Sunday, December 05, 2010

Planning Commission Appointments


The BoS appointed two new members of the Planning Commission. Welcome to Eric Konecke and Asher Seip to the Planning Commission. Eric is a new member and Asher was given a 4 year appointment. Read Adam Clark of the Morning Call account of the appointments

Forks Township Tree Lighting Ceremony


A large crowd braved the cold weather to hear the Shawnee and Forks Elementary school choir sing Christmas carols. Additionally, the large crowd witnessed the lighting of our Christmas tree and the arrival of Santa compliments of the Forks Fire Department.

It was a great night!

Forks Christmas Tree

Saturday, November 20, 2010

2011 Budget Approval

On a 5 to 0 vote, the board tentatively approved the 2011 budget. The  2011 budget will be posted on the Forks Township website and must be made available for public inspection for 20 days prior to final adoption.

More than likely, the final 2011 budget will be approved at the December 16, 2010 BoS meeting.

Going Green

The Forks Township public works department will be hard at work planting new trees. The plan is to plant 20 to 25 trees this fall in various locations throughout our community

Friday, November 05, 2010

BoS Debates Proposed Historical Ordinance


Read Tony Nauroth of the Express-Times account of the Bos public discussion with the Forks Planning Commission and many township residents regarding the latest draft of the Historical Ordnance.

It was very interesting debate, as all of the property owners wanted a voluntary program to preserve historical properties within Forks Township.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

No tax increases for Forks Township

Great news for the taxpayers of Forks Township. No tax increases are being proposed in 2011. The following is a quick summary of the proposed 2011 budget.

2011 Budget Summary:

  • Total Operating Revenue: $7.93M
  • Total Operating Expense: $7.93M
  • Carryover Balance: $971,765
  • Police Department: $2.84M
  • Public Works: $945,602
  • FTAA: $113,061

Now the 2011 budget will follow the established timelines for approval. The entire budget will be available for public review and inspection start

  • November 4:  BoS approval of preliminary budget
  • November 18: BoS approval to advertise 2011 budget
  • November 19: Budget make available for public inspection
  • December 16: Final BoS budget approval

Welcome to our new Parks and Recreation Director

Rachel Sulzbach, a Bangor resident, was appointed as our new Parks and Recreation Director. FAC would like to extend a warm welcome to Rachel. We know you will do a great job!

Rachel was the Northeast Regional Director- Program Management for the Girls Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania.  Rachel will start on November 8, 2010.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Update on the Forks Township Historical Ordnance


At the last Planning Commission meeting, our planners debated and discussed the latest version of the Historical Ordnance. Read the new Morning Call reporter, Adam Clark, account of the meeting.

Additionally, three BoS member weigh-in on the historical Ordnance.  According the Morning Call article, “Supervisor David Billings and board Chairman Erik Chuss both said Friday that they want to preserve historical buildings but believe the township needs to find a balance that doesn't restrict property owners. Supervisor C. David Howell said restrictions on property owners could prevent them from improving their buildings, which would be bad for the township”.

Weis Market Construction

If you have not noticed, Weis market construction is well underway. Right now, the road improvements along Uhler Road have stated and this will help with increased traffic created by the market.

The Weis market should open in the first quarter of 2010.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

August 5, 2010 BoS Meeting

The following is a summary of the actions taken by the BoS at the August 5, 2010 meeting.

Treasurers' Report

Total Outstanding Debt: $11,424,963
General Fund: $151,033.94
Utility Fund: $123,434.87

The BoS decided to table a $30,000 budget transfer from the General Fund to the Recreation Board. The BoS is requesting additional information about the proposed transfer.

Unfinished Business

1. Parks and Recreation Director: The BoS authorized (3 to 0) the township manager to hire a Parks and Recreation Director position with a salary between $50,000 and $60,000 based upon experience.

2. Binney & Smith Solar Project: The BoS approved ( 3 to 0) the proposed expansion of the current solar park. The board agreed to waive the lighting requirement and all associated township fees.

3. Famous Smoke Shop/Revised Final Land Development: In a 3 to 0 vote, the BoS approved the final land development plan.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

In Memory of Diane Baker

For the past 5 years, we can think of no one who has served Forks residents more than she did as the editor in chief and web master of the Forks Action Committee. Diane was an omniscient reporter of all that went on in local government. As a river’s edge resident, she was naturally watchful and vigilant of all issues involving the Delaware and this trait extended to all matters relating to township government. Her motivation was pure.

She knew that hard working families had little time to attend civic meetings but wanted to be informed about Forks issues that would most certainly affect them. So she brought the municipal meetings and news to them through the FAC web site. Diane understood the importance of citizen involvement in making change and the information she provided was the force, which enabled this to happen.
Diane felt that people should make personal judgments on all things Forks without unnecessary chatter and opinion from others. Her reporting style was straightforward, fair and non-biased. She most certainly held strong views, but they never clouded her reporting of Supervisor, Planning and Zoning meetings over these past years. “What’s important”, she would say, “is that people get the facts plain and clear from FAC so that they can determine whether or not their interests are being served by Supervisors.” She believed in open, transparent government that was not afraid to address difficult issues. FAC’s weekly survey was her way of drawing attention to current issues so that people would think about them and take action.
Her illness caught up with her quickly last month. Sadly her voice is now silent and those last meetings she attended will remain as unpublished notes. But those notes are but a drop in the ocean of work, which will remain on the Forks Action Committee web site for all to read. Even though she sought anonymity, she is admired by all who knew of her contribution to the township.

You will be missed Diane!

Friday, June 25, 2010

BoS Meeting - June 17, 2010

The Forks Township BoS held a meeting on June 17, 2010. The following are some of the key actions taken by the board.

1. Approved the concept of the Parks and Recreation 5 year plan and submitted about 12 comments to the Parks and Recreation Standing Committee. Vote: 4 to 0

2. The Recreation Board presented the updated Recreation Board Ordinance to the BoS. The board agreed to submit comments to the township solicitor by July 21, 2010. Vote: 4 to 0.

3. The board approved the Eastern Spade Toad Assessment Proposal funding. The approved amount was $1073.00. Vote: 4 to 0

4. The board discussed the proposed communication plan between the BoS and the Planning Commission. The purpose of the plan is to improve communications. The approved a motion to have agenda for all Planning Commission meetings. Vote: 3 to 1.

5. The board renewed a 2 year contract for Signal Service INC. The cost of the contract is $2,975. Vote: 4 to 0.

6. Approved a amount not to exceed $20,000 to connect the Recreation Path between Wagon Wheel Drive to Penn's Ridge and Vista Estates. Vote: 4 to 0.

7. The board approved a proposed change to the Forks Township personnel guide. The proposal will prohibit any BoS member from holding the position of township manager for a period of 5 years after leaving the board. Additionally, the motion stated that township employees will not be eligible to run for township elected positions. The solicitor was directed to research and provide a draft proposal to the board.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Very Sad News

We have some very sad news to report. The editor of the Forks Action Committee (FAC) blog and website is gravely ill.

Please keep this person in your thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Survey This!

Let us know how you feel about things by voting! It's easy. Click Take Survey Now! The results of a week's worth of voting will appear on the Results page next week.

Click RESULTS if you want to see how your opinions compared to your friends and neighbors in past surveys.  

If you have a Forks topic that you'd like to see in a survey, please let us know via email. We are open to your suggestions! 

Saturday, May 08, 2010

BoS Meeting Notes - 4/15/2010

Regular Meeting - Agenda

At this meeting, Supervisors learned:

  • The hope is that the new fire engine will be in service by Forks Community Days.
  • The public works garage preliminary plan presentation before the Planning Commission is not far off.
  • The Community Center website calendar now has content!
  • Waste Management wants to hold its rate through August of 2011.
  • The Forks Historical Society's (very attractive) photo display is now on view at the Community Center.
  • The Kesslersville Road stormwater project may be one of the few in Northampton County to get FEMA funding. 
  • Kimmel Bogrette may have some input into the amphitheater design. 
  • Two tot lots were approved!
  • And, Weis Market is on the move!

 Public Comments (non-agenda)

  • Brett Morrow - Howe Street resident said that he was before Supervisors two or three years ago with a problem in his neighborhood - an Easton Auto Body flatbed truck parked on the street by renters. The truck was leaking oil.  The truck is now smaller and is parked on gravel behind the house.  He has a new problem now.  Next door neighbors for the last three weeks have two full sized mattresses leaning up against the house.  "The property is not maintained whatsoever."  There are three basketball hoops in the roadway.  Mr. Morrow reminded the newly elected Supervisors that a lot of them walked his street when they were trying to get elected.  He said that neighborhood property owners are proud of their properties.  Yet, some have erected fences "right on" property lines and he thinks there may be zoning violations.  "I am an attorney and will be a pain if I have to be."  His real question though was what steps can he and his neighbors take to correct the eyesore next door to 830 Howe Street.  He said it is affecting the value of all of the properties.  Chuss suggested that he speak with Zoning Officer Tim Weis and Township Manager Rick Schnaedter.  Chuss said, "If need be, we'll address it."  Morrow added that one of his neighbors with a basketball hoop is an Easton policeman and he was told to move his hoop off of the street. 

Supervisors Comments

  • Supervisor Chuss welcomed all the EAHS students and told them that they will have to stay until the end of the meeting to get their papers signed.  He also said of the 2010 census that the PSATS (Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors) response rate is up to 70%.  He requested that any who have not filled out their census forms please do since a lot of aid and decisions regarding voting are made based on the census.

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 outstanding debt is $11,428,627.

Standing Committee Reports:

  • Public Safety - Supervisor Egolf - reported that the committee met last night at 7:15 PM and covered quite a few things.  Chief Dorney said that they discussed National Night Out activities (for August) and concern over motorized scooters and young kids.  Information will be posted on the Township website.  Fire Chief Chapman said that the new fire engine begins production on 7/8/10 and the estimated completion date is 7/15/10.  He expects it to ship the beginning of August.  Chapman said that it should ship the first week of August and he hopes to have it in service in time for Forks Community Days. 
  • Public Works - Supervisor Howell - reported that the committee meeting was cancelled because there were no significant pending matters for discussion.  He reported, too, that the Planning Commission (PC) saw a presentation of the public works garage conceptual plan - by Kimmel & Bogrette.  The process is still in progress and there are no major delays.  There are still some issues to be decided regarding the vegetative roof, the type of radiant heat, and etc.   The preliminary plan presentation to the PC is not far off.  The public will be alerted.
  • Parks & Recreation - Supervisor Rogers - said that the committee met on April 7th and that Dan Martyak (president of FTYSO - Forks Township Youth Sports Organization) is working with Finance Manager Jim Farley to come to some agreement about an online signup tool for sports.  Also:
    • The walk around of the five acre parcel has been delayed since Martyak has been unable to schedule it with resident Eric Konecke.
    • Martyak reported that the FTAA (Forks Township Athletic Association) special liquor license was a "once and done" for the 250th celebration.
    • Martyak said that he is open to let BoS look at at the FTAA records at any time.
    • The Recreation Board reviewed their five year plan at their last monthly meeting.  A suggestion was made that the Recreation Board consult with the PC for feedback, ideas, and input.
    • Four minor changes to the Recreation Board Ordinance were made.  It is being typed and will be forwarded to Ed Moore of the Recreation Board.  Then it will be presented next month at the Parks & Recreation Standing Committee meeting.
    • The Community Center basketball season has ended.   It was the largest season ever - 30 teams.  Nine made it to the playoffs, four moved on to the semi-finals, and a girls team won a league championship.
    • Outdoor spring sports are now in session.  The Community Center will now start to host club sports such as AAU.  Rogers said that these sports are income producers.  There will be a summer basketball league from June through July - with 148 teams.  Last summer the Community Center "made about" $17,000 from the summer league.
    • Community Center coordinator, Don Miller wants some things considered re. Braden Park - a sand volley ball court, playground equipment, and the fee for the pavilion rental.  Schnaedter, Miller, and DPW Director Roberts are working on a proposal that includes placement, dimensions and costs.  The presentation target date is the May 6th BoS meeting. 
    • The Community Center website calendar will be updated with daily CC programs.  
    • The next meeting is Wednesday, May 5th at 6 PM in the Municipal Building.
  • Community Relations - Supervisor Chuss - said that the committee met on April 12th.  The newsletter is out to homes.  The next target dates are 7/1/10 (with May 15th as the article deadline) and 9/1/10.  December 1st is the target date for distribution of a Township calendar and a new map.  Chuss said that the committee will meet with New Horizons, the Township website provider, at its May 10 meeting (4:30 PM) in the Municipal Building.  (Note:  The Township website designer is New Arrival Studios.)  They will be discussing potential enhancements to the website.  Chuss also reported that Mr. Brian Lokitus is the president of Forks Community Days.  Other officers have been appointed.  Lokitus is also the president of the Business and Commerce Association of Forks (BCAF).  Sponsors and donations are being solicited for Community Days.  The committee meets the third Monday of the month at 7 PM at the Community Center.  The Community Days event is scheduled for the second weekend after Labor Day.  Jack Fatzinger of Stockertown brought some of his art work for consideration by the Township.  It was discussed and will be "considered possibly in the future."  Tim Weis (Zoning Officer) is working on a welcome packet for new residents.  Schnaedter is recommending that it be submitted to a PSATS contest for welcome packets.  Schnaedter thinks it will probably be an award winner.  The Forks Arts Society met last night at the Community Center and fifteen people attended.  All were enthusiastic.  A draft mission statement and bylaws are being worked on (in order to establish it as a formal organization of Forks), and one member is creating a Facebook page.   Forks painter Charles Hanson showed some of his artwork.  Chuss said it was  impressive.  The next meeting is Wednesday, May 19th at 7:30.  Merrit Shuler (sic) will do a bonsai demo. 
  • Finance & Administration - Supervisor Billings - said that the committee met yesterday at 6 PM.  Finance Manager Farley said they reviewed the 2008 Recreation Board audit.  It was received earlier this year from the auditors and it was deemed satisfactory with a few minor recommendations.  He is working with the Recreation Board to tighten controls.  Waste Management contacted the Township and said that it would like to hold last year's prices through August of 2011.  A final proposal will be sent to the Township sometime in May.  Billings said that the PEMA loan for the fire truck will be an agenda item next month.

Township Manager's Report - Schnaedter said that Supervisors have a copy of the $46,000 park planning grant application in their packets.  It is for the recreation land at Newlins and Richmond Roads and is a fifty percent match.  The needed resolution to go forward with the grant process was passed with a 5:0 vote.  Schnaedter also reported that the Forks Historical Society photo display is now on view at the Community Center.  He said that it is very attractive.  Lastly, Schnaedter said that the PSATS annual conference starts this Sunday.  Chuss and Billings may attend. 

Engineer's Report - Muller reported that the sanitary sewer draft specifications have been completed.  They have been delivered to DPW Director Roberts for review.  The Indian Trail grading and milling is now in design.  It has been reviewed and he and Roberts walked the site yesterday.  They will be trying not to touch curbing and inlets in order to save money.  The Sullivan Trail sanitary sewer is already in design.  He and Roberts have also walked it.  Some additional feet may need to be added to the project.  And, Muller reported that he spoke with FEMA and NORCO regarding the Kesslersville Road project.  It was applied for in 2008 and may be one of the few NORCO projects to get FEMA money.

Solicitor's Report - Kline - agenda items only.


Resolution # 100415-1 Approval of Timothy Belon Inter-municipal Liquor License Transfer (Karl Kline, Solicitor) - Kline explained that there was an April 1st hearing with Mr. Timothy Belon for an inter-municipal liquor license transfer.  It used to be that in order to get a liquor license in a municipality, it had to be purchased from another establishment in that municipality.  The rules were changed a few years ago to allow buying one from another municipality on the condition that a public hearing be held. 

This license transfer was approved by the Board and the formal resolution is needed by Mr. Belon to send to the PA Liquor Control Board.  The license is from Danielsville and is being sold to Delaware Drive LLC, the sole owner and manager.  Because the ownership was not mentioned at the hearing, Mr. Belon needs to prepare a supplemental application for submission to the Township and needs to be present at tonight's meeting to answer any questions from the Board.  Kline said that he took the liberty of revising the resolution to the LLC.

Belon said that he was not aware of the regulations at the time of the application. 

Chuss asked if the only change is the name.  The answer was "yes."

Billings asked Kline if the liquor license will be owned by the LLC.  He answered that it would be and added that one never wants to own a liquor license individually because if there is a liability because of someone misusing the alcohol, the liability would be against the individual owner - who would stand to lose all of his/her personal assets.

Howell made the motion to approve.  Egolf seconded.  The vote was 5:0.

Municipal Amphitheater (Rick Schnaedter, Township Manager) - Schnaedter noted that the bids for the amphitheater were opened a few weeks ago and the low bid was Bracy Contracting at $360,000.  The item was tabled and he was asked to explore other alternatives.  He, Mark Roberts, and Tim Weis met with Recreation Resources, Inc. of Kennett Square, PA, the designers of this Kannopolis, NC bandshell installation.   They got prices for a downsized structure, a concrete pad, and the construction of the building.  They found that there are too many variables based on the information at hand.  The Township would also need an architect and engineer since this is beyond the scope of its personnel. 

Chuss asked if other companies do amphitheaters.  Schnaedter said that he was not aware of them. 

Billings asked the expiration date on the current bid.  Schnaedter said that the bid is good through 6/8/10.   Chuss said that he is supportive of the amphitheater but is sounding like a "broken record" because the costs are pushing up to $500,000 and he has trouble grasping anything over $300,000.

Chuss asked if the Board wants to do anything with the Bracy bid or if it has an alternative?

Howell said that Kimmel Bogrette is building a (probably) award winning public works building for Forks.  He suggested that Schnaedter sit with Kimmel Bogrette and show what we have and ask for alternatives in materials - and other ways to reduce construction costs based on our plans.  Howell added that Martin Kimmel, because of his current engagement with the Township, will likely be quite reasonably priced. 

Chuss said he thought it a viable alternative.  He also wondered whether or not the Planning Commission (PC) can help or if Township Engineer Scott Muller can help or if Schnaedter or Muller can inquire of PSATS (Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors) since others may be building amphitheaters.   

Former Supervisor Bonnie Nicholas said that if the Modern Concrete panels are removed and replaced with brick, it will save money.  She thought a laid off brick layer could do the same thing. 

Schnaedter said that he will see Tim Edinger (formerly of CMX) this weekend and "will run it by him."

Mark Mulrine of Wagon Wheel Drive said that he is an advocate of band shells.  He asked if we had already spent $500,000 looking into this.  Chuss answered that we have spent $49,000.  Mr. Mulrine asked where the funds will come from and Schnaedter replied that developers have paid fees into a fund for recreation and leisure activities.  Mr. Mulrine wondered if the funds must be spent by a certain time?  Howell remarked that that is a very interesting question.  Mulrine asked, "What's the rush to spend an awful lot of money here?"  Chuss said that a year (and $50,000) has already been spent on it and that developers might ask for their money back if it isn't spent on recreation.  

Mr. Mulrine suggested using the City of Easton's amphitheater.  It is only used by the city three months of the year.  A lot of money could be more appropriately spent on year round things.  The City of Easton would probably be more than happy to rent it to Forks. 

Using the Eddyside pool as an example, Howell noted that it is a wonderful pool and if Forks builds one, it will be the death knell of Eddyside.  He said that he sits on a number of boards in Easton and "a large nut to crack is to get people from Forks and Palmer to come to Easton."  They don't.  The Easton amphitheater is wonderful asset that they choose to ignore.  Forks' amphitheater will be paid for in large part by local businesses. 

Mr. Mulrine asked who pays for the bands and the cleaning?  Chuss said that we have staff available for that and in addition the fledgling Forks Arts Society (now renamed the Forks Area Arts Society) will be finding acts for the amphitheater. 

Chuss said that the Nazareth bandshell feedback is positive.  This will bring more activities for the "age challenged" Forks residents.

Howell said that when it is built, "we must bring people to it."  He spoke with a Musicfest promoter who would like to have "a pay per view event" in the new amphitheater.

Egolf made a motion to give the Township Manager permission to continue researching the construction of an amphitheater to to get a report to the Board within a month.  Howell seconded.  The vote was 5:0.  Billings made a motion to table this action item.  It passed 5:0.

For more details, read Madeleine Mathias (Express-Times).


Weis Market – Approval and execution of developer’s agreement (Karl Kline, Solicitor) - Kline explained that on April 19, 2007 Weis Market got its final conditional plan approval.  There were a number of challenges by property owners - all of which were dismissed -  then there was a recession and a decline in the real estate market. 

Weis is now ready to move forward.  The land development improvement agreement is signed.  The Township has a certificate of liability insurance and the Letter or Credit has been received.  They are ready to proceed.  The last obstacle is the needed PennDOT highway occupancy permit (HOP) for the improvements to the intersection of Uhler and Sullivan.   According to Mr. O'Hara from Weis, they are prepared to move forward and expect to have the HOP in place in the next 30 days.  They are pursuing a parallel path by doing their drawings and engineering and getting their permits in line and hope to open for business in early February or March of 2011.

Chuss asked when the ground breaking will take place.  O'Hara said that they are prepared to start the site work when the final approval is in process - so it can start in the next month or so. 

Howell asked if there will be any issue regarding which road to use when doing the sitework, Ian or Braden?  They are required under the agreement to use Ian.  Kline noted that that is why Ian was not paved with a top coat and Braden was. 

Chuss remarked that it's great.

Howell observed that the Giant has awoken and prepared for competition.  Weis has a wonderful location and will attract lots of shoppers from the north, east, and west.  It will have gasoline.  He suggested an upscale wine and spirits store like the one on Route 248 for the 8,000 - 10,000 square feet of store to be built later. 

Howell moved to approve.  Egolf seconded and the vote was 5:0.

Read Madeleine Mathias (Express-Times) for more details.

Resolution # 100415-2 Dedication of Street - Creek Court – Estates at Bushkill Creek (Karl Kline, Solicitor) - Kline said that this subdivision off of Bushkill Drive has one street completed.  It was approved by the former Township Engineer.  Kline said that it is appropriate for the Board to officially accept it and to make it part of the Township street system.  The resolution was approved 5:0.

Approval for the Braden Airport and Vista Estates Park Equipment (David Billings, Supervisor) - Billings sought approval for play equipment at both Braden Park and Vista Estates.  He said that it is a continuation of the plan started by Howell and Egolf in 2008 and that it was reviewed by the Recreation Board.  Vista Estates petitioned the Board in 2008 and sent a letter of support from the residents and the neighborhood association. 

Chuss said that a recommendation by a subcommittee does not imply approval and that this is putting the cart before the horse.  He called it "premature at this time" since there is no way to know what is and isn't planned and the fate of the parkland at Richmond and Newlins is still unknown.  Also, the bikepath work is in progress.  He added that he is confused by the agenda topic and that it should be before the Parks & Recreation Standing Committee for recommendations. 

Billings said that this has gone through the process and that the Vista Estates tot lot will cost $14,000 out of the $1.3 million recreation fund - and it is highly appropriate to approve.

Howell said that Vista Estates park was part of the initial plan.  There were three parks planned, Vista, Penn's Ridge, and Ramblewood.  Ramblewood was abandoned and the money was donated to the Forks Elementary School park project.  The Recreation Board five year plan includes Vista Estates - it is to serve a dense community and take pressure off of the main Community Park.  When Braden Park was initially introduced, Don Miller was not in favor of it.  Now he wants it to supplement the facilities at Braden, a destination park.  In fact, he reports that the park is not "saleable" for large events because it has no play equipment and no volley ball court. 

Rogers asked if the Braden request was separate from the Miller/Roberts/Schnaedter effort or if it is to coincide with it. 

Chuss said that sand is not cheap and that volley ball courts require special sand.  He wants to know the costs before approval.  He said that he has been screaming for a five year plan from the Recreation Board.  The one they have is a draft.  He offered that it "bothers him badly" that the Vista Estates people will be screaming about the proximity of the Newlins Park.  He has no objection to Braden because it is an established park. 

Howell said that Vista also has a park, the baseball field, and no residents have complained about it.  What is intended to be installed is a 2-12 year old play area with a swing set - in a remote area.  The Township already knows the costs of every piece of apparatus that is to go there.  Howell has a seen a draft of the five year plan and it deals with macro issues like a field house and a bridge over Sullivan Trail.  Little kids get stuck in the bureaucracy of Boards of Supervisors.  He finished by saying that he does not want to push this recreation project into a "bureaucratic dust bin."

Cornelius Brons, president of the Vista Estates Homeowners Association, said that he promised the mothers in the neighborhood that he would look into asking about the park.  They want it.  There are many young families in Vista and the Remaly tract is not decided.  They want something for young children.  He noted that the "vibrations" are down on the DPW garage plans and that there is land on Crown Drive.  There is an adjoining Segal & Morel tract whose families may come up and use the Vista tot lot.  It will benefit three neighborhoods, Lafayette Estates, Segal & Morel and Vista Estates.  There are traffic issues with the ballpark - cars flying down Richmond Road and flying down Winchester - there are no stop signs.  Nothing stops traffic issues.  What Mr. Brons would like is a tot-lot in a secure area of the neighborhood where little kids don't have to cross the street.  Currently mothers are driving their kids to the school playground.

Chuss said that he wants everything to be in the Community Park because it is easier to police.  He said too, that he has had complaints about the Penn's Ridge park... "Why are they getting one.  I want one too.  I'm as far as they are." 

Billings made a motion to approve the Vista Estates play structure (for toddlers ages 5-12) and swing set (for toddlers ages 5-12) and, if possible, some benches and picnic tables - all capped at $15,000.  Egolf seconded.

Egolf noted in discussion that the problem is that the people who will use the equipment are not present.  If it were for sports, the auditorium would be full of coaches and commissioners.  There are no 5-10 year olds here.  He has been an advocate for kids and has been working on this for years.  In fact, he said he thought it a "no brainer - who would not want to spend some money out of a pot of nearly $2 million - for kids?"  From what he gathers sitting on the Board, there are very few people in Forks who think kids deserve swing sets.  If the location is wrong, move it.  It is not the astrodome - just a simple swing set for a bunch of kids who live in the community - no taxpayer money is being used.  He added that if there were a room full of kids here with their moms and dads, there would be a resounding "YES." 

Rogers said that her issue is not with children.  She just wanted to know if the two (Braden) issues are separate efforts of if they are going to be joined.  Howell noted that the motion is on Vista Estates.

Chuss remarked, "Ready, spend, plan is not fiscally responsible." 

The vote was 3:2 with Chuss and Rogers casting the nays.

Billings made a second motion to purchase a Braden play structure (for toddlers ages 5-12), a swing set (for toddlers ages 5-12), a seesaw, benches, charcoal grills, and a volley ball court with a cap at $25,000.   If more money is needed because of the volleyball court, the Board can be approached again.  Howell seconded.

Rogers asked if the efforts will be coordinated?  Billings replied that the current efforts would be leveraged. 

Chuss asks if $25,000 is enough.  Schnaedter said that there are some location concerns.  DPW Director Roberts offered that at Penn's Ridge there is a 45 x 90 foot safety zone.  Miller's plan will need some shifting. 

The vote was 4:1 with Chuss casting the nay.

For more, please read Madeleine Mathias (Express-Times).

Executive Session - There was an Executive Session to discuss potential litigation, potential acquisition of real estate, and litigation.  No action was taken during or after the executive session and the meeting was adjourned. 

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.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Lilly Gioia Appointed Forks Newest Supervisor

Christopher Baxter (The Morning Call) reported that the Forks Board of Supervisors voted 3:1 (Chuss cast the nay) to appoint Lilly Gioia to replace Michele Rogers who resigned officially as of May 6th. The nomination was made by Supervisor Robert Egolf who expressed his opinion that the next highest vote getter in the 2009 election should get the nod.

Ms. Gioia's appointment will last through January 1 following the 2011 Municipal Election. At that election, others, including Ms. Gioia, may run for the seat and the one who wins will serve for four years, the balance of Ms. Rogers' term.

Congratulations to Lilly Gioia.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Newly elected Forks Supervisor resigns

According to two May 5, 2010 online articles one in The Morning Call (Christopher Baxter) and the other in the Express-Times (staff), newly elected Supervisor Michele Rogers has resigned from the Forks Township Board of Supervisors.  Supervisor Chuss is quoted extensively in both articles and gives different reasons than Ms. Rogers for the resignation.

Update 5/6/10:  Both newspapers have print edition articles with more details.  See Christopher Baxter (The Morning Call) and Tony Nauroth (Express-Times).

Sunday, April 11, 2010

BoS Meeting Notes & Liquor License Public Hearing - 4/1/2010

Public Hearing - Inter-municipal Liquor License Transfer - 7:00 PM 

Solicitor Karl Kline explained that per PA law, receiving municipalities (of a transferring liquor license) must hold a public hearing.  This gives the Board of Supervisors and the public the opportunity to ask any questions.  During the regular meeting, the Board will vote on the application and the resulting decision, in the form of a resolution, will be sent to the PA Liquor Control Board.  The PA Liquor Control Board makes the ultimate determination on the transfer. 

The particular license that Mr. Timothy Belon is seeking to transfer, #E4075, is one for an "eating place retail dispenser."  He seeks to sell beer, both for consumption on the premises and "to go," at the AutoGrille, 1670 North Delaware Drive.  Supervisors must approve the transfer unless they determine that the use will have an adverse effect on the welfare, heath, peace, and morals of the municipality or its residents. 

Mr. Belon explained that he is seeking to expand his business and to satisfy those of his customers who travel back and forth from New Jersey.  They will now only have to make one stop for beer and cigarettes.  Cigarettes are cheaper in PA.

Kline asked if the license will be like the one Chubby's has.  Mr. Belon was not sure if it was the same type of license.  He said that the E-license allows the selling of beer and possibly wine coolers.   

Kline asked him to tell the Board about the AutoGrille.  Belon said that it is a convenience store and gas station and is open from 4:30 AM until 8 PM.  Howell asked what kind of food is sold there.  Belon said that he sells deli sandwiches like hoagies, cheesesteaks, chicken parmesan, etc. and some customers have requested breakfast.  Currently he has 10 seats but will expand to the 30 required by the license.  Customers cannot leave the premises (eg. to cross the street and look at the river) with an open container of beer.  It is a non-smoking establishment. 

Howell asked how much the license will cost and Belon said $43,000.  Howell reminded him that there are restrictions on advertising signs in the conservation district.  Kline said that any signs erected will be subject to the Township Zoning Ordinance.


Regular Meeting - Agenda

At this meeting, Supervisors:

  • Approved the inter-municipal liquor license transfer for the AutoGrille on North Delaware Drive.
  • Learned that Weis Market is nearer to breaking ground on its new Forks grocery at the intersection of Uhler Road and Sullivan Trail.  They called today for a construction package. 
  • Were told that the Township was awarded $21,000 in an arbitration hearing against a property owner who refused to make agreed upon curbing and sidewalk improvements to his Zucksville Road property.
  • Surprised the president of the FTYSO with the news that the organization has a special occasion liquor license. 

Approval of Minutes

The vote to approve the minutes from the March 18 meeting took a little time as Supervisor Rogers took exception to several items and offered corrections and revisions.  Supervisor Chuss also had some changes and Supervisor Egolf had a correction.

Public Comments (non-agenda)

  • Bonnie Nicholas - resident and former Supervisor - asked the Board about the legal notice in the newspaper for the Airport Authority to get bids for replacing the fuel farm and other items at Braden Air Park.  She wondered if plans have been approved.  Engineer Scott Muller said that no plans have been approved and that anyone can get bids at anytime for anything. 
  • Dan Martyak - resident and FTYSO (Forks Township Youth Sports Association a.k.a. Forks Township Athletic Association - a.k.a. FTAA) president - thanked the parks department for getting "everything in terrific shape..." and he gave a brief report to the Board of the activities of the FTYSO (Forks Township Youth Sports Organization a.k.a. the Forks Athletic Association).  To date 783 Forks kids are signed up for spring sports - 85 for cheering, 253 for softball, 375 for baseball, and 70 for lacrosse.  The medical kits have been replenished at a cost of $700.  There are between 50 and 60 kits between softball and baseball and annually $1,000 is spent on them.  The scholarship application deadline is this week, they will be reviewed the week of April 12th, and the awards will be made at the May meeting.  Danish and coffee will be served.  The FTYSO awards up to $6,000 a year in scholarships.   

Howell asked if he will give a report at every BoS meeting or if he (Howell) should reserve questions for another part of the meeting.  Mr. Martyak said that he didn't know if someone would come to every meeting. 

Supervisors Comments

  • Supervisor Howell said that the Board learned earlier this night that the FTAA owns a special occasion liquor license.  Martyak didn't know about it.  He thought it might have been from the 250th celebration.  The license is currently inactive and held in custody by the PA Liquor Control Board.  Solicitor Kline said it is license #SO7600.  Billings asked if it has any value?  Kline said that if it does, it is probably quite limited. 

Egolf noted that the Community Fire Company has one also.  Chief Chapman said that it is a special event license and that it is only available for 501(c)(3) organizations and can only be for a set period of time. 

Howell said that he has been reviewing the Recreation Board bylaws and the establishing ordinance so that he can pick out the best portions of the process.  He asked Martyak if he has had a chance to look at them.  When Martyak said that he hasn't seen the originals, Howell offered to forward copies to him and asked that he let him know if there is anything he wants to add or delete or if he has opinions to offer.  Howell said that he assumes other Supervisors are also reviewing the documents. 

Of the two Township budgeted subsidies for recreation, neither are shown in the FTAA 990 Federal return for 2008.  Martyak said that the FTYSO "does not get one penny from the Recreation Board."  They submit their budget to the Recreation Board.   It asks for funds from the Township and then purchases the budgeted items.  Thus, the Township funds the umpires, bats, ball, uniforms, etc. and since FTYSO gets no money it does not report it.  "It is all done by the Rec Board treasurer."  Martyak said, "You guys fund the sports program.  I don't report it as income."  Declared on the Federal 990 are the results of fundraising, dances, etc. 

Martyak offered to take it up with Finance Manager Farley.  Howell said that he will talk with Farley.  He would like a copy of the 2009 990 filing.  Martyak offered a sit-down to address other questions with the group's accountant and auditor. 

Egolf said that last year he and Supervisor Nicholas worked on the FTAA finances.  They met with Martyak, the FTAA treasurer, and the Recreation Board officers and came to very good conclusions about the distribution of funds - that is, where the money goes and how it is handled.  They made important inroads and got everyone together for good dialogues. 

Treasurer's Report - Egolf began by welcoming the 10 students from EAHS who were in attendance for course work.  He told them that the Township total outstanding debt is $11,429,844 and as they leave, they should make a donation... whatever they can afford... and drop it in the wagon in the lobby.  We would like to fill the wagon.  Of course, today is "April Fools Day." 

Egolf then detailed the debits (cash paid out) since the last Supervisors' meeting.  The debits and transfers were approved with a 5:0 vote. 

Standing Committee Reports:

  • Public Safety - Supervisor Egolf - said that the next meeting will be on Wednesday, April 14th at 7:15 PM in the Municipal Building meeting room. 
  • Public Works - Supervisor Howell - reported that the April 8th Planning Commission agenda will include a presentation of the preliminary plan of the new Forks public works garage.  Members of the community are welcome to come.  It is the first step in the process to get final approvals. 
  • Parks & Recreation - Supervisor Rogers - said that there had been no meeting since the last BoS meeting.  The next meeting is set for April 7th at 6 PM.  Howell asked Rogers if she had anything on the five year plan.  Rogers said that the Recreation Board will provide the plan at the April 7th meeting.  Howell asked if the Recreation Board has started its deliberations on the (establishing) ordinance.  Rogers said, "I believe so."  Howell asked if she would have a report on that at the meeting.
  • Community Relations - Supervisor Chuss - said that there has been no meeting since the last BoS meeting.  The next is scheduled for April 5th at 4:30 in the Municipal Building.  He added that his art society second meeting will be on April 14th at 7 PM in the Community Center.  The group has picked up a few more people and has about twenty so far.  He said that it is growing and more may sign up in the near future.
  • Finance & Administration - Supervisor Billings - said that the next meeting will be on Wednesday, April 14th at 6 PM.

Township Manager's Report - Schnaedter was absent.  Chuss filled in and reported that Schnaedter is still looking at alternative amphitheater bids and he should have information for the Board at the next meeting.  There are some issues regarding the storage of public works equipment which will be discussed by the next meeting.

Engineer's Report - Muller reported that he has been working with the DPW on two projects - the Indian Trail intersection milling and regrading and fixing some of the grading problems from Old Mill to Knox Avenue to Indian Trail to Apple Blossom. 

The engineer will be out resurveying the Sullivan Trail sanitary sewer line replacement at Meco.  They are also working on sanitary sewer specifications and details.  Currently the Township has none. 

Muller had nothing to report on the Meco/Sullivan signal.  He was at PennDOT today for a couple of things (one was Strausser) but they had nothing new on the signal.  Egolf said that the Township was paying a Benchmark bill today earmarked "Meco."

Billings, in reference to Braden Airpark, asked if it is customary for bids to be sought before projects are approved.  Muller said that bids give an idea of of what to look at in forecasting pricing.  The bids that they get are only good for 30 days.  Billings said that he just wants to make sure that they are not being presumptuous.  Muller said that the sanitary line is in the spec because the Township required it.  As far as he can tell, they are just getting prices. 

Billings asked Zoning Officer Weis what the status on the Weis Market and was told that they called today for a construction package.  "They are ready to start."  Weis said that if everything goes well, the permits will be issued within 30 days.  Kline offered that he and Weis Market have been going back and forth with minor changes to the land development improvement agreement.  A draft of the letter of credit from their bank has been received (by Kline) and a form of it has been approved.  He does not have a signed agreement and he does not have a letter of credit.  And, Weis Market still needs a final sign-off from PennDOT for the highway occupancy permit (HOP) for the improvements at Sullivan Trail and Uhler Road.  Weis Market needed rights-of-way from the Airport Authority, adjoining property to the north east, and from the Township.  The Township's was acquired some time ago at no cost (from other developers as they came into the area.) 

Ms. Nicholas asked if anything is being looked into for "sewer b?"  She said that her neighbors have asked her.  DPW Director Roberts replied that it will be worked on this year. 

Solicitor's Report - Kline - reported that the closing on the Panzini property at 708 Zucksville Road was last week and that the closing on the bond issue was held on March 23rd; the Township has all the proceeds from it.  Also, Kline reported on a small, two lot subdivision on the north side of Zucksville Road that contained promised improvements for curbing/sidewalks as a plan note - should the lot be built.  The lot was sold and the new owner did not do any of the work.  The Township tried to get them to voluntarily comply.  They didn't.  Kline said that Township then filed suit against the property owner.  It went to an arbitration hearing.  The $21,000 verdict was against the property owner.  Attorney Goudsouzian handled the case at arbitration.  Testifying for the Township were Mark Roberts, Tim Weis, and Fred Hay.  Weis said that all the work has been completed by the Township and now the Township needs restitution. 


None - Chuss told the students that this is the part where they are not supposed to leave.  His daughter and her classmates left. 


Liquor License – Timothy Belon – 1670 N. Delaware Dr. - Auto Grille (Karl Kline, Solicitor) - Kline explained that a public hearing was held at 7 PM for the inter-municipal transfer of license #E4075.  It is for an "eating place retail dispenser" and is sought for use at the AutoGrille on North Delaware Drive.  At the hearing, Mr. Belon presented his reasons for wanting the liquor license, the scheduled hours, and answered Supervisors' questions.  

Although the PA Liquor Control Board has the final say, the Board of Supervisors must make a recommendation.  The standard is whether or not the license will adversely impact the welfare, heath, peace, and morals of the municipality or its residents.

The motion to recommend was made by Billings and seconded by Egolf.  There was no discussion.  The motion passed 5:0.  

Kline will have a formal resolution for signature at the next meeting.  A copy will be sent to Mr. Belon.

Resolution # 100401-1 – Acceptance of Open Space in Penn’s Ridge PRD (Karl Kline, Solicitor) - Kline said that when the Penns Ridge PRD (Planned Residential Development) was approved there was discussion about open space and the extension of Kesslersville Road which included a recreation path (on its south side) to Bushkill Drive. 

Originally the thinking was that the users of the recreation path could cross Bushkill Drive and get on the iron bridge and then onto the Palmer recreation path.  There will be a convenience store on Bushkill at the Kesslersville intersection.  PennDOT, however, wants the crossing to the north.   Now the question is how to get people safely to the other side. 

Kline said, "There is a considerable amount of land there, all in the flood plain and all owned by the developer."  Penn's Ridge has offered a deed of dedication for lot 388 (over 3 acres) so that the Township can put in a path so that people can safely get to the iron bridge.  Kline recommends that the Board accept the deed of dedication.

Egolf made a motion to accept the resolution.  Billings seconded.  Howell asked Kline if the land gift was not in lieu of something else and Kline replied that it is free and clear fee simple.  The Township will own the land going forward.  Zoning Officer Weis offered that the development is currently in phase 14 (of the homes) and that the last phase is commercial. 

The resolution was accepted with a 5:0 vote.

Resolution # 100401-2 – Authorization of Warrantless Arrest in Certain Summary Cases (Karl Kline, Solicitor/Greg Dorney, Chief of Police) - Kline explained that under the PA Crimes Code, municipal police officers are allowed to make certain arrests without a warrant provided the municipality allows it and sets standards.  The resolution details the particular summary offenses that qualify - disorderly conduct, public drunkenness, obstructing highways and other public passages, and the purchase/consumption/transportation of alcoholic beverages.  The officer must determine the probability for potential harm to another person or to public/private property. 

Kline said that this "came to light" when Chief Dorney was going through paperwork involving National Accreditation.   And, although the Township has something like this in the police department standard operating procedures (approved by the Board), Chief Dorney thought it better to have a separate resolution.

Normally summary offenses get citations.  This is for things that continue when the officer arrives on the scene and where the officer must take physical action (hand cuffs) to stop it. 

Kline noted that the language in section one is almost verbatim from the PA Crimes Code.

Chief Dorney added that this resolution makes sure that Forks is in compliance with State law and is up-to-date with current language. 

Howell made a motion to accept the resolution and Egolf seconded.

The vote was 5:0 in favor of the resolution.

For more details, see Madeleine Mathias (Express Times.)

Second Strategic Plan (Meyner Center - Lafayette College) (Bob Egolf, Supervisor) - Egolf noted that this was the second strategic plan developed with the Meyner Center of Lafayette College.  The meeting was held on the evening of February 8th with the Board and the Township's management team. 

Before the Board tonight was the printed document enumerating management's 17 2010 goals.  They represent every aspect of the Township, every department, and administrative staff.  Egolf made a motion to officially adopt the Forks Township Strategic Plan - with a corrected copy by next meeting.  Billings seconded and the plan was adopted with a 5:0 vote. 

For more details, see Madeleine Mathias (Express Times.)

Extra - Chuss asked about the public works equipment in storage.  Weis said that he has negotiated a contract and he now has three contracts.  The space is only needed until the new public works building is completed.  Kline will review the new Baurkot agreement.  The Township got the space rent free the first year. 

Egolf made a motion that the Township enter into a yearly renewable rental agreement with Baurkot for $400/month.  It will be reviewed by Kline.  Billings seconded.  The vote was 5:0.

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

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.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

BoS Meeting Notes & Solar Ordinances Public Hearing - 3/18/2010

Public Hearing - Solar Ordinances 314 & 315 - 7:00 PM

Both Solar Ordinances were explained by Solicitor Kline.  He said that the impetus behind the preparation of them by the Planning Commission (PC) was the approved Crayola solar farm on 15 acres near its plant on Church Road.  The PC gathered language from solar ordinances of other municipalities and used that language to craft Forks' two new solar ordinances, 314 and 315. 

Ordinance 314 allows solar panels as a residential accessory use in any zoning district and applies to the Zoning OrdinanceOrdinance 315 applies to the SALDO (Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance) and controls roof and ground arrays for lawful non-residential use in any zoning district.  Ordinance 315 also provides for the decommissioning of solar installations that are no longer in use (or at the end of their useful lives) - after a period of six months.  In fact, if the sites are not decommissioned, the Township can step in after written notices have been sent, do the work, and charge the land owner. 

The reason that one ordinance applies to Zoning and one to SALDO is because when a resident wishes to add solar panels as an accessory use, a land development plan is not generally submitted.  However, non-residential solar installations do require land development plan submissions and therefore must be in compliance with all SALDO amendments.

The MPC (Municipalities Planning Code) requires specific actions in order to adopt ordinances.  There must be a PC public hearing (there was), the ordinances must be submitted to the local regional planning commission (LVPC - they were and the comments returned were basically favorable), and there must be a Board of Supervisors public hearing (in process now). 

In discussion, Supervisor Howell asked how long after approving the ordinances before they are in effect?  Kline replied that ordinances are generally in effect five days after being enacted. 

Howell said that he has been contacted by an individual inquiring if the Township has any plans for a wind generation ordinance.  Kline said that the PC had considered it and as he recalled, the consensus was that Forks was not a primary area for wind turbines.  PC Chairman Dean Turner added that wind tower rules are already in the Zoning Ordinance.  Vito Tamborrino (PC Vice Chairman) added that zoning requires fall zones and setbacks that are outside the range of most Forks residential properties. 

Howell said that he was thinking of roof top windmills attached to chimneys.  Turner said that the PC thought that there would not be enough power generated by them to make a difference.

Kline offered that if the power generated is just to be sold back to a public utility, it is regulated by the Pennsylvania PUC.

Ron Roth, Career Institute of Technology Director (and Forks resident), commended the Township on the new solar regulations and for encouraging solar power.  He said that CIT is in the early stages of investigating the installation of solar panels at the school.  At the moment, they are gathering preliminary information and have a two month agreement with an energy management company for a study.  The CIT building is totally electric and the estimate is that solar will give them an electricity cost reduction of 17%.  He said that lowering the peak demand on the grid, will lower the the cost of the balance of their electric use.

Mr. Roth said that the school intends to erect a combination of ground and roof mounted systems.  They will be almost invisible from the street.  He will be back before the BoS in a few month for approvals.  Roth added that there will be a kiosk in the school describing what is happening.  Everyone is pretty excited about it. 

CIT has read the ordinances and will have no trouble complying with them. 

When asked about the Crayola solar farm size and the CIT installation size, Roth replied that they can see the Crayola installation from their property.  The land being used by CIT is not a huge piece and is triangular in shape.  It is being combined with a roof top array and Roth does not know the size.  He added that the roof top mounts will be held there by ballasts and holes in the roof top will be unnecessary.  They will withstand 90 MPH winds.


Regular Meeting - Agenda

At this meeting, Supervisors:

  • Unanimously approved both new Solar Ordinances, one for the SALDO and one for the Zoning Ordinance.  Read Tony Nauroth, Express Times and see below for details.
  • Agreed to send a letter to Senator Mensch in support of the bill (currently in the PA Senate) to allow accredited police departments to use radar guns. 
  • Learned more about the progress of the Meco/Sullivan traffic light.  It might even be out for bids this summer.
  • Agreed to wait two more meetings before deciding on the bid award for the CMX designed amphitheater plan while cheaper options are investigated.  Read Tony Nauroth, Express Times and see below for more details. 
  • Appointed Supervisor Egolf to be the Township's Bushkill Creek Watershed representative.
  • Approved the purchase of a $16,500 replacement scanner for the Zoning and Sewer Departments. 

Approval of Minutes

The vote to approve the minutes from the March 4th meeting was 4:0 (with Supervisor Egolf abstaining) but only after the minutes were corrected as follows:

  • Supervisor Howell asked Supervisor Rogers if the wording regarding the Recreation Board discussion should state that the Recreation Ordinance was to be reviewed and rewritten by the Recreation Board and then to be forwarded directly to Solicitor Kline for review.  Rogers agreed that is what it should state. 
  • Chuss corrected the part mentioning Mrs. Hanks' agreement that she had received what she requested in her open records document request.
  • Solicitor Kline corrected the section of his Township report to read that the motion to dismiss was filed by all the defendants in the Strausser Federal law suit.

Public Comments (non-agenda)

  • Melody Talpas - resident and FTYSO (Forks Township Youth Sports Association a.k.a. Forks Township Athletic Association) Secretary - gave a brief report to the Board of the activities of the FTYSO (Forks Township Youth Sports Organization a.k.a. the Forks Athletic Association).  To date 763 Forks children are signed up for spring sports - 378 for baseball, 242 for softball, 61 for lacrosse, and 82 for cheerleading.  She said that the group is working with Mark Roberts and the grounds crews to be sure the fields are ready for spring sports.  Also, the FTYSO is coordinating a "walk" of the five acre parcel (between the Community Center and College Park Estates to the west) with Supervisor Billings, Township Manager Schnaedter and nearby resident Eric Konecke (who has voiced concerns over the possible uses for the land.)
  • Dean Turner - resident (and Chairman of the Planning Commission) - spoke to the Board regarding the traffic on Richmond Road.  He said that he moved to the Township 17 years ago and back then, he could tell when the shifts changed in the industrial park because that's when there was traffic on the road - at 7, 3, and 11.  Today he fears for the kids crossing the street to get to the playground.  He recently saw a car pass a school bus at a high rate of speed - while kids were getting ready to cross the road in order to board the bus.  Speeding is a problem.  The traffic light at Elizabeth and Sullivan is the only light where drivers can get from the eastern side of the Township to the western side.  Turner offered that the Township should focus on "opening other paths along Sullivan Trail so that people on the eastern end of the Township can get to the western end of the Township." 

Supervisors Comments 

  • Supervisor Chuss - in response to Turner's comment (above), asked Chief Dorney about "slow down" signs.  Dorney said there were two stop sign violations issued today at Elizabeth Avenue.  Traffic enforcement will increase now that the weather has improved.  Turner wondered if the Township could purchase a portion of the Jackson farm in order to allow Ramblewood to be continued through to Town Center.  He suggested that the residents who live there would know about the extended road and would use it. 

Dorney said that there is proposed legislation to expand the use of radar guns to allow accredited police departments to use them.  Currently PA is the only state in the country where municipal law enforcement is not allowed to use radar.  Dorney said the bill passed the House and is sitting in the Senate.  Supervisor Billings asked if it would help if the Board sent a resolution of support to Senator Mensch?  Supervisor Howell thought that a bigger voice would be created if all accredited police departments take a position in favor of the bill.  Dorney said that that is being done through the PA Chiefs Association.  Solicitor Kline noted that if PSATS (Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors) took a position in favor, it would carry some weight with the Legislature.

Billings made a motion to have Township Manager Schnaedter write a letter in support of the Senate bill for the use of radar guns in the Commonwealth of PA.  Supervisor Egolf seconded.  In discussion Howell said that the letter should stress public welfare and safety and should be personalized with Forks' density.  Egolf noted that Forks has had a rapid increase in population and the roads are not designed to handle it. 

The vote was 5:0.

Egolf added that Forks should not lose sight of the stipulations in the newly revised and rewritten Comprehensive Plan that strongly address the Township's problems with east/west and small roadways.  It is "pretty much a mandate for us to start working on this."

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 $7,722,913.

Chuss noted that the Board should do what it can to encourage Township residents to respond to the 2010 census.  It is very important when it comes to the allocation of monies from State and Federal governments.  He asked that something be put on the Township website to remind people to fill out their census forms.  Rogers said that the "census bureau" will be available at the Community Center from 5-8 PM M-F (March 19 through April 18) to answer census questions.

Standing Committee Reports:

  • Public Safety - Supervisor Egolf - said that the next meeting will be on Wednesday, April 14th at 7:15 PM.  He took a few moments to acknowledge, on behalf of the Board, the "absolutely superb work" by the fire, police, and public works departments in preparation for possible flooding.  He also commended the fire and police departments for their handling of the "Giant episode" and said that it is nice to know that Forks' "public service forces are prepared, well trained, stay calm, keep our friends and neighbors and citizens safe..." (Applause)

Police Chief Dorney reported on the committee's meeting.  He said that it was lengthy and items discussed included current grant funding and preliminary applications for items "coming down the road."  Also, discussed were a possible resolution that may come before the Board ("a matter of routine practice") as well as recent vandalism in the park and community policing initiatives to prevent it - including bicycle deployment. 

Fire Chief Chapman said that the fire department is working on revisions to their standard operating procedures to present to the Board in the spring or summer.  The new fire engine blueprints have been approved by the fire department and delivery is expected in late July.

  • Public Works - Supervisor Howell - reported that the committee had a short meeting a week ago and reviewed the Township snow plowing policy for both dedicated and non-dedicated roads as well as the naturalizing condition of the recreation paths in the winter; they are left unplowed.  He said that the Braden lavatory is almost operational.  Its sewer and water hookup will be tested when weather permits.  Also discussed were "some of the needs" for the five acre parcel (between the Community Center and College Park Estates).  DPW Director Roberts plans to grade it when the weather permits.  It is expected that it will be seeded and re-seeded and ready for the fall.
  • Parks & Recreation - Supervisor Rogers - said that there had been no meeting since the last BoS meeting.  The next meeting is set for April 7th at 6 PM.
  • Community Relations - Supervisor Chuss - said that the committee met on March 8th.  The next committee meeting is Monday, April 12th at 4:30 PM.  Chuss said that the newsletter proof was received with errors and was resubmitted back to the editor for "update."  He hopes that residents will have it at the end of the month.  Chuss asked that anyone who sees website content changes that should be addressed notify the committee.  They are planning to meet with the website provider this spring to discuss website updates.  Chuss said that there is no update yet on the new Community Days coordinator.  He said that there has been concern expressed that the normally scheduled weekend, the second one after Labor Day, falls on a religious holiday.  Chuss noted that the inaugural meeting of his arts society was held on March 16 and was attended by 15 enthusiastic people of diverse backgrounds.  The next meeting will be on April 14th at 7 PM in the Community Center - going forward they will meet on the second Wednesday of the month at 7 PM in the Community Center.  Some of the group is looking at sample bylaws and investigating the requirements for 501 (3)(c) status.  He asks that anyone with questions contact him
  • Finance & Administration - Supervisor Billings - said that the next meeting will be on Wednesday, April 14th at 6 PM.

Township Manager's Report - Schnaedter said that the Lehigh Valley Insurance Cooperative has refunded $186,857 to Forks.  He attributes the refund to the follow up of claims and preventative measures taken.  Schnaedter said that this is the fourth year in a row that the refund is over $100,000.  Howell asked if the money goes back to the general revenue account?  Schnaedter said that the money is kept in a reserve account.  So far 60% has been received and there are no pending cases. 

Engineer's Report - Muller reported that the Meco/Sullivan traffic light continues to move forward.  PennDOT has come back with revisions based on the meeting with Verizon and MetEd.  The site's utility poles are an issue - what has to be relocated and what does not have been noted.  Benchmark is working on the plan revisions.  The horizontal geometry of the site has to be approved.  The approval for the signal was received Jan. 31st (or Feb. 1st).  It is an ongoing issue with PennDOT.   Muller said that he continues "to push it to make sure it gets done."  He said, "We're almost there." 

Muller said that he and DPW Director Roberts discussed the sanitary sewer lines that are to be replaced this spring on Sullivan Trail.  He is working to get that done before the road realignment for the signal installation at Meco/Sullivan. 

Chuss asked if the PennDOT requests are reasonable?   Muller said that they are, however, some of the issues are because the initial engineering survey missed things - including some poles (not the utility companies' fault).  He would like to get the project out to bid sometime this spring so that it can get done this summer.

Muller said that he met with Roberts, the old Township engineer, and the GIS representative from his firm, Gilmore & Associates, regarding the GIS system in the Township.  He said that great strides have been made in the first couple of months in getting things up-to-date.

Muller has also met with Roberts regarding storm drainage issues on another intersection and will review the survey and make recommendations so that Roberts can move forward and get it re-topped. 

And, lastly, Muller said that there are a couple of small subdivision plans and land developments in the works.

Solicitor's Report - Kline - agenda items only.




Ordinance 314 - Solar Amendment to Zoning Ordinance Approval
Ordinance 315 – Solar Amendment to Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance (SALDO)
(Karl Kline, Solicitor) - Kline explained that basically if one has a house in any zoning district a solar energy accessory use is allowed.  If one wants to generate solar power for one's own non-residential property it, too, is allowed in any zoning district.  There are provisions in the ordinances for ground and roof top arrays.  The ordinances were drafted by the Planning Commission (PC) which held a January 26 public hearing.  They were reviewed by the LVPC (Lehigh Valley Planning Commission) who commented favorably.  The Board of Supervisors' public hearing was earlier tonight at 7:00 PM. 

Billings motioned to accept ordinance 314.  Howell seconded and the vote was 5:0.

Howell motioned to accept ordinance 315.  Egolf seconded and the vote was 5:0.

Inter-municipal Sale of Police vehicle (Rick Schnaedter, Township Manager) - Schnaedter said that a Board member from the Borough of Roseto approached him regarding the purchase of one of Forks' two old police vehicles.  They are used only in emergencies.  Schnaedter said that the Borough representative liked the 2003 Crown Victoria with attached light bar and 105,366 miles on its odometer.  He spoke with Dorney and with Roberts and they said that the Township should be able to accommodate Roseto (including the light bar).  The price developed from past sales history of old vehicles was $1200.

Egolf made a motion to sell the vehicle "as explained and described" to Roseto.  Kline said that in an inter-municipal sale, the advertising and bid process are not necessary.  The vote was 5:0.

Awarding of the Amphitheater Contract (Rick Schnaedter, Township Manager) - Schnaedter said that CMX reviewed the amphitheater bids and that Bracy Contracting submitted the low bid of $360,000.  All bids were also reviewed by Kline to verify that they were proper and contained all the necessary documents. 

Billings asked if the $360,000 bid is the amount for everything and Schnaedter said that the paving will be done by the public works department.  An alternative bid was requested should the paving work be contracted.  Bracy's was low bid at $17,600 (or $11/square foot) for the paving.

Chuss said that he is concerned about the overall cost including the $46,000 already paid for the architectural work.  He said in looking at the site as a whole, the project is pushing into the $500,000 cost range.  He said that although he is supportive of an amphitheater, the Board should look at other alternatives.  He personally feels that this simple amphitheater has been "over-engineered."  Chuss added that the five year recreation plan is due next month and this project will eat up a lot of the $1.8 million in the recreation fund (before knowing what other projects will need money.)  He said that one can get quite a house for that amount of money and this does not seen like a good value to him.  Chuss asked that the Board look at alternatives.

Howell said that two years ago the Parks & Recreation Standing Committee viewed a lot of proposals and some were quite nice.  He said that he wouldn't approve this plan without also approving a restroom and asked Schnaedter how much the Braden rest room cost.  Schnaedter said it was about $40,000.

There was additional discussion and Schnaedter reminded the Board that although (when they last looked) the prefab structures cost $150,000 to $180,000, they require costs for delivery and construction which can bring prices close to $300,000.  Several firms could not provide the committee with an idea of those costs.

Egolf said that he has reservations about the general design of the CMX structure.  He said that he sat in on one of the planning sessions with engineers, architects and area vendors.  There were many questions raised about how to put it together and how the panels would be hung.  He saw dollar signs mounting.  He is worried about change costs and structural problems.  He said that it seemed to him that things weren't clicking and he got a strange feeling that this was not the right path.  Egolf said that he does want an amphitheater.

Billings said that he is worried that the cost number is not something that the community is comfortable with - yet he does not want "nothing" to happen.  He feels that if it is to be tabled, it should be time bound.  He asked Schnaedter if the Township is still trying to get programs for the facility. Schnaedter said that he approached the Business and Commerce Association of Forks (BCAF) about two years ago and they were very supportive of being involved in cultural programs for the community.

Schnaedter said that he will provide the Board with details of one of the earlier structures the committee looked at along with a sketch from a pamphlet and estimates for construction.  Howell said that he and Muller can look at them with Schnaedter.  Muller said that he will look but construction costs are not his (nor his company's) area of expertise.  He suggested that Bracy be asked to look at them.  Schnaedter said that a municipality that constructed one of these (less than three years ago) has been identified.  He will get their cost (and caveat) information.

After confirming that the bid package indicates the bids are firm for 90 days, Howell made a motion to suspend consideration of awarding the contract for two meeting dates to the second meeting in April.  Billings seconded and the vote was 5:0.

Chuss asked Rogers if the Board will have the five year recreation plan next month.  She said yes.

Construction and maintenance agreement – CMX (Rick Schnaedter, Township Manager) - Schnaedter noted that in light of the situation with CMS and after prior consultation with DPW Director Mark Roberts and Township Engineer Muller, it was felt that having a backup hourly rate agreement in place should concerns or questions arise during construction was a good idea.  CMX declined and instead gave a single line item bid.  Schnaedter recommended rejecting the proposal.  Kline said CMX submitted the proposal and no action is necessary by the Board.

Purchase of Zoning Scanner (Jim Farley - Finance Manager) - Farley said that a replacement scanner for the zoning and sewer departments was included in last fall's budget.  At the time, the money was to come 50% from the zoning capital account and 50% from the sewer capital account.  The price is contracted by PA.  The unit selected is from OCE North America and costs $16,519.  It is compatible with all the other department equipment.  The old machine is from the 1970s and the inputs on it do not match the computers.  Special adapters must be purchased.  And, it is time to renew the maintenance agreement as well as buy supplies. 

Egolf made the motion to purchase and Billings seconded.  In discussion, Howell asked if the new scanner can do 8-1/2" X 11".  Weis said that it can.  He said that it is a color scanner.  The old one is black and white and should it break, there may not be parts available. 

Howell said that the administration side of the office does not have a (regular format) scanner.  Farley offered that with the purchase of software, the office copier can do scanning.  He will get prices on the software.

The vote to purchase the new large format scanner was 5:0.

Bushkill Creek Watershed – Designation of a Representative (Rick Schnaedter, Township Manager) - Schnaedter said that he received a letter from Northampton County asking that the Township appoint a representative to the Act 167 Watershed Advisory Committee.  He will be responsible for attending at least four meetings, for reviewing and commenting on the plan, and for reporting back to the municipality on the plan process.  Howell nominated Egolf.  Rogers seconded.

Egolf said that he has spoken with Geoff Reese (sic) of the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission (LVPC).  He is in charge of this program.  He (Egolf) is also on the Bushkill Stream Conservancy and he wanted to be certain that there would be no conflict of interest.  Egolf was told that there is no conflict of interest posed by serving both groups and he said that he is interested in doing it. 

Egolf said that he also learned that it is important for the Township Solicitor, Township Engineer, and Chairman of the PC to be aware that the end result will be a municipal ordinance.  Reese suggested that they should all be on the Bushkill Creek Watershed mailing list for announcements, minutes, and updates to keep them apprised of what is going on with the committee.

The vote was 5:0.  Schnaedter will write a letter to advise the Bushkill Creek Watershed group that Egolf was chosen to be Forks' representative.

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

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.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

BoS Meeting Notes - 3/4/2010

Regular Meeting - Agenda

Supervisors read a proclamation in honor of the the Boy Scouts of America 100th anniversary.  Copies were presented to BSA Troop 29 and to Cub Pack 21.  Cub Pack 29 will receive their copy at the next BoS meeting. 

The Board learned:

  • How much time was contributed in 2009 by sports parents and coaches and how that translates to value to the Township. 
  • That another Forks business is seeking an inter-municipal liquor license transfer.  This one is the Auto Grill on North Delaware Dr. - it was formerly the Riverside Deli. 
  • That the Parks & Recreation Standing Committee may have gone "maverick" when it told the Recreation Board to approach Solicitor Kline directly with a soon-to-be rewritten Recreation Board Ordinance.  This is an update to the one done in 1960.

Supervisor Egolf was absent as was the recording secretary.

Minutes of the February 04, 2010 Regular Board Meeting (Tabled from last meeting) were approved with a 4:0 vote.  In discussion Howell asked to be refreshed on why the minutes were tabled.  Chuss said that it was primarily a cut and paste issue.  However, when Chuss attempted once again to insert words indicating that Ms. Hanks had said that she received all materials she requested (see BoS Meeting Notes - 02/4/2010), Ms. Hanks disagreed.  She said that she did not receive all the materials and never agreed that she had.  She added that she subsequently requested additional materials which she received in a timely manner.  Chuss then amended his statement to read that "Mr. Chuss asked Ms. Hanks if she had received all the material she requested.  And, then Mr. Chuss said if she identifies any additional information she should submit a request for it from the Township." 

Minutes of the February 18, 2010 Regular Board Meeting were approved with a 4:0 vote.

Public Comments (non-agenda)

  • Dan Martyak - President of the Forks Township Youth Sports Organization (FTYSO) presented the Board with a report of the 2009 volunteer hours contributed by sports parents, coaches and organization officers to the Township.  He translated it into monetary value by assuming that each hour of volunteer time is worth $20.  The 43,721 hours is valued per his report at $874,420.  Martyak said that the report will be on the FTYSO website shortly.

In his verbal report, Martyak said that if the kids were not involved in sports, they would be involved in crime and that it costs $100,000 per child per year in the criminal system.  Last year the kids in Forks were involved in sports for over 193,000 hours. 

Martyak said the organization is aware of a gap in funding for the current year and it is working closely with Finance Manager Farley and John O'Neil to mitigate the shortfall.  Last year FTYSO contributed $66,000 to the Township in the form of fees collected and funds raised. 

Martyak also read a letter he received from a resident who ran a city youth sports program for 10 years.  It had paid workers and was always understaffed and under budgeted.  A youth sports organization was created and used to raise money and to get volunteers.  He said that because people had no direct control over the program, they were poorly committed.  The letter concluded with accolades for the talent and commitment of the people running the Forks programs. 

 Supervisors Comments 

  • Supervisor Chuss asked Ms. Hanks if she received all the documents she requested.  He stated that she indicated she has and he advised her that if there is any additional information she needs, a written request submission should be made.

Treasurer's Report - Rogers detailed the debits (cash paid out) since the last Supervisors' meeting.  The debits and transfers were approved with a 3:1 vote.  Howell cast the nay.  When asked by Chuss the reason for his nay, Howell said that he does not approve of the Liquid Fuels transfer of $83,000 (see agenda item below for more details.)  The Township's current outstanding debt is $7,724,347.

Standing Committee Reports:

  • Public Safety - Supervisor Egolf - absent - Chief Dorney said that the committee has not met since the last BoS meeting and will meet next Wednesday at 7:15 PM.
  • Public Works - Supervisor Howell - said that there have been no meetings since early in February and the next one will be Monday at 8 AM in the Municipal Building.
  • Parks & Recreation - Supervisor Rogers - said that the committee met last night at 6 PM.  She reported:
    • Dan Martyak (FTYSO) said that there is a back-up plan to reduce the budget gap and that all commissioners have been asked to cut their budgets.  Supervisor Billings has volunteered to help understand and resolve the gap.
    • Rogers repeated Martyak's report statistics (see above).
    • The 1960 Recreation Board Ordinance has been found and the Recreation Board will review it, make changes, and then send it to Solicitor Kline for review.  Rogers said that this is her recommendation to the Board and that she believes this will "put the matter to rest."
    • The newest Recreation Board member, Beverly Dalrymple was introduced.
    • The Recreation Board meeting minutes will be provided to the committee at a later date.
    • Don Miller said in a report that wrestling ended last week, basketball is winding down and spring sports are beginning.
    • The Rec Board will revisit its five year plan, prioritize it, and provide more details - including cost estimates.  They will present it to the committee next month.   
    • The next meeting is the first Wednesday of April at 6 PM in the Municipal Building. 

Howell took issue with the Recreation Board going directly to Solicitor Kline.  He said that the committee was charged to bring the ordinance to the BoS and after review, the BoS will, if necessary, send the ordinance to the Solicitor.  Howell said that he thought no committee should be able to "oblige or engage" the Township's counsel.  Chuss offered that the Planning Commission (PC) does it all the time.  Howell said that Kline is the Solicitor to the PC - he is their counsel.  He finds it "quite a usurption that an advisory committee can engage counsel and fees without the approval of the Board." 

Rogers insisted that the committee "decided" that that was how it would be.  She added that he (Howell) had "already left and wasn't there to hear it."  Howell offered that there were many times when he would have liked to do just that - consult with Kline - over committee issues, and as long the chairman and she (Rogers) feel it is appropriate to do, he will take advantage of it.  Howell added that the Township Manager and the Finance Committee had wanted to limit Solicitor (and other professionals) contact in order to save money.  This is a procedural matter because now Chuss and Rogers are saying that a committee can engage the Township's counsel. 

  • Community Relations - Supervisor Chuss - said that the committee has not met since the last BoS meeting and the next meeting is March 8th.  He reported that 17 people (including himself) have signed up for his Art Society.  He thought this a "fantastic" response.  Only three of those who signed up cannot make the first meeting on March 16th at the Community Center.  Chuss is providing the refreshments. 
  • Finance & Administration - Supervisor Billings - said that the next meeting will be on Wednesday, March 10th at 6 PM in the Municipal Building.

Township Manager's Report - Schnaedter said that the CMX construction maintenance agreement has not been received yet.  The reason, he was told, was that the snow storms kept the clerical people from the office.  He requested that the agenda item be tabled.  Howell said that he finds it an annoyance that everything is always delayed when it comes to CMX.  Schnaedter offered that this is to negotiate a hourly rate as a backup just in case anything arises after CMX's initial work is completed.  He also said that 20 people attended the pre-bid meeting. 

Also, Schnaedter reported that he hopes to have a proof from Home Town Press of the upcoming Quarterly next Monday.  They have reported that the economy is making it difficult to secure advertisers. 

Engineer's Report - Muller was not needed and his absence was excused - per Chuss.

Solicitor's Report - Kline - reported that "motions to dismiss" have been filed on behalf of all defendants in the Federal Court action (against Forks Township) by Gary Strausser and Strausser Enterprises.  The motions were filed on February 19th and it will be several months for a court decision. 

The motions to dismiss indicate that there was no testimony and no discovery, so, even if everything alleged by Strausser is true, "he still loses."  The technical legal issues will then have to be addressed by the Federal Court. 

Kline also reported that he has been meeting with Township Engineer Muller to get Muller up to speed on a number of different issues/developments that are upcoming. 

Chief Dorney received a letter from PA Attorney General Tom Corbett announcing that the Police Department's grant application was approved - to purchase two portable breath testers. 




Proclamations: Boy Scout Troop 29 – Cub Scout Pack Troop 29 – Cub Scout Pack Troop 21 (David Billings, Supervisor) - Billings said that signed copies of the Township proclamation celebrating the Boy Scouts of America 100th anniversary will be delivered to BSA Troop 29 and Cub Pack 21 tomorrow.  Both were represented tonight.  Cub Pack 29 will get their copy at the next meeting.  The proclamation will be signed tonight.  He said that he was privileged to attend the blue and gold banquet a week ago.  Billings read the proclamation which was written to recognize the contribution that local scout groups have made.  The proclamation was approved by a 4:0 vote of the Board of Supervisors. 

Liquid Fuels Fund Transfer (Jim Farley, Finance Manager) - Farley explained that Liquid Fuels Tax money is received from the State and comes from taxes collected on fuel purchases.  It is awarded based on the number of miles of roadway in a municipality.  It is to be used for street lighting, plowing, road maintenance, road resurfacing, road construction, etc. 

Farley said that in 2007 the Township took on a project for road resurfacing.  Two years later, after an audit, the Township learned that the proper permits had not been obtained in time by the engineer.  As a result, the funds had to come from the Township's capital accrual account instead of the Liquid Fuels fund.  The Township appealed and lost.  Controls on road projects have now been tightened.

Billings asked if the prior engineering firm has any culpability in this?  Farley said that during the audit, records were requested of the engineer but they were never produced - as they were never created.  Farley added that the roadwork was done in the Township so "it's not like we lost money somewhere."  

Howell said that it particularly galls him that when the engineer was asked if the paperwork was completed, he said that it was.  He suggested an angry letter from the Township to the engineering firm. 

Kline explained that there are two pots of money, the general fund and the Liquid Fuels fund - all of it is Township money.  In this case, the Township used the Liquid Fuels fund but the State said "no, you didn't ask us first" and because the Township didn't ask "may I?" to PennDOT the money must come from the general fund instead.  Kline said, "The Township still has the same amount of money."   At the moment, Keystone is working with Kline for free to get a number of projects wrapped up so that the new engineer needn't do them.  Kline suggests not "burning bridges."

Construction and Maintenance Agreement – CMX (Rick Schnaedter, Township Manager) - Schnaedter requested that this be tabled.  Billings made the motion.  Rogers seconded and the vote to table was 4:0.

Inter-municipal Liquor License Transfer for Timothy Belon - 1670 No. Delaware Drive (Auto Grille) Schedule Public Hearing (Karl Kline, Township Solicitor) - Kline explained that the license is coming from 3531 Mountain View Drive in Danielsville.  The State mandates a public hearing by the receiving municipality whenever there is an inter-municipal transfer of a liquor license.  Ultimately what goes on is really up to the PA Liquor Control Board but the hearing does provide the municipality with an opportunity to find out what's going on.  The license is for an eating/retail place at 1670 North Delaware Dr.

Howell said the the application has many errors.  Examples include listing Chubby's as the nearest holder of a liquor license when in fact there is one at the Colossi property (the former Gypsy Rose) and one at Riverview.  The nearest school is listed as Forks Elementary but is in fact March Elementary on College Hill.  And, the nearest park is given as the Forks Community Park when it is Nevin Park and Eddyside Park in Easton.  Howell asked that Schnaedter or Kline review the application and correct it.  The application is also missing a list of all the active licenses in the Township. 

Kline said that he will notify the applicant of the hearing date and that there are many observed shortcomings in the application. 

Kline explained that prior to changes in the law, supply and demand dictated the prices of liquor licenses.  There were many in Easton and they were cheaper than those in Forks where there were fewer.  When the law was changed to allow inter-municipal transfers, it effectively evened out the supply/demand price issues. 

A motion was made by Billings to schedule the public hearing for Thursday, April 1 at 7 PM and that the applicant be asked to review and correct his application.  Rogers seconded and it passed 4:0.

Executive Session - There was an Executive Session to discuss litigation and a real estate matter.  No action was taken during or after the session and the meeting was adjourned. 

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.