Montgomery Township, Pennsylvania

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08-26-2019 - Board of Supervisors Minutes

MINUTES OF MEETING

MONTGOMERY TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

AUGUST 26, 2019

            At 6:00p.m. Vice-Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera called to order the Executive Session.  In attendance were Supervisors Tanya C. Bamford and Matthew W. Quigg.  Chairman Michael J. Fox and Supervisor Jeffrey W. McDonnell were absent. Also in attendance was Township Manager Lawrence J. Gregan and Township Solicitor Frank Bartle, Esquire.   

            Vice-Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera called the action meeting to order at 7:03 p.m.  In attendance were Supervisors Tanya C. Bamford and Matthew W. Quigg. Chairman Michael J. Fox and Jeffrey W. McDonnell were absent. Also in attendance were Township Solicitor Frank Bartle, Esquire, Township Manager Lawrence Gregan, Police Chief Scott Bendig, Director of Fire Services Richard Lesniak, Director of Finance Ami Tarburton, Director of Administration & Human Resources Ann M. 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, Recording Secretary Deborah A. Rivas and Junior Systems Analyst Wesley Whitaker.   

            Following the Pledge of Allegiance, Vice-Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera called for public comment from the audience and there was none. 

            Solicitor Frank Bartle, Esquire announced that the Board had met in an executive session prior to this meeting at 6:00 p.m., and discussed several matters.  The first item was a potential matter of litigation that is the ongoing Cutler matter. The Board also discussed several matters of litigation which are Zoning Hearing Board matters. These matters are the 309 Nissan at 991 Bethlehem Pike, Montgomeryville Realty Association at 744 Bethlehem Pike & 1227 Vilsmeier Road, Giorno Properties / Fence Guys at 111 Domorah Drive, Montgomery Square / KIR Montgomery at 165 Witchwood Drive and Ocean State Job Lot at 988 Bethlehem Pike. The Board also discussed a Business Tax matter where the Board made a motion to authorize the Solicitor to sign and attach an entry of judgment to settle a Business Tax lawsuit. Finally, the Board discussed a personnel matter regarding the hiring of the new Township Manager, which is proceeding as contemplated. Mr. Bartle stated that these matters are all legitimate subjects of executive session pursuant to Pennsylvania’s Sunshine Law.

            Vice Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera made a motion to approve the minutes of the August 12, 2019 Board of Supervisors meeting, and Supervisor Tanya Bamford seconded the motion.  The minutes of the meeting were unanimously approved as submitted.

            Director of Public Works Kevin Costello reported that Montgomery Township wishes to acknowledge the services of Evan Stephens who has tendered his resignation as a Laborer effective Thursday, August 22, 2019. Evan was hired on October 23, 2017 and has been an integral part of the Park Crew for the past two years. Evan will be following a different career path, returning to college in pursuit of a position in the medical field. Resolution #1 made by Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford, seconded by Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg and adopted unanimously, accepted the resignation of Evan Stephens from his position as a Laborer with Montgomery Township and take this opportunity to thank him for his service during his employment at Montgomery Township.

            Township Manager Lawrence J. Gregan reported that Montgomery Township wishes to acknowledge the services of Ami Tarburton who has tendered her resignation as Township Finance Director/Treasurer effective Friday, August 30, 2019. Ami was appointed to her position on March 7, 2016 and has been an integral part of the Management Team of the Township for the past three and a half years. In addition to her many duties, Ami successfully refinanced in 2016 the Township’s $8.5M General Obligation Bonds at a lower interest rate with the same retirement date resulting in an interest savings in the amount of $1.0M while maintaining the Township’s coveted AAA S & P Bond Rating. In addition, Ami has been recognized by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) with Certificates of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for preparation of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFR’s) prepared for Audit years 2015, 2016, 2017 and possibly 2018. Resolution #2 made by Vice Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera, seconded by Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford and adopted unanimously, accepted the resignation of Ami Tarburton from her position as Finance Director/Treasurer with Montgomery Township and take this opportunity to thank her for her service during her employment at Montgomery Township.

            Assistant to the Township Manager Stacy Crandell announced an annual donation of $10,000 was being made to the Montgomery County Norristown Public Library.  Ms. Crandell introduced Kathy Arnold-Yerger who accepted the donation.  Ms. Arnold-Yerger announced that the library would be honoring Township Manager Lawrence J. Gregan on his upcoming retirement by donating a World War II book to the library in his name. She also updated the Board and residents on the current programs offered by the Montgomery County Norristown Public Library and bookmobile and expressed her gratitude for the Board’s continuous generous donation.

            Assistant to the Township Manager Stacy Crandell announced an annual donation of $6,000 was being made to the Montgomery Township Historical Society. Ms. Crandell introduced Lisa Knapp Siegel who accepted the donation. Ms. Knapp Siegel expressed her gratitude for the Board’s generous donation and gave examples of how this donation would be used to continue the work in preserving the Knapp Farmhouse and its historical contents.  

            Assistant to the Township Manager Stacy Crandell reported that the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) has assembled a multiphase Regional Streetlight Procurement Program (RSLPP) in order to assist municipalities to design, procure, and finance the transition of their street lighting systems to LED Technology. Ms. Crandell reported that the first phase of this program was a Feasibility Study prepared by Keystone Lighting Solutions (KLS), which identified potential savings from participating in the Street LED Light Upgrade. The second phase of the process was the Project Development, which involved the preparation of a detailed investment grade audit and design and analysis of potential lighting solutions for a review with the Board of Supervisors. Michael Fuller from Keystone Lighting was present to discuss the findings of the audit and the options for upgrading the street lighting in the Township. Mr. Fuller presented the audit results and discussed at length several options available to the Board. The options included 1) Option #1: Replacement of Cobrahead Lights with financing ($46,317); Option #2: Replacement of Cobrahead Lights without financing ($35,679); Option #3: Replacement of Cobrahead and Decorative Lights with financing ($758,665); and Option #4: Replacement of Cobrahead and Decorative Lights without financing ($601,881). After considerable discussion about the pros and cons of each option and the savings involved over time, the Board agreed to table the action on this matter until a full Board was present. Township Manager Lawrence J. Gregan reminded the Board that staff will need direction on financing vs. not financing this project. At a minimum, it was recommended that we consider replacing the Cobrahead lights as it is a safety issue for our Public Works crews to be replacing these lights which require the use of the bucket truck and a police escort to complete the replacement. Supervisor Bamford inquired why the Township might consider financing if we have the money available in our capital reserve fund. Mr. Gregan responded that for example instead of taking $700,000 from the current funds, the Township could finance that amount and payout the balance over a 25 year period, spreading out the finances over that time.

            Assistant to the Township Manager Stacy Crandell reported that bids were received and opened on August 13, 2019 for the Leaf and Yard Waste Collection. The bid specifications authorize the Board to award either a one, two or three year contract. Staff is recommending a one year contract at this time and the low bidder for one year is Republic Services. Resolution #3 made by Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford, seconded by Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg and adopted unanimously, awarded the bid for Leaf and Yard Waste Collection and Disposal Services to Republic Services in the amount of $24,500 for a one year contract.

            Chief of Police J. Scott Bendig reported that the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) Philadelphia Region 6 is hosting their 2019 Police Dog 1 Regional Field Trials for police canine teams from Friday, September 27 through Sunday, September 29, 2019 at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, Delaware. The Police Dog 1 field trial is the proficiency standard used by the USPCA for police canines. Canine teams are evaluated in the areas of obedience, evidence detection, agility, suspect search, criminal apprehension, and handler protection. It is being recommended that Sergeant Hart, Officer Rose, Officer Schreiber, and Officer McGuigan be authorized to attend this certification/training. The cost for the trials is approximately $600.00 for all four officers, to include registration and accommodations. Funding for this training is available in the 2019 Approved Final Budget – Police Meetings and Conferences. Resolution #4 made by Vice Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera, seconded by Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford and adopted unanimously, approved the request for the 2019 Police Dog 1 Regional Field Trials participation.

            Director of Planning and Zoning Bruce Shoupe reported that an application has been received requesting a liquor license transfer for Assi Market at 1222 Welsh Road, Assi Plaza Shopping Center. This is an intermunicipal transfer of a liquor license and it is a requirement that a public hearing be held on this application within 45 days upon receipt of by September 27, 2019, unless the applicant agrees to an extension of the time limit. Resolution #5 made by Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford, seconded by Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg and adopted unanimously, set Monday, September 23, 2019, after 7:00 p.m., in the Township Building, as the date, time and place for a Public Hearing for an Intermunicipal Liquor License for Assi Market located at 1222 Welsh Road, Assi Plaza Shopping Center.

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

            Under other business, Vice Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera moved that the Township authorize the Solicitor to enter his appearance for the Township in opposition to the Giorno Properties / Fence Guys application for the property located at 111 Domorah Drive. The Township is opposed to the variance by ustoppel and the appeal of the determination of the Zoning Officer. Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

            There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 8:10 p.m.