August 28, 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 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:
Bob Albright said that the street light installed at Old Nanty Glo Road and Rt. 271 was one of the better things that has happened in the Township. He went on to say that it has helped tremendously and especially since the new island was installed by PennDOT. He said he is 100% for street lights where needed in Jackson Township.

Will Michaels had several questions on the proposed streetlights to be installed at 35 intersections. He asked how many streetlights would be installed at each intersection or what the cost would be to the Township. Supervisor Baker said the only cost is approximately $8.75 per light per month or about $3600.00 per year and that there would be one light per intersection. Michaels questioned whether one light per intersection would be enough and particularly mentioned Benshoff Hill Road and Route 271. Baker said on wider intersections REA or Penelec will put a "boom" on the light and have it extend out further over the intersection similar to the one that has already been installed on Old Nanty Glo Road. He went on to say that additional lights could be added if needed.

Clair Michaels commented on the Leidy Lane Ball Fields Project. He asked who the engineer was that set it up and asked what it would cost us in the end and if they were getting any grants or loans for the project. Supervisor Bracken said there was money from timbering done at Mitchell Park. Manager Hirko added that there was a $15,000.00 grant to be used for the project. Michaels asked if this had to be bid out for any reason. Bracken said we were going to use the 12th Congressional District Equipment Center.

Eugene Kist wanted to commend the Supervisors on what they did for the Fire Company in helping fund the new fire truck but said one Supervisor got all the recognition for it and the other two gentlemen should have been there also being they all voted for the same thing.

Steve Yurasek said he was offended that equipment and operators would be hired for the Leidy Park Project and that contractors would not have a chance to bid on it. He said he could understand if it was more cost efficient but perhaps he could do it just as cheap.

Baker, second Stephens to approve the minutes of the July 24th and August 18th meetings. Vote-3 yes.

Township Financial Report:







$    129,638.88

$ 69,787.88

$ 153,167.29

$     46,259.47


$ 1,186,092.14

$ 41,505.11

$     3,989.50

$ 1,223,607.75


$    124,140.57

$       86.46

$   95,590.10

$      28,636.93


$     35,603.88

$  2,399.13

$     2,222.16

$      35,780.85

Baker, second Stephens to approve the bills from July 25 through August 28, 2003. Vote-3 yes.

General Fund

Highway Aid Fund

Senior Center Fund

$ 153,167.29

$ 95,590.10

$ 2,222.16

Township Police Report
The July, 2003 Police Report submitted by Police Chief Bob Fatula was presented. The figures were as follows: 911 Calls dispatched to Police were 288. Reportable Incidents were 40 broken down as follows: Criminal Mischief-9, Theft-7, Harassment by Communications-6, Assault-5, Disorderly
Conduct-2, DUI (Driving While Under the Influence-2, Drugs-2, Criminal Conspiracy-1, False Reports
to Police-1, Harassment-1, Open Container-1, Public Drunkenness-1, Receiving Stolen Property-1 and Vehicle Theft-1. Non-Traffic Citations Issued-6. Traffic Citations Issued-142. Accidents Handled-2. Criminal Charges Filed were 20 broken down as follows: Assault-4, Disorderly Conduct-4, DUI (Driving While Under the Influence)-2, Drugs-2, Theft-2, Criminal Conspiracy-1, False Reports to Police-1, Harassment-1, Open Container-1, Public Drunkenness-1 and Receiving Stolen Property1.

Letter from Becky DeYulis, President of Jackson Softball Association
requesting that the Supervisors consider making a donation to help them offset the cost of lighting at Leidy Park which the Softball Association pays for. She went on to say the lighting benefits not only the softball teams but also various volleyball teams and children who use the playground. The cost of lighting is approximately $500.00 per year.

Old Business:

New Business
Elmer Grove
, Fire Chief presented a plaque to the Board of Supervisors in appreciation for them funding the new Fire Truck.

Mr. Greg Shaffer of Keystone Renewable Energy, a subsidiary of Crouse & Company along with Mr. Brad Minemyer of Waste Management gave a presentation on a proposed Landfill Gas Conversion Project slated for Jackson Township. Mr. Brian Stewart, Engineer for Waste Management was also present. Minemyer started out by saying the Laurel Landfill produces methane gas that
currently is being put into a flare system. He said they have been working on the proposed project
about two years. Shaffer said he was hopeful construction could begin this fall pending necessary approvals. He said the current demand for natural gas has made the project very attractive. He said they hoped to take the gas currently being flared and running it through a treatment process and then provide it for consumer use. He said this was part of a large project that would also involve 2 other landfills in Somerset County and because of the logistics involved, the first phase would primarily focus on getting the Laurel Landfill up and running. He said the Laurel Landfill currently produces enough gas to satisfy the household needs annually for 2500 to 3000 homes. He anticipated as more organic material is added that the gas available to recycle would more than double from the current amount. He said that Jackson Township was attractive for the Treatment Plant being it was near about 5 pipelines that cross near the Landfill. He said the process for converting gas would include compression, dehydration, taking out other chemicals and finally removing the Carbon Dioxide. Shaffer said permits were currently in progress and that they would like to present a site plan at the September or October meeting of the Jackson Township Planning Commission. Residents attending asked various questions of the project presenters. Mr. Shaffer was asked if the Township would receive any income from this project and he stated that they were proposing a Benefit Fee which would be based on the amount of gas processed. Minemyer was asked what the life of the landfill was and he answered about 30 years. Shaffer added that the Landfill Gas Conversion Project could go as long as 40 to 50 years producing gas from the Laurel Landfill. One resident questioned whether a power plant could be built on the Landfill Site. Shaffer answered that the plant they are proposing is the most efficient. Shaffer also said that they were currently weighing the cost of running a pipeline from the other two landfills in Somerset County or perhaps building a second plant. A question was asked if there would be any odor from the new proposed plant and the answer given by Mr. Shaffer was no. Minemyer also said they were looking into building a "fluid pipeline" in conjunction with the gas pipeline to help Waste Management transport their "rain water" to the Johnstown Sewage Plant. Waste Management currently is putting the water in holding ponds and then trucking it from the Landfill site to the Ebensburg Treatment Plant. Shaffer said the first phase of the project would involve about 4 million in capital expenditures. When questioned about jobs, he said the plant would only have about 2 or 3 permanent jobs but many temporary construction jobs would be created building the project. He also said that the project could add 5-8 additional years of life to the Laurel Landfill. A resident asked if the Landfill was taking hazardous waste. Minemyer answered no and there were no plans for hazardous waste in the future. He added that Pennsylvania has some of the strictest laws in the United States. Stewart said there are new technologies available and that they could possibly be used in Pennsylvania in the future. Shaffer in closing said that the project has already been presented to both the Cambria & Somerset County Commissioners and that it has received a tremendous amount of support. At the conclusion of the presentation, the residents attending gave a round of applause.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to approve subdivision of Mark & Shari Gillin. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Bracken to lease equipment from the 12th Congressional Region Equipment Center for use on the Leidy Lane Ball Fields Project. Supervisor Stephens asked if there was any kind of figure on what this project was going to cost. Manager Hirko said it may depend upon what equipment is used and for how long. Stephens asked what the cost would be and how it would be funded. Solicitor Barbin said that there was a letter listing the rates and a motion would be approving those rates for a given time period. Hirko said the maximum time would be two months and that they were hoping to finish much sooner but it would depend upon what ground conditions they run into such as rock, etc. Supervisor Bracken said by going through the 12th Congressional Center the cost would be a fraction of what it would be otherwise and if it were being put out for bid, prevailing wages would triple the cost. He said the idea is to help save the Recreation Commission money and to help them get this ball field in. Steve Yurasek commented that other municipalities doing the same thing still put it in the paper to see if there are any objections. Barbin said it's not required to do so. Joe Baxter, Chairman of the Recreation Commission agreed to give some more details on the proposed project. He said a $15,000 grant was received from Yewcic's office in addition to receiving money from timbering at Mitchell Park. Yurasek asked who the engineer was for the project. Baxter said Duane Mohney of the Conservation Office drew up the plans. Yurasek responded that Mohney was an Architect and not an Engineer. Baxter said Duane drew up the plans and the Township Engineer worked up the "cuts and fills". Eugene Kist asked if the cost would run over the projected amount would the Supervisors pick up the additional fees.  Baxter said it would depend upon how much it runs over. Barbin added that the Supervisors could stop the project at any time. Clair Michaels asked how deep the cuts would be and if the core samples taken down below the proposed cuts. He suggested that new samples be taken because junk dirt was being turned over that could harm somebody. Baxter said the core sample analysis was already done. Michaels said they were only 12 inches deep and now there were proposed cuts of 5 feet. A vote was taken after the discussion. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Bracken to authorize Roadmasters to hire up to 5 Heavy Equipment Operators at $20.00 per hour, 4 Truck Drivers at $20.00 per hour and 1 Foreman at $250.00 per day with no benefits as temporary employees for a period of no more than two months to work on the Leidy Lane Park Ball Fields Project. Supervisor Stephens asked Mr. Barbin about Section 2302 of the 2nd Class Township Code not giving Roadmasters the authority to hire. He stated that he was in favor of the project and for the children having a place to play. Solicitor Barbin said he researched the issue and quoted two court cases. He went on to say that the Supervisors are authorizing the Roadmasters to carry out the duties of hiring the workers. A vote was taken after the discussion. Vote-3 yes. Supervisor Stephens voted yes based on Mr. Barbin's legal opinion.

A letter was read from the Jackson Township Planning Commission recommending that street lights be installed at the following intersections: Swigle Mountain Road & Pike Road, Route 22 & Ogden Street, Adams Avenue & Newcomer Road, Adams Avenue & Leidy Lane, Adams Avenue & Poplar Street, Rose Branch Street & Fairview Avenue, Rose Branch Street & Brazil Lane, Route 271 & Griffith Avenue, Route 271 & Courter Avenue, Route 271 & Benshoff Hill Road, Route 271 & Anderson Drive, Bracken Street & Leidy Lane, Route 271 & Simmons Lane, Blackburn Road & Kepple Road, Fords Corner Road & Finntown Road, Loraine Road & Turkey Path Road, Pike Road & Snyder Road - Lower End, Pike Road & Route 22 - East End, Adams Avenue & Ogden Street, Adams Avenue & Swigle Mountain Road, Adams Avenue & Woodland Street, Adams Avenue & Rose Branch Street, Rose Branch Street & Griffith Avenue, Brazil Lane & Kissell Avenue, Route 271 & Patton Terrace, Harmony Drive & Blackburn Road, Route 271 & Moshannon Drive - Both Ends, Route 271 & Bracken Street - Both Ends, Bracken Street & Marhefka Drive, Gillin Lane & Stoneridge Street, Benshoff Hill Road & Sharkey Road, Fords Corner Road & Loraine Road and Benshoff Hill Road & Hunts Road. Motion Baker, second Stephens to have streetlights installed at 35 intersections recommended by the Jackson Township Planning Commission. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Bracken to approve Revised Holding Tank Resolution 11-03 and keep bond for holding tanks at $1000.00. Vote-Bracken & Baker-yes, Stephens-no

Motion Stephens, second Baker on transferring $97,938.00 from the Capital Reserve Fund to the General Fund - $47,078.33 to Grannas Brothers for Road Paving Projects, $47,696.67 to Russell Standard for Road Seal Coating Projects, $1,000 for a donation to the Miners Community Food Pantry and $2,163 for Computer, Backup Tape Drive System, Software and Computer Work done for Police Department. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker on approving the time sheets from July 20, 2003 through August 2, 2003 and August 3, 2003 through August 16, 2003. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to donate $500.00 to the Jackson Township Softball Association. Vote-3 yes.

Solicitor Barbin addressed the Board of Supervisors saying that Harry Baker, Zoning Officer contacted him with a question about what affect the Ordinance would have on an adult bookstore. He checked the Zoning Ordinance and said that he found nothing in the Ordinance that restricts adult bookstores. He went on to say that about six months ago, Conemaugh Township in Somerset County wanted something added to their Zoning Ordinance for this reason. He said that he researched it and found that the City of Butler put restrictions in their Zoning Ordinance on adult entertainment and the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court approved them. Barbin said the Adult business challenged the law and the city won. Barbin said he took the Conemaugh Township Ordinance and changed it to Jackson Township. He said it could be adopted as zoning is more complicated. He added that having a Nuisance Ordinance will not keep adult business out and are found to be unconstitutional. Barbin said the Township could win by having the restrictions in the Townships Zoning Ordinance. He said if the Supervisors were interested in this protection that the proper step would be to refer this proposed Ordinance to the Jackson Township Planning Commission. Barbin also added that just by considering this, there could be protection under the "Pending Ordinance Doctrine" from an adult business wanting to set up shop in the Township. Steve Yurasek said he was glad that it was clarified that zoning did not protect this Township from an adult bookstore.

Motion Baker, second Stephens to send proposed addition to the Zoning Ordinance to the Jackson Township Planning Commission. Vote-3 yes.

Public Comments:
Art Lorditch
said there was an article in the Tribune-Democrat about building a walking trail around the Senior Center. He went on to say that in the article that $30,000.00 was to be Community Block Grant Money. Manager Hirko replied that that was from prior yearís monies before the Wagner Road Water Project came up.

Bob Albright said the Supervisors "Laurel" was the streetlights and the "Barb" was the policeman patrolling Route 22. He said parking a vacant police car on the bridge above Route 22 could solve the problem and traffic would slow down. He said it's nothing more than legalized robbery. Steve

Yurasek said that there is garbage being dumped on Benshoff Hill Road just over the Township line and couldn't the police find out who is doing the illegal dumping.

Eugene Kist said this meeting should be held to order and that he is intimated by police officers present in the room. He said the police officer has no right to speak and mouth off to him and that his constitutional rights are being violated. He said he was intimidated and he may just file charges.

Don Allbaugh asked if the Ordinance passed. Supervisor Baker asked him what ordinance he was referring to and he replied the Zoning Ordinance. Baker responded that it did in December of 2001. Allbaugh said the State put their Ordinance back for 2 years and why couldn't the Township put their Ordinance on the shelf for two years. Baker said he was incorrect and that he had the Pennsylvania State Uniform Construction Code and the Zoning Ordinance mixed up.

Gene Vogatsky said that Simmons Lane needed grated above his Dad's house. He said water was washing out the berm of the road that was recently seal coated. In another concern he asked the Supervisors if they would consider installing "Watch Children" signs on turns on Simmons Lane near his home.

Supervisor Stephens pointed out that there should have been public comments for the softball and zoning motions. Solicitor Barbin said the Supervisors should ask for public comment on those two motions and then have a motion to ratify those two motions. Supervisor Bracken asked if there were any comments on the donation to the Jackson Softball Association. There were none. Bracken then asked if there were any comments on sending the Ordinance concerning Adult Businesses to the Planning Commission. Steve Yurasek said the specific words when the Zoning Ordinance was pushed through was to keep out adult bookstores and that he lied to the people. Barbin pointed out that this Ordinance could effectively regulate adult businesses within the Township. Eugene Kist said that it was also stated that pig farms couldn't locate in Jackson Township and that it was unconstitutional. Bracken said they would have to be in a High Density Agricultural area.

Irma Buksa wanted to thank Mr. Bracken & Mr. Baker for keeping after PennDOT to fix the drainage problems on Benshoff Hill Road. She went on to say that she doubted if Mr. Stephens knew where the road is or where the problems were.

Motion Baker, second Stephens to ratify the motions on the softball donation and the adult businesses. Vote-3 yes.

An announcement was made that the next Supervisors Meeting would be held on Thursday, September 25, 2003 at 7:00 pm at the Jackson Township Municipal Building.

Motion Baker, second Bracken to adjourn the meeting at 8:40 pm. Vote-3 yes.

Respectfully submitted,
David M. Hirko, Secretary