June 23 2014 - Special Meeting

A Special Meeting of the Montour Township Board of Supervisors was called to order on Monday, June 23, 2014, at 7:00 p.m., by Chairman Gerald W. Powers, with all members present.

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

A Moment of Silence was observed.

The Meeting was advertised for General Purposes.


Tom Patacconi, 562 Montour Boulevard, asked if Mustang Sally's have applied for a permit for a campground. He stated that people are staying in the building and there are campers there during the weekend. It was noted that Mr. Phillips has spoken to Brad Prater, Zoning Officer. Campers are not allowed in a Highway Commercial Zoning District. The Board indicated that they will check into this matter.

Bob Clark, 514 Valley Road, raised a question regarding a statement that was made at the May Meeting. Terry Hoover asked if someone residing outside of the Township could be on the Zoning Hearing Board. Mr. Clark questioned this because of recognizing only Township residents at a Meeting. Lori Carl noted that if you are not a resident or taxpayer of the Township, you may not speak. It was also clarified that Mr. Hoover's question referred to a Zoning Officer, not a Zoning Hearing Board Member.

Sharon Fisher, Legion Road, asked if the Catawissa Boat Club is being held to the one-half hour time frame for the fireworks scheduled for July 5, 2014. Nick Fritz, Code Enforcement Officer, stated that the fireworks are scheduled to start at 10:00 p.m., and will last one-half hour. The debris will be cleaned up the next morning. There is no time frame for the residents to set off fireworks, nor do they need a permit.

George Welliver, 121 Welliver Drive, then confirmed the statement that if you pay taxes in the Township, you have a right to speak at a Meeting.



A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Mr. Powers, to accept the Resignation of Rodney Witherite, Police Officer. Motion carried.


A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Mr. Powers, to confirm the appointment of Ryan Travelpiece as Police Officer, at the rate of Sixteen Dollars ($16.00) per hour, effective June 21, 2014, with a six (6) month probationary period. Motion carried.


Mr. Mullen and Mr. Powers attended a Meeting regarding the Hazardous Mitigation Plan. All Municipalities must have a Hazardous Mitigation Plan. Columbia County has adopted one and the Board will obtain a copy to use as a guide to prepare one for Montour Township.


The Board will complete an Application to designate Montour Township as Susquehanna Greenway River town. Linda Woodward is to be on the Board and will follow up with getting the Township accepted.


A MOTION was made by Mr. Powers, seconded by Mrs. Carl, to appoint Tim Mauk as Zoning Officer for the Township. Motion carried.


The Board members met with Hemlock Township representatives regarding the bridge at the corner of Perry Avenue and Red Mill Road. There are many problems with the bridge and decisions need to be made for its' future. Hemlock Township is also considering a traffic light on Route 42 at the intersection with Frosty Valley Road near the Goodwill Store. Those residents present expressed their concern with removing the bridge and are not in favor of another traffic light on Route 42.


Lori Carl indicated that costs are doubling for supplies due to the increase of requests for copies of documents. A MOTION was made by Mr. Powers, seconded by Mr. Mullen, to start charging for Township documents at the cost of twenty-five (25) cents per page. Motion carried.


Gannett Fleming has requested an extension for the completion of the Comprehensive Plan. A MOTION was made by Mr. Powers, seconded by Mr. Mullen, to extend the contract with Gannett Fleming through December 31, 2014, at no cost to the Township. Motion carried.


A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Mr. Powers, to appoint Attorney Noah G. Naparsteck of Bloomsburg, PA, as special counsel to conduct an independent investigation into grounds for discipline of Chief Terry L. Eckart as those grounds are set forth under Title 53 of the Pennsylvania Statutes, Section 812 of the Police Tenure Act and General Order 1.8 of the Montour Township Police Department. This includes the grant of authority to Attorney Naparsteck to file charges with the Township Secretary under the Police Tenure Act, if his investigation reveals the existence of grounds for charges under Section 812. If his investigation reveals a lack of grounds for charges, Attorney Naparsteck, shall file a report of any such finding with the Township Secretary. The Motion also includes a grant of authority to Attorney Naparsteck to assume the role of "prosecutor" in the event that charges are filed and a hearing is elected under the Police Tenure Act. All township personnel are directed to fully cooperate with Attorney Naparsteck's investigation and to turn over such documentation, material or objects which are requested by Attorney Naparsteck. Attorney Naparsteck shall be compensated at the rate of One Hundred Twenty-Five ($125.00) Dollars per hour, plus costs incurred. Motion carried.


Linda Woodward, Chairperson of the Township Planning Commission, indicated that Jerry Walls, Professional Planner, has offered to put on a two (2) to three (3) hour Seminar regarding Township rights, laws and questions. He will do this under the retainer that he is now receiving from the Township. All Supervisors, Zoning Hearing Board members, Code Enforcement Officer, etc., are urged to attend. The Seminar will be scheduled for some time in November.

Marci Webber, 400 Golden Valley Drive, noted that there have been no Township Minutes posted to the website since March, 2014. Linda Woodward will check into this matter.

Larry Sponenberg, 165 Tower Drive, asked for an explanation of the Motion to appoint Attorney Noah Naparsteck. Solicitor Roberts explained that the Township has retained him to do an investigation into Chief Eckart and provide the Board with a report. The Board of Supervisors cannot do the investigation.

Tom Patacconi was concerned that there was no limit set for what the Attorney will charge and asked what a reasonable fee would be. Solicitor Roberts noted that $125.00 per hour is reasonable.

George Welliver asked if the Township will receive an itemized bill from Attorney Naparsteck. It was noted that he will submit itemized bills.

Linda Woodward asked how long the investigation will take. The response was "no idea".

Kristin Baver from the Press Enterprise asked if there will be a suspension during the investigation. Solicitor Roberts stated that there will be nothing until the investigation is completed. Lori Carl stated that "nothing has warranted a suspension". She also asked about the allegations. The response was "no comment".

Kerry Smith, Avon Avenue, asked why there was such a cost for the swine nursery. Mr. Mullen stated that Solicitor Roberts was out due to health issues and another Attorney was needed to be hired which added an additional cost.


The next Regular Meeting of the Montour Township Board of Supervisors will be held on Thursday, July 10, 2014, at 7:30 p.m.

There being no further business to discuss, the Meeting was adjourned at 7:45 p.m., on a MOTION of Mr. Mullen, seconded by Mr. Powers. Motion carried.
Respectfully Submitted,

Joelene C. Sponenberg Township Secretary

Theresa M. Hampton     Township Clerk