Sunday, June 04, 2006

BoS Meeting 6/1/2006

On 6/1/06 Board of Supervisors set a date for the new Municipal Complex open house. Read more about it in articles by Ted Strong (Express Times) and Joe Nixon (Morning Call). We will try to fill in the blanks.

Supervisor Comments:
  1. Supervisor Bonnie Nicholas reported that she received an email from Dick Couch (the Chairman of the Community Days Celebration planned for September 16 & 17) that both he and his wife are ill and can no longer spearhead the event. Township Manager Cathy Kichline said that Mr. Bennett and his wife Sue, vice-chairs of the committee, will take over and will meet with staff next week. BoS Chairman David Hoff instructed Kichline to send a thank you letter from the Board to Mr. & Mrs. Couch for getting the Community Days Program started and wishing them well.
  2. Supervisor David Howell said that he received a letter from Jean Rogers in favor of the grocery store and that she could not be at this meeting because of a broken hip. He postponed reading her letter until the Public Hearing on June 29th.

Treasurer’s Report - Howell reported the Township’s cash outlays since the last BoS meeting.

Standing Committee Reports

  • Public Safety - Supervisor Nicholas reported that work continues on the (PD) 5 year plan. Nicholas said too that she received a number of phone calls from residents after a television program about hurricane season aired. She said that they are working on the Command Center and much it should be done by the end of June and it will be totally completed by the end of July. She added that it will be ready for "any kind of hurricane."
Emergency Management Co-ordinator Tim Weis announced that the Knox Box decoders have been installed in the (supervisory) police vehicles and fire trucks. He said that letters have gone out to businesses, response has been positive and applications are coming in.
  • Public Works - Supervisor Ackerman had nothing to report. Nicholas mentioned that Pete Gheller passed a GIS (Geographic Information Systems) course. Kichline added that Gheller was sent to community college to take an Advanced GIS course. Kichline said that the Township is using it a lot and right now they are identifying all of the Township owned detention ponds and that this information will be used at the Comprehensive Plan meetings. Also, Gheller is taking some aerial shots of the Township.
Director of Public Works Gary Sandt reported that Ed (Kleppinger) is looking at some front mounted mowers for use around the new complex. Sandt said the Ed has tried both TORO and John Deere mowers. Ed found the TORO mower to do the best job because of its turning radius. He added that the mower is budgeted at $18 and will run about $17.4 K through TORO. It is 4 wheel drive and a cab can be attached so that it can be used to remove snow in the winter. Sandt said that he has a purchase order ready to go.
  • Parks & Recreation - Supervisor Miller - (Note: This committee just had its first meeting!) Miller reported that the (Parks &) Recreation Committee is working on the survey that they will mail out to every residence in Forks. He reported on sports too. He said that the Super Regional Basketball Tournament (girls) was held last week and included teams from Baltimore, Long Island, NY State, etc. Miller said that there were a lot of positive comments about Forks wonderful facility. He said too, that adult summer basketball is no longer "in limbo," that there are seven teams and that it is sanctioned by Lafayette College (some of their students participate). Also, all Forks cheerleaders are "in" this weekend for practice, next weekend there is an AAU Basketball Tournament, and the indoor summer basketball (boys & girls) league has 147 teams.
  • Community Relations - Supervisor Howell had nothing new to report.

  • Finance & Administration - Supervisor Hoff reported that the committee met last week and updated the job descriptions (copies in the Supervisors’ packets). Hoff said that a part-time position for Building & Zoning was added to the descriptions. Nicholas commented that the Secretary to the Board of Supervisors position was not included. Hoff said that it was removed at her (Nicholas’) request. He added that it is a separate, "exempt" job and not part of any other job.

Ackerman questioned whether or not "the front girl" was overworked. Hoff said that they are looking at that position to see if the new systems have improved that situation. He said that the descriptions will be reviewed annually (after the Board’s Re-Organization Meeting) and if there are changes, they will come back to the Board. The job descriptions for office staff were approved in a 5:0 vote.

A new job title was added, that of Human Resource Manager. Hoff said that in analysis the work that Barb Bartek is doing is not reflected in the title, Office Manager. She is doing the work of a Human Resource Manager. (Bartek was on the committee to develop job descriptions.) Miller asked who will be in charge if Kichline is out and Hoff explained that there is a chain of command in place. Bartek’s new title was accepted in a 5:0 vote.

Hoff announced too, that he received correspondence from Representative Rich Grucela that Forks was awarded a $53,782 recycling grant. Kichline explained that it was awarded because of Forks residents success at recycling. She congratulated all Forks residents for their recycling efforts.

Finance Manager Jim Farley reported that the annual audit is complete and that they will be meeting on Monday to review it before making recommendations to the Finance Committee.

Manager’s Report & Correspondence - Cathy Kichline said that a Supervisor suggested that there be a joint meeting of the Board with both the Recreation Board and the Planning Commission. Ackerman asked, "Why would the Planning Commission be involved?" Kichline said that they have been invited and Ackerman then asked, "Who invited them?" Howell said that it was his suggestion that the PC be involved in any land use issues in the Township. Howell said that for any kind of comprehensive planning for recreation (or anything), the "appointed Boards represent professionals in our community with ideas." He said that as the remaining Township land is being developed that it’s important that the PC knows what the Board wants to do. He added that they "represent a meaningful group of ideas" and should be part of any planning. Howell said that recreation and quality of life issues are part of comprehensive planning.

Ackerman said that he didn’t understand the purpose of this. Howell explained that it was to solicit ideas about our parks and recreation. Nicholas said that that’s what the Parks & Recreation Committee is supposed to be taking care of and that the committee should be reporting back to the Board.

Hoff remarked that if the purpose is to meet about the Comprehensive Plan then the dialog should be ongoing. Miller thought that the initial meeting should just be with the Recreation Board since they "haven’t sat down" with the Supervisors in years. He thought that the Recreation Board has things they want to talk to the BoS about that have nothing to do with the Comprehensive Plan.

A joint meeting with the Recreation Board (and BoS) was scheduled for 6:30 PM on June 15th. It will be advertised. It passed in a 5:0 vote.

Kichline reported too, that she received a letter from Lehigh Valley Canine Therapy Association asking to participate in Forks Community Days. She brought this to the Board because dogs are not allowed in the park. After discussion about limiting the dogs to Association dogs only (no residents’ dogs), about restricting the number of dogs to 5, about requiring that the dogs be leashed, and that the group provide "appropriate sanitation," their participation was approved in a 5:0 vote.

Municipal Complex Project Manager Alex Gale reported on the status of the project. He provided the Board with a sketch of his proposed new Sullivan Trail electronic sign for their opinion. It is larger than permitted by zoning according to Nicholas. Howell said that he discussed this issue with URDC’s Charlie Schmehl and that "informational" signs are exempt. Kline said that the sign amendment had been "put on the back burner" because of the grocery store issue but that it was certainly discussed. Nicholas said that the exact size of the sign needs to be known. Zoning Officer Weis said that informational signs are exempt. Gale said that he needs to know what he has to work with. Gale also said that the police sign will come down since it will be covered by the new one.

Gale said that he finished working for the Township (for pay) yesterday (5/31/06). He said that he may come in several days a week as contractors finish up things on their punch lists - at no charge to the Township.

Gale gave a detailed summary of what is still to be finished and the expected completion solutions and times. He asked what wording the Board wants on the time capsule and monument. The time capsule, filled with items collected at the 250th celebration in 2004, will be buried at the Forks Community Days in September.

Gale asked that he be allowed to re-mulch the complex a few weeks before the Community Days in September because things will be grown in by then and will look better. Two inches of the intended 4" is already down.

"Do you remember where you were two years ago... and where you’re at now?" Gale asked. He said that for the dollars that were spent, Forks "did pretty damned good." Hoff thanked Gale for all the work he’s done.

Ackerman asked what happened with the engineers and their differences from months ago and also what happened with the insurance company when winds knocked down all the fire department building roof trusses. Gale said that he will be meeting once again with Schoor diPalma in the next couple of weeks. He added that they had very direct responsibility for well over $100 K in additional expenses. As to the wind damage, Gale said that the Township’s insurer paid for the repairs but that there is nothing to stop the company from going back to the contractor’s insurer to reclaim the money since the contractor was clearly at fault.

Kichline expressed her appreciation as well as that of the staff for the new building and what Gale did for them.

Engineer’s Report - Fred Hay - Only agenda items. Hoff mentioned a letter from Alexis and Evan Fisher who wrote to tell the Board how much they appreciated Hay’s help solving a problem that they had. Hoff added that he appreciated him doing that.

Solicitor’s Report - Karl Kline announced that the Delaware Nation’s attorney has filed a petition with the 3rd Circuit Court Of Appeals to reconsider its previous action. Kline said that he does notthink it will be successful but it is continuing to "grind on."


MUNICIPAL COMPLEX OPEN HOUSE/SET DATE & TIME - The Open House dates and times were set to coincide with Forks Community Days, September 15 & 16, 2006. There will be an opening ceremony 11-noon and the entire complex will be open to the public from noon to 4 PM each day. The Board agreed to authorize $1000 to be spent on refreshments in a 5:0 vote.


CROP FARMING LEASE/BREWERE FARMS, LLC - Kline said that this is a 5 acre tract west of Metzgar Field. This is a one year lease and the rent will be $500. It passed 5:0.

MET-ED RESOLUTION FOR ADDITIONAL STREET LIGHTS - Kichline explained that Pheasant Ridge’s lighting has been inspected by the engineer and is ready to go. It passed 5:0.

PROPOSAL FOR TRAFFIC SIGNAL AGREEMENT - Kichline said that the traffic signal maintenance agreement will expire June 30th and proposals were solicited from three companies. Only one responded, Traffic Signal Solutions, our current provider. Hay noted that the Meco/Sullivan light was not in the proposal but it isn’t an issue since it is still "in design" and won’t go out for bid until late summer. Kline said that the proposal was in order. The contract was awarded to Traffic Signal Solutions in a 5:0 vote.

Weis said that the line was cut to the emergency traffic signal (for the PD & FD) and isn’t going to red on the southbound side on Sullivan Trail. Hay asked who cut the wire and Weis said that he was not sure.

EXECUTIVE SESSION - There was an Executive Session to discuss the non-uniformed employees contract renewal.

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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