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October 8, 2015 - Regular Meeting

The Regular Monthly Meeting of the Montour Township Board of Supervisors was called to order on October 8, 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:

John Reibsome thanked the Township road crew for the work that was done on the pot holes on Tower Drive.

MINUTES:

A MOTION was made, by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Dr. Powers, to approve the Minutes of the Regular Monthly Meeting of September 10, 2015.  Motion carried.                                               

BILLS DUE FOR PAYMENT:

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Dr. Powers, to approve bills to be paid from the General Fund in the amount of $41,542.46. Motion carried.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Dr. Powers, to approve bills to be paid from the Highway Fund in the amount of $1,991.02. Motion carried.

A MOTION was made by Dr. Powers, seconded by Ms. Ebright, to approve bills to be paid from the Sewer Fund in the amount of $15,703.38.  Motion carried.

A MOTION was made by Ms. Ebright, seconded by Dr. Powers, to approve bills to be paid from the Debit Card Account for the month of July in the amount of $169.09.  Motion carried.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Ms. Ebright, to approve bills to be paid from the Fire Tax Account in the amount of $2,808.64.  Motion carried.

Solicitor Roberts announced that the Board held an Executive Session on October 6, 2015 to consult with counsel concerning possible litigation.

Dr. Powers announced that the Board held an Executive Session before the regular meeting for the purpose of interviewing a part time Police Officer.

PUC GAS SAFETY SUPERVISOR---MICHAEL CHILEK:

Dr. Powers stated that Mr. Chilek contacted him earlier to let him know that he would not be able to attend this meeting.  Mr. Chilek stated that his boss, the Director of the Gas Safety Division, would like to attend with him.  A special meeting will be scheduled to accommodate their attendance.  Mr. Powers will announce the date as soon as it is finalized with the representatives.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

 

PUBLIC SEWER:

STP OPERATOR’S REPORT:

John Bauer, Sewer Treatment Plant Operator, stated that they started on the pump station rejuvenation for the winter.  Before they could get to the Quarry Drive station, there was a problem, it appeared to be a blockage.  The bearings went out and the couplings separated.  He had Roto-Rooter bring jets in to pressure clean it.  The pressure valve was rusted shut.  It was somewhat cleaned, but it will need to be replaced.  A new Crispin Valve is approximately $1400.00.  Mr. Bauer also stated that a new pump was put in.  The cost of the new pump is around $2800.00.  Mr. Bauer then mentioned that the Sewer Treatment Plant is working fine.

KURIAN SEWER HOOK UP:

There is nothing new to report.

BEVERLY DEITERICH – 5 Perry Avenue Sewer Bill:

Solicitor Roberts spoke to Steve Bielskie of Tri County Cog.  Mr. Bielskie has recollection that the Deiterich property may have been condemned before Ms. Dietrich owned it.  Mr. Bielskie is having trouble with his computer system and cannot retrieve the information at this time. He was to go back thru his files, however Solicitor Roberts has not heard anything further at this time.   

SEWER COLLECTIONS:

Mr. Mullen stated that he contacted the Township Sewer Billing Agent, Garey Bittenbender to inform him of the decision that the Board made to place a limit of $200 past due on an account to send a delinquent letter. 

Theresa Hampton, Township Secretary, stated that Mr. Bittenbender submitted a report of residents that were sent demand letters and what their responses were. 

BUDGET VS. ACTUAL EXPENSES AND REVENUE UPDATE:

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

Ms. Ebright stated that the township income is more than budgeted, which is good and that the Police and Planning/Zoning expenses are under budget.  Ms. Ebright and Dr. Powers commended Linda Woodward, Tim Mauk and Nick Fritz on the good job they do. 

UNITED WATER SERVICE – UPDATE:

There is nothing new to report.

FLOOD MITIGATION PROGRAM – UPDATE:

There is nothing new to report.

CODE OF ORDINANCES UPDATE:

There is nothing new to report.

LANDLORD REGISTRATION ORDINANCE:

There is nothing new to report.

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN AND ZONING MAP:

Solicitor Roberts stated that the Planning Commission has put together a document and distributed it to the Supervisors for their review.  The next step is, the Supervisors must accept the document or suggest revisions.  If there are no revisions, the Township would then give notice to the contiguous municipalities, the school district, the county Planning Commission and the Township Planning Commission.  This must be done 45 days before the public hearing is scheduled.  Then the public hearing will be held and after the hearing is held the Board can take action. 

Solicitor Roberts then asked the Board if they were comfortable with the plan in its present form or if they would like the Planning Commission to consider any modifications or revisions. 

Mr. Mullen mentioned that what he and some others have heard is that the farming community would like the area above route 11 to still be designated as farming and that he is leaning toward that remaining agriculture.

Ms. Woodward clarified what area was recommended to change to suburban residential.  Much discussion was held concerning the zoning change, future development & the impact the proposed gas pipeline would have on development in that area.  Ms. Woodward stated that this proposed change is a large area & if the Supervisors felt that that large of area would not develop in the next ten years, then they could suggest that it not be changed or possibly reduce the size of the area to be changed.

Ms. Woodward then mentioned that one thing the Supervisors should be considering very strongly is two areas on the preliminary draft.  One is in the upper part of the Township and the other is in the lower part of the Township.  These areas would be zoned for intensive farming particularly in that zone so that would direct intensive farming to a certain area.  She mentioned that the Planning Commission did not make the decision to do that (designate a specific area), they are simply stating that it is here.  If the Supervisors do not want to do it now, at least have it on the plan that it is to be considered at some point and time.

Solicitor Roberts mentioned that there were some concerns about the area south of route 11 that is to be rezoned highway commercial.   This area has some Agriculture Secure Areas (ASA) in it and that is problematic.  He then read the ASA law and it states that every municipality that has an ASA shall encourage the continuity, development & viability of agriculture within such area by not enacting laws and ordinances which would unreasonably restrict farm practices.  He feels that this is an issue that needs to be addressed.

Ms. Woodward mentioned that the purpose of the change was to bring the highway commercial back as far as you can to encourage development commercially and perhaps overlay it with condo/townhouse development.  She stated that if it cannot be done then that area change will be removed from the proposed map.  She then suggested that the existing highway commercial be overlaid with such provisions. 

Ms. Woodward asked the Board for clarification of the changes they suggested.  Mr. Mullen revised his view on the agriculture area to be changed to suburban residential and is ok with the recommendation.

HAZARDOUS WASTE PICK-UP AREA:

There is nothing new to report.

SMALL CELL TOWERS:

There is nothing new to report.

EMERGENCY WATER SOURCE:

Terry Eckart, Police Chief, found a water buffalo that is located in PA near the MD border. When he called back to purchase it, it had already been sold.  He will continue to look for an alternative.

A MOTION was made by Dr. Powers, seconded by Ms. Ebright to approve Chief Eckart to purchase a water buffalo when found with the cost not to exceed $500.00. Motion carried.

EMA DIRECTOR:

Mrs. Hampton stated that the application for Carmen Calleri for EMA Director was given to Ms. Shoup at Columbia County.  Columbia County also requires Mr. Calleri to provide a background check, Ms. Hampton asked if the Supervisors would be willing to pay for his background check or should he pay for it himself.  It was also mentioned that since he is a volunteer, the fee might be waived.

A MOTION was made by Dr. Powers, seconded by Mr. Mullen to approve payment of $10.00 for Carmen Calleri background check for EMC application if necessary.  Motion carried.

TOM LONG ZONING VIOLATION:

Rich Roberts, Solicitor, explained that the Township was satisfied with the Zoning Hearing Board’s decision and decided at the last meeting not to intervene in this case, so the Township is not involved now.

BROUSE LAND DEVELOPMENT

Max Stoner, Township Engineer was not present.  Nothing new to report.

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 researched and found it is not feasible to replace the sirens.  He looked into text notifications.  The most popular company used is Nixel and it would cost $3000.00 per year for up to 10,000 residents.  He looked into other companies that are approximately $30 to $40 per month for up to 1000 residents. 

Mike Hinkle mentioned that with today’s technology, most people are notified in emergencies.

This issue will be dropped.

LIGHT FOR TOWNSHIP FLAGPOLE:

Mike Hinkle will contact an electrician to get quotes on the light installation. 

PIPELINE TASK FORCE:

Dr. Powers spoke concerning the task force that he is involved in.  There are 12 work groups within the task force.  He is participating in the Public Participation group.  This group has had five meetings and the next meeting will be held October 20, 2015 with the final meeting October 28, 2015.  At this meeting they will edit all the information they have gathered then it will go to the task force as a whole by November 2, 2015.  That week all the reports from each work group will be published and presented at a public meeting to be held in Harrisburg.  Dr. Powers explained some of the highlights of the reports that were generated from the group he is involved in. 

2016 BUDGET MEEINT DATE:

Dr. Powers announced that the Township 2016 budget workshop will be held Thursday October 15, 2015 at 4:00 pm in the Township building.

Mr. Mullen mentioned that in an August issue of Township News, there was an article that suggests looking into and budgeting for future large purchases, i.e. buildings and vehicles.   He suggests that the Township look into a five year plan.

Nancy Powers asked if one of these items could be installation of sewer lines down route 11.  Mr. Mullen stated that that would be in the Sewer Fund budget.

Linda Woodward asked the supervisors if the Township would consider a Sewer Authority.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

 

MMO POLICE PENSION WORKSHEET:

Theresa Hampton, township Secretary mentioned that this is a form for the Police Pension that is filled out yearly.  It was presented to the board and it is to be noted in the meeting minutes that it was received and reviewed.  All acknowledged their review.

OPEN PLANNING COMMISSION POSITION:

Linda Woodward, Planning Commission Chairperson, presented information for 2 people interested in the open Planning Commission position.  Solicitor Roberts suggested that the Board invite both parties to the next meeting and interview them publicly then choose one.  Dr. Powers suggested assigning one of them and having the other as an alternate.  Solicitor Roberts will look at the ordinance to see if it allows for an alternate.  This issue was tabled until the applicants can be interviewed.

CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER’S REPORT:

Nick Fritz, Code Enforcement Office, reported that he visited Perry Ave lot 4.  There had been problems with roaches and they have had some treatments, however they are having problems again.  Mr. Fritz contacted the owner and he will have another treatment done.  Mr. Fritz reported that he received a complaint for 207 Rupert Drive concerning brush & shrubbery hanging over into another property. He told the owner that it needed to be cut back and they complied.  Mr. Fritz and Zoning Officer Tim Mauk contacted Ricky Bietz concerning collection of junk on his property.  Mr. Bietz is cleaning it and is making some progress.  Mr. Fritz received a burning complaint at Perry Ave, he contacted the resident and they put it out. 

BARKING DOG ORDINANCE:

Solicitor Roberts stated that he previously presented the Supervisors with a draft of the ordinance for their review and they were to decide if they want to adopt the ordinance and if so it needs to be advertised.  The Supervisors agreed to adopt the ordinance as written and Solicitor Roberts will prepare the advertisement.

ZONING OFFICER’S REPORT:

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

R. Ridgway---Political sign

F. Bennett----Political sign

G. Powers----Political sign

There were no permits denied.

Mr. Mauk received a complaint about junk at Club Drive, Richard Bietz residence.  He and Nick Fritz, Codes Officer, visited the property and Mr. Bietz has started removing some of the junk.  Mr. Mauk also received a burning complaint for Mr. Bietz’s property.  He contacted him and informed him of the burning ordinance, told him when and what he can burn and also gave him a copy of the ordinance. 

Mr. Mauk addressed the issue of the trailers on Valley Road behind Speed & Sport.  He spoke to the owner and informed him that he must remove the trailers. 

There are also trailers on Valley Road on the Mensch property.  Mr. Mauk contacted the owner and informed him that they needed to be removed.  He is willing to move them and asked if he could have until next summer to remove them. 

Mr. Mauk asked if the Township would approve his attendance at a Course in Zoning Administration.  It is to be held three consecutive Saturdays in November with the cost of $100.00. 

A MOTION was made by Dr. Powers, seconded by Ms. Ebright to approve Tim Mauk to attend the Course in Zoning Administration at a cost of $100.  Motion carried.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:

HOLLOW ROAD CULVERT:

There is nothing new to report.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:

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

                                Fines issued - $1056.00 – Montour Township

                                                   $1817.00 – Catawissa Township

                                                   30 Traffic Citations – Montour Township

                                                   24 Traffic Citations – Catawissa Township

                                                   1 Non-traffic Citations – Montour Township      

                                                   0 Non-traffic Citations – Catawissa Township

                                                   4 Criminal Arrests – Montour Township

                                                   1 Criminal Arrests – Catawissa Township

                                                   75 Incidents in Montour Township                       

                                                   46 Incidents in Catawissa Township

 

A MOTION was made by Dr. Powers, seconded by Ms. Ebright to promote Officer Jimmie Hill from Patrolman to Corporal effective immediately.  Motion carried.

A MOTION was made by Dr. Powers, seconded by Ms. Ebright to hire Brenton Bacon as Part Time Officer at a rate of $14 per hour with a probation period of six months to up to a year.  Motion carried.

FIRE COMPANY REPORT:

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

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD:

Linda Woodward commented that she found that if the Supervisors wish to change the number of members on the Planning Commission it would need to be done by changing the ordinance.

MEETING DATE:

Dr. Powers reported that the Montour Township Board of Supervisors will hold their next Monthly Meeting on November 12, 2015, at 7:30 p.m.

It was also announced that the 2016 Budget meeting will be October 15, 2015 at 4:00 p.m.

There being no further business to discuss, the Meeting was adjourned at 9:20 p.m., on a MOTION of Mr. Mullen, seconded by Dr. Powers.  Motion carried.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

 

Theresa Hampton

Township Secretary

 

Danielle Berkes

Township Clerk