2 HOME ROAD ZONING CHANGE HEARING
CALL TO ORDER – President Bollendorf called the Public Hearing to order at 7:00 P.M.
INVOCATION – The invocation was given by Mayor Schultz.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Chief Gardner.
Notes of testimony can be found on our website and are attached to the minutes.
ADJOURNMENT – President Bollendorf adjourned the public hearing at 7:11 P.M.
COUNCIL MEETING AGENDA
PRESENT – President Bollendorf, Vice President Stockton, Councilwoman McMenamin, Councilwoman Reichner, Councilwoman Ostrander, Councilman Myers, Councilwoman Jacobus, Mayor Schultz, Manager Hegele, Assistant Secretary DeRenzis, Solicitor Geiser, Engineer Goff, Chief Gardner, Superintendent Frydlewicz, Fire Marshal Dermer, Fire Company President Ide, Treasurer Smith, and Michelle Johnson from the Union Library were present.
ABSENT – Deputy Superintendent Dermer was absent.
CALL TO ORDER – President Bollendorf called the April 25, 2022, Council Meeting to order at 7:11 P.M.
Solicitor Geiser stated last week the School District met and considered the Borough’s offer as well as three additional offers and they declined to act on the other offers and received two appraisals from the school district which she cannot discuss but are higher than the Boroughs, but the Borough code allows to go above the initial offer. She also stated that Council has reviewed the appraisals and consider a counter offer higher than the initial $400,00.00 offer. She also stated that an ordinance for eminent domain has been drafted and is ready to be advertised in the local paper if Council votes at the next meeting to do so and if that happens, the next step is to file the petition in the Court of Common Pleas.
President Bollendorf stated that on the agenda tonight is a vote for a counteroffer to the school district and after the executive session that took place today from 6:30 PM until 6:57 PM and they discussed they would offer the school district $ 600,000.00 and stated without discussing their appraisals, that is above one of them.
PUBLIC COMMENT – VOTING ITEMS ONLY – Bill Tompkins, 161 Spring Avenue, thanked the school board for sharing the appraisals as that was helpful to Borough Council. He stated he supports Council’s counteroffer and encourages eminent domain if they need to but asked if eminent domain would be the value of the original offer or the appraisal and Solicitor Geiser stated that it would be up to the Board of Valuation, and they would determine what just compensation would be.
President Bollendorf stated Council will do what it takes to get this done and they will make sure it is financially sound and will not be frivolous with the taxpayer’s money.
Ann Menichelli, 176 W. Lehman Avenue, stated she encourages Council to do whatever they need to do, and she supports the counteroffer and eminent domain.
Martina Kernosh, 176 W. Lehman Avenue, stated she encourages Council to do whatever they need to do to move forward, and she supports the counteroffer and eminent domain.
Howard Weitz, 169 Spring Avenue, thanked Council for considering the counteroffer and believes it is needed and necessary and was pleased school board members were in attendance tonight and hopes they realize if this goes to litigation, a lot of money will be spent which is unnecessary and he hopes a decision is made that serves both the HHSD and Borough of Hatboro therefore encouraged them to do the right thing but supports Borough Council.
Todd A ‘Harrah, 145 W. Lehman Avenue, thanked Council for all they have been doing regarding this as well as members of community for speaking at school board meetings as he appreciates everyone’s efforts as well as supports Borough Council.
John Fears, 137 W. Lehman Avenue, thanked Council for their efforts on behalf of the Borough and he supports the counteroffer and eminent domain. He also thanked the school board members for turning down the other offers and for accepting a counteroffer from the Borough.
HH School District Superintendent Eveslage, thanked Council for giving him the opportunity to speak tonight. He stated that the School District has no interest in sharing any misinformation with the public and they are operating in good faith. He also stated he wanted to clarify that the Pennypack property was not given to the school district and that they purchased the property as they have the deeds that demonstrate that. He also stated that it is the Boroughs right, as a public entity, to seek eminent domain however he does not think that it is in the best interest of the Borough, district, or taxpayers. He also stated that they shared the appraisals with the Borough to show good faith of negotiation and to clarify what fair market value would be. He also stated that he believes the board showed sympathy to the cause and showed willingness to be open to the Borough to make a fair market value offer for the property and he appreciates Council’s respect for privacy by not sharing the appraisals and believes the proposed $600,00.00 offer is not reflective of the three appraisals. He also stated he appreciates Council’s consideration for a counteroffer and knows that there is plenty of grant money available to obtain the property.
President Bollendorf stated eminent domain is not something Council wants to do but they will if necessary and understands if this goes to litigation, Hatboro and Horsham tax money will be spent but they value the importance of this property to Hatboro. He also stated that some people have stated it’s a park and he said the main purpose of this acquisition is storm water management and they cannot take the risk of someone building on the property as they may not be sitting there in ten years and cannot take the risk that anything could be built now or in future as people’s lives are at risk. He also stated he appreciates the appraisals as the school district did not have to share them and their privacy to them will be honored as they are trying to sell something but feels the third appraisal is far away from the other two and this will be their final offer.
Councilman Myers stated he wanted to clarify that the deed was transferred to the Hatboro Horsham School District for $1.00 from the Hatboro School District which at the time was its own entity.
Bob Griffenberg, 74 Horsham Road, thanked Council for what they are doing and thanked the board for listening, but he doesn’t think they have really heard the residents because this isn’t about the money its about the flooding issues and the people because it is very scary and asked the school district to accept the counteroffer and if they do not accept it, he supports eminent domain.
Claire, 139 Spring Avenue, stated that her and her girls support Councils counteroffer and eminent domain and thanked Council.
Bill Tompkins, 161 Spring Avenue, stated that if Council’s counteroffer falls in the middle of all appraisals, then they are good and asked Council not to let the school district intimidate them and do not fall into a trap and pay too much for the land.
Jen Hartigan, 26 S. Linden Avenue, stated after Superintendent Eveslage spoke, she feels they are listening, but Hatboro residents are not being heard and was insulted when we were told to seek grants for stormwater management and that they Borough has been trying to do so already. She also stated that stormwater management is not enough as we need to make sure nothing more will ever be built anywhere on the land because if more homes are built, it will be more dangerous than it already is. She stated she supports the counteroffer, even though we are small and it’s a lot of money for Hatboro, and she supports eminent domain if necessary.
Ida Whitefield, 150 Spring Avenue, stated she doesn’t understand how a builder would want to build on the land because whatever would be built would impact everyone around and it already turns into a swamp when it rains as the water must go somewhere. She stated she supports the counteroffer and hopes it is considered by the school district.
Marianne Reymer, 120 Summit Avenue, stated she fully supports Council as it is the right thing to do and reminded everyone, we have had two experiences with flooding and building more on the property would not be a good idea. She also stated that while Horsham sees dollar signs, Hatboro sees water issues and lives are at stake> She stated we should have learned form the past and no building in a floodplain because it never works out.
Joe Farrell, 133 Spring Avenue, stated he refers to the area as ground zero because its where the Fire and Police Department come around to see what is going on when it rains/floods. He asked how far we are willing to compromise between the town and school board because he feels the issue is the proposed seven parcels and as a resident who lives right there, he doesn’t want any of it developed on, and wanted to know if there was anyway to just acquire the area of the land that is the floodplain. President Bollendorf stated no one wanted to subdivide the property just for that reason.
James Pease, 22 Harding Avenue, stated that he supports the counteroffer and eminent domain and thanked the school board for rejecting the developers offers and coming back to the table to try and negotiate with the Borough and hopes both parties can come to an agreement soon.
Ann Menichelli, 176 W. Lehman, stated she understands the board has constituents but hatboro is offering a lot of money for a floodplain.
Christine Schlacta, 221 Mill Road, emailed she 100% supports acquiring the Pennypack land parcel and thanked Council and staff for making this happen.
Karl Fetzer, 21 Fairview Avenue, emailed the Borough should meet the school district in between the Borough’s previous offer and the private offers presented at the school board meeting. He also stated that Hatboro’s ownership of the property is worth the investment particularly when open space and flood mitigation are a concern and if we can, he encourages Council to raise their offer to avoid the process of eminent domain.
Dean Barnes, 28 Rorer Avenue, emailed we have lived here for most or all our lives and in recent years there has been a lot of changes, some good some bad. The little patch of woods on Fulmor torn down to squeeze in overpriced townhouses. Another small set of townhouses over on Springdale and Summit squeezed into a small piece of land. Hatboro does not have any open space left except the land at Pennypack. Trees, grass, and dirt is what holds this earth together. Our air quality has gone down since all the construction. Construction contributes to 23% of air pollution, 50% of the climate change, 40% of pollution to the drinking water and 50% of waste in landfills. How is this good for our town? It’s not. The wildlife that lives here is losing their home. Wildlife is important to the environment. They eat the rodents, ticks, and other decay. We know that the land where Pennypack is has flooding issues. We also know that Pennypack holds a special place in our hearts and would best be served as a public open space park for the residents to enjoy. Please leave this land open.
Cheryl & Joe Lastowka, 39 Crooked Billet Road, emailed both feel strongly Hatboro needs to acquire the Pennypack property and surrounding area and thinking anything can be built here is poor planned. This is not about who can pay the most for the structure and the acreage but its about what is safe for the Borough.
MAYOR’S REPORT – Mayor Schultz stated the Borough celebrated Earth Day last Saturday at Eaton Park which was sponsored by hatboro Federal bank and thanked everyone who attended as well as the vendors.
Mayor Schultz stated on May 7th there are two events which are a shred event sponsored by State Rep Nancy Guenst and the Union Library’s book sale.
Mayor Schultz the hatboro Chamber kicks off the first of five Cruise Nights on May 20th and asked everyone to bring food donations as they Cruise for a Cause.
Mayor Schultz stated that regarding the Pennypack property he asks the school district to listen to our people and do the right thing.
PRESIDENT’S REPORT – President Bollendorf stated a lot of time has been spent regarding Pennypack and he thanked all the residents in Hatboro as this has brought the community together as we all moved here for the small quaint life, and we want to keep it that way.
TREASURER’S REPORT – Treasurer Smith stated the balance in all accounts ending March 31, 2022, is $ 2,940,236.63 with interest earned in the amount of $ 400.87.
SOLICITOR’S REPORT – Solicitor Geiser stated she has been working on Pennypack the past month.
Solicitor Geiser stated Manager Hegele and herself filed the tax-exempt status for Friends of Cressbrook.
ENGINEER’S REPORT – Engineer Goff stated she has been assisting Borough staff with various grant applications.
Engineer Goff stated that under the Summit Avenue flasher project they are reviewing PennDOT comments and will be submitting a revised submission in the next few weeks.
Engineer Goff stated under the Meadowbrook and Jacksonville flashers project they also received comments from PennDOT and are addressing them and will be submitting a revised submission.
MANAGER’S REPORT – Manager Hegele stated for Gold Star Garden Project, some important dates coming up are May 21st at 9:30 AM for the official groundbreaking for the project and Friday, June 10th from 7 PM to 11 PM, a beef n’ beer at the Warminster VFW to raise funds for the project. Tickets are $40.00 a person and include food, beer, wine, and soda. Tickets are available at Borough Hall.
Manager Hegele stated Pool Memberships are now on sale, they are available at Borough Hall during normal business hours. We will be setting up additional dates and times during the week in May to accommodate those that cannot get in during normal hours, stay tuned to our Facebook page, website and of course as an announcement at borough meetings. Manager Hegele stated Community Day is back again this year on Saturday, May 21st from Noon to 4 PM. Join us at the Hatboro Pool to help kick off Summer in Hatboro with a splash. If you are a community organization that is interested in having a table at this year’s event, please contact Deena DeRenzis at Borough Hall or her information can be found on our website or Facebook page. We will have staff on hand this day selling pool memberships as well. Manager Hegele stated the pool is still looking for staff, if you are interested in lifeguarding, front desk or snack stand work, please visit our website where applications and more information can be found on the careers tab. Manager Hegele stated that Septa will be renewing the County Line Grade Crossing, along the Warminster Line in the summer of 2022. Tentative dates for construction will be from Friday, June 10th through Monday, June 13th. Septa is planning to close the road on or about 9:00 AM Friday and reopen it on or before 6:00 PM Monday. To facilitate this construction, County Line Road between York Road and Jacksonville Road will be detoured for the duration of the project. Detour signs will be posted two weeks prior, and the Borough will share information as we receive either at upcoming meetings, Nixle, Facebook and our website. Manager Hegele stated just a reminder for Motorists S. Warminster Road motorists will encounter a lane closure with flagging between East Mill Road and Surrey Lane for utility relocation by PECO on Monday, April 25th and Tuesday, April 26th from 9 AM to 3 PM. this work is in conjunction with preliminary construction work associated with the Warminster Road Bridge Replacement (to be taking place in spring of 2023). Motorists are advised to allow extra time when traveling through the work area and should seek alternate routes, if possible, to avoid delays. The PennDOT replacement of the Warminster Road Bridge in Spring of 2023 will replace the 136-year-old concrete encased steel beam structure with a prestressed concrete box beam bridge that will be 110 feet long and 38 feet wide. The new bridge will allow for wider lanes and shoulders to improve traffic safety for the estimated 11,783 motorists who travel over the structure daily. Other improvements under this project include constructing a five-foot wide sidewalk for pedestrians; installing new signing, pavement markings, guiderail, and a pedestrian rapid flashing beacon signal on the south approach; and resurfacing the approach roadways. The Borough did not get a lot of notification for the work this week. I am hoping PennDOT provides us with ample notice when they get ready to shut the road for the project so we can spread the word to motorists, residents, and businesses in the area. Manager Hegele stated earlier today, Governor Tom Wolf Announced over $47.8 million in Multimodal funding for highway, bridge, transit, bike, and pedestrian projects throughout Pennsylvania. Out of the 56 projects selected, Hatboro was awarded $499,349 in funding to design and construct a full substructure and superstructure to replace the timber bridge along West Monument Avenue. The Borough of Hatboro is extremely excited for this project and would like to thank Governor Wolf, Congresswoman Dean, Senator Collett, State Representative Guenst, and Remington and Vernick Engineers for their support of the project and helping the Borough receive this important grant! Manager Hegele stated with all these road improvements, we still do not have a definitive time for the West Moreland Avenue County Bridge project. There has been no further communication received. We will be sure to make sure that the work on West Moreland does not coincide with the West Monument Bridge project. Manager Hegele stated that herself along with Councilwoman Jacobus, Superintendent Frydlewicz, Fire Marshal Dermer, Hatboro Representative Suzanne Dougherty and Upper Moreland Township representatives toured the Upper Moreland Hatboro Joint Sewer Authority plant. The Authority routinely opens the plant up for tours for municipal officials. We learned during the tour that the PA DEP performed an inspection on April 8th right after a storm event that dumped over 3.25 inches of rain over the area. The UMHJSA staff once again did an excellent job of managing the high flows as noted by the PA DEP Inspector who stated this facility is operating extremely well. The plant dealt with the wet weather extremely well, producing clear effluent the entire time and well within permit limits. The plant was operated very efficiently and prevented al potential issues related to wet weather. This plant is in full compliance throughout the calendar year and is a model facility for compliance with their NPDES permit and exceptional operation. This is always a very interesting tour, there is a lot of work that goes into treating the waste that we all flush daily. We are very lucky to have a talented and dedicated staff at the plant who work around the clock 365 days a year. Manager Hegele stated that The Borough recently “finally” received word that google, and apple have approved the My Hatboro App. This is great news; we have only been waiting since last fall. Staff is updating some of the pictures and information and of course events for 2022 and hope to go live the beginning of May. Thank you, Assistant Secretary DeRenzis, for all your hard work on this, I know we almost had to fly you to California to get them to turn the switch to on.
POLICE – Chief Gardner stated the Civil Service Commission had a meeting last week and selected final candidates for the position of Police Officer.
TAX COLLECTIONS – The tax collectors report was electronically submitted.
PUBLIC WORKS – Superintendent Frydlewicz stated that Public Works has been busy as they are getting the pool ready for the summer. Superintendent Frydlewicz stated they have proactively been checking all the storm drains and will be doing dye testing to see where the water comes from and can track it. Superintendent Frydlewicz stated Deputy Superintendent Dermer and himself took the mechanic to check out light towers and got a good deal and purchased one. Superintendent Frydlewicz stated Friday they started their first run to Republic and while it’s a little further, he believes after going over the numbers, we will be saving money.
DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT PARKS REPORT – Superintendent Frydlewicz stated thanks to Deputy Superintendent Dermer and other staff, they put together a DEP 902 grant and we were awarded $186,622.00 which will go towards the purchase of a multi-purpose vehicle.
DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT – Cindy Bollendorf stated as mentioned before, the Borough was chosen as a recipient of a Hometown no match Grant and on April 6 the T Mobile team came to Hatboro and presented the Borough with a check for $39,642.00 for improvements to the plaza outside Produce Junction. Thank you to all who attended, we will keep everyone posted regarding the start, duration, and completion of this project and thank you again to T Mobile for choosing Hatboro.
Bindy had a fabulous time on Saturday at the EAC’s Earth Day event and thanks everyone who came out and thanks Hatboro for their awesome efforts regarding recycling.
FIRE MARSHAL – Fire Marshal Dermer stated the Fire Marshal’s Office completed 190- Rental inspections, 8- Residential use and occupancy inspections, 1- Commercial use and occupancy inspection, 30- Business inspections, 4- Reinspection’s, responded to 4 emergency fire calls, and followed up on 22 property maintenance issues. Fire Marshal Dermer stated that the Hatboro and Horsham Townships Fire Marshal’s Office conducted one fire investigation of a single-family dwelling in town.
Fire Marshal Dermer gave a Friendly reminder that with nicer weather we ask that lawns be kept below 6 inches in height and there will only one warning issued to a property not in compliance. He also stated that after that warning citations will be issued.
FIRE COMPANY – Fire Company President Ide stated Enterprise responded to 22 fire calls in March.
Fire Company President Ide stated they participated in the Earth Day event on Saturday.
Fire Company President Ide stated they will be participating in the Cruise night on May 20th and the Community Day on May 21st.
UNION LIBRARY REPORT – Michele Johnson stated story time is continuing in person with Mr. Jim on Friday mornings. Michele Johnson stated the summer reading schedule will be announced in the next week or so which will include music and art programs as well as the summer science program.
Michele Johnson stated they applied to the County for ARPA funding to renovate the entrance and approve ADA accessibility.
Michele Johnson stated the Thomas room which was renovated from the flooding should be up and running next month.
ORDER OF BUSINESS AND VOTING ITEMS
ACKNOWLEDGE RECEIPT OF REPORTS – Vice President Stockton made amotion to acknowledge the receipt of UMHJS minutes, Public Works, Fire marshal, and treasurer’s reports. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman McMenamin, all ayes. Motion carried 7-0.
APPROVAL OF WARRANT LIST, PAYMENT OF BILLS, MANUAL CHECKS AND TRANSFERS – Councilwoman McMenamin made a motion to approve Warrant list, payment of Bills, manual Checks, and Transfers for the month of April 2022. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Reichner, all ayes. Motion carried 7-0.
MARCH 28, 2022, COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES – Councilman Myers made a motion to approve the March 28, 2022, Council Meeting Minutes. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman ostrander, all ayes. Motion carried 7-0.
APRIL 11, 2022, COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES – Councilwoman McMenamin made a motion to approve the April 11, 2022, Committee Meeting Minutes. Motion was seconded by Councilman Myers. Vice president Stockton abstained as he was not present for the meeting. Motion carried 6-0 with 1 abstention.
ENTERPRISE FIRE COMPANY EXPENDITURE LIST – Councilwoman Ostrander made a motion to approve the Enterprise Fire Company Expenditure List for the month of April 2022 in the amount of $ 10,042.38. Motion was seconded by Councilman Myers, all ayes. Motion carried 7-0.
UNION LIBRARY EXPENDITURE LIST – Councilman Myers made a motion to approve the Union Library Expenditure List for the month of April 2022 in the amount of $ 26,066.20. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Ostrander, all ayes. Motion carried 7-0.
BOROUGH HALL PROJECT ELECTRICAL CONTRACT CHANGE ORDER #2 – Councilwoman McMenamin made a motion to approve Change Order #2 for the Borough Hall Electrical Contract for the installation of new LED Lights resulting in a contract increase of $5,156.66. Motion was seconded by Councilman Myers, all ayes.
BOROUGH HALL PROJECT FIRE SUPRESSION PAYMENT #5– Councilwoman Jacobus made a motion to approve Payment #5 for the Borough Hall Fire Suppression Contract to Guy M Cooper inc. in the amount of $33,100.48. Motion was seconded by Vice President Stockton, all ayes. Motion carried 7-0.
BOROUGH HALL PROJECT MECHANICAL PAYMENT #5 – Councilwoman Jacobus made a motion to approve payment #5 for the Borough Hall Mechanical contract to Guy M Cooper Inc. in the amount of $ 129,352.85. Motion was seconded by Vice President Stockton, all ayes. Motion carried 7-0.
HATBORO STATION TRAIL BID DOCUMENTS – Councilwoman McMenamin made a motion to authorize Engineer Goff to begin the bidding process for the Hatboro Station Trail Project. Motion was seconded by Councilman Myers, all ayes. Motion carried 7-0.
CORINTHIAN TRAIL PAYMENT REQUEST #5 – Councilwoman McMenamin made a motion to approve Payment Request #5 for the Corinthian Trail project to Marino Construction in the amount of $ 55,743.50. Motion was seconded by Alexander Myers, all ayes. Motion carried 7-0.
DRIVE AND DROP EVENT REQUEST – Councilwoman Jacobus made a motion to approve the Drive and Drop Donation event request on May 7, 2022, submitted by Theresa Johns Vallone. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Ostrander, all ayes. Motion carried 7-0.
RECYCLING CONSORTIUM CONTRACT – Councilwoman McMenamin made a motion to authorize Manager Hegele to sign the Montgomery County Consortium of Recycling Communities Contract with Republic Services. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Jacobus, all ayes. Motion carried 7-0.
SHADE TREE COMMISSION APPOINTMENT – Councilman Myers made a motion to approve Resolution 2022-11, appointing Alec Shaffer to the Shade Tree Commission for a term of 5 years. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman ostrander, all ayes. Motion carried 7-0.
399 SPRINGDALE FINANCIAL SECURITY RELEASE #2 – Vice President Stockton made a motion to approve financial release #2 for the 399 Springdale Avenue project in the amount of $ 130,581.00. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman McMenamin, all ayes. Motion carried 7-0.
CONDITIONAL USE HEARING: STEEL PENNY CAFÉ – Councilwoman McMenamin made amotion to hold a Conditional Use Hearing for an application received from Steel penny Café on Monday, May 23, 2022. This application was submitted for a proposed expansion of the existing café and permission to cook food on premises. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman ostrander, all ayes. Motion carried 7-0.
OLD BUSINESS AND UPDATES – There was no old business or updates.
AMENDMENT OF BOROUGH HALL ELECTRICAL CONTRACT PAYMENT #2 – Councilwoman Reichner made a motion to authorize the amended payment request #2 for the Borough Hall Electrical Contract in the amount of $ 25,683.30 to MFJ Electric previously approved on March 28, 2022. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Jacobus, all ayes. Motion carried 7-0.
CONDTIONAL OFFER FOR POLICE OFFICER – Councilwoman Ostrander made a motion to make a conditional offer of employment for the position of Police Officer. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman McMenamin, all ayes. Motion carried 7-0.
PENNYPACK OFFER – Vice President Stockton made a motion to make a counteroffer to the hatboro Horsham School District for the Pennypack School Property in the amount of $ 600,000.00. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman McMenamin, all ayes. Motion carried 7-0.
PUBLIC COMMENT – Ron Battis, 317 W. Moreland Avenue, asked about the contract payments for the Borough Hall project and how many are possible as he keeps seeing them. Engineer Goff stated the contractor can submit as many requests as they can up to their contract amount if it matches their bid form.
Mr. Battis stated that Chief Gardner pointed out the bell tower was in bad shape and asked if the work will have to be redone when it comes time to repair the bell tower. President Bollendorf stated no.
Mr. Battis asked why we were taking responsibility for the Hatboro Station trail lighting and feels it isn’t the Borough’s problem. President Bollendorf stated we received a grant for the lighting. Manager Hegele confirmed it was for the lighting only and it will be put out to bid for solar lighting.
Jennifer Cox, 64 Horsham Road, stated she has seen the County records regarding the transfer of the deed for the Pennypack property and wanted to clarify the transaction. Councilman Myers clarified the transaction which was stated earlier in the meeting. Resident, Fulmor or Rorer Avenue, stated there has been a problem with the hatboro Station trail being maintained and a swale that has a lot of mosquitoes and both have been a problem. Manager Hegele encouraged her to attend next months meeting as they want to amend their Land Development application as it will be ion the Council Meeting Agenda.
Bill Tompkins, 161 Spring Avenue, thanked Council for the vote on Pennypack.
Erin McCuen, 22 Harding Avenue, stated it is important to vote and mentioned some of the members attended tonight’s meeting and did not conduct themselves appropriately and she wanted to point that out to everyone, and that local voting is very important. She also encouraged everyone to attend the next meeting, which is May 2, 2022, because she feels they are disregarding public safety.
Solicitor Geiser stated that the Borough is going to submit a revised agreement of sale that will reflect the $ 600,000.00 counteroffer and will have an expiration date a week from tomorrow in which they will have an executive session and they will vote on it.
Leslie Delp Jones, 207 Crooked Billet Road, thanked Council for the counteroffer and appreciated them sharing information and mentioned some of the school board members laughing and whispering things were not true but at the same time have been giving everyone a different story.
President Bollendorf stated they try to be as transparent as possible and out of respect have not released their appraisals and do not want to spend more money than they must. He also stated that regarding grants, they can’t obtain grants for something we do not own, and he guarantees once we acquire the property, we will be obtaining grants but if we move to eminent domain, we will not be able to obtain grants. He also stated that Council is doing everything they possibly can to make this happen.
Bill Tompkins, 161 Spring Avenue, asked if Upper Moreland has scheduled any vote.
President Bollendorf stated that he has spoken to their Council, and it should not be an issue.
Solicitor Geiser stated procedurally they will have to pass a resolution, but it would be premature at this point since the Borough has not filed for the eminent domain yet, but they would be a part of it.
Harry Schmele, 132 Spring Avenue, encouraged everyone to attend the school board meeting and state their position regarding the property as they need six votes, so it is important for hatboro residents to attend.
DJ Schultz, 52 Orchard Street, encouraged everyone to please reach out to the school board and attend the meetings and assured everyone their voices will be heard and she appreciates seeing Hatboro residents at meetings.
Martina Kernosh, 176 W. Lehman Avenue, asked if the offers were based off the appraisals. Councilman Myers stated yes it was.
Suzanne Dougherty, 464 Lincoln Avenue, wanted to make sure she understood the process and asked what happens if the school district turns down the Borough’s $600,.000.00 offer for Pennypack,
President Bollendorf stated that if they turn the offer down, Council will vote to pursue eminent domain at the next meeting and the Borough will not be eligible to receive grant funding towards purchase of the property.
President Bollendorf had Solicitor Geiser explain the process of eminent domain again.
Jennifer Hartigan, 26 S. Linden Avenue, asked what will happen if anyone attends a school board meeting and they are going to vote on a different offer while the Borough is going through the eminent domain process. Solicitor Geiser stated that any offer the district accepts must petition the Court of Common Pleas so the Borough can still pursue eminent domain.
Bill Tomkins, 161 Spring Avenue, stated that two of the offers have eminent domain clauses so they wouldn’t be executable if the Borough seeks eminent domain.
Joseph Reymer, 120 Summit Avenue, asked if pursue eminent domain and the Court states the property is worth for example, 2 million, would the Borough have to pay that. Solicitor Geiser stated that the board would assess what the value would be and if the Borough doesn’t agree with what they think fair market value is, they can appeal their decision and then it can be a jury trial.
Councilwoman Jacobus stated that she has attended school board meetings and is very proud of Hatboro at the meeting and assured residents that Council is here to represent them and encouraged everyone to reach out to Council with all questions and concerns.
ADJOURNMENT – Vice President Stockton made a motion to adjourn the April 25, 2022, Council Meeting. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Reichner, all ayes. President Bollendorf adjourned the April 25, 2022, Council Meeting at 8:41 P.M.
Respectfully submitted by:
Diane C. Hegele, Borough Manager
Transcribed by Cindy Bollendorf