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According to the 2000 census, this quiet, primarily residential community is home to approximately 4600 people.

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October 7, 2019

The Telford Borough Council meeting held this date was called to order at 7:32 p.m. by President Robert Baker with the following members in attendance: Miles Arnott, Carolyn Crouthamel, Mark Gehman, James Schaeffer and John Taylor. Also present were Mayor David Snook, Manager Mark Fournier, Recording Secretary Megan McShane, Solicitor James Jacquette, Engineer Patrick DiGangi, Building Inspector Jesse Hill, Fire Company President Jerry Guretse, Police Chief Randall Floyd, Civilian Police Specialist Alysa Cianciarulo, Officer Steve Fahem, Officer Kyle Heffernan, Officer Jeremy Kim, Alex Grande & Margie Stern from Indian Valley Public Library, Pam Baker & Christina DiVergigelis from Souderton Telford Main Streets, Jason Geddes, Ted Leister & Dan McKee from the Lutheran Community at Telford, Bob Irick from Irick, Eberhardt & Mientus, Nate Fox from Obermayer, residents Marialice Blakely, Wendy Leshinskie, Jeannette & Robert Sparks, Beverly Virtue, Emiline Weiss and a reporter. William Ashley was absent.

The invocation was given by John Taylor, followed by the pledge of allegiance.

SWEARING IN OF PART-TIME POLICE OFFICER: Mayor David Snook swore in Steve Fahem as a part-time police officer for Telford Borough.

Chief Randall Floyd introduced Alysa Cianciarulo, the Department’s new Civilian Police Specialist, to Council.

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING:

An Arnott/Crouthamel motion carried unanimously (6-0) approving the minutes of the September 3, 2019 Borough Council meeting.

TREASURER’S REPORT:

Manager Mark Fournier reported that the Borough has taken in 80.04% of its revenues and has spent 56.23% of its expenditures.

A Gehman/Taylor motion carried unanimously (6-0) approving the Treasurer’s Report for September, 2019.

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

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

Mayor David Snook asked how Officer Popiny is doing. Chief Floyd stated that his recovery is a slow process and that it’s day to day at this point.

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

Telford Fire Company President Jerry Guretse reported that Fire Prevention Week is this week, and the Fire Company is going around to the schools. He invited everyone to attend the Open House at the firehouse on Sunday, October 13th.

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

Wendy Leshinskie reported that there are 32,000 patrons currently using the Indian Valley Public Library. 3,600 out of the 4,500 Telford Borough residents use the Library, i.e., 76% of Borough residents utilize the Library. Ms. Leshinskie also informed Council that as of October 15th, the Library will be able to send an appeal letter to the other municipalities whose residents utilize the Library.

Ms. Leshinskie thanked Council for their support over the years, and asked them to please consider raising the millage for the Library to .33. She added that the building is 60-years-old and is in need of serious repair.

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

Mayor David Snook asked if there is a leaf collection schedule yet for this year. Megan McShane informed Mayor Snook that there are schedules on the podium and in the lobby, and the schedule has been posted on the Telford Borough website and advertised in the newspaper.

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

Manager Mark Fournier reported that the staff has been working on preparing the 2020 budget, and he and the Engineer have been reviewing the bids for the Borough Hall renovation project; there is a meeting scheduled with the Public Works/Building & Plant Committee on October 10th. Mr. Fournier also reported that the 2019 CDBG Handicap Ramp Project is one-third done.

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

Building Inspector Jesse Hill reported that September was another busy month with inspections, plan reviews and issuing building permits.

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

Solicitor Jim Jacquette reported that the site meeting at Station Square went well. The Agreements for 114 West Broad Street should be signed by the developer in the next week or so; there was a change in financing for the project which delayed things.

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


Engineer Patrick DiGangi reported that the CDBG Handicap Ramp Project is progressing well, and he is working with the Borough Manager on reviewing the bids for the Borough Hall Renovation Project.

COMMENTS FROM AUDIENCE:                                  

Beverly Virtue from 315 Northview Avenue stood and introduced herself to Council. She expressed her concerns about 18 Church Road, stating that the conditions are deplorable, it’s not safe for children and it’s devaluing surrounding properties. She then asked who owns the property.

Chief Floyd stated that it is owned by PHH Mortgage, and they have been cited weekly for grass; he added that the Police Department is fully aware of the situation.

Mr. Fournier stated that several people have come to the Council meetings over the last couple of months to express their concerns over this property, and the Borough can only work within the Borough Code and ordinances.

Ms. Virtue asked if anyone has been in touch with them about the condition of the property.

Jesse Hill informed Ms. Virtue that he could give her contact information for the mortgage company, and stated that there is a process that the Borough has to go through as far as citing the owner. Ownership has changed hands, so that makes things difficult as far as code enforcement. The next step would be to go in front of a judge and we are working towards that.

FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEE: Ms. Crouthamel

            A-1       A Crouthamel/Schaeffer motion carried unanimously (6-0) approving the payment of bills for the month of September, 2019 in the amount of $215,107.13.

            A-2       After a brief discussion, the date of the December Council meeting was changed to December 9, 2019.

PLANNING AND ZONING COMMITTEE: Mr. Schaeffer

PZ-1     Nate Fox, the Attorney for the Lutheran Community at Telford, gave an overview of the proposed project, which involves the construction of 66 cottages, a 14-unit, 2-story apartment building and a dated September 13, 2019, and they are requesting 17 waivers that have been discussed with the Telford Borough staff, the Borough’s Engineer and the Planning Commission. Mr. Fox added that the Lutheran Home will contact PennDOT about upgrading the pedestrian crosswalk on Church Avenue to a flashing-type crosswalk.

 

Dan McKee from the Lutheran Community at Telford gave a history of the Lutheran Home, which was founded in 1962 by 12 area Lutheran churches. It began with 35 residents, and there are now 440 residents. After this expansion, the total of residents will be at 550. The Lutheran Home added a healthcare facility in 2011 and personal care suites in 2013, and in 2016, they added a community center, wellness center and pool. If approved by Council, they hope to start site work for this project in early 2020.

 

Councilman John Taylor asked if the trail would be available to bicyclists, and Mr. Fournier confirmed that it would.

 

Council President Robert Baker asked who will maintain the cemetery adjacent to the Lutheran Home, and Mr. Fournier informed him that Trinity Church still maintains the cemetery.

 

Engineer Patrick DiGangi informed Council that the Telford Borough Planning Commission recommends approval of this project, conditioned upon the Lutheran Home complying with all comments in the 2 CKS review letters dated September 13, 2019. The Bucks County Planning Commission comments have been addressed, and Mr. DiGangi does not see any issues with the 17 waivers they are requesting. Councilman Jim Schaeffer, who also sits on the Telford Borough Planning Commission, added that the Planning Commission reviewed all of the waivers at the October 2nd meeting, one by one.

 

Councilwoman Carolyn Crouthamel asked for clarification on the signalized crosswalk that has been referenced. Mr. DiGangi explained that the crosswalk being discussed is one that is pedestrian activated; the signage will blink when a pedestrian steps into the crosswalk.

 

An Arnott/Crouthamel motion carried unanimously (6-0) granting Preliminary/Final Land Development approval for the Lutheran Community at Telford Land Development project (Crestview Avenue Extension) conditioned on the following:

1.   Approval is based on plans prepared for the Lutheran Community by Irick, Eberhardt, and Mientus, Inc., dated April 3, 2018, last revised August 28, 2019.

2.   Project consists of 66 cottage style units, a two-story apartment building containing 14 units, and a clubhouse/community building.

3.   Applicant addresses, to the satisfaction of the Engineer, the comments contained in CKS Engineers, Inc. letter dated September 13, 2019 prepared on behalf of the Borough.

4.   Applicant addresses, to the satisfaction of the Engineer, the comments contained in CKS Engineers, Inc. letter dated September 13, 2019 prepared on behalf of the Telford Borough Authority.

5.   Applicant shall fund and execute Land Development and Financial Security Agreements in a form satisfactory to the Borough Solicitor.

6.   A review is to be completed by the Borough Building and Zoning Officer regarding the ADA accessibility of sidewalks and road crosswalks throughout the project and the Applicant address to the satisfaction of the Building and Zoning Officer any comments from said review.

7.   Payment of a fee-in-lieu of Recreation, in accordance with SALDO Section 22-409. Fee shall be at a rate of $1,250 per unit for a total of $100,000 less the value of a portion of bituminous trail and trailhead parking requested by the Borough for a net total of $72,730.

8.   Payment of a donation to the Borough’s Fire Department.

9.   Payment of a fee-in-lieu of Replacement Trees in an amount of $156,980 for trees not supplied in accordance with SALDO Section 22-434.1C(4).

10. Applicant shall investigate adding a signalized pedestrian crosswalk along E. Church Avenue at the entrance to their complex.

In addition, a Schaeffer/Taylor motion carried unanimously (6-0) granting the following Waivers for relief from the Borough’s Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance (SALDO) and Stormwater Management Ordinance (SMO) in conjunction with the project:

1.   SALDO Section 22-306.E, requiring the plans to show existing features within 100 feet of the tract boundaries. An aerial photograph is contained on the cover sheet in an attempt to satisfy this requirement.

2.   SALDO Section 22-416 requiring sidewalks to be installed along all existing and proposed public and private streets, common driveways and parking areas. Sidewalks are proposed along one side of each road.

3.   SALDO Section 22-418.12.A requiring a two-foot shoulder along all trails. A two-foot shoulder is not provided along the basin berm.

4.   SALDO Section 22-418.12.D requiring trail slopes to not exceed 5 percent. The trail only exceeds 5 percent along the basin berm areas, specifically, at the emergency spillways.

5.   SALDO Section 22-421.2.A.9(B) requiring no more than ten dwelling units may be served by a private street.

6.   SALDO Section 22-423 requiring a minimum centerline radii and tangent lengths for proposed roads.

7.   SALDO Section 22-424.E requiring approaches to intersections following a straight course for a minimum of 50 feet.

8.   SALDO Section 22-424.H(3) requiring that intersections be separated by a minimum of 150 feet.

9.   SALDO Section 22-428.5 requiring a minimum distance of 40 feet between a driveway and a street intersection.

10. SALDO Section 22-431.A(4) prohibiting perpendicular parking along public or private streets. Fourteen (14) parking spaces are proposed along private streets.

11. SALDO Sections 22-431.8(a) and 22-434.5.A requiring one 10-foot wide planting island for every ten parking stalls.

12. SALDO Section 22-434.1.C(4) requiring any tree with 6 inches dbh (diameter at breast height) or greater must be replaced with one or more trees where total trunk diameter equals the total inches in dbh of the trees removed. Granting of this waiver is conditioned upon allowing flowering trees (8’-10’), evergreen trees (8’-10’) and shrubs (at a ratio of 5:1) to count as a 3” replacement tree, plus, the Applicant’s contribution of $156,980 for trees not supplied in accordance with this requirement.

13. SMO Section 23-308.2 requiring 1.0 foot of freeboard within a basin emergency spillway. A minimum of 0.5 feet is provided.

14. SMO Section 23-311.C(3) requiring basin bottom slopes be no less than three (3) percent for grass.

15. SALDO Section 22-434.9.C(4) requiring that the maximum of 20 percent of any one species of trees to be planted.

16. SMO Section 23-311.1.E(2) requiring 6 inches of freeboard between the crest of the primary outlet structure and the invert of the emergency spillway.

17. SALDO 22-439.3 requiring a Traffic Study for all Institutional uses. Granting of this waiver is conditioned upon Applicant milling and overlaying Crestview Avenue from Washington Street to the project site.

ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITTEE: Mr. Gehman

Councilman Mark Gehman reported that the next NMCRC meeting will be on October 29th.

PUBLIC WORKS/BUILDINGS & PLANT COMMITTEE: Mr. Ashley

Mr. Fournier reported that there will be a Public Works/Buildings & Plant Committee meeting on Thursday, October 10th at 7:30 am to discuss the Borough Hall Renovation Project. The Borough should be in a position to award this project in November.

PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE: Mr. Arnott

            PS-1     An Arnott/Gehman motion carried unanimously (6-0) appointing Robert Sparks as the new Emergency Management Coordinator for Telford Borough. Mr. Fournier informed Council that Mr. Sparks comes highly recommended by the Fire Chief Bob Wiszneski and the former Emergency Management Coordinator, Tom Pivnichny. Mr. Guretse added that the Fire Company is lucky to have Mr. Sparks.

DEVELOPMENT & CULTURE COMMITTEE: Mr. Taylor

DC-1     Councilman John Taylor introduced Pam Baker, Board Chairperson, and Christina DiVergigelis, Manager, from Souderton Telford Main Streets (STMS). Pam Baker reported that the STMS annual report was provided to Souderton and Telford Boroughs, and that there is an action plan in place. Ms. Baker met with the Council Presidents and Managers for both boroughs and they discussed a ribbon cutting partnership, adding that a more united front needs to be presented. Mr. Taylor added that it’s important for Council members to show up at the ribbon cuttings and other STMS events.       

Ms. Baker then reported that Main Streets will be hiring an outside strategic consultant to facilitate better cooperation between STMS and the Souderton Business Improvement District (BID) and to define what is expected of paid staff. She added that a social media professional was hired to improve STMS’ online presence.

Ms. Baker informed Council that over 5,000 people attended the Souderton Art Jam, and that she spoke to the Lutheran Community at Telford about bringing busloads of residents to STMS events in 2020. She added that the Night Market will now close at 8:00 pm instead of 9:00 pm, for safety reasons. In addition, there has been a change to Souderton’s holiday events; their tree lighting will be held on the first Friday in December (12/6) and the parade will be the next day.

Councilman Miles Arnott asked if Council could have a space at Oktoberfest, so Council members can meet the public. Ms. Baker stated that they absolutely could, and Mr. Arnott asked Council to reserve the date and plan to spend an hour or two at the table.

Ms. Baker stated that STMS is requesting the same contribution amount from the boroughs as last year; Council will start receiving quarterly reports, in addition to the annual report.

Ms. Christina DiVergigelis introduced herself to Council and stated that she has been highly involved in the community for many years. She has her own business, is a Souderton alumni, has been involved with the Souderton parade for years and was also part of the Chestnut Park revitalization. She is excited to now be part of STMS.

Mr. Taylor informed everyone of the change to the Telford Borough voting poll for the Montgomery County side of the Borough; it will no longer be at the Telford Fire Company, it will be at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.

OTHER BUSINESS:

Mr. Fournier showed Council the Classic Towns award that Telford Borough received from DVRPC.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 pm by a Crouthamel/Arnott motion.

Respectfully submitted,

Mark D. Fournier

Secretary                                 

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