STORMWATER AUTHORITY LOWER ALLEN TOWNSHIP
REGULAR MEETING JUNE 6, 2019
The following were in ATTENDANCE:
STORMWATER AUTHORITY BOARD TOWNSHIP PERSONNEL
Gordon E. Wilson, Chairman Rebecca Davis, MS4 Coordinator
Timothy Johnson, Vice Chairman
Lloyd Bucher, Treasurer
Alison J Shuler, Secretary
Also in attendance: Steven P. Miner, Esquire, LATSA Solicitor, and Tina Thomas, Recording Secretary.
Chairman Wilson called the June 6, 2019 Regular Meeting of the Stormwater Authority to order at 8:40 pm. He announced that Proof of Publication was available for review. Tina Thomas completed a Roll Call of the Board members present. Richard Schin, Assistant Secretary, was absent with excuse.
Ms. Shuler moved to approve the minutes from the May 2, 2019 meeting of the Stormwater Authority. Mr. Bucher seconded the motion. Motion carried 4-0.
Mrs. Helen Shuman, 260 Creek Road, Camp Hill was in attendance at the meeting and reported she is appealing her stormwater fee. She and her husband live on a two parcel lot, one of which does not have any structures on it. They are therefore assessed the fee for each parcel. Mrs. Shuman is asking the Stormwater Authority to make an exemption for vacant properties. She explained the basis of her appeal as follows:
- The lot is bordered along the bottom by Cedar Run Creek.
- There is no street frontage.
- There is no stormwater system as it is a sloping property which drains to the creek.
- There is no impervious coverage.
- The sewer runs underground through the property.
- The property is located in a flood plain and therefore has building and zoning restrictions preventing development.
Mrs. Shuman pointed out that they have saved the Township money in caring for the land and upkeep such as cleaning up the trees. They have also taken steps to stabilize the bank to prevent erosion. They do not mow up to the creek so there is a grass buffer along it. Mrs. Shuman stated that they have already paid their initial stormwater fee but since the two parcels are being used as a single family residence with an L shaped lot, she does not feel that they should be charged double the fee.
Mrs. Davis stated that the Stormwater Authority created the credit policy which states that every parcel is billed including vacant land. There are currently 231 vacant parcels in the Township. The policy would need to be amended to change this.
Mr. Miner spoke about credits being intended for people with BMP’s on their properties. He said that the Stormwater Authority can decide to amend the policy. He stated that this appeal is on the agenda for Monday night’s Board of Commissioners meeting.
Mrs. Shuler explained that having a riparian buffer along the creek could count as a BMP and be eligible for a credit if properly engineered. Mrs. Shuman stated that she is not seeking a fee reduction but an exemption from paying the fee.
Mr. Johnson stated that the Authority could make the appeal an agenda item next month for discussion on whether or not to amend the policy. He asked Mrs. Davis to present the options. She stated that amending the policy would affect the amount of money brought in by the stormwater funds and affect the ability to complete projects.
Mr. Bucher asked Mrs. Davis to research the vacant properties.
Mrs. Shuman feels her property is a unique situation and she wishes to receive a call regarding the decision reached by the Stormwater Authority. In a separate matter, she stated that she would like to still receive the Township Newsletter that used to come by mail. She was told it can be e-mailed to her or she can receive it in the mail for $5.00 per year.
Mr. Wilson asked Mrs. Shuman to leave the meeting for the Authority to discuss the case. Mrs. Shuman then left the meeting.
Mrs. Davis stated that every parcel contributes to stormwater runoff. She said that she has suggested that Mrs. Shuman pursue a credit for the vacant parcel but she is only interested in pursuing the appeal.
The Stormwater Authority agreed to have this discussion on the agenda for next month’s meeting.
Mr. Shawn Fabian, 43 Argali Lane, Mechanicsburg was also a participating member of the audience. His interest in stormwater is related to his occupation.
Mr. Miner spoke about Life Care Health Partners, 4950 Wilson Lane, filing for bankruptcy on May 6, 2019. They have not paid their stormwater fee of $1,086.80 so Mr. Miner has filed a proof of claim.
MS4 COORDINATOR REPORT
Mrs. Davis provided a summary of the current credit applications that have come in. The number of credits applied for is up to 80 with 8 appeals, including the one above being appealed to the Board of Commissioners. She stated that 99% of the credits granted have calculations and documentation done by engineers as well as a recorded operation and maintenance agreement. They were told about the credit program before the bills went out.
Mrs. Davis presented the financial reports provided by Mr. Rick Grove, Township Finance Director. It included revenue received as of May 30, 2019 from the first fee collection. A total of 385,387.10 was billed and $297,633.44 was received. A total of $180,172.83 of the revenue was uncollected as of 4/30/19. Of this amount, 38% is made up by the PA Turnpike, PennDOT, and the prison. PennDOT has claimed the fee is a tax and they are tax-exempt. Chairman Wilson would like future financial reports to be presented by the Treasurer and followed by a motion. Mrs. Davis also stated that staff is finishing the designs for the retrofit of the first two basins. She will meet with DEP in 2 weeks to go over the signed grant documents and reporting requirements. She is hopeful that the projects can go out for bid in the fall. Future projects include televising of the pipes in the Norman Road area. Ideally this could be completed before the roads are paved. It may be possible to lease the necessary equipment from the Sewer Authority.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS PERTINENT TO THE AUTHORITY:
Ms. Shuler mentioned that many of the storm drains in Highland Park are full of debris and not draining well. She inquired about street cleaning. Mrs. Davis stated that street cleaning is ongoing, but it is difficult to keep up with it during rainy weather.
There being no more business, Mr. Wilson adjourned the Stormwater Authority meeting at 9:40 pm. The next meeting of the Stormwater Authority will take place on Thursday July 11th.