Montgomery Township, Pennsylvania

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01-28-2019 - Board of Supervisors Minutes

MINUTES OF MEETING

MONTGOMERY TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

JANUARY 28, 2019

 

 

            At 6:00 p.m. Chairman Michael J. Fox called to order a work session.  In attendance were Supervisors Tanya C. Bamford, Candyce Fluehr Chimera, Jeffrey W. McDonnell and Matthew W. Quigg.  Also in attendance were Township Manager Lawrence J. Gregan and Township Solicitor Robert J. Iannozzi, Esquire. Township staff in attendance included Deborah Rivas, Recording Secretary, Stacy Crandell, Assistant to the Township Manager and Bruce Shoupe, Director of Planning and Zoning.

            Following the Pledge of Allegiance, John Paul (JP) Andrews, the Director of Real Estate Development for Costco and Attorney Robert Brandt, Esquire, presented Costco’s proposal to provide for the addition of gasoline sales to the Costco property in Montgomery Township. Chairman Michael J. Fox stated that the Township had previously successfully defended its position that Costco is not entitled under the zoning code to provide gas sales at the site. He opined that Costco is a great business for the Township and it is always busy, but the parking lot is full and there was a problem with safely putting a gasoline station where it has previously been proposed in various sections of the parking lot. Chairman Fox said that it would be important from the Board’s perspective to permit this use only if done safely and with a well thought out plan. Mr. Andrews stated that he believed that the proposed location was the biggest issue and understandable under the circumstances. Chairman Fox stated that he had never said that the Board did not want Costco to have gasoline, but it’s the location that is an issue. The local BJs Warehouse has a gasoline station, but it is located in a different section of the development and away from parking lot traffic. Mr. Andrews provided plans showing two variations for a gasoline sales facility placed on the undeveloped grassy area next to the parking lot.  He described the daily hours of operation, number of gas deliveries, flow of traffic through the station and other details. Chairman Fox inquired about statistics on the number of cars that would use the station. Mr. Andrews indicted that they would do a traffic study should the proposed development move forward. Supervisor Bamford asked about safety protocols for gasoline and Mr. Andrews stated that all tanks are double walled and there are sensors on the sump wells to detect any leakage. The dispensers have sensors, automatic fire suppression systems, as well as emergency shut off valves that customers can access in an emergency. An attendant is always on duty at the site. Supervisor Quigg inquired about how the detergent tank worked and Mr. Andrews explained that Costco purchases its gasoline from different sources and keeps a detergent tank onsite which utilizes a computer to add detergent to clean the gasoline to Costco’s specifications. Chairman Fox stated that the Board would take the proposal under consideration and get back to Costco in the near future. The work session adjourned at 6:30 p.m.

            At 6:30 p.m. Chairman Michael J. Fox called to order the executive session.  In attendance were Supervisors Tanya C. Bamford, Candyce Fluehr Chimera, Jeffrey W. McDonnell and Matthew W. Quigg. Also in attendance were Township Manager Lawrence J. Gregan and Township Solicitor Robert J. Iannozzi, Esquire.

            Chairman Michael J. Fox called the action meeting to order at 7:03 p.m.  In attendance were Supervisors Tanya C. Bamford, Candyce Fluehr Chimera, Jeffrey W. McDonnell and Matthew W. Quigg.  Also in attendance were Township Solicitor Robert J. Iannozzi, Esquire, Township Manager Lawrence Gregan, Police Chief Scott Bendig, Director of Fire Services Richard Lesniak, Director of Finance Ami Tarburton, 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 Public Information Coordinator Kelsey Whalen.

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

            Solicitor Robert J. Iannozzi, Esquire announced that the Board had met in an executive session prior to this meeting at 6:30 p.m., in the room adjacent to this one, and discussed three matters of potential litigation and one matter of litigation which was the Harriet Carter Business Tax Appeal. The Board also discussed three personnel matters. Mr. Iannozzi 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 January 7, 2019 Board of Supervisors meeting, and Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford seconded the motion.  The minutes of the meeting were unanimously approved.

Director of Finance Ami Tarburton 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 Association’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Award to the Township for fiscal year 2017. In making the presentation, he noted that this is the eight consecutive year that the Township has received this award. 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.  The award recognizes the Township’s efforts to prepare financial reports that evidence the spirit of transparency and full disclosure. Chairman Michael J. Fox stated that this Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting is a program that the Board regards highly and is proud to receive again.  Chairman Fox stated also 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.

Chief of Police Scott Bendig reported that on December 13, 2018, Montgomery Township Police Officer John Rushin was selected as the 2018 Montgomery County SWAT – Central Region Officer of the Year.  Each year, the team commanders recognize one of their members as officer of the year for their exemplary dedication and work with the team.  Montgomery County SWAT is a task force composed of officers from numerous Montgomery County Police Departments.  This team is deployed for incidents and situations that exceed the capability of traditional police resources, including barricaded subjects, hostage taking incidents, and other high risk operations.  Lieutenant John Ciarlello, a Lieutenant with the Hatfield Township Police Department and Deputy Commander of Montgomery County SWAT presented the award to Officer Rushin.  Lieutenant Ciarlello indicated that this is the fourth Montgomery Township Police Officer to receive this award.  Resolution #1 made by Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg and adopted unanimously, recognized and commended Officer John Rushin on his selection as the 2018 Montgomery County SWAT – Central Region Officer of the Year.

            Chief J. Scott Bendig reported that Calibre Press is hosting a Street Survival Seminar for law enforcement officers from February 20, 2019 to February 21, 2019, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The seminar topics include: Understanding the Role of Civilian Peace Officers; De-Escalation for Safe and Successful Resolutions; Thinking Outside the Box; Human Diversity and the Realities of Bias; Legal Parameters of Using Force; Road Wise: Vehicle & Roadway Related Dangers; Detecting Pre-Attach and Felonious Assaults; Physical & Emotional Health; and the Necessity of Effective Communication. Chief Bendig is recommending that Officer Brian Schreiber, Officer Timothy Woch, Officer Peter Byrne and Officer Matthew Seydel be authorized to attend this training.

In addition, the Montgomery Township Police Department participates in the Montgomery County SWAT – Central Region Team. The SWAT task force deployed for incidents and situations that exceed the capability of traditional police resources. The Township has two officers currently assigned to SWAT and Montgomery County SWAT is scheduled to attend Prevention of and Response to Suicide Bombing Incidents Tactical training at the Playas Training Center in Playas, New Mexico from July 29, 2019 to August 1, 2019. The training will consist of tactical operations related to suicide bombing incidents in an environment not readily available in our area. It is recommended that Sergeant Thomas Ward and Officer John Rushin be authorized to attend this training. Resolution #2 made by Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Tanya Bamford and adopted unanimously, approved the out of state training as proposed.

            Director of Public Works Kevin Costello reported that staff is requesting the Board’s authorization to advertise and solicit for bids for the 2019 Annual In-Place Road Paving Contract.  As part of the 16-Year Road Plan, staff and consultants have identified Township roads that will require resurfacing as part of the road improvement program.  The work includes a surface mill, leveling course, an inch and a half overlay and all the associated preparation work.  The bid specifications have been prepared by Township Engineer, Gilmore & Associates, and reviewed by staff.  Resolution #3, made by Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg and adopted unanimously, authorized the advertisement for bids for the 2019 Annual Road Paving In-Place Contract.  The bids are to be received on or before February 14, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.

            Director of Public Works Kevin Costello reported that staff is requesting the Board’s authorization to advertise and solicit for bids for the annual 2019 Curb and Sidewalk Project.  Annually, the Township performs repairs / replacement of certain curbing and sidewalks throughout the Township in anticipation of the future resurfacing of the streets.  The bid specifications have been prepared by Township Engineer, Gilmore & Associates, and reviewed by staff.  Resolution #4, made by Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford and adopted unanimously, authorized the advertisement for bids for the 2019 Curb and Sidewalk Project.  The bids are to be received on or before February 14, 2019 at 10:30 a.m.

            Director of Public Works Kevin Costello reported that staff is requesting the Board’s authorization to advertise and solicit for bids for the Fellowship Park Tennis Court Reconstruction Project. The project will include an application of a one-inch layer of stone dust over the entire court, followed up by a two-inch asphalt base course and an inch and a half of asphalt wearing course. Once the paving is finished, the courts will be sealed, color coated and re-stripped for an estimated cost of $165,000. Mr. Costello noted that to completely rebuild the courts, it would cost the Township about 30% more. Resolution #5 made by Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford and adopted unanimously, authorized the advertisement for bids for the Fellowship Park Tennis Court Reconstruction Project to be received on or before February 14, 2019 at 11:00 a.m.

            Director of Planning and Zoning Bruce Shoupe reported that an application for a Preliminary/Final Land Development plan, LDS #696, was received from FedEx Ground Packaging Systems Inc. and 1350 Welsh Partners LLC for an expansion of the existing parking area, erection of a security fence and required storm water management and landscape buffering on these two sites. Staff and consultants have reviewed this plan for compliance with Township Codes. Chairman Michael J. Fox inquired if the applicant was aware of the number of conditions required in the approval resolution and Greg Davis, Esquire, attorney representing the applicant responded that the applicant was aware of and in agreement with the conditions. Resolution #6 made by Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg and adopted unanimously, approved the Preliminary/Final Land Development plan for LDS# 696 FedEx Packaging Systems Inc. and 1350 Welsh Partners LLC.

Director of Planning and Zoning Bruce Shoupe reported the bids for the Phase 5 - Ash Tree Forestry Management Program were opened on January 16, 2019.  The areas included in this bid were Gazebo Park Open Space, Montgomery Oaks/Crossing Open Space and the Orchards.  Nine bids were received and ranged in price from $55,499 to $159,995.  Resolution #7 made by Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg, and adopted unanimously, authorized the Township Manager to award the bid for the Ash Tree Forestry Management Program Phase 5 – Gazebo Park Open Space, Montgomery Oaks/Crossing Open Space and the Orchards, as submitted, in the amount of $79,580.

Director of Planning and Zoning Bruce Shoupe reported that the developer for The Enclave at Montgomery has submitted an amendment to the Sewage Facilities Planning Module for the project to reduce the overall sewage flows to reflect the final approved development on the site to 185 age-restricked carriage homes, 61 age-restricted single-family detached dwellings, 33 single-family dwelling units, 109 townhouse units and a Community Center. These changes required an amendment of the Sewage Facilities Planning Module which has been reviewed by CKS Engineers, Inc., for the Montgomery Township Municipal Sewer Authority. Resolution #8 made by Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Tanya Bamford and adopted unanimously, approved the third amended DEP Sewage Facilities Planning Module for The Enclave of Montgomery – Meadows at Parkview.

Resolution #9 made by Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Candyce Fluehr Chimera and adopted unanimously, approved the construction escrow release #3 for Higher Rock Partners – Phase 1, LDS #694, in the amount of $202,237.25.

Resolution #10 made by Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford and adopted unanimously, approved the construction escrow release #2 for Higher Rock Partners – Phase 2, LDS #694, in the amount of $353,455.00.

Resolution #11 made by Vice Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera, seconded by Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg, and adopted by a vote of 4 to 0, with Chairman Michael J. Fox abstaining, named the depositories for the Township for 2019 to be Univest Bank and Trust Company, the Pennsylvania Department of Treasury “INVEST” Fund for the Government Banking Accounts and Capital Projects Account; Morgan Stanley as custodian for the investments of the Police Pension Fund, and ICMA-RC as the custodian for Montgomery Township Police Pension Funds in the Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP).

Director of Finance Ami Tarburton reported that the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industries has published new bidding limits for 2019 which increase the minimum dollar amount that requires townships to advertise and seek bids for purchases and contracts.  The Board of Supervisors acknowledges the State required bidding limits in the ‘Montgomery Township Purchasing Policies and Procedures’ which governs Township staff on how to adhere to and process the requirements.  This document requires an update to reflect the new limits which are:

Contracts below $11,100 – no advertising or competitive bidding required; and

Contracts between $11,100 and $20,600 – three informal (written, telephonic, electronic) price quotes are required, with award to the lowest bidder; and

Contracts over $20,600 – advertising twice and formal competitive bidding is required.

Resolution #12 made by Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford, seconded by Vice Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera and adopted unanimously, approved the changes to the ‘Montgomery Township Purchasing Policies and Procedures’ by increasing the required bid limits to adhere to the Department of Labor and Industry thresholds for 2019.

Township Manager Lawrence J. Gregan reported that as part of the Township’s efforts to conclude the installation of public improvements associated with the Enclave Development, the Township has obtained a proposal from Summit Electric Construction, Inc. to complete the installation of street lighting equipment along Enclave Blvd. The Scope of Work in the proposal provides for assembly and erection of seven street light poles including installation and repairs of splice boxes and wiring connections. Following the installation of the street light equipment under this project, all nineteen of the street lights along Enclave Blvd. will be inspected by electrical underwriters and PECO Electric will be contracted to complete the connection to their grid. Resolution #13 made by Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford, seconded by Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg and adopted unanimously, awarded the contract for installation of Street Lighting Equipment on Enclave Blvd. to Summit Electric Construction, Inc. in the amount of $20,000 per their proposal dated January 17, 2019.

Township Manager Lawrence J. Gregan reported that in 2016, the Pennsylvania State Legislature enacted Act 172 of 2016 authorizing townships to enact a tax credit against an active qualifying volunteer’s local tax liability as a financial incentive to (1) acknowledge the value and the absence of any pubic cost for volunteer fire protection and nonprofit emergency medical services provided by active volunteers; and (2) encourage individuals to volunteer, or for former volunteers to consider rejoining as active volunteers, in a volunteer fire company or nonprofit emergency medical services agency serving the Township. An ordinance is being proposed in which each qualifying volunteer, as defined and certified in accordance with the provisions of this Ordinance, would be eligible to receive a tax credit in accordance with the provisions of this Ordinance, would be eligible to receive a tax credit of up to 100% of the Earned Income Tax levied by the Township per year and a real property tax credit in the amount of up to 20% of the Township’s real property tax levied on residential real property owned and occupied by the qualifying volunteer in that tax year. Resolution #14 made by Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford, seconded by Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg and adopted unanimously, authorized the advertisement of a Public Hearing on Monday, March 11, 2019 after 7:00 p.m. in the Township Building as the date, time and place to consider Proposed Ordinance #19-310, proposing the establishment of a Volunteer Service Earned Income Tax Credit and Real Property Tax Credit.

Chairman Michael J. Fox reported that the Board is proposing to amend the Municipal Manager Agreement currently in effect for Calendar Years 2018 and 2019 to provide for an increase in the Township Manager’s 2019 annual salary from $165,000 to $166,100 effective January 1, 2019. Resolution #15 made by Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Vice Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera and adopted unanimously, approved the amendment to the Township Manager’s Employment Agreement.

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

            There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 7:50 p.m.