VOTING MEETING AGENDA
CALL TO ORDER – President Bollendorf called the April 11, 2022, Voting Meeting to order at 7:00 P.M.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Chief Gardner.
MOMENT OF SILENCE IN HONOR OF OFFICER ALLEN – Mayor Schultz led an invocation for Officer Ryan Allen.
MEETING NOTES – President Bollendorf reviewed the Public Comment Policy on the back of the agenda with regards to addressing Council and time allotment.
PUBLIC COMMENT – There was no public comment.
Solicitor Geiser stated on March 28, 2022, Borough Council authorized her office to make a formal offer on the Borough’s behalf to purchase the entire acreage of Pennypack from the school district. She stated $400,00.00 was authorized as the offer for the entire parcel which was based on an appraisal that the Borough had obtained and by law the Borough is confined to what the appraisals are to offer what is considered a fair value for the property. She also stated that the school district has reached out to the Borough, and they are interested in retaining some of the parcels which there are approximately 7 parcels that are about 2.3 acres which are outside of the floodplain and the district would like to sell those to a different party then sell the Borough the remaining property which is approximately 15 acres which is largely the floodplain and where the school building is located. She stated that the price hasn’t been discussed but would be less than the $400,000.00 initially offered because it would not have the 2.3 acres and then the Borough would have to agree not to seek eminent domain for the remaining parcels. She stated if the school district retains the 2.3 acres they could sell to a private entity and that is governed by the school code as they could not just sell the property as the property would have to be petitioned through the Court of Common Pleas by the school districts solicitor. She stated if there is a proposed agreement for the 2.3 acres to be sold to a developer for example, it would have to go through the court of common pleas for a judge to sign off and there would be an advertised public hearing that would be at the Court of Common Pleas.
Solicitor Geiser stated that another option the borough has is eminent domain and is considered a taking and allows government entities to pay an owner for property and the first step would be Council would authorize the solicitor’s office to enact an ordinance and that preliminarily starts the wheels turning. She also stated that the Borough could obtain the entire tract of land or seek to petition part of the acreage and compensation would be determined by the court. She also stated that the Borough would offer, based on their appraisal, the $400,000.00 because that is what an appraiser has valued the property at as just compensation for the taking. She also stated that the Borough code has been recently updated to allow a Borough to obtain property that is no longer used for public use which is the situation we have with the Pennypack property which falls in the Borough’s eminent domain powers. She stated if this course of action weas pursued, the Borough would file these documents and the school district would have 30 days to file preliminary objections and they would be based on documents filed and would challenge the Borough’s authorization to obtain the property this way and if no preliminary objections are filed, the Borough would get the title to the property and the Borough would have to pay the $400,000.00 to the school district and if the school district doesn’t accept it, it would get paid to the Court of Common Pleas and the title would transfer at that point. She stated the issue could come up later there may not have an agreement as to what just compensation is, and the school district would have an opportunity up to six years after the taking to go to the Court of Common Pleas and challenge the $400,000.00 saying that they have a different appraisal and value the land as more than that and that could be an area of litigation. She stated both avenues can be pursued at the same time, but it is up to Council and the residents.
President Bollendorf showed the residents who attended where the seven parcels are that the school district would like to maintain. He stated that it is zoned R2. Solicitor Geiser stated that R2 in Hatboro is medium density residential which means a developer could not put townhomes or apartments on those parcels and would have to be single family homes.
President Bollendorf explained the map which showed how a few small houses can fit and they would be restricted on what they can do such as placing a shed.
Kelly Aharrah, 145 W. Lehman Avenue, stated she would like Council to pursue both options and would like them to continue to request the land be given back to the Borough as she is against a subdivision because the properties will become a swamp as soon as it rains.
Bill Tompkins, 161 Spring Avenue, stated that he agrees as seven houses cannot fit there as it gets very swampy there. He also stated he feels the school district is asking to make an offer on their liability so they can increase the assets of what little they have there. He also stated that his concern is the school district is misrepresenting the property as the listing agent listed it as multi family zoning and no mention of it being a floodplain. He stated that he feels if things fall through, the borough will be blamed and therefore agrees that eminent domain is the way to go.
Rebecca Rocci, 143 Spring Avenue, stated that she disagrees with the subdivision 100% and would like the Borough to do whatever they need to do to acquire the entire property because if more parcels are added, she and her neighbors will be subjected to even more flooding. She also thanked Council for being transparent and protecting the residents.
Martina Kernosh, 176 W. Lehman Avenue, stated she is disappointed in the school boards strategy and wants council to do whatever they need to do to acquire the entire property.
Ann Menichelli, 176 W. Lehman Avenue, stated when she purchased her home in 1999, she was told the property was a floodplain and would never be developed on and has pictures of her daughter walking through a pond were they proposed to put homes. She stated that she fully supports Council making every effort to keep the property.
Sheldon Kernosh, 176 W. Lehman Avenue, stated would like the borough to do whatever they need to do to acquire the entire property.
Christine Szlachta, 221 Mill Road, asked if there is a financial cap on eminent domain. President Bollendorf stated that the court determines that as eminent domain is very powerful. Solicitor Geiser stated the borough pays either the school district or court the $ 400,000.00 and the property belongs to the borough, but the district can still petition the court to reconsider, and three members would look at the appraisal and property and decide fair market value at time property was taken. She asked if the initial plans would change if the Borough were not able to get the 2.3 acres and President Bollendorf stated the plans would not, but they would have to adjust them accordingly and their main purpose of the plan is stormwater management. She stated she would like Council to do whatever they need to do to acquire the entire property as her husband was one of the ones in a life jacket out checking on their neighbors during hurricane Ida.
Gary Blickley, 46 Harding Avenue, asked why the borough has not had access to the school districts appraisal. Solicitor Geiser stated it is protected under the Right to Know law and one could put a request in, but they may not share because there could be other potential offers and they do not want it publicly shared.
John Fears, 137 W. Lehman Avenue, asked if the maximum we can offer is $ 400,000.00. Solicitor Geiser stated yes because the offer was based off the appraisal who was a reputable appraiser in Montgomery County, and he stands by his number. Mr. Fears stated he would like the Borough to do whatever they need to do to acquire the property as he would like to keep it green space. He also stated from the advertisements, it’s false advertising and is there a way to let potential buyers know what they are getting into if they purchase the property. President Bollendorf stated that buyers typically contact our zoning officer to check for zoning. Solicitor Geiser stated that because the district will be selling to a private entity, under the school code, they must take the sale to the Court of Common Pleas and a judge has to approve it and there will have to be an advertised hearing in Norristown.
Matt Ossowski, 159 Spring Avenue, stated he and his family just moved in this past December and part of the reason they purchased the house was because of the field and he is against the subdivision and is 100% for the Borough doing whatever they need to acquire the property.
Robert Griffenberg, 74 Horsham Road, stated he agrees with everyone else because if they build there, everything will end up in his yard. He stated that he wants the Borough to do whatever they need to do to acquire the property.
Harry Schmele, 132 Spring Avenue, stated he is disappointed with the school district, and he wonders why they couldn’t finish building back then, but are allowed to build now. He wants the Borough to do whatever they need to do to acquire the property and thanked Council.
Priscilla Hollerbach, 52 W. Lehman Avenue, asked about the 6-year window the school district has and Solicitor Geiser stated that they can request a re evaluation of what just compensation is, and the Court can come back, and our offer was fair, or a jury trial could say somewhere in the middle of both appraisals are fair but value doesn’t increase on property as it goes by the day of taking value. Mrs. Hollerback asked how much was in our rainy-day fund and President Bollendorf stated 2.15 million.
Todd Aharrah, 145 W. Lehman Avenue, stated he agrees to take the land and preserve for the future and wants to push for eminent domain. He stated he believes the school district was given the land for $1.00 because it was something they needed and feels they should return the favor.
Nicole Benjamin, 26 W. Lehman Avenue, stated she wants to add her support to the Borough in obtaining this property as there should be no building in or near a floodplain. She stated she watched the water rise in the Lehman Church parking lot during the last storm and it’s worse for the residents who immediately surround the property.
Judy Swanson, 36 Loller Road, wanted to speak on behalf of all the wildlife that is in the field and because of that feels it is critical the Borough preserves the land and is in favor for doing what needs to be done to acquire the property.
Joe Farrell, 133 Spring Avenue, asked about the depth of the property where the map states parcels could be built. President Bollendorf stated those aren’t covered by the floodplain. he also stated those parcels are the owner of an American Bald Eagle and supports the Borough doing what they need to do to acquire the property.
Noreen McAneny, 392 Crescent Road, stated she has watched the school board meeting and asked what the community do, and she is concerned with the conflict between hatboro and Horsham. President Bollendorf said you can email any of the school board members and encouraged everyone to so.
James Pease, 22 Harding Avenue, stated he is in favor of the Borough doing what they need to do to acquire the property.
Bruce Roper, 35 Harding Avenue, supports Council and wants them to do whatever they need to do to acquire the property and thinks the money grabbing from the school district is disheartening.
Linda Klauser, 18 Horsham Road, owner of the Old Mill stated she supports Council doing whatever they need to do to acquire the property.
Jennifer Hartigan, 26 S. Linden Avenue, stated she sent emails to all school board members and encouraged everyone else to do the same and supports Council acquiring the property.
Bill Tompkins, 161 Spring Avenue, stated he wanted to address some comments that have been made such as we have a lot of wildlife in the field such as bald eagle, a pair of hawks raise their young, falcon, deer, foxes, ground hogs, ducks, and even skunks and therefore that is a concern. He also mentioned storm water management which he feels is a lot of opportunity to improve.
Ron Battis, 320 W. Moreland Avenue, stated he worked for the school district for over 30 years and has noticed a change as they would answer questions and gave feedback instead of the silence we currently have and stated they were there for the town and not just their kids. He also stated that the flooding is bad in the Borough, and he isn’t even in a floodplain. he stated we need to fight for this issue, and he supports Council doing whatever they need to do to acquire the property.
Howard Weitz, 169 Spring Avenue, stated he is a 40-year resident and supports Council doing what they need to do to acquire the property including eminent domain. He also stated he is tired of Hatboro being looked at as the stepchild to the school district and asks Council to do the right thing.
Mary Griffenberg, 74 Horsham Road, stated after the last meeting she is very excited about the plans the Borough has if they acquire the property and didn’t expect it to come to this and wants council to do whatever needs to be done to acquire the property.
George Forging, 166 W. Lehman Avenue, stated he has lived in Hatboro since 1978 and has seen a lot of changes and remembers speaking at the meeting for the sale of the Jr. High as hatboro gave that property up and feels that Hatboro lost a lot with that sale as there was a lot of acreage. He stated Horsham has trails and wishes we can keep the land we have and doesn’t want anything built on the property and supports Council doing what they need to do to acquire the property.
DJ Schultz, 52 Orchard Avenue, stated she is on of the Board members and the next meeting is April 19th and encourages all to attend and email board members to be heard and she cares what happens in Hatboro.
Diane Battis, 320 W. Moreland Avenue, sent an email thanking Council for their proactive approach with this vital piece of property as any time the area floods, it is a concern for human life. She stated the neighbors do not deserve to have their view destroyed nor their property values diminished and the Borough has missed opportunities over the years to claim ground that has been somewhat detrimental to Hatboro and their isn’t a lot of open space in hatboro and supports Council in doing what they need to do to acquire the property.
Tom Smith, 237 Jacksonville Road, stated he would really like Council to support the ARPA Grant for the Little League field because they could use that money for storm water management.
LITTLE LEAGUE ARPA FUNDING APPLICATION – Due to the erosion of bioswale that runs through the little League complex which is affecting the fields, Little League President Kory Kollar and Complex Supervisor Chris Mapes, have asked the Borough to make an application to the Montgomery County ARPA Grant program for a stormwater management project at the Hatboro Little League facility.
RATIFICATION OF POLICE SIDE LETTER AGREEMENT CONCERNING OFFICER ALLEN – This side letter provides a limited extension of healthcare benefits to officer Ryan Allen’s family until December 31, 2022.
PENNYPACK SCHOOL COUNTEROFFER – Refer to Solicitor Geiser’s statement.
PENNYPACK SCHOOL EMINENT DOMAIN – Refer to Solicitor Geiser’s statement.
LITTLE LEAGUE ARPA FUNDING APPLICATION – Councilwoman Ostrander made as motion to authorize Engineer Goff and Borough Staff to make an application to the Montgomery County ARPA Grant program for a stormwater management project at the hatboro Little League facility. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman McMenamin, all ayes. Motion carried 6-0.
RATIFICATION OF POLICE SIDE LETTER AGREEMENT CONCERNING OFFICER ALLEN – Councilwoman Ostrander made a motion to ratify the Police side letter agreement concerning officer Allen. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman McMenamin, all ayes. Motion carried 6-0.
PENNYPACK SCHOOL COUNTEROFFER – No motion was made to make a counteroffer to the school district on the Pennypack property.
PENNYPACK SCHOOL EMINENT DOMAIN – Councilwoman Jacobus made a motion to authorize the solicitor’s office to draft and advertise an ordinance to begin the process of eminent domain for the entire Pennypack School property. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Reichner, all ayes. Motion carried 6-0.
PUBLIC COMMENT – There was no public comment.
ADJOURNMENT – President Bollendorf adjourned the April 11, 2022, voting meeting at 8:31 P.M.
COMMITTEE MEETING AGENDA
PRESENT – President Bollendorf, Councilwoman McMenamin, Councilwoman Jacobus, Councilman Myers, Councilwoman Reichner, Councilwoman Ostrander, Mayor Schultz, Manager Hegele, Assistant Secretary DeRenzis, Chief Gardner, Deputy Superintendent Dermer, Solicitor Geiser, Engineer Goff, and Treasurer Smith, were present.
ABSENT – Vice President Stockton was excused. Superintendent Frydlewicz was absent.
CALL TO ORDER – President Bollendorf called the April 11, 2022, Committee Meeting to order at 8:39 P.M.
MEETING NOTES – President Bollendorf reviewed the Public Comment Policy on the back of the agenda with regards to addressing Council and time allotment.
PUBLIC COMMENT – There was no public comment.
1) Public Safety Committee
- ENTERPRISE FIRE COMPANY EXPENDITURE LIST – Councilwoman Ostrander stated this is to approve the Enterprise Fire Company Expenditure List for the month of March 2022 in the amount of $ 10,042.38. This item was moved to the April 25, 2022, Council Meeting Agenda for approval.
2) Finance/Grants Committee
- UNION LIBRARY EXPENDITURE LIST – Councilwoman McMenamin stated this is to approve the Union Library Expenditure List for the month of April 2022 in the amount of $ 26,066.20. This item was moved to the April 25, 2022, Council Meeting Agenda for approval.
- BOROUGH HALL PROJECT ELECTRICAL CONTRACT CHANGE ORDER #2 – Councilwoman McMenamin stated Engineer Goff recommends change order #2 to the Borough Hall Electrical Contract for lighting upgrades. This item was moved to the April 25, 2022, Council Meeting Agenda for approval.
- BOROUGH HALL PROJECT FIRE SUPPRESSION PAYMENT #5 – Councilwoman McMenamin stated Engineer Goff for the Fire Suppression Payment #5 in the amount of $33,100.48 to Guy Cooper. This item was moved to the April 25, 2022, Council Meeting Agenda for approval.
- BOROUGH HALL PROJECT MECHANICAL PAYMENT #5 – Councilwoman McMenamin stated Engineer Goff recommends Mechanical Contract Payment #5 in the amount of $129,352.85 to Guy Cooper. This item was moved to the April 25, 2022, Council Meeting Agenda for approval.
- HATBORO STATION TRAIL BID DOCUMENTS – Councilwoman McMenamin stated Engineer Goff has finalized the bid documents for the Hatboro Station Trail Lighting and Council will need to authorize the project to go out to bid. This item was moved to the April 25, 2022, Council Meeting Agenda for approval.
- CORINTHIAN TRAIL PAYMENT REQUEST #5 – Councilwoman McMenamin stated that Engineer Goff recommends Payment Request #5 for the Corinthian Trail project in the amount of $55,743.50. This item was moved to the April 25, 2022, Council Meeting Agenda for approval.
3) Community Outreach & Events Committee
- BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT – Councilwoman Reichner stated that the Business Spotlight for the month of April is Dr. Krevitz DDS, PC.
- UPCOMING EVENTS – Councilwoman Reichner announced upcoming events.
- EVENTS COMMITTEE UPDATE – Councilwoman Reichner stated the Events Committee held their second Sip N Shop Event on Saturday, April 9th in Miller Meadow and thanked all the businesses who participated in the event either as vendors or as sponsors. She also stated the Events Committee will be meeting in the coming months to discuss preparations for the next events: 80s night at the pool and the Boro Brews and Blues Fest.
- GOLD STAR GARDEN UPDATE – Councilwoman Reichner stated the Gold Star Garden Committee is preparing for the upcoming Groundbreaking Ceremony on May 21, 2022, at 9:30 AM in Miller Meadow and Staff and volunteers are working on fundraising through brick sales, sponsorships, and donations for raffle baskets. She stated the beef and beer fundraiser will be taking place on Friday, June 10th from 7 PM – 11 PM at the Warminster VFW Post and please stay tuned for information on how to purchase tickets to the event and help support the cause.
- FRIENDS OF CRESSBROOK UPDATE – Councilwoman Reichner stated the Friends of Cressbrook met on March 22, 2022, and the organization discussed promotional materials to be used to educate the community on the property as well as fundraising to be used for the property’s restoration. She stated their next meeting will be on April 19th.
- DRIVE AND DROP EVENT REQUEST – Councilwoman Reichner stated included in packets is a copy of the event request for a Drive and Drop Donation event submitted by a resident at 3 Home Road and that through this event, the resident aims to collect medical supplies for Ukraine. This resident would like to hold this event on May 7, 2022, from 10 AM to 2 PM. Theresa Johns-Vallone, 3 Home Road, stated she is targeting medical supplies and product for Ukraine, and she will make available her resources but doesn’t have it with her. Councilwoman Jacobus stated she is a nurse at Einstein, and they do monthly expiration checks and asked if she would be willing to take supplies that they throw away and Mrs. Johns-Vallone stated yes, she would.
4) Public Works Committee
- DEPARTMENTAL UPDATE – Councilwoman Jacobus provided a departmental update on PW activities.
- RECYCLING CONSORTIUM AGREEMENT – Councilwoman Jacobus stated Superintendent Frydlewicz submitted a memo in advance stating the Borough has a cost savings by switching to Republic and this is to authorize Manager Hegele to sign the recycling consortium agreement. This item was moved to the April 25, 2022, Council Meeting Agenda for approval.
- OPEN POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT – Councilwoman Jacobus stated there is an open part time position for the public Works Department and the Borough is accepting applications and can apply under the career section on the Borough’s website.
- FACILITIES UPDATE – Councilwoman Ostrander stated there are no updates at this time.
6) Environmental Affairs & Parks Committee
- EAC UPDATE – Councilman Myers gave an update on the EAC.
- EARTH DAY EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT – Councilman Myers stated the EAC will be holding an Earth Day Celebration on Saturday, April 23rd from 10 AM to 2 PM at Eaton Park and please stay tuned for more information on this event.
- FLAGPOLE INVENTORY/UPDATE – Councilman Myers stated he took an inventory of all locations containing Borough owned flagpoles and is proposing the addition of adding three new flagpoles: Two flagpoles at the gold star garden and One flagpole at Memorial Park and that these flags will consist of the American Flag, Gold Star Flag, and the Honor and Remember Flag.
- SHADE TREE COMMISSION APPOINTMENT – Councilman Myers stated the Environmental Advisory Council is recommending the appointment of Alec Shaffer to the Shade Tree Commission and a copy of a letter of interest from Mr. Shaeffer is included in packets. This item was moved to the April 25, 2022, Council Meeting Agenda for approval.
- MEMBERS ONLY ENTRANCE AT HATBORO POOL – Councilman Myers stated with the influx of members and guests visiting the Hatboro Pool in recent years, the front desk has been overwhelmed with patrons trying to enter the facility all at once and that this influx of visitors creates long lines outside of the pool house which at times can stretch throughout the parking lot. He stated that as a solution, Deputy Superintendent Dermer created a concept drawing for a member only entrance to the pool that would allow members to check-in at a separate gate during peak hours. He stated this entrance 2 will not be staffed all day and will only be open for check-in at busy times under the discretion of the pool manager. He also stated to make this entrance possible, Public Works will need to install a concrete path that stretches across the front of the snack stand, install a new window on the Moreland Avenue Side of the snack stand, and install a new gate for members to be “buzzed” in following check-in and the Borough will also need to purchase a secondary laptop (approximately $160- $200) and another barcode scanner ($24.00) in order to allow staff to scan members into the facility and that all expenditures will come out of the pool fund. This item was moved to the April 25, 2022, Council Meeting Agenda for approval.
- TOWN HALL ANNOUNCEMENT: ADA PLAYGROUND – Councilman Myers stated the parks committee of Borough Council will be holding a town hall meeting for residents around Eaton Park to discuss the construction of an ADA playground in Eaton Park and this town hall meeting date is TBD.
7) Administration Committee
- MEETING ANNOUNCEMENTS – Councilwoman McMenamin announced the upcoming meetings for April 2022.
- 399 SPRINGDALE FINANCIAL SECURITY RELEASE – Councilwoman McMenamin stated this is to approve the 399 Springdale Financial Security release #2 in the amount of $130,581. This item was moved to the April 25, 2022, Council Meeting Agenda for approval.
- 2 HOME ROAD ZONING CHANGE HEARING ANNOUNCEMENT – Councilwoman McMenamin stated at the April 25th Council meeting, a public hearing will take place for a proposed Zoning Change at 2 Home Road.
- 2 HOME ROAD SUBDIVISION/LAND DEVELOPMENT RESOLUTION – Councilwoman McMenamin stated the applicant is asking to subdivide a 0.8767 portion of their existing property and rezone this new lot to R-1 Residential from the existing O Office Zoning and Council will need to vote on both the proposed zoning change and proposed subdivision. This item was moved to the April 25, 2022, Council Meeting Agenda for approval
- CONDITIONAL USE HEARING ANNOUNCEMENT: STEEL PENNY CAFÉ – Councilwoman McMenamin stated the Borough is in receipt of a conditional use application from Steel Penny to allow them to expand the existing café space and to cook food on-premises and the conditional use hearing will be scheduled for one of Council’s May meetings for consideration. This item was moved to the April 25, 2022, Council Meeting Agenda for approval.
- HATBORO LITTLE LEAGUE EASEMENT – Councilwoman McMenamin stated in Council packets is an easement agreement for the Hatboro Little League facility and this easement will allow AQUA to install new water piping at the facility that currently runs between the ballfields. This item was moved to the April 25, 2022, Council Meeting Agenda for approval.
OLD BUSINESS AND UPDATES – There was no old business or updates.
PUBLIC COMMENT – Joe Hanisco, 120 Summit Avenue, stated he would still like his request of rotating flags granted but would like to put on hold for a couple of months and then he will come before Council again.
ADJOURNMENT – President Bollendorf adjourned the April 11, 2022, Committee Meeting at 8:57 P.M.
Respectfully submitted by:
Diane C. Hegele, Borough Manager/Zoning Officer
Transcribed by Cindy Bollendorf