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

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July 5, 2022

The Telford Borough Council meeting held this date was called to order at 7:31 p.m. by President Miles Arnott with the following people in attendance: Bill Ashley, Carolyn Crouthamel, Spencer Kulhanjian, Jeffrey Maxwell, John Taylor and Emiline Weiss. Also present were Mayor Jerry Guretse, Manager Mark Fournier, Public Works Director Gary Yoder, Police Chief Randall Floyd, Solicitor Jim Jacquette, Recording Secretary Megan McShane, Anne & Ed Scheuring from Hometown Heroes, reporter Bob Keeler and residents John & Sandra Harrell, Wendy Leshinskie, Tricia Mellinger and John Waldenberger.

The invocation was given by Councilman Spencer Kulhanjian, followed by the pledge of allegiance.

HOMETOWN HEREOS BANNER PROGRAM PRESENTATION:

Anne Henning Scheuring stood before Council and made a presentation on the Hometown Heroes Banner Program, which was founded in 2016 in Lansdale Borough and created to honor the veterans who have served or are still serving in the military. Ms. Scheuring displayed a sample of one of the banners, which are 24” x 48” and are printed on both sides of heavy vinyl. The banners are displayed between Memorial Day and Veterans Day for two years, then families can renew for another two years and a new banner if they so choose. 500 banners were hung in the first three years of the program and an additional 200 banners have been hung in Souderton.

Council President Miles Arnott asked for clarification on who pays for the banners. The sponsor/family pays $130.00 for the two-year commitment and the municipality pays for the installation, the brackets and hardware, which costs $55.00 for each banner. The banners are ordered from Rileighs Outdoor Decor, but Ms. Scheuring suggested that each municipality have their Public Works employees pick up the banners when they are ready, since shipping is expensive.

Mr. Arnott asked if there are requirements on clearances and how high the banners need to be off the ground, and Public Works Director Gary Yoder asked if a lot of municipalities put them on the back sides of the poles, since Telford Borough has a lot of stuff on our poles. Ms. Scheuring stated that in all of the 16 boroughs who participate in the program, they have never had an issue with PPL. The municipality can determine where they want to put them and how long they want to put them up.

Mr. Arnott asked how the Borough would know how many veterans there are in the community, and Ms. Scheuring stated that municipalities often put the program information on their website. Councilman John Taylor stated that it could be put on the Borough website, in a quarterly water/sewer bill mailing and could also be given out at the Telford Night Market. Mr. Taylor added that Telford Happenings could do a fundraiser to help offset some of the costs.

Council Vice-President Bill Ashley asked if municipalities need to do a Resolution to start the program and asked how the Borough would decide who goes on the banners. Ms. Scheuring stated that it is on a first come, first serve basis, adding that families can write on the bottom of their application where they prefer the banner to be placed.

Mr. Arnott thanked Ms. Scheuring for her presentation, adding that the Borough loves veterans but the Council Committee chairs will need to review the costs, man hours, etc., and consider any potential issues.

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING:

A Crouthamel/Taylor motion carried unanimously (7-0) approving the minutes of the June 6, 2022 Borough Council meeting.

TREASURER’S REPORT:

Manager Mark Fournier reported that the Borough has taken in 67.28% of its revenues and has spent 42.69% of its expenditures.

A Weiss/Kulhanjian motion carried unanimously (7-0) approving the Treasurer’s Report for the month of June, 2022.

MAYOR’S REPORT: A verbal report was provided by Mayor Jerry Guretse.

Mayor Jerry Guretse reported that he attended a Police Department meeting and participated in Meet the Mayor Night at the Telford Night Market with Mayor Dan Yocum from Souderton Borough. He will be working on scheduling tours of the water and sewer facilities in the coming months.

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

Police Chief Randall Floyd briefly spoke about the recent incident at the Night Market, where a disorderly man had to be tased by one of the officers. Chief Floyd reported that this was the third gun-related incident in a month in the Borough.

Chief Floyd also reported that Whitetail Disposal has been picking up trash at 5:00 am; they were previously warned about picking up before 6:00 am so they will be cited next.

Councilman John Taylor asked Chief Floyd to pass on his compliments to the officers who handled the incident at the Night Market.

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.

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

Mr. Fournier reported that the area around Franklin Alley has been staked out, and the next step would be to get the engineer and solicitor involved. The Public Works Department spoke with the surrounding homeowners and the consensus was that they would be in agreement to allow the Borough to construct the easement on their properties; 8 or 10 properties may need easements. Mr. Fournier added that any further stormwater improvements would need engineering design.

Solicitor Jim Jacquette asked if it would be prudent to have these homeowners come to a meeting, before spending any money.

Mr. Fournier stated that all of the people that the Public Works Department spoke with seemed positive when they spoke to them, but at this point, the engineer would need to do the next step.

Mr. Jacquette asked if the Borough could have the meeting with the homeowners before the engineer would start the design work, and Mr. Fournier stated that this will not be a cheap project, and we will need cooperation from everyone.

Mr. Ashley asked if the Borough could spend the money that was budgeted this year for MS4 differently, and still meet our MS4 goals. Mr. Fournier stated that yes, the Borough could spend money differently than what was budgeted to be spent at Stover Park, adding that the Franklin Alley area being discussed is land that we do not currently own and would have to secure easements for.

Mr. Ashley then asked if the Borough has a 10 or 15-year MS4 approach, and Mr. Fournier explained that we do not, because the MS4 permit cycles are every 5 years. Mr. Ashley further asked if this easement project can be considered, and Councilwoman Emiline Weiss asked why the Borough can’t fund this project with the ARPA funds we received, adding that this situation has gone on 20 years too long. Mr. Fournier stated that the funds can be used for that, it is certainly doable and monies can be shifted around, but that’s why you need to get the engineer involved, and the Borough couldn’t get cooperation from the homeowners until now. Mayor Jerry Guretse asked Mr. Fournier if he had any idea of how much it would cost to design, and Mr. Fournier estimated $10,000-$15,000.

Mr. Ashley asked Mr. Fournier if he could get numbers from CKS so we can start looking at this, adding that it would help Council to be more educated to make a decision about the project. Mr. Fournier stated that he will get an estimate and e-mail it to the Public Works/Building & Plant Committee. Mr. Ashley added that Council needs the information to make the best decision for the residents.

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

SOLICITOR’S REPORT: A verbal report was provided by Solicitor Jim Jacquette.

Mr. Jacquette informed Council that he worked this month with the labor counsel and the manager on some last-minute adjustments to the police contract, adding that the officers were cooperative with finalizing the document. Mr. Ashley thanked Mr. Jacquette for all of his efforts.

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

Mr. Fournier reported that CKS Engineers is merging with ARRO Consulting, adding that Patrick DiGangi will still be the Borough’s engineer and main contact. Mr. Ashley asked if they will still be keeping the office in Doylestown and Mr. Fournier confirmed that they are.

COMMENTS FROM AUDIENCE:

Mr. John Waldenberger from 149 North Fourth Street stood and introduced himself to Council and requested that the Borough put in a 4-way stop sign at 4th Street and West Broad Street, adding that it can be very difficult to cross Broad Street at that location.

Mr. Waldenberger also raised concerns about a Council member who he did not name, but who posted the following comment on social media, in response to a comment made by Mr. Waldenberger: “Some things never change. You’re still a clown.” along with a clown emoji. Mr. Waldenberger feels that this is unacceptable, asked if there is a Code of Conduct policy for Council members and called for a full apology.

Mr. Arnott identified himself as the person that Mr. Waldenberger was referring to and stated that he did make the comment and he still thinks Mr. Waldenberger is a clown. He added that Mr. Waldenberger shouldn’t waste his or Council’s time, and that Mr. Waldenberger was all over Mr. Arnott’s social media page when Mr. Arnott was running for election, further stating that Mr. Waldenberger had made lewd comments about Mr. Arnott’s family. Mr. Arnott stated that he is entitled to his opinion, then asked if Mr. Waldenberger was looking for Council to reprimand him.

Mr. Waldenberger asked again if there is a Code of Conduct for Council members, and Mr. Fournier confirmed that there is not. Mr. Waldenberger stated that he has run for Council before and intends to run again, then sat down.

Mr. John Harrell from 31 Branch Avenue stood and identified himself and wanted to address the potential MS4 project area. He stated that the residents did not cause this problem, that the Borough has taken the stormwater into one runoff area, adding that this is a 40-year old problem because of where it has been directed to. Mr. Harrell stated that this should have been looked at sooner, adding that the Borough knows what the fix should be, and that it should not be misrepresented that gobs and gobs of money will be spent out of this year’s budget; ARPA funds can be used. He further stated that this project should not be implemented by using bioswales; the Borough should take a hard look at what can be done, adding that it’s time that they stop ignoring it and just look at it.

Mr. Harrell then inquired about the posting of signs for lost animals, asking if there is an ordinance pertaining to the length of time the signs can be up. Chief Floyd commented that with the most recent missing animal posters, he contacted the owner and told them that the signs need to be taken down in a reasonable amount of time. He contacted them again since they have not been taken down yet. Chief Floyd stated that he loves animals and has his own, but people need to be responsible for taking down the signs. Mr. Harrell commented that other municipalities may have ordinances in place pertaining to these signs, and Mr. Arnott told Mr. Harrell that the Borough will research this further.

Mrs. Sandy Harrell from 31 Branch Avenue then stood and introduced herself, informing the Board that she was in education and asked where the lesson is to be learned with this situation with the stormwater runoff. She commented that prior Councils did not fix this problem and asked that Council do the right thing for these families; the runoff may not be in these residents’ houses but their yards are unusable. Mrs. Harrell further stated that she hears the concerns about the costs being expensive to rectify the situation, but added that the costs could certainly be even more expensive by the time the next 5-year MS4 permit cycle starts.

Mrs. Wendy Leshinskie from 141 North Hamilton Street stood and introduced herself, asking about impact from the runoff from Moyer & Son, and if this would need to be done first. Mr. Fournier stated that it probably would not have to be done first and explained where the runoff comes from.

FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEE:

            A-1       A Maxwell/Crouthamel motion carried unanimously (7-0) authorizing payment of bills for the month of June, 2022 in the amount of $267,423.24.

PLANNING AND ZONING COMMITTEE: Nothing at this time.

ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITTEE: Nothing at this time.

PUBLIC WORKS/BUILDINGS & PLANT COMMITTEE: Mr. Ashley

Mr. Ashley reported that he recently attended a Fire Company meeting and the Fire Department is always very gracious. He added that the Public Works/Buildings & Plant Committee had a meeting on Saturday and suggested that maybe there could be a Saturday where the Public Works Department could educate Council.

PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE: Mr. Arnott

Mr. Arnott commented that he recognizes that our Police Department is understaffed and that the Chief is putting together a proposal for hiring another full-time officer and considering making the part-time Police Support Specialist a full-time position. He added that it is time to take a hard look at this for the Department and get a head start on this for the budget, further commenting that he would like Chief Floyd to meet with the Finance & Administrative Committee to review his needs.

DEVELOPMENT AND CULTURE COMMITTEE: Mr. Taylor

Mr. Taylor commented that the recent incident at the Night Market marred the best night so far for the Market, which had over 800 people in attendance that night. A complaint was registered by one of the vendors about Cousins Maine Lobster being a franchise, but other vendors sold out as a result of the crowd that Cousins Maine Lobster drew to the Market.

Mr. Arnott asked what Mr. Taylor thinks attributes to the success of the Night Market, and Mr. Taylor commented that there is a new director and more of a presence on social media. He then thanked the Council members who come to the Market every week.

Mr. Taylor then referenced an e-mail he sent to Council prior to the meeting regarding PSAB’s Junior Council Person Program and gave a few highlights of the program from the pdf that was attached to the e-mail. He informed Council that they would need to pass a Resolution to implement the program and that he thinks Council should consider it.

Mr. Fournier asked Mr. Taylor if anyone has expressed interest in the program at this point, and Mr. Taylor stated that there has not been yet, but there is a big pool to find candidates if Council decides to do the program.

OTHER BUSINESS:

Mr. Fournier distributed a memo to the Finance & Administrative Committee regarding a succession plan for Telford Borough.

EXECUTIVE SESSION:

Borough Council entered into Executive Session at 8:54 pm to discuss a matter of personnel.

Borough Council closed Executive Session at 8:57 pm. A Kulhanjian/Weiss motion carried unanimously (7-0) authorizing the signature of the contract between Telford Borough and Telford Borough Police Department effective January 1, 2022 through December 31, 2025 and revised March 8, 2022.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 pm by a Crouthamel/Taylor motion.

Respectfully submitted,

Mark D. Fournier

Secretary

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50 Penn Avenue, Telford, PA 18969 | Phone: 215-723-5000 | Fax: 215-723-5328
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