253 Municipal Drive Thorndale, PA 19372
April 8, 2021 Minutes
Attendance: Paul Mullin-President, Jane Kennedy-Vice President, Joshua Young-Commissioner, Lorraine Tindaro-Commissioner, Mark Evans-Commissioner, Kristen Denne-Township Manager/Secretary, Denise Miller-Assistant Township Secretary, Lisa Swan-Finance Director, Bryan Kulakowsky-Township Engineer, and Kristin Camp-Township Solicitor (Absent).
Commissioner Mullin called the virtual Zoom meeting to order at 7:35 PM. He then called for the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
Commissioner Evans Updates
Welcome everyone, thank you for joining us. Our meetings are “Neutral Ground”, a place to hear and be heard. Just a reminder that we need to all keep our comments civil and non-judgmental, whether addressing Board Members, Township Employees, or our fellow citizens. We’re all in this together.
Dog Park at Lloyd Park – Since the township put up new signage, we haven’t received any complaints from St. Joe’s. Nevertheless, we are looking into the cost of fencing in the north side of the dog park
Zoning Taskforce – The Taskforce met this week for a marathon discussion that focused on Commercial, Institutional, Industrial, and Transportation
Caln Cleanup Day – April 24, 2021 is “Caln Cleanup Day”, and we have double the cleanup to do since last year’s event was cancelled, due to COVID. Please contact Abbey Swan to RSVP.
Volunteering – There’s no better way to feel good about your township than by being a part of it. Please consider joining one of our Commissions. There are currently openings on the Historical Commission, Parks and Recreation, and others.
Spackman Farm Barn Roof – The pre-construction meeting with Kupex took place on Monday. Kupex will supply the township with samples of several color choices for roofing panels. Bryan will have more in his report.
With more vaccines being made available, the county’s vaccination registration system has been able to make great progress. Kudos to our County Commissioners, and Chesco Department of Health for not letting up! We are now in vaccine Phase 1B, and will expand to Phase 1C on April 12, 2021. But the big news is that beginning April 19, 2021, ALL residents of Chester County will qualify to get the COVID-19 (COVID) Vaccine.
Phase 1B is limited to:
- People in congregate settings other than long-term care facilities
- Persons receiving home and community-based services
- Correctional officers, and other workers serving people in congregate care settings not included in Phase 1A
- Education workers previously not covered
- U.S. Postal Service workers
- Manufacturing workers
- Clergy and other essential support for houses of worship
- Public transit workers
- Teachers and child care workers
- Law enforcement
- Grocery store employees
- Food/agriculture workers
There is light at the end of the tunnel. But we are nowhere near reaching herd immunity. Only 35% of Pennsylvanians have received at least the first dose of the vaccine. It’s important that we not let our guard down. Not wearing masks in public places is the leading cause of spread for the infection. mask wearing is not a political statement, it’s a sign of respect for your brothers and sisters in this thing called life. Please put love of your neighbor before self-interest, and be a part of the solution.
JUST THE NUMBERS:
In Caln, on March 25, 2021 we had 985 cases, we now have 1,025, up just over 4%, the same as the previous four weeks. Sadly, another one of our neighbors has lost their life to COVID. Our Caln death toll now stands at 33.
Since March 25, 2021, Chester County has added 2,078 new positive cases, a 48% increase over the previous 2 weeks. There was 6 additional deaths, bringing the total to 750 Chester County lives lost to COVID. Caln is back up to having the 5th highest number of cases in the county, and continues to have the 6th highest number of deaths.
Citizens to be Heard
Ashlee Dadd of 4331 Edges Mill Road asked the Board how many people or Board Members were in attendance or logged in to the zoom meeting back in May when the Dwell Development was passed. Commissioner Young noted that he was in attendance. Ms. Denne noted that Ms. Dadd can view the minutes on the township website, and see what Board Members were in attendance.
Ms. Dadd asked how many people are normally in attendance of a township meeting. Ms. Denne noted that the meetings average roughly twenty to thirty people.
Ms. Dadd asked when the first meeting was held during the COVID pandemic. Commissioner Mullin noted that it was scheduled for March 26, 2020 however, it was cancelled due to a storm, and rescheduled for April 9, 2020.
Ms. Dadd noted that she understands that when Dwell was really in discussion in past years, there was standing room only at one point. She also noted that she is really disappointed in the township.
Commissioner Mullin asked Ms. Dadd if she reached out to the Developer. Ms. Dadd noted that at this point, they were already told that everything passed.
Ms. Dadd noted that she feels that her chance to talk was completely taken away. Commissioner Mullin apologized, and noted that it was years ago even before the current Board, that the Dwell project was approved and ready to go.
Commissioner Mullin asked Ms. Dadd to give her phone number to Ms. Denne and he will call her, early next week.
Cheryl Spaulding of 406 Lloyd Avenue asked for the status of the developments posted on the township website.
Blackhorse Hill Apartments Approval – Ms. Denne noted they are asking for a zoning change, and will be in front of the Zoning Task Force next month.
The Willows at Valley Run – Ms. Denne noted that they received their conditional use application, and they are preparing for funding, and preparing to go through land development, and subdivision development.
Chester County Sports Arena – Ms. Denne noted that they are complete as far as their conditional use for expanding their recreation.
The Villages at Hillview/Meadows at Hillview – Ms. Denne noted that they are complete however, they are currently in the process of working through some sewer agreement issues for escrow, and use of the pump station.
Hills at Thorndale Woods – Ms. Denne noted that they have been on the books for approximately twenty years. She also noted that there are no new updates.
Dwell at Caln – Ms. Spaulding asked when Dwell will break ground. Ms. Denne noted that the township does not know at this point. Ms. Spaulding asked if they have nothing else to do except break ground. Ms. Denne noted that they still have to go through building permit stages. Ms. Denne noted that the original company sold the plan, and that company is in the process of applying for building permits, and getting their project underway. Ms. Spaulding asked who the new builder is. Ms. Denne noted that she will email her the new builder’s name.
15 Fox Avenue – Commissioner Evans noted that they did not pass through the Township Planning Commission. Ms. Spaulding asked what options they have remaining. Ms. Denne noted that they can do anything allowed within that zoning district. She also noted that they were asking for a variance from the Zoning Board to do higher density homes, which are not permitted in that area.
Wild Meadows/Lloyd Farm – Ms. Denne noted that she has not had any communication with them.
Ms. Spaulding noted that it looks like the property is not being farmed this year because it is all grass. It was noted that they do not have to report anything to the township concerning their farming of the property.
Bondsville Road Apartments – Ms. Denne noted that the owner is looking for funding.
Former K-Mart Property – Ms. Spaulding noted that this is not on the website however, she would like an update. Ms. Denne noted that the property was sold in December, and the new owner has not given the township any indication of what their intended occupancy is, at this time. Ms. Spaulding asked who the new owner is. She also noted that Ms. Spaulding can look this up on Chesco Views. Commissioner Mullin noted that the new owners name is Lomax Tile and Carpet.
Ms. Spaulding asked if there are any projects that are not on the township website. Commissioner Mullin noted that he does not believe that there are.
Ms. Spaulding noted that it does not look like the development section has been updated since December 2020. She also noted that it would be helpful if the development section could be updated on a monthly basis.
Ashlee Dadd of 4331 Edges Mill Road noted that she spoke with the attorney representing the developer and he said that they need to do all the road work on 322 prior to breaking ground. She also noted that it is a messy hard road to deal with, and the attorney said that PennDot will be in charge of that.
Mark DeYoung of 20 Beaver Run Road noted that last year Lloyd Farm had soy beans. He also noted that every few years the farmer has to go from corn to soy beans.
Township Solicitor – Ms. Camp
Township Engineer – Mr. Kulakowsky
Spackman Farm Update – Mr. Kulakowsky noted that Kupex will be measuring the roof for the roof panels tomorrow. The roof panels will be a single panel from the peak to the drip edge so there will be no seam horizontally across the roof, just vertical seams.
Mr. Kulakowsky shared the color choices. He noted that they are using an Everlast metal roof. He also noted that the completion date is to be determined based upon the delivery time of the panels. Everlast does not start manufacturing the panels until they are ordered, and they are running three to four weeks.
2021 Road Program Update – Mr. Kulakowsky noted that ARRO has completed all the cost, road work, and walks, and he has updated the Board on the status of the program. He also noted that the budget has not been finalized.
Ms. Denne noted that this can be further discussed at staff level.
Township Manager – Ms. Denne
Cooperative Agreement with Thorndale Volunteer Fire Department – This has been removed from tonight’s agenda.
S&T Bank Bond Rating – Ms. Denne noted that she received the township bond rating from S&T Bank at an AA, and noted that they would have been an AA plus if we were not in a pandemic. She also noted that the bank was happy with the low taxes, and high fund balance. What would take the township to the next level is that the existing or future debt would be for bigger payments over less time.
Commissioner Mullin asked Mr. DeYoung what he thinks of an AA rating. Mr. DeYoung noted that paying off debt faster is what banks are looking for. He also noted that an AA rating is excellent.
Ordinances and Resolutions for Consideration
Resolution 2021-03 A Resolution Designating the 2021 Response Territories for Emergency Service in Caln Township (TABLED 01/28/2021) – Commissioner Mullin noted that resolution 2021-03 will continue to be tabled.
Resolution 2021-10 A Resolution Establishing the Fire Police Officers for Thorndale Volunteer Fire Company for the Year of 2021 (TABLED 2/25/2021) – Commissioner Mullin noted that he swore in the Fire Police Officers on March 24, 2021.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to remove Resolution 2021-10 from being tabled. Moved by Commissioner Evans and seconded by Commissioner Tindaro. Commissioner Mullin called for public comment. There were none. Vote passed 5-0.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to approve Resolution 2021-10 establishing the Fire Police Officers for Thorndale Volunteer Fire Company. Moved by Commissioner Tindaro and seconded by Commissioner Young. Commissioner Mullin called for public comment. There were none. Vote passed 5-0.
Minutes to Approve
Motion to Approve the March 25, 2021 Board of Commissioners Minutes – Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to approve the March 25, 2021 Board of Commissioners minutes. Moved by Commissioner Tindaro and seconded by Commissioner Young. Commissioner Mullin called for Board comment. There were none. Vote passed 5-0.
Motion of approval for General Checks 46309 to 46353 Manual Check 191 – Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to approve general checks 46309 to 46353 and manual check 191. Moved by Commissioner Tindaro and seconded by Commissioner Young. 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 that they will continue to address how to move forward with Parks and Recreation during COVID, and start to do activities again.
· Caln Clean Up Day April 24, 2021 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
· Children spring school house decorating contest winners are on the township website
COG – Commissioner Kennedy noted several discussions held at their March meeting.
· Mayor of Modena Borough, Antoinette Johnson passed away last month
· Caln would be neighborly in sharing equipment in a crisis
· Continued discussion on a SPCA municipality rescue facility
· Shared ideas on how to proceed with in-person meetings
· Discussion on summer events
Ms. Denne noted that Chester County did a training on outside events and festivals. They brought in a consultant from Temple University who is a professor at their hospitality program, and he gave a power point presentation on what needs to be accomplished to be considered safe by CDC and Pennsylvania guidelines. Ms. Denne noted that this presentation is still available on the Chester County Visitors’ Bureau website.
Commissioner Mullin asked Commissioner Kennedy if any townships have tried to open public meetings yet. Commissioner Kennedy noted that they were discussing on how to move forward and how they could accommodate people in their meeting room.
Commissioner Young noted that Downingtown Borough is holding their meetings in-person now with no “Zoom” option. He also noted that West Bradford holds their in-person meetings in their public works garage.
Municipal Authority – Commissioner Mullin noted that the pump station is running, however, they are still working on the punch list.
Commissioner Mullin noted that the 2021 Inflow and Infiltration Project (I&I) will involve cleaning, televising, and grouting a little over 76,000 feet of 15 to 16 inch pipe from the bridge to nowhere over to Cohens, the trucking company. The project also includes cleaning, televising, and grouting approximately 1,400 feet of 8 and 14 inch pipe over in the Seltzer area. He also noted that the Contractor is expected to start in a couple of weeks.
Commissioner Mullin noted that the Taco Bell Contractor has completed the installation of the new grinder pump system, and the installation of the required extension low pressure force main, in order to connect to our system. He also noted that the Contractor will need to make some repairs found during the startup today.
Ms. Denne noted that Taco Bell will be open by the next school year.
DARA – Commissioner Mullin noted that on Monday March 15, 2021 they had a manager’s meeting with a few of the Board members and with the DARA Board to discuss the update of the DARA expansion. He also noted that the meeting went very well, and the next step will be to update the township Act 537 plan. Gilmore and Associates will present the proposal to complete the Act 537 at their April 26 Municipal Authority meeting.
Fire Board – Commissioner Young noted they are still waiting for the Fire Company to sign the Cooperative Agreement, and send it to the township so it can be voted on.
Commissioner Mullin asked if this is the agreement that was sent to the township, at the end of 2020/beginning of 2021, made no changes to it, and sent it back to hopefully have it signed. Commissioner Young noted “yes”.
Historical Commission – Commissioner Tindaro noted discussions from their March meeting,
· Determination of Eligibility (DOE) for the Edges Mill Historic District
· Gardner-Beale House
· VA Hospital destruction of unused dilapidated buildings
· Baker/Smith property – Historical spring house, and historical significance
· Spackman Farm roof, and outside lighting
· Social media growth – posting on “neighborhood.com”
· Zoning concerns in Historic District
Commissioner Tindaro noted that Commissioner Evans has delivered historic resources map information to Abbey Swan, at the township office.
Commissioner Evans noted that the Board drafted letters to Senator Katie Muth and Representative Dan Williams offices asking for support letters for the Gardner-Beale program.
Commissioner Evans noted that Paul Stevens has drafted a letter requesting pictures and plans of the VA Doctor housing that was demolished last week.
Commissioner Evans noted that he is representing the Caln Township Historical Commission at the April 10 remote Historic Preservation Leadership meeting.
Commissioner Kennedy noted that June 16, 2021, the Chester County Historical Committee is working on the first Chester County Annual Juneteenth this year at the Underground Railroad station in Kennett Square. She also noted that the City of Coatesville and neighboring municipalities, including Caln Township will be highlighting Juneteenth. Featured will be African American contributions to history throughout Chester County. Commissioner Evans noted that he had discussed Caln Township Historic Commission involvement with Dawn Coughlan. He asked Commissioner Kennedy to keep him informed.
Lincoln Highway – Commissioner Young noted continued discussion on the Zoning Task Force. He also noted that the Coatesville Area School District Superintendent, Tómas Hanna has agreed to meet with the Board to discuss LERTA.
Commissioner Mullin called for public comments.
Cheryl Spaulding of 406 Lloyd Avenue asked the location of the Baker/Smith property. Commissioner Mullin noted that it is where the old funeral home was on Barley Sheaf Road. Commissioner Evans noted that there is a historic springhouse on that property.
Ms. Spaulding asked the Board to let Paul Stevens figure out what the color of the Spackman Farm roof should be, historically. Commissioner Evans noted that Mr. Stevens is very involved.
Ms. Spaulding asked Commissioner Young to define what LERTA is. Commissioner Young noted that it is a Local Tax Incentive Program based on property tax, which all taxing authorities have to agree and sign on to. The Township and County have a LERTA however, the School District backed out of it.
Commissioner Young noted that for Caln Township it is only on commercial or industrial, and only on increased value to the property, so it encourages you to develop your property. If you have a building at $100,000 and after construction you are assessed at $200,000, the first year tax assessment would be $100,000 and they would move $10,000 a year to the tenth year when you’re at your full taxing assessment. He also noted that there is a clause that states that you could not have torn down your building within five years, and then started from that.
Ms. Spaulding asked why the school does not want this program. Commissioner Young noted that the last Superintendent convinced all the board members that it was a bad deal for the district because all of the development was coming anyway. He also noted it hurt the Academy Sports Company and Deron signs because they did not have their final Use and Occupancy permit yet, and it was needed to start the program.
2021-2022 Property Maintenance bid award – For Board consideration, Ms. Denne offered the 2021-2022 property maintenance annual bid award to Hurricane Hill Farm Lawn Care. Ms. Denne noted that the Township does not received multiple bidders because you have to carry additional insurance, and take a training course through Amtrak. She also noted that total contract remained the same except for an increase for single occurrences where if the township called them back to do a single area.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion authorizing the Township Manager to sign any documents necessary to award the contract to Hurricane Hill Farm Lawn Care. Moved by Commissioner Evans and seconded by Commissioner Tindaro. Commissioner Mullin called for public comment. There were none. Vote 5-0.
Tony DiSario of 251 Loomis Avenue noted that north Caln Road is in horrible condition. He asked if it is a state Road. Commissioner Young noted that it is a state road. Ms. Denne suggested to call 1-800-FIX-ROAD or go to their website to file a complaint. She also noted that they have a Performance Management System so the more residents that file a complaint, the higher up on the list it will get.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to adjourn the March 25, 2021 meeting at 8:20 PM. Moved by Commissioner Young and seconded by Commissioner Evans. Vote passed 5-0.
Respectfully Submitted by,
Assistant Township Secretary