Montgomery Township, Pennsylvania

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05-14-2018 - Board of Supervisors Minutes

MINUTES OF MEETING

MONTGOMERY TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

MAY 14, 2018

 

            At 7:00 p.m. Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox called to order the executive session.  In attendance were Supervisors Tanya C. Bamford, Jeffrey W. McDonnell and Matthew W. Quigg.  Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera was absent.  Also in attendance were Township Manager Lawrence J. Gregan and Township Solicitor Frank R. Bartle, Esquire.

            Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox called the action meeting to order at 8:00 p.m.  In attendance were Supervisors Tanya C. Bamford, Michael J. Fox, Jeffrey W. McDonnell and Matthew W. Quigg.  Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera was absent. Also in attendance were Township Solicitor Frank R. Bartle, Esquire, Township Manager Lawrence J. Gregan, Police Chief J. Scott Bendig, Director of Fire Services Richard Lesniak, Director of Finance Ami Tarburton, Director of Administration and Human Resources Ann Shade, Assistant to the Township Manager Stacy Crandell, Director of Planning and Zoning Bruce Shoupe, Director of Public Works Kevin Costello, Director of Recreation and Community Center Floyd Shaffer, Director of Information Technology Richard Grier and Recording Secretary Deborah A. Rivas.

            Following the Pledge of Allegiance, Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox called for public comment from the audience and there was none. 

            Solicitor Frank R. Bartle, Esquire announced that the Board had met in an executive session at 7:00 p.m. this evening to discuss two matters of potential litigation, one involving the Cutler Group and the other regarding the Community and Recreation Center.  The Board also discussed three matters of current litigation, Lesher v. Montgomery Township in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, #2012-19280, James Roque v. Montgomery Township in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, #2016-10694, and Deborah Lamb v. Montgomery Township in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, #17-1180. Mr. Bartle stated that these matters are legitimate subjects of executive session pursuant to Pennsylvania’s Sunshine Law.

            Chairman Michael J. Fox made a motion to approve the minutes of the April 23, 2018 Board of Supervisors meeting, and Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford seconded the motion.  The minutes of the meeting were unanimously approved as submitted.

            Chief of Police J. Scott Bendig presented the resolution to recognize the week of May 13th – May 19th as National Police Week.  Police Week pays special recognition to law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others.  Chief Bendig reported that this is a significant week in our community as Montgomery Township Police Officer David Hancock lost his life on December 11, 1976, while protecting the citizens of Montgomery Township.  Resolution #1 made by Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg and adopted unanimously, recognized May 13th to May 19th as National Police Week. 

            Chief of Police J. Scott Bendig reported that in honor of Police Week, the Board is requested to recognize several members of the Police Department law enforcement community for their outstanding performance in the line of duty as recommended by the Police Department’s Award Committee. 

            An Official Commendation of Merit was awarded to Detective Todd Walter for his investigation of a burglary in Montgomery Township on February 13, 2017 and subsequent arrest of two subjects who admitted to four burglaries in Montgomery County.

            An Official Commendation for Life Saving was awarded to Officer Brian Gerrard for saving the life of an unresponsive subject by performing chest compressions and dislodging an object that was obstructing the patient’s airway on May 2, 2017.

            A Letter of Official Commendation was awarded to Officer Timothy Woch for his actions on June 7, 2017. Officer Woch heard a radio call from another department regarding suspicious activity in a location nearby.  Officer Woch observed the two vehicles traveling on Welsh Road and was able to stop one of the vehicles which was found to be stolen and resulted in the arrest of the driver for vehicle theft and related offenses.

            An Official Commendation for Life Saving was awarded to Officer Taylor Jones for saving the life of a cardiac arrest patient by performing chest compressions until members of the Montgomery Township Fire Department and Volunteer Medical Service Corps of Lansdale arrived on scene and stabilized the patient who has since recovered.

            A Letter of Official Commendation was awarded to Officer Taylor Jones for his investigation and apprehension of a bank robbery suspect who had committed at least three bank robberies in the area.

            An Official Commendation for Merit was awarded to Officer Daniel Rose for his actions on November 21, 2017 during a traffic stop which resulted in the arrest of driver for providing false information regarding her identity, as well as conducting a canine search resulting in the location of nine stolen handguns, 1.5 ounces of crystal methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and a drug ledger indicating significant drug sales.

            Letters of Official Commendation were awarded to Officer Brian Schreiber, Officer Jason English, Officer Bins Thomas and Detective Todd Walter for their actions on December 16, 2017 whereby they investigated an abandoned vehicle displaying a Florida registration in the parking lot of the Montgomery Mall.  Upon attempting to contact the owner, it was discovered that the owner was in critical condition in the Miami, Florida area and it was believed that her son had taken the vehicle and the victim’s credit cards and fled. Officers searched locally at hotels and found the suspect. Upon interviewing him, he admitted to striking his mother on multiple occasions. The son was taken into custody and charged with theft and related offenses until being extradited to Florida.

            Letters of Official Commendation were awarded to Officer Daniel Rose, Officer Adam Duessing, Officer Peter Byrne, Officer Anthony Shearer and Officer Andrew Haber for their actions on December 29, 2017.  Officer Rose was traveling past LA Fitness when he noticed vehicles parked in the lot and some lights on in the business during closed hours. Officers began checking the business from the exterior and observed three to four subjects inside the business who ran and would not exit the building. Officers opened a door and made a canine announcement. Shortly after the announcement, eight subjects fled out of a side exit of the building. All subjects were taken into custody and a search found a half pound of marijuana that had been left by the subjects who were charged with burglary and violations of the Drug Act.

            Official Commendation – Unit Citation was awarded to Corporal Thomas Ward, Officer Brian Schreiber, Officer Michael Jenkins, Officer Jason English, Officer Anthony Long, Officer Bins Thomas and Dispatcher Carlos Cartagena for their actions on March 22, 2018 when officers responded to a residence for a report that a male had just killed his entire family. Corporal Ward began directing a coordinated response and deployment of department personnel while Dispatcher Carlos Cartagena began researching prior incidents at this location.  As the officers approached the residence in tactical gear, they learned that the caller had a prior mental health history with the department and he had told the Montgomery County 911 Dispatcher that he had a handgun with five rounds. Once in position, the caller was told to exit the home and as he approached the officers he was holding an unknown black object in his hand. As the caller raised his right hand towards the officers, they were able to determine that he was holding a cellphone. The officers advanced and took him into custody. The officers entered the residence and found the family to be alive and well. The officers spoke to the caller who advised them that after a failed suicide attempt, he had made the 911 call in an attempt to have officers kill him. He was subsequently referred for mental health treatment.

            Resolution #2 made by Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford, seconded by Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg and adopted unanimously, recognized and commended these law enforcement personnel for their outstanding performances in the line of duty.

            Public Works Director Kevin Costello presented a resolution to recognize National Public Works Week during the week of May 20 through May 26, 2018.  The theme for this year’s week is “The Power of Public Works.”  Resolution #3 made Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg, and adopted unanimously, recognized National Public Works Week.

            Director of Planning and Zoning Bruce Shoupe reported that a Facilities and Field Use request has been received from Cub Scout Pack 229 for the use of Spring Valley Park to hold their annual rocket launch on Sunday, June 10, 2018.  Cub Scout Pack 229 has also requested a waiver of the $50.00 permit fee for their rocket launch.  Cub Master Ed Martin was present with members of Cub Scout Pack 229, who introduced themselves and provided a description of the construction and plan for launching of the rockets.  Resolution #4, made by Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford and adopted unanimously, approved the Cub Scout Pack 229 annual Rocket Launch at Spring Valley Park on Sunday, June 10, 2018 and waived the special event permit fee.

            Director of Finance Ami Tarburton presented the 1st Quarter 2018 Budget report.  Ms. Tarburton’s presentation summarized the year-to-date operating results through March 31, 2018 and identified the significant activities in the fund balance, revenues and expenses.  Ms. Tarburton reported that overall the Township finances are in excellent condition, with the 1st Quarter revenues and expenses tracking as expected in the 2018 Budget. 

            Director of Fire Services Rick Lesniak reported that the Fire Services Agreement provides that the Volunteer Fire Department of Montgomery Township (FDMT) annually advise the Board of Supervisors of its planned fundraising activities and requests the Board of Supervisor’s approval of the events.  The FDMT proposes to host the following fund raising activities in 2018:  Car Washes, annual fund drive mailing and a coin toss in December.  Resolution #5 made by Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford and adopted unanimously, approved the fund raising events.

            Director of Planning and Zoning Bruce Shoupe reported that an application was received for a conditional use from Water Tower Square Associates for a new 7,302 sf freestanding restaurant, satellite use, at the Water Tower Square Shopping Center, located at the intersection of Horsham Road and North Wales Road. The property was developed in 2003 and currently has a number of retail uses located on the property, including Home Depot and Franks Movie Theater.  In accordance with Township Code, a public hearing must be held within 60 days of the receipt of a conditional use application. Resolution #6 made by Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford, seconded by Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg and adopted unanimously, set Monday, June 25, 2018 after 8:00 p.m. in the Township Building as the date, time and place for a Public Hearing to consider the Conditional Use application of Water Tower Square Associates for a freestanding satellite use, located at 751 Horsham Road at the Water Tower Square shopping center.

             Director of Planning and Zoning Bruce Shoupe reported that the Township has received a request for a liquor license transfer for Miller’s Ale House, Inc. for 751 Horsham Road, Water Tower Square Shopping Center.  This is an intermunicipal transfer of a liquor license and it is required that a public hearing be held on the application.  Resolution #7 made by Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford and adopted unanimously, set Monday, June 25, 2018, after 8:00 p.m., in the Township Building, as the date, time and place for a Public Hearing for an Intermunicipal Liquor License Transfer for Miller’s Ale House, Inc. for 751 Horsham Road, Water Tower Square Shopping Center.

              Assistant to the Township Manager Stacy Crandell reported that for voice and data communication, Montgomery Township currently employs various connection methods ranging from utilizing Internet Service Providers (ISPs) with multiyear agreements to in-house built and maintained wireless links. As the Township’s IT Department is continually looking to improve its network infrastructure for speed and cost, an option currently under research is the use of fiber optic cabling attached to existing utility poles to connect Township buildings and locations.  In order to utilize PECO’s pole infrastructure, the Township needs to enter into a Pole Attachment Master Agreement with the PECO Energy Company.  The proposed agreement has been reviewed by the Township Solicitor and has been modified to be acceptable to the Township. Resolution #8 made by Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford and adopted unanimously, approved the PECO Pole Attachment Master Agreement.

             Assistant to the Township Manager Stacy Crandell reported that the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) is offering grants under their Greenways, Trails and Recreation Grant Program to assist in funding planning, acquisition, development, rehabilitation and repair of greenways, recreational trails, open space, parks and beautification projects. Staff has prepared an application for a grant to provide for the construction of various park improvements in Friendship Park. The proposed park improvements include covered and lit Bocce Ball Courts, Pickleball Courts, a handicap accessible playground, softball field improvements, a pavilion with restroom facilities and expansion of the existing walking trail around the park. The maximum amount of grant funding available for the project is $250,000 and requires a 15% local match of the total project cost. Resolution #9 made by Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg and adopted unanimously, authorized the submission of the DCED Greenways, Trail and Recreation Grant Program for park improvements to Friendship Park.

            Township Manager Lawrence J. Gregan reported that the Montgomery Township Industrial Development Authority (MTIDA) was established by the Township in 2003 under the provisions of the Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing law to provide access to low-interest financing to businesses through the issuance of tax-exempt and taxable bonds. The Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Law requires that the Chief Elected Officer of the governmental unit in which the issuer is located (Montgomery Township) must approve any tax-exempt issue proposed by the MTIDA prior to the closing. For the Township, it is proposed to have the current Chairman of the Board be appointed the Chief Elected Official of Montgomery Township and be authorized to approve financing projects presented by the Montgomery Township Industrial Development Authority. Resolution #10 made by Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford, seconded by Supervisor Matthew Quigg and adopted unanimously, authorized the Chief Elected Official of Montgomery Township to approve financing projects presented by the Montgomery Township Industrial Development Authority pursuant to the Economic Development Financing Law.

            A motion to approve the payment of bills was made by Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg, and adopted unanimously, approving the payment of bills as submitted.

            There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 8:47 p.m.