President Bollendorf, Vice President Stockton, Councilwoman Anzinger, Councilwoman Benjamin, Councilman Rich, Councilman Hegele, Mayor Guenst, Manager Hegele, Assistant Borough Secretary DeRenzis, Superintendent Sine, Chief Gardner, Engineer Goff, and Solicitor Geiser were present.
ABSENT – Councilman Forgeng, Fire Marshal Hauser and Enterprise Fire Company President Mount were absent.
CALL TO ORDER – President Bollendorf called the December 2, 2019 Committee Meeting to order at 7:00 PM
PUBLIC COMMENT – President Bollendorf reviewed the Public Comment Policy on the back of the agendas regarding addressing Council and Time Allotment.
MONTCO 100% CLEAN ENERGY PLAN PRESENTATION – BILL SABEY
Bill Sabey of the Plymouth Township Environmental Advisory Board and Representative of Ready for 100% presented to Council regarding the Ready for 100% program. He stated this program was created by the Sierra Club and is a national campaign designed to have municipalities adopt clean energy. Mr. Sabey stated the Ready for 100% program wishes to have 100% renewable electricity by 2035 and to have all other energy sources renewable by 2050, including the removal of fossil fuels. He noted that 1 in 4 residents within the United States are already switching to renewable energy sources due to the environmental benefits. He stated that 11 municipalities within Montgomery County have already adopted resolutions committing to the Ready for 100% program and its goal to transition to renewable energy. Mr. Sabey stated the more municipalities that commit to the program, the more support the program receives from energy companies. He encouraged Hatboro to adopt the Ready for 100% plan and stated a resolution will be needed as well as a statement from the Borough, a Borough transition plan, and sustainable updates to the Borough’s comprehensive plan. He stated that anyone wishing to learn more about the Ready for 100% Program can attend one of their monthly meetings in Plymouth Township.
MONTCO ENERGY PLANNING PRESENTATION – JOHN LESHER
Mr. John Lesher, Principal Environmental Planner for the Montgomery County Planning Commission stated that the MCPC is not an official partner with Ready For 100%; however, they support the program’s initiatives. Mr. Lesher stated that Montgomery County sees Ready for 100% as a toolbox for stormwater, energy conservation, waste water, and sustainability methods. He stated that the County has sample ordinances for renewable energy that the Borough can use as a resource. He stated they also have sample sustainability plans prepared that the Borough can utilize as a vehicle to organize green efforts, plan, and help obtain grant funding. He stated that sustainability is addressed in the Borough’s new Comprehensive Plan and these sustainability plans can further benefit the green planning. He stated that FEMA is recently looking to see municipalities push for green energy in order to maintain the high ratings of the area. Mr. Lesher stated that the Montgomery County Consortium could help facilitate multi-municipal collaboration efforts for things like a vulnerability assessment of the County that will show how climate change could affect the area. He also noted that municipalities could fund joint purchases of things like solar panels.
Councilwoman Anzinger asked if Montgomery County determined an algorithm for costs for things like the joint purchases or studies. Mr. Lesher stated a cost determination has not yet been determined, but that the costs would most likely be split based on the population sizes of the municipality.
Councilwoman Benjamin asked if there is any financial gain known at this point for municipalities who begin to join Ready for 100% or turn to green energy. Mr. Lesher stated it is too early for an estimate on the financial return green energy would provide to municipalities, but that it would depend on the efforts made. Mr. Sabey also noted Hatboro would not have to make a financial contribution to Ready for 100% at this time.
ENERGY JUSTICE PRESENTATION ON TRASH DISPOSAL
Founder of Energy Justice and Environmental Attorney, Mike Ewall gave a presentation regarding the concerns and issues associated with trash incinerators. Mr. Ewall stated that half of the country’s trash is sent to incinerators while the other half is sent to landfills. He stated that landfills were once more expensive than incinerators; however, costs have lowered recently. He noted that the Borough researched costs for nearby landfills which were significantly higher than average landfill costs but stated there would be savings over time. Mr. Ewall stated that landfills result in less pollution due to the use of liners whereas incinerators release pollution into the air. Mr. Ewall stated the nearest landfills are further away than the nearest incinerator, but that the truck emissions from the extra distance would not negate the benefits of the landfill. Mr. Ewall stated some municipalities use the “Pay-Per Bag” initiative which requires properties to pay a set cost for each trash bag placed out at the curb. He stated this reduces the amount of waste leaving the municipality and going to a landfill or incinerator.
PUBLIC COMMENT – None.
MAYOR’S REPORT – Mayor Guenst thanked everyone who shopped local on Small Business Saturday. She added that this event is always extremely beneficial for the local businesses.
PRESIDENT’S REPORT – President Bollendorf announced that the Borough was recently contacted by Veteran and VA Claims Assistant Andrew Oerhle who would like to begin offering assistance to Veterans in Borough Hall. President Bollendorf stated Mr. Oerhle will be in Borough Hall once a month in January, February, and March from 9 AM to 12 PM to assist veterans from Hatboro and neighboring communities. President Bollendorf noted this is a free event and veterans can obtain VA forms in Borough Hall to review prior to speaking with Mr. Oerhle. Mayor Guenst added that she will be partnering with local businesses for each of these dates to serve a free breakfast for veterans in attendance.
President Bollendorf thanked everyone for attending the annual Holiday Parade and thanked Public Works for cleaning York Road following the parade.
President Bollendorf announced the Union Library Christmas Tree Lighting will take place on Friday, December 6, 2019 and encouraged everyone to attend.
MANAGER’S REPORT – Manager Hegele reminded everyone that comments for the initial draft of the Comprehensive Plan are due on or before December 6th. Manager Hegele noted the official public review for the Comprehensive Plan will begin on December 17th.
Manager Hegele stated PennDOT painted the recently approved bike lanes on Jacksonville Road and noted they look nice. Manager Hegele also noted that the intersection of Byberry and Warminster Roads were also striped and that Public Works will be completing the painting at the intersection soon.
Manager Hegele stated on December 7th she will be attending the Upper Moreland Hatboro Trail Committee tour in which they will scout locations for new trails as well as opportunities to connect existing trails.
Manager Hegele stated Small Business Saturday was well attended and thanked Creative Inkling for allowing Downtown Development Director Simon to use the Hatboro Love sign for the Small Business Saturday contest.
PUBLIC WORKS REPORT – Superintendent Sine stated that Public Works continues to collect yard waste throughout the Borough. He reminded everyone that after Christmas, residents can place their trees on the curb along with their yard waste for collection by Public Works. He noted at all decorations should be removed from the tree prior to placing it out for collection. Superintendent Sine stated Public Works winterized equipment expecting a snow storm earlier in the day. He noted that while the forecast was incorrect, Public Works was able to check the condition of equipment and added they are fully stocked on salt and ice melt.
Superintendent Sine announced that residents can now Utilize the service Retrievr/Curb My Clutter for clothing and electronic recycling. He stated this information will be posted to the Borough’s website and Facebook pages.
CHIEF OF POLICE REPORT – Chief Gardner stated that Santa will be arriving to the Union Library’s Tree Lighting at 6 PM on Friday. He then thanked both Public Works and Fire Police for their help with the Holiday Parade.
FIRE MARSHAL REPORT – Fire Marshal Hauser was absent.
FIRE COMPANY PRESIDENT REPORT – President Mount was absent.
ENGINEER’S REPORT – Engineer Goff stated RVE has resubmitted the plans for the Eaton Park Streambank Restoration Project that include revisions that will maximize the MS4 credits the Borough will receive from the project. Engineer Goff stated she will be recommending payment for the 2019 Road Paving Project to Meco Constructors Inc. in the amount of $56,501.16. She noted there is also a Hatboro Station line of credit release on the agenda for consideration for completion of work thus far.
Ron Battis, W. Moreland Avenue, asked if there were any bids for the Miller Meadow project. Engineer Goff stated there were not many bids on the project, so RVE took comments received from the initial bid period and made revisions to the bid package. She stated the new bid opening will be on Friday, December 6th.
SOLICITOR’S REPORT – Solicitor Geiser stated the legal brief for the Wawa appeal was submitted to Commonwealth Court. She stated the Borough will likely not receive a court date for the case for months to come; however, Plumstead Township is having their court date next week which she will be watching closely.
Solicitor Geiser stated her office assisted Borough Staff with a Right To Know Request and Appeal submitted by State Representative Tom Murt. She stated staff correctly provided the 5 day agency response and notified Mr. Murt of a 30 day legal review. She stated Mr. Murt appealed the request claiming he did not receive a letter from the Borough within the specified time frame. Solicitor Geiser stated the Borough presented evidence and a signed affidavit from Assistant Secretary DeRenzis proving the letter was sent to him and the Right To Know Office ruled in the Borough’s favor.
Councilwoman Anzinger asked how much money this request cost the Borough. Solicitor Geiser stated the appeal cost around $800 in taxpayer funds. Councilman Hegele asked if there was more to come with this Right To Know Request. Solicitor Geiser stated the appeal was dismissed and Mr. Murt obtained copies of the records, so the request is complete.
ENTERPRISE FIRE COMPANY EXPENDITURE LIST
Councilman Forgeng stated Council is in receipt of the Enterprise Fire Company Expenditure List for the month of November in the amount of $6,993.34. This item was moved to the December 16, 2019 Council Meeting Agenda for consideration.
CONSIDER 2020 REPLACEMENT POLICE VEHICLE PURCHASE – Chief Gardner stated if this purchase is approved, the new vehicle will replace a 2013 vehicle. He stated the 2019 Dodge Durango he would like to purchase is currently in stock and would cost a total of $41,400 which includes the vehicle itself, upfitting, and equipment inside. Chief Gardner stated he can order the vehicle now, but the Borough would not be invoiced until 2020. Chief Gardner stated the department has had good luck with the Durango purchased for the K9 vehicle. He also noted that the new Ford Explorers are delayed in manufacturing, so he recommends the Durango as it can be purchased sooner. This item was moved to the December 16, 2019 Council Meeting Agenda for consideration.
OLD POLICE TELEPHONE NUMBER ANNOUNCEMENT – Chief Gardner stated that beginning in January, the police 10-digit legacy phone line that previously dialed to the Montgomery County 9-1-1 Center is being disabled. He noted this change is because Verizon is upgrading phone lines to fiberoptics. Chief Gardner stated anyone who accidentally calls the legacy line will be redirected to a new 10 digit number; however, he encouraged everyone to call 9-1-1 directly in the event of an emergency as it is much more efficient and ensures a quick response from emergency personnel.
ESCROW ACCOUNT TRANSFERS – Vice President Stockton stated that Borough Manager Hegele and the Auditor have been working diligently to clean up the Borough’s escrow accounts, a task that was long overdue. He stated that the Auditor is recommending a transfer of $30,000 from the escrow account to the General Fund for legal and engineering bills that were paid from general funds as well as missed administrative fees. This item was moved to the December 16, 2019 Council Meeting Agenda for consideration.
SMALL WATER & SEWER GRANT: CELANO PARK – Engineer Goff stated Borough Staff determined that replacing the outfall pipe in Celano Park would be the best candidate for the Small Water & Sewer Grant. Engineer Goff stated there is a 50% match for this grant and she will have an estimate for the project prepared for the Council meeting. She noted that replacing and enlarging the pipe in Celano Park will greatly help reduce flooding in the area. Superintendent Sine stated this area has flooded for years and this project would benefit the park and surrounding area. Councilwoman Anzinger asked what is the diameter of the existing pipe. Superintendent Sine stated the existing pipe is smaller than 1 foot in diameter. This item was moved to the December 16, 2019 Council Meeting Agenda for consideration.
COMMUNITY OUTREACH COMMITTEE
DECEMBER EVENT ANNOUNCEMENTS – Councilwoman Benjamin read a memo of upcoming events for December including the Christmas Tree Lighting, Caroling, Christmas Crafting at Lehman Church, and the Bray Lodge Pancake Breakfast.
PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE
RECYCLING BIN UPDATE – Superintendent Sine stated that Public Works has completed the initial delivery of the recycling bins to residences and businesses. He stated that Public Works has around 900 extra bins available to residents who want another bin. Superintendent Sine stated bins will be available at a first come, first served basis and residents should contact Borough Hall with how many additional bins they would like. Councilman Hegele asked if the Borough was holding onto some of the bins for future use. Superintendent Sine stated yes, Public Works saved around 20 bins to use for events and stored a few extra in Borough Hall. Councilwoman Benjamin stated she was thankful that the bins are so large because she can now put all of her recyclables in one container.
ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
ANNOUNCEMENT TO ESTABLISH NEW PARKS & REC ADVISORY BOARD – Councilwoman Anzinger announced that Council will soon be establishing a Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. She stated anyone who is interested can contact Assistant Secretary DeRenzis at Borough Hall.
DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
DECEMBER BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT – CRAFTERS IN THE BARN – Councilwoman Anzinger stated the Business Spotlight for December is Crafters in the Barn.
2019 ROAD PROGRAM PAYMENT REQUEST – Vice President Stockton stated Engineer Goff is recommending a payment request to Meco Constructors in the amount of $56,501.16 for the 2019 Road Paving Project. This item was moved to the December 16, 2019 Council Meeting Agenda for consideration.
TAX RATE ORDINANCE – Vice President Stockton stated Council needs to adopt a tax rate ordinance reflecting the millage rates approved in the 2020 Budget. This item was moved to the December 16, 2019 Council Meeting Agenda for consideration.
RESOLUTION 19-28: ADOPTING 5 YEAR SMOOTHING PLAN FOR NON-UNIIFORM PENSION – Vice President Stockton stated the Borough’s Pension Actuary recommended a 5 year smoothing model for the non-uniformed pension. He stated this smoothing plan will help offset gains and loses of the pension funds over a 5 year period of time. Vice President Stockton stated that the Pension company also recommended that the Borough account for a longer lifespan in pension planning due to a longer expectancy rate. This item was moved to the December 16, 2019 Council Meeting Agenda for consideration.
2020 MEETING SCHEDULE – Vice President Stockton stated Council will be holding a reorganization meeting on Monday, January 6, 2020. He stated Council will continue its regular 2nd and 4th Monday Schedule. He stated the Planning Commission will now be meeting on the Second Tuesday of each month. He stated the Zoning Hearing Board will be meeting on the second Wednesday of each month and the Historical Commission will be meeting on the first Thursday of each month. This item was moved to the December 16, 2019 Council Meeting Agenda for consideration.
ANNOUNCEMENT: REORGANIZATION MEETING, JANUARY 6, 2020 AT 7:00 PM – Manager Hegele announced that Borough Council will be holding a special reorganization meeting on January 6, 2020. This item was moved to the December 16, 2019 Council Meeting Agenda for consideration.
HATBORO STATION LINE OF CREDIT RELEASE NO. 8 – Councilman Rich stated Engineer Goff is recommending a line of credit release for Hatboro Station for improvements made thus far in the amount of $96,095.00. This item was moved to the December 16, 2019 Council Meeting Agenda for consideration.
RESOLUTION 19-29 FOR HATBORO FEDERAL TO APPOINT NEW SIGNERS – Councilman Rich stated the Borough desires to open a new bank account with Hatboro Federal Savings. Councilman Rich stated a resolution is needed to appoint signers for the bank account. This item was moved to the December 16, 2019 Council Meeting Agenda for consideration.
APPOINTMENT OF DEPUTY CODE OFFICIAL – Councilman Rich stated that Fire Marshal Hauser is part time and District Court has requested a deputy Code Enforcement Officer be appointed to write citations as well as testify in court. Mr. Battis stated that is too much to do for one person and stated Manager Hegele shouldn’t have to write citations. President Bollendorf stated that Manager Hegele would only be filling in for Fire Marshal Hauser. Solicitor Geiser stated that District Court is requiring this appointment and the Borough Code does permit the Borough Manager to write citations. This item was moved to the December 16, 2019 Council Meeting Agenda for consideration.
COVANTA CONTRACT UPDATE – Manager Hegele stated no action is needed at this time for this matter.
OLD BUSINESS & UPDATES – No old business or updates.
PUBLIC COMMENT – Mr. Bruce Hart, Earl Lane, asked when his neighbor’s grass will be mowed. Manager Hegele stated a bench warrant has been issued and the constable is attempting to arrest her when she is at home.
Mr. Battis stated that the Borough previously utilized landfills before moving to trash to steam removal. He noted that the presentations earlier in the evening did not discuss the downfalls of landfills. He stated wherever the trash is taken, it will eventually negatively affect the environment and health of others. He stated he understands that there are issues with incinerators, but nothing was discussed about the landfills. He hopes that next time there is a presentation that both sides are equally represented.
Councilwoman Benjamin stated she was intrigued by the pay per bag method discussed in the presentation. Mr. Battis asked where people who do not want to pay will take their trash. Vice President Stockton stated illegal dumping would most likely take place in this case.
Councilwoman Anzinger stated this is a case of pick your poison as both landfills and incinerators will affect the environment in some way. She stated she is concerned with the violations that Covanta might have or the life of the plant.
Katrina Nuss, Academy Road, stated she missed the beginning of the meeting, and asked if Manager Hegele invited the guests to speak. Manager Hegele stated yes, the gentleman submitted a right to know request and Manager Hegele invited him to speak at the meeting. Ms. Nuss asked what Council’s opinions are of the presentation because Council had no questions about the presentation. Manager Hegele stated Council might have questions later on about the other options available; however, the Borough is in the middle of a contract with Covanta at the moment.
Ms. Nuss asked what department oversees the maintenance of the Hatboro Station trail because it is overgrown with weeds. Manager Hegele stated this is private property and maintained by Toll Brothers and the HOA. Chief Gardner stated he has concerns with the weeds and the absence of lighting. Ms. Nuss stated she does not have a problem with the lack of lighting. Chief Gardner stated he does have a problem with both the lack of lighting and weeds due to the safety for those using the trail. Ms. Nuss stated there are also no trash cans in the area and trash is littering the overgrown trail. Chief Gardner stated he has asked Toll Brothers to cut back the weeds previously due to the graffiti issues and safety concerns of the trail. He noted they did so quickly upon his request. Mayor Guenst stated the Home Owners Association is still being developed and was having their first meeting soon. She added that the HOA will be completing a list of concerns and action items they have and will be resolving these issues. Manager Hegele stated she will reach out to Toll Brothers about the trash.
Mike Ewall, Energy Justice, stated he did not include landfills in the slideshow he presented at the beginning of the meeting; however, they do have their pitfalls just like incinerators. He noted that incinerators are consistently worse and more harmful than landfills which is why they focus on presenting about them.
ADJOURNMENT – President Bollendorf adjourned the December 2, 2019 Committee Meeting at 8:34 PM.
Assistant Borough Secretary
Transcribed by Deena DeRenzis