Channels Lower Providence Township December 18th 2014 - Lower Providence Township Board of Supervisors Meeting

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For full meeting minutes go to: http://www.lowerprovidence.org/documents/MinutesBOS2014-12-18.pdf

New Business
A) Discussion and consideration of award of residential trash and recycling bid.
i) Mr. Woodrow reviewed the process, noting J.P. Mascaro & Sons was the lowest bidder.
After reviewing the package with Mr. Gestrich he recommended accepting J.P. Mascaro &
Sons bid which offers the current level of service of twice weekly pick-up with bulk and yard
waste. He stated the board would need to decide whether to accept the three-year contract
with two, one-year extensions or the five-year contract with two, one-year extension options.
Mr. Woodrow said he had no strong feelings one way or the other and that expectations for
future pricing should be considered in making that decision.
ii) Board comments:
(1) Chairwoman Eckman reviewed the breakdown spreadsheet. Mr. Woodrow noted that the
new bid, offering the same service, was actually a reduction in cost from the previous
contract.
(2) Mr. Gestrich was surprised to find controlled volume wasn’t more competitive. He stated
that the once-a-week pick-up is the most economical but after running number for both
the three and five-year options he agreed that both options cost less than what residents
are currently paying with no reduction in service. Mr. Gestrich also noted that there is
only a 9% difference between once-a-week pick-up and twice weekly pick-up. He looked
at all scenarios as to possible cost increases and decreases but considers both options a
good pick.
(3) Supervisor Duffy said that, looking at the way the bids break down, that the five-year
contract is $29.79 per month per average per household. The three-year contract, with Lower Providence Township Board of Supervisors Meeting
December 18, 2014
Page 2 of 6
option years is $29.65. He supported the five-year contract as it will allow the Township
to keep the prices low for residents for an extended period of time. Supervisor
Zimmerman agreed. Supervisor Sorgini stated that he couldn’t recall an opportunity to
vote on something that offers the same service at a reduced cost. He supported the fiveyear
contract as it would allow the Township to lock in the reduced costs for seven years.
(4) Supervisor Thomas expressed appreciation for the effort in working through the bidding
process. He also noted that he was in support of the controlled volume approach as it
reduces the number of trucks on the road and doesn’t burden residents who use the
service the least with subsidizing it for those who use it the most. Supervisor Thomas
supported the once-a-week pick-up option as it provides an even greater reduction in
costs for those who only use one toter a week while still providing the service level for
those who use two toters per week.
(5) Chairwoman Eckman stated that she was simply looking at the lowest cost to for
residents. She agreed that twice-weekly pick-up is a great deal for the service provided
but she is leaning towards providing the bare bones for the lowest cost which would be
the once-a-week pick-up for three years. Chairwoman Eckman said she is aware that
many residents do not need twice-weekly pick-up and it would be a cost savings to them.
She also noted that the bid process has been enlightening and looking at waste pick-up in
depth has been beneficial to residents regardless of the outcome.
(6) MOTION: Supervisor Sorgini made a motion to approve the five-year contract with
twice weekly pick-up. Supervisor Zimmerman seconded the motion.
(i) Al DeGinnaro, deputy general counsel for J.P. Mascaro & Sons, introduced
himself to the Board, stating J.P. Mascaro & Sons appreciated the opportunity to
serve the Township over the last few contracts and are excited to have the
opportunity to continue to service the Township. He agreed that the five-year
contract provides the best benefit. He applauded the Township and staff for
putting together a thorough set of bid specifications and said, financially, this was
a good time to lock in a bid.
The motion passed 3-2 with Chairwoman Eckman and Supervisor Thomas opposing.
B) Update and discussion of Ridge Pike Overlay Ordinance.
i) Sean Metrick, Montgomery County Planning Commission, gave background on his work
with the Planning Commission to draft a proposed zoning and zoning map amendment. He
explained that his presentation was an opportunity to discuss the changes to the ordinance,
any concerns regarding the ordinance and to hear the Board of Supervisors’ recommendation
to the Planning Commission.
ii) Mr. Metrick discussed the proposed changes to the draft, which include conditional use
requirements for multifamily dwellings and regulations governing nonconforming uses as
described in his letter of November 12, 2014.
(1) Supervisor Sorgini asked if the Collegeville Inn site was the largest property site in the
district. Mr. Metrick said it was in the top three.
(2) Discussion was held as to non-conforming uses. Mr. Metrick asked Solicitor Rice if the
Board of Supervisors can exercise discretion as to which two of six conditions the
applicants would have to satisfy for seeking non-conforming approval or would it be the
applicant’s choice. It is not currently in the code but is an issue that needs to be
addressed. Solicitor Rice stated that the Zoning Hearing Board usually grants exceptions
to non-conforming use. He said an applicant could become before the Board of Lower Providence Township Board of Supervisors Meeting
December 18, 2014
Page 3 of 6
Supervisors for a conditional use. He stated there would still have to be some sort of
criteria if it is not put to a conditional use hearing. It was determined that this question
needed more examination but Solicitor Rice stated if an applicant is given a menu of
options it is typically up to their discretion as to which options to select. Supervisor
Sorgini asked how many establishments are currently non-conforming under the
proposed use. Mr. Metrick said most are non-conforming as to the structure but comply
as to their use due to broadening of that section of the ordinance.
(3) Discussion was held as to when the property owner would be asked to comply and how to
prioritize the list of compliances. Solicitor Rice felt making it a conditional use issue
would give the board more leeway.
(4) Mr. Metrick showed an image of a building currently on Ridge Pike, modified to comply
with the proposed changes, as an example of where the standards are heading.
(5) Zimmerman asked for clarification on a multi-family structure. Supervisor Sorgini noted
that these changes could make this the densest area of the Township. Supervisor
Zimmerman asked if they could require condominiums over apartments. Mr. Metrick said
they could not regulate ownership. Supervisor Sorgini asked what could preclude a
developer from putting a small non-residential building in front of a large, multi-family
development simply to comply with the ordinance. Mr. Metrick noted that multi-family
dwelling is only permitted if some part of the lot is within 500 feet of an intersection but
said that he would propose a minimum square-footage of non-residential so developers
don’t manipulate the ordinance.
(6) Chairwoman Eckman commented that feedback from developers indicated residential
over retail does not work and asked if that would be pursued. Mr. Metrick agreed that that
if that remains accurate, you will not see that sort of development. Mr. Gestrich agreed
that residential over retail was not economically feasible but mixed use is much more
desirable. Mr. Rice clarified this would be an office building or retail would be on the
build-line, with multi-family units on the same lot or in the rear of the lot. Mr. Metrick
confirmed this was the case.
(7) Mr. Metrick noted that the two comments from board are:
(a) In order to build multi-family dwellings a metric or standard correlating a certain
amount of square-feet of non-residential to certain number of multi-family dwellings
would need to be determined.
(b) In order to introduce more board discretion as to what standards are satisfied, look at
nonconforming structures that wish to expand as a conditional use process.
(i) Board Comments:
1. Supervisor Duffy liked the concept of the build-out line.
2. Chairwoman Eckman expressed concern about moving building too close to
the roadway line, stating the pedestrian experience needs to be taken into
consideration. Mr. Metrick agreed.
3. Supervisor Duffy inquired as the possibility of requiring utility lines be
buried. Mr. Metrick stated there already was an ordinance on dealing with that
issue. Supervisor Zimmerman noted the expense associated with moving
utility poles might be a deterrent to development. Mr. Mrozinski agreed,
stating the Township won’t see enough development to warrant those costs.
(8) Chairwoman Eckman inquired as to the next step in the process. Mr. Metrick said they
were close to final version of the ordinance. Chairwoman Eckman said the board may Lower Providence Township Board of Supervisors Meeting
December 18, 2014
Page 4 of 6
have more comments but it is at a point where there is a lot substance to look at this issue
in depth
C) A resolution establishing the 2015 real estate tax millage rate at .905 mills as the rate for General
Purposes, .345 mills for Lower Providence Community Library, and .241 mills for Parks and
Recreation.
i) Mr. Gestrich noted that these mills do not represent any changes.
ii) MOTION: Supervisor Zimmerman made a motion to establish the 2015 real estate tax
millage rate at .905 mills as the rate for General Purposes, .345 mills for Lower Providence
Community Library, and .241 mills for Parks and Recreation. Supervisor Duffy seconded the
motion. The motion passed 5-0
D) A resolution establishing the 2015 real estate tax millage rate at .276 mills for the Lower
Providence Debt Service Fund.
i) Mr. Gestrich noted that this was a tax increase from .101 Debt Service mills to .276 Debt
Service mills for a total increase of .175 mills or $29.33 per household per year.
ii) MOTION: Supervisor Sorgini made a motion to establish the 2015 real estate millage rate at
.276 mills for the Lower Providence Debt Service Fund. Supervisor Zimmerman seconded
the motion.
(1) Preston Luitweiler, 752 Mockingbird Lane asked what was driving the increase in debt
service. Mr. Gestrich explained that the increase was due to the reallocation of old debt
acquired as a result of the golf club purchase from the General Fund to the Debt Service
Fund and the debt acquired in 2013 associated with road resurfacing; purchasing vehicles
for Public Works and the Police Department as well as new servers for the Township
from Unrestricted Capital Reserve to the Debt Service Fund. He recommended correctly
allocating these debts to the Debt Service Fund as their payment was depleting the
Township’s reserve funds.
The motion passed 3-2 with Supervisors Duffy and Thomas in opposition.
E) A resolution adopting the 2015 Budget and appropriating specific sums estimated to be required
for the specific purposes of the municipal government.
i) MOTION: Supervisor Sorgini made a motion to adopt the 2015 Budget and appropriating
specific sums to be required for the specific purposes of the municipal government.
Supervisor Zimmerman seconded the motion. The motion passed 5-0.
F) Approval of the 2015 Fee Schedule
i) Ms. Law explained the 2015 fee schedule with changes recommended by Mr. Lukens for
Parks & Recreation and Mr. Mrozinski for Community Development and includes changes in
the millage for the Debt Service. She requested that the Board approve the fee schedule as
present.
(1) Mr. Mrozinski explained that the changes were administrative cleanup. He noted that
these changes include the fee for sidewalk repair; making it a minimum cost that would
include permit issuance and inspection. He also said this brings consistency to labeling,
bringing items under community development, and removing unneeded line items to
simplify the fee schedule.
ii) MOTON: Supervisor Duffy made a motion to approve the 2015 Fee Schedule. Supervisor
Sorgini seconded the motion. The motion passed 5-0.
G) Discussion and consideration of field leases with the Methacton United Soccer Club and the
Methacton Warriors Youth Association.Lower Providence Township Board of Supervisors Meeting
December 18, 2014
Page 5 of 6
i) Solicitor Rice explained that he had been instructed by the Board to prepare 10-year leases,
beginning January 2015 and running through January 2024. The leases reflect what each club
is currently doing at each field. The fee for each lease is $1 per year, the leases are consistent
and on the same schedule.
ii) Chairwoman Eckman stated the Township is fortune to have such well organized and hard
working youth organizations that, through their effort and hard work, improve our property at
little or no cost to residents. She noted these agreements are well deserved and was pleased
that the Township is offering leases that are consistent and fair.
iii) MOTION: Supervisor Zimmerman made a motion to accept the field leases with Methacton
United Soccer Club and the Methacton Warriors Youth Organization. Supervisor Duffy
seconded the motion. The motion passed 5-0.
H) Appointment of Michael Deal as the Deputy Tax Collector.
i) Kirsten Deal, the Lower Providence Township Tax Collector explained that recently made
changes by the state legislature require that a deputy be appointed for times of incapacitation.
She stated that Mr. Deal is currently working in the office and that this is a natural
progression into the position.
ii) Chairwoman Eckman asked if the deputy would need to be bonded. Ms. Deal said that no
matter who is appointed, the Tax Collector is still ultimately responsible but that the bonding
company would need to approve the Deputy appointment. Supervisor Rice said that the
Surety has to sign off on the Deputy. Mr. Gestrich noted that they are only serving in the Tax
Collector's stead, who is bonded. Chairwoman Eckman asked if the appointment would need
to be done every year. Ms. Deal said that she believes it would be every four years, congruent
with the tax collector’s appointment.
iii) MOTION: Supervisor Duffy made a motion to appoint Michael Deal as the Deputy Tax
Collector. Supervisor Zimmerman seconded the motion. The motion passed 5-0.

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