Approved Council Minutes March 9, 2022

April 14, 2022

President Thomas E. Stinnett called the regular meeting of the Riegelsville Borough Council to order at 7:04 pm March 9, 2022. If anyone makes inappropriate comments, tries to sell something, is attacking someone, etc. you will be removed from this meeting.

The Pledge of Allegiance, Roll Call: PRESENT: Thomas Stinnett, Ed Bartosiewicz, Kate Brandes and Gary Chase, Mayor Stokes and Tammy Macaluso, Treasurer.  Rodney Scott came in late.

Motion to approve February 9, 2022 Council minutes.  E. Bartosiewicz motioned to approve, G. Chase Seconded.   Unanimous.

 CORRESPONDENCE:

Letter from Bucks County Department of Health, Application to construct a well. Property owner Thomas Murtha.

REPORTS: 

President: T. Stinnett reported that Council had a 25 minutes executive session in reference to prospective litigation.

Mayor: Mayor Stokes stated nothing to report.

Report: Sherry Masteller appointed Open Records Officer (ORO) 

February 2022

13~RTK request received from Mr. Robert Ryan.

6~ RTK final response within 5 business days.

4~ 30 day extensions

3~ Denials.

2~ Appeals from PA Office of open records, Ryan VS Riegelsville Borough OOR Docket No. AP 2022-0538

and Ryan VS Riegelsville Borough OOR Docket No. AP 2022-0539.

Open Records Officer Hours:  16 1/2 Hours to process, gather documents and if needed forward requests to all agencies of the Borough.  Borough Treasurer Hours: 6 ¾.

Solicitor fees:  February: $87.50

COMMENTS OF CITIZENS:  Please state your name, you have 3 minutes to speak.

5-Borough residents, Tom Murtha & Tricia Borneman- owners of farmland north end of the Borough (Old Weiss Property), Eric Vanderhyde and friend were present. 

Tom Murtha introduced himself and wife Tricia to Borough Council and shared their goal with the purchase of the farmland at the north end of Riegelsville Boro is to grow certified organic vegetables, herbs, flowers and fruits. This land was certified organic as of May 2021.  They have crafted a Conservation plan for the farm, in anticipation of seeking farmland preservation. Their goal is to preserve the land as working produce farm. Tom stated none of these goals- organic certification, land preservation, or having a financially viable specialty crop farm, will be possible without an irrigation well to reliably water our crops in season. Their irrigation systems are designed to promote water conservation and natural resource quality. Tom closed by stating, please help us achieve our mutually beneficial goal of having a successful organic vegetable farm on this land in Riegelsville, by approving our application for a maximum capacity 50 GPM irrigation well. We hope that you’ll see that supporting our efforts to continue the agricultural tradition on this land will be an asset to this community. We cannot proceed on this land as a farm without an irrigation well. Tom Stinnett, Council President stated that we love what you are doing but will try work with you if you also work with the Borough requirements too. Tom Murtha did state that he talked to Jim Kopchak, Zoning officer to get all the permits and paperwork that is still needed.  Mayor Stokes stated he didn’t think in most municipality’s that a permit is needed for the Hoop House since it is a temporary structure. Dave Xander, Resident by the farmland stated he was approached by DCNR representative asking if he was discharging water from the Canal to his fields. Dave said he is not the owner of the farmland. Dave said that Tom Murtha is keeping the farmland looking good, which was never done in the past.  Eric Vanderhyde stated that with this system the irrigation goes from the plants and recharges the aquafer in the ground.  Tom Stinnett stated that was a good point thank you.

Tom Stinnett stated that the Borough is gathering information from Borough Engineer, Riegelsville Water Operator so the Borough Council can make a decision on the new well, We need to be careful since the Borough’s Well is next to this land. Borough Council will need to have a Special Council meeting since the next Council meeting is April 13.

Dave Xander stated the American Legion is having the Memorial Day Parade on May 29, 2022.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

Community Affairs:  Kate Brandes called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm on February 16, 2022. If anyone makes inappropriate comments, tries to sell something, is attacking someone, etc. you will be removed from this meeting.

Members Present: Kate Brandes, Ed Bartosiewicz, Gary Chase, Rodney Scott and Thomas Stinnett.

Others Present: Frank Preedy- Borough EMC, Jim Kopchak-Zoning officer, Mayor Stokes and Sherry Masteller-Borough Secretary, 1- Borough residents present.

Concerns from citizens: Please state your name, you have maximum 3 minutes to speak. No one spoke.

Discussions:

Zoning: Jim Kopchak, Borough Zoning Officer reported to Council his February 2022 report.

Permits: 1- Building permit: 200 amp service. 2-Zoning permits: Re-Roof.

Enforcement Activities:

129 Maplewood Road- Flood elevation certificate was received in December. Two sets of plans with the RFE and Floodplain ordinance data is needed for our floodplain manager to review.

808 Durham Road update: DCNR is corresponding with this issue due to the Canal and FEMA Floodplain.

601 Easton Rd, Wendy Breyer and Bob Ryan: At that point, all correspondence was referred to Mr. Dudeck, the Borough Solicitor.  No further enforcement action will be taken by the Zoning Officer until the validity of the sign ordinance is resolved and the directive from our solicitor is received. Jim emailed Mr. Dudeck for an update on the ordinance review.

No scheduled ZHB meetings.

TNT Groundworks put up a Hoop House without getting a zoning permit, Jim emailed the land owner.

G. Chase asked what if a resident does not comply with a violation that is sent to them from zoning officer.

Jim stated that if they don’t comply with the violation then they receive a non-traffic citation and go to the Magistrate Court.  Gary asked if the sign at 601 Easton Road is safely being held with those furring strips in all the bad wind we have been having. The sign could fall on 611 and hit a passing car. Then the property owner would be responsible for that issue.  Gary also asked if the sign is considered a commercial sign since it is advertising for a commercial website.  Jim stated he would need to look into that.

Library News: Borough office received from Terri Randolph (Director) the January 2022 Directors report minutes and they have been filed.  Kate reported from the Director report since no one from the Library was present at the meeting. Tax forms are available again this year.  January there was 6 youth programs with 29 Children attending. This month Story time was a return of Science.  Valentine craft kits to go were available for the children instead of in person craft.  Annual Egg hunt is set for Friday April 15th at the Borough Park.  The 2022 Summer Quest theme is “Oceans of Possibilities”.

Fire Co. News: E. Bartosiewicz reported to Council that March 1, 2022 will be the first joint meeting with Ottsville.  Recently there was a vehicle rollover call during the day, 3 from Riegelsville FC & 6 from Ottsville went to the call. Daytime calls are difficult to get volunteers that are available, so it helps to have Ottsville since they train and go on calls together.

Riegelsville Enhancement Committee:  Kate has plans to get the Enhancement Committee together is the spring, she emailed Ann Moyer for some information but no return email yet.

UBREMS (Upper Bucks Regional EMS) News: E. Bartosiewicz reported that they run 2 Units for calls, right now they are without a Paramedic on one of the units due to not enough Paramedics on staff. Other Companies are able to pay Paramedics more money so they are going to those places.

Rec Board News:  R. Scott reported that Girls Softball sign ups have started, spring is around the corner. Coaches have asked if we would be getting batting cage, Rodney is going to look into them.

Riegelsville Emergency Management: F. Preedy thanked Borough Council for appointing Dominick Angione to the Emergency Management Team.   Frank picked up the rapid Covid test from Bucks County and gave 108 to Riegelsville Fire Co. and the same to the Borough.  Frank attended a zoom meeting with Bucks County EM for information to upgrade the Everbridge Emergency warning system.

Mayor Stokes said that the North 611 road closure project in Williams Township by Canalside Cup should be open around the second week of March.

Mayor Stokes received an email from Jodee, DRJTBC (Delaware Bridge Commission) representative that they would like to put additional lite signs up North & South on 611 and before the Canal Bridge.  Due to the trucks trying to go over the bridge.

Riegelsville Planning Commission:  T. Stinnett reported that Mr. Chavez-New owner of 702 Durham Road, did not attend the meeting on February 7, 2022. Tom also reported that they are starting to look at the Riegelsville Borough Commercial District Plan- a Riegelsville Borough Comprehensive Plan Document of 2002- put together by Bucks County Planning Commission.

Meeting adjourned 7:38 pm.  Next meeting March 16, 2022 7pm

 Utilities:  Rodney Scott called the Utilities meeting to order at 7:38pm on February 16, 2022.

If anyone makes inappropriate comments, tries to sell something, is attacking someone, etc. you will be removed from this meeting.

Members Present:   Rodney Scott, Ed Bartosiewicz, Kate Brandes, Gary Chase, Tom Stinnett.

Others Present:   Frank Preedy- Borough EMC, Mayor Stokes and Sherry Masteller-Borough Secretary.  1- Borough resident present.

Concerns from Citizens:  Please state your name, you have maximum 3 minutes to speak.  No one spoke.

Discussions:

A replacement chlorine tester for Well #3 was ordered and expected delivery is 2/28/2022.

Office renovation, Rodney reported that today was the Pre- Construction meeting.  During the Council meeting on March 9, the “Notice to proceed” will be on the agenda.

Covid funds/Water project: Cowan was notified that Council approved the estimate for Water main Extension on Edgewood.- Cowan will start the in-house project order, put the materials list together and timeline of bidding/completion.

Meeting Adjourned: 7:46 pm    Next meeting March 16, 2022   7pm

Streets & Properties: Ed Bartosiewicz called the Streets & Properties meeting to order at 7:03 pm on March 2, 2022.  If anyone makes inappropriate comments, tries to sell something, is attacking someone, etc. you will be removed from this meeting.  

Members Present: Ed Bartosiewicz, Kate Brandes, Gary Chase, Rodney Scott and Tom Stinnett.

Others Present: Mayor Stokes and Sherry Masteller-Borough Secretary.

Comments from Citizens:   Please state your name, you have maximum 3 minutes to speak. 2-Borough residents present.  No comments.

Discussions:

Borough Office renovation update: Office is almost cleaned out. Engineer prepared copies of the plan for Riegelsville Zoning officer.  “Notice to proceed” will be added to the Council agenda on March 9, 2022.

The concrete drain box needs to be replaced between 512 & 504 Easton Road. S & M General Services estimate $3,300.00 will be added to Council agenda.

Well #2 needs a new 2 inch water meter.  Rodney talked to Tammy about the 2 quotes, Lawco Inc. was the lowest, and Rodney told Tammy to order the meter so it come in as soon as possible. The quote $ 808.18 will be added to Council agenda.

Council looked over the road resurfacing project estimate $199,075.00 from Cowan, Borough Engineer for Elmwood Lane & Bidwell Lane. This project was added to the 2022 Budget.  Council would need to vote on this project in order to go forward.

Council discussed the information from Matt in reference to a DR Field and Brush mower Pro 26. Cost is $2,699.99 on sale. One question after looking at the website was that it might be better for residential use not commercial use.  More information may be needed.

Borough received the 3 year proposal $195.00 yearly from Tilley Fire Solutions. The Borough has 20 Fire Extinguishers.  Proposal will be added to the Council agenda.

 Meeting adjourned 7:14 pm   Next Streets/Properties meeting will be held on April 6, 2022 at 7:00 pm.

Finance:  Gary Chase called the Finance meeting to order on March 2, 2022 at 7:15 pm.

If anyone makes inappropriate comments, tries to sell something, is attacking someone, etc. you will be removed from this meeting.  

Members Present: Gary Chase, Kate Brandes, Ed Bartosiewicz, Rodney Scott and Tom Stinnett

Others Present:   Mayor Stokes and Sherry Masteller-Borough Secretary.

Comment from Citizens:   Please state your name, you have maximum 3 minutes to speak. 2 Borough residents present.

Discussions:

Robert Ryan, Borough Resident stated that he was interested in the changes in the bylaws when you get to them on the agenda.

Sherry attended a PEMA & FEMA exploratory call on Friday February 25. Discussed the small amount of debris and needs stone. Discussed not meeting the funding minimum. Council will need to do a formal vote during Council meeting.

Council will need to vote on waiving the permit fees for the Office renovation during next week’s Council meeting.

K&R tree service cut down the trees at well 1&2, the estimate was approved 11/10/21 and job was completed 2/22/22.  Invoice will be paid during Council meeting next week.

Council has looking over the current Septic Maintenance Ordinance, Tom stated there is a few things that needs to be changed.

Council continues to look over the Bylaws, Tom stated that the few changes are personnel titles and the voting section.

Council looked over the financials and did not have any questions.

Gary Chase stated that zoning communications, violations, citations and fines are only to be addressed, and sent to, a residential property’s legal deed holder.

Guests, visitors, transients, and the like, bear no legal connection or responsibility to a residential property.  Therefore, there is no justification to include anyone other than the deed holder on any, and all, zoning communications and documents.

Gary asked the Borough to review all zoning communications to identify non-deed holder names and strike these names from future correspondences.  Gary stated that all future zoning communications will then transpire with the legal, residential property deed holder, only.

Meeting adjourned at 7:25 pm Next Finance meeting will be held April 6, 2022 immediately following Streets/Properties.

T.Stinnett, Council President and T. Macaluso stated the proposed changes are to amend the current bylaws. Council will continue to look them over.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS: If anyone has any questions please comment prior to the vote.

Approval to execute the agreement with S & S Electrical Services, Inc. (Office renovations). R. Scott motioned to approve, E. Bartosiewicz seconded.  Unanimous

Approval of “Notice to Proceed” S & S Electrical Services, Inc. (Office renovations). G. Chase motioned to approve, K. Brandes seconded.  Unanimous

Approval of Cowan & Associates, Borough Engineer to start the process to resurface Elmwood Lane and Bidwell Lane,  Project estimate $199,075.00.  E. Bartosiewicz motioned to approve, G. Chase seconded.  Unanimous

Approval to waive the permit fees for the Riegelsville Borough Office Renovation project. R. Scott motioned to approve, K. Brandes seconded.  Unanimous

Approval to not continue with the FEMA Grant application mandatory requirements due to storm Ida. E. Bartosiewicz motioned to approve, K. Brandes seconded.  Unanimous

Approval of S&M General Services LLC estimate $3,300.00 (Poured drain box between 504 and 512 Easton Road). G. Chase motioned to approve, R. Scott seconded.  Unanimous

Approval Lawco Inc. Quote $808.18 2”meter for Well #2. R. Scott motioned to approve, G. Chase seconded.  Unanimous

Approval Tilley Fire Solutions 3 year Contract $195.00 per year 3/1/2022-2/28/2025.  E. Bartosiewicz motioned to approve, G. Chase seconded.  Unanimous

Approval to purchase DR Field and Brush Mower Pro 26, Estimate $2,699.99. G. Chase motioned to approve, E. Bartosiewicz seconded.  Unanimous

NEW BUSINESS:  None to report.

 APPROVAL OF BILLS:  R. Scott motioned to approve bills. K. Brandes seconded.

Meeting adjourned 7:55 PM.

April 15, 2022 Borough Remote Offices Closed “Good Friday”  Next Council meeting April 13, 2022 at 7pm

 

Sherry Masteller

Borough Secretary

 

 

 

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