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. 

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