Board of Commissioners
March 9, 2020 Meeting Minutes
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS LOWER ALLEN TOWNSHIP
REGULAR MEETING MARCH 9, 2020
The following were in ATTENDANCE:
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS TOWNSHIP PERSONNEL
Dean W. Villone, President Thomas G. Vernau, Jr., Township Manager
Edward Black, Vice President Erin G. Trone, Assistant Township Manager
Richard F. Schin Richard Grove, Finance Director
Carolyn Holtzman David Holl, Public Safety Director
Thomas H. Kutz Dan Flint, Public Works Coordinator
John Eby, Building and Zoning Coordinator
Leon Crone, Police Captain
Steven Miner, Solicitor
Tina Thomas, Recording Secretary
President Villone called the March 9, 2020 Regular Meeting of the Board of Commissioners to order at 7:00 pm followed by a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. He announced that Proof of Publication was available for review.
Commissioner Kutz requested that his name be mentioned under the section of minutes on the Sheepford Road Bridge as supporting the bridge restoration. Commissioner KUTZ moved to approve the minutes from the February 10, 2020 Regular Meeting with e above-referenced amendment. Commissioner SCHIN seconded the motion and the motion carried 5-0.
MOMENT OF SILENCE
Vice President Black requested a moment of silence in honor of the Mount Holly volunteer fire fighter who lost his life in an early morning fire, as well as the woman and dog who lived there.
PRESENTATION: EMA Certification for Fire Captain Wirth
Justin Shaulis from the Cumberland County Department of Public Safety presented Captain
Frank Wirth with the Advanced PEMA certification at the County level. Mr. Shaulis spoke about
the dedication Captain Wirth has shown in time and effort to achieve this certification. The
Board congratulated him.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION: Any item on the agenda.
There were none.
Commissioner SCHIN moved to approve the check register of February 28, 2020 in the amount of $246,721.50. Vice President BLACK seconded the motion and the motion carried 5-0.
Resolution 2020-R-13: Eagle Scout Award for Alex Armanini, Commissioner SCHIN moved to adopt Resolution 2020-R-13, recognizing, commending, and honoring Alex Armanini for attaining the rank of Eagle Scout. Commissioner KUTZ seconded the motion and the motion carried 5-0. Mr. Armanini was unable to be present at the meeting but President Villone read the Resolution and Commissioner Schin volunteered to attend Alex’s Court of Honor ceremony on March 22nd.
ANY BUSINESS PERTINENT TO THE TOWNSHIP:
Discussions will be limited to 15 minutes per person.
Gene Hosey, 1633 Main Street, Lisburn, along with his wife Terrie, were present at the meeting. Mr. Hosey read a letter he had written to the Lower Allen Commissioners thanking them for their letter of support regarding the Sheepford Bridge. He feels that the letter written by the Township to the York County Commissioners was very helpful and he appreciates the Commissioners listening to and caring about the community.
Mrs. Joan Lenker, 1942 Sheepford Road, read a letter she provided to the Cumberland County Commissioners to keep communications with the Lower Allen Commissioners up to date. She stated that they are still awaiting the final report from the engineers regarding the future of the Sheepford Bridge. She spoke about the bridge being a loved destination and the support that the bridge project is receiving from Fairview Township, the Cumberland County Historical Society, West Shore Historical Society, and Preservation PA. Mrs. Lenker said that they are continuing to collect signatures and explore possible avenues of funding. The fundraiser held in New Cumberland on March 7th was a success and they will be selling bridge puzzles at $5 each with the winning bridge picture. She thanked the Board for their continued support.
Janice Lynx, 2036 Sheepford Road, thanked the Board for the letter of support written by Mr. Vernau and Lower Allen staff. She thanked President Villone and Commissioner Schin for attending the fundraiser in New Cumberland and said that the “Frozen In Time” picture was the winning bridge photo. Mrs. Lynx said that the official handover of the funds will occur at the bridge on March 30th at 1pm. She said that they will be “Fishing for Funds” on the opening day of Trout Season as a planned future event. The engineer’s report of the bridge is to be presented on March 18th and Commissioner Foschi will be attending. Mrs. Lynx said that York County has asked that the rehabilitation costs be considered.
SLD Docket No. 2019-11, Land Development Plan for Sheetz, 1508 Cedar Cliff Drive
Mr. Flint spoke about the Developer’s Agreement for Sheetz being separate from the Land
Development Plan due to having some unique items included in it. He said that Charlie Courtney, the attorney for Sheetz was also in the audience. Commissioner Schin asked if New Cumberland’s approval is needed for carrying out the intersection plans and traffic signal located in their jurisdiction. Mr. Flint said that they will need to approve the plan or waive their right to approve it so that it can be recorded. Mr. Courtney said that last week New Cumberland Borough granted a waiver of the Land Development Plan and they also approved the PennDOT resolution for processing it. He said that Sheetz will have a separate Land Development agreement with New Cumberland that states that they will complete the improvements in the borough before occupancy. Commissioner Schin asked about the 25 mph zone not being shown on the drawings. Mr. Flint said that was added after the plans were prepared but it is documented in writing. He also asked if it is standard practice for an additional study to be done after the business is up and running. Mr. Flint replied that it is not standard but it is a good practice because pre-construction, everything is based on projections. It provides an opportunity to adjustment of timing of traffic signals. President Villone asked who writes the Developer’s Agreement and Mr. Flint responded that there is a standard agreement used which was written by the Township Solicitor. Mr. Miner added that this one is more detailed than most but started from the same agreement.
Commissioner KUTZ moved to approve the Developer’s Agreement for SLD Docket No. 2019-11 and Commissioner SCHIN seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
Change Order for Shannon A. Smith, Inc.
Mr. Flint explained that the Township did not hire an electrical contractor for the Public Works Building addition as the work was being done in-house by staff. Some control boxes are needed which are more complicated and a contractor’s assistance is needed. The Township requested a quote from Shannon A. Smith, who is doing the current mechanical contracting work for this project. They are willing to complete the work for $17,977.67. Another electrical contractor was also contacted, and the quote was much higher at over $24,000.00.
Vice President BLACK moved to approve the change order for Shannon A. Smith, Inc., and Commissioner KUTZ seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
2020 Car 5 Vehicle Replacement
Mr. Holl spoke about replacing Car 5, which is a secondary CSO vehicle. This replacement is a capital budget item for $46,500 and was planned to be an additional F-150 truck. Due to a continual shortage of available vehicles and officers for prisoner transport on court days, a Ford Transit van is being considered. Mr. Holl said this could serve as a backup CSO vehicle and a prisoner transport van. Captain Crone determined that in 2019, over $5,000 was spent on overtime pay for officers transporting prisoners from Cumberland County Prison to magisterial court hearings. Mr. Holl stated that the 2020 Ford Transit Van would be purchased using a COSTARS contract from Hoffman Ford. The cost including the prisoner insert, decals, radio installation, and accessories would be $53,061.00. This is $6,561 over the budgeted amount but could be covered with money in the training budget and minor equipment budget on the general fund side. Commissioner Schin asked what training is being cut. Mr. Holl said that money is in the budget for the CALEA conference which they will not be attending this year. Commissioner Holtzman asked if the Transit van is safer for transporting prisoners and Mr. Holl replied that it is because it requires less handling of the prisoners and there are cameras on each side in the back of the van. Currently a maximum of two prisoners can be transported in a car, requiring two officers. Eight can be transported in the van. He said Captain Crone would work on the procedures for loading and unloading the prisoners and the officers would be trained in how to do it. Vice President Black asked if the van could be used for patrol and Mr. Holl replied that it could be if needed or also could be used by CSOs.
Commissioner SCHIN moved to approve the replacement of Car 5 with a Ford Transit van and Vice President BLACK seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Ordinance 2020-01: Opinion and Election Campaign Signs
Mr. Eby spoke about a request by the Board for staff to amend Chapter 220 of the Zoning Code for clarification regarding opinion and election campaign signs. He said that election signs fall under the right for free speech and are exempt from requiring a zoning permit as they are temporary. There was also a request to revise the sign tables included in the ordinance. Mr. Eby said that this has been accomplished through a sample ordinance prepared by Solicitor Miner. The ordinance states that opinion signs are not allowed in the public right-of-way but election signs are allowed if they are 3.5 feet high or less. Mr. Eby said that a public hearing is required and he is seeking permission from the Board to advertise. Commissioner Kutz asked why there is a limit of 3.5 feet in the right-of-way if it does not create a traffic hazard. Mr. Eby said that having a maximum height avoids the task of evaluating individual signs and simplifies the sign rule. Mr. Kutz asked to revisit this topic at the next meeting and the Board agreed.
Zoning Hearing Board Report
Docket #2020-03: Capital Plaza Associates
The appeal of Capital Plaza Associates, 6465 Village Lane, Suite 7, Macungie, PA against removing an unauthorized sign was continued until May 21, 2020. Mr. Eby said this will allow the shopping center owner to be present. The Zoning Hearing Board meeting scheduled for February was then canceled.
Docket #2020-04: FCPT Holdings
The application of FCPT Holdings, 591 Redwood Highway, Suite 1150, Mill Valley, CA will be heard at the March 19, 2020 meeting of the Zoning Hearing Board. Mr. Eby said that this is a request for variances which are needed for subdivision of the Capital City Mall property, 3506 Capital City Mall Drive, into three separate lots. Mr. Eby said that zoning variances requested include impervious coverage limit, parking lot landscaping requirements, and parking lot setback distances, related to the newly built Outback Steakhouse and Mavis Tire Center. Mr. Eby said that Solicitor participation is not required.
Charge for State Police Coverage
Mr. Vernau referenced an article he had provided to the Board which talks about the Governor’s plan to charge all municipalities for State Police coverage. He said this started years ago because some municipalities in the state do not maintain their own police departments and depend on state police to cover calls. The Commonwealth does not currently charge those municipalities for this. Mr. Vernau said that this article states that Governor Wolf plans to charge all municipalities because they all use the State Police. A $3 per capita fee would be assessed which could cost the Township over $50,000. Mr. Vernau asked the Board if they would like him to write a letter to our representatives opposing this. The Board is in favor of a letter being drafted opposing this.
Mr. Vernau said that three employees will be recognized at the next Board meeting for years of service. This will be on the agenda on March 23rd.
Mr. Vernau said that he and Director Holl met with West Shore School District Superintendent Todd Stoltz, as requested by the Board. They were told that the school district no longer plans to change the walking train route and they feel it is up to the Township to determine what they want to do. Mr. Vernau said that staff feels that, due to the sight distance, speed control signs, markings and the presence of a crossing guard, the mid-block crossing on Cedar Cliff Drive as proposed by Sheetz is still the safest route. Discussion ensued among the Board. The situation will be re-evaluated after Sheetz is in operation. Commissioner Kutz asked Mr. Vernau to make this information public on Facebook for residents.
Mr. Eby spoke about an upcoming event for the Yellow Breeches Watershed Association on April 4th. They will again be participating with Suez Water Company for Trout Day at the stone arch bridge. A clean-up will be held and volunteers are needed. It usually runs from 7am to 1pm. He will post flyers for the event.
Commissioner Kutz spoke about Mr. Miner’s letter regarding liability for the proposed disc golf course. He said that he wants to see a lay-out for the course that does not cross the driveway. Mr. Vernau said that he had requested they bring it to the last meeting. He said that there is no liability concern where the holes cross the driveway as this relates to property liability not personal injury liability. He said that with 18 holes, it would be difficult to avoid crossing the driveway and still avoid fields being used for other activities. Mr. Vernau said that the hole that initially crossed the driveway up by the entrance was changed.
Commissioner Kutz asked if a school resource officer could help with the walking train. Mr. Holl said that it would depend on the job description and what other duties were assigned at that time. Captain Crone said that the crossing would keep an officer from being able to respond to a call at the school.
Commissioner Kutz spoke about attending a Corona virus briefing hosted by Congressman Perry and the Lisburn Fire Banquet.
Commissioner Schin spoke about attending the ribbon cutting for the CBD American Shaman store in the Windsor Park Shopping Center. He said he learned a lot about hemp. Commissioner Schin also attended Congressman Perry’s briefing.
Vice President Black asked Mr. Flint if the crosswalk stays where it is, would Sheetz pay for a continental crossing. Mr. Flint said they are paying for what is on the improved plan. Flashing beacons are not in the plan. Vice President Black said he is satisfied with his condition being met after the Township’s meeting with the School District.
Commissioner Holtzman asked if the $10,000 being donated by Sheetz can go towards the flashing signs. Mr. Vernau said that it could, but it is only half the cost of flashing beacons.
Mr. Holl said that he and Mr. Deaven met with Representative Delozier regarding House Bill 1862. He said this bill would restrict surprise medical billing. The Ambulance Association strongly opposes this as EMS could not bill for private pays. Representative Delozier will reach out to the committees involved. Mr. Holl also said that he was asked to represent the PA Chiefs of Police in a seminar at Elizabethtown College on the topic of school violence. He said that Dr. Stoltz was also on his panel and they had the opportunity for some good conversation.
President Villone spoke about attending the Save the Bridge fundraiser in New Cumberland. He also said that he and his wife brought a church group with them to help out with preparing for the turkey dinner at Lisburn Fire Company. President Villone also spoke about being approached by Fire Company volunteers regarding the tax credit. He was told the Township is taking back some of last year’s tax credit. He asked Mr. Vernau to explain. Mr. Vernau said that the tax credit last year was calculated based on library and County taxes, as well as the Township tax, when it should only be based on the Township tax. This resulted in too high of a refund being issued. The overage was deducted from this year’s credit to even this amount out. Mr. Vernau said this only affects those who chose the real estate credit and letters explaining this were sent to the volunteers affected. He said the credits would average out to the correct amount over the two-year period. Vice President Black thinks the Township should let the volunteers keep the overpayment as a token of goodwill and as appreciation for what they do for the Township. Mr. Grove said the small amount of money doesn’t affect the budget. Mr. Vernau said that the credit amount was set by ordinance, and we don’t have statutory authority to give them more. Mr. Miner stated that it would be an audit finding. Mr. Vernau said he would prefer giving the fire companies a contribution and letting them distribute it. President Villone asked Mr. Vernau to provide the actual amounts of money involved and tabled the discussion until that time.
The Regular Meeting of the Board of Commissioners adjourned at 8:49 pm.