253 Municipal Drive Thorndale, PA 19372
September 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 representing the proposed Valet Auto Wash and Carpet and Tile store were: Chris Vernon, Ed Murphy-Attorney, Justin Geonnotti-Engineer, Mike Longwell and Carlton-Lomax Carpet and Tile Mart.
Call to Order and Pledge Allegiance to the Flag
Commissioner Mullin called the Virtual Zoom meeting to order, and called for the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.
Commissioner Mullin called for a moment of silence in remembrance of the 19th anniversary of “911”, tomorrow. For the Victims of that horrific event, for the families and friends that suffered from their loss, and to all the brave First Responders who died, and who suffered even after the event. Commissioner Mullin asked to join him in a moment of silence and to Let Us Never Forget.
Citizens to be Heard
Commissioner Mullin called for public comment. There were none.
Commissioner Evans Updates
Commissioner Evans noted that longtime resident, Jim Spaulding passed away September 9, 2020. Commissioner Evans also noted that he served on the Township Historical Commission.
Commissioner Mullin noted that Jim Spaulding was very involved in the Beaver Creek Trail meetings.
COVID-19 – Commissioner Evans noted that since the August 27 meeting, Chester County has seen 485 new positive cases compared to 207 in the previous 2 weeks. This is a 134% increase in the last 14 days.
Commissioner Evans noted that Caln Township’s positive cases increased 7%, in the last 14 days. 188 to 201, and deaths remain at 16.
Commissioner Evans encouraged everyone to continue to wear or start wearing masks, stay at least six feet apart from each other, and do not attend gatherings where others are not wearing a mask.
Presentation by Mercer Management for proposed Development of Kmart Site – Mr. Murphy noted that they previously presented this plan to Township Staff. He noted that Mercer Management along with one of their allied companies, Lomax, signed an agreement of sale, to purchase the vacant Kmart parcel. The building would be half a car wash and half a carpet and tile store.
Mr. Geonnotti noted that what they are proposing is to turn the left side of the building, approximately 50% of the 105,000 square footprint, into a high end interior car wash consisting of a wash, wax, and vacuuming bay, for Phase I. There will be all interior improvements with minimal exterior improvements. They are also continuing with the red brick walls, and are looking at national brand retailers to join into the site. He also noted that this property is within the Lincoln Highway Overlay District.
Mr. Murphy noted that the pad sites would be considered Phase 2 or 3, depending what they could accommodate. He also noted that they would do esthetic improvements now, so the site looks better than it currently does.
Mr. Vernon noted that this would be their tenth location. Mr. Vernon also noted that they use water reclamation systems where all the water on the cars that drive through the facility goes back to the reclamation system, gets purified down to about 3 microns, and the water gets used again with a good portion of the chemicals still active. He also noted that you can cut the water usage cost on a facility like this as much as 85% to 90% percent, and only have to inject 10% of fresh water.
Commissioner Evans asked how many employees would be on the business site, at any given time. Mr. Vernon noted that their average is four to six employees, and after a snow storm up to twelve to fourteen for directing traffic, and customer concerns.
Commissioner Mullin asked what the operating hours are. Mr. Vernon noted that they are open seven days a week from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM during the summer, and 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM or 6:00 PM, during the winter.
Commissioner Mullin noted that one design has an area outside. The only reason they would put vacuums outside is because they cannot get enough inside. He noted that this site is big enough to house everything. Commissioner Mullin noted that he likes the concept that everything is inside because it looks like a commercial building instead of people hanging outside, because it could be a trash issue outside.
Mr. Murphy asked Mr. Vernon to explain how the surface reclaims water. Mr. Vernon noted that they bring in six inches of sand and put brick pavers on top and as the vehicles, more so with trucks, accelerate as they exit, the water comes out of the tailgate and this allows the water to go back into the ground and filters its way into the car wash tunnel pit, which allows the water to be reused.
Mr. Murphy asked Mr. Vernon how much is the water usage and how much water gets reclaimed. Mr. Vernon noted that everything is based on volume however, it could be as high as 90% if everything worked perfectly. He noted that the typical car wash uses 82% of reclamation of total usage including bathroom etc.
Commissioner Mullin asked about the sitting area. Mr. Vernon noted that it is a waiting room for those who get out of their vehicles to have them vacuumed versus doing it their self.
Commissioner Mullin asked about the two pads shown on the proposed map. Mr. Vernon noted that they want to put in high-end retail food establishments. He also noted that the pads sites are shared with his partner, and they will come back before the Board when they have potential establishments. He noted that they are both prepared to open the stores and do the amount of work to make the façade look as good as the Board wants them to, with regards to the entrance way. They are both prepared to move forward immediately and get the stores opened in ninety days if the Board is comfortable, provided they met all the requirements. The Tile and Carpet store is repurposing, and the car wash will have to go through the permitting process.
Mr. Murphy asked Mr. Vernon to explain to the Board his contemplation to retrofit the building for the car wash. Mr. Vernon noted $8 to $10 million dollars in equipment and automation.
Commissioner Mullin asked for more information on the Tile and Carpet store. Mr. Longwell noted that he is a third generation owner, and his grandfather first started the business in 1964. They have two business names under Carpet and Tile Mart and Lomax Carpet and Tile Mart.
Commissioner Mullin asked if there is consideration for the tractor trailers that will be coming in the back of the store. Mr. Longwell noted that there are currently three docks with one or two trucks coming in per day, which may be less than Kmart usage. They will also have approximately twenty installers with vans, and approximately fifteen employees.
Commissioner Mullin asked Mr. Longwell their hours of operation. He replied that they are currently opened 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM although Monday and Wednesday they have been opened until 8:00 PM. Previously they were opened 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM however, he does not think they will stay open that late.
Mr. Longwell asked if his retail concept will be a “By-Right” accepted by the board, being a retail floor covering, and would not need conditional use approval. Ms. Camp noted that since it is in combination with the car wash it will be a conditional use process. Ms. Denne asked if this is one total application or two separate applications. Ms. Camp noted that it can be done in one application.
Mr. Vernon asked if it would be advantageous to them if the Carpet and Tile store came in first as retail and he came in after everything was finalized, with regards to the use and the pads. Ms. Camp noted that knowing what the full picture is, is something that the process through conditional use, the township want to see and get the benefit of the beautification, and other things, and understand the full impact of all uses on the site, together.
Commissioner Evans noted that the Township has begun to undertake a complete update of their zoning. He noted that this piece here is kind of the crown jewel of what some would like to see, as a mixed use residential.
Commissioner Kennedy complimented the developers on their time and demographics. She also noted that she likes the idea and concept, and looks forward to working with them to see if the board can make this happen.
Commissioner Young noted that this does not fit his vision of what he has been working on with the Lincoln Highway Committee, for the past fifteen years.
Commissioner Tindaro asked to have the plans sent to her. Ms. Camp noted that she will get them to her. Commissioner Tindaro also noted that she is happy about the reuse of the building.
Commissioner Mullin called for public comment. There were none.
Commissioner Mullin noted that it is a great concept, and the Board will give their ideas to Ms. Denne.
Mr. Murphy noted that he will contact Ms. Denne to see what the Board’s general reaction is on the presentation.
Township Solicitor – Ms. Camp
AGC Chemicals Motion of the Board of Commissioners – 225 South Bailey Road – For Board consideration, Ms. Camp presented AGC Chemicals (AGC) final land development plan. She noted AGC is the owner of the property at 255 South Bailey Road identified as tax parcel #39-4-127.3, and consists of fifteen acres and is located in the I-1 Industrial District and the Carbonate Area District. The property is improved with an existing two-story building, which contains approximately 46,000 square feet and is used as a chemical production facility. The Applicant seeks to build a 41,389 square foot addition to the existing building in two phases (22,189 square feet in Phase I and 19,200 square feet in Phase 2). The Applicant received preliminary land development approval from the Township Board on January 20, 2020, which approval included the grant of certain waivers. The Applicant now seeks final land development approval of the plans. The Township Planning Commission recommended that the Board of Commissioners grant final land development approval subject to all conditions referenced in the review letter dated June 8, 2020, issued by the Township sewer consultant, Gilmore & Associates, Inc., and the additional review letter dated August 12, 2020 issued by the Township Engineer ARRO Consulting, Inc. Ms. Camp also noted that they will be making a payment of $18,971.60 for a “fee in lieu” of land for recreation space. They also will be adding 138 new parking spaces.
Commissioner Mullin asked what account the $18,971.60 will be deposited into. Ms. Camp noted that it has to have a dedication account, and only be utilized for acquisition and maintenance for open space and recreational land.
Commissioner Mullin called for public comment. There were none.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to approve AGC Chemicals Motion of the Board of Commissioners. Moved by Commissioner Evans and seconded by Commissioner Young. Vote passed 5-0.
Township Engineer – Mr. Kulakowsky
Spackman Farm Large Barn Roof Bid – Mr. Kulakowsky noted that ARRO is working on the six bids received and opened, and he will present their recommendation at the September 24, 2020 meeting.
2020 Road Program – Mr. Kulakowsky noted that he received a response from PennDot that the documents for pre-approval to use Liquid Fuels is currently being reviewed, and he will have possible approval tomorrow. Once he has approval, he will coordinate the scheduling of the pre-construction meeting with Berg Construction.
Planning Commission Update – Mr. Kulakowsky noted that the Chester County Sports Arena land development, minor subdivision for 2353 Miller Avenue, and the small wireless ordinance will be discussed at the next planning commission meeting.
Township Manager – Ms. Denne
2021 Griffith Farm Lease – Leonard Smoker – Ms. Denne presented Mr. Smokers request to extend his 2020 Griffith Farm lease until December 31, 2021, so he can plant his winter crop. Commissioner Mullin asked if he will be using the same chemicals as he previous used. Ms. Denne noted that Mrs. Miller had a conservation with Mr. Leonard today, and he stated that he would. Ms. Denne also noted that the chemicals are all approved by the PA Farmer’s Association.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to extend the Griffith Farm lease until December 31, 2021, with the same yearly rate of $31,356. Moved by Commissioner Evans and seconded by Commissioner Tindaro. Vote passed 5-0.
Census – Ms. Denne noted that the census will be ending at the end of the month. She also noted that the township is at 76% participation, and you can apply by phone at 844-330-2020 or at 2020census.gov.
Zoning Task Force – Ms. Denne noted that they will be focusing on Lincoln Highway, at their next meeting. She also encouraged anyone who is interested to attend, via Zoom.
Ordinances and Resolutions for Consideration
Minutes to Approve
Motion to Approve the August 27, 2020 Board of Commissioners Minutes – Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to approve the August 27, 2020 Board of Commissioners minutes. Moved by Commissioner Tindaro and seconded by Commissioner Young. Vote passed 5-0.
Motion to Approve General Checks 45444-45498, and Manual General Check 155 – Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to approve general checks 45444-45498 and manual check 155. Commissioner Mullin asked about the cell phone bill. Ms. Denne noted that one of the lines is for her cell phone, and the other two are “hot spots” for Mr. Fragale and Mr. Gill to work from their garages in the case the municipal building was closed due to COVID-19, there would be a place to work out of. Moved by Commissioner Young and seconded by Commissioner Tindaro. Vote passed 5-0.
Boards and Commissions Updates – Summary by Applicable Board Liaison
Parks and Recreation – Commissioner Young noted that they did not have a meeting due to Labor Day. He noted that at their next meeting they will talk about “2021” events.
COG – Commissioner Kennedy noted highlights and discussions from their August meeting.
· Townships opening to the public
· SPCA Director spoke about a multiple municipality group to keep the cost down for everyone
· Ideas on how to handle special events during COVID-19
· Township’s in attendance discussed their new developments
· Discussion was held on the new Septa train station in Downingtown.
· September 12th wedding venue ribbon cutting in Coatesville
· Next possible meeting on September 30, 2020
Commissioner Kennedy noted that they also discussed the “loaner program”. Ms. Denne noted that in the past the township purchased equipment, and then the municipality’s that shared it did not help pay for the repairs. She also noted that it is currently on a “case by case” basis.
Commissioner Kennedy asked how the Township handles animal control. Ms. Denne noted that the township has a contract with the SPCA, with a membership fee and pay per incident. Commissioner Young noted that Caln Township is billed for dogs or cats that are brought to the SPCA, and not claimed. He also noted that the township budgeted $7,000 for the current contract. The Township has also gone through five different contract scenarios.
Municipal Authority – Commissioner Mullin noted that they are on schedule for the end of September, beginning of October to get the pump station running. He also noted a possible sewer increase in 2021 for about $1.00 to $1.50 per month.
Commissioner Mullin asked Ms. Denne who is responsible for the basins overgrowth. Ms. Denne noted that she would need to know the specific area. After discussion, they will met to review the area.
Commissioner Evans noted that he would like to see the pump station door painted. Commissioner Mullin noted that he is not sure that the doors are actually the new doors, and they will be painted anyway.
DARA – Liaison, George Chambers was not in attendance. Commissioner Mullin noted that DARA is working on the expansion of the capacity of the treatment plant.
Fire Board – Commissioner Young noted highlights from their August meeting.
· Discussion on the accident policy
· Review of the engine accident report
· Review of the fire agreement
· Forwarded their budget to the Board - $100,000 more than revenue
· Proposed to move one of the per diem from 8 hours to 12 hours
· Proposed to move the second per diem from a per diem driver to a fulltime permanent position
· Fire tax discussion
Historical Commission – Commissioner Tindaro noted highlights and discussion from their August meeting.
· Discussion on the Edges Mill Historical District Presentation with Karen Marshall and Bob Weiss
· August 28 Spackman Farm tour
· Why we live in Caln and why we stay program - “Caln Rebirth”
Commissioner Evans also noted highlights and discussion from the meeting.
· Edges Mill Historical District Presentation – Discussion to get the bridge on the historic registry
· Spackman Farm has many potential ways to generate income
· Tony Wager is running the marketing sub-committee for rebranding Caln Township
Commissioner Young noted that East Bradford Township has an oral history project on their website. He also noted that his grandmother recorded for 1.5 hours on the history of East Bradford.
Commissioner Evans noted that Ms. Swan and Ms. Coughlan are discussing doing something like this.
Commissioner Kennedy noted that there is not a password on the website, with the historical meeting link.
Lincoln Highway – Commissioner Young noted that they did not have a meeting however, they are preparing for the Zoning Task Force meeting. All the members of the committee, except one, are on the Zoning Task Force Committee. He also noted that Lincoln Highway is the driver for the Coatesville School District tax base, and when Caln did their last bond reissue, they had to do a tax assessment and out of the nine Municipalities, Caln Township is 1/3 of the Coatesville School District tax base.
$5,000 Historical & Archival Records Care Grant – Ms. Denne noted that there were some documents from the farm house that were damaged, due to a flood. A grant was received in 2019 to clean those documents. This grant would be to digitize those documents.
Mrs. Miller noted that there are two grant amounts to apply for. One for $5,000 and the other for $5,001 to $15,000. She recommended applying for the $5,000 grant because the cost to digitize and destroy the documents, upon completion, will cost approximately $ 5,628.00. She noted that if they apply for any amount over the $5,000, it would be a 50/50 match versus only paying the $628.00.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion authorizing Staff to apply for the Historical & Archival Records Care Grant, in the amount of $5,000. Moved by Commissioner Tindaro and seconded by Commissioner Evans. Vote passed 5-0.
Dawn Coughlan of 4019 Edges Mill Road – Ms. Coughlan noted that the Old Historical Society has been doing “oral histories” interviews. She also noted that the Old Historical Society has the tapes, and a list of those who were interviewed over the years.
Commissioner Mullin entertained a motion to adjourn the September 10, 2020 meeting at 9:41 PM. Moved by Commissioner Evans and seconded by Commissioner Tindaro. Vote passed 5-0.
Respectfully Submitted by,
Assistant Township Secretary