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Telford Borough is located in southeastern Pennsylvania, approximately 40 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

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November 4, 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, William Ashley, 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, Fire Company President Jerry Guretse, residents Dianne Forwood, Wendy Leshinskie, Georgeanne O’Keefe, Lori Rappold, Jeannette & Robert Sparks, Nicole Spiese, Emiline Weiss and a reporter.

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

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING:

An Arnott/Crouthamel motion carried unanimously (7-0) approving the minutes of the October 7, 2019 Borough Council meeting, with one correction: Under the Public Works/Buildings & Plant Committee section, a reference was made to a Committee meeting held on Thursday, November 10th, and the meeting was held on Thursday, October 10th.

TREASURER’S REPORT:

Manager Mark Fournier reported that the Borough has taken in 87.79% of its revenues and has spent 77.87% of its expenditures.

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

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

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

Wendy Leshinskie reported that the Library needs a new roof, and they are currently undergoing patch work. They are also in the midst of applying for a Keystone Grant. The annual appeal went out in mid-October, and the Library now has 60 new donors. Since the appeal went out, the Library has raised approximately $14,000. Mrs. Leshinskie also informed Council that the wine tasting fundraiser is this Saturday, November 9th at the Library.

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

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

Mr. Fournier reported that the CDBG Handicap Ramp Project is going well, and the Borough may be able to do a few more ramps than originally anticipated. Mr. Fournier is communicating with Montgomery County about extending the timeline of this project.

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 there is progress on the Station Square project. He added that the preparation of the development agreements for the Lutheran Home are awaiting receipt of additional information from the applicant.

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

Engineer Patrick DiGangi reported that the CDBG Handicap Ramp Project is 75% complete, and it is on schedule. Mr. DiGangi also informed Council that there was a pre-construction meeting last week for the project at 114 West Broad Street, where demolition and site work have begun. Lastly, he reported that the Lutheran Home is working on revising their land development plans per the motion made at last month’s Council meeting.

COMMENTS FROM AUDIENCE:

Dianne Forwood from 554 Paddock Circle stood and introduced herself to Council. She informed Council that she reviewed the meeting minutes on the website from 2018 and 2019 and was inquiring as to why Council wanted to adopt Ordinance 418, which prohibits play devices in the Borough streets.

Mr. Fournier informed Ms. Forwood that Chief Floyd was concerned about the amount of play devices in the streets; they were posing problems with kids playing in the streets, and the Police Department was receiving calls from residents that the equipment was blocking streets. Mr. Fournier added that the equipment also becomes a problem with leaf collection and snow plowing since people don’t bring them off of the street. He added that the Borough has nice park facilities and locations for the kids to play in, and stated that Council considered this new ordinance over a 3-4 month period.

Ms. Forwood stated that the ordinance was signed July 1st, and it states that the ordinance would become effective 30 days after it is signed, but in the August 5th meeting minutes, it looked like people were already given multiple warnings. Mr. Fournier stated that the Chief doesn’t have to give warnings, but chose to. Ms. Forwood asked if a letter went out to the residents about the ordinance. Mr. Fournier stated that anything that blocks the road is illegal, and the Chief wanted to see compliance and get equipment removed from the streets as soon as possible. Mr. Fournier also referenced an example of a basketball net that was on the public sidewalk on Hamilton Street, where people were having to walk out in the street to go around it. Councilman John Taylor also referenced a basketball net at the corner of Reliance Road and Spring House Lane that was causing a safety issue when people would come off of Reliance Road and were quickly upon kids playing basketball in the street.

Ms. Forwood asked if there was a certain height that the Borough is looking for. Mr. Fournier stated that the Borough ordinance requires 8’ clearance above the sidewalks, and 14’ above the road. Ms. Forwood stated that she didn’t see that information in the new ordinance, and Mr. Fournier stated that it’s in a different ordinance, not in Ordinance #418. He added that play devices do not belong in the official road right-of-way, and putting them in the right-of-way is against the law; the ordinance makes that very clear.

Ms. Forwood said that it doesn’t sound like you want the kids to play at all, and Mr. Fournier replied that the Borough does not want them playing in the street. Ms. Forwood asked if they can ride a bike, or a skateboard in the street, and Mr. Fournier said that yes, they can ride them, but not in the road right-of-way.

Ms. Forwood asked how much notice is given to residents with play devices in the right-of-way, and how much the fine would be; she added that she couldn’t find that information online. Mr. Fournier stated that the new ordinance contains the information about how much notice is given, and the District Justice determines the amount of the fine.

Ms. Forwood stated that she is not very happy; she lives where she lives so that the kids could play and so other children could come to them to play, too. She believes that there are places where it would be safe to play in the street. Ms. Forwood added that she received a citation but did not receive a warning, so she will take that up with the Police Department. Ms. Forwood thanked Council for letting her voice her opinion and sat down.

FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEE: Ms. Crouthamel

            A-1       Manager Mark Fournier presented the proposed 2020 Budget, which includes a tax increase of .1 mil (1.66%). The increase will cost approximately $15.00 per household.  Council President Robert Baker asked if there were any questions from the audience on the proposed budget. Resident Wendy Leshinskie asked when the Borough anticipates getting into the new building, if there is an increase in wages for the Borough workers, and why the Borough retained a .3 mil contribution to the Library and did not increase it to .33 mil.

Mr. Fournier stated that the Borough should be in the new building sometime next summer. He confirmed that the Borough employees are receiving a 3% wage increase, as per the current Police contract, and he added that the Finance Committee has not asked that the staff increase the contribution to the Library in the budget.

Councilman Miles Arnott asked about the Liquid Fuels tax and how the Borough accounts for what we will take in. Finance Director Craig Davies informed Mr. Arnott that the Borough receives letters from the State which tell us what we will get.

Mr. Arnott and Mr. Baker stated that this is a good budget and thanked everyone who worked on the budget for a job well done. Councilwoman Carolyn Crouthamel commended the Chairs of the Committees.

An Arnott/Crouthamel motion carried unanimously (7-0) adopting the 2020 budget.

            A-2       A Crouthamel/Taylor motion carried unanimously (7-0) approving the payment of bills for the month of October, 2019 in the amount of $718,437.99.

            A-3       A Crouthamel/Gehman motion carried unanimously (7-0) authorizing the staff to advertise the 2020 Tax Levy Ordinance.

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

ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITTEE: Mr. Gehman

Mr. Gehman referenced 2 handouts that were included in the packet regarding the Curb my Clutter recycling initiative, and the recycling requirements for landlords & tenants.

PUBLIC WORKS/BUILDINGS & PLANT COMMITTEE: Mr. Ashley

PW-1    Mr. DiGangi reported that the bid opening for the Borough Hall Project was on September 18th, and the Borough received 11 bids. The low bidder is Bracy Construction, whose bid was $795,450 and contains 4 Add/Alternates. Due to budget constraints, the staff and engineer looked at ways to reduce costs, since the bids all came in more than the Borough would’ve liked. The Borough talked to Bracy Construction and proposed a credit for the 2 generators, which amounts to $177,200 of the bid.

Mr. Baker asked Mr. DiGangi if he’s had any experience with Bracy Construction. Mr. DiGangi has not had experience with them, but stated that they come highly recommended.

Councilman William Ashley thanked Mr. Fournier and his teams for their work on this project thus far. An Ashley/Schaeffer motion carried unanimously to award the Borough Hall Building Renovations contract to Bracy Construction for a Total Bid amount of $795,450 which includes the Base Bid amount plus Add/Alternate bid items 1 through 4. This motion is conditioned upon approval and execution of a Change Order for deletion of work associated with the installation of the two generators in the project for a credit of ($177,200), making the net sum of the contract $618,250.

PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE: Mr. Arnott

PS-1     An Arnott/Taylor motion carried unanimously (7-0) approving the following additional activity for the Fire Police for 2019: Sellersville Winterfest – December 3rd from 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm.

DEVELOPMENT & CULTURE COMMITTEE: Mr. Taylor

DC-1     The Mayor’s Dinner is scheduled for Sunday, December 1, 2019 at the Indian Valley Country Club.

DC-2     The Souderton Tree Lighting will be held on Friday, December 6, 2019 at 7:00 pm.

DC-3     The Souderton Holiday Parade is scheduled for Saturday, December 7, 2019 at 11:00 am.

DC-4     The Montgomery County Borough’s Association Dinner on Thursday, December 12, 2019 at Presidential Caterers. Staff will forward the invitation when they receive it.

DC-5     The Telford Borough Tree Lighting Ceremony will be held at Telford Marketplace on Friday, December 13, 2019 at 7:00 pm.

OTHER BUSINESS:

As a reminder, the December Council meeting will be held on Monday, December 9, 2019 at 7:30 pm.

EXECUTIVE SESSION:

Telford Borough Council entered into Executive Session at 8:46 pm to discuss matters of personnel.

Borough Council closed Executive Session at 9:15 pm.

In response to the proposal from Chief Floyd regarding unused vacation time for 2019 for full-time patrol officers, an Arnott/Crouthamel motion carried unanimously (7-0) approving the full-time patrol officers the right to buy back any sick days that they used throughout 2019, and/or be compensated, at straight time, for any remaining unused vacation time that they have for 2019. Officers must deliver their intentions to Craig Davies of what they intend to use, buy back or be paid by 5:00 pm on Friday, December 13, 2019. If written intentions are not received by December 13th, any unused vacation for 2019 will be lost if it is not used by December 31, 2019. No vacation days will carry over into 2020. Further, this is a one-time exception.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:20 pm by an Arnott/Crouthamel motion.

Respectfully submitted,

Mark D. Fournier

Secretary                                 

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