PRESENT VIA ZOOM – President Bollendorf, Vice president Stockton, Councilwoman Anzinger, Councilwoman Benjamin, Councilwoman McMenamin, Councilwoman Reichner, Councilwoman Ostrander, Mayor Guenst, Chief Gardner, Manager Hegele, Assistant Secretary DeRenzis, Superintendent Sine, Treasurer Rich, Tax Collector Mount, Solicitor Geiser, and Engineer Goff were present.
ABSENT – Fire Marshal Hauser was absent.
CALL TO ORDER – President Bollendorf called the July 20, 2020 Committee Meeting to order at 7:00 P.M.
INVOCATION – The Invocation was given by Mayor Guenst.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – The Pledge of Allegiance was led by President Bollendorf.
PUBLIC COMMENT – President Bollendorf reviewed the Public Comment Policy on the back of the agenda with regards to addressing Council and time allotment.
Rachel Morgan, 120 S. York Road, submitted a special event request for Yoga in Eaton Park on Saturdays at 10:00 A.M.
MS4 PRESENTATION – Engineer Goff gave a presentation on Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System and she stated that the purpose is to educate the public, Council, and staff on the MS4 System in general.
Public Safety Committee
- ENTERPRISE FIRE COMPANY EXPENDITURE LIST – Councilwoman Ostrander stated that the Enterprise Fire Company Expenditure List for the month of June 2020 is $ 15,498.66. This item was moved to the July 20, 2020 Council Meeting Agenda for approval.
- FIREWORKS UPDATE – Councilwoman Ostrander stated that around July 4th, there were a lot of complaints about fireworks. Solicitor Geiser stated that currently a bill is in the Senate now that would allow municipalities in the Commonwealth to completely ban fireworks but until this is expanded and adopted, municipalities can regulate them but not ban them. Solicitor Geiser stated that she advises staff to wait as the bill is pending to wait and see what the state does.
- LCB NOISE WAIVER PETITION – Chief Gardner stated that he and manager Hegele were contacted by Paul Mulhern, the business owner of Crooked Eye Brewery, regarding this. He stated that under state liquor code, there is a provision where municipalities can take over enforcement of the noise regulations that appear under the liquor code and Mr. Mulhern made a request for us to do so. He stated that there is a process involved with this and the Borough has a noise ordinance that would cover the same issues that the liquor code does. He also stated that the police are involved already from the start if there is a complaint form a liquor establishment. President Bollendorf stated that he will defer this to Councilwomen Ostrander and Anzinger to work with Solicitor Geiser and Chief Gardner and come up with a recommendation.
- MONTGOMERY COUNTY TRANSPORTATION GRANT – Vice President Stockton stated Resolution 2020-39 authorizes the application to the County Transportation Program for the ADA curb ramps to the Crooked Billet School Project in the amount of $ 117,500.00. He stated that the Borough looked at five different projects and felt this would be the best to suit our needs. This item was moved to the July 20, 2020 Council Meeting Agenda for approval.
- DELAWARE VALLEY REGIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION POP-UP GRANT INITIATIVE GRANT UPDATE – Vice President Stockton stated that this is an experimental pop up project that DVRPC partners with municipalities to look for different opportunities to improve bike and pedestrian trail lanes. He stated this would be for York Road and Madison Avenue as it helps facilitates better pedestrian and cycling safety. He stated that they monitor for 3 months and if proved effective, they look to partner and help with grant opportunities to make a permanent fixture and he would like to throw our names in.
Community Outreach & Events Committee
- JULY/AUGUST EVENTS – Councilwoman Reichner stated that the Hatboro Hungary Hideaway is open Thursday through Sunday on Williams Lane. You can get your favorite take out and eat in open space while maintaining social distancing. She also stated that the Farmers Market is Friday August 7 at 5:00 P.M and the Cruise Nights is Friday August 21 at 5:00 P.M at the hatboro Baptist Church. She also stated that Moonlight Memories Car Show and National Night Out have been postponed.
- WELCOME HOME SIGNAGE – Councilwoman Reichner stated that signage has been going up in Hatboro saying Welcome Home – We Missed You Hatboro.
- NEW BUSINESSES – Councilwoman Reichner stated that two new businesses that are opening in the Borough are:
- La Morena – 11 E. Moreland Avenue – Mexican Restaurant (Re Opening)
- Boutique 28 – 20 E. Montgomery Avenue – Clothing Store
- JULY BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT – Councilwoman Reichner stated that the July Business Spotlight is Oh So Pretty Pet Spa, located at 42 S. Penn Street.
Public Works Committee
- TWICE PER WEEK TRASH COLLECTION – Councilwoman Benjamin stated that starting on Monday July 27, 2020, we will go back to two days per week trash collection.
- PUBLIC WORKS TRASH SURVEY – A survey is being conducted and residents are encouraged to take the survey online on the Borough’s Facebook page or call Borough Hall with your responses.
Environmental Affairs & Parks Committee
- EATON PARK CHILDREN’S GARDEN – Councilwoman Anzinger stated that she had a conversation with the gardener’s club when they wanted to hand back the maintenance to the Borough. She stated that the garden is in great disrepair and that Superintendent Sine recommended the demo and rehab of the garden which will cost approximately $750.00. Councilwoman Anzinger stated that because of Health and Safety issues right now and the 2040 Plan, she thinks it would be best to demo for now then see where we are but to wait for the rehab. President Bollendorf said this can be moved to the July 20, 2020 Council meeting to vote for the demo only.
- PARKS AND BAMBOO ORDINANCE UPDATE – Councilwoman Anzinger stated that hearings are next month, and this will be on the August agenda and it wasn’t advertised long enough to make it on the July agenda.
- MILLER MEADOW UPDATE – Councilwoman Anzinger stated that the contract was received and is currently being reviewed by the solicitor and once the review is complete work will begin. Residents will see construction fence going up shortly.
Policy Committee – There was nothing to report tonight.
- UNION LIBRARY EXPENDITURE LIST – Councilwoman McMenamin stated that the Union Library Expenditure List for the month of June 2020 is $ 17,520.30. This item has been moved to the July 20, 2020 Council Meeting for approval.
- PENNYPACK BRIDGE MAINTENANCE SECURITY RELEASE – Councilwoman McMenamin stated that CMR Construction Inc has asked for their security release for the Pennypack Bridge in the amount of $ 48,591.75. Engineer Walsh stated that he and Superintendent Sine made a punch list and all items have been completed and stated it can be closed out. This item has been moved to the July 20, 2020 Council Meeting agenda for approval.
- MEETING ANNOUNCEMENTS – Councilwoman McMenamin stated that the Planning Commission Meeting will be held virtually on Tuesday August 11, 2020 at 7:00 P.M and the Committee/Council meeting will be held virtually Monday August 17, 2020 at 7:00 P.M.
- BOROUGH HALL OPERATING SCHEDULE – Councilwoman McMenamin stated that due to the Governor’s request that businesses who are able to work remotely to do so and starting today, Borough Hall’s hours will be Monday to Friday from 8:30 A.M until 5:00 P.M with phones being answered until 5:00 P.M.
- SPECIAL EVENT REQUEST: YOGA IN EATON PARK – Councilwoman McMenamin stated that Rachel Morgan put in a special event request for Yoga in Eaton Park on Saturdays starting August 22, 2020 until November 14, 2020. No services are required from the Borough and she will get the proper insurance required. This item was moved to the July 20, 2020 Council Meeting agenda for approval.
OLD BUSINESS & UPDATES – None.
PUBLIC COMMENT – Ron Battis, 314 E. Moreland Avenue, stated that there is a self-defense group already using Eaton Park on Saturdays and have been doing so for about 3-4 weeks. Manager Hegele stated that she was unaware that anything was going on except for Yoga classes but that staff would find out what is going on.
Glen DeGeorge, 44 N. Penn Street, stated that he is a homeowner on North Penn Street and lives directly behind our Hatboro Police Station and that he is extremely grateful for the work that our police provide to our community and wanted to thank the police, EMS, public works, and municipal workers for all they have done to keep Hatboro going during the COVID-19 pandemic. He stated he was writing to express concern regarding the conditions within the public parking lot for the station. From July 15 through July 17, an individual parked his vehicle and occupied the lot as his primary residence. He slept in his vehicle and maintained a constant presence within the lot for over 72 hours. We were able to connect with Officer Dilks and Officer Paul by calling the non-emergency number to express concern for the individual’s well-being, safety and mental health. We also wanted to conc=vey, in our conversations with the officers, how unusual and uncomfortable it was to have someone effectively camping out behind our residence on Borough property. He stated that in our conversations with the officers, they informed us there was nothing in our Borough Ordinances that empowered them to have him relocate, due to the public nature of the property and it was also mentioned that situations like this occur regularly. He said the officers stated that he was not a threat to himself or others and that they were hoping he would move out soon. He stated that he wanted to advocate for the wellbeing of those who may be impacted by homelessness, struggles with mental health, or other crisis while also maintaining a reasonable expectation of safety and concern for residents. He stated that in reading through our Borough ordinances, it seems many of the public parks, public parking lots, have explicit language that limit the use of parking or recreational activity on them and he was unable to find any such language that would support limiting the use of our municipal building parking lots. Residents who surround public areas enjoy the protections of ordinances limiting their use to reasonable hours, duration and activity however, those who neighbor official municipal buildings do not. He stated that he understands the complicated nature of crafting guidelines for the use of municipal area parking lots, especially for the dynamic of the Police Station however he is hoping Council might consider crafting an ordinance that would prohibit the use of municipal lot for extended stay, lodging, or residence out of consideration for the quality of life and impact on the surrounding neighbors of municipal properties or if a space is needed to be maintained for extended stay, he hopes they will consider explicitly marking spaces that are not along residential property lines to minimize the impact on the community.
Ed McCash, 44 E. Montgomery Avenue, stated the Mayor and Council were emailed regarding the new flag and procedure for flying it. Solicitor Geiser stated that municipalities have government speech which they can use a flag, monument, or statement and that it is a representation of elected officials. President Bollendorf stated that the flag was a gift from the Mayor.
Mr. McCash asked if the Mayor and/or Council are for defunding police or relocating police funds. President Bollendorf stated that since he is a recently retired, 30 -year law enforcement officer, no, he is not for defunding the police. Mr. McCash stated that the reason he asked that question is because he recently attended a protest where the main speaker talked about how the police and racism within the police department is the problem and therefor the speaker said that we need to defund and abolish them and then a Councilperson spoke at this protest after and they stated that they want to fix these problems from the inside out and that is why they got involved in politics. Mr. McCash also stated that it was concerning to him to hear a member of Council followed by a Marxist who is for defunding the police. Councilwoman Anzinger stated that she wanted to address his comment because he was speaking about comments that she made at the protest. She also stated that it was during a period where it was open comment and that she cannot be held accountable for what an individual that went at least three or four people ahead of her said. She also stated that she was there for the spirit of the cause and she does not subscribe to everything that was said before her and she can only be accountable for her own words. She also stated that she did not personally respond to the email regarding the flag because it was addressed to the Mayor’s office. President Bollendorf stated that the Borough increased the funding for the police over the past two years and he believes that they are ahead of the curve. Mr. McCash stated that he was concerned, and he appreciates Council’s answers.
Councilwoman Benjamin stated that she is aware of the Boroughs budget regarding the police department is personnel and pensions along with other things that are related to benefits etcetera and whenever there is an expense she does question it but it is to make sure any public allocation of money is going to the right things. She also stated that she would like to see our funding be responsible and be allocated in the right places which includes attracting and maintaining the best personnel possible and keeping that personnel trained. Councilwoman Ostrander stated that our Police Department is ahead of the curve and went through intensive training and she feels they have done more than most other municipalities. She also feels that our department does an outstanding job and she supports the Chief and his department.
Mr. McCash asked Chief Gardner if there has been any hate crimes or police brutality claims against our Police Department in recent history. Chief Gardner stated there has never been any police brutality claims against Hatboro PD, founded or otherwise, since he has been here. He also stated that as far as hate crimes, the theft of the flag he believes one could make an argument but there is no such thing as a hate crime in Pennsylvania and it falls under Ethnic Intimidation, but he feels the theft and destruction of the flag you could fall under that statute. Chief Gardner also stated that from time to time there is graffiti which could be considered harassment over the years but that is it not a common occurrence.
ADJOURNMENT – President Bollendorf adjourned the July 20, 2020 Committee Meeting at 8:01 P.M.
BOROUGH OF HATBORO
JULY 20, 2020
CALL TO ORDER – President Bollendorf called the July 20, 2020 Council Meeting to order at 8:01 P.M.
PUBLIC COMMENT – There was no public comment.
MAYOR’S REPORT – Mayor Guenst had nothing to report.
PRESIDENT’S REPORT – President Bollendorf stated that the Governor has come out with new standards and that Downtown Director Simon is making sure businesses abide by these standards.
President Bollendorf stated that staff has taken Diversity training and thanked Chief Gardner for teaching staff.
President Bollendorf stated that Borough Hall’s schedule has changed and that is their job to protect our employees. He also stated that Borough Hall will be open Monday through Friday from 8:30 A.M. until 3:00 P.M. with phones answered by staff until 5:00 P.M.
President Bollendorf stated that the application for the Montco small business grants is over but make sure the businesses read everything that Mrs. Simon makes sure businesses get all of the resources that we need.
TREASURER’S REPORT – Treasurer Rich stated at the end of June 2020, the balance is $ 6,128,183.41 with interest earned in the amount of $ 777.92.
SOLICITOR’S REPORT – Solicitor Geiser stated her office is working on a couple of ordinances for parks and Bamboo and that Council should be able to consider in August.
She also stated that they are doing routine everyday research about questions from Council and staff.
She also stated that her office is currently reviewing the contract for the Miller Meadow project.
ENGINEER’S REPORT – Engineer Goff stated that the Eaton Memorial Park Streambank project is currently out to bid, and the bid opening will be August 10, 2020.
She also stated that the Borough Solicitor is currently reviewing Miller Meadow project contracts.
She also stated that surveying has been completed and existing conditions plans are being developed for the Bonair Avenue, N. Penn Street, and E. Monument Intersection Improvement project.
MANAGER’S REPORT – Manager Hegele stated that Borough Hall staff has received calls regarding two new townhomes listed on Zillow that are to be built at 7 and 9 Mill Road. She also stated that these are for another municipality and we have reached out to the listing agent to correct.
She also stated that this past Friday was the farmers Market and staff, the recycling truck and Bindy were there to answer any questions and hand out recycling literature.
She also stated Mr. Ron Battis inquired about a grant listing and that a few were posted during the budget process and there were power points on it. She also stated that the grants are being closely monitored and staff is aware of deadlines and because of COVID, several deadlines were delayed due to third party reviews. She stated that staff diligently watches the due dates.
She also stated that there is increased activity regarding rat complaints and was recently out in the Borough with the Health Department and that currently staff is putting together literature to hand out to residents.
She also stated that the spotted Lanternfly is a very big issue and will share the link for Penn State University to residents which will instruct what to do and how to report.
She also stated that Peco expects to begin work on Lehman Avenue from S. Chester Avenue to replace a gas main and service line which will take about 8-10 weeks and Peco has notified everyone.
POLICE – Chief Gardner stated that for the past few weeks the police have been issuing warning tickets to those in violation of our meters and some of the parking lots and that tomorrow they will be going back to regular enforcement so he asks everyone to please come into compliance.
Chief Gardner also stated that he wanted to extend his condolences to our neighbors in Horsham where several people lost their homes over the weekend to a serious fire in the Blair Mill Apartments. He also stated that he received a call form Horsham’s Police Chief commending one of our Officer’s. He also stated that when officer Brett Paul when off duty from night shift at 6:00 A.M, he was on his way home and saw the smoke coming from one of the buildings and without hesitation Officer Paul stopped at the scene as there were no first responders on site yet. He also stated that he made entry into the burning apartment building and he alerted residents who were still sleeping and escorted a woman out to make sure she was safe. He also stated that his actions were truly heroic, and he escaped with a minor burn and did not need any treatment. Chief Gardner stated that he thanks and commends Officer Paul. President Bollendorf stated that once we can have in person meetings again we will commend him.
TAX COLLECTIONS – Tax Collector Mount stated that the balance collectible was $ 333,947.13 and we collected $ 104,198.74 with a balance left to be collected of $ 229,748.39.
PUBLIC WORKS – Superintendent Sine stated that micro surfacing is scheduled to begin tomorrow (July 21) at 7:00 A.M on N. Penn Street between Montgomery and Moreland Avenues and Lincoln Avenue between County Line Road and tanner Avenue. He also stated to please have all cars moved off the street by 7:00 A.M and if this falls on your trash/recycling day, have your items curbside at 6:30 A.M as your street will be collected first thing. He also stated that N. Peen Street residents can park in the Commuter parking lot behind the Police station off E. Moreland Avenue free of charge. He stated that Micro Resurfacing applies a smooth surface course to the roadway in a matter of hours and to expect some traffic detours and delays during operations. He stated that day number two is scheduled for Wednesday for E. Moreland and W. Montgomery Avenues weather permitting.
Superintendent Sine stated that our recycling partners have asked us for help in eliminating plastic bags and wrappers from our recycling stream and these are bags that you get at most big box stores and what you find wrapping cases of water. He also stated that they jam the automated sorting equipment and create downtime at the plant so we are asking everyone to place all recycling items loose in the blue can and to refrain from placing your cans and bottles into plastic bags and then putting that bag in your recycling can. He also stated that starting this week, collectors will be giving residents a friendly reminder handout if they find this occurring.
Superintendent Sine stated that the Spotted Lanternfly is all over everything and that unfortunately he has no good news to report regarding this. He also stated that the state is still conducting research on how best to manage this evasive insect and if residents would like more information, Penn State Extension has up to date information on their website. He stated that the Public Works Department has treated Tree of Heaven trees with herbicide and will continue to do so and that Tree of Heaven is the favorite food supply for this insect, and this is best management practice along with stepping on them.
Superintendent Sine stated that he wanted to thank Charlie Schultz who is a Hatboro resident and a member of Scout Troop 81G and she recently built several bird houses and bat boxes as a community project which have been installed in Eaton and Memorial Parks. He also stated that these replace several others that have been lost to weather and time.
FIRE MARSHAL – The June 2020 Fire Marshal report was submitted electronically.
FIRE COMPANY – There was nothing to report.
UNION LIBRARY – Director Celec stated the library is open for curbside pick-up in the parking lot which is encouraged to use.
He also stated that the library is to reopen July 28, 2020 for limited in person interaction which is limited to 30 minutes and a mask must be worn.
He also stated that you can still get a library card remotely and if we stay in the green phase the library will continue to open eventually.
DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT – Director Simon stated she wanted to remind everyone that the Hatboro Now directory was created several weeks ago and was meant to be a directory of businesses and how they have been operating during the COVID-19 pandemic. She also stated that at this point we have about 145 listings and continues to grow every week and every Monday the new updated edition can be found on the My Hatboro Facebook page or Instagram account.
Director Simon stated that she would like to encourage any business members that are tuned in to contact her directly and provide her with their business information if they have not done so already. She also stated that you can get regular updates if you follow the My Hatboro Facebook page or Instagram.
She also stated that she has started Facebook Live Friday’s which started last week. She stated that this week she will be featuring Nourishing Storm and last week she featured Creative Inkling. She also stated that every Friday at 12:45 P.M she will go live for about 5 to 10 minutes in and around Hatboro’s stores to introduce followers and business owners and to give people a peek at what they will find in Hatboro establishments.
ORDER OF BUSINESS & VOTING ITEMS
ACKNOWLEDGE RECEIPT OF REPORTS – Councilwoman Anzinger made a motion to acknowledge the receipt of tax Collections, Public Works, Fire Marshal, Treasurer’s reports and Historical Commission Minutes. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman McMenamin, all ayes. Motion carried 7-0.
APPROVAL OF WARRANT LIST, PAYMENT OF BILLS, MANUAL CHECKS, AND TRANSFERS – Councilwoman Anzinger made a motion to approve Warrant List, Payment of Bills, Manual Checks, and Transfers. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Ostrander, all ayes. Motion carried 7-0.
JUNE 22, 2020 COMMITTEE/COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES – Councilwoman Anzinger made a motion to approve the June 22, 2020 Committee/Council Meeting minutes. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Reichner.
Councilwoman Benjamin requested her comment regarding basketball courts be amended. Item was moved to the August 17, 2020 Council Meeting agenda for approval.
JUNE 30, 2020 SPECIAL COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES – Vice President Stockton made a motion to approve the June 30, 2020 Special Council Meeting minutes. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Ostrander, all ayes. Motion carried 7-0.
ENTERPRISE FIRE COMPANY EXPENDITURE LIST – Councilwoman Ostrander made a motion to approve the Enterprise Fire Company Expenditure List for the month of June 2020 in the amount of $15,498.66. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Anzinger, all ayes. Motion carried 7-0.
COUNTY TRANSPORTATION GRANT – Vice President Stockton made a motion to approve Resolution 2020-39 authorizing the application to the County Transportation Program for the ADA Curb Ramps to Crooked Billet School Project in the amount of $ 117,500.00. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Reichner, all ayes. Motion carried 7-0.
EATON PARK CHILDREN’S GARDEN – Councilwoman Anzinger made a motion to approve the rehabilitation of the Eaton Park Children’s Garden by Public Works. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Ostrander, all ayes. Motion carried 7-0.
UNION LIBRARY EXPENDITURE LIST – Councilwoman McMenamin made a motion to approve the Union Library Expenditure List for the month of June 2020 in the amount of $ 17,520.30. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Ostrander, all ayes. Motion carried 7-0.
PENNYPACK BRIDGE MAINTENANCE SECURITY RELEASE – Councilwoman Anzinger made a motion to approve the maintenance security release for CMR Construction Inc. for the Pennypack Pedestrian Bridge Project in the amount of $48,591.75 and close the project accordingly. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benjamin, all ayes. Motion carried 7-0.
SPECIAL EVENT REQUEST: YOGA IN EATON PARK – Vice President Stockton made a motion to approve the Special Event Request to hold Yoga classes in Eaton park contingent on the required insurance certificates being filed with Borough hall. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Anzinger, all ayes. Motion carried 7-0.
OLD BUSINESS AND UPDATES – There was no old business.
NEW BUSINESS – There was no new business.
Ron Battis, 314 W. Moreland Avenue, stated that he wanted to thank Council for reinstating the twice a week trash collection and that he appreciates it and is sure all the residents do as well.
Mr. Battis also stated that COVID-19 has slowed down all the hiring, but he would like to know when we will get our Police Department back to full force as we are still short one man. President Bollendorf stated that he believes that we were contingent on the testing. Chief Gardner stated that he received a phone call today from some of the other Chief’s that were involved in the consortium test and that and it has had to be pushed off twice because of the venue being closed due to the COVID and that they are tentatively looking at October and there was also a very low number of applicants. He also stated that they are hoping by the end of the year.
ADJOURNMENT – Councilwoman Benjamin made a motion to adjourn the July 20, 2020 Council Meeting. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Anzinger, all ayes. Motion carried 7-0. President Bollendorf adjourned the July 20, 2020 Council Meeting at 8:38 P.M.
Transcribed by Administrative Clerk Cynthia Bollendorf