Sunday, August 09, 2009

BoS Meeting & Liquor License Hearing - Notes - 8/6/2009

Liquor License Transfer Hearing - Colosi Company, LLC - 7 PM

Attorney Joseph Piperato once again represented the applicant, the Colosi Company, LLC  before the Board of Supervisors in the company's second application for an inter-municipal liquor license transfer for its planned new restaurant in the former My Little Gypsy Rose restaurant/building on North Delaware Drive.  The first hearing was held on March 5th at 6:30 PM and later that evening, the Board approved the transfer.

At the first hearing, Solicitor Karl Kline explained that per PA law, receiving municipalities (of the transferring liquor license) must hold a public hearing

Brandon Colosi and his mother, June Colosi are the principals in the Colosi Group, the new owner of the 1600 North Delaware Drive property.  In March Brandon testified that the only liquor license available in Forks belonged to the former My Little Gypsy Rose and the price asked for it was far above market and paying for it would result in less money available for property improvements.  The license they are now hoping to transfer (into Forks) from Wilson (Toasty's Deli and Restaurant) is priced at less than the Gypsy Rose license and less than the one they originally planned to purchase from Bethlehem.  The first application has been withdrawn.

Attorney Piperato explained that financing was the issue with the first application as Mrs. Colosi's property (the collateral) was appraised at less than the asking price of the Bethlehem license.  The Toasty's license fits the Colosi financing model.

Supervisors were told that so far, the building improvements include a totally remodeled apartment floor, a new front deck, new doors, and the electric and plumbing up to code.  Still to come are landscaping and other items to enhance the outside appeal of the building.

When asked by Chairman Howell about the available (for sale or lease) sign on the building, Brandon Colosi said that it is designed to lure in a partner - that is people who are interested in operating a restaurant but who cannot afford to own one.

Regular Meeting (agenda)

Forks Supervisors began their evening at 7 PM with a liquor license transfer hearing for Colosi Company LLC.  Later, during the regular meeting, they voted to approve the transfer.  Also approved this night was the Crayola solar project and a bid award for the tennis and basketball court replacements.  For more on the solar array, please read Chris Knight's Express Times article.

Public Comments (non-agenda)

  1. Morris Metz - former Supervisor and Richard Garr Road resident praised the professionalism of DPW Director Mark Roberts who sent July letters to residents advising them of road paving for Kline Road, Richard Garr Road, Ayers Road, and Young's Hill Road.  Mr. Metz, on behalf of his family and neighbors, thanked the Board for authorizing the project.
  2. Ty Corallo - FTYSO softball commissioner spoke to the Board to commend the grounds-keeping work of the DPW department under Director Mark Roberts during the two softball tournaments this year in Forks.  Corallo said that both tournaments were very successful and that thanks to the volunteers, the coordination was great.  Eighteen teams from as far as Cape May, NJ were in the (second) tournament.  He said that participants were enthusiastic in their praise of Forks' facilities and want Forks to host more (two to three additional) tournaments next year.  Nicholas asked about the use of port-a-potties.  Corallo said that some were used for the second tournament because there were some issues with the girls restrooms.

Supervisors' Remarks:

  • Supervisor Nicholas - noted that she attended an Eagle Scout ceremony for Don Garvey and presented him with a certificate from the Board.
  • Supervisor Nicholas - said that the Board had correspondence from Braden Airpark about relocating the terminal and the fuel facilities.  She wondered if the terminal will be moved or built new.  The letter has a 30 day deadline for asking questions so she requests that Township Manager Rick Schnaedter write a letter to find out what's going on.  Township Engineer Hay said that he was contacted by McTish Kunkle and he told them to submit a sketch.  Solicitor Kline suggested that Schnaedter contact them and get more information for the Board.  Supervisor Chuss offered that the airport authority met with Schnaedter and he believes that Schnaedter has the information and can explain the project.  Nicholas will follow up with Schnaedter.

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 $8,185,310. 

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

  • Public Safety - Supervisor Howell - reported that the committee, at their July 21 meeting, discussed the request of the Borough of Stockertown for police coverage assistance from the Township. The committee authorized Schnaedter and Chief Dorney to begin preliminary discussions.  Dorney has requested police call activity from Stockertown along with the Borough's financial commitment to their police department for 2009. To date, no information has been received nor discussions held.  Nicholas asked how Forks anticipates police coverage of Stockertown - with additional officers or simply with overtime?  Howell said that Dorney is preparing recommendations based on that very question.  The next committee meeting is August 18 at 8 AM.
  • Public Works - Supervisor Chuss - reported that the committee has not met since the last BoS meeting.  DPW Director Roberts said that 43 responses - all from good engineering firms - have been received for the RFQ on the public works garage.  He has narrowed the field to five and will cut it to three for presentation to the Board.  References are in the process of being reviewed and site visits will be scheduled.  Roberts also announced that Dave Bonser and Randy Temples have passed the license exam for running the pump station.  Nicholas asked that Schnaedter send a letter to them.
  • Parks & Recreation - Supervisor Egolf - reported that the Community Park outdoor exercise stations are being installed.  Roberts said that the eight stations are in fact set up and that mulch will be added tomorrow.  The next committee meeting is August 10 at 6 PM.
  • Community Relations - Supervisor Miller - said that there was no meeting since the last BoS meeting and that the next is scheduled for August 10 at 5 PM.
  • Finance and Administration - Supervisor Nicholas - said that there was no meeting since the last BoS meeting and the next is scheduled for August 12 at 5 PM.  She thanked Tim Weis for putting the Comprehensive Plan on the (Supervisors') paperless section of the server.  Chuss asked about non-hardware specific access to the server for Supervisors who do not choose to use the Township provided laptops.  Farley said that the vendor is looking into Internet based password protected access.  Egolf said that the initial intent of going paperless was to handle large documents.

Township Manager's Report - Schnaedter - on vacation.  No report.

Engineer's Report - Hay -  reported that the sewer rehabilitation project on Old Mill is underway and that that Indian Trail line will be next.  He said that the residents have been cooperative and understanding.  Hay said, too, that Keystone is designing the new PennDOT allowed Sullivan Trail driveway for the Simms residence - where the Meco/Sullivan signal will eventually be.  And, the Penn's Ridge basketball court was laid out wrong and has been re-staked back to the original site plan.  Work on it will start tomorrow.

Solicitor's Report - Kline - reported that he has drafted two historic resource ordinances, one for the Zoning Ordinance and one for the SALDO.  They have been sent to the Planning Commission for review at the next August meeting. 

Howell said that he is pleased that the Township is going ahead with historic preservation ordinances.  He added that it is a sad day in Forks Township when another barn is lost and noted that Lafayette College has taken down one of the most beautiful barns in Forks and the timbers are being salvaged for a barn in New Jersey.  Howell said that the ad hoc Comprehensive Plan committee met with Lafayette a few months ago and asked them what was planned.  There was no mention of the barn at Newlins and Sullivan.

Nicholas reminded the Board that there is an agreement with the Bushkill Conservancy over what can be done in the 100 year flood plain - where part of the Lafayette property is.


Binney & Smith Solar Power Land Development Project (Karl Kline, Township Solicitor) - Kline reviewed the Fotowatio/Crayola history from a year ago when expedited approval was requested so that tax credits could be used.  The new plan has very few changes - basically all to be treated as field changes.  Kline said that the land development agreement has been signed by PPL Renewable Energy and by UGI (the new developers) and that all is in order for the Board to sign so that the project can move forward. 

Howell asked about the stormwater requirement and Kline said that Northampton County (Conservation District) originally indicated that there was little earth disturbance and therefore a sedimentation plan etc. were unneeded.  However, the County may now require a permit or a waiver which could delay the project.

The vote to approve the Binney & Smith request was 5:0.

For more, please read Chris Knight's Express Times article. 

Selection of Earned Income Tax Representatives (Jim Farley, Finance Manager) - Act 32 has established 67 Earned Income Tax (EIT) collection districts throughout Pennsylvania.  Each municipality in PA will no longer collect its own EIT after 2012. To prepare for this significant collection change, each taxing unit must select a principal and an alternate tax representative to attend meetings in their respective taxing districts in preparation the collection change. The Board voted 5-0 to appoint Township Manager Schnaedter as the principal and Finance Manager Farley as the alternate.


Liquor License Transfer (Karl Kline, Township Solicitor) - The Board voted 5:0 to recommend the liquor license transfer.

Riverview Recreation Center – Revised Phasing Plan (Tim Weis, Zoning Officer) - Tabled in a 5:0 vote.  Howell noted that there was considerable discussion and some unanswered questions about sidewalk completion and the recreation entrance driveway/road at the Planning Commission meeting, when this matter was first presented.  The PC then referred (with a 4-3 vote) the matter to the BoS for action.  Howell felt (as did Chuss) that a Strausser representative should present the request directly to the Board and not through township staff members.

Comprehensive Plan (Dean Turner, Planning Commission Chairman) - Planning Commission (PC) Chairman Dean Turner and Vice Chairman Vito Tamborrino addressed the Board regarding the status of the now final draft of the Comprehensive Plan.  The electronic and print copies have been received and distributed to the Board. 

Forks Supervisors voted 5:0 to send copies of the draft Comprehensive Plan to the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, contiguous municipalities, and the Easton Area School District for their review and comments.

All comments are due back to the Township within 45 days.  After that, some corrections and changes may be incorporated and then there will be a public hearing.  The draft plan will be available to the public on the Township website as "soon as technically possible."

Supervisors are awaiting the correction of typos and other grammatical errors by URDC (Urban Research & Development), the Township's Comprehensive Plan consultant.

Community Park Court Rehabilitation (Mark Roberts, DPW Director and Fred Hay, Township Engineer) - Hay said that the low bidder at the bid opening was Lehigh Valley Site Contractors with a bid of $99,900.  This is for redoing the basketball and tennis courts at the Community Park.  Nicholas asked about a warrantee and was told it would be 18 months. 

Chuss asked what the balance of the recreation fund is considering that this money is coming from it.  Farley said that he will get that figure but his guess is $1.6 million.

Chuss then asked what the status of the five year recreation plan is and Egolf said that Ed Moore is willing to make revisions but there is no electronic copy.  Farley offered that the Recreation Board has restricted fund accounts and one of them has money to help offset the court(s) work.

Nicholas asked that signs be posted around the new courts warning that bicycles and skateboards are prohibited. 

The vote was 5:0 to award the contract.

College Park Athletic Fields Grading (Fred Hay, Township Engineer) - Mr. Hay acknowledged that Keystone ENGINEERING failed to timely publicly advertise the bid package legal notice and therefore it was not advertised in time for this to be acted upon.  There was discussion about who was responsible (for this omission.)  Hay said that he was on vacation and did not realize that his co-worker had not followed through on the legal notice.  It is being taken care of now and bids should still be awarded in time for grass planting season.

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

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