Board of Commissioners
January 13, 2022
ZOOM MEETING ONLY
Call to Order and Salute to the Flag
Board Members Present: Paul Mullin-President, Jane Kennedy-Vice President, Joshua Young-Commissioner, Lorraine Tindaro-Commissioner, Mark Evans-Commissioner.
Staff Members Present: Kristen Denne-Township Manager/Secretary, Denise Miller-Assistant Township Secretary.
Professionals Present: Bryan Kulakowsky-Township Engineer (Absent), Kristin Camp-Township Solicitor (Absent).
Special Guest Present: None.
The Board of Commissioners January 13, 2022 agenda was posted on the Township website, and at the Township building, on January 12, 2022.
The 2022 Township Board of Commissioners meetings were published in the Daily Local News on December 28, 2021 as well as posted at the Township Municipal Building on December 10, 2021.
Commissioner Evans Township Update
Welcome everyone, thank you for joining us. Our meetings are “Neutral Ground”, a place to hear and be heard. We are all in this together.
Welcome back everyone. Last week’s swearing in and reorganizational meeting was mostly ceremonial, but tonight, we’re back to business.
Commissioner Evans thanked all our residents who have shared, and continue to share their thoughts and feelings about their Township, its issues, and governance. The Board is here to represent everyone in Caln, and we strive to be sure our decisions address the needs of all. We appreciate your interest, patience, and willingness to roll up your sleeves to be a part of the solution.
Commissioner Evans noted that PennDOT is displaying their US 30 Reconstruction Program Eastern Project Area Plans via Virtual Open House through February 4, 2022. Commissioner Evans also noted that you can check out the proposed options and make comments through a link on the page. All three of Caln’s interchanges will be effected. To see what could be coming, and to share your thoughts, please visit www.us30-chesco.com.
Commissioner Evans noted what better time to join a Board or Commission than in 2022.
- The Board will be interviewing two candidates for the Parks and Recreation Board, before the Board of Commissioners January 27, 2022 meeting.
- There are a number of vacancies on the Historical Commission. This is a very active, productive and fun group… join us!
- We are in desperate need of applicants for the Zoning Hearing Board, we need one formal member and two alternate positions.
Commissioner Evans noted that you can go to Caln.org to learn more about how you can join any of the Commissions or Boards. It is easier than you might think.
Commissioner Evans noted that many dropped their guard during the holidays, and Covid-19 (COVID) cases are once again out of control. In Chester County alone, the seven day average of positive tests increased 230% since the same time last month, and are still trending up. This is without all of the un-reported self-testing done in homes. Commissioner Evans also noted that there have been at least 1,000 COVID deaths since April 2021, and those numbers are expected to soon spike.
Commissioner Evans noted that in neighboring Delaware County, hospitals are full, short staffed due to infected healthcare workers, and most emergency rooms are closed and redirecting ambulances to other counties. Commissioner Evans also noted that the Omicron variant may be less deadly for the fully vaccinated, however, it is four times as infectious as Delta, which is twice as infectious as the original strain of SARS-COVID. This means the sheer numbers of those needing hospital care is higher than ever, and that has overwhelmed the system. Adding to the unnecessary strain to health care and their workers.
Commissioner Evans noted that Brandywine Hospital/Tower Heath Hospital will close effective January 31, 2022.
Commissioner Evans noted that he grew up in a time when Americans were eager to make whatever small sacrifices necessary to support the common good. We could all do our part again - by getting fully vaccinated, wearing masks, and avoiding large indoor gatherings. This pandemic has raged for 2years and cost the lives of nearly 1 million Americans.
Citizens to be Heard
Sean Barron of 201 Marshallton/Thorndale Road noted that he does fulltime Fire and EMS in the County, career Fire and EMS in Montgomery County, and belongs to the Thorndale Volunteer Fire Company.
Mr. Barron explained that “AVL” stands for an automated vehicle locator, which is essentially a GPS embedded into all emergency service vehicles. As it relates to this resolution, it would be in all the ambulances. The AVL system allows the dispatchers to dispatch the closest ambulance to an incident.
Mr. Barron noted examples about the Washington Hose Company (Washington Hose) located near the Thorndale Giant.
Mr. Barron noted that they would not be the one dispatched if there was a cardiac emergency at the Township building or an advanced life support emergency at the Thorndale Fire Company or Wedgewood Development or anywhere along the 340 corridor would not respond even though they are a block or two away.
Mr. Barron noted that Washington Hose responds to the west side of Municipal Drive and Minquas Fire Company out of Downingtown responds to the east side of Municipal Drive. He also noted that if there is an incident on the east side, you will have to wait for Downingtown ambulance to respond.
Mr. Barron noted that he believes that every Township and Fire Company EMS should be AVL so the closest unit will be dispatched.
Tony DiSario of 251 Loomis Avenue asked about the dirt on the side of the street from when the roads were paved. Ms. Denne noted that she will speak with Mr. Kulakowsky tomorrow.
Mr. DiSario asked if the potholes behind the former Kmart can be filled. Ms. Denne noted that the new owners have started interior work. Fixing the pot holes is part of their conditional use, however she will ask if they can be fixed sooner.
Mr. DiSario noted a homeless man behind the Suzuki Dealership. Ms. Denne noted that the Township is aware of this and has spoken with the owner of the building, and the owner would have to ask the Township to remove him since it is private property. Ms. Denne also noted that the owner will be applying for use and occupancy soon and he will be removed then.
Township Solicitor – Ms. Camp
Township Engineer – Mr. Kulakowsky
Township Manager – Ms. Denne
Ms. Denne noted that the Township has vacancies on the Historical Commission, Zoning Board, and the Parks and Recreation Board. Ms. Denne also noted to send your application to Denise Miller or Info@calntownship.org.
Signal Service Inc., Traffic Signal Maintenance Two Year Contract in the amount of $7,125 – Ms. Denne noted that the Township has been happy with Signal Service, and requested Board approval of their two year maintenance contract, with no increase.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to approve a two year contract with Signal Service Inc., the amount of $7,125. Moved by Commissioner Tindaro and seconded by Commissioner Kennedy.
Commissioner Mullin called for Board and resident comment.
Commissioner Mullin asked if the $7,125 just covers the maintenance, and additional work will be an additional charge. Ms. Denne noted that this fee is for trouble shooting, and maintenance. It will be an additional charge if they have labor charges and have to fix something.
Vote passed. 5-0.
Ordinances and Resolutions for Consideration
Motion to Advertise an Ordinance Electing to Amend the Non-Uniform Pension Plan Administered by Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement Law – For Board considered, Ms. Denne offered an ordinance for advertisement. Ms. Denne noted that the Township has had Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System (PMRS) since 1966. In 2020 PMRS updated their bylaws and regulations, and they have asked Townships to update their ordinance and agreement with them.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to advertise an ordinance electing to amend the non-uniform pension plan administered by Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement Law. Moved by Commissioner Tindaro and seconded by Commissioner Kennedy.
Commissioner Mullin asked for Board and resident comment.
Commissioner Evans asked if the Township receives a good return from PMRS. Ms. Denne noted that the police plan has a return. The non-uniform plan is a statewide plan and the Township does not get involved in the investment or distribution. The Township provides the updates and new employee information
Vote passed 5-0.
Resolution 2022-01 A Resolution Designating S&T Bank and the Pennsylvania Local Government Investment Trust (PLGIT) as the Official Depositories of Township Funds – For Board consideration, Ms. Denne noted that the Township is required to pass a resolution designating the banks they use. Ms. Denne also noted that the Township will be bidding their banking services, this year.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion adopting Resolution 2022-01 designating S&T Bank and the Pennsylvania Local Government Investment Trust (PLGIT) as the official depositories of Township Funds. Moved by Commissioner Evans and seconded by Commissioner Tindaro.
Commissioner Mullin called for Board and public comment.
Mark DeYoung of 20 Beaver Run Road asked the Board to consider putting in the request for proposal (RFP) interest rate rises and an escalation clause to the interest rate, on deposits.
Vote passed 5-0.
Resolution 2022-03 A Resolution adopting the 2022 Schedule of Fees for the Township’s Professional Consultants – Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion adopting Resolution 2022-03 for the 2022 schedule of fees for the Township’s Professional Consultants. Moved by Commissioner Kennedy and seconded by Commissioner Young.
Commissioner Mullin called for Board and public comment.
Commissioner Evans noted that most of the fees are remaining the same.
Vote passed 5-0.
Resolution 2022-02 was skipped and was presented after Resolution 2022-03.
Resolution 2022-02 A Resolution adopting the 2021 Chester County Hazard Mitigation Plan – For Board consideration, Ms. Denne offered a resolution adopting the 2021 Chester County Hazard Mitigation Plan, which is a county wide plan put together by the Chester County Emergency Services that all Municipalities adopt. Ms. Denne noted that this plan is on file with PEMA and FEMA.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to adopt Resolution 2022-02 adopting the 2021 Chester County Hazard Mitigation Plan. Moved by Commissioner Evans and seconded by Commissioner Tindaro.
Commissioner Mullin called for Board and public comment. There were none.
Vote passed 5-0.
Resolution 2022-04 A Resolution Designating the 2022 Response Territories for Emergency Service in Caln Township – Commissioner Mullin noted that this resolution warrants further discussion before a vote is taken.
Commissioner Mullin called for Board comments.
Commissioner Young noted that the Board should pass what was amended, leaving the response territories the same. Without a larger discussion of the Board he noted that he does not believe that it is good policy as Minquas and Washington Hose have already sent their membership letters to residents, and those residents have already signed up believing they will not be charged for an ambulance call.
Commissioner Young noted that he spoke with a couple ambulance services and under the AVL system they will not honor memberships from each other. Commissioner Young also noted that under the current system the first call would go to the primary ambulance service and if they are not available it will go to AVL on the second call. Commissioner Young further noted that a resident with a membership with Washington Hose called him and noted that he was charged $2,800 because he was picked up by Tower Direct, who does not honor any ambulance service memberships.
Commissioner Young noted that under the current system if Washington Hose does not show up, however, Westwood or Minquas does, their membership would be honored with each other under the second call with the AVL system. Commissioner Young also noted that the Township has not notified residents of this and they made their memberships based on how this has been currently done.
Commissioner Young noted that most of Washington Hoses’ service and transports were funded by Tower Heath therefore; he has concern with their ability to continue service.
Commissioner Young noted that if the Township quickly reorients this without reorienting everyone in the region they could find themselves in a situation where Minquas or Washington Hose could no longer operate because a large portion of the Township probably would be taken over by Tower Heath and Westwood Fire Company (Westwood), in the north because Wagontown Fire Company (Wagontown) would be closer to some of these locations.
Commissioner Young noted that this is too large of a move without having the ambulance companies speak with the Board and residents to discuss what the impacts would be.
Commissioner Young noted that Washington Hose does not have a Medic on their ambulances so if Washington Hose responded across from Municipal Drive then Westwood, Minquas or Medic 93 would have to also respond.
Commissioner Evans asked Commissioner Young if this is something that the Board could spearhead on a regional level in order to get a discussion going. Commissioner Young noted that the Council of Governments (COG) is a good place to start.
Commissioner Evans asked Commissioner Young if this could be done in a year if it starts with COG. Commissioner Young noted that it took two years to get an emergency management group passed through the COG.
Commissioner Kennedy noted that this was discussed at their last meeting. Commissioner Kennedy also noted that COG’s next meeting will be held on Wednesday January 26, 2022.
Commissioner Kennedy asked if the Township has a contract with any of these EMS services. Commissioner replied that they do not, however, a mutual agreement would be needed for funding and what services will be expected for that money.
Commissioner Young noted that if the Board wants, he will start speaking with the different services and see how to proceed. The Board agreed.
Commissioner Mullin noted that the Township was split down Municipal Drive because Washington Hose was responding from Coatesville, and Minquas was responding from Downtown.
Commissioner Mullin noted that the reasoning needs to be clarified as to why this is becoming an item.
Commissioner Young noted that Washington Hose could lose a huge part of Caln Township if Tower Health continues their ambulance service.
Commissioner Mullin asked if they stay as they are now, how do you know who is called second if Washington Hose cannot respond. Commissioner Young noted that it automatically will go to an AVL system. Commissioner Mullin asked if that would be either Minquas or Tower Direct. Commissioner Young noted that it would be Westwood Fire Company (Westwood), Modena or Uwchlan.
Commissioner Mullin asked who offers the basic and advanced life support. Commissioner Young noted that Minquas and Westwood has basic and advanced life support on all of their ambulances, Washington Hose has basic life support. Commissioner Young also noted that Medic 93 is usually the first to be dispatched.
Commissioner Mullin called for public comment.
Sean Barron of 201 Marshallton/Thorndale Drive noted that the real issue is the first initial dispatch if it is in the middle of the Township. Mr. Barron also noted “Why would you have to wait for Minquas to respond when you have one in the center of the Township”.
Ms. Denne asked if the “911” system dispatcher would dispatch to whoever has AVL moving at that time. Mr. Barron noted that the dispatcher would dispatch the closest ambulance, and add a medic for support.
Ms. Denne noted that the Township heard that Medic 93 will continue to operate, and they will operate out of the medical office building.
Ron Miller of 21 Marshall Circle noted that he is a retired Thorndale Fire Responder. He also noted that the ambulance time may double when Brandywine/Tower Health Hospital closes because they will have to go to Paoli or West Chester Hospital.
Commissioner Young asked Ms. Denne if the Board should pass the resolution that leaves everything the same. Ms. Denne noted that they did not pass a resolution in 2021 so everything will stay as it currently is.
Ms. Denne noted that today she forwarded the Board a white paper study on the closure of Brandywine/Tower Health and Jennersville Hospitals, and the impact to EMS service time that was already in bad shape due to COVID. Ms. Denne also noted that she will forward the Board the County EMS Stragic Plan.
Ms. Denne noted that the Board may want to consider a task force to evaluate these services.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to table Resolution 2022-04. Moved by Commissioner Young and seconded by Commissioner Evans.
Vote passed 5-0.
Minutes to Approve
Motion to Approve the December 9, 2021 Board of Commissioners Minutes – Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to approve the December 9, 2021 minutes. Moved by Commissioner Young and seconded by Commissioner Evans.
Commissioner Mullin called for Board comment.
Commissioner Evans asked if these minutes can be tabled until the January 27, 2022 meeting so he can check on a phrase in the minutes.
Commissioner Mullin withdrew the motion and acknowledged Commissioner Evans request, and tabled the December 9, 2021 minute approval until the January 27, 2022 meeting.
Motion to Approve the January 3, 2022 Reorganizational Minutes – Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to approve the January 3, 2022 reorganizational minutes. Moved by Commissioner Young and seconded by Commissioner Evans.
Vote passed 5-0.
Finance Department – Ms. Swan
Motion to Approve General Checks 47503 to 47677 and Manual Checks 235 to 237 – Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to approve general checks 47503 to 47677 and manual checks 235 to 237. Moved by Commissioner Young and seconded by Commissioner Tindaro.
Commissioner Mullin questioned the $18,000 check for the Municipal Park roof. Ms. Denne noted that the work has been completed on November 21, 2021. Ms. Denne also noted that this payment was in the budget for this.
Vote passed 5-0.
Liaison Appointments to Boards and Commissions
Park and Recreation – Commissioner Kennedy and Commissioner Young
COG – Commissioner Kennedy and Commissioner Evans
Municipal Authority – Commissioner Mullin
Fire Board – Commissioner Mullin and Commissioner Young
Historical Commission – Commissioner Evans and Commissioner Tindaro
Lincoln Highway – Commissioner Young and Commissioner Evans
Golf – Commissioner Tindaro and Commissioner Mullin
Planning – Commissioner Tindaro and Commissioner Evans
Zoning – Commissioner Tindaro and Commissioner Evans
Finance and Budget – Commissioner Young and Commissioner Mullin
Commissioner Young noted that he is a member of the Thorndale Volunteer Fire Company and asked Commissioner Mullin if he still wants him to give the Fire Company their monthly report. Commissioner Mullin noted for him to do so.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion appointing the Liaisons, as listed. Moved by Commissioner Young and seconded by Commissioner Kennedy.
Vote passed 5-0.
Commissioner Mullin noted that Commissioner Evans reached out to Ed Artz who is the current Board Member on the Vacancy Board, and he noted that he is interested in continuing on the Vacancy Board.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to appoint Ed Artz as the Vacancy Board Chair. Moved by Commissioner Young and seconded by Commissioner Evans.
Commissioner Mullin asked if there are any reports to be given.
Historical Commission – Commissioner Evans noted that they met on December 15, 2021 and heard reports from all three sub-committees, discussed their response to the 4060 Edges Mill Road sketch plan, a new historical prevention ordinance, reported on their 2022 budget and the Edges Mill Historic update. Commissioner Evans also noted that the Commission spent time on the potential effects the proposed Route 30 interchanges will have on some of their class 1 and 2 historic resources. Their next meeting will be held on January 19, 2022 at 7 PM where they will be holding their annual reorganization and discussion on their proposed ordinance.
COG – Commissioner Kennedy noted that COG held their reorganization meeting. Commissioner Kennedy also noted that there was discussion on the closing of Jennersville and Brandywine Hospitals.
Commissioner Mullin called for public comments. There were none.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to adjourn the January 13, 2022 Board of Commissioners meeting at 8:33 PM. Moved by Commissioner Evans and seconded by Commissioner Tindaro.
Vote passed 5-0.
Assistant Township Secretary