APPROVED April 13, 2022 Council Minutes

April 20, 2022

President Thomas E. Stinnett called the regular meeting of the Riegelsville Borough Council to order at 7:00 pm April 13, 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, Rodney Scott and Mayor Stokes.

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

 Motion to approve March 23, 2022 Special Council Meeting minutes.  K. Brandes motioned to approve, R. Scott Seconded.   Unanimous.

 CORRESPONDENCE:

Borough Secretary read the “Conclusion Letter” from Zelenkofske Axelrod LLC. Borough Auditor from the 2021 Annual Audit.

Borough office received a call and email from Skip Brown, Borough resident in reference to debris on his property by the Borough Well. Council had a discussion and will set up an appointment to meet with the property owner.  S. Masteller will set that appointment up.

REPORTS: 

President: T. Stinnett stated to everyone to have a nice Easter weekend.

Brent Chavez, new property owner of 702 Durham Road introduced himself to Council. This will be his office- Wealth management consultant and he will have an assistant. He has been busy power washing and cleaning up the property and cleaning out the inside. He will soon be ready to get permits for fit out and a bathroom. He wants to be a positive business for this Community and to help with fundraisers for the Fire Company.

Mayor: Mayor Stokes reported that he has been helping Frank Preedy, EMC to communicate Tom Murtha, Farm owner and Well driller with the equipment falling over twice in 2 weeks. Mayor Stokes received a call from Ken Kerstner-Master Driller that offered some advice on the situation that was helpful. Gary Chase asked what the next step is since this has happened twice. Mayor Stokes said he reached out to Tom Murtha and was told they are working on that with the well drilling company.  Mayor Stokes helped a few trucks that where trying to go over the Delaware River Bridge.  Mayor Stokes stated there Men’s First home baseball game is Saturday at 3pm. Jan Powell and John Jones will be throwing out the first pitch- they both Coached when Mayor Stokes was in little league here in Riegelsville.  Tom Stinnett asked if Mayor Stokes if he knew whether the reservoirs were filling up the river, Mayor Stokes said it was due to all the rain.  Rodney Scott read the email from Tom & Tricia Murtha, Farmers, that was sent at 6:27pm. They stated they are presently unsure of what their next step will be as the Garber crew was consumed with the equipment rescue process today. They are extremely relieved that no one was hurt and as a small business owners very empathetic to their current situation. They said they will contact the Borough immediately as soon as they know what is happening next.

Report: Sherry Masteller appointed Open Records Officer (ORO) 

March 2022

9~RTK requests received from Mr. Robert Ryan.

3~ RTK final response within 5 business days.

5~ 30 day extensions.

3~ Denials.

6~Granted.

The 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 from 3/1/2022 will be finalized on or before April 29, 2022.

Open Records Officer Hours:  10 3/4 Hours to process, gather documents and if needed forward requests to all agencies of the Borough. 

Solicitor fees:  March: $575.00

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

7-Borough residents,  

Kate Budlong asked what the Solicitors budget is. T. Stinnet stated $7000.00, as of tonight’s bills we have spent $1800.00.

Bob Ryan asked if Mayor Stokes has heard anything about the cleaning of the drains. Mayor Stokes stated he did not hear back from his contact.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

Community Affairs:  Kate Brandes called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm on March 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, Tammy Macaluso- Borough treasurer and Sherry Masteller-Borough Secretary. 7- Borough residents present.

Concerns from citizens: Please state your name, you have maximum 3 minutes to speak.

Dave Xander, Borough Resident appreciates the dedication that the unpaid Borough Council continues to make this village a nice place to live.

Discussions:

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

Permits: 4- Building permit: Generator, HVAC, Fit-Out for Bakery and Office Renovation. 2-Zoning permits: Re-Roofs.

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 before April 11, 2022 or a non-traffic citation will be filed.

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 on February 16, for an update on the ordinance review.

No scheduled ZHB meetings.

TNT Groundworks put up a Hoop House without getting a zoning permit, T. Murtha, property owner is getting the spec sheets together to get to Jim.  Waiting for the status of the BC well permit application and Council’s decision of the new well.  T. Stinnett stated they are waiting for more information.

Jim stated that Rich, President of Keystone Municipal Services will be requesting authorization to purchase the 2018 ICC Code Books for the Borough. Sherry did not get a request yet, Council can vote during the April 13 Council meeting.

Library News: Borough office received from Terri Randolph (Director) the February 2022 Directors report minutes and they have been filed.  Beth Banko, Board Trustee reported that all Bucks County Library Branches went mask free March 1, 2022. Book sale is scheduled for April 22, 23 and 30th. The 2022 Summer Quest theme is “Oceans of Possibilities”.

Fire Co. News: E. Bartosiewicz reported to Council that “Fish Fry Friday Dinner” are very well attended approximately 200 Patrons plus 25 Volunteers. Ottsville Fire Company are helping with this weekly fundraiser too.

Riegelsville Enhancement Committee:  Kate has plans to get the Enhancement Committee started up again, first meeting is set for Saturday April 2, 2022 1pm at the Borough Community Room.

 UBREMS (Upper Bucks Regional EMS) News: E. Bartosiewicz reported that they continue to be short on employees, and continue to look for different avenues for funding.

 Rec Board News:  R. Scott reported that 2 girl’s teams (T-Ball & 6/7/8 Softball) will use the softball field as their home field. 13 U Boys Baseball and Men’s Team will be using the Baseball field as their home fields.

Riegelsville Emergency Management: F. Preedy reported that North 611 is open in Williams Twp. before Brown’s Drive. Thanked Mayor Stokes for updating Council on the progress. Frank continues to find funding/grants for Storm water mitigation possible with Act 13.  There is also a USDA rural program to look into for Commercial Credit.

Riegelsville Planning Commission:  T. Stinnett reported the next meeting is April 4th. Tom also reported that they had a discussion concerning the proposed well to be installed by the farmer on the organic farm at the north end of town. It was decided that it would be acceptable if the pump rate was not too large.

They will start looking at the Riegelsville Borough Commercial District Plan- a Riegelsville Borough Comprehensive Plan Document of 2002- put together by Bucks County Planning Commission.

Misc.:  Sherry reported that Borough office received a call from Michael Craig, Borough Resident that the Trail sign at the Fern Road entrance does not look very nice, it is too high and maybe it can be put somewhere else like on the fence. Michael also suggested to add a sign for owners to keep dogs on a leash.  Council discussed maybe put the sign on 2 6×6 posts in front of the fence and lower. Sherry will contact the Cowan, Borough Engineer for more safety information and suggestions.

G. Chase proposed to Council that Right to Know (RTK) requests should be disclosed since they are public records possibly on the Borough Website and Borough Council minutes. Council did not discuss this any further. Discussion will be ongoing.

 Meeting adjourned 7:26 pm.   Next meeting April 20, 2022 7pm.

 Utilities:  Rodney Scott called the Utilities meeting to order at 7:30pm on March 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, Tammy Macaluso- Borough Treasurer and Sherry Masteller-Borough Secretary. 7- Borough residents present.

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

Discussions:

The replacement chlorine tester for Well #3 is on backorder, scheduled to ship 4/23/22.

Office renovation: Construction started today.

Covid funds/Water project: Cowan Engineer is working on the supply list, bidding packet & timeline.  Bob Ryan, Borough Resident, asked how Council decided on the appropriate water project with the Covid funds.  Tom stated they decided on Edgewood main extension to get rid of the dead end in the water line. This was discussed during 2022 Budget discussions.

Annual 2021 CCR report went via email, will go in the next Rville Happenings, Mail and will be added to the Website.

Rodney stated well information is being gathered so a decision can be made by Council. Tom stated Council will have a Special Meeting on Wednesday March 23, 2022 at 7pm for Council to vote on the installation of the new Well. Tammy Macaluso, Borough Treasurer asked if there would be anything in writing that is the farm land is sold that the well would not be used by the new owners. Tom Murtha, farmland owner said they bought it to keep it agricultural and get it preserved too. Gary asked Tom Murtha if they are using a dripline for irrigation. Tom stated yes they are.

Council discussed changes that are needed to the current Septic Maintenance Ordinance #227 from 2014.  Ann Moyer asked since there is no open dialog for the public during this discussion, why is Tammy Macaluso going over it. Tammy stated she did the changes. Tom stated Tammy assists Sherry with administrative work when needed.

Meeting Adjourned: 7:48 pm   Next meeting April 20, 2022   7pm

 Streets & Properties: Ed Bartosiewicz called the Streets & Properties meeting to order at 7:01 pm on April 6, 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, 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.

Bob Ryan, Borough Resident asked about a few items that are not on the action log anymore. Front porch repair- Ed stated he has not contacted contractors for updated estimates. Pedestrian Bridge- Ed stated a few more boards need to be replaced and then weatherproofed.  Small parking lot- Rodney stated that Cowan Associates was contacting the last surveyor since there is a discrepancy on the lines.  Cleaning out Route 611 drains- Mayor Stokes will have a report during next week’s Council meeting.

Discussions:

Borough Office renovation update: Rodney stated the ceiling & walls have been primed and 2 coats of paint applied. The rough electric was inspected. Flooring should be installed next week and the countertops the following week. The installation of the AC unit is yet to be scheduled.  Matt is looking for paint to match the color of hallway when the new door is installed.

Tilley Annual inspection is scheduled for April 12, 2022 at 8am. The Borough has 20 extinguishers.

Elmwood Ln/Bidwell Ln road project update. Cowan, Borough Engineer is putting an updated estimate together and a timeline for the bid process. REMARKS:  Borough office has not heard back from Engineer yet.

The Bucks County voters drop box will be delivered end of April.  It will be open/supervised 2 weeks before May 17 Election when the Riegelsville Public Library is open just like previous election.

During the March 16, Community Affairs meeting Council discussed moving the Trail sign at the end of Fern Road/Edgewood Road. Sherry asked Todd Myers, Borough engineer if the sign had any restrictions as to where we would move it. Todd stated no restriction. The discussion was to move it back near the fence. Rodney will talk to Matt about placement of the sign.

The last salt delivery that was ordered on 3/14/2022 was never received. Sherry is in contact with Morton salt to find out why it hasn’t been received yet. REMARKS:  No Salt delivery yet, Sherry has made 3 calls.

 Mayor Stokes stated that Walter Szablowski reached out to get a replacement Poll Watcher on May 17, 2022 as he will be out of town during the election. Hours are open to close of the poles (7am-8 pm), the pay is $125.00 for the day.

Rodney stated he would like to address the continuing disrespect and harassment by a library board member towards Council, Mayor and our Borough Public Works Supervisor. Yesterday the Borough Road Supervisor received a message from a Borough resident that viewed a picture and comment on social media that was put up by a library board member that was out of line and could have caused a lot of problems for our Public Works Supervisor if the Police were called. Based on these facts he feels Council should consider this when the annual donation is given to the library. Council needs to discuss this further with a possible recommendation to the Library Board to have the Board member removed. G. Chase agrees with Rodney. E. Bartosiewicz does not agree to withhold the donation.

Meeting adjourned 7:19 pm Next Streets/Properties meeting will be held on May 4, 2022 at 7:00 pm.

Finance: Gary Chase called the Finance meeting to order on April 6, 2022 at 7:19 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, 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.  Robert Ryan, Borough Resident asked Gary if he was working on any grants like the other Finance chair did. Gary stated that he is not working on any grants now.

Discussions:

Gary reported to Council that he has been going over the “Septic Maintenance Ordinance” revisions. The current ordinance is confusing and out of date.  Gary wants to make sure that Act 537 of Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act amendments are listed in the revised version of the Ordinance. Gary has reached out to Kate for her knowledge too, this is a time-consuming task to update but needed.

Tammy has put together a list with costs for new office furniture, for example under desk filing cabinets, 2 desk chairs, lateral filing cabinets and fireproof safe. Gary is going to look into comparing the cost of items with the Costar program that the Borough is a member of.

Gary reported that he is gathering information for a standardized email platform for the Borough. Some suggestions are Microsoft 365 and Google.

Brush mower was ordered, there is an increase of $214.63 due to Maintenance kit and initial cost at the time of ordering.

Zoning office needs the ICC 2018 Code books the cost is $1089.93, this will be added to the April 13, Council agenda.

The generator at the Borough building needs a new battery, the cost with labor and travel is $371.60. This will be added to the April 13, Council agenda.

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

Meeting adjourned at 7:40 pm. Next Finance meeting will be held May 4, 2022 immediately following Streets/Properties.

Gary Chase led a conversation with Council to discuss the changes/revisions to the current Septic Ordinance.

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

Approval of Municipal letter of support- DVRPC possible New Navigator Program to help community’s access funds for water system improvements (Storm water management, sewer and water). E. Bartosiewicz motioned to approve, R. Scott seconded.  Unanimous

Approval to advertise (Legal Ad) the completed 2021 Audit report. E. Bartosiewicz motioned to approve, K. Brandes seconded.  Unanimous

Approval to purchase office equipment up to an amount of $2,700.00. R. Scott motioned to approve, K. Brandes seconded.  Unanimous

Approval to P3 Generator for new battery/ Labor/ Travel $371.60. R. Scott motioned to approve, E. Bartosiewicz seconded.  Unanimous

Approval to purchase New 2018 ICC Code books from Keystone Municipal Services Cost $1089.93. E. Bartosiewicz motioned to approve, K. Brandes seconded.  Unanimous

Approval to Diamond Communications Solutions Total – $825.48, printing/mailing of County/Borough and Per Capita Bills.  K. Brandes motioned to approve, E. Bartosiewicz seconded.  Unanimous

Approval to L/B Water Services – $759.68 for parts to fix leak by horse farm on Delaware. G. Chase motioned to approve, R. Scott seconded.  Unanimous

NEW BUSINESS:  None to report.

 APPROVAL OF BILLS:   E. Bartosiewcz motioned to approve bills.  G. Chase seconded.  

Meeting adjourned 8:15 PM.

April 15, 2022 Borough Offices closed “Good Friday” and Monday April 18, 2022.

Next Council meeting May 11, 2022 at 7pm

Sherry Masteller

Borough Secretary

 

 

 

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