STORMWATER AUTHORITY LOWER ALLEN TOWNSHIP
REGULAR MEETING DECEMBER 6, 2018
The following were in ATTENDANCE:
STORMWATER AUTHORITY BOARD TOWNSHIP PERSONNEL
Gordon E. Wilson, Chairman Rebecca Davis, MS4 Coordinator
Timothy Johnson, Vice Chairman Dan Flint, Township Engineer
Lloyd Bucher, Treasurer Steven P. Miner, Solicitor
Alison J Shuler, Secretary Tina Thomas, Recording Secretary
Richard Schin, Assistant Secretary
Chairman Wilson called the December 6, 2018 Regular Meeting of the Stormwater Authority to order at 8:08 pm. He announced that Proof of Publication was available for review. Tina Thomas completed a Roll Call of the Board members present.
Mr. Bucher moved to approve the minutes from the November 1st meeting of the Stormwater Authority. Mr. Schin seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
Mr. Thomas Vernau, Township Manager, was present in the audience and spoke to the Stormwater Authority Board. He clarified the role of the Stormwater Authority Board as outlined in the agreement between the Authority and the Township approved at the November 1st Stormwater Authority meeting. Mr. Vernau stated that the Stormwater Authority is necessary for collection of fees, holding of fees, and transfer of funds to the Township as needed for stormwater related projects. He explained that statements and a detailed quarterly bill will be sent to the Stormwater Authority explaining the necessary reimbursements. Projects will also be presented to the Stormwater Authority in a detailed manner so the Board will know how the funds are being spent. The Township will be responsible for all other aspects of the Stormwater fees and credits process.
Chairman Wilson questioned if the Board of Commissioners should be the Stormwater Authority, however, since the appeals will go to the Board of Commissioners. Mr. Vernau stated that while Commissioners can serve on the Stormwater Authority Board, they cannot be the majority. Chairman Wilson stated that he feels if the Township Staff are in charge of the credit decisions that the Stormwater Authority is a rubber stamp authority. He feels that if the Stormwater Authority is in charge of collecting the money, they should also be involved in the credit decisions.
Mr. Vernau said that he has no problem with the Stormwater Authority Board being involved in the creation of the credits and credit policy. He stated that the Board of Commissioners is the body of appeal for the credits. Appeals would first go to Township staff and then to the Board of Commissioners if not resolved. He spoke about a bill currently in the legislature which, if passed, would allow Townships of the First Class to bill and collect stormwater fees. Mr. Vernau and Mrs. Davis attended a Council of Governments (COG) meeting today where they learned that COG is looking into the creation of a credit appeal board to handle all of the appeals. This would release municipalities from any involvement in credit appeals. There is already one in existence for building code appeals. Until this happens, the Board of Commissioners will be the appeal board.
Mr. Miner stated that he hopes a regional or COG board is formed. He feels there is conflict of interest in the Board of Commissioners hearing the appeals because they created the Stormwater Authority and it could present a double standard. He also spoke about his desire to have the Sewer Authority Board members on the Stormwater Authority Board due to their familiarity with stormwater.
Ms. Shuler asked if it is necessary to meet monthly when the finances are handled on a quarterly basis. Mr. Flint answered that it was intended for the Authority to only meet monthly in the beginning until things are up and running with fee collection.
APPROVAL OF 2019 LATSA MEETING DATES FOR ADVERTISEMENT
The 2019 meeting dates for the Stormwater Authority were presented to the Board for approval before they are advertised. Ms. Shuler asked if it made sense to publish the entire year’s list of monthly meetings if the Authority will not continue to meet monthly in the future. Mr. Miner stated that it is easier and less expensive to change or cancel the meetings after advertisement than to advertise them more than once. Mr. Bucher moved to approve advertisement of the 2019 meeting dates and Mr. Schin seconded the motion. Motion carried 4-1.
AUTHORITY APPOINTMENT NOMINATIONS FOR 2019
Mr. Wilson appointed Mrs. Shuler, as a nominating committee of one, to present the nominations. Nominations are as follows:
- Chairman – Gordon Wilson
- Vice Chairman – Timothy Johnson
- Treasurer – Lloyd Bucher
- Assistant Treasurer – Richard Schin
- Secretary – Alison Shuler
Steve Miner remains as Township Solicitor and Tina Thomas remains as Recording Secretary. Ms. Shuler presented the above nominations to Chairman Wilson. Mr. Schin moved to close the nominations and approve all nominees. Mr. Bucher seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.
MS4 COORDINATOR REPORT – REBECCA DAVIS
Mrs. Davis invited the Board to discuss changes she has made to the Stormwater Credit Policy and Appeals Process Manual. She included a letter from Chairman Wilson with his recommendations. The Board decided amongst themselves that they would prefer to table this agenda item until they have more time to read through it.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS PERTINENT TO THE AUTHORITY:
Chairman Wilson asked if the Stormwater Authority is covered by Township insurance and Mr. Vernau answered that all boards and commissions are insured under the Lower Allen Township Public Officials Liability policy. As far as autopay being an option for residents to pay their future stormwater fees, Mr. Flint answered that the details of this are being worked out by the Finance Department.
There being no more business, Mr. Wilson adjourned the Stormwater Authority meeting at 8:56pm.