Articles

June 12, 2014 - Regular Monthly Meeting

The Regular Monthly Meeting of the Montour Township Board of Supervisors was called to order on June 12, 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:

Michael Deskie, 327 Reading Street, wants to know if the Township can start a barking dog ordinance for over excessive barking. He spoke to the Dog Warden and he stated that he cannot do anything if the Township doesn't have an ordinance. Chief Eckart stated the same. Solicitor Roberts will look into it and also look into the existing noise ordinance. Other residents with the same complaint were also present, Larry & Cathy Mills, 324 Reading St. and Calli Deskie, 325 Reading St. They stated that the residents at 329 Reading St. have 5 dogs that are out in the yard all day and bark constantly from 6 am to after 10 pm daily.
Debbie Midkliff, 315 Boone Rd. asked when Boone Rd. is scheduled to be repaired and can the holes be filled in until the repairs are started.
Mr. Mullen, Road master, stated that Midland Asphalt has been contracted to complete the work mid to late July. Mr. Mullen stated that he misunderstood the start date and a representative from Midland corrected him. He will have the road crew fill the holes with gravel.
Marie Williams, 245 Valley Rd, Spoke on behalf of residents who want to rent basement apartments to non-family renters.
Brad Prater stated that a resident was recently denied a change of use permit to rent a basement apartment to non-family renters and is scheduled to have a Variance Hearing with the Zoning Hearing Board. The permit was denied because of zoning issues.
Solicitor Roberts stated that the Planning Commission is working on the Comprehensive Plan and that issues such as this could be resolved then. Residents were encouraged to attend the Planning Commission meetings when the Comprehensive Plan will be discussed.
Mr. Vanderpool, Zoning Hearing Board, stated that the Zoning Hearing Board is to meet on this matter July 9, 2014.
Mr. Vanderpool also stated that recently a request was made by the Planning Commission to have an ordinance that requires any commercial property that changes use or owners be inspected for safety. He would like the township to consider what implications that could have. His opinion is that if 2 responsible adults enter into an agreement, it is their responsibility to be sure things are safe.

MINUTES:

A MOTION was made by Mr. Powers, seconded by Mrs. Carl, to approve the Minutes of the Regular Monthly Meeting of May 8, 2014 as drafted. Motion carried.

BILLS DUE FOR PAYMENT:

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Mrs. Carl, to approve bills to be paid from the General Fund in the amount of $88,470.20. 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 $1,026.90. Motion carried.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Powers, seconded by Mrs. Carl, to approve bills to be paid from the Highway Fund in the amount of $9,852.53. Motion carried.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Mr. Powers, to approve bills to be paid from the Sewer Fund in the amount of $12,661.94. Motion carried.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Mrs. Carl, to approve bills to be paid from Debit Card for the month of May in the amount of $303.21. Motion carried.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Powers, seconded by Mrs. Carl, to approve bills to be paid from the Fire Tax Account 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 May, 2014.
Mr. Bauer reported that everything is going good. He will be hauling sludge Friday. Mr. Bauer stated that he has contracted to have the top ring replaced at the Indian Head pump station late June or July. There are a couple of things that need to be done in preparation for this: Plug the main and bypass sewage and run to treatment plant. This will be done with an electric pump. Remove fitting and put in dry well. Road barriers will need to be put in place while work is being completed. The cost of this project will be approximately $2500.00 for the bypass, $1000.00 for the valve to make the bypass easier next time, and $1800.00 for the Crispin Pressure Relief Valve, the current one leaks and should be replaced.

KURIAN SEWER HOOK UP:

There was nothing new to discuss.

RAISING OF PUMP STATIONS:

Max Stoner, Township Engineer, stated that he met with PPL and it is now possible that we do not have to go underground, PPL has not gotten back to him as of yet.

DELINQUENT ACCOUNTS – COLLECTION AGENCY:

Remittance Corporation will come to the next Township meeting to give a presentation. Joelene Sponenberg mentioned that the Township received a check from ARB in the amount of $110.80 from another account payment.

EXTENSION OF PERRY AVENUE TO ROUTE 11:

Max Stoner stated that the report is 80% completed and he will have it for next months meeting.

BUDGET VS. ACTUAL EXPENSES AND REVENUE UPDATE:

Ms. Carl stated that the Budget looks good. The building budget is a little over due to ordering checks for new account and other misc. office supplies. Payroll is over also due to Police overtime but this will be reimbursed. On a positive note, only half of the budget was used for snow removal this winter.
Mr. Mullen stated that the Township received a Gas Impact Fee allocation from Columbia County in the amount of $87.69.

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:

Terry Hoover was not present, however he submitted a report. All of the paperwork has been submitted. FEMA is working on it to issue the Townships reimbursement.

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:

The Planning Commission has adopted the Zoning Map that was stamped official as the map for the Comprehensive Plan.
Mr. Webber stated that the Planning Commission will be going to businesses with a questioner for the Comprehensive Plan.

PREVAILING WAGE – ADDITION TO TOWNSHIP SHED:

Solicitor Roberts stated that the contractor has agreed to the reduction of the Prevailing Wage from $13,736.97 to $11,436.97 if the Supervisors wish to accept it.
A MOTION was made by Mr. Powers, seconded by Mr. Mullen to approve the reduction of the Prevailing Wage to the amount of $11,436.97. Motion carried.

HAZARDOUS WASTE PICK-UP AREA:

Linda Woodward was not present. There was nothing new to discuss.

WEBSITE SURVEY:

Linda Woodward was not present. There was nothing new to discuss.

STONE CASTLE ZONING CHANGE:

Linda Woodward was not present. There was nothing new to discuss.

NO LEFT TURN AT CROSS ROAD & RT. 11:

Solicitor Roberts wrote to PennDOT, an ordinance will have to be adopted. He will have it for the next monthly meeting.

TAX ANTICIPATION LOAN UPDATE:

The final payment is in the disbursements and the check will go out next week.

NEW BUSINESS:

2102 AUDIT:

DCED has questions concerning the 2012 Township Audit. Courtney Soloman of Herring, Roll & Soloman, has agreed to take care of the Audit Response at a cost of $100 per hour.
A MOTION was made by Mr. Powers, seconded by Mr. Mullen to retain Herring, Roll & Soloman to do the 2012 Audit Response at a cost of $100 per hour. Motion carried.

2013 SINGLE AUDIT-ENGAGEMENT LETTER FROM HERRING, ROLL & SOLOMAN:

Herring, Roll & Soloman has already been retained to do the 2013 Regular Township Audit. Because of FEMA monies the Township received, a single Audit is required.
A MOTION was made by Mr. Powers, seconded by Mr. Mullen to expand the scope of service from a Regular Audit to a Single Audit with a price of $6,400.00. Motion carried.

APPOINTMENT OF THERESA HAMPTON TO SECRETARY OF ZONING HEARING BOARD:

No one on the Zoning Hearing Board is willing to accept the responsibilities of Secretary to the Board.
A MOTION was made by Mr. Powers, seconded by Mrs. Carl to employ Theresa Hampton as Secretary to the Zoning Hearing Board at a salary of $100 per meeting. Motion carried.

COMPUTER SYSTEM:

Mr. Mullen stated that it was brought to his attention that the 4 computers in the Township office have hard drives that don't talk to each other. Networking will enable the office computers to work together. Mr. Mullen recommends that someone come in and give recommendation and estimate on updating the office computer system.
Mr. Powers recognized Brad Prater as Zoning Officer and stated he appreciated his service to the Township. Nick Fritz, Codes Officer, will take over as temporary Zoning Officer until someone can be hired.

CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER'S REPORT:

Nick Fritz, Codes Officer, stated that there is a garbage hauler that has a roll off container at 522 Montour Blvd. and it has been there for some time. He has contacted the owner and he said that he will have it removed. Mr. Fritz will send a 15 day notice if it is not removed within 2 weeks. Mr. Fritz also stated that 329 Reading St. has been cleaned up. The property owner on Perry Ave that had high grass has complied. He also made several trips to the trailer court on Perry Ave.

ZONING OFFICER'S REPORT:

Brad Prater, Zoning Officer, submitted a report for the month of May 2014. He stated that he issued 3 permits and has 2 pending: The Sponenberg Swine Nursery and 621 Valley Road Verizon Wireless.
The 213 Valley Road Verizon Wireless Special Exception was approved with 2 special conditions: The tower shall be designed to not collapse in the middle and be engineered to fold upon itself, and The plans or the construction of the tower shall be modified to allow the tower to accommodate at least 4 additional carriers in addition to the one of Verizon. And the Variance request to waive the buffering requirements and Variance request of dimensional square footage were denied. Verizon is to comply in these matters.
Marie Williams addressed concerns that the Verizon tower does not have a light on the top. She is concerned about low flying planes and Life Flight. Solicitor Roberts is to contact Geisinger to inquire if they have any concerns. Chief Eckart stated that there are 3 towers on Tower Drive, 2 are lit and some are higher than this one.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Powers, seconded by Mr. Mullen to appoint Nick Fritz as acting Zoning Officer effective July 1, 2014. Motion carried.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:

MARIANO PROPERTY:
Mr. Mullen stated that once the project is satisfactorily completed, a bill of sale will need to be drawn up. Solicitor Roberts to contact Mariano's attorney to get the bill of sale.

TOWER DRIVE:
The recent hail storm did some damage that needs to be repaired. Mr. Mullen to look at what monies are left after current projects are completed. A full depth reclamation is estimated at $83,000.00. He recommends to put temporary gravel road over a solid base then next year tar and chip.

Mr. Mullen spoke to a representative for the Bloomsburg recycling facility about contracting services for Montour Township to use the facilities at a cost of $2,500.00. This would allow any Township resident to drop off debris or pick up mulch or compost.

Mr. Mullen also recommends that the Township pay for a CPR/AED training for M. Hinkle, C. Stoker and himself.
A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Mrs. Carl, to approve payment of class at a cost of $84. Motion carried.
Mr. Powers stated that Mrs. Carl and himself are looking into attending a PSATS training.
A MOTION was made by Mr. Powers, seconded by Mrs. Carl to send Mr. Powers and Mrs. Carl to the PSATS training. Motion carried.

Mr. Mullen asked Chief Eckart about 5 Perry Avenue. He found no structural damage. Wally Winn owns it. Nick Fritz to follow up.

Mr. Powers received an e-mail from Hemlock Supervisor concerning a June 18th meeting to decide to remove or repair the bridge on Perry Ave.
Chief Eckart stated that he received a call and if the bridge is taken out there will be a red light put in at Ridge Road. Also a foot bridge will be put in place.
Mrs. Carl mentioned that Fire Chief Fosse has concerns about Fire Department response time if the bridge is removed. The general opinion of the residents is that they do not want the bridge removed and no traffic light.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:

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

Fines issued - $4,035.00 – Montour Township
                   $2,546.00 – Catawissa Township
52 Traffic Citations – Montour Township
44 Traffic Citations – Catawissa Township
  6 Non-traffic Citations – Montour Township
  0 Non-traffic Citations – Catawissa Township
  3 Criminal Arrests – Montour Township
  2 Criminal Arrests – Catawissa Township

Chief Eckart reported that Officer Witherite is leaving next week for Montana for the summer. He would like to be left on the books as a part time officer so that if he decided to come back to this area he could come back part time.
Another officer will be needed to replace Witherite. The new officer will not receive the health insurance for 6 months after starting.
Solicitor Roberts stated that Officer Witherite needs to submit a letter of resignation.
A MOTION was made by Mr. Powers, seconded by Mr. Mullen, to hire Ryan Travelpiece as a full time police officer at the Patrolman rate of $16 per hour, effective June 21, 2014, contingent on receiving the resignation of Officer Witherite. Motion Carried.

FIRE COMPANY REPORT:

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

Mr. Mullen received an e-mail from Tara Kishbaugh concerning 2014 NIMS Data collection to be filled out.

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD:

Veronica Klesh asked that if the notice of resignation was just given last night, how is there someone interviewed already. Mrs. Carl mentioned that this person was interviewed with the last opening and that this person was still interested in the position.

Mr. Vanderpool questioned on the Comprehensive Plan and the Zoning map. Why was the new map needed? It was stated that the new one is all digital and needed to be updated.

Mr. Vanderpool asked that if because of budget issues there could be only 2 full time officers, who would take care of the Township police calls. Chief Eckart stated that the State Police would cover but they are already stretched thin and response time could be extended.

MEETING DATES:

Mr. Powers reported that the Montour Township Board of Supervisors will hold their next Monthly
Meeting on July 10, 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 Mrs. Carl, seconded by Mr. Powers. Motion carried.

Respectfully Submitted,

Joelene C. Sponenberg Township Secretary

Theresa M. Hampton    Township Clerk