Articles

December 11, 2014 - Regular Meeting

The Regular Monthly Meeting of the Montour Township Board of Supervisors was called to order on December 11, 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 COMMENT PERIOD:
George Welliver, 121 Welliver Drive, was present and addressed the Board regarding the issue of vacating Upper Colonial Avenue.  He produced Deeds and documents from the Columbia County Court House showing a point of reference that  Colonial Avenue was originally named Hilltop Avenue, and that the road ends at the jointure of property of Richard Vanderpool, George Welliver and Myles Katerman and that the Township does own the portion of Colonial Avenue in question.  

Richard Vanderpool asked the Board what the Township intends to do regarding the vacating process.  He feels that it should be removed from the Agenda.  Mr. Powers indicated that the Board will look at Mr. Welliver’s documents and have Solicitor Roberts review them.  Mr. Vanderpool asked Mr. Mullen for the reasons for abandoning Upper Colonial Avenue.  Mr. Mullen noted that the Township has three (3) roads that we are maintaining that we do not own.  Clark Street was vacated because the Township does not own it.  The other road is Valley Road, which is a State Road.  Mr.Mullen’s research indicated that the Township did not own Upper Colonial Avenue and he wanted documentation.  Solicitor Roberts explained that the Township can acquire roads by a deed, recording a map (implied), offer of dedication and use and maintenance of the street.  He also explained that the Township has the right to vacate the road.  Mr. Vanderpool is still asking why the road is to be abandoned.

MINUTES:
A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Mr. Powers, to approve the Minutes of the Regular Monthly Meeting of November 13, 2014 and the Special Meeting of November 10, 2014.  Motion carried.

BILLS DUE FOR PAYMENT:
A MOTION was made by Mr. Powers, seconded by Mr. Mullen, to approve bills to be paid from the General Fund in the amount of $37,855.39.  Motion carried.
A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Mr. Powers, to approve bills to be paid from the Special Police Account in the amount of $479.40.  Motion carried.  
A MOTION was made by Ms. Ebright, seconded by Mr. Mullen, to approve bills to be paid from the Highway Fund in the amount of $3,902.19.  Motion carried.
A MOTION was made by Ms. Ebright, seconded by Mr. Powers, to approve bills to be paid from the Sewer Fund in the amount of $27,820.46.  Motion carried.
A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Ms. Ebright, to approve bills to be paid from the Debit Card Account for the month of November in the amount of $159.26.  Motion carried.
A MOTION was made by Mr. Powers, seconded by Ms. Ebright, to approve bills to be paid from the Fire Tax Account for December, in the amount of $2,953.46.  Motion carried.

OLD BUSINESS:

PUBLIC SEWER:

STP OPERATOR’S REPORT:
John Bauer, STP Operator, has submitted a written report of activities for the month of November, 2014.  He reported that everything is working well.  He has contacted our Insurance Adjuster, Tom Mertz, regarding the pumps and starters which were taken out by a power outage.  Mr. Mertz will present the claim to the insurance carrier.

KURIAN SEWER HOOK UP:
There was nothing new to report.

REMIT CORP. PROPOSAL/TERMINATION WITH ARB:
Solicitor Roberts reported that our contract with Remit Corporation can be terminated on December 31, 2014, and he has sent a letter of termination to them.                            

BUDGET VS. ACTUAL EXPENSES AND REVENUE UPDATE:
Ms.Ebright reported that $480,148.00 has been received from taxes as of November 30, 2014.    Mr. Powers commended Chief Terry Eckart for  staying within his Police Department Budget for 2014.

UNITED WATER SERVICE – UPDATE:
There was nothing new to report.

FLOOD MITIGATION PROGRAM – UPDATE:
There was nothing new to report.  We are still waiting for approximately $106,000 from PEMA/FEMA.
Linda Woodward was complimented by Mr. Powers for contacting Senator Gordner and Lou Barletta.

CODE OF ORDINANCES UPDATE:
The Code Update has been budgeted for 2015.

LANDLORD REGISTRATION ORDINANCE:
This matter is on hold.

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN AND ZONING MAP:
This matter is still being worked on with the Planning Commission.

HAZARDOUS WASTE PICK-UP AREA:
There was nothing to report.

STONE CASTLE ZONING CHANGE:
There was nothing to report.

OFFICE COMPUTER SYSTEM
Two quotes have been received for the upgrading of the office computer system, one from Tower Micro and one from Joe Hampton.   A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Mr.Powers, to accept the quote of Joe Hampton in the amount of $1,249.00..  Motion carried.

It was then noted that Joe Hampton is a  brother-in-law to Theresa Hampton, Township Clerk.  Solicitor Roberts will do research on the relationship between a vendor and a Township Employee.  The MOTION was modified by Mr. Mullen to approve the quote of Joe Hampton, in the amount of $1,249.00, contingent upon approval of Solicitor Roberts.  Motion carried.

SMALL CELL TOWERS:
There was nothing new to report on this matter.

ENERGY ORDINANCE:
We are waiting on information from Jerry Walls.  Solicitor Roberts explained that if an Energy Company challenges an Ordinance, and finds that there is anything that is inconsistent with Act 13, they are entitled to collect their Attorney’s fees.  Rich indicated that he will probably recommend that we stick as closely as possible to the model that we have from Mt. Pleasant Township in Washington County as opposed to straying from that because if it is challenged, we could be responsible for their Attorney’s fees.

George Welliver asked if there is something in that Ordinance that the Township will be notified when the pipeline is going to be maintained.  Tim Mauk noted that that matter was discussed at the Planning Commission Meeting.

EMERGENCY WATER SOURCE:
There was nothing new to report on this matter.

TRAFFIC STUDY FOR REDUCING SPEED LIMIT IN SUNKEN HEIGHTS:
Chief Eckart has monitored the speeding in Sunken Heights at different times during the month of November.  He has talked to the person who was speeding and it has improved.  He feels that the answer for now is the presence of the Police.  This matter will be removed from the Agenda.

EMA TRAINING & DIRECTOR:
Columbia County needs clarification as to who will be the Township’s EMA Director for 2015.  A letter will be sent to Joe Yeager, asking of his intentions as Director.  Mr. Mullen indicated that he has someone in mind if Mr. Yeager declines.  
Mr. Powers would like to take some training in February regarding his Right to Know duties.

2015 BUDGET:
Mr. Powers noted that there will be no increase in taxes for 2015.
A MOTION was made by Mr. Powers, seconded by Mr. Mullen, to approve the 2015 Budget as advertised and presented, and to adopt a Resolution imposing the same taxes as 2014 at the same rate.  Motion carried.

PIPELINE:
Township Clerk, Theresa Hampton, noted that the Township has received 4,777 e-mails saying “Stop the Pipeline”.  Discussion was held as to whether we have to keep these e-mails.  Solicitor Roberts will research this matter.

NEW BUSINESS:

RESIGNATION OF MATT LEIBY FROM ZONING HEARING BOARD:
A Resignation letter has been received from Matthew Leiby, a member of the Zoning Hearing Board, effective January 1, 2015.  There is a Zoning Hearing Board Hearing scheduled for January 7, 2015, with only two members being available, if Mr. Leiby resigns.  Attorney Wiest has spoken to Mr. Leiby and he has agreed to stay on the Board until January 15, 2015.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Powers, seconded by Ms. Ebright, to accept the Resignation of Matthew Leiby from the Zoning Hearing Board, effective January 15, 2015.  Motion carried.
A MOTION was made by Mr. Powers, seconded by Ms. Ebright, to appoint George Welliver to the Zoning Hearing Board, effective January 16, 2015.  Motion carried.  
Mr. Welliver’s term will expire December 31, 2018.

CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER’S  REPORT:
Nick Fritz, Code Enforcement Officer, reported that he received a call from someone at 522 Montour Boulevard regarding tearing down a trailer.  He explained what permits she needs and he has heard nothing else from her.  He also has contacted Steve Bielski and Children & Youth regarding reports of cock roaches at the Perry Avenue Trailer Court.  He issued two (2) Peddler Permits for selling Christmas trees.  He received a complaint about garbage piles at 625 Grovania Drive.  Upon investigation, Mr. Fritz did not find any garbage piles.

ZONING OFFICER’S REPORT:
Tim Mauk, Zoning Officer, has submitted a written report of activities for the month of November, 2014.  He has issued permits to Terry and Michele Mayernick, 133 Legion Road, for a shed, and to Paulette Toel, 407 Surrey Lane, for an addition of a sunroom.  A permit is pending for Glen Neiderhiser, for a day care center at 301 Montour Boulevard.  A Hearing is scheduled before the Zoning Hearing Board on January 7, 2015.  The dumpsters on Perry Avenue have been removed, and the trailers at Mustang Sally’s have been removed.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:

UPPER COLONIAL AVENUE – VACATING PROCESS:
This matter was previously discussed.

TOWER DRIVE:
Mr. Mullen has researched the article that was in the newspaper that John Reibsome inquired about at the last Meeting.  In talking to Rich Kirchner from the Redevelopment Office, he reported that the County approved our request to ask FEMA for money to do work on the extension of Perry Avenue.  That was approved but he was told that it probably will not go through because it has a requirement that 51% of the residents has to be lower or moderate income for that project to be approved.  The other issue that we were approved for is Hollow Road.  Barry Travelpiece from the Conservation District recommended that we put in five (5) foot pipes to replace the three (3) foot pipes and it will be contracted out by the County.
Mr. Powers noted that we still need funding to fix Tower Drive.
 
POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:
Police Chief Terry Eckart has submitted the following written report of activities for the month of November, 2014:

Fines issued -     $1,921.00 – Montour Township
                       $1,614.00 – Catawissa Township
44 Traffic Citations – Montour Township
30 Traffic Citations – Catawissa Township
13 Non-traffic Citations – Montour Township    
0 Non-traffic Citations – Catawissa Township
3 Criminal Arrests – Montour Township
3 Criminal Arrests – Catawissa Township
90 Incidents in Montour Township                        
52 Incidents in Catawissa Township

Chief Eckart reported that an Aggressive Driving Grant has been completed and the Township will receive approximately $800.00.

FIRE COMPANY REPORT:
Fire Chief Brian Fosse has submitted a written report of Fire Company activities for the month of November, 2014.  Lori Ebright reported that Brian gave her the following statistics to report on his behalf:  12 calls which included 4 house fires, 135 hours of non-fire call work and 80% completion toward Rescue Certification.

TAX ANTICIPATION LOAN:
The Board discussed a proposed Tax and Revenue Anticipation Note with First Columbia Bank in the amount of $100,000.00 for a year, to help the Township get through the beginning of 2015 until the taxes are received.  Solicitor Roberts will get a proposal from Brandon Ortman at the Bank and Jens Damgaard will do the paperwork.  The Board could approve the Resolution at the January 2015 Meeting and settlement will be scheduled for later in January.

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD:
George Welliver commented that he is concerned about the dead trees along Ridge Road.  If the trees are within the Township right-of-way, the Township is responsible if a limb were to come down and cause an accident.
He also suggested that the Board use microphones during their Meetings; he agreed to purchase them.  No action was taken.

MEETING DATE;
The next Meeting of the Board will be the  Reorganizational Meeting to be held on Monday, January 5, 2015, at 4:00 p.m.

There being no further business to discuss, the Meeting was adjourned at 8:55 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