253 Municipal Drive Thorndale, PA 19372
December 10, 2020 Minutes
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, and Denise Miller-Assistant Township Secretary.
Also in attendance were: Riley Riper Hollin & Colagreco, Debbie Schulski; Chester County Sports Arena, Jamie DiDomenico.
Commissioner Mullin called the Virtual Zoom meeting to order, and called for the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.
Commissioner Mullin noted that it is with heavy heart he announces the passing of Shawn Green on November 25, 2020. Shawn was a vital employee in the Public Works Department, a man of outstanding character, and he took pride in his work in the Township. He will be missed. Commissioner Mullin noted to please keep his family in prayer, during this difficult time.
Citizens to be Heard
James and Patricia Hepner of 1647 Reed Street – Mr. Hepner noted that he made numerous complaints for several years regarding the pipeline that was put in a couple years ago, which damaged the road in front of the property. He noted that they are getting three inches or more of water runoff where they go into their house, which his parents have to step through it.
Mr. Hepner noted that his parents received a summons from the judge, a violation notice on September 28, 2020 for high grass and tire removal, which he took care of within the thirty days. They also received a fine.
Mr. Hepner requested that Mr. Stackhouse call the judge and have this fine dismissed.
Mr. Stackhouse noted that they have been dealing with property maintenance issues for several years, and partial violation compliance for several years. In being cooperative, they have withdrawn citations in the past. He noted that they received a complaint on September 28, Joe Arvay issued a violation, which clearly states that the property is unmaintained not just the high grass and tires but multiple things on the outside of the front of the property that you would not typically see. With the neighbor’s permission, Mr. Arvay entered their property to take pictures of 1647 Reed Street on December 1 and the Hepner’s property was still unmaintained therefore Mr. Arvay filed a citation.
Mr. Stackhouse noted that there is a discrepancy on what their department feels the property maintenance code is and Mr. Hepner’s interpretation. He noted that he told Mr. Hepner that they would have to plead their case to the judge. Mr. Hepner noted that they will clean up what they are in violation of if he is told what it is.
Commissioner Mullin noted that he will speak with Mr. Stackhouse tomorrow and get this information from him and Mr. Arvay, and follow up with him personally to find out what is exactly happening on their property. Commissioner Evans Township Update
Glad you could all join us this evening. Our meetings are “Neutral Ground”, a place to hear and be heard. Welcome.
Wow… what a year this has been! We took office January 6, 2020 with a grand agenda. Little did we know, in the coming months our nation and our world would be faced with a pandemic, not seen in over 100 years. One that still poses a threat to our way of life and humanity. We entered COVID-19 (COVID) with three Rookie Commissioners, and great uncertainty but the Township’s finances were in good order, we weren’t overburdened with debt; and while our business tax income took a hit, thanks to solid fiscal planning and management, thus far we’ve been able to suffer the storm. Together, Kristen Denne, Department Directors (Ray Stackhouse, Kevin Barron, Mike Fragale, Scot Gill, and Chris Ward), along with every member of their staff, we were able to hold the line, trim the budget on the fly, and keep all of our services running. Our fearless Police Officers, Volunteer Fire Fighters, and other first responders did not miss a beat. And let’s acknowledge everyone for hanging in there and making the switch to Zoom! Personally, I aspire to be a Jetson, but when it comes to technology, I am unfortunately still a Flintstone.
Compared to the rest of Chester County, we have done pretty well. While neighboring Townships and Boroughs had to lay off employees and cut some services, quick action by our Township Manager kept our employees safe, employed, and all systems running. 2021 will see no increase in our property taxes, while neighbors in West Chester Borough are facing a property tax increase of 13%, and a 15.8% increase to their sewer fees.
So… we promised a lot for 2020. What have we accomplished, and what do we need to be more focused on in 2021?
Transparency and Accountability
- We promised to change the culture of our meetings - to make them more interactive, to answer all reasonable questions, and encourage our residents to be a part of the process. Hopefully you’ll agree that we have done that, and that our meetings are now actually “fun”, professional, and informative.
- We have facilitated changes to the Caln Township Website to keep citizens abreast of ongoing and proposed projects, and making sure meeting agendas and minutes are posted early enough for people to be prepared (we missed on one or two occasions; it’s progress, not perfection folks).
- We’ve made it easier for residents to get answers that can affect their neighborhoods and quality of life.
Finance and Infrastructure
- In the midst of COVID, we moved the tax due dates to give everyone more time to pay the discount and face tax amount.
- The Finance Department began accepting electronic payments.
- The Board of Commissioners challenged Chris Ward, and the Golf Commission to stop the bleeding and turn a profit. We asked them to “Show the Math” and they did. Their monthly year-over-year margin has been in the black for all of 2020, with total revenue up 63% over 2019. And they wiped out 50% of the remaining debt from the purchase and preservation of the large tract of land that is now the golf course. At the beginning of 2020 that debt was $667K, it is now $330K.
- We have continued to fulfill the capital improvement plan, and have made great headway with paving, piping, and clearing storm grates; while working toward improving storm water management.
- The Board of Commissioners began to hold potential developers accountable by strongly urging them to put residents’ safety and wellbeing first, and by complying with our requests to use brick along Lincoln Highway and other areas of high-visibility to add to the Township’s character and create a sense of who we are.
- We received a Grant to help perform a Complete Zoning Update, which incorporates much of the 2017 Comprehensive Plan (Open Space Development, Historic Preservation, Streetscape Improvements, Natural Resources Conservation Plan, Stormwater Management, and a “Thorndale Village” Lincoln Highway Business District) and to provide a vision of what Caln is, what it can be, and how we get there. We chose Ray Ott and Associates to work on the project, selected a Zoning Update Taskforce, and are now well on our way.
- We received a $1M Grant for 17th and Reed Streets, to be used over the next three years, helping a much needed area of our Township.
- We started the process for a $300K Grant through the William Penn Foundation to be used toward planning for the Beaver Creek Trail.
- The Grant for a traffic signal at the Lloyd Avenue Bridge was awarded, and the design, and installation process has begun
- The new Pump Station, a product of over a decade of planning, was completed. It is beautiful, and a great improvement to our Township’s Infrastructure.
- The new Township Municipal Building sign, an accomplishment of the previous administration, has been installed. It maintains the historic feel of Caln, while utilizing modern tech to provide up-to-date information.
This was a big priority for us, we believe that by preserving and prioritizing protection of our historic properties, Caln will grow into an identity more reflective of the overall vision of Chester County, and possibly an “historic travel destination”.
- The Historical Commission was overhauled by bringing in exciting new members, re-engaging with former members who had fallen away, reopening communications with the OCHS, and the creation of an ever-evolving 30-60-90 day priorities list. A list that incorporated many of the late Jim Spaulding’s ideas for preserving our historic resources.
- Adopted sub-committees (Spackman Farm, Marketing and Social Media, Historical Preservation) to better streamline and focus their efforts.
- The deteriorating roof of the Octagonal School House was replaced. The schoolhouse has also been repainted, repaired, and rejuvenated inside and out. The sign at the walkway entrance was replaced, and lighting was added to proudly illuminate our Township Symbol.
- Succeeded in having the Township remove the overgrowth from the Spackman Farmhouse, Barn, and Outbuildings.
- Successfully requested that all farming income from Spackman Farm be directed toward providing sustainable preservation and future potential public use of the farm.
- Secured approval and funding to replace the rapidly deteriorating Spackman Farm Barn roof.
- Began the process of updating the Historical Commission section of the Caln website to be more inviting and functional. Beginning in 2021 the website will feature a quarterly “historic property of interest” with photos and stories about resident properties
- Began the process of drafting a comprehensive Historical Preservation Ordinance to better inform the Zoning Update Taskforce.
- Continued the efforts to obtain a designation of eligibility for The Edge’s Mill District to be added to the National Register of Historic Places.
- Began to explore the rebranding of Caln as “Historic Caln Township”.
- Reopened the idea of the Kings Highway Park Master Plan.
Caln was recognized as a “Certified Silver Community” by the Sustainable Pennsylvania Community Certification Program for “demonstrating a commitment to advancing sustainable best practices to foster thriving and vibrant communities where people long to live, work, and play.”
Challenged by the pandemic, and shut down early and abruptly, Caln still attained a 78% response rate. That can lead to more opportunities for Grants and other County and State funding over the next decade
School Taxes and LERTA
This is one really important area where we fell short of our own expectations. We are hopeful that when things open up later in 2021 we can make headway in addressing our many concerns. We are very excited about the new School Superintendent. Getting Coatesville Area School District to honor their previous commitment to LERTA is crucial to Caln’s future.
Other Incomplete Grades
- We reconvened the Lincoln Highway Commission to jump start the revitalization of the Lincoln Highway Corridor. Ray Stackhouse prepared “heat maps” to identify vacant business addresses. But, with the Zoning Update Task Force also started looking at these issues, and COVID related closures promises to add to our vacancies, so to avoid redundancy we’ve put the Lincoln Highway Commission on the back burner until more is revealed.
- We called for the initiation of a Quarterly “Coffee and Conversation” with the Commissioners. We only had one, remotely, minus the coffee. We will do better in scheduling them in the New Year.
- We called for a Quarterly joint meeting of all Board and Commission Chairpersons. Hopefully, in the new year when in-person meetings are once again possible, we can get these going.
- In case of catastrophic events (like a pandemic), we had hoped to develop an overall Emergency Plan for the Township… Unfortunately we had one before we could get started.
Overall, we are proud of these accomplishments, but are in no way “patting ourselves on the back”. There is so much more to be done. We’ve only scratched the surface, and we can’t do anything without all of you. Please continue to attend our meetings, voice your support or opposition, ask questions, and join a Commission so you can be a part of building our future.
And on that note, we would like to thank some of the citizen volunteers who have really stepped up this year: Mark DeYoung, Donna DiPrinzio, Dawn Coughlan, Paul Stephens, and Tony Wagner. In 2021, if more of our neighbors will jump in like you have, we can’t help but succeed.
Three weeks ago I told you the COVID numbers were terrifying. Well, they’re a lot worse now… and the darkest days are still to come.
In only 3-weeks Caln Township has gone from a total of 309 cases to 471. It took eight months to get to 309 cases and only three weeks to add another 53%. 2 more of our neighbors have died, bringing the total to 17 lives lost right here. Happy Thanksgiving.
Want to talk about the County? Hey – Caln is number six in the County. That’s right, we have the sixth highest number of cases in the entire county. That’s something to be proud of, ya think?
Since November 19, 2020 Chesco has seen another 3,737 new positives, a new all-time high: 1,323 the week of November 19, 2020. 1,477 the week of November 26, 2020. 1,137 the week of December 3, 2020. As always, the most recent numbers will be adjusted up over the next few days. For example, the week ending November 18, 2020 was adjusted up 80%. My 638 reported ended up actually being 1,151. If we extrapolate that percent to this most recent week, we have 2,037 rather than the 1,137 I just reported. So, our three week increase could actually be as high as 4,837. That’s up 140% from the previous three weeks, about 230 new cases a day. There were 353 on Dec 1, 2020 alone.
That’s the Thanksgiving fallout folks.
If we are to avoid that level of catastrophe during the rest of the 2020 Holiday Season, we all need to follow the current recommended safety procedures:
Masks are required to be worn indoors and outdoors if you are away from your home.
When indoors, masks are required even if you are physically distant from people who are not members of your household. Your household is ONLY those who currently live and share common spaces in your housing. This means that even if you are able to be six feet apart, you will need to wear a mask while inside if you are with people other than members of your household.
This applies to every indoor facility, including homes, retail establishments, gyms, doctors’ offices, public transportation, and anywhere food is prepared, packaged or served.
Our Health Care System and their workers are overwhelmed. Our hospitals are getting full, and ICU’s are nearly maxed out. If ICU admissions continue at the current rate, Pennsylvania will run out of ICU beds this month.
Celebrate the Holidays virtually. Only celebrate in person with members of your own household who are consistently taking measures to reduce the spread of COVID.
I suspect that by now, every one of us knows at least one person who’s been bedridden by COVID. In the next months, friends and neighbors will die, businesses will fail.
The good news is there is a vaccine about to be distributed, but it will take months before we can all get vaccinated. So in the meantime, let’s do everything we can to make sure our families, friends, neighbors, emergency workers, and local businesses Survive. Please, be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.
Township Solicitor – Ms. Camp
Southdown Homes Extension Request until March 31, 2021, for the Board to act on the Final Plans for the Hills at Thorndale Woods – For Board consideration, Ms. Camp offered Southdown Homes extension request, until March 31, 2020 for the Board to act on the Final Plans for the Hills at Thorndale Woods. Ms. Camp noted that this project has been in the works since 1999. One of the hurdles that they need to do is Acquire additional Right-of-Way in order to implement road improvements on South Caln Road. They need to go out to the private property owners and speak to them individually, and show them the portions of their property that will be impacted. This has been delayed due to COVID.
Commissioner Young noted that he has voted yes and no on some of their extension requests. This is becoming a project that is approximately three decades old. Ms. Camp noted that when they have preliminary plan approval, the law vests them that gives them five years to substantially complete their plan. That period of time was extended through the permit extension act. She also noted that the law in the MPC states that when you have preliminary plan approval, they have the right to complete and finish out the project, and with that law in place, she would suggest to not, not grant the extension of time.
Commissioner Young asked Ms. Camp the realistic time line on moving on this project. Ms. Camp noted that the Township is bound by the note on the plan that states that the Township will acquire the additional Right- of-Way. In their conversation with Mr. Townes, who is handling the project, it was stated that he needs to have the conversations with the property owners first and then they will coordinate and assist where need be. This Board is not the Board that approved the plan with this note on it however, they have some obligation to assist with this process.
Ms. Camp noted that Mr. Townes sent letters and diagrams to the four property owners in the last week of November explaining what is needed, and they will make them an offer to pay for the needed Right-of-Way. She also noted that they already entered into an agreement with the sewer authority, and paid approximately $300,000 non-refundable money. They have agreements in place so they have the right to ask the Township to honor them. The time line will depend on how the four property owners respond to their request for Right-of-Way. If they do not respond favorably, the Commissioners will have to decide whether to be involved in potentially taking those Right-of-Ways. She noted that she is not suggesting that the Board needs to do this but that is definitely a discussion for a future date. If the answer to that is “no” then there needs to be a dialogue if the plan can go forward without the proposed road improvement on South Caln Road, and if those do not go forward are their other improvements in lieu of that particular improvement that could go forward so there are future discussions to have, and it really depends upon how the conversations with the Developer and the private property owners go.
Commissioner Young asked if their timeline under the permit extension act runs out next year. Ms. Camp noted that it does but it does not mean that the plan disappears. It means that they have to comply with any changes in the ordinance that have been enacted since they received preliminary plan approval as per the MPC. They have not done an analysis as to what specifically has changed in the code.
Commissioner Young noted that this was originally zoned “Industrial” and then rezoned “Residential”.
Commissioner Young asked if in July the Board can say no more extensions, you have to build. Ms. Camp noted that she will not answer this right now because there are a lot of legal agreements in place, and they already paid money for their sewer. Commissioner Young asked Ms. Camp to keep this as a “back burner” item for when they approach this in March, and give to give them more detail of what they can and cannot do. Ms. Camp replied “absolutely”.
Commissioner Young asked if it is prudent to do the three month extension or extend it until June 30, 2021. Ms. Camp noted that it is a good idea given the weather and COVID, and it is much closer to the five year. Commissioner Young also asked Ms. Camp to let them know that the Board of Commissioners are really not interested in continuing to extend this, and you really need to wrap this up by June 30, 2021 and your plan date. Ms. Camp noted that she thinks that they have given the word to them on that and if you do the extension until that time frame that will be the message that they will deliver with it.
Commissioner Young entertained a motion to extend the Southdown Homes Final Plans for the Hills at Thorndale Woods until June 30, 2021. Moved by Commissioner Mullin and seconded by Commissioner Evans. Vote passed 5-0.
Mark DeYoung of 20 Beaver Run Road asked how much property do the property owners have to give up. Ms. Camp noted that it is not a significant amount along the Right-of-Way of South Caln Road. Mr. DeYoung also asked what it does to their ability to enter and leave their properties with the additional traffic.
JLLAR, LLC Preliminary/Final Subdivision and Land Development Approval for the Chester County Sports Arena – 4531, 4533, and 4575 West Lincoln Highway – For Board consideration, Ms. Camp presented the Preliminary/Final Subdivision and Land Development Plans for JLLAR, LLC who operates the Chester County Sports Arena. The Applicant currently owns the two parcels 4533 and 4575 West Lincoln Highway and 4531 West Lincoln Highway is under agreement, which is the Robert Wagner Property (Wagner Property). The property is in the C-1 District and the R-2 District. They plan to consolidate the three parcels making a total of approximately 23 acres. They propose to renovate and expand the existing buildings and the outdoor areas for outdoor recreational uses. They have two building additions, which total 4,104 square feet and that’s on the existing building, which is used for the Sports Arena today. They will use that building for ice skating and hockey, and roller skating and hockey, depending on the season. The Wagner building will be used for indoor recreation. Additionally, the plans propose the installation of an outdoor multi-purpose turf field between the Wagner Building and the Sports Arena Building, demolition of the existing miniature golf course and installation of an outdoor multi-purpose and basketball court, redesigning the parking lot and connecting the buildings on the property to pubic water and sewer.
Bryan Kulakowsky shared his screen and reviewed the plans.
Commissioner Young noted that he appreciates that Mr. DiDomenico accommodated the Board with the brick look so they can continue it along Lincoln Highway.
Commissioner Mullin asked if the ramp on the left of the drawing is an “ADA” ramp. Mr. Kulakowsky noted that is an “ADA” entrance way to provide “ADA” access from the sidewalk to the property, as required by the building code. He also noted that the access that is highlighted in red will not be “ADA” compliant because the grade is too steep.
Mr. Kulakowsky pointed out that the change to concerns brought up during Conditional Use was the functionality of the driveways and the potential for the traffic conflicts within the site. He noted that the Traffic Engineer noted that the “circulation pattern” is better and safer for the site than the initial plan. He also noted that the parking spaces on the western side of the property are now against the building.
Commissioner Kennedy asked if the Applicant agreed to be responsible for extra traffic control during large events. Ms. Camp noted that it is one of the conditions.
Commissioner Mullin asked Mr. Kulakowsky about what the stormwater issues were. Mr. Kulakowsky noted that this project is proposing to use the Manage Release Concept (MRC), which is an alternate design put out by the PADEP for projects that cannot provide infiltration on their site. This project is located in a Karst Geology District, and you do not want to infiltrate in a Karst Geology area because you can cause sink holes. He also noted that one design was submitted to the Conservation District and one design to the Township. He needed to see the Conservation District’s design materials because there is specific paperwork that is provided to the Conservation as required by the DEP for the design, and it was not included in the Township’s submittal. He received the design materials and the design is good and he has the DEP paperwork to match the design for this project, and that is why it is moving forward today.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to grant the Preliminary/Final Subdivision and Land Development Plans for the Chester County Sports Arena and the waivers noted in the motion and subject to all the conditions in the motion. Moved by Commissioner Young and seconded by Commissioner Tindaro. Vote passed 5-0.
On behalf of the Applicant, Debbie Schulski thanked the Township Staff. She also thanked the Board for the fast turn around and allowing them to supplement and provide the additional information they were seeking.
Manager’s Agreement Renewal – For Board consideration, Ms. Camp presented the Manager’s Agreement to remain in effect until December 31, 2021.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to approve the Township Manager’s Employment Memorandum of Understanding. Moved by Commissioner Tindaro and seconded by Commissioner Evans. Vote passed 5-0.
Ms. Denne thanked the Township Staff. She also thanked the Board for helping Staff get their jobs done, and keeping the residents safe.
Township Engineer – Mr. Kulakowsky
Planning Commission Update – Mr. Kulakowsky noted a few highlights from the November meeting.
2020 Road Program – Mr. Kulakowsky noted that the paving was completed on November 14. The punch list was issued to the Contractor this morning and they will start working on it tomorrow. He also noted that he anticipates presenting the payment application to the Board in January.
Spackman Farm – Mr. Kulakowsky noted that they are working with the contractor regarding the galvanized coating.
Commissioner Evans asked for more detail on the issues with the galvanized coating, and how it will affect the timeline. Mr. Kulakowsky noted that it will not affect the timeline. He also noted that the hot mixed galvanize that is in their specifications is no longer typically used by manufactures, because of the cost. They have to vet the new, better equivalent product, which has a longer warranty, before they can move forward.
1003 Caln Meetinghouse Road Application – Mr. Kulakowsky noted that there is no building proposed with this application. They are doing a “land swap” and giving approximately 1,000 acres between each of them to adjust the lot line.
First Blackhorse Hill LLC Application – Mr. Kulakowsky noted an R-4 rezoning application for 1465 Blackhorse Hill Road to allow an apartment complex.
Commissioner Young asked the location of the property. Mr. Stackhouse noted that it is just before Moore Road on the right side, past the VA Hospital.
Commissioner Mullin asked if this is the old Toomey property. Mr. Stackhouse noted that it is the old Toomey Estates.
Reed Street Grant – Mr. Kulakowsky noted that the Reed Street Grant has been awarded. ARRO will be working on the design and anticipates the design to be ready, permitted and out to bid mid 2021, and construction to potentially start late summer or fall of 2021.
Commissioner Mullin asked how many months are involved with the work. Mr. Kulakowsky noted that it depends on the contractor. For the grant we had a concept, which needs to be finalized, and put into an engineer construction drawing and put it out to bid. He also noted the longest portion of the project is the “turn” connection, which is at the far western end at the paper[AS1] Right-of-Way extension of 14th Avenue. It is a very deep connection of approximately 28 or 30 feet in the ground. This connection is why the project is the price it is. This corner is 1/3 of the project.
Township Manager – Ms. Denne
ARLE Grant – Ms. Denne noted that the Township received the signed ARLE Agreement back from Harrisburg. She also noted that the planning meetings will start next week to get the construction, bids, and documents together.
2021 Township Schedule Motion to Approve – For Board consideration, Ms. Denne presented the 2021 Township Schedule. She noted this is the same as the 2020 schedule. She also noted that it will be advertised in the Daily Local News in December.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to approve the 2021 Township Schedule. Moved by Commissioner Kennedy and seconded by Commissioner Tindaro. Vote passed 5-0.
Emergency Declaration Extension – For Board consideration, Ms. Denne offered a 60 day extension just in case a board meeting could not be held on January 14.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to extend the Emergency Declaration 60 days. Moved by Commissioner Tindaro and seconded by Commissioner Evans. Vote passed 5-0.
Ordinances and Resolutions for Consideration
Resolution 2020-53 A Resolution Appointing Jennifer Schwed as the Township Deputy Treasurer – Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to adopt Resolution 2050-53. A Resolution appointing Jennifer Schwed as the Township Deputy Treasurer. Moved by Commissioner Young and seconded by Commissioner Tindaro. Vote passed 5-0.
Resolution 2020-54 A Resolution Appointing the Required Tax Collection Committee (TCC) Representatives – Commissioner Mullin noted that the first alternate is vacant due to the resignation of Finance Director, Kevin Barron.
Commissioner Young noted that your vote is proportional to the size of tax collected so the school districts have massive voting power for earned income taxes. He also noted that prior to this act, Municipalities used to appoint their own tax collector then the state thought it should be done county-wide and enacted this act, which created this position.
Kristen Denne noted that she will be the first alternate in case Commissioner Mullin cannot attend.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to adopt Resolution 2020-54 appointing Kristen Denne as the first alternate voting delegate and Jennifer Schwed and the second alternate voting delegate. Moved by Commissioner Tindaro and seconded by Commissioner Evans. Vote passed 5-0.
Resolution 2020-55 A Resolution Adopting the 2021 Township Fee Schedule – Commissioner [AS2] noted that the fees are the same as 2020.
Commissioner Young asked if lawyer fees and consultant fees should be added in the fee schedule. Ms. Denne noted that their hourly rate comes off of their escrow.
Commissioner Mullin noted that the Municipal Authority gets their consultant fees at the end of the year. Ms. Denne noted that she will present the Township consultant fees at the January meeting.
Commissioner Young noted that the fee for Township related items are not always the fees that the escrow is charged.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to adopt Resolution 2020-55 adopting the 2021 Township Fee Schedule. Moved by Commissioner Young and seconded by Commissioner Kennedy. Vote passed 5-0.
Resolution 2020-56 A Resolution Adopting the 2020 Budget Transfers – Commissioner Young [AS3] entertained a motion to adopt the 2020 budget transfers. Moved by Commissioner Evans and seconded by Commissioner Tindaro. Vote passed 5-0.
Ordinance 2020-05 An Ordinance Setting the Real Estate Tax Rate for 2021 to 3.458 Mills – Commissioner Mullin noted that there has been no increase from 2020.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to adopt Ordinance 2020-05 setting the real estate tax rate for 2021 to 3.458 mills. Moved by Commissioner Tindaro and seconded by Commissioner Young. Vote passed 5-0.
Ordinance 2020-06 An Ordinance Imposing an Annual Fire Protection Tax of .6 Mills – Commissioner Mullin noted that there has been no increase from 2020.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to adopt Ordinance 2020-06 imposing an annual fire protection tax of .6 mills. Moved by Commissioner Tindaro and seconded by Commissioner Evans. Vote passed 5-0.
Ordinance 2020-07 An Ordinance Adopting the Final 2021 Municipal Budget – Commissioner Mullin entertained an Ordinance to adopt the final 2021 Municipal Budget. Moved by Commissioner Evans and seconded by Commissioner Tindaro.
Commissioner Mullin called for public comment. There were none. He also asked if there were any email questions regarding the budget. Ms. Denne noted that there were none.
Vote passed 5-0.
Ordinance 2020-08 An Ordinance Adopting the Lighting Assessments for Township Light Districts – Commissioner Mullin noted that there was a 10% increase on the assessments. Commissioner Young noted that there has not been an increase since 2011.
Commissioner Young noted that he would like to discuss further in 2021 to fitting the lighting with LED lights. Commissioner Mullin asked if he knows what the savings will be. Commissioner Young noted that he does not know, however, when the traffic lights were converted there was thousands of dollars in savings. Ms. Denne noted that PSATS has a program to assist in changing the lights.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to adopt the lighting assessments for Township light districts. Moved by Commissioner Kennedy and seconded by Commissioner Young. Vote passed 5-0.
Minutes to Approve/Acknowledge
November 19, 2020 Board of Commissioners Minutes – Commissioner Mullin called for changes, corrections, or additions to the November 19, 2020 minutes. There were none.
Commissioner Mullin asked Ms. Miller if all the changes were done. Ms. Miller replied that they were.
Commissioner Mullin called for public comment. There were none.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to approve the November 19, 2020 Board of Commissioners minutes. Moved by Commissioner Evans and seconded by Commissioner Tindaro. Vote 5-0.
Finance Department – Kevin Barron
Finance Report – Mr. Barron noted a few highlights from his November 2020 report, which was previously provided to the Board. He also noted that the end of November revenues were approximately $15,000 above November 2019, and the fire fund revenue is $3,500 more compared to this time last year.
Commissioner Mullin and Ms. Denne noted that Mr. Barron is leaving the township in better shape than when he started. Mr. Barron offered his services at night and on the weekend, if needed.
The Board and Ms. Denne thanked Mr. Barron for his time at Caln Township.
General Checks 45790-45896 – Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to approve general checks 45790-45896. Moved by Commissioner Tindaro and seconded by Commissioner Young. Commissioner Mullin abstained from check number 45880, payment from being on the Municipality Authority. Vote passed 5-0
Director Reports – November 2020
Police Chief Elias – Chief Elias noted a few highlights from his November 2020 report, which was previously provided to the Board.
Chief Elias noted that due to the high rise in COVID cases, the police department has put a temporary moratorium on the issuance of Peddler Permits. He also noted that there currently are no outstanding Peddler Permits.
Chief Elias noted that there has been an increase of other Municipality reports of holiday package theft. He also noted to call “911” if you see this happening.
Chief Elias noted that they received their body worn cameras in November however, the company called and they will not be implemented right now. He also noted that the equipment that needs to go into the cars to make them work and the new server will not be installed until the middle of April, because of the pandemic.
Chief Elias noted that they are starting to see asset forfeiture funds from the Feds for high profile criminal investigations that they involve federal authorities in. He also noted that these funds should pay for all or part of the first payment of the body worn cameras.
Chief Elias noted the November 2020 retirements of Officer Jim Shaw after 33 years of service at Caln Police Department, and 41 total years in law enforcement. He also noted that Barry Beech retired after 33 years as police Sergeant and 11 years in a part time capacity, 41 years in total.
Chief Elias thanked and wished Kevin Barron well.
Fire Department Chief Donnachie – Chief Donnachie noted a few highlights from his November 2020 report, which was previously provided to the Board.
Chief Donnachie noted that they were awarded a grant for up to $20,000, which will help supplement some of the additional operational expenses.
Chief Donnachie noted that the 2021 fund drive mailing is close to being mailed to residents, and. Commissioner Evans helped with the language in the fund letter. Chief Donnachie also noted that the 2020 fund drive has been pretty consistent with previous years.
Commissioner Evans thanked Chief Donnachie and his Staff for meeting with him.
Commissioner Young noted that the fire department has a $10 per chance raffle. He also noted to go to the Thorndale Volunteer Fire Company and Club Room to view the items that are being raffled.
Chief Donnachie noted that the club house will be closed due to Governor Wolf’s announcement. He also noted that the raffles will cease because they have to be done in person unless they can come up with another way to do them.
Director of Building & Life Safety Mr. Stackhouse – Mr. Stackhouse noted a few highlights from his November 2020 report, which was previously provided to the Board.
Mr. Stackhouse noted that he submitted the first submission for the grant reimbursement for the Township protective measures. The original submission was approximately $16,000 in expenses, and after working through with PEMA to go over those expenses and what were allowable expenses, $11,000 was eligible for submission. The Federal Government reimburse 75%, which was $8,000 and the state is supposed to reimburse 25%, which is $3,000. Mr. Stackhouse also noted that as of September 15, 2020, FEMA has changed the definition of what emergency protective measures are so moving forward the only things that are reimbursable are protective measures provided for responders, and if the Township needs to provide food or shelter. Masks, gloves, and cleaning supplies except for the police department will not be reimbursable. They will be considered increased operational expenses. September 15, 2020 he will be submitting a version or a supplemental for all of the expenses they can submit since September 15, 2020.
Mr. Stackhouse noted that he submitted a comparison report that that showed thirty-four unoccupied businesses in September, and thirty-two as of December 2. He also noted that he does not know how the Governor’s 4:00 PM announcement will affect these totals.
Mr. Stackhouse noted that he worked with Chester County to develop another report that has to do with Brandywine Hospital/Tower Health. He has been in contact with Tower Health on a regular basis and Saint Martha Manor on their COVID cases. Saint Martha Manor did have residents that had an outbreak. The majority of cases were Staff Members. It is under control, and they have not had any unmet resources they need help with. Brandywine Hospital is suffering, besides the influx of patients, from lack of staffing or decreased staffing because of illness. From November 7 to December 3 they went on “divert” for critical care patients or taking no patients. In this time period they went on “divert” twenty-two times. From December 1 to December 5 they were on “divert” six times.
Commissioner Young asked Mr. Stackhouse to clarify the ambulance run numbers as to what station is what company. Mr. Stackhouse noted that he gets the report directly from the county, and he will do a supplement of that form to clarify that information.
Ms. Denne noted that the Township has been receiving requests for temporary structures and events. One of the requests is from a private entity to do movies in the former K-mart parking lot like a drive-in, and they will probably charge an admission fee. With the Governor capping outdoor activities at fifty, Ms. Denne asked the Board if they would see this as favorable after January 4. Commissioner Evans noted that the order will probably last longer than January due to the recent rise in COVID cases, otherwise it is a good idea. Mr. Stackhouse noted that will he will have to deny the request, and he will reach out to them regarding the Governor’s announcement. He noted that he will inform the Board of other temporary requests that may come in. They may not fit into the Township’s zoning but could be something that is considered, if done safely. Commissioner Mullin noted that it is a good idea however, they will review requests on a case by case basis.
Director of Public Works Mr. Fragale – Mr. Fragale noted a few highlights from his November 2020 report, which was previously provided to the Board.
2020 Road Program – Mr. Fragale noted that he will be meeting with Berg Construction on the 2020 Road Program punch list.
Seltzer Avenue handrail – Mr. Fragale noted that he received the handrail for Seltzer Avenue, and will be putting it in, weather permitting.
Ingleside Golf Manager Mr. Ward – Mr. Ward noted a few highlights from his November 2020 report, which was previously provided to the Board.
· November 2,463 rounds compared to November 2019 of 801 rounds, an increase of 208%
· November Revenue $82,576 compared to November 2019 of $19,916, and increase of 315%
· Year to date $775,572 compared to November 2019 of $447,695, an increase of +63%
· 13 new members with their membership drive in September – 43 total members
Mr. Ward noted that the Golf Couse has an approximate balance of $12,000 in the Capital Fund, and will use $9,300 to repair their irrigation pumps and $3,000 of tree work around the 6th green.
Commissioner Mullin called for public comment. There were none.
Consideration of Re-Appointments
Municipal Authority – Tony DiSario until 12/31/2025 – Commissioner Mullin asked Mr. DiSario if he would like to be reappointed to the Municipality Authority for a term ending December 31, 2015. Mr. DiSario noted that he would like to be reappointed.
Historical Commission – Lorraine Tindaro until 12/31/2025 – Commissioner Mullin asked Commissioner Tindaro is she would like to be reappointed to the Historical Commission for a term ending December 31, 2025. Commissioner Tindaro noted that she would like to be reappointed.
Historical Commission – Patti DeFroscia until 12/31/2025 – Commissioner Mullin noted that Ms. DeFroscia was unable to make the meeting. Commissioner Evans noted that Ms. DeFroscia has confirmed interest in being reappointed to a term ending December 31, 20025.
Planning Commission – Jim Benko until 12/31/2024 – Commissioner Mullin asked Mr. Benko if he would like to be reappointed for a term ending December 31, 2024. Mr. Benko noted that he would like to be reappointed.
Zoning Hearing Board – Vacant Position 2021-2023 – Commissioner Mullin noted that there is a vacancy on the Zoning Hearing Board. He asked if anyone is interested in this position to reach out to the Township.
Parks and Recreation – Vacant Position 2021-2025 – Commissioner Mullin noted that there is a vacancy on the Parks and Recreation. He asked if anyone is interested in this position to reach out to the Township.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to approve all four noted vacancies. Moved by Commissioner Evans and seconded by Commissioner Young. Vote passed 5-0.
The Board individually thanked all the Township Staff, Volunteers, and wished everyone a Happy Holiday.
Commissioner Young Thanked all the Volunteers for their hard work and dedication. He also noted that their time volunteering has saved the Township thousands of dollars.
Tony DiSario of 251 Loomis made a comment on the price of the Spackman Farm Roof replacement. Commissioner Mullin noted that the figure has been corrected.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to adjourn the December 10, 2020 meeting at 9:45 PM. Moved by Commissioner Tindaro and seconded by Commissioner Evans. Vote passed 5-0.
Respectfully Submitted by,
Assistant Township Secretary