253 Municipal Drive Thorndale, PA 19372
January 14, 2021 Minutes
Attendance: Paul Mullin-President, Jane Kennedy-Vice President, Joshua Young-Commissioner, Lorraine Tindaro-Commissioner, Mark Evans-Commissioner, Kristen Denne-Township Manager/Secretary, Bryan Kulakowsky-Township Engineer, Kristin Camp-Township Solicitor, and Denise Miller-Assistant Township Secretary.
Also in attendance: Ms. Marasco’s Engineer, David Porter regarding 1003 Caln Meetinghouse Road.
Commissioner Mullin called the virtual Zoom meeting to order, and called for the Pledge Allegiance to the Flag.
Commissioner Mullin noted that what happened on January 6, 2021 was nothing short of an attack on the United States Capital and on our democracy, carried out by domestic terrorists that resulted in five American lives tragically lost. We can hope that on January 20, 2021 there will be a peaceful transition of power and America can move forward. This country needs to put its differences aside, find common ground, and start the healing process. We need to move past all the hatred and work together for our common goals. If there is anything to learn from this it is how fragile our great democracy, and republic can be.
Commissioner Mullin assured residents that the Commissioners are committed to working together for the benefit of the Township and all of its residents. He noted that they welcome all residents’ opinions, views, and what is important to them. This helps in the Commissioners process in making Caln Township a better place to live, work, and play.
Commissioner Evans noted that on Wednesday January 6, 2021 a mob of domestic terrorists violently invaded our Nation’s Capital, attacked police officers, ransacked offices, terrorized the members of Congress, and forced the stoppage of the certification of President-elect Biden’s electoral victory. Thus far, one Capital Police Officer and four insurrectionists have died as a result of this criminal and lawless direct attack upon our democracy.
How did we, a Nation of Peace, Hope, and Promise, get here?
In the days after 9/11, our nation grew closer and kinder than it had been in any of our lifetimes. But somehow, over the last decade and a half, there has been an erosion of respect, understanding, and acceptance within our politics - from the family dinner table, to the local barstool, and all levels of government. Where we used to have civil, spirited, sometimes laugh-filled debate over our differences, we are now at a place of such hatred, that civility and respect have been replaced by rage and violence. For the sake of our future, this has to stop. We need to come together to replace distrust with a willingness to listen, to disagree respectfully, and denounce violence or as a friend once said, “to have the Willingness to be Willing”.
We are all different, even on this Board. The five of us may share similar political beliefs, but we each had different ideas of how to respond to last week’s attacks. Some wanted a simple acknowledgement, some asked for an official resolution of condemnation, and each were as passionate about their desires. But respect for each other, and our differences led to a compromise. That, my friends, is the only way for any of us to move forward.
As Commissioners, each one of us swore a solemn oath to defend the Constitution of the United States of America, and in that spirit we strongly condemn the invasion of the United States Capital. We encourage all Americans to join together to condemn the attempted overthrow of the United States Government.
But just as vehemently, we implore everyone to open their hearts to at least try to understand each other, and together to work towards healing our fractured Nation, starting right here in our community.
We are not a sum of our intentions, we are a sum of our actions. It took years to fall as far as we have, it takes only one action to get us back on the right path. Starting today, we can take actions to come together as one, as we did in the wake of 9/11, to put our differences aside and work as a team toward a better future, or we can continue to stay isolated in our silos of resentment, point fingers at each other, and continue down this dangerous road to self-destruction. On January 6, 2021, we all saw where the later leads. We pray that all of you will join us in healing.
Let’s get back to that place of Peace, Hope, and Promise. I know we all have it within us.
God bless America, God bless our troops, and God bless Caln Township.
Commissioner Evans Updates
Welcome to the first episode of Season Two, glad you could all join us this evening. Our meetings are “Neutral Ground”, a place to hear and be heard.
We so enjoyed serving you last year, and are excited for all the opportunity that lies ahead. At our very first meeting with you last January, we gave you an idea of some of the things we were going to prioritize for the year ahead. At our last meeting of 2020 we reviewed that list, and updated you on the progress. In the weeks since, I asked each of my fellow Commissioners to provide a short list of what they would like to see accomplished this year. I wasn’t surprised by how many places our different lists intersected.
As we enter 2021, we have no less grand of an agenda than we did for 2020. Here are a few highlights of what we would like to work on, to make Caln Township a better place for all:
- Work towards adopting the nondiscrimination housing ordinance
- Work towards converting our street lights to LED
- Work with The Coatesville Area School District Board on reinstating LERTA
- Continue to improve Spackman Farm
- Blow the dust off the Kings Highway Master Plan
- Complete the Township rezoning project with an eye towards creating a real “Vision” and solid identity for Caln Township
- As part of the Zoning Update Project, work toward the creation of a “Thorndale Village Suburban Center” along Lincoln Highway
- Recruit more volunteers to our Commissions
- Restart our “Coffee with the Commissioners” virtual Town Halls
- Explore the cost of twice a week trash collection, in summer months
- Explore adopting an official Caln motto such as “Historic Caln, where it all began”
- Work with the Zoning Task Force on a strong Historical Preservation Ordinance
- Get the word out that even during COVID, Caln Township is open for business
- Keep our residents prepared for looming COVID surges and informed of COVID vaccine distribution, and mitigation plans
- Work on Post-COVID plans for staged reopenings of Parks and other Caln facilities, once we are able to begin normalizing our way of life
- Continue to fulfill the capital improvement plan
- Continue working towards improving stormwater management
- Continue to encourage the use of brick along Lincoln Highway and other areas of high-visibility
- Continue to cheer on Chris Ward and the Golf Commission, and maybe even challenge them to wipe out the remaining 50% of the debt they already paid down in 2020
Also, continue to help make Caln Township a great place to live, work, and play.
In December, I urged everyone not to travel and keep their holiday celebrations to only members of their own households. I guess many did not take those warnings seriously, because in the five weeks since, we nearly doubled our total number of positive cases, and watched another nine of our neighbors lose their lives to COVID-19.
On December 10, 2020 we had 471 cases, we now have 728. On December 10, 2020 our death count stood at 17, it is now 26.
Since December 10, Chester County has added over 7,000 new positive cases, along with another 100 deaths. Caln continues to have the 6th highest number of cases in the entire county.
It's become clear during this awful pandemic that there is very little we can do to change people’s minds about it, or their behaviors. Some still refuse to wear masks, some believe it’s not deadly, while others still say it’s a hoax.
You know, I wish it were a hoax because if it was a hoax, the families of twenty-six of our neighbors would not be grieving the loss of their loved ones. If it were a hoax, our health care workers would not be facing daily horrors akin to performing triage on an active battlefield. If it were a hoax, our small businesses would not be in danger of closing. But it’s not a hoax, and just because there is now a vaccine that does not mean that it is over. We are looking at summer at the soonest before enough of the population has been vaccinated for life to return to some semblance of normal. Please, take the necessary steps, put love for your neighbor before self-interest, and try to be a part of the solution.
Commissioner Mullin noted an Executive Session prior to tonight’s meeting, regarding Personnel Matters.
Citizens to be Heard
Tony DiSario of 251 Loomis Avenue noted that he is concerned with the retention berms across from Pronto’s Restaurant that hold water. Commissioner Young noted that the drain pipes are only there for “overflow”. The ponds are designed to slowly release water into the ground. Mr. DiSario noted that this is a health hazard.
Mr. DiSario also noted that there are a lot of potholes behind the former Kmart property. Ms. Denne noted that they are the responsibility of the property owner. Commissioner Mullin directed Ms. Denne to reach out to the property owner regarding the potholes.
Mark DeYoung of 20 Beaver Run Road noted that the PPC loans and payment protection loans will be out at smaller community banks on January 15, and bigger banks on January 18. He asked if this could be put on the township website.
Commissioner Mullin asked if businesses that already received loans are able to apply again. Mr. DeYoung noted that you can, with the proper documentation.
Township Solicitor – Ms. Camp
Motion of Approval for 1003 Meeting House Road – For Board consideration, Ms. Camp offered a Preliminary/Final Minor Subdivision Application of 1003 Caln Meetinghouse Road, which is a minor lot line adjustment for Sandra K. Marasco (the “Applicant”) subject to certain conditions. The Applicant proposes to transfer 10,000 square feet of land from the adjacent property owned by Daniel Thomas (the “Thomas Property”), tax parcel 39-1-48. The properties are both located in the R-2 Residential Zoning District, and have no new construction or grading proposed. The lot line adjustment will result in the subject property consisting of 2.2556 net acres, and the adjacent Thomas Property will consist of 1.3858 net acres.
Ms. Camp noted that at the December 15, 2020 Township Planning Commission meeting, they recommended that the Board of Commissioners grant final minor subdivision approval. A review letter dated December 11, 2020 was also issued by the Township Engineer, ARRO Consulting, Inc.
Bryan Kulakowsky shared the plan on the screen for the 1003 Meetinghouse minor subdivision. He noted that this subdivision is strictly a transfer of land from the Thomas Property to the Applicant. He also noted that the two main comments in his December 11, 2020 letter were the closer reports, which have been submitted and are under review. Also, the DEP approval has been provided to the Township.
Commissioner Mullin asked if this affects the back property owner. Mr. Kulakowsky noted that it is the same property owned by Sandra Maraso.
Commissioner Mullin called for public comment. There were none.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to approve the Preliminary/Final Minor Subdivision of 1003 Caln Meetinghouse Road based on the written motion in the Board packet. Moved by Commission Evans and seconded by Commissioner Kennedy. Vote passed 5-0.
Township Engineer – Mr. Kulakowsky
Planning Commission Update – Mr. Kulakowsky noted that the Planning Commission will do their reorganization at their January 19 meeting.
Mr. Kulakowsky also noted the subdivision application for the Diane Hamel trust located at 1541 Fisherville Road creating lot lines for estate planning purposes, with no proposed construction. The majority of the fifty acres are in East Brandywine and West Brandywine Townships. A very small portion is in Caln Township.
Spackman Farm Large Farm Re-roof Contract – Mr. Kulakowsky noted that he is waiting for revised contract documents, from the Contractor.
Lloyd Avenue Signalization Project – Mr. Kulakowsky noted that he is currently working with the County Bridge Engineer and PennDot to coordinate the location of the signal poles. PennDot’s draft design is currently with the County Bridge Engineer.
2020 Road Program – Mr. Kulakowsky noted that the punch list and work has been completed. The Board will see payment requests soon.
Commissioner Mullin asked when the 2021 Road Program will start. Mr. Kulakowsky that he has been in contact with Ms. Denne and Mr. Fragale to coordinate a meeting date next week, and get started. Ms. Denne noted that a PSA for the road program will be on the January 28, 2021 agenda.
Township Manager – Ms. Denne
Motion to Accept Barry Beech’s Resignation as Township Tax Collector – For Board consideration, Ms. Denne offered Barry Beech’s resignation as Township Tax Collector. She also noted that the Board has thirty days from acceptance of his resignation to appoint a new Tax Collector. If the Board does not appoint anyone, it goes to the Vacancy Board who will have thirty days to appoint someone. If the Vacancy Board does not appoint anyone, it goes to Common Pleas.
Commissioner Young noted that the Vacancy Board for Board of Commissions is for fifteen days. Ms. Denne noted that she will confirm the time.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to accept Barry Beech’s resignation, as Township Tax Collector. Moved by Commissioner Tindaro and seconded by Commissioner Evans. Vote passed 5-0.
Ms. Denne noted that the Board has to establish the compensation for the Commissioners and the Township Tax Collector before the ballots are printed. Commissioner Young noted that the Commissioners’ salary is based on population. Ms. Denne noted that this is correct, and they would use the 2010 census count. Commissioner Young noted that the next change in salary is at 15,000 residents.
Mark DeYoung of 20 Beaver Run Road asked if it would be cost effective to use the County to collect real estate taxes. Ms. Denne noted the elected tax collector position would have to deputize the County. Commissioner Young noted that he does not believe there would be a savings because the County would get a portion of the tax, and with the township being deputized, they get revenue from tax certifications. If the County was deputized, they would get the revenue from the tax certifications. Commissioner Young also noted that approximately twenty years before he was Commissioner, the payment was between $5,000 and $10,000. Two Tax Collectors before Mr. Beech, the payment went to $1,200 per year.
Ordinances and Resolutions for Consideration
Resolution 2021-01 A Resolution for the Disposition of Administrative Documents according to the Municipal Records Manual – Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to approve Resolution 2021-01 for the disposition of administrative documents according to the Municipal Records Manual. Moved by Commissioner Tindaro and seconded by Commissioner Young. Tony DiSario of 251 Loomis Avenue asked for explanation of the disposition of the documents. Commissioner Mullin noted that it is documents that are destroyed according to the manual. Vote passed 5-0.
Resolution 2021-02 A Resolution Adopting the Schedule of Fees for the Township’s Professional Consultants – Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to adopt the schedule of fees for the Township’s Professional Consultants. Moved by Commissioner Tindaro and seconded by Commissioner Kennedy. Vote passed 5-0.
Motion of approval for General Checks 45897 to 46028, and Manual Checks 171 to 175 – Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to approve general checks 45897 to 46028 and manual checks 171 to 175. Moved by Commissioner Tindaro and seconded by Commissioner Young. Vote passed 5-0.
Minutes to Approve
Motion to Approve the December 10, 2020 Board of Commissioners Minutes – Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to approve the December 10, 2020 Board of Commissioners minutes. Commissioner Young noted that there were extra things that he said at the end of the meeting however, he is good with how it is stated in the minutes. Commissioner Mullin noted that Ms. Miller added a little more from what she previously had. Commissioner Evans noted Commission volunteers are always welcome. Moved by Commissioner Evans and seconded by Commissioner Tindaro. Vote passed 5-0.
Acknowledgement of the October 20, 2020 and November 17, 2020 Approved Planning Commission Minutes – Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion acknowledging the receipt of the October 20, 2020 and November 17, 2020 Planning Commission Minutes. Moved by Commissioner Evans and seconded by Commissioner Young. Vote passed 5-0.
Boards and Commissions Updates – Summary by Applicable Board Liaison – December
Parks and Recreation – Commissioner Young noted that there was no meeting in December or January.
COG – Commissioner Kennedy noted that the December meeting was cancelled due to the snow storm. The next meeting will be held January 14.
Municipal Authority – Commissioner Mullin noted that the pump station has been completed, and they are currently reviewing the punch list. He also noted that due to the rain they had to turn it on and redirect their flows to DARA, and it worked beautifully.
Commissioner Young noted that the pump station should be named after former Commissioner Jim Kruse because he was an engineer and his company built pipelines. He also noted that the outlay of the trail is from Mr. Kruse’s personal drawing. Ms. Denne noted that something about Mr. Kruse should be recognized in regards to the Beaver Creek Trail.
Commissioner Mullin noted that the sewer bill has been mailed. He also noted that residents can pay online.
Ms. Denne noted that the company that mails the bills takes a picture of the date of the mailing and they were delivered to the post office. The provider was having a meeting today with the post office to see what the status of the mail is. Ms. Denne noted that you can call the Township and pay your bill, pay online, set up with the direct ACH program, or have your bill electronically sent to you. If you have sewage and refuse on your bill, it is $117. Commissioner Mullin asked if the $117 is the old rate or the new rate. Ms. Denne noted that it is the old rate. Commissioner Evans asked if there is a fee when paying online. Ms. Denne noted that it is $1.95. Commissioner Young noted that if you use your checking account to have an ACH withdrawal, it is less expensive than using a credit card. She also noted that it is a $1 to use the echeck, $1.95 to use a credit card, and there is no charge to use the ACH program, which is automatically deducted every two months.
DARA – Commissioner Mullin noted that George Chambers previously let him know that he could not make tonight’s meeting. Commissioner Mullin noted that DARA is still working on the expansion of the plant or at least an idea of it.
Fire Board – Commissioner Young noted that he met with the Fire Board along with Commissioner Mullin and discussed not raising the fire tax fee and the reasons why.
Commissioner Young noted that the fire agreement has been sent back to the Township and along with Commissioner Mullin, they will review it and get it back to the fire board, within the next month.
Historical Commission – Commissioner Tindaro noted highlights and discussions from their December meeting.
Commissioner Tindaro noted that they discussed setting up the 30, 60, and 90 day priority action plan, assessing the process to have Edges Mill District recognized as State and National Historic Place, Spackman Farm roofing material changed to a different product for application, rezoning input on protecting Historic Overlay location and other identifying historic places outside the district that meet historic place criteria. Also, discussed was the recommendation of an offer to Caln Township for the property and historic springhouse as part of the “Zinn” property, and the Historic portion of the township website expansion with ongoing updates.
Commissioner Tindaro noted that their next meeting will be held January 20 with the reorganization of the Chair due to the resignation of Cathy Callahan. Ms. Callahan will continue on Historical Commission as a member.
Commissioner Evans noted that Commissioner Tindaro will be the acting Chair on the Historical Commission until one is appointed. He also noted that there was concern about the historical protections of the historic overlay district potentially being lost during the zoning update, and it was made very clear that none of those protections would be lost.
Commissioner Mullin thanked Ms. Callahan for her huge part on the Historical Commission, and noted that he is glad that she will remain on the commission.
Lincoln Highway – Commissioner Young noted that they continue to work on the rezoning and focused a lot on Lincoln Highway and the design standards, and if it should be one zoning district or two. He noted that he gave Ms. Denne a list of ornamental lights that are out that the Township controls between Bondsville Road and Municipal Drive. He also noted that it is his intention to try and get many of these street lights converted to LED over the next year. This could be significant savings to not only the Lincoln Highway District but also those residents who have street light tax.
Commissioner Young noted that he will be meeting with Commissioner Evans to re-implement “LERTA” with the Coatesville School District. He also noted that he read an article that CASH informed Collegium Charter School that they cannot pay them what they owe them.
Commissioner Mullin called for public comment.
Tony DiSario asked if residents can go to the Township Building to pay their sewer bills. Ms. Denne noted that there is a “drop box” outside of the Municipal Building.
Mr. DiSario also asked about the Christmas contest winners. Commissioner Young noted the winners.
· “Best Lawn Ornament” – 224 Hidden Creek
· “Best Multi-Media” – 1605 Olive Street
· “Best Use of Lights” – 42 Thornridge Drive
· “Martha Steward Award” – 1116 Woodruff Road
· “Resident’s Choice” based on the number of Face Book votes – 4 Harvest Drive
Commissioner Kennedy asked if the COVID-19 phases could be put on the township website. Ms. Denne noted that they can put a link on the Township website to the Chester County Health Department. Ms. Denne also noted the State Health Department website also has this information
Commissioner Mullin called for public comment. There were none.
Commissioner Mullin thanked the public for joining the first 2021 Board meeting. He also noted to call the Township if you are interested in joining any of the Township Commissions.
Commissioner Mullin called for additional Board or Resident comments. There were none.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to adjourn the January 14, 2021 meeting at 8:34 PM. Moved by Commissioner Young and seconded by Commissioner Tindaro. Vote passed 5-0.
Respectfully Submitted by,
Assistant Township Secretary