August 26, 2004

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 Solicitor Bill Barbin. 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:

Stephens, second Baker to approve the minutes of July 22, 2004 meeting. Vote-3 yes.

Township Financial Report:







$     76,690.91

$ 113,097.01

$    118,253.82

$       71,534.10


$ 1,424,930.05

$   62,276.97

$     70,659.64

$   1,416,547.38


$   127,945.86

$       108.92

$     20,540.14

$      107,514.64


$     30,499.68

$    2,531.61

$       3,185.40

$        29,845.89

Baker, second Stephens to approve the bills for the period of July 24, 2004 through August 26, 2004. Vote-3 yes.

General Fund

Highway Aid Fund

Senior Center Fund

$    118,253.82

$      20,540.14

$      3,185.40

Township Police Report:
The July, 2004 Police Report submitted by Police Chief Bob Fatula was presented. The figures were as follows: 911 Calls dispatched to Police were 466. Reportable Incidents were 30 broken down as follows: Criminal Mischief-7, Domestic Violence-5,  Theft-5, Harassment-4, Burglary-2, Disorderly Conduct-2, Vehicle Theft-2, Assault-1, Drugs-1 and DUI (Driving While Under the Influence)-1. Non-Traffic Citations Issued-2. Traffic Citations Issued-108. Accidents Handled-10. Criminal Charges Filed were 7 broken down as follows: Disorderly Conduct-2, Assault-1, Burglary-1, Domestic Violence-1, DUI (Driving While Under the Influence)-1 and Harassment-1.


A letter was read from the Cambria County Commissioners regarding their Community Initiative Program. Manager Dave Hirko said that when the program was announced, a letter was submitted from Jackson Township to request that we be considered for a grant to be used towards recreation projects. The letter from the Commissioners said that Jackson Township was one of 20 communities in Cambria County to be awarded a $5,000.00 matching grant.

A letter was received from the Miners Community Food Pantry stating that they were in need of contributions. The letter stated that it takes about $1,000.00 a month to operate and that about half of the people served by the Food Pantry are from Jackson Township. The letter concluded by asking the Board of Supervisors to consider a donation.

Old Business:

New Business:
Baker, second Stephens to approve subdivision which includes the side lot additions of Fred Sell & Kathryn Eck, Allen & Kathryn Eck, Ed, Jackie, Doug & Tamara Simmons and the Joel Simmons Estate. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to authorize the Jackson Township Planning Commission to work on updating the Subdivision Ordinance to reflect changes made in State and local laws and regulations. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Stephens to adopt Resolution # 10-04 authorizing the issuance of permits for use of the MS4 separate storm sewer system including pipes, ditches and swales in the public right of way along with drainage facilities owned or installed by the Township. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to adopt Application for Discharge to Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System Permit form. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to exempt the Jackson Township Water Authority and Jackson-East Taylor Sewer Authority from fees associated with Road Encroachment Permits. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Stephens for requesting and if granted, accept an additional 6 foot right-of-way on Leidy Lane from Mary K. DeYulis. Vote-3 yes.

The Supervisors reviewed the bids received for a 1985 International Truck that was advertised for sale. Chairman Dave Bracken read the bids which included one for $4,100.00 from Petrunak & Company in Windber, PA and another bid for $6,759.00 from Wampum Hardware Company in Friedens, PA. Motion Stephens, second Baker to accept high bid from Wampum Hardware for $ 6759.00 to purchase a 1985 International Truck advertised for sale. Supervisor Stephens asked if any bids were received the first time the truck was advertised and Manager Hirko replied no. Chairman Bracken stated that it was a 1983 model truck instead of 1985. Hirko said it was advertised as a 1985 model. Supervisor Baker said the bidders were verbally told that it was a 1983 model. Solicitor Bill Barbin said that when the letter is sent out accepting the bid, be sure to state that the truck is a 1983 Model even though the advertisement stated it was a 1985 model. A vote was then taken. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Stephens to allocate $5,000 required to equal the amount of a $5,000 matching grant received from the Cambria County Commissioners Community Initiative Program to be used towards recreational projects at Township parks. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker on approving a contribution in the amount of $1,000.00 to the Miners Community Food Pantry. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Stephens on transferring $ 61,023.49 from the Capital Reserve Fund to the General Fund - $35,520.00 to Warnock Fleet Sales for 2004 Ford Expedition Police Vehicle, $14,690.60 to Capitol Construction for installation of Leidy Park Walking Path, $6,327.89 to Naugle Insurance for August insurance installment, $2,800.00 to Rose Excavating for work done at Leidy Park and $1,685.00 for municipal garage panel box replacement. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker on approving the time sheets from July 18, 2004 through July 31, 2004 and August 1, 2004 through August 14, 2004. Vote-3 yes.

Other New Business:
Stephens, second Baker to have the Solicitor draw up an amendment to Ordinance # 118 regarding hunting in Jackson Township stating that no part of Ordinance # 118 can be construed in any manner to discourage hunting and that Jackson Township permits hunting as long as all State and Game Commission laws are met. The motion was opened up for public comment. Ed Simmons said he didn’t know that Ordinance stipulated that you couldn’t hunt. Supervisor Stephens said there was controversy over the issue of animal essence on the ground and we just wanted to clarify it and make sure that in everybodys mind there was no misinterpretation. Supervisor Baker said the key word was interpretation. Steve Yurasek said he wanted to thank the Board because out by Philadelphia they used this exact law to stop hunting. Baker said that wouldn’t happen here. Yurasek said that they said not there too, but the animal rights people showed up in great numbers and they halted hunting for one season until they got the thing straightened up. Baker said it wasn’t as simple as just drawing up an amendment. Solicitor Barbin said he would present it to the Planning Commission and it should move pretty quick. Baker said he thought there was another change that could be done at the same time. Barbin said he thought there was something else also and if there was, they could both be done at the same time. A vote was then taken. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to take the necessary steps to have an independent zoning expert rezone the Township map to reflect the influence of new Route 22 among other areas and to give start and ending points on all zones. Solicitor Barbin asked Stephens if he meant to make recommendations on revisions to the Township map. Stephens said yes and to take the necessary steps and through the Planning Commission. Barbin asked if he understood correctly if the first step would be to put out a request for proposal to qualified professionals to make revisions. Stephens replied to take the necessary steps, to see what the cost would be and then go from there to take the next step which would be to have an actual contract and hire a zoning expert and then to submit recommendations to the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors. Supervisor Baker said that his concern was that this was just to have a request for proposal to seek information and see what’s available and not actually hire somebody. The motion was opened for public comment. Steve Yurasek said Al Gailey who is on the Planning Commission could qualify as an expert because he worked for Bethlehem and is licensed. He added that right now the map in lots of places goes right through peoples houses and buildings and doesn’t stop on property lines and really needs to have something done with it. He said somebody with a good education could take a good look at it and say that lines or locations need changed so that it would reflect more what the Township is. Clair Michaels asked if they would spot zone some places because you have businesses in some places that are zoned Agriculture just like out on Route 22 and that properties could be zoned Business or Industrial. Yurasek said he appreciated Mr. Stephens making this motion and hoped that they would really look at it seriously about the way the Township map was made up. A vote was then taken. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to send a letter to the Cambria County Building Codes Agency taking exception to their policy exercising permit fees for exemptions from the State Building Code. He said the Township should take this position and go on record by writing a letter. There was no public comment on the motion. Supervisor Baker asked Solicitor Barbin if a formal letter was required on this being that he already was in contact with Larry Custer and Tracey Plessinger, Chairman of the Building Codes Board and expressed displeasure with the way things were headed. Barbin said it wasn’t required but it was just a formal way of approaching it stating this is our position. He added that this wouldn’t mean we were backing out of the Agency or anything like that but we’re not happy with it. Baker added that this would be a letter not from the Solicitor but from the Township. Barbin said it would be officially from the Township. Stephens added that we would be making a point. Barbin said the letter was not changing anything but it would have us as going on record and Stephens added not at this time. A vote was then taken. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Stephens to leave the contributions currently allocated to the Fire Company as is. The motion was opened up to public comment. Will Michaels said that what we had talked about before would work better and eventually they’re going to need it and it would definitely help. Delores Kimbel asked how we know what they need and asked if we get a financial report on their expenditures and income. She added that we always assume that they’re in dire need of money but we don’t really know. Chairman Bracken said we have that report here. Manager Hirko said that was when they purchased the new truck. Solicitor Barbin said they’re required to submit a report every year on how they spend the amount up to the amount we give them and they have to show legitimate expenditures for the money we give them. Kimbel asked if that report was submitted to the Township and that she had never heard of it. Barbin said we would check on that and that it’s required by law. Hirko said that a report is submitted for the $15,000 amount in the Township Budget and said it’s an outline of expenditures. Barbin said that insurance and fuel more than cover anything the Township contributes being they are two of the biggest expenses incurred by the Fire Company. Supervisor Baker said that not being opposed to Fire Company but after the motion made by Bob last month the thing to do would be to sit down with the Fire Company and see where they stand on this idea. Supervisor Stephens said he talked to Elmer Grove about it before he made the motion and that he was happy to get 30 to 40 thousand a year and pleased to no end. Michaels said in the past there were some things they needed badly which they got which made a big difference and we’re in a position in this Township with that landfill up there that provides that much money and I don’t see why 5% couldn’t go the Fire Company. Baker pointed out that they receive far more each year than $30,000. He added that over the last 5 years they have received over $350,000. He said he wasn’t opposed to giving the Fire Company anything and everything but just addressing business that was brought up at last months meeting. Stephens said we should listen to what they have to say and that maybe it might be a good idea to have a special meeting. Baker said he assured them that he didn’t think there would ever be a Supervisor in office here that would oppose the Fire Company but going off of the tipping fees may mean more or less for them. He added that what we should do is to sit down with them with a long term goal in mind to see what they need. Bracken said the Fire Company said to him, why fix something that isn’t broke. He said everything’s been working fine for the Fire Company and he knows because he’s been in the Fire Company since 1956. He said that the Township’s been good to the Fire Company and the Fire Company knows it and they like the way things are going now and they can come to us on an "as needed basis" if they need something and they know they’ll get some help. Otherwise, if you lock them in on something then you turn around and they need something and won’t be able to get it. Michaels said he disagreed with that and said that if they come and really need something, they’re going to get it even if you give them the 5% tipping fees. Bracken said the original motion was ½ of 1 % and if we would have passed that motion it would have amounted to about $300 per year. Stephens said he specified 30-40 thousand but wasn’t exact in his figures. Motion Baker, second Bracken to table the motion. Vote-3 yes.

Public Comments:
Delores Edsall
said she was there to request that the Board look into possible improprieties of the Jackson Township Police Force concerning an accident that occurred on May 20, 2004 off of Benshoff Hill Road in which her mother and daughter, Grace who was 23 months old were involved. She said she would like to request a copy of what the policy is upon reaching an accident site. She also requested that the Board investigate the situation to make sure it was handled appropriately according to proper protocol and to the best interest of all those who were involved. She also said this would also include the arresting of her father, Eugene Kist at the site of the accident. Chairman Bracken said this was under investigation by the FBI. Solicitor Barbin said this could be discussed further in Executive Session after the other public comments.

Edith Vivis said she had a problem with water draining from Benshoff Hill Road onto her property and backing up like a dam. Chairman Bracken said that was a State road. Vivis asked who she should contact. Bracken said to call Paul Burns at PennDOT in Ebensburg who handles Benshoff Hill Road. 

Scott Miller from Central Cambria discussed the Wireless Internet Project. Jackson Elementary School Principal Beverly Ricketts attended with him. Miller presented reports to the Board that were also submitted to the School Board. He stated that they had already attended the Planning Commission meeting and that they were working with Sting Communications to erect a communications tower pending the Zoning Board meeting on August 31st. He said the School District had already connect the Middle School and the communication has been developed as part of the curriculum and said we’re still being held up by zoning here in Jackson Township. He said they wanted to let the Supervisors know that they are benefitting the students with this project. He said there would be a communications antenna in the back yard and it would be providing the Jackson Township residents students in the School District a very high speed technology that they’ll be able to use that will benefit Kindergarten through 5th grade. He said some of the projects they have in the next few years will take them to an entire next level in the State Educational System using new technology. He added that he would also submit later this year to the Board a Technology Report that is submitted every year to the State to show how this project is benefitting our students and to keep our students on top as in Central Cambria we always like to do. He stated that he would be present at the Zoning Boards meeting next Tuesday. Chairman Bracken said the project already went through the Planning Commission. 

Joe Baxter spoke on cable rate increases from Atlantic Broadband. He said his Mother is paying almost $50 per month for some selective channels and to move over to a Satellite system may save a couple of bucks but she would have to cut most of the trees down around her house. He said he knows contract is coming up in the next couple of years and he would like to see the Township buckle down on these guys and try to bring these rates within reason or bring in more affordable television channel selections acceptable to our Seniors or all of our residents. He said his own cable went up $27.00 and when he called Atlantic Broadband they told him he was given a few extra channels which wasn’t worth the increase. He said that the next time the contract is negotiated to get something for the Township such as free internet service for the municipality or Seniors and redirect the channeling program. There are a lot of complaints from the Seniors being there are a lot of channels but to get down to the basic rate they wouldn’t be able to see a few of them that they watch. He added that he’s against this monopoly but to keep this in mind when the next Contract comes up.

The Supervisors went into Executive Session approximately at 7:50 pm and returned at 8:00 pm to discuss police matters that could involve potential litigation. Motion Baker, second Stephens to direct the Solicitor to contact our insurance carrier and review their policy on handling complaints. There was no public comment on the motion. Vote-3 yes.

Ed Nischalke asked what procedure he would need to go through to get garbage service on Sharkey Road past Mr. Webb’s driveway. He added that there are 4 families back there and they don’t get Spring Clean-Up or garbage service. Chairman Bracken said that currently everything is taken out to the end of the road. He said we would read the Agreement and then get back to him.  Solicitor Barbin said that if it supports requiring them to pick up garbage, we would send a letter right away. He added that the Garbage Contract is coming up right now so we should be able to do something.

An announcement was made that the next Supervisors Meeting will be held on Thursday, September 30, 2004 at 7:00 pm at the Jackson Township Municipal Building.

Baker, second Stephens to adjourn the meeting at 8:05 pm. Vote-3 yes.

Respectfully submitted,
David M. Hirko, Secretary