President Tompkins, Vice President Rich, Councilpersons Forgeng, Harbaugh, Hegele, McElroy & Palmer; Manager Zollers, Assistant Secretary Hegele, Det. Sgt. Goold, Solicitor Pionzio, & Engineer Dougherty.
Chief Gardner and Treasurer Kalnjas were all absent
CALL TO ORDER
President Tompkins called to order the Committee meeting of Council to order at 7:02 P.M.
FIRE COMPANY EXPENDITURE LIST
Councilman Palmer stated Council was in receipt of the March 2017 Expenditure List. This item was moved to the April 24th, 2017 Council agenda for approval.
Councilman Harbaugh stated he had nothing for the agenda this evening.
GRANTS AND FUNDING
2017 CDBG RESOLUTION
Engineer Dougherty stated the application is due by Monday, 4/17. He stated the application will be for curb ramps that are existing but do not meet ADA standards. This item was moved to the agenda at the end of the meeting.
ROAD BRINING UPDATE
Manager Zollers stated that because of the Mayor’s inquiry on brining he has done some investigation. He has read all the articles the Mayor has sent and he has spoken to other municipalities who use brine and has heard the following:
Upper Moreland Township did see a reduction in Labor when they brine first unless they must brine over the weekend. They did not see a cost savings due to the equipment needed and storage requirements. Warwick, stopped brining after all the equipment wore out. It was too expensive to replace, they needed a separate building/area, everything needed to be indoors and heated, need to be kept away from everything, was corrosive to vehicles and very costly.
Manager Zollers stated this could be pursued but you will need more money, more space and more equipment. Now, it cannot be done. He is not saying this is not a benefit but it is not feasible. He stills believes the Borough roads are as good as any others.
Councilman Hegele stated York Road is not 1-95, where else would we use, on side streets? Manager Zollers responded Upper Moreland does side streets but they don’t salt in the end and our roads are just as good if not better.
Manager Zollers stated there are positive points, he has read the articles the Mayor sent. Mayor Hawkes asked why Upper Moreland still uses. Manager Zollers stated because they brought the equipment must use it.
Councilman Forgeng asked about the environmental impact using brine, brine is more corrosive. Mayor Hawkes stated brine can be put down in advance. Manager Zollers stated it can but there are certain time limits. He stated we do not put down salt in the beginning so we save money there. Upper Moreland brines and salts.
Councilman Hegele stated 60,000 for a truck, no place to put it, does not see a cost savings. Manager Zollers stated the general feeling in town roads are good, if Council thinks otherwise he will look at this. Councilman Palmer stated no roads are fine and people are satisfied. President Tompkins stated brine is probably good for highway roads, it makes sense on interstates. Manager Zollers stated he feels his men work hard and do a good job cleaning Borough roads. Councilwoman McElroy asked if this is something the steering committee could look at. President Tompkins stated no.
President Tompkins stated a lot of Borough roads have on street parking and are narrow, brine may not work.
Ed Henry, Bonair Avenue, instead of making this real complicated, it seems simple, the Manager outlined the costs, seems to him taxes must go up to brine and he is not in favor of this. Listening tonight he does not see a cost effectiveness to this, but he would like to see numbers and find borough this size who uses brine.
Councilman Forgeng stated he would like to see more residents with driveways to remove their cars from the street during a snowstorm, he feels that helps with snow removal.
FACILITIES AND PARKS
STEERING COMMITTEE PARKS/OPEN SPACE & COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
Councilman Forgeng stated this is for an 18-month commitment to update the comprehensive plan which was last updated in 2002. President Tompkins stated Council is meeting with people who submitted letter of interest. The county is looking for 7 to 10 people with certain groups being represented. He would like to see more business owners along York Road get involved. This item was moved to the April 24th agenda for approval.
WOODWINDS OPEN SPACE PARK RENAMING DEDICATION
Assistant Secretary Hegele read the names received. Councilman Forgeng stated he would like to see the park named after Mayor Joe Celano. Mayor Hawkes stated he would like to see it named after Warren Kramer, since he made the ultimate sacrifice. Councilman Hegele stated he has been a police officer for 30 plus years and yes the Mayor is correct Chief Kramer was killed in the line of duty, however there is already a monument going in at the new PD in his honor. He stated he would like to see this area named after Joe Celano. Joe was a WW2 vet, he opened a business in 1950 in the Borough, he spent 45 years in his store, people came from all over to go to the music store. He spent 25 plus years as Mayor. Councilman Hegele has no disrespect for Chief Kramer.
Councilman Forgeng stated John Kulick was his neighbor, he made the ultimate sacrifice and he was thinking about him, but heard the Fire Company is looking to recognize him.
President Tompkins stated he sees both points, but he would like to see Mayor Celano at Crooked Billet. Mayor Hawkes stated we already have a school named that.
Ron Battis, W. Moreland Avenue stated Crooked Billet was a tavern, you would be naming the park after a bar.
Ed Henry, Bonair Avenue stated Joe Celano did a lot and for a long time, he is an excellent choice, council can’t go wrong doing this.
Nicole Benjamin, W. Lehman Avenue, taking a poll is good, maybe to get funding people can pay to vote then use money for the park.
Det. Sgt. Goold stated they are almost moved in, he stated the contractors did an outstanding job. He stated the driveway is scheduled to be paved this week.
Manager Zollers stated the heaters are in and working at Public Works. There is a small leak that contractor will be returning to fix.
Manager Zollers stated that he is working on the Borough Hall Project, he stated the final report is expected soon.
ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING ANNOUNCEMENT/UPDATE
President Tompkins stated the ZHB meeting will be on Wednesday, April 12th at 7:00 PM in Borough Hall. The hearing will be opened for the Wawa application, where it goes then is up to the ZHB. He stated he does not like how Wawa is pushing gas, how they will not talk to neighbors and he has been thinking that maybe Council could break habit and send Solicitor to oppose gas and he wanted to know how Council members felt.
- Vice President Rich agreed with President Tompkins.
- Councilman Hegele stated yes he wanted to send Solicitor, he was not happy, he thought they would have talked to residents which never happened. He feels they are not addressing the concerns of the neighboring property owners.
- Councilman Harbaugh stated he agreed too.
- Councilwoman McElroy agreed, she looked at gas pumps and run-off, she would like to see Solicitor Pionzio go to ZHB hearing.
- Councilman Palmer agreed, he has a lot of concerns, a good portion is gas. He said this does not sit well with him that Wawa is not discussing issues with neighbors. He had concerns with Riet Aid but not to this degree, he is in support of sending Solicitor Pionzio.
Erin Aronson, Eastburn & Gray stated their client has made some modifications, she would like to ask the ZHB to continue the hearing so they can discuss issues with neighbors. Solicitor Pionzio stated they need to have a conversation with residents, no one has heard from Wawa. Ms. Aronson stated she would take this information back to Ms. VonSpreckleson from her firm.
Tina Giovinazzo, Horsham Road stated she heard from the developer a week ago, she did bring up gas in her conversation and he told her the development is nothing without gas. She stated the residents would like to meet with Wawa.
Rich Seeds, Horsham Road, stated they have spent money, they welcome the solicitor’s assistance and they would be happy to share their work with Ms. Pionzio.
Thomas Verrechia, Developer stated this project is not Wawa it is his project, he would like to go to the ZHB and present the project then meet with neighbors, that is his standard procedure. Solicitor Pionzio stated the MPC regulations requires the meeting must be held, and she feels that it is not in the best interest to do his way.
Chuck McElroy, Moreboro Road, stated they have built a Wawa in Yardley without gas. Can the ZHB open the hearing and vote that night. If they meet after the fact it maybe too late. Solicitor Pionzio stated the entry of party status alone will take 2 hours. She stated when Wawa was asked to change venue because there may not be enough room in Borough Hall, they did not want to do that.
Ed Henry, Bonair Avenue stated Chuck is right, Super Wawa is a bigger Wawa.
Erin Aronson stated her client would be agreeable to a 30 day continuance to communicate changes and updated application with neighbors. She stated she has been to meetings and recording public comment and conveying that to her team. Solicitor Pionzio stated they will need to meet with neighbors during that 30 days.
President Tompkins stated the ZHB will be looking to move to another venue but it is not available on May 10th, it must be May 9th or May 11th. Solicitor Pionzio stated they need to give continuance, meet with residents and at the May Committee Meeting Council can discuss wither to send her to oppose or not.
Erin Aronson asked who would contact residents. Solicitor Pionzio stated she would have to get the word out but staff at Borough Hall could assist.
Rich Seeds, Horsham Road asked if the hearing would be advertised and should they go forward. Solicitor Pionzio stated she will have continuance tomorrow.
Leslie Jones, Crooked Billet Road asked if the meeting would talk about latest changes, will there still be gas and what will be discussed. What happens if the residents still do not like what is being proposed? President Tompkins stated it is the up to the developer. The meeting is to discuss. Solicitor Pionzio stated Council takes in feedback from Developer, staff and residents and she does not know what the proposed changes are yet.
Vice President Rich stated he had nothing for the agenda this evening.
President Tompkins stated he received a request from Little League for a donation for their upcoming fundraiser. Solicitor Pionzio stated unfortunately this is not allowed. Copies of the beef n’ beer invite were given to all of Council in case anyone wanted to go.
PRIVILEGE OF THE FLOOR – Denise Schultz, Orchard Ave asked about the meeting on Wednesday, what happens if people show up and how will the Borough get the word out the meeting maybe cancelled. Assistant Secretary Hegele stated there still will be a hearing as they ZHB must hear another application. She announced an announcement would be posted on facebook, tv and community channel.
CDBG RESOLUTION #2017-04 Vice President Rich motioned to approve Resolution #2017-04, motion seconded by Councilwoman McElroy, all ayes. Motion carried 7-0.
WAWA APPLICATION – Councilman Hegele motioned to send the solicitor to the ZHB hearing to opposed the application unless a continuance is received by 2 PM on 4/11 from the applicant, motion seconded by Councilman Palmer, all ayes. Motion carried 7-0.
PRIVILEGE OF THE FLOOR
Rich Seeds, Horsham Road thanked Council for considering the residents needs and concerns
Ron Battis, W. Moreland Avenue stated the Capital Budget Workshop was very informative. He asked what Council was spending from Capital and when. He believes Council should know by now what they want/need. He stated it took forever for the trash truck but a police car was right away. He would like Council to consider doing things for both departments. President Tompkins stated there is no magic as to when things come in. It takes longer to outfit a trash truck then an unmarked police car. President Tompkins stated he knows Mr. Battis feels that Council is short changing one department to the others. President Tompkins stated the Capital Budget is simply a planning tool, it is a 5-year plan. Mr. Battis stated it was not discussed last year. Councilman Harbaugh stated they did hold a capital budget workshop last year, he thought Mr. Battis was not there. Mr. Battis again stated he feels Council spends for one department and not others. President Tompkins stated that the police car was purchased early due to cost savings. Manager Zollers stated stuff was pushed off because of the facilities projects and financing issues. Manager Zollers stated before the Borough can spend any more money this year, it is prudent to wait for the audit to be done.
President Tompkins adjourned the April 10th, 2017 Committee meeting of Borough Council at 8:35 PM
Transcribed by Assistant Borough Secretary Diane Hegele.