Articles

July 10, 2014 - Regular Meeting

The Regular Monthly Meeting of the Montour Township Board of Supervisors was called to order on
July 10, 2014, at 7:30 p.m., by Chairman Gerald Powers, all members present.

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

A moment of Silence was observed.

PUBLIC COMMENTS:

Linda Woodward would like to thank Richard Vanderpool for repairing the knobs on the air conditioning.

Debbie Midkiff’s mother reported that Debbie could not attend the meeting but is thankful for the road work that was done on Boone Road.  

John Reibsome asked about Tower Drive and the inefficiency of the Supervisors to repair Tower Drive.

Mr. Mullen stated that this was part of the flood damage done on Tower, Gipple and Hollow Roads.  The Township is waiting for FEMA monies to repair the road.  Mr. Mullen also stated that he thinks that there might be a hold up at the county level.  These roads are scheduled to be repaired; the Township is waiting on the funds to complete the work.

Mr. Powers wants the residents to be aware of a State Statute, 65 PA C. S. A. § 710.1 Public participation:  The Board or Council of a political subdivision or of an authority created by a political subdivision shall provide a reasonable opportunity at each advertised regular meeting and advertised special meeting for residents of the political subdivision or the authority created by a political subdivision or for taxpayers of the political subdivision or of the authority created by a political subdivision or for both to comment on matters of concern, official action or deliberation which are or may be before the board or council prior to taking official action.  The board or council has the option to accept all public comment at the beginning of the meeting.  If the board or council determines that there is not sufficient time at a meeting for residents of the political subdivision or of the authority created by a political subdivision or for taxpayers of the political subdivision or of the authority created by a political subdivision or for both to comment, the board or council may defer the comment period to the next regular meeting or to a special meeting occurring in advance of the next regular meeting.

Solicitor Roberts stated that the statute clearly states that the Township Supervisors can limit speaking at a public meeting to residents or taxpayers.  

Mr. Powers stated that the Townships office supply costs are over budget at 254% due to paper use and copying.  He also stated that the Public Comment Period of the meetings is approximately 63% of the meeting time

MINUTES:

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Mr. Powers, to approve the Minutes of the Regular Monthly Meeting of June 12, 2014 as drafted.  Motion carried.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Powers, seconded by Mrs. Carl, to approve the Minutes of the Special Meeting of June 23, 2014 as drafted.  Motion carried.

BILLS DUE FOR PAYMENT:

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Mr. Powers, to approve bills to be paid from the General Fund in the amount of $48,629.57.  Motion carried.  

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Mrs. Carl, to approve bills to be paid from the Special Police Fund in the amount of $1,416.35.  Motion carried.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Powers, seconded by Mr. Mullen, to approve bills to be paid from the Highway Fund in the amount of $4,592.82.  Motion carried.  

A MOTION was made by Mr. Powers, seconded by Mrs. Carl, to approve bills to be paid from the Sewer Fund in the amount of $13,287.47.  Motion carried.  

A MOTION was made by Mrs. Carl, seconded by Mr. Powers, to approve bills to be paid from Debit Card for the month of June in the amount of $233.06.  Motion carried.  

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Mr. Powers, to approve bills to be paid from the Fire Tax Account in the amount of $4,664.77.  Motion carried.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Mr. Powers to ratify General Fund Check #11029 in the amount ot $100.53 to IRS for payroll taxes.  Motion carried.

REMIT CORP. PRESENTATION:

Harry Strausser, representative of Remit Corporation, presented information from his company to collect past due sewer bills.  Remit Corp. is based on Main Street in Bloomsburg.  He spoke to Mr. Mullen and thought that there was an indication that the Township could benefit from their service.  He presented a proposal to the Board.  

Mr. Mullen expressed a concern that he has that the Township does not receive reports from the current agency.  He asked if Remit would submit monthly reports to the Township.  

Mr. Strausser asked the Supervisors what amount is the starting point of collections.  

Solicitor Roberts stated that there is already a collections process in place with Gary Bittenbender.  

Mr. Powers asked Mr. Strausser what is the cost percentage associated with their collections, and what is their success rate.

Mr. Strausser stated that 25% is a common percent, but it could be added to the total of the delinquent bill.  The success rate depends on the leverage used to collect such as fees, liens and termination of water services.  The average is around 15% in the USA.

Solicitor Roberts stated that the Township is currently under contract with ARB and he is not in favor of terminating the contract in the middle.  The Board directed Solicitor Roberts to contact ARB concerning terminating the contract.

OLD BUSINESS:

PUBLIC SEWER:

STP OPERATOR’S REPORT:

John Bauer, STP Operator, has submitted a written report of activities for the month of June, 2014.

Mr. Bauer reported that everything is going good.  He stated that the Quarry Drive. pump station is working but needs attention.  Two lift pipes are shot and the control box needs to be completely re-gutted.  It will be approximately $2000 to $3000 to repair.  Mr. Bauer has started the process.

The digester that was put in 12 to 13 years ago has never been put into full use potential.  Mr. Bauer would like to start using it more.  When it was recently turned on the diffusers on the bottom were broken off.  They need to be reattached.  This will be done in house at a cost of approximately $1000.  Mr. Bauer also stated that he will need a 24 foot extension ladder to access the inside of the tank.  The cost of the ladder is approximately $200 to $300.

Mr. Powers stated that Max Stoner, Township Engineer, could not be present, however, he submitted a written report.  Mr. Powers read from the report: # 4 on the report, Maintenance Building Addition:  the contractor has been sent the contract closeout documents and the surety company is preparing their release form.  When all the closeout documents are received, we will compile them into a booklet for distribution.  #6 on the report, Pump Station No. 4 (Reading St):  Sales Tax Exemption Certificates were provided to the vendors and the work is being coordinated between the contractors and John Bauer.  The work is tentatively planned to be completed between late July and early August. Mr. Bauer stated that they will be pumping thru the manhole and that the road will need to be blocked from traffic for 3 to 5 days (one lane).  The noise factor should be minimal.  He will replace the dry wall & valve when the piping is back together.  Mr. Bauer also asked if the fire department could flush out the bottom and wet well.  Mr. Bauer is to contact Fire Chief Fosse.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Powers, seconded by Mrs. Carl to allocate the funds for the Quarry Drive. pump station repairs, ladder and diffuser repairs.  Motion carried.   
                        
KURIAN SEWER HOOK UP:

There was nothing new to discuss.

RAISING OF PUMP STATIONS:

# 1 on Max Stoner’s report:  We have heard back from PPL on the work order.  In areas subject to flooding, they typically do not want to utilize underground conduits.  The Township’s contractor met with PPL and they changed their mind and will allow the use of the underground conduits.  The fence near the pump station needs removed and a platform built.  PPL has tentatively scheduled the work for July 15th.

DELINQUENT ACCOUNTS – COLLECTION AGENCY:

Already discussed.

EXTENSION OF PERRY AVENUE TO ROUTE 11:

# 5 on Max Stoners report:  A draft letter is ready to be sent to PennDOT requesting an official field visit to the site.  The report is underway for justifying the request for the emergency access to Montour Boulevard.  There are a few items that are needed from PennDOT to complete the report.    The opening of Perry Ave will be for emergency access only.  There was a meeting with PennDOT approximately 1 ½ years ago. Requesting access to a state road under unusual conditions is a complicated process, this is why it is taking so long.

Marie Williams stated that Fred Giger was a Supervisor at the time the road was closed and he was the only one opposed to the closing.  Mr. Mullen to contact Max Stoner.

BUDGET  VS. ACTUAL EXPENSES AND REVENUE UPDATE:

Ms. Carl stated that the Budget is not too bad.  We are over budget in supplies and salaries but everything else is good.  

SUNKEN HIEGHTS WATER ISSUE:

There was nothing new to be discussed.
    
UNITED WATER SERVICE - UPDATE:

There was nothing new to be discussed.

FLOOD MITIGATION PROGRAM - UPDATE:

# 3 on Max Stoners report:  We have provided additional information this past month for the Township in response to PEMA requests.

Mr. Mullen questioned if the Township has a Flood Mitigation Plan.  It was stated that the Township adopted the County Plan.  The County Plan was given to the Township on a computer disk.  

It was also asked if the Township still wanted Joe Yeager to be the Township EMA Director.  Mr. Powers to contact Mr. Yeager.

Chief Eckart stated that he is the Asst. EMA Director and that there is a lot of training that is involved in being a director.  

CODE OF ORDINANCE – UPDATE:

There was nothing new to report.  On hold.

LANDLORD REGISTRATION ORDINANCE:

There was nothing new to report.  On hold.

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN:

Linda Woodward, Planning Commission, stated that the Comprehensive Plan is moving along.  At the last meeting they had good discussion.  Some proposed changes are, agriculture areas changed to Suburban residential, overlaying industrial with Business with the ability to put in a Business Park.  Also more agriculture intense area to move to lower part of township.

Tom Patticoni stated that the Township residents have not been notified of these proposed changes.  

Mr. Vanderpool stated that the discussions are held at the Planning Commission meetings.  It was also stated that the meetings and the Comprehensive Plan have been in the newspaper.

HAZARDOUS WASTE PICK-UP AREA:

Linda Woodward stated that the proposed event will be a one day event.  The Township needs to find a place to hold it.  Some possibilities are; by the Township shed, across from Tri County COG or possibly a county building.  Linda stated that she has not had much time to look into it further.

WEBSITE SURVEY:

Linda Woodward stated that the survey was pulled from the web site on June 30th.  They received 54 viable surveys.  She is in the process of getting the business surveys back.    

STONE CASTLE ZONING CHANGE:

Linda Woodward stated that the Planning Commission will look into the Zoning change allowing Multi housing in Highway Commercial.      

NO LEFT TURN AT CROSS ROAD & RT. 11:

Solicitor Roberts stated that approval was received from PennDOT.  He has the ordinance written up and will advertise it to be voted on at the August meeting.  

Mr. Mullen stated that the signs have been ordered.

2102 AUDIT:

Courtney Soloman has completed the revisions to the 2012 Audit.

Mr. Powers requested that the 3 Township Auditors be given this audit to review.  

COMPUTER SYSTEM:

The wireless network in the Township office is not being utilized.  Theresa Hampton is to contact Tower Micro and another company to get a proposal on updating the computer system in the office.  

Solicitor Roberts stated that he contacted a Geisinger Life Flight representative and that if given the towers coordinates they will note them for their flight paths.  They are OK with no light on the tower.

NEW BUSINESS:

COLUMBIA MONTOUR GROUND WATER MONITORING PROGRAM:

Linda Woodward attended a recent meeting.  Lycoming County has received money to monitor the gas wells.  They will test the wells and then will test 2 to 3 years later.  Montour and Columbia counties will be doing this testing for another reason, because of the CAFO’s going in.  

This program will be putting a proposal in to the state for monies to do this.  They are requesting from the Township Supervisors a letter of support of this program.  

A MOTION was made by Mr. Powers, seconded by Mr. Mullen to support this program.  Motion carried.

CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER’S REPORT:

Nick Fritz, Codes Officer, reported on the barking dog complaint from last month at 329 Reading St.  He spoke to the resident and did not get anywhere.  He went back again and took Office Kiefaber with him.  When he spoke to the neighbors they said that there has been less barking.

Mr. Fritz received a call from Tri county Cog concerning a blow up pool.  It has been taken down.

B. Dieterick, Perry Ave, was informed to board up windows or tear it down.

Mr. Fritz reported on the July 4th fireworks.  He had suggested to the residents to start no earlier than 9:30 pm, also that the Boat Club start earlier, they started at 9:45 pm and ended approximately 10:09pm.  He spoke to Mrs. Fisher and she is not completely happy but is better.

Mr. Frits also requested to have “Permits Required” signs placed at the entrances of the township.  Mr. Mullen is to look into this.

Mr. Fritz also stated that he is still working on 522 Montour Boulevard.

ZONING OFFICER’S REPORT:

Tim Mauk, Zoning Officer, submitted a report for the month of June 2014.  He started by thanking Joelene, Theresa and Solicitor Roberts for their help getting him started in this position.  

Mr. Mauk stated that he issued 2 permits, one to Dan McCarthy and one to Cleve Hummel.

There is one permit pending; Dr. Neil Engleman, sign permit; he is moving and needs new signs.

He reported that at the Zoning Hearing Board meeting last night the Allen Variance for 412 Valley road was accepted with conditions.  

Tom Patacconi stated that there were campers at Mustang Sally’s again this weekend.  

Solicitor Roberts stated that it is a Zoning issue.  He suggested that Mr. Patacconi submit a letter or meet with Mr. Mauk to get the facts straight in order for him to pursue this matter.

Linda Woodward and Cleve Hummel submitted a letter to the Board of Supervisors concerning campers on the lot across from the Township Police Station.  This area is Village Residential and warehousing and storage of campers is not allowed.  The area is overgrown and looks bad.  Tom Long owns 3 lots and stores many campers over the winter and approximately 6 during the summer.  

Part of the letter states; It is our request that the Supervisors review the ordinance and recommend that the Township’s Zoning Officer take appropriate action to bring use of this land into compliance with the Zoning Ordinance.  

Chief Eckart stated some of the campers were involved in the 2011 flooding and are damaged.  Mr. Long keeps the campers there in the winter and sometimes moves them there in the summer when there is a threat of flooding in the campground.

Ms. Woodward said they had no problem with them being moved there in an emergency.

Tim Mauk to look into this matter.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:

MARIANO PROPERTY:

Solicitor Roberts stated that the Bill of Sale was received.

TOWER DRIVE:

Mr. Mullen reported that the grant put into the county was denied.  He is looking into the Liquid Fuels monies received from the state.  After the repair to Deussen & Boone we will have approximately $100,000.00 left.  Mr. Mullen proposes that the Township put out for bid work on Tower Drive.  The road would be ground up, additives added and put back onto the road and rolled out.  It would be a Full Depth Reclamation from Brobst to the County line.  He then proposed that next year there be tar and chip put over.  He also stated that they will also identify areas where pipes are to go in.  

John Reibsome asked if when winter maintenance is done on the roads, will it not remove some of the gravel surface.  Mr. Mullen stated that there will be additives in the gravel and it will be compacted down and that will help with the structural integrity of the road, however, there will be some gravel removed but not enough to cause problems.  

Work on Deussen & Boone, the contractor is preparing the sub-base tomorrow or Monday and we anticipate the project be done by the end of next week.  

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:

Police Chief Terry Eckart has submitted the following written report of activities for the month of June, 2014:

Fines issued
$2,093.00 – Montour Township
$2,446.00 – Catawissa Township
10 Traffic Citations – Montour Township
36 Traffic Citations – Catawissa Township
7 Non-traffic Citations – Montour Township
0 Non-traffic Citations – Catawissa Township
2 Criminal Arrests – Montour Township
1 Criminal Arrests – Catawissa Township

Chief Eckart had nothing more to report.

FIRE COMPANY REPORT:

Fire Chief Brian Fosse submitted a report of Fire Department Statistics for the month of June 2014.  He was not present to comment further.

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD:

John Bauer mentioned that DEP has a 3 tier analysis program for ground water testing if any resident wants to have the testing personally done.  The cost is from $75 to $600 depending on the tier of testing chosen.  John also stated that he would do the testing for the resident if they wished.

Linda Woodward stated that with the Ground Water Monitoring Program receiving grant monies there would be no cost to the property owner  through this program.

Mr. Vanderpool commented that the Township directed the solicitor to work on a draft ordinance for inspections of change of use properties.  He doesn’t feel this is necessary to spend the money to do this and he suggested that the Board re consider it.  He further stated that when two consenting adults enter into a contract they should be responsible enough to make sure everything is safe with that property.

Jamie Smith stated that there has been burning in Sunken Heights.  She asked if there is an ordinance and what is allowed.  They are to look into the zoning ordinance on the website.  Residents are to contact Nick Fritz with complaints.

MEETING DATES:

Mr. Powers reported that the Montour Township Board of Supervisors will hold their next Monthly Meeting on August 14, 2014, at 7:30 p.m.

There being no further business to discuss, the Meeting was adjourned at 9:45 p.m., on a MOTION of Mr. Mullen, seconded by Mr. Powers.  Motion carried.

                        
Respectfully Submitted,


Joelene C. Sponenberg
Township Secretary

Theresa M. Hampton
Township Clerk