March 12, 2018 Committee Meeting Minutes

President Bollendorf, Vice President Stockton, Councilwoman Anzinger, Councilwoman Benjamin, Councilman Hegele, Councilman Forgeng, Councilman Rich, Mayor Guenst, Manager Hegele, Assistant Borough Secretary DeRenzis, Superintendent Sine, Chief Gardner, Solicitor Ciuca, Engineer Hyne, Engineer Hanna, and Treasurer Kalnajs.

Fire Marshal Myers was absent.

President Bollendorf called the March 12, 2018 Committee Meeting to order at 7:03 PM.


Councilman Forgeng stated Council was in receipt of the December 2017 Fire Company Expenditure list in the amount of $6,081.38. This item was moved to the March 26, 2018 Council meeting agenda for approval.

Councilman Forgeng stated that he believes the reactivation of the Police Department’s Bike Patrol is a great idea; however, he wanted to know if there would be adequate staffing. Chief Gardner stated that there will be adequate staffing during full shifts. This will allow two cars on the street and one officer on Bike Patrol. He stated that this system worked well and was active up until Officer Plum retired in the previous month. Chief Gardner stated that the Department’s current bikes are serviceable and could be used with minor maintenance work. Chief Gardner stated that he has received quotes for uniforms, special equipment needed, new light systems for the bikes, and training for the officers. He stated that he is able to enroll two officers in the training for $75.00 per officer. Chief Gardner stated that with Council’s approval, he would be able to get the bike patrol reactivated by the Summer of 2018 for around $2500.00. He stated that he would like to train two officers this year and train an additional two officers the following year as the Department’s 15th man now gives the Department flexibility. He stated that the bike patrol will improve the relationship between the Community and the Department and that it will allow for increased patrol.

Councilman Forgeng asked if there was a difference between new bikes and the department’s current bikes. Chief Gardner stated that the bikes have to fit the officer properly and the department currently has multiple sizes. He stated that new bikes can range from $400 to $1,000 and that the bikes the Department has are still in very good shape.

Councilman Forgeng asked if the Department has more money to work with due to a younger force. Chief Gardner stated that because Department has younger officers who are not making the top rate for a patrolman, the Department has more money to work with. He stated that there is already a line item in the budget for the bike patrol, and that Council would just need to authorize the reactivation.

Mayor Guenst stated that with the younger generation in Hatboro, it is important to have a good relationship between residents the Police Department. She stated that the increased police activity due to the bike patrol would be extremely helpful during events and increase safety throughout Hatboro.

Councilwoman Anzinger asked if the Department currently has a bicycle safety program for children. Chief Gardner stated the Department stresses bicycle safety among children and has coupons to 7-Eleven to give to children who are practicing safe habits.

Councilman Forgeng stated that he thinks the idea of having an officer on a bike is a good idea as this makes the officers appear more approachable.

Chief Gardner stated he would like to move forward with enrolling the officers in training and order the necessary equipment in order to get moving with the reactivation.

Councilman Hegele asked when this bike patrol would be utilized. Chief Gardner stated that First Friday Events and Halloween were good times to utilize the bike patrol in the past. He added that the bike patrol would be used along the York Road business district and throughout neighborhoods.

This item was moved to the voting meeting on March 26, 2018.

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT PLAN UPDATE (RESOLUTION 18-04) – Manager Hegele stated that the Borough is required by law to update the Emergency Management Plan with the current members of Council. She stated that this is a housekeeping item and will not change the details of the plan. This item was moved to the voting meeting on March 26, 2018.

TANNER PARK SECURITY CAMERA – Mayor Guenst stated that the Elm Street Board noticed that there was no camera located in Tanner Park. She stated Chief Gardner prepared a quote for the camera in the amount of $2,016.83 and that Elm Street has already voted to cover the cost of this installation fee. She stated that Elm Street will not pay for the monthly maintenance fee and the monitor for the camera which costs around $50.00 per month.

Councilman Forgeng asked if there is a way to install the camera without the $50.00 monthly fee. Chief Gardner stated that the camera could be installed; however, this fee allows the department to monitor the camera.

Councilman Hegele stated that the Borough recently performed updates in Tanner Park and that a camera is a great idea.

Chief Gardner stated that the existing cameras in other parks has proven to be extremely useful and that a camera in Tanner Park would be just as beneficial. He noted that the Department would have to purchase a monitor for the camera which would cost around $300.00 – $500.00.

Councilwoman Anzinger asked if the Borough has received complaints for Tanner Park. Mayor Guenst stated there have been a few complaints recently.

This item was moved to the voting meeting on March 26, 2018.

– Councilwoman Anzinger stated Pauline Garcia-Allen from ECON Partners gave a presentation on her firm’s services. Ms. Garcia-Allen stated that her firm has worked with County, State, and Local organizations over the years to obtain grant funding for different projects.

Mayor Guenst asked how much these services would cost. Ms. Garcia-Allen stated that her firm’s fees are based on individual goals and can be contracted for individual projects or placed on retainer.

Mayor Guenst stated the 2040 committee and the comprehensive plan could be a good starting place to utilize the firm’s services.

President Bollendorf stated that the Finance/Grants committee, Councilwoman Anzinger, Manager Hegele, and Main Street Manager Barth can sit down together to discuss options with the firm.

– Vice President Stockton thanked the Public Works Department and the Borough’s emergency personnel for their fantastic job during the recent snow storm. He stated that releasing information to residents in a timely manner during emergency situations is extremely important. He believes that the Borough did a great job releasing this information and that we will still look for ways to improve our response during emergency situations.

President Bollendorf stated that the Emergency Management staff will be having a debrief on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 to review the Borough’s response for the recent snow storms.

BOROUGH CONTACT INFORMATION TO REPORT CONCERNS – Vice President Stockton stated that social media is a great tool to connect residents with Borough officials and staff; however, with this platform comes less control over content. Vice President Stockton stated that there have been incidents involving misinformation and attacks on Borough personnel that is upsetting. He noted that the Borough is extremely responsive to any and all concerns. He stated that while Borough personnel are members of certain community groups on social media, he is concerned that residents may resort to making complaints or attempt to contact the Borough through these online communities rather than using the proper channels.

Councilman Hegele stated he has seen problems with social media in the past; however, there are certain circumstances when comments are necessary to stop the spread of misinformation.

Mayor Guenst stated that if she sees something on social media that staff should be aware of, she will contact the department head and let them know about the issue.

Councilwoman Benjamin stated that the Borough could contact the moderators of the online community groups to provide the correct contact information for voicing concerns in the Borough. Vice President Stockton stated that numerous people including Borough personnel and residents have given the correct contact information numerous times; however, people still choose not to contact the Borough.

Chief Gardner stated that he often has to remind people to contact 911 instead of seeking emergency response on social media.

Manager Hegele stated she has received a sample social media policy from DVIT that will be ready for Council’s review next month.

Mayor Guenst reminded residents that if they have concerns, they should contact Borough Hall to make sure staff is aware of the issue.

President Bollendorf asked that all Borough officials and staff act responsibly on social media networks until the official Social Media Policy is put into effect.

Councilwoman Benjamin suggested that the Borough could create a standard response to comments on social media to provide residents with the proper channels to report concerns.

Councilman Hegele asked how the Borough handles complaints regarding Bulk Trash Collection. Manager Hegele stated the Borough has a process to handle these complaints. Public Works tags the items and submits a list to Borough Hall. Once Borough Hall receives the list of rejected furniture items, a letter is drafted and sent to the properties. Manager Hegele stated the Borough typically sends out around 15-20 letters per month for these types of violations. Manager Hegele stated the letters have a strict time limit for residents to remove the items from the curb and obtain a bulk trash permit. If compliance is not reached during this time period, the matter is given to Code Enforcement and left to Fire Marshal Myers to handle. She stated that the most recent issue regarding a couch left on the curb was resolved the same day it was discussed on social media when the resident obtained a bulk trash permit. Manager Hegele reminded residents that she is always available to discuss any concerns residents may have.

– Councilman Hegele stated that the Borough is eligible for up to $7,500.00 in recycling technical assistance. Superintendent Sine stated that he learned about this opportunity while reviewing the Borough’s 902 Grant with the DEP. He stated that it entitles the Borough for up to $7,500.00 toward professional review of the Borough’s recycling program in order to determine ways to improve the Borough’s current recycling process. Superintendent Sine stated that he has been attempting to gather more information; however, the Borough’s primary contact at the DEP is on medical leave. With the limited information he has, he would still like to pursue this program.

Councilwoman Anzinger asked if Council needed to vote on this item if it does not cost the Borough money. Solicitor Ciuca stated that Council would not need to vote on this item and can authorize the application for the assistance.

President Bollendorf stated Superintendent Sine can move forward with applying for the technical assistance as long as the service stays within the $7,500.00 threshold.

Councilwoman Benjamin asked what would be done with the feedback received from this service. Councilwoman Anzinger stated that the Borough makes money from recycling and that these suggestions could help us make our recycling system more efficient and generate more revenue.

PUBLIC WORKS MUNICIPAL RECORDS DISPOSAL – Councilman Hegele stated that Superintendent Sine has prepared a list of records he would like to dispose of in accordance with the Pennsylvania Municipal Records Manual. He added that this is a housekeeping item and has been performed by Administration and the Police Department in recent years. Councilman Hegele asked if these records were in digital format.

Superintendent Sine stated that yes, most of these records are duplicates from information kept in Borough Hall and that all of the records on the list for disposal are in accordance with the Municipal Records retention guidelines.

President Bollendorf asked how Public Works would dispose of these records. Superintendent Sine stated he plans to shred them and stick the shredded documents in the Borough’s recycling truck.

President Bollendorf asked Manager and Open Records Officer Hegele is she was ok with this disposal. She stated yes, the Borough is within the guidelines of the retention period and can dispose of these records without a problem.

This item was moved to the March 26, 2018 meeting for approval.

PENNDOT UNDERGROUND SEWER INFORMATION – Manager Hegele stated that PennDOT has informed the Borough that the maintenance of underground storm sewers and storm drains is now our responsibility. She stated that the Borough will have to allocate more funds to this budget line item in future years now that it is responsible for maintaining these facilities.

Engineer Hyne stated that the sink hole forming on York Road has been a big problem and that PennDOT has made it clear that the Borough must resolve this issue. He stated the Boroughs throughout the state now share this responsibility to repair storm sewers when needed. Engineer Hyne stated that there is currently a gas leak at the site of the sinkhole and that he is currently working to get this repaired so that he can create a plan to resolve the sinkhole. He stated that he has been trying to obtain a video of the storm drain form PennDOT that will help resolve the issue; however, PennDOT is having technical issues with the video that is preventing them from locating the file.

Councilman Hegele asked what this video would show. Engineer Hyne stated that the video of the storm drain would reveal whether or not the pipe is rotten or compromised structurally. He stated that rotting storm pipes is common

Mayor Guenst asked if the gas leak is next to compromised storm drain. President Bollendorf stated that the Borough has met with PECO and has informed them that this leak needs to be fixed as soon as possible.

Manager Hegele stated that PECO classified this leak as low priority due to the small size and low impact on the area. She stated that this leak and sinkhole are holding up PennDOT’s paving of York Road. She stated the Borough has contacted PECO numerous times in attempt speed things up and will continue to talk to the Borough’s representative from PECO to get this issue resolved.

Councilman Hegele stated that this gas leak could result in a daily dispatch of emergency personnel and could become very costly.

President Bollendorf asked if the Borough will have to make budget adjustments for next year’s budget and discuss this at the capital budget meeting. Manager Hegele stated that the Borough will have to make adjustments based on the Borough’s current storm drain conditions.

TREE VITALIZE GRANT – Councilwoman Anzinger stated that she and Manager Hegele attended training in which the Tree Vitalize Grant was discussed. She stated that this grant does not have a required match of funds for the Borough which would mean the Borough could obtain the trees for no cost. She noted that trees were a part of the Montco 2040 grant application, but that these trees could be placed in our parks.

Mayor Guenst stated that Eaton Park would look nice with additional trees. Councilwoman Anzinger agreed and stated that she has created drawings for possible designs that could be used for this grant and the Montco 2040 grant.

This item was moved to the March 26, 2018 meeting for approval.

PECO GREEN REGION GRANT – Manager Hegele stated that the Borough recently met with PECO. During this meeting, the Borough was informed that because the Borough did not complete the necessary steps to close a PECO grant in years previous, funding for new grants was being held. The Borough’s PECO representative informed the Borough that it will be able to apply for new grants and receive more funding as long as the Borough posts a sign at Miller Meadow acknowledging the PECO funding and sends a letter to PECO promising compliance with all grant conditions. Manager Hegele stated that she is working on the letter and once it is sent to PECO, the Borough can apply for the next round of Green Region Grant funding that is due on March 31st.

Manager Hegele also stated that the Borough has also received $45,000 in outstanding credits from PECO from the installation of LED streetlights.

Councilwoman Anzinger asked how many years of credits PECO owed the Borough. Superintendent Sine stated that PECO owed the Borough 3 years of credits. He stated that he will check his records and ensure that this $45,000 covers the 3 years of credits owed to the Borough.

This item was moved to the March 26, 2018 meeting for approval.

MONTCO 2040 GRANT UPDATE – Councilwoman Anzginer stated the Steering Committee met on February 6, 2018 to discuss business development and the appearances of storefronts. She stated that the Steering Committee will be discussing Transportation during the month of March and will give another update on the progress made at the April Committee Meeting. She noted that the Montco 2040 Grant was submitted and included plans for funding to help with beautification efforts in the Borough.

Manager Hegele stated that during their discussion of Transportation, the Steering Committee will be meeting with a representative from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Committee to discuss another grant and she will be obtaining more information about this grant at training later in the week. Manager Hegele stated that if Council has ideas for any grant funding, they should let he know so she work on the applications.

Councilwoman Anzinger asked if there was any progress made on the Borough’s letter of deficiency for its MS4 permit. Engineer Hyne stated that he is making progress and working on the necessary changes to the Borough’s mapping.

– Councilwoman Anzinger stated that the Borough currently has an issue with new businesses, particularly restaurants, moving into York Road storefronts due to parking restrictions established by the Borough’s Code of Ordinances. She stated Council is looking update the Borough’s parking ordinance to make it easier for various types of businesses to move into York Road storefronts.

Manager Hegele stated that Council received a copy of a letter from the Montgomery County Planning Commission in their packets. In this letter, the County made suggested changes to the Borough’s current parking ordinance that would grant relief to businesses along York Road. She stated that adapting the changes from Montgomery County would be the best option.

Mayor Guenst noted that the Borough has so many public parking lots that businesses should be able to utilize to meet the parking requirements established in the Code of Ordinances and that making the change to this parking ordinance would allow more businesses to move in on York Road.

BEAUTIFICATION ORDINANCE – Councilwoman Anzinger stated that Manager Hegele has been looking for samples of beautification ordinances in neighboring communities; however, she was not able to locate many.

Mayor Guenst stated that there were a few good examples in Council’s packets.

President Bollendorf stated that Councilwoman Anzinger should work with Main Street Manager Barth to develop both the beautification and parking ordinances.

Manager Hegele stated that she will draft a sample parking ordinance and send it to both Council and Solicitor Ciuca for review.

COMMUNITY ANNOUNCEMENTS – President Bollendorf read a list of Community events taking place in the month of March. These events included a Library Quizzo Night, the Mayor’s Movie Night, the grand opening of Nutz about Popcorn, the grand opening of a boutique at 6 S. York Rd., and the Hatters Hold Em Poker Night sponsored by the Hatboro Horsham Educational Foundation.

RULES OF CONDUCT FOR MEETINGS – Councilman Rich stated that Solicitor Ciuca reviewed the Public Comment Policy that was previously discussed by Council and determined that the policy did not violate any laws as it is written.

This item was moved to the March 26, 2018 meeting for approval.

JUNE MEETING DATE CHANGE – Councilman Rich stated that Council would like to change the date of the June 11, 2018 Committee Meeting as it conflicts with the annual PSAB Conference. Councilman Rich stated that Council should change the date of the June Committee Meeting to June 4, 2018.

This item was moved to the March 26, 2018 meeting for approval.

FEE SCHEDULE UPDATE – Councilman Rich stated that Borough staff has suggested changes to the Borough’s Fee Schedule. These suggested changes include changes to fees pertaining to Wireless Telecommunications Permits, Solicitation Fees, Property Maintenance Fees, Special Event Fees, Banner Fees, Pool Fees, and Parking Permit Fees.

This item was moved to the March 26, 2018 meeting for approval.

RORER AVENUE CDBG PAYMENT REQUEST #2 – Councilman Rich stated that Council is in receipt of a recommendation from Engineer Dougherty of Gilmore & Associates for the Rorer Avenue CDBG Payment Request #2 in the amount of $3,027.23.

This item was moved to the March 26, 2018 meeting for approval.

FIRE HOUSE PROJECT – Solicitor Ciuca stated that his firm has been working closely with the fire company with regard to a litigation matter. He stated he and his firm are hoping to resolve this matter in the near future.

President Bollendorf asked for the status of the fire house mortgage that was approved by Council in February. Solicitor Ciuca stated that Solicitor Kilkenny is currently working on this.

LIBRARY BOARD APPOINTMENT – Vice President Stockton stated that Michelle Johnson has expressed interest in the current vacancy on the Library Board. He stated that Council interviews Ms. Johnson and that she is not only qualified, but genuinely cares about the Union Library.

This item was moved to the March 26, 2018 meeting for approval.

HUMAN RELATIONS ORDINANCE – Mayor Guenst stated that this ordinance will grant the Borough’s LGBTQ community security and rights as a protected class. She stated that this has been held up at the state level for over 20 years and as a result, many Boroughs and towns throughout the state have passed their own ordinances. Mayor Guenst stated that she examined a number of local ordinances and found that Ambler Borough’s was the closest to what she would like to see passed in Hatboro. Mayor Guenst stated that there are exceptions to this ordinance that will cover religious organizations and private residences. She stated that everyone has different opinions; however, Hatboro has a large LGBTQ community and she would like to see them become a protected class. She requested that Council review the sample ordinance from Ambler Borough and provide input as they see fit.

President Bollendorf stated that the Administration Committee should review the ordinance and make changes. Mayor Guenst stated that she would like to see this ordinance passed by the end of April.

Councilman Forgeng stated that the content of this ordinance has been a heavily debated throughout the state and local levels and that Council should take their time reviewing the ordinance.

Mr. John Teets of Victorian Village stated that he follows this topic closely and that this ordinance may cause an issue between the freedom of religion which is protected under the 1st Amendment and the LGBTQ community should it become a protected class. He added that there have been several events throughout the country that have forced religious organizations to go against their beliefs in order to cooperate with this protected class. He stated that when you create one protected class, another group becomes unprotected. He stated that he has never noticed an issue with racism in Hatboro. Mr. Teets stated that the Borough should try to be accepting of everyone and reduce the number of protected classes rather than creating them.

Alex Kalnajs, Bonair Avenue, stated that there were many misunderstandings in the past with regard to this ordinance. He stated that if Council is going to pursue this ordinance, they should have a very open channel of communication with the public to ensure everyone understands its content and purpose.

Councilwoman Benjamin stated that a lot of communities have adapted similar ordinances to help economic development and revitalization efforts. She added that adopting this ordinance will help show the Borough’s youth that they are an accepted part of the community and that the Borough has their best interests in mind.

Councilman Hegele asked if Mayor Guenst could compile a list of municipalities in the area who have adopted similar ordinances. Mayor Guenst stated yes, she should create a list for Council.

President Bollendorf stated that this item will be tabled to allow Council to review.

PUBLIC COMMENT – There was no comment from the Public; however, Manager Hegele took this time to announce that Lochel’s Bakery is once again competing in the Sweetest Bakery In America contest and that there is a ballot box in the back of the room.

The March 12, 2018 Committee Meeting of Borough Council was adjourned at 8:40 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Deena DeRenzis
Assistant Borough Secretary
Transcribed by Assistant Borough Secretary DeRenzis