commences.

Conditional Use Application - Altemose Assisted Living Facility

Tom Corcoran, Court Reporter, recorded the proceedings. Mr. Oeste indicated the applicant requested the hearing be postponed until November 17, 2003. He added that Mr. Comitta may not be available to testify on November 17, but that the hearing would be scheduled for that date, and continued accordingly if need be.

New Business

Open Road Salt Bids

Mrs. Csete indicated three salt bids were received in a timely manner. The bids were opened and read as follows:

  Unit FOB Plant Total 2x6 Unit Delivered
to Job Site
Total 2x7
International Salt: $34.00 N/A $36.59 N/A
Oceanport Ind.: $37.00 $11,100 $35.85 $10,755
Cargill Salt: $39.00 $11,700 $45.62 $13,686

Mr. Kuhn moved to give the bids to Mr. Kohli to review for the next meeting, and Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Hogan called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Charlestown Woolen Mill Bids

Mr. Kohli said four bids were received and opened at the Township office at 2:00 P.M. that day. He said one was not qualified, because they did not bid all items or sign the bid. He said the base bids ranged from $399,000 to $810,000 and recommended all bids be rejected until which time the disparity between bids could be determined. Mr. Willig agreed and said line item breakdowns of the bids are required to see where the discrepancies are. Mr. Kuhn added that the low bid is twice what Mr. Dale Frens said it should be.

Mr. Kuhn asked if this work could be done on a time and materials basis, and Mr. Kohli said a base bid would still be needed. Mr. Willig said, since this is an unusual job, a guaranteed maximum price structure may be appropriate, but added that the disparity in the numbers indicates a problem with the documents. He said it is particularly disappointing since the Board had been waiting on these documents for some time now. He said they had hoped to have the Mill weatherproofed prior to the start of winter.

Mr. Kuhn asked what the next logical step would be, and Mr. Kohli said that Mr. Frens needs more input from the builders to understand the numbers and rework the scope. He said the base bid should only include repointing, the roof work, and windows. He said he would discuss it at the next evening’s Historical Society meeting.

Mr. Allen said it is possible the high-end bid is coming from someone not interested in the job. He strongly suggested that someone from the Board sit in on the meeting with Mr. Frens to fully understand what is being bid on. Mr. Kohli said the document outlined the minimum work that needed to be done, and that a three-hour pre-bid meeting was held to discuss it, therefore, there should have been no misunderstandings.

Mr. Kuhn moved to reject the bids, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Hogan called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Hearings (cont’d.)

Union Hill Road - Ordinance to Adopt Official Traffic Control Devices

Mr. Kuhn said Mr. Alston had been asked to do speed and volume counts on Union Hill Road, and asked him to summarize his findings. Mr. Alston said he did not write a formal report yet, but that he did conduct two studies.

He said the first study was a volume count. He said virtually all the traffic was heading Southbound on Union Hill Road. He conducted the study from 7:00 A.M. to 9:00 A.M. and found approximately 600 cars heading Southbound and only about 12 cars heading Northbound.

The second study took place at the corner of Union Hill Road and State Road. This study was for the purpose of counting left turns from Route 29 onto Union Hill Road. He said approximately 560 cars turned left from Route 29 onto Union Hill Road, and the balance of approximately 1,800 cars continued going straight. Approximately 1/3 of all cars made the left-hand turn. He said approximately 6-12 cars turned right and were not included in his count. This study was also performed from 7:00 A.M. to 9:00 A.M.

Mr. Alston added that he had not yet done the speed study. Mr. Kuhn asked if he had any recommendations based on his findings. Mr. Alston replied that, at this point, he did not think there was a traffic problem as far as volume was concerned. He said the speed study could produce a different result.

Mr. Kuhn asked if anyone was interested in having the speed study, and Mr. Hogan said he was not. Mr. Willig agreed that he was not sure what that information would be used for. Mr. Kuhn said the two main complaints the Township has received were regarding volume and speeding.

Mr. Alston said when speed studies are performed, it is a general rule the 85th percentile speed is used as the recommended speed for a given road. Although not a formal study, his observations showed the 85th percentile on this road being 45 miles per hour. He said it was possible that a speed study would trigger a recommendation to raise, not lower, the speed limit on Union Hill Road.

Mr. Willig questioned whether the number of houses and driveway openings to a road are considered when determining the speed, and Mr. Alston said all such factors are taken into consideration. Mr. Alston said he had also not yet done studies to determine the need for advisory signs over the hilly part of the road.

Mr. Kuhn asked the residents for input. Dr. Stewart agreed with Mr. Alston’s analysis and said the volume has decreased from before the signal improvements were completed on Route 29. He said he believes it may be down as much as 50% from two years ago. He added that he believes speed is still an issue, although it also has improved.

A woman voiced her concern over the lack of complete stops at the stop sign. A man added that between 7:00 A.M. and 8:00 A.M., it is always questionable as to whether someone will or will not stop while going through the underpass. He said he is concerned about the children he sees there at that hour.

Mr. Kuhn asked if anyone felt the Township could possibly be promoting passing problems by having the 25 mile per hour speed limit. Mr. Rodgers said he was not in favor of raising the speed limit, as he feels that will only cause those who speed to continue to speed at the higher limit. Another woman said she feels it is very effective to have a State Trooper there from time to time. Mr. Alston agreed, stating that almost 90% of the cars he studied hit their brakes when they saw his car, which somewhat resembles a police car.

Mr. Hogan asked if Route 401 was open, and Mr. Alston said it should be fully open this week. He said PennDOT has the authority to have the road closed from 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Monday through Friday, and 7:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Saturday and Sunday.

Mr. Kuhn asked if Union Hill and Rees Roads can be striped. Mr. Alston said he is waiting on the paving of the bottom of Union Hill Road. The paving is to occur by the end of next week, and then striping could begin.

Mr. Kuhn moved that no more traffic calming action be taken on Union Hill and Rees Roads, other than striping, conducting a study for the need for advisory signs, and police presence, and Mr. Hogan seconded. Mr. Hogan called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor. Mr. Willig suggested they keep an eye on the road and revisit the issue in the future if need be.

Official Map Ordinance

Tom Corcoran, Court Reporter, recorded the proceedings. Mr. Comitta provided an overview of the Official Map Ordinance. Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the ordinance and map as presented, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Hogan called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor. Mrs. Csete passed the ordinance to the Board for signature.

Zoning Ordinance Amendments – Home Occupation and Historic Resources Protection

Tom Corcoran, Court Reporter, recorded the proceedings. Mr. Comitta provided a definition of Home Occupation and Home Occupation, Major. Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the Zoning Ordinance amendment. Mr. Kuhn requested the item be tabled as he had not had time to review the document since May. Mr. Willig seconded the motion. Mr. Hogan called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. Two were in favor, and two were opposed. The ordinance amendment on Home Occupation was tabled to the November 3, 2003 meeting.

Mr. Kuhn moved to table the remaining Zoning Ordinance amendment on Historic Resources Protection to November 3, 2003, and Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Hogan called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Mr. Philips questioned how many times something so simple as the Home Occupation Ordinance needed to be tabled. Mr. Kuhn answered that he had not read it, and therefore, felt it necessary to table it.

New Business (cont’d.)

Dixon Subdivision – Subdivision & Land Development Agreement and Tri-Party Agreement

Mr. Oeste indicated that both agreements were on standard Township forms and were ready for Board approval. He said the only issue was that the bank had not signed yet, because they want the subdivision signed and recorded prior to their signing. He recommended the Board approve the agreements subject to the bank signing. Mr. Kohli said there was a delay in approval for sewer permits in this project. Mr. Oeste then said the Board should add permit approvals as another condition to be satisfied subject to approval.

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the tri-party agreement and subdivision escrow agreement subject to Mr. Oeste’s above-mentioned recommendations, and Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Hogan called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

C.C.A.T.O Convention

Mrs. Csete said she to respond to the CCATO as to who is planning to attend this event. Mr. Hogan, Mr. Willig, Mr. Kuhn, and Mr. Kohli said they plan to attend.

Old Business

There was no Old Business to discuss.

Other Business

There was no Other Business to discuss.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:57 P.M. The next meeting will be held on November 3, 2003, 7:30 P.M. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154.

Respectfully submitted,

Melanie Lammers
Recording Secretary