Sunday, December 24, 2006

BoS Meeting 12/21/06

The December 21st meeting of the Forks Board of Supervisor was sparsely attended by the Supervisors, the "staff," and the public. Supervisors Ackerman and Hoff were on vacation. Both Joe Nixon (Morning Call) and Courtney Lomax (Express Times) reported on the meeting. Please read their articles. We will try to fill in the blanks.

The previous meeting minutes approval was tabled because only 3 Supervisors were present and one of them, Nicholas, was not at the last meeting and could not vote on the minutes.

Supervisor Comments:
  • Supervisor David Howell Secretary/Treasurer David Howell reported that he received a thank you letter from the Kiwanis for the Township’s assistance to them throughout the year and especially at the tree lighting ceremony. Howell said that the Township should be thanking them in particular for the Easter egg hunt and the Christmas tree lighting because of the "sense of community" that it gives.

Several Kiwanis members were on hand to present the Fire Department with a check for $1000 to be used for its new flag poles. Bryan Weis, Deputy Fire Chief, accepted on behalf of the fire company. The money was originally given to the Kiwanis by a former member, Barry Miles, in honor of his father and to be used specifically for a flagpole in the Township. The Kiwanis passed it on to the fire company for its new flag poles (2 on-building poles - traditional FDNY style on the front of the building - with ground lighting). There will be a dedication ceremony and a plaque will be ordered to honor Miles’ father. Kathleen Shuman (sic) made the presentation on behalf of the Forks Kiwanis Club.

  • Supervisor Bonnie Nicholas said that one of the candidates interviewed for the Township Manager position told her that his township does an impact analysis of the fire, police, and public works departments as well as EMS, to assess the effects that a development will have before it is approved. That particular township uses the results of the studies to insure that developers provide significant improvements. Nicholas suggested the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisor discuss this further.

Treasurer’s Report - Secretary/Treasurer David Howell detailed the debits (cash paid out) since the last Supervisors meeting. Howell’s motion to accept the debits and transfers was approved 3:0. (Chairman/Supervisor Hoff and Supervisor Ackerman were not in attendance.)

Standing Committee Reports
  • Public Safety - Supervisor Nicholas - announced that the committee has not met since the last BoS meeting and that as of 2007, she and Supervisor Hoff will conduct the meetings on the first Tuesday of the month at 5:00 PM. There will be no January meeting because that night is already scheduled for the BoS Re-organization meeting. Nicholas said that she has asked all the members of the committee to prepare a list of goals for the year.

  • Public Works - Supervisor Ackerman - absent, no report.
  • Parks & Recreation - Supervisor Miller - (Note: Miller made a list of Township park workers’ activities - prepared by DPW Director Gary Sandt - available as his report.) No report.
  • Community Relations - Supervisor Howell - The committee did not meet since the last BoS meeting.
  • Finance & Administration - Supervisor Hoff - Howell noted that Hoff will likely report at the next meeting and that the committee did meet with a representative from a bond house who reviewed possibilities for refinancing the Township debt. Howell said that they have "taken it under advisement."
Engineer’s Report - Fred Hay - absent, no report.

Solicitor’s Report - Karl Kline - reported correspondence from Henning Holmgaard, the Township representative to the Easton Area Joint Sewer Authority. Kline said that the EASJA sends a tentative figure to the Township (of its expected share of the sewer plant) for budget uses. He added that normally this number is a little high and that results in a year end rebate. This year however, there is no rebate and instead, the EAJSA indicates that Forks owes additional money.

Kline said that Holmgaard met with he, Farley, and Hay and that there are significant questions about the assessment. The Township’s numbers do not "jibe" with the numbers on the bill and Farley will look into it further before a report is made to the Board (and before the bill is paid as presented.)

Howell asked Kline if any action must be taken on the inspection report from the LV airport authority of the Forks airport particularly as to height restrictions and objects in the landing and take-off areas (in the right of way). Kline said the State Department of Transportation oversees airports and notifies the airport authority of its findings. The authority takes corrective actions. The Township does not take any action on the report.


GENERAL CODE CORRESPONDENCE/REVISED PRICING ESTIMATE - Kline said that he called General Code to get an explanation of their pricing and because of the holidays was unable to reach anyone. The vote to table was 3:0.


ORDINANCE NO. 301 - PEMA LOAN FOR FIRE TRUCK - Kline explained that this ordinance authorizes the Township to incur the debt for the $100,000 PEMA fire truck loan. The loan is for 15 years at 2%. Per PEMA, because the truck is titled to the Township, the Township must be a co-signer with the Community Fire Co. The money was already advanced by the Township to pay for the truck; this money will repay the Township account. The settlement will be in 30 or more days. Kline said, "The ordinance has been properly advertised..." The vote was 3:0.

PENN’S RIDGE PRD/DEED OF DEDICATION FOR DETENTION BASIN B - Kline reported that the Township agreed to accept ownership of this detention basin as part of the PRD agreement with Hornstein. Hays office has inspected/approved it. Kline said, too, that the Township has a check for $32,952 (a figure based on a formula established at the time to provide for a period of maintenance). A vote to accept was passed 3:0. Nicholas confirmed (with Kline) that the Township is no longer accepting ownership of detention basins (unless previously agreed).

RECREATION SURVEY - Miller said that according to the post office, the response rate on the Forks recreation surveys was very good. It was 21% and the average is 16% (5196 were mailed and 1078 were returned.) Farley did the compilation and because of the way the survey was designed (rank choices) he was able to use weighted averages. If an item was ranked #1, he assigned it 5 points, #2 got 4 points, and so on.

Miller reported that the most popular existing Township recreation features are the walking path (in the park), the Community Center, and the playgrounds (in that order). Of the choices given on the survey and the weighted average method used, a swimming pool (2307 points), a recreation bridge over Sullivan Trail (2069 points), and a bandshell (2000+/- points) eclipsed all other choices. The other points went to: Dog park (1109), Playground equipment (1079), and Ice skating (858).

Miller said that some of the smaller things can be done now with money in the land and acquisition fund. He thought that Federal money might be available for the bridge over Sullivan Trail since it is part of the Greenway. Miller said that he has no idea what the cost of a pool would be and he will look into it. Until he does, he thought that the Board should not dismiss anything that the residents voted for. Nicholas said that she’d like to see a pool in Forks Township.

Nicholas also said that she would prefer a 4-way traffic control (stopping traffic in all directions) to a bridge over Sullivan Trail. Miller will begin researching costs and programs for funding.

One of the questions was about increasing taxes to purchase open space. The response was close but negative for that - 499 yeses and 532 noes.

The number of people (153) who said they’d join a garden club to do physical work in the park (planting and maintaining) surprised Miller. Jim Wideman (PC) asked if there is an area in the park for a rose garden. Miller said that the soccer fields can be shifted to other parks and that the original arboretum plans can be finished. Of the park at Newlins and Richmond, Miller said that there are currently no plans for it but because it now it has a sewer line (allowing bathroom facilities - a $60,000 project in itself), they can now begin planning activities for it. Wideman noted that the rose garden in Bethlehem is very popular and has a small, well-used bandshell.

Howell said that he has discussed a garden club with Miller particularly for a colonial garden around the log cabin and done in conjunction with the Historical Society. He thought that the garden club could "adopt" the park entryways as well as the fountain at the park’s Zucksville Road entrance. Howell thought that the garden club would help to create a sense of community.

Miller said that money for the plant materials, etc. is not a problem. But once everything is planted there are not enough park workers to maintain it. He is hoping that some young people will devote an hour or two a week to weeding. He told of the wildflower garden at the entrance that was beautiful for a couple of years but eventually turned to all weeds.

Lomax for the survey summary.

2007 GENERAL FUND BUDGET/FINAL ADOPTION - Farley said that the budget before the Board contained the minor adjustments recommended by the Board and it was passed 3:0. Read
Nixon for more.

DESIGNATION OF FEMA REIMBURSEMENT AGENT - Farley explained that the Township met with FEMA/PEMA after the flood and applied for funds to recoup some of its expenses. The Township has been approved for $5,200 and the money is awaiting an appointed (by resolution) reimbursement agent. The Board designated Farley as that agent in a 3:0 vote.

There was an EXECUTIVE SESSION to discuss a personnel matter (the Township Manager interviews) and the ongoing KMRD litigation. No action was taken during or after the 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.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Board Appointments - Letters of Interest Due 12/26

Just a reminder for those of you who want to be considered for Board appointments. The year is almost over and there are terms expiring on the Planning Commission (2), the Zoning Hearing Board (1), and the Recreation Board (1).

A legal notice has been published indicating that letters of interest are due to Barb Bartek by regular mail or email no later than 12/26. If you are interested, get your letters of interest to the Board NOW! Good luck.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

BoS Meeting 12/7/06 - Notes Delayed

Please accept our apologies but the notes from the 12/7/06 Board of Supervisors meeting will be delayed. We will get them up as soon as we can. Meanwhile please visit the FAC website for the short version. It's under the calendar on the main page.

Added 12/24/06 - Please read Jan Schott's article in The Easton News for more on this meeting. Note: You'll have to use the zoom feature in Adobe Acrobat Reader as the default font from The Easton News is very small.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Youth Dance Meeting - Scheduled for 12/5/06

Youth Dances - Meeting Tuesday

The first meeting of the Parks & Recreation Committee with officials of the Forks Township Youth Sports Organization and the Recreation Board to discuss
Youth Dances convenes:

Tuesday, Dec 5 - 7:00 PM - Municipal Building

The public is encouraged to attend. If you have kids and they attend these dances, this is your chance to be involved in fixing what's broken.

Kings Mill Zoning Hearing - Round 6 Reminder

Round 6 is coming this Monday for the Forks zoning challenge hearing by Kings Mill & partners!

When again? - Monday, December 4th at 7:30 PM

Where? - Forks Municipal Building -
Please note: This is the regular meeting hall in the new Municipal Building, the one with the comfortable chairs!

The Kings Mill partnership (Zawarski, Maloney, & Benner) alleges that the Farmland Protection District zoning is too restrictive. Their vision proposes 3,042 dwelling units -- apartments, townhomes, and a mobile home park. To us, that looks like:

  • 6,000 more cars on town roads everyday
  • 8,000 more students in the schools
  • 25% of open farm fields covered with roofs and asphalt

This can't be a good thing for Forks. We urge you to attend these zoning challenge hearings. The developers do! And, your presence makes a difference. It reminds them that Forks residents do indeed care about their quality of life and about what they (KMRD, LP) want to do to it!

Bring family, bring friends, bring neighbors... let's not leave an empty seat in the room on Monday, December 4th!

Round 7 is scheduled for December 18th at 7:30 PM. Mark your calendars!