Montgomery Township, Pennsylvania

Welcome to our township!

02-12-2018 - Board of Supervisors Minutes

MINUTES OF MEETING

MONTGOMERY TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

FEBRUARY 12, 2018

             At 7:00 p.m. Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox called to order an 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 8:05 p.m. 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 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 M. Shade, Assistant to the Township Manager Stacy Crandell, Director of Planning 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 prior to this meeting and discussed three matters. One item was a personnel matter involving a grievance. Two other matters were potential matters of litigation, one involving the Cutler Group and one involving a real estate issue. Mr. Bartle stated that these matters are legitimate subjects of executive session pursuant to Pennsylvania’s Sunshine Law.

            Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg made a motion to approve the minutes of the January 22, 2018 Board of Supervisors meeting, and Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford seconded the motion. The minutes of the meeting were unanimously approved as submitted.

            Director of Finance Ami Tarburton reviewed the Finance Department’s unaudited 4th Quarter 2017 Budget Report which identified that the General Fund ended 2017 with an estimated $4.5M fund balance, which was an increase of 5% over the 2016 ending balance of $4.3M. Ms. Tarburton reported that conservatively maintaining a general fund balance of $3 million, or about 25% of total expenditures will provide the Township with a surplus balance of about $1.5M which will be used to fund upcoming capital projects as designated by the Board of Supervisors. The 2017 revenues were 6.4% higher than in 2016 and exceeded the budget by about $840,000 and the expenses were 6% under budget. Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg questioned if there was a particular circumstance that led to the 6% increase in tax revenue. Ms. Tarburton responded that there were two factors, the transfer tax revenue was increased by $165,000 because there were some significant commercial transactions that occurred. In addition, there were a few substantial business tax audit settlements that impacted the revenue budget.

            Director of Recreation and Community Center Floyd Shaffer reported that at their December 13th meeting, the Park and Recreation Board adopted five motions with recommendations to the Board of Supervisors. In anticipation of the next Park and Recreation Board meeting, staff is requesting direction from the Board of Supervisors on these recommendations. Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox noted that the first recommendation had been defeated by the Park Board, so there was no reason to discuss that recommendation. Mr. Shaffer reported that the next recommendation was to relocate the entire disc golf course to another area of the Township. Vice Chairman Fox inquired if there were any proposals from the Park Board on where to relocate the course and there were none given. Mr. Shaffer explained that there is a sentiment on the Park Board that overdevelopment of the park in some forms with amenities is a concern. Vice Chairman Fox provided a brief update of the history of the disc golf course from 2008. After much discussion at that time regarding the 18 hole course, and concerns of the residents who lived nearby, it was agreed that the Township would reduce and maintain nine holes and have an additional three holes available to rotate to if the usage was such that some holes required down time. Vice Chairman Fox stated that he walks that park frequently and he doesn’t see the existing nine holes as having a lot of wear and usage. Supervisor Bamford questioned if there was any kind of study done by the Park Board in terms of usage and what is the Park Board using to determine recommending that it be removed? Mr. Shaffer indicated that it appeared to be more of an emotional issue. Supervisor Bamford surmised that it’s perhaps the presence of the course that offends them, not so much the people that are using it. Mr. Shaffer stated that there is some history on the Park Board and they feel the park should be more passive than active and disc golf is considered as an active recreational activity. Vice Chairman Fox stated that he is the liaison to the Park Board and he doesn’t really think that relocating it is the right thing to do if it sees minimal usage. He further stated for those people who do use it, keeping it where it is located is he right thing to do. Supervisor Quigg inquired if there was another place within the Township that could accommodate it? Mr. Shaffer stated that it would have to be investigated as no matter where you move it, you will have similar concerns in whatever park or area you propose. Where it is located now was the spot that was selected as the best location when it was designed back in 2007. Supervisor McDonnell stated that he was not in favor of moving it either, unless there was a good reason to do so, and until the Park Board recommends another spot to locate it. The Board was unanimous in their consensus to keep the disc golf course in its current location.

            The next recommendation from the Park Board was the request to implement Bocce Ball inside and outside of the Recreation center. Mr. Shaffer reported that there had been one resident who requested Bocce Ball. Mr. Shaffer thought it was something that could be pursued during the day inside at the Recreation Center. He further stated that placing a court area outside would be a different matter and he would defer to people who are a lot more knowledgeable about the sport with regards to engineering and leveling a spot for courts, which can be extremely maintenance sensitive. He recommended that the activity be done inside the CRC for now and then move forward with outside considerations it if becomes popular. The Board agreed with this recommendation.

            The next recommendation was to request that signage be placed on the Stump Road entrance to the Community and Recreation Center. Mr. Shaffer stated that he supports this request and he will investigate and get some cost estimates. Mr. Shaffer also indicated that it is a very dark location. The Board of Supervisors was in favor of pursuing signage and better lighting at the Stump Road entrance and exit to the Recreation and Community Center.

            The last recommendation was for signage to be placed in several locations to show the direction of where the Bark Park is located. The Park Board suggested that there could be signs placed on the poles on the street or someplace nearby as to how to get to the Bark Park entrance. Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford stated that the idea of getting some signs from the street towards where the park is located is not necessarily something that should be dismissed. The suggestion was made to enhance the directions on the website, maybe with an illustration, on how to get around the parking lot to the Bark Park.

            Chief of Police J. Scott Bendig reported that the Police Department is scheduled to replace three police vehicles, and at this time the Police Department is proposing to purchase three 2018 Ford Police Interceptor Utility models as approved in the 2018 Budget. Resolution #1 made by Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg and adopted unanimously, awarded the contract for the purchase of three 2018 Ford Police Interceptor Utility vehicles from Fred Beans Ford Lincoln, an authorize vendor under the Co-Stars Cooperative Purchase Program (Contract #013-142), at a total cost of $93,121.00 per their quote dated January 27, 2018.

            Director of Public Works Kevin Costello reported that the Public Works Department is proposing to purchase equipment as provided for in the approved 2018 budget. Resolution #2 made by Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford and adopted unanimously, approved the contract for the purchase of a 2019 Peterbuilt Dump Truck to Hunter Keystone Peterbuilt, L.P., an authorized vendor under the Co-Stars Purchasing Contract #025-101, at a cost of $108,450.00; the contract for the purchase of a 2018 Custom Dump Body for installation on the Peterbuilt Truck to Triad Truck Equipment, an authorized vendor under the Co-Stars Purchasing Contract #025-060, at a cost of $54,899.00; and the contract for the purchase of a 2018 J.D. 6120M Tractor equipped with Standard Farm Loader to Deer Country Farm and Lawn, authorized vendor under the Co-Stars Purchasing Contract #4400011369, at a cost of $106,065.90.

            Director of Public Works Kevin Costello reported that staff is requesting the Board’s authorization to advertise and solicit for bids for the annual services and materials contracts for the Public Works Department. Resolution #3, made by Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg and adopted unanimously, authorized the advertisement for bids for Services and Materials, including Asphalt, Stone Aggregate, and Lawn Care Treatments. The bids are to be received on or before February 28, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.

            Director of Public Works Kevin Costello reported that staff is requesting the Board’s authorization to advertise for bids for the Windlestrae – Rose Twig Tennis Court Repair Project. The project will include repairing all the cracks in the (4) courts with the Armor Tech System, color coating of all four courts and installing the white lines. Resolution #4 made by Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford and adopted unanimously, authorized the Township Manager to advertise for bids for Windlestrae – Rose Twig Tennis Court Repair Project. The bids are to be received on or before February 28, 2018 at 10:30 a.m.

            Assistant to the Township Manager Stacy Crandell reported that Act 44 of 2017 (HB 674) was signed by Governor Wolf on October 20, 2017. The act amends the fiscal code and directs the Budget Secretary to transfer $300 Million from amounts available in special funds and restricted accounts, including the Recycling Fund, to the General Fund during the 2017-2018 fiscal year. The Township is currently in compliance with Act 101, which tasks municipalities with establishing and maintaining a local recycling collection program including leaf waste collection. The funding received from the Recycling Fund has helped offset the costs of some of the requirements of the recycling program, including the leaf and yard waste collection. The Northern Montgomery County Recycling Commission (NMCRC) has recommended each municipality pass a resolution opposing the transfer of recycling funds to the Commonwealth General Budget to balance the budget. Once approved, the signed resolution will be sent to Governor Tom Wolf, State Senator Stewart Greenleaf, State Representative Todd Stephens and all members of the Appropriations Committee and the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee for both the State House of Representatives and the State Senate. Resolution # 5 made by Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Jeffrey W. McDonnell and adopted unanimously, approved the resolution opposing the transfer of recycling funds to the Commonwealth General Fund.

            Director of Fire Services Richard Lesniak requested the Board’s approval to accept the 2017/2018 Pennsylvania State Fire Commissioner’s Grant of $13,939.07 and authorize the purchase of personal protective equipment with these grant funds. Resolution #6 made by Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford and adopted unanimously, granted approval to accept the 2017/2018 PA Fire Commissioners Volunteer Firefighter / Ambulance Service Grant in the amount of $13,939.07 and approved the purchase of four (4) sets of personal protective equipment from Municipal Emergency Services, in accordance with their quote dated February 7, 2018, at a cost of $16,235.92.

            Director of Fire Services Richard Lesniak reported the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced that the FY2017 Assistance to Firefighters Grant application period. The Fire Department of Montgomery Township (FDMT) submitted a two-part grant application in the amount of $32,200.00 to purchase eighty-six (86) bailout kits and $55,000.00 to replace the aging breathing air compressor. Resolution #7 made by Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford, seconded by Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox and adopted unanimously, approved the FDMT’s application to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under its FY2017 Assistance to Firefighters Grant for the purchase of eighty-six (86) bailout kits at an estimated cost of $32,200.00, and a breathing air cascade system compressor at an estimated cost of $55,000.

            Director of Planning and Zoning Bruce Shoupe reported that bids were received and opened on February 1, 2018 for the Ash Tree Removal Program – Autumn Woods and Winners Circle Open Space Area. The bids received ranged in price from $135,000 to $255,075. The work includes the furnishing of all labor, materials and equipment necessary and incidental for the felling of 403 +/- trees to within 12 inches or less of the ground level. Staff recommends the awarding of the contract to the lowest responsible bidder, ARS Corporation, at a cost of $135,000. Resolution #8 made by Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg and adopted unanimously, authorized the award of the bid for the Dead & Diseased Tree Removal Program – Autumn Woods & Winners Circle Open Space Area as submitted by ARS Corporation in the amount of $135,000.

            Director of Planning and Zoning Bruce Shoupe reported that an application for a conditional use was received from Montgomery Crossing Associates for a Firebirds Wood Fired Grill restaurant to be located at the Gwynedd Crossing Shopping Center at the intersection of Route 309/Bethlehem Pike and Welsh Road. A public hearing on the application must be scheduled and held within 60 days of the receipt of a Conditional Use application. Resolution #9 made by Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford and adopted unanimously, set Monday, March 26, 2018 after 8:00 p.m. as the date, time and place for a Public Hearing to consider the Conditional Use application of Montgomery Crossing Associates for the satellite use, Firebirds Wood Fired Grill restaurant.

            Director of Planning and Zoning Bruce Shoupe reported that an application for a conditional use was received by Pro Real Ventures, LLC, for a proposed drive-thru carwash to be located on the vacant land at the intersection of DeKalb Pike and Welsh Road. The applicant is proposing to construct a new 4,596 square foot automatic drive-thru carwash with 28 self-serve vacuuming stations and representing vehicle stacking for 66 cars. A public hearing on the application must be scheduled and held within 60 days of the receipt of a Conditional Use application. Resolution #10 made by Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford and adopted unanimously, set Monday, March 26, 2018 after 8:00 p.m. as the date, time and place for a Public Hearing to consider the Conditional Use application of Pro Real Ventures LLC for an automatic drive-thru carwash, located on the vacant parcel at DeKalb Pike (Route 202) and Welsh Road.

            Resolution #11 made by Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford and adopted unanimously, authorized a construction escrow release #4 in the amount of $12,859.00 for LDS #610A – W.B. Commons (Penn Crest).

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

            There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 8:56 p.m.