Sunday, March 18, 2007

BoS Meeting 3/15/2007

The March 15th Board of Supervisors’ meeting was relatively short considering the importance of several of the agenda items. Press coverage of the Forks EMS restart and the Fire Company contract with Stockertown will be linked/noted below.

The meeting in brief follows:

  • Public Safety (Supervisor Nicholas) - the next committee meeting is set for March 27th at 5:00 PM. Topics will include the EOC (Emergency Operations Center) room inventory, the Keep Kids Alive program, and ID cards for the EOC room.
  • Public Works (Supervisor Ackerman) - committee will meet Tuesday in the Municipal Building at 7:30 AM.
  • Parks & Recreation (Supervisor Miller) - no committee report.
  • Community Relations (Supervisor Howell) - committee meeting was cancelled because of unforeseen circumstances. The final draft of the next Forks Quarterly is expected for review shortly. Publication will be in last 8 days of the month with distribution at month end.
  • Finance (Supervisor Hoff) - committee meet yesterday (3/14) and discussed the cell tower sketch plan (a representative from T-Mobile will be at the 4/28 committee meeting), purchase order policy, and training records tracking. The new employee training packet given to the new Township Manager was pronounced a success.
  • Finance Manager Jim Farley said that Barb Bartek, Human Resources Manager attended a BeneCom (sic) meeting and that the Township received an $83,000 premium refund (for 2006) because of effective management of the plan.

FORKS - STOCKERTOWN FIRE AND VEHICLE RESCUE ASSISTANCE AGREEMENT - Please read Courtney Lomax (Express Times) for details.

USE OF MEETING ROOM - CANDIDATES SUPERVISORS’ ELECT (MAY & NOVEMBER) - There was no discussion as Ms. Gerstel elected to withdraw her letter of request to use the meeting room. In a prepared statement, Ms. Gerstel said that it was because a male Supervisor interfered with her dealings with the League of Women Voters. Ms. Gerstel added that because of this "underhanded maneuver" she will engage in no activities for the 2007 Supervisors race "except as a voter and a possible participant at a candidate event until this character of the Board is upgraded."

FORKS EMS - Please read Courtney Lomax (Express Times) and Madeleine Mathias (Morning Call) for details.

PRESBY MINOR SUBDIVISION - The land is located along Church Road and the subdivision was approved subject to the property owners making a cash payment for curbing and sidewalks in the future. The property owner appeared with his attorney and asked the Board to reconsider the condition. The Board listened and declined to take any further action.


FORKS LANDING BUSINESS PARK - THREE WAY AGREEMENT WITH NORFOLK SOUTHERN RAILWAY COMPANY & R.B. ASSOCIATES - Kline explained that R.B. Associates (Rick Bartolacci and family) need to install stormwater pipes under the Conrail line for their industrial land water runoff. The land is north of Uhlers Road. Norfolk Southern requires that both the developer and the Township sign as co-licensees. R.B. will pay the costs and fees. Kline added that if the Township refuses to sign, the project will be killed. However, he noted that if anything were to go wrong, Norfolk Southern would look to both co-licensees, R.B. Associates AND the Township of Forks. Kline sent a letter to the (R.B.) engineer indicating that the staff would be willing to recommend the three-party agreement to the Board, subject to conditions including that R.B. be responsible for repairs and maintenance for a period of 60 months and not the usual 18 months (the reasoning is that if something is going to go wrong with the pipes it will likely show up in the first 5 years). Another condition is that R.B. Associates (in a personal guarantee) agree to indemnify and hold the Township harmless from liability from any damage that arises from the pipes. R.B. Associates has approved the letter. The pipes will be at the Bushkill Creek end and not near Sullivan Trail. Authorization to execute the agreement was approved 5:0.

ESTATES AT STEEPLECHASE NORTH, PHASE 4 - DEVELOPER’S AGREEMENTS - Kline reported that all of the paperwork is in order and signed by the developer. The Township has the certificate of insurance as well as a letter of credit for $957,335.02 to cover the municipal improvements.

MEETING ROOM TABLES - The Board voted 4:1 (Nicholas cast the nay vote) to purchase two custom tables for the meeting room. The tables will echo the shape of the curved dais and will be manufactured by Eisenhardt Mills of Forks Township. Each will be 6' long. The funds will come from the Board’s $40,000 discretionary fund - a fund earmarked to finish the meeting room. Please read Madeleine Mathias (Morning Call) for more on the discussion.

REVISED FEE SCHEDULE/ADOPTION - The new fee schedule (for rental of Community Center rooms, pavilion rental, electrical permit fees, zoning fees, etc.) was discussed and the Board voted 5:0 to authorize Kline to prepare it for the next meeting.

POSSIBLE USE OF RECYCLING BUILDING FOR SIGN ROOM - Using a portion of an unoccupied building as the sign room was discussed. It will need roof repairs, heat, insulation and fixtures for the lavatory. This was tabled 5:0. Cost estimates will be prepared.

EXECUTIVE SESSION - An executive session was held to discuss a personal issue and the non-uniformed employee contract negotiations. No action was taken after the session.

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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