Chester County, Pennsylvania
Board of Commissioners
October 12, 2023 Minutes
7:30 PM Hybrid Meeting
Call to Order and Salute to the Flag
Board Members Present: Paul Mullin-President, Jane Kennedy-Vice President, Joshua Young-Commissioner, Lorraine Tindaro-Commissioner, and Mark Evans-Commissioner.
Staff Members Present: Abbey (A.) Swan - Township Secretary and Community Outreach Specialist, Denise Miller-Assistant Township Secretary and Administrative Assistant, Lisa (L.) Swan-Director of Finance and Treasurer.
Professionals Present: Patrick Taylor, Thorndale Volunteer Fire Company, and Thorndale Volunteer Fire Company Members
Special Guest: N/A
The Board of Commissioners’ October 12, 2023 agenda was posted on the Township website, and at the Township building on October 11, 2023 and agendas were made available for the public at the meeting. The 2023 Township Board of Commissioners meetings were published in the Daily Local News, on December 27, 2022.
Call to Order and Pledge of Allegiance: Commissioner Mullin called the Board of Commissioners meeting to order at 7:30 PM. Commissioner Mullin then called for the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.
Executive Session – Commissioner Mullin noted that there was an Executive Session on October 11, 2023 regarding personnel reasons.
Commissioner Young made a motion to amend the agenda and add a proclamation in honor of honor Kennett (Ken) Johnston under additional business.
Commissioner Evans Township Update
Welcome everyone, thank you for joining us. We’re all in this together. Just a reminder, only questions or statements regarding an agenda item will be entertained under “Citizens to be Heard” at the top of the meeting. All other matters will be recognized during “Public Comment” at the end of the meeting.
Last night’s “Inquirer” had a story about historian Ken Johnston and his 75-mile Walk to Freedom through Chester County. Tomorrow his journey will bring him to Caln Township (Caln), Carver Court, and Atkinson Hospital; Commissioner Kennedy and I will meet and walk with him. Mr. Johnston, who previously walked in Harriet Tubman's footsteps from Maryland to Canada, said “this walk is meant to re-center and recognize the 19th & 20th century free African American communities that were here, and the lives they lived.”
This Saturday you don’t want to miss Thorndale Volunteer Fire Company’s Open House. Come by between noon and 3:00 PM to learn more about all they do for us. There will be a vehicle rescue demonstration; apparatus, tool, and gear displays; fire safety information and a fire extinguisher simulation. Plus, you get to meet Sparky the Firehouse Dog! Engine 38 has been in our service since 1939. Please consider volunteering or making a financial contribution today.
We learned a lot from our managerial candidate search, one being that it’s a coveted seat, many strong candidates wanted to come to work here. The best always rises to the top, we’re clear on who our next manager should be, and can’t express how excited we are about Caln’s future, once they take the helm. We hope to vote on appointing them at our October 26th meeting.
When we all work together, there’s nothing we can’t do. Spread kindness everyone. Anger, grudges, and resentments are not worth our time or energy. Compassion, Empathy, Peace, and Love – these are what make the world go round.
Citizens to be Heard
Commissioner Mullin called for public comments. There were none.
Township Solicitor – Ms. Camp
Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance Amendment – Fee Schedule and Fire Hydrants –
For Board consideration, Ms. Camp offered the advertisement of an Ordinance to amend the Caln Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance of 1978, as amended, which is codified in Chapter 137 to amend the administration of fees related to applications as outlined in Section 137-13, Titled “FEES” and Section 137-37, Titled “WATER SUPPLY”, specifically subparagraph E. “HYDRANTS” to require the installation of fire hydrants prior to construction. Ms. Camp noted that this proposed ordinance has been reviewed by the Chester County and Township Planning Commissions.
Commissioner Mullin called for Board and public comments. There were none.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to advertise the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance amendment for advertisement and proposed adoption at the November 16, 2023 Board Meeting. Moved by Commissioner Kenney and seconded by Commissioner Tindaro. The vote passed 5-0.
Discussion of Proposal Issued by Sarcinello Planning for Update to the Zoning Ordinance – For Board consideration, Ms. Camp offered a proposal from Sarcinello Planning. Ms. Sarcinello was a sub-contractor for Ray Ott who previously was working on the Zoning Ordinance Update. If the Board is in agreement of the proposal, then Ms. Sarcinello will send it to the Chester County Planning Commission (CCPC), and then the CCPC will send a new contract to enter into a new Vision Partnership Program.
Commissioner Mullin called for Board and public comments.
Commissioner Evans noted that he is in favor of working with Sarcinello Planning.
Ms. Camp noted that Mr. Stackhouse asked her to stay for his presentation for the purchase of the new Rescue Pumper.
Gilmore & Associates – Mr. Bickhart
Discussion - Beaver Creek Trail Segment 5 – Mr. Bickhart noted that the Township engaged Gilmore and Associates to do a design for the trail segment. For Board review, Mr. Bickhart presented their preliminary design. Mr. Bickhart noted that a fence is proposed to keep dogs from the dog park separate from the shared use path users.
Commissioner Mullin called for Board and public comments.
Ms. A. Swan noted that the trail study came out in 2019 and the Township worked with the Brandywine Conservancy. The goal is to create a trail that would connect Lloyd Park to the Municipal Park and be a component of the Chester Valley West Extension. The idea is that all the trail systems stemming from the Chester Valley Trail would connect into Coatesville and eventually past Coatesville and connect with the Enola Low Grade Trail in Lancaster. Ms. A. Swan also noted that the vision is that one day you will be able to cycle from Harrisburg down to Philadelphia via all the trail connections.
Ms. A. Swan noted that as part of the recommended plan it was broken down into 6 segments and they are starting with segment 5 as recommended because it is all on Township owned property. Segments 1 and 2 are existing trails. Ms. A. Swan also noted that the Township owned meter stations driveway going south connects to the sidewalk in Downingtown, so even if Downingtown does not complete segment 6 of the trail, you will still be able to connect through the park onto the sidewalks onto Struble Trail and eventually the Chester Vally West Trail.
Tony DiSario of 251 Loomis Avenue asked if there are grants for this trail. Commissioner Young noted that most grants will not pay for engineering, so the township will apply for grants after that is paid for. Ms. A. Swan noted that all the engineering completed by Mr. Bickhart has been covered by the Department of Community and Economic Development.
Licia Carini of 103 Ayerwood Drive asked when this segment will be completed. Ms. A. Swan and Mr. Bickhart both noted that it will depend on the funding. Ms. Carini noted that she is in favor of the trails.
Commissioner Evans asked Mr. Bickhart when he will have an engineering report on the Spackman-Davis Farmhouse roof. Mr. Bickhart replied that he will get an update for him.
Building and Life Safety – Mr. Stackhouse
Request for Board Consideration to Authorize the Board President to Sign for the Purchase and Upfit of a New Rescue Pumper to Replace the Current Rescue 38, in the Amount of $1,277,092.00 – For Board consideration, Mr. Stackhouse and Chief Taylor offered the upfit of a new Rescue Pumper to replace the current Rescue 38, in the Amount of $1,277,092.00.
Chief Taylor noted the importance of having a new Rescue Pumper for them and the residents. The current truck is 20 years old and there are new standards from the National Fire Protection Agency to follow.
Commissioner Mullin called for Board and public comments.
Commissioner Young noted that he and Commissioner Evans thought it best to bring this before the Board before the budget presentation because it is a big-ticket item, and the price will increase on November 1, 2023. Commissioner Young also noted that money could be used from the fire fund line item to pay for a note if needed and they could use the equipment replacement fund for a down payment, and finance could produce the balance.
Commissioner Kennedy noted that there may be grants that could help pay for this.
Commissioner Mullin asked Chief Taylor if he has a contingency plan for when or if something happens to the current truck. Chief Taylor noted that he has.
Commissioner Mullin also asked what they will do with the current truck. Chief Taylor replied that they would sell it; however, it is Township owned and it is the discretion of the Board.
Tony DiSario of 251 Loomis Avenue asked if fire trucks are kept in stock. Chief Taylor noted that there are other fire companies that are purchasing pumper trucks, and a stock truck does not fit Caln Township’s needs.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to authorize and sign for the purchase and upfit of a new Rescue Pumper to replace the current rescue 38, in the amount of $1,277,092.22. Moved by Commissioner Evans and seconded by Commissioner Tindaro. The vote passed 5-0.
Request for Board Consideration to Authorize the Board President to Sign a Contract for the Purchase of a Towable Lift, in the Amount of $37,419.00 – Mr. Stackhouse asked to have this tabled until the October 26, 2023 meeting because with this company they would not have delivery of the lift until the end of 2024, so he is reviewing other options.
Request for Board Consideration to Authorize the Board President to Sign a Professional Service Agreement with Jan-Pro Cleaning and Disinfection for Commercial Office Cleaning of the Administration and Police Buildings, in the Amount of $1,050.00 per Month – Mr. Stackhouse asked to have this tabled until the October 26, 2023 meeting in order to receive their references.
Ordinances and Resolutions
Request for Board Consideration to Adopt Resolution 2023-15 Establishing Guidelines for the Use and Operation of Mobile Food Facilities Within the Township (Tabled 06/08/2023) – Mr. Stackhouse suggested removing this request from the agenda and revisit it in January 2024. The Board agreed.
Request for Board Consideration to Adopt Resolution 2023-16 to Add a Fee for Food Truck Permits (Tabled 06/08/2023) – – Mr. Stackhouse suggested removing this request from the agenda and revisit it in January 2024. The Board agreed.
Minutes to Approve
Request for Board Consideration to Approve the September 28, 2023 Board of Commissioners Minutes – Commissioner Mullin called for Board comments. There were none.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to approve the September 28, 2023 Board of Commissioners minutes. Moved by Commissioner Tindaro and seconded by Commissioner Kennedy. The vote passed 4-0 with one abstention from Commissioner Young because he was not in attendance at the meeting.
Finance Department – Ms. Swan
Request for Board Consideration to Approve the Accounts Payable Bill List for Checks 50883 to 50976 with Voided Checks 50884 to 50890 – Commissioner Mullin called for Board and public comments.
Commissioner Young asked Ms. L. Swan about the voided checks. Ms. L. Swan replied that there was a problem with the printer.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to approve the account payable bill list for checks 50883 to 50976 and voided checks 50884 to 50890. Moved by Commissioner Young and seconded by Commissioner Tindaro. The vote passed 5-0.
Boards and Commissions Updates – Summary by Applicable Board Liaison
Parks and Recreation – Commissioner Kennedy noted a Halloween Party on October 28, 2023 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM with a rain date of October 29, 2023 same time, Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony with Santa Claus held on December 3, 2023 at 5:00 PM, new pajamas drive held at the Tree Lighting Ceremony for Chester County foster kids; sizes new born to adult. Ms. A. Swan noted that the Girl Scouts will be doing good deeds in the Municipal Park on their “Good Deeds Day”.
COG – Commissioner Kennedy asked the Board if the Township would like to join the Western Chester County Chamber of Commerce and name a Board member to speak on behalf of the Township. They also had a speaker from Digital Alliance who talked about assets to the internet.
Municipal Authority – Commissioner Mullin noted that the contractor for the 2023 grouting project is continuing to work on Phase 5, Gilmore is currently finalizing the bid documents for the 2024 grouting project, which should be posted on PennBid in mid-October, and the sewer repair project will involve the testing of all pipe joints and grouting of joints that failed the test for approximately 4,250 linear feet of 8” diameter gravity.
DARA – Commissioner Mullin noted that there is no new update.
Fire Board – Commissioner Mullin noted that a meeting was not held in September.
Historical Commission – Commissioner Evans gave a brief update on what the Historical Commission is doing and about their September 20, 2023 meeting.
Due to sickness, there were only 7 of 11 members present, along with 2 guests. One of our guests had attended historic Caln Elementary School and shared about having pen-pals with a student in Calne, England.
The honors keep rolling in. One of our members has been asked to write an article about the July town tour for the Fall Issue of the Chester County Historic Preservation Network Ledger (CCHPN) and was also asked to present a Case Study on the tour’s success at the Fall CCPC/CCHPN Workshop.
All subcommittees reported updates; we approved our 2024 budget request and reviewed 4 events for 2024, all a part of making Spackman-Davis Farm a place for residents and visitors to gather and enjoy the serenity.
We touched on updates to our section of the Caln Website, a potential 501c-3, our Annual Report due the first quarter of 2024, America 250, and possible involvement with the new Twining Committee. The Hometown Heritage Marker Grants were tabled until their October meeting.
Our October meeting will be Wednesday the 18th at 7:00 PM. You can join us right here live, or from home via Zoom. We’re a fun group who like getting things done – please consider coming to one of our meetings, and please consider joining the Parks and Recreation Board. Without their help, our historic events would not be possible. They meet the first Monday of each month.
Lincoln Highway – Commissioner Young noted that he and Commissioner Evans spent most of their time at the Township interviewing new manager applicants, and he and Commissioner Mullin have been working on the budget.
Ingleside Golf Course – Commissioner Tindaro that their next meeting will be held on October 23, 2023 at 5:45 PM. Commissioner Tindaro also noted that the golf rates will increase in 2024.
Commissioner Evans read a resolution to recognize and honor Kennett Johnson for his Walk to Freedom.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to approve a resolution to recognize and honor Kennett Johnson for his Walk to Freedom. Moved by Commissioner Kennedy and seconded by Young. The vote passed 5-0.
Commissioner Young acknowledged staff and the rest of the Board in this difficult time without a manager. Commissioner Young noted that the Township staff has gone above and beyond.
Commissioner Mullin called for public comment. There were none.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to adjourn the October 12,2023 Board of Commissioners meeting. Moved by Commissioner Young and seconded by Commissioner Tindaro. The vote passed 5-0.
Assistant Township Secretary