February 23, 2006

The Jackson Township Supervisors held their regular meeting at 7:00 p.m. at the Jackson Township Municipal Building. Members present were Supervisors Dave Bracken, Bob Stephens and Bruce Baker along with Secretary-Treasurer / Manager Dave Hirko and Solicitor Bill Barbin. The meeting was called to order by Dave Bracken, Chairman with the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.

Board Roll Call was taken with all three Supervisors present.

Public Comments Concerning Agenda Items:

Baker, second Stephens to approve the minutes of the Board of Supervisors January 26, 2006 Meeting and the February 6, 2006 Meeting. Vote-3 yes.

Township Financial Report:







$     27,998.26

$ 58,654.84

$       67,054.12

$     19,598.98


$ 1,410,496.92

$     640.27

$       15,523.71

$ 1,395,613.48


$       2,902.46

$      25.04

$                .00

$       2,927.50


$     28,248.49

$   2477.30

$         3,606.11

$     27,119.68

Manager Hirko noted that the February check from the landfill had not yet been deposited.

Stephens, second Baker to approve the bills for the period of January 27, 2005 through February 23, 2005. Vote-3 yes.

General Fund

Highway Aid Fund

Senior Center Fund

$     67,054.12

$          .00

$         3,606.11

Township Police Report:
The January, 2006 Police Report submitted by Police Chief Bob Fatula was presented. The figures for January were as follows: 911 Calls dispatched to Police were 355. Reportable Incidents were 35 broken down as follows: Reckless Endangerment-6, Theft-5, DUI (Driving While Under the Influence)-3, Harassment-3, Accessory to Fraud-2, Assault-2, Criminal Mischief-2, Drugs-2, Receiving Stolen Property-2, Altering Serial Number on Firearm-1, False I.D. to Police-1, Firearm with No License-1, Firearm with No Serial Number-1, Identity Theft-1, Terroristic Threats-1, Underage Drinking-1 and Vehicle Theft-1. Accidents Handled-14, Traffic Citations Issued - 39, Non-Traffic Citations Issued - 2, Criminal Charges Filed were 25 broken down as follows: Reckless Endangerment-6, DUI (Driving While Under the Influence)-3, Accessory to Fraud-2, Drugs-2, Receiving Stolen Property-2, Theft-2, Altering Serial Number on Firearm-1, Assault-1, False I.D. to Police-1, Firearm with No License-1, Firearm with No Serial Number-1, Harassment-1, Identity Theft-1 and Vehicle Theft-1.

Manager Hirko
read a letter from Bob Wiktor, Chairman of the Chickaree Ridgerunners Rescue & Recreation Snowmobile Club. The letter read as follows: On behalf of the Chickaree Ridgerunners Rescue & Recreation Snowmobile Club I would like to request a renewal of our lease for the Club property located at Mitchell Field in Vinco. Our renewal lease is a fifteen year lease and if possible, we would like to lease the property for thirty years, with the same lease conditions we now have. It has been a pleasure working with the Board of Supervisors in the past and we hope to continue working with them for many years to come.

Old Business:

New Business:
Stephens, second Baker to approve subdivision (side lot addition) of Delores Watroba. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to approve subdivision of Bruce & Patricia Colbert. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Bracken to approve Resolution 01-06 to join with Cambria Township & Ebensburg Borough in forming the "Central Cambria Coalition" to discuss common issues and seek efficiencies through joint municipal cooperation. Supervisor Stephens asked Solicitor Barbin, Thereís two things here. . .discuss and seek. This is nothing binding? Is that my understanding? Solicitor Barbin replied, Thereís nothing binding at all. Stephens said, in other words, if Ebensburg & Cambria Township vote on something, weíre not held to go along with what they want. Barbin replied, correct. They would have to come back for some other form of approval. Stephens said, I just want to clarify that as a matter of record. A vote was then taken. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to establish an Economic Development Committee for Jackson Township to promote growth, development and job creation and to appoint the following members to head up this committee; Tom Dolan Sr., Guy Ellenberger, Don Krens, John Letizzia Jr., Brad Minemyer, Tom Romeo and Kathy Spaid. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to accept resignation of Debra Nagel from the Jackson Township Planning Commission and to appoint Paul Wyrwas to fulfill the remainder of the term which expires December, 2009. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Stephens to authorize the advertising of bids for Heating Oil, Premium No Lead Gas and Diesel Fuel. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker on transferring $16,223.71 from the Capital Reserve Fund to the General Fund - $7,316.15 to American Rock Salt, $4,842.05 to Martin Oil for fuel and heating oil, $2,250.00 to Richard Sutter & Associates for planning and consulting services, $1,115.51 to the Tire Outlet for police vehicle repairs and $700.00 to Thomas Rummel & Sons Construction for window repair work at District Magistrates Office. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker on approving the time sheets from January 15, 2006 through January 28, 2006 and January 29, 2006 through February 11,2006. Vote-3 yes.

Other New Business:

Public Comments:
Ed Simmons
commented on parking exit and entrance on the Mike Homan property. He said, Iíd like to go on file and complain. . .first of all Iíd like to find out what kind of business or permits he has. Is it for storage, a business or whatever? It was permitted by the Township. Solicitor Barbin replied, my belief is weíve been treating it like a pre-existing business which predated the Zoning Ordinance and allowed it to continue as it was because it was there before the Ordinance was passed. Simmons answered, it was nothing but a grass strip. . . there was no buildings or nothing on it. Barbin said, If you say thereís no business there, thatís contrary to what weíve been told. Simmons said, Iím just telling you what was there. Barbin said, but if you have a business, there is a rule that says that going along with non-conforming uses, youíre entitled to reasonable natural expansion. Simmons asked, so youíre saying as of when the zoning was in place? Supervisor Baker said, yes. . . that was in the summer of 2001. Barbin said, if he was a businessman, he is permitted to continue the business and even allowed to expand it to a reasonable degree. Simmons asked, then what was it permitted it for? Barbin replied, we donít have a mercantile license or a mercantile tax so you donít actually register your business that way. We donít have anything that requires you to tell us what youíre doing. Simmons said, thereís several problems and I have a problem on all three sides of it. . number one, I know for a fact that for fifty years now, the exit / entrance going to his buildings that leads from the red brick road out to the highway is a defacto exit for all parties that have personal property that has existed since Mrs. Karlinsey sold her house back there on the brick road. Barbin said, I think I spoke with your neighbor on closing that, but itís not a Township road. Simmons said, itís definitely on Mikeís property but itís been in existence. Barbin said, but you have private rights. . .the neighbors have private rights to use it, but thatís a private rights matter and not a Township matter. Simmons said, yeah but itís now been closed so I donít have access to my property. I have to seek access from the State which I have some more property there which Iím going to do. So, if I have to do that I have to adhere to all the State regulations regarding this driveway. If we start at the front and look down the highway, the State demands a clear line of sight for obvious safety reasons. For the way the business is operating now, there is no line of sight. The parking is helter-skelter. . thereís no clear definition of the property line there along the road. There were some parking signs placed up a week or so ago. One of them was placed right in the middle of my proposed new driveway. The other one was placed clear down fifty yards below the building, so the whole area thatís the problem is still wide open. Barbin answered, and thatís a close of enough distance to make the area no parking and the point here. . . the idea of the placement from the discussion here was that they were placed in line with the utility poles which is our best estimate of where the property line is between the right of way and the property line. We can regulate the traffic on the right of way parking. We cannot say you cannot park a car on your own land. Simmons said, I understand that. Barbin said, for the record, weíre in the warning phase right now. . .weíre not ticketing anybody right now because theyíre giving people warnings so they understand it. Simmons said, well the signs on the north is the one thatís on my proposed driveway. . thatís very close to the highway right of way with my other survey pin in the ground. Chairman Bracken said, we can move that. Simmons said, you have to move it anyway because itís in my driveway. Barbin said, the idea is to put the signs right on the edge of the road. Simmons said, yeah because I canít get in there now with a sign there. Now on the other end now, thatís a different thing. I know youíre using the utility pole but that highwayís a 60 foot right of way so from the center of the road to the right side is a good 30 feet and that property line is maybe six to eight feet to the right of that utility pole. So the line of sight down at the corner of his property . . . youíre going to see how close the highway line comes. All Iím asking for is for the Township to. . number 1. . .make certain that the highway right of way is clear of any obstructions. Barbin said, as far as the 8 or 10 feet down at the far end. . the Townshipís not going to do something unless itís causing a problem. Simmons said, it depends on where you park cars there. Barbin said, that extra 8 to 10 feet youíre saying. . .that also causes a problem? Simmons replied, Iím just more or less giving you the facts. Barbin said, I understand. Simmons said, most of my problems would be where I come out when I go down to his buildings and so forth. Barbin said thereís only justification for a regulation if the regulation would solve the problem. Simmons answered, and thatís reasonable. But Iíve definitely had in the past and had to pull out on the actual concrete just to see down the road. I just want that to decease and desist. . I shouldnít have to deal with that at any time. Barbin said, and the area between your property and this driveway into his building . . that sign goes pretty close to the right of way? Simmons asked, where? Barbin said, from your new proposed driveway down where you need the line of sight. That is sort of on the right of way. Is it the parking signs you mean? Simmons answered, yes. . the parking signs are very close to the southerly end of it. Bracken said, you said the one signs is on your property. Simmons replied, yes. Barbin said, you can slide it down if thatís where heís going to put his driveway. Baker said, yeah. . we donít want to put the sign in your driveway. Simmons says, the other thing is, I realize we have zoning now, established after he had his business and that like I said. . . was an exit for over 50 years . . well, itís now closed and itís now become a parking lot, so I say to you if thatís the case, heís changed the use. Barbin said, heís created another parking lot? Simmons said, heís created a new parking lot and it needs to conform to the code regarding parking permits or parking lots and what youíre required to do. Barbin said, a warning letter was sent. . not a violation letter. . .but a warning letter sent to him asking for his response. It would be a new parking lot. . he closed the road and now heís using it for parking. Heís not prohibited from doing it but he needs to do a site plan. Bracken said, he might need stormwater management too. Barbin said, not if he didnít change anything. . itís still the same paved surface . . he didnít make any new paved surface. . itís using what everybody used as a road for a parking lot now. Bracken said, okay. . would I be correct in saying thatís a civil action. Barbin said, the dispute over using the road is civil. Simmons said, I understand. . .itís not worth it. . court wise. . I could go to court and probably win but thatís something I donít want to get into . . the expenses. I kind of knew it was going to happen so I brought the property to do what Iím doing but these other things need addressed. Barbin said, and the sight distance and parking is being addressed and under the Ordinance when you create a new parking lot, you have to have a ten foot buffer between you and the neighboring property. Supervisor Stephens said, Iíve got a question about the whole thing. The sight distance itself. . .the regulations that the State has . . . we donít have any regulations as far as I know for sight. One of the things we need to consider here maybe is the fact. . . you say thereís a 60 foot right of way. If the road is 15 feet total from the center to the edge of the concrete, that leaves an additional 15 feet from the edge of the concrete to the edge of the right of way. Simmons said, I donít think itís that much. Stephens said, ball park figures. . if itís 18 or 19 feet from the center, that leaves you 12 or 13 feet. So actually what was done when it was set up was to give you sufficient sight distance to pull up close to the road. . you got 18 or 19 feet to pull up to the road in which to see left or right. Simmons said, well thatís my point. Stephens said, now if what he was parking there was up close and a big truck and on the right of way . . .then we need to get involved big time. Simmons said, I donít see any truck being parked there on a regular basis but I can testify that Iíve come out there at times and had to eventually physically pull out on the concrete before I can see down past the cars parked there at his business. Thatís happened to me personally. Barbin said, those signs are going to stop that. Simmons replied, hopefully but that hasnít discouraged them in the past. Thatís a reality. You got that in the front and a parking lot on the side and in the back . . . what is occurring back there is heís turning it into a storage area. I donít know what you call it but it isnít anything grand to look at. . .and I have personal property back there. . my sister has personal property back there and I know itís creating a devaluation on them from the residential aspect of that. . so I donít know if thereís anything that could be done. Barbin said, in that regard, with garbage and refuge, something can be done. . .like somebody who has junk tires or stacked up tires. . you can take them to court. When somebody says, I have this and this is valuable stuff which Iím going to resell to reuse . . and thatís almost always what theyíre saying. Valuable stuff isnít garbage or refuse and if itís not garbage or refuse then you got to look if itís a violation of the zoning and we donít have a nuisance ordinance unless the Planning Commission would talk about it. Simmons said, thatís the thing. . you probably need one. Clair Michaels said, no. Simmons said, yeah unless youíre going to consider your neighbors. Barbin said, if itís outright garbage, we can do something about it but if itís stuff that somebody says, I bought this at the State surplus and Iím just stacking it up here until I can resell it. Simmons said itís probably stuff heís reselling. . .I just know thatís what occurring. Barbin said, thatís very difficult. . .I donít believe we have any regulations that address that. Itís been debated at other sights around the Township. Itís not outright garbage. Simmons said, okay. . thereís two issues. . the one out front with the sight and the parking lot. Barbin said theyíre being addressed. Simmons said, I appreciate that. . if anybody needs to talk to me, come see me. . Iím available. Stephens asked, have the police been notified that thereís no parking? Barbin said, I understand theyíre giving them warnings. Bracken said, weíre going to give them a little break here to find out whatís going on. Simmons said, I applied for a driveway permit so I should have that in a week or so and want to start work there. . if I need a permit. Barbin said, we donít require a permit for us on a State road. Simmons said, I was thinking the parking sign. Iíll be destroying your sign, not on purpose but accidentally if I run into it or something. Baker said, weíll move it. Bracken added, weíll get it out of the road. Steve Yurasek said, if you were to come down from the Fire Hall on Adams Avenue. . .youíre well aware of the sign on both sides of Adams Avenue. . . .if you measure back 30 feet from the center of the road, the sign on both sides is on the State right of way. Itís already blocking the view. Our situation. . we could open a can of worms here. Once we open a can of worms, we start going around the Township and everywhere weíre not within that width, weíre going to have people moving something. Baker asked, youíre talking about Adams Avenue? Yurasek replied, yes. Baker said, thatís not a State road. Yurasek said. .but the State road. . you come down Adams Avenue. . . thereís a sign on each side for two different businesses. . they are within the 30 feet of the center of the road, so that puts them both on State right of way. Barbin said, what weíre talking about here is yes, weíll put the signs up and weíll keep the people out of the right of way whereís thereís a safety hazard or a problem because safety comes first but if it gets down to the other end where itís not a real safety problem. . . you block a road off. . . itís no longer a safety problem because nones going out there. If itís not a safety problem, then weíre not going to look at it. Weíre not going to worry about that . . .thereís better things to do with your time and effort and money. Bracken said, well he said thereís a sign on both sides of Adams Avenue coming out to the highway. Yurasek said, you work for the Fire Company . . .when you come down there, thereís a sign on both properties and it does impede your vision unless youíre out there far enough and I know darn well if you measure 30 feet from the center of the highway, both of those signs are actually on the State right of way. Baker said, well I pay a permit fee for all my signs and I have to do it yearly and if itís not within regulations, we canít get it. Yurasek said, I know. . I got two of them and for both of them I got a permit. Barbin said, itís a highway occupancy issue with PennDOT. . you can measure it and see and we can inform PennDOT of the problem but PennDOT would have to take the action. Ed Nischalke said, I would like to comment on that particular sign . . .we had a number of actual accidents . . I believe fatal accidents at that intersection. . I mean that is an issue. . that is a bad intersection to pull out.

Chairman Dave Bracken
made an announcement that the Board of Supervisors next scheduled meeting will be held on Thursday, March 30, 2006 at 7:00 pm at the Jackson Township Municipal Building. Another announcement was made saying that Larry Custer from the Cambria County Redevelopment Authority will host two Community Block Grant Meetings at the Jackson Township Municipal Building. The first meeting will be held on Friday, February 24, 2006 at 10:00 am and the second meeting on Wednesday, March 1, 2006 at 2:00 pm. The purpose of the meetings is to discuss expenditure of 2006 CDBG funds, discuss the Wagner Road Water Project and possible future projects.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to adjourn the meeting at 7:22 pm. Vote-3 yes. Respectfully submitted,

Respectfully submitted,
David M. Hirko, Secretary