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August 14, 2014 - Regular Meeting

The Regular Monthly Meeting of the Montour Township Board of Supervisors was called to order on August 14, 2014, at 7:30 p.m., by Chairman Gerald W. Powers, with all members present.

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

A Moment of Silence was observed.

PUBLIC COMMENTS:

Tom Walter, 255 Quarry Drive, addressed the Board regarding the condition of Quarry Drive from Ridge Road to the Hemlock Township line.  He stated that Quarry Drive is being used as a short cut and is a very busy road, thereby contributing to the condition.  The pot holes are  in need of repair and he is concerned about the school bus traveling the road in its’ present condition.  

Eric Sponenberg, 264 Quarry Drive, stated that the ditches are deep and need attention as well as the potholes.

Mark Vincent, 159 Quarry Drive, stated that Quarry Drive is in deplorable condition.  He also noted that the Township should be ashamed of the winter plowing on Quarry Drive.

Joe Mullen, Road master, addressed the residents’ concerns by stating that the potholes will be filled soon.  The long-term solution is to repair Quarry Drive with a Full Depth Reclamation which means that the road would be ground down 6-8 inches, additives put in with the gravel and then rolled back out on the road.  This process will be done next year on the upper portion of Tower Drive.  Quarry Drive is slated to be repaired in 2016.   Our PennDot representative has recommended this process, and has prioritized the projects.  Columbia County allocates $100,000 each year for road projects to supplement the Liquid Fuels allocations.  We applied for a grant this year but it was not approved.  Mr. Mullen indicated that we will continue to apply each year through the County.  He also noted that the State Liquid Fuels allocation has been increasing each year.

Mr. Mullen further stated that the ditches on Quarry Drive will be re-created and the drain pipes across the road will also be replaced.  The Board also noted that the plowing issues will be addressed.

John Reibsome, 240 Tower Drive, noted that he has spoken previously about the condition of Tower Drive and that he is glad to hear that it is on the schedule to be fixed.  Mr. Mullen stated that the LTAP representative looked at Tower Drive and recommended that the bid be put out for the reclamation and resurfacing in the same year.  If the project is over $100,000, the Township would be required to pay fair (union) wages.  Mr. Mullen was hoping to keep it under $100,000 by doing the reclamation in the fall of this year and the resurfacing next year.  The LTAP representative stated that we can do both at the same time, just have two (2) separate bids.

Mr. Reibsome noted that he had an incident at his home recently and would like to commend and thank the Montour Township Police Department and Officers Francioni and Soboleki for the “top-notch” job that they did for him and his family.  

Bob Clark, 514 Valley Road, asked why the State does not take care of Valley Road.  It was noted that the State gave Valley Road back to the Township many years ago, and the Township is responsible for the maintenance of it.  

MINUTES:

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Mr. Powers, to approve the Minutes of the Regular Monthly Meeting of July 10, 2014, as drafted.  Motion carried.

BILLS DUE FOR PAYMENT:

A MOTION was made by Mr. Powers, seconded by Mrs. Carl, to approve bills to be paid from the General Fund in the amount of $40,206.64.  Motion carried.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Mrs. Carl, to approve bills to be paid from the Special Police Account in the amount of $1,473.13.  Motion carried.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Mrs. Carl, to approve bills to be paid from the Highway Fund in the amount of $66,606.71.  Motion carried.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Mrs. Carl, to approve bills to be paid from the Sewer Fund in the amount of $23,256.72.  Motion carried.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Mrs. Carl, to approve bills to be paid from the Fire Tax Account in the amount of $2,953.46.  Motion carried.

PRESENTATION BY TRISH CAROTHERS AND LARRY BELMONT – SUSQUEHANNA GREENWAY:

Mr. Powers explained that there are several areas of problems in the Township which need to be addressed:  (1) The Canal that starts at the Indianhead Campground and goes into the River causes flooding in the Narrows; (2) Perry Avenue; (3) Clover leaf at Route 42; and (4) Rupert.

He introduced Trish Carothers, Executive Director of Susquehanna Greenway, and Larry Belmont, DCED Disaster Recovery Specialist.  

Ms. Carothers explained that Susquehanna Greenways Partnership is a non-profit organization and their mission is to create greenways in Pennsylvania communities that are being flooded repeatedly.  Her organization works with the Conservation District, etc., to look at how to help communities become greener and flood resilient.  Hemlock Township representatives came to her organization after the 2011 flood for help.  Ms. Carothers indicated that they will look at the lower part of Fishing Creek and that 2-D modeling is needed of Fishing Creek to look at pinch points.  Linda Woodward has recently been appointed to their Board and they will incorporate Montour Township into their future planning.     

Larry Belmont explained that the Pennsylvania Recovery Resources Team addresses long-term recovery of communities that have experienced a declared disaster.  They look for sources for funding to help municipalities recover from disasters such as the 2011 flood.  They work with federal and state government agencies that have resources.  Mr. Powers feels that our Township would qualify for disaster relief.  Mr. Belmont gave out information for a website to complete a form with project information.

OLD BUSINESS:

STP OPERATOR’S REPORT:

John Bauer, STP Operator, has submitted a written report of activities for the month of July, 2014.  He reported that there are no immediate problems.  The digester is back in operation, and the pump station projects are under way.  Spade Avenue Pump Station has been raised and the decking is 75% finished.  The Indianhead wet well will be resurfaced this Saturday.  Quarry Drive Pump Station is one-half completed.  He has ordered two (2) new pumps, one for Quarry Drive and one for near the trailer court.  The bubbler systems will need to be looked at soon in order to prevent deterioration and extend the life of the walls. The approximate cost is $2,000.00 or less.

KURIAN SEWER HOOK UP:

There was nothing new to discuss.

RAISING OF PUMP STATIONS:

This item was discussed in Mr. Bauer’s report.

DELINQUENT ACCOUNTS – COLLECTION AGENCY:

Solicitor Roberts recommended that when the contract with ARB expires, the Board could enter a new contract with Remit Corporation for the collection of delinquent sewer accounts.

EXTENSION OF PERRY AVENUE TO ROUTE 11:

Max Stoner has a draft prepared for Mr. Mullen’s review.

BUDGET VS. ACTUAL EXPENSES AND REVENUE UPDATE:

Mrs. Carl stated that the taxes are coming in more than what was budgeted, police fines are coming in and we are doing well.  There were some repairs that needed to be done to the traffic light pole on Route 42 which put one of the expenditures over budget.  

SUNKEN HEIGHTS WATER ISSUE:

Max Stoner, Township Engineer, reported that the swale has been built up in Sunken Heights, with the water now going into an open field.  One Hundred Fifty (150) feet of fabric was put down with stone on top.  Soil will be added to the back of the Mausteller property with seeding to be completed in September.  The Township will then be finished with their responsibilities; it will be up to the home owners to come together.  

UNITED WATER SERVICE – UPDATE:

There is nothing new to report on this matter.

FLOOD MITIGATION PROGRAM – UPDATE:

Theresa Hampton reported that she and Terry Hoover completed the information requested by FEMA/PEMA, and the package was put together and mailed today.

CODE OF ORDINANCE UPDATE:

There was nothing new to report on this matter.

LANDLORD REGISTRATION ORDINANCE:

This matter is on hold.

COMPRESENSIVE PLAN & ZONING MAP:

Linda Woodward was not present, but Robert Webber reported that the Planning Commission has hosted several sessions at their monthly meetings where public comment have been lively and helpful.  The individual resident surveys are now completed and the business survey results are being compiled.  Gannett Fleming will be compiling the information for a final review scheduled for the October 7th Meeting of the Planning Commission.  They strongly recommend that the Supervisors attend the October 7th Meeting as well as residents.  The Planning Commission believes that the revised Comprehensive Plan will reflect and address all accumulated comments and conclude with what needs to be up-dated, changed or left as is, by the end of the year.  Mr. Powers indicated that some local farmers have asked if the zoning changes will affect their tax base.  Solicitor Roberts responded that it will not.

Mr. Webber also noted that a Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 7:00 p.m., at which time Jerry Walls would like to meet with the Supervisors, Zoning Hearing Board, Planning Commission, and the general public.  Mr. Walls feels that with all of the current challenges facing Montour Township, it is essential that our officials be informed of the most up-to-date information on changes or requirements affecting the Township.  Everyone is strongly urged to attend and participate.  

It was noted by Mr. Mullen that if the Agriculture Zone becomes Suburban Residential, farming would be grandfathered.  

HAZARDOUS WASTE PICK-UP AREA:

There was nothing new to report on this matter.

WEBSITE SURVEY:

There was nothing new to report on this matter.

STONE CASTLE ZONING CHANGE:

There was nothing new to report on this matter.

NO LEFT TURN AT CROSS ROAD & ROUTE 11 – ORDINANCE:

Solicitor Roberts indicated that an Ordinance has been advertised pertaining to a “No Left Turn” at Cross Road and Route 11.  He read the Ordinance in its’ entirety which amends Chapter 15, Section 203 of the Township’s Code of Ordinances.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Powers, seconded by Mr. Mullen, to adopt the above stated Ordinance as read by Solicitor Roberts.  Motion carried.

COMPUTER SYSTEM:

Mr. Mullen reported that the office computers are in need of being updated.  The e-mails do not communicate with the other computers.  Theresa Hampton has obtained a quote from Tower Micro for $669.00 to replace the computer and $600.00 for labor.  She is waiting for another quote at which time it will be decided to replace the computer or just do networking.

NEW BUSINESS:

NATURAL GAS IMPACT FEE RESOLUTION:

Solicitor Roberts indicated that a Resolution must be adopted for the Act 13 of 2012 impact fee which the Township received in the amount of $87.69.  The Resolution must provide for how this money will be used.  The Board will use it for road maintenance.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Powers, seconded by Mrs. Carl, to adopt the Resolution providing for the use of the Act 13 impact fee.  Motion carried.

MONTOUR AREA RECREATION COMMISSION – RIVER TOWNS CYCLING CLASSIC:

The Montour Area Recreation Commission will hold a bicycle race on Saturday, September 6, 2014.  The race will be traveling through Montour Township, and the Commission has requested permission to use Township roads.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Mr. Powers, to approve and sign the Request for Use of Roadways form for the Montour Area Recreation Commission.  Motion carried.

SMALL CELL TOWERS:

Mr. Mullen stated that there is an article in the PA Township News Magazine regarding small cell towers which are 15-20 feet high and are being placed in public rights-of-way unless Townships have Ordinances in place to regulate the placement of the towers.  The Board asked Solicitor Roberts to review this matter to see if we can put an Ordinance in place so that the towers are more practical.  Mr. Roberts suggested that the Board get Jerry Walls’ input.  Mr. Webber will contact Jerry Walls.

ENERGY ORDINANCE:

Mr. Powers has received information about an Ordinance that the Township could adopt to help regulate the placement and regulation of pipelines.  Mr. Powers asked Solicitor Roberts to look into this matter and report to the Board at the September Meeting.

Veronica Klesh complimented Gerald Powers as Supervisor, for attending the pipeline meetings.  Mr. Powers stated that his loyalty is with Montour Township.

EMERGENCY WATER SOURCE:

Lori Carl recently received a phone call stating that the residents at the Frank Baker Trailer Court on Route 11 (Montour Boulevard) were without water because of a bad well pump.  Nick Fritz responded to the situation, Mr. Baker provided the residents with bottled water to drink, but they had no water to flush toilets, etc.  Chief Eckart indicated that he requested the Township Fire Company to provide a portable pond for their use, but the request was not acknowledged.  

Mr. Powers would like to look into some type of emergency water source to help residents in this type of situation.  Chief Eckart suggested checking with Federal Surplus to get a water buffalo, and the Board asked him to check into this.  

LETTER FROM WILLIAM & PAMELA TALBOT – SPEED LIMIT REDUCED:

The Supervisors have received a letter from William and Pamela Talbot, 107 Colonial Avenue, requesting that the speed limit in the Sunken Heights Development be reduced from 30 mph to 25 mph.  They feel that a 25 mph speed limit is appropriate and would help reduce the speed of vehicles in the neighborhood.  

They also requested that a “No Outlet” sign be placed at the entrance to Sunken Heights.   Chief Eckart noted that if an area is not posted, the speed limit is 35 mph.  Also, a “No Outlet” sign cannot be placed at Sunken Heights because it is a circular road that when traveled on it brings you back to the entrance.  The Supervisors will contact Greg Dibble at PennDot to request a traffic study in Sunken Heights.  A letter will be sent to Mr. and Mrs. Talbot.

CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER’S REPORT:

Nick Fritz, Code Enforcement Officer, reported that he has been notified of a lot on Legion Road with very high weeds.  He has been in contact with a gentleman who will mow it on a regular basis.  He has had meetings with residents at 522 Montour Boulevard regarding violations and has sent letters.  He is also arranging to have a dumpster day at the trailer park and will supervise it.  

ZONING OFFICER’S REPORT:

Tim Mauk, Zoning Officer, has submitted a written report for the month of July, 2014.  He issued two (2) permits to Neil Engelman for signs, a permit to Susan Yoncuski for a pole barn, and a permit to Chris Boody for a corn crib.  There are two (2) pending permits.  He has spoken to Tom Long at the Indianhead Campground regarding moving the trailers by the Township building.  Most of them have been moved.  He and Nick Fritz have been talking to the owner of Mustang Sally’s regarding the overnight campers.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:

TOWER DRIVE PROJECT:

This project was previously discussed.

UPPER COLONIAL AVENUE:

Mr. Mullen noted that he has been researching the original ownership of Colonial Avenue.  The map at the Court House shows that Colonial Avenue is 400-500 feet long and a sub-division plan shows an arc which was the remainder of Colonial Avenue, but there is no record of dedication to Montour Township.  Mr. Mullen asked Solicitor Roberts to begin the process of vacating the road so that the Township has no responsibility.

Both Deussen Drive and Boone Road projects have been completed.  Hollow Road will be fixed as soon as the batteries for the grader are working.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:

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

Fines Issued
$7,565.00 – Montour Township
$1,775.00 – Catawissa Township
91 Traffic Citations – Montour Township
27 Traffic Citations – Catawissa Township
11    Non-traffic Citations – Montour Township
0    Non-traffic Citations – Catawissa Township
10 Criminal Arrests – Montour Township
0 Criminal Arrests – Catawissa Township
120 Incidents in Montour Township
51 Incidents in Catawissa Township

Chief Eckart had nothing more to report.

FIRE COMPANY REPORT:

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

MISCELLANEOUS:

Solicitor Roberts reported that the Board held an Executive Session on August 12, 2014 to consult with Counsel regarding possible litigation.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Powers, seconded by Mrs. Carl, to acknowledge receipt of charges against Chief of Police, Terry L. Eckart, filed by Noah G. Naparsteck, Esquire, on August 8, 2014.  Motion carried.

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD:

Bob Clark asked if the Board of Supervisors could change their Meeting time to 7:00 p.m., instead of 7:30 p.m.  No action was taken.

MEETING DATE:

Mr. Powers reported that the Montour Township Board of Supervisors will hold their next Meeting on September 11, 2014, at 7:30 p.m.

There being no further business to discuss, the Meeting was adjourned at 9:55 p.m., on a MOTION of Mr. Mullen, seconded by Mrs. Carl.  Motion carried.


Respectfully Submitted,


Joelene C. Sponenberg
Township Secretary

Theresa M. Hampton
Township Clerk