253 Municipal Drive Thorndale, PA 19372
August 31, 2017 7:36 PM
Call to order and pledge of allegiance.
Attendance – Jennifer Breton-President, George Chambers-Vice President, John Contento-Commissioner, Joshua Young-Commissioner, Chuck Kramer-Commissioner, Kristen Denne-Township Manager, Kristin Camp-Township Solicitor, Carol Schuehler-Township Engineer, Chuck Wilson-Township Treasurer, and Jennifer Schwed-Recording Secretary.
Commissioner Breton noted there was an Executive Session meeting held prior to tonight’s meeting to discuss personnel and legal matters.
Citizens to be heard
Vivian Reeves of 43 Johnson Ave. (a resident of the Brandywine Homes Development) requested an update on the status of 5 Fox Ave. Township Manager Denne stated that the township has contacted the property owner and will begin issuing citations for the property violations. Manager Denne suggested residents attend any legal proceedings to demonstrate community concern. A work order for removing and cutting overgrown vegetation will be issued.
John Robinson of 71 Foundry St. (Carver Court) requested comments on a complaint he filed with the township regarding grass cuttings left on Foundry Rd (specifically the property owned by Brandywine Fabricators). Township Director Ray Stackhouse explained that he had contacted the property owner via email to request attention to the grass cuttings. In response, the property owner noted that the road is privately owned by Brandywine Fabricators, however they would try to remove the grass clippings after mowing in the future.
Township Auditor-Larry Maulo
Township Auditor Larry Maulo of Maulo and Associates reviewed the draft financial statements the firm prepared for 2016. Mr. Maulo noted ongoing deficits in the Golf Fund as a going concern for 2016. For the township’s General Fund, revenues totaled $6.823mm while expenditures totaled $6.528mm. Transfers out of the fund totaled $51K. Net revenue was $244K with an ending fund balance of $2mm.
Golf Course revenue in 2016 totaled $644K with expenses being $664K giving the company a deficit of $19K. With the addition of interest expenses for bonds and leases, the deficit shown is -$67K.
Solid Waste Operations showed revenues of $1.2mm with expenses being $1.178mm. After the addition of $5K in interest income, net revenues in 2016 were $59K. The fund balance was $918K.
Mr. Maulo noted the MD&A chart which showed that 73% of the townships revenue came from taxes. Mr. Maulo explained that although the General Fund year-end balance and operating budgets were positive, if the full accrual accounting method is applied adding unfunded pensions for police and non-uniform staff, it produces a deficit of -$682K.
Finally, Mr. Maulo noted a Bridge Grant received by the township, of which $1.556mm was spent. For the expenditure, $1.244 were federal funds, $233K were state funds and the township match was $77K. Mr. Maulo finished his report and called for questions.
Commissioner John Contento noted that the Fire Tax was primarily responsible for the 6% increase in tax revenues in 2016 and that income received for this is specifically used to support fire company activities. Based on a noted finding in the audit report which states the financial reporting for the fire company is not as detailed as it could be, Mr. Contento asked if the financial information should be set up as a proprietary fund and broken out on the financial statements for clarity. Mr. Maulo explained that based on accounting rules, the levy of taxes considers it to be a special revenue fund thereby grouping it in with “other government funds”. For the fire tax to be broken out based on accounting rules, it would need to account for over 10% of either the assets, or the revenue of “other government funds”. A separate column could be added under “other government funds” on the report, but the expenditures would still be commingled. The board members agreed to Mr. Contento’s request to add the separate column for the Fire Tax income.
Commissioner Contento noted a clerical error on page 7 of the report which calculates the cost of assets after accumulated depreciation at $19.9mm when the correct calculation should be $16.2mm. Mr. Maulo noted the error and said it would be corrected.
Commissioner Contento asked about the difference in pension coverage percentages between the golf course employees and solid waste employees of about a half percent. Mr. Maulo agreed the percentages should be equal and that he would get back to Mr. Contento with a final answer.
Commissioner Contento asked why a liability of $541K was shown under the Police Pension Agency account. Mr. Maulo explained these were funds in escrow for developers. Mr. Contento requested a subheading broken out on the report to identify the liability more clearly as it is not related to the Police Pension fund.
Commissioner Contento noted a clerical error on page 29 which shows a discount rate used of 7% for net pension liability for the police pension with a hypothetical of plus or minus 1%. The actual statement uses a 6% rate. Mr. Maulo noted the error and will have it corrected to the 6% rate in the paragraph on page 29.
Township Solicitor – Kristin Camp
Waiver of Reverse Subdivision
Township Solicitor Camp discussed a 3-lot subdivision known as Jacoby Terrace. The original subdivision approved in 2014 was for 3 lots. A home has been built on lot 1. The request is for a waiver of reverse subdivision to save time and expense which will allow the builder to proceed with necessary permit applications to construct one home on lots 2 and 3. The builder contracted is M&T Builders. Commissioner Breton entertained a motion to waive the requirement of reverse subdivision for the Jacoby property provided the builder complies with all other necessary permits and approvals. Motion made by Commissioner Contento and seconded by Commissioner Chambers. Motion was approved, 5-0.
Kings Grant Phase II Dedication Request
The developer of the Kings Grant Subdivision Phase II, Rouse/Chamberlin, Ltd., has requested that the township accept the dedication of the streets and the remaining public improvements in Phase II prior to the completion of the remaining 12 lots. Solicitor Camp noted that the township did accept dedication of the roads during Phase I. The builder would enter into a Maintenance Security Agreement lasting 24 months between the developer and the township. Conditions of the agreement would include finishing the roads in accordance with all ordinances, paperwork would be completed by the developer to tender to the township a deed of dedication for the improvements, and the developer would post maintenance security equal to 15% of the cost of the improvements they are dedicating.
Commissioner Young expressed concern with the amount of homes left to settle and the amount of truck traffic on the roads. He also recalled lost reimbursements from the dedication during Phase I. Commissioner Contento noted the township would become responsible for snow plowing. The board unanimously expressed the desire to wait for the near completion of the development prior to accepting dedication of the roads.
Bondsville Road Apartments
Solicitor Camp discussed the procedural history and the status of zoning and land use approvals for Bondsville Road Realty Ventures, LLC. Bondsville Road Realty seeks to develop a senior independent living facility in the R-4 district within 1,500 feet of the Route 30 Bypass. Due to the property being in a flood plain, numerous conditions were placed on development, which began in 2011. John Jaros, Esquire, developer Scott Risbon, and Victor Kelly, P.E., Commonwealth Engineers, were present to go over the preliminary land development plans for the Board’s consideration.
Mr. Kelly of Commonwealth Engineers, presented the preliminary plans that addressed storm water management and landscape requirements. Commissioner Young asked about the timing of the plan approval and Solicitor Camp noted that approval of the preliminary plans would be required around the October 15th meeting and would give the developer five years to substantially execute the approved plans.
Several elements of the listed waiver requests were discussed. Commissioner Contento asked if outdoor recreation amenities would be included in the development plan. Mr. Kelly explained the potential for walking trails that would intersect with township owned land, however recreation plans are not required at this time. Mr. Contento also asked about the plans for a sidewalk. Mr. Kelly explained the PennDOT requirement for street crossings would be a deterrent that would complicate sidewalks beyond the development. Commissioner Contento discussed the requirement for water run-off rates. Mr. Kelly explained that the development plan is looking to reduce the 10-year post to the 2-year pre-development run-off rates. A discussion was held about the requested waiver pertaining to the disturbance of Riparian Buffer Zone 2, which was not supported by the Planning Commission.
Resident Lou DiScuillo, whose property is adjacent to the project, asked about the soil used to construct the water run off basins and expressed concern about a significant snowfall and a rapid melt causing flooding around the development. Mr. DiScuillo also requested information on the materials being used to construct the driveway fence and the type of lighting in the parking areas. The developer and resident agreed to a vinyl fence material.
Commissioner Breton will entertain a motion to approve the applicant’s requests at the next Board Meeting on September 14th and Solicitor Camp will prepare the motion. Township Engineer Carol Schuehler noted she has reviewed the application and has no objections to the requested waivers.
Township Manager-Kristen Denne
Lloyd Avenue Sidewalk Discussion
Manager Denne noted the balance of the sidewalk fund in response to questions from resident Nathan Lentz at a previous Board meeting. The balance of the fund is currently $85K and is not enough to install sidewalks for the entire length of Lloyd Avenue. Commissioner Young suggested beginning a project installing sidewalks with the goal of receiving reimbursement from a future developer. A rough estimate for the project was requested by the Board for the project. Township Engineer Schuehler will prepare an estimate.
Sesquicentennial Celebration Committee Discussion
Manager Denne discussed the committee to be formed to plan the Sesquicentennial celebration and has received input from the Lincoln Highway Committee. Commissioner Contento suggested the Chambers of Commerce, the Historical Society, the Historical Commission, a Board of Commissioners representative and Parks and Recreation be included on the committee. The Board discussed ideas pertaining to the celebration length and activities to incorporate such as picnics and resident testimonials. Commissioner Young stated the Board would work to draft a formal list of committee members and activities at the next meeting.
Dogwood-Scott Drive Project
Manager Denne provided an update on the Dogwood-Scott Drive project (CTMA). The Municipal Authority awarded the project for the sewer extension to Fidelity Contracting in the amount of $392,241.50. The bid came in under budget for the project.
MS4/PRP Application -Public Comment Period Extended
Manager Denne explained that the application for the MS4/PRP application has been extended another 30 days to September 30th to allow more time for public comments.
Manager Denne received a call from PennDOT stating they will be closing Rock Raymond Road on September 9th from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. for road repairs. Emails were sent to affected residents.
A historical marker has been installed at Carver Court. The cost would be $1,700. A motion was made by Commissioner Contento and seconded by Commissioner Kramer to authorize payment of $1,700 for the Carver Court marker. The motion was approved, 5-0.
Township Engineer-Carol Schuehler
Township Engineer Carol Schuehler presented a report showing the bids received for the Caln Township Road Program which opened on August 21, 2017. Although two bids were received for the project, one bid did not include a Bid Form Unit Price Contract. This document lists unit prices in words and numerically, total prices, the Total Base Bid, and is signed and sealed by the bidder. Following consultation with the township Solicitor, it was recommended to reject the incomplete bid, even though it was a lower cost, and award it to the next bidder, Road-Con, Inc. of West Chester, PA. The total bid price of Road-Con, Inc, was $399,778.47. Ms. Schuehler noted positive references and experience with Road-Con.
Commissioner Contento expressed concern over the Road-Con bid being approximately $50K higher in cost and asked if there were recourse actions that could be taken. Township Manager Denne explained that reissuing the bid would delay road work until spring.
Commissioner Young requested future bid matrix’s that are organized by project which show the total cost below each project. He also asked if only portions of the program could be awarded to Road-Con and Ms. Schuehler agreed that is possible. Ms. Schuehler also noted that the total bid came in under the projected budget of $450K. Commissioner Kramer expressed concern over the incomplete bid based on his experience with RFP’s for other government entities as a negative. The option of rejecting both bids and completing the work in the spring was discussed, but it was agreed that prices could increase.
Ms. Schuehler stated that Road-Con agreed to complete the road work by the target date of October 31st. Commissioner Breton provided a listing of the roads to be repaired at the request of resident Tony DiSario. The roads include: Walnut St., Second Ave., Summit Ave., West Bondsville Rd., Reed St., Magnolia Court, Park Dr., Dogwood Lane, Scott Dr., Olive St. and the intersection of Acorn St. and Blackhorse Hill Rd.
Commissioner Breton entertained a motion to adopt the resolution accepting the bid from Road-Con, Inc. in the amount of $399,778.47. The motion was made by Commissioner Chambers and seconded Commissioner Kramer. The resolution was passed, 5-0.
Ordinances and Resolutions for Consideration –
Resolution Approving PennDOT Traffic Signal MOU
Township Manager Denne explained that PennDOT would like to use CCTV attached to traffic signals in the township for traffic monitoring. The monitoring devices are to be maintained by PennDOT and are associated with reconstruction of some ramps on the Route 30 Bypass. Commissioner Breton entertained a motion to authorize the Board President to sign the cooperative memorandum agreement with PennDOT. Motion made by Commissioner Contento and seconded by Commissioner Chambers. The motion was approved, 5-0.
Caln Township Police Dept.-Police Chief Joseph Elias
Police Chief Elias reviewed the July Police Department monthly report. Items of note included personnel issues with coverage as the department is down two sergeants. Further information on adding personnel will be covered in September. Commissioner Chambers asked about the consistent increase in traffic stops compared to last year. Chief Elias explained that the increase is due to the increase in traffic volume and traffic accidents.
Caln Township Fire Dept.- Fire Chief Cordisco
Chief Cordisco discussed the monthly report of responses by the department. Items of note included the fund drive with response from the community being 12% of all letters sent to served residents. Funds received were approximately $4,300 less than last year for the fund drive.
Chief Cordisco explained that the department is in the process of being licensed to carry and administer Narcan. However, the focus of carrying it is for the protection of fire personnel with the priority to administer it being first with the police department and ambulance service.
Chief Cordisco noted that the annual car show will be on September 10th at the Firehouse.
Public Works-Director Raymond Stackhouse
Mr. Stackhouse provided a summary of the department report for July 14 through August 17.
Ingleside Golf Course- Golf Course Manager Mr. Ward
Mr. Ward discussed the golf course’s loss of revenues in 2016 and attributed it to poor weather conditions. Mr. Ward also discussed the trend in the golf course business of discounted rounds being offered on “Golf Now”. A discussion was held about increasing the price of the round and then discount it to generate attention on the website. Commissioner Young requested a report based on “Golf Now” to review the savings and discounts offered on the site and compare them to other local golf courses.
Finance Report-Township Treasurer Chuck Wilson
Mr. Wilson presented the July 31st financial report which provided YTD totals. Commissioner Young asked about several line items on the revenue summary including Earned Income Tax, Zoning and Planning Fees and Business Licenses (Cable) due to their low collection percentage YTD. Mr. Wilson explained these particular items are realized in the 3rd and 4th quarter and are not items of concern.
Commissioner Contento noted a 2016 Ford Interceptor under Capital Leases Payable to Ford Credit. He requested that due to the interest rate of 6.45% on the two remaining payments on the vehicle, the township should pay off the vehicle to reduce cost. Mr. Contento also requested information on investing a portion of the balance of the Municipal Authority Fund with PLGIT to earn interest on the balances.
Commissioner Young requested the leases showing as paid off be removed from the report next month. He also requested contributions be sent out to the Downingtown Library.
Bill List – Checks 40369-40462
Commissioner Breton entertained a motion to approve general checks 40369-40462. Moved by Commissioner Contento and seconded by Commissioner Kramer. Vote passed, 5-0.
Approval of Minutes from August 10, 2017
Commissioner Breton entertained a motion to approve the meeting minutes from August 10, 2017. Commissioners Young and Kramer abstained due to absence. Moved by Commissioner Chambers and seconded by Commissioner Contento. Vote passed, 3-0.
Commissioner Breton called for any additional business. There was none.
Commissioner Breton called for any public comments. Noel Bernard asked if John from the Craft House was looking to purchase the golf course. Manager Denne explained that the individual was looking to purchase the golf course outright and the township cannot sell any municipal property without going through a public bid process.
Commissioner Breton entertained a motion to adjourn the August 31, 2017 meeting at 9:55 PM. Moved by Commissioner Kramer and seconded by Commissioner Contento. Vote passed 5-0.
Respectfully Submitted by,