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Board of Supervisors
5/24/2020 7:30 PM

The agenda meeting of the Northampton Township Board of Supervisors took place virtually using the Zoom platform. The virtual meeting was called to order at 6:15 pm.

 

Present were:

Adam Selisker

Eileen Silver

Dr. Kimberly Rose

Frank O’Donnell

Barry Moore

Robert Pellegrino

William Wert

Joseph Pizzo

Amanda Fuller

Agenda items were reviewed and discussed.

 

The regular business meeting of the Northampton Township Board of Supervisors took place virtually using the Zoom platform. The virtual meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m.

 
Members of the Board present were:

Adam Selisker

Eileen Silver

Dr. Kimberly Rose

Frank O’Donnell

Barry Moore

Others present were:

Robert Pellegrino, Township Manager

Amanda Fuller, Township Engineer

Joseph Pizzo, Township Solicitor

 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Chairman Selisker led the Pledge of Allegiance and held a moment of silence in support of military and emergency services personnel.

 

FLAG PRESENTATION

 

Chairman Selisker recognized two servicemen as follows:

 

Army Major Jon Pavlovack has safely returned home from is deployment in Guantanamo Bay. Army Specialist Even Exten has just deployed to Iraq on May 21. Specialist Exten is expected to serve a 9-month deployment.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board wanted to make sure these men were acknowledged for their service. The Board will hold a full ceremony and replace flags under the flag protocol in the future.

CHAIRMAN ANNOUNCEMENTS

Chairman Selisker explained the procedures for public comment and how to email questions to be read and answered. Chairman Selisker also provided an update on the status of the Township and its operations. He also noted an addition to the agenda under Item (L) the CRSD-STAR/Sloan School Land Development will be discussed and voted on.

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

State Representative Wendi Thomas

Representative Thomas provided an update on recent legislation, and Pennsylvania and Federal Resources available during the COVID-19 pandemic. Discussion ensued with Representative Thomas responding to Board member's questions.

EMS Week, Police Week, and Public Works Proclamations

Chairman Selisker read two proclamations one declaring May 17 – May 23 Emergency Medical Services  (EMS) week and the other declaring May 10 – May 16 Police Week. Chairman Selisker thanked the workers in these fields for going above and beyond in their daily roles.

Mrs. Silver read a proclamation declaring May 17 – May 23 as National Public Works Week. Mrs. Silver thanked our Public Works personnel for all of their effort and hard work they put in daily.

CONSENT ITEMS

The Board meeting minutes of April 22, 2020, were approved by unanimous consent.

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE

The accounts payable of May 13, 2020, for $1,479,292.70 and, of May 27, 2020, for $599,862.69, were approved by unanimous consent.

NEW BUSINESS

Consideration of Preliminary/Final Plan of Land Development, Schenk, SLD 19-9, 100 Steamwhistle Drive

Mr. Moorebriefly outlined the Preliminary/Final Land Development Plan and opened the floor to the representatives and asked that they introduce themselves. The following will be participating in the meeting. Larry Byrne Engineer, and David Schenk Applicant/Owner.

Mr. Byrne outlined the project including the requested waivers and will comply notations.

Discussion ensued among the Engineer, Applicant, and the Board regarding parking and if a sidewalk fee had been waived on a previous application. After discussion, it was determined if the sidewalk fee cannot be verified through the Solicitor, and via the recorded deed the fee would be waived. 

A motion was made and seconded (Moore-Silver) for approval of the Schenk Land Development, SLD 19-9, subject to compliance with the Township Engineer’s review letter dated February 26, 2020, and the Township Planner’s review letter dated February 25, 2020. It is also recommended that the requested waivers be granted subject to the satisfaction of the Township engineer. Approval is also to be under the following.

  1. The applicant shall enter into land development and escrow agreements in a form acceptable to the Township Solicitor and Engineer. This shall include a stormwater management maintenance and operations agreement.
  2. The applicant is responsible for obtaining and outside approvals that may be necessary, including, but not limited to DEP, PennDot, and the Municipal Authority.
  3. A note shall be placed on the plan that the garage is accessory to the principal use and may not be leased out separately.
  4. A fee-in-lieu of sidewalks is required for $10,445 as calculated by the Township Engineer but may be waived based on verification of payment or previous waiver as determined by the Township Solicitor.
  5. A Park and Recreation impact fee for $8, 282.30 is required.
  6. All conditions and recommendations incorporated with the motion and minutes are subject to the Township Solicitor’s approval letter.

Chairman Selisker called for Board and public comment. None was heard.

Motion passed 5-0.

Consider Resolution Designating Areas Eligible for Participation in a Local Economic Redevelopment Tax Assistance Act (LERTA) Program

Mrs. Silver stated the Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance Act (LERTA) adopted in 1977, as amended by the Pennsylvania legislature permits taxing authorities (Municipalities, Counties, and School Districts) to exempt new construction and/or improvements to non-residential properties from increased real estate taxes in selected areas of a community to encourage investment by the private sector.  When initially considering programs to encourage economic development, the Pennsylvania Department of Commerce noted that higher local property taxes resulting from improvements were a major deterrent to investment in deteriorated or underutilized business property.

 

Improvements eligible for tax exemption under LERTA include repair, construction, or reconstruction including alterations and additions of vacated, underutilized, or deteriorating properties.  The tax exemption may be based on the actual improvement cost or a uniform maximum cost as determined by the municipal governing body for not more than 10 years.

 

A LERTA program offers a potentially viable and effective tool for local governments to revitalize economically challenged areas, increase job opportunities, and increase real estate tax revenue over the long term to fund future government services.  The Township believes a LERTA program will be instrumental in revitalizing its business tax base in Richboro, Holland, and the Business Park.

 

Implementing a LERTA program requires the Township to hold at least one public hearing to determine the boundaries of the LERTA district(s).  Once that determination is made, the Township must adopt an ordinance outlining criteria for the program.  The School District and County must also adopt resolutions if their respective governing bodies agree to participate in granting the tax exemptions.

 

A map shows the areas proposed to be eligible for the LERTA program.  These areas include the I-1 zoning district along Jacksonville Road known as the “Northampton Township Business and Technology Center”, the Spring Mill Manor properties, and the Village Overlay Districts in Richboro and Holland.

 

The following documents were provided for the Boards review:

  • A summary of the proposed LERTA Program
  • The Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance Act  
  • Calculations showing the tax impact of LERTA on a $500,000 improvement 

 

A motion was made and seconded (Silver-Rose) to adopt Resolution R-20-13 designating the boundaries for LERTA zone areas eligible for real estate tax exemption on new construction and improvements under a LERTA Program for Northampton Township and the Economic Redevelopment Tax Assistance Act.

 

Chairman Selisker called for Board comment.

 

Mrs. Silver asked to delete the Spring Mill Manor and Country Club and add the C-2 commercial area at Buck Road and Village Shires.

 

Discussion ensued among the Board with all agreeing to the deletions and the additions as proposed by Mrs. Silver.

 

Mrs. Silver and Dr. Rose agreed to amend the motion to delete the Spring Mill Manor and Country Club and add the C-2 commercial area at Buck Road and Village Shires.

 

Chairman Selisker called for public comment. None was heard.

 

Motion Passed 5-0

Consider Authorization to Advertise an Ordinance Establishing a LERTA Program

 

Mrs. Silver outlined the LERTA program and stated the proposed ordinance defines the criteria for the program.  It officially designates the areas eligible for the LERTA exemption and, if adopted, would exempt 100% of any increase in real estate taxes attributable to new construction and/or improvements to business properties for five (5) years.  An application must be made within sixty (60) days of filing a building permit, and the exemption becomes effective when an Occupancy Permit is issued.   

The current ordinance expires on the fifth anniversary of enactment unless extended by the Board of Supervisors.  The School District and County must also adopt resolutions if their respective governing bodies agree to participate in granting the tax exemptions.  At present, the School District and County have indicated support for the program. 

 

A motion was made and seconded (Silver-Rose) to authorize the Township Administration to advertise a proposed ordinance establishing the criteria for implementing a LERTA program under the Local Economic Redevelopment Tax Assistance Act and to schedule a public hearing to consider adoption of the ordinance on June 24, 2020.

 

Chairman Selisker called for Board and public comment. None was heard.

 

Motion Passed 5-0.

 

Consider Resolution Authorizing the Filing of an Application for Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) with the Office of the Budget, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the Police Headquarters, 111 Township Road

 

Dr. Rose outlined the application and stated the proposed resolution authorizes the Township Manager and other appropriate officials to submit a Combined Application and Business Plan to obtain the second (2nd) Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Office of the Budget for $1,000,000. This is in addition to the first (1st) RACP Grant the Township was awarded in 2018 for $1,000,000. The total grant amount is $2,000,000.

 

The grant requires to have a resolution from the municipal governing body authorizing submission of the Combined Application and Business Plan and designating the Township Manager to execute the application and other documents related to any grant award.

 

A motion was made and seconded (Rose-Moore) authorizing the Township Administration to submit a RACP Combined Application & Business Plan to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Office of the Budget as required to obtain a grant in the amount $2,000,000 to fund the Police Headquarters project.

 

Chairman Selisker called for Board and public comment. None was heard.

 

Motion Passed 5-0.

 

Consider Resolution Authorizing Grant Matching Funds Commitment to the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) with the Office of the Budget, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the Police Headquarters, 111 Township Road

 

Dr. Rose explained a resolution is required for the second round of grant funding that authorizes a grant matching funds commitment from Northampton Township for the Police Headquarters Project.

 

The resolution states that Northampton Township has authorized, committed, and utilized interim funds supplied by the 2018 Bond Issuance for $2,000,000; and permanent funding from a 2018 Bond Issuance for $3,372,000 and a 2015 Bond Issuance in the amount of $1,124,000.

 

A motion was made and seconded (Rose-Moore) to adopt Resolution R-20-15 stating that Northampton Township Board of Supervisors has obtained the required matching and interim funds for the Police HQ project and has authorized, committed, and utilized the funds under the standards in the application to the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office of the Budget’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program to obtain a grant for $2,000,000 to fund the Police Headquarters project.

 

Chairman Selisker called for Board and public comment. None was heard.

 

Motion Passed 5-0.

 

Consider Resolution Appointing the Township Manager as the Designated Agent to Execute all Agreements with FEMA and PEMA for Disaster Assistance Related to COVID-19.

 

Mr. O’Donnell outlined a draft resolution designating the Township Manager as the Township agent authorized to execute agreements with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) for disaster assistance related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

The Township has currently spent approximately $50,000 in Covid-19 related costs.  This includes at least one disinfectant machine (at a cost of about $15,000) and IT equipment, although we do not know if these particular items will be approved.  The remaining items purchased include PPE and disinfectant products. 

 

The resolution is part of the application submission process and must be approved before filing for reimbursement of eligible costs. 

 

A motion was made and seconded (O’Donnell-Rose) to adopt resolution # R-20-16 authorizing the Township Manager to execute agreements with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency for federal disaster relief related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chairman Selisker called for Board and public comment. None was heard.

 

Motion Passed 5-0.

 

Consider Resolution Authorizing the Township Manager to Execute Traffic Signal Permit Plan Application for a New Traffic Signal at the Intersection of Upper Holland Road and Township Road

 

Mrs. Silver explained as part of its land development plan approval for construction of a new Sloane/Star School on the Richboro Middle School campus, The Council Rock School District will be installing a traffic signal at the intersection of Upper Holland Road and Township Road as required by a land development plan approval dated December 18, 2019. 

 

The traffic signal will be constructed under Township specifications for new traffic signals, including pedestrian signals, emergency pre-emption, a battery backup system, and decorative crosswalks following Village Overlay District Design Guidelines.

 

To obtain a permit for a new traffic signal, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation requires a Resolution from the Board of Supervisors designating an individual to execute PennDOT Form TE-160, “Application for Traffic Signal Approval” each time a Traffic Signal Permit Plan is submitted to the Department for review and approval,

 

A motion was made and seconded (Silver-O’Donnell) to adopt Resolution R-20-17 to authorize the Township Manager to execute and file PennDOT Form TE-160, “Application for a Traffic Signal Approval” with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for installation of a new traffic signal at the intersection of Township Road and Upper Holland Road. 

  

Chairman Selisker called for Board and public comment. None was heard.

 

Motion Passed 5-0.

 

Consider Authorizing Execution of an “Election of Reimbursement” form with the PA Department of Labor and Industry for payment of any Future Unemployment Compensation Benefits

 

Mr. O’Donnell stated earlier this year, the Administration determined that it would be more cost-effective to process payroll for all seasonal and non-regular, part-time employees through ADP, an automated data processing company specializing in payroll services.  This required the Township to obtain a 2nd Employer Identification Number (EIN) for the payment of all withholding amounts from the payroll of employees processed through the ADP system.

 

As part of the “set up” process, the PA Department of Labor and Industry requires the local governing body to approve and authorize the execution of an “Election of Reimbursement Option Form” (UC-1692) for unemployment compensation benefits paid by the Commonwealth on behalf of the Township.  The Township is currently a “reimbursable” employer for unemployment compensation benefit payments for its employees, meaning that the Commonwealth pays any benefits due on its behalf and the Township reimburses the Commonwealth for those payments.  Approval of this election option would continue the practice for all seasonal and non-regular, part-time employees under the new EIN.

 

A motion was made and seconded(O’Donnell-Silver)to authorize the Township Manager to execute the PA Department of Labor and Industry Form UC-1692 electing a reimbursement option for payment of unemployment compensation benefits for all seasonal and non-regular, part-time employees, if and when such payments are due under applicable law.

 

Chairman Selisker called for Board and public comment. None was heard.

 

Motion Passed 5-0.

 

Consider Planning Module Resolution Council Rock School District, STAR/Sloan School, 98 Upper Holland Road

Mrs. Silver stated the Council Rock School District proposes to construct a new 26,591 square foot building for the Sloan School on a 38.118-acre site. The plan proposes new parking areas totaling 73 spaces. The property is serviced by public water and sewer.

As the Council Rock School District progresses forward to ultimately begin construction, a planning module is required to be submitted to DEP. As part of that process, a resolution must be passed by the Board of Supervisors.  The Municipal Authority as no objection to this moving forward.

 

A motion was made and seconded (Silver-O’Donnell) to approve DEP resolution R-20-1A for Plan Revision for New Land Development to be approved for the Council Rock School District- STAR/Sloan School.

Mrs. Silver stated for clarification it is not the STAR/Sloan school as two separate names or schools. STAR stands for Sloan, Twilight, and Achieve at Richboro.

Chairman Selisker called for Board and public comment. None was heard.

 

Motion Passed 5-0.

 

REPORTS

 

Dr. Rose made the following announcements:

 

  • The Parks and Recreation Departments are providing virtual classes, and programs. Go to northamptonpa.myrec.com for current information on the various classes, activities, and programs being offered
  • Camps are being held but have very limited space, reach out to the Parks and Recreation Department for enrollment questions.
  • The Northampton Senior Center’s staff are working by calling members to check in and see if they need assistance, should you require anything feel free to call 215-357-8199 and leave a message if no one answers they will get back to you.

 

Mrs. Silver questioned the Zoning Hearing Board Schedule

  • The Zoning Hearing Board will hold special meetings on Thursday, May 28, at 7:30 pm and on Monday, June 8, 2020, starting at 9:00 am via the Zoom virtual platform. 

Chairman Selisker made the following announcements:

  • Since the COVID-19 pandemic started in March the community has stepped up with food, hand sanitizers, and other supplies. Thank you to everyone for their continued support.

Manager’s Report

  • Provided a review of the Township’s financial standing. Mr. Pellegrino stated fee-based services are suffering but the Township is finding ways to offset the lack of revenues by deferring projects, and not hiring any new personnel. The Township will not have a true understanding until at least the end of July since the tax deadline was extended from April 15 until June 15th.
  • All information and announcements can be found on the Township website at www.northamptontownship.com.

Solicitor’s Report

Mr. Pizzo stated he has been working with the McDonalds attorney regarding the future development of the connector road behind the McDonalds. It was determined the applicant will agree to work in good faith with the Township and other parties and has agreed to the Township requested easements and will have such easements recorded with the recorder of deeds as part of the process. No decisions have been made at this time regarding the construction of the road.

Mr. Pizzo announced the Board met in executive session between the April Board meeting and this evening. All the members of the Board, Mr. Pellegrino, Mr. Wert, and Mr. Pizzo himself were in attendance. The topic discussed was a matter of pending litigation involving the Township. No official action was taken by the Board during that executive session. The direction was given to the Township Manager and the Township Solicitor as to how the matter should be handled going forward in as much as it is being handled by the council, appointed by the Township’s insurance carrier. No official action was taken then and no official action is required at tonight's meeting.

 

PUBLIC COMMENT

Greg Kaplan, 74 Titus Avenue, raised concern over noise coming from the heating/air conditioner fan situated on the Police Station roof. Discussion ensued with Mr. Pellegrino explaining what measures have been taken. It was determined Mr. Pellegrino and Mr. Kaplan would meet to discuss further options.

 

 

The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

 ______________________

 Frank O’Donnell, Secretary

Government

Helpful & Related Pages

Northampton Township

Administration Building
55 Township Road
Richboro, PA 18954

Phone: (215) 357-6800
Fax: (215) 357-1251

Northampton Township Police
111 Township Road
Richboro, PA 18954

Emergency: 911
Non-Emergency: (215) 357-8700
HQ Business: (215) 322-6111

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