Montgomery Township, Pennsylvania

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02-26-2018 - Board of Supervisors Minutes

MINUTES OF MEETING

MONTGOMERY TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

FEBRUARY 26, 2018

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

            Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera called the action meeting to order at 8:05 p.m. In attendance were Supervisors Tanya C. Bamford, Michael J. Fox, Jeffrey W. McDonnell and Matthew W. Quigg. 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, 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, Public Information Coordinator Kelsey Whalen and Recording Secretary Deborah A. Rivas.

            Following the Pledge of Allegiance, Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera called for public comment.

            Under public comment, Mary Martin of 320 Cowpath Road stated that she volunteered for Fair Districts, which is a nonpartisan group working towards the redistricting of the local area to avoid gerrymandering. Ms. Martin stated that Fair Districts is asking the Township to approve a resolution supporting redistricting. She stated that there has been a growing momentum of support for this initiative. Ms. Martin offered to have someone from Fair Districts come and speak with representatives from the Township to answer additional questions. Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera accepted a copy of the sample resolution and a list of the 16 municipalities that have passed a resolution in support. Chairman Chimera stated that the Board of Supervisors would have to review the resolution and discuss it with the Township Solicitor.

            Also under public comment, Jeff Muldawer of 1014 E. Kennedy Road stated that he is a former Cheltenham Township Commissioner and that he strongly recommends that redistricting be done by an independent commission, not political entities.

            Solicitor Frank R. Bartle, Esquire announced that the Board had met in an executive session prior to this meeting and discussed three Zoning Hearing Board matters. The first matter is an application by the Montgomery Crossing Association for the Gwynedd Crossing Development and a Firebirds Restaurant. The other two matters are zoning hearing board decision appeals filed in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas - Bharatiya Temple Inc. at 1612 County Line Road and Christopher Lear at 1079 Horsham Road. The Board also discussed two labor negotiation issues and three matters of potential litigation. Mr. Bartle stated that these matters are legitimate subjects of executive session pursuant to Pennsylvania’s Sunshine Law.

            Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera made a motion to approve the minutes of the February 12, 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 Fire Services Richard Lesniak reported on the life savings efforts provided by members of the Volunteer Medical Service Corps (VMSC), members of the Department of Fires Services (DFS) and the Fire Department of Montgomery Township (FDMT). These emergency service providers responded to a report of cardiac arrest at a resident’s home on Hanover Avenue. The resident’s granddaughter, who was CPR trained, had immediately called 911 and initiated cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Police Officers arrived and continued CPR and when the firefighters arrived they continued to perform CPR, established and maintained an airway, and shocked the patient twice with the automated external defibrillator (AED). As a result of the rapid response to the report of the cardiac arrest, activation of the 911 emergency response system, early CPR, rapid defibrillation, application of basic and advanced emergency medical services, and advanced life support and post-cardiac arrest care, the resident is recovering from the incident. Madeline Davis was present to thank the firefighters and ambulance crew who saved her life. Ms. Davis stated that she is happy to be here and happy to be alive and she wanted to thank everyone for their quick response. Resolution #1 made by Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg and adopted unanimously, recognized and commended Captain Frank Colelli and Firefighters Robert Hedden, Carmen Conicelli, Carl Weiss, and Adam Webster, along with Deputy Chief Lori Dusza, Paramedic Thomas Scherer, and EMT Derek Kreyenhagen, for their outstanding performance of Life Saving Measures in the line of duty on August 31, 2017.

              Township Manager Lawrence J. Gregan reported that Director of Finance Ami Tarburton was unable to attend the meeting this evening. In her absence, Mr. Gregan introduced Nick Hiriak, Finance Director of Upper Merion Township and President of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA). Mr. Hiriak presented the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Award to the Township. In 2017, for fiscal year 2016, the Township prepared its annual financial report in Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) format and applied to the GFOA for consideration in the CAFR program. In November 2017, the Township received a letter from the GFOA congratulating it on the CAFR and awarding the Township the Certificate of Achievement in Financial Reporting for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016. This is the sixth consecutive year that the Township has received this award. Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox stated that this Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting is a program that the Board has regarded highly. Vice Chairman Fox stated that the Township residents understand the importance that the Board places on financial reporting, so the Board is really happy to see this well-deserved acknowledgment once again.

            Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox announced that the Township had received a notice of the resignation of an elected Auditor and as a result, the Board is required to fill that position until the next general election which will be in the fall of 2019. Vice Chairman Fox made a motion to nominate Chris McManus to fill the vacant positon of elected Auditor. Mr. McManus is a Township resident of many years and a Senior Vice President of equipment leasing and finance for Peapack Gladstone Bank. Supervisor Tanya Bamford made a motion to nominate Alan Malachowski to the vacant position. Mr. Malachowski is a long-time resident, a teacher in the school district and the head of the teacher’s union. Supervisor Bamford reported that Mr. Malachowski ran for this position in the primary of last year, so he is well versed in the responsibilities of the auditor position and has shown an active interest in pursuing this position in the past. Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg seconded the motion made by Supervisor Bamford.

             Resolution #2 made by Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera on a roll call vote of 3 – 2 (Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox voted for Chris McManus, Supervisor Jeffrey W. McDonnell voted for Chris McManus, Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera voted for Chris McManus, Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford voted for Alan Malachowski and Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg voted for Alan Malachowski), Chris McManus was appointed to the position of Township Auditor for a term to expire on the first Monday in January 2020.

             Township Manager Lawrence J. Gregan reported that at the last Board meeting, Director of Finance Ami Tarburton had reported that the general fund balance had increased at the end of 2017 from $3 million to $4.5 million. The Township’s policy is to retain 20 to 25% of its General Fund Operating expenses for the next year. It has been the practice of the Board to transfer the increase in the General Fund Balance to various Designated Capital Reserve funds for future Capital projects. Staff is recommending that $1.5M of the year end 2017 General Fund balance be transferred and the Board agreed by Resolution #3 made by Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera, seconded by Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford and adopted unanimously to transfer the funds as follows:

  • $700K – Montgomery Township Open Space – Zehr Property – to fund future demolition of the structures on this Open Space property in anticipation of future park development.
  • $300K – Montgomery Township Park Capital Plan –to fund a 5-year plan for upgrades and replacements to existing capital facilities in the Township’s Parks.
  • $210K – Montgomery Township Operating Contingency Plan – set aside funds for unexpected future operational needs.
  • $100K – Montgomery Township Community and Recreation Center Contingency Plan – increasing the reserve fund for future capital improvements/repairs to the CRC.
  • $100K – Township Building Renovation Project – increasing the Township building reserve fund for interior and exterior upgrades/repairs to the 23-year-old Township building.
  • $ 50K – Township Building Parking Lot Resurfacing – increasing the reserve for resurfacing of the 23-year-old parking lot surface.
  • $ 40K – Police County Radio Financing Project – funding for the final two debt payments to pay off the County’s “no-interest” loan for new portable radios to communicate with the new County Radio System.

               Public Works Director Kevin Costello reported that the bids for the 2018 In-Place Road Paving Project were opened on February 14, 2018. The Township Engineer, Gilmore and Associates, reviewed the bids and has provided a recommendation that the contract be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder, James D. Morrissey, Inc., with a bid of $575,030.00. Resolution #4 made by Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera, seconded by Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford and adopted unanimously, awarded the bid for the 2018 In-Place Paving Project to James D. Morrissey Inc. for a total projected cost of $575,030.00.

               Public Works Director Kevin Costello reported that the bids for the annual Curb and Sidewalk project were opened on February 14, 2018. The Township Engineer, Gilmore and Associates, reviewed the bids and has provided a recommendation that the contract be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder, Ettore Ventresca & Sons, Inc., with a bid of $711,330.00. Resolution #5 made by Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg and adopted unanimously, awarded the bid for the 2018 Curb and Sidewalk Project contract to Ettore Ventresca & Sons Inc. for a total projected cost of $711,330.00.

               Director of Public Works Kevin Costello reported that Public Works employee David Fulton is being trained in all aspects of Traffic Signal maintenance and repairs. The International Municipal Signal Association (IMSA) offers educational and certification programs for Public Works employees in Maintenance and Repairs of Traffic Signals, Roadway Signs and Markings and Work Zone Traffic Control / Flagging. Mr. Costello is recommending that Dave Fulton be approved to take two classes: Work Zone Traffic Control Tech to be held on March 26, 2018 and IMSA Level 1 Traffic Signal Tech to be held on March 29, 2018. The cost of the training was approved in the 2018 budget. Resolution #6 made by Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford, seconded by Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera and adopted unanimously, authorized Dave Fulton to attend the out of state training hosted by the New Jersey Chapter of the International Municipal Signal Association (IMSA) for Work Zone Traffic Control and Level 1 Traffic Signal Technician.

               Chief of Police J. Scott Bendig reported that in March of 2016, the Montgomery County Department of Public Safety awarded a contract to CSI Technology Group of New Jersey to develop a countywide law enforcement records management system (RMS) known as the Advanced Law Enforcement Intelligence System (ALEIS). This cloud-based system is designed to improve the safety of law enforcement officers and the public by providing investigative tools that enhance the ability of the police to navigate the criminal investigation process and reduce the time to resolution. The Montgomery County Department of Public Safety has extended an invitation to individual law enforcement agencies in Montgomery County to have access to this RMS at a cost below that of the current RMS provider. Law enforcement agencies that opt into the user agreement at this time have also been extended additional financial incentives. Montgomery Township has been offered $34,122.00 in incentives for this early opt-in which includes a two year waiver of user licenses, data conversion from the current RMS to the new RMS, evidence room hardware and electronic citation hardware. Resolution #7 made by Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford, seconded by Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera and adopted unanimously, authorized the execution of the Advanced Law Enforcement Intelligence System (ALEIS) Agency Agreement with the Montgomery County Department of Public Safety.

              Assistant to the Township Manager Stacy Crandell reported that staff is requesting the Board’s authorization to submit four separate applications to PennDOT for traffic signal approval, as these traffic signals are required to be installed/upgraded as part of the land development approval for LDS#694 – Higher Rock Partners, LP. The applications are for Stump Road and Witchwood Drive for a new traffic signal, Bethlehem Pike and Witchwood Drive for a new traffic signal, Bethlehem Pike and Stump Road for an upgrade to the existing signal, and Knapp Road and Witchwood Drive for an upgrade to the existing signal. Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox noted that the cost for installing all the signals is to be borne by the developer. Resolution # 8 made by Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera, seconded by Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford and adopted unanimously, approved the applications to PennDOT for the traffic signal upgrades required as part of the LDS#694 – Higher Rock Partners, LP Land Development project.

              Resolution #9 made by Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera, seconded by Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox and adopted unanimously, authorized the construction escrow release #6 in the amount of $101,141.95, as recommended by the Township Engineer for LDS#664OHB Maple Brook Estates.

              Township Manager Lawrence J. Gregan reported that on February 4, 2018, Robert Hensel, a 40 year employee of the Montgomery Township Municipal Sewer Authority (MTMSA) suffered a devastating fire resulting in the total destruction of his house, a car and personal family belongings. To assist Bob and his family while they rebuild their lives and home, the Board of Supervisors wishes to make a donation of $3,000 to the Hensel family. Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox stated that Mr. Hensel is a dedicated employee of the Township and he recalled the day that we really needed Mr. Hensel’s services right away and he was there taking care of matters in a calm and professional matter. The Board was in favor of the donation and Resolution #10 made by Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford, seconded by Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera and adopted unanimously, approved the donation of $3,000 to the Hensel Family.

             Director of Recreation and Community Center Floyd Shaffer reported that the proposed roster of Recreation/Fitness opportunities for the Spring/Summer 2018 program season at the Montgomery Township Community and Recreation Center was ready for the Board’s consideration. A recommended fee schedule has been included and the programs will run from April 2, 2018 to September 1, 2018. All of the activities will be promoted through the Township’s normal publicity outlets. Resolution #11 made by Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera, seconded by Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg and adopted unanimously, approved the 2018 Spring/Summer Recreation and Fitness Programs as well as the fee schedule amendment as submitted.

            A motion to approve the payment of bills was made by Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera, seconded by Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox, and adopted unanimously, approving the payment of bills as submitted.

            Under other business, Resolution #12 made by Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg and adopted unanimously, authorized the appropriate Township Officials to enter into a Tolling Agreement with Harriet Carter Gifts, Inc. and related entities for the purpose of preserving the status quo as of March 1, 2018 with respect to any applicable statutes of limitations and other time-related defenses related to or arising from Business Tax Audit and any actions for the collection of taxes related thereto.

            Also under other business, Resolution #13 made by Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg and adopted unanimously, authorized the Township Solicitor to intervene on behalf of the Township in the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County in support of the Zoning Hearing Board decision in the matters of Appeal of Bharatiya Temple, Inc., vs. Montgomery Township Zoning Hearing Board, Case #2018-03410-0 and Appeal of Christopher Lear vs. Montgomery Township Zoning Hearing Board, Case #2018-03444.

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