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Home»Board of Commissioner Minutes»Board of Commissioners
9-13-2021 Meeting Minutes

Board of Commissioners
9-13-2021 Meeting Minutes

 MINUTES

BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS LOWER ALLEN TOWNSHIP
REGULAR MEETING SEPTEMBER 13, 2021
The following were in ATTENDANCE:
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS TOWNSHIP PERSONNEL
Dean W. Villone, President Thomas G. Vernau, Jr., Township Manager
H. Edward Black, Vice President Erin G. Trone, Assistant Township Manager
Richard F. Schin Richard A. Grove, Finance Director
Carolyn E. Holtzman David Holl, Public Safety Director
Thomas H. Kutz Steven P. Miner, Township Solicitor
John M. Eby, Building and Zoning Coordinator
Tony Deaven, EMS Captain
Michelle Kilgore, Recording Secretary

President Villone called the September 13, 2021 Regular Meeting of the Board of Commissioners to order at 6:00 PM.  He announced that Proof of Publication for this meeting was available for review.  This was followed by a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. 

 

MEETING MINUTES

Commissioner SCHIN moved to approve the minutes from the August 23, 2021 Regular Meeting provided an amendment be made on page 3 updating the vote on SLD Docket No. 2021-5 to 3-0-1 (due to Vice President Black’s abstention from the vote).  Commissioner HOLTZMAN seconded the motion.  The motion carried 5-0.

 

Introduction of New Employee

President Villone introduced to the Board the Township’s new construction code official, Craig Doll.  Mr. Eby read an extensive list of Mr. Doll’s skills, expertise, and certifications.  The Board then welcomed Mr. Doll to the Township.

 

Presentation from PA American Water

Joe Woodward, Senior Director of Operations for Eastern PA came to the podium.  He was joined by Construction Supervisor Jeff Warren.  Mr. Woodward thanked the Township for providing PA American Water a list of 21 streets that the Township plans to pave in the future.  He said that when townships can provide this information in advance, PA American Water can determine which projects will warrant replacement of existing water mains prior to commencement of the paving projects.  This effort allows the potential for newly paved roads to be preserved for longer periods of time.  For LAT, he said that PA American Water will update infrastructure on 13 of the 21 streets on the list.  This includes 21,600 feet of pipe replacement (almost four miles).  Mr. Woodward then presented a Township map on the screen outlining where the projects will take place.  He noted that fire hydrants will also be replaced, and the Township could at this time request new hydrants be added in places where they may be warranted.  Residents living on any of the 13 streets will receive letters approximately a month prior to their street’s construction, and in addition, an auto-dialer system will call the residents up to a week prior as a reminder.  Mr. Woodward also offered to provide some information that could be posted on the Township’s website.  He noted that the construction can be an inconvenience for residents.  Construction takes place Monday through Friday between 7:30am and 5pm.  Driveways will always be accessible by residents.  Residents will have 24 hours’ notice prior to the water main switchover, and this down time should last only 15-20 minutes, as new mains will be installed around the existing mains.  Anticipated start of these construction projects is dictated by when they can receive the pipe that they have ordered, however the goal is to complete all 13 streets in 2022.

Commissioner Kutz asked if equipment will be left on the streets overnight, referencing recent issues the Township residents had with UGI doing this and blocking the roads.  Mr. Woodward replied yes, but that the equipment is constantly moving.  He added that most likely a local contractor will be involved in the projects, and he will discuss with the contractor a plan to keep the equipment as far out of the way was possible.  In addition, Mr. Woodward noted that PA American Water uses the Coordinate PA program to ensure all other relevant utility companies are aware of the water main replacement projects.

President Villone asked what the turnaround time is for a resident inquiry or complaint to PA American Water.  Mr. Woodward replied that if a resident calls the local number provided on the notice letter, a response should come either the same day or the next day.

Mr. Grove asked if meters will be replaced.  Mr. Woodward replied no.

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION:  Any item on the agenda.

President Villone advised the audience that if there were any item on that evening’s agenda that they wish to comment on, to please indicate as such.  Members of the audience requested to speak on item 13a.  President Villone noted that when agenda item 13a arrives, he would have the resident come to the podium.

 

CONSENT AGENDA

President Villone advised any Commissioner, staff member, or anyone in attendance who would like to have an item on the Consent Agenda removed for further discussion, to state his/her request at that time.  There were no responses.

a.  Check Register August 27, 2021, in the amount of $121,039.27.

b.  Check Register September 10, 2021, in the amount of $415,138.11.

c.  $89,973 for installation of Roof Top Unit #2.

d.  Increasing Financial Security for SLD Docket No. 2015-08, Highpoint Phase 1.5, from $342,192.35 to $376,411.59, and establishing a new expiration date of September 13, 2022.

Commissioner KUTZ moved to approve the items on the Consent Agenda.  Commissioner HOLTZMAN seconded.  The motion carried 5-0.

 

PRESIDENT VILLONE

Ratification of Disaster Emergency Signed by the President on September 1st due to Hurricane Ida

Commissioner KUTZ moved to ratify the Disaster Emergency Declaration.  Vice President BLACK seconded.

President Villone asked staff what their recommendation is on when the declaration should end.  Mr. Vernau stated that the damage done from Hurricane Ida is still in the process of being determined but felt that it could be rescinded at the September 27th BOC meeting.  President Villone explained that being under a disaster emergency allows for access to government disaster funding.  Commissioner Schin asked if this includes residential relief funding.  Mr. Holl replied that the funding is geared towards public relief efforts only.

President Villone took a vote on the motion.  The motion passed 5-0.

 

Ordinance 2021-04, an ordinance of the Board of Commissioners of Lower Allen Township, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania authorizing the purchase of Parcel 13-10-0258-007A-EX, more commonly known as Yetter Court, from the Lower Allen Township Development Authority

Commissioner KUTZ moved to enact the ordinance.  President Villone asked for a roll call vote:

Commissioner Holtzman – Aye

Commissioner Kutz – Aye

Commissioner Schin – Aye

Vice President Black – Aye

President Villone – Aye

 

The motion carried 5-0.

 

Awarding of the Gorgas Hall Audio-Visual Project to 3rd Element Consulting, Inc. in the amount of $24,243.99

President Villone noted that the bid opening process took place at the previous BOC meeting and asked for a motion to approve the award.

Commissioner SCHIN made the motion.  Commissioner KUTZ seconded.

Commissioner Kutz noted that the bids ranged from 3rd Element’s low bid up to near $100,000.  He asked if the bids were based on all the same product, or if other bidders included additional solutions that may have benefited LAT.  Mr. Vernau replied that the other two bidders were quoting all new equipment in a package system, with features that were more than LAT needs in Gorgas Hall.  Commissioner Schin asked if there was an RFP.  Mr. Vernau said yes, and that the RFP was targeted for a specific outcome, not one that specified the hardware items desired, and that the lowest bidder plans to reuse some of LAT’s existing equipment to build their solution.

President Villone called for the vote.  The motion carried 5-0.

 

ANY BUSINESS PERTINENT TO THE TOWNSHIP:

President Villone noted that if anyone wished to speak at that time, there would be 15 minutes allotted per person to speak at the podium.

Joseph Swartz of 1706 Letchworth Road, Camp Hill came to the podium, along with Matt Rauser of 1291 Stratford Road, Camp Hill.  Mr. Swartz explained that he and Mr. Rauser are concerned with traffic and pedestrian safety in the Highland Park neighborhood.  He noted speeding in straightaways and blocks where entering or exiting Carlisle Road or 18th Street.  He explained he is also seeing motorists running stop signs at the corner of Lowther and Norman, right near the Weis Market.  Mr. Swartz added that the rear entrance to the Shops at Cedar Cliff is intended only for traffic in one direction from the neighborhood into the parking lot, however motorists are using the parking lot to enter the neighborhood and to avoid detection for going the wrong way, they are moving at a high rate of speed.  He noted that he did communicate the issues with some proposed resolutions to the President Villone prior to that day’s meeting.  President Villone stated that as a starting point, he did forward Mr. Swartz’s communication to Mr. Vernau and Mr. Holl.  Mr. Rauser stated he lives at the corner of Stratford and Kingsley, at the junction that leads into the Cedar Cliff Mall, and he sees 25-30 motorists driving the wrong direction (as Mr. Swartz previously mentioned) on any given Saturday.  He added that he, his girlfriend, and son have all been close to being hit by speeding motorists attempting to avoid detection.  He asked for a traffic camera at the intersection.  Commissioner Holtzman suggested a one-way traffic spike system.  Mr. Rauser replied that he has contemplated those as well, however he fears pedestrians or cyclists may get injured.  President Villone asked Mr. Holl if there is a protocol to study areas that show high complaints.  Mr. Holl said that LAT has a traffic committee run by the Township Engineer, where issues like this are discussed.  He added that he did review the communication sent to him by President Villone, and said that traffic cameras would not be permitted, as the vehicle code determines where cameras can be placed.  Mr. Holl noted that the police are unable to site offenders using video, that the crime must be observed by an officer or called in by a witness, which would then launch an investigation to track down a license number and the driver.  Mr. Holl offered to encourage his force to spend more time in the areas discussed, and to take the concerns to the traffic committee.  He also asked Mr. Eby for his input on the history of the Cedar Cliff parking lot entrance to Highland Park.  Mr. Eby replied that the road has been a one-way since he started with the Township in 1985, but he speculated that when the Cedar Cliff Mall was built, a requirement was put in place to connect to Kingsley as a one-way.  Commissioner Schin suggested a digital radar sign be erected to let motorists know their speed, to act as a deterrent.  Mr. Holl agreed that solution could be deployed.  He explained that they can first be used in stealth mode, meaning they do not appear to be on, but are still tracking speeds and collecting data.  Then, they can be turned on to show motorists their speeds as they drive through.  Commissioner Kutz asked if there is a commissioner on the traffic committee.  Mr. Holl replied no.  Commissioner Kutz suggested one be placed on the committee to help bring awareness to the BOC.  He noted some other solutions that have worked elsewhere in the past, such as painting the speed limit on the roadway by Sheetz, painting crosswalks differently, and erecting raised crosswalks.

 

TOWNSHIP ENGINEER

Discussion and Possible Action: Approval of License Agreement with Norfolk Southern Railway Company and First Amendment to Reimbursement and Indemnity Agreement for Railroad Crossing Application with Charter Homes Development Company for the pedestrian crossing at Rossmoyne Rd., contingent upon satisfactory review of insurance coverage

Mr. Vernau stated that Mr. McCullough and Mr. Miner have been working on this agreement.  Mr. Miner explained it focuses on the Norfolk Southern tracks in the Arcona development.  He referred to the memo provided to the Board by Mr. McCullough and reiterated that the requested motion includes a contingency that is dependent upon satisfactory review of insurance coverage.  President Villone asked Mr. Miner if he is comfortable that the Township would be covered with the proposed agreement.  Mr. Miner said yes.  Commissioner Schin asked if this is specific to pedestrian crossing.  Mr. Miner said yes.  Commissioner Kutz referred to the previous bridge project that ultimately did not happen, and how the Township would have been expected to pay for and maintain the bridge.  He asked why the pedestrian crossing would be any different.  Mr. Miner stated that the recordable document needed would name the HOA as the responsible party, but that ultimately it could still fall upon the Township.  Commissioner Kutz expressed concerned that the HOA would not take liability should an accident happen, or if maintenance is required later down the road.  Mr. Miner said Norfolk Southern may be ordered to pay for it, but they would ultimately get reimbursed by order of the PUC.  Commissioner Schin asked if LAT is sponsoring the walk-through of the application process.  Mr. Miner said yes that the railroad will not work directly with Charter Homes.  Commissioner Schin asked what the insurance policy covers.  Mr. Miner said it is very lengthy and specific, but that spans everything from accidents to equipment, and that they are very protective of their rights-of-way.  He added that Charter will need to determine a budget and add funds to their monthly homeowner assessments right away.  President Villone asked if this crossing would be considered common ground and would law require them to assess the fees.  Mr. Miner said that the HOA would have to have a responsible board and a good management company, and that it could leave or dissolve at some point.

Commissioner Schin and Vice President Black both expressed their discomfort in approving the license agreement without knowing for sure that the homeowner’s association for Arcona is established and stable.  Mr. Vernau reiterated that the crossing must be constructed, and that LAT’s role is not to approve or deny the crossing, but to see the application process through for Norfolk Southern.  He added that if the HOA would at some point stop managing the crossing, the Township could press the HOA through the courts.  Mr. Vernau suggested someone from Charter come into a future BOC meeting to discuss the responsibilities going forward.  President Villone agreed.

FINANCE

Heart and Lung Review Panel

Mr. Grove said that he recently reviewed the Heart and Lung Act, which is a payroll related benefit for police officers who sustain a temporary work-related injury.  He said the Board can be called in to adjudicate a denial.  After researching the history of LAT, he said the Board has never been called in for this purpose.  Mr. Grove said that Heart and Lung follows a very similar process to Workman’s Compensation.  Heart and Lung will supplement Workman’s Comp, and they are usually paid together.  Heart and Lung would pull from the General Fund.  With Workman’s Comp, the claim goes to the insurance company.  If denied, the officer can appeal, and it goes to a court designed for appeals.  With Heart and Lung, the claim goes to township staff to approve or deny, and if denied and appealed, the BOC would hold a hearing by which officer and staff would present their evidence.  If denied, then an appeal would go to the Court of Common Pleas.  Claims tend to be denied if they are not temporary, or if they are not work related.  Vice President Black asked if Heart and Lung deals primary with fire service.  Mr. Grove replied that it deals with both police and paid firemen.

 

COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Staff is seeking permission to trigger the municipal planning code process for the review and enactment of Ordinance 2021-05, amendments to Section 220-206 and 220-207, Wireless Communication Facilities, of the Codified Ordinances of Lower Allen Township

Mr. Eby referred to the memo that was circulated to the Board by Mr. Vernau, outlining the Township’s intention to begin the Municipal Planning Code process now that Act 50 has passed.  The process includes the following actions whereas Mr. Eby requested a motion:

  1. Establish a public hearing date
  2. Transmitting the draft ordinance to the various planning agencies for review and comment
  3. Advertising the ordinance for a potential 10/25/21 enactment date

Mr. Eby said that this ordinance would allow for Small Wireless Facilities (SWFs) to be erected.  These are attached to existing poles in PennDOT’s and Township’s rights-of-way.

Commissioner SCHIN moved to allow staff to establish an official public hearing date of October 25, 2021 at 6:00 pm.  Commissioner KUTZ seconded. 

Vice President Black asked Mr. Eby what would happen if the zoning code were not revised.  Mr. Eby replied that the Township would have no regulations to deal with for the small cell facilities, and that Act 50 would prevail.  Mr. Miner added that the Township needs a conditional use process so that they can limit the proliferation of the towers in residential districts.

President Villone called for a vote.  The motion carried 5-0.

Commissioner SCHIN moved to authorize staff to advertise the ordinance for a potential 10/25/21 enactment date.  Commissioner KUTZ seconded.  The motion carried 5-0.

Commissioner SCHIN moved to authorize staff to transmit the draft ordinance to the various planning agencies for review and comment.  Commissioner KUTZ seconded.  The motion carried 5-0.

 

MANAGER

Draft letter to PennDOT regarding tolling of the South (I-83) Bridge

Mr. Vernau referred to a letter that that was circulated by Commissioner Schin to the Board, drafted by Cumberland County to PennDOT regarding the tolling of the I-83 bridge.  The County is asking municipalities to review the letter for any amendments or additions prior to sending the final draft to PennDOT.  The County has also asked that a signatory from each municipality be chosen.  President Villone called Mr. Swartz to the podium to discuss the topic.  Mr. Swartz expressed his support to the Board in advocating for no toll.  He also asked for the Board to contact the general assembly targeting the State’s rainy-day fund for replacement of infrastructure of the bridge.  Mr. Vernau asked President Villone if it would be permissible to share the letter with Mr. Swartz that evening for review.  President Villone agreed.  Commissioner Kutz indicated he agreed with the letter, with no changes recommended, and suggested President Villone be the signatory.

President Villone asked the Board if they agree to him signing the letter.  All Board members individually showed their support.

 

Employee Recognition – Years of Service

Mr. Vernau stated that there will be four Years of Service recognitions on the agenda at the September 27th BOC meeting.  Charles Reynolds, Donna Paul, Staci Morgan, and Marshall Quartmon. 

 

COMMISSIONER REPORTS

Mr. Holl said that the COG has received a 2.2-million-dollar FEMA grant for retention and recruitment of volunteer fire services.  It will probably go to municipalities for programs to support their recruitment.

Commissioner Kutz attended a ribbon cutting for Trout CPA, toured their facility, and he congratulates them on their expansion.  He met with the Mechanicsburg Chamber to discuss ongoing projects.  He noted that the previous Saturday was 20th anniversary of September 11, and he wanted to thank first responders.

Commissioner Schin learned at his Municipal Advisory Board meeting that a few municipalities were visited by the DEP to review their stormwater set-up.  He referenced Ms. Davis’s audit and how LAT came through with flying colors.  He spoke of the detailed planning of the Sewer Authority prior to Hurricane Ida, and all they did to prepare, and expressed his gratitude for their work.  He attended a presentation at the Municipal Advisory Board for LERTA.

President Villone asked Ms. Trone if there will be an official results presentation from the Gettysburg Corridor Study.  Ms. Trone replied she has a meeting the following day to review the results.  She stated she expected the BOC to see the results in October.  President Villone noted an area on Sheepford Rd. damaged by Ida, where a tree was uprooted, and will be curious to see how that gets rebuilt.  He referenced the 20-year anniversary of September 11th and thanked first responders.

ADJOURNMENT

The regular meeting of the Board of Commissioners adjourned at 7:53PM into an Executive Session.