Saturday, April 09, 2005

BoS Meeting 4/7/05

This very long meeting of the Forks Board of Supervisors ended after 10:30 PM. It really began at 6:30 PM with a presentation by Urban Research and Development Corporation (yes, the same organization helping the Township to revise its Zoning Ordinance) of the Two Rivers Area Greenways Plan. The Action Plan is a good read for all of us and will be especially interesting to the Forks residents currently fighting Palmer Township's land condemnation. Forks was fortunate to be the first of the involved municipalities to hear the presentation. It is well described in Chris Pollock's Express Times (4/8/05) article. Joe Nixon's Morning Call (4/8/05) article focused on the progress made with the new Municipal Complex.

REPORTS: SUPERVISORS, MANAGER, ENGINEER & SOLICITOR

  • Supervisor Nicholas reported that she and Chairman Ackerman are interviewing people for the Director of Public Works position.
  • Nicholas also reported that she "walked in on" a meeting with Township staff and Zawarski & Benner about the proposed zoning overlay (on 400 acres of FP zoned land).
  • Supervisor Holmgaard announced that the new Township website is up and that the ENTIRE Township code will be available there as will all forms that residents may need. He went on to say that it will be an "efficient tool for fast communications... instant communication, that is what it really is for."
  • Supervisor Miller reported that the winter sports season is over and that they have shifted to outside activities.
  • Dennis Knesz of the DPW has worked for the Township long enough to move to the next pay level and Ackerman asked the Board to put him at the new pay level retroactive to his employment anniversary date in March. The Board agreed.
  • Township Manager Kichline expressed thanks to the Emergency Services crew for their remarkable efforts during the flood emergency. She reported that the blood drive last Halloween earned a plaque for the 20 employees who gave blood and that it may become an annual Halloween event. Also, she said that the Bushkill Stream Conservancy wants Township support for the Two Rivers Area Greenways Plan and it will be an agenda item at an upcoming meeting.
  • Police Chief Dorney reported that the Seat Belt Enforcement Education Program awarded the Township $3K and that the fundraiser sponsored by the Criminal Justice Program (as well as private contributions) earned enough money to purchase a bullet proof vest for Milan, our new dog.
  • Tim Weis (Emergency Management Coordinator) reported on the storm work stating that 23 homes sustained major damage and 28 received minor damage. He told of the road closings and the evacuations.
  • Peter Gheller (DPW Director) reported that the Township helped PennDot with the cleanup on Route 611 and that the road was reopened to traffic in the afternoon (4/7/05.)
  • Fred Hay, Township Engineer, reported on the Sycamore and Frost Hollow swales and stated that he was working with a homeowner to save a tree.
  • Solicitor Kline stated that the Frost Hollow swale is designed and that they are ready to get bids. The holdup has been obtaining easements from two homeowners. One is now okay with the project but the one at 2302 Lone Cedar Drive refuses to sign. The only option is to condemn (700 sq. ft.) if Hay can't fix it. The property owner wants a guarantee that his tree will live.
  • Kline also reported that Township staff met with Sal Panto and Phil Seibert (sic) and that there was a good give and take regarding road layout and density (for the requested zoning change on 25 acres amid the Riverview Estates development). Strausser will revise the plan and will request a joint meeting with the Board and the Planning Commission before the plan is submitted. (A resident asked that Kline stop using the term "cookie cutter" when referring to anything but the desired Village. Kline said he was only reporting the meeting.)

CORRESPONDENCE:

  1. Nicholas said that she will be attending PSATS on Monday.
  2. Kichline noted that because of a relocation by his employer, Brent Alinger is resigning from the Planning Commission effective May 1, 2005. Ackerman asked Kline how long the BoS has to fill the position (term ending 12/31/06) and was told 30 days from the effective date. Advertisement of the position in the newspaper and on the Township website was authorized by the Board. The Planning Commission will narrow down the field of candidates and then the Board of Supervisors will make their choice.

COMMENTS FROM THE FLOOR (NOT AGENDA ITEMS):

  1. Sue Wexler (sic) of Heather Lane asked the Board what the Township's plans are to fix the storm water runoff problem on Heather Lane. She said that it was running like a raging river again from the weekend's rains. Hay said that the grate over the access pipe was clogged again (Giant pond) and that the Township cleared it. The Township has been trying to locate the new owners of the property. They are somewhere in Wisconsin. The Township plans to put in bigger storm pipes and are hoping to have it done by the end of the summer. Ms. Wexler said that her quality of life is being diminished and that she holds the Board of Supervisors accountable.
  2. Fritz Weide stated that the debt figure was not on the agenda and wanted to know why. Kichline stated that it was on a month ago and only changes every 6 months. She will put it on for every meeting. Weide also said that he agreed with the resident who spoke up earlier, that "Sal Panto wants to ramrod another development."
  3. Virginia Jackson thanked the cleanup crew for getting the construction debris off of her field. She warned that the 25 acre development north of her farm looks to be a water problem draining on to her fields and home. Hay told her that water flow is being considered in the developer's new plan. Jackson said that she wants it in writing from the Township or the developer that they will absorb the costs of any damages that occur. She said that "they build, cause damage, and leave causing much heartache." Ackerman stated that the storm water issue is addressed in writing on the plan. Jackson also said that there is a sinkhole in that field. And, she stated that she cannot even go outside her house to work in her garden without a "developer pouncing on" her.

The STATUS UPDATE BY ALEX GALE/MUNICIPAL COMPLEX was as expected, detailed and informative. The site contractor returned this week on the PD site and he foresees no problems to its completion by 4/30/05. He submitted a $2K change-order for a utility locator service because many of the lines are not recorded and are a maze. He said that Ed and his crew completed the wiring in the new park building. Ackerman interjected that all residents should visit it. Gale said that it should be "the standard for future" Township buildings. Ackerman asked for a workshop session at 6:30 PM before the next BoS meeting (4/21/05) for a tree walk and to discuss the relocation of offices.

A Design Waiver was granted in 5:0 vote for HORNSTEIN ENTERPRISES, INC./PENN'S RIDGE PHASES 9 & 11 for the location of street trees. The same number of street trees will be planted but because of driveway cuts the spacing will be different than the Township requires.

Kline reported that all was in order for RIVERVIEW ESTATES WEST, PHASE 1/DEVELOPER'S AGREEMENTS. It was approved 5:0.

The FORKS SELF STORAGE LAND DEVELOPMENT/IMPROVEMENT AGREEMENTS were approved 5:0. This property is on the NW corner of Sullivan Trail and Uhler Road (behind the bank.) Kline reported that all is in order. The developer paid $5K in lieu of a traffic study. There will be no hazardous material storage allowed at this facility.

KNOLLWOOD ESTATES PHASE 1/DEVELOPER'S AGREEMENTS were approved 5:0. This property is south of the swale along Zucksville Road. Kline stated that these indemnification agreements allow the developer to get along with site improvements.

OLDCASTLE BLOCK/DEVELOPER'S AGREEMENTS were approved 5:0. Kline stated that all was in order and that the developer has promised to take care of some of the storm water problems there.

The ZONING AND SALDO ENFORCEMENT ACTION/S&R BALAZS was more complicated. Kline explained that the property owners on Zucksville Road were informed when they bought their lot (part of a two lot subdivision) that it called for sidewalk and curbing and a bond to relocate the utility pole. The Balazs never posted the bond. They moved in without a CO but did install the required sidewalk and curbing. They did not have the utility pole moved. The estimated cost to move the pole is $15K. They built a well and got a waiver to not move the water line. A resident said that there are 3 other properties without sidewalks and that the road is unfinished. Kline said that this is a case of willful violation and requested the Board to authorize his staff to pursue an action against the Balazs. It was approved 5:0.

RESOLUTION - DEDICATION OF STREETS/GREENLEAF ESTATES SUBDIVISION - Kline stated that the paperwork is in order to qualify for the Liquid Fuels Credit. It passed 5:0.

RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING BERKHEIMER ASSOCIATES TO COLLECT AND RETAIN FEES FOR COLLECTION OF DELINQUENT E.I.T. - There was no discussion and it passed 5:0.

The DISPOSITION OF LAMBERT HOUSE AND HOUSE NEAR WRESTLING BUILDING discussion focused mainly on the Lambert house as the other has been used by the fire department for training and is beyond salvaging and will be demolished. The mansard roofed Lambert House on the corner of Newlins and Richmond will be razed and the outbuildings used by the FD for training and then demolished. The Forks Township Historical Society cannot afford to restore it. The house cannot be burned (per DEP). This was approved 5:0.

The POLICE DEPARTMENT COMMUNICATIONS discussion involved concern over the infrastructure now that phone lines are used. Holmgaard suggested installing a "shadow server" as backup to the main server. He will report back with the cost at the next meeting. It was approved 5:0.

The RELOCATION OF OFFICES IN THE NEW ADMINISTRATION BUILDING was held over to the workshop at the next meeting.

APPROVE FURNITURE PURCHASE/NEW ADMINISTRATION BUILDING - This was a long discussion. Nicholas said that the original presentation (4/4/05) was done by the architect and that all three vendors wanted to do their own presentations so that they can answer questions. She also noted that the price disparity was great and that the itemized prices were removed from the packets that the Board received. She learned that delivery was 6-8 weeks and not what the Board had been told as 12-14 weeks. The presentation will be rescheduled for April 12th or 13th and will take up to 3 hours. Alex Gale (member of the design team) stated that Nicholas has "driven a wedge" between the design team and the vendors. Nicholas also stated that there is a privacy concern (residents' confidential records) in the design. Holmgaard said that "we need privacy." Ultimately, about the entire furniture discussion, Holmgaard said, "Tell me what you want to do." Nicholas replied, "Eliminate one vendor and get the other two to do presentations comparing apples to apples."

The Board went into executive session to consider a personnel issue. They took no action and the meeting was adjourned.

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.

8 comments:

Progress is the Future said...

Normally the reports on the Board of supervisors' meetings are accurate.

Why then, for this meeting, were the full comments made by Mr. Weide left out of your "official" record?

As I recall, he commented on the severe problem with letting a criminal run for township office (which, by the way, nobody on Forks Acton Committee seems concerned about).

It's a FAC said...

Welcome back "Progress." We thought we lost you on 2/8/05. We are glad you are still around and attending meetings. As you know, we report only on what we hear at meetings. Your question does not make any sense to us. Please check the Township's own website for the official meeting minutes when they are available. If you cannot wait for them to be posted, perhaps the Township Manager will allow you to listen to the official tape recorded session? Hope this helps.

Progress is the Future said...

Normally, "It's a FAC," you hear everything at the meeting and report it. You heard everything else at the meeting, including details just before and just after the omission I pointed out in my previous post.

If you support Fisher, just come out and say it-- don't just mysteriously fail to hear a very prominent series of comments from the floor.

The argument that you only report what you "hear" is almost as thin as the FAC's false support for C. David Howell.

It's a FAC said...

"Progress," F.A.C. firmly supports C. David Howell for Forks Township Supervisor and follows his lead to not wage a negative campaign. Perhaps, you would feel better on your own "candidate bashing" website? I take back my "welcome." If you are so hot to read the stuff we did not hear, again I suggest that you approach the Township Manager or members of the Board to get permission to hear the official tape of the meeting.

Progress is the Future said...

Rebel, don't get your panties all twisted in a bunch.

I don't "back" anyone in particular. However, I have an issue with support of a criminal for public office. That is not "bashing" or negativity, it is simply principle based on truth, equality, and justice.

You are the hypocrite, or one of many, that cite a mission of informing the public, yet you only do so when it serves your own interests.

No, you can't have your cake and eat it to. Don't prop yourself up, as some almighty, self-proclaimed fundamentalist, and then omit the *whole* truth.

Progress is the Future said...

"True to your word?"

Yeah, I said I was "done with this" but I never made mention of how long because I meant "for now."

I find it amusing that you will use some irrelevant point to avoid the substance of the questions and points raised. Most reasonable people, myself included, would find your "true to word" allegations childish. I don't tote a banner for an organization that claims to be "informational" as you do.

As for the tapes: I don't need to request them, I heard the points. I'm telling you, per your own quote:
"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." I am telling you that you made a mistake. I have told you several times. YOU said you would get it right, but as of yet YOU have not. Therefore, to use your own logic, YOU are not true to your word.

I praised Holmgaard for stands he took on particular points and/or issues, and I still stand by those accolades. Also note, that when those posts were made, there were no alternatives yet to consider, as candidacies had not yet been announced.

Your arguments take the form of 52-card pickup, and your insight is reminiscent of the joker.

Progress is the Future said...

Oracle, are you serious?

Do you really want to get in a shot-for-shot battle with me instead of defending your own principles? (as stated in the About Us section of the site)

I'm glad you think it's productive to your cause.

Also, did you ever consider that some people may have memories that last longer than yours? Just because you can't remember what you had for dinner doesn't mean I can't remember what happened a few weeks ago.

It's a FAC said...

Please "Progress", since you so adamantly assert that a salient point is missing from the notes, share what you know to be fact either via email to admin@forksaction.com or here in the blog so that the correct information will be here for all to read. We did not hear it and have no notes. You will be doing a public service