November 12, 2015 - Regular Meeting

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

Dr. Powers informed the attendees that there was an executive session before the meeting to consult with counsel to discuss legal matters.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Eugene Eddy of 46 Perry Ave asked about the status of the dog ordinance. Solicitor Roberts informed Mr. Eddy that the dog barking ordinance was an item on this meeting’s agenda.

MINUTES:

A MOTION was made, by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Ms. Ebright, to approve the Minutes of the Regular Monthly Meeting of October 8, 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 $70,199.38. Motion carried.

A MOTION was made by Ms. Ebright, seconded by Dr. Powers, to approve bills to be paid from the Special Police Fund in the amount of $671.90. 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 $5,756.77. 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 $15,865.77.  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 July in the amount of $119.87.  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 $9,577.08.  Motion carried.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Ms. Ebright, to ratify General Fund Check #11623 to Kemberling in the amount of $78.20, Check # 11624 to Leighow in the amount of $927.20, Check #11627 to Wiest, Muolo, Noon & Swinehart in the amount of $75.00, Check # 11630 to PMRS in the amount of $20.00, Check # 11631 to Wex Sunoco in the amount of $418.66, Check # 11632 to HAB-LST in the amount of $175.32, Special Police Fund Check #320 to Catawissa Township in the amount of $1050.53, State Fund Check # 1492 to NAPA in the amount of $42.27, and Sewer Fund Check # 4586 to Whitman’s in the amount of $2150.00.

October 29, 2015 PUC Special Meeting:

Mr. Mullen asked that since they just received the October 29th Special Meeting minutes, can they take a few minutes to review them before approving them.

A MOTION was made, by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Ms. Ebright, to approve the Minutes of the PUC Special Meeting on October 29, 2015.  Motion carried.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

 

PUBLIC SEWER:

STP OPERATOR’S REPORT:

John Bauer, Sewer Treatment Plant Operator, stated that the DEP had inspected the Sewer Treatment Plant and is asking that the Plant entrance box be repainted.  Mr. Bauer noted this will likely be done this coming spring or summer.  Mr. Bauer made the Supervisors aware of a change in the testing laboratories that the Township will be using. Wilson Testing Lab has been decertified, and he will be using Hawk Mountain Testing Lab until further notice.

KURIAN SEWER HOOK UP:

Rich Roberts, Township Solicitor, has been in contact with the Kurian’s Counsel, Cleveland Hummel, and requested a letter stating the current status of this case.  As of yet he has not received a letter.

BEVERLY DEITERICH – 5 Perry Avenue Sewer Bill:

There is nothing new to report.

SEWER COLLECTIONS:

There is nothing new to report.

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 total income and expenses are right on track with the expected budget. 

UNITED WATER SERVICE – UPDATE:

There is nothing new to report.

FLOOD MITIGATION PROGRAM – UPDATE:

There is nothing new to report.

CODE OF ORDINANCES UPDATE:

Ms. Woodward mentioned that T. Mauk had spoken with Hemlock Township about who they hired for their Code of Ordinance Updates. Ms. Hampton mentioned that General Code has called several times and has sent a proposal for the Supervisors to consider. Ms. Woodward stated that the zoning ordinance needs to be revised and updated.  Mr. Mauk stated that a representative for Keystate Publishers, Inc. has offered to review what will be needed for an update and present the Township with a proposal. Dr. Powers asked that the Township get quotes from the above mentioned companies so a decision can be made.

LANDLORD REGISTRATION ORDINANCE:

There is nothing new to report.

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN AND ZONING MAP:

Linda Woodward, Planning Commission Chairperson, explained the changes to the Zoning Map as requested by the Supervisors at the last meeting.  Some areas were the Intensive Agriculture in the lower portion of the map, the change from Agriculture to Suburban Residential in the upper portion of the map and the Highway Commercial overlay.  Bob Webber, Planning Commission member, mentioned that the Planning Commission spent a lot of time figuring out where the Intensive Agriculture should be, what is the reasoning for the Supervisors to change the recommendation. 

Mr. Mullen stated that the Supervisors did not make a formal decision to remove it.  He remembered Ms. Woodward stating to keep it whether it be a note on the side or in the circle where it was originally.  Mr. Mullen also asked who would pay for the testing required for Intensive Agriculture.  Mr. Webber said he believed it would be the applicant/owner.  Ms. Woodward said that in the Planning Commission’s discussion, it was mentioned that it would be the Township that would pay for the testing.

Mr. Mensch asked why the change from Agriculture to Suburban Residential.  Ms. Woodward mentioned that it is proposed for future development and anticipated growth. 

Solicitor Roberts then explained the next steps the Township must take before final approval.

HAZARDOUS WASTE PICK-UP AREA:

Ms. Woodward stated that Bob Webber thought the idea of annual Hazardous Waste pick-up is a good idea. Ms. Woodward mentioned that the County does not offer this service at the present time, but may in in the future if they see the Municipalities taking action.  Mr. Mullen recommended the Township Shed as a drop-off/pick- up site. There was further discussion over other possible locations.

SMALL CELL TOWERS:

Solicitor Roberts stated that the sample Small Cell Tower Ordinance is comprehensive and suggested it be completely revised.  He will begin work on revising an ordinance for the Township’s consideration.

EMERGENCY WATER SOURCE:

Chief Terry Eckart was not present.  There is nothing new to report.

EMA DIRECTOR:

Mrs. Hampton stated that the background check for Carmen Calleri has come back and was sent to Columbia County, who has since then sent Mr. Calleri’s information the State to be approved. Mr. Mullen mentions that if an Emergency Management Plan is not approved by PEMA/FEMA, Townships run the risk of not getting emergency dollars from the Federal Government.  He also states that Columbia County is asking that all townships and municipalities have a preliminary report sent in by December 8, 2015.  We currently have a plan that needs to be updated.

BROUSE/SUSQUEHANNA VALLEY RV STORMWATER MANAGEMENT:

Max Stoner, Township Engineer was not present.  Ms. Woodward stated that plans have not been presented to the Planning Commission and if an extension is not requested by December the process will need to start over.

LIGHT FOR TOWNSHIP FLAGPOLE:

Mike Hinkle, Road Foreman, is not present.  Mrs. Hampton said that she has spoken with Mr. Hinkle, who states that the electrician will be in contact with Mrs. Hampton or him about when he will begin installing the flagpole light.  Ms. Woodward asked that a dual light be installed to light the flagpole as well as the municipal building.  Mr. Mullen said he did not think that would be a problem.

PIPELINE TASK FORCE:

Dr. Powers directed residents to call Alex Dankanich, Federal Regulator or Mike Chilek, Regional Gas Safety Supervisor, with any questions or concerns.

OPEN PLANNING COMMISSION POSITION:

Dr. Powers announced an opening on the Planning Commission.  Ms. Woodward introduced Josh Turner and Sue Yuncowski, the candidates to be interviewed.   Mr. Mullen announced Forrest Bennett will be the new Supervisor as of the night of the Reorganizational Meeting.  Mr. Mullen asked if he would be staying with Planning Commission once he takes the position as Supervisor.  Mr. Bennett stated that for the time being he would like to stay with the Planning Commission. 

A MOTION was made by Dr. Powers, seconded by Ms. Ebright to appoint Ms. Woodward to another term on The Planning Commission.  Motion carried

Dr. Powers commended Ms. Woodward’s work with the Planning Commission.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Ms. Ebright to appoint Bob Webber to another term on The Planning Commission.  Motion carried with Dr. Powers abstaining from the vote. 

Mr. Mullen asked the candidates what role they see accomplishing as a Planning Commission member.

Mr. Turner said he feels he can bring a younger standpoint as the Township develops.  He also mentions that he has either owned property or has lived in the Township for 20 years. 

Ms. Yuncowski stated that she is a nurse which has given her the experience of working with a team of people. She also feels that living in the Township for only 4 years will allow her to bring objectivity vs. subjectivity to the Planning Commission.  Ms. Yuncowski mentions that she has been to several Planning Commission meeting and feels there is a lot of work to be done.

Ms. Woodward states that she finds both candidates very competent of the project that the Township has for the next few years.

Ms. Ebright mentions that she appreciates the interest of both candidates, with that being said she feels that Mr. Turner could add a new outlook and ideas to the board.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Ms. Ebright to appoint Mr. Turner as the Planning Commission member effective immediately.  Motion carried

AUDIT CONTRACT:

Solicitor Roberts mentions that a motion needs to be made to adopt a resolution to appoint Herring, Roll & Soloman to do the examination of the accounts.  He also mentioned that it has been advertised.

A MOTION was made by Dr. Powers, seconded by Mr. Mullen to adopt a resolution to appoint Herring, Roll & Soloman.  Motion carried. 

 

NEW BUSINESS:

 

2016 TENTATIVE BUDGET:

Mrs. Hampton stated that $80.00 was budgeted for the direct deposit fee for 2016. The bank charges a monthly fee of $10.00 for direct deposit, which makes that total amount $120.00.

A MOTION was made by Dr. Powers, seconded by Mr. Mullen to amend the amount from $80.00 to $120.00.  Motion carried.

Mr. Mullen asked if it was common for banks to charge a fee for direct deposit. Mrs. Hampton mentioned that the bank started charging this fee when they changed over to a new online banking system.

A MOTION was made by Dr. Powers, seconded by Ms. Ebright to adopt the 2016 Tentative Budget.  Motion carried.

EMILY DEWALD RETIREMENT:

Mrs. Hampton stated that Emily Dewald, the Township Accountant, has announced that she will be retiring, but will finish the 2015 Quarterly Tax Reports for the Township.  If we cannot find a replacement she will work with us until June 2016 at the very latest.

Solicitor Roberts offered to look into a possible replacement.

A MOTION was made by Dr. Powers, seconded by Mr. Mullen to acknowledge Ms. Dewald’s retirement.  Motion carried.

Dr. Powers would like to commend the work Ms. Dewald has done for the Township. 

BARKING DOG ORDINANCE:

Solicitor Roberts stated that an Ordinance which regulates the barking of dogs has been advertised. The Ordinance declares unreasonable barking to be a nuisance and imposes a $600.00 penalty for violation.

A MOTION was made by Dr. Powers, seconded by Mr. Mullen, to adopt the Dog Barking Ordinance. Motion carried.

CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER’S REPORT:

Nick Fritz, Code Enforcement Officer, reported that Bob Clark asked if something can be done about the high brush and weeds at the end of his property on Valley Rd.  When Mr. Clark comes out of his driveway it is hard to see if there is any traffic coming.  Mr. Fritz stated that the property owner is Mr. James Knorr, and that he has spoken to him twice about cutting this brush back so that it is easier to see from Mr. Clark’s driveway.  After noncompliance from Mr. Knorr, a 5 day notice letter to cut the brush was sent. Solicitor Roberts suggests that a citation be sent to Mr. Knorr. 

Mr. Fritz asked Solicitor Roberts if the property owner is responsible for the mess that is at 522 Montour Blvd. Lot 36. Solicitor Roberts stated that he will look into who is responsible.

Mr. Fritz stated that Dr. Powers had contact him concerning the photo in the Press Enterprise of the Bietz property.  Mr. Fritz says that he has been working with Mr. Bietz and it seems that some things are being cleaned up.

ZONING OFFICER’S REPORT:

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

D. Heisler---Political sign

R. Hileman----storage trailer

Col. Co. GOP----Political sign

J Bremigen----demolition and building

There were no permits denied.

Mr. Mauk spoke with Mr. Ron Hileman about moving his trailers that are currently on Valley Rd.  Mr. Hileman mentioned that he would like to move the trailers to his other property at A-1 Construction. A permit has been submitted for conditional use.  Solicitor Roberts will advertise the Public Notice and a hearing will be scheduled. 

Mr. Mullen asked what the regulation is regarding election signs on polling property.  Solicitor Roberts states that the election codes provide that there cannot be any signs or election activity within 10 feet of the polling building.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:

HOLLOW ROAD CULVERT:

There is nothing new to report.

MIKE HINKLE-PENN DOT ROADS SCHOLAR:

Mike Hinkle, Road Foreman, was commended for completing 10 courses in 3 years’ time making him a Penn DOT Roads Scholar.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:

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

                                Fines issued - $704.00 – Montour Township

                                                   $1011.00 – Catawissa Township

                                                   7 Traffic Citations – Montour Township

                                                   22 Traffic Citations – Catawissa Township

                                                   2 Non-traffic Citations – Montour Township      

                                                   0 Non-traffic Citations – Catawissa Township

                                                   4 Criminal Arrests – Montour Township

                                                   2 Criminal Arrests – Catawissa Township

                                                   82 Incidents in Montour Township                       

                                                   49 Incidents in Catawissa Township

Chief Eckart was not present.

Dr. Powers announced that there will be a Blood Drive at the Township Building on December23, 2015 from 1pm-7pm, for anyone who would like to donate blood.

Mr. Mullen received a note from Chief Eckart stating that due to current events with Police Officers being shot with high powered rifles, he feels that the protective vests that his officers are wearing do not give them sufficient protection.  Chief Eckart is asking that he be allowed to purchase additional protective gear.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Ms. Ebright to approve the purchase of additional proactive gear for the Police Department.

Chief Eckart would like to hire another part time Police Officer.  An interview will be scheduled to meet Brittany Stasik as a possible candidate.

FIRE COMPANY REPORT:

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

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD:

Mr. Fritz stated that he spoke with Steve Bielski regarding properties that needed to be condemned. An agreement was made that if Mr. Fritz see’s something that needs to be condemned he is to contact Mr. Bielski.  If Mr. Bielski is not immediately available and it is a matter of an emergency a message will be left and Mr. Fritz may condemn the building after getting approval from a Supervisor.

MEETING DATE:

Dr. Powers reported that the Montour Township Board of Supervisors will hold their next Monthly Meeting on December 10, 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 9:25 p.m., on a MOTION of Mr. Mullen, seconded by Ms. Ebright.  Motion carried.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

 

Theresa Hampton

Township Secretary

 

Danielle Berkes

Township Clerk