September 8, 2016 - Regular Meeting

The Regular Monthly Meeting of the Montour Township Board of Supervisors was called to order on September 8, 2016 at 7:30 p.m., by Chairman Joseph Mullen.  Rich Roberts, Township Solicitor was not in attendance.

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

A Moment of Silence was observed.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

MINUTES:
A MOTION was made, by Mr. Bennett, seconded by Ms. Ebright, to approve the Minutes of the Regular Monthly Meeting of August 11, 2016.  Motion carried.

BILLS DUE FOR PAYMENT:
A MOTION was made by Ms. Ebright, seconded by Mr. Bennett, to approve bills to be paid from the General Fund in the amount of $48,912.91, Special Police Fund $825.70, Highway Fund $2,503.96, Sewer Fund $12,179.25, Debit Card Purchases for the month of August in the amount of $392.32, and Fire Tax Fund in the amount of $4.054.00. Motion carried.

OLD BUSINESS:
PUBLIC SEWER:
STP OPERATOR’S REPORT:
John Bauer, Sewer Treatment Plant Operator, stated that one of the main blowers went down this week so he called Excelsior and set up a day for them to come and replace that one as well as another that is old and will need to be replaced in the near future. The cost for this repair will be under $10,000.00.

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

SEWER COLLECTIONS:
A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, and seconded by Mr. Bennett, that the Township billing agent (Gary Bittenbender) is to send a Demand Letter to those accounts that are 2 (two) months past due with a 15 day notice of payment. The letters are to be sent First Class. If no response is received in the 15 (fifteen) day period, the account is to be sent to the Collection Agency.

Note: Please include in the demand letter, the availability of payment plan option. Motion carried.

There was further discussion on how to deal with sewer accounts that have high balances.

Theresa Hampton, Township Secretary, stated that Mr. Swisher of 11 Club Ave. has two properties, one of which was a flood property. She checked Columbia County maps and it show that he still owns the property however there is no longer a home on it. The question has been asked if the sewer has been capped.

Mr. Mullen responded by saying that it is not capped.

Mrs. Hampton went on to say that a payment arrangement was made for the past due sewer account for this property. Only one payment was ever made. She mentioned that it is a Township policy that if a sewer line is not capped that property owner is still responsible for any charge that may accrue. She asked if Mr. Swisher had ever been made aware of this policy.

Mr. Mullen stated that he had spoken with Mr. Swisher personally about this matter and that Mr. Swisher was hoping to sell the property with the advantage of having sewer.

Ms. Woodward asked if it would be a benefit to the Township to offer the fees which are due as payment for the property itself.

Mr. Mullen stated that there are four properties in the area that could potentially be purchased by the Township and this is something that the Supervisors could think about. He mentioned that he will speak with Solicitor Roberts about contacting Mr. Swisher.

BUDGET VS. ACTUAL EXPENSES AND REVENUE UPDATE:
Ms. Ebright reported on the Townships financials.  Everything is doing well. We have received our FEMA money for Project 1, and are still waiting to receive our money for Project 2.

Ms. Ebright mentioned that there was a sign on the copier that is in the office that states that the copier is for Township use only. She reported that someone had removed the sign. The reason for sign is the cost of the ink being very high and the Township is trying to save money wherever they can.

Mrs. Hampton stated that the Township office and Police Department pay for each local and long distance call they make and she would like to have permission to call Verizon to see if there is a better option for us.

SEWER CD RENEWAL:
Mrs. Hampton stated that the Sewer Fund CD is up for renewal and suggests rolling over to a flex CD for a better interest rate.   A MOTION was made by Ms. Ebright, and seconded by Mr. Bennett, to rollover the current Sewer Fund CD to a flex CD. Motion carried.

RIGHT- TO-KNOW REPORT:
Mr. Hampton stated that there was request from Signature Information Solutions LLC., who requested tax statements. There was also a request for a copy of the police officers contracts, from the Catawissa Borough.

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:
Ms. Woodward stated that it was discussed at this most recent Planning Commission meeting that the State subsidizes mandated sewer areas only and does not subsidize private development, meaning unless there is a problem with contaminated water supplies, it is not mandate that we put in sewer. It was also mentioned that Cooper Township is in the process of hooking their sewer line. It needs to be discussed whether running sewer extensions is a feasible plan. Ms. Woodward also stated that they talked about middle income clustering home due to people liking the openness of the Township. They talked about recreational areas and trails.  The topic of low income housing was discussed as well and they felt that it could be added as village residential and be placed at the area behind the T.R. Johnson property, which they feel is the same area that the Township should look at for extending the sewer line. They also discussed the small cell towers, the Planning Commission felt that these towers were going to be a problem, but after talking to Mr. Mullen they realized that these towers could be small and placed on telephone poles. The Planning Commission does not want to see these towers put in areas where there are underground utilities, but rather in the more rural areas. They also talked about rewriting the sign Ordinance. They sent their recommendations to Planning Consultant Jerry Walls who only disagreed with the section that had to do with political signs. The Planning Commission felt that a note should be added to say, 24 hours prior to the elections, political signs can be placed at the polling place. Mr. Walls felt this was a problem and would speak to Solicitor Roberts about it.

Mr. Mullen asked about zoning changes that would allow small occupation.

Ms. Woodward stated that home occupation is allowed in Suburban Residential but it cannot interfere with the surrounding development.

There was further discussion on this matter.

HAZARDOUS WASTE PICK-UP AREA:
Ms. Woodward stated that on September 20th the County is having a Hazard Mitigation public meeting, which she and Mr. Webber will be attending.

Mr. Mullen mentions that he will also be attending this meeting. He stated that this meeting is the county’s Hazardous Crisis Plan, and not about hazardous waste pick-up. The county will be presenting to the public their final plan for a hazardous crisis.

SMALL CELL TOWERS:
This topic was discussed during the Comprehensive Plan discussion.          

MS4 STORM WATER REQUIREMENTS:
Mr. Mullen stated that there will be a workshop on September 14th in Wilkes-Barre, and is asking for a reimbursement of $50.00 for the registration fee.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, and seconded by Ms. Ebright, to reimburse Mr. Mullen $50.00 for the workshop registration.

Ms. Ebright stated that the Bloomsburg Library came to the W.W. Evans Elementary open house and it was a huge success. Lidia from the library was able to issue library cards to many residents.

NEW BUSINESS:

DATES FOR 2017 BUDGET AND REORGANIZATIONAL MEETINGS:
BUDGET MEETING:
October 19, 2016 at 4p.m. to be held in the meeting room.

REORGANIZATIONAL MEETINGS:
Supervisors-Tuesday January 3, 2017 at 6:30p.m.
Auditors-Wednesday January 4, 2017. Time TBD
Planning Commission-Thursday January 5, 2017. Time TBD

ZONING OFFICER’S REPORT:
Tim Mauk, Zoning Officer, reported the following permits being issued;

            Wayne Brouse–

            Ronald Hileman–

            Mary & Michael Howe–

            Charles & Jewel Gordner-

            John Hollick-

A full report was submitted by Mr. Mauk.

CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER’S REPORT:
Tim Mauk, Code’s Enforcement Officer, reported on the following code enforcement activities for the month of August 2016:

            Perry Ave.–Swimming Pool/Fencing Violation

            Grovania Dr.–Tall Grass/Trailer Demo

            Perry Ave. Lot#1-Demolition

            Perry Ave. Lot#5-Deck/railing

            Perry Ave. Lot#5-Mice/roach infestation

            Perry Ave. Lot#11-Family removal/trailer condemned

            Perry Ave. Lot#23-Roach infestation

            J. Kashi -Dumpster removal

A full report was submitted by Mr. Mauk.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:

HOLLOW ROAD CULVERT:
There is nothing to report.

TOWER DRIVE:
Mike Hinkle, Road Foreman, mentioned that Nancy Corbin was out to see where work needed to be done and suggested that the completion date be extended to October 2017, and that the Township ask for more funds than they had originally decided to ask for.

Mr. Hinkle mentioned that Ms. Corbin said the project did not have to be completed all at once. It could be divided up into a couple jobs and a bill should be submitted after each job is completed and the Township would be immediately reimbursed.

QUARRY ROAD:
Mr. Mullen stated that he is hoping that the pipes will be installed this fall.

WELLIVER & VALLEY ROAD:
Mr. Mullen mentioned there is a manhole that is in need of repair beyond what the Township could do, and that Mr. Hinkle had contracted out to have this work done. The costs of the repairs are approximately $1,600, which would be approved.

LEONARD CROSSLEY RESIGNATION:
A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen and seconded by Ms. Ebright, to accept Leonard Crossley’s resignation. Motion carried.

It was decided that since everyone on the road crew already has a cell phone, Chief Eckart would have Mr. Crossley’s cell phone, that has already been turned it, canceled.

Mr. Mullen mentioned that the Township had asked Williams Pipeline for a grant in the amount of $10,000 to be applied to the Perry Avenue emergency extension to Route 11.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:
Chief Eckart submitted the following written report of activities for the month of August, 2016:

Fines issued - $5,170.00 – Montour Township

$1,623.00– Catawissa Township

44 Traffic Citations – Montour Township

23 Traffic Citations – Catawissa Township

6 Non-traffic Citations – Montour Township 

0 Non-traffic Citations – Catawissa Township

3 Criminal Arrests – Montour Township

1 Criminal Arrest – Catawissa Township

62 Incidents in Montour Township                       

41 Incidents in Catawissa Township

Chief Eckart stated that he would like to give 2 weeks of his own vacation to one of his officers’ who is currently dealing with a family emergency.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, and seconded by Ms. Ebright, to accept Chief Eckart’s offer to Corporal Hill of 2 weeks of his own vacation, contingent on Solicitor Roberts finding no legal issues. Motion carried.

Mr. Mullen and Ms. Ebright thanked Chief Eckart for his generosity.

Chief Eckart also mentioned that the Gun Raffle they are having is Police Officer’s Association event which is being held to raise money to purchase computers for the Townships police vehicles.

FIRE COMPANY REPORT:
Fire Chief Brian Fosse submitted a written report of Fire Company activities for the month of August, 2016.  

Chief Fosse mentioned that he would like to have an emergency plan in place with binders for each Township office.

FIRE DEPARTMENT ROOF:
Mr. Mullen stated that he would speak to Josh Turner, Planning Commission member about inspecting the roof that leaks over the Fire Company office.

Mrs. Hampton mentioned that she has been going over the Township financials, and although we are in relatively good shape she is concern about the amount agreed upon to give to the Traveling Library. She stated she is not sure that $1,500 is something that could be paid for the next 5 years.

Mr. Mullen mentioned that they would discuss this amount at the Township budget meeting.

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD:
Ms. Woodward recommends that the land that had been purchased from FEMA be used in some way, as it is currently laying idle, possibly plant trees.

Mr. Mullen stated that there are grants through the DCNR to help with projects like that.

MEETING DATE:
Mr. Mullen reported that the Montour Township Board of Supervisors will hold their next Monthly Meeting on October 13, 2016, at 7:30 p.m.

There being no further business to discuss, the Meeting was adjourned at 9:40p.m., on a MOTION of, Ms. Ebright seconded by Mr. Mullen. Motion carried.

Respectfully Submitted,

Theresa M Hampton
Township Secretary

Danielle Berkes
Township Clerk