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

Text Size

August 1, 2022

The Telford Borough Council meeting held this date was called to order at 7:31 p.m. by Vice-President Bill Ashley with the following people in attendance: 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, Engineer Patrick DiGangi, Recording Secretary Megan McShane, Fire Marshal Ray Fegley, Fire Chief Bob Wiszneski, Officer Tori Adams, Officer Jeremy Kim, Officer Erica Robbins, Officer Christopher Hough, family members and friends of Christopher Hough, Joanna Jaeger and Michael Meisner, and residents John & Sandra Harrell, Bob Jacobus, Wendy Leshinskie and Dale Nice. Council President Miles Arnott was absent.

The invocation was given by Vice-President Bill Ashley, followed by the pledge of allegiance.

SWEARING IN OF FIRE MARSHAL AND PART-TIME PATROL OFFICER:

Mayor Jerry Guretse swore in part-time Patrol Officer Christopher Hough and Fire Marshal Ray Fegley.

President Bill Ashley read the resignation letter of Council President Miles Arnott, who will be resigning from Borough Council effective September 5, 2022. The Council accepted his resignation with regret and well wishes.

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING:

A Crouthamel/Taylor motion carried unanimously (7-0) approving the minutes of the July 5, 2022 Borough Council meeting.

 TREASURER’S REPORT:

Manager Mark Fournier reported that the Borough has taken in 70.45% of its revenues and has spent 48.57% of its expenditures.

Councilman John Taylor thanked Council for the quarterly payment to Telford Happenings.

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

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

Mayor Jerry Guretse reported that he attended the Christmas in July night at the Telford Night Market and participated in a few Committee meetings. Mayor Guretse added that he will be touring the wells later this week.

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

Police Chief Randall Floyd reported that Officer Tori Adams passed the oral examination, which was the last step of the testing process for the Corporal position.

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

Mayor Guretse informed Council that the Fire Company is 20% ahead of where they were at this time last year with calls; there were 35 calls alone in the month of July.

Mayor Guretse then briefly talked about the Cadet Program that the Fire Company held last week, adding that the graduation was held earlier tonight; he thanked Chief Floyd and Mr. Taylor for attending the graduation.

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

Ms. Leshinskie reported that the library still has a lot of programs available via Zoom and they are also working on an upgrade for the room that is used for hybrid programs.

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 Lutheran Home had to make some design changes to their Summerfield Project but construction is still moving forward.

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.

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

Engineer Patrick DiGangi presented Council with a very preliminary design of the proposed stormwater swale project on Branch Avenue/Franklin Alley and gave an overview of the project, which could preliminarily cost approximately $166,000.

Councilman Jeff Maxwell asked if the Borough has to get homeowner approval for this project, and Mr. DiGangi confirmed that the Borough would need to explain the project to them, but ultimately the Borough does have the right to do the project.

Resident John Harrell from 31 Branch Avenue asked Mr. DiGangi if an endwall would be considered for the project. Mr. DiGangi stated that they would propose rip rap so the water doesn’t get pushed onto the properties involved, adding that he will review the design in more detail at the monthly meeting with Mr. Fournier, Mr. Harrell and the Solicitor this week.

Mr. Maxwell asked if the Borough would invite the residents to a meeting with Borough representatives to explain the project, and Mr. Fournier confirmed that we will, adding that the howeowners will lose their buffer between their properties and the garages along West Broad Street.

Mr. Taylor asked if the Borough will be replacing the trees that will be taken down, and Mr. DiGangi clarified that only the overgrowth will be replaced.

Councilwoman Emiline Weiss asked how long the improvements will last once this area is repaired, and Mr. DiGangi stated that it will be up to the Borough to maintain. Mr. Fournier added that the Borough currently maintains other easements in other developments. Ms. Weiss asked, if once this project is done and maintained, that this shouldn’t happen again to these properties. Mr. DiGangi confirmed that is correct, aside from a 5-year storm or larger, such as a hurricane.

Council thanked Mr. DiGangi for his presentation.

COMMENTS FROM AUDIENCE:

Joanna Jaeger lives in Hilltown Township, and with her husband are working with Home Depot to open a take-out restaurant in Hilltown Plaza, but there has been a mix-up as to the issuing of a permit by the Township because of a holdup with the utilities permit. Ms. Jaeger stated she is here to file a complaint with the Borough and the Authority and gave envelopes to Mr. Harrell and Mr. Ashley.

Mr. Maxwell asked why the utilities have not been finalized. Mr. Jacquette stated that the problem was that the Township issued a building permit without considering TBA requirements for the utility services, which has been held up for 2 ½ months because the applicant has not responded to a CKS engineering review letter requesting revised plans. The utilities agreement by TBA cannot move forward until it receives and approves revised plans.

Mr. Fournier explained that he has spoken to Ms. Jaeger to explain the process described by Mr. Jacquette. Ms. Jaeger stated that she was unhappy by how she had been treated during the process; adding that members of her team informed her that Mr. Fournier told them he was annoyed by all of questions, and Mr. Jacquette had not returned some of her calls.

Mr. Ashley stated that he appreciates that she came to the meeting tonight. Mr. Fournier stated that Ms. Jaeger’s calls have been returned in due course, but she is unhappy with the time it has taken to move things along, because she is not familiar with the state and local regulations governing this process.

Mr. Harrell explained that he is the Chairman of the TBA Board and will make himself available to the Council if needed, adding that if there is a TBA process issue, he will take it on and address it, and bring it back to TBA, since the Council’s meeting is not the proper forum.

Ms. Jaeger’s husband, Michael Meisner, supported his wife’s statements, and that they are open to having private discussions with the Authority to move the process forward.

Ms. Jaeger asked that they like their $4,300 escrow released, and Mr. Jacquette asked if they understood that they will have re-deposit the escrow before the project can resume, They stated they understand; and are looking at other locations for their business. Mr. Meisner apologized for the length of the discussion, adding that they wouldn’t take any more of Council’s time. Mr. Ashley thanked them for their time and Mr. Maxwell thanked them and stated that he understands their frustration.

FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEE:

A-1       A Maxwell/Crouthamel motion carried unanimously (7-0) authorizing payment of

            bills for the month of July, 2022 in the amount of $314,008.27.

PLANNING AND ZONING COMMITTEE: Nothing at this time.

ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITTEE: Mr. Kulhanjian

Councilman Spencer Kulhanjian stated that the NMCRC had their 3rd quarterly meeting and that the PLGIT funds have been received but just have to be disbursed. Mr. Kulhanjian added that he can send the NMCRC meeting minutes to Council if they would like to receive them.

PUBLIC WORKS/BUILDINGS & PLANT COMMITTEE: Mr. Ashley

Mr. Ashley stated that he has been attending the Telford Night Market and he met the new Souderton Borough Mayor.

PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE: Mr. Arnott

An Ashley/Kulhanjian motion carried unanimously (7-0) approving the following additional activities for the Telford Fire Company: Saturday, August 20th – Lansdale 150th Anniversary Community Parade; Saturday, August 27th – Lansdale Founder’s Day Fireworks Display; Saturday, October 1st – Harleysville Fire Company Open House and 100th Anniversary.

DEVELOPMENT AND CULTURE COMMITTEE: Mr. Taylor

Mr. Taylor reported that Hawaiian Night, the Dog Parade and Fall into Fall events are all coming up at the Telford Night Market. He also informed Council that Representative Steve Malagari has asked Telford Borough Council to come to Lansdale’s 150th Anniversary celebration.

Mr. Taylor then followed up on the Junior Council Member Program he brought to Council last month, asking if it’s something that Council is interested in, and it was the consensus of the Council to move forward with the program. Mr. Taylor stated that he will work on getting a Resolution together for next month’s meeting, and Mr. Ashley asked if he could please send the Resolution to Council ahead of the meeting.

Mr. Taylor also informed Council that he spoke to Souderton Borough about their costs for the Hometown Heroes Banner program, stating that Telford Borough would have to borrow Souderton’s bucket truck or rent one. Public Works Director Gary Yoder stated that he has done some research and the brackets would cost $85 and it would cost $2,000 a week to rent a bucket truck, plus the time for the Public Works department. Mr. Yoder added that borrowing a bucket truck can be difficult.

Mr. Fournier stated that the Borough would need traffic control as well, and added that this could be a good project, but it will be different than what’s been done in Souderton Borough and will look different.

Mr. Taylor stated that he would like to sit down with Mr. Yoder to review the logistics of the project and bring back their discussions to Council.

Mr. Taylor then distributed a handout from PSAB for a Certified Boroughs Officials Program and stated that if people want to take any of the classes, that they will want to make sure that next year’s budget gets updated with the costs of the classes.

OTHER BUSINESS:

 Resident Dale Nice stood and stated that he is so impressed with the trimming of the overgrowth on Welker Alley and added that he doesn’t understand why the Borough has to do the trimming there. Mr. Ashley thanked Mr. Nice for his compliments of the Public Works Department.

 EXECUTIVE SESSION:

Borough Council entered into Executive Session at 9:05 pm to discuss matters of personnel and real estate.

Borough Council closed Executive Session at 10:48 pm.

A Maxwell/Taylor motion carried unanimously (7-0) authorizing the staff to utilize the services of Berkshire Hathaway/Fox & Roach/Trident Group of Harleysville as the listing agent for the sale of the former Telford Borough Hall at 122 Penn Avenue. The terms of the sale are not to exceed 5.5% as listing agent or not to exceed 5% Dual Agency.

A Taylor/Crouthamel motion carried unanimously (7-0) accepting the resignation of Megan McShane with her last day of employment of Friday, August 12, 2022. As an employee in good standing, Council is granting Ms. McShane’s request for compensation of 240 unused sick hours and the balance of her unused vacation as specified in Resolution No. 15-03, Personnel Policy Statement.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:55 pm by a Maxwell/Weiss motion.

 Respectfully submitted,

Megan McShane

Recording Secretary

bottom

50 Penn Avenue, Telford, PA 18969 | Phone: 215-723-5000 | Fax: 215-723-5328
©2007-2014 Borough of Telford Pennsylvania. All rights reserved. Powered by Sitecats® Inc.