Articles

August 13, 2015 - Regular Meeting

The Regular Monthly Meeting of the Montour Township Board of Supervisors was called to order on August 13, 2015 at 7:30 p.m., by Chairman Gerald Powers.  All members were present.

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited

A Moment of Silence was observed.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Sue Yoncuski, 270 Hollow Road stated that she has a disagreement with the Township Zoning Officer, Tim Mauk, concerning her pasture fence as far as the code.  Mrs. Yoncuski then read the code.  She feels that her property is agriculture:  the property is zoned agriculture and she has horses, chickens and guinea hens, they are considered livestock in the state of PA.  She is also required by the state of PA to have a manure management plan.  To be considered a farm, you must have 10 consecutive acres, she has 12.  She would like her permit to be amended that the fence be allowed as is, and a letter from the Township stating that sent to Mr. Mensch. 

Mr. Mullen asked Mrs. Yoncuski from when she had the property surveyed, where is the fence in relation to the property line. 

Mrs. Yoncuski stated that the fence that borders the Blyler property is one foot from the property line and that when the fence was put in some of it inadvertently was put on the property line that borders the Mensch property. 

Solicitor Roberts commented that he had spoken to Tim Mauk concerning this permit.  He said that the fact that the property is zoned agriculture does not matter for the permit.  It is weather the fence is used for agriculture operations.  The definition of agriculture operations is:  Enterprise that is actively engaged in the commercial production or preparation for market of crops, livestock & livestock products.  He suggested that Mrs. Yoncuski write a summary of her operations and submit it to the Township and the permit will be re-evaluated. 

Tim Mauk, Zoning Officer, stated that he and Nick Fritz, Codes Officer, have been back and forth with this property for some time now.  It started with Mrs. Yoncuski’s guinea hens going onto the Blyler property.  This is when the fence was installed.  He then stated that when he gave Mrs. Yoncuski the permit application he wrote on it that the setback for the fence needed to be 5 foot.  He asked her why they installed the fence on the property line if she knew what the setback was to be.  She stated that she was not present when it was installed, it was her husband. 

Solicitor Roberts reiterated that Mrs. Yoncuski should submit a summary of the operations. 

Richard Vanderpool, Colonial Avenue, mentioned that the water company was recently at the hydrant at the end of Colonial Avenue releasing water.  As a result of this, it created a small pothole in the surface.  He asked if this could be addressed before it becomes a larger problem.  He also mentioned that there seems to be an ongoing problem with people mowing their grass and blowing it onto the road and not cleaning it from the road.  When it rains it causes a slippery surface.  Dr. Powers stated that this was a codes issue and Nick Fritz will look into it.   

MINUTES:

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Ms. Ebright, to approve the Minutes of the Regular Monthly Meeting of July 9, 2015.  Motion carried.                                             

BILLS DUE FOR PAYMENT:

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Ms. Ebright., to approve bills to be paid from the General Fund in the amount of $36,500.23. Motion carried.

A MOTION was made by Dr. Powers, seconded by Ms. Ebright., to approve bills to be paid from the Special Police Account in the amount of $1,405.35. Motion carried.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Ms. Ebright, to approve bills to be paid from the Highway Fund in the amount of $2397.04 Motion carried.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Dr. Powers, to approve bills to be paid from the Sewer Fund in the amount of $12,837.06.  Motion carried.

A MOTION was made by Dr. Powers, seconded by Ms. Ebright, to approve bills to be paid from the Debit Card Account for the month of July in the amount of $103.01.  Motion carried.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by, Ms. Ebright to ratify the General Fund checks #11521 in the amount of $649.00, and check # 11523 in the amount of $1495.00.  Motion carried. 

Solicitor Roberts announced that an Executive Session was held immediately before the meeting to consult with counsel concerning litigation.

A MOTION was made by Dr. Powers, seconded by Ms. Ebright to hire Danielle Berkes as Township Clerk at the rate of $10.50 per hour effective August 17, 2015.  Motion carried.

A MOTION was made by Ms. Ebright, seconded by, Mr. Mullen to accept the resignation of C. Cleveland Hummel from the Planning Commission effective immediately.  Motion carried.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Ms. Ebright to notify Joseph Yeager that his services as Emergency Management Coordinator for the Township are no longer required.  Motion carried.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by, Ms. Ebright to accept Carmen Calleri as the Township’s new Emergency Management Coordinator contingent on approval from the County.  Motion carried.   

 

 

OLD BUSINESS:

 

PUBLIC SEWER:

STP OPERATOR’S REPORT:

John Bauer, STP Operator, reported that all is good. 

KURIAN SEWER HOOK UP:

There was nothing new to report.

BEVERLY DEITERICH – 5 Perry Avenue Sewer Bill:

Beverly Dietrich has requested to have her past due sewer bill waived.  Solicitor Roberts checked with Steve Bielskie to see if the building has been condemned, he believes it may have been and he was to check with his office staff.  He has not responded back to Solicitor Roberts as of yet. 

SEWER COLLECTIONS:

Mr. Mullen mentioned that in talking to Garey Bittenbender, Sewer Billing Agent, Mr. Bittenbender sent out several demand letters for past due sewer bills. 

Mr. Mullen mentioned that Mr. Bittenbender has taken action on some of the past due accounts.

NPDES PERMIT RENEWAL—SUSQUEHANNA VALLEY RV:

John Bauer reported that this is just a renewal, there is already a permit issued and this is just an acknowledgement of the renewal.  Mr. Bauer stated that the flow has been greatly reduced on the permit and that he has put in to the NPDES for it to be reduced even more because it is going from handling the hotel with a large amount of facilities to just maybe one bathroom and a few sinks. 

Linda Woodward asked if the system is working properly.  Mr. Bauer stated that if Mr. Brouse keeps the system, he will put it in better shape.  The system is functioning and it has passed all its tests.  DEP has inspected it and there is no problem on their part, it is a much oversized system.

BUDGET VS. ACTUAL EXPENSES AND REVENUE UPDATE:

Ms. Ebright reported on the Townships financials.  Everything is doing well.

Theresa Hampton, Township Clerk, mentioned that at last month’s meeting it was voted to transfer $75,000.00 into a CD.  She presented the Board with several rate options.  A discussion was held and it was decided to go with a flexible rate of .449%, 36 month CD.  If necessary, a withdrawal can be made once each of the three years.

A MOTION was made by Dr. Powers, seconded by Mr. Mullen to transfer $75,000.00 to a 36 month flexible rate CD.  Motion carried.

UNITED WATER SERVICE – UPDATE:

There was nothing new to report.

FLOOD MITIGATION PROGRAM – UPDATE:

There was nothing new to report.

CODE OF ORDINANCES UPDATE:

Ms. Woodward commented that the Code of Ordinance update will come next after the Comprehensive Plan is finalized.  It is anticipated that it will be made more organized.

LANDLORD REGISTRATION ORDINANCE:

Ms. Woodward mentioned that the Planning Commission did not address student housing in the Comprehensive Plan.  That is something that will have to be addressed at a later date. 

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN AND ZONING MAP:

Dr. Powers commended the Planning Commission and Linda Woodward on the work they have done on the Comprehensive Plan. 

Ms. Woodward mentioned that the Planning Commission held a Public Meeting the prior evening and presented a Zoning Map that shows proposed changes to the map.  There was public comment, some positive, some negative.  Many people don’t want to see change.  She commented that the Planning Commission is tasked to look forward 5-10-15 years and suggest what the changes the economy and population might be and that is why they suggest these changes.  The Planning Commission is recommending the changes on the map to the Board of Supervisors for their approval.  The Board can accept, deny, or change.  She mentioned that the Planning Commission has worked on these changes for over a year and this is what they feel will help the Township move forward and set us up for the future to obtain grants for the water and sewer in needed areas. 

Dr. Powers requested that the suggested changes be put on the Township website.

A MOTION was made by Dr. Powers, seconded by Mr. Mullen to accept for review, the Comprehensive Plan Zoning changes as presented by the Planning Commission.

Ms. Woodward wanted to express her disappointment that she has lost one of the better persons on the Planning Commission.  It is a big loss to the Township with his resignation.  She has two people possibly interested.  If there are others interested, please contact her for more information.

Dr. Powers asked solicitor Roberts, when it comes to student housing, can you declare an area eligible of ineligible.  Solicitor Roberts mentioned that students are not a protected class.  As of what can be done, he is not sure, he has not researched it as of yet. 

Ms. Woodward commented that if the Township cannot direct its growth, and what kind of growth, in certain areas, then you don’t need Zoning.

Dr. Powers also asked Solicitor Roberts if the area zoned Agricultural Secure can be changed.  Solicitor Roberts will look into this matter.

Ms. Woodward brought up that Penn DOT is anticipating replacing the Perry Avenue bridge.  She sat in on a discussion with Penn DOT, Hemlock Twp. and Bloomsburg.  She passed out information from the discussion to the Supervisors. 

Dr. Powers stated that he attended last year’s meeting and expressed some concerns, one was that in case of emergency in that area, the fire department would have no easy access.  Also it is a way out in case of flooding.

HAZARDOUS WASTE PICK-UP AREA:

There was nothing to report.

SMALL CELL TOWERS:

Solicitor Roberts stated that he has not had a chance to review this.

EMERGENCY WATER SOURCE:

Terry Eckart, Police Chief, was not present, there was nothing to report.                               

EMA DIRECTOR:

This item was previously discussed.

TOM LONG ZONING VIOLATION:

Solicitor Roberts stated that the Zoning Hearing Board made its decision and Mr. Long has appealed this decision.  The Township has a right to intervene.  Solicitor Roberts spoke to the Supervisors and it was the consensus that they do not wish to intervene in this matter.  It was confirmed that this is still the decision of the Board. 

STONE CASTLE STORMWATER RUNOFF:

Max Stoner, Township Engineer, was not present, nothing to report. 

AIR CONDITIONING FOR THE TOWNSHIP OFFICE:

Mike Hinkle, Road Forman, was not present.  He was to get prices on a small unit for the meeting room.

NORTH SHORE RAIL ROAD BOX CULVERT:

Max Stoner was not present.  Mr. Mullen commented that there is no change to report.

RE-ACTIVATE SIRENS:

Chief Eckart was to look into this.  He was not present.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

 

MONTOUR AREA RECREATIONAL COMMISSION, LICENSE AGREEMENT:

Solicitor Roberts prepared a License Agreement between the Township and the Montour Area Recreational Commission. 

A MOTION was made by Dr. Powers, seconded by Ms. Ebright to approve the agreement as prepared.  Motion carried.

LIGHT FOR TOWNSHIP FLAGPOLE:

Mr. Mullen commented that for various reasons, the options used to take care of raising and lowering of the flag at the Township building and lighting options have not been working.  Mr. Mullen is asking that the Township install a lamp to illuminate the flag pole.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Ms. Ebright to contact electricians to get quotes to install a permanent light on the Township flag pole.  Motion carried.

PIPELINE TASK FORCE:

Dr. Powers stated that Governor Wolf has created a Task Force for all gas business operations.  There are 48 members of this Task Force and 48 members of 12 work groups.  One of the work groups is, Public Participation.  Dr. Powers is one of the members in this group.

Mr. Mullen commented that on July 28th, 2015 he met with a Williams Engineer who is supervising the entire pipe project and also a sub-contractor who works with Williams to acquire all the proper permits for all of their construction.  They wanted to know what is required to get the permits.  They will be crossing only one Township road. (Valley Rd.) 

Mr. Mullen informed them of the Township Ordinance.  They will review it and see how it applies and what they have to do to satisfy its requirements.  The timeline for this project is anticipated for our area to be early summer/July, 2016.  They expect it to be approximately 6 to 8 weeks to go from one end of the Township to the other.

CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER’S REPORT:

Nick Fritz, Code Enforcement Office, reported that he had a busy month. 

He visited the Perry Avenue Trailer Court concerning someone living in a camper, he investigated and they were not living in it they were fixing it up.  Lot 19 was given a notice to clean up.  Lot 14 was given a notice to mow their grass.  Lot 23 had no power, there was an extension cord running from the neighbors trailer.  Mr. Fritz unplugged the cord and informed them they could not live in the trailer that way. The power has since been turned on.  Lot 24-26 had a pool with no permit.  Mr. Fritz made them drain it and he turned the matter over to T. Mauk.  It is still drained and no permit.  Lots 30, 2 & 4 were reported to have roaches.  He spoke to the owner and each of the units has had two treatments.

Mr. Frits has gone to all of the property owners and informed them that smoke detectors are required in the trailers.  He will check next week to see if they have complied. 

Mr. Fritz also investigated a trailer with no shower or tub.  He informed the residents that they could not live in the trailer this way.  Within several hours there was a shower and tub there to be installed.  Mr. Fritz mentioned that he condemned the trailer on Lot 24.  The owner is fixing it up.  The reason it was condemned is that when it all was fixed it will need to be inspected through the Cog Office. 

Mr. Fritz visited the trailer court at 522 Montour Boulevard.  There were high grass issues.  The resident at Lot 36 contacted someone to demolish the trailer, they took most of the trailer but left some things remailing.  This will most likely become a civil suit.

BARKING DOG ORDINANCE:

Solicitor Roberts drafted an ordinance and will get it to Mrs. Hampton to distribute to the Supervisors for their review.

ZONING OFFICER’S REPORT:

Tim Mauk, Zoning Officer, reported the following permits issued:

Goho, Lot 24-26 Perry Ave.  Above ground pool, still drained until they get a fence.

Steve Persel, 101 Division Street, Metal enclosure over patio.

Mensch, 291 Grovania Dr. Electric fence in pasture.

Welliver, Movable sign- it was removed it was too close to the entrance to the development.  Mr. Welliver will pay the $25 permit fee each time he puts up the movable sign. 

Yoncuski, 270 Hollow Rd. Permit for a smokehouse.

Snyder, 12 Terrace Dr. Dog Barn.

There were no permits denied.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:

HOLLOW ROAD CULVERT:

Nothing new to report.

RATIFY HOURLY RATE FOR C. LARUE:

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Dr. Powers, to ratify the pay rate of Charles LaRue to $12.00 per hour.  Motion carried.

ROAD PROJECT BIDS:

Mr. Mullen thanked John Reibsome for his involvement and apologized for the unfortunate situation that the Township does not have the funds at this time to repair the roads as was bid out.  After consulting with the Township LTAP representative, G. Dibble and engineer M. Stoner, it was the consensus to separate the road project into two separate bids.  Mr. Mullen asked the Board to re-submit the bids for Tower or Quarry, so if one bid comes in too high it can be dropped.  Mr. Mullen stated that the Township will put the bids out early next year for Tower and/or Quarry.  There will be a base bid then Alternate 1 and Alternate 2, essentially, both roads, Tower Dr. and Quarry Dr. 

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:

Police Chief Terry Eckart was not present. 

Chief Eckart has submitted the following written report of activities for the month of July, 2015:

                                Fines issued - $4675.00 – Montour Township

                                                   $4245.00 – Catawissa Township

                                                   71 Traffic Citations – Montour Township

                                                   72 Traffic Citations – Catawissa Township

                                                   7 Non-traffic Citations – Montour Township            

                                                   0 Non-traffic Citations – Catawissa Township

                                                   3 Criminal Arrests – Montour Township

                                                   2 Criminal Arrests – Catawissa Township

                                                   84 Incidents in Montour Township                       

                                                   48 Incidents in Catawissa Township

 

QUOTES FOR PAVING POLICE DEPARTMENT PARKING LOT:

Chief Eckart was not present, nothing to report. 

PROMOTION OF JARED BANGS:

A MOTION was made by Ms. Ebright, seconded by Mr. Mullen to promote Jared Bangs to Full Time Officer effective September 1, 2015 at a rate of $16.00 per hour with a probation period of 6 months.  Motion carried.

Chief Eckart also requested a promotion to Corporal for Officer J. Hill effective November 1, 2015 with a pay increase effective January 1, 2016.  Chief Eckart was not present to verify the pay increase amount so Solicitor Roberts stated that there was no need for the motion at this time, it can be done in the next two months.

FIRE COMPANY REPORT:

Fire Chief Brian Fosse was not present but submitted a written report of Fire Company activities for the month of July, 2015.

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD:

Mr. Clark asked how much money will be left in the General Fund after the CD is opened.  Mrs. Hampton reported that there should be a cushion of approximately $35,000.  Mr. Clark suggested that the Township install the light on the flagpole if there is that much money. 

Richard Vanderpool asked why the other options for the flag did not work.  Mr. Mullen stated that with the Police officers schedule, it was not always convenient for them to raise and lower the flag and it was too inconsistent. 

Carmen Calleri asked if the bank on Valley Rd. will be mowed.  Mr. Mullen replied that it will be mowed. 

Mr. Vanderpool said he has in the past cut the grass in an area adjacent to his property.  This year he has cut and maintained the area himself.  Will the Township in the future cut the brush back so he can then maintain it.  Mr. Mullen will have Mr. Hinkle look into it.  Mr. Vanderpool also mentioned that there is a large grape vine that is hanging over and should be removed before it falls on someone. 

MEETING DATE:

Dr. Powers reported that the Montour Township Board of Supervisors will hold their next Monthly Meeting on September 10, 2015, at 7:30 p.m.

There being no further business to discuss, the Meeting was adjourned at 9:25 p.m., on a MOTION of Dr. Powers, seconded by Ms. Ebright.  Motion carried.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Theresa M. Hampton

Township Secretary