253 Municipal Drive Thorndale, PA 19372
November 19, 2020 Minutes
6:40 PM Budget Presentation
7:30 PM Workshop
Attendance – Paul Mullin-President, Jane Kennedy-Vice President, Joshua Young-Commissioner, Lorraine Tindaro-Commissioner, Mark Evans-Commissioner, Kristen Denne-Township Manager/Secretary, Kevin Barron-Township Finance Director, Bryan Kulakowsky-Township Engineer, Kristin Camp-Township Solicitor (Absent), and Denise Miller-Assistant Township Secretary.
Commissioner Mullin called the Virtual Zoom meeting to order, and called for the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.
Ms. Denne noted that the budget is balanced between use of real estate taxes, fees for service, and use of previous surplus. The Township has been fortunate in recent years and the imposition of the tax increase in 2017 has led the Township successfully through the last couple budget cycles, and allowed for the Township to build a surplus and complete additional capital projects. The proposed 2021 budget balanced due to not filling a vacancy in the police department, and support from inter-fund transfers. The proposed budget is conservative in nature as we are still not sure what the residual effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic will be on Earned Income Tax, and the ability for businesses to stay open. This will be an item that will be monitored closely throughout the year. Fiscal Year 2020 is projected to end better than anticipated as earned income collections remain strong. There are concerns of how another looming shut down can impact local municipal budgets in 2021.
Ms. Denne noted that the solid waste fund will be dipping into the reserves to pay for increases that presented itself in the most recently bid contract. Recyclables have caused the disposal of materials to increase and thus an increase cost of disposal and collection. This fund may only be able to depend on reserves for two more fiscal cycles, as the township has been assessed overage fees for increased tonnages resulting from residents being home more during the pandemic. This issue coupled with the lack of market for recycling materials may lead to significant increases in future refuse contracts.
Ms. Denne noted that the assessed values in 2020 remain nearly flat due to lack of development and large private infrastructure projects in the Township. The Township has remained in good financial position through reserve balances and strong collections rates of fees and millage. Ms. Denne also noted that this trend echoes fiscal year 2020 that also yielded a limited increase in the assessed value of the Township. In 2019 the Township was assessed at roughly $727,625 and increased to $727,837 in 2020. The limited increase in value resulted in less than $1,000 of additional real estate revenue.
Ms. Denne noted a few highlights from the proposed 2021 budget.
· No Real Estate Tax Increase
· Slight increase in certain light districts to meet increases in PECO costs
· $18.00 Residential Sewer Fee Increase: $75 to $78 Bimonthly
· $1.50 Flat Rate Increase Monthly for Commercial Users: $56.92 to $58.42 Monthly
· $0.48 Increase in Monthly Commercial Consumption: $6.50 to $6.98 per thousand gallon monthly usage
2021 Anticipated Revenues/Expenditures
· General Fund - $7,536,031
· Fire Fund - $441,690
· Golf Fund - $692,269
· Equipment Fund - $260,772
· Solid Waste Fund - $1,462,202
Ms. Denne also noted that the health care estimate for 2021 is $1.2 million. She also noted that the police contract started an insurance “cost sharing” 2 years ago, and the “Teamsters” agreed to an insurance “cost sharing” starting in 2021 as well as all Administrative Employees.
Ms. Denne noted that after the proposed 2021 budget presentation, the Board will make an official motion to approve to advertise the budget for public inspection as well as the ordinances. The budget shall be placed on public display November 20, 2020 to insure the mandatory inspection period, as per the Township Code.
The Budget will be available on the Township website at www.calntownship.org or it can be requested via info@Calntownship.org. If any resident does not have the technical ability to access the budget on line or via email, an appointment can be made to view these documents. She also note that the final adoption of the budget must be executed on or after December 10, 2020.
Ms. Denne offered to meet with any of the Board Members individually, if they would like to further review the budget.
Commissioner Mullin called for Board and Public comments.
Mark DeYoung of 20 Beaver Run Road asked Ms. Denne what she is basing the earned income tax on. Ms. Denne noted that she goes by what Keystone Collections tells them. Ms. Denne also noted that a lot of expenses were cut because of the worry of COVID-19. Mr. DeYoung asked what the light slight increase is. Commissioner Mullin and Mr. Barron noted that it is a 10% increase, across the board.
Mr. DeYoung asked about the healthcare “cost sharing”. Ms. Denne noted that the police officers pay $1,500 per year and the non-uniform employees will pay 6% in 2021, 6.5% in 2022, and 7% in 2023.
Commissioner Mullin called for a fifteen minute recess. The Board of Commissioners Workshop resumed at 7:30 PM.
Mike Bedrick of 1702 Olive Street complimented the Township for continuing their services during this Pandemic.
Citizens to be Heard
George Chambers of 19 Park Avenue asked if there were any more police support yard signs left and if they can be sold if there are. Ms. Denne noted that they did not sell very well, and they were given away at Community Day and Police Night Out. She also noted that it would be up to Chief Elias if they could be sold again if any were left. Commissioner Mullin asked where the sign money went. Ms. Denne noted that the $5 went to reimburse the purchase of the signs.
Mark DeYoung of 20 Beaver Run Road noted that he would like to purchase a police support yard sign.
Commissioner Mullin noted that he would like to purchase one, too.
Cheryl Spaulding of 406 Lloyd Avenue noted that the police were very helpful during the polls. She also noted that she would advertise the police support signs on “Caln Watch”.
Commissioner Evans thanked Officer Shaw for his work in locating the person who stole his wife’s identify a few years ago.
Township Solicitor – Ms. Camp
Commissioner Evans Township Update
Holiday Decorating Contest – Commissioner Evans noted to visit the Township Facebook page to register. He also noted that there is no registration fee, and winner will be selected via vote on Facebook.
· “Best Use of Lawn Ornaments”
· “Best Use of Lights”
· “Best Multimedia”
· “Martha Stewart”
· “Residents’ Choice”
Seasonal Packages – Commissioner Evans noted that Chief Elias has informed the Board that there has been an increase in stolen seasonal packages from homes. Commissioner Evans also noted that currently the police are investigating multiple reports from Thornridge and Beaver Run Subdivisions, which occurred yesterday in the afternoon hours.
COVID-19 – Commissioner Evans noted that the State has issued new COVID-19 mandates in response to the Pandemic’s uncontrolled resurgence.
Commissioner Evans noted that a mask must be worn outdoors if you are not able to physically distance yourself at least 6 feet from someone that is not in your household. Masks are required to be worn indoors even if you are physically distanced from members that are not in your household. This order applies to every indoor facility including homes, retail establishments, gyms, Doctor Offices, public transportation and anywhere food is prepared, packaged or served.
Commissioner Evans noted that if ICU admissions continue, Pennsylvania will run out of ICU beds in December. Commissioner Evans also noted that the CDC recommends celebrating virtually or only with members of your own household. College Students returning home from the Holidays should be considered part of a different household.
Commissioner Evans noted that within the last three weeks, Chester County had 2,018 new positive cases. A 78% increase since October 29.
From October 29 to November 11 Chester County had 1,380 new positive cases, which is a 137% increase over what was reported on October 8.
From November 5 to November 18 Chester County had 1,510 new positive cases, which is a 173% increase from October 29th.
Township Engineer – Mr. Kulakowsky
2020 Road Program Change Order #2 – For Board consideration, Mr. Kulakowsky offered change order #2 from Berg Construction to revise the unit price of two paving items due to a change in the asphalt supplies. This change order will increase the unit price for the asphalt base course by $1.64 per ton, and the asphalt wearing course by $1.96 per ton. The contract value adjustment is estimated to be $3,421.60 based on the estimated bid quantities, and an increase of the contract value to $355,242.40. Mr. Kulakowsky noted that the change order is because Berg was originally using an asphalt plant in Coatesville and he was asked if they could use Highway Materials from Downingtown.
Mr. Kulakowsky noted that the 2020 Road Program paving was completed on November 14. The roads completed were Gallagherville Road, Fox Farm Lane, Hazelwood from Marshallton/Thorndale to Gallagherville Road, Pierce Lane, and the section of South Bailey Road from Lincoln Highway, underneath the railroad tracks to where it meets Hazelwood through the intersection of South Bailey Road.
Commissioner Mullin asked Mr. Kulakowsky why he changed from the Coatesville plant to Highway Materials. Mr. Kulakowsky noted that Mr. Fragale asked because Highway Materials is who helikes to use. Commissioner Mullin also asked if the project is in budget, with this change order. Mr. Kulakowsky noted that they are still in budget.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to approve change order #2, as presented by Mr. Kulakowsky. Moved by Commissioner Tindaro and seconded by Commissioner Evans. Commissioner Mullin called for Board and Public comments. There were none. Vote passed 5-0.
Mr. Kulakowsky noted that the striping and stop bars need to be completed before ARRO can do their punch list inspection.
Planning Commission Update
Mr. Kulakowsky noted that Dunkin Donuts received a Conditional Use plan approval to proceed forward to the Board of Commissioners. He also noted that the Applicant is working on stormwater issues with ARRO. Mr. Kulakowsky also noted that they are also doing red brick for the trash enclosure surround.
Mr. Kulakowsky noted that the Planning Commission made a conditional approval recommendation for the Chester County Sports Arena to the Board. The Applicant has submitted revised plans, which are under review by the Township Consultants. The project will be brought to the Board once the Applicant has addressed the outstanding comments, for Boards consideration.
Township Manager – Ms. Denne
Emergency Declaration 30 Extension – For Board consideration, Ms. Denne offered a 30 day extension, due to COVID-19.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to approve the proposed 30 day Emergency Declaration. Moved by Commissioner Evans and seconded by Commissioner Tindaro. Commissioner Mullin called for Board and Public comments. There were none. Vote passed 5-0.
2021 Draft Township Schedule for Review – Ms. Denne offered the 2021 draft township schedule for review or proposed adoption. Board concensus was to have more time for review, and adopt it at the December 10, 2020 meeting.
Ordinances and Resolutions for Consideration
Consideration to Advertise an Ordinance Setting the Real Estate Tax Rate for 2021 to 3.458 Mills – Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to advertise an ordinance setting the real estate tax rate for 2021 to 3.4858 Mills. Moved by Commissioner Tindaro and seconded by Commissioner Kennedy. Commissioner Mullin called for Board and Public comments. Commissioner Mullin noted that this ordinance reflects no increase. Vote passed 5-0.
Consideration to Advertise an Ordinance Imposing an Annual Fire Protection Tax of .6 Mills – Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to advertise an ordinance imposing an annual fire protection tax of .6 Mills. Moved by Commissioner Tindaro and seconded by Commissioner Kennedy. Commissioner Mullin called for Board and Public comments. Commissioner Mullin noted that this ordinance reflects no increase. Vote passed 5-0.
Consideration to Advertise an Ordinance Adopting the Final 2021 Municipal Budget – Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to advertise an ordinance adopting the final 2021 municipal budget. Moved by Commissioner Evans and seconded by Commissioner Tindaro. Commissioner Mullin called for Board and Public comments. There were none. Vote passed 5-0.
Consideration to Advertise an Ordinance Amending the Lighting Assessments for Township Light Districts – Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to advertise an ordinance amending the lighting assessments for Township light districts. Moved by Commissioner Tindaro and seconded by Commissioner Evans. Commissioner Mullin called for Board and Public comments. There were none. Vote passed 5-0.
Resolution 2020-52 A Resolution Authorizing a Term Loan with Mid Penn Bank for the Spackman Farm Large Barn Roof Replacement, in the amount of S131,334 – Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion authorizing a term loan with Mid Penn Bank for the Spackman Farm Large Barn roof replacement, in the amount of $131,334. Moved by Commissioner Evans and seconded by Commissioner Tindaro. Commissioner Mullin called for Board and Public comments.
Tony DiSario of 251 Loomis Avenue had concerns with spending money on the barn, and also during a Pandemic. Board concensus was that this roof needs to be repaired to prevent further damage, and to preserve the history of Caln Township. Commissioner Evans noted that if the Township waits six months, there will be no roof left. He also noted that the farmer’s rent is paying the loan.
Mark DeYoung of 20 Beaver Run Road noted that even though the farmer will be paying for this loan, it could have been used for something else. Commissioner Mullin noted that after the loan is paid off, the farmer’s rent can be used for something else.
Vote passed 5-0.
Minutes to Approve/Acknowledge
October 29, 2020 Board of Commissioners Minutes – Commissioner Mullin asked Mr. DeYoung if he agrees with changing his comment from the October 29 meeting regarding the Spackman Farm Barn farmer’s rent from “the General Fund is still at a negative” to the “General Fund is negatively affected”. Mr. DeYoung agreed.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to approve the October 29, 2020 minutes with said change. Moved by Commissioner Tindaro and seconded by Commissioner Kennedy. Commissioner Mullin called for Board and Public comments. There were none. Vote passed 5-0.
Finance Department – Kevin Barron
Finance Report – Mr. Barron noted a few highlights from his October 2020 report, which was previously provided to the Board.
· General Fund Revenue is approximately $24,000 behind last year, at this time
· Fire Fund Expenditures is $132,000 behind last year, at this time
Mr. Barron noted that the Finance Department is adding a “web email” so invoices can be electrically sent to residents. Residents can request this by going to email@example.com. He also noted that this will be a cost savings to the Township.
Commissioner Evans asked the potential savings. If all invoices were emailed it would save approximately $18,000, and $3,600 for tax bills.
Mark DeYoung of 20 Beaver Run Road commented on emailed invoices, and suggested an incentive to start.
General Checks 45702-45789 and General Manual Checks 164-170 – Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to approve general checks 45702-45789 and general manual checks 164-170. Moved by Commissioner Tindaro and seconded by Commissioner Kennedy. Commissioner Mullin called for Board and Public comment. There were none. Vote passed 5-0
Boards and Commissions Updates – Summary by Applicable Board Liaison
Parks and Recreation – Commissioner Young noted highlights from their October meeting.
· Halloween Contest winners are on the Township Facebook
· Event bus company has gone out of business – Deposits were returned
· Next meeting will be held in February
COG – Commissioner Kennedy noted highlights from their October meeting.
· October 28th Luncheon on November 20th
· Discussion on Animal Control Task Force
· Emergency Services and Equipment Sharing – Recommended Employee Sharing
- Coatesville Flats Project Starting - $55 million investment - 3rd Avenue train station to be moved to 4th Avenue
Commissioner Kennedy noted discussion was held on the “Sam Act” regarding marijuana use. Ms. Denne noted that Chief Elias should be present during discussion, and the Board should review this more.
Ms. Denne also noted that when she signs off on Federal funding and CDL programs, she is signing that Caln Township is a drug free community, and that they follow all the DEA and Federal rules.
Tony DiSario noted that he is against this act.
Mark DeYoung of 20 Beaver Run Road noted that he is against this act.
Licia Carini of 103 Ayerwood asked what happens to the Parks and Recreation budget if it is not used by the end of the year. She asked if the remaining money could be used to support local businesses, and send something to residents’ homes. Ms. Denne noted that the money that is not used gets carried to the next year. Commissioner Young noted that money is budgeted however, Ms. Swan raises most of the money for Township events.
Ms. Carini also asked if anyone from the Township has met with the new Coatesville School District Superintendent. Ms. Denne noted that she has met with him but did not discuss taxes.
Municipal Authority – Commissioner Mullin noted highlights from their October meeting.
· Commissioner Mullin noted that the pump station is up and running
· Gum trees have also been planted along G.O. Carlson, where the Old Willow trees were removed
Commissioner Kennedy asked if the Township is putting up a Christmas tree this year. Ms. Denne noted that this has to be discussed further to see if social distancing can be done.
DARA – George Chambers gave a brief update on their October meeting.
Mr. Chambers noted that their primary discussion was on the DARA pump station expansion of one million gallons. He noted that the Township had to build their pump station because they were over their allocation at the Downingtown pump station. With their pump station they are now able to divert flow to Coatesville however, it is more expensive. Once the Downingtown pump station is expanded, more flow can be diverted there to keep costs down.
Mr. Chambers also noted that Mr. Gill and his Staff have located a lot of I&I, which is now under control. Now additional flow can go to Downingtown that replaces the rain water that was going there.
Fire Board – Commissioner Young noted highlights from their October meeting.
· Budget discussed with the Fire Board
Commissioner Young noted that the Township has completed their review of the fire agreement, and returned it to the Fire Board, with their suggestions.
Commissioner Young noted that they will certify the electors to elect the First Responder for the election to the Fire Board. Ron Miller’s term is expiring as an emergency responder, and he is not seeking re-election. Former Fire Chief and Fire Company President, John Cordisco is the only one listed for election.
Commissioner Young noted that Rich Boist who is a Trustee of the Fire Company is leaving the Fire Board and Trustee Dave Bentley will take his place.
Historical Commission – Commissioner Tindaro noted highlights from their October meeting.
· Considering a reorganization in 2021
· Discussion on Edges Mill Historic District
· Discussion on the potential land to be donated to the Township
· Discussion on saving “Lloyd Farm”
· Edges Mill flex property up for sale
· Will be working with the Zoning Task Force to reflect historic concerns
· Worked on a 2021 budget
Commissioner Evans also noted highlights from their October meeting.
· Tony Wagner is heading the marketing and communications sub-committee
· Baker/Smith property potential land donation to the Township.
Commissioner Evans noted that Mr. Wagner is working with Ms. Swan to improve the Historical Committee section of Caln’s website. Mr. Wagner will be doing a quarterly historic property of interest with photos and stories about resident properties, in January 2021.
Lincoln Highway – Commissioner Young noted highlights from their October meeting.
Commissioner Young noted that all the Lincoln Highway Members are on the Zoning Task Force, and that is what they have been working on.
Commissioner Young noted that they need to have discussion on how to help some of the Township restaurants.
Commissioner Mullin noted that there is a vacant position on the Parks and Recreation Commission, Zoning Hearing Board, and several on the Historical Commission. He also noted that if you are a resident of Caln and would like to be involved and help make your Township a great place to live, consider volunteering your time on one of our Committees. Reach out to the Township to find out how to apply.
Commissioner Young noted that this is the most time he has spent on a budget in his 15 years as a Commissioner. He thanked Mr. Barron, Ms. Denne, and Commissioner Mullin for all their work.
Cathy Callaghan of 931 Bondsville Road asked if there is a conflict of interest if members of the Historic Commission that live in the Edge’s Mill Area should vote for any part of the application to include Edge’s Mill as a Historic District. Ms. Denne noted that she does not see why they cannot vote because they are not receiving any type of financial contribution.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to adjourn the November 19, 2020 meeting at 9:15 PM. Moved by Commissioner Young and seconded by Commissioner Evans. Vote passed 5-0.
Respectfully Submitted by,
Assistant Township Secretary