Saturday, January 22, 2005

BoS Meeting 1/21/05

Joe Nixon's Morning Call piece and George Whacker's Express Times piece both described the regular meeting's Strausser proposal very well. Kudos. (Aside: The Express' title writer could use a map - wink wink... Mr. Santo would appreciate it.) Again, we will endeavor to fill in the blanks. The regular meeting was preceded (at 6:30 PM) by a pair of Conditional Use Hearings, one for a day care facility in a private home and one for the EASD Shawnee Middle School. The regular meeting began on schedule at 7:30 PM.

ANNOUNCEMENTS & REPORTS:

CORRESPONDENCE:

Supervisor Nicholas reported receiving a letter from the Sewer Department recommending that NO new sewer lines be installed NORTH of Newlins Road.

COMMENTS FROM THE FLOOR (NOT AGENDA ITEMS):

  1. Resident Fritz Weide asked that the total indebtedness of the Township be printed on the Agenda for each meeting. He was told by the Township Manager that it only changed twice a year and that it could be on the Agenda then. He thought it should be on each time. He asked also what it is currently and Township Manager Kichline told him that it is "$8 million and change." He also said that he was out of town for a while and when he came back he saw an article in the Express Times that a certain builder met individually with Supervisors. He questioned whether this was permitted in the Township by-laws. He expressed his opinion that it didn't seem the proper thing to do. He asked how much it cost to perform the rezoning the last time the Township did it. No one there knew that answer as they were not on the Board (or in their current positions) when it was done. And, lastly he asked if the Board has taken a position on gambling in Palmer Township. They have not. He had more questions but alas, he was "hooked" by the new 5 minute rule.
  2. Wendy Nicolosi, representing Nick Zawarski & Sons and Knollwood Estates asked about the holdup in approval. She was told by Engineer Hay that the problem is a PennDot issue re. maintenance of the stormwater system and that he was planning to meet with PennDot about it. PennDot wants the Township to manage the lines and the Township does NOT want to do that. Hay also informed Nicolosi that he does not yet have Zawarski's revised plans.
  3. Dean Turner, chairman of the 250th celebration, said that the Remembrance book is now available at $20 a copy. If anyone wants one, please contact him or call the Municipal Building to order a copy.

The STATUS UPDATE BY ALEX GALE/MUNICIPAL COMPLEX included the following:

  • He expects to have a report of the total cost of the Fire Department roof collapse for the next meeting.
  • He expects to have the comparison (prices and pros/cons) of above ground and below ground fuel systems for the next meeting. Because of the delay, the AUTHORIZATION TO ADVERTISE FUEL TANK INSTALLATION agenda item was tabled.
  • The furniture presentation will be ready soon for those on the Board who want to see it.
  • There will only be one dedication plaque, not three as originally planned. He gave the Board a sample of text to use as a starting point (to compose their own.)
  • Met-Ed has the new feeds switched for the Police Department. UGI has connected the new gas meter. The new phone and data wiring installation should begin next week.

Mr. Gale also discussed a CCTV system that would monitor (with cameras) the entire Municipal Complex site both inside and outside of buildings. He said that this was not in the original plan and would cost $40K to $50K. He asks that the Board consider it. Supervisor Holmgaard remarked that if they had the cameras during the 250th, the beer tent would not have been broken into. Yes, it was and a keg of beer was stolen. He said that "we need the cameras." Mr. Gale said that the 5 cameras that were in the old police building will be re-installed in the new one.

The REQUEST BY THE ELECTED TAX COLLECTOR FOR A RATE INCREASE discussion resulted in Ms. Vail being told to seek a ruling from Judge Moran if she wanted an increase in her 2005 rate. The court order establishing the rates expired 12/31/04. The order indicated that the Board could change the rate after that. Solicitor Kline said that the Board could indeed change the rate for the Elected Tax Collector... for the following term and not for the current one. He said that the deadline to do that is February 15, 2005. The Board will consider it at their next meeting on February 3, 2005.

CONDITIONAL USE REQUEST (Arlene Sauerhoefer) for an increase to 6 children in her in-home day care was granted.

CONDITIONAL USE REQUEST (EASD Shawnee Middle School), after lengthy discussion of whether to have a bike path or not have a bike path, was granted. Supervisor Holmgaard asked if the EASD (as a developer) and all the communities using the school will pay additional fees. He compared this to the fees Forks (and other communities) had to pay when the Easton sewer facility was expanded. Resident (and former Supervisor) Stan Kocher remarked that that would be just taking money from one pocket to put in the other. Vito Tamborrino, Planning Commission Chairman, discussed the possibility of overflow parking if two major events (auditorium and gymnasium) are scheduled at the same time. He requested that a paragraph be added stating that if this happens, the Township can do something.

JALAPENEAUX LAND DEVELOPMENT/INDEMNIFICATION AGREEMENTS (Tioga Pipe service center on Kuebler Rd.) were described by Solicitor Kline as "in order." It was carried unanimously. This allows them to begin work on the infrastructure.

LEHIGH VALLEY INDUSTRIAL HOLDINGS LP/SUBDIVISION INDEMNIFICATION & SEWER AGREEMENTS (3 lot subdivision with Tioga Pipe on Kuebler Rd.) were described as also "in order" by Solicitor Kline. It was carried unanimously. This allows them to begin work on the infrastructure, roads etc.

RENEWAL OF LEASE FOR BRADEN AIRPARK RUNWAY TURF AREA was carried unanimously. This is a 5 year lease of land (300' x 120') at the end of the runway in case a plane has a landing problem.

STRAUSSER ENTERPRISES/REQUEST FOR ZONING CHANGE - SET PUBLIC HEARING DATES: The meeting dates were set. The Planning Commission will see the presentation at 6:30 PM on 3/10/2005 and the Board of Supervisors will see it (as well as the PC's recommendations) at 6:30 PM on 3/17/2005. Both will be held in the Municipal Building's meeting room. Sal Panto, Strausser Representative, described the project as really being two different projects. The first is on a 4-1/2 acre portion of the 25 acres and will be home to the Riverview Estates private recreation "village" (clubhouse, pool, bocce court, basketball, etc.) Panto requested a ruling at the meeting on whether this would be a USE BY RIGHT or a CONDITIONAL USE. He said that he sent two letters to the Board about this ruling last August. Neither Township Manager Kichline nor Solicitor Kline (nor any of the Supervisors) got those letters. Panto said that he would resend them. If Zoning Officer Tim Weis determines that this is a USE BY RIGHT, Strausser can begin construction of the recreation center immediately. If Weis says that it's not a USE BY RIGHT, then the rezoning for it will be included in the 25 acre parcel zoning change request. This MAJOR commercial development (in a residential area) is what the public hearing is about. Panto said that Strausser Enterprises has/is using focus groups to help them in their project design. He was asked by Township Manager Kichline to give a copy of the Strausser-prepared-zoning-ordinance to the Board for their review before the presentation. Panto said that he would but only along with a copy of the presentation on CD. He said that the (proposed) zoning ordinance couldn't be easily understood without the visual presentation. He felt that they should be able to screen it in the privacy of their own homes.

The COMMERCE BANK/LAND DEVELOPMENT proposal was rejected. There was no representative from Commerce Bank present. The initial application deadline could not be met. The bank will have to come back with a new plan and begin the process again.

RESOLUTION NO. 050120-4/STEEPLECHASE, PHASE I was tabled.

The BUDGET AMENDMENT (EMST) was passed unanimously. This will simply show the increased revenues anticipated from the new Emergency Services Tax in the 2005 budget. OPT will be changed to EMST.


Our objective is to relate what is experienced at Forks Township meetings for those who cannot attend. We are attempting to be as factual as we can. If we make a mistake, tell us via email or Comment here in the blog, and we will do our best to correct it. We are not perfect. We want to get it right.

5 comments:

A Forks Resident said...

Wonderful meeting notes... Thank you Forks Action Committee. These notes are great for those of us who can attend, since they jog our memory of what was discussed and help explain to our Forks Township residents why they need to ATTEND these meetings. FORKS TOWNSHIP RESIDENTS' INPUT IS VERY CRITICAL NOW! There are lots of issues that Forks Township residents need to know about… from Focus Groups to Public Hearings.

It's a FAC2 said...

It is very disturbing to hear that the Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission
are going to preview this proposal by Strausser Enterprises before the scheduled meetings of March 10 and March 17. In my opinion, this is no different than having private meetings. If the Board of Supervisors and Planning commission are allowed to review these plans in advance, the citizens of Forks Township are at a disadvantage by not having adequate time to properly review the information and formulate questions. Let’s play fair by putting an end to private meetings and by putting everything on the table at scheduled meetings.

Dean said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Progress is the Future said...

The public doesn't vote on the issues. The details are left to our elected and appointed officials. If you want to be involved with detail, then run for office. However, if you speak as you do on this site, and waste time on trivial details that only affect the few, then you won't get elected.

out of townshipper said...

I spoke to an individual that attended this meeting and it is my understanding that it was the township manager that requested that all documents be sent to them ahead of time for their review and not the developer's idea. As a matter of fact I am told the developer initially did not want to do that for fear of the documents being misunderstood. I see these new types of communities are being proposed in Tatamy and Lower Nazareth as well. I started learning about these traditional neighbors on the web. Quite interesting.