Sunday, August 07, 2005

BoS Meeting 8/4/2005

Both newspapers, the Morning Call (Jeff Christman) and the Express Times (Sarah Mausolf) reported on this meeting in their 8/5/05 editions. Once again, we will try to fill in the blanks.


  • Supervisor Henning Holmgaard said that he and Township Manager Cathy Kichline met, at the request of the Board, with school district officials to find out what the Forks Township Police Department's involvement with the schools will be going forward. The district is looking for an assistant security director and when that person is found, there will be a meeting between the school board president, the superintendent, the security director, the assistant security director and Forks representatives (Chief Dorney, Kichline and Holmgaard.)
  • Supervisor Don Miller made the Parks Department report available. Miller said that there was a nice picture/article in the Morning Call about the log cabin (near the Community Center) the other day. He had a copy for people to look at. He said that the oak roof is starting to curl and may have to be replaced with cedar.
  • Chairman John Ackerman noted that the Police Department had a Police Academy a short time ago and he received two enthusiastic letters from parents whose sons participated. Wendy Buchman's son was excited about the demonstrations, SWAT, and many other items and Anthony Salamo really appreciated it and is considering a career in criminal justice. Supervisor Bonnie Nicholas said that her son also attended and even though he complained about going, when he got there he really enjoyed it. Ackerman said that Charlie Dent stopped by the Academy (when he was in the Township for his press conference at the Community Center).
  • Ackerman said that the Board got a memo from Kichline on comp time and uniforms. He said that (DPW Director) Gary Sandt is working on the uniforms and will have a report on that for the next meeting. Kichline read part of the Comp Time section from the employee handbook and said that it was given orally to employees but never written. Ackerman asked that the Board get their comments to Kichline before the next meeting. He suggested that instead of a 2 hour minimum, it be changed to a half day. Kichline said that it should include a 24 hour request notice. Solicitor Kline read from the employee manual the part stating that employees must get prior approval before taking comp time. Nicholas asked Sandt if 24 hours is enough time for him for scheduling and he said that it was. This will be on next meeting's agenda.
  • Kichline reminded the Board that there will be a meeting on Thursday, August 11th at 5:00 PM in the meeting room with the Frost Hollow Swale residents and the contractor. She said too that the Community Center software is now installed and that they are working on the conversion of the utility bills. The Memorial Trees (photos and the form) are now on the website. Kichline also told of the I.C.E. campaign - enter ICE in mobile phones along with an emergency name and phone number. She said too that the meeting sponsored by US Representative Dent's office on Flooding Solutions was spearheaded by the Northampton County Long Term Recovery Committee. Nicholas asked about the sewer bills and the meter reading on the back side. She was concerned that homeowners would not know to turn the bills over. Kichline said that it applies to those with bypass meters and that the instructions indicate completing the back side. Ackerman asked why the Township had to pay Kelly (Temps) money when Irene was hired. Kichline explained that the money ($750) must be paid if one hires a temporary employee. The only way around that would be a 6 month layoff before hiring.
  • Chief Greg Dorney reported on the National Night Out (August 2nd) where Township residents were encouraged to come outdoors and associate with their friends and neighbors and meet the police who visited several of the communities in the Township. He gave the Board a packet with photos and a report and wants to expand the program next year. Dorney talked about the outpouring of positive comments that he received after the summer Academy. He asked Officer Rowden to do a presentation for the Board and the residents. Officer Rowden presented a PowerPoint slide show with photos. He said that this was the third year for the academy and that 10 kids were enrolled in year one, 15 in year two, and this year there were 40. He said that it was held in the wrestling pavilion and that each enrollee got a tee shirt (paid for with Dept. of Justice grant money), a Binney & Smith provided portfolio, dog tags and name tags. Several local businesses provided lunch and beverages for the program. In September the PD will do a program on "Safe Surfing of the Internet" (for adults.) The date is not yet set.
  • Zoning Officer Tim Weis said that he met with some residents of Frutchey Hill and he also met with residents along the river. More of them want to take advantage of the FEMA grant program to raise their homes. He stated that the "river will flood again."
  • Ackerman asked Dorney about the parking on Hill Road. Dorney said he is waiting to hear from Engineer Fred Hay's office about the engineering issues. Nicholas said that one of the residents (who drives a school bus on Hill Road) has complained to her that school is going to start soon and she is concerned about the big trucks parked at the bottom. She said that it's hard to maneuver the school bus down the hill and see around the parked trucks especially in the winter when it's slippery. The resident said all the neighbors are complaining about the parked trucks and will come to a meeting if necessary. The business in question deals with cleaning products. Ackerman said that they will continue to look at it.
  • Public Works Director Gary Sandt gave his department report to Ackerman. He said that things are going "okay" in his first few weeks on the job.


The STATUS UPDATE BY ALEX GALE/MUNICIPAL COMPLEX began with the news from Gale that the schedule for completion of the fire station and the Municipal Building has been revised. It now looks like the 1st week of December is the target move-in time. Apparently many things are now going wrong. The "fin tubes" (for the fire house) vanished at the manufacturer's and it is thought that they went to a school project somewhere. They must be remanufactured. Nicholas asked Kichline to let the furniture supplier know about the date change.

Nicholas asked about the substitution of brick pavers for the fire station rotunda instead of stamped concrete. Gale said that because of the complexity of the pattern, no one would quote it. The total cost of the rotunda floor will now be $16.2K (up from $8.7K). Nicholas asked about the additional drainage and Gale told her that there is a potential sinkhole with the original plan and that there is a closed depression in the former tree area. Nicholas asked also about the concrete in the low flow pool at the CVS pond. Gale said that it was specified as an extra by the Township engineer and not in the original program. Kichline added that this was to be proactive for Heather Lane stormwater improvements. When Nicholas asked about the new phone switch, Gale said that the old one is on its "last thread of life" and that the new one will work throughout the complex. Ackerman asked if Kichline had met with Verizon and RCN. Kichline said that Verizon beat RCN and Gale noted that RCN did not want to respond to anyone except the Board. Gale added that Verizon will bring in fiber later at no charge.

The general project update included the news that the excess fill from behind the Community Center is being used where the trees were pulled out and that it (where the trees were) will be a nice area for tree planting. We learned too that there is an electrician shortage and that Frick will be relocating the generator in 1-1/2 weeks. The exterior aluminum (fire house) door people are not answering calls but Gale says that he will find them. And, some of the non-essential equipment will be moved to the new fire house sometime around the 19th. Fire Chief Tim Weis will coordinate that with Gale. The proposal for the upgraded security system at the Community Center and new park maintenance building will be available at the next meeting. He hopes that everyone will be sitting down when they see it.

Kline stated that the ORDINANCE NO. 291/TEMPORARY RETAIL SALES/CONSIDER FOR ADOPTION has been properly advertised. Zoning Board member C. David Howell asked if this ordinance will apply to signage for temporary retail sales. Kline replied that the Zoning Ordinance is being updated and will cover the signage and parking and traffic flow issues. Howell said that the current signage (for the hot tub sales tent in the old Laneco lot) is not on the property that the hot tub sales is leasing and that the sign far exceeds any plaque signage requirements in our zoning laws. He said it is the size of the side of a truck. Weis said that he noticed it and that it's on a truck and truck signs are not permitted. Weis said that he will speak with them and that they are only there for another week.

The UPDATE FEE SCHEDULE discussion became lengthy and very detailed. It was decided to raise fees for temporary sales to $400/month (or $100/week) instead of the $25/permit fee. The rest of the very long list of fees to be changed will be considered during the fall 2006 budget preparations.


Kline said of COUNTRYSIDE ESTATES: a) Phase 1/Deeds of Dedication - Destiny Lane & Stormwater Detention Area that under the original terms and conditions when this project was approved (under a different Board) the Township would take over the detention pond. Our engineer said that all work was complete. The resolution was carried 5:0. Regarding b) Phase 2/Final Major Subdivision Plan, our engineer said that this was discussed at the July 8th PC meeting and recommended for approval with conditions. The detention pond will stay with the property. It was carried 5:0.

Kline stated that the VILLAGE @ UPSTREAM FARMS, PHASE IV/DEVELOPER'S AGREEMENTS have been signed by the developer. In addition, the developer has provided a letter of credit ($135,542.66), escrow funds, and a certificate of insurance. It was carried 5:0.

There was no discussion of the CURRENT BUDGET REVIEW. Kichline said that Nicholas emailed some questions to her late in the day and that she will have Sandy run a history report tomorrow and then will answer the Board via email.

KRONOS' PROPOSAL/WORKFORCE TIME KEEPER - Kichline said that she was asked at the Board's direction to look into a workforce timekeeping system that will tie into payroll, etc. She said that security people she spoke with recommended Kronos. She asks the Board to keep this in mind for the upcoming budget. She will contact Northampton County, where this software is in use, for the bid specs their purchasing department used. Nicholas asked if there would be one card or more than one card (per employee). Kichline said they are looking at a one card system. Nicholas added that her company uses this software.

There was no executive session 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.

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