Sunday, July 10, 2005

BoS Meeting 7/7/2005

Joe Nixon (Morning Call 7/8/05) and Sarah Mausolf (Express Times 7/8/05) reported on the major money issue of this short meeting. Mausolf also did a piece on the progress of the new Municipal Complex (Express Times 7/8/05). We will once again try to fill in the blanks.


  • Supervisor David Hoff reported that he has the June Fire Report and that it will be on file. Also, he stated that 16 resumes have been received for the new Finance Manager position. They are narrowing down that number and hope to start interviews next week.
  • Supervisor Bonnie Nicholas reported that she has the minutes of the May 16th Joint Sewer Meeting (Forks has received the largest quota) and that one of our guys attended a Confined Space seminar.
  • Supervisor Henning Holmgaard showed the new shoulder patch for the Police Department and said that each of the Supervisors had one to take home with them. Chief Greg Dorney said that the "guys" have an August 1 deadline to get the old ones removed and the new ones sewn onto their uniforms. They fit over the old patches and will cover the stitch marks.
  • Supervisor Don Miller said that he has the Park & Recreation Department report.
  • Chairman John Ackerman said that he has the Public Works Department report. He also stated that Township Manager Cathy Kichline is on vacation.
  • Zoning Officer Tim Weis reported that a lot of homeowners along 611 qualified for the $30K federal government grants to raise their homes. He said that 3 of the houses have already been raised and that there are about 7 more to go. Ackerman asked him if he was able to go to the flood meeting in Lower Mount Bethel and Weis said that he could not attend.


  • Hoff reported on a letter from Vincent and Shirley Falcone regarding the Shawnee Middle School construction. Hoff asked that it be considered. Nicholas pointed out that the Falcones want a berm between the detention pond and the houses. Hay said that he has to check whether or not it is a temporary construction pond or a permanent one. He will report back.
  • Nicholas reported a discrepancy between the Planning Commission Joint Meeting Minutes and what she feels was stated regarding the next two months of Staff sessions. The Minutes state that the Staff will work on the TND. Nicholas noted that they were charged to work on the details of the zoning ordinance revisions, and not on TND issues at all. The Minutes will be corrected.
  • Nicholas also said that resident Dan Kye (sic) addressed the PC/Joint Meeting with his concerns regarding theTown Center (zoning) designation for the last three houses on Sullivan Trail. He was told at the PC meeting that it would be on this night's agenda. Nicholas asked that it be added. Weis said that he sent an email to Kichline stating that there was a misinterpretation of the map and that those houses are NOT in the Town Center District. It will not be added to next meeting's agenda.
  • Nicholas asked that the Noise Ordinance (sent to the Supervisors for review by the Solicitor) be added to next meeting's agenda. By way of explanation, Acting Solicitor Steven Goudsouzian, stated that it is intended that his draft match the new zoning. Ackerman said that he thought that would be at the September 27 Joint Meeting. Holmgaard noted that Hay is to bring a decibel meter to that September meeting also. Ackerman explained to the audience that the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors have been holding a series of meetings to discuss revisions to the Zoning Ordinance and the SALDO and that at this point the Staff is working on "incidentals" and the Joint Meetings will resume in September (on the 27th).


  1. Vincent Falcone, a resident living near the Shawnee Middle School project, stated that the residents were not notified of the retention pond. He said that it was added to the plans after approval. He feels that it is impacting the value of their homes and that because of it, there is a mosquito issue. He requests that a berm (and arborvitae) be placed between it and the neighboring homes. Ackerman said that Hay will review the plans.
  2. Susan Turner, a resident living near the zoning map mistake (see the third item under CORRESPONDENCE above) on Sullivan Trail, stated that there is still some confusion since one of the properties is for sale and it is being advertised for commercial and business uses. She said that although it is not Town Center, the people who live there think that it is and that the neighbors are concerned. Weis said that the resident will get a letter. Ms. Turner is also concerned about speeding cars and litter on Sullivan Trail. Dorney asked where she lives.


STATUS UPDATE BY ALEX GALE/MUNICIPAL COMPLEX - Mr. Gale asked if there were any questions on the "red" books that each Supervisor was given. Nicholas asked if the schedule in the back was accurate as it indicated that the Municipal Building would be done at the end of August. Gales said that the schedule is outdated and that he is working with the contractor to update it. She also asked that a line be added noting when the furniture delivery is wanted. She asked about the firehouse bathroom tile because Holmgaard mentioned it an another meeting. Gale told her that it is regular tile and is light gray and burgundy.

In his discussion of the general status of the project, Gale said they are putting in a new 3" water line to the park and that the water pressure there should be greatly improved. He also noted that there is a problem with the "steel people" as "a sub of a sub of the prime contractor" is out of business. This involves payment issues and is not a Township problem. He will keep a close watch on it to be sure it does not become a Township problem. Gale also noted that the move date for the firehouse is being set back three to four weeks because of the "snail pace" of the roofing contractor. This may impact the rest of the project but he isn't sure at this time. He will keep the Supervisors informed.

Nicholas asked about the grass border on the traffic islands noting that it would be less work if it was all mulch around the shrubs. Gale said that the grass width was decided by the size of the hand mower that the Township owns. It fits. Gale said that he is not happy with the job that the contractor has done out front and some of the shrubs and grass will be replaced. Gale also said that the maintenance of the entire site will be nearly a full time job for someone.

Gale noted that he is concerned about the "time capsule" as it is time to dig the hole. He must reserve the spot and be sure that he can do the excavation and bury it. He does not know who is in charge of the time capsule and he doesn't want to have all the lawn and sidewalks in and then have to come back and dig the hole.

Holmgaard stated that the tree list is up on the website and Gale said that the Township is still looking for a resident's perfect specimen (19' - 20' high) blue spruce to be relocated and used as the Township Christmas Tree.

Hay suggested that the PHEASANT RIDGE, PHASES 1, 2, & 3/IMPROVEMENTS COMPLETION item be tabled until the next meeting as Met-Ed is not responding with a schedule to the developer (Jim Seitz). It was tabled 5:0.


Hay said that the bid opening for the FROST HOLLOW SWALE/RECOMMENDATION TO AWARD BID took place on Tuesday at 5:00 PM. The low bidder was Nimaris Construction at $797,095. Hay noted that he thought the bid could be lowered to about 1/2 million dollars with some changes and that the contractor could probably start in a month. The bid was accepted as a "not to exceed" number in a 5:0 vote. As soon as the contract is signed a meeting will be scheduled with the residents to get a feel for what their concerns are and to tell them what the scope of the work will be.

Conditional Final Approval was granted to the FORKS MEDICAL OFFICE BUILDING/SULLIVAN TRAIL BUSINESS PARK/LOT LINE ADJUSTMENT/LAND DEVELOPMENT PLAN (Warren Hospital) in a 5:0 vote. The lot line adjustment is necessary to accommodate the building itself. The remnant lot may be used for an expansion in the future. The lot will have underground detention as it is not conducive to a basin. That will outflow to the storm sewer line on Braden Blvd. which flows into the detention basin on lot #4. That then discharges into Sullivan Trail's system. At the moment the detention pond on lot #4 has a large sinkhole in it that needs to be repaired. Steve Pany, the developer's representative, took issue with paying up front to extend the cul-de-sac (on Braden) to the next property although they agreed at the PC meeting to do that as well as to install sidewalks on Braden. Hay explained that the Township cannot force a developer do an "offsite improvement" (the adjacent property owner, when developing their lot). Hay explained that we have no 209 Act and no Impact Fee for roads and must collect the costs up front. Pany said that the Township is asking for monies (a contribution) to improve a road "if and when" it is needed and that the monies will go just into the Township's coffers. Holmgaard explained the concept of "pass through," that the costs are passed through to the next person. Pany agreed to build the sidewalk when and if the road gets extended and will make a "contribution" of the present day value of the cost to extend the road (in the future.)

Hoff asked about the improvements to the subdivision. Goffredo said that the only hold up is Verizon's move of three old telephone poles on the corner of Sullivan Trail. They have moved the cables. He said that all base paving is done, the sanitary sewer is done. the right of way improvements and seeding are done. Penn Dot has been notified of their schedule.

Pany noted that subdivision milestones have been met and they would like to go forward with their project. Hay noted that the detention basin has a sinkhole that needs to be repaired first. Goffredo said that the as soon as the bank (Merchants Bank, the project for lot #4) signs the right-of-way agreement, the work on the basin will begin. The agreed to stipulation is that the basin on lot #4 must be completed before grading can start on lot #6 (Warren Hospital).

Hay recommended that LAFAYETTE PARK - PHASES 2 & 3/RELEASE MAINTENANCE be accepted. It passed 5:0.

Hay recommended that the BUSHKILL RIDGE/ROADWAY DEDICATION (AND RELEASE OF MAINTENANCE) be accepted. It passed 5:0.

Goudsouzian stated that the PENN'S RIDGE PRD, PHASES 9 & 11/DEVELOPER'S AGREEMENTS were in order. It passed 5:0.

The AUTHORIZATION TO HIRE RECEPTIONIST was approved 5:0 and the position was given to Irene Hess at a rate of $16.33/hour. Hoff explained that Ms. Hess has been working for the Township from a temporary agency for a while.

The PUBLIC WORKS DIRECTOR discussion was moved to Executive Session.

There were no questions for the CURRENT BUDGET REVIEW.

An EXECUTIVE SESSION was called to discuss the PUBLIC WORKS DIRECTOR agenda item. It was tabled 5:0. 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.

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