June 26, 2003

The Jackson Township Supervisors held their regular meeting at 7:00 p.m. at the Jackson Township Municipal Building. Members present were Supervisors David Bracken, Bob Stephens and Bruce Baker along with Secretary-Treasurer / Manager Dave Hirko and Attorney Andy Gleason who was sitting in for Solicitor Bill Barbin who couldnít attend. The meeting was called to order by David 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:
Ed Westrick asked the Supervisors to stop the vote in favor of Ordinance # 124 at this time which would have Jackson Township enter into an Inter-Municipal Agreement with other Townships to establish a codes enforcement agency to administer the Pennsylvania State Uniform Construction Code. He said there were a lot of changes being made to the code and it will be delayed in being enacted. He also referenced a letter stating that the Dept. of Labor of Industry formally withdraws its final-form regulations to address concerns with the regulation and to make appropriate revisions. The letter states that the Department intends to resubmit this final regulation within 2 years of the close of the public comment period for the proposed rulemaking. He asked the Supervisors to consider backing out of the inter-municipal agreement.

Will Michaels Jr. said he agreed with Mr. Westrick and didnít understand why we were entering into an agreement until the U.C.C. (Uniform Construction Code) was brought into its final form. He asked why we were entering into another entity of 17 townships and would be only one voice of seventeen.

Will Michaels stated that the Board should consider paying the entire amount needed by the Jackson Twp. Vol. Fire Company to purchase apparatus needed for the new fire truck. He said that with the money from the landfill, it could be used in this way to help all of the people of the Township and that the Fire Company shouldnít have to work as hard as they do to raise funds when the Township has revenues like this coming in. On Ordinance # 124, he felt that it should not be passed as it would cost $1000 to start up the Inter-Municipal Agency that would administer the PA State U.C.C. He said the State Code is so messed up and they donít even know whatís going on and if the State passed it, let the State control it. He said it was a lot of responsibility to take on and that lawsuits could be filed against the Township. He stated that just because the State passed it, we didnít have to go along with it.

Eugene Kist said he attended the meeting in East Taylor Township and they wouldnít let an officer in because it was intimidating to those attending the meeting. He said he didnít like being intimidated. He also said he just received a letter from Tom Yewcic stating there are currently no Statewide building codes and regulations. The proposed codes are withdrawn because they were too onerous and were going to be voted down by the respective House and Senate Labor Committees. He continued to read from the letter that if a homeowner wanted to repair or remodel something in his home, he should be able to do so without an inspection. The letter said that clearly the Department of Labor went too far and that they were going to make criminals out of honest, hardworking people. He said the Supervisors should be ashamed of themselves. He again said he was intimidated by the law officer in the room and that he had to wait outside according to law. Supervisor Bracken said the officer did not have to be outside.

Baker, second Stephens to approve the minutes of the May 29th and June 5th meetings. Vote-3 yes.

Township Financial Report:







$    106,192.39

$   71,181.44

$      53,736.24

$     123,637.59


$ 1,195,823.57

$   51,738.39

$        6,960.00

$   1,240,601.96


$    134,322.10

$            .00

$          208.60

$      134,113.50


$     34,776.25

$     4,535.00

$        2,328.14

$       36,983.11

Baker, second Bracken to approve the bills from May 30 to June 26, 2003. Supervisor Bob Stephens said the dates for the bills to be paid are listed incorrectly. On the previous minutes the bills were listed as April 25th to May 29th and this month as May 30th to June 26th . He said that if there were any bills processed on May 29th and 30th they could possibly be illegal. Manager Dave Hirko said he didnít believe any bills were paid on those dates. A vote was then taken-Baker & Bracken-yes, Stephens-no due to pending litigation.

General Fund

Highway Aid Fund

Senior Center Fund

$ 53,736.24 $ 208.60 $ 2,328.14

Township Police Report
The May, 2003 Police Report submitted by Police Chief Bob Fatula was presented. The figures were as follows: 911 Calls dispatched to Police were 264. Reportable Incidents were 13 broken down as follows: Theft-4, Criminal Mischief-2, DUI (Driving While Under the Influence)-2, Harassment-2, Assault-1, Burglary-1 and Vehicle Theft-1. Non-Traffic Citations Issued-2. Traffic Citations Issued-130. Traffic Arrests-1. Accidents Handled-5. Criminal Charges Filed were 5 broken down as follows: DUI (Driving While Under the Influence)-2, Harassment-2 and Assault-1.

Letter from Police Chief Robert Fatula
cautioning the Board of a serious parking situation along Route 271 near Moshannon Drive at the property of Mr. Michael Homan where he holds garage sales. He stated that he had received several complaints and the only way the situation could be resolved and enforced would be by posting no parking signs. He pointed out two problems including people parking to close to Route 271 and people cross parking.

Old Business:
Jerry Herstel
of Norac Laboratories stated that Mr. Yurasek contacted them to do testing at the Leidy Lane Ballfield. Mr. Babik along with Joe Baxter and Al Slippy went to the park to conduct the sampling. He said that four sites were selected at the park. One soil sample was taken on the ballfield, another on the volleyball court and mulch samples were taken at the playground site. He said the samples were taken to the lab to analyze for PCBís and also taken to another lab to compare results. Both labs showed no PCBís at all. He stated the site seemed to be free of PCBís and everything seemed fine. Bob Benedict asked how deep did they go for the samples. Herstel said six to twelve inches. He said the results showed less than .15 mg / kg which is parts per million. Joe Baxter said he also showed Mr. Babik the surrounding areas and the observations showed that there was no cause for alarm. Herstel said that Mr. Babik didnít see any "brown spots" which could possibly indicate contamination so samples were randomly taken. Mr. Steve Yurasek said it cost him $283 and that it didnít cost the Township anything. Baxter said the first assessment from the Cambria County Conservation District also didnít cost the Township anything.

Supervisor Bracken said no bids were received from the first advertisement of replacing the Township Municipal Garage roof. Motion Stephens, second Baker to re-advertise to solicit bids for replacement of the roof on the Jackson Township Municipal Garage. Vote-3 yes.

New Business
Supervisor Bracken
said he and Supervisor Baker met with the Fire Company to go over their
finances to assess their needs. Supervisor Stephens asked Bracken if he was a member of the Fire Company. Bracken answered that he was. Stephens asked if it was proper or a conflict of interest for him to vote on this matter.

Motion Bracken, second Baker on contributing $99,450.00 to the Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Company to use towards the purchase of fire apparatus needed to outfit the new Rescue / Fire Truck. Vote-3 yes.

Supervisor Bracken pointed out that the Fire Company works year round to raise money through fundraisers just to provide protection for the people of the Township. He said it was about time that the Township helps them and the only thing received from the Township at this time was Ĺ mill Rescue Tax which only brings in about $8200.00 per year. He said yearly expenses have run from 109,000 in 1999 to about 409,000 in 2002.

Motion Baker, second Stephens on transferring $99,450.00 from the Capital Reserve Fund to the General Fund for a contribution to the Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Company to use towards the purchase of fire apparatus needed to outfit the new Rescue / Fire Truck.

Motion Stephens, second Baker on approving the time sheets for May 25, 2003 to June 7, 2003 and June 8, 2003 to June 21, 2003. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Bracken to adopt Ordinance # 124 to enter into an Inter-Municipal Agreement with the Cambria-Somerset Codes Agency to administer the State Uniform Construction Code. Supervisor Stephens said we have two years to decide. Supervisor Bracken said it was only extended for 30 days. Stephens said that there were conflicting reports. He said that a letter was sent out by Mr. Schmerin, Secretary of the Dept. of Labor stating it would be enforced sometime within the next 2 years. Supervisor Baker said John Ballston, UCC Administrator just told him yesterday that in 30 days it would up and ready to go. He said it was not a question as to whether the code was coming or not coming but a question as to how it was going to be administered. He asked Mr. Stephens if he wanted to go to the State for a building permit. Stephens replied that he did. He said he was told at a previous meeting that there would be a 48 hour turn-around time for an inspection. Baker said the responsible thing for this Township to do is to protect its citizens and that is to have the option and ability to issue the building permits. Stephens said nobody could say what the code states today. He said nobody knows whatís going on and even the State doesnít know what theyíre doing or where theyíre going so why should we. Baker asked why he would want the State to issue the permits. Stephens answered that they passed it and they should be responsible. Baker stated once again that the responsible thing to is to protect the citizens. A vote was then taken-Baker & Bracken-yes. Stephens-no.

Other New Business
Baker, second Bracken to discuss the erection of no parking signs along Route 271.

Steve Yurasek asked if Mr. Homan was issued a building permit. Supervisor Baker answered that the permit was issued for storage. Yurasek said he should have had so much parking and an occupancy permit to get on or off the highway. Supervisor Bracken said the permit was issued only for a storage shed and that he had no access off of the State Road from PennDOT. Baker said the property could be accessed off of the old brick road behind the building.

George Burkey said he was Manager when Mr. Homan came in for the permit. He said he was told that he was building a storage shed. Mr. Burkey then asked Mr. Homan if he had a permit from PennDOT for a driveway and was told by Mr. Homan that he wasnít going to use Route 271 as he had a right-a-way off of the brick road and thatís what he would use. Mr. Burkey said the information given by Mr. Homan was all lies and that operation should be shut down as far as he was concerned.

Will Michaels asked if the Township had the right to put no parking signs along a State Road. Bracken said the State says we have to. Michaels said he never seen any problem down there.

Betty Lou Shoup mentioned that there were no parking signs near the Lutheran Church and they were along the State highway.

Dick McDowell said if no parking signs were put up, then everyone should be treated equally such as the Water Authority, Naugles, Yuraseks, the pharmacy and pizza shop and not just to pick on one person. Baker said that was not the intent. Yurasek said at the Drug Store they park right along the street. Bracken said they had access to Route 271 the same way you have access to the road which makes it different than the Homan property. Yurasek stated his access was grandfathered in. Bracken said just as his was grandfathered, so were the others. Stephens said this should be looked at further as to how to remedy the situation instead of creating another problem which could open up a whole other can of worms. Stephens went on to say that Mr. Homan had at least 3 to 4 parking spaces off the road. Baker said the point was not to hinder his business but to not have people parking on the edge of the road and opening their doors in the traffic. Baker said this situation had nothing to do with the Zoning Ordinance or hindering his business. It was strictly a safety issue and asked what would happen if someone gets their door ripped off or they get hurt and then people would be asking the Township why nothing was done. Bracken said the Township could be responsible in such a case. Will Michaels said they just turn them into the insurance company. Stephens asked Attorney Gleason if there was a State law that specifically states how far you have to be off the highway. Mr. Gleason answered that he wasnít aware of one. Stephens said this may not be our problem but a State Police problem if there was a State law and it was being violated. He went on to say he was not knowledgeable on whether Chief Fatula could enforce State laws or not.

Motion Baker, second Bracken to have the Solicitor look into no parking signs from Simmons Lane up to Moshannon Drive. Vote Ė Baker & Bracken-yes, Stephens-no.

Public Comments:
Steve Yurasek
said his property had 4 zones and that wouldnít be a problem if it could be determined where the zones begin and end. He said the County Planning Commission told him to go to the Township. He then said Lehman Engineers was called by the Township and that they called him and they wanted him to tell them where the starting point was. He asked if there was any progress on this matter. Supervisor Baker said he was getting a response in the mail from Solicitor Barbin and that his answer was in the letter. Yurasek said the Township drew the map and they should be able to tell me. Bob Benedict said the Cambria County Planning Commission drew up the map. Baker said that was correct.

Joe Baxter said the Recreation Commission was going ahead with work at Leidy Lane Park in order not to lose their $15,000 grant. He said they would be starting with the playground and then put bids out for the ballfield. He stated that it cost the Recreation Commission $215.00 in attorney fees to handle out the legalities of how the Leidy Lane testing should be handled. He also stated that the idea of Leidy Lane being contaminated should be put to bed and if anyone had a problem with him, they should come and talk to him directly and not take it out on Recreation. He said there was a lot of work to be done and he seen a lot of people complaining but not too many volunteers. He added that the delays have cost money and time to have the second survey done which didnít prove anything more than the first one did. Baxter said it was time to put this stuff to rest with the attitudes.

Barry Emerson of the Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Company wanted to thank the Supervisors and the people of the Township for the awesome fund drive they had this year. He went on to say they had a problem with being accused of taking sides politically. Emerson said they in no way will get involved politically or take sides as their members have a brain and can vote for whomever they wish. He stated that a certain person filed a complaint with the Cambria County Elections Board stating they had a sign hanging on the side of the Fire Hall during Primary Election Day. He said there was a law that you donít hang anything on the Fire Hall and it is to be enforced by the Constable. He said they canít stand there all day and didnít know why they were ever dragged into it. He also said they were approached to use the Hall for a Political Fundraiser. It was discussed at their meeting and he hoped that everyone understood that they could not take a political stand one way or the other. He again expressed appreciation to the Township for helping to provide for their needs and said in return he felt they provided a great service to the Community.

Eugene Kist said by passing the Uniform Construction Code it would cost in excess of 1000 mills for every man, woman and child in this Township.

George Burkey thanked the Township for passing Ordinance # 124. He said building codes are here to stay whether we like it or not. Burkey said there have always been unfunded mandates and the Township had to enforce them. He said in order for the Township to have any say in the building codes at all, the Township was doing the right thing by joining a local group. He said the State didnít have enough inspectors and couldnít provide the service to us. By joining a local group and having a say in the enforcement is the smart way to go about it. Supervisor Bracken said weíre only trying to help the people out and donít want the citizens to have to cut through the "red tape" of dealing with the State when obtaining a permit.

Will Michaels said the State would have to have a turn around time. He said the State and County pass whatever they want to and the Township should go to them and tell them what we want. Michaels said itís not up to a few people in the State to tell us and things would have to change.

Betty Lou Shoup asked the Board to clarify which segment of Simmons Lane and Moshannon Drive were being addressed as both roads had multiple accesses onto Route 271 in reference to erecting no parking signs. Supervisor Bracken said the Solicitor would look into it and let us know what his findings are.

Supervisor Stephens said we need to look at the Uniform Construction Code with open eyes. He said the Government is taking control away from the property owner and the U.C.C. is taking away control from the homeowner and doing what you want to with your home. He said with taxation already in Government hands, they now have your land, house and taxation all in Government hands. He said that Government down the road along with big money people and big corporations could end up with it all if weíre not careful. Supervisor Bracken said the Uniform Construction Code will be here whether we want it or not and the County is going to have zoning which is being called "Land Use Development" no matter what Mr. Stephens tells you. He said weíre trying to keep in step with things and not put the burden on the people when they apply for a permit.

Will Michaels asked what the Supervisors have done in the past to try and stop some of these things. George Burkey said the State Association of Township Supervisors with all of their power couldnít fight the Building Codes. He said the Federal Government came down and said if Pennsylvania did not have a Building Code in place, they would not receive any more FEMA or emergency management money. He added that the Township Association fought against it and even had attorneys in Washington DC and couldnít win the case fighting the Building Code. He added that you have to be here to see what goes on to understand a little bit about it.

Steve Yurasek said in Loraine at the Zoning Hearing Board Meeting, those people with 50 foot lots canít buy any more ground. They gave them a variance which was the right thing to do, but their houses should have never been in Agricultural but instead Residential. He said thatís whatís wrong with this whole mess and that nobody is saying zoning is all wrong.

An announcement was made that the next Supervisors Meeting would be held on Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 7:00 pm at the Jackson Township Municipal Building.

Baker, second Bracken to adjourn the meeting at 8:00 pm. Vote-Baker & Bracken-yes, Stephens-no.

Respectfully submitted,
David M. Hirko, Secretary