Board of Commissioners
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS LOWER ALLEN TOWNSHIP
REGULAR MEETING JULY 10, 2017
The following were in ATTENDANCE:
|BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS||TOWNSHIP STAFF|
|H. Edward Black, President||Thomas G. Vernau Jr., Township Manager|
|Peddrick Young, Vice President||David Holl, Director of Public Safety|
|Richard F. Schin||Daniel Flint, Community Development|
|Carolyn Holtzman||John Eby, Building and Zoning Coordinator|
|Jack Simpson||Leon Crone, Police Captain|
|Steven P. Miner, Solicitor|
|Julie Echterling, Recording Secretary|
President Black called the July 10, 2017 Regular Meeting of the Board of Commissioners to order at 7:00 pm. He followed with a prayer and the Pledge of the Allegiance. He announced that Proof of Publication was available for review.
Commissioner SCHIN made a motion to approve the minutes from the June 12, 2017 meeting of the Board of Commissioners. Commissioner SIMPSON seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION: ANY ITEM ON THE AGENDA
Mr. Ryan Caboot asked to speak about the security reduction for Phases II and III in Beacon Hills.
SERGEANT’S PROMOTION CEREMONY-CORPORAL DOUGLAS L. FOLTZ
Director Holl spoke about the promotion process for the position of Sergeant. He spoke about the grueling testing. He stated that there were three candidates and Officer Foltz stood out as the top candidate. He spoke about Foltz’s background including a BS in Criminal Justice, Army Reserves, and his advancements in his career as a Lower Allen Township Police Officer. Judge Clement administered Sergeant Foltz’s oath of office. President Black read the Resolution passed for his promotion and thanked him for his work and dedication for the Township’s citizens.
TOWNSHIP’S CHESAPEAKE BAY POLLUTION REDUCTION PLAN – PUBLIC REVIEW AND COMMENT
Mr. Flint stated that the MS4 permit application is due on September 16th. He said that the requirements of the public plan include 30 days for public comments and review. He stated that the plan is posted on the website and a copy is available at the front desk. He stated that this is the time and place for public comment and review of the Township’s Chesapeake Bay Pollution Reduction Plan. He welcomed anyone from the public to comment on the plan. There were no comments offered by the public.
President Black advised that any Commissioner, staff member, or anyone in attendance could request any item on the Consent Agenda be removed for further discussion and asked if there was such request. There was no response.
Vice President YOUNG moved to approve the following Consent Agenda items:
a. Moving Wendy Hayden from probationary to regular full-time employment status in the position of Administrative Assistant/Event
b. Tax Collector’s June 2017 monthly
c. Department Reports for the month of May for Community Development, Township Engineer, Public Works, Fleet Maintenance, and Public
Commissioner SCHIN seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
Approval of Check Registers
Vice President YOUNG made a motion to approve the Check Register of June 23, 2017 in the amount of $1,654,078.12. Commissioner HOLTZMAN seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
Vice President YOUNG made a motion to approve Manual Check Register of June 2017 in the amount of $29.23 and Voided Check Register of June 2017, in the amount of $1,295.00. Commissioner SCHIN seconded the motion. Motion carried 4-0-1. President Black abstained as a family member was on the register.
Vice President YOUNG made a motion to approve Check Register of July 7, 2017 in the amount of $592,568.49. Commissioner SIMPSON seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
Resolution 2017–R–17 – Funding Demolition of Blighted Properties
Commissioner SCHIN made a motion to Adopt Resolution 2017–R–17 in support of the Cumberland County Commissioners establishing a deed transfer fee to fund demolition of blighted properties. Commissioner HOLTZMAN seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
Resolution 2017-R-18 – Eagle Scout – Samuel Joseph Spalla
Commissioner SIMPSON made a motion to adopt Resolution 2017-R-18, a resolution of the Board of Commissioners of Lower Allen Township, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, recognizing, commending and honoring Samuel Joseph Spalla for the attainment of the rank of Eagle Scout. Commissioner SCHIN seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
Resolution 2017-R-19 – Eagle Scout- Spencer Ray Mulhearn
Vice President YOUNG made a motion to adopt Resolution 2017-R-19, a resolution of the Board of Commissioners of Lower Allen Township, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, recognizing, commending and honoring Spencer Ray Mulhearn for the attainment of the rank of Eagle Scout. Commissioner SIMPSON seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
ANY BUSINESS PERTINENT TO THE TOWNSHIP
There was no response.
West Shore Fire Departments Cooperation Discussions
Director Holl stated that fire chiefs from many of the West Shore fire departments have been meeting Saturday mornings to discuss staffing issues. He stated that 10 years ago, there were around 300,000 volunteer firefighters in the Commonwealth and today there are about 50,000. He stated that the meetings are well attended and there has been positive input. He stated that as the meetings continue, any recommendations will be passed onto the Board. He spoke about some of the challenges with fire departments. He spoke about the Fire Captain coming onboard to help with the Township’s departments on recruiting. The Board asked how many people respond to a fire call. Mr. Dave Murdoch, Lower Allen Fire Company Deputy Chief, stated that normally 7-8 people, which include hired PSOs. He spoke about issues with employers not allowing employees to leave to fight a fire. Commissioner Simpson suggested offering an incentive to companies who allow their employees time off to fight fires.
Ordinance 2017-03 – Indoor Agricultural Growing Operations
John Eby discussed proposed Ordinance 2017-03 and the steps it has gone through to get County and Township planning commissions review. Commissioner SCHIN made a motion to authorize the Solicitor to prepare an adjudication for Ordinance 2017-03, an ordinance amending the Code of the Township of Lower Allen, Chapter 220, Zoning, by adding specified indoor agricultural growing operations to the lists of permitted uses in the C-2, C-3, I-1 and I-3 zoning districts in the affirmative. Vice President YOUNG seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
SLD Docket No. 2017-01 – PA American Water Co. Capital Campus
Mr. Flint stated that this plan was before the Board a few weeks ago. He spoke about the revised plan and the normal contingencies of the plan. He stated that because of stormwater and being downstream from Bethany Village, an agreement was needed. He received a copy of the agreement today. Mr. Joel Mitchell, PA American Water, spoke about working on the contingencies. He stated that they have the bid process started and are interviewing contractors, but can’t award the bid without a conditional approval from this Board. Mr. Tim Diehl, Engineer, stated that they have applied for the permit with PennDOT and they have received an email stating that there are no further comments and he expects the permit soon. Mr. Flint stated that once they have the conditions met, they can record the plan.
Commissioner SCHIN made a motion to approve a waiver of the requirement contained in Section 192-24.C to submit a Preliminary Plan for SLD Docket No. 2017-01, Final Land Development Plan for PA American Water Co. Capital Campus. Vice President YOUNG seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
Commissioner SIMPSON made a motion to approve SLD Docket No. 2017-01, Final Land Development Plan for PA American Water Co. Capital Campus, 852 Wesley Drive, contingent upon the following:
- Executing a Developers Agreement and providing Improvement
- Obtaining a Highway Occupancy Permit from
- Lower Allen Township Authority
- Executing a Standard Stormwater Facilities and BMP Maintenance and Monitoring
- Providing documentation of approval from downstream property owner for stormwater
Commissioner SCHIN seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
Improvement Security – SLD Docket No. 2013-06 – Hollinger Office Building
Commissioner SCHIN made a motion to approve a reduction in Improvement Security for SLD Docket No. 2013-06, Hollinger Office Building, 4600 Lena Drive, establishing a new amount of $3,410.00 and a new expiration date of July 10, 2018. Commissioner SIMPSON seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
Improvement Security -SLD Docket No. 2000-11 – Heights of Beacon Hills, Phase 2 & 3
Mr. Flint spoke about the request for a reduction in improvement security for Phase 2 of the Heights of Beacon Hills. Mr. Ryan Caboot, 1605 Cobble Court, thanked everyone involved with the public meeting with the residents of the Heights of Beacon Hills. He spoke about how they are working on identifying issues in the common space areas. He asked what the outstanding security was and requested that no action be taken on this matter until they the residents have a chance to work together on the outstanding issues. Mr. Flint stated that the outstanding security is $7,175.03. The security was for sidewalks for four lots and three of the four lots have had sidewalks installed. Solicitor Miner stated that the security was set aside for certain work and if the work is completed the security must be released.
Mr. Caboot asked about security for Phase 1, as there are curbing and sidewalks not installed. Mr. Flint stated that all the required items were completed and there is no security being held for Phase 1. Mr. Caboot wants to make sure everything is done in Phase 2 and Phase 3. He spoke about Phase 3 and the concerns with the stormwater system. He stated that the five detention ponds were never installed and they don’t have the official notice from the Conservation District that what they have is acceptable.
Mr. Flint stated that there is $16,256.55 for Phase 3, which half was for sidewalks and half was for the basin. He spoke about the temporary stormwater measures which were reviewed by the Conservation District. They stated that the necessary items have been done for it to be released, however the permit is with DEP. The permit is between the prior developer/owner and the DEP, and there is nothing the Township can do to get them to release it as they aren’t the permitee. He spoke about working with the District and DEP to close it out. The Board discussed being comfortable with releasing Phase 2 but not Phase 3. Solicitor Miner stated that there isn’t any justification to hold the security. Discussion ensued.
Commissioner SCHIN made a motion to approve a reduction in Improvement Security for SLD Docket No. 2000-11, Heights of Beacon Hill, Phase 2, establishing a new amount of $2,646.79 and a new expiration date of July 10, 2018. Commissioner SIMPSON seconded the motion. Commissioner Schin asked the Solicitor, for the record, if he sees any reason for the Board to not vote in the affirmative on this action and Solicitor Miner stated that he made this perfectly clear. Motion carried 5-0.
Commissioner SCHIN made a motion to approve a reduction in Improvement Security for SLD Docket No. 2005-22, Heights of Beacon Hill, Phase 3, establishing a new amount of $8,010151.58 and a new expiration date of July 10, 2018 based on the recommendation of the Solicitor. Vice President YOUNG seconded the motion. Motion carried 4-1, with Commissioner Simpson opposing.
Mr. Flint spoke about the home on Lisburn Road where the Township helped the resident apply to FEMA for repetitive losses for flood damage. The application was approved today and he received six emails with 92 attachments. He wanted the Board to know in case there is any action is necessary at the next meeting.
Act 172 – tax credits for volunteer firefighters
Mr. Vernau discussed Act 172 and how he had been waiting for guidance and sample ordinances to come out. He stated that there are two types of tax credits, earned income and property tax. Mr. Grove prepared a memo based on the Township’s length of service award program criteria of who would be eligible and the potential impact. He stated that there are currently 19 people eligible for an earned income tax credit based on length of service eligibility and Township residency, and 12 people eligible for the real estate tax credit. He asked the Board for their input. Commissioner Schin thinks this will be helpful with the issue of recruiting firefighters. President Black asked if the Commonwealth will reimburse us for the credits and Mr. Vernau said no. Mrs. Mary Ellen Banks, member of Lisburn Community Fire Company thanked the Board for considering it. She reminded the Board that Lisburn has a lot of administrative hours for running the Fire Company and fundraising. She stated that these volunteers aren’t included in the length of service which was done in 1996. Discussion ensued.
Mr. Vernau asked the Board about forming a committee to determine the how to proceed. The committee would consist of himself, Director Holl, Mr. Grove, and the Fire Chiefs for both companies. The consensus of the Board was to proceed with the committee. President Black and Commissioner Schin both agreed it would be short sighted to not include administrative volunteers in this, as they administer a lot of the duties which allows the firefighters to do their job.
Electronics Recycling Event on October 7th
Mr. Vernau stated that Cumberland County just opened their electronic recycling center with a cost per pound for residents. The Township is scheduled for an electronic recycling event on October 7th and he asked the Board if they would like to charge for certain items. Discussion ensued. The Board agreed not charge any fees for this event, but this would be the last electronics recycling event held by the Township.
2017 Health Insurance Claims to Date.
Mr. Vernau wanted to update the Board on the health insurance claims received so far, this year. He met with Benecon and the claim level is 1.5 times what it was last year. The main contribution to this increase is prescription drugs. One drug has cost $115,000 so far, this year. Based on the current level, there is an expectation of a premium increase of 19-20% but an exact number won’t be known until October. He spoke about the large trust the Township is in and how it spreads the risk and costs across many lives. President Black believes we need to shop around if the premiums will be up that much. Mr. Vernau spoke about other options including Caremark and higher deductibles. Discussion ensued. Mr. Vernau will be looking at other options for 2018.
Dairy Farmers of America Tour
Mr. Vernau asked the Board if they were interested in a tour of the Dairy Farmers of America plant. President Black spoke about touring the plant and thought it would be interesting for the rest of the Board to see the facility. Mr. Vernau will send an email with potential dates.
Mr. Flint spoke about the sidewalks being completed on Hartzdale Drive. He spoke about the Beacon Hill trail extension progress and stated that it should be done in August. Mr. Eby spoke about the annual cleanup on the Yellow Breeches Creek scheduled for July 23 at 11am. Information is on the website. He spoke about working with Messiah College and Public Safety on issues on the creek. He and Mr. Vernau spoke about how some groups use social media to reach out and 200 kayakers will show up and use Messiah College to launch. There are two upcoming weekends where Messiah College has events on their campus and will close the parking lots to the public. Mr. Vernau has heard they will try and put in at LACP and he is reaching out to tell them that they need a permit for that many people.
Mr. Vernau spoke about the new camera and intercom system installed out front. Director Holl spoke about the software and cameras which will be able to capture license plates of vehicles coming in and out of the parking lot.
Commissioner Schin asked if he could get copies of the Development Authority’s meeting notes. Mr. Vernau will take care of this.
Commissioner Holtzman asked for a sheet that outlines the ordinance that prohibits putting grass and twigs on the street. She has neighbors doing this and wants to put notices on their doors. Mr. Vernau stated that the normal protocol is for Codes to send them a letter, followed by a notice of violation, but he will send her something.
Solicitor Miner spoke about the residents of Beacon Hills and the meeting that took place last month. He stated that the residents were respectful and he appreciates the lawyers working on resolving this issue.
Director Holl spoke about the promotions to Corporal and stated that it would be on the agenda for July 24th. He spoke about attending the Lisburn Fire Company’s meeting and listening to concerns about swimmers and parking on their lot. He and Captain Crone walked the area today and will continue to watch the areas. He will be providing some options to Lisburn’s directors on how to deal with the parking issues. On July 24th at 6:00pm, he will be showing the Commissioners the use of force simulator. Mrs. Banks thanked Director Holl for his input.
President Black stated that there are some important things on the agenda for next meeting and he is sorry he will miss the meeting as he will be on vacation.
ADJOURNMENT TO EXECUTIVE SESSION
The Regular Meeting of the Board of Commissioners adjourned at 9:11 p.m. for the following personnel and legal discussions:
Executive Session: Personnel.
a. Fire Captain hiring update