SCHUYLKILL TOWNSHIP
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
MEETING DATE: July 5, 2017

Duly advertised in The Pottstown Mercury and posted at www.schuylkilltwp.com

In Attendance

Board of Supervisors

Fred Parry - Chairman, Barbara Cohen – Vice Chair, Martha Majewski – Treasurer, Susan Guerette, Jim Morrisson

Township Administration

Mary Bird – Township Manager, William Brennan, Esq.-Township Solicitor, Madeline Harbison-Township Secretary.  The Township Engineer was excused from the meeting.

Other Township Representatives

Bob Cooney-Schuylkill Township Open Space Commission, Mark Donovan-Schuylkill Township Planning Commission, Curt English-Schuylkill Township Planning Commission, Chief James Fetterman-Schuylkill Township Police Department, Sandy Momyer – Chair Schuylkill Township Historical Commission, Evan Taylor – Schuylkill Township Fire Marshall & Fire Chief Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Company

Call to Order

The monthly public business meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m. with Supervisor Parry leading the Pledge of Allegiance.  The meeting was chaired by Supervisor Parry.    

Supervisor Parry advised the audience that meeting attendees not on the agenda who wished to address the Board of Supervisors will wait to be recognized by the Chair, then proceed to the microphone and identify themselves for the record.  Supervisor Parry further stated that statements to the Board will be limited to 3 minutes and comments by unrecognized persons will not be acknowledged.

Consent Agenda

  1. Approval and acceptance of the Minutes of the June 7, 2017 Board of Supervisors Regular Business Meeting.
  2. Acceptance of all departmental, committee, commission and council reports as posted and received by the Board of Supervisors for the month of June 2017.

Upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Majewski, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and accepted the June 7, 2017 Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting Minutes, and all departmental, committee, commission and council reports as posted and received by the Board of Supervisors for the month of June 2017.

Board Member Reports

Phoenixville Regional Planning Committee (PRPC) – Supervisor Cohen reported on the June 22, 2017 Regional Comprehensive Plan public workshop held at the Kimberton Fire Company.  Supervisor Cohen said there were over 75 attendees from participating municipalities providing public input on the regional comprehensive plan in the areas of land use, environmental resource protection, housing, economic development, community facilities, parks and recreation, transportation resources, historic and cultural resources, and quality of life.  Supervisor Cohen advised residents that they can still provide their input to the regional plan by participating in the Community Survey for Regional Planning at www.surveymonkey.com/r/Regional_Community_Survey

Treasurer’s Report and Payment of Bills

Supervisor Majewski, Treasurer, advised the Board that as of May 31, 2017, the Township’s general fund shows a balance of about $4.4 million. Supervisor Majewski reported that the bills for June2017 have been reviewed and she recommended payment of these bills. 

Upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and accepted the Treasurer’s Report for the period ending June 30, 2017 and authorized payment of Township bills for the period ending June 30, 2017.

Announcements

Supervisor Guerette announced that the Schuylkill Township Historical Commission was recently recognized by the Chester County Historical Preservation Network (“CCHPN”) and invited Mrs. Momyer, Chair of the Historical Commission, to provide the details to the Board.

Mrs. Momyer said that the CCHPN held its annual Volunteer Recognition Celebration on June 28, 2017.  This event serves to acknowledge the value brought to Chester County through preservation projects, service and/or education.  The “Grace Under Fire” award, given for unusual determination related to preservation projects, was presented to the Schuylkill Township Historical Commission (“HC”) for their efforts in pursuing a demolition by neglect violation of the Schuylkill Township Historic Resources Ordinance.  Mrs. Momyer expressed the appreciation of the HC, not only for the CCHPN award but also for the support from the township’s Board of Supervisors and Township Solicitor.  Mrs. Momyer went on to say that that the HC also takes great pride in the fact that the Schuylkill Township Historic Resources Ordinance, in conjunction with East Pikeland’s historic ordinance, will be used by the CCHPN as models for community preservation training workshops across the county.

Supervisor Parry made the following announcements:

Traffic studies will be conducted by PennDOT on certain township roads between July and November 2017.

Schuylkill Township will be conducting paving operations beginning on or around July 10 and ending about July 29.  The streets to be paved in 2017 are Horseshoe Pointe Drive, Tullamore Lane, Edwin Drive and Brookwood Drive.

A continued public hearing on the conditional use applications for the demolition of a Class II historic resource and to permit a convenience store with gas pumps (Wawa) will be held on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. at the Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Station.

On July 18, 2017 the Zoning Hearing Board will hear an appeal by Delaware Valley Properties II, LLC on an April 21, 2017 Notice of Violation.

Board Discussion Items

Old Business

Legal Matters

Solicitor Brennan advised the Board that he had a lease matter for discussion in executive session but there was nothing to report publically.

Appearance at July 18, 2017 Zoning Hearing Board

Upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Cohen, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized the appearance of the

Township Solicitor to support the township Zoning Enforcement Notice in the appeal by Delaware Valley Properties II, LLC before the Zoning Hearing Board on July 18, 2017.

New Business

Discussion: Sidewalks-Transportation Alternatives Program (“TAP”) Funding

The Township Manager advised the Board that there is a possible funding opportunity for sidewalk construction through TAP.  Mrs. Bird asked the Board to consider if the township should pursue the funding opportunity and, if so, which sidewalk segment(s) would the Board choose for possible construction under this grant.  Mrs. Bird said her recommendation would be the segment on Route 23/Valley Forge Road from Whitehorse Road west to the Borough of Phoenixville boundary; the reason being the creation of a walkable connection between the Borough services/venues and the township as well as the possibility of redevelopment at this intersection.  Supervisor Cohen reminded her colleagues that many people were in opposition to sidewalk installation in the township.  Supervisor Morrisson said he was in general agreement with the township manager’s segment recommendation but would prefer to extend the scope under this grant east to Moorehall Drive and Dorchester Way as well as south on S. Whitehorse Road as far as E. Philip Drive.  Supervisor Guerette offered her opinion that the township should avoid the proposed sidewalk segments in areas that were strongly disputed.  Supervisor Morrisson responded that he did not recall any opposition to the proposed sidewalks on Route 23 and his concern was that if the segment east of Whitehorse Road he proposes, a relatively easy installation, is not included in the TAP grant application, it will never be built.  Supervisor Majewski advised the Board to keep in mind that TAP funding is for construction only, the township is responsible for all pre-construction costs including engineering and design.  Supervisor Guerette asked if it would be possible to obtain an estimate of what the engineering/ design and rights-of-way acquisition costs would be, with the costs broken out by the two scopes of work proposed this evening; Mrs. Bird advised that Gilmore & Associates could most likely provide that information but the Board should also keep in mind that engineering for a sidewalk segment is included in this year’s budget but the township does not want to do too much pre-construction work prior to submitting the TAP funding application and the funding being awarded.  Mrs. Bird suggested that the Board choose on which segment(s) preliminary engineering work should commence to see if it would be feasible to move ahead under this funding program.  Supervisor Morrisson reiterated his request to include sidewalks in the scope of work east of the Route 23/White Horse Road intersection as far as Moorehall Drive/Dorchester Way.  Supervisor Majewski advised the Board that the TAP funding program has a minimum construction funding award of $50,000.00 and a maximum of $1,000,000; the single segment from White Horse Road to the Borough boundary has an estimated cost of $2,000,000 and expanding this scope would increase the fiscal burden on the township.  Supervisor Guerette expressed her agreement with moving ahead on sidewalk segment 5, between White Horse Road and the Borough boundary, stating that it is a relatively small segment, the construction cost falls within the TAP funding limits, and it is not a contested area.

Upon motion by Supervisor Guerette, seconded by Supervisor Cohen, and passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized the Township Manager to engage Gilmore & Associates, Inc. to perform preliminary engineering work in regards to a Transportation Alternatives Funding program application for a proposed sidewalk installation on Route 23/Valley Forge Road; said installation to proceed west from White Horse Road to the boundary line of the Borough of Phoenixville within both the north and south rights-of-way on Valley Forge Road (identified as “Segment 5” on the Project Location Map in the June 2016 Schuylkill Township Sidewalk Feasibility Study).

Discussion: Schuylkill Township Traffic Calming Process and Application

Supervisor Guerette asked if traffic volume as well as speed is a consideration when evaluating the need for traffic calming measures in a neighborhood; Ms. Bird responded that it was one of the ranking parameters.  Supervisor Parry asked if special ranking consideration is given to home day care providers or group homes within neighborhoods; Ms. Bird said that if these facilities are in residential areas that is how they are classified.  The Township Secretary added that when a request for traffic calming is submitted, one of the criteria is to identify “special” facilities such as schools, playgrounds, medical facilities, etc.; the situations mentioned by Supervisor Parry would be noted at that time.  Supervisor Guerette asked for the reason a petition signed by fifty percent of residents is required.  The township manager advised the Board that because traffic calming measures affect everyone within a neighborhood to some extent, it is important that community support be apparent before the township invests in the process.  Supervisor Guerette objected to the process on the basis that she feels it to be too restrictive on residents.

Upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Cohen, and passed with Supervisor Guerette dissenting, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and adopted the Schuylkill Township Traffic Calming Process and Application.

Resolutions / Ordinances

Advertisement of Ordinance #2017-10, Amending Chapter 340 Vehicles and Traffic

A motion was made by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Cohen to approve and authorize the advertisement of proposed Ordinance #2017-10 to amend Chapter 340 Vehicles and Traffic to limit certain vehicular traffic on Clothier Springs Road in Schuylkill Township. 

Supervisor Morrisson objected to the language of the ordinance, stating it was imprecise, and requested that it be reviewed by the township solicitor prior to advertisement. The motion did not pass. 

The Board instructed the Township Solicitor to clarify the language in proposed Ordinance #2017-10.

Ordinance #2017-07, Repealing Chapter 186, Flood Damage Prevention

Upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Majewski, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township does hereby ordain and enact Ordinance #2017-07 to rescind Chapter 186, Flood Damage Prevention.

Ordinance #2017-08, Chapter 186, Flood Damage Prevention-New FEMA Rules.

Upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township does hereby ordain and enact Ordinance #2017-08, Chapter 186, Flood Damage Prevention incorporating new FEMA Regulations.

Ordinance #2017-09, Establishment of Speed Limits

Upon motion by Supervisor Morrisson, seconded by Supervisor Majewski, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township does hereby ordain and enact Ordinance #2017-09 to establish twenty-five mile per hour (25 MPH) speed limits on two township roads, South Spring Lane and South Forge Manor Drive.

Resolution #2017-09: Opposition to Pennsylvania House Bill (HB) 1469 and Pennsylvania Senate Bill (SB) 663 Mandating the Use of Third Party Agencies in Connection with the Uniform Construction Code (“UCC”).

Resolved upon motion by Supervisor Parry, seconded by Supervisor Cohen, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township does hereby oppose enactment of HB 1469 and/or SB 663 into law in that they remove consumer protection standards and consistent enforcement which were built into the UCC to protect the health, safety and welfare of the Commonwealth’s citizens by forcing local governments to accept multiple non-municipal “approved” inspectors.

Subdivision / Land Development

Nothing to report.

Additional Business

Upon motion by Supervisor Morrisson, seconded by Supervisor Cohen, and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized deer archery hunting (Antlered and Antlerless) by Mr. Michael Bauer and Mr. Josh Johnson, residents of the township, solely within the boundaries of township-owned Valley Park from September 16 - November 25, 2017and December 26, 2017 - January 27, 2018 under the rules and regulations of Schuylkill Township and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Supervisor Guerette asked the Township Manager to ensure that the warning signs regarding hunting in the park are in place.

Public Participation

Several residents expressed a wish to speak about the proposed convenience store at the intersection of S. Whitehorse Road and Valley Forge Road.  The Township Solicitor reminded the Board and residents that the Board could not participate in any discussion or presentation of evidence regarding this matter prior to the June 12, 2017 Conditional Use Hearing.

Ms. Allison Schlotterer, 90 Kleyona Avenue, requested clarification on the proposed sidewalk locations.

Mr. Peter Mercuri, President-Pickering Glen HOA, reiterated his complaints regarding the Phoenixville Area School District Early Learning Center project, the Pickering Glen walking trail maintenance and issues with neighboring property owners. 

Mr. James Keller, 22 Second Street, expressed a concern about a debris-filled ditch and propane tanks in his mobile home park.   

Supervisor Parry called for a five minute recess at 9:00 p.m.

Executive Session

An executive session was called to order at 9:05 p.m. upon motion by Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Majewski, and passed. Present were Supervisor Cohen, Supervisor Guerette, Supervisor Majewski, Supervisor Morrisson and Supervisor Parry. Also present were the Township Solicitor, Mr. Brennan, Township Manager, Ms. Bird, and Township Secretary, Mrs. Harbison.  The public meeting resumed at 9:48 p.m. Supervisor Parry reported that litigation and personnel matters had been discussed.

Upon motion by Supervisor Parry seconded by Supervisor Cohen and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized Patrol Officer Eric S. Shallis’ change of status from part-time to a full-time position with the Schuylkill Township Police Department effective July 14, 2017.

Upon motion by Supervisor Parry seconded by Supervisor Cohen and unanimously passed, the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township approved and authorized hiring a part-time Patrol Officer to the Schuylkill Township Police Department effective immediately.

Adjournment

There being no further business before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 9:50 p.m. upon motion of Supervisor Cohen, seconded by Supervisor Morrisson, and unanimously agreed by the Board of Supervisors.

Next Board of Supervisors’ Meeting

Board of Supervisors Regular Business Meeting.............. Wednesday, August 2, 2017 at 7:30 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,

Madeline Harbison
Township Secretary