February 28, 2008

 Public Hearing:
Chairman Baker
opened the Public Hearing with the salute to the flag. Solicitor Bill Barbin said, there was an advertisement placed in the paper. The advertisement was placed in the paper twice. The advertisement said the Jackson Township Planning Commission held a public meeting to discuss recommending an amendment to the Jackson Township Zoning Ordinance at 6:30 on February 18, 2008 at the Township Building and it says the Jackson Township Supervisors will hold a Public Hearing to consider the amendment on February 28, 2008 at 7:00 pm. The Supervisors may adopt the amendment at the regular meeting following the Public Hearing. A summary of the Ordinance is as follows: An Ordinance of the Township of Jackson amending sections of the Jackson Township Zoning Ordinance as follows: Providing for small scale windmills as an accessory use in the Residential, Agricultural and Commercial Districts and providing setbacks and other regulations. It went on to say a copy of the Ordinance Amendments can be reviewed by contacting the Township at 749-0725 or the Township Website or the Township Building. A copy of the Amendment was sent to the Cambria County Planning Commission by a letter dated January 23, 2008 which the Township have received no comments. The Ordinance provides that a new section is added to the Zoning Ordinance. . . Section 412 - Small Scale Wind Generators. Itís short enough Iíll just read the whole thing and weíll be done with it. A - Small Scale Windmills for the purpose of serving residential or commercial buildings on site shall be permitted as an accessory use in Residential, Agricultural and Commercial Districts. B - The structure of the windmill shall be subject to site plan approval by the Jackson Township Planning Commission. The site plan shall be drawn to an appropriate scale and shall provide construction details and show the location of all existing public roads, existing structures, utility line and all structures, facilities and power lines to be constructed on the site, as well as identifying adjoining property owners, and the location of any structures on adjoining properties within one hundred feet of the common property lines. C - Facilities, including but not limited to towers, shall be safe and neat construction to be approved by the Planning Commission and subject to any requirements of the Uniform Construction Code and manufacturerís recommendations. D - Towers shall be located at least 100 feet from all property lines. Other facilities must follow generally applicable setbacks within the particular zoning district. E - Towers shall be no more than 35 feet in height from the elevation of the ground at the base of the tower, before the placement of fill, to the top of the blade. F - No more than two towers shall be located upon a property or serve a single commercial or residential structure. G - The property owner must use at least two-thirds of the power generated by the windmills in his home or business located on site. The property owner receiving site plan approval shall annually provide a verified report of electricity generated and electricity sold from the windmills. Failure to provide an annual report within 60 days of the end of each calendar year shall result in the termination of the authorization to maintain the windmill and subject the property owner to an order for immediate removal of the tower. H - The property owner shall construct and maintain the windmill and tower in a safe a neat manner so as not to present a danger to neighbors or to present an unsightly appearance. The property owner receiving site plan approval shall annually provide a verified report of a qualified contractor as to the structural integrity of the tower and windmill assembly. Failure to provide an annual report within 60 days of the end of each calendar year shall result in the termination of the authorization to maintain the windmill and subject the property owner to an order for immediate removal of the tower. Thatís the Amendment section. Does anyone has any comments they wish to make on that section before the Supervisors consider this?. . . this has gone to the Planning Commission. . .there were minor changes. . . Iíve read to you what the Planning Commission recommended. Ed Nischalke asked, could you say again what the height was? Barbin replied, E - Towers shall be no more than 35 feet in height from the elevation of the ground at the base of the Tower, before the placement of fill, to the top of the blade. . . .just the actual thing shall be no more than 35 feet high. Nischalke said, at the top of the blade? Barbin replied, yes. Clair Michaels said, yeah, I have something to say. . . .when they first started talking about this, they said they were not going to bother doing anything with the small windmills an individual had and now all at once they come up with an Ordinance because some guy wants to put in one and he was turned down. . .Iím presuming this is why. . .but the Planning Commission said they werenít even going to monkey with small windmills and now all at once theyíre puttin in an Ordinance for it. . . why are they?. . .because they said they werenít even going to bother with them. Barbin answered, the Ordinance that we adopted previously was only for the large windmills. Michaels replied, thatís right and they said at that meeting when they were talking about that. . . .they werenít even going to worry about the small ones because theyíre private individuals. . thatís all they were going to have. . . and now here they are. . adopting an Ordinance and makin it real hard to put up one. Barbin said, the comment I heard . . .the explanation I heard here and in other places is that a place such as Vinco where there are houses right next to each other or right against each other. . .it could be considered inappropriate to put up windmill towers and thatís why thereís a 100 foot set back. . .you have to have a little bit more land. . . not a lot more land but itís got to be at least 200 feet square to put a windmill on. Michaels said, at 35 feet, that isnít very high for a windmill. Barbin replied, thatís what are being sold. . .those are the windmills being sold. . they meet that requirement. . . the 100 foot set back. . .the gentleman who was talking didnít like that because he said heíd have to put it in his front yard and he didnít like that idea. Michaels said, but even when I was at the other meeting they had. . .thatís what Iím talkin about. . .they werenít going to have any kind of Ordinance on it but now all at once they come up with an Ordinance for it. Ed Nischalke said, Iíd like to make one comment. . . I understand the set back and I understand Vinco and where you have a lot of neighbors you need to be concerned about that. Iím not sure I understand an annual financial report. If you have cows and you sell 10 cows, do I have to provide a financial report to the Township? . . .or how much electricity Iím using? Thatís getting pretty detailed if itís a private windmill. If itís a private windmill, itís a private windmill. Why would you want a financial report? Barbin said, the concept. . the people said we want windmills not subject to the rules of the big windmills. . theyíre for our own use. . and thereís an arbitrary number here and itís 2/3 of the power generated has to be used by the people who are putting it up. . if theyíre putting it up for private use and the annual report is just to say. . yes. . you are doing this for 2/3. . youíre not just sticking up a bunch of windmills across the property. Nischalke said, well. . you limit it to two windmills. . so the size that weíre talking about is a 10K small windmill and most homes require close to that to operate so again, it seems pretty invasive to require an annual report. . . maybe initially for the first time. . but if you got a 10K generator and youíre using it in your house, thatís not going to change a whole lot and if you add more electricity, youíre only going to be using less. . .again. . itís pretty invasive I think. Will Michaels said, how about we say somebody like a farmer and he can only put up 2 windmills. . .but maybe his farm . . he might be able to put up 4 or 5 windmills and he might be able to use the power. Barbin replied, special circumstance can always seek a variance. The one coming out right off the bat was. . .the gentleman who raised this issue said. . well. . 100 foot setback is too much for me. . if you make me set it back 100 foot from the property line, I canít put it where I want it and in a Residential neighborhood, that might not be appropriate. . . Iíve been told this guyís out in the country but the answer to him and the answer to your question I think is, if there are some special circumstances that say, this is a general rule. . .this is the rule that will be generally followed. . .the Zoning Hearing Board has the right to grant a variance if there are unique circumstances and there are some special circumstances that give justification to go outside the rule and it wonít harm anyone else, then they should grant a variance. Thatís the general criteria. Now. . will they. . .I canít predict because theyíre a separate body. Steve Yurasek said, youíre saying you want this report by a certified contractor. . .what youíre trying to do. . youíre trying to drive the cost up. . . youíre the legal. . youíre trying to drive the cost up so that the average person will not put a windmill up. Youíve done this in the past. . .in each Ordinance you make it in such a way that the cost to the average taxpayer is not feasible. Barbin replied, the sentence says, a verified report of a qualified contractor. . ..the contractor doesnít have to be certified. Yurasek said, what about the poor widow living on a farm living on Social Security and they think. . I can save my electric bill. . .do you think theyíre going to go through with this?. . no theyíre not. . . and you can add the cost on to the Township. . what are you going to do. . add another secretary to take care of all the incidentals like this . . . .these reports and everything? Barbin said, I had a client in Upper Yoder Township who built a ham radio antenna in a neighborhood like Vinco . . .with density. . .a little bit more than Vinco. . he built it out of scrap lumber. . and I defended him. . he fought for a long time. . and if youíre going to put something with blades going around and youíre going to put it relatively close to other people, the tower itís on should be structurally sound and we didnít say certified. . we didnít require engineering studies. . .we just say we want you to have a qualified contractor come in and look at the tower and say, itís not going to fall down and the rule has to be the same. . if itís out in the middle of Edís field or my field or back in your land, it doesnít matter if it falls down. Yurasek said, when you buy one of those towers, you get a wood frame. . now itís just like building a bridge. . anything. . you submit this to Labor & Industry. . itís approved. . you shouldnít have to go back every year and say, I have to have it reapproved. Barbin said, it does not require you to have it reapproved. . it doesnít say you have to go back and get another Building Code approval. . it says you have to submit a report from a qualified contractor saying I looked at them and theyíre structurally sound. . .thatís all. . you have to check it and see that itís structurally sound and towers that have machinery on top of them should be checked regularly and not everybody does. This was one of the questions that came up at the Planning Commission. . it was one of the suggestions. . .well. . we could have. . we could make a provision for somebody to look at it and make sure itís still safe. Yurasek said, we make the laws so that the rich can have and the have-nots. . we kick them in the ass. Thatís exactly what we do. By using legal terminology in those legal terms, you know exactly whatís on your mind. . you want the poor people to do without. . you want the rich people to have. Each time you make a law, you restrict them more and more and more on their own property. Some of these people can hardly pay their property taxes but nobody worries about them. Clair Michaels said, vote this down and have this rewritten different. . change some of this stuff. . .somebody might have a farm or need more electricity. . heís going to have to go monkeying around. . getting variances and if they decide they donít want to give him a variance, heís done.

Board of Supervisors Meeting:
The Jackson Township Supervisors held their regular meeting at 7:18 p.m. following the Public Hearing at the Jackson Township Municipal Building. Members present were Supervisors Dave Bracken, Bruce Baker and John Wallet along with Secretary-Treasurer / Manager Dave Hirko and Solicitor Bill Barbin. The meeting was called to order by Bruce Baker, Chairman.

Board Roll Call was taken with all three Supervisors present.

Executive Sessions:

Public Comments Concerning Agenda Items:

Bracken, second Wallet to approve the minutes of the Board of Supervisors Meetings held on January 31, 2007 and February 14, 2008. Vote-3 yes.

Township Financial Report:







$       70,776.57

$ 80,230.37

$       90,040.41

$      60,966.53


$   1,845,920.51

$ 55,375.32

$       32,760.49

$  1,868,535.34


$            913.83

$       48.61

$                .00

$          962.44


$       25,902.71

$    2467.78

$         2,309.36

$      26,061.13

Wallet, second Bracken to approve the bills for the period of February 1, 2008 through February 28, 2008: Vote-3 yes.

General Fund

Highway Aid Fund

Senior Center Fund

$      90,040.41

$           .00

$       2,309.36

Township Police Report
The January, 2008 Police Report submitted by Police Chief Bob Fatula was presented. The figures for January, 2008 were as follows: 911 Calls dispatched to Police: 262 Reportable Part I Crimes: 12 broken down as follows: Larceny-6, Assaults-3, Burglaries-2 and Robberies-1. Reportable Part II Crimes: 44 broken down as follows: Fraud-20, Stolen Property-7, Disorderly Conduct-4, Vandalism-4, Public Drunkenness-2, Embezzlement-1 and all others-6. Calls Resulting in Cases: 29, Total Arrestees: 20, Total Suspects: 2, Total Victims: 37, DUI Arrests: 0, Traffic Citations: 6, Non-Traffic Citations: 11, Total Warnings: 2.


Old Business:

New Business:
Bracken, second Wallet to adopt Ordinance # 155 which amends the Jackson Township Zoning Ordinance # 118 and provides for the regulation of small scale windmills. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Wallet, second Bracken to authorize the submission of the PennDOT application for 2008 County Aid for road projects. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Wallet, second Bracken to accept the resignation of Joe Baxter from the Jackson-East Taylor Sewer authority. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Bracken, second Wallet to appoint Denny Grove to the Jackson Township Recreation Commission to fill the remainder of the term left vacant by Darin Brown. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Wallet, second Bracken to authorize the advertising of bids for Heating Oil, Premium Unleaded Gas, Regular Unleaded Gas and Diesel Fuel. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Bracken, second Wallet on transferring $ 32,760.49 from the Capital Reserve Fund to the General Fund - $8,600.00 to Richard Sutter & Associates for planning and consulting services, $7,873.08 to Luther P. Miller for fuel & heating oil, $7010.18 to Smorto, Persio, Webb & McGill for Zoning Hearing Board legal expenses, $3,887.96 to American Rock Salt for salt, $1,861.99 to Grannas Brothers for antiskid, $1,500.00 to East Taylor-Jackson Little League for annual contribution, $1,027.28 to Penelec for new facilities required for street lighting and $1,000.00 to Hegemann & Wray for work on Fords Corner Sewage Project. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Wallet, second Bracken on approving the time sheets from January 27, 2008 through February 9, 2008 and February 10, 2008 through February 23, 2008. Vote-3 yes.

Other New Business:

Public Comments:

Chairman Baker
announced, The next Board of Supervisors next regularly scheduled meetings will be held on Thursday, March 13, 2008 at 8:00 AM and Thursday, March 27, 2008 at 7:00 pm at the Jackson Township Municipal Building. The Jackson Township Lions Club along with the Jackson Township Recreation Commission will hold their 2nd Annual Easter Egg Hunt at Mitchell Park on Saturday, March 15, 2008 from Noon till 2:00 pm.

Wallet, second Bracken to adjourn the meeting at 7:24 pm. Vote-3 yes.

Respectfully submitted,
David M. Hirko, Secretary