Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Eyes Wide Shut (apologies to Stanley Kubrick)

Like many of you, this blogger was surprised to read about the CVS project detailed by Sarah Mausolf in the Express Times on 11/29/05. Commercial development is encouraged in Forks. It's a good way to increase our tax base without causing excess stress on our infrastructure and our schools.

Forks also has a Comprehensive Plan adopted a number of years ago which was intended to guide development of a real and vibrant Town Center. Industrial development does not belong in Town Center, that's where retail is encouraged. Now our Township officials are going to be put to the test since this project is not industrial but retail and includes both a drug store and a drive-through fast food restaurant at one of our already most congested intersections, Uhler Road and Sullivan Trail, in the Employment Center district.

In addition, the project will need zoning variances, one to put two buildings on one lot and the second to erect a (currently not permitted in EC) drive-through restaurant. There is no Zoning Hearing Board meeting scheduled for December at this time, at least there is none listed on the Township website, nor has one been advertised in the Express Times. As to the December Planning Commission agenda, it's way too early for that to be online.

The issue facing our Township officials is whether to disregard its master plan and allow the project because it's offered or to more rigorously defend the spirit of the Town Center design. It's a conundrum for sure. And, on top of that, according to Mausolf's article, CVS has an additional adjacent 6 acres. If this project is allowed, will CVS-Forks then expect to do more retail development there? Would that then give us a strip mall where industry and offices were intended? Economically, which would be better for Forks taxpayers?

There's so much to think about! I wonder if the Zoning Hearing Board takes the Comprehensive Plan into account when making decisions? I wonder if they will be told about the additional 6 acres? Heck, I wonder how the newspaper got this story before any of them?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Advertised Vacancies

This legal notice appeared in the 11/19/05 edition of the Express Times. Please get your letter of interest to the Board of Supervisors now. The deadline is 12/2/05!

Legal-Public Notices
LEGAL NOTICE FORKS TOWNSHIP Letters of interest are now being accepted by the Forks Township Board of Supervisors for the following vacancies: Two seats: Planning Commission - Terms to expire December 31, 2009 One seat: Zoning Hearing Board - Unexpired Term to expire December 31, 2007. One seat: Recreation Board - Term to expire December 31, 2010. One seat: Vacancy Board - Term to expire December 31, 2006. Interested persons should submit a letter addressed to the Township Manager by December 02, 2005 at the Forks Township Municipal Building, 1606 Sullivan Trail, Easton, PA 18040. Forks Township Board of Supervisors
Published in The Express-Times on 11/19

Sunday, November 20, 2005

BoS Meeting 11/17/05

On November 17, 2005 the Board of Supervisors tentatively passed the 2006 budget. Sarah Mausolf (Express Times) and Joe Nixon (Morning Call) wrote all about it. Please read their informative articles as they included more from interviews with the Supervisors than happened in the public meeting.

REPORTS: SUPERVISORS, MANAGER, ENGINEER & SOLICITOR
  • Chairman John Ackerman said that he received reports from every department and was pleased.
  • Supervisor Henning Holmgaard gave kudos to the Police Department for what they just went through in the accreditation process.
  • Supervisor Don Miller reported that of the three Township football teams to go on the finals, two of them made it, the midgets and the peewees. He added that sign-up for the winter sports is over and that 425 kids have signed up for basketball and 70 for wrestling. Of the 425 there are 150 who signed up for the instructional league (6-8 year olds).
  • Township Manager Cathy Kichline said that she submitted a written report to the Board and that much time is now being spent on coordinating the move into the new building.
  • Kichline also reported that there is a committee resurrecting the Two Rivers Council of Governments and that they will focus on yard waste, composting and recycling programs.
  • Kichline requested that the Board okay payment of the $3500 that it promised to the Greenway Plan development in February 2001 and never paid. Ackerman asked if it was a one time payment and when told that it was, said "okay."
  • Police Chief Greg Dorney said that the 2 day onsite assessment by the accreditation staff went well. They spent 1-1/2 days reviewing policy and ½ day riding with officers. Dorney said that they had a debriefing with him before they left. He stated that their comments were positive and he is confident that he’ll have an invitation for December 13th to be in Harrisburg to accept the department’s accreditation.
  • Fire Chief (and Zoning Officer) Tim Weis related that the fire department appreciates the new building and that it is giving them a great sense of pride.
  • DPW Director Gary Sandt said that "Public Works is still waiting for its new facility." He also said that they have been very busy and have collected 10 loads of leaves a day.
  • Finance Manager Jim Farley related that they are adding modules to the accounting system software as well as planning and preparing for the move. Supervisor Bonnie Nicholas asked why the software is still being worked on since it was supposed to have been completely implemented (the conversion) in 3 months? Kichline explained that the interim data coming on disk from the EASD is not working and that manual entries are required. Supervisor David Hoff added that the EIT will be ready in January and that the delay was agreed to. Holmgaard explained it as a problem because they didn’t start on the the 1st of the year. Ackerman asked if the extra time was costing the Township more and was told by Kichline, "Not a cent."
  • Solicitor Karl Kline reported that the Knox Avenue Senior Associates filed a tax assessment appeal for their building and that the Crivellaro sewer capacity purchase (21K/gals/day) is coming along. Williams Township is the holdup. It should be resolved by their next meeting. He also said that the citizens suing Howard Construction are withdrawing their lawsuit. Engineer Fred Hay confirmed this.

CORRESPONDENCE

Hoff said that the Board received an email from Vito Tamborrino, Planning Commission Chairman, requesting reimbursement of half of his expenses to attend a seminar in Philadelphia that his company had him attend. In the email Tamborrino said that ½ was directly related to his architectural work and ½ would benefit the Township as it had to do with planning. Nicholas objected to reimbursing him since his company sent him. Ackerman said that no bills should come for payment if the Board did not give its permission. Ackerman asked if Tamborrino turned in a report about the seminar? Hoff said that he felt that the seminar was fully paid for by his company. A resident suggested that the Board have Tamborrino come before it to explain. A motion to NOT pay was passed 5:0.

COMMENTS FROM THE FLOOR (NOT AGENDA ITEMS)

  1. Roy White from the Easton Suburban Water Authority addressed the Board in the Comments section instead of as an agenda item (his choice) about the merger between the ESWA and the City of Easton (water department). He described the history of the ESWA as being created by the City of Easton in 1958 and incorporated in the State as a non-profit entity. The ESWA serves 21,000 customers and 8 municipalities. Its board of directors (9 members) is chosen by the Easton mayor, voted on by council, and under state law must be comprised of a majority (5) of Easton residents. The ESWA began talking to Easton about the merger in order to fulfill its mission statement to provide the best quality water to their customers. In 1988 the ESWA started taking over the facilities that serve its customers. He added that the water treatment plant is in need of $17-20 million in capital improvements and under the current agreement (from 1958), the ESWA would be responsible of 80% of it (since their customers use 80% of it). This would mean that the Authority would have to come up with $16 million for the improvements and have no control over the operation and maintenance of it. About three years ago the Authority and the City of Easton entered into a memorandum of understanding in which the Authority became the controlling interest in managing the project. The Authority then approached the City to take over the operation of the water treatment plant. The ESWA, as a concession to the city, agreed to take over distribution with the condition that they take some of the city’s employees. The Authority will no longer have to pay a water bill to the City and will be the one taking the initiative to get the financing. Holmgaard commented that there are reports of water bills never paid. White said that they amount to $175K. Ackerman asked when the deal will be finalized? White replied that the city hopes to have it done in the next couple of months. There was discussion of a PennVest low interest loan as the source of funds for the capital improvements. PennVest requires that the applicant be the owner or the operator. Kline asked if the ownership of the plant was going to be turned over to the Authority or if the City would remain the owner. White said that the City will retain ownership and the Authority will have a very tight lease agreement for 25 years, the same term as the loans. By becoming the operator of the entire system, a "water district" will be created and the City rates and the local rates will be maintained. The rates of course, will increase to pay the debt.
  2. Resident Richard Couch proposed reinstating Forks Township Day as a way for non-profit groups like the Boy Scouts, churches, & Kiwanis to raise money. Nicholas said that he ran similar events like this where he lived before (Allamuchy Day in Allamuchy, NJ) and would be happy to run one for Forks. Ackerman asked that he make up a plan and present it to the Board. Miller remarked that it’s a lot of work.
  3. Resident Ken Nagy expressed his thanks to Mr. White (ESWA) for coming to the meeting. He remarked that the ESWA will be leasing the equipment from the City of Easton. He said that the City was told by the courts recently that it can’t take its water funds and put them into the general fund. Nagy said that this does exactly that and that the potential for litigation is there. He said that to break even $175/yr will be needed from each Easton water user. Nagy mentioned the existing pension and health plans and said that they were underfunded. He then asked White if the 20 employees will be coming over as union employees and White said no and added that the Authority does not have a union. Nagy expressed his opinion that the townships are being raped by the cities and boroughs. He would like to see more restrictions on this plan before it goes further to insure that "we have a little control over what’s going on and that we have some ownership in the facilities." Holmgaard asked if a copy of the agreement will be shown to the municipalities? White said that it will be public record. Ackerman stated that the authority should have no restrictions on who the directors are. White explained that the City of Easton is the incorporating entity and by law, that is the way it must be done. Kline noted that the water authority is apolitical.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

STATUS UPDATE BY ALEX GALE/MUNICIPAL COMPLEX - Gale reported first on the site work. He told of a mystery at the front entrance since the new traffic light was moved, the internal controller for it has vanished. He will be in "hot pursuit" of this (which he just learned about today.) Some of the other items he discussed include the following:

  • There were rumors today that the roofer may "walk." A new roofer will have to accept a warrantee on the existing roof.
  • The generator is to arrive early next week.
  • The Municipal Building roof still has leaks below the skylight and the flashing must be examined.
  • L&I (Labor & Industry) made a preliminary assessment yesterday and found nothing major.

Nicholas asked about the leaking roof affecting the stuff put inside and Gale said he was the last person who would do that. Jim Wideman (Planning Commission) asked if the Township has a performance bond on the roofer and Gale said yes and that he is withholding $236K from the general contractor.

GOLLUB PARK - The motion to go ahead with the plan as shown was approved 5:0. Before the vote Hay discussed a map with pink and blue highlighting to show the location of the old trolley line and the proposed new walking path. Holmgaard asked if all the easements have been obtained and was told by Kline that the easements could not be obtained until the Township knows what it was going to do. Kline explained that plats must be prepared for recorded easements. Hay said that the proposed walking path should be kept natural and will have a minimum cost to the Township.

Wideman asked how Metropolitan Edison and Mr. Rossi will be able to get back to their property? He was told that the 30' right-of-way still exists. Nicholas asked if the Township will be maintaining the blue part over the trolley bed? Hay said that vehicles will only be using it 3 or 4 times a year. Rossi asked if the easement will be a general easement or if it is specific to Rossi and MetEd. He also asked if the easements are granted will the Township vacate the right-of-way and was told that the right-of-way will continue to exist. Kline stated that all the private owners have private rights over the paper street. He said that the easement with Mr. Arcury allows access to Township vehicles for emergency access only and it is not for the general public.

NEW BUSINESS

EAJSA/VACANT SEAT (2006-2009) - Ackerman noted that two candidates were interviewed for this vacancy. Nicholas made a motion to appoint Henning Holmgaard. It was passed in a 4:0 vote.

ORDINANCE NO. 294/PARKING ALONG PORTIONS OF OLD MILL ROAD - Kline stated that this ordinance was properly advertised and that it creates a no-parking area on Old Mill Road from Marigold to Knox Avenue in order to create a bike lane on the north side. It was adopted in a 5:0 vote.

2006 GENERAL FUND BUDGET/FORKS TOWNSHIP EMERGENCY SQUAD - Jeff Fehr gave a copy of the Forks Township Emergency Squad’s tax return to Ackerman. He also said that they prepared an updated copy of the squad’s income and expenses for the Board’s review. He said that squad is in the process of executing an affiliating arrangement with the Cetronia Amublance Corps and that Cetronia will be doing the billing operation as well as assisting with other operational duties. He said that Cetronia is a model ambulance corps and that they have some of the most advanced technology. He noted that the Township has collected EMS tax revenues and that there is $350K in an account for emergency services. He requested that 1/3 of it be given to the emergency squad (with another third to the police department and 1/3 to the fire department). He also said that they are not in favor of the fire department’s training facility. Hoff said he was not sure where this $350K is as it is part of the general fund and the squad has a line item of $20K in next year’s budget. Nicholas asked why he was not in favor of the FD training facility. Fehr responded that it’s not that they are not in favor of the facility but that they want the money dispersed equally. Their squad’s training is extensive and a lot of it is done at the hospital so they do not need a dedicated facility. Holmgaard said that he thought the Board should look over the statements and revisit the issue at the next meeting. Ackerman asked that he return at the next meeting since the Board may have questions of him.

2006 GENERAL FUND & UTILITY FUND BUDGET/TENTATIVE ADOPTION - Kichline noted that the budget’s development has been in process for the last few months. She said too that she gave the Board a copy of the Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley’s budget and that it shows their $6.5 million operating budget which is allocated to various agencies throughout the LV. Holmgaard noted that the CACLV salaries and wages are lumped together and that the questions were still not answered.

Kichline reminded the Board that if they table this it will require a special meeting at year end to adopt the 2006 budget since the 21 day advertising and display requirement would take them past their last scheduled meeting date of the year. Hoff said that it can be "tentatively" adopted and some "limited" changes can still be made. Nicholas noted that this means that her objection to the 4% raises for everyone can not be changed after the tentative adoption. Kichline said that she included performance reviews in the Board’s packets.

The Board voted to tentatively adopt the 2006 budget so that it can be properly advertised in a 4:1 vote with Nicholas voting "nay."

BOARD OPENINGS/AUTHORIZATION TO ADVERTISE - Kichline announced that there are terms expiring on the Planning Commission, the Recreation Board, the Vacancy Board and that Howell’s election win leaves an unfilled term on the Zoning Hearing Board. After a resident asked why they are doing this so late, Kichline was given permission to advertise the vacancies.

An EXECUTIVE SESSION was held to discuss a personnel matter and a real estate matter. No action was taken 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.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Wait! There's More!

Now that the election is over, there are more things you can do for your township. David Howell's new position as Forks Supervisor leaves a void on the Zoning Hearing Board. His term was due to expire December 31, 2007. If you are interested, please send a letter of interest to the Supervisors. We suggest sending a copy to EACH of the Board members so that it doesn't get lost or forgotten. They must appoint someone for the January term in December.

Also, there are two terms expiring on the Planning Commission on December 31st. Again, send a letter of interest to the Board (copies to each of them please) and cross your fingers. The new terms start at the beginning of January 2006 and must be filled by the last BoS meeting in December (the 15th).

Most of our Supervisors home addresses are in the phone book or, if you prefer, the Municipal Building address is 1606 Sullivan Trail, Easton, PA 18040.

Don't procrastinate. Step up and be part of the solution! They need to hear from you now.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Howell Won!


Thank you to each and every one of you who came out to vote today. Wow!

We are so excited! YOU made this happen. We are so proud of you all.


(For a larger image, just click once on the graphic.)


VOTE TODAY!

Be part of the solution.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

To All Of Us - A Letter From David Howell

C. David Howell, F.A.C.'s endorsed candidate for Supervisor has written a letter to all Forks residents. It is posted on the F.A.C. website. Please don't miss it.

BoS Meeting 11/3/05

The November 3, 2005 Board of Supervisors regular meeting was preceded by a 6:30 PM budget workshop and, at 7:15 PM, by candidate interviews for Forks’ open slot on the Easton Area Joint Sewer Authority.

The BUDGET SESSION focused on three main topics:
  1. Whether or not to contribute $5600 to the Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley, the group that runs shelters in Easton (Safe Harbor), Allentown, and Bethlehem - The Township has not contributed since 2001. (In 2001, the group was promised that contributions would be an annual budget line item.) A resident noted that the director of Safe Harbor gets a salary of between $50K-$100K. Chairman John Ackerman weighed in against the contribution stating that he felt that the money should stay in the Township since the Township does not benefit from the shelters. Supervisor Henning Holmgaard said that he is for it but would like to see the CACLV budget first.
  2. Wage increases for salaried Township employees - It was decided after discussion to give the salaried workers the same 4% raises that the collective bargaining unit got. Supervisor Bonnie Nicholas thought that raises should be granted based on evaluation criteria and she objected to a 4% across-the-board-increase. There were no employee evaluations performed in time for budget planning. Township Manager Cathy Kichline will prepare a form and do evaluations prior to next year’s budget meetings.
  3. The police department budget - It was decided to hire another full time office and promote one to corporal so that the department will have supervisory coverage 24/7.

Please read Sarah Mausolf's Express Times (11/4/05) artical for more details. (Note: A Morning Call reporter was there but did not write up the meeting.)

Two candidates, (Supervisor) Henning Holmgaard and Carl Dicker, were interviewed for the Forks vacancy on the EAJSA. Both gentlemen have excellent qualifications for the job and both are willing to report to the Board at meetings. There is no compensation for this position.

REPORTS: SUPERVISORS, MANAGER, ENGINEER & SOLICITOR

  • Nicholas had the report of the Easton Area Joint Sewer Authority stating the sewer capacity of the businesses in the Township.
  • Holmgaard said that the Police Department is proceeding with the accreditation process. The final walk through should be on the 14th or 15th of November.
  • Supervisor Don Miller said that this weekend all three of the Township’s football teams are in semi-final playoffs. The finals will be next week. That will end the fall season and then the winter season will begin with basketball and wrestling.
  • Ackerman reported that residents of Heather Lane called after the recent heavy rain about sewers backing up into their houses. Engineer Fred Hay said that this was the first he’d heard about it.
  • Ackerman said that he’s received two calls from residents wanting to know what happened to the Township’s newsletter. There was discussion about it now being absorbed by the news section on the Township’s official website. Holmgaard said that the Township was going to print out and mail the news page to residents who have no online access (and request copies). Kichline said that she will.
  • Kichline asked that two items be added to the meeting’s agenda, heat for the new parks building and whether or not bids are needed to remove the old fuel oil tanks. Both were added.
  • Fire Chief Tim Weis said that the Fire Department’s furniture move is almost completed.

CORRESPONDENCE
Holmgaard mentioned a letter written by Solicitor Karl Kline to the EASD. There was no discussion and the letter was not read.

COMMENTS FROM THE FLOOR (NOT AGENDA ITEMS)

  1. Resident Ken Nagy raised two issues. The first was a comment that the 2006 budget was much like his in that there is "more demand than cash." And that the Community Action League’s $5K request may not pave a road but it will go far to provide some service/assistance in the Township. His other point concerned the consolidation of the Easton Water Authority and the Easton Suburban Water Authority. He asked the Board to invite them to speak to us about it and what its impact will be on Forks residents. Kichline will invite them.
  2. Dan Secorak (sic) of Newlins Road West asked the Board for help to slow down the traffic on his road. He said that the speed limit is 25 mph and that the police have been ineffective in enforcing it. He suggested speed bumps. He said that he must back out of his driveway and it’s very difficult now that the road has been resurfaced. He said that he has been living there since 1961 and will sue the Township if he gets hit. Holmgaard told him that the Township has a "zero tolerance" policy for speeders and there are no warnings given, only tickets. Ackerman said that there is nothing they can do except ask the police to "set up speed traps and what have you." Holmgaard said that all Township roads have 25 mph speed limits.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

STATUS UPDATE BY ALEX GALE/MUNICIPAL COMPLEX - There were no questions from the Board regarding Gale’s financial report (written and not orally presented). Some of the progress items that Gale listed include:

  • The old firehouse will be demolished on Saturday and should be reduced to a pile of rubble by Monday.
  • Schoor DiPalma’s recommended HVAC revisions to fix their mistake are being undertaken by the mechanical contractor. If it doesn’t work, they will have to go back to the drawing board. Nicholas asked if the engineer will be back-charged. Gale said that there are quite a few items that have to be looked at to see what can be recouped from the engineer. He said that it’s a sizable number and that he can indicate those that added additional costs to the project and are directly attributable to the lack of good engineering.
  • The Police Department will get a bike rack pad.
  • The reworking of the landscaping at the PD will be done in the spring and the contractor knows that it is his responsibility.
  • The paneling for the Municipal Building is two weeks away.
  • Because local contractors have been unable to bend the aluminum arches for the Municipal Building main lobby windows without breaking them, a California company is doing it. They should be here in another week. Nicholas asked how much extra this will cost and Gale said there will be no extra cost.
  • The second Board of Supervisors meeting in December (the 15th) will be held in the new meeting room.
  • The new fuel system is ready for use but the paperwork is not yet complete. They are awaiting a visit from L&I.

Nicholas noted that the project schedule now extends from December to May. Gale said that the project has phases and that taking down the old building (phase 3) was not in the original schedule. She noted that the budget for one part of the project is at 92% and the other is a 76%. Gale said, "We’re right there." Nicholas remarked, "You got it. You spend it."

GOLLUB PARK - At Holmgaard’s suggestion, this item was tabled until all the easements needed are in hand. The discussion began with Hay’s report that he was at the park site with Mr. Arcury who said that he would consider granting access for emergency and maintenance vehicles over the old trolley line on his property. This would be a "limited easement." Hay said that with this easement only a 4' wide footpath would be needed for people walking to the park and that the path could meander and not involve cutting trees.

Kline explained that in the past Arcury was willing to give a "license" to the Township for emergency/maintenance access but that a "license" could be cancelled. Now Arcury is offering a limited easement. Kline further said that a limited agreement from the Krauses would also be necessary. Kenneth Krause said that he will also give an easement for the path (over a corner of his property.)

Pete Rossi said that the hoped the Board and Arcury would come up with a solution or he WILL be taking down trees and putting in a wide roadway. He said that if a footpath goes in, he will have to do just that. He also said that there is a little sliver of land up there that could solve the whole problem if they got an easement from Met-Ed and filled it with a truckload of dirt so that they could get down to the paper road, Valley View. He could then put in his own driveway without taking down trees.

NEW BUSINESS

COUNTRYSIDE ESTATES SUBDIVISION, PHASE 2/DEVELOPER’S AGREEMENTS - Kline stated that all was in order for this Pannucio development. Passed in a 4:0 vote.

RESOLUTION 051103-1/USE OF LOT #41/FORKS FARM - Kline explained this as a 40 year old issue that now needs to be resolved. The development was laid out in the 1960s for single family detached houses and there was a disagreement between the Supervisors and the developer about a barn that was to be torn down after three years of use as an office. The developer recently went to sell the lot with the barn and the title searcher found this old agreement saying that the barn was to have been torn down. This resolution will waive the requirement that the that the barn be demolished and subject any improvements made to it to the current SALDO and Zoning Ordinance. Miller asked about anything requiring maintenance of the barn. The resolution was approved in a 5:0 vote.

FORT JAMES III - RR CROSSING & EAST/WEST EXTENSION OF BRADEN BOULEVARD - Ackerman "excused" himself from discussion since 19 acres of the land involved is his. J.G. Petrucci, developer for this proposed industrial park (124 acres north of Fort James and extending to Uhler Road) asked the Board to petition the P.U.C. to get a grade crossing over the railroad tracks so that Braden Boulevard can be extended through the site. He said that the Board's help is crucial as there is no public agreement with Norfolk Southern to allow a crossing. Norfolk Southern told the developer that their policy is to NOT grant such an agreement unless two other crossings (in the Township) are vacated. Kline said that it is appropriate for the Township to help.

The developer indicated that he will provide a link to an area reserved for a right-of-way which is part of the Modern Concrete project and goes through a residential lot to Glover Road. Nicholas suggested that the developer get a right-of-way agreement from the Yautz Farm (at the lower end of their property) or from the residential lot now. Ackerman said that he has another road alignment possibility and does not want the developer to bind themselves at this time. He did not want to discuss it yet. The Board agreed to petition the P.U.C. in a 4:0 (?) vote.

PURCHASE OF SEWER CAPACITY - CRIVELLARO - Kline explained that the sewage treatment plant allots usage capacity to municipalities. Some time ago, the Crivellaro family bought some of Easton’s unusable capacity (Easton had more than it could use given that it is "built out"). Crivellaro took what he needed and is now trying to sell his extra capacity. The EAJSA restricted Crivellaro to sell his excess capacity only to Williams Township where the Crivellaro farm is located. Williams Township is not part of the EAJSA and was told by the EAJSA that it could buy the capacity and sell it to any other municipality within the EAJSA. Williams Township is willing to buy it from Crivellaro, keep the 9K/gals/day that they need, and sell the remaining 21K/gals/day to Forks Township at $6.80/gal. The purchase was authorized in a 5:0 vote.

FIRE DEPARTMENT/FIVE YEAR PLAN - Supervisor David Hoff (liaison to the Fire Department) recommended that this be adopted. Ackerman asked about the funding for the tower and Hoff said that they are counting on the EMS Tax for the five year plan and for the tower itself, the fire company volunteers are willing to commit $175K (50%). Hoff thanked all the people who put time into preparing the 5 year plan. The plan was passed in a 5:0 vote.

BUDGET ADJUSTMENT: $393,000. FROM CARRYOVER TO 436.300 STORMWATER IMPROVEMENTS - This adjustment was necessary because the Frost Hollow Swale improvement bids came to $790K and there was not enough in the capital improvements fund. It passed 5:0.

SIGN MACHINE - Ackerman suggested holding this purchase over until next year even though it is in this year’s budget ($20K). Holmgaard said that many of the Township signs (those abutting State roads) are not in compliance. Kichline said that there is no place to keep the machine at this time. Ackerman changed his mind after it was pointed out to him that the machine will get more expensive if they wait to buy it. The purchase was authorized in a 5:0 vote.

ORDINANCE NO. 294/NO PARKING ALONG PORTIONS OF OLD MILL ROAD (AUTHORIZATION TO ADVERTISE) - The authorization to advertise this ordinance was granted in a 5:0 vote. It will establish "no parking" and create a bike lane on the north side of Old Mill Road from Knox Avenue to Marigold Drive. This was done to avoid the construction of a sidewalk for the residents of Lockwood Congress.

BUDGET REVIEW/SEPTEMBER - Finance Manager Jim Farley said that the main over-budget items can be explained. He stated that there was additional audit work in 2005, that the price of fuel is up, and that the Township chose to fill the new tanks. Nicholas asked about the unemployment compensation over budget item and was told by Kichline that one person will be coming off unemployment in 2006 and that it’s a "guessing game" since they don’t know in advance if someone will be laid off.

PARKS GARAGE HEATING - Kichline explained that the proposals are higher than expected and therefore heating the new parks garage needs to go out to bid. She has the advertizement prepared. This was authorized in a 5:0 vote.

TANK REMOVAL - Centerpoint Tank’s proposal to remove the old fuel storage tanks came in at $10,495. Ackerman reminded the Board that if there is any contamination in the tank, cleaning it is not included in the proposal. It was decided in 5:0 vote to add the tank removal to Centerpoint’s existing contract. They will be asked to reduce the price by $496.

An EXECUTIVE SESSION was held to discuss several personnel matters and one real estate matter. No action was taken 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.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Signs Signs Everywhere A Sign... NOT!



They just keep taking and taking and taking... This latest rash of sign thefts occurred last night. And this victim is fighting back with their own homemade sign. Kudos!

Even the Express Times has condemned this loathsome action. See the Express Times Editorial from October 29th. The sign thieves were awarded a TURKEY!