In 1886 Telford, located in Bucks County, was incorporated as borough.

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November 2, 2015

The Telford Borough Council meeting held this date was called to order at 7:30 p.m. by President J. Allen Landis with the following members in attendance: Robert Baker, Carolyn Crouthamel, Scott Hillegass, Stanley Nyce, James Schaeffer and Mayor David Snook. Also present were Manager Mark Fournier, Finance Director Craig Davies, Public Works Director Gary Yoder, Solicitor Mark Weand, Engineer Patrick DiGangi, Recording Secretary Megan McShane, Jerry Guretse from the Telford Fire Company, Tax Collector Emiline Weiss, Police Chief Randall Floyd, Ted Leister & Dan McKee from the Lutheran Community at Telford, Jon Tresslar from Boucher & James, residents Joshua Perry, Valerie Perry & Elijah Perry, Alex & Ashley Tuttle, Daniel Wurst, Lori Rappold, and a reporter. Jeffrey Maxwell was absent.

The invocation was given by Robert Baker, followed by the pledge of allegiance.

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING:

A Hillegass/Crouthamel motion carried unanimously (6-0) approving the minutes of October 5, 2015.

TREASURER’S REPORT:

Manager Mark Fournier reported that we’ve taken in 82.2% of our revenues and have spent about 80% of our expenditures.

A Crouthamel/Schaeffer motion carried unanimously (6-0) approving the Treasurer’s Report for October.

MAYOR’S REPORT: We received 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.

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

Public Works Director Gary Yoder informed Council that the Indian Crest School and Community Challenge took place on October 7th and the kids raised over $7,000. There were three groups of kids working in the Borough that day and they worked in the parks, spread mulch and planted mums at Borough Hall and in the municipal parking lot, and did other odds & ends.

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

Mr. Fournier reported that there was a pre-construction meeting for the Crest Avenue drainage project with the Montgomery County Conservation District, and added that Armour & Sons has begun working on the traffic signal modifications project at the intersection of Main Street & Reliance Road.

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

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

Solicitor Mark Weand reported that he met with Manager Mark Fournier on October 28th to discuss the Agreements for the Arlington Square project. He has reviewed the Northern Montgomery County Recycling Commission Compost Agreement and informed Council that it is appropriate to sign. Mr. Weand has also reviewed the Indian Valley Regional Comprehensive Plan, and informed Council that it is appropriate to adopt at the December Council meeting.

Solicitor Weand has reviewed the proposed Ordinance # 407, which amends the language in the Zoning Ordinance pertaining to tattoo parlors, and stated that it is appropriate to adopt at the December Council meeting. Mr. Weand is currently preparing Ordinance # 408, which pertains to public financing for the required Montgomery County radio system upgrades, and he is also preparing an advertisement for that Ordinance, which will be appropriate to adopt at the December Council meeting.

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

COMMENTS FROM AUDIENCE:

Mrs. Ashley Tuttle, who lives at 160 N. Third Street, introduced herself and her husband Alex. They received a letter from the Borough stating that they would have to remove the chickens from their property due to a violation of the Telford Borough Zoning Ordinance.

Mrs. Tuttle informed Council that they contacted the Police Department back in 2008, who informed them that they were unaware of any ordinances about chickens, but referred them to the Borough office. The Tuttles then called the Borough and spoke to the zoning officer, who researched the matter for 2 days and couldn’t find anything. The Tuttles purchased chickens in March/April of 2009, and got a movable structure from Brick’s for them. In July of 2010, they then got a shed and got the necessary permit for their shed. Mrs. Tuttle emphasized that they tried to follow all of the laws before they purchased their chickens.

Mr. Fournier informed Mrs. Tuttle that chickens were allowed in 2008, but that in July of 2009, the zoning ordinance was amended to eliminate agriculture farming. He stated that their house happened to be one of the ones that came to the Borough’s attention, and said that he doesn’t know how many chickens they have, but Council has to decide if they will allow you to keep them. Mr. Fournier stated that the chickens were once in a rabbit hutch and it was a much smaller operation, but that the Borough office and Police Department have both gotten complaints about the chickens.

Mr. Alex Tuttle stood and stated that he knows they’ve gotten complaints about their chickens and their boat; the people who have been complaining complain about everything. He added that the chickens do not produce much noise, approximately 63-68 decibels, and a vacuum cleaner produces 70 decibels.

Councilman Scott Hillegass asked how many chickens they started with in 2009, the Tuttles answered 10 or 15. Mr. Hillegass asked how many chickens they have today, and the Tuttles said probably 25. Mr. Hillegass stated that he thinks there could be grandfathering here.

Mrs. Valerie Perry of 156 N. 3rd Street stood and said that she wrote a letter in support of the Tuttles’ chickens, expressing her concerns, and stated that it is not the same Borough that it used to be, and they have developed a strong-knit community. Mrs. Perry added that it helps to reach out to people in need.

Elijah Perry also wrote a note supporting the chickens, and stated that he has autism and when he gets mad, the chickens calm him down.

Councilman Robert Baker asked the Tuttles if they sell eggs. Mrs. Tuttle said no – they like to give back to anybody who needs them, they have never charged anybody for eggs. We’ve met so many neighbors through the chickens, then received the letter and it was never brought to our attention before. We are as law abiding as possible, and we appreciate your time.

Resident Daniel Wurst of 164 N. 3rd Street stated that they did approach the neighbors first before they bought the chickens to make sure that there would be no issues.

Councilman Scott Hillegass stated that he thinks they’re grandfathered, but that it can’t get any bigger. Ms. Crouthamel agreed. The consensus of the Council was that the chickens can stay, as long as they don’t get bigger, and there can be no turkeys next year. Mr. Baker stated that he still believes it’s not feasible, but will go along with the consensus.

FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEE: Mr. Hillegass

A-1       Manager Mark Fournier presented the proposed 2016 budget, including an overview of proposed revenues and expenditures. He stated that Finance Director Craig Davies has done an outstanding job with tracking items and trying to save the Borough money. Mr. Fournier added that Gary Yoder, Dan Wurst and the Police Department have all put a lot of effort into price shopping. Council President J. Allen Landis stated that their efforts are all very commendable.

A-2       Councilman Robert Baker reported that Souderton-Telford Main Streets will be $10,000 short in fundraising this year, and has submitted a request to Telford Borough for a one-time bump of $4,000 in the Borough’s contribution for next year. Souderton-Telford Main Streets has also submitted a request to Souderton Borough for a one-time bump of $6,000.

Mr. Baker stated that Main Streets does a very good job of advertising Telford Borough, and that they do an excellent job with the Farmers Market. Mr. Landis asked if Souderton has agreed to the bump, and Mr. Baker stated that they have in principle, and they will be voting on it tonight at their Council meeting.

Mr. Fournier informed Council that the proposed budget he presented does not show a tax increase. He stated that there are a few ways to incorporate this proposed expenditure from Main Streets without raising taxes, and they are as follows: cut a few items from the proposed budget, bring in an extra $4,000 from Capital Reserve, pump up revenues, which he wouldn’t suggest, or say no to the request.

A Nyce/Crouthamel motion carried unanimously (6-0) to take the $4,000 out of Capital Reserve to accommodate Main Streets’ request.

A Crouthamel/Nyce motion carried unanimously (6-0) to authorize advertising of the proposed 2016 Budget.

A-3       A Hillegass/Crouthamel motion carried unanimously (6-0) approving the bills for the month of October, 2015 in the amount of $ 440,686.99.

PLANNING AND ZONING COMMITTEE: Mr. Maxwell

PZ-1     Jon Tresslar from Boucher & James gave an overview of the proposed Phase 2 campus improvements at the Lutheran Community at Telford, which include the construction of a wellness center and additional parking.

Engineer Patrick DiGangi reported that the plans have been before the Telford Borough Planning Commission, and the Planning Commission recommends Council approval, including the granting of the following waivers:

1.         In accordance with SALDO Section 306.E, the plans are required to show existing features within 100 feet of the tract boundaries. A waiver has been requested to substitute an Aerial Plan (Sheet 5) to show features within 100 feet of the subject property. Please note the Borough has previously accepted aerial plans.

2.         In accordance with SALDO Section 431.B (8) (A) and 434.5, requiring that a parking island must be provided for every ten (10) continuous parking spaces. Parking Lot A-1 proposes twelve (12) new parking spaces that will be adjacent to fifteen (15) existing spaces, creating 27 continuous parking spaces. The applicant has requested a waiver.

3.         In accordance with SALDO Section 416.B (3) requiring a border area of 3 feet along all non-residential streets. The applicant has requested a waiver.

4.         SALDO 434.2.A requires buffer areas along all property lines and external street boundaries. A landscape buffer along the Parking Lot A expansion should be included in the plans. A waiver of this requirement should be requested.

A Schaeffer/Crouthamel motion carried unanimously (6-0) granting Preliminary &  Final approval to the plans dated May 29, 2015 and last revised September 14, 2015 for the Lutheran Community at Telford, Phase 2 Campus Improvements, Wellness Center Project, including the granting of the requested waivers and conditioned upon meeting the conditions in the 2 CKS review letters addressed to Telford Borough and Telford Borough Authority dated October 16, 2015.

PZ-2     Solicitor Mark Weand gave an overview of Resolution 15-06. Perkasie Borough Industrial Development Authority has requested that Telford Borough approve the issuance by the Authority of its tax-exempt note or bond on behalf of Lutheran Community at Telford in connection with the construction of a facility located in Telford Borough.

Councilman Scott Hillegass asked if there was any reason why they didn’t go through Telford Industrial Development Authority. Mr. Weand stated that he is not sure why.

A Baker/Nyce motion carried unanimously (5-0) approving Resolution 15-06. Scott Hillegass abstained.

ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITTEE: Mr. Nyce

E-1       A Nyce/Hillegass motion carried unanimously (6-0) authorizing the signature of the Compost Agreement which the Northern Montgomery County Recycling Commission (NMCRC) re-negotiated with Barnside Farms Compost Facility (BFCF), and which has been approved and executed by NMCRC and BFCF.

PUBLIC WORKS/BUILDINGS & PLANT COMMITTEE: There was nothing to report at this time.

 PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE: Mr. Schaeffer

Councilman James Schaeffer reported that the Public Safety Committee met a few weeks ago, and thought that a full-time police officer should be added to the 2016 Budget, since the Department now receives 4 times as many calls as they did before. He understands that it won’t happen for this year’s budget, but thinks it should be discussed in the future, and added that something has to be done.

Councilman Scott Hillegass stated that the Finance & Administrative Committee did talk about it, and Craig Davies presented projected numbers for the first five years of a full-time police officer’s salary and benefits. Discussion then ensued and would be reviewed in detail by Borough Council in 2016.

DEVELOPMENT & CULTURE COMMITTEE: Mr. Nyce

DC-1     A Nyce/Crouthamel motion carried unanimously (6-0) approving the request from the Souderton Area Soccer Association to use the Community Building on the 1st Monday of every month, or the 2nd Monday, if the 1st Monday falls on a holiday.

DC-2     The following upcoming holiday events were announced:

                        Montgomery County Borough’s Association Dinner – December 3, 2015

                        Souderton Holiday Parade – December 5, 2015

                        Mayor’s Dinner – December 6, 2015

                        Telford Borough Tree Lighting Ceremony – December 11, 2015

OTHER BUSINESS:

EXECUTIVE SESSION:

Borough Council entered into an Executive Session at 8:59 pm to discuss matters of real estate and litigation.

Borough Council closed the Executive Session at 9:15 pm.

A Schaeffer/Nyce motion carried unanimously (6-0) accepting the proposed adjusted rate schedule requested by Sheryl Derstine in her letter dated October 13, 2015, which will cover to the year 2018. Solicitor Weand will prepare the amended Lease.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:16 pm by a Crouthamel/Schaeffer motion.

 Respectfully submitted,

 Mark D. Fournier                                                                                                                     

Secretary                                                                                                                     

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