Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Saturday, June 27, 2009

It's summer and it's kid time at Penn's Ridge Park!

On Friday June 26th, with a small ribbon cutting ceremony, phase I of the first of Forks'
neighborhood parks was dedicated. 

By noon, there were a few families and  even some "older" kids enjoying the new park
equipment.  It just proves the old adage, "If you build it, they will come."

Still to come for this newest of Forks parks are landscaping, a unique four board
basketball court, and a few more picnic tables. 

Friday, June 26, 2009

Forks Tax Collector

Recently, June Vail, Forks Township's Elected Tax Collector resigned as the Easton Area school district real estate tax collector. She did this via letter to the EASD.

The EASD is considering appointing a new person, Carol Buscar, a part time staff member in Building and Zoning Department, to the position of temporary Easton Area School District Tax Collector.

Forks Township has a separate contractual relationship with the EASD for real estate tax collection.

The current real estate tax collector is still June Vail, the elected Forks Township Tax Collector.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Waste Management Cost Increases

In 2004, Forks Township signed a 5 yr contract with Waste Management. The contract had graduated price increases for the life of the contract. Forks Township residents will see a quarterly bill increase from $56.25 to $65.00 per household. This represents a annual increase of $35.00. The new rate will be effective July 1, 2009.

The explanation of the increase will be on the Forks Township website and there will be article in next quarterly newsletter.

Monday, June 08, 2009

BoS Meeting Notes - 6/4/2009

Regular Meeting (agenda)

This, the first regular BoS meeting for the month of June and was attended by Supervisor Chairman Howell and Supervisors Chuss, Egolf, Miller and Nicholas.  

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) 

  • Larry Schneider, representing District Fourteen of the Lions Club, addressed the board regarding efforts to re-establish a Lions Club in Forks Township. He was very optimistic that a club will be established this year and asked for support from the board and the Forks business community. He asked for ideas regarding civic projects the local Lions Club could support. Chairman Howell suggested the adoption of the Lions Park along Bushkill Drive in the Township, which a former Loins Club helped to establish. 

Supervisors' Comments

  • Supervisor Egolf thanked Mark Roberts, Public Works Director for his great efforts in developing his department’s five-year plan. 

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 $8,309,020. 

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 May meeting had to be canceled. The next meeting is scheduled for 6/21/09 at 8:00 AM.
  • Public Works - Supervisor Chuss - reported that the next meeting is 6/9/09 at 7:30 AM.
  • Parks & Recreation - Supervisor Egolf - said that the Penn's Ridge neighborhood park is slated to be installed next week pending good weather. The site will be excavated and that playground certified mulch would be installed. The next meeting is 6/8/09 at 6 PM.
  • Community Relations - Supervisor Miller - reported that the next meeting is 6/8/09 at 5:00 PM.
  • Finance and Administration - Supervisor Nicholas - reported that the next meeting is 6/10/09 at 5:00 PM.

Township Manager's Report - Schnaedter - reported that the staff is making good progress with the 2009 Strategic Plan and various projects are now underway.  Schnaedter reviewed a citizen concern about a late SEMS response.  He reported that an investigation was ongoing.   He informed the Board that the computer-aided dispatch was down.  Suburban EMS has been made aware of the concern and will review the matter.  Chief Dorney, FTPD, remarked that the response times for Suburban have been good recently. On another matter, Staff has met with Palmer Township regarding mutual concerns about safety and signage in areas along Bushkill Drive where the two townships' respective recreation paths connect.

Engineer's Report - Hay - reported that he has spoken with a construction company about site grading for the five-acre parcel west of the community park, which is planned for sports fields.  He thought that the cost of the contemplated grading would exceed $10,000.00 and would be more likely at $20,000.00.  In addition, he is working on the stop sign citizen concern around Meco and Winchester.  Also, the estimates for basketball court resurfacing in the community park are in process.  Hay will report on these items at the next meeting.  Lastly, he will email the grading plan of the five-acre site shortly.   

Solicitor's Report - Assistant Solicitor Steven Goudsouzian - reported to the Board in the absence of Mr. Kline. He stated that the litigation against developer Gary Strausser for his act of cutting down significant tress on Township property was proceeding slowly as is expected in litigation of this sort.  Depositions are ongoing and a pre-trial conference is expected. The trail should start late this year.  He also advised that KMRD has started its procedural challenge appeal. 


Municipal Amphitheater (Supervisor Nicholas) - Nicholas said that she reviewed the plans provided by CMX and spoke with them about design and cost issues. She offered suggestion about roof line and other design matters.  The BoS agreed that the basic plan was acceptable and could be more appropriate with some design adjustments so that the structure could accommodate a civic orchestra with uniform roof lines. The Board felt that Schnaedter should take the lead on this project with CMX and work out design changes and cost reductions where necessary to get the project on track.


Northampton County Department of Community & Economic Development Agreement (Rick Schnaedter, Township Manager) - The Board approved the agreement as presented. (5:0 Vote)

Historical Ordinance (Dean Turner, Planning Commission Chairman) - Mr. Turner advised the Board that the Planning Commission wished to proceed in discussions for the purpose of drafting a historical ordinance dealing with historical preservation of township sites and structures for the Board’s consideration. This would entail consultations with Mr. Kline, solicitor, as the matter would involve changes to our Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance (SALDO).  Supervisor Chuss stated that he wants the Comprehensive Plan updated before this was undertaken.  Mr. Turner advised him that the Comprehensive plan under review anticipates this new ordinance and that the final meeting is next week and that this matter would be consistent with the plan.

Upon a motion and second by Supervisors Nicholas and Egolf, respectively, to approve this Planning Commission’s undertaking, Chairman Howell asked for discussion.  Supervisor Chuss repeated his objection to the timing to the matter.  Supervisor Nicholas added that it is appropriate that the Planning Commission is considering these ordinances.  The motion was approved. (5:0 Vote)

Executive Session - Chairman Howell called for an Executive Session. The session concluded at 9:24 PM.     Mr. Goudsouzian reported that the session purpose was to discuss potential litigation and employment matters.  The Board took no action during the session.  Since there was no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 9:25 p.m.

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.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Farmers' Market trolley starts June 6th and it's only a buck!

The Easton Farmers' Market trolley will begin service on Saturday, June 6. It will leave the Forks Township Trolley Municipal Building at 8:45 AM for College Hill and then to downtown.  The trolley will run continuously every half hour with its last departure from Center Square at 12:45 PM. 

For more details, visit the Easton Farmers' Market website... and don't forget your dollar on Saturday.  Parking is free at the Municipal Building.