Sunday, October 05, 2008

BoS Meeting Notes - 10/2/2008

Regular Meeting (agenda)

At 5:30 PM the Board of Supervisors held a Conditional Use Hearing for the Henningsen Cold Storage plan.  During the regular meeting both the conditional use - a building of more than 100,000 square feet - and the preliminary plan were approved.  Also, because of numerous calls from residents unsure of what to do regarding EMS subscriptions, the Board decided to invite both Suburban EMS and Forks Township EMS to the next meeting for a public discussion. 

Public Comments (non-agenda) - None

Supervisor Remarks:  Chuss announced that on Saturday and Sunday of this week there will be an open house farm event at the Klein Farm on Kesslersville Road.  It will run from noon to 4 PM both days.  Highlights include a corn maze, pumpkins, and activities as well as items for sale.

Township Manager Schnaedter said that this was part of a county wide farm program for the weekend.  The farms are open - giving tours and providing an insight into farm life.  (Click here for a list of farms that will be open for tours.)

Treasurer's ReportEgolf detailed the debits (cash paid out) since the last Supervisors' meeting (with a quorum that is). The debits and transfers were approved with a 5:0 vote.  The Township's current outstanding debt is $7,786,440.

Standing Committee Reports (meetings are open to the public - see the official Township calendar for dates and times)

  • Public Safety - Supervisor Chuss - reported that the next committee meeting will be Tuesday, October 7 at 5 PM in the Municipal Building.  He further reported that the bids for the fire training facility came in higher than anticipated and that it will be discussed as an agenda item.  Regarding the EMS letter sent by the Township to residents:
    • Chuss noted that residents have received the letter drafted by the Township to clarify the EMS situation as well as subscription notices from Suburban EMS (SEMS).  He said that despite the letter from the Township there is still a lot of confusion among residents about the EMS situation.  Chuss said that he received a subscription request from Forks EMS in today's mail and as a family, he will be paying $112 to the two services [$47 to SEMS and $65 to Forks EMS (FEMS)].  This is "by far and away, the highest subscription fee of any township anywhere in the area..."  He said that this has caused a lot of frustration because people do want to be covered.  He added that the Supervisors will need to address the situation and concerns at some point in the future. 
    • Howell said that because his name was on the letters to residents, his phone has been ringing non-stop.  The overwhelming question of the callers is why the Supervisors are not addressing the issue of just having one service.  Howell added that he continues to be disappointed that the Township is not receiving any information from FEMS - not even their typical monthly reports - since May.  He said that he thought the EMS conversation should be sooner rather than later. 
    • Schnaedter reported receiving an estimated 60 calls in the past two weeks asking why there are two ambulance services and two subscription requests.  He said that he has tried to provide the callers with factual, unbiased information.  The callers want the Supervisors to clarify further and feel that it is wrong to pay two services.
    • Nicholas suggested a workshop before the next meeting (October 16).  Howell thought that the workshop should include both groups, SEMS and FEMS and that the Township must insist on receiving financial information from FEMS.  He said that they have violated the requirement placed on them when they were approved as a provider of BLS service and he said that there "are going to be lots of unintended consequences to this silence."
    • Howell asked the Board what would be accomplished by the workshop - other than a public discussion to vent frustration?  Chuss suggested that it be an agenda item.  It will be on the agenda as new business for informational and discussion purposes (not to take action) and both SEMS and FEMS will be invited (by letter).
    • Resident Sandy Hanks asked Chuss how he arrived at the $112 figure.  She had not yet received the FEMS subscription notice.  Resident Thomas Humcheck (sic) said that when he started coming to meetings he told the Board that he would support two organizations for coverage for his family.  He said that he has already supported SEMS and days ago his FEMS subscription was in his mailbox - "without a stamp."  He now wonders what he is to do.  Howell asked if there was a deadline on the FEMS subscription request ("no") and offered that he is free to do as he wishes.  Howell suggested that he come to the next meeting where he will have an opportunity to "speak to the issue" and that his input will be welcome. 
  • Public Works - Supervisor Miller - noted that Public Works was busy with Forks Community Days and that "everyone was there."  He said that a lot of work went into preparing for it as well as over the event weekend.  Miller added that it was very successful.  In other DPW work, paving and line painting continue throughout the Township.  Also, the DPW is currently working at the fire tower site. 
  • Parks & Recreation - Supervisor Howell - said that the committee will meet on Thursday, October 9th at 4 PM.
  • Community Relations - Supervisor Nicholas - said that the next committee meeting will be on Monday, October 13 at 6 PM.  She said that if any one has any articles for the newsletter they should let her know.  And, Nicholas thanked Harry and Sue Bennett "for all the work they did for Community Days."  She said that it was a success again this year and that she thought "a lot of people had a good time there." 
  • Finance and Administration - Supervisor Egolf - reported that the committee met on September 24th and discussed the upcoming Forks Business Association breakfast on October 15th.  Invitations have been sent and replies are being received.  Egolf noted that Farley reported all the work with the new server is completed and it is up and running - and "most of the bugs are worked out."  He also noted that Ms. Bartek announced that CPR and AED training will be in January or February 2009 and not this fall as originally thought.  The committee's next meeting will be on October 8 at 5 PM.

Township Manager's Report - Schnaedter said that he and Miller met with a representative from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources on how to prepare a feasibility study for a pool.  He hopes to have a bid packet prepared for the Board's approval at the next meeting.  Also, Schnaedter asked that any Supervisor interested in attending the Leadership Program (sponsored by the PA Leadership Institute) let him know.  A brochure is in the Supervisors' packets.  He has the registration forms. 

The Safety Committee did a facility walk-through and recommended a handrail at the Municipal Building entrance - there is a considerable slope that is dangerous when icy.  Schnaedter said that he will give the Board a drawing before installation.  Nicholas asked if it would be on both sides.  She offered that the walkway to the parking lot is even steeper. 

Also, Schnaedter said that he received correspondence regarding "household hazardous material safety disposal" at Northampton Community College on October 11 and about the Electronic Recycling Event sponsored by the Nazareth Area Council of Governments this Saturday at the Nazareth Middle School parking lot.  Nicholas told him to get "Debbie" to put it on the website.

Howell said that he had a conversation with John Castrovinci, a member of the EASD Facility Utilization Committee (and the Forks Planning Commission, the former principal at Forks Elementary, and now the Human Resources Director for EASD).  Castrovinci told him that the committee was considering a regional pool facility program and that it would reach out to the municipalities (Easton, Palmer, Forks, etc.) in the school district for input.   Howell suggested that Schnaedter contact Castrovinci for more on what they have in mind and where the location of the pool would be.

Engineer's Report - Hay - said that all of the municipal improvements have been done at Sullivan Trail Business Park - except the paving.  Bids are being solicited for the paving work and are expected by next Friday.  If the work is not already done, the Township will proceed.

Hay also asked the Board's permission to prepare bid specs for the planned sanitary sewer repairs on Old Mill Road as well as for the Meco "force main" repairs.  Both were budgeted last year.  The Board approved with a 5:0 vote.

Egolf said that everyone should know that one of the checks written - the $16,514.97 assigned to Traffic Study and made out to Benchmark Engineering - was mostly labeled "for the light at Meco and Sullivan Trail."  Howell asked the status and Hay said that Mr. Leiser is still refusing to sign the PennDOT (hold harmless) indemnification form.  PennDOT is checking with their counsel as to going ahead.  Hay said that he'd like the PennDOT counsel to get in touch with Solicitor Kline because that is all that is left (the indemnification agreement with Mr. Leiser).  He said that the alignment has been straightened and the plans have been resubmitted.

Solicitor's Report - Kline - remarked "for the record" regarding Sullivan Trail Business Park that at the September 4 meeting of the BoS, Mr. Goffredo said that he would have someone there to do the paving as of September 9.  It is one month later and the paving is still not done. 




Henningsen Cold Storage/Conditional Use (Karl Kline, Solicitor) - Howell said that at the 5:30 PM Conditional Use Hearing the BoS heard testimony regarding Henningsen Cold Storage phase one as well as on future phases.  Kline reviewed the reason for the conditional use, that the plan is for a building of appropriate use in excess of 100,000 square feet - a size allowed by zoning only under conditions.  The building will be on lot #1 in the Fort James III Industrial Park in the northern end of the Township.  Because it is a conditional use, the Board can place additional conditions on the plan. 

After review of the first six checklist questions that must be satisfied regarding a conditional use (there were no BoS comments), the Board got to number seven, the last one.  Number seven allows the Board to add conditions. 

Chuss motioned (that the Planning Commission recommended) that a new sound study of previous phases be done for each new phase.  Nicholas seconded.  This passed 5:0.

Kline noted that an appropriate condition is for berming and landscaping - that the developer must submit plans for appropriate berming and plantings to minimize, as much as possible, the noise heading west as well as the plant's visibility to the homes on the west.  Chuss made the motion incorporating the Keystone August 8 letter and Egolf seconded.  Again the vote was 5:0.

When no one else offered the motion to grant the conditional use, it was posed by Howell and seconded by Nicholas.  It passed 5:0.

The Preliminary Plan was then approved subject to the August 8 engineer's letter with one exception.  According to Hay comment #1 no longer applies as the box culvert has been changed to a swale.  Hay said too, that the traffic study was discussed and is well within what was approved for Fork James III.  The other eight items on the letter are conditions of approval.  Before the vote, the addition of appropriate fees and developer's agreements was added to the motion.  Chuss motioned/Nicholas seconded.  The vote was 5:0.

The Preserve - Phase 1 - Resolution #081002-1/Acceptance of Streets (Karl Kline, Solicitor) - Kline said that everything was in order, the roads have been inspected by the Township engineer's office, the deed of dedication is signed, and approval gets Liquid Fuel credit for the Township.  The roads accepted include Fox Run, a portion of Old Mill, Hennaberry, and Hedgerow.  The vote to accept was 5:0.

Request to re-bid/CCTV Municipal Complex CCTV System (Rick Schnaedter, Township Manager) - Schnaedter said that two weeks ago he requested that the Board reject the single bid received for the CCTV system.  He asked to re-bid it with bids due on October 24 and offered that he is optimistic that the new bids will be more competitive.  This passed with a 5:0 vote.

Fire Training Facility Foundation Bid Confirmation (Fred Hay, Keystone Consulting Engineer) - Hay said that the low bidder was JC Sons Excavating at $38,700.  The next lowest was $2,500 higher.  Hay explained that the foundation was more complicated than originally thought.  The bid was accepted in a 5:0 vote.  Hay said that the Township has finished the excavation and that the contractor, weather permitting, is planning to pour on Wednesday.  He noted that the accelerated approval prevented a two week delay.

Executive Session - None.

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.

No comments: