CHESTNUTHILL TOWNSHIP SUPERVISORS
ROUTE 715, BRODHEADSVILLE, PA 18322
MINUTES OF MEETING – APRIL 2, 2002
A regular meeting of the Chestnuthill Township Board of Supervisors was called to order at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, April 2, 2002, at the Municipal Building, Route 715, Brodheadsville. Those present were Chuck Gould (Chairman), Maureen Tatu, Mike Possinger, and Attorney Joseph P. McDonald, Jr.
The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag was led by Kevin Ammerman.
Eagle Scout Resolution.
Cathy Baker read Eagle Scout Resolution Number 02-01, recognizing and congratulating Ryan Kirsch on his attaining the level of Eagle Scout. On Motion by Mike, seconded by Maureen, it was voted to approve this resolution (3-0).
Mrs. Drake. Mrs. Drake asked for an update on the progress of the Model Sign Ordinance. Chuck responded that the Planning Commission is not addressing this issue at this time due to the projects currently being worked on involving Zoning and SALDO. After these projects are completed, the Model Sign Ordinance will be the next item addressed by the Planning Commission.
Mrs. Drake then asked if dates have been set for the Appliance Pickup. Dave Johnson responded that they have not. Cathy Baker added that Joe Weston, the Township Roadmaster, had been away and has only been back for one day. The dates will be set shortly, and then display ads will be placed in the paper.
Lori Shutter. Ms. Shutter spoke of how the temporary flower tent vendors who come to the Township during the Easter Season cause difficulties for the established local businesses who also sell flowers. Chuck responded that the Township Zoning Officer, Walter Hansen, has been researching zoning ordinances regarding transient vendors. According to Mr. Hansen’s research, transient vendors can pay a $35.00 fee to set up their business in the Township and can stay for a whole year. (They usually stay between 30 days and three months, but they are permitted to stay for a whole year.) Chuck then asked Attorney McDonald for his advice on the matter. Attorney McDonald responded that the Board of Supervisors is permitted some discretion in matters like this. Some communities require that these transient vendors have licenses. They can be charged steep fees to make setting up the business undesirable, and restrictions can be written into the Zoning Ordinance. The possibility of violations of land development plans can be looked into also if the transient vendors are taking up parking spaces. Maureen stated that the tents do serve a purpose; however, she does not like to provide direct competition to local businesses. She suggested licensing fees or seasonal use fees. Mike stated that regionalized ordinances could be created in conjunction with surrounding townships. Chuck requested that a committee be formed to explore options. Maureen will head this committee. Dave Johnson will serve as the Planning Commission Representative. Walter Hansen will also serve on this committee, and Ms. Shutter will represent local growers. The committee will meet the third Wednesday of the month.
Al Bourke. Mr. Bourke stated that he has done more research on the property which is the subject of the ESSA/FOP Land Option. He went to the Register and Recorder of Deeds Office at the Monroe County Courthouse. He learned that ESSA bought the property from King’s IGA for $135,000.00 in 1980. In 1982 the land was subdivided. One of the parcels is 9.1 acres. The parcel that is the subject of the Land Option is 7.27 acres. The overall assessment of the property is $82,000.00+. The tax rate is $9,345.00. If ESSA sells the property to the Township and the Fraternal Order of Police, the tax rate for the bank will drop by $7,500.00 per year. Mr. Bourke stated that since the Township and the Fraternal Order of Police do not pay taxes, the Township’s taxpayers would have to make up the $7,500.00 each year. Mr. Bourke then asked the Supervisors not to buy the land. Chuck responded that this property is in a Village Commercial/High Density Residential area and was just appraised at $375,000.00. He asked Mr. Bourke to rerun his tax numbers.
Jim Spinola. Mr. Spinola inquired if the Township Supervisors had any information about Wal- Mart purchasing property in the Township. Chuck responded that he had no information about this.
Attorney Joe McDonald and Dave Johnson. Attorney McDonald mentioned that PIC Clean Up Day is Saturday, April 6. He stated that there is adequate insurance coverage for the volunteers, but the volunteers are not covered if they cause bodily injury to Township Employees. Mr. Johnson asked if there are age restrictions in the insurance coverage. Attorney McDonald responded that there are not. Mr. Johnson then asked if a waiver should be signed by the volunteers. Attorney McDonald stated that each volunteer should be given a copy of their insurance coverage and asked to sign it. Mr. Johnson then invited all interested individuals to attend the PIC Meeting on Thursday, April 4 at 7:00 P.M. and the Clean Up Day event on Saturday, April 6 at 8:00 A.M.
Approval of the Minutes.
On motion made by Mike, seconded by Maureen, it was voted to approve the minutes of the Tuesday, March 19, 2002 Township Supervisors’ Meeting (3-0).
Chuck spoke of a bulletin received regarding a video conference being held by the Pennsylvania Rural Development Council on Friday, April 12. He will pass the information along to the Township’s Planning Commission. He then spoke of information received regarding New Jersey Camp Jaycee’s participation in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Summer Food Service Program. The dates are June 16 to August 10, 2002. New Jersey Camp Jaycee is located at the end of Ziegler Road, which is off of Jonas Road. The third piece of correspondence Chuck spoke about was a letter from the Monroe County Planning Commission regarding the rescheduling of the second Watershed Planning Advisory Committee meeting to April 24, 2002. It will be held at the Monroe County Administrative Center from 1:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M. The last item Chuck mentioned was a letter from the Commonwealth’s Department of Treasury thanking the Township Supervisors for allowing a representative from the Department of Treasury to speak at a Township Meeting. Maureen then spoke of correspondence received from Tunkhannock Township asking Chestnuthill Township how it will be handling the issue of the Commonwealth recently approving the pay for Planning Commission members. A memo was also received from the Tunkhannock Township Supervisors stating that they invited the Pocono Mountain School Board to meet and discuss options for school tax reform. This offer has been accepted, and the Pocono Mountain School Board will attend the Pocono Mountains Council of Governments meeting on June 24 at the Price Township Building. The County’s remaining school districts are also invited. Maureen said she will attend this meeting. Maureen then mentioned a letter received from the Pocono Record regarding a special publication they will be releasing on May 4 entitled, Pocono Perspective. This publication will feature businesses and public and private sector employers coming to this area. Chestnuthill Township has been invited to advertise in this publication. She then spoke of a letter received from William Hopkins of LTS Development stating that LTS Development has not applied to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and will not apply to them to obtain a waiver to install overhead electric utilities at Whispering Woods. (Joe McDonald interjected that the original forms containing the addresses of the developers and maintenance bonds should be kept at the Township Building in the event of a default.) Cathy Baker read a letter written by Anne Marie Klem stating that she was rescinding her offer to organize a Memorial Day Parade. Ms. Klem was doing so because she felt there were too many obstacles she would have to overcome as just a citizen and that the Township as a whole could accomplish more. Chuck suggested that a note of appreciation of her efforts be sent to Ms. Klem. On motion by Mike, seconded by Maureen, it was approved to send a note of appreciation to Ms. Klem (3-0).
Orchard View Estates. On motion made by Mike, seconded by Maureen, this has been tabled until the next meeting (3-0).
Employee Handbook. At this time, this is still a work in progress.
Mike Possinger and Leon Clark. At the time the topic of Open Space Fundraising was addressed, Dr. Clark was not present at the meeting. Mike stated that he and Dr. Clark had not been able to meet with each other to discuss open space fundraising. Chuck asked that Cathy draft a letter to Dr. Clark stating the dates and times Mike would be available to meet with him. Dr. Clark arrived later on during the meeting and informed the Supervisors that he has contacted the Nature Conservancy and the Sierra Club but has not heard from either one yet.
Leon Clark. At the time the topic of the purchase of a new time clock was addressed, Dr. Clark was not present at the meeting. On motion by Mike, seconded by Maureen, it was voted to purchase the Amano Cincinnati MJR-7000 time clock researched and recommended by Lorelei Sands (3-0). Dr. Clark arrived later on during the meeting and provided Ms. Sands with the information he researched on the Acroprint Time Q, Time Q + Plus, and TimeStation PC time recording systems. Ms. Sands stated that Dr. Clark had suggested excellent recording systems; however, she had already researched these systems and found them to not be desirable given certain conditions at the Township Building. She explained that the TimeStation PC software would require a free-standing computer that would only be used as a time clock, and as the majority of the individuals who punch in and out are road crew workers, the computer would have to be set up in the garage. There is no “safe” place (free of dirt and possible damage) to set up a computer in the garage. The clerical staff can not be constantly disturbed by road crew members and other employees coming to their computers to punch in and out. The Time Q and Time Q + Plus Systems are swipe card systems that require networking to a personal computer. Ms. Sands spoke with Riley Computer Services, and networking a time clock to a personal computer is not a service included in the bid package awarded to them in December. Therefore, the Township would be charged approximately $65.00 per hour for labor plus any other costs incurred to perform this job. There were unforeseen problems when representatives from Riley Computer Services networked the Township Office’s computers in January, and the labor took several days. Ms. Sands further stated that these particular time recording systems are purchased from supply catalogs or stores such as Staples or Office Max. When a time recording system is purchased in such a manner, the purchaser is “on his own” if the system breaks. The purchaser must call a national 800 number and sit on hold to receive instructions over the phone on how to fix the time clock himself. If the time clock can not be fixed over the telephone, then it must be mailed back to the manufacturer in its original packaging. The particular time clock Ms. Sands was recommending to the Township Supervisors is manufactured by a company, Amano Cincinnati, that has been in business for over 50 years and is well-known for manufacturing parking meters. The business that Ms. Sands was recommending the Township Supervisors purchase the time clock from, Mercer Sales and Service, has been operating for over 50 years. Representatives from Mercer Sales and Service would come to the Township Building to install and program the clock. Mercer Sales and Service also offers a maintenance agreement on the clock that would give the Township personal attention, including a visit to the office from a repairman, if the clock malfunctioned. Ms. Sands also cited local businesses (Country Home Candle Shop, Moritz Embroidery Works, Laurel Manor Nursing Home, and several Penn Security Bank Locations) who have purchased the same time clock from Mercer Sales and Service. These businesses are very satisfied with both the time clock and the service they receive. Chuck asked Dr. Clark he if agreed that the Township Supervisors should purchase the time clock recommended by Ms. Sands. Dr. Clark agreed.
Request for Authorization to Advertise for Bids for the Purchase of the Logs on the Park Building Property. On motion by Mike, seconded by Maureen, this was authorized (3-0).
Joe McDonald, Esquire’s Request for Authorization to Advertise an Ordinance to Authorize an Intra-Municipal Cooperative Agreement. Chuck explained that the purpose of the Intra-Municipal Cooperative Agreement is to create a larger geographical area about which issues such as zoning, traffic, and clean water can be addressed more effectively and for less monetary investment. The more Townships that participate in this Agreement, the greater the chance of receiving regional grants. The County is the facilitator of this Agreement, which is the inspiration of the Monroe County Planning Commission. Attorney McDonald provided the Supervisors with copies of the proposed ordinance for their review. Signing the ordinance is a commitment to participate in the initial funding for a consultant. If a Township does not like the consultant’s plans, then the Township does not have to participate in the Agreement. Eldred and Ross have already enacted their ordinances. Polk Township is waiving its intent. On motion by Maureen, seconded by Mike, it was voted to sign this ordinance and advertise it (3-0).
Planning Coordinator and Infrastructure Coordinator. Chuck stated that Pat Meckes’ workloads as both Township Tax Collector and Planning Commission Secretary are not doable. Chuck is recommending that a position of Planning Coordinator be created to strictly handle all Planning Commission matters. Mike and Chuck also spoke of the need to create a position for Infrastructure Coordinator to assist the Township Roadmaster. The Infrastructure Coordinator will keep records of bridge markings and keep every sign in the municipality listed, identified, and replaced as necessary. Maureen stated her support the for creation of both positions. On Motion by Mike, seconded by Maureen, it was voted to create job descriptions for, advertise for, and employ a Planning Coordinator and an Infrastructure Coordinator (3-0). Attorney McDonald spoke with Attorney Mike Carr, who wants to meet with the Board of Supervisors and a representative from the union to decide beforehand if these positions will be union or management. Cathy will set up this meeting.
Authorization to Hire a Temporary Worker from Manpower Temporary Service While Cathy Baker is on a Leave of Absence. Cathy Baker will be on a leave of absence for approximately three months, from approximately the end of May until the beginning of September. In her absence, the Township Office’s workload will require extra help with things such as correspondence, payroll, bill paying, scheduling SEO appointments, and coordinating where the SEOs have to be. A temporary worker will be requested from Manpower Temporary Service to help for approximately 120 days. Upon motion by Mike, seconded by Maureen, this was approved (3-0).
Announcements. Chestnuthill Township Zoning Officer Walter Hansen will be on vacation Monday, April 15 through Friday, April 26. Cathy Baker and Joe Weston have been appointed Interim Zoning Officers by the Chestnuthill Township Supervisors. Cathy will process permit applications from 4:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. on Thursday, April 18 and from 4:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. on Thursday, April 25. Joe will perform site inspections for Certificates of Occupancy. Both will handle emergencies as they arise. This was approved upon motion by Mike, seconded by Maureen (3-0).
Chuck reminded the group that “March for Parks” will be held on Saturday, April 27 from 10:30 A.M. until 1:00 P.M. at the Romascavage Property. Advertisements will appear in the paper. Directions have been photocopied and typed up, and are available at the Township Office. Attorney McDonald then informed the Township Supervisors that he has received a real estate tax invoice on the Romascavage Property, and he asked them if they wished for him to pursue tax exemption on this. On motion by Chuck, seconded by Mike, it was voted to pursue to the greatest extent possible retro relief on the tax bill on the Romascavage Property, which will depend on the timing of the bill (3-0).
Approval to Pay the Bills.
On motion by Mike, seconded by Maureen, it was voted to pay the bills for both the General and State Funds (3-0).
Heckman. Bill Kresge stated that the driveway has been existing for 35 years, but a permit has been applied for. Upon motion by Mike, seconded by Maureen, this plan received final approval (3-0).
Gower. This is a three lot subdivision. One point six acres will be kept by Mr. and Mrs. Roger Gower. Two plus acres are being given to their son and stepson. Lot #1 has the existing farmhouse and the existing garage, and the test pit has been done. Upon motion by Mike, seconded by Maureen, this plan received final approval (3-0). Upon motion by Chuck, seconded by Maureen, the planning module was approved (3-0).
Upon motion by Mike, seconded by Maureen, the meeting adjourned at 8:15 P.M. (3-0).
for Cathy A. Baker, C.G.S.