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Board of Supervisors
6/24/2020 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.

 

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 (G) Consider Contract Award for Gasoline, Diesel, and #2 Heating Oil.

 

 

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

Parks and Recreation Week Proclamation

Dr. Rose outlined the duties and responsibilities of the Parks and Recreation Departments and read a Proclamation setting July as Parks and Recreation Month.

Pollutant Plan Reduction Update

Ms. Amanda Fuller, of Gilmore Associates and the Township Engineer, stated the Northampton Township’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit was approved on May 15, 2019, and the Township has until May 2024 to complete the requirements of the current permit. These requirements are mandated by DEP for every municipality in Pennsylvania and the Township remains in compliance with the current requirements of the permit. As a part of the permit, the Township is required to construct several projects to help reduce stormwater pollution, for which the Township proposed the retrofit of 8-10 basins. The Township will submit its required annual report to DEP in September and will continue to comply with the DEP’s requirements.

 

PUBLIC COMMENT

None was heard.

CONSENT ITEMS

 

The Board meeting minutes of May 24, 2020, were approved by unanimous consent.

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE

 

The accounts payable of June 10, 2020, for $698,637.25 and, of June 24, 2020, for $911,362.71, were approved by unanimous consent.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

Consider an Ordinance Establishing a LERTA Program

Chairman Selisker opened the hearing at 7:46 pm. Mrs. Silver outlined the intent and purpose of a LERTA Program.

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 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.

 

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.

 

Improvements eligible for tax exemption 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.

 

Implementing a LERTA program requires the Township to first determine the boundaries of the LERTA districts by Resolution.  As you know, the Board adopted a Resolution on May 27, 2020, establishing LERTA districts that include the I-1 zoning district along Jacksonville Road known as the “Northampton Township Business and Technology Center”, the C-2 zoning district on Buck Road, known as the Village Shires Shopping Center, and the Village Overlay Districts in Richboro and Holland.  These areas are identified on the enclosed map.

 

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.  The 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 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. 

 

A motion was made and seconded (Silver-Rose) to adopt ordinance #607 establishing the criteria for a LERTA program in Northampton Township under the Local Economic Redevelopment Tax Assistance Act.

 

Chairman Selisker called for public comment.

 

Joe Johnson, 41 Grant Drive, questioned if the businesses that have taken advantage of the LERTA program have been tracked to determine the success of the program. Also questioned if the vacancy rate on businesses has lowered and how many jobs have been created for Northampton residents because of the program.

 

Chairman Selisker called for Board comment.

 

The Board members stated the program has been successful and more jobs have been created an example of this is 59 Almshouse.

Mr. Pellegrino noted that we cannot force businesses who are utilizing the LERTA program to hire local people.

 

Motion passed 5-0.

 

Chairman Selisker closed the hearing at 8:01 pm.

 

NEW BUSINESS

Consider Bid Award for HVAC/Electrical Upgrades-Northampton Township Library

Mr. O’Donnellstated the Northampton Township Library received a grant from the Keystone Recreation, Park, and Conservation Fund for improvements that include repairs to the atrium, electrical systems upgrade, HVAC equipment replacement, carpeting for the community room, storytime and children’s area, and main entrance doors replacement.  The total estimated project cost is $450,000. The grant would pay 50% of the improvement costs, or $225,000.

 

Public bids were solicited via the PennBid website system and received on June 11, 2020.  The bid consisted of a Base Bid to replace Roof Top Unit (RTU) #3 and its associated components and two (2) separate alternate bids for the additional two (2) other RTUs. The mechanical and electrical bids ranged from $49,000.00 to $422,000.00.

 

Based on a review of the bid packages, the Township Administration and Gilmore & Associates recommend awarding the project to Hirschberg Mechanical for $291,800.00 for the mechanical work associated with the project and to MJF Electrical Contracting, Inc. for $49,000.00 for the electrical work. The overall project total will be $340,800.00 which is less than the budgeted amount of $390,000.00.

 

A motion was made and seconded (O’Donnell-Moore) to award two (2) contracts for the Northampton Township Library Mechanical & Electrical Upgrades project:

 

1.) A mechanical contract to Hirschberg Mechanical, for all items in Base Bid #1, Alternate Bid #1 & Alternate #2 for a total contract amount of $291,800.00;

2.) An electrical contract to MJF Electrical Contracting, Inc. for all items in Base Bid #1, Alternate Bid #1 & Alternate #2 for a total contract amount of $49,000.00.

 

Together, the overall contract amount for the Northampton Township Library Mechanical & Electrical Upgrades project will be $340,800.00.

 

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

 

Motion Passed 5-0.

 

Consider Bid Award for New Road Trail Head Project

Mr. Moore outlined the bid results s the Board may recall, in 2018, the Township received a grant from the Greenways, Trails & Recreation Program in the amount of $237,567 to construct a new eight (8) foot wide asphalt trail connecting New Road with the Township’s Municipal Park.  The project also includes constructing a parking lot for twelve (12) vehicles on a two (2) acre lot owned by the Township adjacent to Maureen Welch Elementary School.

Gilmore & Associates, Inc. has reviewed and evaluated the eight (8) public bids submitted on the PennBidTM website on June 12th, 2020. The bids received ranged from $638,214.72 to $987,847.80.  The total cost budgeted for this project was $280,000.00.

Based on a review of the bid packages, the Township Administration and Gilmore & Associates recommend the Board of Supervisors reject all bids based on insufficient funding, and consideration should be given to rebidding this project at a later time.

A motion was made and seconded (Moore-O’Donnell) to reject all bids received on June 12, 2020, to construct a New Road Trail Head facility that included a new eight (8) foot wide asphalt trail connecting New Road with the Township’s Municipal Park and a parking lot for twelve (12) vehicles.

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

Motion Passed 5-0

Consider Contract Award for Gasoline, Diesel, and #2 Heating Oil.

Mrs. Silver stated on behalf of Bucks County Consortium, Upper Southampton Township advertised in the Bucks County Courier Times for bids to purchase unleaded regular gasoline, on-road ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel and# 2 heating oil for the contract period August 1, 2020, to July 31, 2021.

 

Mrs. Silver noted the price we pay for these products is determined by the published price at the dock on the date of order plus a fixed per-gallon delivery fee. Based on the bid results, it is recommended to award the contract as follows:

 

For 5,999 Gallons or Less

  • Riggins Inc, Vineland, NJ for unleaded regular gasoline at market price on the date of order plus 0.205 cents per gallon delivery fee.
  • PAPCO, Inc., Aston, PA for #2 heating oil at market price on the date of order plus 0.2582 cents per gallon delivery fee.

 

For 6,000 Gallons or Greater

  • Petroleum Traders Corporation, Fort Wayne, IN, for unleaded regular gasoline at market price on the date of the order minus -0.0147 cents per gallon delivery fee.
  • Petroleum Traders Corporation, Fort Wayne, IN, for on-road ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel at market price on the date of order plus 0.0117 cents per gallon delivery fee.

 

A motion was made and seconded (Silver-Rose ) to award contracts for unleaded regular gasoline, 5,999 gallons or less to Riggins Inc, Vineland, NJ and for 6,000 Gallons or greater to Petroleum Traders Corporation, Fort Wayne, IN, and #2 Heating Oil to PAPCO Inc, Aston, PA, for the contract period August 1, 2020, to July 31, 2021, at the bid prices quoted to the Bucks County Consortium.

 

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.
  • All Recreation facilities are open with restrictions, take the appropriate precautions.
  • The Civic Center Project is nearing completion.
  • 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.

Mr. O’Donnell made the following announcements:

  • The Tax office and the Municipal Authority will be following the Township’s schedule for reopening to the public.
  • The Library is available although not open to the public you can still call them at 215-357-3050 between 9 am and 5 pm.

Mr. Moore made the following announcements:

  • The Zoning Hearing Board met on May 28, 2020, via the Zoom platform on numerous Residential requests. 
  • The Giant Grocery Store is working on approvals to take over the old location of Murray’s Shop and Bag, they still need to come before the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors for approval.
  • A use variance came before the Zoning Hearing Board at 840 2nd Street Pike for Housing and Office Space.
  • The Planning Commission meetings are on hold and the June meeting was canceled.
  • A Wawa is being proposed in Holland and the Spring Mill Country Club Development and the Waverly Subdivision are starting.

Mrs. Silver made the following announcements:

  • Congratulations to the Council Rock 2020 graduates.
  • Thumbs up that classes were completed through virtual learning.
  • Be safe on the 4th of July and be considerate and understanding to those around you. when shooting off fireworks.

 

Chairman Selisker made the following announcements:

  • Since the COVID-19 pandemic started in March the First Responders, Fire, Police, etc., have participated in over 200 celebration parades.
  • New digital signs have been installed at each of the three fire stations, another one will be installed at the Municipal Park next week and a few more over the next couple of years. This will be a great help under the public safety venue and gives the ability to get information out quickly to the public.
  • The Northampton Country Club Golf Course is up and running and is complying with the Governor’s orders and recommendations. Booking for future events is starting to increase.

Manager’s Report

  • Provided a review of the Township’s financial standing. Nothing much has changed from May’s report. 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. There has been an increase in the food and beverage portion of the Country Club mostly due to the golf portion of the club. Banquets will start again on July 15th.
  • All information and announcements can be found on the Township website at www.northamptontownship.com.

 

Solicitor’s Report

Mr. Pizzo announced the Board met in an executive session immediately before tonight's Board meeting and lasted approximately 30 minutes.  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. No official action was taken then and no official action is required at tonight's meeting.

 

PUBLIC COMMENT

None was heard.

 

 

The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 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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