March 4, 2019

The Telford Borough Council meeting held this date was called to order at 7:30 p.m. by President Robert Baker with the following members in attendance: Miles Arnott, William Ashley, Carolyn Crouthamel, Mark Gehman, James Schaeffer and John Taylor. Also present were Mayor David Snook, Manager Mark Fournier, Public Works Director Gary Yoder, Recording Secretary Megan McShane, Police Chief Randall Floyd, Solicitor James Jacquette, Fire Company President Jerry Guretse, John Waldenberger, and residents Lindsey Hollingsworth & Alex Stump, Wendy Leshinskie, Chris & Jeanna Lewis, Lori Rappold and Emiline Weiss.

The invocation was given by Miles Arnott, followed by the pledge of allegiance.

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING:

An Crouthamel/Arnott motion carried unanimously (7-0) approving the minutes of the February 4, 2019 Borough Council meeting.

TREASURER’S REPORT:

Manager Mark Fournier reported that the Borough has taken in 11.75% of its revenues and has spent 12.02% of its expenditures.

A Crouthamel/Gehman motion carried unanimously (7-0) approving the Treasurer’s Report for February, 2019.

MAYOR’S REPORT: We received a written monthly report for the file.

Mayor David Snook reported that he attended a Public Safety Committee meeting last week.

POLICE REPORT: We received a written monthly report for the file.

Police Chief Randall Floyd thanked Council for the fruit delivery that they sent him during his recovery.

Chief Floyd reported that his monthly report includes sample wording for two proposed ordinances pertaining to illegal parking on sidewalks and the elimination of any play devices on Borough streets.

Chief Floyd also informed Council that the Civil Service Commission met today and authorized the following Resolution of the Adoption of Rules for Council’s consideration:

The foregoing Rules and Regulations, which are in accordance with powers granted by the Civil Service provisions of the Borough Code, enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and in accordance with the authority granted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Telford, Montgomery and Bucks Counties, Pennsylvania approved on March 4, 2019.

An Arnott/Taylor motion carried unanimously (7-0) approving this Resolution, which authorizes the Civil Service Commission to commence the hiring process for a full-time patrolman.

Chief Floyd gave an overview of the Civil Service hiring process of patrolmen for Boroughs. The position has to be advertised, and the candidates must take a written test and an agility test. Any veterans who apply will receive an extra 10 points on their scores. A background investigation will be performed on the top 3 candidates, and interviews are conducted by a panel of 3 interviewers who will be appointed by the Chief, per the direction of the Civil Service Commission. If a veteran is among the top 3 candidates, the veteran must be hired. Mr. Fournier informed Council that our neighboring Second Class Townships do not have to follow the Civil Service process.

FIRE REPORT: We received a written monthly report for the file.

Fire Company President Jerry Guretse reported that as of the end of February, the Fire Company has already responded to 60 calls. Mr. Guretse thanked Public Works Director Gary Yoder for his help with plowing the fire station overnight during Sunday night’s snow emergency. The station was open all night.

LIBRARY REPORT: We received a written monthly report for the file.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: We received a written monthly report for the file.

Councilman Miles Arnott asked Mr. Yoder where we stand on the security cameras for Municipal playground. Mr. Yoder explained that he is still working on it, and added that he’s had difficulty getting competitive bids from the vendors once they know the specifics of what we are looking for. Mr. Arnott and Councilman John Taylor then thanked the department for the good job they did with clearing the roads during the snow event.

MANAGER’S REPORT: We received a written monthly report for the file.

BUILDING OFFICIAL’S REPORT: We received a written monthly report for the file.

SOLICITOR’S REPORT: We did not receive a written monthly report for the file.

Solicitor Jim Jacquette reported that he is currently working on the Escrow Agreement for 114 West Broad Street and that it should go out this week or next.

ENGINEER’S REPORT: We received a written monthly report for the file.

COMMENTS FROM AUDIENCE:

Alex Stump from 203 South Main Street stood and introduced himself and referenced Ordinance #407, which included the following update to the Telford Borough Zoning Ordinance and was adopted in January of 2016: “Fences located within a front yard shall have a maximum height of four feet (4’0”) and shall have a minimum of fifty percent (50%) open area.” Mr. Stump asked for the reasoning behind the update. Mr. Fournier explained that there were safety concerns regarding 6’ fences blocking site triangles at intersections, and further concerns that anyone being chased by the police could hide behind a 6’ fence.

Mr. Stump explained that he and his wife submitted a building permit application for a fence that included a 6’ fence in the front yard, and were denied the 6’ fence height. Mr. Stump further explained that their fence design shows that the proposed fence is out of the site triangle, and stated that he would like to ask for a modification to the zoning ordinance to allow 6’ fences in the front yard.

Mr. Fournier explained that any change to the zoning ordinance would affect all Borough residents, not just one. One option would be to pay the $1,000 application fee and apply for a variance through the Zoning Hearing Board; the fee offsets the cost for the Borough to advertise the Zoning Hearing Board meeting and hire the ZHB Solicitor. The other option would be to ask the Planning & Zoning Committee to review the proposed fence design and make the request through the Committee to modify the ordinance. Mr. Stump stated that he would like to submit his plan to the Planning & Zoning Committee for review and consideration. Mr. Stump thanked Council for their time.

Jeanna Lewis of 188 Penn Avenue stood and introduced herself and her husband Chris and stated that they were taken back by the police activity on the morning of the attempted robbery at the convenience store; they were concerned because it didn’t seem like a lot of people in the area knew what was going on. She asked if Telford Borough could implement a text alert system like Souderton Borough has in place.

Chief Floyd stated that timing is critical and that all resources go to an incident when it is happening. Alerts were put out on Facebook and Twitter. There are alert systems that the Borough could use through the County. The Borough does not have our own dispatcher; all emergency calls are dispatched through the County.

Chief Floyd stated that he was very concerned with the elementary schools that morning and placed the schools and areas around the bus stops on lockdown when the incident occurred, but he was very pleased with the police presence in the area. He thanked Mrs. Lewis for her comments.

FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEE: Ms. Crouthamel

            A-1       A Crouthamel/Arnott motion carried unanimously (7-0) approving the payment of bills for the month of February, 2019 in the amount of $228,016.21.

PLANNING AND ZONING COMMITTEE: There was nothing to report at this time.

ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITTEE: Mr. Gehman

Councilman Mark Gehman distributed a recycling handout and reported that the next NMCRC meeting will be on April 9th.

PUBLIC WORKS/BUILDINGS & PLANT COMMITTEE: Mr. Ashley

Mr. Fournier informed Council that we received three proposals from architects for the former bank building. MKSD Architects was the low bidder at $34,350, with an additional $2,000 for reimbursable expenses. The other two bids were very close at $48,400 from Richard Kapusta and Company and $53,200, which is a combined bid from SCF Architects/ Providence Engineering/Response Engineering. Mr. Fournier explained that approximately $10-15,000 has been budgeted for CKS as construction manager of this project.

Mr. Fournier stated that he and CKS both recommend MKSD Architects for the project. An Ashley/Taylor motion carried unanimously (7-0) approving MKSD Architects as the architect for the 50 Penn Avenue renovation project, at a cost of $34,350, with an additional $2,000 for reimbursable expenses.

PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE: Mr. Arnott

PS-1     An Arnott/Crouthamel motion carried unanimously (7-0) authorizing the sale of the 2010 Dodge Charger to K. Charles Kovacs in the amount of $2,831.31.

PS-2     An Arnott/Gehman motion carried unanimously (7-0) authorizing the sale of the 1999 Ford Crown Victoria to Kevin McWilliams in the amount of $1,450.00.

PS-3     An Arnott/Crouthamel motion carried unanimously (7-0) approving the following additional activities for the Fire Company for 2019: Franconia Police Dept. community event on Wednesday, March 13th, Sellersville St. Patrick’s Parade on Saturday, March 16th and Franconia Fall Fest on October 12th and 13th.

DEVELOPMENT & CULTURE COMMITTEE: Mr. Taylor

Mr. Taylor reminded Council that the Main Streets fundraising event, So You Think You Can Cook, is being held on Wednesday, March 6th at the Franconia Heritage from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

OTHER BUSINESS:

EXECUTIVE SESSION:

Telford Borough Council entered into Executive Session at 8:20 pm to discuss a matter of personnel.

Borough Council closed Executive Session at 8:43 pm.

An Arnott/Gehman motion carried unanimously (7-0) authorizing the Civil Service Commission to begin the process to hire a new full-time patrolman.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:44 pm by an Arnott/Taylor motion.

Respectfully submitted,

Mark D. Fournier

Secretary