253 Municipal Drive
Thorndale, PA 19372
December 15, 2016 7:45 PM
Call to order and pledge of allegiance.
Attendance – Cynthia Eshleman, President; Jennifer Breton, Vice President; John Contento, Commissioner; Joshua Young, Commissioner; George Chambers, Commissioner; Chuck Wilson, Finance Director; Kristen Denne, Township Manager; Jeffrey W. McClintock, P.E., C.F.M., Township Engineer; and Margaret Driller, Recording Secretary.
Moment of Silence – Commissioner Eshleman called for a moment of silence for all first responders and military, all over the world.
Commissioner Eshleman announced that prior to tonight’s meeting, an Executive Session was held to discuss legal and personnel matters. Commissioner Eshleman stated that she was sorry that the meeting tonight did not start on time.
Proclamation to Twin of Calne, Wiltshire, England
Commissioner Eshleman stated that we have been twinned with the Town of Calne since the 1980’s. Commissioner Eshleman read a Proclamation and it was recorded and taped by our Township Manager. Our township has great pride in congratulating its Twin Town of Calne, Wiltshire, England on their recent endeavor of being recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records. On December 3, 2016 1,254 residents preformed a live nativity that resulted in obtaining recognition from Guinness World Records for exhibiting the “most living figures in a nativity.” The residents of Calne participated in the live nativity, demonstrating a wonderful sense of community spirit, holiday cheer and festive admiration. The township sends its sincere congratulations to the Town Council of Calne, Wiltshire, England and to their wonderful residents and Bible Society on their successful recognition of obtaining a Guinness World Record.
Citizens to be heard
Commissioner Eshleman called for any Citizens to be heard.
Toni DiSario, 251 Loomis Avenue, had a few questions in regard to the use of the Boom Mower. Mr. McClintock stated that this piece of equipment was rented by the township for one month in 2016. It was used in 2016 to cut down vegetation and Ms. Denne stated that it has been added to the budget to be purchased for 2017. The Boom Mower was not used for the stream but for vegetation along the road. Tony had a few more questions and would talk with Mr. McClintock at the end of this meeting to see if this piece of machinery is approved by the EPA. Mr. McClintock would address his concerns after the meeting.
Mrs. Illaria Steele, 411 Barley Sheaf Road, stated that she had brought to the attention of the Commissioners a month to six weeks ago that the street lights to the entrance to the main shopping center and lights before the CVS along Route 30 were not working. The decorative street lighting is not working on certain poles in the township. She had requested that the light bulbs be replaced and that she wants to make our community feel safe to shop in our township. Mr. McClintock stated that Rudy’s lights are currently not working possibly because of construction and that several other lights not currently working will be checked. He mentioned that a number system needs to be implemented to allow for efficient identification of the lights that are out. Mrs. Illaria Steele also requested to Mr. McClintock to check if there were outlets or the ability to have them installed on these light poles. Commissioner Eshleman requested that the light poles be checked and Ms. Denne stated she would go down Route 30 and identify lights that are currently not working so that the bulbs could be replaced as soon as possible.
Township Manager – Kristen Denne
2017 DARA Budget
The 2017 DARA Budget was received by the township dated 11/26/16 and acknowledged that we have received this.
Annual Audit Proposal
The annual audit proposal was received from Maulo and Company, Ltd., was given to Mr. Wilson and added to the packet given to the Commissioners. Mr. Wilson has been making payments and working on the audit so that Mr. Wilson could get the books closed for the fiscal year of 2016. New procedures were stated by Commissioner Contento where we would move salaries from one department to another department. Mr. Wilson stated that this was going to be looked into in the 2017 fiscal year. Commissioner Eshleman entertained a motion to approve the Maulo & Company proposal for financial audit and reporting for the year of 2017 in the amount of $26,400.00. Moved by Commissioner Breton and seconded by Commissioner Chambers. Motion carried 5-0.
A list of 2017 Appointments and Reappointments of officers was proposed to the Commissioners. Commissioner Eshleman entertained a motion to reappoint Noel Bernard to the Municipal Authority (5 year term), Victoria Cloud to the Park and Recreation Board (5 year term), Jill Hammond to the Planning Commission (4 year term), Jim Benko to the Planning Commission (4 year term), and Stephen DePedro to the Zoning Hearing Board (3 year term). Moved by Commissioner Breton and seconded Commissioner Chambers. Motion carried 5-0.
Commissioner Eshleman entertained a motion to appoint Kristen Denne as Administrative Officer for Pensions for the year of 2017. Moved by Commissioner Contento and seconded by Commissioner Breton. Motion carried 5-0.
Commissioner Eshleman entertained a motion to appoint Mr. Paul Mullin to the Stormwater Advisory Committee, with term to be determined by the township. Moved by Commissioner Contento and seconded by Commissioner Breton. Motion carried 5-0.
New Budget for 2017
Kristen Denne, Township Manager, spoke in regard to the overview and proposed budget for the year of 2017 has been on display. It will be uploaded to website on December 16, 2017 if approved by the Commissioners at tonight’s meeting. Two increases were discussed for the township. The Real Estate Tax rate would increase by .5 mills, from the current 2.958 to 3.458, and the Fire Tax rate would increase by .1 mills, from the current 0.5 mills to 0.6 mills. For households assessed at $100,000, taxes would increase from $311 dollars to $365.00. For households assessed at $150,000 taxes would increase from $518.00 to $608.00. For households assessed at $200,000, taxes would increase from $691.00 to $811.00.
These increases help to pay for the full time police and pensions, code enforcement, parks and recreation, personnel, full time public works and our volunteer fireman. Police and pension is the largest expense for the township, $3.6 million a year, we have an excellent reputation in the community. Anticipated revenues for 2017 are $10.1 million and the total anticipated expenditures will be 10.8 million. Fire department, police and administrative costs were explained and the township building must be made more secure as major information and documentation is housed here for the whole township. Capital items listed in our budget are operating expenses such as road, sewers and drainage. The golf course has many items needing repairs which must be completed with the farm building to be demolished on the site; these are liabilities that must be dealt with into this New Year. The police department will need funds to stay ahead with the hiring of two new officers in 2017 that were hired on staggered month’s rotation in 2016. We will continue paying for health insurance and pensions so we can move forward and retain great employees. Ms. Denne stated that a conservative line was held in 2008 but they did not raise taxes because of real estate position of the township. Now we need to address current issues. A Bond was floated to pay for infrastructure (2013 – 2016). The township has completed projects during this year were $200,000 was spent on the largest goal but $1.6 million was spent. The amount of $345,000 would be needed to fill the tax deficit in 2017 at the same level at 2016. Bonds and increased taxes were discussed. Fund balance should always stay at 10% for the township to be financially stable. Three different scenarios were reviewed but were not acceptable as our fund balances were not going to help with the budget because assessed values for homes in Caln Township is low. We have kept our 49 to 51 employees very conservative and with the help of technology we have kept salaries consistent. The Budget has to be increased to help keep costs paid in the years ahead. Debt services have remained constant, police pensions have risen and our operational needs will increase in the years ahead. The Board after long debate has made the decision to raise taxes in the year ahead.
Citizens to be heard
Mr. Robert Steele, 411 Barley Sheaf Road, had a few questions for the Board in regard to the new budget and the needs of the township in regard to fire department trucks and personnel.
Mr. Chuck Coxin, 3210 Raye Road, had a question about how many policeman do we have and also inquired about no parking signs.
Mr. Ron Miller, 21 Marshall Circle, stated that his wife and he have been Thorndale residents for over 30 years; he was so impressed with snow removal and the services offered by the township. He commented on the need for a tax increase and the capital needs of the fire department.
Commissioner Chambers stated that the township is in the beginning process for a tax rebate program that was approved in September. All business owners in Caln will have a meeting in January to help promote retailers that can give discounts to our citizens, with a meeting to be held at the fire company.
Mr. Robert Steele also wanted to know if we have a plan for the next ten years budget.
Commissioner Eshleman stated that they are working on a Capital Budget together with an itemized list of repairs and replacement of vehicles. The Township Manager will look at a Capital Budget to help us with financials.
Commissioner Young also stated that we have 662 housing units to be completed in the months ahead.
Mrs. Illaria Steele also stated that county and school districts will increase their taxes. What have the Commissioners done to find ways to cut and save costs and asked if there is a formula to determine how many police officers are needed for a community.
Mr. Chuck Coxin also asked about a line item in the check register for $100.00 cost for cigars. Commissioner Eshleman explained that these cigars were bought for the golf course and are sold during the year. They are purchased wholesale and sold at a profit.
WAWA Conditional Use
Ms. Kim Venzie, from Buckley, Brion, McGuire & Morris LLP stated that two meetings were held in regard to this conditional use for the WAWA building to be built at Route 30 and Marshallton Thorndale Road. She is attending this meeting of the Board of Commissioners and requesting that the WAWA Conditional Use conditions would be acceptable to the Commissioners and to the applicant. Commissioner Eshleman entertained a motion to accept the WAWA Bondsville Conditional Use Decision and Order as presented on this date. Moved by Commissioner Chambers and seconded Commissioner Breton. Motion carried 5-0.
Mrs. Illaria Steele asked several questions in regards to the height of the canopy for the WAWA near the train station and was it increased from 14 to 20 feet? Mr. McClintock stated that the existing Wawa has a canopy height of 23.2 feet. She also asked about the type of design, signs, and types of delivery trucks proposed to be servicing the new Wawa.
Creation of the Position of Police Chaplain for the Caln Township Police Department
Commissioner Eshleman entertained a motion to approve Ordinance No. 2016-06 allowing for the appointment of the position Of Chaplain for the Caln Township Police Department, Moved by Commissioner Young and seconded by Commissioner Chambers. Motion carried 5-0.
Mrs. Illaria Steele asked if this was a paid position or is it volunteer at this time. Commissioner Young stated that it is a non-salaried position within the township.
Police Chief Elias gave his report for the month of November. Officer Sipple has been seriously hurt in a hunting accident and is in Jefferson Hospital at the present time, and a sign-up sheet was created at the police station to help his family with meals and support. The Board will want to help him and his family as much as possible. The police station is a Toy for Tots drop-off site for the first year. Officer of the year for 2016 was Ms. Laura Ashe; information was on Facebook and the community website, with a ceremony to give her the award in January. Shop with the Cop, two officers helped and it was very successful and the Police Department rode in the Coatesville Christmas Parade. Our police department received an award for National Night Out which was held the1st Tuesday in August, for the third year in a row. Only 1% of the communities in the U.S. and Canada will receive recognition and only 7 communities won an award.
Mrs. Illaria Steele had asked a question to the police and was not pleased with her answer after her church was burglarized last week. She wanted to know why the police did not notify that four other church burglaries had occurred.
Report was read by Chief Cordisco for November 2016. Training hours of 234 hours was achieved and activity hours were 527 hours for the month. Fund drive is currently going well, no final reporting for this fund drive at this time. The Safer grant will be used for advertisement on a billboard to help with recruitment for the fire company to get new members. Yard signs will be available to promote volunteers and volunteering in the community. Twenty five of our personnel have completed their physicals as part of the 2014 grant, and eight or so will still need to have their physicals done in December and will get the billing to John Sly (grant administrator). Santa visited the community on December 10th, from 8:00 to 1:30. Thanks to Commissioner Young and to the Board for your support with hopes that everyone will have a wonderful holiday.
Mr. Raymond Stackhouse gave his departmental report from November 9 through December 6, 2016. Many commercial projects are moving forward before the weather turns bad, 99 North Caln Road has started demolition. Coppa’s will reopen on January 15th. A weather event will be coming up and he talked about clearing of the roads. Regional Emergency Management Group now has multiple municipalities have been meeting for safety and welfare of the communities. Staff meetings were held for snow removal.
Commissioner Contento had a question about the ongoing project to identify landlords that do not pay rental fees. There were 20 to 30 homes that need to be contacted for the next step in the process. Properties have not responded to letters sent to their addresses. Ms. Denne stated that a letter from the solicitors will be sent to landlords and rental properties. The deeded owner as well as the rental owners will be sent a letter from the solicitor in regard to their properties and to get the information needed for the township.
Finance Report – Mr. Wilson
Mr. Wilson stated the cash balances by fund as of November 30, 2016. Commissioner Eshleman had a question in regard to why the State Grant for Pensions was over by 6%. Mr. Wilson stated that the State Pension Aid was higher than budgeted. All obligations would be pushed out for another year.
Bill List – General Check’s # 39070 - 39179, Bond 1165-1166 – Motion to Approve
Commissioner Eshleman entertained a motion to approve checks # 39070 – 39179 and Bond checks # 1165-1166. Moved by Commissioner Breton and seconded by Commissioner Chambers. Check #39125 and Check #39126 abstained by Commissioner Contento, and Check #39113 abstained by Commissioner Chambers. Motion carried 5-0.
Mrs. Illaria Steele had a comment that a check was needed to have decals removed from two police cars to new colored ones, and why is our township is not downsizing their vehicles in use at the present time? Chief Elias stated the new decals were put on new vehicles, town cars and the truck we have is needed to get onto properties where a car could not drive.
Township Engineer – Mr. McClintock
Lloyd Park Growing Green Application
Mr. McClintock noted that as part of last year’s budget, the Board discussed the potential of a Township funded project to address the erosion issues in Lloyd Park. The estimates for the work last year were in the range of $700,000-$800,000. With the application period for the next round of Growing Greener Grants currently open, he requested a proposal from Cedarville Engineering Group to assist in applying for the Growing Greener Grant for the Lloyd Park Stream Restoration Project. He presented the proposal in the amount of a lump sum fee of $2,500.00. He noted the match for the grant is 15%. If the project costs total the maximum estimated ($800,000.00), it would require a match of $120,000.00 and the work would need to be completed by December 31, 2020.
Commissioner Contento stated that the application states that growing green applications would give preference to applicants proposing projects that address the Commonwealth Investment Criteria and applicants that would create jobs, and are designated environmental justice communities. We do not meet the criteria as an approved Act 47 financially distressed municipalities. Commissioner Contento wants to fund Lloyd Park and he only wants to do this if it is not a long shot. Stormwater issues are going to have to be addressed by the DEP; embankments erosion of the stream at the dog park will have to be addressed. It will need $107,000 to be paid by the township and the township can try for the monies for this project.
Mrs. Illaria Steele asks all the Commissioners would they personally write a check for $2500.00 for this project.
Commissioner Eshleman stated that she most definitely would write this check; this is a good funding source for the township at this time. The DEP will mandate that we need $100,000 to fix the erosion and settlement issues in the area of Lloyd Park. This area can become an erosion problem and will need to be addressed at this time. Mrs. Illaria Steele also stated that there are other erosion sites that need to be addressed in our township and they will get worse over time.
Commissioner Eshleman entertained a motion to move forward on the Lloyd Park Growing Green Application and pay the proposal costs of $2500.00 to Cedarville Engineering. Motioned by Commissioner Chambers and seconded by Commissioner Breton. Motion carries 5-0.
Mr. McClintock provided a summary for the 2017 HVAC Maintenance Contract to be provided by Brandywine Valley Heating and Air Conditioning. These are for the HVAC preventative maintenance measures needed for the year for the Administration building, the Police building, and the Golf Course Pro Shop. Their bid came in $1000 less than other bids. The spec sheet went out to several maintenance contractors Brandywine came in with the lowest price for the year.
Commissioner Eshleman entertained a motion to approve and award the HVAC Maintenance Contract to Brandywine Valley Heating and Air Conditioning for the total cost of $3375.00 for the year. Motioned by Commissioner Contento and seconded by Commissioner Chambers. Motion carries 5-0.
Mr. McClintock asked the Board if they could have a meeting on the 19th of January, 3rd Thursday of the month for a hearing review on the Wawa Reeceville Road Project. Based on their application date, the deadline to hold the hearing is January 22, 2017.
Commissioner Contento was asking if a meeting could be set for January 5th but the Zoning Hearing board but other meetings were scheduled for that night.
The Fire department did receive the variance for the sign at their site.
Ordinances and Resolutions for Consideration
Ordinance # (2016 -07) – Amending 2017 Real Estate Tax Rate
Commissioner Eshleman entertained a motion to approve Ordinance # 2016-07 amending 2017 Real Estate Tax Rate with an increase to $.3458 mills. Moved by Commissioner Young and seconded by Commissioner Breton. Roll call votes were taken for the passing of this Ordinance, Commissioner Contento – Ney, all other commissioners voted Aye. Motion carried 4-1.
Ordinance # (2016-08) – Imposing 2017 Fire Tax Rate
Commissioner Eshleman entertained a motion to approve Ordinance # 2016-08 imposing 2017 Fire Tax Rate with an increase of .06 mills. Moved by Commissioner Breton and seconded by Commissioner Young. Roll call votes were taken on the passing of this Ordinance, Commissioner Contento – Ney, all other commissioners Aye. Motion carried 4-1.
Ordinance # (2016-09) – Adopting 2017 Budget
Commissioner Eshleman entertained a motion to approve Ordinance # 2016-09 approval of the
2017 Budget for the township. Motioned by Commissioner Breton and seconded by Commissioner Young. Individual votes were taken on the passing of this Ordinance, Commissioner Contento – Ney, all other commissioners Aye. Motion carried 4-1.
Resolution # (2016-36) – Adopting Schedule of Fees for Professional Consultants
Commissioner Eshleman entertained a motion to approve Ordinance # 2016-36, adopting Schedule of Fees for Professional Consultants. Moved by Commissioner Young and seconded by Commissioner Breton. Motion carried 5-0.
Resolution # (2016-37) – Adopting 2017 Township Fee Schedule
Mr. McClintock stated that some fees have increased and they have been put into the final Township Fee Schedule. Inspection Fees have been increased by a rate and certain fees and schedules are at a set fee. Rates were about $4.00 for residential and commercial fees per hour that would be increased. Placement and movement of buildings stayed the same, the permit fees are a flat fee at $75.00. Flat fees will be used for the whole township.
Commissioner Eshleman entertained a motion to approve Ordinance # 2016-37 adopting the 2017 Township Fee Schedule. Moved by Commissioner Contento and seconded by Commissioner Breton. Motion carried 5-0.
Approval of Minutes
Commissioner Eshleman entertained a motion to approve the October 27, 2016 and November 17, 2016 minutes without any changes. Moved by Commissioner Breton and seconded by Commissioner Young. Commissioner Contento abstained from the vote. Motion carried 4-0.
Commissioner Eshleman entertained a motion to approve the December 1, 2016 meeting minutes without any changes. Moved by Commissioner Breton and seconded by Commissioner Young. Commissioner Contento abstained from voting on the December 1, 2016 meeting notes. Motion carried 4-0.
Mrs. Noel Bernard, Caln Meeting House Road, wanted to state that she was proud of our Commissioners for all the hard work they have done on the 2017 Budget. Our Commissioners have tried to keep costs down over the past several years and she approves this increase to our taxes to help the whole township grow and develop.
Mrs. Illaria Steele stated that we do not have a good school district. Properties are not selling for a year and a half because people with children are not coming into our school district. People who have children are not moving into our township.
Ms. Kristen Denne stated this is the last meeting of the Board that will allow for the proper advertising for the Conditional Use for Wawa at Reeceville Road Site. Commissioner Eshleman entertained a motion that we approve the advertising for the hearing to be held on January 19th. Moved by Commissioner Breton and seconded by Commissioner Chambers. Motion carried 5-0.
A happy and safe holiday to all and we will see all of our Commissioners in 2017.
Commissioner Eshleman entertained a motion to adjourn the December 15, 2016 meeting at 10:20 PM. Moved by Commissioner Young and seconded by Commissioner Breton. Motion carried 5-0.
Respectfully Submitted by,