Sunday, May 31, 2009

BoS Meeting Notes - 5/21/09

Regular Meeting (agenda)

The meeting began after the Board of Supervisors workshop to review the first ever Public Works Department five-year plans (all four of them) and after a lengthy presentation and discussion of the proposed new public works facility.

Please read Christopher Baxter (Morning Call) and Tony Nauroth (Express Times) for more on the new proposed garage.  And, read the FAC workshop notes for more on the five year plans and the public works garage discussion.

Please note that detailed notes of the meetings are being replaced for the summer vacation season with more general notes highlighting only the most important issues discussed and actions taken.  In some instances, guest note writers are providing the text.

Public Comments (non-agenda) 

  • Fernando Cabrera of Lafayette Park Green who addressed the BoS about the safety of an intersection last month, wanted to report that there was an accident at that intersection.  A vehicle hit a school bus with kids on it.  He also commented on emergency response to a 19 month old child who collapsed.  Suburban did not arrive for 15-16 minutes in his estimation. The Forks police were there in 7-8 minutes. P olice Chief Dorney said he heard the ambulance response was 19 minutes.  The Board of Supervisors will make an inquiry and asked for a written report from the Township Manager.
  • Richard Petro, 90 Crown Dr – said that Winchester Drive is open through Vista Estates and there has been both increased traffic and speeds.  He requested a four way stop at the intersection of Lower Way and Winchester Drive (sight distances due to road inclines and declines), and a three way stop at the intersection of Knollwood Drive and Winchester Drive (a safety concern due to the ballpark). 
  • Dan Martyak, current President of the Forks Township Athletic Association (FTAA) - said he was available anytime the Supervisors have questions and asked that they please contact him.  He wanted to clarify three things:
    • In December 2008, the FTAA applied for a $5000 grant with Senator Wonderling’s Office for a summer field hockey clinic. In February 2009, they received a letter that the grant has been held up because the FTAA tax status is not complete. The 990 tax form was not filed. During the April meeting of the FTAA, Dave Billings and John Wieller said they would take care of the tax situation. The recent decision is to hire someone to take care of the FTAA tax status. They have until June 19 to clear up the tax status or lose the grant.
    • The FTAA does not receive direct money from the township. They work with the township on budgeting during formulation of the annual budget.  However, The Recreation Board receives money from the township and pays for most items. The FTAA earns money through sign-ups for sports, snack bar sales, and dances. He provided an outlay of the money they earn: $1000 for background checks for coaches, $1000 for portable johns, $3000 donation for community days fireworks, $3000 for coaches shirts, $4500 for upgrading the snack bar, $6000 for six scholarships for EASD seniors, $1500 for each sport expenses ($12,000 total), $15,000 to the town for lease agreements and field maintenance.
    • They have been attending Parks and Recreation Meetings with Supervisors Egolf and Nicholas since December. They are interested in the fields behind the Community Center being developed. They understand they are waiting on plans from Fred Hay. They would like the fields to be graded and seeded by August, otherwise they will not be able to use the fields next spring. There was discussion between the Township Manager, Public Works Director and Engineer.  Plans are submitted. They need a local contractor who can provide services for rough grading. The Public Works department will do the seeding. If the work is under $10,000, no bids will be needed.

Supervisor Comments

  • Supervisor Nicholas - said that she had a phone message from Thomas Marino about an Eagle Scout project at Gollub Park.  He would like to put in steps and a guard rail at the abandoned concrete platform, and steps and a guard road at St. Anthony’s Nose.  It was determined Thomas should come in with pictures and make a presentation to the Board.  There were concerns raised about liability with providing a guard rail and steps at St Anthony’s Nose.

Treasurer's Report - Egolf detailed the debits (cash paid out) since the last Supervisors' meeting.  The debits and transfers were approved with a 5:0 vote.  The Township's current outstanding debt is $8,327,748. 

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

  • Public Safety - Supervisor Howell - said that the committee met on Tuesday but Supervisor Howell was unable to attend.  Rick Schnaedter provided the following report:  The committee discussed the two requests for stop signs. They suggested a police officer be trained on what would warrant a stop sign, so that these decisions can be made in-house. They also discussed the transition of Suburban EMS moving from the firehouse to their current location.
  • Public Works - Supervisor Chuss - reported that he was not present on May 12. The topic discussed was the Public Works facility. Next meeting is June 9 at 7:30 AM.
  • Parks & Recreation - Supervisor Egolf - said that the committee met on May 11 and will meet again on June 8.  They discussed the need for new athletic fields and for scholarships.  Supervisor Nicholas spoke about the proposed amphitheater.  She said that she spoke to CMX, who did the work on the municipal complex and two days ago she received a picture (from CMX.) That drawing and CMX's proposal was distributed to the Supervisors and Solicitor.  CMX wants $61,000 to draw plans, and meet with bidders; $5,500 for the conceptual plan ($100 per hour of work); $35,000 for the land development.  Nicholas said that the land development was completed with the municipal complex. This is a band shell with a storage area in the back, and a possible bathroom facility.  The consensus was for Supervisor Nicholas to call and speak of the township’s dissatisfaction with the proposed costs, and ask for a breakdown in prices.
  • Community Relations - Supervisor Miller - announced that the Forks Quarterly is at the printer, and should be in the mail shortly. Manager Schnaedter added that the website designer was taking photos of the township today for the website upgrade.
  • Finance and Administration - Supervisor Nicholas - said that the committee discussed monthly expenses and revenues at their last meeting, as well as the proposed public works facility.  The next meeting will be June 10.  They are currently working on a 3-year plan.

Township Manager's Report - Schnaedter - reported that he and Chairman Howell met with people from the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, The Palmer Business Association, and Unity Bank to discuss progress with forming a Forks Business Association.  There will be a presentation to the Board at the second meeting in June.  He also discussed the Emergency Alert System and will put information on the Township website on how to sign up.  Supervisor Chuss read off the website address for the audience,

Engineer's Report - Hay - only agenda items.  However, Hay was asked about progress with the traffic light at MECO and Sullivan Trail and he indicated that PennDOT has review comments for their own design for handicap ramps.  There is an issue with Verizon because they do not wish to relocate the utility poles.  Also, a resident has issues with how the his driveway comes out onto the intersection and PennDOT has issues with the remedy.

Solicitor's Report - Kline - announced that the township was able to acquire 0.66 acres of land for $60. The land was acquired from Northampton County and is next to the township recreation path north of Winchester Road.


Frost Hollow Knolls Deeds of Dedication – Tax Exoneration (Karl Kline, Solicitor) - This is a resolution for the township to agree not to tax itself.  Land was deeded to the township through phases 8 and 9 of Frost Hollow Knolls. There are 8 parcels involved. The Board voted 5-0 to approve this resolution.


Approval of Public Works (5) Year Plan (Erik Chuss, Supervisor) - The committee recommendation is that the BOS approve the plan. Individual items can be acted on or not, or changed, in the future. The plan should be approved incorporating comments from the Workshop earlier in the evening.  Chuss made the motion,  Egolf seconded the motion.  Discussion:  When does the BOS approve a Public Works Garage? After the plan is approved.  Motion passed 5-0.  A second motion was made that the BOS endorse pursuing the Public Works Garage.  Motion passed 5-0.

Approval of 2009 Road Program (Mark Roberts, DPW Director) - A motion was made by Chuss to approve the Road Program, and was seconded by Nicholas.  The motion passed 5-0.  Roberts will go out for bids. The money for the program comes out of the liquid fuels fund.

2010 Waste Management Contract (Karl Kline, Solicitor) - Kline explained that in September 2004, the BOS entered into a five year agreement with Waste Management to provide garbage collection and recycling in the township. As part of the new agreement, the contract can be automatically extended for two one year terms, unless either party objects, or wishes to end the contract. Through successful negotiations, Waste Management has agreed to a one year extended term at no change in price.  Miller made a motion to accept the agreement and Nicholas seconded the motion. The motion passed with a vote of 5-0.

Request Authorization to Refund Existing Debt and New Bond Issue (Jim Farley, Finance Manager) - Gary Pulcini spoke about the estimated $3.2 million public works garage. Five (5) percent of the financed amount needs to be spent in 6 months, and 85 percent needs to be spent within 3 years.  He estimated that the township can currently refund the bond at a 4.75 percent savings.  The guidelines mandate at least a three (3) percent savings. There was a discussion on when the money would be needed. With architectural information, it would be about 3 to 4 months until hard numbers are available. Pulcini indicated advanced funding is done all the time.  Chuss made a motion with Miller seconding, to authorize the refunding process of the current debt including new money to finance the public works facility. The motion passed 5-0.

Request for Authorization to Solicit Request for qualifications of Architectural /Engineering Firms for Public Works Facility  (Rick Schnaedter, Township Manager) - It was mentioned that this was discussed earlier in the workshop.  Chuss made the motion to authorize with Miller making a second.  Supervisors voted 5-0 to authorize the above.

Solar Power Ordinance (Dean Turner, Planning Commission Chairman) - The Planning Commission is requesting authorization for the Solicitor to prepare a Zoning Amendment for solar panels in residential and commercial areas. It was noted by someone on the board that there is a home in Riverview Estates West planning to install solar panels on their roof. Nicholas requested that the PC look at buffer requirements, and explore 100 feet between commercial and residential areas.  Motion was made and seconded to give authorization. Motion passed 5-0.

Award Contract – Police Department Duct Work Bids (Mark Roberts, DPW Director) - The original bids were rejected by the Board at the last meeting.  Telephone quotes were made.  Apollo Unlimited now bids $9000, Freedom Specialties now bids $9995, Core Mechanical bids $8640, and Indoor Air Technologies now bids $10,600.  Roberts recommended the Board approve the low bidder, Core Mechanical.  Nicholas made the motion with Miller’s second. Discussion:  The original bid specs were set up by Cornerstone - Egolf asked if  someone from Cornerstone was present when the first bids were open?  Yes.  Then he asked if Cornerstone participated in the phone bids?  No.  Motion passed 5-0.

Sewer Rehabilitation Bid (Fred Hay, Township Engineer) - Hay reported that out of 10 bids, four were less than 6 percent apart.  Nicholas made the motion to accept the low bidder, NAPA Development of Pen Argyl.  Miller seconded.  Supervisors voted 5-0 to accept the low bid of $644,440.  Hay remarked that the bid was about $100,000 less than he thought it would be.

Executive Session - There was no executive session and the meeting was adjourned.

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