Board of Commissioners
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS LOWER ALLEN TOWNSHIP
REGULAR MEETING SEPTEMBER 28, 2015
The following were in ATTENDANCE:
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS TOWNSHIP PERSONNEL
Peddrick M. Young, Sr, Vice President Thomas G. Vernau Jr., Township Manager
Lloyd W. Bucher Erin Trone, Assistant Township Manager
John T. Titzel Frank Williamson, Director of Public Safety
Richard F. Schin William Yeagley, Community Development
Richard Grove, Director of Finance
Steven P. Miner, Solicitor
Julie Echterling, Recording Secretary
Vice President Young called the September 28, 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. President Black was absent with excuse.
APPROVAL OF REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
Commissioner TITZEL moved to approve the minutes of the September 14, 2015 regular meeting. Commissioner BUCHER seconded the motion. Motion carried 4-0.
RECREATION AND PARKS BOARD ANNUAL REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATIONS.
No one from the Recreation and Parks Board was present to address the Board. This item was tabled until a future meeting.
RESOLUTION 2015-R-24 RECOGNIZING ROBERT NAILOR, JR -25 YEARS OF SERVICE.
Commissioner SCHIN made a motion to approve Resolution 2015-R-24 recognizing Robert Nailor, Jr for 25 years of service with the Township. Commissioner TITZEL seconded the motion. Motion carried 4-0.
EMPLOYEE RECOGNITIONS – Length of Service
The following employees were recognized for their length of service with the Township:
Erin Trone Assistant Township Manager – 5 years of Service
*Thomas Stambaugh Public Works Department – 10 years of Service
Linda McCool Police Department – 20 years of Service
Bev Putric Finance Department – 20 years of Service
Rhonda Robinson Police Department – 20 years of Service
*Detective Troy McNair Police Department – 20 years of Service
Lt. Leon Crone Police Department – 20 years of Service
Robert Nailor, Jr. Public Works Department – 25 years of Service
* denotes employees not in attendance.
RECESS TO EXECUTIVE SESSION
The Regular Meeting of the Board of Commissioners recessed to Executive Session at 7:12 pm to discuss the following item:
a. Wesley Mews
RECONVENE REGULAR MEETING
The Regular Meeting of the Board of Commissioners reconvened at 7:43 p.m.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION: ANY ITEM ON THE AGENDA
Vice President Young inquired if anyone in the audience wished to address any item appearing on the agenda.
Carolyn Mumall, Wesley Mews, asked the Board for more time to obtain bids for sprinkler system upgrades that won’t destroy the residents’ homes. She stated it is unlikely that the residents will be able to stay in their homes while the work is done. She discussed the timeline starting in April through July with working with the Township. She stated in June they settled with Triangle to do the initial inspection and to produce a report, at which time, has not been received. She stated in July Triangle asked for the hydraulic calculations. She stated then Triangle provided an estimate of $8,980 to fix the sprinkler systems which doesn’t include the clean-up and new drywall. She thinks the bid is too high and they need more time to obtain bids. She stated they are looking for new ways to fix the issue and have asked for more time.
Mr. Ed Wintergrass, 5210 Cobblestone Dr., stated he has been told their sprinkler system is unsafe. He said no one has shown or proven to him there is an issue with the system. He has been asking Triangle for the results and they haven’t seen the results. He asked for time to verify their systems are unsafe.
Mr. Don Wolford, Wesley Mews, asked for more time to obtain bids. He stated no one would spend $9,000 without getting several bids. He stated the proposal from Triangle includes cutting a 16×20 hole in his ceiling for his 20 sprinklers in his home. He stated the work could be 10 days of work and he isn’t sure he can live there during this time. He stated Fritz designed the system that the Township approved.
Mr. Steven Krantz, 5206 Cobblestone Dr., stated he contacted Fritz and they won’t release the drawings because the Township put them under pressure because of a possible lawsuit from Wesley Mews. He stated the system was installed and approved in 1999. He discussed plumbing problems in his unit that had to be addressed from the original build. He stated he is looking for Fritz or the Township to stand up and take responsibility. He stated they trusted the Township and builders and everyone dropped the ball onto the residents.
VICE PRESIDENT YOUNG
Approval of Check Registers
Commissioner SCHIN made a motion to approve the Check Register of September 18, 2015 in the amount of $551,337.04. Commissioner TITZEL seconded the motion. Motion carried 4-0.
Commissioner SCHIN made a motion to approve the Department Reports for the month of August for Economic Development, Engineer, Fleet Maintenance, Public Safety, and Public Works. Commissioner BUCHER seconded the motion. Motion carried 4-0.
Commissioner SCHIN made a motion to approve Resolution 2015-R-23 adopting minimum municipal obligations payable to the Lower Allen Township Police Pension Plan and the Lower Allen Township Non-Uniformed Pension Plan in fiscal year 2016, and appropriating specific sums known as the Pension Budget for fiscal year 2016. Commissioner BUCHER seconded the motion. Motion carried 4-0.
ANY BUSINESS PERTINENT TO THE TOWNSHIP
Chris Moulton, 5211 Cobblestone, asked for a response from the Board on what was discussed by the residents. He also asked what other communities were being served this notice to redo their system.
Solicitor Miner stated the letter stated a contract is to be in place not the actual work done by September 30th. In October, a notice of violation will be sent and it can be appealed. He stated it would be more appropriate to grant an extension at that time.
Mr. Yeagley stated he spoke with Mr. Eby and no action will be taken on Wednesday. He stated violations would be issued next week if necessary. He stated there have been issues with other sprinkler systems in residential areas and were addressed immediately including some commercial properties. Commissioner Schin asked Staff about getting schematics for these buildings. Mr. Yeagley stated Mr. Eby went through the Township’s file on Wesley Mews three times and can’t find the original schematics. He stated tonight is the first time he heard that Fritz has the drawings. Mr. Yeagley stated he will follow up with Fritz.
Commissioner Titzel left the meeting at 8:10 during this discussion and returned at 8:15pm.
Gennieve Reed, 5203 Cobblestone Drive, is concerned with the September 30th deadline. She stated she contacted Triangle, they came out to her home, but she still hasn’t received anything from Triangle. She asked how the buildings could have been inspected and given occupancy with this issue. She stated that one of the threats is if they don’t comply, they can lose their occupancy. She believes the Township should take responsibility if it is unsafe.
Mr. Yeagley has contacted Triangle to obtain a list of residents that are in contact with them for the repairs. He stated if residents are on that list, they won’t be receiving a notice of violation. Mrs. Reed has asked for a detailed estimate to able to compare with bids. She stated many are not in a position to pay for these repairs. Mr. Yeagley stated one of the residents had Triangle in and will pay far less than the estimated $9,000. He stated the Township had a meeting in early September for the residents on this issue and only nine showed up for the meeting. She stated proper notice wasn’t given as it was close to Labor Day.
Mr. Wintergrass asked again how the Township can say the sprinkler systems are unsafe. Mr. Yeagley stated there were two inspections done on the system in 2011 and 2014. These reports were obtained by the Township in March 2015. The reports outlined major deficiencies systems. In April 2015, there was a meeting to discuss the issue. It was determined that additional exploration was needed to be able to obtain an estimate. Mr. Wintergrass believes the reports were maintenance issues. He asked Triangle for the report and their calculations and haven’t received them.
Mr. Krantz asked why different units have different size piping. He stated they need time to get additional estimates. He stated they are asking as a group for more time. In the appeal process it is each individual having to plead their case. He stated the reports from 2011 and 2014 were maintenance issues. He asked as a group for an extension for the deadline versus individually appealing. He said this doesn’t look good for the Township. Mr. Yeagley stated the 2011 report questioned the anti-freeze and he stated it was installed without the Township’s knowledge. He questions if the anti-freeze in the pipes may have degraded the pipes. He stated PA America Water is requiring backflow preventions for these systems.
Mr. Wolford stated the 2011 report said nothing about pipes. He listed the five companies that he tried to get an estimate and none of them are interested. He believes the Township bears responsibility. He stated they need more time as they look at alternatives to the proposal.
Christine Mowery, Wesley Mews, stated she had Triangle inspect her unit. She had an anti-freeze loop installed in 2014 by Fritz. She was told that she needs minor work and the backflow. She stated they want 50% down which is $4,500 and the job could just cost $2,000 which doesn’t make sense. She asked the Board for an extension. Commissioner Schin asked how much of an extension is needed. Mrs. Mowery stated the engineers are too busy to give them the calculations and is concerned about the estimate since they don’t have the calculations.
Vice President Young stated the Board or Staff can’t dictate private enterprise to do anything or respond in a certain time. He stated the only thing the Board can do is to act according the law. Mr. Krantz is asking what is broken that needs to be fixed. Mr. Yeagley stated the residents are being asked to bringing up sprinkler system up to code.
Mr. Vernau stated the residents are being asked to bring the system up to code. He stated in the past physical inspections of the sprinkler systems weren’t performed. The Township reviewed plans and drawings and okayed them. Mr. Yeagley spoke about the June 23, 2015 report sent to the Wesley Mews outlining deficiencies. He stated when the residents apply for the permit, Triangle must provide the specific calculations so Staff can review them and determine the appropriate action is being taken. Mr. Krantz stated Triangle won’t give them calculations that they paid $1,500. Mrs. Reed asked for a six month extension.
Solicitor Miner stated his advice is not to extend the deadline. It makes more sense to be part of the appeal process and if the residents are on the list with Triangle they won’t receive a notice. The Township has an obligation for public safety. He stated the deadline was chosen by the Community Development because of the public safety issue.
Mrs. Carol Baister, 5214 Cobblestone Drive, stated she loves her home. She said elderly on fixed income and don’t have money and some are handicap. She asked the Board to show some compassion and mercy.
Elise Sheptak, 5219 Cobblestone Drive, asked for an extension especially with the holidays coming up. She would like to be able to have the time to do what is asked and enjoy the holidays in their home.
Commissioner Schin spoke about the volunteer firefighters who have to respond to a fire where the sprinkler system may not be working and is concerned about their safety also. He stated the Board’s heart and minds are about safety.
Dan Sanders, Welsey Mews, stated the appeal process is long and delays the process. He stated if there is a fire the water will flow. He said the Township should have the drawings. He stated there is a stalemate with Fritz. He asked for an extension of 60 days.
Solicitor Miner stated that it appears that some of the residents have different size piping which will make their repairs different. This is why the appeals process is helpful with a case by case basis.
Mr. Yeagley stated a verbal or written commitment for the work is what is needed for September 30th. He stated Wesley Mews chose Triangle to do the work. He stated the initial time limit for the inspection was July 2015 and the Township was left with the impression that the Board (Wesley Mews) was taking care of the repairs. Once Mr. Eby realized that was not the case, the letter went out in August to the individual homeowners. He stated, from the meeting with Triangle in September, anyone with ¾ inch piping will have issues. He stated some of the systems have too much anti-freeze in them, which is an alcohol, which could increase the fire in the beginning that could reduce the amount of time a resident has to get out in case of a fire.
Vice President Young ended the discussion and asked for a vote.
Commissioner SCHIN made a motion to approve an extension of 45 days to allow the residents to find alternatives for the contracts with the appeal process beginning after the 45 days. There was no second. The motion died.
Commissioner TITZEL made a motion to approve an extension of 60 days to allow the residents to find alternatives for the contracts with the appeal process beginning after the 60 days. Commissioner SCHIN seconded the motion. Motion failed 2-2, with Commissioners Young and Bucher opposing.
The Regular Meeting of the Board of Commissioners recessed at 9:12 p.m.
RECONVENE REGULAR MEETING
The Regular Meeting of the Board of Commissioners reconvened at 9:25 p.m.
SLD Docket No. 2015 -12
Mrs. Trone discussed SLD Docket No. 2015 -12 a Minor Subdivision Plan for Richard C. and Rebecca H. Michaelian, 1533 High Meadow Lane. She stated it is a vacant lot and is owned by the developer. She stated the Michaelians are going to buy the piece of land and split it with the neighbors. Mr. Jeff Ebersole, Surveyor, stated he did the survey and discussed the land and well issues. He spoke about property line issues and spoke about splitting the land between the neighbors. Discussion ensued.
Commissioner SCHIN made a motion to approve SLD Docket No. 2015 -12 a Minor Subdivision Plan for Richard C. and Rebecca H. Michaelian, 1533 High Meadow Lane. Commissioner BUCHER seconded the motion. Motion carried 4-0.
Request to reduce right-of-way
Mrs. Trone introduced Mr. Bob Fisher, Fisher Associates, to discuss a request from R.J. Fisher Associates on behalf of Triple Crown Corporation to reduce the right-of-way width for a portion of St. Johns Road from 30 feet from centerline to 25 feet from centerline. He spoke about the dedication of 30 feet to the Township in the 1960’s. He showed the Board the location. He stated Mr. Flint prepared a memo to the Board about this request. He asked the Board to consider the request for the subdivision plan. Discussion ensued. Commissioner Schin asked to hear President Black’s opinion on this and asked to wait on a decision. Commissioner Bucher stated he would like to see the right of ways uniform. This will be on the agenda for the next meeting.
Creation of an OPEB Trust Fund
Mr. Grove discussed the potential creation of an OPEB (other post-employment benefits) Trust Fund for police officers. He stated approximately $400,000 is accumulated for this benefit which is in the general fund. He asked to take it out of the general fund and create a trust fund. He stated this would allow the money to be invested with creating a portfolio. He stated to create this fund would require several actions by the Board. Discussion ensued. The consensus of the Board was to proceed with setting up the fund.
Upgrade for the HVAC system: Tridium R2 to Tridium N4 BAS.
Mrs. Trone discussed the budgeted HVAC system for $19,200. She stated it is eight years old and at 2015 budget time, there was a system chosen to replace the current system. However, she stated another new system came available since budgeting time. She stated the cost would be $18,970 which is under budget without the maintenance fees. She stated the $2,000-$3,000 maintenance fees will be budgeted in 2016. Discussion ensued. The consensus of the Board was to include the maintenance in the cost of the item this year. This item will be on the agenda next meeting.
October 24th electronics recycling collection event.
Mr. Vernau discussed the proposed electronic recycling collection event for the Township. He stated a weekend event of three hours would be approximately $1,000 which would come out of the Sanitation Fund. He stated the event would be Saturday October 24th from 9am-noon. He asked the Board about items which have an additional cost for the either the residents or the Township to pay for four items (TVs and monitors). He stated if the Township pays, there may be more items versus less if residents pay. He stated it could add an additional $2,500 in cost. Commissioner Schin would like to see the Township pick up the cost. Mr. Vernau stated the extra cost would also come out of the Sanitation Fund. Discussion ensued.
Commissioner SCHIN made a motion to hold an electronics recycling collection event on October 24th from 9am-noon at no cost to the residents. Commissioner BUCHER seconded the motion. Motion carried 4-0.
Mrs. Trone spoke about the chicken barbeque being held this Saturday.
Chief Williamson discussed the successful Fire Company’s raffle. He is in the process of applying for 2015-2016 grants for the fire companies.
The Regular Meeting of the Board of Commissioners adjourned at 10:00 pm.