President Bollendorf, Vice President Stockton, Councilwoman Benjamin, Councilman Forgeng, Councilman Rich, Councilwoman Anzinger, Councilman Hegele, Manager Hegele, Assistant Borough Secretary DeRenzis, Superintendent Sine, Chief Gardner, Fire Marshal Myers, Treasurer Zollers, Tax Collector/EFC President Mount, Engineer Goff, and Solicitor Geiser were present.
ABSENT – Mayor Guenst was absent.
CALL TO ORDER – President Bollendorf called the May 6, 2019 Committee Meeting to order at 7:00 PM
PUBLIC COMMENT – President Bollendorf reviewed the Public Comment Policy on the back of the agendas with regard to addressing Council and Time Allotment.
President Bollendorf announced Council held an executive session from 6:00-6:36 PM to discuss a legal matter and a personnel issue.
PUBLIC COMMENT – None
MAYOR’S REPORT – Mayor Guenst was absent this evening. Manager Hegele read a prepared statement left by Mayor Guenst expressing her apologies for missing the meeting as well as her vehement opposition to Judge Eisenberg’s ruling on the Wawa case as well as hoping Council votes to appeal his decision at the May 20th meeting.
PRESIDENT’S REPORT – President Bollendorf wished everyone a happy Mother’s Day. President Bollendorf stated he attended the first Summer Nights/Farmers Market event with staff on Friday and it was very well attended. President Bollendorf stated the main item on the agenda this evening is the Wawa decision.
He noted that residents have to be civil to one another, no matter what your personal stance may be. He stated that he has received a lot of emails regarding the Wawa matter and noted that anyone contacting him must include their name, address, and opinion. He asked that no one send vulgar emails or use the emails to harass anyone or any neighbors. He noted that his emails are public record and anyone can access them through public records, so people should be civil when contacting him. President Bollendorf stated they will decide whether or not to appeal on Monday, May 20th and encouraged residents to contact Council before that meeting via email or other means.
MANAGER’S REPORT – Manager Hegele stated the pool will open Memorial Day weekend and Community day will take place on May 18th. She added Borough Hall will have extended hours for membership sales on Wednesday May 8th and Wednesday May 22nd. She noted anyone who cannot come into Borough Hall for a membership should contact her.
Manager Hegele stated the Zoning Hearing Board will hear two applications on May 8th, one for 430 Oakdale Avenue and the other for 333 N. York Rd. She stated that the Upper Moreland Hatboro Trail steering committee will also have a public workshop on May 8th at 7 PM. She apologized for the conflicting times as Upper Moreland was unaware of the Zoning meeting.
Manager Hegele stated that staff and some Council members attended the first Summer Nights event on May 3, 2019 and noted the event was a success.
Manager Hegele stated the Borough received notification that it received 3rd place in the PSAB newsletter contest for the 2018 newsletter. She stated a new newsletter is in the works and staff is aiming for first place.
PUBLIC WORKS REPORT – Superintendent Sine stated Public Works stated the York Road paving project is wrapping up. He stated Guide Mark is marking lanes and PennDOT will be completing punchlist items in the next two weeks.
Superintendent Sine stated Upper Moreland Public Works completed the lane/traffic improvements at Byberry and Warminster and noted that Armour & Sons will be in the area to begin traffic signal improvements soon. He added that timelines are currently not available due to PennDOT’s schedule, so as soon as they are available, he will release the information as soon as they are available.
Superintendent Sine stated the Pool is almost ready for this season. He noted that the sand volleyball court was delayed due to weather, so he is hoping for a mid-June opening should the weather permit.
CHIEF OF POLICE REPORT – Chief Gardner stated the accreditation process is moving along well and the department is 75% through their policy phase and they are on target to complete it by 2020. Chief Gardner stated that the new session of the citizens police academy will begin soon and anyone interested in attending should complete an application online.
Chief Gardner stated that North Wales Borough is holding an anniversary celebration which will require the New Hope Railroad to bring a steam engine through the Hatboro Train station. Chief Gardner stated he does not know exactly what time the train will be coming through Hatboro; however, he asked that spectators watch the train in safe locations.
FIRE MARSHAL REPORT – Fire Marshal Myers stated that he and employee Jake Miller have been working on property maintenance issues. He stated there was some confusion amongst issuing high grass notices some properties received notices without having high grass. He apologized for the confusion and noted people can call him if they have any questions. Fire Marshal Myers stated he attended a meeting for the annual Fireworks at Miller Meadow. Fire Marshal Myers reminded residents that fire pits are legal as long as they are contained and not hazardous. He also noted he has been helping Chief Gardner with some accreditation documents.
FIRE COMPANY PRESIDENT REPORT – Fire Company President Mount reminded everyone that the annual Carnival will be taking place in Miller Meadow from May 21st to May 27th.
ENGINEER’S REPORT – Engineer Goff stated that RVE is working on the Borough’s PRP plan. She also noted that PennDOT approved the Corinthian Trail environmental study and concluded that the project has no environmental impact. RVE will now submit the safety study for review.
SOLICITOR’S REPORT – Solicitor Geiser stated that the oral arguments for the Wawa appeal were held in front of Judge Eisenberg. She noted Judge Eisenberg ruled in favor of Wawa under the ruling that the Borough’s Ordinance excludes the legitimate land use for the Wawa development. She stated the Borough has the option to appeal this decision within 30 days and if appealed, the case will go to the Commonwealth Court. Solicitor Geiser stated her firm will be attending the zoning hearing board meeting for 333 N. York Road to oppose the application. She also stated that she drafted an opinion and decision for the Conditional Use for 451 Oakdale Avenue and handled various issues that arise in the Borough.
ENTERPRISE FIRE COMPANY EXPENDITURE LIST
Councilman Forgeng stated that Council is in receipt of the Enterprise Fire Company Expenditure List for the month of February in the amount of $18,605.57. Councilman Forgeng stated there was a water bill for $2,795.00 and asked if this was correct. President Mount stated that was an error and that she will submit a revised bill to Council. This item was moved to the May 20, 2019 Council Meeting Agenda for consideration.
EARLY TAN PAYMENT – Vice President Stockton stated Tax Collector Mount is doing extremely well with collecting taxes thus far and the Borough can pay the TAN monies early. He noted this early payment will be $700,000 in principal funds as well as an estimated $6,825.00 in interest. This item was moved to the May 20, 2019 Council Meeting Agenda for consideration.
APPROVAL OF TRANSFERS FROM GENERAL FUND TO GENERAL CAPITAL FUND
Vice President Stockton stated that the Borough made transfers from the General Capital Fund to the General and payroll funds prior to getting the TAN monies earlier this year. He noted these transfers are not abnormal and were made to cover bills and payroll expenses. Vice President Stockton stated these transfers totaled $526,979.61. This item was moved to the May 20, 2019 Council Meeting Agenda for consideration.
COMMUNITY OUTREACH COMMITTEE – Councilwoman Benjamin stated that the Digital Outreach Committee has now become the Community Outreach Committee. She stated that this restructuring was performed in order to increase engagement between council, the borough, and the community as a whole. Councilwoman Benjamin asked that everyone email her community events so they can be posted to the Borough’s website and facebook.
PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE
2019 MICRO RESURFACING – Superintendent Sine stated that in years previous, the Borough has used a portion of Liquid Fuels money in order to micro-resurface roads. He noted that micro-resurfacing extends the life of the roads immensely. Superintendent Sine stated he would like to use $40,000 in Liquid Fuels money in order to micro-resurface Rorer Ave., Drexel Rd., and Park Ave. He stated that they will use the remaining Liquid Fuels money for milling/paving work. Superintendent Sine stated this project piggybacks off of the Whitpain Township contract so no bidding is required.
Councilman Forgeng asked if Horsham Road was micro-resurfaced. Superintendent Sine stated yes, but he is unhappy with that work as the micro-resurfacing should not be used for high volume roads. At the time, Horsham Road was deemed a candidate by the prior manager; however, it should be used for neighborhood roads instead. This item was moved to the May 20, 2019 Council Meeting Agenda for consideration.
ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
GOOSE REMOVAL IN MEMORIAL PARK 2019 – Councilwoman Anzinger stated that the Borough obtained proposals for two geese removal companies. Upon the recommendations from staff, she would like to hire the Goose Squad two will visit the parks twice a day, 6 days a week which will help keep geese out of the parks. This item was moved to the May 20, 2019 Council Meeting Agenda for consideration.
MASTER TRAIL PLAN MEETING AT UPPER MORELAND – Councilwoman Anzinger announced there will be a Master Trail Plan Meeting at Upper Moreland Township on May 8th at 7 PM. The meeting will be open to the public.
DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: JORDAN ALEXANDER – Councilwoman Anzinger stated Jordan Alexander is the business spotlight for the month of May.
SPECIAL EVENT REQUEST: HATBORO YMCA SWIM MEETS – Councilman Rich stated Council is in receipt of a request from the YMCA to use the Memorial Pool for Swim Meets on June 25, July 9, and July 16th. He noted none of these dates coincide with the Hatboro Storm Meets. This item was moved to the May 20, 2019 Council Meeting Agenda for consideration.
CAMERA UPGRADES TO BOROUGH FACILITIES – Manager Hegele stated Borough Staff and the Hatboro Police Department visited Borough Facilities to determine locations for new security cameras in Borough Hall and the Pool. She noted that there will be a policy in place to determine who views the cameras and that the insurance company is always an advocate for cameras/security. Councilman Hegele asked if the cameras previously installed at Borough Hall could be moved downstairs for safety. Manager Hegele stated that is part of the plan. Manager Hegele stated the pool cameras will cost $6,412.00 and the Borough Hall cameras will cost $6,997.00. Chief Gardner stated that there is no audio with the cameras and that the policies will help avoid conflict with who reviews footage and the video feed in both locations. This item was moved to the May 20, 2019 Council Meeting Agenda for consideration.
HIRING EXPERT WITNESS FOR ZHB – JOHN KENNEDY – Councilman Rich stated the Borough has received a proposal from expert witness, John Kennedy, to aid in the Borough’s opposition of the Zoning Hearing Board application submitted by 333 N. York Rd. He stated that Mr. Kennedy will aid in land planning and evaluating the requested special exception. Solicitor Geiser stated Mr. Kennedy will not be needed until June. This item was moved to the May 20, 2019 Council Meeting Agenda for consideration.
DESIGNATE ALTERNATE FOR ZONING HEARING BOARD – Manager Hegele stated Mr. John Demcisak notified the Borough that he will be moving out of the Borough, meaning he can no longer serve as chair of the ZHB. Manager Hegele stated that Council should appoint an alternate that would immediately take his place should Mr. Demcisak need to leave in the middle of a hearing process. This item was moved to the May 20, 2019 Council Meeting Agenda for consideration.
DISCUSSION OF VERIZON CABLE FRANCHISE PUBLIC HEARING – Vice President Stockton stated the Borough is in the process of negotiating the cable franchise agreement with Verizon and will need to hold a public hearing. Council had a discussion with regard to possible hearing dates and determined July will be the best time so Borough staff has time to reach out to residents.
DISCUSSION OF YORK & HORSHAM RD. (WAWA) APPEAL) – Vice President Stockton stated he has been following a lot of the discussion online and is excited that so many people are concerned and active about what is going on in their community. Vice President Stockton stated that a lot of people think it is up to Council whether or not Wawa can build there; however, Council can only determine whether or not the Borough appeals the judge’s decision. He added that everyone should keep the discussion civil and asked that residents call or email Council with their opinion. This item was moved to the May 20, 2019 Council Meeting Agenda for consideration.
ANNOUNCEMENT: COMMUNITY DAY, MAY 18 – Vice President Stockton announced the upcoming community day at the Hatboro Pool and that more information is online.
ANNOUNCEMENT: ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING, MAY 8th – Vice President Stockton stated the Zoning Hearing Board will be meeting on Wednesday, May 8th to hear the applications submitted by 430 Oakdale Avenue and 333 N. York Rd.
ANNOUNCEMENT: TREASURER VACANCY – Vice President Stockton stated that the Borough is looking for a new Treasurer. He noted anyone interested should reach out to Borough Hall with a letter of interest. He thanked Treasurer Zollers for her work the last few months.
OLD BUSINESS & UPDATES
President Bollendorf stated that he will be reviewing an assessing progress on Council’s goals at the July meeting.
Bev Harrison, Horsham Rd. asked if Council has a projected cost for the Wawa appeal and how the Borough plans to pay for the appeal. President Bollendorf stated that the Borough budgeted $70,000 for Zoning Hearing Board appeals. He stated that the first round of appeals cost $21,470. President Bollendorf stated the solicitor estimated another $20,000 for the next round of appeals. President Bollendorf stated that the $70,000 budgeted does include other appeals; however, they are under budget as of now.
Kim Doney, Horsham Rd. asked if the judge’s ruling for the Wawa is public record and if the Borough has a copy. Solicitor Geiser stated that residents can obtain a copy online and that there are no notes of testimony available yet. She added these notes of testimony will be available through the court and the Borough will not have them. Ms. Doney asked what was not approved by the judge during the appeal. Solicitor Geiser stated that the judge did not approve a dimensional variance which means Wawa would need to comply with the zoning ordinance. Ms. Doney asked if the Wawa was approved to build in the residential area. Solicitor Geiser stated yes.
Luann Kline, Academy Rd. asked what the process for the appeal is. President Bollendorf stated Council will vote on whether or not to appeal the decision at the May 20th Council Meeting. He noted that Councilwoman Anzinger will not be voting and that Mayor Guenst may need to break a tie. President Bollendorf stated Council will make their vote how they see fit and that the vote will be a roll call vote. Councilwoman Benjamin stated she will be making her decision based on the feedback she received from residents and urged more residents to contact her. Ms. Doney invited Council to walk through her property to see how the lighting and noise of the Wawa would affect the residents on Horsham Road.
Katrina Nuss, Academy Rd., asked if there are any plans for the YMCA property when they move out. President Bollendorf stated there are discussions with Victorian Village who would like to buy the property. He noted that they are involving the Historic Commission due to the historic house and that they would like to preserve a part of the house. He noted that the Borough does not own the property, so they ultimately cannot control what Victorian Village does, but they are having discussions in an attempt to save the property. Ms. Nuss stated that the Millbrook society should be involved to create a protective order to preserve historic buildings in the Borough. She also asked if it is possible for Victorian Village to negotiate the reusing of the property. President Bollendorf stated that Council would be able to negotiate the use of the historic building during land development should the property reach that stage and ensure the historic commission and the Millbrook society would be involved in that stage.
Pat Webster, Madison Ave., asked if the Borough has a strong case should it appeal the Wawa. President Bollendorf stated that there are no odds; however, the judge did not rule against the zoning, rather he ruled that there is no specific location designated for the Wawa business (retail store with motor vehicle fuel sales). President Bollendorf stated there are other municipalities going through the motions with Wawa and there is no precedence set yet. He stated that Plumstead is going through the case and no one knows what the odds are.
Noreen McAneny, Crescent Rd., asked how the dimensional variance denied by the judge affect the Wawa. President Bollendorf stated Wawa could change their plans and resubmit them to get around this denial.
Marcia Jocelyn, 420 S. York, asked if there was a problem with underground gas tanks at the proposed Wawa site. Solicitor Geiser stated there is no zoning issue with the location of the gas tanks, but is a land development issue. Vice President Stockton stated that the gas tanks are proposed to be in an acceptable location as of the plans on file now.
Austin Mosby, S. York Rd. asked when the steam train will be coming through Hatboro .Chief Gardner stated they cannot reveal the exact time because of safety issues and reminded everyone not to trespass.
Vice President Stockton stated that with regard to the Wawa, he will be making his vote based on the feedback received from residents.
Irene Lennon, 420 S. York Rd., asked where they can find Council’s contact information. President Bollendorf stated they are on the Borough website.
Eileen Shafrin, 420 S. York Rd. asked if there have ever been problems with Wawa gas tanks. Vice President Stockton stated Wawa testified during the ZHB meetings that there were no problems with their tanks to that affected the water supply.
Luann Kline asked what kind of fire retardant Wawa uses. President Bollendorf stated he does not know.
Ms. McAneny stated that Wawa has not had the underground tanks for long and does not know the long term problems they could run into. She asked if anyone in the Borough has reached out to other municipalities who have gone through the transition to having a super Wawa. President Bollendorf stated that Hatboro is different because houses are extremely close. Ms. McAneny stated other towns have houses close too and the buffers for Wawa do not work. Councilwoman Benjamin stated she hopes Council does not have to address the issue of buffers; however, if they do, Council will do whatever they can to minimize the impact the Wawa would have. Councilman Hegele asked if the buffer would come under Land Use as well. Solicitor Geiser stated yes and that the appeal is very narrow to what was discussed before the Zoning Hearing Board.
Warren Joseph, 420 S. York Rd. urged that Council talk to Doylestown Borough because at 202 & 313, they had a Sunoco gas station tank that leaked and contaminated the water supply. He noted that they still need to drink bottled water as a result.
Geri Weideman, Academy Rd. stated she received a post card in the mail and asked if there are any economic advantages to the Wawa. President Bollendorf stated that the Borough has a business tax which maxes out at $632.50 as well as property tax Wawa would pay. Vice President Stockton noted that the Borough did not send out that mailer. Ms. Weideman stated it is a wash with economic advantages. President Bollendorf stated the Borough certainly is not going to be able to lower taxes because of a new Wawa.
Noreen McAneny stated fans of Wawa are boasting a huge economic advantage that will create new jobs. She noted that Wawa already has employees and will not be bringing in a lot of jobs. She asked if the Borough is going to be responding to the mailer sent out by Wawa. President Bollendorf stated the Borough could issue a statement or put something on the website. Solicitor Geiser asked that anything is run by their office before being posted.
Ms. Nuss asked if Hatboro and Plumstead could file a joint appeal. President Bollendorf stated Plumstead is a lot further in the appeal process and the Borough has a unique case.
Ms. Webster stated she is concerned for the environment and the people who live near the Wawa site. She asked if flooding can be considered in the court. Solicitor Geiser stated it is strictly zoning matters in the appeal court. President Bollendorf stated if the project reaches Land Development, this matter would be discussed then.
Councilman Hegele wished Manager Hegele a happy birthday.
ADJOURNMENT – President Bollendorf adjourned the May 6, 2019 Committee Meeting at 8:01 PM.
Assistant Borough Secretary
Transcribed by Deena DeRenzis