Montgomery Township, Pennsylvania

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09-10-2018 - Board of Supervisors Minutes

MINUTES OF MEETING

MONTGOMERY TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

SEPTEMBER 10, 2018

 

            At 7:30 p.m. Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera called to order the executive session.  In attendance were Supervisors Tanya C. Bamford, Michael J. Fox, Jeffrey W. McDonnell and Matthew W. Quigg.   Also in attendance were Assistant to the Township Manager Stacy Crandell, Director of Finance Ami Tarburton and Township Solicitor Robert J. Iannozzi, Esquire.

            Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera 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. Also in attendance were Township Solicitor Robert J. Iannozzi, Esquire, 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, Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera called for public comment from the audience.

            Tom Sanna of 140 Bayhill Drive requested an update on the outstanding items to be completed at the Cutler Developments. Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox reported that the Township has been having ongoing discussions with representatives of the Cutler Group and with the bank. The Township does not have a specific list of outstanding dates for those items to be completed at this time. Mr. Sanna inquired about the landscaping that was expected to be done in the Fall, which he stated is now here. Vice Chairman Fox responded that the Township is very much aware of the desire of the residents to have the landscaping done and the Township is doing everything it can to move the process forward. There is a meeting scheduled this week with the bank and Attorney Richard McBride on behalf of the Cutler Group to continue to discuss the completion of the outstanding items as expeditiously as possible. 

Steve Splendido, resident at 220 Twining Road and President of the Fire Department of Montgomery Township appeared and stated that he had a few things he would like to discuss. He questioned the status of the purchase of a new ladder truck opining that the current vehicle is 16 years old and is “running on borrowed time.” He further commented that the department has been waiting three years for a decision and would like to be involved in the purchase decisions for the truck. Vice Chairman Fox advised that the purchase of a new ladder truck has been a part of budget discussions but that he did not have an exact timetable for the purchase. He advised that the Township would get back to him with a definitive timeframe for when purchase of the ladder truck would be considered.

Mr. Splendido also expressed concern over a Facebook posting on the fire union’s Facebook page about the lack of response by Command staff to a recent fire. He opined that while the statement was factually correct, he felt it was made in a disparaging manner and that the volunteers didn’t respond because they are working which is why the Township has a combination fire department. He also questioned the authority for posting of pictures of the fire trucks and gear. He stated that in FDMT, posting of such pictures would have to be approved by the President. He stated that something needs to be said to the career staff about these postings.

Mr. Splendido also questioned the legality of the IAFF Union President being copied on internal Officer emails. He advised that this recently occurred involving internal emails between Officers regarding the ladder truck. He respectfully requested a copy of the Collective Bargaining Agreement so he could know what they were supposed to know and how they were supposed to operate.

Finally, Mr. Splendido commented that as far as he was concerned the scheduling of volunteers as a stipend crew to cover holidays when the career staff are off was going to stop.

Supervisor Fox responded that the volunteers are valued in the community and that the Board would be happy to look into their concerns into what was said, who was copied and whether it was appropriate or not. He noted that if the Collective Bargaining Agreement is allowed to be released under the Right to Know Law and if the request was submitted it would be honored. Finally, he commented that if there is something that needs to be addressed as it concerns the career staff we will try to address it with them.

            Solicitor Robert J. Iannozzi, Esquire announced that the Board had met in an executive session at 7:30 p.m. this evening to discuss the Cutler Development which is a matter of potential ligation, as well as the Zoning Hearing Board application of 243 Twining Road and the Welsh Road Retail LP tax issue which was resolved and will be formally addressed under other business. Mr. Iannozzi 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 August 27, 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 Planning and Zoning Bruce Shoupe reported that Timberlane Inc. (RMS Development Company LP) has requested a waiver of the Township’s formal land development process for their property located at 150 Domorah Drive. The applicant proposes to construct a new parking lot for 25 cars on their Domorah Drive frontage of the property. Zoning Hearing Board relief was granted on October 4, 2017 to allow parking within the front yard setback of the property. Attorney Christen Pionzio, Esquire, representing the applicant, was present and acknowledged receipt of the proposal resolution and acceptance of the terms of the resolution. Resolution #1 made by Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera, seconded by Supervisor Tanya Bamford and adopted unanimously, approved the Waiver of Formal Land Development Application for Timberlane Inc., 150 Domorah Drive, Parking Lot Expansion – M-17-99.

            Director of Recreation and Community Center Floyd Shaffer introduced Derek Muller, Recreation Program Supervisor and Mary Griffith-Alfarano, Chair of the Township’s Autumn Festival Committee who presented an overview of the activities and timeline relative to the upcoming community special event scheduled for Saturday, October 6, 2018. Autumn Festival 2018 will be held from Noon to 5:00 p.m. in and around the William F. Maule Park at Windlestrae. In the event of inclement weather, a modified Autumn Festival will be held inside the Montgomery Township Community and Recreation Center. The event will have over 40 vendors, amusement rides, pony rides, Star Wars character appearances, petting zoo, pumpkin decorating, scarecrow making, K-9 demonstrations and a helicopter landing. This year, the amusements will be sectioned off by age groups and are tripled in the number of amusements featured.  Daylong wristbands are $8 for adults and $12 for children. Presale wristbands, available now, are $5 for adults and $8 for children. Parking will be available onsite and in the event of rain, parking will be available at Keystone Fellowship Church, 427 Stump Road, and Penn Manufacturing Industries, 506 Stump Road, with handicap parking at the Community and Recreation Center.

            Director of Recreation and Community Center Floyd Shaffer reported that the Park and Recreation Board has been discussing the Disc Golf Course at Windlestrae Park. Township residents Charles Vesay and Charles Ziegler have brought several proposals to improve, upgrade, and relocate the layout of the course. The Park Board considered these proposals and selected the one which is intended to be a Family and Senior Citizen friendly design. The new design incorporates relatively short walking distances between holes and a shorter course than the current one. The newly proposed location for the course is a site that circles the Hennings Field/Cornfield section of the William F. Maule at Windlestrae Park.  At their August meeting, the Park Board voted unanimously to recommend to the Board of Supervisors the relocation proposal of the Disc Golf course to the Hennings/Cornfield area of Windlestrae Park. Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox, liaison to the Park and Recreation Board stated that the board wanted to improve on the current course and place it in a more accessible location. Supervisor Tanya Bamford inquired if anyone uses the current course and if the move would upset others who might be using it now. Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox said that the new location would be more suitable to all ages; the course would be shorter, not highly competitive and will attract more users than before. It was requested that Township staff promote the new course location once it is relocated. Resolution #2 made by Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg and adopted unanimously, approved the relocation of the Windlestrae Park Disc golf course to an area that circles the Henning’s Field/Cornfield portion of the William F. Maule Park at Windlestrae.

            Director of Finance Ami Tarburton reported that each year the Board of Supervisors and the Township staff participate in budget workshops. The workshops are held in the Board Conference Room, starting at 6:30 p.m., and normally run until approximately 8:30 p.m. It is anticipated that four dates will be needed. Resolution #3 made by Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford and adopted unanimously, authorized the Township Manager to advertise for public meetings for the proposed 2019 Budget workshops to be held on: Thursday, October 11, 2018, Tuesday, October 16, 2018, Thursday, October 25, 2018, Monday, October 29, 2018 and Tuesday, October 30, 2019, if needed.

Director of Finance Ami Tarburton reported that Act 205, Section 304 requires that the Chief Administrative Officer for Montgomery Township submit the Minimum Municipal Obligation (MMO) for the upcoming budget year to the Board on or before the last business day in September.  The MMO is the calculated funding obligation to the Township's Police and Non-Uniform Employee Pension Plans.  Resolution #4 made by Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg, seconded by Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford and adopted unanimously, accepted the 2019 MMO for the Montgomery Township Police Pension Fund in the amount of $851,857 and the 2019 MMO for the Montgomery Township Non-Uniform Employee Pension Fund in the amount of $344,184.

            Chief of Police J. Scott Bendig reported that the Police Department has received numerous complaints of vehicles parked on the side of the road on Regency Drive between Hartman Road and Drake Lane. After following up on the complaint, the Police Department determined that it was a safety issue and that parking should be prohibited. This will also assist the Township with plowing efforts during the winter. An ordinance is required to make this change. Resolution #5 made by Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera, seconded by Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg and adopted unanimously, approved Ordinance #18-308 – Amending Code to Prohibit Parking – Regency Drive between Hartman Road and Drake Lane.    

            Chief of Police J. Scott Bendig reported that the Montgomery Township Police Department participates in the Montgomery County SWAT – Central Region Team. Currently, the Police Department has two officers, Sergeant Thomas Ward and Officer John Rushin, assigned to Montgomery County SWAT. Officer John Rushin is scheduled to attend Basic/Intermediate Explosive Breaching School sponsored by the Virginia Beach Police Department in Chesapeake, Virginia from September 16, 2018 to September 22, 2018. The training is designed to teach participants the necessary skills required to become a SWAT operation breacher. In addition, Montgomery County SWAT is scheduled to attend training at Fort Dix in New Hanover Township, New Jersey from October 16, 2018 to October 18, 2018. The training will consist of team movements, search techniques and firearms training in a multitude of environments not readily available in our area. It is recommended that Sergeant Thomas Ward and Officer John Rushin be authorized to attend this training. Resolution #6 made by Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera, seconded by Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford and adopted unanimously, approved the training requests for Officer John Rushin and Sergeant Thomas Ward.

Chief of Police Scott Bendig reported that Montgomery Township Highway Safety Officer David Dunlap has prepared a grant application to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation on behalf of the Montgomery Township Regional DUI Enforcement Team.  The Team was established in 1993 to combat the serious problem of drivers operating vehicles while impaired due to alcohol or drugs and removing those drivers from the highways.  Montgomery Township serves as the administrator and the grant funds are used to support sobriety checkpoint operations and roving DUI patrols.  The grant amount requested is $100,000.00 and will provide funding for the purchase of equipment and payment of overtime forenforcement activities.  Resolution #7 made by Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford, seconded by Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg and adopted unanimously, approved the submission of the 2019/2020 DUI Grant on behalf of the Montgomery Township Regional DUI Enforcement Team in the amount of $100,000.00.

A motion to approve the payment of bills was made by Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera, seconded by Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg, and adopted unanimously, approving the payment of bills as submitted.

            Under other business, Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera asked the Board to consider a motion to approve the settlement offer of principal and interest in the amount of $9,692.09 for the Welsh Road Retail LP Business Tax Matter. The motion was made by Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg and adopted unanimously. 

            Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera also made a request to consider a motion to authorize the Township Solicitor to intervene on behalf of the Township in the Zoning Hearing Board matter of William Kane, 243 Twining Road, and present the case of the Township in opposition to the application. The motion was made by Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera, seconded by Supervisor Jeffrey W. McDonnell and adopted unanimously.

            There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m.