Board of Commissioners
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS LOWER ALLEN TOWNSHIP
REGULAR MEETING MARCH 23, 2015
The following were in ATTENDANCE:
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS TOWNSHIP PERSONNEL
H. Edward Black, President Thomas G. Vernau Jr., Township Manager
Peddrick M. Young, Sr, Vice President Erin Trone, Assistant Township Manager
John T. Titzel Daniel Flint, Community Development
Richard F. Schin Richard Grove, Finance Director
Lloyd W. Bucher John Eby, Building and Zoning Coordinator
Steven P. Miner, Solicitor
Julie Echterling, Recording Secretary
President Black called the March 23,2015 Regular Meeting of the Board of Commissioners to order at 7:00 pm followed by a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. He announced Proof of Publication was available for review.
APPROVAL OF REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
Commissioner SCHIN moved to approve the minutes for the March 9, 2015 regular meeting. Commissioner TITZEL seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION: ANY ITEM ON THE AGENDA
President Black inquired if anyone in the audience wished to address any item appearing on the agenda. There was no response.
BID OPENINGS: 2015 STREET PAVEMENT PROJECT
The following four (4) bids were received. Each contained a bid bond.
Kinsley Construction $766,450.55
Hempt Bros. Inc. $762,344.70
Pennsy Supply $777,380.65
Handwerk Site Construction $1,004,484.00
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 items on the Consent Agenda as submitted, those items being the following:
a. Department Reports for the month of February for Community Development, Township Engineer, Public Works, Fleet Maintenance, Economic Development and Public Safety.
b. Waiver of the requirement contained in Section 192-24.C to submit a Preliminary Plan for SLD Docket No. 2015-02, Land Development Plan for Bethany Village New Auditorium.
c. SLD Docket No. 2015-02, Final Land Development Plan for Bethany Village New Auditorium, 325 Wesley Drive, contingent upon the following:
• Approval by Cumberland County Conservation District.
Commissioner SCHIN seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
Approval of Check Register
Vice President YOUNG made a motion to approve the Check Register of March 20, 2015 in the amount of $209,138.33. Commissioner BUCHER seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
ANY BUSINESS PERTINENT TO THE TOWNSHIP
Mr. Charles Courtney, McNees Wallace & Nurick, stated he was here to discuss the property owned by Bill Grace, the former Stevenson’s property. He asked the Board to reconsider their decision on opposing the variances to the land development plan. He discussed the difficulties and background for the property. He stated they tried to market the property with 60% single family homes and 40% townhomes and it was rejected by multiple builders. He discussed how the owner has done the right thing with the property and is trying to build something marketable. He stated that the townhomes would be one story, about 35 feet wide, and would be a good fit for the neighborhood. Discussion ensued.
Commissioner BUCHER made a motion to support the action taken at the last meeting of opposing the 60/40 variance requested by the applicant of the property. Vice President YOUNG seconded the motion. Motion carried 3-1-1, with Commissioner Schin opposing. President Black abstained, as the applicant is a client of his business.
The Heights of Beacon Hill
Mr. Ryan Caboot, Heights of Beacon Hill, discussed the phases of the Beacon Hill development. He stated there are a lot of unresolved issues and is concerned that the builder is near completion and will hand these issues over to the residents. He showed the Board multiple slides of some of the issues they are experiencing. He asked the Board for help with these issues and the builder. Below are a few of the items he covered:
• Entrance sign is rotted and broken.
• Open road cuts to abandoned phases of the project.
• Sidewalks not completed.
• Utility boxes, sewer accesses and wires covered by brush and not being maintained.
• Trees leaning/falling across roads and not being maintained. Twigs, vines, and overgrown trees.
• Masonry walls not being maintained.
• Street lights never installed in Phase II.
• Water retention basin not being maintained with brush and weeds.
• Curbing incorrect for snow dump areas.
• Concerns about stormwater with drainage and retention ponds.
He stated there wasn’t a homeowner’s association set up as of now. He fears these issues will be turned over without being resolved. President Black stated he has been on site with Mr. Bonneville and seen some of the issues discussed tonight.
Nole Caron, 1608 Lowell Lane, asked about holding the permits on the remaining lots until things are completed and asked who is responsible for maintaining the pump station. He is concerned about the stormwater plan and what is being built. Mr. Flint stated is working with the Cumberland County Conservation on a new design to incorporate the new changes for the regulations on stormwater management. Mr. Flint stated that the pumping state would be the Sewer Authority’s responsibility.
Paul Zeigler, discussed his concerns with the covenants and the obligations associated with them. He discussed his concern with water and the potential overflow going into a New Cumberland neighborhood. He is concerned the homeowners association hasn’t been established or funded to this point and the potential issues could become the homeowners’.
Mr. Richard Bonneville provided background on the Maplewood and Creekside homeowner’s association as he was part of the beginning of them. He discussed the issues with the trees on the boulevard and how it was maintained in the past and why it isn’t maintained anymore.
Mrs. Kaiser stated she has lived in the Heights for 17 years and stated these issues have been going on for a long time. She stated the Board is the last resort for the residents to be able to resolve these issues.
Commissioner Schin asked what action that is possible with the trees being top heavy. Mr. Flint stated they notify homeowners but they have no authority to make them remove a tree.
Mr. Vernau stated the issues discussed tonight and in the letter sent to the Township can be broken down into three categories. First are issues required by the plan, where security can be held. Secondly are violations of ordinances. Thirdly are issues between the residents and the builder. He stated the Township will help with what we can, but may not be able to resolve all the issues. Discussion ensued.
President Black thanked everyone for coming out tonight and for outlining the issues. He stated the Township staff will be evaluating the issues and will provide a comprehensive response in writing of their findings. He stated if after reviewing the response there are still concerns, he asked the residents to contact staff about meeting or to come back to the Board.
Fire Code Ordinance – Chapter 103
Mr. Eby discussed his memo outlining the background of the changes needed to the current ordinances. He stated staff is proposing adoption of the entire 2009 IFC (International Fire Code) to the extent it is not already adopted in Chapter 70, within reserved Chapter 103, Fire Prevention. He discussed the PA Department of Labor and Industry and their ruling with municipalities and new code editions adopted in PA. He asked the Board if staff could complete a draft ordinance and request authorization to advertise adoption. Discussion ensued. The consensus of the Board was to proceed with the ordinance.
Value Pay System
Mr. Vernau discussed his memo outlining the background for the discussion and the options for a value added pay system for Public Works and Community Development. . He proposed making the increases in salaries effective July 1st which would reduce the proposed $39,000 expense in half to $19,500. He stated he feels the seven employees are underpaid. He discussed positive financial impacts achieved so far this year and the minimal impact to the surplus this change would be.
Commissioner Schin expressed concern about just lowering the surplus. He discussed his request for the consultants to help figure out the cost of services which was cut out of the budget for financial reasons yet this is being proposed. He would like to know the cost of an inspection. Commissioner Bucher suggested giving half the raise in July and the other half in January 2016. Extensive discussion ensued.
Vice President YOUNG made a motion go with the recommended increases that the manager has suggested effective July 1, 2015. Commissioner SCHIN seconded the motion. Discussion ensued on the potential raise for the seven employees for January 1, 2016. Commissioner Schin withdrew his second. Additional discussion ensued. Vice President Young amended his motion to include revisiting a 2016 raise for these 7 employees during the 2016 budget process. Commissioner SCHIN seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
Capital COG Draft Bylaw Changes
Mr. Vernau discussed the revised draft bylaws provided by COG for the Board’s review. He highlighted the change on Quorums and the audit reviews. He asked the Board for their consensus on the changes. Discussion ensued.
Commissioner SCHIN made a motion to approve the changes to the COG bylaws. Commissioner TITZEL seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
Mrs. Trone stated the recycling grant staff discussed at the last meeting has been submitted. Commissioner Titzel left the meeting at 9:07 during this discussion.
Mr. Vernau discussed the work and changes to Gorgas Hall with audio-visual system.
He stated the Municipal Advisory Board is starting back up and asked for a representative. Vice President Young is interested in participating again with the MAB.
Mr. Eby stated the Zoning Hearing Board is set for April 16th. He stated notice has been given to the residents with posts to social media.
President Black spoke about the recognition of the Police Department and who was in the audience during the meeting.
RECESS TO EXECUTIVE SESSION
The Regular Meeting of the Board of Commissioners recessed at 9:13 p.m. for the following personnel and legal discussions:
Executive Session: Personnel and Legal.
a. Collective Bargaining Agreement
b. Pennsylvania Business Center Assessment Appeal
Commissioner Titzel returned during the Executive Session.
RECONVENE REGULAR MEETING
The Regular Meeting of the Board of Commissioners reconvened at 9:41 p.m.
Collective Bargaining Agreement
Vice President YOUNG made a motion to accept the first amendment to the Collective Bargaining Agreement between Lower Allen Police Association and Lower Allen Township Commissioner BUCHER seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
Pennsylvania Business Center Assessment Appeal
Vice President YOUNG made a motion to table the Pennsylvania Business Center Assessment Appeal. Motion carried 5-0.
The Regular Meeting of the Board of Commissioners adjourned at 9:43 pm.